ABSC's Tucker comments on Supreme Court same-sex marriage ruling


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

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
Executive Director
Arkansas Baptist State Convention



Supreme Court OKs same-sex marriage 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a landmark decision certain to have wide-ranging social, moral and economic ramifications for the nation, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 26 that state laws banning same-sex marriage are unconstitutional.

Homosexual couples already have the right to legally marry in 36 states and the District of Columbia, according to the Associated Press (AP). The court's 5-4 ruling means the remaining 14 states, in the South and Midwest, will have to stop enforcing their bans on same-sex marriage. A ruling from the Arkansas Supreme Court challenging the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is currently pending.

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Jay Jones named ABN Father of Year

MONTICELLO – Jay Jones, 51, a deacon at First Baptist Church, Monticello, has been named the Arkansas Baptist News (ABN) 2015 Father of the Year.

He was nominated by his 21-year-old son, Brooks Jones, a member of Central Baptist Church, Jonesboro, and a student at Arkansas State University, as part of the ABN A Tribute to Godly Fathers essay contest.

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Arkansas must recognize in-state same-sex marriages, says Pulaski County judge

LITTLE ROCK – Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen ordered Arkansas officials Tuesday, June 9, to recognize more than 500 same-sex marriages performed in 2014, a move that will allow the couples to receive benefits such as filing taxes jointly, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

Griffen  validated marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples after another judge struck down the state's gay marriage ban. The state Supreme Court halted the distribution of marriage licenses to gay couples after a week in May 2014 and is considering the appeal over a voter-approved same-sex marriage ban, the AP reported.

The ruling means the couples can file taxes jointly, appear jointly on a child's birth certificate, enroll together on state health insurance plans or even file for divorce. The state could appeal. Griffen was among those who presided over same-sex weddings in 2014.


Ark. disaster relief serves as Incident Command in Houston 

Updated on Monday, June 8, 2015 at 3:47PM by Registered CommenterArkansas Baptist News

HOUSTON, Texas – The Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC) has agreed to serve as the Incident Command for disaster relief in Houston for the first two weeks of June. The area has experienced major flooding.

“This is the first time our Incident Command has been deployed outside of Arkansas,” said Randy Garrett, ABSC disaster relief director. “Dr. Bob (Bob Harper) and I both think it is an honor that the state of Texas thinks so highly of our commitment to disaster relief and our ability to handle this huge responsibility.”

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