Most readers will know by now that the third branch of our government has effectively determined what the people and our other two branches of government have been unable to resolve.
The court's determination that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional and the separate decision that California Prop 8 backers lacked standing (the backers had filed in court since the California Governor and Attorney General were unwilling to support the initiative voted by the people of their state) brings about a massive formalized shift in our culture. The 12 states now affirming gay marriage have now been joined by others. Further action on behalf of the spectrum of the homosexual and transgendered community is likely to follow. Current debate in California advocating unfettered transgendered use of public and private restroom facilities (including school age children) is already in motion.
So how should a follower of Christ respond in these times? There are many responses possible, but I should like to highlight 4:
1) Pray. Not only does 2 Chronicles 7:14 tell us that our prayers (and repentance) have the potential to heal our nation, but it is an invitation from the Father to come to His throne when we are burdened. Now, more than ever, we must be people of prayer.
2) Love. Jesus remains on the throne and His kingdom is no less secure today than prior to the court action. Philippians 2 declares His Lordship and makes clear that every knee will bow to Jesus some day. Until then, His very prayer for us in John 17 was that we would be known for our love for one another. Followers of Jesus must hold steadfastly to a Biblical view of marriage between one man and one woman for life, build strong families, and love people no matter what their experience or viewpoints are or have been.
3) Hope. Followers of Jesus traffic in hope. We are a people of certainty. We are not unclear about the Lord of the universe, nor are we unclear about the authority of His Word. We are unclear and sometimes uncertain of the trajectory and consequences of the world we inhabit. But we declare, rest in, and share the hope of the world, Jesus Christ. Followers of Jesus are as hope filled today as yesterday and tomorrow we will be more so as we are one day closer to seeing Him revealed for all to worship.
4) Serve. Scripture is clear (Hebrews 10:24-25) that followers in Christ are to gather with one another and exhort one another to love and good deeds, all the more as we see the day approaching. I am increasingly a believer in Kingdom Eschatology which is a very positive view. My own orientation is to be MORE engaged with the world, MORE declaring of hope in Christ, and MORE willing to serve in His name, than ever before.
Yes, the world around us appears to be heading to an increasingly destructive social fabric (systematically departing from and destroying what centuries of wisdom have taught us). Should that be the case in our nation (and I personally and praying and believing for revival), the gospel IS NOT IN JEOPARDY. The good news of Jesus is not dependent on whether our society accepts it or not. Gather with other followers of Jesus, be equipped for "good works that God prepared in advance for us to do" (Ephesians 2:10).
When history is written, I am praying and believing that this will be the finest hour of the church. How we respond: Prayer, Love, Hope, and Serving will shape the future that I believe Jesus wants us to walk in.
Will you join me, William Jessup University, and our partner churches in walking out a future of Prayer, Love, Hope, and Serving for the glory of God?