Responding To The Supreme Court Rulings

Photo by Ben Earwicker Garrison Photography, Boise, ID www.garrisonphoto.org

Photo by Ben Earwicker
Garrison Photography, Boise, ID
http://www.garrisonphoto.org

There’s an old adage–something about closing the barn door after the horses are already gone. It’s a futile effort–the right action but done at the wrong time. In the same way, I suspect, any effort to size down Big Government, to corral the liberal bent that considers defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman to be discriminatory, is futile.

The Supreme Court rulings of last week that have opened the door more widely to “same-sex marriage” are symptoms, not causes. Scripture makes clear what the road away from God looks like, and if we’re honest, we can see a lot of America in it (warning–the following is not politically correct):

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. (Rom 1:18-27 – emphases added)

We are seeing played out in front of us these verses: rejection of God, the worship of self, and the resulting release by God, allowing people to act on all their sensual passions.

So, what is the American Christian to do?

There’s a verse in Psalm 18 that includes this line: “And the torrents of ungodliness terrified me” (v 4b). I think one response to an increase in ungodliness and a simultaneous decrease in influence that the Christian might have, is to be terrified. After all, the ungodliness is coming in torrents.

Terrified people either hide or go into fight mode. That’s why you see some Christians circling the wagons and others joining Tea Party rallies.

The Psalmist took a different tack:

In my distress I called upon the LORD,
And cried to my God for help;
He heard my voice out of His temple,
And my cry for help before Him came into His ears. (v. 6)

Clearly, when we’re confronted with ungodliness, we should be turning to God.

I think we tend to forget that ungodliness is a form of rejecting God. It’s not aimed at us, even though we may feel as if we’re getting caught in the backwash.

At the same time, I think we should continue to carry on with the assignment Jesus gave us when He returned to heaven to take His place at the Father’s right hand. He gave us a mission: to go to the world, every part of it, and make disciples.

This past Sunday my pastor, Mike Erre, preached on this very point. He highlighted the fact that we are to do as Jesus did (it’s what defines followers ;-). “[Jesus said,]’As You [God] sent Me into the world, I also have sent [my disciples] into the world’ ” (John 17:18).

So how did God send Jesus into the world? Not to coerce people to believe in Him. Not to beg them or bribe them or bully them. He invited and He served.

In essence He was obeying the two great commandments: to love God, to love our neighbors. This focus is important. Jesus didn’t invite people to follow Him because He wanted to have more disciples than the Pharisees or because He was raising an army to overthrow Rome. He invited people then to sit at His banqueting table, and He does so now, because He loves.

It’s not a big mystery: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

Jesus followed that up by saying He and the Father are one:

Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. (John 14:10)

In the gospels, in fact, we learn that Jesus laid down His life: no one took it from Him. God sacrificed His Son, Jesus sacrificed Himself.

All for love, that God might give the gift of grace to a people destined to die.

And that’s how we, His followers, are to love. That’s what our response to the Supreme Court rulings should be.

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9 Comments

  1. Do you think it would be appropriate to say that your god God so loved the world that he made a good proportion of its inhabitant (including throughout the animal kingdom) only experience same sex attraction, then allowed the heterosexual majority to freak out and condemn your god God’s creation? Where do you see ungodliness in two consenting adults recognising who they can have a lasting and meaningful relationship with, and wanting to formalise that union in a way that heterosexual people can? Remember, Jesus and the god God only spoke about homosexuality in terms of promiscuity, and didn’t seem to have the foresight to understand that committed same sex relationships were a possibility. There is no way to interpret how Jesus would have responded to this.

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    • Jesus and the god God only spoke about homosexuality in terms of promiscuity, and didn’t seem to have the foresight to understand that committed same sex relationships were a possibility.

      I don’t think homosexuality was made into an identity until very recently in history. I’m sure that people who experience homosexual desires can’t simply choose not to feel that way. The feeling does not have to be an identity, nor does it compel action.

      I don’t believe that God created people to be homosexual, and it sounds extremely unlikely to me that animals are naturally homosexual. (Go ahead and point toward your scientific evidence, if you like, though of course we will all interpret science in accordance with our worldviews.) Homosexual feelings are neither sinful in and of themselves, nor are they God’s design. They’re a natural result of the decay and chaos that runs throughout the creation. We’re all probably psychological basket cases in countless ways, and we all have corrupt desires that we should choose to resist. And even if we fail to resist our corrupt desires, we certainly shouldn’t define ourselves by those desires.

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      • Well said, Bainespal. I’ll just add that I’m not sure where the notion arose that the passage I quoted above and the various others throughout the Bible refer to “promiscuous homosexuality.” I see no such qualifiers in my Bible. Anywhere.

        Becky

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      • Hi, violetwisp.

        I appreciate your response on this. The quote from the American Psychological Association states clearly that there is no scientific research, no evidence that supports the idea that homosexuality has physiological causes beyond a person’s control. It’s not like race, certainly, which many people love to claim.

        That people don’t remember making a choice is not evidence that they made no choice. I don’t remember when I started preferring blue over other colors or when I decided I liked the white meat on the turkey better than the dark. I don’t remember when I decided I didn’t like lemon meringue pie or when I decided I preferred playing Hide ‘n Go Seek more than playing with dolls. The point is, we make all kinds of choices without stopping to think about them, without being aware that’s what we’re doing.

