The Southern Baptist Convention is holding a major summit on sexuality and moral conundrums facing the Christian faith, a three-day conference intended to address changing social tides.

More than 200 pastors are attending the Ethics Religious Liberty Commission Leadership Summit, which will address the “gospel and human sexuality to equip pastors and church leaders to speak to these critical issues in their own congregations,” according to a description on the Southern Baptist Convention website.

In addition to homosexuality, the summit, which will run from April 21-23 in Nashville, Tenn., will cover “sexual brokenness,” pastoral infidelity, broken marriages and pornography, offering advice on how faith leaders should be tackling these difficult moral conundrums.

Already the conversations have been both robust and controversial.

At a panel discussion Monday night, five pastors spoke to faith leaders affiliated with the denomination, delivering some very specific pieces of advice when it comes to handling homosexuality.

Those on the panel told pastors to “stop spreading falsehoods,” and to consider becoming friends with gay people regardless of whether Christians believe their sexuality aligns with the Bible, according to Nashville Public Radio.

“We’ve run off at the mouth, said things we shouldn’t have said. We’ve run around like a peacock all over the platform,” said Pastor Greg Belser of Morrison Heights Baptist Church in Clinton, Miss. “We have said things because we were playing to the home team, and they all liked our act. On this issue, nobody likes our act, except the redneck factor.”

But there was one comment in particular about homosexuality that sparked a great deal of discussion and attention on Twitter, as the Huffington Post noted.

Pastor J.D. Greear of Summit Church of Durham, N.C., compared the unpopularity of speaking out against homosexuality with the pains of speaking out against slavery in South Carolina back in 1861.

“Preaching against homosexuality in our day is about as popular as preaching against slavery and racism in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1861,” said Greear. “And back then, I’m sure the politically correct people were like, ‘You’re just creating a lot of waves that are unnecessary, just preach the gospel.’”

Preaching against homosexuality is about as popular as preaching against slavery in South Carolina in the 1800s. @ #erlcsummit
Southern Baptist Convention
@spulliam
Sarah Pulliam Bailey
@ @ This is incredibly ironic coming from Southern Baptists.
Southern Baptist Convention
@rachelheldevans
Rachel Held Evans
Preaching against homosexuality is as popular as preaching against slavery in the South hundreds of years ago, @ says. #erlcsummit
Southern Baptist Convention
@HeidiHallTN
Heidi Hall

Despite the candid discussion, the denomination, which is the second largest in the U.S. behind Roman Catholics, hasn’t changed its views on the Bible’s stance on gay marriage and homosexuality, though, affirming that gays who refuse to become celibate cannot fully immerse themselves in the Southern Baptist Convention, Nashville Public Radio reported.

As for pornography, Heath Lambert, head of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, decried its prevalence, calling it the “greatest moral crisis in the history of the church,” according to the Tennessean.

The summit is also examining pastoral issues, encouraging faith leaders to take steps to keep themselves on track and pure when it comes to sexuality. Among the suggestions: put a glass door on the office so that others can see what is happening inside.

As for lunches and meetings with the opposite sex, Pastor Kie Bowman of Hyde Park Baptist in Austin, Texas, recommended not having these meetings one-on-one and, instead, doing so in a group setting to avoid any sexual impropriety.

You can watch a live stream of the event here.

(H/T: Nashville Public Radio)