CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

SCOTUS, the Church, Social Responsibility, and Losing by Default

Jun 28, 2015

In any war there are actually always two enemies: an external enemy and an internal enemy. By internal I mean when our own side does not fight because of fear, indifference, cowardice, laziness, and so on. When one is under attack yet refuses to engage the enemy, or just tries to sit on the fence, that is being an internal enemy.

In the many battles over faith, family and freedom we see this very thing occurring. The many adversaries are obvious: the new atheism, secular humanism, radical feminism, the militant homosexual lobby, expansionist Islam, and so on. They are obvious threats and genuine enemies.

But often the real problem is when our side simply refuses to engage, or is not even aware that we are in a war. Or even worse yet, when we basically side with the opposition, and betray our side. All this and more has been happening for far too long.

scotus 10It is with this in mind that I want to make this bold claim: We have been largely to blame for the passage of Roe v. Wade in 1973 and Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015. These two horrific and diabolical SCOTUS decisions on the sanctity of life and the sanctity of marriage and family largely passed because the church of Jesus Christ was asleep at the wheel, was apathetic, was carnal and compromised, and/or was simply missing in action.

To a great degree we have only ourselves to blame for these and other major blows against biblical truth and values. And for that reason, the church collectively, as well as Christians individually, must repent and ask forgiveness from God for our dereliction of duty.

I am not for a moment minimising the forces arrayed against us however. There are very real adversaries, such as the pro-death lobby and the pro-homosexual lobby. They are doing tremendous damage to all that we hold near and dear. But just how much damage have we been doing to ourselves?

The sad truth is we have lost too many of these battles by default. The other side did not so much win as we lost – if we were even engaged to begin with. Part of the problem has been the church and too many believers have simply bought into the false values of the world: “tolerance” and acceptance and niceness and lurve.

These are all good values if properly and biblically understood, but way too many clueless and biblically illiterate Christians have simply fallen for the emaciated and twisted understandings of these and other terms. And far too many Christians have abandoned thinking for emoting as well.

David French has just written a piece dealing with aspects of this and is well worth quoting from. He begins:

The most striking aspect of Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, which created a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, was its deep emotion. This was no mere legal opinion. Indeed, the law and Constitution had little to do with it. (To Justice Kennedy, the most persuasive legal precedents were his own prior opinions protecting gay rights.) This was a statement of belief, written with the passion of a preacher, meant to inspire.

He especially takes Christians to task here, and rightly so:

For many believers, this new era will present a unique challenge. Christians often strive to be seen as the “nicest” or “most loving” people in their communities. Especially among Evangelicals, there is a naïve belief that if only we were winsome enough, kind enough, and compassionate enough, the culture would welcome us with open arms. But now our love — expressed in the fullness of a Gospel that identifies homosexual conduct as sin but then provides eternal hope through justification and sanctification — is hate.
Christians who’ve not suffered for their faith often romanticize persecution. They imagine themselves willing to lose their jobs, their liberty, or even their lives for standing up for the Gospel. Yet when the moment comes, at least here in the United States, they often find that they simply can’t abide being called “hateful.” It creates a desperate, panicked response. “No, you don’t understand. I’m not like those people — the religious right.” Thus, at the end of the day, a church that descends from apostles who withstood beatings finds itself unable to withstand tweetings. Social scorn is worse than the lash.
This is the era of sexual liberty — the marriage of hedonism to meaning — and the establishment of a new civic religion. The black-robed priesthood has spoken. Will the church bow before their new masters?

But let me finish on a somewhat more upbeat note. Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, has just written this piece: “Why the church should neither cave nor panic about the decision on gay marriage”. He begins:

First of all, the church should not panic. The Supreme Court can do many things, but the Supreme Court cannot get Jesus back in that tomb. Jesus of Nazareth is still alive. He is still calling the universe toward his kingdom.
Moreover, while this decision will, I believe, ultimately hurt many people and families and civilization itself, the gospel doesn’t need “family values” to flourish. In fact, the church often thrives when it is in sharp contrast to the cultures around it. That was the case in Ephesus and Philippi and Corinth and Rome, which held to marriage views out of step with the Scriptures.