        As far as equating homosexuality with other ruinous behaviors, I think it’s a little bizarre to think that many people have come to accept man-on-man sex (or woman-on-woman) as normal. What would happen to our species if homosexuality were the norm? Obviously we’d die out and it would only take one generation. It’s not good for the human race, and for years and years the American Psychological Association listed homosexuality as deviant behavior.

        Were they wrong then . . . or perhaps are we wrong now?

        For the sake of analogy, think back a few years when that Mormon polygamist was arrested. The public outcry was not, where’s the harm–they’re consenting adults. No. People rightly looked at that circumstance as a perversion of societal norms. Many people wondered what was wrong with those women who would let a man take advantage of them like that.

        When society changes its attitude toward polygamists, will that behavior suddenly become OK? Will the laws against polygamy be wrong and the acceptance of anything consensual be approved?

        The point is, when society moves away from something that is clearly for it’s good (a union that encourages reproduction), it’s one step along a path toward self destruction.

        For the record, when I mentioned child abuse as one evidence of Humankind’s slide toward self destruction, I wasn’t limiting it to sexual abuse. That’s only one way adults hurt children.

        But the reason you think it’s so despicable to mention something you don’t think is wrong in the same vein with something you do think is wrong is because you are setting yourself up as the judge of what is right behavior.

        My contention is that right behavior isn’t up to us to determine. God’s already done the determining and He’s found us ALL wanting. So homosexuality is no worse a sin than gossip or lying or hating God. All are the same in His eyes. And He loves us to the point of wanting to rescue us from the mess we’re making, whatever that mess might be.

        Becky

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        • OK, this didn’t post where I thought it would. Sorry about that.

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    • Hey, violetwisp, thanks for stopping by. Your comments always make me think.

      Your first question about God loving a world that includes homosexuals, who face a majority that condemn the very thing He created includes a couple assumptions on your part. First is that God created homosexuals to be homosexuals.

      Contrary to popular belief (established by people repeating it over and over until a majority thinks it must be true and simply does no research to check), there is NO proof that homosexuality is genetic. (See *NOTE below.) There is some evidence that the brain of a homosexual shows differences from a heterosexual, but there is no evidence to show whether the brain differences CAUSE homosexuality or are a RESULT of homosexual behavior.

      In addition, the section of the Bible that I quoted from the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Rome expressly says homosexual behavior is a change in the status quo, a result actually of Humankind turning our back on God. At some point God determined to give people what we wanted–freedom to do what we pleased. That freedom is what leads to homosexual behavior–and to adultery and child abuse and the sex slave trade and corporate greed and bribery and terrorist bombers and . . . .

      Second is the idea that God’s love is somehow tied up with our behavior. One passage in the Bible tells us that while we were sinners [rejecting God, turning our back on what He’s said], that’s when Jesus died for us. He doesn’t love people who are “good enough.” He simply loves people, and He does so while we are in our flawed state (that “sin nature” you and I disagree about. 😉 )

      That’s why Christians refer to this information about Jesus as “good news.” If you were out in Death Valley this past week, with the temperature at 128° and you had no transportation and you’re out of water, someone coming along in a helicopter to whisk you out of there would be good news!

      That’s how we Christians look at what God has done for us. And this good news isn’t limited to people of any particular stripe. Or to people who have cleaned up and present well. It’s for whoever calls upon the name of Jesus.

      Becky

      *NOTE: from the American Psychological Association:

      There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles; most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.

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      • Hi Becky, I’m not sure what you wanted me to get from that quote, but “most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation” says it all. Condemning people who have “no choice” to lonely and unfulfilled lives is easy for those of a judgemental persuasion in the heterosexual majority.

        I’m really disappointed that you equate homosexuality with child abuse, on any level. What exactly are the negative outcomes of two consenting adults of the same sex sharing their lives together? How could this POSSIBLY be mentioned alongside forcing or manipulating children who have no understanding of consent and are clearly unprepared (both physically and emotionally) for sex – and usually destroying or damaging the child for life as an outcome? It’s just despicable, ignorant and amazingly insulting to utter these behaviours in the same breath. Please think about it.

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  2. Thank you for this encouraging reminder! It’s easy for me to get frustrated about the sinfulness of this nation, the ignorant straying from God, and the willful rejection of God. But praying is a far better response than getting frustrated!

    I enjoy your well thought out posts. Keep up the good work!

    Blessings,
    Literaturelady

    P.S. How is the Lore of Efrathah coming?

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    • Thanks, LL! I was getting frustrated, too. But Psalm 18 served as a reminder to me that no matter how horrified or terrified or disappointed or burdened I am because of the sin in our society, God’s at the receiving end of all the disregard and rejection, so He’s a lot more hurt by it than I could ever be.

      Thanks for asking about the Lore of Efrathah! I haven’t had a lot of time to work on it in the past month–lots of editing jobs. I’ve completed the story–a tetralogy–but am working to revise book 1. I added in a fairly big chunk this spring–12,000 words, I believe–and I think it’s better. I have about six more chapters to go, then some revision of an earlier chapter based on feedback from my writing group.

      Then we’ll see what God wants me to do next. 😉

      Becky

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