It saddens me that so many weighing in on social media:
- …have not read nor thought carefully about the implications,
- …equate same-sex with civil rights or somehow being loving,
- …try to implicate the church or those against same-sex marriage by changing the argument to the church not addressing other sins (and they list “divorce, immorality, gluttony…”) and a garden variety of other issues.
These are, at best, veiled attempts trying to change the subject or worst, illustrate a lack of critical thinking.
Sin in the church
Granted sin exists in the local church. If I may hazard to speak for evangelical / reformed / biblically moored churches, none of us would deny it. We readily acknowledge we’re all sinners struggling along. And to the church’s defense, many of us routinely call out all kinds of sins (in our case when the passage of the Bible we’re teaching through addresses such sins). I have for decades.
Those who criticize the church for “failing” in these areas reveal that they have no idea what goes on in sound churches. It’s unfortunate when proponents of same sex marriage lambast or overgeneralize what’s wrong with Christians. Christians are now the only group that can be vilified, attacked and misrepresented without the veil of tolerance protection.
Government Mandates, New Definition
That aside, the difference is that the government has now mandated what should be accepted. Worse yet, they’ve taken the biblical institution of marriage—one man and one woman—and redefined its very nature and ruled it a secular union as law. Not to mention the Judicial Branch making a law (which only congress can do last time I checked).
To use John Piper’s language, the church does not “institutionalize” sin. Believers who struggle with sin are broken, ashamed, guilty and repentant. I can show countless examples of people who have dealt and deal with all manner of sins: sexual, immorality, pornography, eating disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, anger issues… who seek God’s help and forgiveness. Believers do not sanction such sins or try to legitimize them. Yes, some believers hide their sin or become callous, but they would not try to normalize them.
Would atheists, agnostics or “God hating” people celebrate and change their Facebook pictures to some rainbow equivalent over divorce, abuse, pornography, gluttony, rage…? The difference is the SCOTUS has tried to call sin, immorality and distorted concept of “family” a legal right and mandated it to states.
Religious Freedom – the fight will be real
Going quickly forward, the notion that Justice Kennedy’s few words of feign protection to religious freedom are naive and unbecoming a Supreme Court Justice and reveal his—forgive me—foolish position.
WHEN, not if…when religious organizations are sued for being unwilling to perform a same-sex marriage, where will the defenders be? It won’t be Justice Kennedy or the others who sanctioned gay marriage. Those who shout and scream tolerance will be the most intolerant. I have heard a few pro-gay marriage pundits make this point, but they’ll be drowned out when the litigation begins. Churches and Christian organizations will fight and pay attorneys for years to come for the egregious hubris of the SCOTUS ruling. We’ll be roundly told, “bake the cake” or lose your tax exemption status.
And BTW, once the church loses its non-profit status, the litigation will not stop. For believers in Christ, in His word, His establishment of marriage: one man and one woman, the fight will be real. But the Sovereign Jesus Christ yet sits on His throne while SCOTUS and proponents of same-sex marriage mock without regard. Astonishingly, He loves us all.
- So-Called Same-Sex Marriage – John Piper, The Desiring God Blog
- Why the church should neither cave nor panic about the decision on gay marriage – Russell Moore, The Washington Post
- A Response from Dallas Theological Seminary to Today’s Supreme Court Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage – Mark L. Bailey, DTS
- Something Greater Than Marriage – Christopher Yuan and Rosaria Butterfield
- 40 Questions for Christians Now Waving Flags – Kevin DeYoung, The Gospel Coalition Blog