On June 26, 2015, the majority of the United States Supreme Court rendered an opinion that has made same-sex marriage legal in all of the states of the Union. The High Court did not use the Holy Scriptures as the basis for its decision, but rather based it on the legal interpretation of the Constitution of the United States. The Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc. goes on record to reaffirm its long-held position that marriage is a union between a man and a woman; with our decision being based on the Bible as the infallible Word of God. As Christian believers, we know that the Bible teaches marriage to be a lifelong union of one man and one woman; and we are called as Christian believers to proclaim and practice this doctrine. (St. Mark 10:6-9) Our ultimate trust is in God and not in any court or government. We trust God!
Our Lord and Savior declared that we are to be in the world but “not of the world” (John 17:15-16). The moral landscape of our society has definitely shifted, but we know that the Bible is yet right and God still reigns. In a democracy such as ours, we are to be ruled by laws. We as Christians have found ourselves at many intervals unable to find a biblical basis for key legal laws that govern our society. It is a fact that the United States of America has now added same-sex marriage to a list of legal rights which adults may exercise but the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc. goes on record not to practice. As people of God, we refuse to exercise this particular legal right, knowing that the Bible is calling Christians to a life-style of holiness. We are not called to panic nor be anxious; we are called to live a holy life. We are called to live a Christian life as commanded by the Bible; we are called to be in the world but “not of the world.” We are called to trust God.
Love is central to a life of holiness. The Bible is clear that Christians are called to love all people. We must resist the temptation only to love those who think like us. Regardless of the personal religious convictions and moral choices of people, we are called to love. We are not commanded to agree with them on all topics. The Bible commands us to love (Matthew 22:39). We are also called to recognize the legal rights of all citizens, regardless of the legal moral choices that they make.
Living in a democratic and pluralistic society, clear legal rights have been granted to all citizens. We must remind everyone that our government grants the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc. and other religious organizations the legal right for each of us to express our religious convictions, as well as to live out our doctrinal and moral teachings. It also grants us the right to co-exist with those whose beliefs and lifestyles differ from ours. More importantly, we believe the right to religious freedom is a God-given right. We call upon the government of the United States of America to aggressively protect and preserve the right of religious freedom for all Americans.
Finally, let us speak the truth with conviction and with care, with patience and with love. The church must prepare to receive wholeheartedly and minister effectively to people seeking the biblical understanding of marriage, a biblical Christian lifestyle, and the uncompromising gospel of Jesus Christ!