The Gospel of Matthew records Jesus saying, “At the beginning the Creator made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”
In so doing, Jesus confirmed that God’s definition of marriage had not and has not changed from creation. America’s definition of marriage, however, is rapidly changing.
Hardly a week goes by without one or more phone calls to the Kentucky Baptist Convention building requesting information on how churches should respond to gay marriage. A federal court judge recently ruled that Kentucky must recognize gay marriages performed in other states. (As I understand it, this is still in appeal process and the state is not yet recognizing out-of-state gay marriages.) Although gay marriage licenses are not yet issued in the commonwealth, the day of our constitutional definition of marriage being overturned, and gay marriage being forced upon our state, probably isn’t very far away. In light of this probability, many are rightly concerned about how to protect biblical marriage in the local church.
To that end, we have planned a conference entitled, “Protecting Biblical Marriage: Practical and Legal Issues For Your Church.” The two-hour event will take place May 22, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., at Crestwood Baptist Church in Crestwood. We plan to address not only the breakneck speed of our society’s abandonment of the biblical definition of marriage, but also what that abandonment may mean for churches that refuse to surrender their biblical convictions on this issue. We will also equip churches to address the practical side of this issue by providing sample bylaws and legal counsel.
Presenters for the conference include Al Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; Andrew Walker, director of policy studies for the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission; and Augie Boto, executive vice president and general counsel for the SBC Executive Committee. They will be joined on a discussion panel by Bill Langley, pastor of Severns Valley Baptist Church in Elizabethtown, (comma added) and Curtis Woods, KBC’s associate executive director for convention relations.
While we are not excited about the need for this conference, we are thrilled that God has given us men like these to provide wise counsel for our churches. In all likelihood, gay marriage is here to stay. How churches respond to that reality will determine whether a true witness of the gospel will also remain.
Who should attend the Protecting Biblical Marriage conference? Pastors, lay leaders, and anyone else who is concerned about how the local church needs to respond to our cultural and legal redefinition of marriage. If unable to attend in person, the event can be viewed live via the web and videos will be posted after the event at kybaptist.org/marriage.