With the help of the American Family Association, pastors in Arizona are urging people at the local level to sign petition in support of a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman.
Phillip Medlin, associate minister at Mountain Home Church of Christ located in Mountain Home, Arizona, have been working with the congregation to gather signatures.
Medlin, ministers Ken Burton and elder Doyle Davis voiced their views on homosexual unions and why they think the amendment is important.
Medlin believes those who oppose the homosexual lifestyle need to make their voices heard.
"If we passively sit back, issues like this will continue to spiral and become more and more prevalent. We have to use any means at our disposal within legal realms to voice our opposition," he said.
He suggested signing the petition to support the constitutional amendment, contacting lawmakers and writing letters to the editor.
"The way things are right now, judges seem to have the control to redefine what marriage is," Burton said. "We need protection from judges who are making law instead of interpreting law."
They said they are not against homosexuals as individuals, just their lifestyle.
"As with Jesus Christ, following His example, we love the people. It's their way of life that we're disturbed about," Medlin said.
"God loves them as much as He loves any of us," Davis added.
But they are concerned that the homosexual community is pushing to make this lifestyle "part and parcel of our society as a whole," Burton said.
Davis cited Romans 1, particularly verses 25-27 as a passage to show God's disapproval of homosexuality. And Burton referred to the very order of creation as God's ideal for marriage.
"God created them male and female," Burton said. "He didn't make a harem for Adam, and he didn't make a male partner for Adam. One man and one woman is what he styled a home."
Medlin pointed out that this arrangement is what God called "good."
All three expressed concern that demands put forth by the homosexual community will take away Christians' rights to oppose what they see as a sinful lifestyle. "It's difficult to see 2 percent of the population controlling the rest of society," Davis said.
Davis and Medlin, who have both been involved in foster care, expressed concern about how acceptance of homosexuality in society will affect children. Medlin said parents should worry that it will end up in the school curriculum being taught as an acceptable alternative lifestyle.
Burton said he doesn't see this as a civil rights issue. He said groups such as blacks and women have been discriminated against because of who they are, but the issue with homosexuals is what they do.
He said they have the option to repent and change their behavior. As an example, he referred to I Corinthians 6:9-11, where the apostle Paul lists a number of behaviors that will keep people from inheriting the kingdom. Two of the offenses listed are different Greek words that refer to roles in a homosexual relationship, Burton said.
"People in the church at Corinth came out of a homosexual lifestyle," Burton said. "They changed. They repented. They gave up their lifestyle and became Christians. That hope is open to anybody. God's salvation is open to those who are homosexual when they repent and give up the lifestyle. It's not an unpardonable sin."
"We are genuinely concerned about the effects of homosexual activity upon society, upon the family, upon children, upon the general moral sense of our nation, and for the souls of those involved in it," Burton said.
By signing the petition, the issue will be able to put on the ballot. Each petition must contain signatures of registered voters from a single county, and each copy must be notarized. To get the issue on the ballot, petitioners will need to obtain 80,570 names on petitions before July 5.
Courtesy of The Baxter Bulletin