“But someone will say, ‘you have faith and I have works.’ Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works” (James 2:18) and, “For as the body apart from the spiritis dead, so also faith apart from works is dead” (James 2:26).
Last week we witnessed two monumental Supreme Court
decisions. On Thursday, the court effectively removed the last
legal obstacle to ObamaCare. On Friday, the court
essentially legalized same-sex marriage in the United States.
Left open in the Friday ruling are major religious liberty questions.
Let's assume for the moment that pastors and churches are not forced to
conduct gay weddings, something they are required to do in many countries
which have legalized such marriages. But we don't yet know the
implications for church and religious organizations with regard to
spousal benefits, employment, and non-profit status. It's
conceivable that my statements upholding biblical marriage could be
construed as "hate speech." We just don't know the larger
implications of this decision.
Here's what Christians do know.
we are called to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). If the
survivors of the Charleston tragedy could forgive the alleged murderer
and testify to the grace of Jesus, can't all Christians follow their
example? Our witness is never so strong as when it is tested.
Suffering reveals the reality of our faith to a watching world.
These days present a historic opportunity for American Christians to show
our culture and the world that we are people of character and
grace. Our witness on this issue is especially significant with
younger adults. Seventy percent of non-Christians ages 16 to 29 say
Christians are "insensitive to others." Let's show the
LGBT community and the rest of our culture what we're for, not just what
we're against. Let's show our world that we can disagree without
demeaning, that we can be biblical without being bombastic, that we can
care for people without endorsing behavior that hurts them and
others. "I love you" and "I accept everything you
do" are not synonymous.
we are called to speak unchanging truth to a changing world. For
decades, our culture has defined truth as opinion. The court's
ruling on same-sex marriage is the latest example of moral
relativism. If there is no objective definition of marriage, the
justices did not "redefine" it—they merely conformed law to
popular opinion. But human nature does not change. God's word
is just as relevant as when it was first revealed.
God wants to redeem our cultural darkness with a clear and compelling
display of the abundant life only he can provide. As babies are
given gender neutral names and dressed in gender neutral clothes until
they decide whether to be male or female, we'll witness the destruction
that results as the world goes deeper into deception. As more and
more couples choose same-sex marriage, we'll see the damaging results for
themselves, their children and families, and our society.
But like the father who welcomed his prodigal son home, our Father
welcomes all who return to his truth and love. We have all wandered
greatly but have been invited back graciously. Let's join him.