Tuesday, June 30, 2015

God's Perspective on the Supreme Court Decision in favor of Gay-Marriage

***This is a series on gay marriage. This is the first of two posts. This one aims to reorient the discussion and our perspectives on the SCOTUS decision. The second is an honest appraisal of the pros and cons of the decision. I would especially welcome comments and discussion in the comments section below.*** 

“You want gay marriage that much? OK, you can have it.” –God.

Surely that is the response of celebration of many people who have long been fighting for what various groups have called “gay-marriage” or “marriage equality.” They have been crying foul in society and I am sure many to God for what they have perceived as a great injustice. And with the recent decision by the Supreme Court of the United States, they feel like God has given them what they wanted. They feel a sense that justice has prevailed.

But others have been vigorously been fighting for a different vision of marriage, one in which the only participants are one man and one woman, Christians and non-Christians alike. Their vision has come in direct conflict with the version of it espoused by the other group. They hear the claim of the pro-“gay marriage” advocates that justice has prevailed, that God has said “If you want gay marriage that much, you can have it.,” and they grieve and bristle at the suggestion that God has given the pro-“gay-marriage” advocates exactly what they wanted.

But the question is: Who is right? Did justice prevail? Did God give gay marriage to the United States?

The answer I want to give you, the answer I think the Bible demands, is…

Yes…but not in the ways you expect. The truth is justice did prevail and God did give gay marriage to those who wanted it so badly. But the significance of those statements is not what you’d expect.

Justice?!! Some of you reading this, just had a heart attack. Is the CPR finished? Ok good, let’s pick up where we left off. God did give justice, but maybe not the justice you expect. Let’s read Romans 1.18-32 (or you can skip ahead to where I highlight the relevant parts).

18You see, God’s anger is being revealed from heaven on all human irreverence and unrighteousness by humans who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19because what is knowable about God is clear among them, because God made it clear to them. 20You see, His invisible attributes have been being observed from the creation of the world understood by what was made, including His eternal power and Godness, the result being that they are without excuse, 21because although they knew God, they didn’t glorify Him as God or thank Him, instead, they made themselves empty-headed and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Claiming to be wise, they were made stupid. 23And they exchanged the glory of the Immortal God for the likeness of image of mortal humans and birds and four-footed creatures and serpents. 24Therefore, God gave them over with the desires of their hearts to impurity resulting in dishonoring their bodies with one another, 25who exchanged the truth of God for the lie and worshipped and served the creation rather than the Creator—Who is praised forever, amen! 26Because of this, God gave them over to dishonorable passions, you see, even their women exchanged the natural sexual act for the unnatural, 27and similarly even the men, by abandoning the natural sexual act with a women, blazed in their lust for one another: men with men, producing shame and receiving in themselves consequences, which had to come from their delusion. 28And just as they did not approve of knowing God, God gave them over to an unapproved mind, to do the things that are not right 29being completely filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, badness, full of envy, murder, conflict, deception, meanspiritedness, gossipers, 30slanderers, God-haters, violent, arrogant, bragging, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31thoughtless, unfaithful, callous, uncompassionate, 32who, although they know the just verdict of God that people who practice these kinds of things are worthy of death, not only do these things, but also they celebrate those who practice them.

But what does that have to do with Justice? Well, it is really all about justice, God’s justice. The person being given justice in a positive sense in this passage is God. In a very real way, the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States is not about getting justice for humans deprived of justice, but God deprived of His.

But how does gay-marriage becoming the law of the land give God justice? Well, humans rebel, refusing to acknowledge Him as God of the universe, despite the amazing amount of proof in the world. God has been treated unfairly by humans, part of that rejection of Him as God involves humans duping themselves into idolatrous patterns of life, lifestyles that celebrate not the Glory of God, but the fading honor of creation.

But justice, how does gay marriage give God justice? Some of you reading this are thinking: God gets justice from this by humans embracing justice. But actually, the reverse is true.
God is getting justice from this decision not because humans are embracing justice, but because God is.


The answer is that God is getting justice because He is judging us. Make no mistake the most important judge in this Supreme Court decision was not the swing vote, Anthony Kennedy, but God, the Judge of the Universe. And while it may look at first that God has ruled in favor of those advocates of gay marriage the truth is far different.

You see, God, by giving the advocates of gay marriage what they want, was not saying “I am with you in your pursuit of a fuller embrace of a homosexual lifestyle.” Instead, He was saying “I am against you.”

But the judgment of God, as we see in Romans 1.18-32, often does not come in the form of fire from heaven or a holy war on earth, but the removal of His gracious restraint of our own human sinfulness. In the case of the recent Supreme Court decision, God was punishing the advocates of gay marriage by giving them what they want so much.

The truth is that sometimes the punishment for sin is not immediate destruction, but more sin. In a very real way, sin is a fate worse than death, because it destroys the soul.

But it is also a fate better than death, because it allows time for repentance. Although the recent passage of gay marriage is actually the judgment of God, it is also the opportunity from God for people to repent. Unfortunately, the curse of more sin, also pushes people further away from the God they need. Make no mistake, as gracious of a punishment as the passage of gay marriage is, it is still a punishment.

So, who is right? At the end of the day, it is the most important person: God.

Who has received justice? The One most deserving of justice: God.

What about advocates of “gay-marriage,” did they get what they want?

Yes and no. They got what they wanted, but what they have yet to realize is that what they have really received is the judgment of God.

What about the advocates of marriage, have they really lost? Yes and no.

They did lose their battle over the definition of marriage in this country, but they can now see not just the lack of support of human beings, but the full support of God, expressed not by siding against them, as it would be easy to initially think, but expressed by His siding with them, by giving the punishment of more sin. 

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