We at Affirm have prepared a public statement expressing our current concerns regarding the discourse on human sexuality and gender identity within the Baptist Union of Great Britain.
A PDF version of the statement can be viewed or downloaded by clicking the link below
Please feel free to contact the team with any comments or questions
The Affirm Team
This week a group of around 150 Christian leaders published The Nashville Statement, a set of affirmations and denials regarding sexuality and faith and in particular LGBT+ issues. This group, it must be said, represent a particular brand of conservative evangelicalism that this particular writer finds to be unwholesome to say the least.
I won’t post a link to the statement here, you’ll find it easily enough if you really want to read it.
There have been a number of responses to the statement online, many from the church and many from secular writers. I want to highlight two responses here that I found to be particularly helpful in presenting a more loving, inclusive and Christ-like representation of the broad spectrum of humanness .
Firstly the ‘Denver Statement‘ written by Nadia Bolz-Weber, an author of several ground-breaking books and a founding pastor of House For All Sinners And Saints in Denver, Colorado. Nadia responds brilliantly to each of the articles and adds one of her own at the end.
Secondly from Christians United, a similar statement listing their own set of ten articles written in the same style as pairs of affirmations and denials, This statement has initially been signed by a broad spectrum of international Christian leaders and in this case there is an option for the reader to sign on in agreement to the statement.
Here at Affirm our purpose is to support the LGBT+ community, particularly those within the Baptist denomination, but in a wider sense to all those seeking to be at home in an inclusive, Christ-like church, it makes me sad to read the Nashville Statement, but I am encouraged by the responses and by the realisation that the love of Christ is all-encompassing and slowly, very slowly, his church is coming to realise that.
This post by Andy Long, website manager
Baptist Assembly 2017
Affirm members were well represented at this year’s Baptist Assembly held in May in Harrogate. This is the Annual Meeting of the Baptist family in the UK and includes the AGMs of the Baptist Union of Great Britain and BMS World Mission.
Under the title Beacons of Hope, encouraging stories were shared of successful and challenging initiatives, both in this country and in other parts of the world. Times of worship with singing led by an excellent multicultural music group complimented an eclectic choice of Workshops considered topics from “Mission in a secular world” to “Lessons from Asia” to “How to apply our Christian principles as we vote in the General Election” to “How to be a Baptist evangelical and be true to our history and principles.”
Ministers and missionaries who had died in the last year were remembered and a long list of newly accredited ministers, including our own Dawn Cole-Savidge, and mission personnel were recognised with a handshake from the President, Dianne Tidball and the two General Secretaries, Lynn Green and David Kerrigan.
We were able to update many friends with details of our new website and other developments in the network and hold a good number of one to one conversations spreading knowledge of the work of Affirm. A few more people wore the “elephant in the church” badges. We do however lament the fact that the Assembly is now only one day, so there is much less time to mingle with new people and that there is no exhibition where we might again apply for a stall.
Martin, Luke, Dawn, Ruth and Ian