It didn’t take long after the Presbyterian Church (USA) announced its approval of gay marriage that other Presbyterians and Christian leaders declared their opposition to it.
“Due to the most recent pronouncement of the Presbyterian Church (USA) to redefine marriage, we in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church reaffirm our position on Christian marriage,” read a statement from the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, another Presbyterian church group. “We hold to the biblical standard of marriage, which is that it is a formal and sacred covenant between one man and one woman for life.
“Further, to clarify our relationship among the diverse Presbyterian denominations, the EPC is a completely independent, separate and unrelated denomination from the PC (USA) and shares no mutual identity, missions or holdings,” the EPC statement continued. “We grieve for our brothers and sisters in the PC (USA) who have chosen to submit to culture rather than to abide by God’s Word.”
The First Presbyterian Church of Baton Rouge left the PC (USA) in 2007 over the issue of gay clergy and joined the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. The Rev. Dr. Gerrit Dawson, First Presbyterian’s senior pastor, declined to make a specific comment on the recent PC (USA) vote, but said he does agree with the EPC statement and added their church regularly prays for their PC (USA) brethren.
The Presbyterian Church in America, PCA, the second largest Presbyterian denomination in America, also opposes the PC (USA) decision.
“We, like other evangelical, conservative, orthodox and traditional Christians from many branches of the Christian faith, believe that, from creation, God ordained the marriage covenant to be a unique bond between one man and one woman,” wrote the Rev. Roy Taylor, PCA’s stated clerk in a statement.
“The church, in contrast to the broader culture, is to base her views and practices on authoritative and timeless divine revelation found in the Holy Scriptures, and not on the changing and frequently subjective social practices within the society,” the PCA statement reads in part.
“This is especially challenging in this post-modern era of relativism. We think that the comparatively recent interpretation that biblical prohibitions against same-sex intimacy do not apply to ‘a same-sex marriage’ is based on false premises and faulty reasoning and, therefore, is erroneous — no matter how well-intentioned,” the PCA statement reads.
The Rev. Dr. David Goza, senior pastor of Jefferson Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, views the approval of gay marriage as the fulfilling of Bible prophecy.
“1 Timothy 4:1-2 is a prophecy which states that in the end times some will depart from the truth and will follow doctrines of demons, ‘speaking lies in hypocrisy,’” Goza said. “The recent decision of the PC (USA) regarding same-sex marriage can only be supported by ministers who have departed from the truth and are speaking hypocritical lies.”
“The Bible from the Old through the New Testament consistently defines marriage as between a man and woman, while condemning homosexuality as an unnatural abomination,” Goza said. “Most, if not all, of these same ministers have also denied Jesus as the only way to heaven, adopting a universalist view of salvation.”
“Jesus also warns his followers that in the end times ‘many false prophets will rise up and deceive many’ and that the true church ‘will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake’ (Matthew 24:9-11),” Goza said. “But the good news for born-again believers in Jesus Christ is his promise to the end-time church in Luke 21:28 ‘Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.’”
The Rev. Franklin Graham, who succeeded his father as the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, wrote in a Facebook post that the majority popular culture and the mainstream media is trying to force Christians to accept homosexuality as normal and to embrace gay marriage.
“Claiming victory in the attempt to bully the American people into fully embracing the homosexual lifestyle, a CNN op-ed (on April 7) says Bible-believing Christians and traditional Americans ‘had better adjust to a new reality,’” Graham wrote. “Last year the Centers for Disease Control determined that less than 2 percent of the U.S. population identifies as homosexual. Where is the majority in that? But they are intent on trying to force the true majority into silence — they want us to just sit down and be quiet.
“Even if the majority of Americans did support gay marriage, God’s Word doesn’t need a majority vote,“ Graham wrote. “God’s Word is true regardless of the winds of moral change, and we must stand up for biblical truth in the midst of a depraved society.”