In the News

Army chaplain under fire after refusing to facilitate a marriage retreat for same-sex couples

April 20, 2018

…Army Major Scott Squires was serving as a chaplain at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. There, he told a soldier he was unable to conduct a marriage retreat that included the soldier and the soldier’s same sex partner due to his church’s restrictions. Now in this case, the word church actually refers to the Southern Baptist Convention, which does not claim to be a church, but rather a denomination of churches. But nonetheless, the important part of the article here is that the Southern Baptist Convention’s theological authority to define its own membership is being questioned because you have an advocate who brought the charge against this chaplain, arguing that the Army should now de-certify the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Evangelical Protestant denomination in the United States, from the privilege of certifying chaplains for the military simply because the Southern Baptist Convention continues to hold to a Biblical understanding of sex, gender, sexual behavior, and sexual orientation.

The Southern Baptist Convention’s historic confession of faith, known as the Baptist faith and message, explicitly articulates what Southern Baptists have believed ever since the formation of the denomination, that marriage is exclusively the union of a man and a woman, and that human sexuality is to be ordered by scripture, as also is to be gender and gender identity. But just in case again, there might be any misunderstanding about what is at stake, Mikey Weinstein, well known as the founder of what’s known as the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, that’s a secularist organization that has been targeting the very idea of military chaplains, and furthermore has been arguing for a moral revolution within the United States military. He specifically identified the Southern Baptist Convention’s certification authority for military chaplains and argued that it should be reconsidered by the military because of this case.

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