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April 12, 2016


Andrew Kleissner

I was interested to read your comment that "those who affirm same sex marriage amongst BUGB Baptists are more numerous than the conservatives realise" as I think a lot of assumptions are often made. The church I presently serve is both Baptist and URC; and you may be amused to know that, some years ago, I wrote almost identical letters on this matter to both the "Baptist Times" (still then in printed form) and the other to "Reform". However the one I wrote to the "BT" said, "Don't assume that everyone in our denomination is against same-sex relationships" while the one to "Reform" stated the exact opposite, as these had been the impressions being given by the two publications. I'm pleased to say that both letters were published!

Mrs Mills

As a parent of an adult child who lives with a same sex partner; a Christian of many years and a Baptist Deacon, I have an enormous struggle with the whole issue of same sex marriage. My previously held views have been thoroughly shaken and I'm currently in a state of feeling bewildered about what I should believe. I have felt completely unable to be open with many of my Christian friends for fear of being judged and have therefore struggled to share this very heavy burden.However, I have been blessed by wise counsel from a few trusted friends including my Minister. At the present time I would just like to urge us all to lovingly consider how we can best reach out to those in same sex relationships with the love of Christ.

Peter Dominey

Thank you Andy - it's important that the conversation that has been 'ignited' is not smothered by those who would like to impose a view on all.

Derrick Hill

As one who warmly welcomed the BUGB Council statement as pointing the direction on this issue, but not the final word, I was sad to see this attempt to challenge the principle.

But I must thank Mrs. Mills for her comment and plea to "lovingly consider how we can best reach out to those in same sex relationships with the love of Christ". Surely, now that Council have given a right and proper steer, that is the next challenge - but I don't believe that seeking God's blessing on same sex marriage is the answer.

Sharon Jones

I was moved by what sister Mills shared. I can only imagine how challenging it must be for her.

I was very grateful to read the recent statement put out by the Baptist Council and found it balanced and fair and a lovingly crafted response.

Let me declare my hand from the start. I am ABSOLUTELY against same sex relationships of all kinds and also do not believe it is God's will for us to change our physical beings from male to female or vice versa.

And while I am always keen to listen to how my fellow brothers and sisters feel and to understand how they arrive at their views, my personal view on this issue through how I interpret Scripture and what I have discerned will remain unchanged.

I have very good friends that are gay and some that are Christians and they know exactly how I feel. It doesn't stop me from loving them nor preventing us from having a lasting friendship.

However, in recent years, in secular society, increasingly those of us who hold firm views in this regard have been made to feel bigoted, out of touch with reality and as if we are going around as a lynching mob.

My plea today is that my brothers and sisters within the Christian family, and specifically within our Baptist Communion, would not make us feel that way too!

May Christ help us now in our great hour of need in Jesus' name I pray.

Andrew Kleissner

Interesting comment from the Baptist Steering Group's meeting: "Of those 96 responses, 22 welcomed the statement, two wished it to go further and 72 are disturbed / disappointed by the statement. Some clear themes emerged around the Declaration of Principle and the independence / interdependence of churches, about mutuality, about the perceived threat of discipline for ministers and/or church sanction, about pastoral concerns and about mission, (particularly in pioneering contexts)". (See BUGB website for more details).

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