Despite this ruling, Jeff Iorg, president of Golden Gate Seminary in San Francisco and editor of Ministry in the New Marriage Culture sees the church’s job remaining the same. It’s about making disciples, he says.
We asked Iorg what churches should keep in mind now that the court has affirmed a constitutional right to gay marriage.
How should churches respond?
Iorg: First, churches must affirm that what is moral is not necessarily defined by what is legal and reaffirm what we believe to be morally true about marriage. The Supreme Court rules on what is legally permissible, not what is morally right.
Secondly, present a positive apologetic about marriage. Present marriage as God designed it as the best way for a person to experience lifetime fulfillment in a relationship.
Third, keep the focus on the gospel and its power to change every person’s life. It doesn’t matter the baggage a person brings, everyone comes to Christ in sin. The gospel has to be emphasized.
What is the church’s way forward?
Iorg: I would discourage churches from becoming all consumed with addressing the homosexual issue or marriage issue. It is an issue that has to be addressed and it has to be addressed seriously, but there is so much more the church has to deal with than this.
At our church, First Baptist Church San Francisco, this issue is almost never addressed—in a worship service or public setting—unless it’s specifically in the text.
Homosexuality is one issue among many. There are many people who are coming to church who have a lot of other issues as well. You can’t fixate on one problem to the exclusion of everything else going on in the lives of people.
AARON EARLS (@WardrobeDoor) is online editor of Facts & Trends.photo credit: Mark Fischer via photopin cc