Statement as issued Wednesday by Shepherds United on the rulings regarding the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California’s Proposition 8:
“Though the Supreme Court’s rulings on DOMA and California’s Proposition 8 come as no surprise, they are disappointing,” stated Rev. Steve Jones, Central Regional Director for the Missionary Church and member of Shepherds United. “As Christian pastors, priests and ministers we believe that God himself instituted marriage – long before our nation began – as the life-long union of one man and one woman. In fact, Jesus himself reminded us that ‘...at the beginning the Creator “made them male and female,’ ” and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh (Matthew 19:4-5).’ That’s why as followers of Christ, Christians are conscience-bound to declare marriage as the union of one man and one woman, no matter what the courts or legislatures may say. Defending the truth is more important than personal popularity.”
“Marriage is a fundamental building block of society and it is the only societal institution that binds parents to their offspring,” stated Father Jason Freiburger, Vice Chancellor of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend and member of Shepherds United. “Men and women are equal but not interchangeable. Indeed, only from the coming together of one man and one woman are children created and it is in this relationship that a child is given the best opportunity to grow and thrive. Men and women complement one another physically, psychologically and emotionally. Only a man can be a father and only a woman can be a mother. Every child benefits from the nurturing of a mother and the leadership of a father. While having one mother is a blessing, having two mothers or two fathers is confusing for the child and detrimental to his or her wellbeing.”
“Even as we speak as Christians, we also speak as citizens of this nation and members of our community,” shared Rev. Peter Gregory, associate pastor at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and member of Shepherds United. “We are speaking in defense of liberty and in defense of the First Amendment of the Constitution that guarantees our right to the free exercise of religion. Even now, Christian adoption agencies are being forced to close because of rules that would mandate same-sex adoption in violation of Christian consciences. The social pressures to approve same-sex marriage are an enormous test of Christian faith.”
“As Christian shepherds, we will continue to teach marriage according to God’s plan and gift,” said Rev. Otha Aden, pastor at Southern Heights Baptist Church and member of Shepherds United. “We will continue to proclaim marriage as a picture of Christ’s love for his bride, the church. We will continue to proclaim that the church is a place of forgiveness. For we know that we are all sinners in need of repentance. The church will continue to be a place of forgiveness, mercy and healing for all people and we will continue to proclaim God’s truth in love. As we move forward, we offer up our prayers on behalf of the nation and for marriage, family and children.”
Shepherds United will respond to the Court decisions in more detail at their Rally for Traditional Marriage on July 1 at the Allen County Courthouse lawn.
Shepherds United is a coalition of Trinitarian Christian pastors, priests and ministers working together to reclaim humanity’s inherent worth by defending innocent human life, traditional marriage and religious liberty.
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