One of the six North Carolina magistrates who have quit rather than marry gay and lesbian couples has said that to do so would have meant risking his soul.

In explaining why he left his job, Bill Stevenson of Gaston County said that he prayed for wisdom on his decision.

“I prayed about it; I asked for wisdom,” he told the Christian Examiner. “I think our hearts have been led away by the cares of the world, our desires, and ultimately, our intense arrogance – our hubris – against the Lord.”

“We've rejected the prime authority of the scriptures, something our nation's Founding Fathers, such as John Adams, knew better than to do. … In both the Old and New Testaments, homosexuality is something the Lord does not approve of, and since He doesn't, I could not put the sanction of the state on a relationship that runs afoul of scripture.”

Speaking to the Christian Post, he added: “I hate to wax it so biblical but it says, 'What good is it for a man to gain the whole world but lose his own soul?' So that's the stakes I put on this.”

The other five magistrates who have stepped down over the issue are: John Kallam Jr. (Rockingham County), Gilbert Breedlove (Swain County), Tommy Holland (Graham County), Gayle Myrick (Union County) and Jeff Powell (Jackson County).

(Related: Hundreds rally for magistrate who quit rather than marry gay couples.)