Monday, June 29, 2015

My Thoughts on the SCOTUS ruling on SSM

(with thanks to many others and their writings and comments)

1. Some Christians are claiming that this is a political issue. It is but it is so much more. This is a gospel issue. Marriage is not an institution that was created by man or by governments. It was instituted by God, ultimately, as a way to picture the loving relationship he has with the church. As the church, we must speak to this issue clearly in a biblical, gospel-centered way. While at the same time we must be very clear. Our ultimate goal is not in convincing people about the issue of same sex marriage. Our hope and prayer is to see them come to a knowledge of the Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. I heard Rosaria Butterfield (a former radical feminist lesbian) say at our recent convention, “I couldn’t know who I was until I knew whose I was.”

2. We should not panic or get angry, “for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” (James 1:20) Rather we should remember, as my friend Hershael York said on Friday, “The Holy Trinity did not call an emergency session and they will not be holding a press conference.” God is still sovereign and our hope and trust is in him.

3. Our nation has now, once again, officially placed itself on the opposite side of an issue from God. That is a dangerous place to be. So we should pray. Isaiah 16:7 says, “Therefore let Moab wail for Moab, let everyone wail.” It is time for Americans to wail for America. It is time for us individually and as a church to confess our sins and the sins of our nation and cry out to God for mercy. And we should continue to obey 1 Timothy 2 and pray for our government leaders.

4. What I haven’t heard anyone else say so far, but what I personally believe is that this action of the SCOTUS is one more giant step in the judgment of God being brought on our land. We are not in danger of the judgment of God, we are under the judgment of God. Where are the Christians who will cry out to him? Jonah pronounced judgment on Nineveh and the people repented. Oh, that it could happen here.

5. Some have said that Christians are counter-cultural or on the wrong side of history on this issue. In other breaking news, the Pope is a Catholic and Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear. Christianity has always been counter-cultural. We started in the Roman Empire in the nation of Israel on the wrong side of the political and the religious culture. Welcome to our world. Perhaps it’s time we stopped being so comfortable in our religion and learned what it’s like to stand for our faith. As another friend of mine said this weekend, we may very well get to witness the death of nominal Christianity among evangelicals in our lifetime.

6. We may well see the end of religious liberty in our nation. But be assured, the gospel does not depend on religious liberty. In fact, throughout history it has flourished most in places where there was no liberty. God’s light shines brightest in the deepest darkness. Whatever happens to religious liberty, our mission has not changed. We are called to share the gospel of Jesus Christ and make disciples of his.

7. It is time to be a church that makes the gospel look good. We will not do that if we abdicate the truth of God’s Word on the issue of marriage. Nor will we do that if we respond with anger and hatred to those who celebrate this ruling. Now is the time for what has been the motto around here for a long time: truth in love. We should be prepared in the years to come for a refugee crisis — refugees from the sexual revolution that promises what it can never deliver and destroys what it claims to build. We must seek to show the love of God in the gospel of God to a world that has always been most in need of this message.

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