As an avid people watcher, as soon as something wide-spread and very, very newsworthy occurs, I open up my Facebook. Not to push the event out of my mind. No, to see the reactions of my range of friends. As I scrolled through Facebook, I saw statuses, photo shares, and links. Nearly every post I read pertained to the Supreme Court ruling. I saw celebrations. I saw laments. I saw quotes. I saw arguments. But I did not see Scripture. Not once. The first time I saw any reference to God's Word was when I specifically sought out a particular page to see the activity there. And in this case, it was a showcasing (and mocking) of a political leader's out-of-context reference to a Scripture passage.
Because of the environment I grew up in and the people I spend most of my time with, the majority of my Facebook friends are Christians. People who, like me, disagree with what the Supreme Court decided.
Forgive me for jumping to conclusions, but I couldn't help but notice the lack of turning to our Savior. I saw quotes and photo shares from various political leaders, etc. I saw "like this if you think marriage should be between one mand and one woman!!" But no Scripture. No reference to trusting God.
Maybe I have Facebook friends who posted reminders to turn to God. I know I most likely do. I don't expect every single post to show up in my newsfeed. But what I saw broke me.
My dear fellow Christ-followers, when did we forget Who is ultimately in control?! The government is not our ultimate head. Nothing the government declares, decrees, or allows happens outside the control of our sovereign God.
"Daniel said, Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever,
For wisdom and power belong to Him.
It is He who changes the times and the epochs;
He removes kings and establishes kings,
He gives wisdom to wise men
And knowledge to men of understanding."
"Have I not commanded you?
Be strong and courageous!
Do not tremble or be dismayed,
For the Lord your God is with you
Wherever you go."
"The Lord has made everything for its own purpose,
Even the wicked for the day of evil."
The ultimate determiner of our fate is not our government. It is our God. Please do not put your faith in what men decide, but in what God has already decided. Every moment of every day is part of God's sovereign plan. There is not a single tiny detail that misses His gaze. If God cares for sparrows, doesn't He care so much more for us?! Oh you of little faith!
"The grass withers,
The flower fades,
But the Word of our God
You don't need to be afraid. God is in control. This is part of His sovereign plan. Ultimately, everything will be worked out for His glory and our good. Two things that are never in competition.
But I'd also like to speak to something else I saw. Something that I have been silent on for too long.
Watching the responses of my fellow Christ-followers leaves me squirming. I see shock and outrage. I see anger. Call-outs. Everything I see is negative.
I know God is holy. I know He is disgusted by sin and abhors it.
But I think we are too quick to forget that homosexuality is not the only sin in the world.
Every sin all of us has ever committed disgusts God just as much as homosexuality does. It is not an "especially condemning" sin. Every sin condemns us all equally. Just because we sin differently from someone who has chosen the homosexual lifestyle does not mean we are better than them. Believing this makes us (in human terms) worse than them.
Friends, why are we so quick to call out and condemn others and so slow to be honest about our own sin?! I'm talking to myself too. Every day, I wake up, get up, show up, show off, and act like I have it all together. Act like I'm doing life right and I've got things under control. Acting as if sin is a thing of the past for me.
But friends, this is anything but the truth.
Every day you and I sin. Every day we do not just one, but many, many things that God abhors. Any kind of sin, small or big, is disgusting to God. And He has every right to squash every single one of us out of existence without giving us a chance. But He hasn't. Anything apart from Hell is grace. Every breath you take is another moment of life through the grace of God. There is no one who is better than anyone else. We all sin. We all deserve Hell. And despite everything we've done, God still extends His grace.
God in His holiness is repulsed by all sin. But God in His mercy offers the same love and grace to all people at all times. John 3:16 says that God so loved the world. It doesn't make a single exception.
We are so quick to insist that others love us for who we are and so slow to give others the same love we demand.
It is completely possible to love and show compassion and care to someone living in homosexuality. It's possible because that is what God does daily. He loves all people all the time.
And while He despises sin, He loves His creation. He wants to rescue all people.
He offers the free gift of salvation to everyone. God is no "respecter of persons." He didn't pick His favorites and reject everyone else. He wants to see all men come to salvation. And we are commanded to share this gift with the world.
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I commanded you;
and lo, I with you always,
even to the end of the age."
The term "Christian" literally means "Little Christ." It was given to early believers because they were so much like the Christ they spoke of.
Friends, if we respond to the Supreme Court ruling with only our anger, frustration, and opposition, and continue to identify ourselves as "little Christs," are we truly representing our Jesus properly? Wrongdoing must go punished, but we were not sent to be the condemners.
"Never take your own revenge, beloved,
but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written,
Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.
But if your enemy is hungry,
and if he is thirsty,
give him a drink;
for in doing so you heap burning coals on his head
Do not be overcome by evil,
But overcome evil with good."
We were sent to share God's message of salvation with the world. The passage I referenced earlier (Matthew 28:19-20) says Go therefore and make disciples, not Go therefore and condemn everyone you see sinning.
This does not mean that we start calling homosexuality or any other sin good.
"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!"
This does mean that we do not cast away those who celebrate and/or participate in homosexuality. God did not cast us away because of our sin, and we have no right to cast away others because of theirs. We are all at the same level in God's eyes.
"For all have sinned
and fall short of the glory of God."
All of our sin is equal. It is all like filthy rags in the eyes of God. And yet, He loves each and every one of us with a deep and everlasting love. If we refuse to show love to a lost and dying world, we are doing the name of Christ a huge disservice. We are not living up to the name, "Little Christ." When we refuse to love, it is as if we ourselves are blaspheming the name of God. To claim to know God and to refuse to love is a direct contradiction.
"If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels,
But do not have love,
I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I have the gift of prophecy,
And know all mysteries and all knowledge;
And if I have all faith,
So as to remove mountains,
But do not have love,
I am nothing.
And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor,
And if I surrender my body to be burned,
But do not have love,
It profits me nothing.
Love is patient,
Love is kind,
And is not jealous;
Love does not brag,
And is not arrogant,
Does not act unbecomingly;
It does not seek its own,
Is not provoked,
Does not take into account a wrong suffered,
Does not rejoice in unrighteousness,
But rejoices with the truth;
Bears all things,
Believes all things,
Hopes all things,
Endures all things.
Love never fails."
1 Corinthians 13:1-8a
I do not have all the answers, and I will never claim to. I do not understand why this is part of God's sovereign plan. But I trust in the fact that it is.
"Many plans are in a man's heart
But the counsel of the Lord will stand."
I find it hard to love those who are opposed to everything I stand for. But I must. I, as a child of God, am commanded by Him to love the unlovable because I am one of them.
"We love, because He first loved us."
1 John 4:19
My dearly beloved, my fellow Christ-followers, I hope that we can take this Supreme Court ruling and become more united, more earnest, more faithful, more trusting, and more loving Christ-followers through it all.
Please, trust in the Lord, lean not to your own understanding, and walk in love. Pray not only for one another but also for those who are on the other side. Because we were there once. Reach out to those who need Christ. Show them love, show them Christ.
This does not cancel the fact that they are desperately sinful. The heart is deceitful, desperately wicked. This means everyone. It is important to recognize your own sinfulness. We come to our need of salvation through the realization that we are wicked and sinful and we cannot save ourselves.
But hatred never wins.
People are not going to care about what you know until they know that you care.
Stand firm and strong on the Rock of Ages and let Him shine through you.