Trying to Respond Like Jesus to the SCOTUS Pronouncement on Same-Sex Marriage

Now more than ever we need to put forward the distinctive Christian view of marriage and sex. We need to be able to show—through word and deed—the Creator’s better way for these life-defining relationships. Those who experience the bitter fruits of following their own way will likely be in a better place to receive it.

As my friend Russ Moore has said, this is a time for the church neither to panic nor to cave. The arc of history is long and gradual, but it tilts toward Jesus. The Supreme Court can do a lot of things, but it cannot put Jesus back in the grave. He sits enthroned over history, and all of history—his story—moves his direction. “Why do the nations rage, and set themselves against the Lord’s anointed?… You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” (Ps 2:1, 9) The Greeks rejoiced when the high priest Menelaus put a statue of Zeus in the Holy of Holies. But God had the last word. He always does. Rome crumbles; the kingdom of Jesus endures forever.

It turns out that the hashtag is true, #LoveWins—but Love has a name, and at his name every knee in heaven and earth will one day bow.

Prayer

Over the last few days, I have felt compelled to pray the Lord’s Prayer over our country. I believe no better pattern exists for how we should pray in this, or any other, situation.

Our Father, who art in heaven, holy is your name … Father, you reign in heaven. No human court can undermine your throne, put your Son back in the grave or thwart your plans.

Let your kingdom come, your will be done … You willed this for your church at this time. Your plans are good, and we know you will turn what the enemy means for evil into good. The salvation and glorification of your church is the goal. So we receive this as from you, and ask that you enable us to use it for kingdom purposes, as you have willed.

Give us this day our daily bread … This turn of events presents new challenges for us, challenges we are unsure how to meet. We trust that you will supply the wisdom, courage and grace to be faithful for this day.

Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us … Father, I confess part of me wants to throw up my hands and write off our culture—to withdraw into a secluded Christian subculture where I feel safe and loved. But that is not what you did with me. While I was still in sin you came for me. By your grace, I will do the same for my neighbors. We remind ourselves that we are first sinners. Each of us is guilty of our own willful rebellion and sexual misconduct. We are included in the number of the guilty. And our own churches have been plagued by marital unfaithfulness. We need forgiveness and renewal. As you have treated us graciously, we will seek to treat others the same way. You didn’t run from us; we won’t run from others. We recognize that our struggle is not against flesh and blood. An Enemy holds our culture captive, just as he once held us captive.

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil … We recognize in these developments an attack by our Enemy, an Enemy who wants nothing more to destroy us and ridicule your name. He will use our weaknesses in the process, and sadly, he has much to work with. God, save us from ourselves, and from our Enemy. We believe the power of your grace trumps both our weaknesses and the designs of our Enemy.

For yours in the Kingdom, the power and glory, forever … The arc of history tilts toward you. Why do the nations rage? You have commandeered all of history to prepare the church as a bride for your Son. This, too, will work toward that glorious end. You win, Jesus. We declare it. It’s all from you and through you and for you.  

Amen.

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J.D. Greear
J.D. Greear, Ph.D., is the President of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastors the Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, NC. Tagged by Outreach magazine as one of the fastest growing churches in America, the Summit has grown in the past 8 years from 400 to over 5,000 each weekend. The Summit Church is deeply involved in global church planting, having undertaken the mission to plant 1000 churches in the next 40 years. J.D. has authored Breaking the Islam Code and the upcoming Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary.