Beliefs

Southern Baptist president: God, not Supreme Court, has ‘final authority’

Ronnie Floyd, president of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastor of Cross Church in Arkansas, speaks during AVANCE 2015 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center June 14, 2015. Photo by Paul W. Lee, courtesy of Baptist Press
Ronnie Floyd, president of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastor of Cross Church in Arkansas, speaks during AVANCE 2015 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center June 14, 2015. Photo by Paul W. Lee, courtesy of Baptist Press

Ronnie Floyd, president of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastor of Cross Church in Arkansas, speaks during AVANCE 2015 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center on June 14, 2015. Photo by Paul W. Lee, courtesy of Baptist Press

(RNS) Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd told members of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination they must look to God as the final authority in their lives and not the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Our first commitment is to God and his word — nothing else and no one else,” said Floyd, an Arkansas megachurch pastor, speaking Tuesday (June 16) about the court’s impending ruling on same-sex marriage.

“I want to remind everyone today, humbly, the Supreme Court of the United States is not the final authority, nor is the culture itself, but the Bible is God’s final authority about marriage and on this book we stand,” he said, drawing a standing ovation.

About 5,000 messengers, or delegates, attended the two-day meeting in Columbus, Ohio, at which Floyd was re-elected to a second one-year term as SBC president. He was the sole candidate.

Floyd, whose address was titled “Now Is the Time to Lead,” said he could only speak for himself but hoped that other pastors would join him.

“I declare to everyone today, as a minister of the gospel, I will not officiate over any same-sex unions or same-sex marriage ceremonies,” he said. “I completely refuse.”

He said he expects thousands of pastors in the nation to agree with him.

“While some evangelicals may be bowing down to the deception of the inclusiveness of same-sex marriage,” Floyd said, “we will not bow down nor will we be silent.”

Southern Baptists adopted a resolution “On the Call to Public Witness on Marriage” on Tuesday.

“No matter how the Supreme Court rules, the Southern Baptist Convention reaffirms its unwavering commitment to its doctrinal and public beliefs concerning marriage,” the statement reads.

It adds that “Southern Baptists love our neighbors and extend respect in Christ’s name to all people, including those who may disagree with us about the definition of marriage and the public good.”

The meeting will conclude Wednesday with a panel discussion during which Floyd will interview Southern Baptist leaders about “The Supreme Court and Same-Sex Marriage: Preparing Our Churches for the Future.”

“There’s no question we all have a massive concern about the upcoming decision by the Supreme Court, and we’re doing what we can to prepare our churches regardless of what the outcome is,” Floyd told Religion News Service in an interview before the meeting.

YS/MG END BANKS

About the author

Adelle M. Banks

Adelle M. Banks, production editor and a national reporter, joined RNS in 1995. An award-winning journalist, she previously was the religion reporter at the Orlando Sentinel and a reporter at The Providence Journal and newspapers in the upstate New York communities of Syracuse and Binghamton.

26 Comments

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  • I’ll tell you what, Mr. Man o’ Gawd:

    You can have all of the religious authority you wish. Ban me from your church, proclaim me of the devil, and all of the other cute things I’m sure you will have to say. Tell me that GAWD hates me. I will sneer in his general direction.

    I will prefer the legal authority of the supreme court and the founding document of this nation when it comes to the laws of this ocuntry. Hopefully the former will support the latter and put your religious authority right where it belongs– within the four walls of your church, or maybe just within the smaller, darker places in your heart and brain.

    But if you REALLY find a need to protest, take the most concrete, integritive action you can. DON’T GET GAY MARRIED, AND DON’T PERFORM SAME-SEX MARRIAGES IN YOUR CHURCH.

    for my part, I won’t invite you to my wedding. now will I expect a gift.

    DEAL?

  • Let’s see how the Supreme Court decides before vilifying them. Hopefully they will co what is right and good, stating the “marriage” has always been between man and woman, and will remain that way. And that “garriage” is between same sex partners. It will need to be differentiated as such.

