WHEREAS, Freedom from State-established religion (e.g., the Church of England) and freedom from the prohibition on the free exercise of religion are two sides of the very first of the fundamental liberties specified in the United States Bill of Rights; and
WHEREAS, Freedom of religion is greatly maligned, mocked, and outrightly rejected by many people, and even by governments, as recently manifested by the heavy-handed dealings against Christians in Colorado and Washington State [Note 1]; and
WHEREAS, under the protective provision of the First Amendment, state agents should refrain from any and all prohibition of the reasonable exercise of religion;
WHEREAS, using the power of the state to compel Christians to participate in homosexual “marriage” celebrations evinces not only opposition to historic Christian and biblical norms but also the imposition of homosexual values on the population broadly; and
WHEREAS, The duty worship publicly and serve God’s revealed will in all areas of life, including in the public square, is fundamental to faithful biblical Christianity (1 Pet. 3:15-16; 1 Chron. 16:24; Matt. 28:19-20); and
WHEREAS, those who oppose the freedom of religion, specifically the freedom to proclaim Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ of God, the Savior of the world, the absolute Ruler of all other created powers, betray a hated for humanity. This is evident, for the Son of God, who took to himself a full and complete human nature, came not to condemn but to redeem a fallen, rebellious, and wrath-bound humanity (John 3:16-17). Those who oppose Jesus, therefore, oppose true human happiness and are, at that most basic level, enemies of humanity; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the General Synod of the Bible Presbyterian Church, meeting in Lakeland, Florida, August 2-6, 2018, joyfully and vigorously proclaims the lordship of Jesus Christ and calls all other Christians to proclaim the same Jesus Christ is our Lord, whom we must serve in the privacy of our homes, in public worship, and in the public square. Let us obey God rather than men.
[NOTE1] See the recent SCOTUS decision on Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission (4 June 2018): https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/17pdf/ 16-111_j4el.pdf The antagonistic, anti-religious attitudes of some of the members Colorado Civil Rights Commission (unchallenged until the case got to the SCOTUS!) are evident from this quote from a Colorado Commissioner on record: “Freedom of religion and religion has been used to justify all kinds of discrimination throughout history, whether it be slavery, whether it be the holocaust, whether it be—I mean, we—we can list hundreds of situations where freedom of religion has been used to justify discrimination. And to me it is one of the most despicable pieces of rhetoric that people can use to—to use their religion to hurt others.”