June 26, 2015
Dear Brothers in the Michigan District,
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its ruling stating the majority opinion on what they believe is the Constitutional definition of marriage. It was determined by a 5 to 4 vote that the Constitution requires that same-sex couples be allowed to marry and that states may no longer reserve the right only for heterosexual couples.
The purpose of this email is to share talking points and media interview tips with you prepared by the LCMS Communications Department. This will assist you in speaking the truth in love should you be contacted by local newspaper or television news station for a response to this ruling.
Later today, Synod will also issue a statement and send church workers a letter from Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison. This letter will contain resources pertaining to a marriage policy for LCMS congregations, a Bible study, and other resources that provide a biblical understanding of God’s gift of marriage between a man and a woman. A great deal of other information will also be provided with pertinent links.
Much of what we are experiencing seems to be the result of the “sexual revolution” of the sixties which has continued on an exponential pace. “Sex” was divorced from marriage, commitment and even psychological connection. We’ve seen the initiation of sexual activity at an earlier and earlier age. Use of pornography – which certainly encourages lust in the mind and heart, which is adultery – is epidemic and leads to further sin. Sex before marriage has led to sex outside marriage, which has led to multiple liaisons, divorce and what’s been called serial polygamy. In a few decades, we’ve gone from “making love” to “having sex.” Yet, interestingly, although this may seem counter-intuitive, more and more “sex” has led to fewer and fewer children.
Not just the ruling today is troubling, but also the undeniable reality that same-sex marriage completely cuts the tie between marriage and children. Some heterosexual couples choose not to have children. Others are unable to have children. With “homosexual marriage,” (and I use the term advisably) we’re applying the label to couples which, by their very nature, are incapable of reproduction – part of God’s original design (Genesis 1:28) – severing the already tenuous connection between marriage and procreation. More importantly, the Bible plainly tells us that this is NOT what God intended … no matter what the President of the United States or the Supreme Court says. Marriage is clearly the union of one man and one woman for life.
As we continue to live and minister in this day and age may we remember that because of God’s great love for us, because of His mercy and grace extended to us in His Word and Sacraments, because of the Holy Spirit’s gift of faith, we are ALL children and servants of the most High God. In eternity we were chosen by Him to live at this particular time for His purposes with the powerful weapons of the Holy Spirit to advance the Kingdom of God. Listen to Paul in the Areopagus in Acts 17:26-28, “From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.'”
We are, by God’s grace, living at the exact time and at the exact place where God wants us to be! We are here as His salt and light to the world (Matthew 5:13-16). Through the Holy Spirit’s encouragement we remember these words of the prophet, Jeremiah: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) and Jesus’ words: “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).
As we look to our God for His continued protection and guidance, to the Holy Spirit working in the Word and Sacraments, and to our Synod for continued advice as to how we remain the salt of the earth and the light of the world, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25).
God’s peace attend you.
Rev. Dr. David P. E. Maier, President
Michigan District, LCMS