A Biblical Response To The Supreme Court Decision

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 US 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).


Christ’s Seven Prayers For His People

Wouldn’t you love to hear Christ prayers for you?

You can.

In John 17 we can eavesdrop on Christ’s prayers for His people. Lean in and you’ll hear five prayers He’s praying for every Christian every day, and then two that He prays on our last day on earth.

Keep them going: Holy Father, keep through your name those whom You have given Me (v. 11).

Give them joy: these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves (v. 13).

Protect them: Keep them from the evil one (v. 15).

Sanctify them: Sanctify them by Your truth (v. 17).

Unite them:  That they all may be one, as you, Father, are in Me, and I in You (v. 20).

And then two prayers on our last day on earth…

Bring them home: I desire that they also whom you gave Me may be with Me where I am (v. 24).

Show them my beauty: That they may behold My glory which you have given Me (v. 24).


Check out

Blogs

You Aren’t as Smart as You Think You Are . . . So Don’t Manuscript Your Sermons: A Friendly Response to Jason Dees | Prince on Preaching

4 Tips For Dealing With Procrastination | Challies Dot Com

Tools for Studying the Hebrew Bible

Credo Magazine » Why Biblical and Systematic Theology matter

A Fresh Approach to Political Involvement | Gentle Reformation

3 Compelling Reasons Why We Must Deal with Our Sinful Anger | Biblical Counseling Coalition Blogs

20 Years of Faithful Witness to the Goodness and Glory of God! | The Works of God

America’s Zero-Sum Culture, And How It’s Tearing The Nation Apart: William Evans

Kindle Books

Note to Self: The Discipline of Preaching to Yourself by Joe Thorn $3.99. One of my favorite books in recent years.

Experiencing the Trinity: The Grace of God for the People of God by Joe Thorn $3.99. If you enjoyed Note To Self, you’ll also enjoy this.

Addicted to Busy: Recovery for the Rushed Soul by Brady Boyd $1.99.

Remember many Puritan books and more modern Reformed classics at a dollar or less at DollarPuritans.com

Recommended Book

What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality? by Kevin DeYoung. For my congregation, this is the book I recommended in last night’s sermon.

Video

Amazing Grace: Condoleezza Rice & Jenny Oaks Baker


Não Espere uma Enxurrada de Casamentos Gays

A Brazilian friend, Charles Melo, translated my article Don’t Expect A Flood Of Gay Marriages and asked if I could post the translation on my blog so that he and others could share it in Brazil. 

Embora o casamento “gay” seja legal agora em todos os 50 estados norte-americanos, não espere ver longas filas de homossexuais se inscrevendo para realizarem o casamento civil (especialmente depois de uma enxurrada inicial de apelos publicitários). Depois de 10 anos de casamento entre pessoas do mesmo sexo na Holanda, o Instituto para Casamento e Políticas Públicas fez uma pesquisa sobre a questão: Qual tem sido a demanda por casamento entre pessoas do mesmo sexo entre casais homossexuais? A resposta: “casamento ‘gay’ é relativamente raro”. Os principais dados estatísticos são: apenas 20% dos casais homossexuais holandeses são casados, comparados aos 80% de casais heterossexuais.

A fonte holandesa de dados sugere que 2,8% dos homens holandeses e 1,4% das mulheres holandesas são gays ou lésbicas.

Cerca de 8% dos gays e lésbicas têm feito opção pelo casamento.

Por que há uma procura tão pequena por casamento entre pessoas do mesmo sexo?

Vera Bergkamp, líder de uma organização de direitos dos homossexuais, diz que há três razões principais para a falta de entusiasmo nupcial entre casais de gays:

Menos pressão dos amigos e família, menos casais homossexuais procurando se casar para ter filhos do que suas contrapartes de linha tradicional, e uma mentalidade mais individualista e menos orientada para a família entre muitos homossexuais.

Por que então há muito tempo, dinheiro e esforço sendo investido em prol do casamento gay que resultará somente em uma porcentagem minúscula se casando?

Como eu escrevi antes: Casamento gay não diz respeito primariamente ao casamento gay; o objetivo é silenciar a consciência gay. Há, no entanto, uma segunda razão. O objetivo do casamento gay é também silenciar os cristãos.

Silenciando os Cristãos

Se eu odiar Deus e deprezar os cristãos, então eu serei um defensor ardente do casamento entre pessoas do mesmo sexo. De que outra maneira se expressaria melhor a inimizade contra Deus e seu povo? Há uma razão maior porque tantos homossexuais que nunca irão se casar, e porque tantos heterossexuais que não possuem interesse em casamento entre pessoas do mesmo sexo quiseram que ele fosse legalizado e sancionado pela Suprema Corte. Eles quiseram colocar uma arma no pescoço de Deus e dominar seu povo fiel. E a Suprema Corte ofereceu a nossa cabeça a eles numa bandeja. Veja como este instrumento de “amor igual” é usado agora contra todos os dissidentes. Você está prestes a ver um ódio desproporcional.

