Local News

Cary Minister: Baptist Convention Takes 'Hard Right' Against Homosexuality

Posted November 20, 2005 6:06 a.m. EST

— At its annual meeting last week, the

Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

approved a resolution by the Rev. Bill Sanderson, of Hephzibah Baptist Church in Wendell, that would condemn homosexuality and require member churches to do so -- or leave the State Convention.

Inside Greenwood Forest Baptist Church in Cary, which is a member of the State Convention, members say they consider themselves a moderate group. Their pastor, Randy Sherron, says the church has not taken a public stance in any way on homosexuality.

"It is an important issue, but we don't think it's a defining issue in that it's a super sin of some kind," Sherron said.

Until now, there has been no solid policy on that State Convention's stand on homosexuality. But with last Tuesday's vote, the state convention's board of directors will now meet to establish the new policy on homosexuality to be presented at next year's convention.

"There is a right and there is a wrong," Sanderson told WRAL last week. "We should not in any way endorse, we should not in any way affirm or give any contributions toward any church that is affiliated with the matter of promoting homosexuality or homosexual behavior."

That hard line stance does not sit well at Greenwood Forest, which leaves the issue up to the individual member. The church also gives a small amount of money to the Alliance of Baptists, which openly supports same-sex marriage.

In the coming months, members of Greenwood Forest will have a difficult decision to make. And more than likely, Sherron says that will mean leaving the state convention.

"The Baptist State Convention has been doing ministry for 175 years and we don't take leaving lightly," Sherron said. "But the State Convention, we feel, has taken a hard right and many churches don't feel we can go in that direction."