Bellevue Baptist Church, a Memphis area megachurch with a membership somewhere around 30,000 people, has recently come under scrutiny for disallowing a lesbian softball coach and her team from participating in its league.
At the center of this contention is Jana Jacobson, who says she was told by Bellevue officials that "her 'deviant' lifestyle" was not in accordance with church doctrine, and because allowing Jacobson and her team to play could be considered a de facto endorsement of an alternative lifestyle that is clearly written about in the Old and New Testaments (not just Leviticus 18:22), Bellevue was essentially forced to take a stand that far too many in the Christian community lack the fortitude to make.
I know a little something about Bellevue. I was an active member for 17 years, and at times I experienced a certain rigidness that went beyond Christ's example. But I also know what the Word says. Indeed I have written about the impasse between (authentic) Christianity and homosexuality before. In essence, it is not our job to be cool. It's our responsibility to be right about such matters, as Spurgeon reminded us repeatedly.
Being unpopular among the self-proclaimed tolerant comes with the territory. Tangled confusion arises only when we yield to that against which we have been warned. Only those who refuse to see the evidence directly in front of their faces will remain blind. Hence when Bellevue speaks of a "deviant lifestyle," they are probably referring to something like this:
"West Hollywood (California), with a gay population of 41%, has been disproportionately affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic which has ravaged the gay male population since the early 1980s. The city funds or subsidizes a vast array of services for those living with HIV or AIDS. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation parks a Mobile HIV/STD testing van outside of the city’s busiest nightclubs on Friday and Saturday nights, and again on Sunday afternoons."
Stay strong Bellevue.