Here are some thoughts:
1. Just because I disagree with the ruling doesn't mean I hate those that agree with it. In fact, I genuinely care for you. I care enough to do what the scripture says to do. Ephesians 4 gives me my mandate as a pastor....to equip the saints to do the work of the ministry. In Ephesians 4:14-15 (NLT), Paul writes to the church at Ephesus, "Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church."
That is my mandate....to speak God's truth with love. Just because the truth of God's word is different from your belief doesn't mean I hate you. There are a host of people that will resort to name-calling, picketing, belittling and hate. I am not one of those people. As people of Christ, we need to be careful that our speech, tweets and posts are speaking the truth in love.
2. As the church, we cannot expect the government to do our work. The early disciples were looking for Jesus to set up an earthly kingdom. He came to establish an eternal kingdom. You never have nor never will be able to legislate morality. It is not the job of the government, school systems, etc. to disciple our children in the truth of God's word. It is the job of the family and the church. It is time for the church to be what God intended it to be.....a spirit-empowered movement bringing hope to the nations.
3. As believers, we need to be careful not to let culture dictate our convictions. There are many operating under the umbrella of "Christianity" that have strayed from the truth of scripture in the name of "political correctness." There are others who have twisted scripture to support their lifestyle. Today's ruling is about homosexuality, but this principle could be applied to other things as well. Paul instructed Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:3-4 (NLT), "For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths."
4. As the church, we will be persecuted for our beliefs. It is happening already and it will only increase in the days ahead. Paul continued his instruction to Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:5 (NLT), "But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you." We should not be afraid of the consequences, but carry out the ministry God has for us. Our responsibility is to work at telling others the good news. The good news is Jesus loves you and died for my sins and your sins. He sacrificed His life so we could have eternal life. There are brothers and sisters in Christ around the world that are jailed, beaten, ridiculed, mocked and persecuted for the cause of Christ. We have been blessed in America to not have that mass persecution. However, we need to ready and not afraid of suffering for the Lord.
As the church, we need to spread the message of hope in our communities, country and world. 2 Corinthians 2:15-16 (NLT) states, "Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this?" My prayer is the American church would be perceived as a life-giving perfume. To quote DeGarmo & Key, "We gotta job to do. We're runnin' out of time to do it. You got a gift to use. Get out in the world and use it."
Let's be the church God intended us to be....a spirit-empowered movement bring hope to the world!