Many have asked how the church and pastors move forward based upon the Supreme Court ruling today. Here is the official statement of Fairview Church of God:
A legal definition of marriage may have changed, but the orthodox understanding based on God’s revelation has not changed. We call upon men and women to demonstrate to a confused world the fulfillment that results when they covenant in marriage to practice faithful and sacrificial love. Action by the Church of God International General Assembly in 2014 protects pastors and congregations who do not wish to participate in same-sex marriage ceremonies, based on First Amendment rights to religious freedom. On that basis, Senior Pastor Keith Stanford makes this statement on behalf of himself and the congregation of Fairview Church of God:
I am a minister of the gospel, credentialed by the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee).
It is the long-established biblical/religious belief and polity of the Church of God, which belief and polity I adhere to, that marriage is a spiritual union in which a man and woman are joined by God to live together as one.
Based on my personal religious beliefs and the beliefs and polity of my credentialing church, I refuse to perform same-sex marriages. I base this refusal on my First Amendment guarantee of religious freedom, and on any and all exemptions granted to me under Federal and State laws.
This refusal shall extend to my church’s refusal to allow its facilities to be used for same-sex marriages or any celebration relating to same-sex unions.
The ill-considered opinion of the activist members of this Supreme Court will have far-reaching and threatening after effects in coming months and years. It evidences again the supreme importance of electing a president who will seek out and appoint constitutional jurists rather than judges who would rather be legislators. The Christian Church has understood during most of it existence that it is part of a kingdom that is not of this world. It has faced much hostility and endured much suffering, but it remains steadfast and victorious. We believe that despite the best efforts of antichristian forces, it will ultimately triumph.