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California Baptist Church Votes to Welcome LGBT Community After Pastor’s Son Comes Out as Gay

Screen Shot 2014-06-08 at 11.51.46 AM

A Southern Baptist Church in La Mirada, California has voted to welcome the LGBT community after its pastor gave a sermon announcing that his son [pictured below] had come out as gay  - and that he himself no longer agreed with the SBC’s teachings on homosexuality.

Screen Shot 2014-06-08 at 11.52.17 AMNew Heart Community Church pastor Danny Cortez said that the testimony of gay friends over the years and his son Drew's own coming out last year helped open his eyes to the “injustice that the church has wrought” by marginalizing the LGBT community.

Following the sermon (which you can check out AFTER THE JUMP) the New Heart Community Church elected to study the theological issues surrounding same-sex marriage and the welcoming of same-sex couples into the congregation. 

In a letter posted to the blog Pathos last month, Cortez announced that the church had voted to let him stay as pastor and become a ‘Third Way’ church – agreeing to disagree and not cast judgment on one another.

Wrote Cortez:

This is a huge step for a Southern Baptist Church!!

New heartSo now, we will accept the LGBT community even though they may be in a relationship. We will choose to remain the body of Christ and not cast judgment. We will work towards graceful dialogue in the midst of theological differences. We see that this is possible in the same way that our church holds different positions on the issue of divorce and remarriage. In this issue we are able to not cast judgment in our disagreement.

The Christian Post notes, however, that the SBC constitution states explicitly that any congregation that endorses homosexual behavior is 'not in cooperation with the Convention,' and thus excluded from its membership."

Check out Cortez' sermon "Why I Changed My Mind on Sexuality," as well as his son's coming out video that was posted on YouTube AFTER THE JUMP...

And head over to Pathos to read Cortez' full letter detailing his and his church's journey - including a touching account of how his son came out to him after the two had a discussion about Macklemore's "Same Love"

[church photo via Facebook]



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  1. Heartening. But I can't help but be a little annoyed that none of these people can show any empathy until it personally affects them. Why can't they see the damage they are causing until it harms their own children?

    Posted by: Brad | Jun 8, 2014 6:51:21 PM

  2. @Brad -- I completely agree with you! I don't want to dis them, but it would be nice if people could learn and grow even before it becomes a personal family matter. But I guess this is why it is so important for everyone to come out -- every LGBT person is personal to somebody...

    Posted by: Kit | Jun 8, 2014 6:58:19 PM

  3. This is indeed huge for a Southern Baptist Church. Although they may face consequences for this stand, it does get the ball rolling. As a 59 y.o. Mississippian, I quit attending the Southern Baptist Church I grew up in after high school. I could not believe a God and savior teaching so much love for one another has so much hate just for who I really am.

    Posted by: Ed P. | Jun 8, 2014 7:00:24 PM

  4. Democracy and the Abrahamic religions are incompatible. There's no two ways about it. To embrace true equality, one must reject Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Well, actually, with the advent of modern democracy, religion itself is an idea whose time has come, and gone. Homophobia and mysoginy is rampant even in Hinduism and Buddhism.

    Posted by: Manny Espinola | Jun 8, 2014 7:01:06 PM

  5. in 50 years christianity will claim that it invented lgbt rights. so will the gop.

    Posted by: candide | Jun 8, 2014 7:09:50 PM

  6. Candide is right. They will point to the Log Cabin Republicans as the standard bearers for gay rights. Clowns!

    Posted by: jmartindale | Jun 8, 2014 7:22:28 PM

  7. Wake up gay people ! Why are you still seeking validation from religions ? Who cares what they think - they are ALL just a profit making business like every other business. They don't have a secret to life or anything else - they are run for PROFIT. They want your money.

    Stop giving them power over you. They are nobodies who are making hundreds of millions of dollars every year and they don't pay a penny in tax !


    Posted by: Icebloo | Jun 8, 2014 7:39:33 PM

  8. The most articulate and reasonable expression of compassion that I've ever heard. Thank you so much for posting it.

    Posted by: David | Jun 8, 2014 8:10:36 PM

  9. Wow. Touching sermon indeed.

    Posted by: Jeff | Jun 8, 2014 8:47:15 PM

  10. Religion needs to be challenged on every front. The only reason it has been able to gain the power it has been placed in a position where it's immune from criticism. Fortunately, that's starting to change. When the criticism becomes commonplace, then religion will crumble. There is no there there.

