Gay-friendly Baptist Pastor is Rebuked

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Chapter Leader
Joined in 2008
July 12, 2011, 14:39

Arising from the second Compass programme on Gay Marriage (see Ann Maree’s post), the following was posted today.


Marriage is not for same sex couples, say Baptists Tuesday, 12 July 2011, 8:33 (EST)


The sentiments expressed by the Reverend Nathan Nettleton in an ABC Compass program on same sex marriage legislation broadcast on Sunday July 10 do not represent the views of Australian Baptist Ministries or an overwhelming majority of Baptists in Australia and around the world.

In November 2010 Australian Baptist Ministries reaffirmed marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and has commended the Australian Government for reflecting the biblical teaching on marriage in the federal Marriage Act. Marriage is not the appropriate institution for same sex couples.

Australian Baptist Ministries supports the rights of all couples to justice with respect to property and like entitlements and acknowledges that people, including some in Baptist churches, face difficult issues with respect to spirituality. Recognition of such rights and difficulties does not justify major changes to our convictions about marriage or to marriage legislation.

“It is regrettable that Mr Nettleton failed to consult with Australian Baptist leaders before expressing his personal views about same sex marriage on national television. To his credit he made it clear in the program that he was not representing the official Baptist position on marriage. It is disappointing that ABC staff chose not to invite a more representative Baptist voice to participate in the Compass program,” Revd Dr John Beasy, President of Australian Baptist Ministries, said.

The Baptist World Alliance, representing over 47 million baptised believers and 210 Baptist Unions and Conventions in more than 200 countries, shares the views of Australian Baptist Ministries on marriage. The Baptist World Alliance views homosexual lifestyle as incompatible with the teachings of Scripture and no BWA member body affirms, promotes or approves of same sex marriage.

At the Baptist World Alliance annual gathering in July 1994 in Uppsala, Sweden, the BWA General Council passed a resolution confirming that the BWA “proclaims the biblical definition of the family, a permanent, monogamous, heterosexual union, as the original divine plan for family life which must continue to serve as the foundation and ideal for an ordered and effective society.”

Joined in 2010
July 12, 2011, 19:55

Chatting with Nathan online today it seems he has had nothing but encouragement and support from the Baptist Union of Victoria (so far) and it’s unlikely the BUV will make any public comment. The BUV is a bit more progressive than some of the other Baptist state bodies, and the Australian Baptists as a whole.

Interestingly, one of the reasons that you’ll rarely hear a public statement from the baptist church is that each individual church that makesnup the union, and each individual person in each church, is free to think whatever they like on such matters and act accordingly. Hence the diversity of of Baptist churches – some very charismatic and othersnvery liturgical.

For the Baptist Union of Australia to make a public comment like this is unusual. They certainly don’t speak for me on this matter (I’m an ordained Baptist minister) and I don’t like the tone of how this press release has been written. Nathan is very well read in the area of worship and can speak better than most on the history of marriage in the church. As far as I know, he is the BEST choice to be speaking on such things.

Anyway, I feel a fight coming on in Baptist-land! If you’re a praying person, please pray for Nathan as he continues to seek, and speak, truth.


Chapter Leader
Joined in 2008
July 12, 2011, 20:46

Yair, mrg – agree with what you say. I took the article from the ‘christiantoday’ website. But they got it from a Media Release put out Monday morning by Rev. Rod Benson here in Sydney. I can only assume there were lots of phone calls Sunday night applying pressure for something to be said !!!??? Givern the diversity of views allowed for under the Baptist structure, it’s a pity he had to be so dogmatic. And great to know that he doesn’t represent a unanimous view of Australian Baptists.

I thought Nathan held his own very well. Dear old Bishop Forsyth (for whom I have a lot of respect) looked decidedly uncomfortable and not his usual confident self. It was a nice bit of television.

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