First Baptist Church of Orlando, Florida, a prominent Southern Baptist congregation, receives unrepentant homosexuals as members, including those with same-sex “marriage” partners. On Feb. 13, 2022, senior pastor David Uth said in a sermon that his church invited homosexuals to participate in its small groups, because “everyone needs a safe space to come to explore faith.” We agree with that, as far as it goes. Our church invites all sorts of unsaved people to attend services and other ministries open to visitors, so they can learn the gospel and see it lived out in Christian lives. Every church should be involved in this type of thing. Our job is to reach sinners with the gospel, every variety of sinner. In our main services, we have a good representation of Hindus, Buddhists, agnostics, adulterers, fornicators, thieves, drunkards, drug abusers, nominal Christians, etc. We urge them to come, so long as they don’t cause a disturbance. We want them to hear the preaching of God’s Word, the testimonies and the singing of hymns, and after the services, we urge them to stay around and take refreshment with us and talk about Christ, which many of them do. We invite them to house Bible studies. We want to get to know them and answer their questions. One of our main services each month is devoted to ministry to the unsaved, all varieties of them. In that service, everything is geared toward this purpose. At the same time, the visitors aren’t members. To be a member, one has to meet the biblical qualifications, which are repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and scriptural baptism (Acts 2:41-42; 20:21). They must be born again, converted, supernaturally changed, and by God’s grace we have seen every sort of sinner converted and go on to live fruitful Christian lives as new creatures in Christ. It is always wonderful to see the great change that God works. This is not what First Baptist of Orlando is doing. They are not preaching repentance to homosexuals and calling them to a new life in Christ. They are accepting homosexuals as they are, in their sin. That isn’t true Christian love. They are allowing homosexuals to deceive themselves into thinking that God accepts them as they are, which the Bible plainly says is not true. Research by Justin Peters found multiple cases of this. One member of First Baptist is Joe Mills, who was “married” to his male partner in December 2021. Mills is not only a member, but he is also the administrator of one of the church’s Gospel Gatherings, and he baptizes new members. This is not New Testament Christianity. Among the membership of the church at Corinth, which was founded by the apostle Paul, were all sorts of sinners, including fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate, abusers of themselves with mankind, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, and extortioners. They were not received in their sin; they were received when they were born again and changed. “And such WERE some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11).
For the evidence behind this report, see video below:
(Friday Church News Notes, December 30, 2022, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)