A highly anticipated conference sponsored by moderate Baptists on the topic of sexuality kicked off its first day on Thursday (April 19) with conference attendees hearing speakers discuss the issue of sexual identity and how to discern “new understandings” of authority. Guy Sayles, pastor of First Baptist Church in Asheville, N.C. — a CBF and Alliance of Baptists congregation — lamented the use of “proof texts” and suggested that Christians look to the themes of Scripture and not to individual texts to guide their sexual ethics.