A California Southern Baptist congregation have voted to keep their pastor who accepted his gay son and to welcome LGBTI people without judgement.
Pastor Danny Cortez of the New Heart Community Church went public with his support for his 15-year-old son Drew in a sermon in February entitled ‘Why I changed my mind on homosexuality.’
Cortez spoke about how Drew had come out to him after he learned his father liked the Macklemore and Ryan Lewis song Same Love because of its inclusive message.
A lesbian congregant had come out to Pastor Cortez four years earlier which had prompted him to re-examine his views on the issue but Drew did not know he had changed his mind.
When he learned that his father had evolved on the issue he came out to him in his school’s car park.
‘I couldn’t help but think that my 15 year journey was in preparation for that moment,’ Pastor Cortez said, according to the Canyonwalker Connections blog.
‘If it wasn’t for this 15 year journey and my change in theology, I may have destroyed my son through reparative therapy.’
After Cortez told his congregation that he had rejected the Southern Baptist Church’s official teaching on homosexuality his congregation held a vote on 19 May over whether to dismiss him as pastor of the church he had lead for 16 years.
They chose not to fire him and to become a ‘Third Way’ church which doesn’t judge people based on their sexual orientation.
Whether the Southern Baptist Convention decides to sever ties with the New Heart Community Church over its new position on homosexuality remains to be seen.
Drew Cortez has since made a video about his coming out process.
Watch it and Pastor Cortez’ sermon below