What Should be Our Response to the Supreme Court Ruling on Gay Marriage?
Unless you’ve been in a coma for the last few days, you’ve heard that on Friday, June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in a 5-4 split decision to legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states. Of course, most Christians were not surprised by the decision. The cultural tide on the issue of homosexuality turned many years ago.
The confusion for conservative Christians who affirm traditional marriage (one man+one woman) is not centered on how this has happened, but on what our response should be.
In that light may I offer a few suggestions:
1. We must continue to speak out on what we are FOR and not just what we are against.
Whenever we feel that society is moving in the wrong direction, it’s tempting to curse the darkness rather than turn on the light. We must resist the temptation to harp on everything we think is wrong instead of holding up the banner of truth.
The fact is, it really doesn’t matter what the Supreme Court’s ruling was. Truth is non-negotiable. If the high court were to outlaw Christianity, I would continue to “obey God rather than man” (Acts 5:29).
It is critical that we continue to share God’s ruling on marriage: One man with one woman for life.
As followers of Jesus, we must decide who has the final word in our convictions – culture or Christ?
I choose Christ.
2. We must continue to distinguish between what a person does and who a person is.
Perhaps the saddest part of this is how often people confuse this issue with identity. If God is right, and I believe He is, then homosexuality is a sin, not a state of being; as is adultery, lying, cheating, drunkenness, and stealing (see 1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
The good news is that the blood of Jesus Christ is an equal opportunity cleanser. We are ALL sinners saved by grace. None of us deserve heaven. Therefore, we must never treat anyone as less deserving of God’s grace and mercy. There is no sin too far that His grace cannot reach.
No one–heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, or transgender–is unloved by God.
We are all equally loved by Christ and we must treat every person with dignity and respect.
3. We must expect to be misunderstood, misquoted, and misrepresented.
There are really only two positions a Christian can take on this issue: agree with the culture and be liked or agree with God and be vilified. It’s incredibly unfair and frankly intolerant, but that’s how this plays out.
If you decide to take the position that homosexuality, and thus gay marriage is wrong, then same-sex marriage advocates will often assume the worst. They will equivocate your conviction with intolerance and hatred.
As Rick Warren has so aptly stated, “Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.”
This is a tension you will have to live with or like so many, you can simply cave in or clam up.
4. We must remember that dark times in the culture are bright opportunities for the gospel.
We must not be surprised that our culture is drifting further and further from its Judeo-Christian heritage. I expect far more divisive decisions and trends in our future.
However, this is exactly the cultural environment that the gospel was born in!
As the culture grows darker our witness should grow stronger and God’s glory will shine brighter.
Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”
Let’s continue to shine the love and truth of Jesus Christ to a lost and broken world.
Em R.Posted at 19:34h, 27 June
Amen! Very well put, thanks Pastor Brian 🙂
Brian MossPosted at 20:16h, 27 June
TishPosted at 21:32h, 27 June
Well stated Pastor Brian.
Brian MossPosted at 22:08h, 28 June
MikePosted at 04:03h, 28 June
Been reading your blog for awhile now (thanks Rob). This is nothing short of masterful. Do you think that Christians treat homosexuality as a “WORSE” sin? And if so, is this justified in scripture? (I’m thinking of the “sins of the body, temple of the Holy Spirit” passage)
Brian MossPosted at 22:07h, 28 June
Sadly, I do believe that some Christians treat this sin worse and unfortunately, they are often quite vocal. No, it’s not justified. All sexual sins affect us deeply because they involve our entire being – body, soul and spirit.
Thanks for reading. Blessings!
Loretta Fitzsimmons HillPosted at 04:14h, 28 June
I looked at this because Jonathan Fitzsimmons had it on his site. It is the best writing I’ve seen in response to how to handle and speak to this situation. Thanks for posting. I’m placing it on my FB site also. (Katheryn Hill on FB)
Brian MossPosted at 22:03h, 28 June
ShaynaPosted at 19:46h, 28 June
Wonderfully put! From things I have been reading the past few days there has been a lot of name calling, throwing out the bigot word if you don’t agree with the ruling. I can disagree with the ruling or the lifestyle but see the value in the person. I think that concept is ignored by the name callers and protesters. I wish everyone could read this!
I will miss your sermons but I subscribed to the podcast. I will be listening from Florida 🙂
Brian MossPosted at 22:02h, 28 June
Thanks Shayna! Did you move to FL?
ShaynaPosted at 02:29h, 01 July
Yes I sure did. Hopefully I will find a new church as wonderful as Oak Ridge 🙂
Brian MossPosted at 14:06h, 02 July
Praying for you!
Randall BlackmonPosted at 02:17h, 29 June
Brother Brian, My daughter Gracie said that I should read your blog on this subject. I am glad that I did. Well said!
I had someone recently say to me that they don’t understand why Christians treat homosexuality as the “granddaddy” of sexual sin, and that we think that homosexual behavior is somehow a more heinous sin than other sexual sins, I.e., adultery, pedophilia, etc.
The truth is that homosexuality has received so much attention is not because it is more heinous, but because the media has used the issue as a rallying cry for equal rights, thereby elevating the secular idea that everyone should be liberated to do anything they want to do.
I believe you are so right when you write about being Christ-followers who declare our convictions about what the Bible says is truth, while being Christ-followers who display Jesus’ compassion at the same time, BECAUSE THOSE WHO ARE CAUGHT IN THE DECEPTION OF LIVING ALTERNATIVE LIFESTYLES NEED TO KNOW THAT JESUS SAVES US AND FORGIVES US FROM SIN AND SELFISHNESS FIRST. Then, Christ Jesus begins the process of exposing our sins, including homosexuality, to the light of His glory and grace.
Thank you for sharing a word that gives me a clear direction on how to counter our culture with the Gospel. Good word, pastor!
Brian MossPosted at 11:40h, 29 June
Thanks brother…love ya!
sandyPosted at 06:49h, 30 June
Wasn’t Abraham a polygamist? Is that part of the biblical definition of marriage? Wasn’t there a requirement that if a man died without an heir, his wife should lie with her husband’s brother until an heir is produced? Didn’t Lot offer his daughters to those demanding sexual favors from visitors? Can Christians eat shrimp? (the First Covenant suggests it’s sinful) I don’s understand how to pick and choose which rules, especially in Leviticus, are still to be observed. I remember a law in Leviticus that disobedient children should be stoned. Please help me to know how to “cherry-pick” among the principles in the Bible.
Brian MossPosted at 11:00h, 30 June
Hi Sandy, these are good questions which do have reasonable answers. As a pastor, I recommend that you get connected into a good Bible teaching/preaching church where your questions can be given the personal attention that you deserve by a pastor.
Jesus addressed God’s idea of marriage in Matthew 19:4-6. It’s pretty straightforward. I wrote about it in this blog post.
Although I do think we may need to reconsider bringing back that whole stoning rebellious children thing. 🙂
ShanePosted at 22:50h, 01 July
Bridget and I each read this. Afterwards in discussing it, (we both reached this conclusion independently), we are so thankful and feel extremely blessed to have a pastor who can address this type of stuff in a biblical and godly way and help keep it all in perspective. Thank you for the BIG picture. We love you!
Brian MossPosted at 14:06h, 02 July
Thanks guys…love you too!!!
TOM HUEBNERPosted at 12:38h, 15 November
that’s right 100 percent right. Be more concerned about peoples relationship with CHRIST. Only the Holey spirt in your heart can change lives for ever. Pray for each person you are incontact with first