The Reverends Ephraim Radner and Christopher Seitz have published in First Things what they’ve dubbed the “Marriage Pledge.” The pledge would effectively separate civil marriage from the religious ceremony—signers of the pledge would refuse to sign marriage certificates, for instance. The pledge has been signed by more than 100 members of the clergy, as well as laypersons in support of the pledge and came about due to fears of pastors being forced to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies.
As Christian ministers we must bear clear witness. This is a perilous time. Divorce and co-¬habitation have weakened marriage. We have been too complacent in our responses to these trends. Now marriage is being fundamentally redefined, and we are ¬being tested yet again. If we fail to take clear action, we risk falsifying God’s Word.
The new definition of marriage no longer coincides with the Christian understanding of marriage between a man and woman. Our biblical faith is committed to upholding, celebrating, and furthering this understanding, which is stated many times within the Scriptures and has been repeatedly restated in our wedding ceremonies, church laws, and doctrinal standards for centuries. To continue with church practices that intertwine government marriage with Christian marriage will implicate the Church in a false definition of marriage.
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