The anti-LGBTQ sentiment from religious conservatives has reached a new high with a Jacksonville, Florida Baptist Church making members sign an oath of confirmation in anti-LGBTQ relationships as part of church membership.
First Baptist Church in Jacksonville's Senior Pastor Heath Lambert has been an outspoken proponent of 'traditional' family values and now the church has given members until March 19 to sign the 'Biblical Sexuality Agreement' oath or to immediately resign their membership. Lambert says he doesn't care what members do, and that real Christians do not have a problem with it.
According to Lambert, he did not make the decision on his own — that the entire congregation wanted to move forward with the agreement.
The First Baptist Church 'Biblical Sexuality Agreement' states:
"As a member of First Baptist Church, I believe that God creates people in his image as either male or female, and that this creation is a fixed matter of human biology, not individual choice," the Agreement continues. "I believe marriage is instituted by God, not government, is between one man and one woman, and is the only context for sexual desire and expression."
The Agreement cites the Book of Genesis along with Corinthians, Matthew and Romans.
"It means to rule out all sorts of sexual sins," Lambert said in an interview with WJXX. "It means to rule out pornography and polygamy and fornication and adultery and homosexuality."
A decade ago the First Baptist Church made news in Jacksonville by publicly opposing a newly proposed city ordinance that protected the citizens of Jacksonville from being fired solely based on their sexual identity. The ordinance ended up passing years later.
The church sent shuttles of members to speak against the ordinance.