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Life and Religion

Seminary: Traditional marriage under attack
SES urges churches to pre-empt gay lawsuits
Published Saturday, September 7, 2013 1:24 pm
by Michaela L. Duckett

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Recent decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court have some churches concerned their religous liberties are in jeopardy. Several are revising their by-laws to pre-empt lawsuits filed by homosexual couples who are denied ceremonies in their sanctuaries.

The Southern Evangelical Seminary is encouraging Christians and religious leaders take a stand on what it believes is an attack on the sanctity of marriage.

“Today, traditional marriage and religious freedom are at risk,” SES President Richard Land said in a statement. “Churches are wise to be proactive to protect themselves against lawsuits that may endangers churches’ ability to maintain and practice the basic tenets of the Christian faith including traditional marriage.”

According to Land, it has become increasingly important for Christians to defend their faith in a more hostile society. He will discuss the “attack on marriage” and relationship between cultural influence and the need for apologetics at Southern Evangelical Seminaries 20th annual National Conference on Christian Apologetics, Reasons for the Hope, which will be held Oct. 11-12 at First Baptist Church Indian Trail near Charlotte.

“Apologetics is at the core of reclaiming our culture and bringing it back to a place that is centered on solid Christian faith and a truly biblical worldview,” said Land. “Our upcoming conference will give Christians the tools to help further this critical cause. Apologetics is loving people enough to answer their honest questions.”

A prevailing sentiment that appears to be growing among many evangelical pastors across America is that their religious liberties are in jeopardy. There is concern that “natural” marriage (between one man and one woman) would no longer be protected under the U.S. Constitution following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn portions of the federal Defense of Marriage Acts and refusal to honor California voters’ decision on Proposition 8, which made same-sex marriages unconstitutional.

Land said the decisions have left churches feeling vulnerable and confused as they seek to uphold and teach biblical principles about the sanctity of God-ordained marriages. He adds that honoring God’s laws also honors the laws America’s founding fathers put into place through the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

“Over the years, we have witnessed a serious erosion of Christian influence on our culture,” said Land. “Reclaiming cultural influences is a key component as Christians talk about traditional marriage and other issues that define how a God-fearing and God-honoring church, family and individual should live. Being able to define, describe and defend what we believe and why we believe it in an increasing secular society is more important than ever before.”

The Associated Press recently reported many churches have begun revising their bylaws to include language stating that they uphold the biblical worldview that marriage is between only one man and one woman. This comes as a preemptive measure should there be a flurry of lawsuits by homosexual couples who are refused marriage ceremonies by a church.

“Marriage is a precious, biblical gift, and one that should not be tainted by redefining it in a way that is counter to God’s plan for families and for America,” said Land. “God created marriage and He has defined its parameters to be a union of only one man and one woman for life, regardless of what homosexual couples and adulterers might think.”

SES is an accredited Christian college and seminary located in Matthews. For more information about the college or its annual conference, visit SES.edu or call (800) 77-TRUTH.

What do you think about SES President Richard Land’s statements? Share why you agree or disagree in the comment section below or email your comments to michaela.duckett@thecharlottepost.com.


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