What To Do When the Country Sins

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In a 5-4 ruling, the Defense of Marriage Act was struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, thus allowing legally married same-sex couples access to federal benefits.

In a 5-4 ruling, the Defense of Marriage Act was struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, thus allowing legally married same-sex couples access to federal benefits. Times like this require delicate handling of the situation as people’s emotions are on edge. What now faces the church is a road of reaction to this cultural shift.

Most in the church who hold to the traditional view of homosexuality as a sin are resolving to continue trusting in the faithfulness of God. There’s nothing wrong with that. But we have to realize that such an event will give rise to questions from people in the church. So how exactly should we respond? Here are a couple of steps that the church can take to avoid conflict:

1. Stick to the Truth

Every pastor has the responsibility to know the truth and preach the truth. Jesus told Peter in John 21:17, “feed my sheep.” Understanding the truth in this time is critical. A quick study of the Bible would suggest that, indeed, homosexuality is a sin. Between God’s creation in Eden and Paul’s comments in Romans 1, the argument is sound.

And for the people who point to Jesus’ silence on the matter, consider Mark 10:1-12. Here Jesus is talking about divorce, but he only refers to marriage as a union between a man and his wife. Therefore, apply what I learned as a child: when the crowd goes the wrong way, go against the crowd. Do not bow to societal pressure to conform.  

2. Put Down the Signs

It’s certainly not the way Jesus did things. He did confront people on the matter of their sin, but it was in a private. one-on-one setting (think woman at the well). It’s all well and good that you want to defend your faith, but has there been any fruit to those protests? If anything it makes Christians come off as those people who protest for abortion, probably a group Christians would not want to be associated with.

Can you even tell the two groups apart in pictures, though (aside from the rainbow signs, but even Westboro uses those so who can really tell)? It is easy to get sucked into an argument, especially if you are passionate about the subject.

3. Build Something Worth Defending

We defend traditional marriage as if it was something worth defending. The thing is, it is. But the problem is that we know what marriage is ideologically but we have nothing as a Church to demonstrate to the outside world. You have to wonder how many people who defend traditional marriage are divorced, unfaithful, or abusive.

Churches need to develop stronger marriages so they have an alternative to present to those who would otherwise scoff at the idea of a monogamous heterosexual marriage. Offering classes, seminars, and studies from a Biblical perspective can help turn back the tide. 

4. Recognize Our Place

Why do we expect the United States of America to be a Christian nation? This idea might seem revolutionary, but consider it:

“Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor” (1 Peter 2:11-17).

We don’t see anywhere in the New Testament the establishment of a Christian nation. It focuses more on the individual believer and local congregations. In general, there is a more kingdom-based focus in the minds of the authors.  

5. Pray

The importance of prayer cannot be overstated. There are so many things that we must pray for that I can’t even list them all here. Not only because we feel the need to but we are told to from the Word,

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” – Philippians 4:6 

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” – Ephesians 6:18

Prayer has power to do incredible things in our lives and in the world around us. As we see this gathering darkness in the world, prayer is the key to unleashing the light. 

Ian Wallin Born and raised in New York, Ian Wallin lived an average life until everything changed. His family started going to a new church and things were never the same. A mission trip to El Salvador sealed the deal for Ian as he truly dedicated his life to Jesus Christ. Ian took one semester of Architecture classes before switching over to the ministry. Since then he has been a part of many mission trips as God continues to call him. Ian now lives in South Portland with his wife, Brianna. He works at University of New England and is going to school at Global University for a Bachelor’s in Bible/Theology. He is currently helping to plant Acceleration Church in Portland, Maine.

More from Ian Wallin or visit Ian at http://accelerationchurch.org/

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  • GoinPlaces

    What? No comments yet? Where art thou Pharisees . . . keepers of the law? Must be sleeping in this morning.

  • On God’s Path

    May the Spirit guide us all in the matter of same-sex marriage.

  • Ada Escobar

    This article was a good, practical and a necessary read. Now is not the time to shrink back, but to stand-up for truth in love.

  • Twinsfan1

    I especially like #3 – build something worth defending. One of the arguments thrown out often is that traditional marriage has a huge divorce rate, and so we have no right to say mosexual marriage is wrong. It’s a false argument because it doesn’t discuss the morality of homosexual marriage, it only points out the flaws in something else.

