Local Baptists Support Church Split - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

06/17/04

Local Baptists Support Church Split

A few members of Bay Vista Baptist Church in Biloxi say the world changes, values change, but God's requirements of His children remain the same. That's why many of these church members support the recent split between the Southern Baptist Convention and the Baptist World Alliance.

People we spoke to Wednesday say there is no room for Southern Baptists in an increasingly liberal organization.

Pastor Kevin Clifton's Bible lesson focuses on what happens when you allow your convictions to be dictated by something other than the Word of God.

Clifton says it's important to stand by your beliefs in what is right.

"I believe if an organization takes a liberal stance on scripture, then it is the right thing to do and has been the case throughout history. So in that context, as they've moved to the left on some of these issues, I do stand with our leadership in the southern baptist convention and our members who voted to disband," said Clifton.

Deacon Bearl Blocker agrees.

Blocker says he hated to see the convention quit the Baptist World Alliance, but says it was inevitable.

"I think the Southern Baptist Convention had to pull out. We had no alternative simply because of what some of the other conventions believed in and we believe very strictly that marriage is between a man and a woman, and it can't be any other way," said Blocker.

Not only did Southern Baptists disagree with the alliance's so-called "lenient" views on homosexuality, but also with the issue of females serving as church pastors.

Clifton says the Scripture should be taken literally, and the church should not be a thermometer reflecting the temperature of culture, but a thermostat which is an unchanging influence.

Clifton says he isn't sure of a reconciliation.

"The only way you can ever reconcile is to agree, and when it comes to the authority of scripture, there's no gray area. We must stand firm on that," said Clifton.

The Southern Baptist convention is the world's largest Baptist denomination and America's largest Protestant body with over 16 million members.

By Karla Redditte

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