Support for same-sex marriage in America has reached an all-time high, according to a new Gallup poll, just as the U.S. Supreme Court is considering an historic decision on the redefinition of marriage in America.
The poll found that a record-high 60 percent support same-sex marriage in the United States, up five percent from last year and at its highest since surveys began to address the matter in 1996, according to Gallup pollsters.
The American Pastors Network (APN, www.americanpastorsnetwork.net) says the numbers are dismaying, as fewer and fewer are committed to preserving God’s definition for marriage as between one man and one woman.
“These are indeed sensitive topics, but pastors cannot allow fear or unease to sway them from God’s calling—to lead congregations according to God’s word,” said APN President Sam Rohrer. “Many pastors are afraid to ruffle feathers by talking about issues such as same-sex marriage, homosexuality, sex outside of marriage, pornography, divorce and infidelity, the breakdown of the family, abortion and responsible stewardship, among many others. But pastors have a biblical responsibility and a charge from God to address these sensitive issues with their congregations. Scripture is very clear in James 3:1 that those who teach will be judged more strictly, and leading congregations astray by ignore biblical truth is a dangerous step for pastors to take.”
Research has shown that pastors are purposefully skirting some controversial topics when preparing their messages for the pulpit, but Rohrer says churches and pastors must address these issues, no matter how uncomfortable it might be.
Last summer, George Barna, founder of the Barna Group, shared research that found a vast majority of theologically conservative pastors believe the Bible speaks to societal issues, but fewer than 10 percent of these pastors are teaching people what the Bible says on these topics.
The research, conducted through the American Culture and Faith Institute, asked pastors across the country about their beliefs regarding the relevancy of Scripture to societal, moral and political issues, and the content of their sermons in light of their beliefs.
“…When we ask them about all the key issues of the day, [90 percent of them are] telling us, ‘Yes, the Bible speaks to every one of these issues,’” Barna told American Family Radio during an interview. “Then we ask them: ‘Well, are you teaching your people what the Bible says about those issues?’ and the numbers drop … to less than 10 percent of pastors who say they will speak to it.”
Barna said many pastors are afraid to get involved in political issues because of the controversy it might create. And, he added, “Controversy keeps people from being in the seats, controversy keeps people from giving money, from attending programs.”
“Fear and trepidation about offending parishioners is not an excuse for shying away from tough topics,” Rohrer said. “Pastors are not doing any favors to their churches by allowing people to have a false sense of what’s right and wrong. The Bible is very clear on God’s design for marriage.”