Articles

U.S. Supreme Court Redefinition of Marriage

0815PNL02

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0815PNL02

Given the seriousness of the event, I am sure you are aware that on June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of forcing same-sex marriage into law in all 50 states. The court based its ruling on the 14th amendment to the Constitution which stipulates, in part, that “no state … shall deprive any person … the equal protection of the law.” Building on this often misappropriated clause of the 14th amendment, which for the most part addresses the qualifications for public office and the justification of valid public debt, the Supreme Court decreed it legally binding that all states must issue marriage licenses to couples of the same sex. The fact is that an un-elected, presidentially appointed, lifetime held office has exercised their power to dictate sweeping legislation effectively negating the locally instituted decrees of 31 states that had previously adopted laws and amendments defining marriage as being a union between one man and one woman. Moreover, such a ruling, while obviously ignoring the plain teaching of Scripture, also ignores the collective conscience of the entirety of recorded human history! In a single audaciously arrogant decision Justice Kennedy shamefully sided with the liberal wing of Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Kagan and Sotomayor who have collectively, radically, redefined marriage.

In addition to redefining marriage the Supreme Court has, perhaps purposefully, overstepped its authority and entered into the realm of religious liberty as this decision will have potentially far-reaching litigious implications for denominations, churches, ministries, and Christian schools. Sadly, as an iceberg looming in the ocean of depraved humanity, we can only presently imagine the very surface of such threats. Think of the vitriolic way in which Christian-owned businesses have been attacked over what should be their right to refuse to provide their service to anyone they choose. If certain ideologically minded groups will bankrupt a family owned business for not baking a cake, what will stop them from attacking local pastors and churches? While parroting the liberal agenda of separating church and state, the Supreme Court decision has the very real potential of ultimately negating the religious freedom of millions of Americans who affirm the Bible’s definition of marriage as being a covenant before God between one man and one woman. While this is not the end, it certainly looks like the beginning of the end of our biblical values in American public policy.

As observed by the Heritage Foundation, the recent Supreme Court decision could eventually prohibit those who affirm a Judeo-Christian definition of marriage from having access to government benefits and government employment. Similarly, for those that refuse to agree with such a redefinition of marriage, access to government funded education scholarships and health care are potentially also at risk. Likewise, those who support the biblical definition of marriage may be subjected to a greater degree of civil liability as the promulgation of such biased anti-discrimination laws, directly contrary to mainstream religious teachings, opens the door for all manner of legal action against any who affirm a religious understanding of marriage as being limited to couples of the opposite sex. In light of the recent Supreme Court ruling it is not too far-fetched to envision a day when preaching the biblical view of marriage could be classified as “hate speech.” Also, such a ruling effectively normalizes behavior the Bible defines as sinful and this can have very serious, eternally significant, consequences. This creates a very dark, despairing, spiritually damaging, aspect to the Supreme Court ruling that many, sadly, will never acknowledge.

However, as potentially dark and damaging as the Supreme Court ruling may be for American values, as believers our hope is to be found in Christ alone! Regardless of how the Supreme Court redefines marriage, Jesus Christ remains the resurrected Savior who alone can redeem anyone from their sin (Romans 4:25) – regardless of what that particular sin may be since we are all sinners (Romans 3:23). But praise God that everyone who repents of their sin and turns to Christ will be saved (John 3:16; Romans 1:16). God has always been in control of human history and He will continue to shape the events of human history to further His purposes (Isaiah 46:3-11). While we should be deeply grieved at the decision of the Supreme Court, we should not be surprised by it. The Bible warns us of “men of corrupt minds [who are] destitute of the truth” (1 Timothy 6:5), and we should not lash out, or react negatively in a direct way toward individuals who support same sex marriage. Instead we should demonstrate the love of God to our neighbors (Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 22:39; Mark 12:31). The Bible teaches us that as Christians we are ultimately locked in a spiritual battle with “principalities and powers” (Ephesians 6:12) who seek to oppose everything that glorifies and serves God. Yet, we are promised victory over these “powers” in Romans 8:37-39. We must depend on the wisdom of God to orchestrate the events of human history as He sees fit and as Christians we should be driven to our knees in prayer.

PRAY: For everyone caught up in the sin of same sex attraction and those entering into same sex marriages to repent of this receive the forgiveness offered only in Christ. Pray for all those who are in danger of being spiritually misled by this recent decision. Likewise, pray for the leaders of our country to be reconciled to God and for those that already know God to become more vocal and instigate a great revival among those in our government.