The official recommended position of the Baptist Union of Qld in 1991 was that gays, practicing or not, are not welcome to lead, teach, exercise any ministry or do any act of Christian Service. That position has not been changed since.
The official position of the Baptist Union of Victoria set in 1997 is that homosexuals are not welcome to attend church and that they couldn’t possibly be Christians. The vote in a survey was 35% of churches said we are not welcome to attend church and 36% of churches declined to answer the question on the survey. 71% in total. (Interesting that Jesus said if anyone will not welcome you, their sins are worse than the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah Matt 10:14-15)
Out of interest, 70% to 90% (estimated by pastors) of heterosexual couples have sex before marriage. There might be a sermon on it occasionally recommending they don’t, but no action has ever been taken against them that I know of. If hetero couples divorce and remarry, Jesus said they are adulterers, but they almost always have no restrictions placed on them. Yet Jesus said nothing about us.
I came out to the Senior Pastor here at the church where I attend and he said he didn’t view me any differently now than before I told Him. I said I believe God blesses gay marriage but his view is that God doesn’t and that marriage is restricted to between a man and a woman. (fairly predictable I guess). I asked if he would have any difficulty if I sought to become a church member and there was a very pregnant pause. “I guess not, so long as you do not practice your homosexuality and that you respect “our” views.
The Assoc Pastor said he viewed practicing homosexuals and adulterers the same way. I don’t practice my homosexuality given I am married to my wife. He was much less accepting of any proposal for me to become a church member. However when there was a pastoral situation of another suspected gay guy who is married, the Assoc Pastor wanted to discuss the whole issue with me at some length. I haven’t come out generally and never will, so I felt a bit vulnerable in doing this.
He was the photographer at our wedding 39 years ago. We were in the same year at the Baptist Theological College when we were both training for the ministry. Change takes time particularly when they have never had to deal with the issue before. I shared my paper on What the Bible Actually Says About Homosexuality with both of them. Neither of them were keen to want to discuss it.
In summary, at the church were I attend, I am welcome to attend, and be on the cleaning roster or turn up for a working bee and help take up the offering or put money in the offering bag (that never seems to be a problem 😆 ) but that is about it. I could only apply to be a member if I was non-practicing and I respect their views that marriage should only be between a man and a woman.
I was an ordained Baptist Pastor. I resigned 34 years ago because I knew I was unacceptable as a gay person.
We should encourage each other that it is the Lord’s job to change people’s attitudes towards us and that He is far more keen to want to do that than we are. We need to be always available to be used by the Lord as part of that process. Careful study of what the original Hebrew and Greek scriptures is very important, but so is also the testimony of each one of us.
At all times we need to make sure we are like Christ in all we do and say. We are not responsible for the actions of others, but we are responsible for our reactions to them. Let us work together with God under His direction to change people. We need to be encouraged to see God at work, and He is. Let’s praise Him for that.