The following is my biblical response to the Supreme Court of the United States’ recent ruling regarding the definition of marriage. (OBERGEFELL v. HODGES: No. 14–556. Argued April 28, 2015—Decided June 26, 2015)
Judicial abuse of power-
The founding fathers of the United States created the Supreme Court to keep our nation’s powers in balance. It was their form of “checks and balances” so that the Supreme Court would prohibit the Congress or the President from creating laws based on personal bias. This is exactly what the Supreme Court of the United States has done!
The states should have this authority- 14th Amendment life, liberty, property with equal protection of the laws was clearly about (insurrection and rebellion) not marriage. You have forced the Constitution to speak about something about which it had no business speaking. Justice Scalia’s dissent recognizes this to be an issue for the states and not the federal government to decide. Scalia suggests that in ruling on this issue, the Supreme Court took away the voices of Americans on both sides of this issue. Now there can be no room for future debate in the government arena. Scalia reminds of the restrictions that the 14th Amendment placed on marriage. “When the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified in 1868, every State limited marriage to one man and one woman, and no one doubted the constitutionality of doing so.” The Supreme Court has reinterpreted this constitutional amendment.
Cloaked in the arguments for the rights of same-sex couples is the desire for our nation to recognize the legitimacy of their relationship. Supporters of same-sex unions asked the Supreme Court to afford the same legal rights to these relationships that our country affords to men and women that enter into the biblical definition of marriage. However, don’t be misled… this issue is not only about legal rights. It is the expressed desire of many supporters of same-sex unions that the Supreme Court would declare same-sex relationships to be acceptable. In declaring same-sex unions to be legally recognized countrywide the United States Supreme Court placed same-sex union on the same level with the marriage relationships of our country. In other words, by even considering this issue, the US Supreme Court started playing God! Can there be any greater judicial abuse of power than this?
The framers of the Constitution didn’t give the fundamental right to marry anyone you please-
Marriage is inherently spiritual issue not a legal issue. The framers of the Constitution did not give all Americans the right to marry- they certainly could not conceive of an American’s right to marry whomever they pleased. No rational adult has the right to marry a child that is incapable of making a decision about their future. That’s why we have laws on the books that determine the minimum age for marriage. Those laws, which restrict the age in which a person can marry, are for the protection of our society.
The biblical definition of marriage is also for the protection of a society. It is the reason why God instituted marriage in the first place. And, these United States were created under the idea that this government has a fundamental responsibility to protect the individual by creating laws that maintain the good for all. These laws only work if the people are good at the heart level. A nation’s greatness lies in her goodness. In order for a nation to be great, she must be godly. (Proverbs 14:34) Perhaps that’s what John Adam, the voice for America’s Independence had in mind when he said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” A good people can be governed- no government on earth is capable of ruling over wicked people.
An immoral people are incapable of being free-
Although God instituted governments for the purpose of keeping order in society, it was never his intention for governments to create national morality. Romans 13:6 suggests that government leaders are, at their most basic responsibility ministers of God. Meaning, God created government. God put men and women in a position of leadership in the government- and by their position they ultimately serve God. Therefore, the courts, the Congress, and the President of the United States have a moral responsibility to follow biblical principles.
A court cannot legislate morality any more than can the Congress or the President. John Adams rightly said, “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion.” While a free and independent people don’t want the federal government telling them how not to live, those same free people also don’t want the government telling them how to live. This court decision enforces a worldview with which many Americans disagree. America did not gain, rather she lost some of her freedoms on June 26, 2015.
This is a clear case of allowing personal bias to inform court decisions-
Justice Thomas states, “In the American legal tradition, liberty has long been understood as individual freedom from governmental action, not as a right to a particular governmental entitlement” in his dissent of the ruling. This is one of the fundamental issues for a society in which the courts have no business meddling.
Their arguments for same-sex unions didn’t suggest the couples were being imprisoned or physically restrained by states that prohibit them to marry so the liberty statements in the 14th Amendment do not apply to this issue. This blatant transgression of court authority demonstrated a bias among some of the justices. This bias influenced the court’s decision to hear arguments on this issue in the first place. Worse though, the court’s bias and perhaps greater public opinion, certainly influenced the court’s ruling on this issue.
