Click here to view the South West Baptist Church Constitution.
(a position statement on SWBC and gender-based work )
So God created human beings in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them – Gen 1:27
So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptised into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus – Gal 3:26-8
The South West Baptist Church stance on issues of gender in regard to ministry and leadership supports the equality of men and women, working together to fulfil the vision of SWBC being a ‘redemptive community, sharing the love of Christ in the world, by word, sign and deed, helping people become lifelong followers of Jesus Christ.’
There are two main positions held by evangelicals in regard to gender roles. One finds essential and enduring differences in roles between women and men, and advocates the headship of men over women in marriage and church. This is often known as complementarian theology. The opposite position, called egalitarian, affirms mutual submission of all believers in both church and family. According to this view, men and women are to serve according to each individual’s gifts and calling without discrimination on the basis of gender.
When speaking to these issues directly, SWBC promotes an egalitarian stance, as part of a kingdom theology, which sees societal change, including overthrow of injustice against women, as part of kingdom concerns.
In line with this, SWBC aspires to a genuine equality of women and men under God, including in our leadership. SWBC encourages lifegroups, ministries of the church and corporate gatherings to reflect the equality of men and women and to seek to equip the local communities to meet the needs of their people.
West Papura Concern
Our SWBC bi-cultural group have become aware of and are deeply concerned about the Indonesian exploitation of West Papua and the injustices being inflicted on the indigenous people there, especially Christians. This group have raised this concern with the Elders of our church, with leaders of other Baptist churches in Canterbury Westland and the Baptist national body.
“As a church we became more aware of the plight of the West Papuan people when a Baptist leader from within West Papua visited and spoke at our church. Since then, through reading independent reports from organisations like Amnesty International our concern has heightened that the Indonesian government is actively oppressing the West Papuan people and this injustice is going un-noticed and unchallenged. We are calling our people to pray for and be supportive of those oppressed Christians, indigenous leaders and the West Papuan population.”
To find out more see:
- Time Magazine
- AWPA Sydney News
- Radio NZ Interview
- Native Affairs: Inside West Papua Part 1 and Part 2
End of Life Choice Bill
To read our church’s submission on The End of Life Choice Bill (Member’s Bill 269-1), click here.
Thank you to the 171 individuals who signed this submission.
The New Zealand Medical Association have also made a submission which can be read here – it makes for a interesting read.