With Friday’s news of the Supreme Court’s decision regarding gay marriage, questions abound. What is marriage? Why is marriage so important? How can a court of nine people make such a weighty decision for 320 million people? What will this mean for Christians (and other religious people) who disagree, not on the basis of prejudice but conviction? As I write this blog, the color bar at the top of my WordPress screen is the color of a rainbow. Google’s home page has this statement, “YouTube and Google are proud to celebrate marriage equality. #ProudtoLove.” Today, the White House’s Facebook page colored the White House with the colors of a rainbow.
With so many loud voices, how now shall we think?
What is marriage? Friday the high court weighed in on something that predated the existence of this country and the existence of American culture and all other cultures. As Christians we believe that God created the world, then he created marriage. God created man and woman and determined early that marriage should be between a man and a woman. For this reason marriage is called sacred. As such it is the pillar of civilization, the cornerstone of societies. Jesus affirmed the centrality of marriage (Mark 10, Matthew 19) and even considers the church to be his bride. In his earthly role he assumes the position of the bridegroom wooing us to himself. When the foundational fiber of civilizations is redefined by a court of nine people for a nation of 320 million, what happens to the course of that nation?
How can a court of nine people make such a weighty decision for 320 million Americans? I turn to Ravi Zacharias for help. Zacharias, referring to Paul Tillich’s philosophy of cultures, says we must determine which culture we are. We have three choices.
- Theonomous culture (theos:God; nomos:law) The law of God is so embedded in our hearts that we all think in the same categories. The culture of India (with Hinduism) approaches this. We don’t believe in theonymous culture in the west.
- Heteronymous culture (heteros:another; nomos:law) The mainstream of the culture is dictated to by the leadership at the top. If you look at Marxism in secular terms it is a heteronymous culture. The handful controls the masses. Islam (Saudi Arabia, Iran)–the people at the top tell the masses what they will do.
- Autonomous culture (autos:self; nomos:law) Each person dictates their own moral prerogatives. Zacharias talks about a conversation with someone who disagreed with his opinion: “If we are an autonomous culture and I answer your question are you going to give me the privilege of my autonomy too, or as soon as I give you my answer you will switch to a heteronymous mode and dictate for me what I must believe as well?” That is the sociological dilemma. If A disagrees with B, B wants to enforce his/her principles upon A.
The court’s decision on Friday was a heteronymous expression of power. The leadership at the top dictated how 320 million people must think. Rather than allow states to hold referendums and the people’s voices be heard, nine people attempted to redefine a building block of civilization. As an autonomous culture, this should greatly concern us.
How Now Shall We Think?
I appreciate the words of George Wood, General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God:
Politics reflects culture, and culture reflects religion. If you are concerned with the political drift of American culture, preach the gospel! As it sends out roots in the lives of believers, the seed of the gospel will change hearts and minds.
You are privileged citizens of a blessed nation. Use your citizenship well! Seek the common good. Advocate for the last, the lost, and the least. Speak the truth in love. And vote for candidates and issues that reflect a biblical perspective on issues. The difference in so many conflicts in American politics and culture turns on who turns out to vote.
If you are troubled with the Supreme Court’s decision, keep perspective! In this and every other matter, always remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ:
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33).
I remember hearing and reading over 30 years ago that all the homosexual community wanted was the ability to practice their “life-style” without fear of arrest and imprisonment. They wanted to “come out of the closet.” Then it was a cry for the ability to live openly in a same-sex relationship, and then it was a demand for the same privileges and rights as traditional man-woman married couples. Even the cry for “equality” under the law was never the real agenda. All of those statements were a pretense and a ruse. The goal has always been, and still is, forcing the “straight,” heterosexual community to accept their homosexual orientation as “normal,” and no different than traditional man-woman relationships. “It’s all about love.” Now, If one does not accept that manufactured humanist philosophy, then the force of law can be applied to make anyone who openly objects, or refuses to comply, guilty of a hate crime and Federal Civil Rights violations regardless of one’s moral beliefs as affirmed in the Word of God. It is a Satanic attack upon God-defined marriage and morality. We don’t even have a clue as to the ramifications and terrible consequences that this shameful Supreme Court decision will have on churches and faith based organizations!! It could be the death-knell of American Christianity as we know it.
It is no wonder to me that Muslims across the globe refer to the United States as the “Great Satan” when they view the decadence and immorality of our culture. Sodomy has now been legalized by the U. S. Supreme Court. I would never have believed that I would live to see such a shameful day in our history when five “Justices” have effectively forced their atheistic-immoral beliefs on all God fearing Christians, and other people of faith. May God help us as our beloved country continues its downward spiral into gross immorality and decline!
Such immorality and apostasy is described in Scripture during the latter days. I guess it really shouldn’t surprise us. Those who know me know that I am not an alarmist. But I believe our country is beyond the tipping point. There is no going back now. The vast majority of the people in this country are too far gone and have bought in to the lie.
Hopefully, Christ will not delay His coming.
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Thank you for your comments, Bill. We need to be praying about these issues as a congregation, and discussing these issues. Iron sharpens iron, as it is said, and we cannot ignore the implications of this decision for all of us in the future. We cannot ignore the issue and hope it goes away. This battle is not over by any means. “1 Cor 6:13-14 says: Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.” We must know where we stand, and why we stand there. We must teach our children from a Biblical world view. We must be intentional in our conversation with one another, speaking what must be spoken. Love and truth. May God be with us through the trials that come. It is Him that we must please, not the world around us. We await a greater reward.