It just so happens that this week, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is holding its Annual Meeting in St. Louis, Missouri.
As a congregationalist denomination, the annual meeting consists of thousands of “messengers” from the Convention’s autonomous churches who gather to discuss the future of the SBC.
On Tuesday, their first order of business was to respond to the Orlando shooting.The proposed resolution, Resolution 1, refers to the “tragic deaths of at least fifty” and calls upon messengers to pray, extend love and compassion to those devastated by the tragedy, donate blood, and “regard those affected by this tragedy as fellow image-bearers of God and our neighbors.”
The resolution outlining response procedures and dialogue is noticeably missing any reference to the fact that the victims were gay.
That could be because no church can participate in the Convention if it does not have a faith and practice that “closely identifies with the Convention’s adopted statement of faith,” which condemns homosexuality.
In fact, the SBC Constitution specifically cites that belief as an example: “Churches which act to affirm, approve, or endorse homosexual behavior would be deemed not to be in cooperation with the Convention.”