by Neisha Roberts/The Alabama Baptist
MONTGOMERY Ala. (BP) — What once read “bride and groom” on Alabama marriage licenses now reads “spouse and spouse.”
Gay “marriage” was made legal Feb. 9 after the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta did not issue an extended stay request from Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange’s office over a recent ruling by U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade.
The state waited in anticipation to see if the U.S. Supreme Court would step in to extend the stay, but the waiting ended in disappointment for those supportive of biblical marriage.
The Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions voted unanimously at its Feb. 6 meeting to “express moral outrage, intense grief and strong disagreement over court rulings that have set our culture in a direction against the biblical definition of marriage” in its Resolution on Reaffirmation of Biblical Marriage. See related story.
Rick Lance, ABSBOM executive director, said in a video statement (click here) released Feb. 4, “Now more than ever we need to commit ourselves to praying for spiritual and moral awakening in our land. In the course of history Christians have often been at their best when they were opposed by government and culture.”
The ABSBOM encouraged all churches to be wise about preparing their bylaws and policies and released a Christian Response Task Force report designed to “help autonomous Baptist churches think through vital issues and formulate their own internal policies.”
The report listed options a Baptist church may use to “protect its biblical values” including a potential marriage statement: “We believe that marriage is a union between one man and one woman, following biblical principles (Gen. 2:19–24, Lev. 18:22, Matt. 19:4–6, Rom. 1:18–27, Eph. 5:22–33, Heb. 13:4). We believe that God sanctions only the union in marriage of a man to a woman. Therefore, this church recognizes only a wedding compatible with those standards.”
The report concluded with a call for God’s people to be “salt and light transforming the culture while not being conformed to (it).”
“Let us be true to our Lord and His Word while showing compassion and care to those for whom He died. Let us speak and practice the truth in love to the glory of the Lord and to the health of His Church” the report said.
Also on the morning of Feb. 6 about 70 people gathered to pray on the steps of Alabama’s State House in Montgomery.
Organized by Alabama Citizens Action Program (ALCAP), speakers included Dan Ireland, ALCAP executive director emeritus; Mark Gidley, pastor of Faith Worship Center, Glencoe; and Mike Jackson, director of the office of leadership and church health at ABSBOM. State Rep. Allen Farley closed in prayer. Joe Godfrey, ALCAP executive director, hosted the event and introduced each speaker.
Godfrey said prior to the event, “This is not a matter of political debate … this is truly an issue that addresses the very heart of God. His love for mankind is expressed through His designs for marriage and family. No matter the whims of public opinion … God’s Word does not change.”
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