Now that the Court Has Ruled, What Should We Do?

Posted: June 29, 2013 in Bible, Church, Discipleship, Evangelism, Family, Marriage, Pastor, Pastoral Ministry, Preaching, Public Affairs

marriage

Last Wednesday (June 26, 2013) the U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision made rulings that evangelicals hoped would not occur but came as no real surprise based on the past forty years of the court’s actions. I want to offer some analysis for us to consider how we should respond. First, we must recognize that marriage is not merely a public good or a “culture war” political issue. Marriage is a gospel mystery as the Bible tells us (cf. Eph. 5:32). When marriage falters, the gospel is eclipsed. On the other hand, the conversation about marriage gives the church the opportunity to point to a different word, the mystery of Christ (cf. Eph. 3:4).

Second, consider this important aspect of the court’s ruling that may offer some hope. For example, the Court left intact Section 2 of the Defense of Marriage Acts, which gives states the right to refuse to recognize same-sex marriage performed in other states. Currently, Louisiana is one of 36 states with such laws. In other words, the right to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman is preserved. The Court did not find a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.

Third, the critical role of man-woman marriage is not diminished by the Court’s rulings. The essential need for children to have both a married mother and father is not diminished by the opinions.

What should we do?
Do not despair or become angry. Jesus taught that marriage has existed as a male/female one flesh union “from the beginning” (Matt. 19:18). Regardless of what any culture does to redefine it or minimize it, marriage will stand. Keep this mind: no government bureaucracy invented marriage and no government bureaucracy can reinvent it either.
Love your neighbors – all of them. No matter what their lifestyle may be, they are not your enemies. They are your neighbors. Remember that Jonah was sent to speak God’s message to his enemies. Your neighbors are seeking a way that seems best to them. Be kind and respect all people because they bear the image of God.
Teach biblically on the integrity of marriage. We must not assume that people understand the gospel foundations of marriage. Many people have become confused due to a lack of attention to what the Bible says about marriage. This has led to many people giving tacit approval to cohabitation, to a culture of divorce “if things don’t work out,” and even to the idea of homosexual marriage.
Take steps that our policies and procedures line up with the Scriptures. Earlier this year, I addressed this with our deacons. A team has been working on some changes to our bylaws that will specifically address these issues. No one at the time the church constitution and bylaws were adopted ever expected to need to address such matters. These changes will be discussed with our deacons at their next meeting. Hopefully, we will have something for the congregation to begin considering at the next quarterly ministry meeting.

Comments
  1. Faye Hayden says:

    Love the sinner…but hate the sin…

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