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John Maudk

September 14, 2015

Churches at Risk Following Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

Today, the church faces attacks from many directions. On the front of religious liberty, past behavior and expressed objectives indicate the LGBT movement will not be satisfied with the recent Supreme Court's ruling requiring same-sex marriage recognition and gay activists will continue to assail Biblical teaching on marriage and sexuality.

Now that the Court has declared same-sex marriage a "fundamental right," churches which hold to Biblical teaching must be prepared to confront any possible lawsuit. For example, if a church refuses to rent out its facility for a same-sex wedding or remove someone from membership because of sexual sin, it may be open to legal action. Nevertheless, churches are not without defenses under current law.

To ensure the best legal protection, church boards need to review and if necessary update bylaws, membership policy, statement of faith, facility use policy, and employment criteria, clearly stating the church's position on marriage. Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has provided an excellent free resource of legal templates to protect your church and ministry from some legal issues that may lie ahead. The handbook is called Protecting Your Ministry and it can be found at www.ADFlegal.org/issues/religious-freedom/church. ADF's guide is general in scope and is not a substitute for customized legal advice. A church should always have a Christian attorney review any changes to its foundational documents bearing in mind that we are in the midst of spiritual warfare and we do "not wage war as the world does."
2 Cor 10:3 - 4 (ESV). The attorneys at Mauck & Baker are also able to assist you. Contact us at 312-726-1243 or info@mauckbaker.com.

Also be mindful that legal danger to most churches in our times is not an external attack from the LGBT activists or even from the state. Rampant church splits within a congregation or between a congregation and denomination are by far the most common legal and spiritual threat to the Lord's body. The ensuing legal battles can be bitter costly and destructive not only to the health and wellbeing of individual congregations but to the families of people involved through several generations. These divisions result from deceptive philosophies, faulty interpretations of the Bible and lies fed to God's people. Members of the congregation are often influenced by the culture and new Scriptural eisegesis condoning sexual immorality and distorting the Gospel's message. Even mature believers are susceptible to these types of deceptions because the world and its secular courts fail to tell them of the disastrous results consequential to the gay lifestyle. To guard against a church split over the issues of same-sex marriage, gay ordination, or sexual sin, we are recommending three preventatives:

  1. Teach people the pathology of homosexual lifestyle.
  2. Teach people that God can and will help people change. The feature length documentary, Such Were Some of You by Pure Passion Media, is an excellent resource for testimonies of people who overcame their same-sex attraction.

  3. Teach people of the danger to our children of gay adoption, child custody, or foster care. Visit familystructurestudies.com.

Pastors firm in true Biblical doctrine may face fewer legal problems, than pastors who equivocate. A congregation armed with truth and firm in the faith will withstand legal attacks against their congregations.

Let us remember the words of Paul, "Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain." 1 Cor 15:58 (ESV).



  1. Decide on which Sunday to have a voter registration drive. Have it announced in your bulletin and from the pulpit one or more Sundays before the registration date.
  2. Designate a person to be your church Voter Registration Coordinator who will recruit a registrar to be available at the registration desk (if necessary). It is recommended that you have several people in your church become registrars.
  3. They are to make sure there are enough voter registration applications available each Sunday and placed with the registrar at your registration table. They should also place the voter registration poster which we have enclosed in a prominent place in the lobby of your church.
  4. The voter registration table should be available before and after each service that Sunday. It would be good to have black or blue ink pens at the table along with the voter registration applications.
  5. You can obtain Voter Registration Applications either at your County Clerk's office or on the internet by visiting: www.eac.gov/voter_resources/register_to_vote.aspx The Voter Registration Coordinator should check with the County Clerk's office and the Secretary of State regarding rules specific to voter registration in your state. Your Voter Registration Coordinator should be sure that all applications are completely filled out and should then deliver them to the County Clerk's office.
  6. We encourage people to register in person at your registration booth and not online if available so that you can keep an accurate record of newly registered voters at your church. Please go to our website www.1UnderGod.com under 'Church Voter Registration' and let us know that you have completed your church voter registration drive and the number of people who have been registered.
In most states, picture IDs are required to register. Who Can Register to Vote? Must be a U.S. Citizen Must be 18 years of age or older Must be registering to vote in the state where you officially live Must be of sound mind mentally Must not have been convicted of a felony resulting in limitations of your civil rights.