It’s been almost a full week of a self-imposed sabbatical from Facebook and shockingly, the world continued to move forward. I had no profound reason for taking the break other than I want to see how long I could go without the daily facepalms and pulling out my already thinning hairline. Still, there were some big events this week worth discussing. One event in particular, that I’m sure has been blowing up FB, was likely also a topic covered by pastors and preachers from pulpits all around the world this Sunday morning. This is, of course, the 5-4 SCOTUS ruling that States could no longer prohibit homosexual couples from getting a marriage license.
Based on some of the conversations I’ve had with friends, I imagine that some Christians (and other believers of faith which prohibit such unions) are wallowing in the ruling, lamenting over the failure of the Right Wing to mobilize enough petitions or grass-roots community protests ahead of the vote. Others may be asking how things got “so bad”, how our country founded on Judeo-Christian doctrine could allow such an abomination. I’m sure there are others looking down their noses and pointing to the failure of Democrats or fathers or the church or the media or women’s lib or the Kardashians to blame for the current state of society.
As a Christian first, and a Libertarian second, I’m not surprised at the outcome of the ruling. I can honestly say that I knew this day was coming sooner rather than later. I also can say that this doesn’t change a single thing for me. And if there are some of you out there that fit the description above, I think you need to re-evaluate where you put your faith.
I’ve written previously that the government should get out of the marriage licensing business altogether, which is a popular political viewpoint shared among Libertarians. I still think grown, consenting adults should not be legally prevented from marrying whoever they want. The State has no business sanctioning or prohibiting any kind of marriage. Many Christians take my attitude as a cop-out or that I’m somehow watering down God’s law in place of Man’s law. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.
The difference is simply that I don’t think the State can or should try to prevent sin through its various mechanisms of coercion (fines, imprisonment, theft of property, life and liberty). The State is not our judge. That place of honor is reserved only for Christ. And Christ does not need the local police, city council, state representatives, federal judges or the POTUS in order for His will to be done.
In Romans chapter 1, Paul writes about the depravity of man. He lays out quite clearly that man has a sinful nature and that we ALL fall short of God’s holy standard. For the unbelieving sinner, this is foolishness. Why should I not fulfill every pleasure or desire I have without an ounce of guilt, simply because God is holy?
On this point, I don’t understand why more Christians don’t seem to grasp this simple concept that sinners are going to sin and do so boldly. No laws, no policeman, no threats of violence or wars or imprisonment are going to stop that. What’s even more perplexing to me is how Statist Christians try to legislate God’s law into Man’s courts thinking this will somehow redeem the lost.
More importantly, how does God deal with man’s sin? Verses 24, 26, and 28 in Romans Chapter 1 clearly states that God “gave them up” or “gave them over” to their sinful natures (and those of you that study God’s word will know to pay particular attention to anything repeated not just once but twice).
What does this mean? God is not shielding or preventing man from following their sinful natures. We must choose to follow our own consciences whether we will follow our stomachs or follow Christ. We must choose whether to guard our eyes and ears from watching questionable movies and pictures so readily available on the internet. We must choose whether our mouths will spout profane language, and not just because states like Virginia that want to fine you if you do.
As a Christian, I understand that I’m saved by faith in Christ through grace, not by my works. Our moral living and obedience to God’s law does not earn us salvation or God’s love. But our desire to live in holiness it is our reaction, our realization of our salvation. It is not the mechanism by which we are saved.
To me, it’s clear that our faith, our morals, and our standard has absolutely nothing to do with Man’s Laws. The government does not provide a roadmap for moral living and that was never the intended purpose for it in the first place.
For those that believe that the latest SCOTUS ruling somehow damages God’s plan for marriage, I ask YOU whether you’ve pursued adulterers and divorcees with the same frothing fervor as homosexuals seeking a marriage license. I would be willing to bet that some of the most vocal opponents to this ruling have been divorced or looked lustfully at another person or even had adulterous relationships. What does God’s plan for marriage have to say about that?
For those Christians that are still confused, disillusioned, or losing faith in ‘Murica over this ruling, I want to encourage you to step back and remember God is sovereign. There’s nothing that catches Him by surprise. This ruling should likewise not change an iota of your faith.
If anything, I pray this development has opened your eyes to the realization that putting our faith in the laws of the land, or the Congress, or the President, or the Supreme Court is folly and you will ultimately be let down someday.
But instead of lamenting, as our preacher shared this morning, rejoice and have the perspective of 1 Peter 4:12-13 “12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.” Similarly, as Christ preached in Matthew 5:6 and 10 “6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. . . . 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”