Sunday, 15 February 2015

Truth and Love - responding well to questions of human sexuality.

The Weston (Super-Mare) Bible Week Plus 2015 welcomes Dr Stephen Holmes whose theme will be Truth and Love: Responding well to Questions of Human Sexuality.  This is not a 'Baptist' event, although Stephen is. He will help people address the questions of personal identity, culture and Biblical interpretation.

I'm encouraging Baptists, across our region, who would welcome engaging in this area of engagement to try and get along, as I'm confident Stephen will provide a helpful means of engaging - taking both 'truth' and 'love' seriously, as the publicity suggests.

Wednesday: Taking the Bible appropriately seriously 
Thursday: Taking our culture appropriately seriously
Friday: Taking people appropriately seriously 

You are encouraged to come and see what God might be saying to our generation of Christians on an issue which simply won’t go away. 

Bible Week Plus takes place on Wednesday 4th, Thursday 5th and Friday 6th March 2015, 7,30pm - at Milton Baptist Church, Baytree Road, Weston-super-Mare, BS22 8HJ.  
Weston Bible Week Plus 2015

Friday, 13 February 2015


I welcome the growing debate, which will help clarify the nature of the covenant, which exists between Baptist Churches within our Baptist Union.
It is possible to see two common threads woven through every aspect of our Declaration of Principle - an open generosity, as well as centred values. 
Generosity in regards to those who regard Scripture differently (even our oppressors)  generosity towards those who understand baptism differently and generosity in terms of a willingness to share the gospel.
However, this does not imply there are no boundaries for understanding, or practice:
Each Church does not have liberty to decide whatever they wish if, for example, it is beyond the accepted boundaries of interpretation of the Holy Scriptures.
Each Church does not have liberty to re-define Christian Baptism, even if our generosity accepts the authenticity of Christian faith represented by those joining our Churches from other Christian traditions.
Each Church does not have liberty to remove the expectation of the ‘duty’ of every disciple, even if we use different words, such as ‘responsibility’.
However, both our generosity around the edges and our values at our centre require boundaries. The resulting creative tension, which exists between open generosity and boundaried freedom, is hugely appealing when it operates effectively. Unfortunately, many people assume Baptists Churches are independent, rather than inter-dependent and freedom is without any boundaries.

The Declaration of  Principle of the Baptist Union states ….
The Basis of the Baptist Union is:

1  That our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, God manifest in the flesh, is the sole and absolute authority in all matters pertaining to faith and practice, as revealed in the Holy Scriptures, and that each Church has liberty, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to interpret and administer His laws.

2  That Christian Baptism is the immersion in water into the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, of those who have professed repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ who 'died for our sins according to the Scriptures; was buried, and rose again the third day'.

3  That it is the duty of every disciple to bear personal witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to take part in the evangelisation of the world.