Friday, June 28, 2013

Same-Sex Marriage, the Supreme Court and the Gospel

This past week, the Supreme Court weighed in on the subject of same-sex marriage. This decision reflects our culture and where we are as a nation. Yes, we would like the laws of our country to follow our beliefs, but many of them do not. Our nation is not a Christian nation, though in past times it followed Christian principles.

To be clear the Bible’s teaching on homosexuality is unequivocal, and stems from the fact that God created humanity to be male and female, and ordained marriage as the only appropriate context for sexual intimacy. (cf. Genesis 1:26-28; 2:18-25) It is often alleged that Jesus has nothing to say about homosexuality, but this is inaccurate. Jesus addressed this issue when he brought the standards of marriage and sexuality back to the creation (Matt. 19:4, 5). Jesus certainly associated with sinners, but he did so in order to call them to repentance, not to affirm them in their sinful behavior which would lead to God’s judgment. (cf. Matt. 5:28; 15:18; 19:9)

This is where the gospel of Jesus Christ comes into play. Because the reality is that homosexuality is a sin and like any other sin, it needs to be dealt with in the only way possible. It needs to be laid at the cross of Jesus and repented of. The gospel is good news precisely because it has the power to rescue people from a life of sin which includes sexuality immorality and homosexual lifestyle. (cf. 1 Cor. 6:9-11, “such were some of you)

We need to also be reminded that it will always be the case that as Christians we live in the tension of confidently proclaiming the Bible’s teaching while respectfully and lovingly pursuing relationships with those who live contrary to the Word of God. We must always make “lovingness” our method and the manner in which we say and do all things. (cf. Eph. 4:15; Col. 4:4-6) We cannot settle for truth without love nor love without truth. We should treat homosexuals with the same dignity and respect as we would anyone else because, they are made in the image of God. By failing to do so, we as Christians cannot be an effective witness to those around us.

I am not ultimately saddened by the prospect of the government taking a position that may be contrary to Scripture. My hope rests, not in horses or chariots, but in the name of the Lord. I will continue to follow Paul’s advice no matter what the government decides. I have been and will continue to love God, lift up Truth, and love and show compassion to people who are sinful, just as I am sinful.

The church needs to rededicate itself not to advancing the kingdom through the political process, but to the preaching of the Gospel. I believe the Lord is presenting His church a great challenge and opportunity. We can proclaim the Word of God in a clear and fresh manner. We can offer real, eternal hope to sinners whom God loves.

For Christ,
Robert Prater


K. Rex Butts said...

Very good! The church, in whatever social context it finds itself, is faithful when it depends on the power of the cross rather than the power of a state. Further more, the church will have more of an authentic voice in defining what constitutes marriage when all who profess to be Christian honor their marriage covenant in the same way God honors the covenant promises he has made.

Grace and Peace,


Anonymous said...

Thanks Rex! I agree with what you say. Christians today have a credibility problem here. When professed Christians have a divorce rate that is equal to those who don’t claim to be Christian. Yes, we have no control over the Supreme Court decisions concerning its view of marriage, but we can make our marriage one that honors God and His Word. To appreciate what you have had to say about these issues in recent years:)

In Christ,
Robert Prater