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Gay Marriage Is Legal: How Should Christians Respond?

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The US Supreme Court legalized gay marriage last month, and with that decision came simultaneous shouts of victory and disgust.

Those who have championed the same-sex cause saw this as a modern-day civil rights movement in which love won. Those who have fought against the flow of culture and stood against same-sex marriage felt a hard-hitting blow to their gut. It is no mystery that the Bible condemns homosexuality and affirms marriage as being between a man and a woman. It is also no mystery that society has bucked against this belief in the last few years and the Bible has been repeatedly discredited and disregarded for the sake of elevating the same-sex cause. But now, the decision has been made. Our country is forever changed. The question now before the Christian community is this: What do we do now?

It is important to note the distinction between a nation founded on Christian values and a Christian nation. Christianity was at no time in our country’s history the official religion. Instead, our country was founded on, reinforced with, and sustained by its Christian values. As time has progressed, these values have dimmed and faded so that they have become a mere memory of what America once was. This should come as no surprise to a believer who reads his or her Bible, since the Apostle Paul himself made clear that the days would become more evil as time progressed (2 Tim. 3:13). What we are witnessing now is a drastic and clear movement in our nation away from the truths of Scripture. While we should mourn for our nation’s decisions, we should not be surprised, either.

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So, what is a believer to do? Rebel? Riot? Become an expatriate? By no means. A believer must first see this recent decision as a confirmation of the words of Scripture. We have known full well that life would become harder and harder for the faithful believers who follow Jesus. Paul said that all who desire to live a godly life will be persecuted (2 Tim. 3:12). A believer should see the recent decision as an opportunity to clearly articulate the truths of Scripture and the hope of the Gospel to a lost and dying world.

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Second, a believer should recognize that same-sex marriage is not the problem; it is a symptom of the deeper problem of sin. Sin distorts God’s design and leads people to do that which is unnatural and wrong in the eyes of God (Rom. 1:21-28). The solution is not enacting policies that swing the pendulum the other way; the solution is the Gospel and the reconciling, redeeming truth of a God who is making all things new through the shed blood of His Son, Jesus.

This understanding will lead to the third step for the believer: speaking the truth in love toward others. We should seek to always speak the truth while not demonizing the opposition. We should love those around us (even when they disagree with us) because they bear the image of God and are deceived by the same sin nature we all have. They are just as deserving of our love as anyone else. Loving others does not mean accepting how they live; instead, it means loving them in spite of their lifestyle while showing them the truth out of love for their soul.

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Lastly, a believer should submit to the government in whatever capacity does not lead to denying the commands of God. Peter told the believers in his day, “Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor” (1 Peter 2:17). Part of fearing God is submitting to authority. However, when the authorities command a believer to violate the commands of God, a follower of Christ must obey God above all else, no matter the consequences.

Ultimately, God has won the fight against sin and will one day restore all things. In the meantime, people will disregard His commands, reduce the Bible to no more than an old book, and seek ways to push God out of our nation. As this happens, the believer’s responsibility is to hold fast to the truth of God’s Word, seeking to love God with all of their heart, mind and strength. Believers must also love those around them in whatever capacity simultaneously maintains their love for God. God never promised that following him would be easy. Persecutions will come, opposition is certain, but God is faithful and obedience will lead to eternal rewards that far outweigh the momentary struggles on earth (2 Cor. 4:17).

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