Escalating support for same-sex marriage from the American people and their court system is part of a new wave of challenges for Christians, the Southern Baptist Convention’s lead ethicist says.
A revolution “surrounding sexuality and marriage is happening across America, creating new and challenging questions for Christians and churches,” said Russell D. Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, noting that the Bible “presents marriage as an unchanging picture of the Gospel through the union of one man and one woman.”
“Our desire at the ERLC is to equip faithful Christians on the importance of looking to Scripture, not the ever-changing culture, as our guide,” Moore said.
The ERLC announced Monday (April 7) a national conference to help with that goal. The event, titled “The Gospel, Homosexuality and the Future of Marriage,” will be held Oct. 27-29 in Nashville.
The announcement of the conference came as same-sex marriage experiences unmatched popularity in polls and unprecedented gains in courts and legislatures. And it came as evangelical pastors and churches seem increasingly to be seeking ways to evangelize those who identify as gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender persons, while also helping Christians struggling with same-sex attraction.
Public opinion surveys in March demonstrated the dramatic shift in favor of gay marriage in recent years:
— 59 percent of Americans support same-sex marriage, while 34 percent oppose it, according to a poll by The Washington Post and ABC News. The result was nearly the exact opposite of the same poll in March 2004, when only 38 percent favored legalizing gay marriage and 59 percent opposed it.
— 50 percent said the U.S. Constitution protects the right of homosexuals to marry, while 41 percent disagreed in The Post-ABC poll in March.
— 69 percent of American adults under 30 years old support legalizing same-sex marriage, according to the Pew Research Center. Among those 18 to 29 years of age who identify themselves as Republican or leaning Republican, 61 percent agree with legalizing gay marriage. Meanwhile, the same survey shows overall 54 percent of Americans and 39 percent of Republicans, or those who lean toward the GOP, support same-sex marriage.
Gay marriage’s advance in the United States has been even more pronounced in courts and legislatures.
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SOURCE: Baptist Press