JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA — A mega church in Jacksonville is pushing back against the LGBTQ movement’s assault on traditional values by requiring members to affirm Biblical views on male and female.
First Baptist Church of Jacksonville has told its roughly 3,000 current members – or heads of household – that they must sign a form affirming a sexuality statement by March 19 in order to ensure that their membership “continues without any interruption.”
The statement reads: “As a member of First Baptist Church, I believe that God creates people in his image as either male or female, and that this creation is a fixed matter of human biology, not individual choice. I believe marriage is instituted by God, not government, is between one man and one woman, and is the only context for sexual desire and expression.”
“CLARITY IN A SEXUALLY CONFUSED WORLD
The introduction to the form calls the pledge “an exercise in faithfulness to Jesus Christ whom we trust and serve” and “an exercise in clarity” to help members understand “our most fundamental commitments in a sexually confused world.”
The form also states that the pledge is an exercise in love to “a lost world that desperately needs to know God’s standard for human sexuality.”
Traditionally, the Christian church has interpreted the scriptures as condemning homosexuality, but many denominations in recent years have chosen to abandon historic church orthodoxy in the name of tolerance. In fact, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry’s pastor Bruce Jones supported the mayor’s decision to sign legislation advancing the LGBTQ agenda.
“BASIC FACTS OF LIFE”
First Baptist’s statement called the stance “basic to the Christian Scriptures.”
“As Christians, we know that God created human beings as male and female and he created the institution of marriage between one man and one woman as the only outlet for sexual expression,” Senior Pastor Heath Lambert said in a video on the church’s YouTube channel. “These are basic facts of life, and … these realities are given to us as gifts from God to enjoy.”
“We live in a confused culture that does not understand these gifts and rejects them. In fact, the sexual revolution has declared war on anyone who would seek to affirm them,” Lambert continued.
“The secular warriors of our culture’s sexual revolution have made clear in numerous places that they are seeking to eradicate any opposition to their extremist agenda. They will not rest until their confusion has permeated every area of society and silenced every voice of opposition,” Lambert stated.
According to Lambert, these activists seek to use the power of the state to shame, silence and punish those who disagree with their agenda.
OPEN MIC NIGHT
In a blog post, Lambert pushed back against the media-driven narrative that the statement is anti-LGBTQ, writing: “This statement is a very straightforward and biblical statement. Without singling out any one specific sin, it summarizes God’s design for gender, marriage, and sexuality. This positive statement equally forbids the range of human sinful sexual expression, including fornication, adultery, pornography, homosexuality, transgenderism, and others.”
The church hosted an “open mic night” on Sunday evening, during which members of the public were encouraged to give feedback and ask Lambert questions.
Despite a turnout of “hundreds of people,” according to The Florida Times Union, only ten chose to speak during the 90-minute public forum.
Lambert, who has led the church since 2017, said the statement has received “a windfall of support” from fellow baptists and other religious leaders around the country.
“There is great enthusiasm for this clear stand,” he said.