Supreme Court Ruling on Marriage

On June 26, 2015, the United States became the 21st and most populous country to legalize so called “same-sex marriage”, as it ruled on Obergefell v. Hodges. Following this ruling were many celebrations. You can’t use the web today without seeing peoples profile pictures overlaid in rainbow colors, pride flags being waved on the streets, and photo ops being taken in front of and inside public buildings. Everybody is talking about it. On the other side you have arguments breaking out, store owners making the news for banning gay people from their businesses, and the usual violent responses that we see during highly publicized controversial public debates.

The homosexual agenda

For the past few decades societies have been pushing the homosexual agenda both in the United States and abroad. The gay rights movement began around 1970. But before we start thinking that this is an exclusive historic event in our nation's history, we have to remember another tragedy took place in the early 70's that is too regularly overlooked. It was Roe vs. Wade in 1973. Today, the most dangerous place to live is in the mother's womb. So let's start off by realizing the spiritual and ethical decline in America didn't start last week. But this historic event of 2015 now reveals the world embracing and celebrating their sin.

Compassion and Justice

As individuals of the church we are called to two primary ministries, compassion and justice. We show the love and truth of Jesus Christ to the individual people around us. Christians are called to have a personal ministry as well as a broader ministry to the culture and to the world. As Christians we have a ministry of compassion and a ministry of justice. Being able to distinguish between these is important.

Compassion

In light of the recent court ruling, we will be dealing with this topic a great deal in the days ahead. Many of us will have friends and family struggling with this issue. Some of us ourselves may even be struggling with our identity. As a Christian we should hurt with those who are suffering. As a Christian we should show the love and compassion for those suffering. The identity crises is real and everyone experiences it, they just might describe it differently.

Coming to the reality that in our nature we are all broken is traumatizing (that is if we come to a correct perspective of it). Our nature can be described as selfish, hateful, murderous, lusting, dark, crooked, and depraved. The quick way to say that is we're born sinners and we love our sin. That's one important distinction to clarify in our minds as we have compassion on others... In our nature we love our sin, not hate it. That is what depravity is. The sinner in his darkness loves the dark and loves performing the sin.

The hope of the gospel comes after the Holy Spirit does the convicting work in their lives. It is when people are convicted of their sin that despair sets in. You feel dirty, wretched, stained, and broken. You feel hopeless. The despair only increases when you have people telling you to "be who you are", or to "find yourself" and "love yourself for who you are". The world says, "you are who you are, so embrace it.". Compassion says, "look, I may not be able to identify with your particular struggle, but I know what it's like to feel broken and guilty. The good news is that we don't have to stay that way." Compassion speaks the truth in love.

The Truth in regards to marriage is that God created marriage. The Bible—which is the inspired, authoritative, and inherent Word of God (2 Tim. 3:16)—says that God created marriage to be between one man and one women. Man has no right nor authority to redefine something God has decreed. In order for man to do something like this, he must first remove God. The ultimate target of all these things is God and His Word. People in their nature hate God (John 3:20).

Justice

We didn’t get to where we are overnight. The LGBT community is actively and passionately working to indoctrinate as many people that they can to accept their views and change the world. It is in the media, the government, marched on the streets, researched by psychiatrists, endorsed by politicians, and also in schools. 

Something I see little of today is speaking in defense of the victims of this assault. You've probably seen many pictures in the media today of children wrapped in gay pride flags, marching in marches, holding up signs of support, and these little kids being lifted up on their parents shoulders being raised as the next generation that will be "open-minded" and "love" everyone. Men, women, and children that have not yet been exposed to godly influence are seeing the media and the response of the culture today in regards to such important matters. They are seeing by the world today that love and compassion is accepting everything in everyone despite what the truth is. They are accepting everything except for the Word of God. God has called us to a ministry of justice in this world and to this culture that we live in today. It is the same reason that when we see babies being murdered day in and day out that we cry out in grievance! We cry out not just for the unborn child that is about to be murdered in their mother's womb, but we also cry for the mother who is so broken and dark and depraved and she's going to take the life of her own child. There is hope for them both and we want to speak that hope into their lives with boldness and clarity.

