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Kentucky Baptist children’s home considers allowing gay adoption
Life Site News ^ | Albert Mohler

Posted on 11/07/2013 10:11:31 AM PST by Morgana

November 7, 2013 (Albert Mohler) - Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world (James 1:27).

Back in 1869, Baptists in Kentucky established a “Home for the Helpless,” seeking to serve orphans and other homeless children. Like so many other Christian churches and denominations of the era, Louisville’s Baptists saw the need for an orphanage to provide care for parentless and abandoned children, who before the establishment of orphanages were housed with adults in almshouses. The Home for the Helpless became the Louisville Baptist Orphans Home, and its charter established its mission to serve “orphan and destitute children.”

Those Baptists saw the orphanage as a Christian duty in response to a biblical mandate. The orphanage was a direct extension of Christian conviction, and it was operated under a board of Baptist control. In 1953, the Louisville ministry merged with the nearby Kentucky Baptist Children’s Home, and the two became the Kentucky Baptist Board of Child Care. A 1986 “Covenant Agreement” between the child care ministry and the Kentucky Baptist Convention called for the ministry to operate “in keeping with Christian principles and the dream of the founders of child care in Kentucky.”

That pledge is now very much in question as reports indicate that the ministry, now renamed Sunrise Children’s Services, is poised to change its hiring policies to remove any barrier to homosexuals and lesbians working as employees of the ministry.

The proposal came to light as the Western Recorder, the Kentucky Baptist newspaper, reported that the Sunrise board had discussed the matter in a specially called meeting held in August. That news, which stunned Kentucky Baptists, came after years of assurances from the ministry and its president, Bill Smithwick, that current hiring policies would remain in place. As the paper reported, “Up to now, Smithwick has consistently told the KBC mission board and convention messengers that Sunrise would continue defending its right to discriminate based on sexual orientation in on-going lawsuits.” Those lawsuits include an action filed by a lesbian worker who was terminated in 1998. That lawsuit was dismissed by the courts, but the terminated employee later filed a legal challenge to state funding of any institution that teaches religious beliefs. The State of Kentucky agreed to a settlement in the case, but Sunrise refused to accept the settlement, according to the Western Recorder.

When contacted by the paper, Smithwick refused to talk about the proposal and offered a rather belligerent response: “I don’t think Kentucky Baptists need to know something until there is something to know. Right now, my comment is, there’s nothing that Kentucky Baptists need to know, and all this [publicity] will do is hurt us.”

Subsequently, Kentucky Baptist leaders learned that Smithwick’s August presentation to the Sunrise board had explicitly called for the employment policy to be changed. Smithwick set out several options for the board, making clear that retaining the policy would require the termination of additional employees. In turn, he warned that Sunrise would likely lose major secular funding sources in the business community, suffer further adverse publicity, “and close our doors.” He also told the board that he expects the federal government to mandate the employment of homosexuals in the future, and probably the near future. This is premised on the fact that Sunrise receives millions of dollars each year in government funding.

Smithwick then set out a second option whereby Sunrise would “tough it out until the Federal Government mandates employment of homosexuals” and “then change our employment practices after losing years of time and money spent to build our brand.”

Lastly, Smithwick proposed a third option: “Change our employment practice.” He declared that Sunrise “is not a church, or a religious institution” and argued that the organization cannot operate at current levels without government funds. Then, after arguing that Sunrise is not a religious institution, he assured the board that, even if the policies are changed, Sunrise would “continue to share the Gospel through Bible studies, worship attendance, etc. to residents and staff.”

Included in Smithwick’s argument was his personal statement that he would “rather homosexuals see the love of God through us than be denied employment by us.” He closed by offering the strange analogy of a missionary serving in Iran who wore a head covering out of respect for Muslims, apparently missing the point that no biblical command or biblical teaching is violated by wearing a head covering.

Kentucky Baptists were not alone in their shock over the Sunrise proposal. An attorney who had represented the terminated lesbian employee told The Courier-Journal (Louisville), “This is very surprising. They were very adamant that they wouldn’t hire gays and lesbians.” He is right, they were adamant about the matter and, at least until the board votes later this week on Smithwick’s proposal, they still are—at least officially.

