On June 26, 2015, SCOTUS released their finding in Obergefell v. Hodges; their ruling was that Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-State. This changed precisely 13 of the 50 states; the rest had already legalized it.
It was, without argument, one of the most devastating blows to the Christian community I have ever seen.
Not for that reason, though – not because boys can marry boys and girls can marry girls, but because what little community still identified as Christian turned decidedly against each other in a hateful attack of unbelievable proportions. It stunned me and as I sat reading the responses, I became completely incensed, shaking in disbelief. The anger. The rage. The hatred. You know, just like Jesus was. Oh wait a second…
Don’t get me wrong, Jesus wasn’t some “anything goes, love is love, free hippy, you do you” kind of guy. He wasn’t. He was stern and did not pull punches when it came to Truth. He was clear about the issues. Jesus was not an “any love is good” kind of guy, but He DID talk a lot about loving each other, and doing it well.
People cite the John 8 passage where Jesus says “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” quite often to say that we aren’t called to judge, but that’s not true. We judge daily, and we have to in order to keep ourselves safe. We judge the distance to the car in front of us, the background of a babysitter to ensure our children will be safe, and what time we need to leave to get somewhere on time. The John 8 passage is coming up for me not because of the part where He says not to judge, but in how He speaks to the woman – “Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.””
He doesn’t pull her aside and tell her all the ways that what she’s doing is furthering the downfall of society. He sets her free, with the instruction to sin no more. And somewhere, we stopped letting the response of our Savior be enough. We didn’t want the Savior that Jesus was; we wanted a King, not a Servant. We want a ruler that will tell people they are wrong and punish, not love them and set them free. We wanted royalty, not someone who rode a mule and washed others’ feet and hung out with murderers and thieves and prostitutes. And despite not getting that Savior, we try to make him one, and this war that started yesterday may be the best example of that.
If allowing people that don’t claim Christianity to have secular rights is ruining marriage, why aren’t we fighting the marriage of Atheists? What about any other religion getting married? If we are desperately trying to save marriage, why aren’t we fighting to abolish no-fault divorces? Do we feel that, if given $500 million, Jesus would have spent it fighting gay marriage instead of feeding the poor, rescuing orphans, caring for widows? If you haven’t fought for the abolishment of marriage licenses to Atheists and all other non-Christians (FYI, I don’t support any of that), or fought to abolish divorce, don’t even start with the Chicken Little scenarios of gay marriage. “Pastors will be forced to marry the gays now!” Yeah, just like how a Catholic church is required by law to marry Muslims, right? Let me nope that.
1 Corinthians 5:12 says For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES.
There is more dysfunction in the church than outside of it, but why worry about that when we can hyperfocus on this one sin and shout at others that they are weak and wrong and hell-bound. Why worry about the fact that I screamed at my kids this morning until I was red in the face; the real threat to family is that guy in the rainbow pants wanting to hospital visitation rights and health insurance.
I am divorced, so let’s not misunderstand me, but the people I saw that were outraged yesterday were nearly all divorced or had children out of wedlock or some other type of scandal in their background; one that I know they wouldn’t want to be mocked and ridiculed for. We don’t see what WE do as contributing to the downfall of society, though, much like how we demand justice for others and beg mercy for ourselves.
If you are truly the devout Christian you claim to be, you wouldn’t see yesterday as a threat to marriage because you would understand the difference between secular and non-secular marriages, and how that since they didn’t order the rewriting of the Bible, they didn’t change your marriage at all. In fact, you’d understand that the government doesn’t have the ability to define non-secular marriage. They can’t threaten Christianity because they don’t control it. If you think the American government can lessen your God, your God isn’t the same one I have, because mine is MUCH bigger than SCOTUS.
The real problem is that we no longer have to worry about Christianity being torn apart from the ones outside wanting to destroy us. We are being destroyed, absolutely. Unfortunately, we are disassembling it from the inside – ourselves. We, and our ability and lack of ability to love and SHOW the Gospel is what’s killing Christianity. Christianity isn’t dying from homicide, but from suicide.
And that’s the very worst part of all of it.