Countdown to SCOTUS Ruling

Like millions around the country, the American Pastors Network is awaiting the historic U.S. Supreme Court decision that could either protect or redefine marriage in America. 

“Regardless of the outcome, this important decision—with biblical, historical and constitutional roots—will affect both pastors and churches,” said APN President Sam Rohrer, who also serves as the president of the Pennsylvania Pastors Network (PPN, “The fact that this issue even made it to the Supreme Court of the United States is an indictment against American Christians and against American churches. For too long, instead of being salt and light in the culture, our churches and, sadly, many of our pulpits have aimed to simply blend into the culture—not changing it but being changed by it. Now, the very institution of marriage literally stands on trial, and regardless of how the Court rules, this fact alone must serve as a wake-up call to the American church. 

“This is just the beginning, and as the culture continues to change—and move even further away from the truth of God’s word and from our constitutional roots—it is crucial that pastors and churches know the truth, speak the truth and live the truth, not just on Sundays, but 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”  

Attorney Jeff Mateer of the Liberty Institute, who was a featured speaker at PPN’s “U-Turn” conference this spring, attended SCOTUS’s oral arguments in April and called same-sex marriage “the issue of our generation.”

According to Mateer, several scenarios are possible:

  • SCOTUS could affirm the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit’s decision that the 14th Amendment does not require states to redefine marriage or recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.
  • SCOTUS could rule that states must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states but not redefine marriage in their own state.
  • SCOTUS could rule that the 14th Amendment applies to same-sex marriage, and all states would have to recognize all same-sex marriages.

For the case, the Liberty Institute filed a brief on behalf of the National Religious Broadcasters, Billy Graham and Franklin Graham, Samaritan’s Purse, In Touch Ministries, along with several seminaries and theologians, stating that “for millennia,” we have believed in marriage between one man and one woman—and there has never been another definition of marriage.

The concern directed at the Supreme Court was, Mateer said, if the justices change the definition of marriage and mandate marriage be redefined and expanded beyond one man and one woman, they will eventually violate the religious liberty rights of many and intrude on the workings and beliefs of the church.

Above all, Mateer suggested that pastors and churches fervently pray over the coming weeks for the landmark decision, particularly for Justice Anthony Kennedy, who will likely be a deciding factor.


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