The SBC is responsible for the largest share of active-duty military chaplains, and the North American Mission Board (NAMB), its chaplaincy commissioning arm, explained in a press release that it released the new guidelines in response to the Pentagon's decision to recognize same-sex "marriage" and extend benefits to the “spouses” of homosexual military personnel.
“Our chaplains want to uphold the authority and relevancy of Scripture while continuing to serve in a very diverse setting,” said Doug Carver, a retired Army major general and head of the NAMB chaplaincy arm. “We believe these updated guidelines will help them do that while still sharing the love and the hope of Christ with everyone.”
The new guidelines stipulate that “NAMB-endorsed chaplains will not conduct or attend a wedding ceremony for any same-sex couple, bless such a union, or perform counseling in support of such a union, assist or support paid contractors or volunteers leading same-sex relational events, nor offer any kind of relationship training or retreat, on or off of a military installation, that would give the appearance of accepting the homosexual lifestyle or sexual wrongdoing.”
Additionally the guidelines emphasize that SBC chaplains may not participate in jointly led worship services “with a chaplain, contractor or volunteer who personally practices a homosexual lifestyle or affirms a homosexual lifestyle or such conduct.”
The guidelines also address Christian doctrine, stating that all ministries carried out by an SBC-endorsed chaplain “regarding human sexuality will reflect the historic, natural and biblical view of marriage as God's lifelong gift of ‘the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime.’”
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