Attorney Advises Churches that Object to Homosexual Marriage to Amend Their Bylaws In Case It Becomes Legal

bylaw

If same-sex marriages become legal in Texas, churches that object to performing the ceremonies should consider amending their bylaws, a Waxahachie attorney told ministers.

John Litzler, who works under contract for the Baptist General Convention of Texas, spoke at the invitation of the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission to a ministry guidance conference on the campus of Baylor University’s Truett Seminary. Baylor’s department of religion sponsored the event.

Churches that object to same-sex marriage should include language in their bylaws that make plain their stance on marriage and human sexuality, Litzler said.

Bylaw suggestions

Regarding marriage, he suggested a section stating: “Marriage is a biblical institution established by God as described by Scripture. We believe that biblical marriage can only occur between one man and one woman. This church recognizes that marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. Accordingly, this church, its pastors, staff and members will not participate in same-sex unions or same-sex marriages, nor shall its property or resources be used for such purposes.”

On human sexuality, he suggested bylaws include: “The Bible teaches that legitimate sexual relations are exercised solely within marriage. Hence, this church opposes all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, extramarital behavior, homosexual behavior and pornography.”

“I’m not telling you that you have to use this language,” Litzler said. “I’m not telling you that you have to address homosexuality in your bylaws, though a lot of people have asked me about it. So, if your church is interested, I wanted you to have it.”

Churches should add the statements to the section of their bylaws that includes a statement of religious beliefs.

The marriage statement also should be included in staff position descriptions and facility policies—especially if the church makes its facilities available for rental, Litzler added.

“If you don’t want this happening at your church, I’m suggesting you put it in your bylaws,” he said.

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SOURCE: Baptist Standard
George Henson

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