On July 26, 2013, the United States Supreme Court, by a vote of 5 to 4, overturned the federal law that defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman; commonly referred to as DOMA or the Defense of Marriage Act. According to Wikipedia, DOMA was a federal law that permitted individual states right of resfusal to recognize same-sex marriages that occurred under the laws of other states. Today’s Court ruling deemed section 3 of DOMA unconstitutional. Rationale used to sway the Court’s leaning against DOMA was concerns that DOMA’s existence made it impossible for same-sex married partners to receive federal marriage benefits.
The vast majority of Christian denominations recognize Genesis 2:24 as the key passage in Scripture that defines marriage:24Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.(Gen 2:24-25 KJV) And throughout the remainder of Scripture and the Renewed Covenant or New Testament, there is no doubt that marriage was considered a sacred bond between a man and a woman. Homosexuality was so despised by the Eternal that He destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and their inhabitants for their universal practice of homosexuality (reference: Genesis 18 and 19).
Moses records the words of the angels leaving Abraham’s presence for Sodom and Gomorrah as saying:20 And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;21 I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.(Gen 18:20-21 KJV) Many in the secular and gay communities have rejected both these accounts as having no true basis of Yehovah actually sanctioning marriage exclusively between a man and a woman and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah being the punishment for the widespread practice of homosexuality in these cities.
The natural inclination of the true believer of Messiah to today’s Court ruling is to react with outrage. Many believers will write their congressmen and congresswomen seeking to influence their actions in opposition to this Court decision. No doubt tens-of-thousands of Christian ministers, preachers and evangelists this coming Sunday will rant and rave about this ruling and the negative implications that this ruling will have for this country. Still countless others will tweet, blog, podcast, email and facebook their hearts out in expressions of their anger and outrage. But should the true believe be so put off and concerned about the Court’s ruling? Does the Bible support the exercise of “righteous indignation” in this particular situation?
The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy: 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (2Ti 3:1-5 KJV)
We may not be living in the very times, i.e., perilous times) spoken of by Paul in this passage, but it goes without saying that we are living in very trying and troublesome times. True Godliness in any form is virtually impossible to find today. Acts of evil are committed and even supported by the masses and public officials as righteous actions. The Scriptures and the Laws of the Almighty are either ignored or twisted in ways that lend support to evil while disparaging purity and righteousness. Any pious believer may feel overwhelmed and in the midst of a no-win battle between the forces of good and evil. Everyday there seems to be another evil issue set before the believer, one after-another, with no end in sight. What’s a Believer to Do?
The answer to this question can be found at the end of this passage. Paul continues mentoring Timothy:13But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (2Ti 3:13-17 KJV)
The absolute best thing a believer can do today in light of the recent Court actions is (1) realize that evil in this world will without a doubt persist and continue to influence millions to condone and even embrace that evil; (2) the believer should firmly latch on to the true teachings of Messiah…studying to show him or herself approved of Yehovah; and (3) live righteous lives, always seeking to do good and do the right things in every aspect of his or her life, without swaying to the right nor to the left.
Expressing righteous indignation certainly has its place and its time. But believers are not in positions at this present time to eradicate evil nor usher in an age of universal righteousness. Instead, believers are now being equipped to deal with the present day and future onslaught of the evil one. Reacting in utter outrage may have been the perceived way for the true believer to behave, but once again, it is not always as you might perceive the matter to be.