Friday, June 26, 2015

Marriage Redefined

           While the SCOTUS decision is disappointing, the fact is we live in a secular nation that, from a government standpoint, seeks to please the will of the people. The ‘will of the people’ is usually not the will of all the people in the land. So, ultimately, decisions are going to be made that are welcomed and not welcomed by multiple groups.

            As a pastor of a Bible believing church, I am not in favor of this decision. At First Baptist New Braunfels, we stand on the truth of God's Word. God's Word tells us that He created man and after a helpmate was not found for man, God created woman. At that time, God performed the first wedding, under His design, between a man and a woman. That is significant because that union forms the basis of the family. The design of God for the family is for husbands and wives to become fathers and mothers because children need both. That’s God’s design.

            What it also means is the evangelical church that holds to the truths of God's Word now has a clear opportunity to demonstrate what God’s design for the family looks like. We have an opportunity to stand for Christ in our culture in a way that sets biblical faith apart from the culture. What we cannot do as the church is be hateful and vengeful following this decision. Our approach must be Christ-focused, speaking the truth but showing grace to people.

            Instead of building a nation, Christ has called us to join Him in building a kingdom. Of course, we, as Christians, live in nations in which we are citizens. That said, as Christians, we are citizens of God’s Kingdom. His standard must be our standard whether the world agrees with it or not. Jesus said, I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world (Jn. 16:33, HCSB). As Christians, we should not be surprised by such events. History is clearly moving toward calling good evil and evil good. There is a major cultural shift taking place in our nation but, I know this to be true, God’s Word does not change. The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the word of God remains forever (Is. 40:8, HCSB).

            Because God's Word stands forever, the evangelical church must live like the first-century church. The church was birthed in the midst of a culture much like ours. Yet, they gave themselves fully to the truth that Jesus is Savior, forgives sin and changes lives. They focused on the good news of the gospel: Jesus lived a sinless life, died on a cross, buried in a tomb and rose again through the power of God, has defeated death and offers life to any who will call on His name. The first-century church lived that message among an intolerant culture and millions of lives have been changed. The same Jesus lives today and is willing to work through His church in the same way. We now, in America, mirror the first-century culture more than ever. Now is the time for the church to spread the gospel with truth, love and grace.

            How can the church respond in a practical way? We must hold firm to this truth: I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes (Rom. 1:16, HCSB). The good news of Jesus is the most powerful and transforming message in the world. Let us choose to continue to believe this truth, live this truth and speak this truth.

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