FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – Terry Turner, president of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC), endorsed a petition that defends the biblical definition of marriage during chapel at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Sept. 5. During his chapel message, the pastor of Mesquite Friendship Baptist Church in Mesquite, Texas, also challenged students and faculty to sign the petition, which will be presented to President Obama.
“God has given us the definition and the design of what it means to have a traditional marriage,” Turner said in a message from Genesis 2:21-25. “He has already defined marriage for us. It does not need to be defined anymore. Once God has defined marriage, it is final.”
Turner referred to Christ’s affirmation of God’s plan for marriage in Matthew 19, as well as to Hebrews 13:4, “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” He reminded his audience that God will have the last word regarding the definition of marriage.
Turner asked Southwestern Seminary faculty, staff and students to support the resolution on traditional marriage, which was approved by the executive board of the SBTC, Aug. 7. The resolution affirms that “the marriage covenant, defined as being between a man and a woman, was created and ordained of God.” It also defends the “right of individuals and corporations to express opinions that represent their convictions” and calls President Barack Obama to “reconsider his unprecedented endorsement of same sex marriage and instead maintain his former support for traditional marriage.”
“There is a battle for traditional marriage, and I’m in it,” Turner said, calling his audience to repeat this phrase.
"Christians must make a stand,” he added. “Christians have got to make a decision. … As Christians, we have to learn to take a stand somewhere. And I am a firm believer that this is one spot where we have got to make a stand, because God is not pleased with the change of defining what marriage should be."
The first African American president of the SBTC, Turner also criticized those who try to make the debate about homosexuality a civil rights issue.
"I saw what my ancestors went through, how they fought against the Jim Crow Laws because of the color of their skin,” Turner said. “I saw how they fought to become citizens as black Americans through the civil rights movement. And it was about the color of the skin. It was about the way a person was really born. But I have got news for you today. God made us all male or female, regardless of the color of our skin. And when the homosexuals try to jump on the civil rights movement, they are missing it. And it just burns me up, because sexual preference has never been a civil rights issue.”
To read the complete text of the SBTC resolution and to show support, visit