Pastors in Michigan are calling on Christians to unite as a federal court prepares to hear a lawsuit against a marriage amendment approved by voters a decade ago.
On Monday more than 100 pastors are gathering for a press conference at Detroit’s First Baptist World Changers Church to stand in unity against challenges to the amendment, which defines marriage as one man, one woman; and to the ban on adoption of children by homosexuals.
Stacy Swimp, a gospel activist and founder of Revive Alive, tells OneNewsNow that while people can decide how they want to live, “no one has a right to redefine marriage.
Swimp continues: “So we are standing for marriage protection,” he continues. “And we believe that it was God who instituted both marriage [and] government, and gave government the responsibility to protect the covenant that he created between man and woman.”
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan is to conduct a hearing Tuesday on a challenge to the 2004 amendment that passed with the support of 59 percent of voters.
“Really the people of Michigan have already decided this based upon a ballot initiative,” argues Swimp. “So hopefully the judge will respect the amendment to the Constitution of the State of Michigan, and respect the voting rights of the people of Michigan – because if he so decides to roll back the ballot initiative, that would be the same thing as voter disenfranchisement.”
There are several key points the pastors wish to highlight about God and marriage between one man and one woman:
God created marriage as a covenant between one man and one woman
God created marriage between one man and one woman to be the foundation for building a family
God created sexuality as an expression of unity between a man and a woman in the marriage covenant
God created the covenant of marriage between one man and one woman as a replication of the covenant between God and man
Bishop Ellis Smith, pastor of Detroit’s Jubilee City Church, believes that somehow the Church’s unified voice on marriage isn’t being heard.
Smith states: “There needs to be a collective but clear voice that supports traditional marriage between one man and one woman,” he shares. “Somehow that isn’t being heard the way it should be – and what I mean by that is from a biblical perspective but also in a way that we’re not ‘anti’ anything; we’re not fighting people to do what they want to do, but what we are doing is making a stance in what we believe in as to what God says about marriage.”
Smith adds that many of the group’s leaders seek a godly and biblical perspective on marriage.
“What we have is a worldview that is shifting drastically around our country, and particularly in the African-American community,” he offers, “because we’ve been so engaged to a large extent in a social approach to the gospel and preaching a social gospel that somehow the spiritual component has been ignored. And the enemy has come in and kind of sifted us and made other things focal points for us and not this.”
The case being heard on Tuesday before U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman is DeBoer v. Snyder.