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Thejoeturner
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Ian, as far as I understand, the church meeting of a Baptist Church is the governing body. If your church meeting affirms it, then you can do it - I don't think the BUGB can do anything other than remove your congregation afterwards. I don't think you have the authority to make a pastoral judgement yourself.. But I could be wrong, I'm not a baptist.
Toggle Commented Feb 13, 2012 on Comment on Civil Partnerships at andygoodliff
I'm not a Baptist, but as a non-conformist, I'd argue that 4 is the only important point above - and affirm that there are no sacraments. Indeed, that God is everywhere hence there are no special points to be gained from saying things in a special place nor in a special manner. And further that pretending that there is makes an idol out of a specific space and specific time in the week. Then I'd argue that there are actually two different issues in play: a) Accepting that society embraces more than just my views, and indeed needs to embrace even those things I find truly obnoxious. Personally, I find some aspects of Hinduism totally abhorrent, yet can see an argument for the state accepting a Hindu marriage (providing various safeguards about free will, age and so on). If nothing else, it is cheaper for everyone living in society if the majority of people live in strong lifelong relationships. b) Accepting that my religious understanding of things is different to others. In the process others might want to call me names or get offended by the rules I play by, but as long as there are safeguards to protect both you and me, we should be able to tolerate each other. According to a) even those who find Gay Marriage totally obnoxious ought to recognise the right of society to allow it (or any other surrogate name it choses). Nobody else has to like it, but it is a reality, so hard cheese. But accordingly it is also consistent to take a moral stand b) which states Gay Marriage is wrong, that the National Lottery is Evil or that Pigeons are the Harbringers of Doom or anything else in a plural society. It is not reasonable (or even sensible) for society to attempt to force religious bodies to accept norms that they don't accept just because they are general norms. Of course, that makes it very difficult for believers who do not accept the accepted theology of the group in which they find themselves. But that is hardly a new phenomena, the only choices they have are to attempt to reform the organisation from within the existing structures or to leave/split (or to sit it out quietly, hoping nobody notices). As long as Gays are free to go somewhere and practice their religion to their conscience, it makes no odds to me whether or not individual churches/sects/denominations accept them or not. I can't really see why this issue is any different to anything else.
Toggle Commented Feb 11, 2012 on Comment on Civil Partnerships at andygoodliff
Nicely done. Btw, you might be interested in some of the graphs and statistics in this report regarding the government and private donations by country. Having a hard time deciding if they're anything other than totally made up.
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Nov 22, 2011