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Well, there you have it.
The Supreme Court has spoken.
Same-sex marriage is now legal in all 50 states because five people wearing black robes said it is.
As expected, reaction to this ruling, both pro and con, has been passionate and wide-ranging.
Nevertheless, as a follower of Jesus Christ, my concern isn’t so much with how non-Christians are responding to this ruling but with those who were called by Christ long before this decision was ever handed down, to walk – to behave and act – in a manner that is noticeably different from the world in which we live.
“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew 5:13-16 (NASB)
The above text is one with which many Christians are familiar but, then, perhaps that’s the problem.
Maybe we’ve become so familiar with this verse that we’ve failed to recognize that the words “in such a way” succinctly sum up the central mission of every believer in Christ from the first millisecond after he or she is regenerated by the Spirit of God. These four simple words comprise the entirety of the earthly mandate of every follower of Jesus to, in obedience to Him, reflect His image in the world regardless what the world around us chooses to do.
In view of this decision by the Supreme Court, it is interesting that many people are now questioning how professing Christians should respond to this ruling.
But my question is, why is this even a question to begin with?
Could it be that the “salt and light” we’ve been called to be in the world has become so tasteless and dim that we’ve become indistinguishable from the world? This must be the case, otherwise, why should the judicial opinion of five human beings generate such consternation about how Christians are supposed to react? Unless, that is, we’ve already conveyed by our own compromised lives that our worldview is and can, in fact, be influenced by what others determine to be permissible or impermissible.
In considering this question myself, the only honest conclusion I could come to is that this perception – that the manner in which believers in Christ live is essentially no different from how the world lives – not only has a ring of truth to it but has actually rung true for quite some time.
I mean, let’s be real about this.
When we consider the fact that, in many respects, the church is practically a mirror image of the world when it comes to matters such as divorce, abortion, unmarried couples living together and having children out-of-wedlock, children (and their parents) wearing immodest attire and listening to and watching profanity-laced music and risqué videos and “reality TV” shows that glamorize sex and material excess, is it any wonder that “marriage” is no longer viewed exclusively in terms of what God originally defined as being between one heterosexual man and one heterosexual woman?
“…for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light…” – Ephesians 5:8 (NASB)
Given that our own lives reflect such a dramatic departure from God’s divine standard, why is anyone surprised that we now find ourselves dealing with the oxymoron that is “homosexual marriage”?
That the Supreme Court has declared legal what God long-ago declared sin should be no surprise to anyone, especially Christians, since it is we who, in our apathy, have largely disregarded the biblical charge to “deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age” (Titus 2:12). I believe this to be true for the following reasons (among others):
We are ignorant of what the Gospel is and of its power to transform lives
(Romans 1:16; Hebrews 4:12)
We are ignorant of who Jesus is and of our responsibility to submit to Him in every aspect of our life
(Colossians 1:15-20, 2:9-12; Luke 6:46)
We do not view the Word of God as authoritative over our life
(1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:16-17)
We love the world more than we love the God who made it
(1 John 2:15-17; 1 Peter 4:1-5; Galatians 2:20; Philippians 3:7-11)
We care more about what others think of us than what God thinks of us
(John 15:18; Matthew 10:22)
From a societal perspective, there is perhaps no other aspect of the Christian life in which the above realities are more evident than in the arena of politics, where many who profess to believe in Christ apparently have no problem at all electing to office individuals who hold to a worldview that couldn’t be more diametrically opposed to what is outlined in God’s Word.
Their conscience is not bothered at all by the fact that candidates to whom they give their money and, subsequently, cast their votes are advocates of a biblically antithetical LGBT agenda. The reason for this is because what God has said about homosexuality and marriage is not authoritative to begin with in shaping their worldview on such matters.
As a result, they construct a spiritual line of demarcation, if you will, that segregates their politics from their theology and they are not remotely inclined to consider whom they vote for through a biblical paradigm. Consequently, they see no disharmony or conflict whatsoever in supporting politicians whose agenda unashamedly promote homosexuality as an “alternative lifestyle” and who, consequently, appoint men and women to the Supreme Court who desire to advance that agenda.
