Southern Baptist ‘Church’ Votes to Keep Pro-Homosexual Minister, Go ‘Third Way’

Danny CortezLA MIRADA, Calif. – The leaders of a Southern Baptist congregation in southern California have voted to not dismiss their ‘pastor,’ despite recently stunning his congregation in announcing from the pulpit that he believes homosexual behavior is not a sin.

Danny Cortez leads New Heart Community Church—a small congregation in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Last year, Cortez concluded that he no longer agreed with the Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality and was instead “gay affirming.”

In a letter to a Patheos blogger, Cortez further explained that his 15-year-old son came out as “gay” soon after he changed his mind on the homosexuality issue. When his son first broke the news, Cortez emotionally congratulated him.

“My heart skipped a beat and I turned towards him and we gave one another the biggest and longest hug as we cried,” Cortez wrote. “And all I could tell him was that I loved him so much and that I accepted him just as he is.”

Several months later, in a February 9 sermon, Cortez surprised the New Heart Community Church congregation by announcing his pro-homosexual position. Cortez shared his personal belief that “the body of Christ is segregated every Sunday between gay affirming and non-gay affirming” Christians, and he exhorted Christians to embrace—not denounce—homosexual behavior.

After Cortez announced his change in beliefs, many expected the leaders of New Heart Community Church to dismiss him from the preaching position. However, instead of dismissing Cortez, the church leaders voted last month to keep him on staff and re-categorize their church as a “Third Way” congregation.

“This is a huge step for a Southern Baptist church!!” Cortez ecstatically wrote in his letter. “So now, we will accept the LGBT community even though they may be in a relationship. We will choose to remain the body of Christ and not cast judgment.”

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“All of this to say, I believe God is moving in beautiful ways,” Cortez concluded.

After Cortez’s letter was published online, hundreds of people commented on the pastor’s statements and the New Heart Community Church’s leaders’ decision to keep him  on staff. Many congratulated the church’s marked change of direction.

“Our children are our future regardless of whether they are gay or heterosexual,” one commenter wrote. “Let’s show our love for them for who they are and enjoy them today for they only want their parents’ love and acceptance.”

“Christians need to start loving and stop condemning people who are different, because then they will be condemned by others for judging,” another opined. “Leave the concept of sin and damnation aside, make your peace with God personally, and let everyone else do the same.”

At the same time, many others chastised the congregation for not heeding biblical passages which condemn homosexuality, like 1 Corinthians 6 and 1 Timothy 1.

“The Bible condemns homosexuality in no uncertain terms,” one commenter stated. “People have looked for ways around that, but they have to twist into all kinds of bizarre contortions to achieve that. It just is not there. If you affirm homosexuality, you cannot affirm the Bible. Those two things run counter to one another.”

“I would not want to be in this pastor’s shoes,” another wrote. “God will demand of him an answer, as he gave clear warnings. I am not saying he lost his salvation; I am saying that he will have to answer to God for trusting in man more than God.”

Dr. Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, warned in a Monday blog post that New Heart Community Church has dangerously abandoned the Biblical stance on homosexuality.

“There is nothing but heartbreak in this situation,” Mohler wrote. “Here we face a church that has rejected the clear teachings of Scripture, the affirmations of its confession of faith, and two millennia of Christian moral wisdom and teaching.”

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  • Ranny reeves

    If that pastor said that being gay is not sinning then sex between an unmarried man and woman is not sinning either. No common sense there

  • Rick

    Marie Adigwe, What “religion” are you following? Who is the lord of your life? Who do you live for? From your comments it can’t be God. Your responses about the Bible being full of contradictions is based on false premises. What seems to be contradictions are the same event, etc., written for different audiences. The core message is still the same. Pertaining to the time span between Jesus’ life, death and resurrection and the authorship of the books written, remember the Bible is God’s Word (project). He used chosen vessels (men inspired by His Holy Spirit) to convey His message. As to your insinuations that we are evolved from other species and that animals have souls, you are totally wrong. Humans are the ones with an eternal soul because God breathed into them life and it’s part of being created in His image. I don’t think you will agree with this because you don’t believe the Bible (according to you, you follow another book.) Sin is still sin, no matter how one wants to spin or view it. I hope you will re-examine your thinking and views.

