In light of Friday’s Supreme Court decision Christians find ourselves in a predicament. The new reality in America today suggests that, if you do not agree with the Supreme Court’s decision, you are intolerant, prejudiced or even bigoted. Is it possible to disagree without disrespecting, to love without compromising? I say “yes” if we practice the following five principles:
- Stay anchored in God’s Word. Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32 ESV) Right is still right and wrong is still wrong–and right and wrong are found in God’s Word.
- Speak the truth in love. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. (Ephesians 4:15-16 ESV) The church has always swam upstream, gone against the flow, spoken into the ills of its day. This time is no different.
- Remember love is always right. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13 ESV) While those outside Christianity struggle to understand this paradigm, it is possible and necessary to love sinners while speaking out against sin.
- Don’t confuse people with politics. Friday’s decision was more politically motivated than people oriented. As Christians we must never confuse the two. Paul said, “To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.” (1 Corinthians 9:22 ESV)
- Remember who you are. While the church has become the whipping boy for many problems in the world, the church has been and still is the source of feeding the poor, clothing the naked, starting hospitals, ministering to the desperately sick in developing countries, responding to natural disasters all over the world, defending freedom, fighting sex slavery, loving orphans…you get my point. Jesus, the hero and object of our faith, had this to say. Let his words resonate in your mind and hearts today: Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. (John 15:20-22 ESV)
Martin Luther said, “Anyone who is to find Christ must first find the church. How could anyone know where Christ is and what faith is in him unless he knew where his believers are?” Let’s be the church.