Blaine Robison, M.A.
Published 4 July 2015
Terminology: In order to emphasize the Hebraic and Jewish character of the entire Bible I use the terms Yeshua (Jesus), Messiah (Christ), Tanakh (Old Testament), and Besekh (New Testament).
Abstract: This article reviews the U.S. Supreme Court decision on June 26, 2015 that redefined marriage, a "date that will live in infamy" in the annals of judicial travesties. NOTE: SCOTUS is an acronym for "Supreme Court of the United States." S.H.A.M.E. is an acronym I coined for "Supreme Historic Abomination of Marriage Edict."
Facts to Consider
1. The SCOTUS S.H.A.M.E. gives sanction to behavior that God deems an abomination, the penalty for which is eternal damnation (Lev 18:22; 20:13; Deut 23:18; Rom 1:26-27, 32; 1Cor 6:9; Gal 5:19, 21; 1Tim 1:10; Rev 22:15). (That is not my opinion; that is what the Bible teaches.)
2. The SCOTUS S.H.A.M.E. reflects lawlessness or the unwillingness to respect God's laws as the standard of right and wrong. (Dan 7:25; Matt 24:12; 2Thess 2:3)
3. The SCOTUS S.H.A.M.E. is an ungodly decision that can only bring the judgment of God on the perpetrators (Gen 18:20-21; 19:13; Rom 1:18). There is a court in Heaven that will judge all rulers of the world.
4. The SCOTUS S.H.A.M.E. found a civil right that does not exist in the Constitution. They not only set aside statutory law, but also common law that has governed all societies for thousands of years. It is a slippery slope that could lead to changes in laws that criminalize other kinds of morally wrong behavior.
5. Judges that dissented from the majority in the SCOTUS S.H.A.M.E. basically took the position that the subject of marriage is a political issue for state legislatures. (See the summary of the dissents here.) They failed to say that the new definition of marriage is philosophically wrong. Marriage is a moral issue about which God has already spoken.
Impact of the SCOTUS S.H.A.M.E.
1. Democrat politicians have declared support for SCOTUS S.H.A.M.E., and Republican politicians are divided concerning how to respond, some reluctant to challenge the issue as if it is settled. It isn't. Various initiatives will arise to overturn the decision but success will be problematic.
2. As Justice Alito pointed out in his dissent the SCOTUS S.H.A.M.E. will embolden leftist activists to vilify anyone who opposes the new definition of marriage. The agenda of the Left is not to simply enjoy the assumed utopia of the new marriage definition, to live and let live. They want to force everyone else to publicly endorse their lifestyle and anyone who doesn't is fair game for attack.
3. Leftist activists will use the sympathetic and supporting mainstream media and social media as vehicles for ridicule, mockery and defamation. Christian leaders, businesses, churches and organizations will especially fall victim to a full-scale assault in an attempt to force changes in organizational standards and policies. Some Christian businesses that served weddings have already been destroyed because of Leftist bully tactics.
4. Since the SCOTUS S.H.A.M.E. has become the new orthodoxy for the government, the Left will aggressively pursue every avenue to rewrite Federal and State laws pertaining to marriage, State curriculum for education and affirmative action standards for employee hiring. Domestic partnership contracts will be converted to marriage licenses and businesses will be expected to honor the new status by inclusion in employee health benefits.
5. A reality check for those entering the new definition of marriage is that their lives, property and dependents will now be subject to the courts as the rest of us. Given that the participants of the new marriage definition are human beings, the rate of dissolutions will not likely be different than the general population with its attendant legal battles and emotional devastation. They sowed to the wind just to obtain the equal right to employer-provided insurance, but will reap the whirlwind.
Individual Actions to Take
Make no mistake. We are embroiled in a culture war, as well as spiritual warfare. This is not a situation that can be ignored. How then should we respond?
1. Spiritual Responses. Followers of Yeshua should follow biblical example and exhortation.
• Resist Leftist efforts to force moral compromise in every area of society that intersects with our personal lives. Consider the example of Noah who, along with his family, was the only godly one when the whole world had become corrupt. Nevertheless, Noah was still a "proclaimer of righteousness" (2Pet 2:5).
• Make a clear commitment to the Lord as Joshua did, that "as for me and my house we shall serve the Lord" (Josh 24:15). God desires disciples of Yeshua that will not bend, will not break and will not bow to the pressures of the world (Dan 3:18; 2Cor 6:14-17; Col 2:8).
