RESOLUTION ON THE PRESERVATION OF BIBLICAL MARRIAGE AND AFFIRMATION OF RELIGIOUS LIBERTY OF ILLINOIS CHURCHES AND FAITH-BASED ORGANIZATIONS
WHEREAS, God created the first marriage as a sacred covenant relationship between one man and one woman for the purposes of procreation, companionship, and dominion over creation, in keeping with the covenant relationship God himself established with his own creation (Genesis 2:15-24; Romans 1:16-32); and
WHEREAS, Jesus blessed a marriage celebration between a man and a woman with his presence and his first public miracle, thereby affirming the traditional definition of marriage as a cornerstone of every culture and community (John 2:1-11); and further that he advised those who are for congenital or psychological reasons unable to enter into marriage (i.e. between a man and a woman) to remain single and therefore celibate (Matthew 19:4-12); and
WHEREAS, society has embraced this definition of marriage since the beginning of recorded history, eschewing all other unions as unnatural, inappropriate, and anti-social, and has advocated the family unit of husband and wife and their children as the chief building block of society (Leviticus 18:22-30; Psalm 127:3-5; Romans 1:16-32; 1 Corinthians 7:1-2; Hebrews 13:4); and
WHEREAS, the Church has been entrusted with defining, performing, recording, and preserving marriages in keeping with biblical standards for almost two-thousand years; establishing marriage as a mystical and spiritual union whose participants offer demonstration of the union between Christ and his own bride, the Church (Ephesians 5:21-33); and
WHEREAS the Southern Baptist Convention has prayerfully and thoroughly studied the Scriptures and affirmed the value of marriage and the primacy of the union of one man and one woman for life in its doctrinal statement, the Baptist Faith and Message (2000) as a matter to be defined biblically and theologically in God’s own terms, rather than manipulated by man-made definitions and legal machinations (2 Timothy 3:16-17); be it
RESOLVED, that the messengers to the Illinois Baptist State Association meeting in Springfield, Illinois, November 13-14, 2013, affirm that God-honoring marriage can only occur between one man and one woman, and should be defined by biblical and historical standards in keeping with that traditional definition; and be it further
RESOLVED, said messengers call on all churches of the Illinois Baptist State Association to examine their church constitution and bylaws and to adopt appropriate statements specifically defining their theological stance on marriage, giving special consideration to the Baptist Faith and Message (2000) Article XVIII on The Family and the IBSA-recommend statements on biblical marriage, policies on performing marriage ceremonies, and use of church-owned facilities; and be it further
RESOLVED, said messengers call on all state and federal courts, legislators, and elected officials to recognize the traditional definition of marriage as one man and one woman, turning from all other definitions and legislations that seek to allow same-sex marriages; and be it further
RESOLVED, said messengers call on legislators and courts to recognize that the use of church facilities for marriage ceremonies and wedding celebrations, and the participation in such ceremonies by those holding a traditional, biblical view of marriage, are matters of the First Amendment Rights of free practice of religion and freedom of assembly, and governed by the church’s theological beliefs and principles, rather than a civil rights issue; and that couching the same-sex marriage debate in Illinois and a church’s marriage policies as civil rights issues is inaccurate and offensive to many who supported, fought for, and even died for, the civil rights of African Americans and all races in this country, including Christian leaders who believe that all persons should be treated fairly, equally, and respectfully both under the law and in the church; and be it finally
RESOLVED, said messengers call on all courts, legislators, and elected officials to affirm the religious liberty of local congregations and faith-based organizations to operate in accordance with their theological principles, including the performance of marriage ceremonies and wedding-related celebrations in keeping with the definition of marriage as a religious covenant agreement between one man and one woman, in accordance with the free practice of religion guaranteed by First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and without fear of legal, financial, or other retribution.
Adopted this 14th day of November, in the year of our Lord, Two-thousand thirteen.