“It is significant that God establishes marriage before there is any establishment of cities, nations, courts of law, or any human laws. It certainly comes before any national government, state government, or city government. It comes before any establishment of schools or universities, or businesses and corporations, or churches and other non-profit organizations. It comes before the establishment of any institution in any human society, and it is foundational to the establishment of any society.” – Wayne Grudem, Politics According to the Bible: A Comprehensive Resource for Understanding Modern Political Issues in Light of Scripture, p. 216
It would be a mistake for Christians to view this Supreme Court decision in a vacuum, when the truth of the matter is we are as much to blame, if not more so, as anyone for what transpired last week in Washington, D.C.
It is so-called “Christians”, not unbelievers, who, in our pride and self-centeredness, are responsible for the spiritual slow fade occurring in this nation so that this decision by the Supreme Court was the only natural outcome of our own biblical sleepwalking.
While our pastors have been busy raising money to purchase multimillion dollar private jets and writing books on how to “live your best life now”, the LGBT lobby has been busy “fundamentally transforming” our society in such a way that will have lasting and devastating impacts for generations to come.
But, hey, at least I’ll be chllin’ in my new Gulfstream G650, right?
Given this contrast in priorities, we should not be amazed that the Supreme Court has given its legal blessing to such abhorrent behavior when we ourselves have failed to obey the call of Christ to be salt and light in the world.
“The telling of the light will backfire where there is no showing of the light. Rather than condemning “Sex in the City”, what if we shifted our concern to being and becoming the “City on a Hill” that Jesus intends for us to be? What if we focused on redeeming sexuality inside the church first, repenting of pornography, coarse joking, immodest behavior and dress, and other habits that objectify the image of God? What if we became intentional about reducing divorce where there is no biblical grounds, and nurturing love, lingering conversation, hand-holding, fidelity, forgiveness, and living face-to-face (in intimacy) and also side-by-side (on mission) inside marriages?” – Scott Sauls, Christian pastor and author
The question of how followers of Christ should respond in the aftermath of the Supreme Court ruling need never be asked if those who are posing the question had enough evidence beforehand that we are actually who we profess to be.
When our worldview is defined more by our own subjective preferences and desires than by God’s objective truth, the legalization of homosexual marriage is exactly the kind of warped outcome we should have expected from the Supreme Court. How else does one explain the success of a relatively small number of LGBT supporters against the countless millions of professing Christians in America?
The Supreme Court isn’t to blame for what occurred last week.
The ruling handed down by the Supreme Court is merely the result of our own failure to proclaim what we have been commanded by Christ to declare to the world, but have been too afraid to do so.
We have allowed an unbelieving world to convince us to buy into the lie that the biblical admonitions of Ephesians 4:15 and Matthew 7:1 mean we must remain silent in the face of any and every kind of sexually deviant behavior, including homosexuality. Consequently, we have become cowards, afraid to offend anyone except the God whom we claim to serve and who has called us out of the world to live “in such a way” as to glorify Him.
As far as I’m concerned, this Supreme Court decision is less about homosexual marriage and more about its legalization being an opportunity for Christians to examine ourselves.
- We must repent of the laziness and apathy that contributed to our nation being at this juncture in the first place.
- We must commit ourselves to prioritizing the pursuit of personal holiness above corporate homogeneity.
- We must graduate from being mere readers of the Word to theologians who truly understand God’s Word and are equipped to exposit it so that others understand it as well.
- We must commit to delivering to the world the whole counsel of God and not fear being rejected or persecuted for calling sin what it is.
- We must ask the Lord for the courage to accept the reality that the Gospel is intrinsically divisive, and that the outcome of standing for the Truth may very well be broken relationships with family, friends, co-workers, and even those within the church.
No, my brothers and sisters.
The question for us isn’t how Christians should respond to a decision handed down last week by the Supreme Court, but how should we respond to the One who 2,000 years ago called us to live as salt and light in a dark and sinful world.
If indeed Christ is your Lord and Savior, then, what on earth are you afraid of?
Humbly in Christ,
The Cost of Our Silence: Consequences of Christians Taking the Path of Least Resistance by David Fiorazo (Amazon)
It’s Time To Legalize Polygamy (Politico)
Does The Bible Tell Christians To Judge Not? (Answers In Genesis)
After Same-Sex Marriage, Then What? (Atlantic)
Law Professor Says Gay Marriage Likely To Lead to Legalized Incest, Polygamy (Daily Caller)
Now’s The Time To End Tax Exemptions For Religious Institutions (TIME)