The Old Preacher

Viewing the World through God's Word

Confront or Cave?

O PreacherYesterday the Supreme Court gave approval to those who practice what God declares ought not to be done.

“For this reason (because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie)
God
gave them up to dishonorable passions.
For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature,
and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women
and were consumed with passion for one another,
men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves
the due penalty for their error . . .
Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die,
they not only do them
but give approval to those who practice them” (Romans 1:24,26,27,32).

By a vote of 5-4 the justices gave legal approval to those who practice what God says ought not to be done.

Of course, the Bible has no standing with the Court.  How could it in a nation that separates Church (i.e.  God) and State?  But why doesn’t at least historical, religious doctrine have standing?  Why didn’t the justices (without condoning any particular one) at least consider what religion has to offer on the matter?  Why must the Court be atheistic in its deliberations?  Why must it act as if man’s historical view of God would be partisan?  (As if the Court now is purely objective!)

A sizable percentage of Americans think the decision more political than legal.  For example, in his dissent, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote, “The majority’s decision is an act of will, not a legal judgment.”

The majority of the Court disagrees.  Justice Anthony Kennedy, the “swing vote” of the five, argued, “ . . . the right to marry is a fundamental right inherent in the liberty of the person, and under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment couples of the same sex cannot be deprived of that right and that liberty.”

Really?  Do the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses provide “a fundamental right to marry”?  They say nothing about marriage, let alone same-sex marriage.  (With that in mind, why does the government have anything to do with marriage of any kind?)

We know where this is headed, right?  Those who believe in one-man-one-woman marriage will be (as we have already been) considered bigots.  More photographers, florists, bakers and others associated with weddings will be legally compelled to provide services for same-sex weddings—or penalized if they don’t.  It will be interesting to see if any bills in Congress protecting such penalties will gain traction.  If they do, it’ll be a stunning reversal of current practice and one that will make the same-sex marriage law virtually unenforceable.  Justice Samuel Alito stated bluntly that the decision “will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy.”

Justice Antonin Scalia offered this rebuke to the Court majority.  “This is a naked judicial claim to legislative–indeed super-legislative-–power; a claim fundamentally at odds with our system of government . . . A system of government that makes the people subordinate to a committee of nine unelected lawyers does not deserve to be called a democracy.”  Ah, but we still proudly calls ourselves one!

Furthermore, by virtue of Justice Kennedy’s reasoning (together with Justices Ginsberg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan) the door is opened to other “marriages.”  Just today, Politico incredibly wrote, ” . . . the next step seems clear.  We should turn our efforts toward the legal recognition of marriages between more than two partners.  It’s time to legalize polygamy.”  You can read the whole article here:  http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/06/gay-marriage-decision-polygamy-119469.html#.VY8ASVJ6j7M.  It’s inevitable.

The question before us Christians is:  will we confront or cave?  In the heat of this moment, we swear we’ll never cave.  But over time, as same-sex marriage becomes the new normal, and as polygamy and more extreme marriage “arrangements” are argued, it may become easier and easier to accept “gay” marriage.  If we do, we’ll join those who give approval to what God says ought not to be done.

Here we face a fundamental question:  Do we really believe the Bible is the true Word of the living God for all mankind or is it just “our” religious book?  I’m afraid there are some who say, “The Muslims have the Koran; Christians have the Bible.  To each his own.”  If we believe the Bible is God’s revelation for all mankind, we must not cave.

So how should we confront?  By refusing to participate in a same-sex wedding.  (I say that as a matter of personal conscience, not as a “Christian law”.)  By praying that this Court decision might be reversed in the future.  By working, with God’s grace, to make our biblical marriages healthy, strong and truly Christ-centered.  (It would be the height of hypocrisy for us to condemn a loving, happy same-sex marriage, while our “biblical” one is marked by selfishness and hostility!)  By loving same-sex couples and praying that any we know might come to see the truth.  (They aren’t our enemies—even if they were, we’re commanded to love them according to Matthew 5:44!)  It’s not our place to sit in judgment over them.  Finally (though this list isn’t exhaustive), by giving ourselves in serious, wholehearted devotion to Christ.  With the culture morally decaying all around us (racism, violence, sex, “gay marriage”, etc.), halfhearted “Christians” will fall away.  ” . . . when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away” (Mark 4:17).

As I sit here at my desk, being branded a bigot or persecuted for my marriage beliefs seem far-removed.  But they’re not—not from any of us.  “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12).

So here’s the question:  Will we cave (give in to get along) or confront (speak and live the truth of Christ in the love of Christ)?  We are a shrinking minority.  But remember:  we follow the One who is Lord over all!  And he wins in the end!

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1 Comment

  1. If Christians in the U.S. are truly unable to accept this SCOTUS verdict, then the most obvious solution is for them to work for an amendment to the constitution. That trumps the opinion of the court.

    Other possible solutions are more dramatic and more difficult. For example, the Christians could become modern-day pilgrims and abandon the U.S. They could pool their resources to buy up another (smaller) country, and govern it as they wish. I think a constitutional amendment would be easier to achieve.

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