Faith in America, an organization seeking to end harmful anti-LGBTQ religious teaching, will be protesting the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) National Parenting Conference at Gaylord Opryland beginning early Friday morning, according to a press release.
Faith in America spokesperson Rich Harrington said by email that their group is made up of members from local church congregations, but invite all who share their vision to join them beginning Friday morning for their protest. If anyone would like to get involved, they should contact Harrington or go to the save-your-kids.org website for more information.
As part of the group’s “Save yOur Kids” campaign, the group plans to engage and inform members of the Southern Baptist Convention meeting about the harmful effects outdated biblical teaching about LGBTQ issues are doing to young LGBTQ people, the release states. Faith in America representatives have been in communication with the SBC and ERLC leadership and have been trying to open a dialogue.
The conference is sponsored by the SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. The ERLC’s mission is to assist Southern Baptist Convention affiliated churches “understand the moral demands of the (Christian) gospel, apply Christian principles to moral and societal problems and questions of public policy, and…promote religious liberty,” according to the commission’s website. The commission’s ministries provide research, information and counsel and resources to SBC affiliated churches, groups and the the general public regarding the Convention’s stands on religious and secular matters.
“Christ-Centered Parenting in a Complex World” is the theme of the 2017 ERLC conference, per the convention’s website. Conference participants, including ERLC President Russell Moore and Focus on the Family’s Jim Daly, will discuss their opinions concerning raising children in a changing culture this Thursday through Saturday at Nashville’s Gaylord Opryland Convention Centre.
A conference session titled “Equipping Kids to Understand Same-Sex Attraction & Gender Identity Issues” scheduled for Friday morning is causing the most concern for Faith in America’s LGBTQ-affirming religious leaders, according to the release. They believe the session will led by anti-LGBTQ speakers whose positions will be harmful to LGBTQ-identifying children and their parents.
“I am convinced that every Southern Baptist church of significant size has LGBTQ individuals within their congregation living faithfully and silently, some of whom are young people,” said David W. Key, Sr., minister and board chair of the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists via the release. “The harm being done to these folks is inexcusable…(and) why religious leaders are showing up in Nashville to confront this erroneous teaching coming from the SBC Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. It is time for SBC leaders to step forward and address this crisis by reorienting their dangerous rhetoric.”
“We welcome anyone who wants to stand up for those who are the most vulnerable in our community – LGBTQ kids,” Harrington said. “We believe that outdated biblical interpretations are damaging to the still-developing psyche’s of young children and call upon the Southern Baptist Convention to end the practice of teaching that living LGBTQ is a sin.”
Graphic via Faith in America