All that can change in short order. Bill Smithwick is absolutely right about one aspect of this matter: there is every likelihood that governmental coercion on these issues is coming. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is expected to pass in the U.S. Senate in coming days, and the Obama Administration has threatened to accomplish much the same by executive order. It is hard to imagine how an entity that describes itself as “not a church or a religious institution” can claim an exemption under such a legal mandate.

There is truth in the claim that Sunrise Children’s Services, along with thousands of similar organizations and institutions, will have to face a hard choice: serve Caesar or serve God. This becomes inevitable once an entity becomes dependent on financial support from the government. That is why Baptists have historically—and rightly—insisted on nonparticipation with government funding. Participation means dependency, as the financial situation of Sunrise Children’s Services makes clear. Smithwick told The Courier-Journal, “The Baptist support, totaling $1 million each year on a $27 million budget, is very much needed, but Sunrise cannot sustain itself without the partnership of state and federal and fundraising dollars.”

The choice faced by Sunrise, soon likely to be faced by a host of similar organizations, is to get smaller or get secular. The instant an organization takes government money it is transformed into an instrument of the state. What Caesar funds, Caesar controls. This is a hard lesson, and one likely soon to be learned by Christian institutions that have been taking government money and have grown dependent on those funds.

Click "like" if you support TRADITIONAL marriage.

This will not end with children’s homes. A good many Christian colleges and universities have grown dependent on funds flowing through federal student aid programs and similar forms of government funding. What happens when they face a similar choice? The math will not work in their favor. A hard choice will have to be made, and we will soon see who will stand on conviction and who will act to save their funding.

The question does not stop with funding. Soon after Britain passed antidiscrimination legislation like ENDA, Christian adoption agencies were basically put out of business. They were given a choice to sever ties with their churches or go out of business. In Massachusetts, the legalization of same-sex marriage meant the end of the adoption work done by Catholic Charities, since they could not and would not violate their convictions. In Illinois, the work of Catholic Charities in foster care and adoption came to an end in 2011, and the admired organization gave up millions in government funding because they would not violate their convictions.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, himself a Catholic, made the coercive power and intention of the state clear when he declared that a refusal to recognize same-sex civil unions as equivalent to heterosexual marriage for adoption and foster care: “They have a law in Illinois. It’s the civil unions law. I signed it into law. We’re not going back. Any organization that decides that because of the civil unions law that they won’t participate voluntarily in a program, that’s their choice.”

Some choice. In October of 2011 the state transferred more than 1,000 children from the care of Catholic Charities to secular agencies.

According to Baptist Press, only four or five of the 23 Baptist children’s homes associated with state Baptist conventions do not receive government funds. Bryant Millsaps, president of Tennessee Baptist Children’s Homes, told the news service that his agency had not accepted government monies in its 122 year history. And he explained why: Receiving government money is “almost like being dependent on a drug. You get hooked on it, and getting unhooked is very, very difficult. And in some cases it’s impossible.”

The board of directors of Sunrise Children’s Services faces a hard choice, but the choice is not just between several policy alternatives. They will decide to serve God or to serve Caesar. Paul Chitwood, executive director of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, urged Sunrise to step out in faith, even if it means losing massive funding. He urged the agency “to dramatically scale back its work in order to be faithful to Scripture and to model biblical values in front of hurting children.” As for Kentucky Baptists, they will find a way to serve children and keep their convictions, assures Chitwood: “Either way, I am confident Kentucky Baptists will always minister to hurting children and will do so through a ministry with biblical values.”

When asked about the payment of taxes, Jesus famously responded, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Mark 12:17). We dare not render to Caesar what belongs rightly and only to God.


TOPICS: Evangelical Christian; Moral Issues
KEYWORDS: homosexualagenda

1 posted on 11/07/2013 10:11:31 AM PST by Morgana
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To: Morgana

This is not how I remember Kentucky Baptists.


