That’s until they turn 18. At that point, they are eligible to be baptized, provided they disavow the practice of same-sex relationships and marriage.
NPR reported that hundreds of Mormons resigned from the church on Saturday because of the change. I would question any church that would do this to children and their families.
It’s one thing to try to minister to same-sex couples that their relationship goes against the Bible’s definition of marriage.
But it’s another to punish the children of same-sex couples, who naturally have absolutely no control of their parents’ sexual orientation by barring them from the chance to be baptized until they are adults, and then, to add insult to injury by requiring the children to disavow their own parents.
Why not just ban same-sex couples and their families from attending altogether? That would be at least slightly more humane than targeting the children and thereby making the children appear to their peers to be the “abominations” they apparently consider the parents to be.
The change appears to be in response to the Supreme Court ruling that legalizes same-sex marriage. But this policy is just another example, it seems to me, of yet another church cherry-picking one kind of sin over others in an attempt to portray one as “worse.”
One of the most-quoted Bible verses folks use to justify such behavior — 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 — makes the truth quite clear for those who are willing to read the entire verse:
Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
Pay particular attention to that seventh word: wrongdoers. That pretty much sums up all of us, since Jesus Christ was the only man to have walked the earth without committing sin.
And I have to honestly wonder what would happen if a child’s heterosexual parents divorced and each ended up remarrying. If the child was living with a parent who was guilty of Biblical adultery through the reasons surrounding the divorce, would the church bar that child from being able to be baptized until he or she was 18, and at that time, would the child be forced to denounce those marriages before he could be considered “worthy” of baptism?
If it’s about following the Bible, it seems only logical that they’d follow all of it. I just wouldn’t want any child to be treated this way because a church felt the child’s parents were the ones in the wrong.
Let’s make it even more clear with the New Living Translation version of the same verse:
Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people–none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.
I don’t know how I could possibly propose such a policy against children without feeling like I was guilty of “cheating people:” cheating the child and his or her family of the kind of Christian love, mercy and grace a church ought to be extending to everyone.
Patrick is a Christian with more than 26 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.