The Kentucky Baptist Convention might expel churches that affirm same-sex marriage or ordain gay ministers, as it said it cannot soften its stance on the issue because the Bible clearly teaches that homosexuality is a sin.
The Louisville convention of Southern Baptists has kicked out churches that welcome LGBT ministers and bless same-sex unions, and its stance on the issue remains the same. The Kentucky Baptist Convention's reiteration of the rule came as a liberal group of affiliated churches called the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship held discussions on scrapping the ban on gay and transgender workers, the Louisville Courier-Journal detailed.
Kentucky Baptist Convention executive director Paul Chitwood said the fellowship would be taking a dangerous wrong step if its leadership drops the ban on hiring "practicing homosexuals." He said that would be tantamount to "redefining sin."
Earlier this month, a committee under the convention voted to "monitor" the fellowship, adding that it might expel churches affiliated with it if it drops the ban on hiring homosexuals. Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president R. Albert Mohler said the state convention's move was expected because churches that start supporting homosexuality were "no longer cooperating with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention."
Meanwhile, in Tennessee, the Baptist convention voted to kick out a congregation for designating a woman as its senior pastor. Members from the 390 churches in the state voted overwhelmingly in favor of the move, Baptist News reported.
In June, members of the First Baptist Church in Jefferson City voted to call Rev. Ellen Di Giosia its 32nd pastor. The decision was made despite the Southern Baptist Convention's amended Baptist Faith and Message doctrinal statement which dictated that the office of the pastor was exclusive to men. Nevertheless, the convention acknowledged that both men and women can serve in the church.