2 posted on 11/07/2013 10:13:49 AM PST by SC_Pete
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To: Morgana
Back in 1869, Baptists in Kentucky established a “Home for the Helpless,” seeking to serve orphans and other homeless children. Like so many other Christian churches and denominations of the era, Louisville’s Baptists saw the need for an orphanage to provide care for parentless and abandoned children, who before the establishment of orphanages were housed with adults in almshouses. The Home for the Helpless became the Louisville Baptist Orphans Home, and its charter established its mission to serve “orphan and destitute children.”

Those Baptists saw the orphanage as a Christian duty in response to a biblical mandate. The orphanage was a direct extension of Christian conviction, and it was operated under a board of Baptist control. In 1953, the Louisville ministry merged with the nearby Kentucky Baptist Children’s Home, and the two became the Kentucky Baptist Board of Child Care. A 1986 “Covenant Agreement” between the child care ministry and the Kentucky Baptist Convention called for the ministry to operate “in keeping with Christian principles and the dream of the founders of child care in Kentucky.”

That pledge is now very much in question as reports indicate that the ministry, now renamed Sunrise Children’s Services, is poised to change its hiring policies to remove any barrier to homosexuals and lesbians working as employees of the ministry.

Al Mohler PING

3 posted on 11/07/2013 10:17:10 AM PST by Alex Murphy ("the defacto Leader of the FR Calvinist Protestant Brigades")
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To: Morgana

Does Billy/Franklin Graham know about this? Have they chimed in at all?

As far as I know, the last two standing are the Catholics and the Baptists. If they fall to the homosexual agenda...let’s just say it will not be good.


4 posted on 11/07/2013 10:20:25 AM PST by MichaelCorleone (Jesus Christ is not a religion. He's the Truth.)
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To: Morgana
It's the "EVIL Ooze" from the 0'Buttcrack / Beshear Administrations seeps in....

5 posted on 11/07/2013 10:25:49 AM PST by skinkinthegrass (who'll take tomorrow,$pend it all today;who can take your income & tax it all away..0'Blowfly can :-)
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To: Morgana

Any orphanage which places dependent children in such immoral and potentially dangerous surroundings should have its officers jailed for child endangerment and contributing to the delinquency of minors It is especially inappropriate for a “Christian” outfit to do this to helpless children entrusted to its care.


6 posted on 11/07/2013 10:26:35 AM PST by faithhopecharity
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To: Morgana
Bishop Sheen: Line Up the Claimants
7 posted on 11/07/2013 10:27:22 AM PST by Berlin_Freeper
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To: MichaelCorleone

The Catholics can’t fall. Oh, rogue factions could fall, but they aren’t Catholic.


8 posted on 11/07/2013 10:32:08 AM PST by steve86 (Some things aren't really true but you wouldn't be half surprised if they were.)
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To: Morgana
Just two questions:

  1. Is there a shortage or normal people willing to adopt?
  2. Is the primary purpose of adoption making adults happy? Or doing what's best for the kids?

9 posted on 11/07/2013 10:33:05 AM PST by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: SC_Pete

When government money and laws get involved, nothing is left uncorrupted


10 posted on 11/07/2013 10:33:30 AM PST by GeronL
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To: faithhopecharity

Any orphanage officer putting a child in the hands of two homos, resulting in a molested child, deserves a bullet in the brain. Ditto the molester.


11 posted on 11/07/2013 10:35:08 AM PST by greene66
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To: Vigilanteman

The primary purpose of anything leftists do is to destroy any and all opposition to State control of all aspects of society. Destroying any competeing social or authoritative structures (such as the family, churches, and civic organizations) is essential to the leftist goal of total control. Adoption (and abuse) of children by various sorts of sexual perverts is an assault on the family and on the churches.


12 posted on 11/07/2013 10:35:44 AM PST by NorthMountain
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To: GeronL

Yes, unfortunately.


13 posted on 11/07/2013 10:38:24 AM PST by SC_Pete
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To: greene66

Well, unfortunately, there are legions of stories of heteros doing horrible things to children as well. Should the orphanage officer putting a child in the hands of two heteros, resulting in a molested child deserve a bullet in the brain also?


14 posted on 11/07/2013 10:40:44 AM PST by bigdaddy45
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To: bigdaddy45

Putting them in the hands of depraved sex perverts, they are asking for it.


