By now you have heard that the Supreme Court of the United States, in a 5-4 ruling, has declared "that same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry."
Marriage was created by God in the Garden of Eden, not by kings in their courts, politicians in their capitols, or justices in their courtrooms. And as such, God not only governs marriage, he protects it.
But marriage is much more than a mere union between one man and one woman; it is a living picture of the Gospel. In Ephesians 5, the Apostle Paul calls marriage a "profound mystery" and then goes on to say, "I am talking about Christ and the Church." When someone looks at a biblical marriage - a marriage where the husband sacrificially loves and cares for his wife and where the wife lovingly supports and respects her husband - people see Christ and his sacrificial love and care for us. No human court - no matter the edict - can redefine that.
As we have seen over the years, the Supreme Court has made horrendous decisions. In 1857, they ruled in Dred Scott v. Sandford that African Americans, whether enslaved or free, could not be American citizens and therefore had no standing to sue in federal court. In 1896, they ruled in Plessy v. Ferguson that segregation was legal and constitutional as long as "facilities were equal." And in 1973, the Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion through America and has resulted in the lives of over 57,000,000 unborn children being taken in the last 42 years. History will ultimately prove that today's ruling joins these horrific decisions in the annals of judicial foolishness.
So where do we go from here?
First and foremost, we must acknowledge the sovereignty of God. The Bible teaches us in Proverbs 21, "The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will. Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart." This decision did not surprise God and it most certainly did not override his will. God has permitted this tragic ruling and he will use it for his glory.
Second, we must remember that in the midst of our rapidly changing society, there are certain constants. God does not change. God's Word does not change. And the Gospel of Jesus Christ does not change. Hebrews 13:8 tells us that "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." In the midst of these cultural storms, you and I must cling to our unchangeable God.
Third, every person is created in the image of God and, as such, every person is worthy of respect and dignity. Those in the LGBT community are not our enemy; they are men and women who are in desperate need of a Savior, just like you and me. Through his grace, and his grace alone, God has given us forgiveness of sin through the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He has called you and me to be salt and light in this tasteless and dark world. We need to approach all people as those whom God is drawing to himself. We need to humbly, but boldly share the Gospel and trust that God will work through our obedience. And we can never forget that in our very own church family are men and women who have same sex attraction but who out of their love for Jesus have chosen to live lives of obedient celibacy. These are our brothers and sisters in Christ and we should do everything in our power to love and encourage them.
Finally, for those of us who are married, we must remember that the condition of our marriages speak volumes to a watching world. As such, we must unceasingly protect, nourish, and pray for our marriages because they are the only Gospel that some may see. Husbands, you have been called to love your wives and be the sacrificial servant leader of your family. You have no higher calling. Wives, you have been called to love and respect your husbands - to walk beside them and encourage them. You have no higher calling. Much of our society is suffering because the Church of Jesus Christ has held a low view of marriage.
For those of you who are single, divorced, or widowed, God's expectation of you is no lower. You are to be men and women of integrity, faithfulness, and purity. Your relationships are to reflect the life of the one who has died for you - Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
Brothers and sisters, yes, this is a sad day for America, but it is a great opportunity for the Gospel. May you and I stand firm on the truth of God's Word and in the confidence that he who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.