In June, the Supreme Court is expected to rule on the legality of same-sex marriage in America. Download a bulletin insert to share with your congregation.Download: Color | B&W
Download bulletin insert on Supreme Court marriage ruling
I just read President Harrison’s letter to pastors of which I am one. My immediate response is that the state cannot make me marry ANYONE. Marriage does not belong to the church. Marriage preceded both the church and the state. In Ohio I have been given a certificate by the State that permits me to solemnize a marriage but does not order me to perform marriages. In other words it belongs to the state. My call documents say nothing about the necessity of me performing a marriage. My ordination vows say nothing about performing marriages.
In some countries, France for sure, the state marries and pastors may bless those marriages. That may be our best alternative.
Yes, above all we must teach our people what marriage is and uphold the union of man and wife while speaking gently but firmly that only a man and woman can have a marriage. Our bodies teach us that.
Arthur M. Casci
Thank you for standing on Gods word may we all continue to be united by His truth! Praying for you and all our brothers and sisters in Christ! I am in the mist of a battle with cancer not given but a few months to live 10 months ago they now have had to step me up to intensive chemo treatment but still able to serve so far by God’s grace!
As Paul said “To Live is Christ to die is gain” has never meant so much and been so clear!
So be faithful unto death! Thank for God for Godly leaders like you!
Darrell K. Howanitz, Pastor
Trinity Eden Grace Menard
More of God’s people standing with you!
Like Brother Casci has stated, the State cannot force a pastor to marry anyone! They can remove our certificate to solemnize a marriage, but force a pastor with our understanding of Scripture, this they cannot do! Not only is same sex marriage wrong, it is not even a marriage! Scripture states, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two will become one flesh”. (Genesis 2:24 NKJV) Therefor if SCOTUS rules same sex couples can marry, it may be a marriage by their standard, but in truth it is only a Civil Union.
This does not preclude us reaching out in love in all we do, but it is necessary, that we as LCMS members say in love that same sex marriage is no marriage. According to the Constitution of the United States (Congress shall make no law) and my call document and vows, no one can force me to do that which is a violation of my conscience. God’s peace be with you all.
The state may not be able to force you to do anything, but the court can still be used to sue you out of existence for not doing it. Your church will also eventually lose its tax exempt status for not celebrating same sex marriage because you will be guilty of a “civil rights” violation. Do not imagine that the Constitution is going to protect you. Few judges or politicians have any more respect for that old document than they do for the Bible.
Thanks for the courage and the leadership.
I agree with all of you and President Harrison. Perhaps the best thing we can do is pray that God’s will is done here in America and that SCOTUS has a a God pleasing decision. God be merciful.
Thank you President Harrison.
The proposed bulletin insert is inappropriate for use by a LCMS congregation for the following reasons:
1. The bulletin insert disrespects the Constitution of the United States, a power ordained of God (Small Catechism, Table of Duties, Concerning Civil Government). The Constitution establishes a Supreme Court to rule on issues of constitutionality. If the Supreme Court determines that a constitutional right to same-sex “marriage” exists, it will not be an “alleged” constitutional right but a “real” constitutional right that all U.S. Christians must obey “save only when commanded to sin” (Augsburg Confession, XVI).
2. The bulletin insert implies that Supreme Court rulings which violate “God’s created orders, natural law, and the inerrant Scriptures” create only “alleged” constitutional rights. Supreme Court justices do not take an oath to uphold “God’s created orders, natural law, and the inerrant Scriptures” (Augsburg Confession XVI). Based on the Supreme Court’s constitutional criteria, LCMS Churches can not judge a Supreme Court ruling to be more or less constitutionally legitimate than any other ruling of the court (Augsburg Confession, XXVIII, 13).
3. The bulletin insert judges the civil legitimacy of an “expected” U.S. Supreme Court ruling. That is a judgment that Christ has forbidden His churches to make (Augsburg Confession, XXVIII, 13-17).
4 . The bulletin insert judges the moral legitimacy of an “expected” U.S. Supreme Court ruling. God has ordained government to defend “bodies and bodily things against manifest injuries, and restrain men with the sword and bodily punishments in order to preserve civil justice and peace” (Augsburg Confession, XXVIII, 11). LCMS should not prejudge an “expected” U.S. Supreme Court ruling. When the ruling is issued, there will be time enough to judge whether or not same-sex marriage, as allowed by the court, will defend or harm “bodies and bodily things” and “civil justice and peace”.