On June 25th, 2015, the United States Supreme Court ruled that states cannot ban same-sex marriage. Married same-sex couples will now enjoy the same legal rights and benefits as married heterosexual couples and will be recognized on official documents such as birth and death certificates. Several more conservative States, including Texas, Mississippi and Alabama are fighting the ruling. At this stage, the legislation is not a directive for churches or pastors to recognise same-sex marriage. “The decision for churches, pastors and individuals is a choice that should be left to the convictions of conscience.”
Despite this, America’s gay marriage bill is forcing churches to make a stand – either for or against Bible truth. It is also preventing individuals from speaking out against the obvious negative effects of this movement, and imposing on society a staggering shift in norms, the ramifications of which will spill over into a massive moral decline.
The spread and almost universal acceptance of the LGBT movement in the past decade or two has been nothing short of alarming if one stands on the other side of the divide. Its promotion has placed a permanent stranglehold on freedom of speech in many countries and, increasingly, is ensuring that the same outcome spreads world-wide. Allowing Gay marriage to take place is one thing; pressuring the church to comply and perform same-sex marriage or they could lose their tax-exemption smacks of blackmail. The Bible speaks of shaking beginning in the house of God and possibly, placing the church in what for many will be an invidious position, will have a positive outcome – it will certainly begin the separate the sheep from the goats!
Shortly after the Supreme Court’s ruling, the US Episcopal Church, which is a branch of the 80 million-member Anglican Communion, with churches across the globe, announced that it approved ceremonies for same-sex marriages, but will not require clergy to perform them if they object to doing so. This, despite the pattern clearly laid down in the full counsel of scripture.
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that friendship with the world is enmity with God? whosever will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. James 4:4
Harsh words, but by no means the harshest for the church that decides, for the sake of expedience, to go the way of the world rather than the way of the cross.
Attorney General Ken Paxton compared the Supreme Court ruling to that of the abortion decision, Roe v Wade, which he cited as another example of how the U.S. Constitution “can be molded to mean anything by unelected judges.” In separate statement he added the following.
“But no court, no law, no rule, and no words will change the simple truth that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Nothing will change the importance of a mother and a father to the raising of a child. And nothing will change our collective resolve that all Americans should be able to exercise their faith in their daily lives without infringement and harassment.”
Sadly, I have a sense that Paxton is probably wrong on the last count. I predict that this is just the beginning of a rising persecution and the resolve of many will weaken and collapse.
Already, free speech only pertains to those who speak for certain minorities such as the LGBT movement or, for that matter, Islam (see my post – Free Speech has been Hung, Drawn and Quartered). Free speech does not apply to Christ followers, or to Jews. When army chaplains are told they may not use the name of Jesus when they preach to the troops, or a Christian general could be court-martialed for speaking about God – the freedom of religion has become radically skewed in the favour of Islam.
Churches will buckle under the new rulings and so will individuals. May the Lord give strength to those who love Him and are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28