Southern Baptist leaders gather to discuss controversial topics - WSMV News 4

Southern Baptist leaders gather to discuss controversial topics

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Southern Baptist pastors say it's time to redefine what their faithful should consider right and wrong.

About 200 leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention are in Nashville this week, discussing topics like marriage, fidelity and homosexuality.

They believe it's becoming more difficult than ever to stress Christian ethics in a world that often disagrees with them.

In the past, churches have been pretty outspoken about their position on homosexuality, but with pop culture's growing acceptance of gay couples, some churches say they've found themselves watering down their message in an effort to please.

Some say that's a slippery slope, so it's now being addressed.

Late last year, popular reality TV personality Phil Robertson felt some wrath of a nation after making a derogatory comment in a GQ magazine about his views against homosexuality.

The Duck Dynasty patriarch cited scripture and said his beliefs were linked to his Christian faith.

Now, Southern Baptist leaders are discussing that delicate balance of protecting biblical principles without generating so much rage and anger.

"Even as the world is shifting all around us on these sexual issues, what we want to do is help our churches be anchored in the Bible and what the Bible teaches about these issues," said Phillip Bethancourt, vice president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

Members from across the region packed into the Southern Baptist headquarters in Nashville looking for sound advice on how to better relate to those who believe differently.

"If there's any way forward with this discussion with people who have very different views on this, it's going to have to take place through charity and civility, which means giving each other the benefit of the doubt, stopping to listen to each other," said the Rev. J.D. Greear, pastor at The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, NC.

But they say there's a big difference between listening and bending.

The group will also tackle some other controversial issues like divorce, pornography and pre-marital sex, no matter what the age.

They realize these aren't popular subjects but say these days it's tough to avoid them.

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