Today the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favor of same-sex marriage across the land. My Facebook and Twitter feed, like yours, is blowing up over it. Reactions range from despair to glee. In the words that follow I want to offer my personal feelings on this decision and how I believe Christians are called to respond.
4 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! 5 Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:4-7)
My initial reaction was to turn to Paul’s advice to the church, one that was living under the thumb of a corrupt and godless empire, and to rejoice. Rejoice not because a decision was reached that I agree with but rejoice because in all things, whether good or bad, Jesus is still Lord, he is has defeated sin and death, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come again. I rejoice because this ruling, like so many other things this life throws our way, proves God is true.
What does that mean? It means that when Jesus promised us there would be trouble in this world (John 16:33) he was correct. It means that when Jesus promised that this world would hate us (Matt. 10:22, John 15:18) he wasn’t mistaken. It means that when Paul wrote the the last days would be marked by disobedience and sacrilege (2 Tim. 3:1-2) he was right.
The events of today are only further proof that God’s word is true. It is reason to rejoice! And if these things are true, so are the promises that Jesus will one day return. And so are the warnings for we Christians to remember that we are but mere sojourners in this land. This is not our final home, and while we are here we must guard our hearts from becoming entangled with the cares of this world (Heb. 13:14; 1 Peter 2:11).
Paul’s advice to the Christians at Philippi is what sets the Christian apart from the world. How will people who have been transformed by the resurrected Christ respond in the wake of adversity, trials and oppression? How will they react to their enemies, perceived or real? They will rejoice. They will be considerate of everyone. They will not worry or be anxious. They will pray. They will place their hopes and fears and trust and distrust into the hands of God who holds all things together. None of this has taken Him by surprise.
This means I will choose to pray rather than post on Facebook my despair or glee. I will choose to rejoice rather than grow bitter or fearful. I will choose to be considerate of those with whom I might disagree and entrust them and the future of our nation into the hands of my heavenly Father.
To be a biblical Christian in this world means more than just having right opinions about marriage. It also means obedience to the many commands which tell Christians how to respond to trials, as hard as that may be.
So, Christian, what will it be? Will you rejoice and pray and allow God to be God or will you reveal that your real hope and trust lies not in the Supreme Judge of the Universe but in the Supreme Court of one nation?