Letter of the day: Don't distort marriage
THE EDITOR, Sir:
The United States of America has had a recent Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage on Friday, June 26. The court voted that all 50 US states and territories are required to recognise marriages between same-sex couples by permitting them to obtain a marriage licence.
There was NO explicit religious exemption provided in the ruling and a lack of clarity in regards to the Churches of America.
One of the major concerns is this: A minister acts on behalf of the State as 'officiate' because he/she signs the marriage licence making the marriage legal. This position can be a loophole for legal issues to arise. This is because, at the conclusion of the marriage ceremony, it is stated by the presiding minister: "By the authority invested in me by God and the State of ______, I now pronounce you husband and wife."
But since the Supreme Court of the United States has made this decision, all marital regulations have been transferred into the hands of the federal government thus ignoring state rights.
WORD OF GOD STANDS
I want to be clear and assure you that the membership of the World Council of Independent Christian Churches ( WCICC), our stance shall remain that marriage as stated in the Word of God, inerrant in its original text, is between a man and a woman. God has ordained marriage to be between a natural-born man and natural-born woman.
No state or federal government should ever rule over the mandates of our LORD or by result of redefinition rewrite the infallible Word of God. They have.
The 'first' marriage recorded in the Bible was between a born man and a born woman, not people of the same sex. God intended this to be the model for marriage and He intends for us to follow His model for all of humankind. We need to stand firm in the biblical belief, according to the Word and not waiver.
I recommend to ministers that they immediately stop using the phrase "By the authority invested in me by God and the State of ______, I now pronounce you husband and wife." They are not agents of the State. Their allegiance belongs to God, not the State.
SAME SEX MARRIAGE IS SIN
Marriage in a same-sex setting is sin as defined by the Word and is to be dealt with as any other sin.
Below I have outlined what USA based WCICC members MUST abide by.
We resolve that as a matter of belief, doctrine, and religious practice. The WCICC reserves the term 'marriage' for the covenant relationship between one man and one woman, to the exclusion of all others.
We resolve that members of the WCICC, both laity and clergy, will be allowed to arrange for, officiate at, or take part in the solemnisation or celebration of a marriage only when it conforms to the Word of God regarding marriage. We believe the Bible teaches that marriage is intended by God to be a covenant of fidelity between a man and a woman.
This biblical understanding of marriage is the basis of strong, healthy families; and is, therefore, to be nourished and defended by the local church, ministries and all members of the WCICC.
OHN LUPOLI (Archbishop)