Sim, haverá casos famosos, onde pastores e outros cristãos proeminentes serão condenados, irão à falência, e serão presos em detrimento dos chamados crimes de ódio. Empresas continuarão a ser alvejadas e fechadas por qualquer desaprovação explícita ou implícita de casamentos entre pessoas do mesmo sexo.

Muito da perseguição, entretanto, não será sequer noticiada, mas ocorrerá a portas fechadas, no dia a dia comum da vida dos cristãos: não serão oferecidas oportunidades de emprego, não serão oferecidas promoções especiais, anularão contratos, cargos empresariais serão perdidos, o enxugamento vai “selecionar” cuidadosamente suas vítimas, nossas crianças sofrerão perda de oportunidades, nossas igrejas serão penalizadas. Tudo isso simplesmente por mante uma “visão errada” do casamento, a qual fora a visão correta em todas as civilizações humanas até bem pouco tempo atrás.

Amando as Trevas, Odiando a Luz

Nós estamos também prestes a ver algo nunca visto antes no Ocidente em todo o curso de nossa vida: “a luz veio ao mundo, e os homens amaram mais as trevas do que a luz; porque as suas obras eram más. Pois todo aquele que pratica o mal aborrece a luz e não se chega para a luz, a fim de não serem arguidas as suas obras” (João 3.19,20).

Se lembre do que ocorreu aos dois anjos quando eles foram a Sodoma (Gênesis 19). Uma cidade inteira de homossexuais se alinhou para os atacar. Mesmo depois de terem sido cegados por Deus, eles ainda procuraram e tatearam as portas no objetivo de alcançar suas vítimas.

Como não estava faltando oportunidades para o sexo homossexual, o que motivou o desejo irracional deles de atacar aqueles dois homens em particular? Eles viram santidade como nunca haviam visto antes. Eles viram uma luz muito mais fulgurante do que eles haviam visto antes e eles estavam mais próximos de Deus do que em qualquer outro momento antes. E a santidade tinha que ser anulada; a luz tinha que ser extinguida; a semelhança a Deus tinha que ser apagada.

Isto, creio eu, é o que o casamento gay significa para muitos (note que eu não disse todos) homossexuais, e para muitos heterossexuais também. Sim, trata-se de silenciar a consciência; mas trata também de silenciar os cristãos. E, finalmente, trata-se de silenciar Deus.

(Eu sei que há muitos homossexuais “moderados” lá fora que só querem viver uma vida sossegada, que não quer saber de perseguição aos cristãos, e que ficam aborrecidos a respeito de quão péssimos ganhadores muitos líderes gays têm sido. Eu, no entanto, já desisti de esperar que estes homossexuais moderados terão coragem de protestar contra seus próprios líderes radicais e fundamentalistas).

Então, não espere uma avalanche de casamentos entre pessoas do mesmo sexo. Espere, entretanto, uma enxurrada de leis “de crimes de ódio”, “estatutos da não-discriminação” e “contratos governamentais condicionais”. E, então, espere uma avalanche de vítimas cristãs. A menos que haja uma copiosa chuva de fogo e enxofre antes.

Inundação de Amor

Nesse meio tempo, nós temos uma oportunidade de amar nossos inimigos como nunca antes.

Não, nós nunca concordaremos com o seu casamento entre pessoas do mesmo sexo ou faremos qualquer coisa que expresse aprovação disso. Se você se casar, no entanto (e se você não se casar), nós o amaremos tanto quanto possível; nós o amaremos de formas que o deixarão surpreso e maravilhado.

Nós o abençoaremos enquanto você nos amaldiçoar.

Nós oraremos por você quando você abusar de nós.

Nós seremos gentis com você quando você for cruel conosco.

Nós não retaliaremos quando você nos arruinar.

Nós defenderemos seu direito de falar e discordar conosco mesmo quando você quiser nos silenciar.

Nós seremos um Bom Samaritano para você quando você for um viajante e cruzar com nosso caminho.

Nós empregaremos você para profissões não relacionadas à fé se você for o melhor candidato, muito embora você deseje que nossos negócios vão à falência.

Nós ajudaremos você quando você for pobre, embora você deseje nos empobrecer.

Nós não insultaremos você quando você nos chamar de intolerantes.

Nós seremos os melhores vizinhos que você já teve.

Nós o amaremos como a nós mesmos – e nós nos amamos bastante.

