As many of you are likely aware, the U.S. Supreme Court recently struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and dismissed the citizen case trying to defend the voter-driven and voter-approved Proposition 8 that enshrined the reality of one man-one woman marriage. Faithful Christians of the different traditions that honor the biblical, patristic, and natural law consensus that as been handed down and taught since the beginning are rightfully concerned about what this means for the culture and the church. Of course some of my European brothers and sisters have been dealing with this for quite some time now, so this isn’t exactly unique to the U.S. So here are some statements from orthodox Christians on what the court decided:
Lutheran Church Missouri-Synod: “…As Christians, we believe and confess that God Himself instituted marriage as the life-long union of one man and one woman. Same-sex unions are contrary to God’s will, and gay marriage is, in the eyes of God, no marriage at all. As Christians, we proclaim this truth, no matter what the courts or legislatures may say. We are called not to popularity but to truth. Therefore, we call on our fellow Christians to be faithful first to God’s Word, knowing that another court is ultimately supreme.
Marriage is a fundamental building block of society, binding parents to their offspring. Every child benefits from the nurture of a mother and the leadership of a father. While having one mother is a blessing, having two mothers or two fathers is confusing for the child and detrimental to her well-being…” Full Statement can be found here: “Upholding Marriage: God’s Plan and Gift”
Russel D. Moore, President of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Liberty Commission: “…But what has changed for us, for our churches, and our witness to the gospel? In one sense, nothing. Jesus of Nazareth is still alive. He is calling the cosmos toward his kingdom, and he will ultimately be Lord indeed. Regardless of what happens with marriage, the gospel doesn’t need “family values” to flourish. In fact, it often thrives when it is in sharp contrast to the cultures around it. That’s why the gospel rocketed out of the first-century from places such as Ephesus and Philippi and Corinth and Rome, which were hardly Mayberry…
In another sense, though, the marginalization of conjugal marriage in American culture has profound implications for our gospel witness. First of all, marriage isn’t incidental to gospel preaching.
There’s a reason why persons don’t split apart like amoebas. We were all conceived in the union between a man and a woman. Beyond the natural reality, the gospel tells us there’s a cosmic mystery (Eph. 5:32).
God designed the one-flesh union of marriage as an embedded icon of the union between Christ and his church. Marriage and sexuality, among the most powerful pulls in human existence, are designed to train humanity to recognize, in the fullness of time, what it means for Jesus to be one with his church, as a head with a body…” Full Statement Found Here: “How Should Same-Sex Marriage Change the Church’s Witness?”
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: “Today is a tragic day for marriage and our nation. The Supreme Court has dealt a profound injustice to the American people by striking down in part the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The Court got it wrong. The federal government ought to respect the truth that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, even where states fail to do so. The preservation of liberty and justice requires that all laws, federal and state, respect the truth, including the truth about marriage. It is also unfortunate that the Court did not take the opportunity to uphold California’s Proposition 8 but instead decided not to rule on the matter. The common good of all, especially our children, depends upon a society that strives to uphold the truth of marriage. Now is the time to redouble our efforts in witness to this truth. These decisions are part of a public debate of great consequence. The future of marriage and the well-being of our society hang in the balance.
“Marriage is the only institution that brings together a man and a woman for life, providing any child who comes from their union with the secure foundation of a mother and a father….” Full statement found here: “Supreme Court Decisions on Marriage: ‘Tragic Day for Marriage and our Nation,’ State U.S. Bishops”
More links and commentary to come…