In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court mandating same-sex marriage in all 50 states, the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO) established a special web page that highlights resources meant to help churches do ministry effectively at www.bgco.org/marriage.
“We are entering times that are increasingly contrary to our Christian worldview,” said Anthony L. Jordan, BGCO executive director-treasurer. “While the courts and the culture may change, we know God’s Word is eternal and unchanging. This cultural shift presents us with new challenges and new opportunities.”
In a letter published online, Jordan said, “Many churches are wondering what the arrival of same-sex marriage means to them. Churches can take this opportunity to clarify their stance on issues of marriage, communicating it effectively in their church documents for their members to see and others in the community to know. The (BGCO) wants to highlight resources that will be helpful for churches who are shoring up their bylaws and other documents.”
Without providing actual legal advice, the BGCO has highlighted a number of resources meant to equip churches, including these:
/// ERLC RESOURCE
The Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission has produced a new FREE resource, Protecting Your Ministry: A Legal Guide for Southern Baptist and Evangelical Churches, Schools, and Ministries. This is meant to help churches and ministries prepare for the legal intrusions some fellow believers and Christian leaders around the country have already faced, and for other threats on the near horizon. Pages 2, 4-7, 14, 16-18 are specifically tailored to churches, with sample bylaws. Download this at www.bgco.org/marriage.
/// LEGAL Q&A FROM
TEXAS SOUTHERN BAPTISTS
What does the Supreme Court’s decision mean for Southern Baptist churches? Will pastors be forced to perform same-sex weddings? Will churches be forced to open their facilities to same-sex wedding ceremonies? Information and Q&A written by SBTC Legal Counsel Jim Guenther. Download this at www.bgco.org/marriage.
/// BGCO CONFERENCE
On March 9-10, the BGCO hosted a conference titled “The Gospel, Sexuality & The Church: Equipping the Church to Respond to Sexual Issues with Convictional Kindness.” Conference topics included, “What to Do When a Loved One Says ‘I’m Gay,’” “Leading Students: Biblical Responses to Sexual Identity Questions,” and “Homosexuality & The Church: Responding with Grace and Truth”: Go to www.bgco.org/marriage to find these and other videos from the event.
The BGCO web page also features articles on timely topics, including, “Why the church should neither cave nor panic about the decision on gay marriage,” “Pastors and the SCOTUS decision on same-sex marriage,” and “Talking to your children about sex, marriage and same-sex marriage.”
“In these challenging times, let’s remember that our God still reigns and Jesus is alive forevermore. He will sustain His church, no matter how the culture shifts or what challenges lay ahead. In that attitude of humility and kindness toward our neighbors, we pray these resources will help our churches,” added Jordan.
To view the free BGCO-highlighted resources, visit www.bgco.org/marriage.