By Guest Blogger Poppy Smith
On June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage is a constitutional right. Like the Roe vs Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion, this ruling brought joy and celebration to some, and deep disappointment to others across the nation.
God’s Supreme Ruling
In the beginning, God created male and female (Genesis 2:20-25). This is His design for the well-being of both sexes and for children, giving them the love, guidance, and protection of both a mother and a father. Now God’s ruling has been overthrown by five justices in a case presented by the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, and Transgender) community and their supporters.
The Supreme Court’s Ruling
In an article on the Supreme Court ruling, Justice Kennedy, who wrote on behalf of the five judges who found a constitutional right to marry, said:
“It must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned. The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered.”
Chief Justice John Roberts argues that the decision “creates serious questions about religious liberty. Many good and decent people oppose same-sex marriage as a tenet of faith, and their freedom to exercise religion is—unlike the right imagined by the majority—actually spelled out in the Constitution.”
Justice Alito also dissented, saying: “By imposing its own views on the entire country, the majority facilitates the marginalization of the many Americans who have traditional ideas.”
To read the full article, which covers many aspects of how this law will affect those who hold traditional views of marriage, click here.
Writing in 2014 about sin and homosexual behavior, Jonathan Parnell, lead pastor of Cities Church in Minneapolis said:
Some would like to see this whole issue of homosexuality divided into two camps: those who celebrate it and those who hate it. Both of these groups exist in our society. There are the growing numbers, under great societal pressure, who praise homosexuality. We might call them the left. And there are people who hate homosexuality, with the most bigoted rationale and apart from any Christian concern. We might call them the right.
The current debate is plagued by this binary lens. Those on the left try to lump everyone who disagrees with them into that right side. If you don’t support, you hate. Meanwhile, those on the right see compromise and spinelessness in anyone who doesn’t get red-faced and militant. If you don’t hate, you support.
But true followers of Christ will walk neither path. We have something to say that no one else is saying, or can say.
Distancing ourselves from both the left and the right, we don’t celebrate homosexual practice, we acknowledge God’s clear revealed word that it is sin; and we don’t hate those who embrace homosexuality, we love them enough to not just collapse under the societal pressure. We speak the truth in love into this confusion, saying, simultaneously, “That’s wrong” and “I love you.” We’re not the left; we say, this is wrong. And we’re not the right; we say, you’re loved. We speak good news, with those sweetest, deepest, most glorious words of the cross — the same words that God spoke us — “You’re wrong, and you’re loved” (emphasis editor’s).
The legal ramifications of how this new law affects Christians and Christian institutions will unfold in time. But how should you and I respond—to family members, colleagues, friends, and others who celebrate this ruling?
Here are some thoughts:
- Remember John 3:16. God so loved the world—that’s everyone. It does not exclude certain sinners. Without this amazing truth, none of us would be embraced and saved from judgement.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart and see if there’s hatred, disgust, or an urge to put down or exhibit anything of the flesh towards those celebrating this ruling (Galatians 5:19-21). We live with the tension of hating sin (hopefully, in ourselves as well as others) but also loving those Christ died for. We desperately need to have hearts filled with God’s perspective and attitude towards the lost.
- Choose to guard your words. Jesus said, “Out of the heart the mouth speaks.” When we hear ourselves saying things whether in private or public that we know are not from God’s heart, let’s commit to repenting right then and asking for grace and love instead of a judgmental spirit.
I feel as strongly about this issue as most believers who want God’s Supreme Law to be honored. But let’s not forget: As Christians, our response is going to be watched by many. I need to pray for a response that shines with God’s love to a lost and confused world—do you?
Will you pray with me?
Without your Holy Spirit filling me, I can do nothing that honors You. Keep me from doing harm, or being a stumbling block to those who need You so desperately. Work in me the right heart, the right perspective, and the right words and attitudes. Along with all my Brothers and Sisters, may we not only be salt and light in our world, may we also be living ambassadors. Enable us to point to the forgiving, transforming, and grace-filled God who changes lives and blesses those who seek Him. Amen
© Poppy Smith
Poppy Smith is British, married to an American, and has lived in many countries. A former Bible Study Fellowship teaching leader with a Masters in Spiritual Formation, she is a multi-published author who speaks widely, challenging women to make their lives count by looking at their choices, attitudes, and relationship with God.
Chad and Aaron Burns, two homeschool graduates with a love for history and adventure and a desire to communicate truth to the youth of today, have put together an exciting and entertaining movie about the dangerous times that led up to the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
The story takes place on two continents, as Will Reynolds, played by Andrew Cheney (Seasons of Gray), quits his job as the lead mercenary for the British East India Company and becomes its most wanted fugitive and most determined enemy. His former boss, John Rhys-Davies (RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK), wants him dead, but Will is determined to live and win back the love of Charlotte Holloway (Kara Killmer, Chicago Fire), after she learns of his deception.
Guild-ridden and haunted by his past, Will resolves to do everything in his power to redeem his name and earn the right to marry Charlotte. His quest takes him to the American Colonies and straight to Benjamin Franklin.
The Burns cousins had the help of filmmaker Stephen Kendrick (Courageous, Fireproof, Facing the Giants) and Adventures in Odyssey’s Paul McCusker, who wrote the script with Bren Smith.
Director Chad Burns says of their goals for the film:
“Every Burns Family Studios film explores some aspect of Christian faith and its importance to every life. In BEYOND THE MASK, our hero Will Reynolds has done some pretty terrible things, and now he wants a new life in the New World of Colonial America. But the forgiveness and redemption he seeks can’t be earned. The literal mask he puts on to disguise his identity—or to create a new one—that’s us. That’s Facebook. That’s Twitter. We create these masks, too. But only identity in Christ creates a new Will Reynolds, or a new us. . . . We want to reach young people with a message of hope and of finding their identity in Christ.
A Great Film
Beyond the Mask features lush costumes and sets and amazing special effects, but I consider the greatest strength of this movie its presentation of the gospel message. Unlike in many other faith-based films, the gospel doesn’t feel tacked on here. It’s an integral part of the story of Will’s search for a new identity and his mission to redeem of his ruined reputation.
I noticed only two small things that seemed a little inconsistent with the excellence in this film (and I have seen similar mistakes in top-rated, high-budget box office films). Day seems to suddenly turn to night when Will goes to a pub in the Colonies, and at the end of the film, when I expected Will and Charlotte to be soaking wet, they appeared only damp.
Beyond the Mask is a professionally produced and performed, exciting historical film that will keep you and your older kids on the edge of your seats. Some of the content is too violent for younger children, so watch the movie first to see whether you think your children are mature enough to see it. I recommend this film and hope you enjoy it as much as we did. We plan to buy the DVD when it becomes available.
As a veteran homeschooler myself, I’m proud of what the Burns family homeschoolers have accomplished. I can’t wait to see their next project. Bravo!
Jeanne Gowen Dennis