Love of the Law: The Ethical Christology of Southern Baptist Rhetoric and Language Concerning the LGBTQ Community
Ward, Alexander James
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The connection between society and a group is a complex and often tangled relationship. The division between the two can be blurred in many cases and therefore the movement of individuals within a particular group within a larger society is something that cannot always be immediately apparent. However, group identity and personal identity play an integral role in understanding how movement and action occur by individuals as they attempt to make sense of culture and its connection to their personal identity. The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) and its members are no different. This Protestant denomination is one of the most politically vocal and is intensely involved in attempts to shape and mold culture so as to build the Kingdom of God. In particular, their response to a growing acceptance in the culture towards same-sex marriage and its legalization by the Supreme Court of the United States influences how they interact with members of the LGBTQ community. By examining their writings and the writings of leaders within the SBC, it will be shown that there is a shift in rhetoric that has occurred but which continues to uphold the same ethical and moral core, the person of Jesus Christ, that has always characterized the Southern Baptist Convention and its affiliates, such as the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC).