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BALTIMORE, MD — The Southern Baptist Convention elected a new president at its annual gathering in Baltimore last week who insists the nation’s largest Protestant denomination will continue opposing same-sex “marriage” despite mounting cultural pressure to compromise.

“We stand strong on what the scripture says about marriage between a man and a woman,” Pastor Ronnie Floyd told The Associated Press.  “At the same time we do know that we have this issue facing our culture.”

As senior pastor of Cross Church, a megachurch in Arkansas, Floyd hopes to grow church attendance and membership within the denomination without compromising key principles.  Recently, a church in southern California relaxed their views on homosexuality and severed their ties with the SBC.  The SBC “does not support or condone” such behavior, says Floyd.

“Due to the situation today, we must hold the word of God in one hand and the love of God in the other, and have compassion and love to bring people into the fellowship,” Floyd said.

Other Southern Baptist leaders are in agreement with Floyd and have taken a collective stand on same-sex “marriage.”

Dr. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote on his website, “A church will either believe and teach that same-sex behaviors and relationships are sinful, or it will affirm them.  Eventually, every congregation in America will make a public declaration of its position on this issue.  It is just a matter of time (and for most churches, not much time) before every congregation in the nation faces this test.”

Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, wrote on his website, “The marriage revolution around us means we must do a better job articulating a theology of marriage to our people.”

“We must do a better job articulating to those on the outside why children need both a Mom and a Dad, not just ‘parents,’” he added.

Corey Jones, pastor of Central Baptist Church in Kingston, Tennessee, told Wate.com that many Christians are fearful to discuss topics like gay ‘marriage’ for fear of marginalization.  But, Jones says, “We need a standard.  There are some issues that even within the church you can agree to disagree.  This is just one of those issues that the bible is really clear on what is right and what is considered wrong biblically.”

Also at the gathering, delegates approved a resolution opposing sex change operations for transgendered individuals.  Andrew Walker, director of policy studies for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, told LifeSiteNews last week that allowing sex changes “signals society’s full embrace of a condition that we believe isn’t remedied through surgical means, but through compassionately understanding what it means to be created in the Image of God.”

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