Culture needs salt and light, grace and truth
    July 14 2015 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer

    North Carolina Baptists, as a whole, have always believed, and continue to affirm, God’s design for marriage as recorded in scripture. Marriage, as defined by God, is between one man and one woman.
    While our culture, and now the U.S. Supreme Court, has interpreted marriage in ways that find acceptance with current social trends, we remain committed to a biblical view of marriage. We believe God’s Word is clear in what it says about marriage. Baptists have long been described as “a people of the Book,” and as the body of Christ, we stand together upon the Bible as God’s unchanging truth in changing times. Isaiah 40:8 states “the grass withers and the flowers fade, but the Word of our God stands forever.” No decision of any court in the land or any majority in any culture can change what God has declared in His Word.
    There is no doubt that believers and churches will face many different types of challenges in the days ahead as a result of the recent Supreme Court ruling. There are many questions about what this ruling could mean for the religious freedom and liberty of individuals and institutions that uphold the biblical view of marriage. You can expect that those of us who base our belief system upon God’s Word will not feel the same cordial acceptance we have known throughout the history of these United States. No matter what challenges we are called upon to face, we are commissioned to obey God rather than man.
    If ever there was a time for believers and the church to be salt and light in a dark world, that time is now. The Great Commission given to us by our Lord has not changed. We must continue to be about the business of making disciples.
    God’s Word calls us to love all people, even those with whom we disagree. We have long known that there are those who disagree with us on the issue of marriage, just as there are those who disagree with us on other issues, as well.
    John 1:14 reminds us that Jesus Christ was the full embodiment of grace and truth, and it is with this same spirit that we must love and serve others.
    There is a noticeable tension between grace and truth, yet we see Jesus fully and completely expressing both throughout His earthly ministry.
    While we affirm our love for everyone, we do not and will not affirm homosexuality or same-sex marriage. However, at the same time, we must also remember that everyone is made in the image of God, loved by God and no one living is beyond the grace of God. Therefore, we are to sincerely show Christ-like love to every person. Never forget that holy God hates sin, while at the same time, He loves the sinner and offers redemption.
    We must continue to minister in a changing culture even though the road ahead will not be easy. Keep in mind that America is not the hope of the world. Our confident hope is in Jesus Christ demonstrating His power through His Church.
    Join me in praying that more disciples of Jesus will be made. Ask God to help you be salt and light, and minister to others with grace and truth.
    Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” – Matthew 5:16 (NKJV)

    7/14/2015 11:17:57 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer | with 0 comments
    Filed under: marriage, North Carolina Baptists

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