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This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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In the News: Southern Baptists Vote…

Image An Associated Press report on June 20, 2012 noted a particular resolution passed almost unanimously by the Southern Baptist convention, held last week in New Orleans.

A day after electing their first black president in a historic move that strives to erase its legacy of racism, Southern Baptists passed a resolution opposing the idea that same-sex marriage is a civil rights issue.

Thousands of delegates at the denomination’s annual meeting in New Orleans on Wednesday were nearly unanimous in their support for the resolution that affirms their belief that marriage is “the exclusive union of one man and one woman” and that “all sexual behavior outside of marriage is sinful.”

The nation’s largest Protestant denomination is attempting to broaden its appeal beyond its traditional white Southern base. At the same time, leaders said they feel it is important to take a public stand on their opposition to same-sex marriage.

The resolution acknowledges that gays and lesbians sometimes experience “unique struggles” but declares that they lack the “distinguishing features of classes entitled to special protections.”

“It is regrettable that homosexual rights activists and those who are promoting the recognition of ‘same-sex marriage’ have misappropriated the rhetoric of the Civil Rights Movement,” the resolution states.

Southern Baptists say same-sex marriage rights aren’t civil rights
Associated Press

There are numerous objections that can be raised regarding this news item. Not regarding the sentiment that marriage is “the exclusive union of one man and one woman,” and that “all sexual behavior outside of marriage is sinful.” Both of those sentiments are clearly revealed in scripture (cf. Genesis 2:24; Hebrews 13:4).

First, why is a religious body, ostensibly designed to carry out the will of Almighty God, weighing in on the constitutionality of rights specific to homosexuals? In time I have little doubt that homosexuals will be afforded full protection under the constitution. And if it happens, it will not change one whit the truth of God’s word on the matter. Nor will it change our responsibility to stand opposed to ungodliness in any form. In short, the question is irrelevant to the Lord’s church, and the behavior of Christians.

Second, why does this convention exist? There is no scriptural authority for denominations, national conventions, delegates, and voting on what a particular group will believe or “take a public stand” on. In scripture, individual congregations, under the oversight of elders, determined to follow the will of God. No need for any centralization, nor to vote on any matter. Read Acts 15. When an issue confronted the people of God the will of God was consulted, and the faithful were pleased and rejoiced (vs. 22, 31).

Finally, why would such an organization seek to “broaden its appeal beyond its traditional white Southern base”? Such political language is foreign to scripture. Our purpose is not to be men pleasers, but to preach the gospel of our Lord. As Paul wrote, “For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10). If sin has been present, then there is the need for repentance. If truth has been maintained, then the only appropriate thing to do is to stay the course. We have not been put on this earth to please men, rather to please God!

It is a fact that we must recognize and to which we must reconcile ourselves — God’s ways and man’s ways are different. It is our responsibility to simply submit to the will of the Lord (cf. Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).