This week the US Supreme Court met to deliberate on one of the most important social and moral issues of our day: homosexual marriage. Yet I suspect the great majority of churches did not even know this was happening. And if they did, how many mobilised their troops to do some hard core praying about this, at the very least?
The push for homosexual marriage is certainly the most radical social experiment foisted upon the Western world in living memory. Very few other such social revolutions have had and will have such far-reaching ramifications, and cause so much social upheaval and devastation.
Yet most Christians are either altogether clueless as to what is at stake here, or they have already gone over to the dark side, foolishly thinking this is somehow the ‘Christian’ thing to do. Talk about a dumbed-down Christianity. Talk about an appallingly ignorant and misguided flock.
Of course not every believer is unconcerned or misinformed. Many are making their warnings heard. While we will not know for some time what the SCOTUS outcome will be, and what final decision they come up with, it is certainly a matter of grave concern.
Just recall what seven out of nine unelected, unaccountable and unrepresentative judges did 40 years ago with abortion. The enormous harm they caused in Roe v Wade may likely be repeated again here. And yet where is the church in all this?
Some brave souls have spoken out. A number of folks have already commented on the SCOTUS deliberations. Let me here cite from five of them who have written about all this in the past few days. Al Mohler says the deliberations of Tuesday and Wednesday will “stand among the most significant days in our nation’s constitutional history, but the issues at stake reach far beyond the U.S. Constitution.”
The two cases which SCOTUS are examining are momentous indeed: “Taken together, these cases threaten nothing less than the redefinition of the most basic and essential institution of human society – any society. Marriage stands at the center of human culture and life, forming the necessary network of relationships upon which society depends. Every society in human history has found its way to the establishment of marriage as the centering institution of all social order. Its exclusively heterosexual character has been challenged only in very recent years and only in a few nations.
“Now, this institution that has preserved the context for intimacy, procreation, and the raising of children is threatened with a redefinition that would render the state’s conception of marriage at odds with millennia of human wisdom, putting human flourishing at risk. The very fact that the Supreme Court is considering the question reveals just how far the proponents of same-sex marriage have advanced their cause….
“The very fact that the march for same-sex marriage has reached this point is telling. It reveals a fundamental confusion at the very heart of our society. The ideological support for same-sex marriage is deeply embedded in a host of ideas that are driving our society to the point of moral breakdown. The U.S. Supreme Court may well decide the future of marriage as a legal institution, but the church must hold to marriage as far more, but not less than, a legal reality. Marriage is one of God’s most gracious gifts to humanity. It will be the Church’s responsibility to honor marriage, no matter what the Court may decide.”
Matt Barber is fully aware of what is at stake here: “Here’s the bottom line: Homosexual activists don’t want the white picket fence. They want to burn down the white picket fence. The endgame is not to achieve so-called ‘marriage equality,’ but, rather, to render marriage reality meaningless.”
He concludes, “It’s all very simple. If anything is marriage, then everything is marriage. And if everything is marriage, then nothing is marriage at all. ‘”Marriage equality” becomes “marriage elasticity,” with the ultimate goal of “marriage extinction”.’
“I sincerely hope that the honorable and learned men and women who sit on the highest bench in the land recognize that all of these San Francisco-style social-engineering games are a deceptive means to a destructive end. And it’s not the emotionalist end they’ve dolled-up and dished out. The left’s fierce push for ‘gay marriage’ has nothing to do with ‘marriage equality’ and everything to do with ‘marriage extinction’.”
Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Austin R. Nimocks says this: “The Supreme Court is not the place to settle the country’s public-policy disputes. The court is not equipped to distill all of the competing concerns and interests over marriage into a comprehensive, nationwide policy.
“Yet that is exactly what those challenging the marriage laws are seeking: a final policy decision from the nation’s highest court that will apply to all U.S. states and territories and forever remove the right of the people and their elected representatives to decide this issue. The request that the defenders of marriage will make before the Supreme Court is simple: Let democracy work. And with people of goodwill on both sides of the debate, it will.”
Kevin DeYoung looks at some of the homosexual marriage myths, such as, “It’s about equality”. “Equal treatment under the law means the law is applied the same to everyone. Gay marriage proponents desire to change the law so that marriage becomes something entirely different. Surveys often pose the question ‘Should it be legal or illegal for gay and lesbian couples to marry?’ That makes it sound like we are criminalizing people for commitments they make.
“The real issue, however, is whether the state has a vested interest in sanctioning, promoting, and privileging certain relational arrangements. Is it unjust for the state not to recognize as marriage your group of four friends, close cousins, or an office suite just because they want their commitments to be called marriage?”
He then says the church needs to get its act together here: “We need more courage. The days of social acceptability for evangelicals, let alone privilege, are fading fast in many parts of the country. If we aren’t prepared to be counter-cultural we aren’t ready to be Christians. And we need courage not to just say what the Bible says, but to dare say what almost no one will say–that gay sex is unnatural and harmful to the body, that abandoning gender distinctions will be catastrophic for our society and for children, and that monogamy and exclusivity is often understood differently in the gay community….
“Let’s keep sharing the good news and praying for revival. And let’s also find ways to make the truth plausible in a lost world. Not only the truth about marriage, but the truth about life and sex and creation and beauty and family and freedom and a hundred other things humans tend to forget on this side of Adam. The cultural assumptions in our day are not on our side, but if the last 50 years has shown us anything, it’s that those assumptions can change more quickly than we think.”
Finally, Joe Carter rightly argues that it is time we called this what it is: idolatry. “At its root, the issue has more to do with idolatry than marriage, since same-sex marriage could not have advanced in America if believers had not exchanged the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob for the God of faux-love, cultural acceptance, and open theism.”
His fitting conclusion will serve as mine: “Yesterday, on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, many Christians displayed the red equals sign—a symbol of gay rights and “marriage equality”—so that their friends, family, and followers would see that they stood with the forces opposed to God’s Word.
“For too long those of us in the church have grumbled to ourselves or remained silent about this open idolatry. We fear that if we point out too clearly or forcefully that you can’t both serve God and endorse sin that they may leave our congregations. We seem more concerned with losing the volunteer for the Sunday morning nursery or the regular check in the offering plate than we do with the souls of those in open and unrepentant rebellion against God.
“We seem more worried about the judgment of the kids in the youth ministry than we do with the judgment of a wrathful and holy God. We are so troubled by the thought that same-sex advocates will fall away from the faith that we fail to see that they’ve already rejected the faith of historic, orthodox Christianity and replaced it with an idolatrous heresy—one that is as destructive and hateful as any that has come before.
“What is needed is courage in speaking the truth: We cannot love our neighbor and tolerate idolatry and unrepentant rebellion against God. We cannot continue with the ‘go along to get along’ mentality that is leading those we love to destruction. We must speak the word of God with boldness (Acts 4:31) and accept the fact that those who have fallen away may not ever return. We must choose this day whom we will serve. Will we stand with the only wise God or with the foolish idol-makers of same-sex marriage?”