Conflicting views on statements related to homosexuality and reparative therapy have emerged following a just-completed Southern Baptist meeting in Nashville.
Southern Baptist leader Albert Mohler addressed the more than 1,000 evangelical pastors and others attending the three-day conference hosted by the SBC's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC). Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, stated that he was wrong years ago when he said same-sex attraction could be changed. (See earlier story)
Chelsen Vicari of the Institute on Religion & Democracy monitored the conference speeches.
"I was very surprised by Dr. Mohler's changing tone," she tells OneNewsNow. "And I was very thankful that he took time during his speech to actually confess that he had gotten sexual orientation wrong earlier in his career and that he is willing to say that there are individuals who are born with an innate sexual attraction to the same gender."
OneNewsNow has reported in the past that scientific studies claiming homosexuals are born with that proclivity have been effectively repudiated.
Russell Moore, director of the ERLC, also spoke at the conference. He said Southern Baptists don't support "reparative therapy" for homosexuals based on psychological counseling and don't believe people can necessarily eliminate same-sex attraction.
Greg Quinlan of PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays) considers that statement an affront to people who have been successfully treated through the psychological therapy.
"There are thousands of us who have left homosexuality and many of us went through therapy for those of us where it was available to do so," he shares. "So to make that suggestion is just cruel. It was a cruel thing to say – and I would hope that these good men would get educated on the facts about therapy."
While SBC leadership seemed to be evolving on their views on homosexuality, speakers did stand firm on the Bible's definition of marriage and said that would not change.
The theme of the Nashville conference was "The Gospel, Homosexuality and the Future of Marriage."