A Day of Mourning and Rejoicing

So the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled 5 to 4 that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right; thus, making same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states. We used to say much ink will be spilled but I suppose now it is more appropriate to say many bytes will be consumed over this. It is a sad day on the one hand and a day to rejoice on the other. I’m sad because marriage has been completely redefined. According to Scripture marriage can only be defined as the union of one man and one woman (Matthew 19:4-5). For the whole of human history, up until this generation, marriage has been defined the same way. So, it is folly for any government to legalize same-sex marriage since same-sex and marriage cannot coexist. By legalizing same-sex marriage the Supreme Court has redefined marriage, and, by extension, become the ultimate authority for the definition of marriage. When my wife and I were married, marriage was defined only as the union of one man and one woman. The definition did not include the union of one man and one man or the union of one woman and one woman. Including same-sex couples is a new definition of marriage not an expanded definition of marriage. The definition of my marriage originated with God. The new definition of marriage originates with the government.

Since God created humans only God has the authority to define human relationships. (This is one reason why people will accept almost any other explanation for our existence other than we are God’s creation.) Before this Supreme Court ruling when a state issued a marriage license they were just giving legal status to a God-ordained, God-instituted relationship. Now when a state issues a marriage license they are giving legal status to a state-ordained, state-instituted relationship. We have moved from God’s objective definition of marriage to the government’s subjection definition of marriage. If the state defines marriage it will continue to redefine marriage. Why should a marriage just be between two people? Other variations on marriage even now not acceptable to the majority are on the horizon. As my son said to me, “I will grow up in a very different America than you.”

When I grew up I was mostly like my neighbors and friends even if they never darkened the door of a church. Now, not only do I oppose legal (and illegal) abortions, I also oppose some legal marriages. Not only that, the associated hashtag for the Supreme Court decision was #LoveWins. So if I support biblical marriage am I also against love? From the world’s perspective I’m anti-women, a homophobe, and anti-love.

There is much more about this that makes me sad, but, so I can save some bytes for others, as I said at the beginning, it is also a day to rejoice. The Apostle Paul said, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice” (Philippians 4:4). Always includes this period in our history. I rejoice because God is still on his throne. He is still sovereign and ruler over all things. I do not know God’s purposes in this, but one thing many others and I see is the gap widening between cultural Christians and true Christians. As Al Mohler said over a year ago, “There is No ‘Third Way.’” There is no middle ground on which to stand. Even more we will find out which churches will hold to the authority of Scripture and which churches will not (Here We Stand). We will find out who will attempt to show love by compromising Scripture, and we will find out who will truly show love by speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). I am not showing someone love when I tell someone good is evil or evil is good (Isaiah 5:20).

Rejoice because we are entering an era of great opportunity. It’s time to stand out from the rest of the culture. Now when I’m falsely attacked for being anti-women, a homophobe, and anti-love, I can be much more bold in presenting the gospel. I’ve already lost the popularity contest. I can talk about God’s holiness, which is usually ignored, and his love and show how these are reconciled in Jesus Christ. I can lovingly explain that because God is holy, holy, holy (Isaiah 6:3) and we are sinful (Romans 3:9-18), we are under God’s wrath and condemnation (John 3:36). God does not overlook sin because he is love. As R. C. Sproul once said, “God will not sacrifice his holiness to save anyone.” But because God is love (1 John 4:8), his son Jesus took my sin and died on the cross to experience God’s wrath and condemnation on my behalf.

In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. (1 John 4:9-11 ESV)

As John tells us in his first letter God showed his love by sending his son to be the propitiation for our sins. (Propitiation means to satisfy wrath.) God says love is not celebrating sin (and God defines what is sin) but crucifying sin through Jesus (Romans 6:6). What Jesus did on the cross can be applied to anyone who admits they are a sinner and by faith proclaims Jesus as Lord.

The times are changing but the gospel stays the same. Ecclesiastes 7:10 tells not to long for the good old days so let’s press on as opposition increases. I pray those of us who truly belong to Christ will boldly and lovingly proclaim the unchanging truth of the gospel.

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