    However, it is true that the Church has to do more to strengthen Biblical marriage. The problem is that even after decades of pro-family ministries like Focus on the Family, Family Life Today, as well as guys like Gary Smalley and H. Norman Wright, families are weak, and divorce is an easy option.
    If I could only make one suggestion, it would be that somehow we help parents really integrate personal time and personal application of the Scriptures so not only will their marriage be strengthened, but their kids will develop a love for Christ as well.
    This would also lead to more Christlikeness as we interact with those outside of Christ, reflecting Him accurately.
    Parents strong in the Word (including being DOERS of it) – strong families Strong families grounded in the Word (and DOING it) = a stronger society.

  • LogosAletheia

    Somewhere in all of this “other worldy” “kingdom” approach is a disconnect. The church is not to avoid conflict, but to be in the forefront of the war between good and evil.

    God put American Christians in America for a reason.

    We are to be salt and light. This means actively engaging in our culture on every front possible, not disengaging because we might be thought the “crazies” or “someone people don’t want to hang out with.”

    Jesus confronted more than individuals on several key occasions with very confrontational words and actions. Calling someone a “hypocrite,” a “white-washed sepulchre” and using a whip to clear the Temple of merchants and money-changers weren’t exactly designed to be conciliatory. They were very public actions, not private at all. We need to be more like Jesus.

    “Recognizing our place?” God has sovereignly placed each person in their country to live in it and actively, not passively, represent Him as ambassadors. He calls each person into connection with a particular aspect(s) of a society. When we do not actively engage our culture, but only pray without putting feet to our prayers, darkness and wickedness come to flourish.

    When Christians, flawed and imperfect though we are, refuse to stand up, proclaim God’s truth and act accordingly, they are forsaking the “watchman on the wall” calling. God will destroy America if we do not repent. We are already suffering many severe judgments from God that people are afraid to say are God’s judgments.

    When we will not protect our children, forsake God’s plan for families and refuse to be salt and light in our communities and nation on these and other issues, we are not fulfilling our watchman responsibilities to call out that destruction is coming due to non-repentance.

    We have become like Jonah, who didn’t want to go to Nineveh as the Lord commanded. Nineveh, wicked though it was, did repent at God’s warning to them through Jonah. Repentance is still a possibility in America, although it seems slimmer every day.

    Administrations making immoral laws are to be confronted and resisted. “We must obey God rather than men.” Our Chinese brothers and sisters in the underground churches understand this problem well. Yes, confrontation and following God’s commands can be very costly. But that is part of the cost of discipleship. No Christian likes it. I foresee in America we will need to take lessons from our persecuted brothers and sisters in how to serve God when actively confronting evil.

    • http://www.facebook.com/TheChristianRestorationMinistry Minister Speed

      I share your sentiment LogosAlethia and understand that there is a serious political correct and very liberal spirit permeating The Christian of America Jesus confronted a woman by the well and told her about herself. You’ve been married (slept with) 5 men and the one you’re with now is not your husband. He called the journalist, religious and political leaders devils, liars and murders meaning they carried the desires of their father THE DEVIL.

      I wondered what he would think of a country where there was 60 million recorded abortions in less than 42 years. Where the most trusted and supposedly the most fair and unbiased leaders of the free world struck down the DOMA and kidnapped the English language by stating that a “Husband can now be a woman or a man, and a Man can now be a woman or a man.

      I say this I believe that man here on the internet have ulterior motives under the guidance of true Christianity. I owe no allegiance to any philosophic conviction and when i read the Scriptures I see nothing but rebels, revolutionaries, defiant and some of the most Culturally changing men and women on the Planet.

      I’m glad there is a front line cause we have been told about a battle and it’s spiritual and this is no time to become brother and sister lay down. Honestly this article sounds like someone who is an Christian antagonist.

  • Algoria

    2. Put Down the Signs
    It’s time for those holding up signs to realize it’s futile to protest in this way. Protests began after the Supreme Court struck down the laws against abortion. The hope was that Christians would have the same success civil rights demonstrators eventually had in the sixties and anti-war protesters finally had in the seventies. Once well-meaning people were confronted with the stark evil of abortion the battle would be won. Or so the theory went.

    They didn’t allow for the role of the media and academia who were solidly in support of the civil rights and anti-war protestors, but were just as united against the pro-lifers. Thus the sign holders had zero chance of success. The pro-traditional marriage protests probably have even less chance of success than the pro-life ones did. I think the battle will be over much sooner this time. Some pro-lifers went to prison for their activities but it accomplished little. Who is willing to go to jail just to protest the sin of same-sex marriage? Maybe John the Baptist would, (although he opposed Herod’s sin with words, not signs), but few today would join him. If God calls us to speak out we must obey him, but protests and signs are not very useful.

    Our only hope:
    “Prayer has power to do incredible things in our lives and in the world around us. As we see this gathering darkness in the world, prayer is the key to unleashing the light.”