This week, Illinois became the 16th state to redefine marriage to allow same-sex couples to "marry." These types of actions should never go without a response by the Church. Throughout American history, pastors have stood in their pulpits and proclaimed truth to politics and the culture. Pastors have not hesitated to call out unrighteousness and to clearly expound God's truth. But this type of prophetic proclamation requires pastors to know what is going on in their communities, states, and country.
Bishop Thomas John Paprocki, the Catholic Bishop of Springfield, Illinois, was not asleep at the wheel when Illinois' Governor signed a law redefining marriage. In response to the new law Bishop Paprocki preached a homily entitled "Prayers of Supplication and Exorcism in Reparation for the Sin of Same-Sex Marriage." Even if you are not Catholic or disagree with Catholic theology, the homily is worth reading in its entirety. You can read it on the Diocese website.
In the homily, Bishop Paprocki clearly and forcefully proclaimed biblical truth on the issue confronting Illinois. He said:
Same-sex marriage is contrary to the plan of God, as described in the Bible. . . Since the legal redefinition of marriage is contrary to God's plan, those who contract civil same-sex marriage are culpable of serious sin. Politicians responsible for enacting civil same-sex marriage legislation are morally complicit as co-operators in facilitating this grave sin. We must pray for forgiveness of these sins and deliverance from this evil which has penetrated our state and our Church.
Pastors are encountering a day when the clear proclamation of biblical truth is a necessity. As American culture becomes increasingly secular, it is incumbent upon pastors to speak to that culture with uncompromising clarity. Such preaching is not "political." Simply because a biblical issue has been swept into the realm of politics does not mean that it ceases to become a biblical issue. No, biblical issues remain biblical. And speaking biblical truth from the pulpit remains the particular province and calling of pastors.
Pastor, are you aware and engaged enough to know what is happening in your community, your state, or your nation? Once informed, are you speaking truth to your people, thus equipping them with a biblical worldview that doesn't shift when a Governor signs an immoral law? If your answer to either of these questions is "no", let me give you two practical resources to get you started.
First, an excellent resource to stay informed and aware of the issues of life, marriage, and religious freedom is the Alliance Alert, a daily digest of news stories from around the country, and the world, on these issues. You can subscribe to the Alliance Alert to have it delivered to your email daily.
Second, Alliance Defending Freedom is at the forefront of the battle to protect marriage. Our website on this issue provides resources you as a pastor can use to become informed and to edcuate your congregation. Watch the video on our website to get the big picture about the redefinition of marriage and its impact on our society and then show it to your people so they too can grasp what is at stake in this battle.
Bishop Paprocki stands as an example to other pastors to be aware, engaged, informed, and to speak out when the time demands it. Pastor, are you willing?