In June 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is legal in all fifty states. The United States government and all fifty state governments now view marriage as a genderless institution. This effectively disregards the historic importance of the unique and distinctive roles of husband and wife, mother and father, in the family unit. The historic, biblical definition of marriage established by God, repeatedly revealed in the Bible, and recognized by virtually every culture in human history has been changed. Under U.S. law, same-sex couples can now enter into a legally recognized marriage.
The Unchangeable Truth
God created marriage and presented it to humankind as the foundational institution of human life. From the beginning He established marriage as the union between one man and one woman, committed to one another for the entirety of their lives on this earth. Because we live in a Genesis 3 world (a world negatively affected by the original sin of Adam and Eve and by the ongoing sinfulness of every person) the perfect intent of marriage is not always realized. Marriages sometimes end in divorce. However, the original definition and intent have never been set aside by God and should not be changed simply because a contemporary culture deems that a change would be good. The Bible affirms that God and God alone knows what is truly good and best for humankind.
The Christian Perspective
The church has never needed a morally or theologically sympathetic culture in order to achieve its mission. Historically, the church has not only survived but thrived when surrounded by a culture that is antagonistic to its purpose, values, theology and morality. It is clear that the American culture is moving away from agreement with Biblical standards, beliefs and morality. We are not alarmed by this. We are called to be light because the world around us is dark. We care called to be salt because the culture needs to be influenced for good. The gospel is neither threatened nor inhibited by the culture in which it is shared. It is always the power of God for salvation.
The Christian’s Response
What are born-again believers in Jesus to do in light of the cultural shifts related to marriage and sexuality? Here are a few things that are critical.
First, we must continue to live and share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Second, we must lovingly teach God’s plan for marriage, as revealed in the Bible. Third, we must be resolute in our determination to have successful, thriving, God-honoring marriages. Fourth, we must affirm the legitimacy and dignity of singleness. Marriage is not essential to experience a fulfilling life. Fifth, we must love those in the LGBT community as demonstrated by Jesus. They are not the enemy! Sixth, we must never waver in our commitment to the truth, as revealed in the Bible, regardless of the cost.