STATEMENT ON SAME SEX MARRIAGE
from Pastor Mark Edwards, Cityhope Church
From last Tuesday ballot papers for the voluntary plebiscite on SSM would have been posted to all eligible voters in this nation. No doubt all of us will start receiving our ballots very shortly. At the outset, although I personally disagree with a plebiscite on this issue, I would encourage everyone to have a say and vote.
Numerous leaders of churches throughout the nation have directly used the pulpit to tell people how to vote or impliedly done so by stating how they will vote. Indeed there has been considerable pressure on all church leaders to take this course of action.
Over the 26 years and 8 months as Senior Pastor of this church I have never and I will never use this platform to tell anyone how to vote and I don’t intend to start now irrespective of the issue. I have an absolute conviction that the wonderful people of Cityhope Church are quite able to make up their minds and vote accordingly.
In saying that the Australian Christian Churches position on SSM is clearly stated and if you want to refer to it please see the downloadable links below.
I have always been so proud of this church for its incredible love towards anyone who comes into this church regardless of their ethnicity, sexuality, relationship status, past background or current circumstances. You have embraced them with an unconditional love that Jesus taught when he displayed the same love to the people in his communities.
As a result people who would normally feel marginalized by church have truly found a home here at Cityhope. The transformation of a person’s life is never through confrontation between people but through a conviction made possible through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Cityhope remains a community where all people are welcomed so that they can have an ever increasing relationship with Jesus Christ and all that entails.
Many of my dearest friends have a different sexuality and relationship status than I have but they have taken me on the richest journey of love acceptance and tolerance that has deepened my love and compassion as a Christ follower. I am so honoured to be part of their lives and their journeys.
Irrespective of the result of the vote on SSM I am very concerned about the increasing pressure on religious and other freedoms. It is a fundamental human right for all individuals to freely exercise one’s religious beliefs without intervention. I am on the board of one of the foremost religious think-tanks in this nation – Freedom4Faith. As part of this board there are constant opportunities to present to government those concerns and in fact over the past two years I have met with politicians and spoken to them at length on this subject. This is far more effective than statements of a political nature over the pulpit.
Remember it is important if you want to have a say on this issue in a manner consistent with your Christian beliefs you must vote.
Australian Christian Churches position on SSM
“The ACC supports the Biblical view of marriage as a lifelong, exclusive union between a man and a woman, and recognises the potential consequences for Christians, should the legislation be passed. The ACC is encouraging all Christians to vote ‘No’.
Let us be prayerful and gracious whilst holding true to our convictions, confident always that Jesus will always keep His promise ‘to build His Church’. Through it all it is important that we are respectful of ALL people; even those who strongly disagree with our views.”