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One of two churches ousted by the Southern Baptist Convention's executive committee on Tuesday for being too inclusive of LGBTQ people is pushing back, saying "it is our commitment to share the love of Jesus."

Driving the news: Senior SBC leaders at a meeting the ouster of Towne View Baptist Church in Kennesaw, Georgia, and St. Matthews Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky, warned that the biggest Protestant group in the U.S. was "damaging itself" with disharmony on such issues, per AP.

  • But Pastor Jim Conrad, of Towne View Baptist Church, which has welcomed worshippers from the LGBTQ community as members since October 2019, said he won't appeal the decision.
  • Conrad said in a statement: "the Southern Baptist Convention has decided that we are no longer welcome in their membership because we have welcomed LGBTQ members into our membership."
  • "It is our commitment to share the love of Jesus with everyone and welcome anyone who professes faith in Christ into our community of faith, hope, and love."

St. Matthews Baptist Church already had its ties with the Kentucky Baptist Convention severed in 2018 over financial contributions to the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, which removed a ban on hiring LGBTQ workers, AP notes.

  • The church has yet to comment on the ouster, but St. Matthews Pastor Greg Barr has previously described the decision by the KBC as "disheartening," notes Baptist Press, the SBC's official news agency.

What they're saying: SBC Credentials Committee Chair Mike Lawson told Baptist Press: "We take no pleasure in recommending that a church is not in friendly cooperation with the convention."

Of note: SBC president J.D. Greear addressed the issue of racial tensions within the convention in his opening speech, saying Black Southern Baptists should be included in discussions on this issue — including on the concept of Critical Race Theory. The seminary presidents rejected this.

  • "We should mourn when closet racists and neo-Confederates feel more at home in our churches than do many of our people of color," Greear said.

Go deeper

UN warns of "catastrophic" climate change failure without more emissions cuts

UN Secretary-General António Guterres at a news conference. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

A United Nations report released Friday warned that the planet will likely warm by more than 2.7 degrees Celsius by the end of the century unless governments take extra steps to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Why it matters: The report, released just months ahead of November's UN Climate Summit, highlights the growing pressure on global leaders to crack down on emissions to avert the worst effects of climate change.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Pentagon approves request for 100 National Guard troops for "Justice for J6" rally

Security fencing has been reinstalled around the Capitol. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has approved a request from Capitol Police to provide 100 D.C. National Guard troops in case law enforcement requires additional support at Saturday's "Justice for J6" rally at the Capitol.

Why it matters: Security preparations have ramped up ahead of the pro-Trump demonstration, where hundreds of protesters sympathetic to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack are expected to gather.

Biden threatens new sanctions against Ethiopian officials over Tigray conflict

Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

President Biden on Friday signed an executive order allowing the Treasury and State departments to impose sanctions against Ethiopian officials "responsible for, or complicit in, prolonging the conflict" in the Tigray region.

Driving the news: Hundreds of thousands of people are facing famine conditions in Tigray, but less than 10% of the needed humanitarian supplies has reached the region over the last month "due to the obstruction of aid access" by the Ethiopian government, according to Biden administration officials.