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What Should I Do Now?

June 29, 2015

Well, the weekend has come and gone since the historic Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage across all 50 states.  If I had been tempted to use this past weekend as a time to ponder what I should think/do/believe in response to that decision I have had plenty of help.  I’ve had links to no less than 19 articles e-mailed to me giving specific instructions.  A rather simple search of the net gave me access to hundreds more.  And that is only among Christian voices.

Some of the things I read were quite thoughtful and well-written.  I’ve shared their opinions with many of my friends.  A few were rather painfully bombastic.  Phrases like “a spiritual 9/11,” “a national calamity,” and “the first step in the criminalization of Christianity” struck me.  Some writers gave specific steps for me to follow.  This guy gave me a list of six things to do, while this other guy came up with a list of five.

If you have been active in the battle to (a) protect traditional marriage or (b) achieve marriage equality, this is an interesting Monday.  The law of the land has changed.  Do you go on fighting and, if so, for what?  If you have been passionate on either side I am sure your answer is, yes, we need to keep fighting.  But I suspect that a lot of people who have been on your side may feel that the battle is over and not want to join you.

A big fear I see being expressed by a lot of my fellow evangelicals is that “they” are coming to get us; that there will now be a battle to take away the right of Christians to openly believe that marriage is between one man and one woman.  The fear is strong in spite of the clear wording of the court majority that this ruling does not deny that free expression.  It is a sign of the rancor of this debate that many Christians simply do not believe them, calling it “lip service.”  I find it somewhat ironic that we fear that there will be attempts to force a definition of marriage on us when, up until Friday, many of us had been fighting to force our definition of marriage on others.

And this seems to me to be the biggest take-away.  I think it is time to stop looking to the political arena for help in promoting our moral choices.  Some Republican presidential candidates are pushing for a constitutional amendment to either re-establish our definition of marriage or to create a mechanism to remove justices with whom we disagree.  Don’t believe them.  They either know darn well this will never happen, the amendment procedures are too great, and they are lying to you; or they are too stupid to vote for.

What actually has changed in what the mission, focus and beliefs of the evangelical church should be since last week?

Nothing.

We have simply joined the rest of the world, and much of early church history, in needing to go on with our mission in an environment where government cannot be looked to for help in advancing our beliefs via civil law.  Freedom of religion is not a biblical issue.  The Bible never even hints that we will have it and pretty much promises that we will not.  This is strictly an American civil issue.  The Supreme Court says we still have it.  Many of us doubt them.  Who is right?  I tend to think that God’s answer is “It doesn’t matter.”

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