SIXTEEN church leaders from across Donegal have signed a joint statement opposing same-sex marriage which is being proposed in the forthcoming referendum.
They stated: “As a group of leaders and church workers from a variety of Christian churches in Donegal we recognise that the upcoming referendum on same-sex marriage is a major issue of discussion in our county.
We believe that we have a moral and biblical duty to uphold God’s standards and God’s definitions, and as leaders in our churches to lead by example in calling others to do likewise.
“As such we wish to affirm that, according to the teaching of Jesus Christ, marriage is the permanent and lifelong union, of one man with one woman, to the exclusion of all others.
“We celebrate marriage as set out in the Bible; therefore we are opposed to any redefinition of marriage or dilution of its terms.
“We believe that God has already defined marriage. He has done so because he knows what is best for individuals, for communities, for society and for nations. To alter what He has defined cannot be good for society.
“We believe too that the opening preamble of the Constitution commits us as a nation to legislation which is in accordance with God’s word. To redefine marriage is not simply to redefine marriage but to break with our constitution and to redefine Ireland.
“We stand on the brink – this is not simply a referendum about marriage. This is a vote for or against God and his ways, and it will have consequences for generations to come.
‘Jesus said, “Haven’t you read that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”’ Matthew 19:4,5
The signatories are: Rev. Mark Loughridge – Milford Reformed Presbyterian Church; Rev. Jonny McCollum – New Life Fellowship, Letterkenny; Rev. Christopher Pierce – Rector, Parish of Clondehorkey with Cashel & Mevagh; Pastor Emmanuel Bruce – Kingdom Praise Fellowship, Letterkenny; Mr. David Harding; Pastor Tom Stewart – Donegal Living Hope Church, Donegal Town; Rev. Tommy Bruce – Letterkenny & Trentagh Presbyterian Churches; Rev. Stephen Wright – Convoy Covenanter Church; Ven. David Huss – Rector of Donegal Group of Parishes (Church of Ireland); Rev. Nigel Craig – Ray & Newtowncunningham Presbyterian Churches
Pastor Stephen Wilson – Letterkenny Baptist Church; Rev. Stephen Richmond – Donegal Town & Stranorlar Presbyterian Churches; Rev. Mervyn Carter – Raphoe Congregational Church
Mr. Eugen Peters; Rev. Stewart Glendinning – Carndonagh, Malin, Moville & Greenbank Presbyterian Churches; Rev. Knox Jones – Fahan Presbyterian Church.