On Sunday I preached a sermon entitled “A Biblical Response To The Supreme Court Decision.” It’s available in audio and video here. The points were:
1. A Time To Mourn
2. A Time To Learn
3. A Time to Warn
4. A Time To Love
5. A Time To Trust
6. A Time To Stand
7. A Time To Change the Subject
What follows is an outline of the first point, A Time to Mourn.
As you know, last Friday, in a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court declared gay marriage to be a constitutional right, legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states. This decision has left many Christians dazed, confused, and fearful. Although I cannot cover everything in one sermon, I want to bring a message from God’s Word to help us respond to this decision in a biblical way. Firstly, this is a time to mourn.
More than ever before we understand the words of 2 Peter 2:7-8, which tell us that Lot while living in a similar culture was “vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked.” “He vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds.”
We feel like that, don’t we. We feel a heaviness upon us, a pain in our hearts. We find tears welling up in our eyes. We’ve lost sleep thinking about it, waking up even in the middle of the night with a knot in our stomach. It hits us again when we get up in the morning. It’s a deep, discouraging, depressing sadness. And that’s right and appropriate.
Although the world is celebrating, partying, and enjoying lots of happy emotions, we are left with the opposite feelings. We could avoid these painful emotions by ignoring the decision, denying it, or pretending it didn’t happen. Or we could blow it off, “Nothing to do with me, won’t affect me…” Yes, we can find ways to avoid this unpleasant mourning. But that would be wrong. It’s right and even required that we mourn.
But why? Why not just join the party or ignore it? What is there to mourn about?
We mourn the offense to God: God has forbidden homosexuality. He has put his stamp of disapproval upon it and every other sin. When any one or any nation not only approves of sin but makes it part of the nation’s constitution, declares sin to be a constitutional right, God is dishonored and offended. John Piper called it “A massive institutionalization of sin.” All of this is especially painful because of God’s goodness and grace to this nation over many years.
We mourn the corruption of marriage: We talk about holy matrimony, and Hebrews 13:4 speaks about marriage being honorable. It was the apex of God’s creation, often called a creation ordinance. When God looked at Adam and Eve in the state of marriage, He said, “Very good.” Now the name of marriage has been attached to an evil state, corrupting it and sullying it.
One of the most beautiful parts of God’s design for marriage is its complementarity – the way God made the woman and the man different in order that they complement one another (Gen. 2:18-25; Matt. 19:4-6; Eph. 5:22-33). At the heart of God’s design for marriage is the difference that produces that complementarity. That’s totally lost in gay marriage. The difference is lost in that it’s two men or two women, and thus the complementarity is lost as well.
Another reason we mourn the corruption of marriage is because male-female marriage is used as the primary illustration of the relationship between Christ and His Church. The Bible starts and ends with this image which also provides us with an insight into the heart of God. Marriage is thus tied up with the Gospel message.
We mourn the damage to people: We acknowledge that many homosexuals and also heterosexuals believe that gay marriage will make more people happy. Nothing could be further from the truth – as homosexuals will discover in weeks and years to come. Most have no idea of the fallout that will result from the overturning of 99% of human history and one of the primary foundations of human civilization.
If we go against our Maker’s instructions we cannot expect to flourish. Just as we would damage a car if we tried to use it as a washing machine and vice versa, so people will heap up damage to themselves and to others by seeking happiness in gay marriage. We can see a tsunami of pain on the way.
We also mourn the damage to millions of souls as they go to a lost eternity unrepentant and unsaved.
We mourn the example to the world: At its founding, America was envisaged as a city on a hill, an example to the nations. And thus it has been for many years. It is the most powerful and influential nation on earth. And now that power and influence have set this terrible example to the world. We mourn that our nation is calling good evil and evil good, and that many will follow suit.
We mourn the loss of innocence: We want our children to grow up with a good, true, and beautiful view of biblical sexuality. Instead, some of our children are hearing about this perversion of sexuality before they hear about pure and holy sexuality. And others of our children are growing up learning about things that many of us in the older generation never even knew existed. That knowledge of evil causes the loss of healthy and appropriate innocence.
We mourn the hijacking of the rainbow: The rainbow is one of the most beautiful divine symbols – a symbol of God’s gracious offer of peace after judgment. God calls it “my bow” (Gen. 9:13). But now it celebrates one of the sins that brought the judgment. We cannot see it now without thinking of gay marriage. This biblical symbol has been stolen and associated with sin.
We mourn the culture that led to this: This did not happen out of the blue. It is the end of a long 40-year-road road of moral relativism, which says, “If it feels good, do it,” or “What’s true for you isn’t true for me.” It’s the end of a long road of media and education indoctrination that has redefined love to cover everything and redefined sin out of existence. It’s the end of a long road of media promotion and normalization. The Supreme court majority simply represents the majority view of the country.
We mourn that many Christians are unconcerned or even celebrating this: Many professing Christians are so ignorant that they cannot even see homosexuality as wrong. For some it seems that the only wrong is to call something wrong.
We mourn our own sins: We are not just mourning others’ sins, we are also mourning our own. We must mourn first and most about our own sins, both sexual sins and all the other sins too.
It is a time for some painful mourning. But also pleading the promise of God that He will ultimately make such mourners happy. “Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).