In light of the recent SCOTUS ruling concerning the legality of same-sex marriage, I have tried to be patient and particular in my thought process as I absorb all that is happening. One of the biggest mistakes I made during that time was looking at Facebook. Social media is often full of thoughtless knee-jerk reactions on both sides that quite frankly, should be avoided. On both sides, there are cliff jumpers. On one side, some are ready to jump off the proverbial cliff. They boycott, they get mad, and they are usually quick to condemn. On the other side, some accuse the other side of hatemongering, simply because they have an opinion. As I think about this issue from a biblical worldview, I’ve finally come to the conclusion, that there’s absolutely nothing to worry about.
I am a born-again, bible-believing, evangelical Christian; and while I believe (and have believed for a long time now) that the institution of marriage has been under attack, nothing has had the same destructive effects as the court’s recent ruling. But I’m not ready to jump off of the cliff just yet.
While I am certainly disappointed in the outcome of the decision, I haven’t forgotten that Christ is supreme in all things. Colossians 1:20 is a reminder that through Christ all things will be ultimately reconciled to God. Why would God, who hates sin, and speaks extensively in Scripture about the sin of homosexuality, allow such a thing to happen? Because as Colossians further goes on to say in chapter 2, Christ is sovereign over every power and authority, even earthly courts who make ruling that do not align with a biblical worldview. God is in the business of glorifying Himself through Christ and the gospel, and He does that by restoring all things from the pollution of sin and its destructive effects.
In the meantime, Colossians 3:15-17 tells us how to stay away from the cliff. Paul reminds the church, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (HCSB).”
So if God allowed this to happen, and Christ is supreme and sovereign in all things, then we have nothing to worry about. The Bible expresses the idea that God permits bad things to happen for His own glory. Even things we don’t understand; things like: calamities, famines, cancer, divorce, brokenness, and even the moral decay of a once flourishing society founded on Judeo-Christian values. The idea that everything that exists – even things that are evil – are ordained by an infinitely holy God is not popular theology. But they are part of the big picture of what God is doing to reconcile all things to himself. The point is, God wasn’t taken by surprise by the Supreme Court’s decision and neither should we. You wouldn’t expect a cat to bark like a dog. You would not expect a society that threw the Bible out of public schools 50 years ago to think biblically about marriage. You wouldn’t think that a society who legalized the killing of unborn babies to have the capacity to think morally.
So where do we go from here? In his book True Sexual Morality, Daniel R. Heimbach writes “Same-sex relationships are considered normal, and restricting sex to marriage is considered abnormal. Behavior once thought shameful is flaunted now with pride, and praised as daring and courageous. Marriage has never been so uncertain … Living to please God while engaging the surrounding culture requires knowing how that culture affects you. Real truth as revealed by God never changes. It is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Christian parents must engage the culture around them by teaching their children God’s standard for marriage. My children live in a different America than they did one week ago. It was once said, “Preach the Gospel, use words if necessary.”
There’s only one problem with that statement. Preaching the Gospel requires words! As Paul reminded the Colossians, “whatever you do in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.” It’s not enough to simply model a biblical standard of marriage, but to speak truth into our children and into our culture. We can start with Facebook. The world is looking at our Facebook pages, and we must respond to all things with grace and love, always pointing people to the power of the gospel.
And please, don’t jump off the cliff.
Will Matthews is a conservative, an ethics student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and youth pastor. He also tweets at @therealwhm.