He concludes:

Let’s also recognize that if we’re right about marriage, and I believe we are, many people will be disappointed in getting what they want. Many of our neighbors believe that a redefined concept of marriage will simply expand the institution (and, let’s be honest, many will want it to keep on expanding). This will not do so, because sexual complementarity is not ancillary to marriage. The church must prepare for the refugees from the sexual revolution.
We must prepare for those, like the sexually wayward Woman at the Well of Samaria, who will be thirsting for water of which they don’t even know.
There are two sorts of churches that will not be able to reach the sexual revolution’s refugees. A church that has given up on the truth of the Scriptures, including on marriage and sexuality, and has nothing to say to a fallen world. And a church that screams with outrage at those who disagree will have nothing to say to those who are looking for a new birth.
We must stand with conviction and with kindness, with truth and with grace. We must hold to our views and love those who hate us for them. We must not only speak Christian truths; we must speak with a Christian accent. We must say what Jesus has revealed, and we must say those things the way Jesus does — with mercy and with an invitation to new life.

The SCOTUS decision was devastating on so many levels. And the church must share much of the blame for all this. But SCOTUS cannot stamp out real marriage. As Mike Huckabee put it, “The Supreme Court can no more repeal the laws of nature and nature’s God on marriage than it can the laws of gravity.”

Real marriage always stands, no matter how hard the activists try to redefine it out of existence. So true Christians will keep fighting for biblical truth and real marriage. We must repent of our past carelessness and apathy, and resolve now more than ever to forever stand with God and his word, no matter how greatly and fiercely they are attacked.

www.nationalreview.com/article/420376/marriage-christians-religion-love
www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/06/26/why-the-church-should-neither-cave-nor-panic-about-the-decision-on-gay-marriage/

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12 Responses to SCOTUS, the Church, Social Responsibility, and Losing by Default

  • When we are dealing with our government, rather than being defensive by saying, “no, don’t allow same sex marriage”, shouldn’t we also be on the offensive as well, calling for the re-criminalising of sodomy?

    I think that was where we started losing the battle, when we thought that people could live immoral lives and it would not affect the rest of society.

    It is as though the Church has moved it’s moral ground. Instead of arguing that any homosexual activity is a serious sin, we are now arguing over whether they can ‘get married’ or not.

    David Clay
    Darwin, NT

  • Don’t forget that, in deciding that marriage has nothing to do with sexual fidelity, the U.S. is saying that it has no interest in promoting sexual fidelity. Fortunately SCOTUS saying that on behalf of the U.S. populous is a lie.

  • Another one from Bro’ Nat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJhQBZ1La0w

  • In actual fact the judges on the SCOTUS have breached the laws of the Constitution of the US in that they have made an arbitrary decision that denies the right of the American people to decide on this issue. As Abraham Lincoln said: ‘Government by the people, for the people, of the people …’.
    On the news it has reported that a number of U.S. States have vowed to fight this travesty. Whether they have the courage and will to see it through is another matter.

  • Yes, we the people are at fault. I’m sure you’re including the wolves we have as so-called shepherds in your calculations.

    Osteen is the first one that comes to mind…among so many others.

  • “Real Marriage always stands”.
    I have three maybe four lesbian couples in my practice.
    Two have children (adopted) and at least one couple have talked about marriage.

    This couple will no doubt enthuse about having been married. I believe my response should be, “You are not married”.

    In a earlier post Mark Rabich quoted Abraham Lincoln.
    Perhaps an even more telling version of that saying for Aussies could be. (Especially since kangaroos use their tail to stand on)

    “How many legs does a kangaroo have if you call the tail a leg? Two, calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg!

    I might put that up in my office for all to ponder.

