All attempts to legalise gay marriage morally wrong
The recent vote in the Assembly on so-called gay marriage has rightly drawn strong responses from Christians across the province, often without regard to denomination.
I am writing on behalf of the general executive committee of the Congregational Union of Ireland, a fellowship of some 25 churches, most here in Northern Ireland. As a fellowship of evangelical churches, we stand four-square in support of the biblical institution of marriage, as originally given by God and as traditionally understood for centuries - ie the lifelong union of husband and wife, one man and one woman. We do not accept that marriage should be or can be redefined.
Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself affirmed monogamous heterosexual marriage (Matthew 19) and we know from the clear teaching of the Bible that same-sex relationships are both unnatural and immoral; harmful to individuals, families and society as a whole. So, it can never be politically correct to endorse what is so damaging and morally wrong.
We therefore deplore all attempts - whether in the Assembly or through the courts - to force so-called gay marriage on the people of Northern Ireland.
As evangelical Christians our sincere desire is that all people understand and respond to the life-changing Gospel of Jesus Christ. So, we cannot condone any sinful lifestyle which would separate people from Him.
All of us have a sinful orientation, which is manifested in different ways, and each of us must turn from our sin and trust in Christ alone for salvation.
His death on the Cross for us demands no less.
Chairman, public morals committee
Congregational Union of Ireland