Update: University cancels mission trip for ousted church
    July 1 2009 by Bob Allen, Associated Baptist Press

    FORT WORTH, Texas — A Kentucky Baptist university has, at the last minute, withdrawn its invitation to host a youth mission team from Texas after the Southern Baptist Convention disfellowshipped their church for its toleration of homosexuals.

    Brent Beasley, pastor of Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth, said the church’s youth minister received a call June 30 from an official at the University of the Cumberlands informing her that the congregation’s youth choir is no longer welcome to stay in dorms or perform mission work through the school’s Mountain Outreach construction program, which builds houses for the disadvantaged in Appalachia.

    Beasley said a church near the school’s Williamsburg, Ky., campus also canceled a concert that had been scheduled as part of the mission trip.

    He said a big part of the 12-day mission trip/choir tour, scheduled to begin July 3, was the stop at the university, affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention.

    The Mountain Outreach program was established in 1982 by two students overwhelmed by the tar-paper shacks without electricity or running water they saw while on a driving tour of rural areas long plagued by poverty.

    Beasley, whose first Sunday as Broadway’s new senior pastor is July 5, said the Broadway Chapel Choir, as the youth choir is called, has been taking these kinds of mission trips for years.

    “All these kids want to do is praise God with their singing and serve God by helping those in poverty,” Beasley said. “We’re not going to let denominational politics keep them from doing this good work.”

    The Southern Baptist Convention voted without discussion June 23 to accept the unanimous recommendation of the SBC Executive Committee to sever a 125-year-old relationship with Broadway. The committee said the congregation failed to prove it had not acted to “affirm, approve or endorse homosexual behavior,” a requirement for SBC membership since the early 1990s.

    Formerly called Cumberland College, the University of the Cumberlands was founded by Baptist ministers in 1889. The school has historically served students primarily from the collective mountain regions of Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio and Alabama.

    University officials declined to comment on their rationale for revoking the invitation to Broadway’s mission team.

    (EDITOR’S NOTE — Allen is senior writer for Associated Baptist Press.)

    7/1/2009 5:06:00 AM by Bob Allen, Associated Baptist Press | with 9 comments

Dr. James Willingham
Johnny Hunt's remarks about the government are well-taken. Having studied Inquisition history until it gave me nightmares, having studied Black History unil it gave e nightmares, and having viewed photographs of one of the German concentration camps taken by a member of my second church wih an old browning box camera for an hr or two at home which also gave me nightmares, it is obvious that we are better off to be bold as a lion. Some will be silenced by such threats. Others will become more bold. One thing this government will find, if they decide to go after the preachers, is that - after the unblievers retreat - those who are left will be like the church coming up out of the wilderness: AS TERRIBLE AS AN ARMY WITH BANNERS. Just as the Russians did not succeed to well in their persecution of Christians (read Solznytsyn's (sp?)writings), our government will find they have bitten off more than they can chew. Yup, some might die. And some who want to put all Bible -believing preachers in prisons will find the are not satisfied with that. The blood thirst in fallen man comes to the fore, when opportunity (?) affords it an opening.
7/3/2009 10:38:31 PM

During his press conference SBC President Johnny Hunt was asked about the bills before Congress that supposedly would stifle the pulpit from speaking out against certain sins, certainly homosexual behavior. He was asked if those bills concerned him, especially that pulpits might be silenced. I'm paraphrasing because I don't have my notes (I'm with grandkids in Philadelphia) but he said basically, "Certainly not." He's not concerned he said because if he is going to go to other nations where to claim Christ and preach the Gospel can easily cost a new believer his life there is no way that the "threat" of jail, censure or loss of tax exemption is going to silence him. Nor he implied, should it silence any preacher of the gospel anywhere under any circumstances. This idea that anything the goverment does or doesn't do can stifle us ... that any law it passes could silence us ... that we are so weak, and our God is so pitiful that the mere threat of jail, censure or tax status would silence us is anathema to me. Fear mongers are fanning such flames to raise money and make political hay. The occupant of the White House or the fannies sitting on the chairs in Congress are irrlevant to our ability to preach the Word and they always have been. In this nation, they always will be and when the day comes that our pulpits are silent for such fears, we'd better close the doors and flee from the wrath ... not of the government, but of God.
7/2/2009 10:22:43 PM

Brent Hobbs
Dr. James is exactly right. Its nearly impossible to walk the fine line between standing firmly on the immorality of an action while reaching out to the one who loves that sin. Will we do it perfectly? Surely not. Will people accuse us of speaking out of both sides of our mouths? Certainly. Must we still try to strike that balance? Absolutely.

