One God, One People, One Mission
...if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 1 John 1:7
The Apostolic Fellowship
RESPONSE TO SUPREME COURT DECISION REDEFINING MARRIAGE
By David K. Bernard, General Superintindant, UPCI
By a vote of 5 to 4 the United States Supreme Court has ruled that all fifty states must grant marriage licenses to two people of the same sex. How should Christians respond?
Continue to uphold God’s Word. In God’s plan marriage is the union of one man and one woman who make a lifelong commitment. This definition of marriage is foundational in God’s creative purpose and moral code for the human race (Genesis 1:27; 2:24). Jesus Himself taught this truth (Matthew 19:3-9). Moreover, God designed the sexual relationship only for such a marriage. Thus, the Bible teaches that adultery, fornication, and homosexual conduct are wrong. (See Mark 7:21-23; Roman 1:21-27 1st Corinthians 6:9-11.)
Proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ Jesus Christ did not come into the world to condemn the world but in order that the world might be saved through Him (John 3:17). God came in Christ to reconcile the world to Himself. Likewise, our mission is not condemnation but reconciliation; we implore everyone to be reconciled to God (II Corinthians 5:18-20). We proclaim the good news that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose again to bring us salvation (I Corinthians 15:1-4). When people believe and obey this message, they repent of sin, are baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38-39). This new birth brings deliverance and transformation so that, regardless of our past, all of us can grow in grace, walk in holiness, and fulfill God’s plan for our lives (1st Corinthians 6:11).
Continue to affirm the worth and dignity of every human being. God has created all of us in His image, and Jesus Christ died for all. We should treat people with respect and kindness even when we disagree with their behavior or lifestyle. We should recognize everyone’s civil rights while realizing that, as the Declaration of Independence states, true human rights come from our Creator and not from government. Our refusal to redefine marriage has nothing do with bigotry or hatred. We recognize that God has given people freedom of choice and that some activities re legal but not permissible for Christians. In these cases, we disagree with those who do not share our faith. As Paul instructed, we should speak the truth in love, and we should use wisdom and gracious speech in discussing matters such as these with unbelievers (Ephesians 4:15; Colossians 4:5-6).
Defend the freedoms of speech, press, association, and religion. These freedoms will likely come under attack by those who wish to silence all opposition, and thus we need to participate in the political and legal process to uphold them. It is not “hate speech” for Christians to preach and teach about sin and righteousness. We must vigorously oppose all attempts to compel Christian institutions as churches, schools, adoption agencies, and counseling services to endorse same - sex marriage. Likewise, we must oppose any attempt to take away their tax-exempt status because of their religious beliefs in this matter. Pray for our nation and our world. God is still in control, and our hope is in Him. Where sin abounds, grace does much more abound (Romans 5:20).
When Paul encountered opposition, he asked the church to pray for an open do or for him to speak the word clearly (1st Colossians 4:3-4). When the apostolic church experienced persecution, they prayed for boldness to speak the word and for signs and wonders in the name of Jesus (Acts 4:29-30). In these last days, God has promised to pour out His Spirit upon all flesh (Acts 2:17-18). Let’s pray for apostolic, end-time revival!
Ministers: For the official position of the United Pentecostal Church International, see the position paper in the UPCI Manual entitled “The Biblical Ideal of Marriage and Family.”
For a sample wedding policy to protect local churches, go to www.upciministers.com,
Resources, Marriage and Special Functions