Huntsville, Ala. (WHNT) – Reverend Frank Broyles is a community ministry consultant and longtime affiliate with the Interfaith Mission Service. This week Rev. Broyles stopped by WHNT News 19 to give his perspective on the issues of same sex marriage.
This week the Supreme Court passed a ruling making same sex marriage legal in the United States. The decision has caused a lot of controversy especially here in the southern states. The Southern Baptist Convention has reacted one way and stand against same sex marriage, but the Episcopal Church has now come out in blessing same sex marriage. When asked how he felt about the issue, Reverend Broyles had this opinion, “How I feel about isn’t particularly important, and the reason I say that is because you said something about the broader context. What is critical as a minister, is how the church is going to respond to this ruling, and the voices of the church. Some churches are responding with joy, some with sorrow and some with great struggle. And we need to honor all of those struggles. So how I feel about it is secondary to how the church is going to respond.”
National polls have been taken and they reveal that the American people, more than 50-percent are fine with same sex marriage. Among young people, the percentage is much higher than it is with the average older American. Do the established faiths run the risk of, when they come out so totally against something like this of driving young people away, when those are the people they would most like to become members? Rev. Broyles believes that, “Oh, no doubt. But then what shall a church do in response to a public policy decision, to welcome the voices of those beyond the fold to come in and bring their questions and their struggles, and be welcomed into the inclusiveness of the church? Does that mean that the church does not have fundamental beliefs? The church does have fundamental beliefs, very core beliefs. And many churches claim that marriage, as a sacrament, or as an institution or a covenant is holy and sacred and traditional and we must hold to the more traditional description of what that is. And then of course you have to define what is the traditional understanding, and you go into the scriptures and that is a whole other show, and another discussion.”
Times they certainly are changing and many people are wondering, Can the churches change with the times? Can the tradition change and still be within the traditional Christian faith? Reverend Broyles had this to say, “Definitely, can the traditions of the church change? And here’s the difference between the authority of tradition and the authority of scripture. Now, how you understand the scriptures is going to vary a great deal, but when it comes to the teaching of the church over the years that are to reflect the best and most holistic view of the scriptures, you need to look at what traditions have scriptural authority, as well as core history that has worked and served God, and then those that need to be released. And decide which are essential and which are not and this is the time for the church to decide that.”
Watch our full conversation with Reverend Broyles here: