When the Supreme Court gave its ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges it essentially declared same-sex marriage a constitutional right and all statutes in conflict unconstitutional, I wrote an article titled It’s Going To Get Messy. Last week I wrote about one of those messes in Kentucky where county clerk of court Kim Davis was jailed for her refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. She has been released from jail, but the mess has not been fully resolved.
Albert Mohler, Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has stated the Christian predicament well, “The Christian church has long struggled to understand how Christian faithfulness is translated into faithful decisions in any number of political and legal situations.” The Obergefell decision introduced a seismic shift in the legal landscape of America. A practice once outlawed in many places is now called a constitutional right.
The non-Christian thinks the answer is simple; just obey the Supreme Court decision. But Christians recognize we will one day face a much higher tribunal, and that triumvirate will not issue a divided opinion.
Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself,” Matthew 22:37-39.
Here is the Christian dilemma; loving God is the “great and foremost commandment” and He has plainly and repeatedly condemned the practice of homosexuality as a sin. How are we to love our neighbor who contemns our God and His Word and obstinately practices a sexual sin, and thinks we should condone their lifestyle merely because it is now legal if they marry? How are we to love the homosexual without condoning the sin of homosexuality?
This dilemma will eventually touch the life of every Christian in America directly or indirectly, and there are no easy answers to what will prove to be a very perplexing question. As we work these situations out it is going to get messy before we get it right. Christian commentators are already divided over the mess with Kim Davis with some saying she acted biblically and appropriately, and others saying she did not.
Of course the LGBT community is not as divided and is united in its denunciation of Kim Davis. She has become the object of relentless name-calling and verbal attacks. They are slow learners. Being thrown to the lions rather than disavow Christ is in our DNA. It will take more than schoolyard taunts to drown us out.
Our intransigence on the issue of same-sex marriage is just a reflection of our love for God and putting His will first, love for our neighbor is a genuine, but secondary concern. It is going to take some time for us to learn how to love the sinner while hating the sin in light of Obergefell. Until then, it is going to be a mess.