How Should Christians Respond to Legalized Same Sex Marriage? My Sunday Morning Notes Here…
On Sunday morning, I addressed the issue of same sex marriage that was legitimized by the Supreme Court of the United States this past Friday. Christians have differing opinions as to how to deal with this subject, so I offer the totality of my Sunday morning notes here so you can see what I shared with Victory Church.
I have sited quite a few sources here, and was not able to cover these notes in their entirety on Sunday morning.
Ok, so how do we respond as Christians when the Supreme Court of the United States upholds the legality of same sex marriage in the United States?
In the case before the court, Ohio resident Jim Obergefell is suing the state for recognition of his marriage to John Arthur. The pair were legally married in Maryland where same-sex marriage is legal, but when Arthur died two years ago the state of Ohio refused to put Obergefell’s name on the death certificate as the surviving spouse.
In a 5-4 decision, the court held that states will be required to recognize marriages between couples of the same sex. At the time of the decision, bans were in existence in 14 states.
In a poll released before the decision, NBC News and The Wall Street Journal found that 57 percent of Americans believe same sex couples should be granted the constitutional right to wed.
Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority decision, and was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer and Elene Kagan.
Justices Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito and John Roberts dissented, with each releasing an opinion.
Do we capitulate and agree that to reach our culture we must change our convictions?
Has God changed His views concerning sin?
How should we reach out to those with same sex attractions?
1. God has not changed His mind about human sexuality.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 – NLT
Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, (10) or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. (11) Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
1 Corinthians 7:1-3 – NLT
Now regarding the questions you asked in your letter. Yes, it is good to live a celibate life. (2) But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband. (3) The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs.
Genesis 2:15-25 – NLT
The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. (16) But the Lord God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden(17) except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.” (18) Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” (19) So the Lord God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one. (20) He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals. But still there was no helper just right for him. (21) So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. (22) Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man. (23) “At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.'” (24) This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. (25) Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.
God originally made our bodies the way he did so that male and female compliment one another- mentally, emotionally, and sexually.
Leviticus 18:22-25 -NLT
“Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin. (23) “A man must not defile himself by having sex with an animal. And a woman must not offer herself to a male animal to have intercourse with it. This is a perverse act. (24) “Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, for the people I am driving out before you have defiled themselves in all these ways. (25) Because the entire land has become defiled, I am punishing the people who live there. I will cause the land to vomit them out.
What people are saying…
Raleigh News And Observer, June 27, 2015
The court invalidates the marriage laws of more than half the states and orders the transformation of a social institution that has formed the basis of human society for millennia, for the Kalahari bushmen and the Han Chinese, the Carthaginians and the Aztecs. Just who do we think we are?
“Aside from undermining the political processes that protect our liberty, the majority’s decision threatens the religious liberty our Nation has long sought to protect,” Thomas said in his dissent. “In our society, marriage is not simply a governmental institution; it is a religious institution as well,” said Thomas. “Today’s decision might change the former, but it cannot change the latter. It appears all but inevitable that the two will come into conflict, particularly as individuals and churches are confronted with demands to participate in and endorse civil marriages between same-sex couples.
Today’s decision usurps the constitutional right of the people to decide whether to keep or alter the traditional understanding of marriage.”
“Today’s decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court. The opinion in these cases is the furthest extension in fact—and the furthest extension one can even imagine—of the Court’s claimed power to create “liberties” that the Constitution and its Amendments neglect to mention. This practice of constitutional revision by an unelected committee of nine, always accompanied (as it is today) by extravagant praise of liberty, robs the People of the most important liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the freedom to govern themselves,” Scalia wrote.
Dr. George O. Wood – General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God
As a Christian minister and general superintendent of the Assemblies of God, I am deeply concerned with the Court’s redefinition of marriage and the negative effects that it may have on religious freedom.
I close with three words of pastoral advice: First, to Assemblies of God ministers: Politics reflects culture, and culture reflects religion. If you are concerned with the political drift of American culture, preach the gospel! As it sends out roots in the lives of believers, the seed of the gospel will change hearts and minds. Second, to Assemblies of God adherents: You are privileged citizens of a blessed nation. Use your citizenship well! Seek the common good. Advocate for the last, the lost, and the least. Speak the truth in love. And vote for candidates and issues that reflect a biblical perspective on issues. The difference in so many conflicts in American politics and culture turns on who turns out to vote. Third, to all Christians: If you are troubled with the Supreme Court’s decision, keep perspective! In this and every other matter, always remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ: In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33). Let us all pray for a great spiritual awakening in our country!
