Southern Cross: SBC Lights the Way Post-SCOTUS
States aren’t the only ones bracing for the Supreme Court’s marriage ruling — so are church leaders. Concerned about what a bad decision might mean for their congregations, some leaders are getting out in front of the decision and reinforcing where they stand and where they won’t go.
In the case of the Southern Baptist Convention, the country’s largest Protestant denomination, there’s no debating where the church stands: on the truth.
In a bold letter to its 16 million congregants, past and present SBC presidents warn that they will obey man’s law — as long as it doesn’t conflict with God’s.
“What the Bible says about marriage is clear, definitive, and unchanging,” the 17 men write. “Consequently, we will not accept, nor adhere to, any legal redefinition of marriage issued by any political or judicial body including the United States Supreme Court. We will not recognize same-sex ‘marriages,’ our churches will not host same-sex ceremonies, and we will not perform such ceremonies.”
Uncompromising and unapologetic, the SBC reiterates its care and compassion for all people, “including those struggling with same-sex attraction,” but warns that it will not deviate from God’s design for marriage.
By staking out a clear position, SBC leaders have sent a strong message — not just to the Christian community, but to the entire country. On the eve of one of the most significant court rulings in American history, at least one denomination is insisting that our first duty “is to love and obey God.” If that means civil disobedience, so be it.
Knowing even greater persecution could be around the corner, SBC’s presidents promised that Christians, no matter their occupation, would never stand alone. In one of the most powerful parts of the letter, the group pledged to rally around those whose beliefs could cost them their jobs, livelihoods, and businesses.
“We also join together to support those who stand for natural marriage in the corporate world, the marketplace, education, entertainment, media and elsewhere with our prayers and influence, and resources.”
In the potentially dark days ahead, more churches need to follow the SBC’s lead and encourage those who sit in the pews to stand against government intolerance. The culture may change, but right and wrong do not.
For that reason, the first letter to the Corinthians says, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.”
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