Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.
As I contemplated today’s announced Supreme Court rulings, I could only think of these words, given by Jude in a dark and dangerous time for the church. I could not continue our study in John tonight—not with the dark news that has wafted across our land like a slowly-thickening smoke that promises a forest fire is on the horizon. I want to give my opinion as to what it likely means for the church and what our response should be.
First, you should know that the actual laws governing marriage in our state have not changed. These rulings did not say that Mississippi or any other state must recognize gay marriage. Mississippi and 29 other states have already passed a binding statement that marriage is between a man and a woman.
On a federal level, however, things have changed. If a homosexual couple travels to a state that recognizes homosexual marriage, and if they marry there, then wherever they may choose to live no longer matters, when it comes to recognition on a federal level. So if Joe and John “marry” in Maine, but live in Mississippi, they can now file federal taxes as “married, filing jointly” even if Mississippi does not recognize the marriage on a state level. That was the immediate impact of the demise of the defense of marriage act. It also means all federal employees will receive all federal benefits.
Regarding Proposition 8 for California, the Court sent that ruling back, basically saying it was a state matter. The state judge had overturned the will of the people as unconstitutional. So the will of the people in California has been defeated by judicial fiat to ignore the will people.
That being said, here are some serious implications: one, the judge who wrote the majority opinion for the DOMA ruling has asserted that to disagree with this ruling is to be an enemy of the human race. That means you have been classified and placed into a holocaustic category. Why do I say that? Disease, by implication, is an enemy of the human race; and we eradicate disease. War and famine are enemies of the human race, something else we seek to eradicate. Now the conservative Christian is an enemy of the human race. What will be the outcome?
Look for biblical passages about homosexuality to be classified as hate speech before long. The DOMA ruling states categorically that SCOTUS sees homosexuals as a class of people. They are conferring civil rights upon a chosen, albeit alternate, lifestyle and calling those adherents "a class." What about pedophiles? What about polygamists? If one chosen lifestyle deserves civil protection, what about the others?
Military Chaplains are about to be in trouble, as well. The military is federally controlled; that includes chaplains. There will be chaplains who will be asked to marry soldiers at the base chapel. They will be on federal territory, under strict federal jurisdiction. The chaplains are federal employees. They will be forced to choose Christ or the government.
The wording of the DOMA ruling implies that SCOTUS sees as inevitable the enactment of marriage for all within a decade. That is what many Christian leaders have concluded. While not federally mandated at this point, don’t be surprised when that happens in the case of homosexual marriage.
The ruling of Prop 8 shows that the will of the people is no longer important in this nation. The deeper implication is that our nation is no longer a republic for the people, by the people, or of the people. We are ruled by the elite few. We are still a representative government; but we have shown that the will of the people can be taken away by the will of the few.
For the American church, we have an opportunity, if we don’t blow it. We can be counter-culture, as was the church in the book of Acts. We can provide a haven of rest for the storm-tossed souls who need Christ. We can show the world what true marriage is like. We can preach Christ and show Him as the Bread of Life that satisfies.
SCOTUS' rulings today did not change America culturally; they only changed it legally. The cultural change happened far too long ago. It happened while the church slept. So to the church I say, I hope you are awake now.