The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled today that same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 states. With all due respect to the court, it did not define marriage, and therefore is not entitled to re-define it.
Long before our government came into existence, marriage was created by the One who created man and woman—Almighty God—and His decisions are not subject to review or revision by any manmade court. God is clear about the definition of marriage in His Holy Word: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).
I pray God will spare America from His judgment, though, by our actions as a nation, we give Him less and less reason to do so.
President Barack Obama
This ruling will strengthen all of our communities by offering to all loving same-sex couples the dignity of marriage across this great land,” President Barack Obama said in a statement at the White House.
Governor Mike Huckabee, a 2016 presidential candidate, tweeted:
Dr Michael Brown has an excellent article entitled:
What Do We Do When Loving God Conflicts With Loving Our Neighbor?
If you’ve read the Gospels, you know that Jesus taught that the two greatest commandments are that we love God with all of our heart, soul, and strength, and that we love our neighbor as ourselves (see Matt. 22:35-40).
What do we do when there’s a perceived conflict between the two and when it feels as if we have to decide between loving God or loving our neighbor?
On the one hand, the Scriptures teach plainly that allegiance to God always comes first, to the point that we have to side with Him even against our own families if they turn away from the Lord (in the Old Testament, see Deuteronomy 13:6-11; in the New Testament, see Matthew 10:34-37).
On the other hand, the Word warns us against hypocritical religion, challenging those who claim to love God (whom they cannot see) while failing to love their brother or sister in the Lord (whom they can see; 1 John 4:20).
Jacob (James) also defines true religion as caring for the widow and orphan as well as keeping ourselves unstained by the world (Jacob 1:27).
Why do I bring this issue up?
Many followers of Jesus today are deeply conflicted over the issue of homosexuality, knowing that the Word clearly prohibits homosexual practice and defines marriage as the lifelong union of a man and woman, yet they have friends or family members who identify as gay, and these are people whom they dearly love and do not want to hurt.
How can they say to their gay friends, “I love you and I want you to be happy, but I cannot affirm your ‘marriage’ to your partner”?
How can they tell a terrific gay couple that these two men (or women) do not provide the best parents for a child, even a handicapped, unwanted child for whom they would provide love and support?
How can they tell a young gay person who wants to follow Jesus, “You have to be celibate for the rest of your life unless the Lord changes your sexual and romantic desires”?
Recent polls indicate that among committed religious Americans, the vast majority oppose redefining marriage while, conversely, among irreligious Americans, the vast majority support gay “marriage.”
That’s not surprising in the least, and it really tells us something about the differences between a God-centered, biblical worldview and a worldview based on humanism.
Those same polls indicate that people who know a good number of homosexual men and women strongly favor redefining marriage while people who know few or no gay men and women strongly oppose.
Obviously, getting to know people personally often changes our perspectives, since we often stereotype those we don’t know (or, worse still, demonize them).
What happens, then, if you’re a committed Christian and your new lesbian neighbors turn out to be two of the sweetest ladies you’ve ever met, doing Bible studies in their home, attending a gay-affirming church, visiting a community center for the elderly on a weekly basis, and raising two delightful daughters?
What happens when you find out that, aside from the fact that they are in a lesbian relationship, they share your moral values and love to tell other people about Jesus?
If this does not cause any pain in your heart or move you to get alone with God and pray, then I would dare say something is lacking in your compassion for your fellow human beings.
That’s why I’ve often said that the scriptural arguments for homosexual relationships are weak (really, they are nonexistent) but the emotional arguments for homosexual relationships are powerful.
And that’s why I live daily with the holy tension of “reach out and resist,” meaning, reaching out to LGBT people with compassion while resisting the gay agenda with courage.
I take this stand with absolute conviction of the rightness of God’s ways, knowing without a doubt that the Lord has spoken clearly in His Word about homosexual practice.
At the same time, I do so with a broken heart, sometimes with tears, knowing that to the LGBT community, my solidarity with God and His Word feels to them like rejection, judgmentalism and even hatred.
