In my last post, I reported on ABC Rocky Mountains' support for same-sex marriage in the state of Colorado. At the same time, the Region recently published a Task Force study that comes down on the side of Scripture and historic understanding. So what's going on in Colorado?
Here's an except from the Study:
“WE AFFIRM that God intends marriage to be a monogamous, life-long, one flesh union of a woman and a man, who in response to God’s call leave father and mother and cleave to one another.
“We affirm God’s blessing and active presence in marriage relationships so entered in response to God’s call.”
(General Board Policy Statement, adopted June 1984)
WE ARE A BIBLICAL PEOPLE “who submit to the teaching of Scripture that God’s design for sexual intimacy places it within the context of marriage between one man and one woman, and acknowledge that the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with biblical teaching.”
(American Baptist Identity Statement, revised November 2005)
WE AS A REGION ARE COMMITTED to the position expressed by our denomination.
We take seriously the statements that have been adopted with regard to human sexuality. Further, the Region Board and staff will not knowingly employ, appoint to leadership positions, or recommend for ordination any practicing homosexual persons.
WE ENCOURAGE CHURCHES to
• examine and remain faithful to the Scriptures,
• engage in grace-motivated ministries which respond to human needs and offer God’s love to all,
• practice compassion while holding to deeply held convictions,
• place in leadership positions individuals who live exemplary lives of the highest ethical responsibility in all matters, including matters of sexuality,
• remain in conversation and fellowship with those who hold differing views,
• welcome all who come, ministering to them in the name of Jesus, but not affirming any behavior contrary to scriptural teaching,
• condemn and seek to prevent all acts of hate, violence or injustice, and
• engage in ongoing discussions about this difficult and divisive issue under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Apart from the typical dialogue-babble, it bottom lines at a pretty solid position. How can that be squared with:
Colorado Church Groups Support Gay Partner Registry
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
September 15, 2006 - 3:00 pm ET
(Denver, Colorado) Three statewide organizations representing more than a dozen denominations have endorsed a referendum that would create a domestic partner registry and give same-sex couples many of the rights of marriage.
The Colorado Council of Churches, the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado and Colorado Clergy for Equality in Marriage announced their support for the measure, called Referendum 1, in a joint statement on Thursday.
Ref 1 is one of two amendments involving same-sex relationships to be put to voters in November.
The other is a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would ban same-sex marriage which is supported by the Catholic Church, some evangelical denominations, and the Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family. They also are calling for the defeat of Ref 1.
The Colorado Council of Churches represents a dozen denominations including the United Church of Christ, the United Methodists, the American Baptist Church and the Jewish Reform Movement.
"People of faith from across Colorado are supporting Referendum I because it provides thousands of committed couples with the basic legal rights that they deserve,” said Rev. Craig Peterson, pastor at Mountain View Community Church in Aurora.
"It’s different than marriage and provides a common-sense solution to a gap in our laws."
Jeremy Shaver, campaign coordinator for The Interfaith Alliance, called it a matter of justice.
"We recognize that Referendum I does nothing to undermine marriage because domestic partnerships are different than marriage."
The groups supporting the proposed amendment banning gay marriage say Ref 1 is marriage in disguise. They are promoting rejection of the referendum and support for the amendment to maintain traditional marriage in the state.
The leadership of ABC Rocky Mountains owe an explanation to their churches, and they owe it NOW.