History, sympathy, and sovereignty: my response to a nation with SSM

By Jesse Johnson - Posted at The Cripplegate:



This past Sunday I spoke to the congregation at my church about the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling. Above is the 7-minute video, and below are the comments edited and formatted reading.

A few years ago the elders at my church asked the pastors to focus on equipping the congregation to deal with persecution. As part of our strategic plan, the elders wanted the members of Immanuel Bible to have a larger understanding of what persecution looks like globally, with an eye toward preparing our church for future persecution here in the United States.

When we started down this road three years ago, I think many people thought our elders were over-reacting. Some simply thought we were reactionary Republicans, upset about an election that did not go our way. I think the Supreme Court decision Friday vindicated their foresight.

You see even in the dissenting opinions that the Justices released warnings to churches. This is no longer a conspiracy theory from political activists, but rather the alarm has sounded from Justices on the US Supreme Court. They are essentially saying: “Christians, your churches are next on the gay right’s movement’s list. The same force they pursued marriage, they are going to pursue your freedoms.”

And of course the next phase of this is that churches will be under pressure to lose their tax exempt status, the colleges we send our students to will lose their accreditation—and thus their access to federally subsidized loans—and our young men will likely see the door closed on them as they aspire to be military chaplains.

In a practical way, nothing changes. Same-sex marriage has been legal in Virginia for over 18 months now, and in DC for much longer. But there will be changes. The two days following the court’s ruling brought major media outlets calling for exactly what was predicted: an end to church’s tax-exempt status, an end to college accreditation for Christian schools, and chaplains have already been pressured by the government to dial down the religious.

But at the same time, while the threat is real, it is not an immediate physical threat like much of the world faces. The Sunday after the Supreme Court verdict, there were police officers at my church. They were not there to arrest us, but rather they were there directing traffic in and out. They were there to make it easier for people to attend, not harder.

With that in mind, I want people to have their perspective on the court’s ruling on same sex marriage (and their warning about religious persecution) framed by a few pillars:...

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