• Pray that the government will vigorously oppose any potential or actual injustice aimed at restricting the free exercise of faith by Christians and Jews (1Tim 2:1-2). (It's not likely that Muslims will be targeted.)
• Pray that ungodly government leaders in all three branches of government will repent of their wickedness and be saved so as to avoid the wrath of God (1Tim 2:1-4).
• Pray for sinners to come to their senses, repent of their wicked behavior and be reconciled to God. (Sinful behavior does not arise from a genetic predisposition, but a sinful nature.)
2. Other Responses.
• Parents should be prepared to home school children (if you're not already doing so) due to the capitulation of the state educational system to leftist political correctness and toleration of non-biblical relationships.
• Some unmarried individuals may choose to forgo marriage licensing as a boycott against the ungodly state-sanctioned definition of marriage. The government requirement for marriage licenses to define legal marriage has only existed since 1923 when it was instituted to prevent common-law marriage and inter-racial marriage. Couples might consider going back to the practice of biblical times of a marriage contract. Only consider that God recognized the marriages of couples for 6,000 years before there was a license requirement.
• City or County officials with some responsibility in issuing marriage licenses may elect as an act of religious conscience and civil disobedience to refuse to sign affidavits of non-biblical marriage registration.
• All citizens should demand that conservative politicians take a stand on moral and social issues and to defend the free exercise of religious conviction.
Pastoral Actions to Take
1. The Ten Commandments should be visibly posted in buildings and read periodically to congregations (Deut 31:10-13; Neh 8:1-3).
2. The congregational pulpit needs to be restored as the voice of the Word of God on moral issues (Mark 6:18). The apostles were not reticent about listing the ungodly deeds of unbelievers and warning disciples not to engage in similar conduct. The proclamation of the Kingdom of God necessitates an explanation of the standards of the King.
NOTE: Some Pastors in the past have chosen to participate in Pulpit Freedom Sunday organized by Alliance Defending Freedom. (See the ADF Handout, as well as the published article by The New American Magazine, "Pastors Prepare to Defy IRS with Pulpit Freedom Sunday.) The concept is that on the designated Sunday participating pastors will use their pulpits to preach sermons focused on a specific candidate, encouraging parishioners to show their support for that candidate at the polls. However, I do not fully agree with this approach. The only candidate that can truly be recommended to the Body of Messiah for office is Yeshua. This is not to say that a pastor, priest or rabbi cannot express a personal opinion as to someone he might vote for. A more biblical approach is to identify candidates that cannot be endorsed because their stand on moral issues, like abortion and non-biblical marriage. In addition, the immoral viewpoints, policies and actions of individuals currently in public office may be legitimately exposed and ridiculed. Public declarations should be based on published sources to avoid any claim of slander.
3. Ministers, priests and rabbis should formally notify the County Clerk by mail that they will no longer sign marriage licenses for anyone, nor will they solemnize marriages on behalf of the State. In reality, Scripture does not provide priests, ministers and rabbis with authority to act as an agent of the State to "solemnize" a marriage. The legal arrangements of marriage should be left solely to the couple's discretion.
4. Churches and synagogues should be clear in their policy on facility usage as to who may not rent space. For weddings they could limit such usage to members or those they deem in continuing fellowship with the congregation. Why should congregations rent space to the public anyway? (The congregation is not a business.) In addition, the policy should prohibit any wedding in their facilities that employs a minister who functions as an agent of the State.
NOTE: Contrary to a misperception of some people churches and synagogues, as organizations, cannot be forced to conduct wedding ceremonies for non-biblical marriages. Marriage licensing is controlled by the State and individual clergy persons are permitted to act as agents for the State by virtue of having ordination or equivalent credentials. By state law people are not required to have a wedding ceremony to be legally married and only need to sign an affidavit at the County Clerk's office affirming they take each other as spouses.
The recommendations of this article are not meant to be exhaustive. Followers of Yeshua should continue to endeavor to be salt and light in a dark world and seek the wisdom of the Lord in responding to the world.
CAVEAT: Whenever an explanation or interpretation of the law or advice on legal alternatives is required the services of a competent legal professional should be sought.
Copyright © 2015 Blaine Robison. All rights reserved.