    Posted by: Merv | Jun 8, 2014 9:22:25 PM

  11. Why such as a long sermon?
    Lady Gaga summed it up in a few sentences.
    "I'm beautiful in my way 'Cause God makes no mistakes. I'm on the right track, baby. I was born this way."
    That only proves that man made God in his own image.

    Posted by: simon | Jun 8, 2014 9:34:35 PM

  12. Personally, I think one of the worst things in society is the broad-based acceptance that it's okay to indoctrinate any kid into any faith before they're old enough and mature enough to understand what they're getting themselves into.

    Of course, if that became the norm, it would only take one or two generations of kids before society at large was able to acknowledge the fact that there is no real difference between the Olympic Pantheon and the Holy Trinity. I think, at their organizational hearts, religions understand that it's all a bunch of mythology -- and that's why they fight so hard to 'get em while they're young.'

    Posted by: Ryan | Jun 8, 2014 9:59:33 PM

  13. When it hits home it makes them open their eyes and look at this issue in a new light. Welcome to the 21st Century!

    Posted by: David From Canada | Jun 8, 2014 10:02:47 PM

  14. @ICEBLOO +100

    Posted by: castaway | Jun 8, 2014 10:10:03 PM

  15. Manny Espinola:
    I don't get the Buddhism also homophobic part. Buddhism says nothing about this world, They don't have a personal God. They emphasize anything including sexuality gay or straight is just an illusion. That doesn't mean they are homophobic.

    Posted by: simon | Jun 8, 2014 10:10:10 PM

  16. Simon: Buddhists think gay sex is unnatural or immoral because it considered to be 'sexual misconduct', which is one of The Five Precepts (aka the Buddhist version of The Ten Commandments). Meanwhile, heterosexual sex is not unnatural. So basically they're like Christians: it's okay to have the attraction, but don't ever act on it.

    Posted by: John | Jun 8, 2014 10:47:36 PM

  17. Joh
    I don't know which "Buddhist Bible" you are referring to. I never heard of "the Five Percepts". It may be the invention of some minor sect of Buddhism. We all know Buddhism originated in India.Then It spread eastward to China and from China to Japan. It also spread to South East Asia. Of course many sects arose in different regions. You can even find it in the US whose teachings are no longer the same as the mainstream sects in China and Japan. I suspect that in the US, they may have borrowed some teachings from Christianity.

    Posted by: simon | Jun 9, 2014 1:14:37 AM

  18. I also have to emphasize that Buddhism, like Chinese cuisine, was completely modified in the US to fit the American taste. Chinese don't really have chop suey. They may even cringe seeing something like that.

    Posted by: simon | Jun 9, 2014 1:48:03 AM

  19. The mainstream Buddhism, instead of five percepts, has "four empties". One of them is sex. It is an illusion. It doesn't say it is gay or straight.

    Posted by: simon | Jun 9, 2014 1:54:34 AM

  20. They support ONLY when it hits home ... no thanks

    Posted by: MarkBoston | Jun 9, 2014 2:24:53 AM

  21. Buddhism is a problem, too. Check out the rise of Buddhist fundamentalism in Sri Lanka. They're just as violent and oppressive as the Muslims and Christians.

    Posted by: Merv | Jun 9, 2014 2:50:57 AM

  22. And I should care what any one-book creed or its adherents think about anything.
    Rot in the swamp religionists.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Jun 9, 2014 4:24:10 AM

  23. Merv:
    Every religion can be twisted to serve a certain political end. But that doesn't change the fact that Buddhism and Christianity are very different, at least in the theological sense.
    Since Christianity advocates a personal God who watches over us, their God is quite judgmental. Buddhism on the other hand has no God in its pure form. That doesn't mean it can't be twisted for political purpose. But it has to be totally changed to become totally corrupted theologically.

    Posted by: simon | Jun 9, 2014 8:09:37 AM

  24. In addition, if you read the Bible, God is present almost in every page. In the ancient Buddhist texts, you can hardly find the presence of God who is at the same time a judgmental God.

    Posted by: simon | Jun 9, 2014 8:25:00 AM

  25. In some sense, Buddhism is not unlike Greek mythology or Roman paganism.

    Posted by: simon | Jun 9, 2014 8:34:44 AM

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