Pastor supports Bible's definition of marriage

To the Editor:

Three weeks ago the Presbyterian Church (USA) became the latest denomination to affirm gay marriage. With this move, the PC (USA) joins several other mainline denominations in the U.S.A. in affirming gay marriage. While observers might be asking themselves, “Who’s next?” I feel it is necessary to clarify my position and what I feel God’s word teaches.

It's unfortunate that too many times people know what the church is against rather than what we're for. You should know we are for love. We love people and we love the Word of God.

Jesus willingly gave His life because of His love for people and His love for truth. While we have the opportunity to be made right through His sacrifice, we must remember His call to "Go and sin no more" in John 8:11. We should not use the love of Jesus as an excuse to continue living in sin. The author of Romans says in chapter 6, "Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?"

We should not use the love of Jesus as an excuse for ongoing sinful behavior. We should also understand permissiveness is not love. Love is truth and grace. A love of truth is not the hatred of man, but rather the opposite. We love people even though they sin. And we love them enough to guide them in truth.

To this point, I support the Biblical definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman as established by God at creation. I will continue to love those who choose to live differently. One of the ways I will do so is by sharing the life-giving truth of God’s Word. I will not compromise to public opinion, because I love God, His Word and His people.

Pastor Jim Bates, Victory Christian Fellowship, Columbus

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