Recently, I was talking to a restaurant manager who asked me what I did for Father’s Day. As far as I know, this gentleman is gay, and when I asked him about what he did on Father’s Day, he talked about seeing his dad but said nothing about his kids, and my heart sank for him as he spoke.
How can I, a follower of Jesus, stand against him raising children with his partner?
How can I, as a lover of God—and my neighbor—tell my neighbor that I cannot recognize his “marriage”?
How can I, as someone who believes that “love does no harm to its neighbor” (Rom. 13:10), hold to a position that he finds harmful?
The answer is simple but painful.
It is only by loving and honoring God that we can truly love our neighbor, and no matter how difficult the pill might be to swallow, we must not dilute or twist a single word that He has spoken.
That’s why we need hearts of compassion and backbones of steel, weeping in secret for the souls of LGBT people whom we love and do not want to hurt while holding fast to the ways of the Lord, knowing that He loves them far more than we ever will and being sure that His ways are best.
2. We are called to love first.
John 13:34-35 – NLT
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. (35) Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
Christianity Today article
Same Sex Marriage is Legal, What Now?
Warren Wiersbe is quoted as saying, “Truth without love is brutality, and love without truth is hypocrisy.” I like this quote because it emphasizes the importance of both truth and love. One without the other simply doesn’t cut it.
As we live in a culture that has just defined marriage in a way contrary to what evangelicals and others believe, we must understand that, as Christians, we aren’t the only ones who care about marriage. As a result, we must keep in mind that discussions surrounding the definition of marriage carry a lot of emotions and must be handled with care.
As evangelicals contend for the definition of marriage in spheres outside the law (that is settled now), we must keep in mind truth is often not heard if it’s not communicated in love. If we want to be heard, we should communicate in a way worth hearing.
At the same time, as debates will ensue about attending or serving same-sex weddings and other such issues, we must both act in accordance with our consciences and act with love for our neighbor.
For instance, much of the conversation in conservative circles has been about what we won’t affirm or won’t participate in. But, we need a conversation about how we will show love to our neighbor who differs on the issue (that’s a growing majority) and particularly about how we might love our LGBT neighbor.
Loving people who disagree with Scripture on this issue does not mean we have to agree with them, but it does mean we have to actually love them.
3. Learn to disagree without being disagreeable!
We need to MASTER the art of disagreeing without being disagreeable…
You will often hear that because we as Christians do not agree with certain things that we hate the people involved in them…NOT TRUE!
Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson Quote
Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate
2 Timothy 2:24-26 – NLT
A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. (25) Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. (26) Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.
In an article entitled – Marriage: Where Do We Go From Here, Ryan T. Anderson (May 22,2015) has some good points we need to hear:
We must continue to witness to the truth about marriage, find new ways to make the reasoned case about what marriage is, and work to protect our freedoms to do so for the next generation. All of this must be done in service of the long-term goal of restoring a culture of marriage.
…We must understand that for many of our neighbors the argument for marriage hasn’t been heard and rejected; it simply hasn’t been heard. We must make that argument in new and creative ways.
In the short run, the legal battle over the definition of marriage may be an uphill struggle. But in the long run, those who defend marriage as the union of a man and woman will prove to be prophetic. First, because when people do hear a compelling case for marriage, they respond accordingly. And second, because the logic of marriage redefinition ultimately leads to the dissolution of marriage into nothing more than a social mess of consenting adult love of manifold sizes and shapes.
4. Our country has a divided world view.
PLURALISM – a hodgepodge of different belief systems in a culture – is taking over America.
Travel has opened our borders, and immigrants have come with all sorts of belief systems.
Then, the Bible was taken out of our schools many decades ago.
Yes, we have many who say they are Christians, but much fewer who actually have a Biblical worldview.
Here’s a book excerpt from Rick Renner that will help us understand what we are dealing with today:
No Room For Compromise, Christ’s Message To Today’s Church – A Light in Darkness, Volume Two by Rick Renner (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Institute Books, no date listed), pages 31-32
What was at the beginning of the Church Age is attempting to arise again at the end of the Church Age.
Although our society today is filled with new technology and sophistication, the pluralistic, inclusive view that dominated the First Century is once again lifting its ugly head. Certain key elements of paganism that dominated the First Century – such as its diversity of beliefs, it’s ever-changing moral code, and the acceptance of moral perversions – are sweeping back into its mainstream, encased within the noble-sounding ideas of inclusivity and open mindedness. There is no question that we are witnessing a return to paganism right before our eyes.
