Marriage and the Supreme Court Decision (One Pastor’s Thoughts)

Marriage handsRecently, the Supreme Court weighed in on the subject of Gay Marriage.  Their decision was no surprise to me, nor should it be to any person who claims to be a Christian.  This decision reflects our culture and where we are as a nation.  Yes, we would like the laws of our country to follow our beliefs, but many of them do not.  Our nation is not a Christian nation, though in past times it followed Christian principles.

What should be our response to this decision by the Supreme Court?  First of all, we as Christians should forsake once and for all the idea that we can see people change through government action.  Should we expect people to live and believe like a Christian when they are not Christians?  The early church didn’t demand laws to show their beliefs. The early church understood the sinfulness of man.  The way the early church changed the culture was to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The Gospel changes the heart of a man.  Unlike Jesus Christ, no government can give a man a new heart.

Secondly, we need to remember that Jesus made it clear how we are to relate to the culture around us.  In the Sermon on the Mount, He said; “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.  Ye are the light of the world.  A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.” (Matthew 5:13-15)

Our lives should shine forth as a testimony of our love for the Lord Jesus Christ.  A light shines brighter as the darkness increases.  There are two extremes in dealing with the sin that is so clearly accepted in our society.  One extreme is to compromise our beliefs so that we become more acceptable to our society.  The other extreme is to totally withdraw from our society.  A light needs to be in the darkness to shine, but it doesn’t allow the darkness to overcome its light.

Thirdly, we need to think about our own personal lives and our walk with God.  Yes, our culture has embraced sin and rebellion against God.  In the midst of our concern, have we forgotten our own walk with God?  When we get caught up with confronting our culture, it is easy to forget our own sin before God.  The early church at Ephesus did a great job of separating themselves from the evil of their culture.  Christ says of them: “Thou canst not bear them which are evil.” (Revelation 2:2) This church hated the evil that was a reality in the Roman Empire, but they had forgotten something in the process.

Jesus continued to speak to this church with some very convicting words: “Nevertheless, I have somewhat against, because thou hast left thy first love.” (Revelation 3:4) Have we left our first love?  Have we forgotten our daily walk with God?  If we are walking close to the Lord, we will have a greater impact upon the lives of those around us.

Fourthly, the Supreme Court ruling has no bearing upon our own marriages.  Why is it that professed Christians have a divorce rate that is equal to those who don’t claim to be Christians?  Yes, we have no control over the Supreme Court decisions concerning its view of marriage, but we can make our marriage one that honors God and His Word.

When God gave His instructions about marriage in Ephesians 5, He did so in the midst of a culture that allowed all sorts of immoral activities.  God’s focus is upon our own marriage.  We need to seek to love each other within our marriage and seek to fulfill Psalm 34:3 as a married couple. “O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.” 

Fifthly, Jesus Christ made it clear that we shouldn’t be surprised if we face persecution from the society around us.  Before His death, He said: “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.”(John 15:18)  Our culture has no interest in the Biblical Jesus.  Yes, it wants a Jesus who loves everybody, but they have rejected the true Jesus of the Bible.  The Biblical Jesus loves, but He also is holy and He hates sin so much that He died on the cross for our sins.

Persecution can become very real as our society departs from any kind of Christian worldview.  The early Christians were persecuted because they were different from those around them.  God’s Word proclaims truths that our culture rejects and mocks.  Will not our culture eventually reject anybody who believes on God’s Word and chooses to live their lives according to His Word?

One last response to this decision is that we can say with the Apostle Paul: “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21) We realize that death will be our entrance into the presence of Jesus Christ.  It will be a time of joy and worship.  We will no longer be exposed to the wickedness of this present world.

We can also say with the Apostle John at the end of Revelation: “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”  One day there will be a government which will exalt righteousness, holiness and truth.  Jesus will one day return to reign as the King of Kings.

“Dear Lord, I see your Word being trampled underneath the feet of our culture.  I know that this is only natural because of the fact that we are born into sin.  Thank you for sending your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ to be the Savior of the World.  Please work through your people so that we can be an effective witness to those around us.  Thank for your love that is patiently waiting for people to turn to you.  Amen.”

Personal Thoughts from the Chick-fil-A Discussion

Chick-fil-A and the issue of marriage has caused me to reflect upon my own life.  It has also brought about several questions concerning my  life and my view of God.  The following questions have helped me to make this whole controversy a learning and growing experience.

1. What is my view of God?  Do I see God as He presents Himself in His Word; or do I see God as I want Him to be?  Do I believe in all of God’s attributes or only the ones that are appealing to me?  Do I understand that God doesn’t change with society?  God says in His Word: “For I am the Lord, I change not.” (Malachi 3:6)   How I view God will often dictate my decisions, actions, and viewpoints..

2. What is the condition of my heart before God?  Is my heart right with God?  Do I seek to please God in everything I do?  Do I pray with the Psalmist: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts.”? (Psalm 139:23)  It is easy to take up a cause, but am I willing to take up the cross of Christ? Am I willing to sacrifice my all for Him?

3. What is the condition of my marriage?  I can’t control if people accept or reject the Biblical teaching of marriage, but I can do something about my marriage.  Do I love my wife as Christ loves the church?  Am I the spiritual leader that God calls me to be?  Does our marriage bring honor to the Lord?

4. Am I willing to believe and obey the Word of God in every area of my life?   I can confuse human opinions with God’s truth.  There is absolute truth.  Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth and the life.”  The ideas of society may change; however, the Word of God doesn’t change.

5. What am I doing to reach others with the Gospel of Christ?  Paul clearly didn’t seek to reform the Roman culture.  He desired to see each soul  turn to Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.   Paul stated: “So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. ” (Romans 1:15)  Do I get caught up in social issues and forget the main issue?

6. Do I truly live as though I am a citizen of heaven?  Do I want to fit into the society around me?  Do I feel rejected and upset if I am not accepted by society?  The Apostle Peter said: “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.” (1 Peter 2:11)
A believer in Christ is merely a pilgrim in this world.  My goal is not to please the world, but to please the Lord Jesus Christ.

“Dear Lord, I see that our society often disregards your Word; however, I have also disregarded your Word.  Please forgive me for the sin in my life.  Please forgive me for comparing my life to other people. I need to compare my life to your absolute standard of holiness.  Help me to keep my eyes focused upon you in spite of what is happening around me.  Thank you for being merciful towards me.     Your love for me is beyond my comprehension. Thank you for working in my life, even in times when it is painful. Amen.”