|The White House, illuminated with multiple colored lights, celebrated|
the Supreme Court's ruling.
And it ignited a firestorm on social media, whose embers were still glowing over the recent Confederate Battle Flag controversy.
I have always wondered how the Churches (to clarify, the Evangelical Churches, not the Liturgical Churches, whose reaction is constrained to the reaction of their respective pontiffs) would react to such a sweeping action of government. And for pure entertainment, similar to the entertainment of watching a drunk man attempting to juggle goslings, they haven't disappointed. But, in every other way imaginable, I couldn't be more disappointed.
Of course, there are the hyper-fundamentalists, firing Bible verses and citing God's holy law as given to and enforced by the Levitical priesthood of the Old Testament. Being a fundamentalist myself, I can see their error with 20-20 vision. They simply believe that God's moral codes should be integrated and enforced as national or state laws. And, as is typical, they love to pick their "pet" sins when doing so, forgetting all the other "abominations", like heterosexual activity outside the bond of marriage, adultery, drunkeness, covetousness, etc, etc, ad nauseum (1st Corinthians 6:9-10 & Galatians 5:19-21), all of which are perfectly legal, and as disgusting in the eyes of God as homosexual behavior. Some are even claiming this will be the final straw that brings God's judgment.
On the flipside, you have "tolerant" Christians who suggest that you cannot love the sinner UNLESS you tolerate the sin. And by not doing so, you presumably become a bigot or a hypocrite, since no one is perfect, and we all have sin in our lives.
And we have all the non-Christians, doing their best to cite Scriptures and present theological and philosophical views supporting same-sex marriage. Many of which are asinine to the point of hilarious. But as any seasoned Christian knows, the Scripture wasn't written for non-Christians, making their interpretation suspect. Until one has the Spirit of Christ indwelling them, they will never be able to "rightly divide" God's Word. So the only message a non-Christian can hear and understand is the raw Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is pointless to debate Christian theology with a non-Christian. Jesus even went as far as comparing such fruitless efforts to giving precious jewels to pigs and dogs (Matthew 7:6).
Being a libertarian and a Christian gives me a multi-dimensional, stereographic view of the issue that few Christians (and almost no non-Christians) are able to comprehend.
First of all, let me start by saying that the ruling given by SCOTUS, as it stands, does NOT make it legally compulsory for any Church, or any minister, to accommodate requests for same-sex weddings.
That may change. In all honesty, I fully expect it to. It has already happened. (LINK) It has always seemed to me that with the militant homosexual agenda, enough is never enough.
From the start, I find that I am amazed at the level of misunderstanding. Same-Sex Marriage has never been the issue. Here in Tennessee, where it wasn't "legal" before this ruling, homosexuals were still exchanging vows, exchanging rings, pledging eternal fidelity, the whole song and dance. Only their marriages were simply not recognized by the State.
The issue is STATE-SANCTIONED Same-Sex Marriage. Now, for years, I have been telling the Church that what should happen BEFORE Same-Sex Marriage gains universal acceptance, is for the Churches to tell Christians to withdraw from seeking State licenses for their marriage. I have blogged about my views on this already, and you can read them here and here. The Church allowed the institution of marriage to be taken over by the Government, in exchange for 501(c)(3), and they complain when our Babylonian Governmental System doesn't treat it with the respect and reverence it deserves. God is not mocked. The Church is reaping what it has sown by allowing the State to usurp our marriages. If you throw your child in a den of hungry lions, don't complain when they devour your child. Strictly speaking, what happened Friday is the Church's fault. Is it any wonder judgment is destined to begin at the "House of God"?
The State doesn't actually see marriage as a holy covenant between two individuals, where two become one. the way a Christian would. To them, it is, at best, a social convention they can exploit to their own purposes, and at worst, a simple contract between two consenting individuals. That is why I'd be concerned if they'd ruled the other way. It would have been precedent for them to over-regulate contract law. Being a libertarian, I am always suspicious of laws that hold potential precedent for government to regulate aspects of our lives that should be free of government intrusion, like our ability to enter into private contracts with other individuals and, for that matter, our marriages.
But, my advice went unheard and/or unheeded. And now, the Churches are faced with the prospect of the Gay Agenda poised to expand to the point of becoming intrusive into our religious institutions.
Some Churches are incorporating, adopting by-laws and policies they believe will exempt them when this comes knocking on their door. As a perpetual student of the Civil War, I have learned that any attempt to claim immunity over Federal laws is a one way ticket to the modern equivalent of William Tecumseh Sherman performing a no-knock invasion in your home. Government could care-less for your "by-laws" when they are not in keeping with their principles.
Others have, rather presumptuously, stated that they'd walk away from their ministry and padlock the church doors before performing a same-sex wedding.
But my prescription stands. Let's take our marriages OUT of the hands of the State. When Jim and Fred knock on our Church doors asking for marriage, look at how much trouble it would save if the deacons and elders told them, "We don't perform any state licensed weddings. Only baptized members of our church may marry here."
The irony is, some States already seem to be taking my advice. Funny how that works. The State has always been smarter than, and one step ahead of, the Church, in both the making of good and bad laws. Alabama and Mississippi have both voted to stop marriage licensing in their State altogether. Interesting... Now why didn't the Church think of that?! Cognitive dissonance to the prospect of doing it differently than it has always been done, I suppose.
Now, since I know my prescription will once again fall upon the ears of the auditory impaired and the cognitively dysfunctional, I humbly suggest to Christians is simply a sign of the times. Scripture says, "In your patience, possess your souls" (Luke 21:19). We should be patient and in prayer about this. And certainly not let it distract us from our primary mandate of making disciples.
I don't know if this signals the end for America, a blatant herald of the Lord's return. I'd be more inclined to believe that the Church, at large, embracing homosexual lifestyles as consistent with God's moral code would be better evidence of our Prince's return, or a herald of impending judgment, Certainly more than any action of the State. Governments are inherently evil. Evil entities doing evil things are hardly signals of Christ's return. But when the Bride Herself starts showing signs of infidelity to Her coming King, that is another matter.
That is why almost all my focus over the next few weeks will be on the Church's further reactions to this. I am not as concerned with the State at this point. I know what to expect from them. But this is a prime opportunity for the Church to hit their knees and get clear, precise directions from God on how to handle this situation. Where sin abounds, grace abounds (Romans 5:20). But grace isn't grace when it is shoved down sinners' throats via State prohibitive legislation.
And keep praying, "Even so, Come, Lord Jesus!" (The Revelation 22:20)