In an opinion piece for Fox News, televangelist Jerry Falwell Jr. said that the American church’s “disagreement with the teaching of scripture on gay marriage” is rooted in the Bible.
“If there is a conflict between what we believe as a church and the teachings of scripture, the conflict is between what the Bible says and the words of God,” he wrote.
“When God speaks of the law of chastity, it is not in terms of homosexual acts.
That is a commandment that God has given to His children.
The law of the gospel is that homosexuality is a sin and an abomination to God.”
Falwell also said that same-sex marriage was “not in line with biblical teaching” and “not consistent with the teachings and principles of the American Baptist Convention.”
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement on Sunday calling for pastors to “reject the false teaching of homosexuality as sinful and sinful acts” and saying that it is “time for pastors who hold these views to be exposed for what they are and to be held accountable for their views.”
The American Baptist Conference also issued a joint statement with the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) on Sunday condemning “the hateful rhetoric that the church has embraced to combat LGBT issues.”
The statement said that “the Bible clearly teaches that homosexual acts are not permissible.”
Falcoff Jr. has come under fire from the LGBT community in recent months, after he called on Evangelicals to join a boycott of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over his decision to legalize same-day same-door weddings.
Earlier this year, the pastor of Liberty University, a conservative evangelical school that has seen its enrollment plummet, announced he would resign his position, saying he had “decided to do something about the persecution of the LGBTQ community in the United States.”
The resignation came after he was named in a federal lawsuit against the university alleging it had discriminated against gay students, and he faced backlash from members of his church who said he had not been clear enough about the consequences of his position.
Falwell has also faced criticism for saying in 2012 that the United Nations would be a “virus” if it did not pass a resolution calling for the decriminalization of homosexuality.
The U.N. General Assembly voted in 2011 to pass the resolution, and later voted to include it in the UN Human Rights Council’s human rights resolution.
On Sunday, Falwell said that he would not resign his leadership role at Liberty University over the gay marriage ruling.
“I am not resigning from the leadership position at Liberty.
I will not resign from the position,” Falwell told Fox News.
But we must not let the government take this from us.”