How should Christians respond to the Supreme Court’s decision to redefine marriage?

Gay activist vandalizes pro-marriage sign
Gay activist vandalizes pro-marriage sign

In case you haven’t heard, the Supreme Court voted to redefine marriage to remove the focus on creating and raising children in stable relationships. Now marriage is just for any two or more people who have feelings for each other, and when the feelings go, so does the marriage. The commitment is gone, the child-centered focus is gone. It’s just about the needs of selfish adults.

Which Religions Voted for Obama in 2008?
Which Religions Voted for Obama in 2008?

And more:

2008 voting broken by religious groups
2008 voting broken down by religious groups

So, remember that when you are processing today’s decision on gay marriage – not every person who calls herself a Christian actually is what she claims to be. For many of them, religion is just a custom, like the clothes they wear, or the food they eat. They don’t really believe a word of the Bible, and just want to dance and sing in church for the sake of their own happiness. There is nothing cognitive going on in some churches. No understanding, no authenticity.

You can read Justice Scalia’s dissent to the decision here.

How should Christians respond?

This post by Lenny Esposito at Come Reason made me laugh. He writes about how Christians should respond to same-sex marriage, since the Supreme Court is about to rule on it, and is guaranteed to rule against natural marriage.

Lenny has arguments against same-sex marriage that are made on the basis of logic and evidence. But not everyone is happy with his approach.

He writes:

I did receive a few responses from people who wrote something to the effect of “All we need is the Gospel. Share the Word with them.” I’ve run into such thinking before, with those who question the necessity of rigorous training in logic and apologetics. They think such things are “of men.” They admonish me and other believers to simply let loose the “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:17) to fight our battles.

I think such talk is sincere but misguided. First of all, we live in a post-Christian culture. The Bible is not taken to be the final answer on issues such as same-sex marriage. That’s why if I quote the Bible to a person who supports homosexual unions, it really doesn’t sway them at all. In fact, many times it solidifies their stance since they see themselves as more modern and progressive than some 2,000 year-old book.

Anyone who has been paying attention to the changes of belief about this issue can quickly see my point. We’ve been offering Biblical admonition against homosexuality and same-sex marriage for over 30 years. Which way did the culture shift? Which way did the Church shift? According to a newly released Pew study, over 60% of Catholic and mainline Protestants support same-sex marriage.1 Even among Evangelicals, the support for same-sex marriage has DOUBLED in the last ten years.2 All this even though the scriptural admonitions against homosexuality are clear and have been discussed repeatedly, especially in churches.

In the words of Dr. Phil, “How’s that workin’ for ya?” I can answer that: it isn’t.

I’m actually not sure that any churches have talked about the Bible says about any issue in the real world. Mine certainly never does, and the pastors are all quite proud of preaching the gospel every week and never talking about current events, law or policy. It’s just Bible, Bible, Bible all the time, and never a word about how it is supported by evidence, or how it applies to real world issues. No wonder churched Christians get the idea that Christianity is just about their emotional state, and not about reality.

More from Lenny:

While I do believe that the Christians who think quoting scripture is the proper way to face these questions are sincere, they are trying to make scripture into something that it is not. They think scriptures are some kind of secret weapon that cannot be resisted. They see it as a sort of mystical summons of the Holy Spirit who will magically change those with whom they’re engaging; a few phrases that one only needs to voice in order to change people’s hearts and minds.

But “the Word” is not a magical incantation and it’s wrong to think of it that way. Such is an unbiblical view of scripture itself. Yes, the Holy Spirit is the one who transforms lives. It is he would is responsible for our understanding our sinfulness and our need for Christ. But that doesn’t mean the Spirit will reshape every unregenerate idea, even among believers. That’s why Paul didn’t quote scripture to the Athenians in Acts 17 when he witnessed to them. Instead, he used popular poets and thinkers they were familiar with to make his point. When Paul was held prisoner in Jerusalem, he didn’t quote scripture to his captors, but appealed to Roman law (Acts 22:25) in order to escape flogging.

I thought it was worth quoting what Lenny said. I think he is more familiar with the normal church  background where people rely on feelings and nudges and intuitions, and are hyper-spiritual about everything.

So what do you think? Is he right about this?

He didn’t provide a case against same-sex marriage in his post, so I’ll just link to my case against same-sex marriage, and summarize the main points below:

  1. Celebrating same-sex unions is bad for children
  2. Celebrating same-sex unions is bad for public health
  3. Celebrating same-sex unions is bad for business and religious liberty

And of course there have been more recent studies since I wrote that which are relevant, like this one that I blogged about previously. There’s much more to the case for natural marriage than my 3 points, but it’s a start.

7 thoughts on “How should Christians respond to the Supreme Court’s decision to redefine marriage?”

  1. I think we need to double down on our studies of the bible and apologetics. I think we need to get ready for our church buildings to go to ruin and we’ll need to resort to house churches it for no other reason than to protect ourselves, marriages, and future generations.

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  2. I don’t know what I think, beyond the fact that I think we are in a great deal of trouble down here. Even completely outside the realm of faith, to redefine marriage does not bode well for us economically, for the future of children, for our health and well being down the line, and for our continuation as a species. It’s not just gay marriage however, we’ve been on this path for a while.

    Where I live there are a couple of pastors that really do address the world we live in right now and scripture. It is a huge blessing to have their voice to lean into. On the other hand, we also have a few churches actually endorsing gay marriage and performing weddings.

    I really don’t know how you fix it, but I fear that the only solution is going to be a lot of heartache and brokeness until people finally start to see the error of their ways.

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  3. How do we handle this? I think we look to our predecessors in pre-Constantinian Rome. I think we look to our brothers and sisters in the Middle East, North Korea and China. For a long time, we Christians in America have assumed that we were immune from worldly rulers because until recently cultural christians have mostly agreed with us. They were never our allies though and have grown increasingly hostile to the Word. This is not a recent invention either. Many mainline protestant denominations have been controlled by worldly people who put on the guise of Christianity to rationalize their sin.

    It is time for Christians in America to wake up and understand that we live in a fallen world full of sin and that includes our government and culture. There is no silent majority that will come to the rescue. If they were Christ bearers they would not be silent. So we live in a world, including our home land, that is hostile to God and Christ and we must act like it.

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  4. We have, in the western world, been very blessed to have a long period of relative freedom. While it has been undoubtedly helpful to the Christian witness, I also think this has probably softened us – made us too comfortable in a broken world. For most of us, the persecutions of the early church have merely been an academic exercise – but a time is coming where we too will have to resist the demands to offer a pinch of incense to Caesar. Even though western society has (more or less) lost its collective mind, we should remember that we are still relatively fortunate by comparison to our suffering brothers and sisters in the Middle East and further afield. It is going to be increasingly difficult from here on out, but there is nothing else we can do but continue to fight on and make preparations for the inevitable encroachments.

    μαρανα θα

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  5. A Pentecostal minister friend of mine echoed what Morgan said above. The collective Left is shifting into overdrive, and while Christ said that we should fully expect this lunacy before He comes back to stop it, it’s still frightening.

    I’m a believer in the Pre-Trib Rapture, but I don’t rule out the possibility of persecution making its way to American shores before then.

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