To possess rock-solid, unchangeable belief in absolute truth in this current climate is to be labeled as extreme. A person who fits this description may even be seen as a menace to the direction the rest of society wants to take. Yet, although unyielding Christians will be called intolerant, it will be the pagans themselves who have no stomach for anyone who holds a position different from theirs.
The pressure exerted on Christians continues to intensify, pushing them to modify their message and become more accepting of other beliefs and moral codes that are in direct contradiction with the Bible. In the First Century, the pressure to conform led some believers to encourage compromise with the world. Today this message of compromise is beginning to resound from pulpits once again.
As pagan influence continues to increase in these last days, Christianity will once again become completely out of sync with the times, with its message that Christ alone is the way to the Father. If this regressive trend continues, it is only a matter of time before the Bible is relegated to simply being ” just another book,” a relic of a bygone era collecting dust alongside a host of texts representing other religions. When this occurs, the authority of Scripture in society and the Church will be lost – which is precisely what the devil wants to achieve. STOP!
Satan has learned through 2,000 years of Church history that Christ cannot be defeated. So instead of fighting a fight he cannot win, the enemy now attempts to level the playing field, by deluding people into believing that every belief, including Christianity, is equally acceptable and true. Entrenched in this deception, people begin to think that no one is exclusively right or wrong, and that everyone has a piece of the puzzle. From this mindset, a diverse mix of beliefs emerges, and people no longer feel the need to repent or be saved.
This is the inclusive view promoted today by so many in the areas of politics, media, entertainment, justice, and education. More and more, it is also the perspective advocated by those who claim to be part of the Church.
According to the rules of this pluralistic game, there are no winners or losers – everyone is the same. Christians who stick by their “mad insistence” that Jesus Christ is Lord over all and that the Bible is absolute truth are often persecuted for being stubborn and intransigent in their convictions. As it was in the first centuries of the Church when believers were viewed as obstinate, unbending, and intolerant, modern pluralism accepts only those who are compliant to the broader view.
Any exclusionary view is increasingly considered intolerable and out of step with the spirit of the age.
To experience the religious pluralism and pagan inclusiveness that is reemerging in these days, you simply have to take an absolutely moral stance on sex, abortion, or other hot issues for which the Bible provides solid answers and then witness how those around you react.
Unfortunately, in this day and age, even many Christians are tending to gravitate toward the more pluralistic, inclusive position. In fact, the trend toward such thinking is increasing so rapidly among young people in churches that many are even wavering on the very basic tenants of the Christian faith. Foundational beliefs – such as the virgin birth, the sinlessness of Christ, the need to repent, moral rights and wrongs, and a literal Heaven and hell – are on the table with the younger generation. Recent statistical analysis clearly shows that the belief in absolute truth has already regressed to such a point that the younger generation generally sees no need to convert acquaintances or friends of a different faith to Christ. Instead of sharing the life – saving message of the Gospel,many young people find ways to rationalize their indecision, such as:
“If what they believe is working for them, why should I bother them with my beliefs?”
“Who is to say that Christians are right and they are wrong?”
“Isn’t it possible that there are alternative ways to God and that Christianity is just our particular way of believing?
This trend toward inclusivism, which is simply paganism with a modern twist, is growing so rapidly that believers are now often hesitant to publicly affirm what they believe for fear of the backlash of being labeled intolerant. However, those who remain faithful to the Gospel must be prepared to be ostracized as members of a fringe group – nonconforming outcasts of an uncaring society. Yes, they may be called “hateful” and “bigoted” simply because they adhere to a teaching of the Bible that does not condone others’ immoral life choices. But if today’s Church and its leadership don’t stand up for the faith – regardless of the price required to proclaim it in its purest form – it will only be a matter of time until Christianity is reduced to nothing more than another lifeless religion or philosophy among a cast of many others.
5. Prepare for people to vilify and strongly disagree with you. Persecution comes with package of salvation Jesus gives you.
Matthew 5:10-12 -NLT
God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. (11) “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. (12) Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.
Matthew 5:10-12 – The Message
You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom. (11) “Not only that — count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. (12) You can be glad when that happens — give a cheer, even! — for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.
