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Actions June 26, 2009

Box Turtle Bulletin highlights these stories:

The Southern Baptist Convention has ousted Broadway Baptist Church of Fort Worth, Texas over the church’s acceptance of gays. Even though that church had sent their own gay-tolerant pastor packing over a controversy surrounding photos of same-sex couples in the church directory, it appears that what remained still wasn’t anti-gay enough to appease the powers that be.

Meanwhile, another Southern Baptist preacher, Rev. Wiley Drake of First Southern Baptist Church in Buena Park, California, has been practicing “imprecatory prayer” for President Barack Obama’s death. Drake and his church remain in good standing.

Newsweek reports that for the fourth year in a row, Southern Baptist Churches baptized fewer people than they did in each prior year. This is taken as a key indicator of church growth — or decline, as the case may be. Two years ago, then-SBC president Frank Page blamed the decline on the perception that Baptists are “mean-spirited, hurtful and angry people.”  This year’s theme for the Southern Baptist Convention is “Love Loud: Actions Speak Louder Than Words.” I have no further comment beyond that.

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