I expected that most evangelical pastors across America today would ignore Friday’s ruling on marriage. I’m delighted to say I appear to be wrong. Based on a ton of feedback from across the nation and conversations with a lot of evangelical leaders, it appears pastors went to their pulpits with a mission today.
Across the nation, they made sure congregants knew that churches were more interested in God’s word than the Supreme Court’s word. God’s word affirms that marriage is between a man and a woman. In my own church, the pastor preached on Habakkuk 2, focusing on the line “The righteous shall live by faith.” It was a sermon text planned before Friday, but fit perfectly with Friday’s Supreme Court ruling on marriage and the two were tied together.
A great many secularists have been calling for Christians to alter their faith to make way for the sexual revolution. Those that have, however, have been on a steep decline out of existence. Those who have held firm have been emboldened. The history of the Christian religion shows that it does pretty well rebounding in the face of persecution.
As Ross Douthat pointed out a while back, there were certainly preachers in the American South who claimed racial discrimination and slavery were in the Bible. But those pastors were preaching against the arc of the Biblical narrative — deliverance from Egypt, deliverance from Babylon, and deliverance from death and sin.
To preach gay marriage, the Bible itself must be redacted or censored, which is not going to happen.
We are certainly on the path to a greater culture war in America. But those who think the church will change are looking to churches that changed long before this ruling expecting other churches to behave the same way. Those who think otherwise, have not really paid close attention to the history of Christendom.
The church cannot fold because it will not fold. It will not fold because it is shepherded by a Holy Spirit that takes darkness and makes light and takes sinners and makes saints.
I think one thing that will happen is a lot of Christians pull out of American culture and seek refuge with a more Christ centered culture. That too will only strengthen the church. Even Christians who dabble in politics, like me, are mindful that we have a higher calling and answer to a greater power than the Supreme Court.
This morning, across America, thousands of pastors went to their pulpits to make sure their churches understand this.