Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Hate Preachers Hatin' On ABC Invite To Bishop Flunder

The predominately American Baptist College in Nashville, TN is affiliated with the National Baptist Convention, USA, the second largest African-American Christian denomination in the US behind the COGIC.

The ABC is affiliated with the National Baptist Convention, and has for the last 57 years held the Garnett-Nabrit Lecture Series in which over several days invites ministers from around the country and the world to talk to ABC students on their Nashville campus to discuss social justice issues.

This year, one of the people invited to this 58th annual edition of the Garnett-Nabrit lecture series that runs from March 14-18 in addition to the Rev Dr Allan Aubrey Boesak of South Africa and Pastor Delmon Coates is Bishop Yvette Flunder of the City of Refuge UCC in San Francisco

And as you probably guessed, the hate preachers started tripping about her March 18 invitation to speak

Two Texas based hate preachers, Pastor William. Dwight McKissic, Sr. of Cornerstone Church in Arlington, TX and Pastor Randy Vaughn of Mount Sinai Missionary Baptist Church in Port Arthur, TX  started the mess that resulted in a March 5 press release from the National Baptist Fellowship of Concerned Pastors that centers around the fact that Bishop Flunder is "legally married to a woman" and asserted that because they invited her, the American Baptist College and National Baptist Convention, USA by association are endorsing same-sex marriage.   

They demanded the American Baptist College rescind her invitation to speak, which the ABC refused to do

The Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists and faith leaders from across the Baptist faith traditions issued their own press release on March 9 in support of Dr. Harris, the Board of Trustees of American Baptist College,  Dr. Jerry Young and the Board members of the National Baptist Convention, USA which reads in part:

"We applaud the wisdom, prophetic courage, and commitment to intellectual honesty and academic integrity that Dr. Forrest Harris has demonstrated as President of American Baptist College by inviting Bishop Yvette Flunder of California to preach and lecture at American Baptist College later this month.  A few vocal opponents to equality for persons who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender are trying to force Dr. Harris to "dis-invite" Bishop Flunder because she is a lesbian who married her same-sex partner.  Those critics also are displeased that Dr. Harris invited Dr. Allan Aubrey Boesak of South Africa and Pastor Delmon Coates of the United States to preach and/or lecture at American Baptist College because Dr. Boesak and Pastor Coates are effective advocates for equality and are equally effective in exposing the injustice of homophobia."  

In addition, Rev Robin R. Lunn, the Executive Director of AWAB, stated in rebuttal to the misguided preachers:
"To say that Baptist schools do not invite legally married same gender loving faith leaders to speak is to deny the reality that currently exists.  Many Baptist affiliated schools from across the traditions have invited LGBTQ faith leaders to participate in various programs, to lecture and preach as professionals in their fields.  I applaud Dr. Harris and the American Baptist College Board of Trustees for fostering a rich educational and religious environment that allows for a broad range of beliefs and practices." 
The hate ministers aren't giving up, and they have threatened to come to Nashville to picket Bishop Flunder's appearance.   We'll see.

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