The Supreme Court ruling making same-sex marriage the law of the land likely means eventual legal issues for Bible-confessing churches. This is because it is only a matter of time before activist judges, politicians and the like, attempt to legally force all pastors and churches to perform gay weddings.
This is because refusing to perform SSM ceremonies is now officially considered discrimination—on a level equal to other human rights violations such as racism (a comparison many African-Americans do not agree with).
The following are some things pastors and leaders of biblically based-churches should immediately do to protect themselves:
1. Have something in the church bylaws that state that your church will not perform same-sex weddings for members and non-members but will conduct wedding ceremonies for one man and one woman as biologically designed by birth (to protect against having to perform "transgender weddings" between those identifying themselves as a man and a woman).
2, Have a stipulation in your church by laws that say something like "if their congregation is ever legally forced to perform same sex weddings, all clergy in their congregation will opt out of performing civil ceremonies and will only perform biblically based "covenant ceremonies" that bless the union between one man and one woman as biologically defined by their natural birth.
3. Every church needs to have clear criteria regarding who qualifies to be a church member–based on the biblical standards of morality and ethics as well as a process for membership termination. Once written, this section of the bylaws should be given and signed off by each person before they are accepted as official church members.
4. The church should have a written policy that disallows non-members and non-attendees and or outsiders to rent and or use any of their facilities for same-sex weddings and or any civil ceremonies related to marriage.
5. If all else fails, and the courts eventually override church by laws—then the only alternative left will be for biblically based clergy to engage in civil disobedience and refuse to comply with the law—irrespective of the penalties, consequences and cultural stigma they will receive.
This law certainly has the potential of separating the "chaff from the wheat" related to revealing which churches and clergy will stand up for biblical ethics and which ones will capitulate to culture more than to Christ.
Joseph Mattera is an internationally known author, futurist, interpreter of culture and activist/theologian whose mission is to influence leaders who influence nations. He leads several organizations, including "The United States Coalition of Apostolic Leaders (uscal.us)." He also has a blog on Charisma magazine called "The Pulse." To order one of his books or to subscribe to his weekly newsletter go to josephmattera.org. You can connect with him via Facebook (facebook.com/) or Twitter (twitter.com/JosephMattera).
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