Thoughts on the Supreme Court ruling on Gay Marriage

Gay Marriage BarsThis past Friday, the United States Supreme Court voted 5-4 in favor of legalizing gay marriage nationwide. Time will tell, but I believe that this ruling, along with Roe v. Wade, and a few others, will lead to the eventual downfall of the United States. Judgement Day is coming, and I believe God’s judgement has already begun.

How should Bible-believing Christians respond?

First, Christians must reject hatred of homosexuals and their supporters. We must hate sin, but show the love of Christ to sinners. It’s easy to forget that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. We need to understand that not all who claim to be Christian are actually born-again followers of Jesus Christ, and that many saved Christians are spiritually immature, and are easily deceived by Satan’s lies. We need to remember that we, too, still sin, and we, too, need to seek forgiveness daily from our Lord and Savior for the sins we still commit. We need to “remove the plank” from our own eyes before we try to “remove the speck” from someone else’s eye. (Matthew 7:3-5). The Bible 070812_0138_pushingpeop1clearly teaches homosexual activity as sin, describing it as an abomination. Followers of Christ must not compromise this truth. However, we must also not compromise Christ’s love. Christ-followers need to speak the truth, in love. We can use the issue as a means to open discussion to share the Gospel with the lost.

I’ve been a bit dismayed by the number of self-professing Christians who have come out on social media as supporting gay marriage. Dismayed, but generally not surprised, although some of the individuals have been a bit surprising. There are many people who profess Christianity, but who don’t actually know Jesus, and the issue of gay marriage seems to be rooting a lot of them out. This is not to say that someone who supports gay marriage is necessarily unsaved, but it certainly has brought a lot of the pretenders out into the open, and shown the spiritual immaturity and confusion of many who profess to follow Christ.

What is Marriage?

Perhaps Christ-followers need to understand how marriage is actually defined. There are two kinds:

  1. Biblical Marriage: Christian marriage was created by God, and is described in Genesis 1 and 2, and affirmed elsewhere in the Bible. Biblical marriage is between one man and one women – both being believers – and lasts a lifetime. Each leaves father and mother, and cleaves to the other. The purpose of a Biblical covenant marriage is to imitate redemptive covenant between Christ and His church (Ephesians 5:22-33). This definition has been ordained by God since the beginning of creation, and will never change.
  2. State Marriage: This form of marriage is a contractual status given by secular governing bodies for legal purposes. The definition of what constitutes state marriage will change as the culture changes, and legal challenges force it to change.

The first kind of marriage is a covenant between Believers, approved by God. The second is a secular legal status.

weddingThe difference between these two kinds of marriage illustrates how, as followers of Jesus Christ, we are no longer part of this world. We are no longer to define ourselves and our beliefs according to the opinions of men, but according to the Word of God.

Those who have never placed their faith and trust in Jesus Christ cannot understand the things of God. They cannot comprehend their own sin. They do not have the Holy Spirit in their lives to guide them. We cannot expect them to act in a godly manner, because the truth is not in them (John 8:31-32). We should not be shocked or surprised that gay marriage is apparently now the law of the land; it’s completely consistent for lost people to embrace all sorts of sin.

A Question Regarding Bible-Believing Pastors

Is it time for Bible-believing pastors to give up their state approved licenses to marry?

I’m not really sure what the answer is to this question.

One of the biggest legal challenges for pastors and churches that will probably come out of the Supreme Court decision will be the legal status of churches that refuse to perform homosexual marriages. One possible solution would be for pastors to voluntarily give up their licensure to perform legally recognized weddings.

Do we really need the secular state to recognize a practice in the church that it can never understand?

Biblical marriage is from God, not from the state. Back in the day, churches performed weddings and recognized marriages long before governments issued legal documents and recognized status. This wouldn’t stop Christians from registering with the government later to get legal status and tax benefits. Biblical marriage is like baptism or ordination. A baptism does not need to be recognized or registered with the secular government, nor does ordination. Most ordained pastors do register in order to gain certain legal benefits, but it’s not required. Why should Christians be required to register marriages? And, why should pastors be required to be licensed by the government to perform a Biblical practice?

I wholeheartedly agree that it is sin for people to live together and have sexual relations outside the bounds of marriage. But, which definition of marriage applies? For the follower of Jesus Christ, it’s only God’s definition that matters, not the secular definition.

Something to think about. Comments are welcome, as long as they are kept civil.

 

Thanks to Steve Ham for the Facebook post that inspired this post!

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Intolerant Toleration – Part 4 – The Chick-Fil-A Saga

Definition of TOLERATE

2 a : to allow to be or to be done without prohibition, hindrance, or contradiction

b : to put up with

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tolerate

Definition of INTOLERANT
2 a
: unwilling to grant equal freedom of expression especially in religious matters

b
: unwilling to grant or share social, political, or professional rights : bigoted

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intolerant


Chick-Fil-A president Dan Cathy made the following statement recently in a radio interview on the “Ken Coleman Show:”

“I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say ‘we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage’ and I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.”

Dan Cathy

The entire interview can be heard here. The quote above is found about 31 minutes into the interview.

First, notice what was not said: Cathy did not say same-gender marriage should be prohibited. He does not say homosexuals cannot work at Chick-Fil-A, nor does he say homosexuals are not welcome at Chick-Fil-A. He does not say homosexual marriage should not be put up with, permitted, or allowed. He says nothing about taking away freedom of expression, or taking away rights.

What does he say? He says he believes God will judge our nation for our pride and arrogance in disregarding what He says about marriage. He also prays for God’s mercy.

By definition, Cathy’s statement was not intolerant.

What have those opposed to Cathy’s statement said?

The mayors of Washington, DC, San Francisco, Boston, and Chicago have all stated that Chick-Fil-A will be prohibited in their cities. DC mayor Vincent Gray called Chick-Fil-A “Hate Chicken.” Mayor Edwin Lee of San Francisco tweeted, “Closest #ChickFilA to San Francisco is 40 miles away & I strongly recommend that they not try to come any closer.”

Philadelphia City Councilman James Kenney told Cathy in a letter to “take a hike and take your intolerance with you. There is no place for this type of hate in our great City of Brotherly and Sisterly Affection.” He plans to introduce a resolution at the next council meeting condemning Chick-Fil-A.

College students are using online petitions to demand the chain is removed from campuses including University of Illinois, Ball State University, College of Charleston, University of Kansas, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Wichita State University, and Minnesota State University.

Websites like boycottchickfila.com have been popping up, along with multiple Facebook pages calling for boycotts and banning Chick-Fil-A.

Who are the intolerant ones? Which group advocates prohibiting opposing views? Which group wants to hinder the other? Which group is “unwilling to grant equal freedom of expression especially in religious matters?” Which group is trying to ban the other?

Those who call for boycotts of Chick-Fil-A and the politicians who want to take away Chick-Fil-A’s right to do commerce in their cities are the intolerant ones. It’s one thing to disagree with a position, like Dan Cathy has done. It’s another thing to call for sanctions, boycotts, and legislation against those who disagree with you. In the name of tolerance, people like Vincent Gray, Edwin Lee, and James Kenney spew their intolerance of anyone who disagrees with them.

Intolerant toleration.

Bigoted anti-bigotry.

Hypocrisy.

Again, it’s apparently not intolerance to be intolerant of Christianity.

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! ~ 2 Timothy 3:1-5