As the pastor of CrossHope Chapel I am in willful agreement and bound by the church’s Statement of Beliefs, Statement on Marriage and Sexuality, and Wedding Officiating Policy, and therefore I do not officiate any type of same-sex ceremonies.
Marriage, as I believe, is given to humanity as the living representation of the image of our Creator, a model of the heavenly union between Christ and the Church, providing the character sanctifying relational dynamics of commitment with one different from the other, and the ideal of perpetuating the human family through the ability to procreate and parent through the context that mirrors the image of God through a mother and father, husband and wife, male and female.
CrossHope Chapel’s Policy
“Because God has ordained marriage and defined it as the covenant relationship between a man, a woman, and Himself, we believe that the marriage ceremony, officiated as a wedding or vow renewal ceremony, is an act of Christian worship, and as such, CrossHope Bible Fellowship’s pastors, ministers, and elders shall only participate in weddings and solemnize marriages between one man and one woman, on church property or off church property, as an extension of church ministry and in accordance with the church mission, marriage policies, Statement of Beliefs, and Church Constitution and By-Laws of CrossHope Chapel.”
I am fine with agreeing to disagree and have without reason to regurgitate these differences with gay friends and family and have for years without any issues of contention. I hate to even have to reiterate this, but while society has changed its positions and norms in many other practices that I would also disagree with, this one is being forced to the forefront of national conversation by politicians, media, and activists, and because of that it is requiring of a response.
The issue of gay marriage, above other issues, requires a response simply because no one is parading the streets, passing laws, or campaigning for the promotion of divorce, adultery, or any number of once unacceptable societal behaviors.
I believe all people, regardless of sexual orientation, have civil rights, and are equally children of the human family. I do not condone prejudice, accusations, or abuse against homosexuals, and I advocate respect and non-discrimination on behalf of such, through relationship experiences of gay family and friends and in general. I also believe in equality of respect and non-discrimination of opposing advocacy and the religious liberty provided by First Amendment of the United States constitution, its civil rights, and constitutional protection of Evangelical Christian religious convictions and practices.
Gay or straight God loves you, God loves people who are dealing with all kinds of sins, and God wants you to know the gift of love. Love, after-all is God’s invention. The rainbow is a symbol of love, so whether you carry a rainbow flag or look upon it, know that it was first held high in the sky by the Creator Himself in Genesis 9:13 as a covenant of His love for humanity and desire to save us and escape the final judgement. In fact, the next time we read of a rainbow in Scripture is in Revelation 4:13 when it is above God’s throne of judgement.
Ultimately, gay or straight, we won’t be answering to each other. Hebrews 9:27-29 reminds us that “it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him” (ESV).