Thursday, June 12, 2008

SBC resolution on same-sex marriage

This week at the annual convention in Indianapolis, Southern Baptists passed a resolution in response to last month's Supreme Court decision in Sacramento. I think it is a well-crafted document. It's an urgent call to action for all Christians to stand up for the biblical definition of marriage. Here's the resolution:
WHEREAS, On May 15, 2008, the California Supreme Court struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage thus frustrating the will of the people who, on March 7, 2000, voted in favor (61.4%) of Proposition 22 which affirmed, “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California”; and

WHEREAS, This decision has dire national implications because California law will allow same-sex couples from any state to marry in California, return to their home state, and challenge that state’s traditional marriage laws based on the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution of the United States; and

WHEREAS, The United States Congress has repeatedly refused to pass a constitutional amendment defining marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman, thus providing no federal protection from attacks against traditional marriage; and

WHEREAS, Marriage is ordained by God as a permanent union of one man and one woman (Genesis 1:27-28; 2:24); and

WHEREAS, Jesus reaffirmed marriage as a sacred, monogamous, and life-long institution joining one man and one woman (Matthew 19:4-6); and

WHEREAS, Any action giving homosexual unions the legal status of marriage denies the fundamental immorality of homosexual behavior (Leviticus 18:22; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11); and

WHEREAS, The people of California have collected over 1.1 million signatures on a petition requiring the state to place a referendum on the ballot in November defining marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, June 10-11, 2008, wholeheartedly support the people in California who have worked tirelessly to place this referendum on the ballot; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we strongly urge all Southern Baptists in the state of California to be informed about this issue and to exercise their civic and moral duty by working diligently to support and voting to pass this referendum; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage all Christian pastors in California and in every other state to speak strongly, prophetically, and redemptively concerning the sinful nature of homosexuality and the urgent need to protect biblical marriage in accordance with God’s Word; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we call on all Southern Baptists and believers from all denominations everywhere to pray for the people of California as they seek to right this terrible wrong that has been forced upon them by the California Supreme Court’s overturning of the vote of the people and to pray for the people of every state where biblical marriage is under attack; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we reaffirm our historic and consistent support of the biblical definition of marriage as an exclusive union between a man and a woman; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we once again call on the United States Congress to pass, the President to sign, and the states to ratify a constitutional amendment defining marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman.
Any suggestions on how we should live this out practically? I plan to share this in our business meeting on Sunday night and begin a dialogue. Certainly, pastors should be willing to preach on the issue, while not growing preoccupied with politics in our sermons. Christians across the land are also encouraged to join the ProtectMarriage.com coalition to receive their email updates or donate by clicking here. I have added my name today as an endorser.

Let's remember that while we should be passionate about the truth, we must also conduct ourselves in a spirit of love and compassion. Homosexuals are watching us now more than ever. Will they perceive Christians as angry gay-bashers, or as people who cherish God's law and are concerned about those souls who have been drawn into the homosexual lifestyle?
We must love the sinner, but hate the sin. Homosexuality is no worse than any other sin. All sin is a breach of God's law and equally heinous in His eyes (James 2:10), needing freedom and forgiveness through Christ (Romans 6:23; Acts 13:38-39). What sets this sin apart is the devastating consequences it will have upon every man, woman, boy, and girl in our society if it is normalized and legalized.

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