Faithandthelaw's Blog

The law as it relates to Christians and their free exercise of religion

Here We Stand: An Evangelical Declaration on Marriage

Posted by goodnessofgod2010 on July 3, 2015

marriageAs 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.

The 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.

Evangelical 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 not.

The 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 (Rom. 13:1-7);
  • 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.

The 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.

The 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.

Signatories:

Russell Moore, President, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission
Jim Daly, President, Focus on the Family
R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Jeff Iorg, President, Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary
David Platt, President, International Mission Board
Ronnie Floyd, President, Southern Baptist Convention | Senior Pastor, Cross Church
Frank Page, President and CEO of the SBC Executive Committee
Danny Akin, President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Paige Patterson, President, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
David S. Dockery, President, Trinity International University/Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Jack Graham, Pastor, Prestonwood Baptist Church
Tony Evans, Senior Pastor, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship
Thom Rainer, President, LifeWay Christian Resources
O. S. Hawkins, President, Guidestone Financial Resources
Robert Sloan, President, Houston Baptist University
Mark Bailey, President, Dallas Theological Seminary
Barrett Duke, Vice President for Public Policy and Research, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission
Matt Chandler, Lead Teaching Pastor, The Village Church
John Huffman, Board Chair Christianity Today and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
Jose Abella, Pastor, Providence Road Church, Miami
Raudel Hernandez, Pastor, Summit Español Raleigh, N.C.
Felix Cabrera, Pastor, Iglesia Bautista Central, Oklahoma City
Edgar Aponte, Director of Hispanic Leadership Development, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Samuel Rodriguez, President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
Jason Duesing, Provost, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Jeffrey K. Jue, Provost, Westminster Theological Seminary
Roland C. Warren, President & CEO, Care Net
Kevin Smith, Teaching Pastor, Highview Baptist Church
Paul David Tripp, Pastor, Author, and International Conference Speaker
Dean Inserra, Lead Pastor, City Church, Tallahassee
John Stonestreet, Speaker and Fellow, The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview
Ramon Osorio, Hispanic National Church Mobilizer, North American Mission Board
Jimmy Scroggins, Lead Pastor, Family Church, West Palm Beach
Jackie Hill Perry, Writer, Speaker, Artist
Greg Laurie, Senior Pastor, Harvest Christian Fellowship
Trip Lee, Rapper, singer, poet and author
Denny Burk, Professor of Biblical Studies, Boyce College
Paul Chitwood, Executive Director, Kentucky Baptist Convention
J. Ligon Duncan III, Chancellor & CEO, John E. Richards Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary
H.B. Charles Jr., Pastor-Teacher, Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church
D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
David E. Prince, Assistant Professor of Christian Preaching, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
A.B Vines, Senior Pastor, New Seasons Church
John Woodbridge, Research Professor of Church History and Christian Thought, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Mike Cosper, Pastor of Worship and Arts, Sojourn Community Church
Nathan Lino, Lead Pastor, Northeast Houston Baptist Church
Heath Lambert, Executive Director, Association of Certified Biblical Counselors
Tony Merida, Pastor for Preaching, Imago Dei Church
Clint Pressley, Pastor, Hickory Grove Baptist Church
Vance Pitman, Senior Pastor, Hope Church, Las Vegas
Bruce Riley Ashford, Provost, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Phillip Bethancourt, Executive Vice President, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission
Jonathan Leeman, Editorial Director, 9Marks
Thomas White, President, Cedarville University
Karen Swallow Prior, Professor of English, Liberty University
Jason Allen, President, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Rosaria Butterfield, Author and Speaker
J.D. Greear, Pastor, The Summit Church
Collin Hansen, Editorial Director, The Gospel Coalition
Eric M. Mason, Lead Pastor, Epiphany Fellowship Church
Eric Teetsel, Executive Director, Manhattan Declaration