Matthew 10:16-22 -NLT
Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves. (17) But beware! For you will be handed over to the courts and will be flogged with whips in the synagogues. (18) You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell the rulers and other unbelievers about me. (19) When you are arrested, don’t worry about how to respond or what to say. God will give you the right words at the right time. (20) For it is not you who will be speaking—it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. (21) “A brother will betray his brother to death, a father will betray his own child, and children will rebel against their parents and cause them to be killed. (22) And all nations will hate you because you are my followers. But everyone who endures to the end will be saved.
Matthew 24:9-10 -NLT
“Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. (10) And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other.
Mark 10:28-31 -NLT
Then Peter began to speak up. “We’ve given up everything to follow you,” he said. (29) “Yes,” Jesus replied, “and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for my sake and for the Good News, (30) will receive now in return a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property—along with persecution. And in the world to come that person will have eternal life. (31) But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.”
Luke 6:22-23 -NLT
What blessings await you when people hate you and exclude you and mock you and curse you as evil because you follow the Son of Man. (23) When that happens, be happy! Yes, leap for joy! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, their ancestors treated the ancient prophets that same way.
Luke 12:11-12 -NLT
“And when you are brought to trial in the synagogues and before rulers and authorities, don’t worry about how to defend yourself or what to say, (12) for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what needs to be said.”
Luke 21:12-18 -NLT
But before all this occurs, there will be a time of great persecution. You will be dragged into synagogues and prisons, and you will stand trial before kings and governors because you are my followers. (13) But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me. (14) So don’t worry in advance about how to answer the charges against you, (15) for I will give you the right words and such wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to reply or refute you! (16) Even those closest to you—your parents, brothers, relatives, and friends—will betray you. They will even kill some of you. (17) And everyone will hate you because you are my followers. (18) But not a hair of your head will perish!
John 15:18-23 -NLT -NLT
If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. (19) The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. (20) Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. (21) They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the One who sent me. (22) They would not be guilty if I had not come and spoken to them. But now they have no excuse for their sin. (23) Anyone who hates me also hates my Father.
John 16:1-4 -NLT
“I have told you these things so that you won’t abandon your faith. (2)For you will be expelled from the synagogues, and the time is coming when those who kill you will think they are doing a holy service for God. (3) This is because they have never known the Father or me. (4) Yes, I’m telling you these things now, so that when they happen, you will remember my warning. I didn’t tell you earlier because I was going to be with you for a while longer.
2 Timothy 3:10-12 -NLT -NLT
But you, Timothy, certainly know what I teach, and how I live, and what my purpose in life is. You know my faith, my patience, my love, and my endurance. (11) You know how much persecution and suffering I have endured. You know all about how I was persecuted in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra—but the Lord rescued me from all of it. (12) Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
Hebrews 10:32-36 NLT
Think back on those early days when you first learned about Christ. Remember how you remained faithful even though it meant terrible suffering. (33) Sometimes you were exposed to public ridicule and were beaten, and sometimes you helped others who were suffering the same things. (34) You suffered along with those who were thrown into jail, and when all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy. You knew there were better things waiting for you that will last forever. (35) So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you!
(36) Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.
1 Peter 3:14-16 -NLT
But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. (15) Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. (16) But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.
1 Peter 4:12-16 -NLT
Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. (13) Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world. (14) So be happy when you are insulted for being a Christian, for then the glorious Spirit of God rests upon you. (15) If you suffer, however, it must not be for murder, stealing, making trouble, or prying into other people’s affairs. (16) But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name!
6. Teach Your Children the Word of God!
If your children are in public schools, look for other options.
Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. (2) “Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise: (3) If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.” (4) Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.
Talk to your children EVERY day about spiritual values.
Live what you believe in front of them. What you do is so loud that I can’t
hear what you are saying.
