Image Source: 15a.LoganCircle.WDC.27May2015 by Elvert Barnes; CC 2.0
For those who have not followed the news this morning, same-sex marriage has been constitutionally granted to gay and lesbian couples. For those who have followed this debate, it shouldn’t be all that grand of a surprise. Over the last few years, state after state has embraced gay marriage in some form. While these states passed legislative measures to afford the same federal benefits as other married couples, starting with the U.S. v. Windsor decision in 2013, it was not declared a constitutional right until today.
While the “Christian” nay-saying, liberal crowds have fought an embittered battle alongside the gay community, we should be quick to understand it is not over yet. Perhaps this sentiment is most clearly seen through Attorney General Loretta Lynch in saying, “After decades of untold struggle, unyielding advocacy and unfathomable bravery, it is clear that we are in the midst of a national awakening. Of course, even as we celebrate remarkable advances, it is clear that we still have more work to do.”
Meanwhile, churches across the States have folded under the weight of political correctness, universities have continued to face threats of losing accreditation, doctors have been fired over exposing the obvious health problems associated with homosexual intercourse, florists, cake-bakers and pizza parlors alike have been shut down, sued, and threatened with censor.
The obvious question being, if there is yet more work to do, what does that look like? Moreover, what does that look like for the church – and how might one legally protect the church against violating constitutional rights of individuals with whose beliefs (or, technically, “rights”) they are diametrically opposed to? How does the individual Christian navigate the tumultuous waters of being on the “wrong side of history” when the secularist agenda clearly despises the God of history and His decrees?
Primarily, I believe we will continue to see religious liberty quashed in favor people’s “freedom” to sin. And yet, Romans 13 need not apply to those who are debating on whether or not they ought to marry a same sex couple. For one: obedience to God takes precedence to obedience to man. Always.
Secondly, I propose ministers who hold to biblical convictions over the union of one man and one woman simply do not obtain licensure and ordination from the State. The church can easily hold ceremonies before witnesses of this precious covenant between man and wife, and send the happily married couple to fulfill their obligations to register with the State. Beyond this, churches will need to have binding contracts on their employees that directly reflect their statement of beliefs. More clearly, any unrepentant sexual sin is grounds for dismissal (or any unrepentant sin in general). However, we should also be aware of similar issues oversees, and understand that “progressive changes” will continue to happen. Inevitably, tax-exemptions, and more, will likely be forfeited as constitutional rights are denied.Thirdly, I wish to propose that bible-believing churches, that is, those who stand opposed to the cultural mores and uphold the commands of God – are not on the wrong side of history. History, though undoubtedly cyclical, is still linear. It is headed toward the eschaton – and we must look forward with eyes upon Christ in order to grasp that the history of this world belongs to the One who has decreed healthy, righteous sexuality. We may stand to lose a lot in opposition to the decrees of the land, yet if we hold fast to the faith given us; we will not be on the wrong side of history when history is completed.
Fourthly, I also would like to propose that we uphold traditional marriage, as it is a radical display of Christ’s love of the church and the gospel with which He saved her. Work on your marriage; let it be a pleasant aroma. In other words, don’t let people come into your household and smell something rotting between you and your spouse. Pursue righteousness, holiness, dying to one’s self, monogamy, love, purity, gentleness, meekness, peace, joy, goodness, kindness, self-control, patience, and faithfulness to one another. Let your marriage be a blatant contradiction to the ideals of this world. Refuse to impede the gospel; be blatantly stubborn with resolve to honor, cherish, respect, and love your spouse.
Lastly, I advocate that we clearly understand why all of this is so incredibly important. I am not concerned that the nation has turned in this direction; inevitably, many with a confused sexuality and understanding of life will come to the doors of the church, social events, and into our lives. God has ordained that they would come – and you are inevitably going to be one of many instruments in the Redeemer’s hands. Make it your delight to speak with any who believe this should be a constitutional reality – and in gentleness, unabashedly proclaim it as sin. Scripture has no issues calling people to repentance and belief in the gospel of Jesus Christ; why should you?
I lied; lastly “lastly,” call those who profess to be Christian and embrace homosexual marriage to repentance. Hate even the garment stained with sin as you pull them from hellfire. Yet again, do not do so without a pastoral plea to both grace and the pursuit of righteousness. Everyone loves grace. Everyone. Yet those who are truly children of God will love God in obedience to the scriptures in the pursuit of righteousness. Challenge the basis of one’s faith, if indeed they prove to not believe the bible. This doesn’t mean you have license to be a jerk to any person; it simply means you are clearly, adequately, judiciously, and lovingly called to proclaim, “Thus saith, the Lord.”