Cardinal Baptist Church
Friday, September 22, 2017
Where Jesus is Lord and friends are family

Cardinal Baptist Church’s response to Obergefell v. Hodges

 

On June 26, 2015 the Supreme Court of the United States issued a ruling that struck down all legislation against same-sex “marriage.”  It is tragic that the Court, ignoring millennia of practice that has transcended all cultures and places, chose to redefine marriage.  They cannot, however, redefine what they did not define in the first place.  God Himself created and defined the institution of marriage in the beginning:

18Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”  21So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.  22And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.  23Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”  24Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.  25And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed (Gen. 2:18, 21-25 ESV).

 

Many centuries later, Jesus spoke on the institution of marriage in answer to the Pharisees’ questions on divorce:

4He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?  6So they are no longer two but one flesh.  What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matt.  19:4-6 ESV—also Mark 10:6-9).

 

As citizens we are admonished in Scripture to be subject to civil government and its laws (Rom. 13:1).  As Christians we are subject to God’s higher law.  Most of the time, it’s possible to be subject to both at once.  But when forced to choose man’s law or God’s law, we must choose the latter (Acts 5:29).  Therefore, Cardinal Baptist Church will not be a party to any marriage ceremony that falls outside of God’s “one man, one woman” parameter.  We will not officiate or participate in such ceremonies.  Our facilities will not be available for them at any price.

Sadly, the above words may be labeled as “hate speech” by some.  But when a doctor tells his patient that he should quit smoking, is he being hateful toward smokers?  When a fitness instructor tells a very heavy client that he needs to lose weight, is he being hateful to the obese?  In the same way, we take this stand on marriage because our loving Creator makes it clear that this is His intention and anything that falls outside His parameters is harmful to us.  We don’t hate anyone.  Everyone who comes in contact with us deserves and will receive our love and respect.  We repudiate in the strongest possible terms any speech or action that belittles, threatens, or demeans those who disagree with us.

Whether or not homosexuality has touched your life, all of us are sinful at our core.  The Puritan writer, John Owen, said “The seed of every sin lies in every heart.”  Regardless of the sin you struggle against, and we all have something in that category, the gospel message of Jesus has the power to overcome it.  Jesus is God and He came to us as a human being to show us what the “Christian life” looks like.  His earthly life ended by being tortured to death, receiving all God’s wrath for all our sin.  Because He did that, we can ask Him to forgive our sins, receive Him into our lives, and let Him live His life through us.

At our church, (and countless others!) we don’t look inward and say, “My goodness, what wonderful people we are!”  No, we look at ourselves and say “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me!”  We love and serve a Jesus who is in the business of reclaiming and changing lives.  Some of the change happens quickly, some not so quickly. 

There are some sins and behaviors that some of us will struggle with until this life ends.  But if Jesus has joined you in that struggle, you are assured of being with Him forever when this life has ended.  “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2 ESV).

In one sense, we’re holding our breath, not knowing what the future will bring where this issue is concerned.  In another sense, we’re confident that the God we serve knows and controls all of history, including future events.  We don’t worry about the future since He’s already there.  When all is said and done, we hope to hear Him say to us, “Well done!”