Just days before the U.S. Supreme Court issues its landmark decision on gay marriage, the head of the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation's second largest Christian denomination, vowed never to perform same-sex nuptials, and encouraged other pastors to take a stand.
The Rev. Ronnie Floyd of Cross Church in northwest Arkansas waves shortly after being elected the new president of the Southern Baptist Convention during its annual meeting Tuesday, June 10, 2014, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Steve Ruark)
Speaking at the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday, Pastor Ronnie Floyd expressed sympathy for those who have same-sex attraction, but remained resolute in his stance, claiming that it is essential for Christians to speak out, the Associated Press reported.
"America, we stand believing that marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in a covenant commitment for a lifetime," Floyd said. "While some evangelicals may be bowing down to the deception of the inclusiveness of same-sex marriage, we will not bow down nor will we be silent."
He continued, "We do not need to redefine what God Himself has defined already."
Floyd said that the pending Supreme Court decision that could legalize gay marriage across America might end up being a "watershed moment in our history" -- one that he said could hold the power to change the nation's future fiber much like the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision that legalized abortion.
"The Supreme Court of the United States is not the final authority nor is the culture itself," Floyd continued. "The Bible is God’s final authority about marriage and on this book we stand."
Conservative commentator Todd Starnes reported that Floyd's comments came with both standing ovations and rousing applause.
It appears that Floyd's comments resonated with his audience, as delegates passed a resolution that sends a request to the Supreme Court that the rights of citizens be upheld to "define marriage as exclusively the union of one man and one woman," according to the Associated Press.
As for the ever-controversial issue of abortion, Floyd urged Southern Baptists not to become idle in decrying it, despite reports that abortions are down around the nation.
"We do not need to become content in or callous to this deplorable issue," he said.
The Southern Baptist Leader also urged Christians to battle against racism and prejudice, as he said both are sinful acts against both God and fellow man.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.