Baptist church against resolution opposing same-sex marriage

by Vanessa Rodriguez, |

WHITTIER, N.C. (Christian Examiner) -- A week after the Oct. 10 ruling by a federal Judge to strike down North Carolina's ban on same-sex marriage, the Tuckaseigee Baptist Association created a resolution opposing same-sex unions. Now, at least one church is distancing itself from the TBA and it's public stance.

Shoal Creek Baptist Church Pastor Steve Jamison told The Sylva Herald on Monday that the Association' "does not speak for us on this or any other matter of faith or the practice of our faith."

He went on to say that the resolution was imprudent, "It's just not wise to go around making resolutions that would keep people from understanding that God loves all people, imperfect as we are," he said.

The small, 72-member congregation states on their website that they are simply God's people united through love, though no mention is made of being gay friendly. "I wouldn't call us a liberal congregation. I wouldn't call us a conservative congregation," Jamison said. "We are open and loving people—nonjudgmental."

As for performing a same-sex marriage ceremony, the pastor said he would steer gay couples to a member of Jackson County's clergy who would perform a wedding for them.

The resolution was voted on by messengers from 35-member churches at the TBA's annual meeting Oct. 16-17. It describes marriage as a "covenant institution" and "peacefully, yet convictionally, oppose(s) any legislation or judicial revision of state or federal laws that in any way attempts to amend and/or abrogate an application of the biblical definition of marriage."

Jamison claims no one from Shoal Creek attended the meeting as a messenger, and therefore did not vote for or against the resolution.

Though the church has maintained its membership with the Association over the years, they had distanced themselves from it on at least one other issue—in 2002 when the group disfellowshipped a church over it's decision to call a woman to serve as co-pastor.