Andrew T. Walker, Director of Policy Studies, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission
Daniel Patterson, Chief of Staff, The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission
Daniel Darling, Vice-President of Communications, The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission
Trillia Newbell, Director of Community Outreach, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission
David French, National Review
Paul Nyquist, President and CEO, Moody Bible Institute
Kevin Ezell, President, North American Mission Board
Roger Spradlin, Senior Pastor, Valley Baptist Church, Bakersfield, Calif.
Carmen Fowler LaBerge, President, Presbyterian Lay Committee
Tommy Nelson, Senior Pastor, Denton Bible Church
J. P. Moreland, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Biola University
Bryant Wright, Senior Pastor, Johnson Ferry Baptist Church
Matthew Lee Anderson, Lead Writer, Mere Orthodoxy
Gabriel Salguero, President, National Latino Evangelical Coalition
Bruce Frank, Senior Pastor, Biltmore Baptist Church
Afshin Ziafat, Lead Pastor, Providence Church, Frisco, Texas
David Jeremiah, Senior Pastor, Shadow Mountain Community Church
Christine Hoover, Author
Jim Baucom, Senior Pastor, Columbia Baptist Church
Samuel W. “Dub” Oliver, President, Union University
James MacDonald, Senior Pastor, Harvest Bible Chapel
Juan R. Sanchez, Jr., Senior Pastor, High Pointe Baptist Church, Austin, Texas
David Uth, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Orlando
Timothy George, Dean and Professor of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School
Alistair Begg, Senior Pastor, Parkside Church
Naghmeh Abedini
Steve Gaines, Pastor, Bellevue Baptist Church
Richard Mouw, Professor of Faith and Public Life, Fuller Seminary
Ron Sider, Senior Distinguished Professor of Theology, Holistic Ministry and Public Policy, Palmer Seminary at Eastern University
Randy Alcorn, Director, Eternal Perspectives Ministries
Kevin DeYoung, Senior Pastor, University Reformed Church
Justin Taylor, Author and Blogger
Dennis Rainey, President, FamilyLife Today
Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Revive our Hearts
Ray Ortlund, Lead Pastor, Immanuel Nashville, Tenn.
John Bradosky, Presiding Bishop, North American Lutheran Church
Matt Carter, Pastor of Preaching and Vision, The Austin Stone Community Church
Andy Naselli, Assistant Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology, Bethlehem College & Seminary
Owen Strachan, President, The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
Richard D. Land, President, Southern Evangelical Seminary
Sam Storms, Lead Pastor for Preaching and Vision, Bridgeway Church
Bart Barber, Pastor, First Baptist Church of Farmersville
Hunter Baker, Associate Professor of Political Science and Dean of Instruction, Union University
Bryan Chapell, Senior Pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church
J.I. Packer, Board of Governors’ Professor, Theology Regent College
Erwin W. Lutzer, Senior Pastor, The Moody Church
D.A. Horton, Director of ReachLife Ministries, National Coordinator for Urban Student Missions
Mark Dever, Senior Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church
Fred Luter, Pastor, Franklin Avenue Baptist Church
Bryan Loritts, Pastor of Preaching and Mission, Trinity Grace Church, Kainos Movement
Mike Glenn, Senior Pastor, Brentwood Baptist Church
Johnny Hunt, Pastor, First Baptist Church of Woodstock
Ken Whitten, Senior Pastor, Idlewild Baptist Church
Marvin Olasky, Editor-in-chief, WORLD Magazine
Todd Wagner, Senior Pastor, Watermark Church
Christopher Yuan, Speaker, Author, Bible teacher
Tory Baucum, Rector, Truro Anglican Church
Bryan Carter, Pastor, Concord Church
Ron Johnson, Senior Pastor, Village Bible Church
Mac Brunson, Pastor, First Baptist Church Jacksonville
Trey Brunson, First Baptist Church Jacksonville
Ray Pritchard, President, Keep Believing Ministries
Erik Reed, Pastor, Journey Church
Michael Youssef, Pastor, The Church of The Apostles Atlanta, Ga.
Rob Peters, Senior Pastor, Calvary Baptist Church Winston-Salem, N.C.
Gregg Matte, Pastor, Houston’s First Baptist Church
Collin Garbarino, Assistant Professor of History, Houston Baptist University
Christian George, Assistant Professor of Historical Theology, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Daniel LaBry, CEO, ABBA Fund
Evan Lenow, Assistant Professor of Ethics, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Lydia Brownback, Author and Speaker
Dannah Gresh, Author and Speaker, Secret Keeper Girl
John Huffman, Board Chair, Christianity Today & Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
Edwin Schneider, Campus Crusade for Christ Global Prayer Chief of Staff, Campus Crusade for Christ
Jon Bloom, Chair & Co-Founder, Desiring God