  • All this is dreadful to read. The UK never had the chance to speak its mind either, although having seen how the Irish vote was rigged, I don’t suppose it would have made much difference. We are all being suppressed. Question is how long God will let it run for.

  • Peter jones of TruthXchange has something to say on this.

    https://truthxchange.com/articles/2015/06/26/the-body-politic-is-queer/

    David Skinner UK

  • When Rome was threatened by Spartacus and “his slave army”, Crassus realized that the Roman Army was in disarray and somewhat feared Spartacus more than they feared their commanders. He ordered decimation to teach his soldiers that their commanders were more to be feared than any enemy.

    We call ourselves Christians but the enemy is within because we have accepted the enemies edicts as opposed to those of our Creator and our Lords priceless words.

    We have come to accept divorce; the term “gay”, re-marriage after divorce, adultery, abortions (about 100,000 per year and in America- about one million per year and paid for by our taxes), and adoptions by homosexuals. That is the “enemy within”.

    We have come to accept that Australia is a Multicultural Nation as opposed to a Christian Nation and this is where the rest falls by the wayside.

    The FACT IS THAT WE ARE A CHRISTIAN NATION!

    Evidence? Start with the preamble of our Constitution where it provides (first paragraph):
    “Whereas the people of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, and Tasmania, humbly relying on the blessing of Almighty God, have agreed to unite in one indissoluble Federal Commonwealth…”

    In this, clearly, we are not an Atheist Nation – go ahead, check it out and then read on.

    Given the reference to “Almighty God”, that reference could see us as a Pagan nation as Pagans have many God’s just as did the Romans prior to being a Christian State. However, the undeniable evidence comes from our National Flag; count the crosses:
    1. Saint George;
    2. Saint Andrews
    3. Saint Patrick But wait, there is one more –
    4. The Southern Cross.

    Does anyone know of any religion that recognises the symbol of the cross other than Christianity? Off course not – case rests – we are A CHRISTIAN NATION!

    Now for the meaning: Our diggers, fought, sacrificed and died under our flag even those who are not Christians. They fought, sacrificed and died to preserve Christian values and Christian principles of which divorce, adultery, homosexuality, homosexual marriage, abortions and so on, can never be Christian values and Christian principles. Otherwise, why did we send our children to the “killing fields”?

    The “enemy within” is also fear of sticking your neck out (not very Christian as Jesus made known that we should take up our cross and follow him” but, I can understand that the hidden warrior is often to well hidden and that the “spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” and I do have an answer as to how we can all fight even from the safety of our armchair:

    THE ANSWER: MAKE SURE WE CHRISTIANS SEEK OUT CANDIDATES OF ALL ELECTIONS (COUNCIL INCLUDED) – VOTE FOR THOSE WHO UPHOLD CHRISTIAN VALUES AND PRINCIPLE AND VETO THE ALTERNATIVE!

    Simple? Yes it because, as far as the government is concerned, we all have to vote. As such, how can anyone of us be put out to inquire from each candidate ?

    John Abbott

  • This is where rampant selfishness has led Western society. Can we possibly sink any deeper into the mire?

  • The problem is that homosexual activists – such as Rodney Croome – can bring complaints against people at no cost to themselves. But their victims – such as Toowoomba’s Dr David van Gend – have to spend their own time and money to defend themselves.

    This is clearly unjust because the deck is so stacked against the victims of PC bullies.

    I think Croome has already complained to one of these kangaroo courts about the Catholic bishops’ brochure, “Don’t Mess with Marriage” being distributed in Catholic schools.

    So it’s OK for homosexuals to prosetylize for homosexuality and all sorts of perversions in public schools via their sneaky “anti-bullying” taxpayer-funded campaigns, but it’s not OK for Catholics to counter their evil propaganda with the truth about marriage.

    Logic is in short supply these days, Bill.

  • I think Russell Moore’s final paragraph on the refugees from the sexual revolution is a salient pointer as to how we can operate in the future, starting from now, as the tenets of our belief are systematically trashed around us.

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