Is Westboro Baptist Church affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention? Can the SBC do anything about them?

Jan 17, 2011

The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is well aware of Westboro Baptist Church, their website, and their activities. In fact, Dr. Richard Land, the president of the ERLC, has spoken out several times against the blasphemous actions of their church over the past several years.

Neither the ERLC or the SBC supports their behavior or attitudes of the members of this church, which is NOT affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. Dr. Land has gone so far as to call their actions verbal terrorism.  Only the smallest minority of Christians hold the beliefs they support. 

The Southern Baptist Convention’s ERLC supports members of the U.S. military and their families and works closely with those who minister to those struggling with same-sex attraction. In a resolution adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in 1999, Southern Baptists, taking note of incidents commonly associated with the likes of the Westboro congregation, denounced “all violent attacks upon homosexuals, and [expressed their] abhorrence of the teaching that God hates any person on account of an immoral lifestyle.”

As evidence of the differences between this “church” and the Southern Baptist Convention, the group at Westboro has regularly picketed the SBC’s offices and its annual meetings.

Regarding the use of “Baptist” in their name, Westboro is not a Southern Baptist church. Their church is an autonomous body; the Southern Baptist Convention has no connection or authority over them. Southern Baptists are as aggrieved as other Americans at their actions.

ERLC staff members deeply regret the hurt inflicted on families by the actions of this group and are hopeful that true Christ-followers will take opportunities to minister and show communities that the actions of the Westboro organization are not at all indicative of an accurate rendering of the Bible’s teachings.

Visit the ERLC’s Web site to learn more about its ministry of “salt” and “light.” 

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