Two Sundays ago, I read a brief statement about my reaction, as your pastor and spokesman for our leadership, about the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision to make same sex marriage the law of the land. I’ve been asked to reproduce it here, and other than some corrections and brief expansions of my “talking point” notes, here is what I said.
1. We respectfully disagree with the decision of the majority—both its legal reasoning and its conclusions.
2. We are against discriminatory practices toward any person or group in society, but we cannot agree that marriage is simply a legally defined relationship, but rather it is what it has been from all time—the union of a man and a woman, in a covenant meant to be permanent, and carrying specific rights and responsibilities. It is not invented by society, but created by God.
3. We will continue to recognize only those marriages that fit this biblical definition, and we will not perform or host any marriages that do not.
4. We will joyfully accept God’s sovereign plan for us now to be what the Church often is, a minority voice, a counter-cultural community, and a winsome witness to truth, even if we must someday suffer misunderstanding, disadvantage, or even persecution.
5. We will continue to love those sinners who face the temptations of same sex attraction, opposite sex lust, pride, gluttony, lying, and every other sin. No sin except unrepentant unbelief puts anyone more than one prayer away from the foot of the cross.
6. The landscape has changed, and what we will face is uncertain. But as Russell Moore has said, the church cannot be afraid of its mission field. In fact, we can look forward with great joy. One quote I saw captured it well.
“The first century church did not look around and say, “What is this world coming to?” They said, “Look what has come into the world!”