If it hadn’t been clear before it should be obvious now, we live in a post-christian culture. All the vestiges of our Judeo-Christian ethic this nation was founded upon have been almost entirely cast off. This should not be a surprise to us. Its been going on for decades...even centuries. From the renaissance to the enlightenment to the theory of evolution being institutionalized to our public schools secularized to the sexual revolution, legalizing abortion, to the toleration of gay lifestyle, the lack of toleration of the biblical viewpoint, to the acceptance of homosexuality, to now the legalization and institutionalization of same sex marriage. Christians have lost their ‘home field advantage’ so to speak. How do we now live in this culture? How do we respond to what feels like this inexorable flow of life and culture toward an increasingly unbiblical and depraved way of viewing all of life?
Well...first, we should not be surprised! Why should we be surprised when non-christians act like non-christians. We have lived in a sort of bubble, so to speak, here in the US since its inception. For the first part of our nations history Judeo/Christian values had a profound effect on our culture and life. Our voice was clear and listened to and the church had real influence. This has imperceptibly eroded until the last few decades when the truth as found in Scripture has been increasingly negated and now outright rejected. This surprises us, but really in the overall scope of history this has been the fate of the true church in general thru the ages. Persecution has been the norm not an aberration. True Christianity is so counter to our culture in its teachings that none of this should surprise us. We must always and constantly remind ourselves that God is still sovereign and is not surprised by any of this.
Secondly, we need to stand firmly on the truth of God’s Word....His wonderful, absolute truth. The Scriptures are not one form of truth, they are THE truth. The Bible is God’s revelation to mankind about how things were meant to be and how God has designed life to be lived. The decision of SCOTUS will have clear implications for all of us as citizens, but it does not in any way change our biblical view of marriage, sexuality or morality. It will, as Thabiti Anyabwile said, “...sharpen and clarify the difference between the church and the world, and sometimes it will do that between true churches and false churches following the course of the world...” The gospel is God’s ultimate way of dealing with all the sin and wrongdoing exposed in the scriptures. The world and culture today want anything but absolute truth, they want absolute individual freedom, unless that freedom of course is to believe in something absolute. Our challenge is one of belief. If you are going to call yourself Christian you must accept the fact that the Word of God is His ultimate truth and it is absolute. This means we take our stand on the truth as revealed in His Word no matter what the cost. When it comes to marriage the scriptures are clear...one man, one woman for life. Homosexuality, along with many other forms of sin, are wrong and must be rejected. We cannot waiver on this because the Word does not waiver on this. It may feel hard, and we may get emotionally pulled into situations where we are tempted to think ‘what difference does it make’, especially when family and friends are involved, but we must take our stand on truth. God’s truth, not ours. This is what it means to be Christian. To be under the rule and reign of God’s kingdom. If you love your Bible and obey your Lord there is no fundamental difference in how you should live your life.
Thirdly, this should cause us to become even more serious about prayer. We must be committed to praying for Christ’s kingdom to come and His will to be done. If we believe God is sovereign and he has chosen to move in response to the prayers of His people, we will be motivated to pray. To cry out to God to move in our nation...not to change the laws, but to change hearts thru the gospel.
So how do we practically respond? Love. We don’t judge or condemn, God himself is the only final judge. We don’t respond with anger or hatred, or even irritability or frustration. We show compassion and love by bringing the gospel to bear on those we interface with. We “...speak the truth in love”. The sin the world seeks to normalize is simply killing them. They don’t believe it or see it, but it is. But there is a solution. It is the gospel. “God so loved...”. This is the truth that will set others free just as it has set you free. The gospel has lost none of its power. We can’t demand they change or live by our standards as we see them in God’s Word, we can simply look for creative ways to love and care for people and to speak the truth lovingly into their lives. How will you respond when a gay couple walks into church hand in hand? What if they are doing it on purpose just to try and provoke us? You will have to make many choices over the next few years. Will I attend that gay ‘wedding’? How will I love and support a friend who is gay without compromising my beliefs and conscience? We are still on a mission - to reach sinners with the gospel. The mission has not changed; to pray for our communities and find ways to love and serve them and reach them with the good news of Jesus. This is Jesus basic command; if you are going to say you love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, you must also love your neighbor as yourself. What if your ‘neighbor’ has sees you as an ‘enemy’ because of your commitment to the truth of God’s Word? Then love your enemies. That is Jesus command. Jesus said its easy to love those who love you. Even the world does that. What sets our love as Christians apart is our commitment and ability to love even those who don’t love us back.
We are all sinners in need of God’s love and forgiveness. No matter what form our sin took and takes, we need a savior.