On Tuesday, April 28, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States will hear arguments regarding same-sex marriage. The Supreme Court granted certiorari for the cases listed below after the 6th Circuit broke with recent decisions by other federal circuit courts and stood in favor of traditional marriage. The question the Court must answer in Obergefell v. Hodges (Ohio) is this:
Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?
In Tanco v. Haslam, (Tennessee) DeBoer v. Snyder (Michigan) and Bourke v. Beshear, (Kentucky) the Court must also answer the question:
Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?
If these questions were answered straightforwardly, the answer would be pretty simple. When the Fourteenth Amendment was written, legalizing same-sex marriage was not even contemplated. Obviously, the questions the Court is expected to resolve go much deeper than the questions listed in the briefs. Those in favor of same-sex marriage will not be satisfied with anything less than the Court requiring that same-sex marriage be legalized in all 50 states. Those who oppose same-sex marriage would at least like the Court to leave the question up to the states but, of course, would prefer the court take a solid stand in favor of traditional marriage. The problem is, that some of the states who have already had a voter-approved constitutional amendment in place prohibiting same-sex marriage, (for example – Virginia and Alabama) have recently witnessed their amendments being overturned by one or two federal judges.
It would almost be easier to comment on this case by giving a timeline of the other cases leading up to what has brought this issue to the Supreme Court today. I will save that approach for another article because of time constraints. Today, I am burdened with the sobering thought of the implications of Obergefell v. Hodges and the related cases should the Supreme Court decide in favor of same-sex marriage. So, please pardon me for departing from the scholarly approach by writing in the first and second person.
Why has the United States reached the point that it must have such a serious issue decided by nine justices? It is especially sobering to learn that two of these justices have already performed same-sex marriages.1 What has happened in the past twenty years or so that has brought this Nation to this terrible decline? The short answer, in my opinion, goes back to the breakdown of the family in the past two generations, the lack of conviction-producing preaching against all sin (not just homosexuality) from the pulpit, and the lack of people with moral convictions getting involved in politics, whether it be simply voting, attending local town meetings or running for office. And let’s not forget the government-run schools who have been actively seeking to normalize abnormal behavior through purposefully developed curriculum. Of course, we could also blame the media and the decline in family television shows which have gone from the “Andy Griffith Show” in the sixties, to today’s “Modern Family.” How did we as a culture fall so far in fifty years? There must be an appetite for such shows or they would be discontinued. Why does the current American culture have such an appetite for sin? Simply put, because there is no deeply held guiding moral and spiritual compass in a large percentage of the U. S. populace.
Homosexuality, adultery, fornication, pornography and drug abuse have been normalized to the point where they are no longer called sin. Church members can commit adultery, live together and have babies out of wedlock without so much as a biblical intervention or a counseling session with the church leadership. “Fifty-one percent of pastors say Internet pornography is a possible temptation and 75% of pastors do not make themselves accountable to anyone for their Internet use.” 2 So why should we be surprised when the sin which is listed as an abomination in the Bible is up for discussion in the Supreme Court today?
What can concerned Christians do at this point? Starting today, we can repent of our own sin and past inactivity, whether it is spiritual or being lax in our duties as a citizen. We can at least hold ourselves biblically responsible by having an accountability partner of the same sex with whom we can share our prayers concerns. If we aren’t doing so already, we can start having a daily time of Bible reading and prayer. Starting today, we can pray for our spiritual leaders, encourage them and support them when they preach against sin.
In I Timothy 2:1-4, Paul gives this instruction:
First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (NASU)
Starting today, let us pray for the Supreme Court as the Justices listen to oral arguments and over the coming weeks make a decision that will have far-reaching implications for the United States. Of course, we pray the Court will make a decision for traditional marriage. However, if they choose to disregard God’s definition of marriage, we must remember that ultimately God is in control and He can use their decision to further His purpose. We must continue to shine the light of the Gospel and be the people He has called us to be.
Please visit the Family Foundation link below for more details about this case and how you can pray specifically for those who are defending traditional marriage.