A Statement from the Elders of Reformation OPC on the Recent Decision by the Supreme Court of the United States of American Regarding Same Sex Marriage
Published July 4th 2015 and to be read in the worship assembly on the Lord’s Day, July 5th 2015
On June 26, 2015 the Supreme Court of the United States of America ruled by a vote of 5-4 to establish same-sex marriage as a constitutional right in our nation. The elders of Reformation Bible Church both deplore and abhor this decision by our nation’s highest court, as should all believers in the Lord Jesus who respect the authority of God’s holy word. In the beginning God created man and woman with distinct and complementary gender and roles (Genesis 1:26-28; 2:18-25). He established marriage as a covenant relationship between one man and one woman, a union that mankind is not to sever, a union intended to be for life (Matthew 19:3-6; Malachi 2:14-15).
Homosexuality is described as sin in both Old and New Testaments (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Timothy 1:10). It is contrary both to God’s original creation and to His revealed will (Romans 1:18-32; Jude 7-8). Scripture calls those who practice homosexuality, both men and women, to repent and offers grace in Christ that they might do so (1Corinthians 6:9-11; Titus 3:3-7). Homosexual relationships are illustrative of what is broken, sinful, and rebellious in our world since the Fall, and what is broken cannot be healed by redefinition, only by repentance (Psalm 32:1-5).
Homosexuality is sinful, but it can be forgiven in and by Jesus Christ. Each of us struggle against temptation and fall into sin every day. The sin of homosexuality is no more damning than that of adultery or covetousness or lying or gossip. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), and this is just as true of the elders at RBC as it is of anyone else in the world. We speak today not as those without sin, but as those who have found forgiveness for our sins in Jesus Christ. We glory not in our own righteousness but in the perfect righteousness of God’s Son (1Corinthians 1:30-31). We humbly acknowledge that we too have sinned against God and are deserving of His wrath (1 Timothy 1:15), but we rejoice “that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4) so that “whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). God is holy, and His wrath against sin is both just and terrible, but He is also loving and good, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love (Exodus 34:5-7; Psalm 103). He delights to show mercy (Micah 7:18-20), and He will show His mercy to anyone and everyone who humbles himself and repents (Ezekiel 18:20-23).
We love our nation and what it once stood for. We thank God for His blessings on our country and for the service and sacrifice of those who stand on the front lines to protect the liberties we have long enjoyed. But we mourn the unrighteousness and rebellion of our nation; we grieve over its present trajectory. Scripture commands us to pray for our leaders and to honor civil authorities (1 Timothy 2:1-4; Romans 13:1-7), and we will continue to do so. But “we must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29), and we will defy any attempt to coerce this congregation or its leaders to accept, endorse, or participate in the solemnization of marriages which are an abomination in the sight of God. As the elders of Reformation Bible Church and those charged by God to watch over and care for your souls (Hebrews 13:17; 1 Peter 5:1-4), we exhort and implore you to pray for our nation, to pray for its leaders, and to pray for the peace and repentance of the United States America. We exhort you to “walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time” and to “let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person” (Colossians 4:5-6). Speak the truth, without compromise, but speak it in love, with sincere concern for each person’s soul, as those who represent Christ in this world (Matthew 5:13-16; 2 Timothy 2:24-26).
May God bless us with the grace to stand and to speak His word faithfully, boldly, and unashamedly, and may God bless the United States of America with repentance, revival, and a renewed concern for righteousness. To God alone be the glory!