(This message was originally published on July 3, 2013) Dear SBCV brothers and sisters,
While preaching with the International Mission Board in Romania last week, I received word of the Supreme Court decision related to marriage. As I read the email from our SBCV communications office and prepared to send out an initial response, I was getting ready to preach from Philippians 2:12-18.
A key phrase in that Scripture reminds us to "Shine as Stars." Our task in this world remains the same: make disciples of all nations for the glory of Christ. We serve the Lord as we radiate the light of Christ in the darkness.
I grew up in Newport News but my grandparents lived in rural North Carolina. I remember telling my Dad when I was a child that they had more stars in North Carolina than in Virginia. He told me that the stars are more visible at my grandparents' house because in Newport News the city lights made the stars less visible. You see, the darker the night, the brighter the stars seem to shine.
Now is an opportunity for SBCV churches, and all followers of the Lord Jesus, to bear witness to the True Light (John 1). Just as John the Baptist was a witness to the Light, the Lord Jesus - I pray that Brian the Baptist, and You the Baptist, will proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ!
Some thoughts on our response: SBCV churches are united in our statement of faith summarized in the Baptist Faith and Message 2000. This statement makes it clear that we understand the Bible to teach that marriage is between a man and a woman. SBCV churches can emphasize ministry to support families and enrich marriages. SBCV churches have opportunities to be salt and light as they reach out to their neighbors and the nations. SBCV churches must minister redemptively to a lost and dying world. A dark society and doomed souls should motivate us to proclaim the good news of Christ to all people. May we pray for one another, seek revival, and yearn for spiritual awakening.
A few days ago, your SBCV media team interviewed Dr. Russell Moore, the new president of our Southern Baptist ethics ministry. Here is a link to the radio interview where Dr. Moore gives some insight into being the church in this day and age, and his response to the recent Supreme Court decision: