Baptist churches consider controversial Boy Scout decision
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -
The Southern Baptist Convention is expected to pass a resolution stating how the church views this decision the Boy Scouts of America made to allow openly gay members.
"I haven't seen the resolution so I have no idea what it says," says Reverend Andy Hepburn, Senior Pastor of Taylor Road Baptist Church.
Many Southern Baptist pastors are in Houston this week, expected to vote on the issue.
For many Baptist churches that decision could influence their opinions when it comes to hosting scout meetings.
"We'd never turn away someone because of their sexual orientation. We would not want that to be promoted, however, but we would not turn them away," says Hepburn.
According to a spokesman for the Alabama Baptist Convention, resolutions passed at the conference are non-binding.
In a statement from the organization, "Therefore all decisions on these and other matters rest with the members of each congregation. With Baptist policy, there is no such thing as a directive to autonomous Baptist congregations."
It gives Hepburn and his congregation the chance to make their own decision regarding Boy Scouts.
"We wouldn't turn them away from the standpoint of attending church here, so certainly we wouldn't turn the scouting troop away."
There are other churches around the country that have already decided to stop hosting scout meetings.
Hepburn doesn't believe it's his place to do so.
"Our purpose is to influence. I'm grateful that we had that team approach with scouting and so I would encourage other churches to take that team approach and I would understand if they chose not to."
Pastor Hepburn says if the Boy Scouts of America had decided to allow homosexual scout leaders into the organization, he would not open the church to meetings.
Reverend Lawrence Phipps, the Senior Pastor of Vaughn Forest Baptist Church shares Hepburn's views and will continue supporting the Boy Scouts.
There are nearly 60 local churches associated with the Baptist Convention.
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