Sample Church Policy Bylaws and Other Resources
Video from IBSA's Elevate Marriage Event
Everything Will Be Alright: Marriage in Today's Culture from Andrew Walker, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.
The Prophetic Role of the Pulpit from Dr. Kevin Smith, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Creating Role Models in Church from Jill Finley, Bethel Baptist Church, Troy, IL
Conference speakers' suggested resources
For more articles and information about Biblical marriage and today's culture, look for us on Twitter or Facebook and search #ElevateMarriage.
The wedding & the marriage
Weddings should be part of the cultural discussion of marriage, author Catherine Parks writes. Christian weddings can be "joyful, reverent and celebratory events," Parks writes. They can help the church nurture "a firm foundation for marriages that, by His grace, point to Christ, build strong families and transform the world." Read more
ERLC fact sheet addresses gay marriage rulings
The Supreme Court has ruled on the much-awaited decisions on same-sex marriage. How should your church respond? The first way is by recognizing that marriage is not merely a public good, and it’s certainly not simply a “culture war” political issue. Get the fact sheet
Attorney: Church bylaws should define marriage
With the U.S. Supreme Court set to take up gay marriage and potentially legalize it this summer, churches that host wedding ceremonies or other events for traditional couples should examine their bylaws and shield themselves from the impact of possible litigation, says an attorney who specializes in religious liberty issues. Read more
Churches urged to prepare for marriage issues
Pastors and churches need to be prepared to address same-sex marriage in biblically faithful, Christ-like ways, new ethics entity head Russell D. Moore and other panelists said at a discussion preceding the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention. Read more
How will gay marriage impact your marriage?
If you’ve ever been in a debate with someone about gay marriage, one of the conversation stoppers that proponents often throw out is this: “How does gay marriage hurt traditional marriage?” Or more personally, “How does my gay marriage corrupt your straight marriage?” The thinking goes like this. What two people do in the privacy of their own home ought not concern you, even if they choose to reinvent society’s most basic institution. After all, who are you to judge someone else’s pairing? If some people want to call gay unions a “marriage,” what’s that to you? Read more
Illinois issues 5,000 licenses to same-sex couples
A new survey shows 21% of same-sex couples in Illinois have opted to wed since it became legal in the state June 1, but a second survey asks how long those marriages will last. And two more new polls cast doubt on the percentage of homosexuals in the U.S. Read more
For the church, a better 'defense' of marriage is offense
Ask church leaders what is the single biggest threat to marriage right now, and most would probably give the same answer: the stunning wave of approval for same-sex marriage. But a changing definition of marriage isn’t the only thing endangering the institution, said Baptist leaders at an April summit on sexuality and the Gospel. In fact, it may not even be at the top of the list. Read more
When same-sex attraction hits home: How families can help
It's a moment many Christians have had to face: a family member's announcement that he or she is gay.
Amid feelings of sorrow, guilt, fear and anger that families may experience surrounding such an announcement, biblical counseling experts say believers must have hope and realize that Jesus always changes those who come to Him in repentance and faith. Read more
Should we let him join the ladies' class?
Two women recently visited Mindy Cobb’s Sunday school class at Uptown Baptist Church in Chicago. They told Cobb they were in a lesbian relationship and asked if they would be accepted by the class. “I told them we would welcome them and love them, but not affirm their relationship,” she recounted. They didn’t come back. Read more
Religious protections on gay marriage in doubt
Exemptions based on a person's beliefs are not spelled out. Read more from the Chicago Tribune
Gay marriage legalized, ending conservative Christians' long protest
Gay marriage will be legal in Illinois starting June 1, after the General Assembly passed the bill Tuesday. Lawmakers in both houses approved an amended SB 10, the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act. Next, it goes to Gov. Pat Quinn’s desk. Read the full report at iB2news.org.
Reporter's Notebook: What message are we sending?
More than a decade ago, in a University of Illinois graduate school class, I was asked by classmates why “Southern Baptists hate gay people.” The semester had just begun and our professor had asked each of us to introduce ourselves and tell the class where we worked. When I explained I worked for the Illinois Baptist State Associations, the questions came quickly. I explained we didn’t hate gay people, just as we didn’t hate people for overeating or committing other sins. It’s their behavior we can’t condone, not them. Read more
Gay marriage: Does it harm anyone?
In a discussion that moderator J.D. Greear said needs to happen in local churches, ethicist Russell D. Moore and pastor Voddie Baucham addressed how homosexuality can be wrong if it "doesn't harm anyone." Read more
Russell Moore: Explaining the marriage debate to children
With the Supreme Court's gay marriage decisions all over the news, some Christian parents wonder how they ought to explain all of this to their small children. I've faced the same question as my children have asked, "What is the Supreme Court doing that's keeping you so busy?" So how does one teach the controversy, without exposing one's children to more than they can handle? Read more
Trevin Wax: Why gay marriage is good & bad for the church
Christians believe marriage is defined by God and recognized by government. But many today believe marriage is defined by government and must be recognized by all. Read more
The unseen danger of same-sex marriage
At first glance, the fight about same-sex marriage appears to be over whether to “normalize” homosexuality. But there is a more chilling danger lurking unseen: legalizing same-sex marriage will change the government’s posture toward religion from neutral to antagonistic. Read more
The marriage debate and the evangelical response
Last year I wrote a brief post on the future of the evangelical response regarding homosexuality after Starbucks’ Howard Schultz withdrew from speaking at the Willow Creek Leadership Summit. In that post, I listed five principles to consider about the issue of homosexuality and evangelical churches. Those principles still apply today. Read more
NAMB: Chaplains don't support gay marriage
The North American Mission Board's executive director for chaplaincy, Douglas Carver, is reiterating that Southern Baptist military chaplains endorsed by NAMB on behalf of the convention do not support same-sex civil unions or marriages that might take place on some military installations. Read more