FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary will meet with representatives of the 2008 Soulforce Equality Ride, a traveling group of advocates for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights, Oct. 27. The two parties have agreed to have a respectful discussion regarding their opposing viewpoints about faith and sexuality at the seminary’s Riley Center.

Southwestern Seminary is a confessional institution of the Southern Baptist Convention that holds the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 as its statement of faith. Article XV in the Baptist Faith and Message states that “In the spirit of Christ, Christians should oppose ... all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality and pornography,” and that Christians should “act in the spirit of love without compromising their loyalty to Christ and His truth.”

In an effort to ensure a meaningful dialogue, the one-hour meeting will be closed to the public and media. Each side will give a 25-minute presentation of its beliefs, with the remaining time spent in dialogue about disagreements.

“While Soulforce has a history of public disobedience often leading to arrest, I certainly hope that will not be the case at Southwestern Seminary. I have received personal confirmation from Katie Higgins that Soulforce will abide by the pre-agreed arrangements of our dialogue,” said Thomas White, vice president for student services and communications at Southwestern Seminary. 

White continued, “I believe this dialogue will demonstrate that we have real differences in our beliefs about Scripture and concerning the proper interpretation of Scripture, but I believe they will find Southwesterners to be one’s who endeavor to speak the truth in love.”