This will not be a profound response; in fact, we are going to quote others who are able to speak with much more distinction than us. However, having met on Saturday morning to discuss and pray about Avalon Church, the Pastors and Elders do want to quickly and clearly state the position of Avalon Church in regards to the Supreme Court ruling last Friday on Same-Sex Marriage.
The Bible clearly states that all governments are established by God (Romans 13:1-2). When Pilate declared that he had the power of life or death over Jesus, Jesus clarified in no uncertain terms that Pilate would have no power over Him if it were not given from above (John 19:11). However, all governments are comprised of people and those people are generally secular people whose primary focus is not on making spiritual decisions, but political and legal decisions. And in the realm of spiritual reality, sometimes they get it wrong – ask Pilate.
The Supreme Court made a 5-4 decision last Friday to legalize same-sex marriage. Avalon Church made a decision many years ago, as reflected in our Bylaws and our Statement of Beliefs (see “Our Beliefs” on the church website: www.avalonchurch.org), that:
- “Marriage is a sacred union described in Scripture as being between one man and one woman.”
In response to the Supreme Court decision, we make the following statement:
- “While showing respect for those who think differently, Avalon Church will continue to teach and promote marriage between a man and a woman as a central point of our doctrine and practice.”
One of the most concise explanations of the position we embrace at Avalon Church can be found in last Friday’s response by Dr. Mark L. Bailey, the President of Dallas Theological Seminary, which is included below (use of this quote is not an endorsement of Dallas Theological Seminary but merely the clear doctrine stated within it):
With the verdict of the Supreme Court today that legalizes same-sex marriage in the United States, we at Dallas Theological Seminary are grieved by this decision that seeks to legally yet wrongfully expand what God established from the beginning to be the divinely designed institution of marriage. We continue to support and adhere to a biblical view of marriage and sexuality because we believe such an approach to life and marriage honors God and makes for fulfillment in life the way God designed it.
In answering the questions of His disciples related to divorce, Jesus went back to creation to argue the original intent for marriage. Marriage was intended from the very beginning of creation to be the covenant union of a man and a woman in a permanent and exclusive relationship (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19: 4-9; Mark 10: 5-9). God’s design for this relationship was for the purposes of procreation, personal pleasure, and the fulfillment of the purposes of reflecting the image of the Creator and His desired relationship with His people (Genesis 1:27–28; 2:18–24; Ephesians 5:31–33). That image involves both male and female with marriage depicting their mutual cooperation in a designed diversity to steward God’s creation.
We believe God has also expressly reserved sexual intimacy and intercourse for heterosexual marriage (Ephesians 5:3, Colossians 3:5; 1 Corinthians 6:9). It is God’s expectation that the married live in faithfulness to their spouse and unmarried should live pure and celibate lives, refraining from sexual intimacy (1 Thessalonians 4:3).
The English translation of our historic Seminary motto from 2 Timothy 4:2 is “Preach the Word.” We intend to keep doing that and to equip others to do so as well. Our current slogan is taken from 1 Timothy 1:5 and that is “Teach Truth. Love Well.” As we approach a culture that does not share our biblical values or standards of conduct we still need to model love and pray for those with whom we disagree. This Jesus also taught (Matthew 5:44). As our culture begins to look more and more like that of the New Testament times, we need to remember and take heart that the message and mission of Jesus was birthed and flourished in such times. May God do it again in our lifetime.
May the grace and truth of Jesus Christ rule our lives.
Pastor Jim for the Pastor and Elders of Avalon Church