By John Sprecher

The action of the Supreme Court on Friday is recognition of the power of a few who are determined to advance an agenda and a sobering reminder that the Kingdom of God is not the priority of a nation whose motto has been “In God we trust.” In 1993 the Hawaiian Supreme Court gave an opinion that banning the marriage of same-sex couples might violate the state constitution. In 1996 Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act banning federal recognition of same-sex marriage, but in 2004 Massachusetts legalized it and 11 years later it is the law of the land.

There are an estimated 390,000 married same-sex couples in the United States, according to UCLA’s Williams Institute, which tracks the demographics of gay and lesbian Americans. An additional 70,000 couples living in states that do not permit them to wed would get married in the next three years, the institute says. About 1 million same-sex couples, married and unmarried, live together in the United States. Rockford Register Star June 27, 2015

It is sobering and yet encouraging to realize that a group representing less than 1% of our nation’s population can have such an impact.

The sobering fact is that such a relatively small group is able to change policy and the laws of the land to reflect their lifestyle, and even convince the rest of the population that they are the “new normal.” The encouraging fact is that we have a great message of hope and redemption, and, to quote our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, our “kingdom is not of this world or else my servants would fight.” May the love of Christ flow through all of us to bring about an answer to the prayer that He taught us, “…Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven..”

We as churches, and especially independent local bodies, need to make sure that we are proactive in protecting our congregations. If your bylaws do not clearly state your position on issues such as marriage, hiring/firing practices, and mediation of conflicts, I encourage you to use this opportunity to make the appropriate changes. This is NOT intended as legal advice which you need to get from your local attorney but it is a reminder to get some things handled proactively. There are many resources available including the Alliance Defending Freedom, whose website, and a helpful article, can be found at the following LINK.

HERE are some of the changes that were added to the bylaws of Rock Church in Rockford, IL in 2012 which include the FCA Mediation clause that you might want to consider as an idea in your church. Once you have made appropriate changes/updates to your documents make sure that they approved by your attorney and then are recorded in your county so that there is public record of your stance on these issues.

I am available to meet with your board/governing body to help in any way that I can. I will be on the East Coast August 8-19 and in the Northwest October 25 to November 11th. I am also available in the Mid-west when not traveling to other regions.

May the Lord of the Church help you shepherd His flock.

John Sprecher
Lead Elder
Fellowship of Christian Assemblies USA

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