(Voice of the Persecuted) So many emotions have flared since the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage in all states across the U.S. Outside the court on Friday, June 26, hundreds of people waved rainbow flags and chanted, “Love has won” in celebration of the decision. Others celebrated across the country.
President Obama hailed the ruling as a victory for America and stated,
“This decision affirms what millions of Americans already believe in their hearts: When all Americans are treated as equal, we are all more free.” “In doing so, they’ve reaffirmed that all Americans are entitled to the equal protection of the law, that all people should be treated equally, regardless of who they are or who they love.” “Today, we can say, in no uncertain terms, that we have made our union a little more perfect.” He added, “I know that Americans of good will continue to hold a wide range of views on this issue. Opposition, in some cases, has been based on sincere and deeply held beliefs. All of us who welcome today’s news should be mindful of that fact and recognize different viewpoints, revere our deep commitment to religious freedom.”
In disagreement with the decision, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. shared, “If you are among the many Americans — of whatever sexual orientation — who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today’s decision. Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.”
The list goes on of those for and those against the ruling. Scathing arguments, hateful words and name calling have been witnessed by many on social media sites. Even Christians have been seen spewing hate. How does this edify anyone? Can we effectively shine the light of Christ while screaming “God hates you” in their ear. Did Jesus come for sinners or the righteous? How can a Christian react, without compromising our Christian values? We believe Pastor Chad Roberts, the Lead Pastor at Preaching Christ Church in Kingsport Tennessee, makes some solid points on how to deal with the issue.
Pastoral Thoughts on Legalizing Homosexual Marriage
There are several things I want to say about today’s Supreme Court ruling over same sex marriage. Because part of my responsibilities are to marry people, I believe I have a unique perspective on this complex issue. I want to clarify what I would say to three groups of people…Homosexuals, my congregation and our government officials.
#1. What I want to say to my Homosexual friends
I have several friends who are gay. They have never been rude, disrespectful or unkind. I believe they could say the same about me. I have sat down with several gay couples who have asked me if I believe their lifestyle is wrong and if I think God would have created them gay. This is a serious issue and it needs a clear response.
Does it matter to you?
Some people will never care what God thinks or how God feels. Perhaps you’re different and it does matter to you if God is pleased with your life. If you are concerned if your lifestyle is right or wrong, then I want to encourage you to pray and talk to God about the choices you’re making. Do you know what Psalms 139:17 says? It’s really an amazing Scripture that can bring a great deal of clarity to this difficult issue. It says, “How precious to me are your thoughts, O God…” Do you know what that is saying? It means we should care how God feels and what He thinks.
If you are someone that you could care less how God feels, then go on and live your life. But if you do care and it does matter to you, then you should humbly say to the Lord, “I may be confused how I feel. I may not have all the answers. But I care what you think and I want my life to be right in your eyes. Show me what is right and wrong.”
God loves honesty. If you are honest with the Lord, He will show you what is right for your life. Don’t let other people shape how you feel. Allow the Lord to shape how you should think and feel. I know there will be more questions. You’re always welcome to contact me (even if I don’t know you personally). [Pastor Roberts then sent out an invitation to contact him any time to talk through these issues.]
#2. What I want to say to my congregation
There are people attending PCC who are gay. There are also many family members who their loved ones are gay and they care for them deeply. What are we to say to this issue as a Church?
First, homosexuals are welcome at PCC, the same as drunkards, gluttons, fornicators, adulterers and all the other types of sinners we have all been. Here is what we are not going to do. We are not going to pick something like homosexuality and crusade against it. Sin is sin, period. We are all sinners. We all need grace. We all need Jesus. You’re not going to hear me railing from the pulpit each week on homosexuality. I would preach against our lack of prayer and our own sin of pride before I crusade homosexuality.
Second, we the Church, must take our own sins seriously. Did you know that homosexuality was not the only sin that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah? Listen to Ezekiel 16:49, “Sodom’s sins were pride, gluttony and laziness, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door.” Did you know that verse was in the Bible? Shocking isn’t it?
My facebook newsfeed has blown up with Christians saying, “God is going to judge America.” Indeed He may, but I have not seen one single post that reminds us of 1 Peter 4:17, “For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?”
Preaching Christ Church, let us examine ourselves. What pride, gluttony and laziness exists in us? I don’t need to judge homosexuals…I need to judge my own self. These are the “wicked ways” 2 Chronicles 7:14 speaks of, “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land.”
Third, this is a not a time to hunker down and circle the wagons. These are spiritually dark days in our nation and yet God calls us to be light. What a time for the Church to show love and preach the Gospel! This could be one of the greatest opportunities the Church has ever had to pray together in unity and seek the Lord for the direction of our country. Will we seize this opportunity or continue to argue over secondary doctrinal issues and keep ourselves divided?
#3. What I want to say our government officials
Here is what I would like to say to my government officials who have made the decision to legalize gay marriage.
First, you have decided to legalize gay marriage, but you should never force me to marry a couple that violates my conscience. If I sit down with a couple whom I deem is too young to get married, I do not have to marry them. They can go to the courthouse, but that doesn’t mean I have to officiate the ceremony. In the same way, don’t force me to do violate my conscience.
Second, you are above your pay grade in this decision. Marriage was created by God. You do not have the authority to “redefine” what He has already established. Of course, this thinking goes against popular thought and society. CS Lewis masterfully described the way modern men views God. Read how he described our view of God…
“The ancient man approached God as an accused person approaches his judge. For the modern man the roles are reversed. He is the judge; God is in the dock. He is quite a kindly judge if God should have a reasonable defense for being the god who permits war, poverty and disease, he is ready to listen to it. The trial may even end in God’s acquittal. But the important thing is that man is on the Bench and God is in the Dock.” (CS Lewis Essay Collection and Other Short Pieces p. 236).
I’m not concerned with what people think who scream their views, protest and argue their points (no matter what side they are on, I don’t like people who argue). I don’t need to argue with anyone. I heard an old man say one time, “People will hit their heads against the wall just to enjoy the noise.” I don’t want to be that type of person and I don’t want to debate that type of person.
This writing is intended to give a clear response on where PCC stands on legalizing gay marriage. I hope that those in the homosexual community will know that I love them and weep over their salvation in the same way I weep over my own salvation. I hope those who have family members who are gay will know that I would never want to alienate someone or make them feel less of a person.
I believe my point is very clear. People need Jesus. I need Jesus. You need Jesus, we all do. However, you cannot accept Him without accepting His Word. The Bible is very clear on these issues. That’s why if you care how God thinks and how He feels, that will matter to you. If you don’t care then you are free to live your life however you like…that’s America! But one day, you will give an account. We all will.
So for those who are reading this who are Christians, you and I will stand before God one day. We’ll give an account for our pride, our gluttony…our laziness. We’ll give an account for lust, affairs, greed, lies hate and unforgiveness. Let us cleanse ourselves and repent from our wicked ways!
Pastor Chad Roberts
-Pastor Roberts is also involved in mission work with friends of the Gospel. And he has a heart for the Persecuted. The mission has traveled to many nations that experience persecution and they try to encourage the suffering church. They will be hosting their 5th annual conference for the Persecuted Church on Saturday, Aug. 29th called Stand: A Call for Endurance at Pastor Roberts’ church.
See details below.