The Southern Baptist Convention adopted a resolution promising not to recognize or adhere to any legal redefinition of marriage Tuesday, in anticipation of the Supreme Court ruling.
In a joint statement regarding the resolution Wednesday, the SBC’s current and 16 former presidents said:
We stake our lives upon the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus. Consequently, we will not accept, nor adhere to, any legal redefinition of marriage issued by any political or judicial body including the United States Supreme Court.
We will not recognize same-sex ‘marriages,’ our churches will not host same-sex ceremonies, and we will not perform such ceremonies.
The Supreme Court is expected to rule this month whether it is constitutional for a state to ban same-sex marriage.
The resolution was adopted at the annual convention held by what is the largest body of protestant churches in the United States. “Southern Baptists recognize that no governing institution has the authority to negate or usurp God’s definition of marriage,”the resolution states, adding:
The public good requires defining and defending marriage as the covenanted, conjugal union of one man and one woman [as marriage] is by nature a public institution that unites man and woman in the common task of bringing forth children.
Current President Ronnie Floyd brought up the example of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German pastor killed in a Nazi death camp after vocally opposing Hitler and taking part in a failed assassination attempt.
Floyd urged pastors and Christians to heed Bonhoeffer’s warning from “The Cost of Discipleship”: “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
In the resolution, the SBC called on the Supreme Court to uphold citizens’ right to define marriage as exclusively between one man and one woman, insisted no governing institution can usurp God’s definition of marriage, reaffirmed its commitment to SBC beliefs regarding marriage regardless of the ruling, claimed religious liberty to do so, asked Christians to uphold that definition, and said Southern Baptists love and respect all people.
This report, by Rachel Stoltzfoos, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.