In a historic, Romans 1-esque move today, the United States Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the 14th Amendment requires all 50 states to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples and recognize those marriages performed in other states.
Among professing Christendom, there has been everything from shock, outrage, fear, and indifference. Whatever our response, surprise must not be one of them and anchoring in God’s word must be all of them. In addition to what the Cripplegate has previously said on this issue, here are a few things for us to keep in mind in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling:
- The God of the Bible reigns in unrivalled sovereignty and supremacy.
“Remember the former things long past, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure’” (Isa. 46:9-10).
God was no more surprised by the Supreme Court’s ruling than he was when rulers crucified his Son 2000 years ago. It serves his own purposes for history. He is in total control of this ruling just as he is over a water molecule in the Mariana Trench just as he is over a star billions of light years away just as he is over the return of Jesus Christ to make all things right. The God of the Bible saw this coming; he ordained it for his own reasons. That is the Christian’s lullaby.
- Man is utterly wicked.
“And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done” (Rom 1:28).
It is one thing for humanity to sin against our glorious and loving God. It’s quite another to make our sin a matter of law and laud (Rom. 1:32).
And though the Supreme Court’s ruling is a sin of epic proportion, it is merely another thorn busting forth from a rebellious and depraved human race.
Yet, we are reminded that in the heart of every human being is the capacity of every known sin. Whether we are sorrowing or celebrating today, one thing is sure: we are all from the same stock of utter sin.
- The God of the universe looks with sovereign derision on the rebellion of nations, kings, and rulers.
“Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying, ‘Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.’ He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision” (Ps. 2:1-4).
God is so sovereign and so holy, that the upheaval of the highest human courts solicits an unworried disdain from heaven’s thrown. And this truth is not ammo for Christians to angrily blast the culture. Rather, it is to strike us with sorrow for our unregenerate rulers. It is motivation for us to pray for our rulers and judges (1 Tim. 2:1-2). It is fuel for our own fear (Prov. 1:7). It is motivation to compassionately preach the gospel.
- All human rulers and judges will give account to the one Ruler and Judge.
“Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him” (Ps. 2:11-12).
“Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done” (Rev. 20:11-12).
Whether district, circuit, or supreme, the responsibility of human judges is to obey the highest Authority of the universe because the responsibility of all humanity is to obey him. And in the end, God will judge the small and the great alike for deeds done in the body. He will be fair. He will be exacting. The Judge of all the earth will do right (Gen. 18:25).
- Any victory for sin and its propagation today will be an unspeakable defeat in the future.
“Be appalled, O heavens, at this; be shocked, be utterly desolate, declares the Lord, for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water” (Jer. 2:12-13).
Sin’s DNA is deceit. It advertises as pleasure, but only brings pain. It’s the worst invester: self-destruction is the certain dividend. Today, many are celebrating attempted overthrow of the good plan which God has designed for the propagation, joy, and good of humanity. But, as with all perversion of God’s design, it will prove futile and painful. Present celebration will bring future frustration. Sin wearies like water-fetching with busted buckets. Worse, it ends in unalterable eternal punishment.
- Jesus Christ has promised to build and bless one institution.
“I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18).
Though tragic, this ruling is relatively small in the scheme of things which the true church of Christ has faced throughout the millennia. A brief glance at church history proves this as small resistance. There have been times (and still are) when it was illegal to be a Christian. God’s people have been thrown to abused, starving wild beasts as punishment. Nero wrapped Christians in pitch and used them as human candles during his parties. Christians were burned alive by the Roman Catholic Church during the Reformation. And in many countries today, Christians are denied basic human rights, tortured, mocked, unjustly imprisoned, and executed for their faith.
And yet, many of these persecuting societies are nothing more than dust brushed by an inquiring archaeologist. Meanwhile, the Church survives and the Bible thrives.
- Regardless of earthly circumstances, God’s church is to stay fervently committed to the same old plan.
“You are the salt of the earth…You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:13-16).
“And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth, Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…'” (Matt. 28:18-19).
The Supreme Court’s ruling changes nothing for the “what-should-we-do-as-the-church?” because the Bible does not change.
In this dark hour, God’s people have a wonderful opportunity to do what we’re always supposed to do: shine and speak. We are to humbly, lovingly, and intentionally avoid the bunker-mentality, and be in the world with the hope and prayer that God rescues some.
Today’s headline is merely a reminder nudge for the church that the world still needs Christ, we are to still love our neighbor, we are to still unashamedly speak Christ crucified in the place of sinners, and the earth is still not heaven.
- Through faith in Jesus Christ, God’s enemies can become his children.
“God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).
The hope of humanity is, and has never been, in an earthly king, court, or judge. Even if our nation’s laws represented the most respectable moral standards, it would still be insufficient to meet the greatest human need.
Every human being enters the world as a natural fist-shaking enemy of God. And yet, incredibly, the God of the universe stepped out of heaven and into the muck of humanity. As a mere human, he lived righteously in complete obedience to God. At the cross, he held himself accountable for our sin, enduring the righteous anger of God which we deserved as sinners. Christ was treated as God’s supreme enemy so that we might be treated as his beloved children for all eternity. By turning from trust in self to trust in the Savior, we can enter into God’s favor and begin living in the joy of obedience to him.
Photo credit: graphics8.nytimes.com