15 posted on 11/07/2013 10:44:05 AM PST by greene66
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To: bigdaddy45

“Heteros”????

Placing children for adoption with a family (that’s at minimum a man and a woman who are married to each other) is not inherently abusive. Placing children for adoption with a pair of sexual perverts dedicated to a life of perversion is abusive on its face even if the perverts never physically harm the child. Such placement (with homosexual perverts) normalizes perversion and thereby damages the child’s mind.


16 posted on 11/07/2013 10:48:58 AM PST by NorthMountain
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To: GeronL
When government money and laws get involved, nothing is left uncorrupted

Yep. Once they started accepting tax dollars this was inevitable. Now the board has to choose between tax money or church money. With churches shrinking and mission giving decreasing it looks like they are preparing to be fully committed to boarding the free money gravy train. The first clue was when they took their religious affiliation out of their name.

17 posted on 11/07/2013 10:49:50 AM PST by Pan_Yan (Who told you that you were naked? Genesis 3:11)
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To: bigdaddy45
Well, unfortunately, there are legions of stories of heteros doing horrible things to children as well.

So your solution is what?

18 posted on 11/07/2013 10:51:09 AM PST by Pan_Yan (Who told you that you were naked? Genesis 3:11)
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To: MichaelCorleone

“As far as I know, the last two standing are the Catholics and the Baptists.”

Catholic Charities caved in Illinois. The Illinois Baptist Children’s Home are standing true to their faith.


19 posted on 11/07/2013 10:55:08 AM PST by stars & stripes forever (Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.)
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To: Morgana
I think the article is misleading. Note that there is no classification other than Baptist.

There is more than one branch of the Baptist church. There are Southern Baptists and American Baptists. (I think there is another, but it doesn't come to mind.) The American Baptists are liberal. The Southern are not.

20 posted on 11/07/2013 10:59:46 AM PST by BlueCat
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To: BlueCat

“The Kentucky Baptist Convention is a cooperative missions and ministry organization made up of nearly 2,400 autonomous Baptist churches in Kentucky. These churches have a total membership of more than 750,000.

The term “Kentucky Baptist Convention” refers to both the denomination and its annual meeting. Working through 71 local associations and in cooperation with the Southern Baptist Convention, Kentucky Baptists share a common bond of basic Biblical beliefs and a commitment to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the entire world...

...The agencies and institutions are: Campbellsville University, Clear Creek Baptist Bible College, University of the Cumberlands, Oneida Baptist Institute, Baptist Healthcare System, Sunrise Children’s Services (formerly Kentucky Baptist Homes for Children), Kentucky Baptist Foundation, Kentucky Baptist Assemblies and the Western Recorder (the state Baptist newspaper).”

http://www.kybaptist.org/about/

As our government gets bigger and more openly hateful of Christians, we (the SBC) need to drop government funding of agencies. The religious freedom protected by the Constitution is soon going to disappear in America...unless we have a revival!


21 posted on 11/07/2013 11:11:58 AM PST by Mr Rogers (Liberals are like locusts...)
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To: Alex Murphy

Wonder if their insurance is ‘poised to change’ to cover massive payouts for sexual abuse?


22 posted on 11/07/2013 11:13:13 AM PST by Black Agnes
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To: BlueCat

The people do not realize how far our society has fallen. The hand writing is on the wall. Our society has deteriorated to a very low point. Most people do not understand how far it has gone down.. Former child care worker...


23 posted on 11/07/2013 11:20:01 AM PST by southland ( I have faith in the creator)
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To: Mr Rogers
Something still doesn't sound right with this.

I am going to check into this further.

24 posted on 11/07/2013 11:25:17 AM PST by BlueCat
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To: Morgana

Everyone here should open their home to adoption or foster parenting. Those of us in “traditional” lifestyles need to step up and do our part. Countless children need homes.


25 posted on 11/07/2013 11:27:31 AM PST by Burkean (.)
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To: Morgana

Why adopt them off to be destroyed by queers, Might as well just sell them off to Chicken hawks.


