A broad coalition of Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox Christian, and Jewish leaders joined by civic and business leaders from around the nation have signed an open letter to the U.S. Supreme Court vowing they will not honor any decision by the Supreme Court that would force them to violate the biblical understanding of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
The letter was published in an ad in the Washington Post and was signed by many prominent pastors and Christian leaders, many from Texas, including: Pastor Robert Jeffress at First Baptist Church Dallas, Pastor Robert Morris at Gateway Church in Southlake, Pastor Charles Hagee at Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Pastor Gregg Matte at Houston’s First Baptist Church, and Pastor Steve Riggle at Grace Church in Houston. Here is a portion of the letter:
We are Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox Christian pastors, clergy, lay leaders and Jewish leaders, who collectively represent millions of people in our specific churches, parishes, denominations, synagogues and media ministry outreaches. Marriage transcends our various theological differences and unites us together in one voice.
We affirm that any judicial opinion which purports to redefine marriage will constitute an unjust law, as Martin Luther King Jr. described such laws in his letter from the Birmingham Jail.
We are Christians who love America and who respect the legitimate rule of law.
However, we will not honor any decision by the Supreme Court which will force us to violate a clear biblical understanding of marriage as solely the union of one man and one woman.
This week also saw the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest evangelical denomination, release a statement on biblical marriage and the implications of the Supreme Court redefining marriage at their annual meeting. The statement, signed by the current and 16 former Southern Baptist Convention presidents, states in part:
As Southern Baptist Christians, we are committed to Biblical faith and ethics. As a result, this body of Believers stands on the authority of Scripture and God’s Truth as central to our lives.
What the Bible says about marriage is clear, definitive and unchanging. We affirm biblical, traditional, natural marriage as the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. The Scriptures’ teaching on marriage is not negotiable. 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 concern among Pastors about the consequences of the Supreme Court redefining marriage is one of the main reasons that Texas passed the Pastor Protection Bill, an effort led by Texas Values Action. The bill, already signed into law, specifically protects Texas pastor and churches from being forced to perform a same-sex ‘marriage’ that violates their religious beliefs.