Regarding Same-Sex Marriage

Editor's Note

On Sunday, July 5, Dr. Roberts will preach a sermon about homosexuality. We will have one service on July 5th at 10:45.

Dear Church Family,

We are living in the last days. There is no doubt. Today, the Supreme Court of the United States made a decision (5-4 vote) to re-define marriage. This decision was the Roe v. Wade of marriage in our country. Now, in all 50 states, men can legally marry men and women can legally marry women.

I'm writing you this letter today to answer a few questions you may be pondering. After all, my calling is to "equip the saints for the work of the ministry" (Ephesians 4:12), and I hope I'm helping to equip you through this letter.

Where does Church of the Highlands stand on gay marriage?

Our church affirms the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 as our statement of faith. Section XVIII of that statement proclaims the following:
God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption.

Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God's unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race.

The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God's image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation.

Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God's pattern for marriage. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents.

Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-25; 3:1-20; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Joshua 24:15; 1 Samuel 1:26-28; Psalms 51:5; 78:1-8; 127; 128; 139:13-16;Proverbs 1:8; 5:15-20; 6:20-22; 12:4; 13:24; 14:1; 17:6; 18:22; 22:6,15; 23:13-14; 24:3; 29:15,17; 31:10-31; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; 9:9; Malachi 2:14-16;Matthew 5:31-32; 18:2-5; 19:3-9; Mark 10:6-12; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:21-33; 6:1-4; Colossians 3:18-21; 1 Timothy 5:8,14; 2 Timothy 1:3-5; Titus 2:3-5; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Peter 3:1-7.

How should you respond to your friends who believe gay marriage is good?

Stand firmly yet kindly. Speak truthfully yet gracefully. When you engage in conversation, whether online or in person, do not back down from the truth of God and His Word. However, don't be an arrogant jerk while you're being bold.
What does this decision mean for the future of America and the Church?
Our country continues to spiral in a moral decay. There is no doubt. America needs a Great Awakening from the Holy Spirit. God is the only answer for America's problems. The only nation guaranteed by God to last is Israel-not America.

Church of the Highlands (locally) and the Church (globally) will last and continue. My friend, Russell Moore, said, "The church will need in the years ahead to articulate what we believe about marriage; we cannot assume that people agree with us, or even understand us. Let's not simply talk about marriage in terms of values or culture or human flourishing. Let's talk about marriage the way Jesus and the apostles taught us to - as bound up with the gospel itself, a picture of the union of Christ and his church (Eph. 5:32)."

What does this mean for pastors of our church pertaining to officiating weddings of same-sex couples?

I will never officiate the wedding of two people of the same sex or of a transgender person. I will go to prison before I cave into this. Additionally, no one from our staff will engage in officiating homosexual wedding ceremonies. Marriage is to be between one man and one woman for a lifetime.

What will this Sunday look like?

This Sunday, I am concluding our message series from the book of Joel, and I will teach from Joel 3. Amazingly, the Holy Spirit planned this far in advance. This chapter is about eschatology (study of the end times). Today's decision by the Supreme Court inevitably causes us to think of the end of days.

I will teach about how, at Mount Zion, all of humanity will fight (v. 9), and meanwhile, God Himself will be sitting on His thrown above them (v. 12). Toward the end of Joel 3, the 16th verse says, But the Lord is a refuge to his people, a stronghold to the people of Israel. Claim this verse today. God is our refuge; the Supreme Court is not.


Mayberry is dead. We'll be OK. Let's march to Zion. Bring on the eschaton.

For Jesus' Sake,

Dr. Jeremy Roberts
Lead Pastor
Church of the Highlands
Chattanooga, Tennesse

Posted by Jeremy Roberts at 6:37 PM
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