It seems that in its hyperfocus on homosexual marriage, the Southern Baptist Convention has missed at least 4 opportunities in its 2015 “Call to Witness” to shore up the requisite moral authority to speak to the Supreme Court and others about the biblical definition of marriage by reaffirming its permanence. That’s like trying to run the marathon on one leg: lots of effort, little effect and looking very silly in the attempt.
2015 COLUMBUS, OHIO
WHEREAS, The Baptist Faith & Message (2000) recognizes the biblical definition of marriage as “the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime,” stating further, “It is God’s unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race”; and
WHEREAS, God ordains government to promote and honor the public good and recognize what is praiseworthy (Romans 13:3–4); and
WHEREAS, The public good requires defining and defending marriage as the covenanted, conjugal union of one man and one woman; and
SIFC note: Missed 2015 opportunity to reinforce SBC’s The Baptist Faith & Message (2000) by reiterating that they will defend marriage as the covenanted, conjugal union of one man and one woman for life.
WHEREAS, Marriage is by nature a public institution that unites man and woman in the common task of bringing forth children; and
WHEREAS, The Supreme Court of the United States will rule in 2015 on whether states shall be required to grant legal recognition as “marriages” to same-sex partnerships; and
WHEREAS, The redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples will continue to weaken the institution of the natural family unit and erode the religious liberty and rights of conscience of all who remain faithful to the idea of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife; and
SIFC note: Missed 2015 opportunity to reinforce SBC’s The Baptist Faith & Message (2000) by reiterating that eroding religious liberty and rights of conscience of all who remain faithful to the idea of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife for life is just as undesirable as intolerance for those who oppose homosexual unions.
WHEREAS, The Bible calls us to love our neighbors, including those who disagree with us about the definition of marriage and the public good; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Columbus, Ohio, June 16–17, 2015, prayerfully call on the Supreme Court of the United States to uphold the right of the citizens to define marriage as exclusively the union of one man and one woman; and be it further
RESOLVED, That Southern Baptists recognize that no governing institution has the authority to negate or usurp God’s definition of marriage;
and be it further
RESOLVED, No matter how the Supreme Court rules, the Southern Baptist Convention reaffirms its unwavering commitment to its doctrinal and public beliefs concerning marriage; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the religious liberty of individual citizens or institutions should not be infringed as a result of believing or living according to the biblical definition of marriage; and be it further
SIFC note: Living according to the biblical definition of marriage includes religious liberty to assert the permanence of man-woman first marriage, especially in the family court system of each state.
RESOLVED, That the Southern Baptist Convention calls on Southern Baptists and all Christians to stand firm on the Bible’s witness on the purposes of marriage, among which are to unite man and woman as one flesh and to secure the basis for the flourishing of human civilization; and be it finally
SIFC note: Missed 2015 opportunity to reinforce SBC’s The Baptist Faith & Message (2000) by reiterating that among the purposes of marriage are to unite man and woman as one flesh for life in order to secure the basis for the flourishing of human civilization.
If standing firm on the Bible’s witness is important, why not:
RESOLVED, members of the Southern Baptist Convention hereby pledge to honor the permanence of holy matrimony by ceasing to perform all wedding ceremonies where either the prospective bride or groom has a living prior spouse, and to remove from ministry any pastor who knowingly performs such a ceremony?
RESOLVED, members of the Southern Baptist Convention hereby pledge to honor the permanence of holy matrimony by expending political resources and moral influence to end unilateral divorce in every state in the United States?
RESOLVED, That Southern Baptists love our neighbors and extend respect in Christ’s name to all people, including those who may disagree with us about the definition of marriage and the public good.
SIFC Concluding Thoughts: It must be terrifying for Christian organizations to go up on a shoestring budget against the corporate-backed, well funded LGBT political machine. But was Israel not in the same place, in the natural against her adversaries? It appears the SBC is willing to play down some of its core biblical principles because it fears the loss of financial support, forgetting the God who pared down one army to only 300 so that His power would be manifest. He urges the battle is His, only fear Him alone and do not mock Him by violating His commandments.
Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed;
He will answer him from His holy heaven
With the saving strength of His right hand.
Some boast in chariots and some in horses,
But we will boast in the name of the Lord, our God.
They have bowed down and fallen,
But we have risen and stood upright.
Save, O Lord;
May the King answer us in the day we call.
– Psalm 20
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