Norwegian Baptists against same-sex relationships


Northern Europe


The National Assembly of the Norwegian Baptists. Photo Facebook, Ung Baptist

The Norwegian Baptists will not accept pastors or church leaders who live in a same-sex relationship. Congregations who deviate from this rule might even be excluded from the denomination.

The National Assembly of the Norwegian Baptists met last weekend. Almost 200 delegates from the 104 Baptist congregations in Norway met, Dagen writes. During the meeting, the Executive Board presented a proposal that read that marriage is understood as a “God-given arrangement for man and woman.” Therefore, the proposal continued that the church should not accepted pastors who live in a homosexual cohabitation.

However, according to many delegates, this proposal did not go far enough. They believed that the word “should” was not strong enough. Therefore, former general secretary Magnar Mæland submitted a counter-proposal, which argued that the Baptist community “does not approve of pastors or members of parish councils living in same-sex cohabitations.” In addition, it proposed that congregations who did not go along in this, should be suspended.

When the vote occurred, it turned out that Mæland's proposal was most popular. It received 125 votes. On the other hand, the proposal of the Executive received 62 votes and two people voted against both of the proposals.


Mæland says to Dagen he was surprised that so many people supported his proposal. He explains that he, to a large extent, agreed with the proposal of the Executive Board, but believed that the word “should” killed the investigation. “Many interpret the word “should” as if it would be up to congregations to decide what they want to do in this matter”, he says. In addition, the proposal of the Executive Board did not clarify the consequences for those who deviated from the decision of the National Assembly. Mæland wants these congregations to be expelled, he stated in his proposal.

The latter is currently not possible, but the National Assembly will look at options to realise it next year. According to Mæland, suspension means that congregations cannot take part in voting processes or hold central positions. “However, they can participate in other events and make use of the same offers as others in the Baptist community.”

The Baptist Church in Norway maintains that marriage is between a man and a woman as God's good arrangement for cohabitation. Pastors and other church leaders who do not abide by this will not be approved.


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