It was with at great deal of sadness that I heard last Friday about the decision of the Supreme Court that will give the right to marry to homosexuals.
I will say from the outset, this is not a topic I want to write about. However, if I am going to demand that pastors and churches come out against this decision, then it stands to reason that it has to begin with me.
For me, this issue has and has always been a settled issue. God in His Scripture condemns homosexuality, only describes marriage in terms of a man and woman, and never once describes the act of marriage between two people of the same sex. No matter what spin is put on it, there is no denying these simple but profound facts found in Scripture. To debate that homosexuality is right or wrong is a complete nonsense, as it is with most Christians who believe that God is the ultimate authority of what is right and moral.
Therein lies the rub. America, formed as a Christian nation, has been slowly and systemically rejecting God. A nation whose laws were written by using God’s laws as an example now asserts its wisdom over God’s. In that scenario, the only explanations for this is either that we no longer believe in God or that we are in open rebellion to Him.
And so the gay movement – just like the movement to remove prayer in schools, and the movement to make the taking the lives of the most defenseless among us, the unborn – is in reality a rejection of God.
The American Church, that is the conglomerate of individual churches that have existed since our founding, was once united in its opposition to these issues, at least until the last decade or so. Some denominations have not only dropped their objections to abortion and homosexuality, but have done even more by embracing them as being morally right. Despite the surveys claiming that 60 percent of Americans approve of the same-sex marriage issue, and despite the claim of pundits that the church overall is in decline, it is those particular denominations that are in decline, not the mainline evangelical churches.
It was not surprising that liberals have celebrated the SCOTUS decision by making statements or writing articles that attempt to rub the noses of same-sex marriage opponents in the decision. The revel in the fact that the Supreme Court has taken the place of the final arbiter of what is right and wrong, without regard to the consequences of doing so.
One of the most insidious consequences that this ruling has created is fear to speak out against it all, lest we face prison, lawsuits or conviction by an unaccountable press, despite what Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion: “it must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned. The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered… Many who deem same-sex marriage to be wrong reach that conclusion based on decent and honorable religious or philosophical premises, and neither they nor their beliefs are disparaged here. But when that sincere, personal opposition becomes enacted law and public policy, the necessary consequence is to put the imprimatur of the state itself on an exclusion that soon demeans or stigmatizes those whose own liberty is then denied.”
My interpretation of that statement essentially says that the State (or more specifically the SCOTUS) must intervene when Christians object to the legalization of something they know to be wrong. In other words, they will humor the sincerely held beliefs of Christians until such time that they oppose what they want.
It is hard to predict just how far this decision will carry us. Without saying so, the Church has been placed on notice that the State will take what it will – including the definition of marriage that has its origins in Christian-Judeo history. And if churches, pastors, Christians and others are afraid to speak out, or to even refuse to comply with federal law, then the gay movement will win in their battle to destroy or reconstruct the church in their own image.
Freedom won no victory in this decision; the likely outcome of this event will be the repression of the freedoms of millions, forced under duress of law to accept something known to be morally wrong.
Despite that, for we Christians, nothing for us has changed. Marriage is what God always intended it to be, and no matter what any court says, God’s Word will stand. No counterfeit can change that.