Statement on Same Sex Marriage

In light of articles published in the media by other individuals from within the Baptist Movement, we deem it necessary to make a statement in relation to the issue of Same Sex Marriage.

We wish to reaffirm our public support for the traditional definition as understood in the Bible and contained within our governing documents and posted on our website.

https://www.rtbaptistchurch.com.au/about-us/

Definition of Marriage

“Marriage is the union of one man and one woman for life.”

In Genesis chapter 2 of the Bible, God declares it is not good for Adam (the first man) to live alone. All the animals are there, but none of them are a suitable partner for Adam. God, therefore, in a special act of creation, makes a woman. Just a few verses later, the woman is called “his wife” (Genesis 2:25). Eden was the scene of the first marriage, ordained by God Himself. The author of Genesis then records the standard by which all future marriages are defined: “A man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).

Since God ordained sex to only take place between a married couple, it follows that God’s design is for the family unit to be formed when a man and woman come together in a sexual relationship and have children. There is no passage in the Bible that mentions a marriage involving anything other than a man and a woman. To affirm same sex marriage would mean affirming conduct that is contrary to God’s standard for marriage and approval of a lifestyle that the Bible defines as sinful (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

We further note, concerns that have been raised in the broader debate by legal experts and within Senate Committees, regarding far reaching implications for religious freedoms, freedoms of conscience and issues relating to discrimination and other legal restrictions. This is of grave concern to us and deserves greater consideration and reflection before any changes to Australian Laws occurs, including the Marriage Act. We should also consider the experience of other countries like Canada, before making any changes.

We also want to reassure those within the LGBTIQ community that our church does not hate you. While we may disagree with you on the merits of Same Sex Marriage we love you and want the highest good for you. We want you to have true fulfillment which can only be found in the person and work of Jesus Christ.

While we, as a church, acknowledge the Baptist distinctives of freedom of interpretation, freedom of conscience and autonomy of the local church, we would encourage all Christians to participate in the forthcoming Postal Plebiscite and in unity vote NO to any changes to the Marriage Act. This plebiscite provides us all with an equal voice and we should not waste this opportunity.

The Bible Says: “But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.” (Matthew 5:37, NKJV).

Blessings

Pastor Shane Hanley

On behalf of Raymond Terrace Baptist Church



Speaking the Truth of God

 

1 Kings 22:13-14

The messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah said to him, “Look, the other prophets without exception are predicting success for the king. Let your word agree with theirs, and speak favourably.” But Micaiah said, “As surely as the Lord lives, I can tell him only what the Lord tells me.”

It can be very discouraging for preachers and pastors who seek to speak the truth of God into the lives they shepherd when the people call for “ear tickling”. The Bible speaks of a time when “They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.” (2 Timothy 4:3)

It seems that we have entered an era where people want feel good messages and preachers have watered down the Gospel. For those preachers and pastors who want to continue to speak God’s truth it’s getting harder because of the pressure to conform or risk losing people to the “more positive” churches.

Well take heart from the story of Micaiah! Read more...



Don’t Get Bitter… Get Better!

 

bitterness_is_like-17186

A famous comedian remarked that he never held grudges or indulged in bitterness. He said, “While you’re carrying a grudge, they’re out dancing!”

Bitterness causes more damage to our relationships, health and souls than almost anything else. Doesn’t matter if it’s in families, workplaces or even churches, bitterness is such a destructive force. Read more...



I’m in a Hurry, but God’s not!

But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. 1 Timothy 1:16

I have to admit that patience isn’t one of my strong points. That’s often the case for people now days. We live in such a fast paced society, with little spare time, and the pressure of that lifestyle takes its toll on our patience. Read more...



Watch Your Feelings

"I long for the years gone by when God took care of me, when he lit up the way before me and I walked safely through the darkness.” Job 29:2-3

Let’s be honest... None of us like going through hard times in our lives. Especially the kind that Job experienced. Think of someone you loved that fell on hard times. Did you change your feelings toward them? No, if anything you probably wanted to love and help them more. Read more...



Believer’s Behaviour Part 2

More Practical Guidelines

Hebrews 13:7-19

My wife Stephanie carries with her something very precious. If you were to see it, at first glance you may think nothing of it. Now days it’s looking a little worn, but to her it has lost no value.

It’s a letter from a man, no it’s not a love letter from me, but indeed a letter written out of love. That letter was written by the man who’s now with the Lord. He preached the night Stephanie gave her heart to Jesus.

It’s a letter of encouragement, a letter of remembrance. A link to one who spoke the word of God to her and every time that letter is opened fond memories rise up with every word. Fond memories of the life and witness of that man. Fond memories of the message he spoke and certainty about the decision made to follow Christ.

That’s the kind of sentiment in the heart of the writer of Hebrews as he began this passage in 13:7-19. Read more...



Love Sex Marriage and Money

Love, Sex, Marriage and Money

Hebrews 13:1-6

Peter said “For so is the will of God that with well‑doing you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.” Peter said you need to live so that no one can cast any doubt on Christianity by the kind of life that you’re living.

The 13th chapter of Hebrews could be given the title “The Behaviour of the Believer.”

What does God expect out of us? What are the practical guidelines for the life of a Christian?

This concluding exhortation of Hebrews provides a series of practical guidelines for the believer to serve God and how they might live out a persevering faith.

We need to understand that it wasn’t that easy for the early church people. They had to contend with all manner of cultural, racial, religious and sexual issues as the church began to spread across multiple country, political, ethnic groups bringing them under one faith and practise.

The early church writers bridged the gap between the different cultural lines, teaching Christian ethics on money, sexuality, family and church structure. Read more...



Which Mountain for You?

I read recently how a kindergarten teach told her class to draw a picture of what was important to them. Little Johnny at the back of the class began to labour over his drawing. Everybody else had finished but he had not. The teacher came to see, looking over Johnny’s shoulder she asked, “What are you drawing?” Without missing a beat Johnny replied, “God!” “But Johnny no one knows what God looks like,” the teacher said gently. The reply came, “They will when I’m through.”

It’s interesting what image people have of God... What image do you have? Read more...



We must temper our response to the Indonesian Executions

It is indeed very sad to hear of the execution of the prisoners in Indonesia, including the two Australians. However we must be very careful and measured in our response to this development.
 
For those who think, “They got what they deserve!” I urge caution not to take joy out of their deaths or celebrate as a victory for modern justice. We must not be cold and without compassion. Remember justice and mercy are two sides of the same coin. Furthermore compassion does ignore the crime committed. From a biblical perspective, Jesus while showing the compassion still recognised and named the transgression of the person.

 

For those who oppose the death penalty, you too must be cautious and measured in your response. Many are calling for the Australian Government to take action against Indonesia. Read more...