I saw an invitation to an open forum in the Bethany Tribune led by the national president of the Interfaith Alliance on March 23 at the Will Rogers Theater on North Western. The title of the article stated, "Same-sex marriage forum to focus on law, not religion." One of the guests that was to be a part of a distinguished panel was introduced as the Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, an active Baptist minister in Monroe, La.
Being a Baptist pastor myself, the fact that Dr. Gaddy is a Baptist caught my attention, especially when the article seem to indicate that Dr. Gaddy was the one proposing the discussion of same-"gender" (not "same-sex") marriage start with law, not religion. The invitation indicated that this was to be a quiet conversation and public debate. I took that to mean that anyone who adamantly opposes the concept of legalizing same sex marriage should stay away. By the way, those opposers are over 70 percent of the people in Oklahoma.
I have two things two say in response to my fellow Baptist colleague, Dr. Gaddy. Baptists claim to be people of the book. First, if the Bible teaches anything, it teaches that law without God's authority is just man's opinion. As a man of God, I have come to the honest conclusion that I cannot separate my religious convictions from my responsibility as a citizen of this state to keep the laws that are just and godly and to stand against those laws or possible laws that would violate ethical standards and lead to moral corruption in the society I am bound to protect. You cannot separate God from the law no more than you can separate God from the state He Himself ordained. Marriage is God-ordained and government is God-ordained to protect marriage as He intended it to be. If you know anything about the Bible, you know this is true.
Secondly, the Interfaith Alliance membership is made up of advocates of many religions believing each of their faiths is their way to the same God. In that group, there are monotheists, Christians, Jews and Muslims, who have a common connection at least in their acceptance of the first few chapters of Genesis. Let me remind those who hold to this common tradition that Genesis 1:27 tells us that God created man in His image, in the image of God He created them, male and female. God Himself tells us that it is a man and a woman in relationship that expresses the true image of God. He gave them the capacity to procreate to continue His creative activity through marriage and family. It was that way from the beginning. This is the standard God established. Same-gender marriage or same-sex marriage is a violation of that standard and distorts the image of God.
Sir, that distortion is a blasphemy. There is no law that can make that right.
Thank God there is grace for anyone who repents.
Steve Kern is pastor of Olivet Baptist Church in Oklahoma City and adjunct professor of ethics at Mid-America Christian University.