With no discussion, the Nashville-based Southern Baptist Convention approved a recommendation to end the denomination's relationship with Broadway Baptist Church, a Fort Worth, Texas, congregation that has been the source of controversy over its stance on homosexuality, according to Baptist Press.
The recommendation from the executive committee passed on the floor nearly unanimously Tuesday, capping a focus on the church that began last year when the church was trying to decide whether to include the same-sex couples in a church directory.
Broadway Baptist has approximately five open homosexual members, including two male couples, according to church members. Some of the homosexuals serve on church committees.
At issue was whether the church was in violation of a part of the SBC constitution, which bans churches "which act to affirm, approve, or endorse homosexual behavior."
Stephen Wilson, a member of the Executive Committee and vice president for academic affairs at Mid-Continent University, emphasized to Baptist Press that the denomination encourages churches to reach out to people struggling with homosexuality. The issue with Broadway Baptist, though, is over a church allowing members who are homosexual and unrepentant, he said.
"If churches are ministering to homosexuals, they are doing nothing more than what our own convention's task force has asked us to do," Wilson told Baptist Press. "But in Broadway's case ... the church was in effect saying that it was OK to have members who are open homosexuals."