Supreme Court Ruling Challenges Us to Love Boldly
Monday, June 29, 2015
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On Friday morning, June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that state bans on same-sex marriage are no longer legal.
Three months prior, Chris Lutes, editor of Men of Integrity, was putting together a week of challenging devotionals from Philip Yancey’s book Vanishing Grace. The devotionals were scheduled to run the week of June 28 to July 4 and titled Love Boldly. They challenge us to reexamine how we treat those with whom we disagree, and present a vision for how we can love them beyond what seems humanly possible. Little did Chris know how timely the devotionals would be.
But God knew.
The same God who could orchestrate a week of devotionals three months in advance of when they would be needed is the Sovereign over all of creation. He’s not shocked or surprised by the events of history. In fact, Scripture reminds us that he directs the hearts of the leaders of nations wherever he pleases. He is in control. We can trust that he knows what he’s doing. Instead of reacting in anger or despair, he calls us to reach out with bold, unflinching love.
After all, our God is not simply sovereign. He is also Immanuel, God with us. He is the God who became human and made friends of his enemies: the tax-collectors, the prostitutes, the quick-tempered, the ambitious, the deniers, the betrayers, the self-righteous, the persecutors … even his murderers. He did not wait for them to “come around” to his point-of-view. He sought them out, befriended them, and transformed them through sacrificial love. We must do the same.
For thousands of years, the biblical model of marriage has been the standard, and we have been indistinguishable from the world on this topic. But in recent years that standard has been eroding. Now the biblical model stands out in contrast to the standard of our nation like light in a room that has gone dark. In this historic moment, the eyes of the world are turned in our direction. They expect us to be sore losers. They expect us to be bitter and angry. In short, they expect us to react according to human nature. And they are looking for rants and negative sound bites.
What if instead we amp up our love? What if we get to know the gay couples who are now emboldened to go public with their relationships? What if we truly make an effort to understand who they are and the stories of their lives, and to love them humbly and sacrificially whether or not we agree with them?
I believe that would be a better testimony to the truth and power of the gospel than any argument we could make.
Jonathan Sprowl is managing editor of Men of Integrity and the editor of Leading Outreach newsletter.
Note: Along with the Love Boldly readings, be sure to check out “Six Things To Do after the Supreme Court Decision on Gay Marriage” by Mark Galli.
Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures quoted are taken from the New Living Translation.
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