As Christians we absolutely must have compassion and love for the broken who need Christ and the ability to tell them about him. And as Christians we absolutely must seek justice in a world that is being distorted and assaulted by Satan himself, whose desire is to suppress the truth and deny the glory of Christ. Jesus says that we are the salt of the earth and light in the darkness. Together we must know how and when to respond.

#LoveWins and the identity crises...

This hashtag, #LoveWins, is what is being pinned to the recent court decision and conversation surrounding it. It proclaims and affirms that love is some ambiguous feeling or physical attraction to another person. It hijacks the word love just like it did marriage and tells it's hearers nothing but lies. It is a distortion of the truth.

Finding our identity in ourselves

So in order to find our identity we must look deep within and find what God values in us so much that he wanted to save us...? What did God see in you that made him love you?!

Nothing! NOTHING! NOT ONE THING!
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?" - Jeremiah 17:9 
"None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” - Romans 3:10-12 
"We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away." - Isaiah 64:6
If we try to find our identities in ourselves, namely in something we feel or something we prefer, we're embracing something that isn't supposed to be, which is in hostility toward God. When it comes to same-sex attraction, the argument will go something like, "I was born this way, so it can't be wrong. It is natural for me. It's not like I chose this." The problem in the argument is not understanding the Christian perspective, which is that everyone is born in bondage to sin, not just homosexuals.

When I'm online reading the news and suddenly that picture pops up on the side, my eyes tell me to take a closer look... A quick click and no one will know... My nature says to commit adultery. My spirit says get ready to pluck that eye out!

We see in our society in this generation that it is now not only accepted but generally encouraged for a couple to live together before actually getting married. Any sexual relations outside of marriage is sin. It’s not okay, whether society accepts it or not.

The hashtag #LoveWins is true. Love won on the cross and love will have its final win at judgement.
"God is love." - 1 John 4:8
"But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." - Romans 5:8

Our Identity in Christ

One of the major problems homosexuals have that are trying to find their identity in their relationships is actually the same problem many heterosexuals have in Christian marriages. It is an inward focus. It's not too strange if you think about it, we either live to make much of ourselves or live to make much of Christ. But if we know the gospel, we know that we are what God is saving is from.

2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” Paul himself identified quite well with this radical conversion when he went from being a persecutor of Christ to a proclaimer of Christ (Acts 9:5, 20-22). Before Paul met Christ he was a very self righteous man. He strived to follow the law perfectly. He, like the Pharisees, thought he could earn his good standing with God through his works.

Before his conversion Paul viewed Christ from an external perspective. He knew about Jesus and had facts about him, but did not know him personally. Mere information cannot transform a person from self-centeredness to selflessness.

That's why in our witness we must be constantly in prayer. We must not simply be spreading information about Jesus but also be in tune with and reliant on the Holy Spirit to do the work.

Shotgun Jesus 
Imagine Jesus walking up to you wielding a 12 gauge shotgun... He says, "I'm going to save your life!", as he raises the barrel of the gun to center on your chest. Whoa whoa whoa! "Trust me"... Pow! Down you go.

When I think of new life, a new creation as we read in 2 Corinthians, I think of my old self that Jesus shot, laying on the ground behind my new spirit standing in front of it... One of the hard parts about sanctification is that I'm dragging this corpse around that still twitches and even somehow occasionally grabs things as I'm walking by them. That's why I need to carry a sword around with me to whack my old body whenever it moves... I also count on trusted people when I'm distracted to kick it in the head when they see it twitching. 

Knowing Christ 
Paul really summed it up perfectly in Philippians. When comparing his old self to his new self, his selfishness to his selflessness... Knowing what the value of life is in his new identity, He says:
"7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own." - Philippians 3:7-12

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