WASHINGTON, D.C., June 26, 2015Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, assembled a broad coalition of evangelical leaders to oppose the Supreme Courts decision to legalize same-sex marriage in a joint statement.
The statement, titled, Here We Stand: An Evangelical Declaration on Marriage, begins with a rebuke of the Courts decision:
As evangelical Christians, we dissent from the courts ruling that redefines marriage. The state did not create the family, and should not try to recreate the family in its own image, the leaders wrote. We will not capitulate on marriage because biblical authority requires that we cannot. The Supreme Courts 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.
In the statement, the leaders suggest that the Courts ruling is part of a negative trajectory on marriage and 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.
The statement recommends six points of engagement by the church:
• 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);
• teach 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.
Leaders closed the letter by pledging 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.
Notable signatories include:
Russell Moore, President, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
Jim Daly, President, Focus on the Family
David Jeremiah, Senior Pastor, Shadow Mountain Community Church
Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Author, Host of Revive Our Hearts
Ron Sider, Senior Distinguished Professor of Theology, Palmer Seminary at Eastern University
Tony Evans, Senior Pastor, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship
Samuel Rodriguez, President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
Karen Swallow Prior, Professor of English, Liberty University
J. I. Packer, Board of Governors Professor of Theology, Regent College
Matt Chandler, Lead Teaching Pastor, The Village Church
Gabriel Salguero, President, National Latino Evangelical Coalition
Richard Mouw, Professor of Faith and Public Life, Fuller Theological Seminary
Richard Land, President, Southern Evangelical Seminary
Rev. John Bradosky, Presiding Bishop, North American Lutheran Church
The full statement and list of signatories is available online.
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