07 Jul Living for Jesus on the Slippery Slope.
By: Dave Gadoury, Senior Pastor
As most of our readers know, this past month the United States Supreme Court ruled that couples of the same sex have a legal right to marriage in all fifty states, declaring that refusing to grant marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples violates the constitution. What was passed into law in Rhode Island in 2013 is now the law of the land.
For those who understand the Judeo-Christian roots of American democracy and its legal system, this decision was another distressing example of how our culture, and its political and legal system, has been rapidly losing its moorings. The Christian worldview that once guided so many of our nation’s values and moral standards is giving ground to a secular, “anything goes” approach, and at breakneck speed.
Serious followers of Jesus can fall into several temptations at a time like this. One is to wring our hands and descend into fear, as though somehow things are beyond the knowing oversight of a caring and sovereign God. Another is to forget our calling and take up the wrong cause. Yes, we must be salt and light in our society, and we should use every opportunity to be a voice for righteousness. But it was never our mandate to try to throw our political weight around to pressure people to live righteous lives. Our main preoccupation must be to find ways to build bridges to the fallen so that we may lovingly call them back to fellowship with their God.
Even as we resolve to keep shining our light in the darkness, we must prepare ourselves to respond in the best way to changes like this. The elders of our church recently made a statement following the court’s ruling. They said,
“No decision of any court or legislature has the power to change the laws of God or to void His principles and purposes. The ongoing changes of our culture and its drift away from time-tested moral precepts do not shake our confidence in an unchanging God. We join with countless people of faith in affirming our unwavering conviction that marriage, as defined by God in His written Word, is intended as a covenant bond between one man and one woman. While our commitment to this moral principle remains unchanged, we also affirm God’s love for all of us, regardless of our sins, knowing that we all fall short of His standards. We remain committed to representing His love in Christ to all people. We will love our neighbors with grace, understanding, and compassion, and walk with them as they seek Him.
“As in the past, our pastors will continue to base their decisions about their role in marriage ceremonies on the standards of Scripture and their own consciences, and the church’s facilities will be offered for purposes that are consistent with our faith and mission. Our members will be counseled to balance respect for the laws of our land with a commitment to faithfulness to the revealed will of God.”
May God give us all grace and wisdom to know when to be silent, when to speak, what to say, and how to represent Jesus to the people around us, regardless of how far from God they may seem to us. Our goal, as Paul said, is to be “blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.” (Philippians 2:15)