Monday, March 27, 2006

Say What Again...?

Multiple sources today sent me information about an ordained American Baptist pastor in an Northeastern state which has made same-sex so-called marriage legal--an individual who has been very active in denominational affairs who sent out the following invitation:

“On Saturday, [date], we celebrated our commitment to one another and to God in a Service of Covenant at the [X] Baptist Church in [city, state]. It was a joyous event made even more special by the attendance of loved ones from around the country.

"On Saturday, [date], 2006, at 7:00 p.m., we will recommit ourselves to one another and to God in a Service of Marriage at the [X] Baptist Church in [city], [address] in [city, state]. This event, while important and entered into reverently, will be casual in nature and followed by a reception of light hors d’oeuvres and desserts.

"In body or in spirit, we welcome and cherish the gift of your presence and prayers. We request that other gifts not be offered.”

[Male name] and [male name]

I met this gentleman years ago, briefly, before he "came out." He is a winsome a gracious person who also served for a time in a denominational role.

But I must stand with the Word of God. I can do no other.

Is this the American Baptist family of Adoniram Judson, A.H. Strong and Carl Henry? Not anymore.

Who are the schismatics? Is it those who stand with the Scriptures, or those who war with the plain meaning of its text?

As David Wells, my old theology professor at Gordon-Conwell put it, "We experience apostolic sucession when we believe what the apostles taught." We stand with apostolic teaching:

Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the degrading of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever! Amen.
For this reason God gave them up to degrading passions. Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error.

And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind and to things that should not be done. They were filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, craftiness, they are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, rebellious towards parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. They know God’s decree, that those who practise such things deserve to die—yet they not only do them but even applaud others who practise them. (from Romans 1, NSRV)

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