Grace For The Journey
Friday, June 26 was a very sad day for many of us in the United States of America. The action of the Supreme Court is another definitive step further out of the will of God taken by those appointed to render judgment in the highest human court in our republic. The issue is really a matter of the heart. The Bible says in Isaiah 29;13, “And the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw nigh unto me , and with their mouth and with their lips to honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment of men which hath been taught them,” and in Matthew 15:7-9, “You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’” America has heart damage – the spiritual abnormality that the medical profession calls arrhythmia. Arrhythmias are deviations from the normal cadence of the heartbeat, which cause the heart to pump improperly. America’s heart is not working properly. We should have a heart that seeks after, leans on, and depends on God and His will but we are far from that.
I have waited to respond on this issue in this blog, wanting to seek God Word and counsel first. In today’s and tomorrow’s blogs I will share my heart and hope with you.
As much as we wish it we not so, Friday’s SCOTUS ruling is unavoidable for all of us and some have asked about what my thoughts are on the issue. Feeling a little strange that anyone might wonder where my opinion would fall on the matter, I felt it best to go ahead and put it in writing.
The Bible says in Psalm 11:3, “When the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?”
Let me say that I am not surprised by Friday’s ruling in the least. It has simply been a matter of time before this position was put into law. I am saddened but not surprised in the least. In the midst of my personal displeasure, let me also say that the Church’s mission remains the same: to advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ and seek to glorify Him in all that we are and all that we do. In this manner, nothing about who we are and what we are commissioned by Christ to do has changed. And it grieves me to have to add that I believe this ruling will eventually result in some form of significant judgment and chastisement from God.
Please do not hear me to be saying to our culture, “Our God hates you and you deserve what you get.” It is simply that I have studied the Bible for 40+ years and I cannot avoid the precedent that the Bible reveals a God who judicially responds to any nation which openly defies Him – including His own covenant people, Israel (see Numbers through Malachi for more insights). Even with that reality, I want all who read this to know that you are loved by God and us, His people. Someone summed it up beautifully,
“Amidst the protest signs, yelling crowds, and political referendums, the simple message of Jesus’ love for you is often drowned out. Never doubt that Jesus loves you more than you could ever know. Jesus doesn’t just love a future version of you; He loves you exactly as you are right now. Jesus’ love for you has no prerequisites or requirements. Even if you hate Him, Jesus loves you and wants what is best for you. Love is at the core of everything Jesus taught. Unfortunately His message of love has been conveniently left out by many who would rather make a point than make a difference” (John 3:16; 1 John 4:8-10; Romans 5:8; Psalm 86:15).
The highest human court in our land has formally ruled that God and His Word are inferior to their own wisdom. Even though Justice Scalia’s written statements in opposition to the ruling gave voice to many, it simply was not enough. This cannot bode well for us as a nation.
So what are we to do?
- Let the Church of Jesus Christ continue to love our neighbor (regardless of their sexual orientation) as Jesus would have us love them.
- Let us also continue to love God’s Word and not be ashamed of what is written in it as we daringly and dogmatically declare it.
- Let the Church admit that the reality of the state of affairs in America is due in part to our continued silence on cultural issues, our compromise in our pulpits by politically correct pastors, and our timid acquiescence on pertinent issues which we seem to only address after the dismissal bell has already rung.
- Let also the Church be brokenhearted with the same godly sorrow displayed in the Psalmists’ laments, Jeremiah’s tearful, pleading prophecy, and the weeping heart of our precious Savior as He mourned over Jerusalem’s spiritual blindness during His lifetime.
Our being angry is a suitable initial response because we are concerned over the arrhythmia of America’s spiritual heart. Any continued angry we express will not be a legitimate response however. The verdict has been rendered, many in our nation celebrate, and we cannot afford to be petulant children who retreat into our ecclesiastical huddles and pray for Jesus to return so we can escape all that is wrong down here.
My personal belief is that, if Jesus was ministering in America today, He would continue to teach God’s Word and in God’s power minister and share that message in love, knowing that neither the gates of hell nor the gavels of humans will ever prevail over His mission through His church. I am going to emulate Him.
Christians, now is the time for our gospel light to penetrate the dark shadows of society. Now is the time for our voice to learn again how to speak the undiminished truth in undeniable love. Now is the time when we must think long and hard upon the counsel of our Lord when He told His followers to “Be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” He made that statement in the context of His disciples being sent forth into a culture which would not appreciate them nor their Kingdom message.
Listen to what your countrymen are saying on this issue of homosexual marriage. Consider why some Americans are celebrating today and love them enough to actually consider why they deem it worthy of celebration.
Next, ponder what might be coming on the heels of this ruling and what it means to how preachers, teachers, and other Christians communicate a biblical position on the issue of marriage.
Then… search your own heart to see what ungodly verdict is pronounced there in your life that gives you a free pass in areas where you are out of line with God and His ways. Nobody listens to hypocrites. If you find that you, a follower of Jesus, are unwilling to repent of your own inequity of heart, then expect nothing different from others in this country of ours which has run so heartbreakingly far from God.
This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”