The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Australia has produced a small booklet in response to the continuing public debate about proposed changes to the Marriage Act in Australia.
Marriage: Perspectives and Conversations—to be distributed with the May 13 issue of Adventist World to church members in Australia—presents a biblical perspective on marriage while also examining some of the potential consequences of redefining marriage, including the implications for freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom of conscience.
Proposed changes to the Marriage Act—allowing the marriage of two persons without regard to gender—are under scrutiny after the Australian Government committed to a plebiscite on the issue at the most recent federal election.
Pastor Jorge Munoz, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Australia, said Church leaders felt it was important to restate and reaffirm the Church’s view on the topic of marriage.
“The Seventh-day Adventist Church remains strongly committed to the long-standing biblical definition of marriage,” Pastor Munoz said.
“We also recognise that changing the Marriage Act could seriously impact religious freedom and free speech in Australia. We have seen cases recently where people who support the legal definition of marriage have been targeted in an apparent effort to silence them from sharing their viewpoint.”
According to Pastor Munoz, it is a complex issue but one that we need to talk about. [pullquote]
“In the conversations you are having both inside and outside of the Church, we encourage you to approach this topic respectfully, reflecting God’s love for people who hold different points of view,” he said.
The booklet can also be viewed online at www.adventist.org.au/marriage, where discussion guides and other information on marriage are also available.