Today is momentous in the history of our country.
(AP)The Supreme Court declared in a 5-4 decision today, Friday, June 26, 2015, that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States, a historic culmination of decades of litigation over gay marriage and gay rights generally.
The four dissenting justices each filed a separate opinion explaining his views, but they all agreed that states and their voters should have been left with the power to decide who can marry.
“This court is not a legislature. Whether same-sex marriage is a good idea should be of no concern to us,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in dissent. Roberts read a summary of his dissent from the bench, the first time he has done so in nearly 10 years as chief justice. “If you are among the many Americans – of whatever sexual orientation – who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today’s decision,” Roberts said. “But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it. “Justice Antonin Scalia said he was not concerned so much about same-sex marriage but about “this court’s threat to American democracy.” Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas also dissented.
According to a 2014 CDC study quoting an NIH study from 2013, same sex adults make up less than three percent of the American population. Yet, that three percent of Americans have united to change the country and establish rights for themselves that defy the traditional definition of marriage held for millennia.
Today is momentous in the history of the Christian church in America.
This excerpt from Dr. Albert Mohler’s response to the SCOTUS decision explains:
For centuries, marriage ceremonies in the English-speaking world have included the admonition that what God has put together, no human being — or human court — should tear asunder. That is exactly what the Supreme Court of the United States has now done.
The threat to religious liberty represented by this decision is clear, present, and inevitable. Assurances to the contrary, the majority in this decision has placed every religious institution in legal jeopardy if that institution intends to uphold its theological convictions limiting marriage to the union of a man and a woman. This threat is extended to every religious citizen or congregation that would uphold the convictions held by believers for millennia.
In that sense, everything has now changed. The highest court of the land has redefined marriage. Those who cannot accept this redefinition of marriage as a matter of morality and ultimate truth, must acknowledge that the laws of this nation concerning marriage will indeed be defined against our will. We must acknowledge the authority of the Supreme Court in matters of law. Christians must be committed to be good citizens and good neighbors, even as we cannot accept this redefinition of marriage in our churches and in our lives…
We are called to be the people of the truth, even when the truth is not popular and even when the truth is denied by the culture around us. Christians have found themselves in this position before, and we will again. God’s truth has not changed. The Holy Scriptures have not changed. The gospel of Jesus Christ has not changed. The church’s mission has not changed. Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever.
What does this mean for you, the woman of WBL, as you go about your daily life, as you seek to live a seamless life of work and faith? What do you do differently this afternoon, tonight, and tomorrow?
Pray…for our nation, for those affected by the decision, and for God to give you grace and strength as this decision brightens the light of Christ you shine into your workplace.
Most of all continue to be a woman of love…
… continue to love your neighbor as yourself. This means being kind and friendly and helpful to every person regardless of gender, age, race, sexual orientation, income, or any factor that might distract you from caring. Love. Show your love. In tangible ways.
When someone asks you what you believe about marriage, explain that Jesus, Himself when answering the religious leaders who questioned Him about divorce, defined marriage as being between a man and a woman. As Christians, we can hold no other teaching than that of Christ. Also by definition of being Christian…we hold that teaching in love.
We at WBL will not be reactionary, abusive, abrasive, and unkind. We will understand that our friends and neighbors who support same gender marriages will celebrate, and we will not deride their celebrations with sarcasm and innuendo. We will not be disrespectful. We will respect the laws of our land. We will love our neighbors who disagree with us. In all that we do. In all that we say, we will love.
When you have an opportunity to give a reason for the hope that you have, to share your faith and the hope of life in Jesus Christ, to explain what you believe about marriage, do so in love. Always in love. Everything else will someday pass away. Be burned up. Dross. But not love. So do everything this afternoon, and tonight, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the next with a heart full of love.