I was interviewed for input on the matter of marriage by the Twin Falls Times-News recently (the article was published yesterday.) I thought the article represented my response fairly and I was pleased with the outcome of the work of Tetona Dunlap.
Read the article here: (Gay Marriage: Taking the Pastors’ Pulse)
Here is the full content and context of the questions I was asked.
Question: What is your stance on gay marriage and why?
My Answer: If the trend across the United States is an accurate indicator then I am in the minority on this matter. I am in agreement with historical and orthodox teachings of the Bible on the definition of marriage being between one man and one woman until death.
Question: How will gay marriage becoming legal affect churches and religion in Idaho?
My Answer: The true church will continue to preach that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Even before same-sex marriage became legal, the church existed in communities where immorality and sinful establishments existed. Churches have historically called all sinners to repentance. I don’t see that this law will change the churches duty to God. Citizens in the community commit adultery; the church has never been stopped from preaching that adultery is a sin. Our community has alcoholics and drug addicts throughout her history; the church has never been hindered from preaching repentance from drunkenness. There are rebellious children in our homes and churches have always taught children to honor their parents. Even though same-sex marriage is legal, the church has a responsibility to love everyone enough to warn of the consequences of sin.
Question: If a gay couple wanted to get married at your church, would you have the right/power to turn them away?
My Answer: Where we are happy for our building to be used by others in the community and we do allow our community to use our building for civic events, we are grateful to God to live in a land with a constitution that protects the people from a government regulating religious practice. If a same sex couple wanted to use our building for a wedding we would not allow it to take place in our building. By doing so, we aren’t forbidding them from pursuing what they want. There are other places and people recognized by the state to do these ceremonies. We would decline such a request with respect.
Question: Have you ever had a congregation member, friend or family member open up to you about being gay? What did you say? If not, what would you say to anyone who came to you?
My Answer: I speak to all in my congregation, family and friends the same. Homosexuality is a sin. I don’t shy away from saying that anymore than if a member in our church committed adultery, fornication, drunkenness, robbery, murder, etc, the bible calls these “sins”. I’m candid about these things and take advantage to even speak to all about the kind of grace it takes to save a sinner like me. It’s the kind of grace that called me unto repentance. It’s the kind of grace that tells me of a sufficient Redeemer, able to cover my sin by taking the wrath I deserve upon Himself. Jesus, the Christ, is that Redeemer. It’s the kind of grace that keeps me from being silent.
Question: Are you ever afraid of voicing your opinions? Why or why not?
My Answer: I would say I want to be careful because I want to be caring to all. I don’t want to offend by expressing my belief in arrogance. I attempt to speak boldly, with caring consideration.
Question: What are the benefits and downfalls of gay marriage becoming legal?
Answer: The way I see these things are based from my belief of marriage being between one man and one woman.
Question: Do you think churches today are successful in reaching out to the gay community? Is this something they should they doing?
My Answer: Churches are successful in reaching all when we stay true to our duty before God. When a church preaches truth, she is a blessing to her community. When a church stops calling all people to repent then the church ceases being a true church. When the church begins looking other places than the Bible to determine her success, she ceases being a blessing to the community. When this pursuit of success is to make any segment of the community comfortable in their sin for the sake of being popular then the church has lost her way and become irrelevant while trying to be relevant.
Question: Please add anything else you think is important.
My Answer: Thank you for asking for my input on this matter.