Jesus spent time with prostitutes, tax collectors, and adulterers in his time on earth. But they realized they were sinners. When homosexuals demand acceptance of their lifestyle, they are more like the Pharisees, satisfied with their own righteousness, than the sinners Jesus befriended.
7/2/2009 9:58:58 PM

Dr. James Willingham
You fellows are not quite playing fair. After all with the bills now in congress, one having passed the House and on its way to the Senate where it is sure of passing and the President's promise to sign with his openness to Gay liberation's reception in the White House, while rejecting entirely the National Day of prayer, the day will soon be here, when churches, SBC and State Convention organizations will have to hire homosexuals and the Bible will be banned since it condemns that lifestyle as it does sex abusers, obesity, adulterers, and murderers, all of which wind up in th Kingdom, when saved. But then they turn against their old ways and repudiate them. I was a reprobate before my conversion, which is the only kind of person God saves, the Devil's castaways. But if I continued in my old atheism and other evil practices, I could have no confidence whatever of Eternal Life. And that does not mean I don't care for the homosexuals. I must. But to allow them to continue while thinking they are accepted??? How do you get around that? In addition there is the pedophile and the incestuous individuals behind them who want allowance of their practices? Have you ever dealt with the results of that abuse? I have, and it led me to get an MA in counseling and writing a paper on the subject. Th terrible impact on children from such practices is not to be believed. Having come from a broken home, I know the price of abuse and adultery. I also know about forgiveness and acceptance. As a sinner, I hate sin. I detest it. We will always have sin, but we need not to give the sense of acceptance to it when it is still loved and indulged. Tell me, as I have always waned to know, how does one deal with that?
7/2/2009 3:35:28 PM

Dave Long
Having been in the ministry now for 44 years, I have not seen too many Christians (pastors) address much other than "pet issues" like abortion and homosexuality. I don't know of a church that requires, for example, a divorcee to come before the church in confession and repentance, much less the obese, the spouse abuser, the sex offender, etc. If we did that, our churches would be pretty empty. Since the church ought to be something of a "hospital for the sinner," where does the open and unrepentant sinner go for spiritual help? If we keep bashing the gay community and closing our church doors to them, we lose any oppotunity to truly minister to them. We then become no more than the Pharisees who wanted nothing to do with people who were not like themselves. While I do not support nor condone the gay lifestyle, I see no way to have a ministry to them if we cannot sit at the same table with them. I rather think Jesus would do things a bit differently; after all, he shared table fellowship with the "sinners' of his day.
7/2/2009 3:14:42 PM

Brent Hobbs
Glad to see the article cleaned up a little. While the article is clearly written to inspire sympathy for the youth group, we should be reminded that the college, just like the SBC and any other Baptist body, has a right not to cooperate with any other body whom it feels will damage its witness and mission. I do hope the youth group finds a new place to stay and does some great things on their trip. But I agree with the college who has decided it will not partner with churches who openly endorse an unbiblical lifestyle.

Dave, the issues you mention are certainly worthy of our attention as well. But I hope we would also cease cooperation with any church who allowed open and unrepentant spousal abusers or sex-offenders into membership or even leadership.
7/1/2009 9:23:47 PM

You're right. The edited version of the story that I intended to post is now the version you see.
7/1/2009 9:18:15 PM

Dave Long
I am still wondering about a number of other "moral issues" that the SBC does not deal with, such as, obese pastors whose bodies are temples of the Lord, rising divorce rates among evangelical Christians, failure to out sex-abuse pastors, failure to address adequately spousal abuse on both sides of the gender coin, etc. There is far more for the church to speak to than abortion and homosexulaity, but to deal with others will mean they would have to get a lot closer to the sins of the people in the pew.
And now at the last minute to cancel housing for a group of kids who have little or no notion of the ramifications of what the SBC did to their church, I wonder what they think: the kids will contaminate the rooms and beds they sleep in or the showers or the very grounds the buildings sit on? Somebody is sick and I don't think it is a group of kids who each year take a mission trip. May God deliver the SBC from themselves!
7/1/2009 2:55:25 PM

Brent Hobbs
Its clear journalistic objectivity has left the room with statements such as, "Until then the convention, [b]formed in 1845 to defend slavery,[/b] had defined membership by financial contributions and not by any moral issue. "
7/1/2009 1:05:29 PM

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