Churches should also prepare to protect their religious liberties
By Dr. Mark Creech
Christian Action League
October 12, 2014
For those who understand that marriage is only one man and one woman, this past week has been a painful disappointment. US District Court Judge Max Cogburn in Asheville, late Friday afternoon, overturned North Carolina’s Constitutional Marriage Protection Amendment and by judicial fiat declared same-sex marriage is now legal across the state. There will be far-reaching ramifications for this decision, both spiritual and legal, if such an egregious ruling and abuse of power is allowed to stand. At this point, we will have to live with it, but we must never give up the fight – never – never – never.
I just received an email from a colleague of mine, Tami Fitzgerald, with the North Carolina Values Coalition. Fitzgerald also directed NC Vote for Marriage, the umbrella organization for a coalition of concerned citizen Christians who valiantly worked together in 2012 to get our marriage amendment passed by a 61% to 39% margin at the polls. Representing the Christian Action League, I was a part of the executive committee of NC Vote for Marriage and an integral part of its work and strategy – a partnership and service of which I am exceedingly humbled to have been a part.
Fitzgerald’s email today highlighted the fact that there are two more federal lawsuits against our state’s marriage amendment that are pending in court before Judge William Osteen in Greensboro. “The judge in those two cases issued an order on Friday that leaves us some room for hope,” she writes, “but now we must depend on Attorney General Roy Cooper to allow the Marriage Amendment to have its day in court.”
Cooper has already said he will not defend our state’s marriage amendment, while NC House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger have moved to intervene before Osteen’s bar. Fitzgerald writes:
“The judge has asked Cooper to weigh in by 3:00 p.m. on Monday whether Speaker Tillis and President Berger can intervene to do his job and defend the Marriage Amendment on behalf of North Carolina voters.
“If the Court in Greensboro grants the motions from Speaker Tillis and President Berger, allowing them to intervene, we will get our day in court for North Carolina’s Marriage Amendment, whether it’s in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court.
“We need Attorney General Roy Cooper to do everything possible to give North Carolina its day in court, and he must hear from all of us this weekend!”
My friends, the voters of this state who wrote the definition of marriage into our state’s constitution deserve their day in court. It doesn’t matter what the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has already said about Virginia’s marriage amendment, we deserve our own day at the bar of justice to make our own case for our own constitutional marriage amendment.
I am imploring you to call or send an email to Cooper’s office immediately!
Let me admonish you to make your remarks in grace and kindness, but with passion.
You must do this before 3:00 tomorrow, Monday, October 13th.
Please don’t waste time surmising the way Cooper might negatively respond, it is simply our duty before God to take every opportunity for real marriage and make the best of it that we can. Therefore, MAKE THE CALL or SEND THE EMAIL. Do it now!
Lastly, I want to add that 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 deemed as the law of the land. Although I would not want to be an alarmist, let me simply say that they are rightly concerned. I don’t think most churches ever thought that this would happen, 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 ultimate goal is to humiliate and silence all opposition.
The Christian Action League, with its limited staff and resources, is working feverishly to post on its website documents that every church should consider including in their bylaws. We hope to have all of this ready by Tuesday of this week. Here are just some of the things churches ned to do. They need to have in their bylaws:
A statement of religious belief regarding marriage, gender and human sexuality;
Identify for legal purposes the governing body that is the sole authoritative interpreter of scripture;
A formal membership policy;
A procedure for member discipline and membership revocation;
A procedure for rescinding membership.
Please bear with us while we prepare to make this information available.
And don’t forget to do the most important thing of all, pray for our state and nation.
Dr. Mark Creech
Christian Action League of North Carolina, Inc.