26 posted on 11/07/2013 11:29:27 AM PST by Venturer (Keep Obama and you aint seen nothing yet.)
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To: Pan_Yan

bump


27 posted on 11/07/2013 11:43:19 AM PST by GeronL
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To: BlueCat

“What has led to Smithwick’s reversal of the stance he has so long maintained? His statement in the October 1 edition of the Western Recorder brings clarity. Regarding government money, Smithwick said, “We couldn’t operate without it…. If we lose our contract, we’re out of business.” In actuality, Sunrise operated for most of its 154-year history without government money and could continue to do so today, albeit with a much, much smaller budget.

In addition to what it would mean for the kids, another great tragedy of Smithwick’s recommendation is that it ignores the investment of untold tens of millions of Baptist dollars and surrenders the very reason Sunrise came into existence as Kentucky Baptists’ gospel-centered ministry to orphans and neglected children. The Covenant Agreement between the KBC and Sunrise states, “This relationship is built upon many years of faithful commitment and trust by many individuals and by many millions of dollars contributed by Kentucky Baptists in support.”

The Covenant Agreement also stipulates that Sunrise “shall maintain its distinctive Baptist character as set forth in its purpose and the support of the Kentucky Baptist Convention is based upon faithful adherence to that purpose.” If the trustees decide to follow Smithwick and surrender biblical values to maintain government funding, then clearly they will have forsaken the Baptist character of Sunrise and become the equivalent of any secular corporation that contracts with the state to provide childcare.”

http://www.paulchitwood.com/2013/10/23/its-about-the-kids/

“According to Baptist Press, that’s what Bill Smithwick, director of Sunrise Children’s Services said about his agency’s current dilemma. Sunrise was started by the Kentucky Baptist Convention to take care of orphans and provide other similar services. The KBC provides about 4-5% of the annual budget, with about 85% coming from government funding...

...The mistake was made when the KBC decided to get in bed with the government. Baptists, at their best, have shied away from government entanglements and alliances. It’s not only our cranky temperament but also our theology that makes us do so. Money is like a kite–there’s always a string attached.”

http://adamcpace.com/kentucky-orphans-caught-in-an-ethical-crossfire/

Also:

http://www.paulchitwood.com/2013/11/07/will-sunrise-become-the-poster-child/

and:

http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2012/july/can-taxpayers-challenge-state-funding-of-faith-based.html


28 posted on 11/07/2013 12:04:13 PM PST by Mr Rogers (Liberals are like locusts...)
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To: Morgana

They know now.


29 posted on 11/07/2013 1:18:13 PM PST by armydawg505
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To: Morgana

**Kentucky Baptist children’s home considers allowing gay adoption**

Are these Baptists falling down the politically correct hole?

Shame.

Every child deserves more a mother and a father....not two fathers, not two mothers.


30 posted on 11/07/2013 2:57:41 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Mr Rogers

Well this is depressing. The Baptists should disaffiliate with Sunrise or disentangle themselves from the government. One or the other.


31 posted on 11/07/2013 3:11:28 PM PST by BlueCat
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To: Vigilanteman
Is there a shortage or normal people willing to adopt?

There is most definitely a shortage of people willing to adopt....under the prevailing legal structure.

What, you think all these people adopt from overseas to make a fashion statement?

32 posted on 11/07/2013 3:14:39 PM PST by papertyger ("refusing to draw an inescapable conclusion does not qualify as a 'difference of opinion.'")
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To: papertyger
Adoption is not the issue. Unless the rules have changed, there are no true orphans Baptist Childrens Homes. I believe that they are talking about house parents. There is the possibility that multiple children could be sexually abused. My grandmother was a house mother at the New Mexico Baptist Children's Home for many years. I spent a lot of time there.
33 posted on 11/07/2013 4:00:49 PM PST by Coldwater Creek (")
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To: Coldwater Creek
Adoption is not the issue.

Sure it is. I adopted less than five years ago, and the rules have changes since even then.

34 posted on 11/07/2013 4:13:19 PM PST by papertyger ("refusing to draw an inescapable conclusion does not qualify as a 'difference of opinion.'")
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