3. Make church life an important part of your lifestyle.
4. If you do nothing, then their default with be the world’s belief system.
Dr. George O. Wood – General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God
Statement Regarding the Supreme Court’s Same-Sex Marriage Decision news.ag.org
Today is a sad day for America. In Obergefell v. Hodges, a 5-4 majority of the Supreme Court ruled: The Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-State. As a Christian minister and general superintendent of the Assemblies of God, I am deeply concerned with the Court’s redefinition of marriage and the negative effects that it may have on religious freedom. Scripture, Marriage, and Religious Freedom Scripture defines marriage solely in terms of the union of a man and a woman (e.g., Matthew 19:4–6; Mark 10:5–9; cf. Genesis 1:27–28, 2:20–24; Ephesians 5:21–32). Not only that, Scripture prohibits same-sex intercourse (Romans 1:26–27; 1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Timothy 1:10; cf. Leviticus 18:22, 20:13). When it comes to same-sex marriage, Scripture prohibits what the Supreme Court permits. As Christians, Assemblies of God adherents affirm that the Bible determines what we believe and how we behave. Our Statement of Fundamental Truths puts it this way: “The Bible is our all-sufficient rule for faith and practice.” And: “The Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, are verbally inspired of God and are the revelation of God to man, the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct” (emphasis added). Our Scripture-based definition of marriage and understanding of sexual morality shapes what our Constitution and Bylaws require as behavioral standards for credentialed ministers, finds reflection in the Assemblies of God position paper on homosexuality, and provides the rationale for the conduct codes of our denominational offices, affiliate organizations, and colleges and universities. I am grateful that in its decision the Supreme Court acknowledged that our opposition to same-sex marriage and behavior arises from “good faith” rather than animus. I am deeply concerned, however, about how the Court will rule when government laws and regulations that reflect its redefinition of marriage conflict with our biblical behavioral standards.
Will public accommodation laws be interpreted to require Assemblies of God congregations to rent their sanctuaries to same-sex weddings if they also rent their sanctuaries to weddings involving a man and a woman?
Will Assemblies of God ministers be required to solemnize same-sex marriages?
Will Assemblies of God colleges and universities be required to enroll same-sex married students, even though that constitutes a violation of their student conduct codes?
Will our schools be able to access federal student loans and grants if our student conduct codes prohibit same-sex behavior?
Will Assemblies of God organizations that provide psychological counseling, adoption services, or other services that require professional licenses be stripped of their licenses because of their faith-based opposition to same-sex marriage and behavior?
Will Assemblies of God organizations lose their tax-exempt status because of their opposition to same-sex marriage because of the Bob Jones precedent?
The answer to these questions based on the First Amendment should be a straightforward, “No!” But in oral arguments about Obergefell before the Supreme Court, Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli himself admitted, when asked a question such as these:
I don’t think I can answer that question without knowing more specifics, but it’s certainly going to be an issue. I—I don’t deny that. I don’t deny that… It is–it is going to be an issue. And that is my deepest concern. Although it should not be, religious freedom itself is “going to be an issue.” In this way, the Supreme Court’s ruling regarding so-called “marriage equality” will be used as a wedge to narrow the scope and weaken the protections afforded by the free exercise of religion guaranteed to Americans by the First Amendment. No religious person—Christian, Jewish, Muslim, etc.—can view that possibility as good news. No freedom-loving American should. A Judicial Usurpation of Politics As an American, I believe that this decision represents a judicial usurpation of politics.
Proponents of same-sex marriage like to draw analogies between their movement and the Abolitionist and Civil Rights Movements. The analogy is false, but it is nonetheless instructive in this particular case. Whereas abolition and civil rights were enacted democratically by amending the U.S. Constitution in the 1860s and passing national civil rights legislation in the 1960s, same-sex marriage has been democratically enacted in only 11 States and the District of Columbia. It has been imposed on 39 States and American territories by State and Federal Courts that overturned democratically enacted definitions of marriage as a man-woman union. I cannot help but think that this is an unhelpful way to resolve the political, social, and moral conflicts that divide the American people. Closing Words of Advice I close with three words of pastoral advice: First, to Assemblies of God ministers: Politics reflects culture, and culture reflects religion. If you are concerned with the political drift of American culture, preach the gospel! As it sends out roots in the lives of believers, the seed of the gospel will change hearts and minds. Second, to Assemblies of God adherents: You are privileged citizens of a blessed nation. Use your citizenship well! Seek the common good. Advocate for the last, the lost, and the least. Speak the truth in love. And vote for candidates and issues that reflect a biblical perspective on issues. The difference in so many conflicts in American politics and culture turns on who turns out to vote. Third, to all Christians: If you are troubled with the Supreme Court’s decision, keep perspective! In this and every other matter, always remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ: In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33). Let us all pray for a great spiritual awakening in our country! May God bless you richly today and every day! George O. Wood General Superintendent Assemblies of God (USA) See also this article form PE News. news.ag.org