By Allie Martin and Jenni Parker
November 23, 2004
(AgapePress) – A Christian activist group in North Carolina says the state’s Southern Baptists have demonstrated their support for the biblical view of marriage. Messengers to last week’s meeting of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina voted overwhelmingly to pass a resolution calling for both the state and federal governments to take action to defend the definition of marriage.
Pastor Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina, is applauding the actions of the Baptist group. “The largest Protestant denomination in North Carolina went on record saying that we need a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, and we need a federal marriage amendment,” he says.
The approved resolution states that marriage has, since the time of creation, “been the basic building block of society” and that God’s original plan for marriage, described by Christ in Matthew 19:4-5, is that it should be between a man and a woman. It goes on to “emphatically declare” the messengers’ agreement with that definition and to encourage the North Carolina General Assembly and Congress to pass legislation for constitutional amendments protecting marriage “with all deliberate speed.”
Creech says an effort was made to pass another measure — the resolution committee’s rewrite of the initial proposal, which some felt “watered down” the intent of the original. The committee’s version would have defined marriage as between a man and a woman, but would have eliminated wording calling on the U.S. Congress and the state General Assembly to enact legislation to protect traditional marriage.
The Christian Action League spokesman feels counter-measures must be taken to curb judicial activism and prevent pro-homosexual activists from using the nation’s courts to redefine marriage. “If same-sex marriage is approved, it will be the nail on the lid of the coffin,” he says. “It will simply destroy traditional marriage entirely.”
Attempted Rewrite Rebuffed, Stronger Measure Approved
Rev. Ray Barnhill, senior pastor of Forest Hills Baptist Church in Wilson, who had introduced the original resolution, objected to the wording changes and introduced his initial version directly to the convention as a substitute to the one presented by the committee. His version passed but not entirely without dissent. Two messengers expressed disagreement with the approved resolution by stating their belief that unfaithfulness within heterosexual marriages is a greater threat to traditional families than is the issue of homosexual unions.
Barnhill agreed that problems within heterosexual marriage are important, but he says the current assault on traditional marriage makes that issue more critical. While he agrees 100 percent that Christian leaders do not take a big enough stand on adultery, cohabitation, and other issues involving heterosexual relationships, he says, “I don’t think that’s a reason not to take a stand on [same-sex marriage]. They’re two separate issues. What makes this timely are the court challenges to marriage before us now.”
Pastor Creech agrees that the issue of protecting marriage is urgent. He feels the strong, traditional marriage-affirming actions taken by North Carolina’s Southern Baptists were both timely and absolutely necessary, and that more Christians need to do likewise. “I suggest if we are unwilling to go on record stating what needs to be done to protect marriage, we cannot assume that those who represent us in government will do the right thing,” he says.
The Christian Action League is praising and supporting the actions taken at the Baptist State Convention. Creech says the nation is at “a major turning point” when it comes to marriage in contemporary American culture, and it is important for pro-family citizens to voice bold, unequivocal support for state and federal marriage protection amendments.
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