We have received a decision from the Supreme Court that has caused great angst. I am deeply grieved that the Supreme Court has taken an unprecedented position to redefine marriage, ruling in favor of same-sex marriage, and has not upheld the Biblical standard of one man and one woman in a relationship for life. However, our hope as believers has never rested in any other source than a Savior that defeated death and the grave, the word of God, and the power that comes from on high.
Arkansas Baptists stand firmly in the belief that God's love and plan for redemption extends to every person, while also affirming the Bible's definition regarding marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Arkansas Baptists support the statement on marriage issued two weeks ago at the 2015 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting by the current and all past living presidents of the Southern Baptist Convention http://bpnews.net/44950/floyd-and-former-sbc-presidents-take-marriage-stance.
One of our concerns is that religious liberty be protected in every way. We are grateful the Supreme Court took the time to affirm the Constitution's protection of our rights to teach and preach the truth of the Bible. It is unclear how the conflict between our rights and the results of this decision will play out in practical terms. This decision's far-reaching implications are too complicated to speculate upon at this time. Our state convention is already consulting with attorneys regarding how this decision impacts our work as Arkansas Baptists.
We move ahead with several firm convictions. First, God has defined the true definition of marriage. His authority outranks any court decision. Second, we must continue to focus on sharing the message of God's love, hope and salvation that applies to every living person regardless of any factors present in his or her life. Third, we need to embrace the vision cast by SBC President Ronnie Floyd – eagerly seeking and praying for a great spiritual awakening in America. Fourth, we must move forward together patiently as a Baptist family working to avoid being distracted from the Great Commission. We are grateful for the Christ-following attorneys in our Arkansas Baptist churches who are working to help us understand the legal complexities presented by this decision.
J. D. “Sonny” Tucker, Ph. D
Arkansas Baptist State Convention