E nós apenas temos dois pedidos simples para vocês. Aceitem que, devido ao ensino bíblico, nós nunca concordaremos com o casamento gay. E, por favor, não nos peça para fazer qualquer coisa em benefício do casamento de vocês.

É só isso. Será que isso é pedir muito?


Check out

Three Scenes In Christian Adoption Circles
Honest and challenging article.

50 Resources For Equipping The Church on Same Sex Marriage
Remember when you had to wait over a month for Christian periodicals to comment on current events and provide resources for the church. In urgent times like these I’m so thankful for the Internet.

A Theology Of Singleness
I agree with Justin that one of the things that “the gay-marriage debate has revealed is that many evangelicals do not have a robust theology of singleness.” Here are a couple of videos to help change that. Here’s an article I wrote, 12 Struggles Singles Face.

Exegetical Tools Quarterly
This looks like a promising resource. “Includes our categories of book reviews, featured resources, new books, research resources, and will also include our posts on current issues. The result is a convenient and extensive collection of reviews and write-ups on all the latest resources that will equip you for exegesis, languages, theology, ministry, and more”

Okay, David Brooks, Which Culture War Should We Fight
I
 love the way Joe Rigney finishes this article: “I’ve been reading my Bible, and from what I can tell, God loves cliffhangers, last-minute saves, and eucatastrophes. After all, when they had the Lord surrounded on one particular Friday, he had them right where he wanted them.”

Healthy 24-Year-Old Granted Right To Die In Belguim
Doctors in Belgium are granting a healthy 24-year-old woman who is suffering from depression the right to die, as she qualifies for euthanasia, even though she does not have a terminal or life-threatening illness.

Kindle Books

Apologetics for the Twenty-first Century by Louis Markos $4.99

Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air by Francis Beckwith and Gregory Koukl $4.99

If you bear in mind that Beckwith is a Roman Catholic and Koukl an evangelical, you should be able to read this book safely. It’s not an apology for Roman Catholicism, but a devastating analysis and critique of our relativistic culture.

A Defence of Calvinism by C H Spurgeon $0.99.

Jonathan Edwards’ Resolutions: And Advice to Young Converts by Jonathan Edwards $2.99.

Recommended New Book

Fool’s Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion by Os Guinness $9.99.

Here’s a book for the times: “Following the tradition of Erasmus, Pascal, G. K. Chesterton, C. S. Lewis, Malcolm Muggeridge and Peter Berger, Guinness demonstrates how apologetic persuasion requires both the rational and the imaginative. Persuasion is subversive, turning the tables on listeners’ assumptions to surprise them with signals of transcendence and the credibility of the gospel.”

Video

Limb-itless: Pilot Born Without Arms Defies All Odds

Use this to shrink your problems and silence your complaints.


Remember The Pit

“Remember the hole of the pit from which you were dug” said Isaiah the prophet. It’s a spiritual exercise that the Psalmist models for us in Psalm 40:1-3. Although the exact nature of the pit is not specified – it could be the pit of affliction, of persecution, of mental distress, or of family trouble – it’s most likely it was the pit of sin and guilt. When I look back at that pit I remember it was:

Dirty: I couldn’t see it, feel it, or smell it for many years, but by God’s grace I came to see I was in a filthy, slimy, muddy, miry, disgusting bog of slime and muck.

Deep: Way too deep to climb out of, and getting deeper by the day as the weight of sin and guilt pressed heavier and heavier upon me.

Dark: The Psalmist called it a fearful pit, and full of fear it was, at times horrifying and terrifying with its darkness and hopelessness.

Disabling: Sin and condemnation drained my strength. Repeatedly trying to climb out exhausted and weakened me. I’ve since found out that no one has ever climbed out of it themselves.

Dangerous: There were innumerable unseen dangers in that pit, including spiritual diseases and plagues, meaning the longer in it, the less likely I was to get out of it.

Devilish: Although I couldn’t see him, the devil was always there in the dark, holding me down, pushing me down, pulling my legs away whenever I tried to escape.

Deadly: There were billions of skeletons at the bottom of this pit. Untold numbers perished in it.

Depressing: It was sometimes so awful, so dark, so fearful, so hopeless, I just wanted to give up and give in.

Deceiving: Here’s the scariest thing of all – I was in this pit for 21 years and I never realized it. I was just about over my head in muck, and I thought I was safe and sound. So blinded, so foolish, so deceived!

Damning: Dying in this pit results in the bottomless pit, sinking forever and ever and ever.

Do you remember it?

But what’s the point in going back to such a hideous and ugly place? Why remember the hole of the pit from which we’ve been dug?

So that we can appreciate the solid rock all the more, sing the new song even louder, and enjoy calculating the incalculable sum of God’s mercies towards us (Psalm 40:1-5).


Puritans for Pastors

Puritans for Pastors