A full-page ad in USA Today Aug. 26 voiced the affirmation of 131 evangelicals to the Southern Baptist Convention that "you are right!" in holding forth the Bible's teachings on marriage.
"At a time when divorce is destroying the fabric of our society, you have taken a bold stand for the biblical principles of marriage and family life. We thank you for your courage," the ad stated. The ad also appeared in the Aug. 22 issue of WORLD, an evangelical magazine based in Asheville, N.C.
The ad was initiated by Dennis Rainey, executive director and co-founder of the FamilyLife ministry division of Campus Crusade for Christ.
Among those signing the USA Today affirmation are Franklin Graham, of Samaritan's Purse ministry, and Anne Graham Lotz, of AnGeL Ministries, two of evangelist Billy Graham's children; Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and his wife, Janet; Prison Fellowship founder Charles Colson and his wife, Patty; Campus Crusade founders Bill and Vonette Bright; Promise Keepers founder Bill McCartney and his wife, Lyndi; Dallas-area African American pastors and popular speakers Tony Evans and T.D. Jakes, along with Evans' wife, Lois; and Joseph Stowell, president of Moody Bible Institute, and his wife, Marti.
The ad notes an expanded list of names of evangelicals supportive of the SBC family stance is posted at the Internet site, www.youareright.org.
SBC President Paige Patterson said he is "profoundly grateful" to Rainey and the other signatories, who described themselves in the USA Today ad as "pastors and lay leaders, civic and business leaders, husbands, wives, fathers and mothers representing a variety of denominations."
Said Patterson, "It does exhibit, in the light of a good deal of contrary criticism, the extent to which the evangelical community does still understand clearly what the Bible says about the family." Patterson is president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C.
The SBC article describes marriage as "the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime." It also notes, "The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God's image. … A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. … A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ."
Hat Tip: Minnesota Monitor.