Same-Sex Marriage: Five Takeaways for the Church from the Supreme Court Decision

With the expected, yet somewhat surprising Supreme Court decision allowing for same-sex marriages in all 50 states, the normal “news dump” Friday turned into a headline-making free-for-all.

Opinions flowed like milk and honey. Some were good. Some were bad. Some were just flat out mean. And I’ll admit, I had to hit the delete button a couple of times myself. It’s real easy to get in the flesh over matters such as this one.
For me, the immediate reaction was that of shock. I really thought, based on Justice Kennedy’s remarks during testimony a few weeks ago, that the court would not rule this way. After the shock gave way, a mood of semi-despair settled in.

After I had some time to reflect on the landmark decision, however, my shock and near despair turned into hope. As I began to read the scriptures and seek the face of God, one word kept coming to mind “opportunity.” With the Holy Spirit’s guidance, I quickly penned down some takeaways that the American Church can utilize going forward.

1. We can stop being surprised at the sheer blindness of humanity

Maybe I’m the only one that seems surprised that rational human beings, even in their lostness, can be so wrong about a subject like uniting two people of the same sex in “holy matrimony.” It’s as if the definition of up was changed to down and left was changed to right seemingly overnight. In my study of Jonah today, I read where God told the prophet, “should I not be concerned about Ninevah, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 people who don’t know their right hand from their left?” (Jonah 4:10)

There are way more than 120,000 people in America who fit that description. If God was concerned, rather than surprised at the wickedness of the city of Ninevah, the Church should focus on the lostness of sinful humanity rather than try to reason with the unreasonable.

2. We can finally come to grips with the fact that America is a pagan nation

This is a hard pill to swallow. The good old U.S. of A. was founded as a Christian nation. America has long been at the top of the list of missionary-sending countries in the world. We have the Bible-belt. Not to mention the substantial Christian-right political machine that has been responsible for getting Republicans elected for decades now.

With this decision, we American Christians should be free to forget the idea that the restoration of America will come via some evangelo-political solution. We are now free take on a similar posture to that of the early Church who “turned the world upside” amidst a hostile, hedonistic culture.

3. It’s time to stand on Kingdom principles rather than place any hope in the Constitution

In case you haven’t noticed, our government no longer regards the singular document upon which this nation was to be ruled. The Supreme Court no longer interprets the law, rather it has become a legislative force that even the finest of legal minds cannot contend with.

If you are looking to the Constitution for hope or help, forget it. Stand on the God’s Word. Nothing more. Nothing less.

4. The light shines better when the darkness is pervasive

“The light shines in darkness, but has not overcome it.” – John 1:5 MEV

It’s dark. Really dark. But we have the light. In fact, we are the light. As the body of Christ, our light can not be overcome by the dark. It’s impossible.

In other words, opportunity is everywhere! We Christians are about to stick out like a sore thumb. In light of that fact, now is the time to understand what a decision of this magnitude means. Now is the time to understand the Kingdom principles I mentioned in point No. 3. Now is the time to allow God to break your heart for the very same people who spent Friday, June 26 celebrating.

“Always be ready to give an answer to every man who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you, with gentleness and fear.” – 1 Peter 3:15 MEV

5. If you have no sense of urgency right now, wake up

The days of “business as usual” are long gone. We can no longer conduct ourselves in a manner that would indicate all is well. All is not well. The leaders of our nation have crossed a line. Judgment is not coming to America. Judgment is already here.

It’s time for the Church to stand up. The house is on fire and millions of Americans are oblivious to the raging inferno in their own living room. It’s only right for us to yell “FIRE!!!!”

Get in the Word. Get into the presence of God. Seek His face. Pray. Plant that church. Start that bible study. Talk to those people God has laid on your heart for weeks.

And do it quickly! It’s not the time to measure that cave for curtains. Don’t hide. For goodness sakes, your church’s tax-exempt status doesn’t matter.

Yes, God has everything under control. But He allows these things to happen to give his people a sense of urgency.

“Blow the ram’s horn in Zion, sound the alarm on My holy mountain! All the inhabitants of the earth will tremble, because the day of the Lord has come, because it is near.” – Joel 2:1 MEV

Opportunity is here!

Proud to be an American?

The most patriotic week on the calendar is upon us–the time when we celebrate the birth of this great nation called America.

We’ll celebrate with a cookout and fireworks, maybe sing a couple rounds of “God Bless America” and feel all nostalgic about our freedom.

As a southern American, patriotism was ingrained into my psyche soon after I learned to talk. As a Christian growing up in the southeast, patriotism took on a whole new level of relevance.

There is perhaps no segment of the population quite as patriotic as southern, Christian men.

It’s not uncommon for churches across this country to perform Fourth of July plays, musicals, and retrospectives during the first week of July. Old Glory, that good ole’ red, white, and blue flag, has a prevalent place on the property of many churches in every state.

We as Christians should take our freedom and our rights very seriously. After all, isn’t freedom what grace is all about? Maybe that’s why American Christianity and American patriotism are so closely held in our hearts.

The question in my mind is, should we be so patriotic in this day and age?

Should we, as Christians, be proud to be Americans considering the awful atrocities that take place on American soil in the name of freedom these days?

Thanks to our Supreme Court, there are more than one-million babies are aborted in this country every year. Since the court’s decision on Roe vs. Wade in 1973, more than 56 Million babies have never even had the chance to experience the freedom that we hold dear.

10 years prior to that fateful decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the Holy Bible, which we hold even more dearly than our American freedom, should not be read in public schools. It also decided that prayers to the God who gave us this freedom in the first place, shouldn’t be uttered in government institutions.

50 years after prayer and the Bible was taken out of the public sector and 40 years after Roe vs. Wade, the same court has recently decided that marriage between two members of the same sex should be allowed despite the will of the people declaring otherwise in the state of California.

The court also decided to place the government’s stamp of approval on such unions by allowing federal benefits to be extended to these couples.

That’s three landmark decisions in 50 years time–all of which are a slap in the face of God and His holiness.

But I’m not just picking on the Supreme Court here.

Just last summer at a major political party gathering the names of God and Israel were lustily booed upon inclusion to the party’s re-election platform after public backlash forced a PR nightmare upon a sitting president.

I’m proud of the men and women who gave their lives to earn and protect the freedom that I hold dear. My heart breaks for families that have sent husbands, wives, sons, and daughters off to war in the name of freedom never to return.  That will never be lost on me.

But to say that I am “proud to be an American” right now, might be an overstatement.

As an American Christian, I have dual citizenship. My allegiance to this country is merely physical and temporary. I’m only an American by birth.

The truth is, I’ve been born again. And this time, I was born into an heavenly Kingdom that cannot be shaken (Heb. 12:28). In reality, I’m now a foreigner in a strange land.

According to 1 Peter 2:9-12, I’m a part of a nation within a nation. I worship and serve the King in a kingdom that is perfect and has no term limit.

Now that’s something to be proud of.