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Seminary presidents, faculties affirm biblical marriage
June 07, 2004
By Jason Hall
The presidents of the six Southern Baptist seminaries issued a joint statement May 17 upholding marriage as the permanent union between one man and one woman as defined by God in the Bible. They called on all Southern Baptist churches to stand in defense of the institution of marriage.
Joining the presidents in affirming the statement, titled “Let No Man Put Asunder,” are the faculties of each institution, totaling more than 300 evangelical scholars. The presidents hope the statement will be a clarion call to the church at large, and Southern Baptists in particular, to speak out against homosexual activists and others who want to rewrite the definition of marriage in the United States.
“Southern Baptists should begin now to educate themselves on the issue,” said Charles Kelley, president of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. “This is one of the major reasons why I think this resolution is a good thing.”
In addition to Kelley, the statement was signed by R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., who drafted the statement; Daniel Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C.; Jeff Iorg, president of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Mill Valley, Calif.; Phil Roberts, president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo.; and Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.
The presidents’ statement comes as Massachusetts has begun issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, following a controversial ruling by the state’s high court late last year.
“This is a mammoth issue since the family is the fabric of all social order,” Patterson said. “Furthermore, the judgment of God looms before a society that cannot retain clarity on the basic unit of relational life.”
Akin, who has made marriage and family issues a focus of his personal ministry and a priority at Southeastern, agreed, calling the recognition of homosexual “marriage” and same-sex unions a “watershed moment in Western civilization.”
The statement asserts that marriage “is not a human contrivance. Indeed, it is part of God’s perfect design for his human creatures. We affirm that marriage was designed for humanity by our Creator, who gave us marriage for the rightful ordering of human sexuality and relationships.”
The presidents emphasized that their convictions regarding marriage are not based on bigotry or prejudice, as many activists and leftist politicians claim, but instead are based on the one unalterable standard of truth -- the Bible. (BP)