I debated writing a blog about this, not out of fear for speaking out, like most of my fellow Christians, but worry it would be a waste of time and breath. I typically hope like most writers to actually influence someone with my words and yet I know changing any minds on this issue is unlikely. The eyes and ears and airwaves have already become saturated on the most polarizing issue in modern history. The polarization is not just from the rancor, but the unwillingness to budge on beliefs, whether it be in faith or freedom. I know I can barely hope to only temper any attitudes and maybe encourage the tiny few who are unsure to think more about it. The 3 %.
Ten years ago, 60% of Americans felt same sex marriages should not be valid and only 37% believed they should be. With 3% undecided. A decade later, the numbers are reversed with 60% of Americans in support of gay marriage, 37% in opposition and still 3% undecided. This has been a hell of a ten years of many minds being changed.
The immediate argument is that public opinion does not matter in the face of something God has declared invalid. The same opponents have said the people and states should vote on it, not 9 men in black robes. But the court is now merely reflecting what the people in most of the states had already voted upon. Some actually believe the states should have had the final word to allow people to move across the country and consolidate, to further break down any chance of unity or capitulation. The ultimate show that the righteousness and holiness of God is displayed in retreating away in our churches and borders. As if our newly populated states would not still be filled mostly with sinners saved by grace.
The prevailing thought of the opposition is to continue to refuse to recognize the validity of the law or the marriages it engenders. Opposition to Roe v. Wade has not abated in 40 years and it is foolish to think it will here.
What can I say that is not one more ignored voice in the din? I have tried to emphasize one can morally oppose something they still concede is a Constitutional right. It falls on deaf ears. I have tried saying it is a chance more than ever for the marginalized and largely ignored voice of the church to finally be heard that love and grace are the good news and that regardless of our stand, we should be accused of being the most loving and gracious people in the world. Appropriating falsely a Rick Warren quote over a Duck Dynasty star still holds more sway.
I am less worried about Supreme Court rulings than I am the church failing to show the love and grace of Christ to our nation. Do you believe telling someone they are in sin is more important than telling them there is grace and forgiveness for sin? Do you think unbelievers, along with us, are not already sufficiently grappling with their sense of hurt and guilt for hurting themselves and others? Do you think the lost need our legislation to convince them that they are in need of a savior?
I have no sway over 9 men in black robes that are 3,000 miles away. I don't know if I even have any sway over my own friends and family. I am sure that I am relatively one more voice drowning in the din. But I do know this, my righteousness or sway over unbelievers does not rest in a One Man + One Woman bumper sticker or Facebook post.
WWJD? Would He preach a scathing sermon within air conditioned walls to only like minded listeners in their padded pews? Would He lead the pack of those carrying picket signs? The bible says the crowds of everyday men surrounded Him to hear His message, including harlots and thieves. Why are they not flocking similarly to our 2015 bumper stickers and Twitter memes and hashtags? His first words were to "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Among His last words were, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do." In between, He spoke a message of love, grace and forgiveness and salvation that none of them had heard before.
We repeatedly jump straight to the message of telling the lost they are guilty and should be ashamed of their sins, a truth I already knew intimately and internally before I gave my heart to Christ. But is that itself the gospel? The Good News? I gave my heart to Christ 30 years ago and it changed me forever. But as a hardened atheist, I took a leap of faith and threw myself upon His grace, not upon His wrath. And I am still a sinner desperately in need of grace. Can I convince even one other person of the same?
We must repent as a nation, but He starts first with His people. In Revelations, He first speaks to the seven disparate churches, often with harsh rebuke. A father has no rebuke for someone else's children. And His message was different for the church in every major city as I believe it is specific for those of us in America. What do you think His message is to us, His followers?
WWJD is maybe too simple. What will YOU do? Will your legacy and final words be a repost of a picture on the Internet or will you reach out personally to every person you can and tell them that there is redemption, grace and forgiveness only to be found in the Good News?
We stand at one of the most pivotal times in history and to never stop and question our motives and convictions might feel righteous. But the most righteous One to ever walk among us actually reached a few and changed them forever. And few single words are used to encapsulate Him anywhere in scripture, but 1 John 4:8 says that God is Love. The one thing most like Him and most unlike us. He might be wrathful and powerful, but He is not wrath or power. He is Love. And it is shed abroad in grace and forgiveness through the cross to the world. Not just us.
Regardless of your immensely temporal political stand, what message of Good News are you sharing? Is it the impotent opposition to the voice of 9 modern men in black robes, or the undying support of the voice of one solitary man 2,000 years before?