Just because the Supreme Court has spoken…
The country has burst into rhetorical flames after last week’s Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states. Some are wringing their hands. Some are clapping their hands. And at Seneca Creek, there are opinions from one end of the spectrum to the other.
It’s helpful to keep in mind that in our country, marriage is not simply a religious/faith ceremony. It is also a civil union, with legal, financial, and other implications. The church has historically partnered with the state in this arrangement. The nature of that partnership has now shifted. But we must realize that the church’s beliefs and interests in marriage are different from that of the state. Both the church and the state use the word “marriage.” But it means different things to each of them.
It’s also helpful to keep in mind…
- Just because the Supreme Court decides something doesn’t mean it’s consistent with God’s design. (Case in point: Plessy v. Ferguson)
- Just because someone disagrees with my position doesn’t mean they’re an evil person, or a bigoted person. (click to tweet this)
- Just because someone wants to live without discrimination and persecution doesn’t mean their choices and beliefs have to match my own.
- Just because I look to God’s revelation (in the Bible and in Jesus) for my life purpose and plan doesn’t mean everyone else will.
- Just because I want the Bible to support my position doesn’t mean that it actually does.
- Just because I know someone’s position on this issue doesn’t mean I know their story.
- Just because someone has same-sex attraction doesn’t mean they are any less valuable in God’s eyes than anyone else.
- Just because we’re made in the image of God doesn’t mean that we’re accurately reflecting that image in our sexual lives.
The truth is, Jesus’ kingdom begins and ends with love. Jesus’ followers are commanded to love. It takes courage to love those who disagree with me, and who think poorly of me. Jesus is our model here.
- May it be said of our church that we welcome everyone to begin and continue their journey of faith.
- May it be said of our church that you can come as you are…that’s how God meets each of us.
- May it be said of our church that we live out the command to love God and love our neighbors.
- May it be said of our church that the HOPE of Christ is offered to everyone.
- May it be said of our church that we search the Scriptures to understand God’s plans and purposes for our lives.
If you want to hear my most recent sermon on this topic, and why Genesis 1 & 2 are the model for God’s design for marriage, click here.
If you want to read an excellent article on how the church should respond, check out Carey Nieuwhof’s piece here. (He writes from Canada, which has a decade of experience with this issue already.) In case you don’t have time to read it, he offers the following five observations:
- The church has always been counter-cultural.
- It’s actually strange to ask non-Christians to hold Christian values.
- We’ve been dealing with sex outside of traditional marriage for a LONG time.
- The early church never looked to the government for guidance.
- Our judgment of LGBT people is destroying any potential relationship.
Finally, when you’re tempted to blast your ideas on social media, it might be worth pausing and praying about the issue instead. And pray for those with whom you disagree. And pray for God to guard your own heart in this matter. And then remember Jesus’ words:
By this everyone will know you’re my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:35