The Tuesday feature of the Worldly Saints is all about reading. The post is meant to share some of my reflections from the latest book or magazine article or blog post I have or am reading. At times, I may post a book blurb (a wannabe book review) or recommend books to be read by others.
About a year ago, we (the elders) at WBC began talking about our legal response or legal preparation we would need to take in anticipation of the legalization of “gay marriage.” Even though our country is still a place where we have the freedom to practice our religion, there are more and more news stories about organizations getting sued for refusing to either perform a marriage ceremony for two members of the same sex or bake a wedding cake for two members of the same sex or take photographs for two members of the same sex. Our desire has been to protect ourselves, as best we can, from any lawsuits for refusing those couples of the same sex who would like to join our church or have a wedding ceremony here.
Our motivation is not to be mean-spirited or to somehow block the opportunity to build Gospel-centered relationships with the LBGT community. We are simply wanting to make sure that our church is legally protected from being forced to go against the practices and doctrine we teach on the issue of marriage, homosexuality, and the like.
For a while, we felt like we were guessing on how to go about all of this until a few weeks ago when SCOTUS ruled 5-4 in favor of “gay marriage.”
The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a non-profit ministry based in Scottsdale, AZ, released a booklet for churches looking for legal help. The ADF is the nation’s largest Christian legal defense organization and exists “to help you deal with a variety of legal challenges facing churches, religious nonprofits, and believers today, including issues not specifically addressed in this manual: civic engagement of churches and pastors, zoning, tax exemption, equal access to government facilities or programs, and the right to live out your faith in your business, workplaces, or school.”
The booklet is entitled Protecting Your Ministry From Sexual Orientation Gender Identity Lawsuits and is endorsed by men like Wayne Grudem and Russell D. Moore.
After having read through the booklet in the last week, I am very confident we have everything we need to move forward legally and get our church the protection it will likely need. There is nothing that the ADF suggests that is that difficult and the suggested policies or statements have samples provided in their appendices.
If our church is in a similar situation, you need to download this free publication, read through it’s 40 pages and get your church ready for a new season of hostility.