  • Hmm…was anybody actually asking this guy to “bow down” or officiate a ceremony? Pretty sure gays planning a wedding aren’t looking to the evangelicals for their blessing. I think this misguided narcissist just wanted to get himself into the news cycle.

  • So here again, that would be the legal system defining specific relationships. No god is required, nor does the Christian one even exist.

  • “I declare to everyone today, as a minister of the gospel, I will not officiate over any same-sex unions or same-sex marriage ceremonies,” he said. “I completely refuse.”

    More resounding gongs and clanging symbols. *shrug*

  • “…the Bible is God’s final authority about marriage…”

    The Bible repeatedly depicts marriage as a union between one man and multiple wives and concubines. Why doesn’t the SBC endorse polygamy and open marriages?

  • Fine. No church can be forced to perform any marriage ceremony they do not want to perform (go read the Bill of Rights, Article I). To claim otherwise is to lie. But, it’s a useful lie for causing fear to increase fundraising and political organizing, so many false-christians keep claiming it.

    Satan is a liar.

  • I wonder whose God we are talking about? George Bush’s god called him to attack Iraq. My god asks me to love all creation. Fanatics of all religious stripes claim their god as the true god.. We should do a better job of being who we say we are in terms of really respecting one another and letting people think for themselves.

  • I think you have the right orientation, Ben. The Constitution is superior the the old ragged papers providing the mythology of Christian Churches. At what point do Christian ministers get arrested for treason against the U. S.? If the SBC wants to support its minister against obeying the laws of the U. S., then it’s time to seek out the offenders and send them to jail for life. It’s no wonder there’s a steady flow of members out of the SBC.

  • I don’t want to send anyone to jail for life, unless they advocate an armed insurrection against the Constitition, or commit violence in the name of their idols and vanities.

    But I will be quite happy to see them laughed at In public for spouting lies, advocating harm under the guise of love, demanding religious exceptionalism as their due, for being moralizing busybodies with the intellectual and moral heft of a watermelon, for being obvious bigots of the usual stripe but claiming they are just defending the family, and for delivering more agricultural additives than the entire team of Budweiser Clydesdales.

    And I will positively drink a pot of schadenfreude when their obvious bigotries, whether disguised as sincere religious belief, or admitted for what they so clearly are, continue to cause, and hopefully accelerate the decline of conservative Christianity in this country.

    Maybe when that happens, we can stop worrying about sex and start worrying about real problems.

  • “Southern Baptists love our neighbors and extend respect in Christ’s name to all people, including those who may disagree with us about the definition of marriage and the public good.”

    Would that it were so. Folks who maintain that “the Bible is God’s final authority”
    have no regard for those who disagree, despite the fact that most Christians hold the view that God’s revelations are ongoing and unending. The Baptist cult is of recent origin, as is their God.

  • One more thing. Just look at the photo. His face is contorted by anger and contempt. He has his fist in the air, and is wearing an expression that would make any sane person avoid him if they met in the street. God of love indeed. HIs God is a daemon.

  • There are some who are standing on the Rock, that is on Jesus Christ and His Word, while others are wavering. Some do not want to suffer persecution which is here now and will probably get much worse. The Book of Revelation describes how God sends plague after plague on the earth so that the wicked might repent of their wickedness, but they will NOT! It is clear that this type of attitude is with us today. Defiant against God no matter what. And some wonder why there is a hell. Really? The good news is, some will repent. Praise God. Repent! Receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and follow Him as He leads. Then you will surely know Peace, joy, and blessing in your life. God Bless

  • I do not wish to offend anyone, but as someone who cares for your soul, I don’t love you if I don’t tell you the truth. The truth is, being Gay, and living the lifestyle will separate you from God. God loves you, but he cannot tolerate sin and living the Gay lifestyle is sin. But He has made a way for you to be cleansed from your sin, and come back into right standing before Him. He sacrificed His only Son, so that you could come to Him, and be free.

  • Amen.
    This is to be the last thing I will post about today’s American changing and Life changing event….

    God, not Supreme Court, has ‘final authority’
    Enough Said, now we ??????

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