In light of the vote of Sunrise Children’s Services board of trustees to maintain Christian standards in the ministry’s hiring practices, some have asked if Baptists hate homosexuals. I know that is not true of me and I believe it is untrue of any Baptist who seeks to obey God’s word.
The Bible teaches us God is love (1 John 4:8) and we are to love those who are a part of the family of God (John 13:35) as well as those might not be (Mark 12:31), even including a call to love our enemies (Matt 5:44). I believe God’s word and submit my life to its teachings.
Refusing to hire persons who practice homosexuality to work at Sunrise is not hate. The hiring practices of Sunrise are as follows:
“Every employee is a role model for the children and families under Sunrise Children’s Services care, therefore, employees are expected to exhibit values in their professional conduct and personal lifestyles that are consistent with the Christian mission and purpose of the institution. Sunrise Children’s Services prohibits personal behavior which: 1) interferes with Sunrise’s pursuit of its Christian mission and purpose; 2) fails to exhibit a regard for the rights of others; or 3) shows disrespect for the safety of persons and property.”
As a Christian ministry, Sunrise expects its employees to model a Christian lifestyle. All of us are sinful and fall short in many ways. For any Sunrise employee, heterosexual or homosexual, to practice a lifestyle that is absolutely contrary to what the Bible teaches is unacceptable. Since God has spoken clearly in the Bible about homosexuality being a sin, it is one of the lifestyles that would preclude employment.
Before seminary I worked for a ministry to boys who were victims of abuse and neglect, a ministry very similar to Sunrise. I saw their pain, brokenness, and the physical, emotional, and spiritual scars of their abuse. I loved them and wept when I left the job to go to seminary. Michelle and I have adopted an orphan. We have served the children at Sunrise in Mt. Washington with our Sunday School classes. I successfully helped petition the Mt. Washington City Council to permit that facility to be built. We commissioned Sunrise foster parents as in-home missionaries in our church. Like all Kentucky Baptists, I love Sunrise and the children it serves.
Through Sunrise, Kentucky Baptists will continue to care for as many children as we possibly can unless the homosexual community’s influence on the government takes those children from our care. I am praying that those who practice homosexuality will not hate Christians so much that they refuse to allow us to care for hurting kids. Please join me in that prayer.