By Larry Robertson
Sr. Pastor, Hilldale Baptist Church, Clarksville
The ride ahead is going to get bumpy, so make sure that your seat backs and tray tables are in their upright positions, your seat belts are securely fastened, and all your carry-on items are securely stowed.
The Supreme Court’s recent decision legalizing same-sex marriage has changed the landscape of America in unprecedented ways, but this journey has just begun. And what the future holds is anybody’s guess.
Nevertheless, I have great hope about the future! All Christians should be able to sing, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness!” and mean it.
We’ve been saying for years, “I’ve read the end of the Book and we win.” Well, now’s the time to translate that statement into confident Christian hope! We might be shocked by the court’s decision but we should not really be surprised. The Apostle Paul described with remarkable detail in II Timothy 3 what these “last days” would look like.
Has our message changed? No. Has our mission changed? No. Our mission field looks different and our protected status in culture has diminished, but who we are in Christ and what we are to do in His name have not.
Francis Schaeffer’s famous question has never been more pressing: “How Should We Then Live?” If I may, let me offer four suggestions in answer to that question.
First, let’s respond instead of react to what’s happened. Reacting is based more in emotions, while responding is based more in thought and reason. For a Christian response, of course, don’t neglect to bathe everything in prayer.
Second, let every word and action be saturated with the love of God. I Corinthians 13, especially verses 1-7, reminds us that it doesn’t matter what we do if we “do not have love, [we] have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” We can be doctrinally sound and biblically accurate; but if we don’t have love, it doesn’t matter.
Third, we must recognize that every person is created in the image of God, marked by God with dignity and worth. We are all born sinners into a woefully fractured, sinfully broken world. And different sins are just different expressions of the same sinful condition. So, we must see every person as someone for whom Jesus died.
And finally, Jesus commands us to “love your neighbor as yourself.” And that includes your gay neighbor. Actually there are two sides to that coin, the other being loving God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Of course, not one of us loves God completely nor our neighbors as ourselves consistently, but we should be leaning in the right direction.
For those who are reacting with rage or hitting back with hate, we must not imagine that abandoning the Great Commission is a better sin than abandoning biblical marriage. When all the dust has settled and time is no more, pray that we will be found faithful and show ourselves to be true followers of Christ.