Reaffirming biblical marriage

On Friday, January 23, a federal judge ruled that Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. Yet as Alabama Baptists, we will continue to stand for marriage as defined by Scripture.

The biblical view of marriage as one man and one woman is the foundation for society. This foundation is cracking and crumbling fast in the wake of judicial actions.

As Alabama Baptists, we will pray for the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court with a landmark ruling expected on the matter within a few months. We also pray for other leaders in government and for those who disagree with us. We will pray for our churches as they continue standing strong in support of the biblical view of marriage.

Messengers to the 2013 annual meeting of our State Convention took a strong stand on the matter. The text of the resolution, which is shown below, is worthy of fresh consideration:

RESOLUTION NO. 4

ON STRENGTHENING BIBLICAL MARRIAGE

WHEREAS, God established the family as the primary and most influential social institution of mankind and ordained that each human family begin only with the marriage of one man and one woman (Genesis 2:18-25; Matthew 19:4-6; Mark 10:6-8; Hebrews 13:4); and

WHEREAS, The husband and wife forming a two-parent family is God’s ideal, ordained by God to perform a unique role in the birth, loving discipline, and nurture of children; and

WHEREAS, The New Testament plainly teaches the beauty and value of a love-filled monogamy between one man and one woman; and

WHEREAS, The viability, strength, and stability of the social order within any nation is more dependent upon the well-being of this traditional family structure than any other social institution or agency; and

WHEREAS, The Baptist Faith and Message, adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in 2000, contains “Article XVIII. The Family,” which states, “Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime”; and

WHEREAS, The sacred institution of marriage is now under destructive attack throughout our society by certain governmental bodies, the military, corporations, as well as numerous other private and public entities; and

WHEREAS, The social problems of child poverty, child abuse, juvenile delinquency, violent crimes committed by children, sexual promiscuity and teen pregnancy are often related to broken marriages and fractured families; and

WHEREAS, Many people turn to divorce as an early solution to problems that could and should be solved in other ways; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention, meeting in Huntsville, Alabama, on November 12-13, 2013, express our enthusiastic support for those policies of public and private organizations which aim to strengthen the biblical marriage commitment and to reverse the trend of the disintegration of the family as defined and sanctioned by Scripture; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we affirm our conviction that the restoration of happy and biblical family relationships is one of the most critical moral imperatives of our time; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we seek to practice, and encourage others to practice, biblical family relationships which reflect Christ’s love; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we urge churches not only to proclaim that monogamy is Christ’s teaching for marriage but also to provide compassionate help for couples who face marital problems; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage Alabama Baptist churches and ministers to make it a priority to provide premarital or marital counseling, or to develop effective referral relationships; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we commend the Office of LeaderCare & Church Administration as well as the Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes & Family Ministries for raising awareness about resources, such as counseling services, to strengthen marriages.

Executive Director of Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions

State Missionary Rick Lance was elected in June of 1998 to serve as executive director of the State Board of Missions and treasurer of the Alabama Baptist Convention. Rick leads state missions efforts and facilitates Great Commission Ministries for the Convention's 3,200+ churches and more than one million Alabama Baptists.

Rick and his wife, Pam, are members at First Baptist Church, Montgomery. They have two daughters.

Any requests for Rick Lance to speak in or visit your church should be directed to Billie Davis at 1-800-264-1225, ext. 253 or (334) 613-2253, bdavis@alsbom.org.

For questions about Dr. Lance's Facebook and Twitter accounts or his blog site, you may contact his social media assistant, Keith Hinson, at 1-800-264-1225, ext. 289 or (334) 613-2289, khinson@alsbom.org.