The Southern Baptist Convention has kicked two churches from the denomination – one for alleged discriminatory behavior, the other for welcoming and affirming homosexual behavior. Amazing Grace Community Church in Franklinville, New Jersey, was purged from the rolls over what the SBC calls a "lack of cooperation … to resolve concerns regarding alleged discriminatory behavior." The denomination released no other information about that infraction.
The other church, as reported by The Associated Press, is College Park Baptist Church in Greensboro, North Carolina. On its website, College Park describes itself as an "LGBTQIA Affirming Baptist Church" and says it "fully welcomes and affirms all persons without distinction regarding race, ethnicity, national origin, class, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other human category."
Christian apologist and author Dr. Alex McFarland – a longtime resident and educator in North Carolina – is quite familiar with College Park, which had voted in 1999 to leave the SBC.
"Even 30 years ago, they seemed to have prided themselves in being on the cutting edge of heresy," he says bluntly. He offers this example: "In January, concurrent with other churches having a 'Sanctity of Human Life Sunday,' College Park – under the direction of Reverend [Michael] Usey and his wife – would have a day to celebrate the passage of Roe v. Wade."
The Southern Baptist credentialing committee determined the two churches were "outside the bounds of fellowship with Southern Baptists." Unfortunately, says McFarland, College Park is not unique.
"Sadly, I fear that across America there are more and more churches like College Park that have sold their theological soul," the Christian educator lament. "They don't stand with the Word of God; they're not courageously saving souls and changing the culture by standing on God's truth."
McFarland argues the Church as a whole is called to do exactly that: stand on the truth of God's Word – and he contends College Park has not done that. "We are not called to just ride the wave of culture and popular opinion," he concludes.