While I do not claim this is the only or best way to respond to the SCOTUS ruling regarding same-sex marriage last week, I do believe our biblical response as a church, as the people of God, would at least include these attitudes/actions:
IT SHOULD SPUR US ON TO REPENT OF OUR OWN SIN
We each should examine our own lives and honestly assess whether our marriages and relationships are reflecting the gospel of Jesus Christ. We should be more concerned about our own sin than the sin of others. And as we are aware of sin in our own lives we ought to repent immediately and once again plead the finished work of Jesus Christ on our behalf. When people were telling Jesus about others who they thought were “worse” sinners his response was, “Do you think (they) were worse sinners than all the (others). . . No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:2-3).
IT SHOULD SADDEN US
Those who celebrate this ruling may claim that “love wins”, but what about love for God and passion for his glory? When Jesus taught his disciples to pray he began his prayer with these words, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.” (Matthew 6:9) In this ruling God’s name is not being lifted up as holy, instead, this is an assault on God and his image in man. This should grieve us as God’s people, as a church that aims to worship God in all of life.
IT SHOULD NOT SURPRISE US
We live in a fallen world, a world that ignores God, and so it should not surprise us when this world rejects God and his ways. We should not expect the world in which we live to honor God and uphold his Word (1 John 2:15-17). It should also not surprise us if this world hates us. Jesus told us to expect as much (John 15:18-26, 1 John 3:13).
IT SHOULD NOT SCARE US
This is still God’s world and he is still reigning on his throne doing as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the people of the earth (Psalm 24:1, Psalm 115:3, Daniel 4:34-35). The justices of the Supreme Court are there, ultimately, by God’s appointment. “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” (Romans 13:1). Proverbs 21:1 says, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.” And, as the Heidelberg Catechism reminds us: “not a hair can fall from our heads apart from the will of our Father in heaven.” Our Father in heaven is almighty and glorious, we have no need to fear others. “Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory!” (Psalm 24:10)
IT WILL NOT SWAY US
God’s Word tells us that the church is a pillar and buttress of the truth (1 Timothy 3:15). And so we will not be peddlers of the Word of God. We will not redefine marriage but continue to uphold it as a gift from God for the good of humanity, the first institution that he established for the good of mankind, consisting of one man and one woman and intended to be a reflection of the gospel, of the union between Jesus Christ the Son of God and his bride, the Church, the people of God.
Jesus himself affirmed this definition of marriage in Mark 10:6-8: But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh.
We must remember that we are the household of God, the church of the living God. We are not an American Church. Yes, we are grateful for the freedoms we enjoy in this country we live in, and we are thankful for all the men and women who have given their lives and who currently serve to protect these freedoms. But we must remember that Jesus is the head of the church and that his church includes people from every tribe and tongue and nation and language. America is not God’s chosen nation. Our allegiance is not to America but to King Jesus, and his kingdom includes people from every nation on earth.
We are also not a political church: Republican, Democrat, or Libertarian. Our response as a church is not political. Individual Christians may get involved in politics, but we as a church are not committed to any one political party. And the people of God do not place their hope in a nation, a political party, or a particular person running for office.
And so we will not sway from our mission. We will continue to PRAISE GOD, striving to worship Him in all of life. We will continue to LOVE PEOPLE, all people, pursuing them in love as Jesus has pursued and loved us. We will PROCLAIM CHRIST, his life, death, resurrection and coming again. And we will PRAY IN THE SPIRIT at all times. Soli Deo Gloria.
If you want to consider other appropriate responses, here are a few others I believe are worth reading:
Roy Taylor, Stated Clerk of the PCA, has given our denomination’s view in a brief Statement on Same-sex Marriage
The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention has a well-written Evangelical Declaration on Marriage
Kevin DeYoung has asked, But What Does the Bible Say?
John Piper has shared a lamentation
The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood released an official response.
And here’s a response from Rosaria Butterfield and Christopher Yuan, two people who not long ago would have celebrated this decision.