July 22, 2014
NASHVILLE (BP) -- When a retired Air Force general's concern over homosexuality prompted an amendment to the Southern Baptist Convention's constitution two decades ago, few observers realized that his impulse to defend biblical morality would prove instrumental in helping the convention resist pressure to legitimize same-sex relationships for years to come.

"Homosexuality was being promoted and was making progress ... and we wanted to protect the Southern Baptist Convention from [a] nickel and dime whittling away of standards and promoting acceptance of homosexuality," said T.C. Pinckney, 84, a former member of the SBC Executive Committee who at a 1992 EC meeting proposed amending the SBC constitution to declare churches that condone homosexuality "not in friendly cooperation" with the convention.

Two generations later, young SBC leaders say stands for biblical morality like Pinckney's are the "confessional bedrock" that has prevented the convention from capitulating to the push for sexual license.

God particularly blesses "confessional movements," Christian groups that make formal statements of their beliefs and hold themselves accountable to abide by those beliefs, Owen Strachan, 32, president of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, told Baptist Press. Confessional denominations "are driven by a rich, rock-ribbed statement of biblical theology and Gospel teaching. I don't have a lot of confidence in this day and age for churches whose identity is not grounded in a strong statement of what they believe."

The SBC's most recent statement of its beliefs regarding human sexuality is a resolution on "transgender identity" adopted at its annual meeting in Baltimore in June. The resolution opposes "efforts to alter one's bodily identity ... to refashion it to conform with one's perceived gender identity," opposes "all cultural efforts to validate claims to transgender identity" and invites "all transgender persons to trust in Christ and to experience renewal in the Gospel." Read More
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