Jesus always prevails. Christianity is a faith born in adversity, and still loves the enemy that persecutes them for their faith. Still, for His followers, it is easy to see the Supreme Court’s decision on homosexual unions as a loss of some kind. The gutting of RFRA bills and the corporate complicity in injuring the 1st Amendment was also demoralizing for Christians. According to Gallup, only 3.8% of Americans are homosexual, yet when they don’t feel like they’re getting
their way, homosexual activist tactics make them appear monolithic. The deliberate, organized, manic hysteria on social media of the pro-homosexuality lobby caught many in the Christian community off-guard.
The SCOTUS ruling and RFRA defeats gave some loud and visible victories in small skirmishes to the homosexual community, creating an illusion of power. Government and business appeared to forget that 70% of the country is Christian. In reality, what is happening is akin to the dynamic played out on funny YouTube videos where the house cat surprises a bear and the bear runs away. At some point, the bear realizes the threat is grossly overstated. When the bear analyzes the actual threat, the house cat is exposed and in severe danger. That is where the SCOTUS decision in Obergefell v. Hodges has left us.
The natural reaction for opponents of homosexual unions is fury and retaliation. It is impossible to predict where retaliation will come from, but the humanity of 70% of the population has felt the sting of the “wasps nest” that is the homosexual lobby. There will almost certainly be some that will attack the source of the sting. This is a time when retaliation will expose, not who was angered by the SCOTUS ruling, but whose they are. Unlike other faiths, Christians are called to love their enemies.
Adversity causes the natural, human response of anger. But angry people can still love someone, even in the heat of anger. It may seem that this is the right place to allow American Christians to cool off. If a Jesus-follower believes anger is the right place to be, that follower needs to understand the Lord of their life a bit better:
Matthew 5:22 (NLT)
22 But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.
The Westboro Baptist “Church” is famous for spewing hatred against people who affirm a homosexual lifestyle as acceptable. Westboro is used as a tool by the homosexual lobby to assert persecution and demand protection by courts. It is obvious who Westboro does not follow, because Christ-followers follow Jesus. Christ-followers strive to emulate Jesus Christ in thought and deed. Nothing that Westboro and their ilk does is representative of what Christ did or taught. A Christian, who goes down the road of anger and hate, departs the straight and narrow road they are called upon to follow.
In 58 AD, after the death of Christ, the church had established a fellowship in Rome. If one considers the cesspool of hate, persecution and conflagration of Nero’s Rome, you can imagine the profound natural disgust a Christian would feel. Imagine today’s Middle-Eastern & Mediterranean societies living alongside a debaucherous “Gay-Pride” parade. The Christ-followers were in an overwhelming minority. Staying true to their faith made far more enemies than a Christian in today’s America could imagine. But in his letter to the Roman church, Paul instructs the fellowship of Christ-followers:
Romans 12:17-21 (NLT)
17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable.
18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.
19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the LORD.
20 Instead, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.”
21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.
The church receiving the passage above underwent spying and deceit, arrest, vicious beatings, crucifixion, being fed to wild animals and other such slaughter in the Coliseum. They knew adversity like only the Christians in Muslim countries know today. What Christianity experienced in the SCOTUS homosexual union decision is disappointing, but it certainly doesn’t rise to the level of persecution. Though homosexual activists comport themselves like a feral cat, they no power real to persecute Christ-followers.
Make no mistake, though, there will be widespread, peaceful, civil-disobedience that Christian ministers and others will engage in. As America goes through the pains of the left’s ill-conceived judicial and financial attacks against the country’s Christian majority, there will be substantial resistance. Dr. Rick Scarborough of Vision America told WOAI Radio that many Christian ministers will choose in favor of the Bible, not the Supreme Court in the matter of homosexual unions:
He said about 40,000 pastors and church leaders have signed a petition at http://www.defendmarriage.org to “resist all government efforts to require them to accept gay marriage, and they will accept any fine and jail time to protect their religious freedom and the freedom of others
Breitbart news reported on a press conference from a group of pastors, saying much the same as Dr. Scarborough:
Rev. Bill Owens, president and founder of the Coalition of African-American Pastors (CAAP), said, “If they rule for same-sex marriage, then we’re going to do the same thing we did for the civil rights movement. We will not obey an unjust law.”
There is no requirement for Christians to recognize same-sex marriage. Gently, but firmly, Christians must resist Satan in all of his manifestations. Biblically, there is no such thing as “gay marriage” and there never will be, so using their term for a non-existent institution isn’t advisable. American Christianity is still required to love the people who choose SSM, but they are not compelled to participate in it in any way. For the moment, the best advice for Christians is to follow their Lord in word and deed. James, the half-brother of Jesus, advised the early church:
James 4:6-8 (NLT)
6 But he gives us even more grace to stand against such evil desires. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but favors the humble.”
7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.
Anger is a sin the Jesus admonishes is equivalent to murder. There is a great temptation to give into our evil flesh and give in to anger, hate and retaliation. Giving in to any such temptation is sinful, and is exactly who the Lord of the Christ-follower isn’t. If a Christian finds that they cannot engage in civil disobedience while living and showing the love of Christ at the same time, they should opt for the latter. The greatest commandment is the imperative of the Christ-follower.