We asked several local pastors to share their views on recent news events including the Supreme Court decision that declared same sex marriage to be a fundamental right and legalized it nationwide and the resignation of Coral Ridge Pastor Tullian Tividjian due to moral failure. Here are their comments.
Pastor Doug Sauder, Calvary Chapel
Speaking on Sunday, Doug Sauder, senior pastor at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, shared that while on a family vacation two weeks ago, his family toured the Supreme Court building, and as he sat in the court chamber he considered the potential impact of their then pending decision. They had just left Charleston when they heard of the senseless shooting in the historic AME Church and came back to the news that another pastor had fallen.
“So how do we as Christians view all of these things? How are we to respond?” asked Sauder, adding, “God impressed on me that nothing in heaven has changed. Nothing in God’s word has changed. It all the more reminded me of the need to love in Jesus’ name and no matter what happens here, there’s something solid up there.”
In regards to the resignation of Tullian Tividjian, senior pastor at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, Sauder released a statement that said: “Though we are saddened to hear of the fall of yet another pastor, we know from our experience as a church over the last year that God does His best work in our most broken places. And because Jesus is the head of the Church, and the gates of hell cannot prevail against it, we are genuinely hopeful for our brothers and sisters at Coral Ridge as we pledge our prayers and support to walk this road of redemption with them.”
Sauder confirmed this on Sunday when he told the congregation his heart was that God would “help us walk with our brothers and sisters at Coral Ridge just like so many have done with us.” He also announced that Calvary Chapel has committed to do outreach with Coral Ridge and he asked that “God would steady our hearts and give us a new determination to share His love in the world.”
Pastor David Hughes, Church by the Glades, Coral Springs
In response to the Supreme Court Decision on same sex marriage, David Hughes, senior pastor at Church by the Glades, said, “Love truly wins when you align your life with the Word of a loving God.” Calling for truth with compassion, Hughes said, Jesus defines marriage in Mark 10:6-9: “But God made them male and female from the beginning of creation. This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together” (NLT). With a focus on speaking the truth in love, he also reposted a comment on Facebook from Rick Warren, pastor and author of The Purpose Driven Life, who said, “Our culture has accepted two huge lies: The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear them or hate them. The second is that to love someone you have to agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.”
Pastor Tommy Kiedis, Spanish River Church, Boca Raton
Tommy Kiedis, senior pastor of Spanish River Church said he was saddened but not surprised by the Supreme Court decision that was made concerning Obergefell vs. Hodges. “Biblically as followers of Christ,” he said, “we always begin with ‘What does God say?’ God instituted marriage as complementarian between a man and woman. Jesus said, ‘Marriage is from the beginning’ in Matthew 19:4-6 and Paul reminds us that mysteriously marriage between a man and woman reflects the relationship of Christ and the Church (Ephesians 5). When we retreat from marriage as defined by God, we retreat from God, and I think we’ve done that as a nation.”
He also noted that Ryan Anderson of the Heritage Foundation said, “Up until the year 2000, no political community on the face of the earth had ever defined marriage as anything other than a male-female relationship.”
Kiedis concluded, “Biblically, historically, constitutionally, and I think we could say biologically as well, five of the Supreme Court justices got it wrong. So what are we to do? I think it’s very clear that we are to continue to love God – to love him with our hearts, souls, and minds. I would encourage you to refuse to engage in social media rants they are often knee jerk reactions and create dishar- mony. Relational discourse face to face is much more effective, and remember Jesus’ words when he said ‘In this world you will have trouble … but be of good cheer because I have overcome the world.’ Remember the words of Jesus when he said, ‘I will build my Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.’ Paul tells us ‘We don’t wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers and the rulers of this dark world.’ It’s not us versus them. So what do we do? We love people regardless of their sexual orienta- tion and regardless of their view on this decision. Demonstrate and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ that God loves people and God came to redeem people like you and me.”