Does the Baptist Church Have a Position on Homosexuality?

Baptist organizations vary in their views but are generally conservative

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Most Baptist church organizations have a conservative view and doctrine on homosexuality. You will usually find an affirmation of marriage as being between one man and one woman and the practice of homosexuality considered to be sinful.​

But there are many different affiliations for Baptist congregations and a few take a more inclusive and affirming view. Individual members of Baptist churches may have their own personal views as well.

Here is a summary of what the major organizations have stated as their views.

Southern Baptist Convention View of Homosexuality

The Southern Baptist Convention is the largest Baptist organization, with more than 16 million members in approximately 40 thousand churches. It adheres to the belief that the Bible denounces homosexuality, therefore it is sinful. They believe that sexual preference is a choice and that homosexual people can eventually overcome their homosexuality to become chaste. Despite the fact that the SBC sees homosexuality as a sin, they do not classify it as an unforgivable sin. In their position statement, they say that homosexuality is not a valid alternative lifestyle, but the redemption available to all sinners is available to homosexuals.

In the Southern Baptist Convention's statement on same-sex marriage in 2012, they stated their opposition to classifying same-sex marriage as a civil rights issue.

But they also denounced gay-bashing and hateful rhetoric. They called for their pastors and churches to engage in "compassionate, redemptive ministry to those who struggle with homosexuality."

National Baptist Convention USA

This is the second-largest Baptist denomination in the U.S. with 7.5 million members.

It is a predominantly black denomination. They do not have an official position on homosexuality, allowing each congregation to determine local policy. However, the national convention position statement defines marriage as between a man and a woman. They note on their website that most traditional Black Baptist Churches are opposed to homosexuality as a legitimate expression of God's will and do not ordain practicing homosexuals for ministry, 

Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc.

This denomination is also primarily black and has about 2.5 million members. They allow their local congregations to determine their policy on same-sex marriage and they do not take an official stance.

American Baptist Churches USA

The American Baptist Churches USA acknowledges a variety of opinions in their churches on homosexuality. They have 1.3 million members and over 5,000 congregations. The General Board of the organization amended their document "We Are American Baptists" in 2005 to state they are a Biblical people "Who submit to the teaching of Scripture that God's design for sexual intimacy places it within the context of marriage between one man and one woman, and acknowledge that the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Biblical teaching." Churches can be dismissed by the regional organization if they do not affirm this document.

However, the 1998 Identity Statement without the wording on homosexuality is still on their website rather than the amended version.

Other Baptist Organizations

The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship does not support homosexual unions but some member churches are more progressive in their views.

The Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists advocates for the full inclusion of homosexual, bisexual, and transgender persons. AWAB advocates to end discrimination based on sexual orientation and support a network of AWAB churches.

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Your Citation
Mahoney, Kelli. "Does the Baptist Church Have a Position on Homosexuality?" ThoughtCo, Jul. 11, 2017, Mahoney, Kelli. (2017, July 11). Does the Baptist Church Have a Position on Homosexuality? Retrieved from Mahoney, Kelli. "Does the Baptist Church Have a Position on Homosexuality?" ThoughtCo. (accessed March 21, 2018).