Sunday, January 29, 2023

Florida church demands that members sign a statement against LGBTQ rights and freedoms or leave the congregation

For those wondering why so many people are abandoning churches, look nor further:

Calling the "sexual revolution" a "threat to our church," First Baptist Church in Jacksonville will now require congregants to sign a statement affirming their opposition to LGBTQ+ freedoms if they want to remain members. 

In a video message posted on the church website, Senior Pastor Heath Lambert said members will be required to sign a document affirming that people are "either male or female and that this creation is a fixed matter of human biology, not individual choice." They must also affirm that " between one man and one woman, and is the only context for sexual desire and expression."

 . . . “It means to rule out all sorts of sexual sins," Lambert said. "It means to rule out pornography and polygamy and fornication and adultery and homosexuality.” He said this is not controversial to Christians.

 “Everybody in our culture is fighting about sex," Lambert said, "and we want our congregation to be happy and kind, and so we don’t want to fight about it, and so it’s just very helpful to say, ‘Here’s what we think about it, and if you want to be a part of our congregation. If you don’t, that’s fine too.’”

The issue isn't even solely about bigotry against the LGBTQ community. A church has no right to psychologically corral a member's journey of faith or relationship with God by demanding that they "sign" statements having to do with personal beliefs.  What's next? Demanding that members sign a statement supporting a political candidate? Or are we already past that point? 

A church should never resemble a fascistic country but unfortunately this is the path many of them are choosing.  

Certainly, those congregants who don't agree can  leave. But it's not as simple as you would think, especially into account the friendships and  personal relationships which would be lost and the possible shunning taking place which has the potential to wreck families.  Worse than it, it sends an ugly impression of the church in general - self righteous, bitter, strident, unyielding, no sense of humility and downright hateful. Aren't these characteristics supposed to be antithetical to Jesus who the church claims to follow?

When they supported Donald Trump, some churches revealed just how little in regard they hold their own faith compared to how much they desired power. Now they are revealing just how much they are willing to weaponize their faith in order to demand control over their members' minds and personal lives.