    • Me.

      God said nothing about what he did to the animals as for souls, so it can only be assumed. You want to tell me that creationism is correct? Well it’s proven nothing and is erred in every single topic that it tries to tackle, while evolution has a vast amount of evidence including how DNA and genes can change over a period of time. Also, you have no idea about what the soul is. You’re not educated enough in the metaphysical to even have this discussion. Also, there’s zero proof that you’re God exists. When you can show me scientific proof of your specific God, no the phrase “Look around you, there’s obviously some type of deity” doesn’t count, then we’ll talk, but my deity has already been proven to exist. Also, all animals have souls. Biologically, we’re called Homo sapiens. If you’re too cognitively dissonant to accept this, then build a time machine and go back to the Dark Ages where you belong because honestly, every single one of you are just making yourselves look like incompetent fools who would probably believe the world was flat if the Bible said so despite the fact that we have pictures of it and eons of proof that it’s not.

  • Z

    Man tends to either attempt defending God against man, or man against God, when really, it’s not our fight. Our part is only to submit to His will.

    Every person has sinned. Homosexual activity is specifically called out in the Word as one of them. It also happens to be a very obvious and contagious sin, much like alcoholism.

    It is extremely important that we don’t allow compassion to blunt our passion for God’s law. Sin is sin, and just because we all have sinned doesn’t make any sin less of an offense.

    And knowing that grace saves us from our inevitable failure to conform to God’s law, it’s also extremely important that we continue to speak the truth of the gospel to those who practice homosexuality, and not write them off as un-savable. Our God can do anything.

    Love and consequences are not mutually exclusive. We give our children consequences, but does that mean we hate them? We can discourage homosexual behavior while still reaching out with the gospel to people whose hearts God might already have set aside to be transformed into a new creature, just like I was.

  • Webb

    On behalf of your homosexual son, “pastor”, feel free to spit in God’s face.

  • david

    There is something about homosexuality that not even the church is willing to talk about. This evil is so vile it would make your hair stand up. For those interested, just email me at: harrisenterprises7@yahoodotcom

  • AL

    Ah yes, the old “do not take the Bible literally” argument. I have seen that comment attached to different names and avatars, and it always ends with the stoning comment. So in your opinion, God’s word is not to be taken literally? How should it be taken? Did He only mean some of it. Was he only kidding or playing around with His creation? Example, did He create homosexuality and then turn around afterwards and say it’s a sin to commit the act? I have a gay brother. He totally rejected anything to do with God because it was not compatible with his lifestyle, that he chose. I love him dearly, but I would never change my belief in God’s Word for that. Am I perfect, no, have I sinned, yes, but even in my sin, I knew what I was doing was against God’s word and plan for me and I fell to my knees asking for his forgiveness through his Son, Jesus Christ. I wonder if that ever dawned on that “pastor” to ask God for help. You have to wonder what else is going on in that church, bet the “pastor” issue, is not the only one.

  • Alan Pellizer

    Disgraceful. Utterly disgraceful. Not the Church in California, no, I mean you fine Christians here.

    I hope not a single one of you is divorced. It’s evident from reading the NT that divorce is a much worse sin than homosexuality. After all, there is only one uncontested reference to same-sex relations in the NT, but divorce is condemned throughout, by both Jesus and Paul. To quote Jesus from the Gospel of Mark: “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery.”

    If any of you are divorced for any reason outside of infidelity, you are an abomination, you are far worse than a homosexual.

    Care to counter this biblically?

  • Dixie Lee Cureton Felder

    If these people have rejected God’s word, they have rejected God. And God will reject them. This church should be cut off from that denomination. Even if it were my child, it would still be a sin against God.

  • lyndan

    A commenter says “Our children are our future regardless of whether they are gay or heterosexual.” Interesting science there! Homosexuals cannot produce children to have a future. They must resort to combining male/female cells to make a baby. Romans 1 is
    being relived, eh?