Jul 7, 2015
evangelical Christians, we dissent from the court’s ruling that
redefines marriage. The state did not create the
family, and should not try to recreate the family in its own image.
We will not capitulate on marriage because biblical authority
requires that we cannot. The outcome of the Supreme Court’s ruling
to redefine marriage represents what seems like the result of a
half-century of witnessing marriage’s decline through divorce,
cohabitation, and a worldview of almost limitless sexual freedom.
The Supreme Court’s actions pose incalculable risks to an already
volatile social fabric by alienating those whose beliefs about
marriage are motivated by deep biblical convictions and concern for
the common good.
Bible clearly teaches the enduring truth that marriage consists of
one man and one woman. From Genesis to Revelation,
the authority of Scripture witnesses to the nature of biblical
marriage as uniquely bound to the complementarity of man and woman.
This truth is not negotiable. The Lord Jesus himself said that
marriage is from the beginning (Matt. 19:4-6), so no human
institution has the authority to redefine marriage any more than a
human institution has the authority to redefine the gospel, which
marriage mysteriously reflects (Eph. 5:32). The Supreme Court’s
ruling to redefine marriage demonstrates mistaken judgment by
disregarding what history and countless civilizations have passed
on to us, but it also represents an aftermath that evangelicals
themselves, sadly, are not guiltless in contributing to. Too often,
professing evangelicals have failed to model the ideals we so
dearly cherish and believe are central to gospel proclamation.
churches must be faithful to the biblical witness on marriage
regardless of the cultural shift. Evangelical
churches in America now find themselves in a new moral landscape
that calls us to minister in a context growing more hostile to a
biblical sexual ethic. This is not new in the history of the
church. From its earliest beginnings, whether on the margins of
society or in a place of influence, the church is defined by the
gospel. We insist that the gospel brings good news to all people,
regardless of whether the culture considers the news good or
gospel must inform our approach to public witness. As
evangelicals animated by the good news that God offers
reconciliation through the life, death, and resurrection of His
Son, Jesus, we commit to:
Respect and pray for our governing authorities even as we work
through the democratic process to rebuild a culture of marriage
the truth about biblical marriage in a way that brings healing to a
sexually broken culture;
affirm the biblical mandate that all persons,
including LGBT persons, are created in
the image of God and deserve dignity and respect;
love our neighbors regardless of whatever disagreements arise as a
result of conflicting beliefs about marriage;
live respectfully and civilly alongside those who may disagree with
us for the sake of the common good;
cultivate a common culture of religious liberty that allows the
freedom to live and believe differently to prosper.
redefinition of marriage should not entail the erosion of religious
liberty. In the coming years, evangelical
institutions could be pressed to sacrifice their sacred beliefs
about marriage and sexuality in order to accommodate whatever
demands the culture and law require. We do not have the option to
meet those demands without violating our consciences and
surrendering the gospel. We will not allow the government to coerce
or infringe upon the rights of institutions to live by the sacred
belief that only men and women can enter into marriage.
gospel of Jesus Christ determines the shape and tone of our
ministry. Christian theology considers its teachings
about marriage both timeless and unchanging, and therefore we must
stand firm in this belief. Outrage and panic are not the responses
of those confident in the promises of a reigning Christ Jesus.
While we believe the Supreme Court has erred in its ruling, we
pledge to stand steadfastly, faithfully witnessing to the biblical
teaching that marriage is the chief cornerstone of society,
designed to unite men, women, and children. We promise to proclaim
and live this truth at all costs, with convictions that are
communicated with kindness and love.