ELIZABETHTOWN — The reactions to the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision making same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states has been met with plenty of celebration, but also public outcry.
Bishop Joe Lowery, pastor of Sword of the Lord Ministry in Elizabethtown, said, “First of all, I believe in what the Bible says about holy matrimony, not just marriage.”
Lowery said he has members of his own family who are gay and lesbian, which doesn’t change the love he has for them. He added that Sword of the Lord welcomes those who are gay or lesbian.
“We welcome the gay and lesbian to our church. They are very much welcome. It is up to that individual to change,” said Lowery. “I don’t give out my opinion, I only give out the Word of God. I truly do believe God has allowed us as a people to live the way we choose.”
But, Lowery adds, he disagrees with the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling and said he believes the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling could possibly just open the door to many more things being challenged as a civil right.
“Man can make it legal, but it still doesn’t make it right,” said Lowery.
Lowery said he has concerns that pedophiles and other abusers may eventually use the Supreme Court’s ruling to justify their own predilections.
“If the same-sex marriage comes under the civil rights act, why wouldn’t pedophiles or rapists?” said Lowery.
He added North Carolina has laws against sodomy and now Lowery questions if that law will have to be rewritten or amended due the Supreme Court’s ruling.
“Now, we have given people the right to break the law,” said Lowery.
He also has concerns with how this ruling will impact children.
“One of my biggest concerns is, if this is taking place, how it will affect school children. Will it be taught in the schools? Not only that, what happens with transgender?” said Lowery. “It’s one thing to allow people to do this, but I don’t want my children and grandchildren taught it is OK.”
He added, “I think America has overstepped the boundary that God has set up.”
Lowery said he has many concerns over what may come next.
“What happens if there are people who believe in beastiality? This opens the door up for that group. It all falls into the same category if you call it civil rights,” said Lowery.
Bruce Cannon, director of Missions for the Bladen Baptist Association, is also opposed to the Supreme Court’s ruling.
“I’m disappointed because we do not agree with same-sex marriage,” he said.
Cannon said that, while the Baptist church family does not agree with same-sex marriage, the church will still continue to minister to the needs of all people, even those who are gay or lesbian.
“It is simply how we interpret the scripture,” said Cannon of the church’s stance on the issue.
—Erin Smith can be reached at 910-862-4163.