DALLAS—The Baptist General Convention of Texas’ decision to stop forwarding churches’ contributions to the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship reflects a commitment to the biblical view of marriage, say the convention’s president and executive director.
“I am very grateful for the consistent, steady way in which the BGCT has held to God’s Word,” BGCT President Danny Reeves said according to a news release from the convention. “We lovingly say to all people the truth that marriage is to be between one man and one woman.”
The BGCT Executive Board adopted a recommendation Feb. 20 to “remove CBF as a giving option from the BGCT gift remittance form and to encourage churches to send their CBF gifts directly to the CBF national office,” according to Texas’ Baptist Standard newsjournal.
The move came less than two weeks after the CBF Governing Board voted to replace its former prohibition of hiring homosexual and transgender employees with a policy that opened some positions to “Christians who identify as LGBT.”
Initially, the BGCT responded Feb. 12 with a statement reaffirming the convention’s belief “the Bible teaches that any sexual relationship outside the bounds of a marriage between a man and woman is sin.”
The BGCT Executive Board’s subsequent decision to stop forwarding gifts to the CBF received only one negative vote and was not accompanied by any discussion during the board’s general session, the Standard reported.
BGCT executive director David Hardage said following the vote, “Texas Baptists have consistently held to biblical truth on marriage and human sexuality while at the same time loving and caring for everyone,” according to the BGCT release.
Previously, the BGCT enabled each church to designate the percentage of its gifts that would be used for BGCT missions and ministries and the percentage for one of three worldwide partners: the SBC, BGCT Worldwide or the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. The BGCT recommends that congregations designate 79 percent of their cooperative gifts for BGCT ministries and 21 percent for a worldwide partner, but the 79-21 split is not mandatory.
In 2017, 349 churches in cooperation with the BGCT gave approximately $1.1 million to the CBF through Texas Baptist channels—$776,981 as a cooperative giving option and $315,862 to CBF Global Missions, the Standard reported.
The BGCT is one of two state conventions in Texas that partner with the SBC. The other Texas convention, the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, does not forward gifts from churches to the CBF. (BP)