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Church & Baptists Part Over Anti-Gay Amendment


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Church & Baptists Part Over Anti-Gay Amendment

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

Posted: August 9, 2005 9:00 pm ET

(Rock Hill, South Carolina) A Rock Hill, South Carolina church at the center of a maelstrom of controversy, over its opposition to amending the state constitution to ban gay marriage, is being ousted from the local Southern Baptists even though an investigation found it did nothing wrong.

During Senate hearings on the amendment this spring at the legislature the Rev. Robert Shrum of Oakland Baptist Church spoke out against the measure.

In his remarks Shrum noted that the state already bans same-sex marriage and that an amendment would be "beating up on a marginalized group."

The pastor also told Senators that gay and lesbian members of his church are free to participate in the church and in leadership positions.

The local Baptist Association began an immediate investigation to determine whether the remarks constituted anti-biblical statements and if he was condoning homosexuality.

The inquiry found that Shrum had said nothing contrary to the Bible and recommended taking no action. Nevertheless Shrum was summoned to appear before the association to answer questions about his position on homosexuality and the Bible.

When he refused to appear, saying the church had already answered every question asked by the association, it voted to recommend breaking ties with the church.

One member of the association denied the decision was homophobic.

"It's absolutely not a bash against homosexuals," the Rev. Terry Corder told the Rock Hill Herald.

"In no way do we ever say we are out to get homosexuals. God loves all people, and we recognize that. But we have to take a stance on what's right and what's wrong according to God's word, it doesn't matter if it's homosexuality, if it's murder, if it's telling a lie," Corder said.

Even though the church will not be part of the York Baptists Association it remains - at least for the present - part of the Southern Baptist Convention.

The proposed constitutional amendment passed the legislature in April and will go to voters in 2006. (story)

©365Gay.com 2005

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