Numerous pastors are now contacting the Christian Action League with concerns about protecting their churches from possible legal action, now that same-sex marriage has been declared the law of the land. Although I would not want to be an alarmist, let me simply say that they are rightly concerned.
After winning the valiant fight to place a constitutional amendment protecting marriage as one man and one woman in our state’s constitution, I don’t think most churches expected same-sex marriage to happen so quickly. Therefore, most of them have never taken steps to include in their bylaws language meant to afford their religious liberties with certain protections. It is nothing less than naïve to think gay activists will be satisfied with redefining marriage. Their pattern of action indicates their ultimate goal is to humiliate and silence all opposition. Churches should move decisively to protect their spiritual objectives, but with careful deliberation to also be open to minister to all.
The Christian Action League sees no need to reinvent the wheel. Alliance Defending Freedom, (ADF) “a unique legal ministry that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith,” already provides documents to help with these concerns.
ADF has given us permission to post the documents below. If you should have questions, you may feel at liberty to contact our office. If we cannot sufficiently address your questions, we will point you in ADF’s direction or some other person or organization that can.
The critical issue at hand, however, is that you start preparing now! Don’t procrastinate. Take appropriate measures for your church by reading, studying, and implementing the suggested protections in the documents listed here:
- Three Policies All Churches Should Have
- The Importance of a Membership Policy
- Model Membership Agreement
- Procedure for Member Discipline/Membership Revocation
- Procedure for Rescinding Membership
- Job Descriptions & Religious Grounds for Limiting Employment
- Business With Conviction: Employer Religious Beliefs
- Church Facility Use Policy
The Christian Action League is serving churches from 16 denominations. And there is no “one size fits all” way to approach this matter for the churches the League represents. Still, the documents listed can provide good guidelines, model statements for bylaws, and pro-active steps to securing the constitutional protections churches need.
Dr. Mark Creech
Christian Action League of North Carolina, Inc.