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Churches are beginning to add a stipulation in their bylaws that their ministers perform only traditional marriages on their premises, in response to the Supreme Court's same-sex marriage decisions in late June.
Greg Erwin, a Baton Rouge attorney who represents the Louisiana Baptist Convention, the Baptist Message state paper and several Louisiana Baptist entities, said it is hard to speculate on what the decisions may mean for churches.
"The ruling means the same for Louisiana churches as for churches in all states except that in states where they have banned discrimination based upon sexual orientation, churches are more at risk than churches in states that would not pass such a law," Erwin said....
Maybe the best thing is to lose 503 status, then not be certified by the state as a pastor to perform marriages; leave that to the judge. Instead perform marriage between God and couple, and then have couple get married by state or vice-versa. Marriage comes from God not the state. I would personally marry a couple before God first, and then have them go to the state to get their legal paperwork. If you are not a legal as a pastor to perform a marriage for the state, then who is going to come to you other than a Christian couple?
Anyone should be allowed to enter into the building where the church meets, but not anyone should be allowed to join the church unless they have been born again by the Living God. Everyone needs to hear the gospel. preached to understand who they are and who God is and what that means to them personally. If a church leadership is doing what must be done to prevent unbelievers from influencing what God wants to do in the church body they will not allow a person to become a member of that church without watching to see if the spirit of God has regenerated them to salvation and trust in Christ or not. In other words profession should be backed by by new desires of living for God which a new convert will display.
Frank wrote: That would of course be obeying God rather than man and of course that would mean losing their 501C3 which would also be a good thing.
Many churches will likely face that situation eventually. Our church is re-writing the bylaws concerning that very issue. What we have run into is the fact that, if you try to satisfy the judicial system you quite often end up contradicting clear Scriptural precepts - we can't do that!!! Better to satisfy GOD...
Chris Frost wrote: to protect ourselves from the possibility of having a possible scenario where someone joins the church and demands use of the facilities for a same-sex ceremony." Wouldn't the appropriate defense be to not let homosexuals join the church in the first place?
Good comment and I agree! I might add that the churches could simply refuse to perform the ceremony and simply let the chips fall where they might. That would of course be obeying God rather than man and of course that would mean losing their 501C3 which would also be a good thing.