Today, in a landmark and wide-sweeping decision, the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (among other things). While I don’t pretend to understand all of the implications that exist here legally, one thing I know for sure – traditional marriage took a big hit. Because of this ruling, gay couples have the same rights federally as straight couples. This is a major battle lost for supporters of traditional marriage. And it seems to be a major step on the way to legalizing same-sex marriage completely.
While the moral decay and cultural decline of our country is stunningly evident, some secularists view it as progress. Sadly, they view the decline of traditional values and the destruction of the family as necessary to accomplish their agenda.
As followers of Christ, what should we do? How should we respond? It’s easy to bemoan the moral slide of our nation. Many have been predicting it for years. It’s easy to curse the darkness. It seems to be ever-growing. But there must be a clear and compelling Christ-centered response in moments like this. Here’s what I say…
1. We should believe that Jesus loves all people. I sang a song when I was a small boy, “Jesus Loves the Little Children.” Most likely, you know it too. It teaches a very basic and simple principle – there is no one beyond the loving reach of Christ. Jesus died for gay people and Jesus died for straight people. Jesus died for legalists. And Jesus died for secularists. As I read and study the Word of God I am reminded to take a strong stand for truth. But I am also reminded to communicate that truth in love.
2. We should remember that all people need Jesus. For some reason we tend to elevate the sin of homosexuality above many others. I have several theories as to why that is the case but for now, I will keep them to myself. I believe we not only need a clear answer to the “gay agenda.” But we must form a complete sexual theology that is healthy and robust. My belief is not only that homosexuality is wrong. But so is sex between a man and a woman outside of the bonds of marriage. What about pornography, adultery, polygamy, and other sexual issues? Our theology should deal with each of these issues, not just one or the other. In the end, we must remember that we live in a sinful, fallen world. And that everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation and practice, desperately needs Jesus.
3. We should understand that our mission has not changed. Don’t panic. The world in which we live seems eerily similar to the world in which the gospel first emerged. Sin, degradation, lawlessness, and idolatry abound. We certainly resemble the first century now more than ever. Yet it was in that fertile ground that God planted the seed of the gospel. And it flourished. Our mission has not changed. It has remained the same since Christ gave the orders – go and make disciples of a nations and of all people for the glory of God.
In the end, I’m not interested in winning a culture war and losing the battle for the souls of mankind. I want to love all people as Christ loves them. I want to live in light of eternity, remembering that every soul needs Jesus. And I want to fulfill the mission that Christ has given me. It is only the gospel that has the power to transform men’s heart. And it is only the gospel that can change the world.