Yet another line in the sand has been drawn. The enemy and American culture have spoken loudly against Almighty God.
Friday's Supreme Court ruling to legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states and make it the law of the land has projected a bold statement and attitude about this country. The Creator of the Universe, in the eyes of the United States of America, is insignificant.
Surprised? You shouldn't be. This has been coming down the pike for a long time. It's not like we didn't see this coming.
But you know what? For a child of God, it doesn't—and shouldn't—matter. Sounds reckless and callous? Let me explain, with a little help from my pastor, Ed Garvin, at Calvary Assembly in Winter Park, Florida.
When our society or our government behaves in such a manner contrary to the Word of God—like Friday's Supreme Court ruling—many believers in the body of Christ take major offense to it. We stew about it, we cry about it, we get on social media and blast our feelings all over Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. As anyone knows me from my past, I've been guilty of all of the above.
But, as my friend Lee Grady says, "I recommend we take the high road."
And as Pastor Garvin so eloquently reminded me—and I listened as if he were speaking from the pulpit only to me Sunday morning—that attitude simply does not reflect the responsibility with which we, as citizens of the kingdom, have been entrusted. It shows only that we are more concerned about the things of this world than we are the things of the Spirit.
As Paul said in his Epistle to the Romans, "For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit" (Romans 8:5, MEV).
Once we have said yes to Jesus, daily we must consciously choose to center our lives on God. We need to use the Bible to discover God's guidelines and then follow them. When the Holy Spirit points out to us what is right, we need to do it eagerly. It's a pretty simple concept.
Here's the thing. As children of God, we know that He loves us. We mess up, we ask for forgiveness, repent and move on. But what about those—like those involved in homosexuality and same-sex marriages? Does God love them, too? You bet he does. He, as Pastor Garvin said Sunday, loves those who will NEVER follow Him.
God doesn't force or coerce anyone into believing in Him. He has given EVERYONE an incredible gift—the gift of free will—and we can choose to do anything we want with it, especially as American citizens. If we want to live a life of indulgence and debauchery, then that's our given right. If we want to live a life of holiness and purity and obedience to Christ, then that's our given right, too.
But even though God loves all of us, that doesn't mean the two groups of people are the same. As children of God, if we choose to live by the principles set down in His Word, then we can be assured that we will enjoy the benefits of the promises laid down in God's Word. There are over 7,000 of them in the Bible, including John 14:13-14 (MEV), "I will do whatever you ask in My name, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it."
However, those who choose to daily live contrary to the principles set down in God's Word will not reap the benefits of those promises. "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Cor. 6:9-11, MEV).
That's the bottom line. As much as we, as believers in the body of Christ, would like for everyone in this dark, chaotic and selfish world to confess Jesus as their Savior, the reality is that is not going to happen. Just as we choose to embrace Jesus, they choose to reject him. We can witness to them in love and pray for them and plant seeds, but there is nothing that we can say that is going to change their hearts and minds. Only God can do that.
Our job is to reflect God's love. Our job, as Pastor Garvin says, "is to be true to who God calls you to be." We must love those who hate us and ridicule us for our faith. We must love those who chastise us for standing on the Word of God without compromise.
"We must love those who hate us and ridicule us for our faith. We must love those who chastise us for standing on the Word of God without compromise."
We must live our lives as foreigners here on earth, knowing that we have citizenship in Heaven, but with a responsibility here on earth to represent the kingdom of heaven by living lives of Christlike purity and holiness. You don't need to attend rallies. You don't need to blast your opinions on social media. Let your actions—not your words—do the talking for you. Take the high road.
In other words, stop being an angry Christians. As my friend Pastor Justin Lathrop says in his new book, The Likeable Christian, "We do we want to flip tables, and what does our anger do to help the situation? ... None of those responses to sin will gain us likeability; none will convince people of God's love."
Billy Graham once said, "It's the Holy Spirit's job to convict. It's God's job to judge, and it's my job to love." That's about all their is to it, isn't there?
The LGBT community has declared, "Love wins." But it's not their kind of love—it's the love of Christ that's victorious.
And as I always like to say, "there is that." God bless.
Shawn A. Akers is the online managing editor at Charisma Media. He is a published poet and published a story about Dale Earnhardt in NASCAR Chicken Soup For the Soul. You can read his blog here.