If you weren’t aware, there’s a sexual revolution of sorts going on right now in the United States. And one church is taking a stand for what they believe in and what God’s word says.
Introducing the First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Florida.
Here, in a church of some 3,500 members, leadership is asking that each member sign a pledge affirming their belief in marriage and sexuality as God intended. According to a Tuesday report from Rolling Stone, members who refuse to sign won’t be members anymore.
According to the outlet, the pledge is to be signed by March for all current members. All incoming members will sign as they join the church.
So what does the pledge expect of its signees?
Basically, it asks them to agree to “God’s standard of human sexuality,” namely that human sexuality should exist only in the bonds of marriage between one man and one woman.
It reads, “As a member of First Baptist Church, I believe that God creates people in his image as either male or female and that this creation is a fixed matter of human biology, not individual choice. I believe marriage is instituted by God, not government, is between one man and one woman, and is the only context for sexual desire and expression.”
The pledge then lists a number of biblical scripture in which the fathers of our faith and God himself quite plainly spell out this view of sexuality and marriage.
Now, it’s important to point out here that not signing the pledge does not excommunicate a person or ban them from attending servicing at the church. Instead, it just prohibits them from becoming actual members.
If this is not the first time you’ve heard of this particular move, it’s likely because the head pastor, Heath Lambert, released a YouTube video last September indicating that the church would soon be making a rather big move in regard to sexuality and how it should be viewed by its members.
As Lambert makes clear, both in the video and his comments to Rolling Stone, the pledge is something that is desperately needed during this era. But it’s not to be viewed as an all-out assault on the LBGT community as some see it. It’s not made to just call out those within the church who skate on the border of homosexuality or transgenderism.
Instead, it’s a move to call out a vast array of sexual sins that this world has unfortunately become all too accustomed to. As Lambert says, viewing sexuality and marriage like this also condemns acts such as rape, incest, polygamy, and many more.
Naturally, there are a great many on the political left and in certain circles who aren’t exactly thrilled with this move by the church.
But who better than the church to do it?
I mean, here we are, living in a day when it’s normal and acceptable for adult men who call themselves Christ followers to be married to another adult male. Forgive me, but there seems to be something inherently wrong with that picture. How can you call yourself a man or woman after God’s own heart, someone who loves the Lord and wants to do right by him and yet directly go against what his word says?
Now, I’m not saying that people can’t still believe in God and yet participate in such madness. After all, we have all fallen short of the mark God has for us at some point or another. We have all sinned and are in desperate need of His forgiveness and grace.
But when you become a Christian, whether non-denominational, Baptist, Catholic, etc., you are essentially making a vow to follow after God, His son, and their words for our lives. We can’t then just ignore the parts of that word we don’t like or don’t want to live by.
And that’s what this pledge is acknowledging – that God’s word says a particular thing about human sexuality. And if we are to live out our full potential as His children, as the salt and light of the earth, then we have to accept that as truth and live by it.