Jared Wilson, Content Director, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Graham Cole, Dean, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Nathan Finn, Dean of the School of Theology and Missions, Union University
Michael Duduit, Dean, Anderson University, Clamp Divinity School and College of Christian Studies
Bob Kauflin, Director, Sovereign Grace Music
Trevin Wax, Director of Author and Editorial Development, LifeWay Christian Resources
Briana Stensrud, Director, Sanctity of Life & Community Care, Focus on the Family
Tim Lubinus, Executive Director, Baptist Convention of Iowa
Timothy C. Patterson, Executive Director, Baptist State Convention of Michigan
Anne Paulk, Executive Director, Restored Hope Network
Brian Autry, Executive Director, SBC of Virginia
Jim Richards, Executive Director, Southern Baptists of Texas Convention
Cecil Seagle, Executive Director, State Convention of Baptists in Indiana
Grant Castleberry, Executive Director, The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
Ben Peays, Executive Director, The Gospel Coalition
Rob Lee, Executive Director, Utah-Idaho Southern Baptist Convention
Paige Comstock Cunningham, Executive Director, The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity
John L. Yeats, Executive Director, Missouri Baptist Convention
Anthony Jordan, Executive Director and Treasurer, Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma
Christopher Martin, Executive Director and Treasurer, Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention
Craig Blaising, Executive Vice President and Provost, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Ryan Hutchinson, Executive VP, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Derrick Lynch, Lead Pastor, Blue Valley Baptist Church – Overland Park, Kan.
James Merritt, Lead Pastor, Cross Pointe Church
Leonce B. Crump Jr., Lead Pastor, Renovation Church
Kevin Peck, Lead Pastor, The Austin Stone Community Church
Bill Kynes, Pastor,Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church
Buddy Gray, Pastor, Hunter Street Baptist Church
Ron Edmondson, Pastor, Immanuel Baptist Church
Al Jackson, Pastor, Lakeview Baptist Church
Greg Belser, Pastor, Morrison Heights Baptist Church
Chip Henderson, Pastor, Pinelake Church
Hance Dilbeck, Pastor,Quail Springs Baptist Church Oklahoma City
Ryan Kelly, Pastor for Preaching, Desert Springs Church
Sam Allberry, Pastor, Author, LivingOut.org; St Mary’s Church, Maidenhead, UK
Donna Gaines, Pastor’s wife, Bible Teacher, Bellevue Baptist Church
Kathy Ferguson Litton, Pastor’s Wife, Consultant for Ministry for Pastors’ Wives, NAMB
Cathi Herrod, President, Center for Arizona Policy
Barry Creamer, President, Criswell College
Anthony Allen, President, Hannibal-LaGrange University
Mark Tooley, President, Institute on Religion and Democracy
Herbie Newell, President, Lifeline Children’s Services, Inc.
Rick Brewer, President, Louisiana College
K Marshall Williams Sr., President, National African American Fellowship, SBC
Dan Cruver, President, Together for Adoptiont
Matthew Pinson, President, Welch College
Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO, National Religious Broadcasters
Randy Davis, President-Executive Director, Tennessee Baptist Convention Executive Board
Bruce A. Ware, Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Thomas Schreiner, Professor of New Testament, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Randy Stinson, Provost, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Gene Fant, Provost and Chief Academic Officer, Palm Beach Atlantic University
C. Ben Mitchell, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Union University
Stan Norman, Provost, Executive VP for Campus Life, Oklahoma Baptist University
John Woodbridge, Research Professor of Church History and Christian Thought, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Jordan Lorence, Senior Counsel, Alliance Defending Freedom
Casey Mattox, Senior Counsel, Alliance Defending Freedom
Richard Phillips, Senior Minister, Second Presbyterian Church, Greenville, S.C.
Sandy Willson, Senior Minister, Second Presbyterian Church, Memphis, Tenn.
Charles Fowler, Senior Pastor, Germantown Baptist Church
Bob Roberts, Senior Pastor, NorthWood Church
Daniel Dumas, Senior Vice President of Institutional Administration, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Derek W H Thomas, The Robert Strong Professor of Systematic and Pastoral Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary
Eric Geiger, Vice President, LifeWay Christian Resources
Roger Oldham, VP Convention Communications and Relations, SBC Executive Committee
Charles Smith, VP for Institutional Relations, Midwestern Seminary

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