Baptist leader: Split is unavoidable on same-sex marriage, there is no ‘third way’

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A Southern Baptist Church leader has rejected calls for a middle-ground compromise on same-sex marriage, calling on every individual church to declare its position.

Albert Mohler, the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary head, who is staunchly opposed to same-sex marriage, made the comments at the Southern Baptist Convention last week.

He said: “The issue is binary. A church will recognize same-sex relationships, or it will not.

“A congregation will teach a biblical position on the sinfulness of same-sex acts, or it will affirm same-sex behaviors as morally acceptable. Ministers will perform same-sex ceremonies, or they will not.

For some time now, it has been increasingly clear that every congregation in this nation will be forced to declare itself openly on this issue. That moment of decision and public declaration will come to every Christian believer, individually.

“There will be no place to hide, and no place safe from eventual interrogation. The question will be asked, an invitation will be extended, a matter of policy must be decided, and there will be no refuge.

There is no third way. A church will either believe and teach that same-sex behaviors and relationships are sinful, or it will affirm them.

“Eventually, every congregation in America will make a public declaration of its position on this issue. It is just a matter of time (and for most churches, not much time) before every congregation in the nation faces this test.

“Every single evangelical congregation, denomination, mission agency, school, and institution had better be ready to face the same challenge, for it will come quickly, and often from an unexpected source. Once it comes, there is no middle ground, and no ‘third way’.

“Sooner or later — and probably sooner — the answer of every church and Christian will be either yes or no.

The Southern Baptist Church is the largest Protestant denomination in the US, and last year banned all its military chaplains from attending or supporting same-sex weddings.