So much for the First Amendment and free exercise of religion. The Southern Baptist Convention — America’s second-largest Christian sect next to Roman Catholics — has now banned Baptist chaplains from not only performing same-sex marriages, but even from attending the weddings of any same-sex couples.
“The agency that commissions Southern Baptist military chaplains says no Baptist chaplain will be allowed to perform, attend or support a same-sex wedding either on or off base,” Religion News Service reports.
Indeed, that agency, the North American Mission Board (NAMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention has issued new “guidelines,” violation of which would in essence cause a chaplain to lose his authority and job as a Baptist military chaplain.
“NAMB-endorsed chaplains will not conduct or attend a wedding ceremony for any same-sex couple, bless such a union or perform counseling in support of such a union, assist or support paid contractors or volunteers leading same-sex relational events, nor offer any kind of relationship training or retreat, on or off of a military installation, that would give the appearance of accepting the homosexual lifestyle or sexual wrongdoing.”
“Chaplains are also prohibited from participating in jointly-led worship services ‘with a chaplain, contractor or volunteer who personally practices a homosexual lifestyle or affirms a homosexual lifestyle or such conduct.’”
So, if a Baptist ministry chaplain attends his or her sibling’s same-sex wedding, they will lose their job as a Baptist chaplain.
So much for freedom of religion, speech, and religious practice.
The Southern Baptist Convention claims to have 16 million following members.
NAMB, by the way, isn’t even a military organization, or focused on the military. Here’s their mission statement,via Facebook:
The North American Mission Board helps Southern Baptists fulfill the Great Commission in the United States, Canada and their territories through a North American strategy for sharing Christ, starting churches and sending missionaries.
So, their goal is to convert.
The guidelines, which are published in the form of a letter, close with this statement:
“God bless you for all you do to minister the love of Jesus Christ to the members of the Armed Services, our veterans, and their families.”
It adds, “If you experience undue prejudice or irreparable harm as a result of following these expectations, please contact us immediately.”
What if the opposite is true? Doesn’t not following the guidelines impose “irreparable harm”? Who do those chaplains call then?
Image: screenshot of SBC Chaplains video
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