On Friday, June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) announced their decision to redefine marriage in all 50 states. With marriage being the most foundational building block to the home and society, I imagine the impact will be broad.
How should we as a church respond in the days to come?
1. Let’s Not Fret
SCOTUS is powerful, but they don’t have the power to intimidate the Word of God or to force the Son of God back to His grave. Jesus is alive. He has the power to call into existence, that which does not exist (Romans 4:17). The book of Acts tells us the gospel thrives when a holy church loves people and shares the gospel. The book of Acts reminds us that Jesus’ power is not contingent upon a culture’s values. At a church like Providence, in a city like Raleigh, this will knock on our door. Instead of fretting, let’s remember the unforgettable One–Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 2:8)!
2. Let’s Not Forget What The Bible Says
The Bible says that God created us in His image to live in His world (Genesis 1:27). The Bible says marriage is a covenant union between one man and one woman (Genesis 1:27-28; 2:18-25; Matthew 19:4-6; Mark 10:6-9) and that any sexual practice outside of this union is sin (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Timothy 1:10). The Bible says that Jesus came into the world to save sinners like us (1 Timothy 1:15), and that we are to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:39). There is no exegetical integrity in manipulating the Bible’s words to say otherwise. The Bible says what it says. So let’s not forget what God has said.
3. Let’s Direct Any Sorrow To Prayer
Alongside the Bible’s clearest explanation of sexual sin, stands a strong indictment “on those who give approval to those who practice such things” (Romans 1:24-32). This is what SCOTUS did on Friday, June 25. Sorrow is what many feel when sensing the magnitude of the assault on God and His image in man. Whether you feel sorrow in the Court’s decision, or in how people are responding to the Court’s decision, let’s not waste any sorrow on idle chat, attack, or complaining. Instead, let’s leverage these emotions to pray for God to heal our own heart and land.
4. Let’s Demonstrate The Gospel In Our Own Marriage
It is our privilege to demonstrate the fidelity and enduring love that we have been called to reflect between Chris and His church (Ephesians 5:32). Doing so will give us a seat at culture’s table to speak of God’s good plan without mud smeared on our face. We must repent of our sin and pursue love in our marriage. Permanent, faithful marriages may one day make us seem strange. Let’s take courage, for we stake our lives to stranger things. We believe our Creator was born on earth of a virgin teenager, did miracles, rose from the dead, flew up to heaven and will return in the sky on a white horse (Matthew 1:23; 4:23; 28:6; Acts 1:9; Revelation 19:11-16). Let’s hold fast to our faith and demonstrate the gospel in our relationships.
5. Let’s Be Ready To Love
If the Bible is true and written for our good, then many people who rejoice will one day be disappointed in getting what they wanted. The church must prepare to open our arms wide in love to many disillusioned people who thought this was the solution for soul rest (John 4). Those churches that abandon God’s Word as well as those churches that scream with hateful outrage will forfeit their voice among those looking for hope. So let’s be ready to love (Romans 12:10). Let’s plead with god to help us love and share Jesus with people who are just as needy as ourselves!
Brian Frost serves Providence Baptist Church as an elder and as senior pastor.