In light of the SCOTUS ruling today (and a delayed flight), I thought I’d take a minute and jot down a few thoughts, especially for our church family.
First, you’re not surprised, are you? I’m not. I’m saddened but not surprised.
Second, if you’re in panic mode, you can relax. It’s not panic time. Not even a little bit. But that’s not because the SCOTUS ruling wasn’t so off-the-wall and myopic. It’s because yesterday God was in control of the world and everything was held together by Him and today is the same. Yesterday the Gospel was Good News for broken people who are enslaved to their sin (all kinds!) because Jesus paid for their sin and purchased favor with God on their behalf and He willingly and joyfully forgives and gives new life to those who turn from their sin and to Him – and today is the same. Yesterday the Church that Jesus purchased by His death and empowers by His Spirit was the light of the world and salt of the earth, and today it’s the same.
Third, watch for more and more religious freedom questions to get answered in light of this ruling. I think it’ll break against Christian institutions (colleges, universities, hospitals, adoption agencies, etc.) and ultimately against churches. Why? Because it appears that SCOTUS has preferred the 14th amendment over the 1st. That will cost us as a nation down the road. The Constitution speaks of religious freedom but the Bible never does. And that leads to…
Fourth, it won’t get easier to be a follower of Jesus in this country. Faithfulness is what is required of us and ease is never promised us. The temptation to compromise or be silent will grow stronger. So get ready. But I can also say that there came a time when the persecution came upon a consolidated body of followers of Jesus in Jerusalem, resulting in them scattering to cities, nations, and lands abroad. That let them live as missionaries and the Gospel spread like wildfire. It may very well happen again.
It’s a different world we live in today. But that’s okay. Jesus is still in charge of it. He still reigns over everything.