Marriage is a biblical word-
The first occurrence of the word marriage is recorded in the Bible in Genesis 2:24. The placement of this word in the Bible is extremely important in the history of humanity! For those not familiar with the Bible, in Genesis chapter 1- God creates the heavens and the earth. In Genesis 2 God creates man and woman and then brings them together in the union of marriage. In Genesis 3 Adam and his wife, Eve, commit the first sin and marriage is forever distorted. Our first parent’s sin set the dominoes in motion which would lead to same-sex unions. There was only one perfect marriage- it was between Adam and Eve, a man and woman- and it lasted for a short period of time in the Garden of Eden.
Chief Justice Roberts, in his dissent to the majority opinion, identifies the real issue at stake here. “The real question in these cases is what constitutes ‘marriage,’ or—more precisely—who decides what constitutes “marriage”? Marriage, is a biblical word- as such, only God has the authority to define a biblical word. The Supreme Court of the United States, demonstrated they were playing God by defining a biblical word.
What’s even more disconcerting to me are the number of Christians who were holding their breath hoping the Supreme Court would rule in favor of the sanctity of marriage. Marriage is a word that the Supreme Court had no business discussing in the first place. Therefore, no definition from the Supreme Court should be acceptable to a Christian in this matter. Somehow, Jesus’ people looked to the Supreme Court of the United States rather than biblical authority on this matter.
This is unhealthy for our nation-
The majority justices are correct when they say “marriage is a keystone of the Nation’s social order” A society is a fragile institution. Our society is only healthy if men and women are able to live together in harmony and in unity. The building block for any society is the family. The essential glue of the family is marriage. By redefining marriage, the Supreme Court of the United States has weakened the glue that holds the entire society together.
The questions that this ruling may set in motion in the future are terrifying! Soon we will be forced to answer questions on other forms of “unbiblical marriage.” Based on the court’s redefinition of this biblical word, people have every right to ask the government even more frightening questions. Like, “Is polygamy an acceptable form of marriage? Is it acceptable for an adult to marry a minor child? Will the government recognize the marriage between a human and animal?” The possibilities opened up by this ruling are limitless!
What is the church to do?
It’s time for Jesus’ church to repent! It’s time for the church to recognize we have some guilt in this matter in that we have been unusually, unexplainably, unacceptably silent on this issue for way too long. We have given biblical authority to the government where it should have no authority.
It’s time for Jesus’s church to recognize that America is an de-churched culture. We can no longer go about our business like we live in a Christian nation. We can no longer ignore the spiritual condition of our neighborhoods. We can no longer hide from the culture in our church assemblies. We must get out of the doors of the church and engage a culture that’s in moral free-fall.
Pastors- A call for civil disobedience-
What should pastors do as a result of this recent Supreme Court decision? We must graciously, compassionately, yet firmly practice civil disobedience. Pastors must be willing to make a stand on this issue. Pastors must stand like the apostle’s and say we must obey God rather than the Supreme Court of the United States. (Acts 5:29)
At the same time, pastors must lovingly challenge men and women in same-sex relationships. We must remind our churches that it is not the healthy that need a doctor but the sick. (Mark 2:17) Therefore, churches must not close their doors to this community. We must speak to people currently in same-sex relationships about the Gospel of Jesus with truth and with love. We must creatively find opportunities to demonstrate the Gospel to the LBGT community with love and compassion.
However, pastor equally must hold high King Jesus as the Supreme Ruler over all of creation. We must declare Jesus’ authority to say to all men and women, regardless of their sexual preferences, “I created marriage and only I can define marriage.” We must proclaim to the man currently in a homosexual relationship that Jesus can give him true masculine love. We must communicate that only Jesus can satisfy the lesbian’s soul. Pastors must be men who lovingly confront the LBGT community and passionately declare the glory of God over all his creation. (Psalm 47:7)
Sincerely, Jeff Struecker