I’m not trying to be divisive, I’m just saying that historically they would be taking a position that adopts an interpretation of scripture unheard of for nearly 2000 years, let alone in NZ Baptist churches. As N.T. Wright says, “Jesus’s own stern denunciation of sexual immorality would certainly have carried, to his hearers, a clear implied rejection of all sexual behaviour outside heterosexual monogamy. This isn’t a matter of ‘private response to Scripture’ but of the uniform teaching of the whole Bible, of Jesus himself, and of the entire Christian tradition.”
It may avoid conflict (which I’m a fan of!) to say, “You hold your conviction and I’ll hold mine,” but if that’s the default stance on issues like this one, then being a New Zealand Baptist becomes meaningless. All our unity means then is that we’re okay with being in a room together every now and then.
That’s why – while I want to listen and learn – I’ll almost certainly vote “yes” to this proposal, even if it makes me worry that I might be perceived as a fundamentalist. And hey, if you vote “no” I hope we can still be friends.