To any and all gay and gay-supporting friends of mine—I wish you well.
So… You guys win.
The SCOTUS ruled last week in a five-to-four decision that the US Constitution in some sense guarantees a right to same-sex marriage. Homosexual couples across the country are applying for marriage licenses. Popular votes across the nation to the contrary have been nullified by the Highest Court in the Land. And you are delighted.
The “winners” are celebrating and congratulating one another. The “losers” are trying to console one another and come to grips with this brave new world that they don’t understand. Few of us are talking to one another across that line that divides us. Maybe we should.
Maybe the conversation should start with the acknowledgment of a glaring omission in our talking points on every side, at least as far as I can tell. You see, at least in a secular sense, even before this ruling was handed down by the Supreme Court, you were already free.
You were free to do what you chose. You were free to live where you wished, and with whomever you wished. You were free to live and worship according to your conscience. You were free to live without persecution from the government. You were free to live under its protection, like every citizen: defended against all kinds of violence, seizure of your home, and confiscation of your property. You were free to choose the life you wanted, and to accept the consequences of those decisions. That is freedom. It’s the most freedom the world can offer. In time past, it has been the heritage of every American. Yet, for some reason, that was not enough.
So you grabbed for more. Perhaps others grabbed for it on your behalf. Now the argument has gone all the way to the US Supreme Court. All the beans have been counted. The final vote was five to four. And you won. Or did you?
After all, the demand that the nation as a whole—and that each of its citizens individually—should recognize, accept, approve, and celebrate the choices you are making is not a freedom for you, but an attempt at enslavement upon them. They are no longer entitled to an opinion. They are not entitled to follow their consciences. They have no rights to disagree, debate, or converse. Their schools, churches, and businesses will be expected to conform. They may vote. It won’t count. It is not a dawning of freedom we are seeing in America, but the end of the right of a free people to govern themselves.
Our nation owes its beginning, and that means you and I owe all our cherished freedoms, to an appeal to natural law. “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.” The moral code they were referring to is at work, protecting your body and life. It protects your property and goods, your good name and reputation. That’s what has now been set aside. Nature itself has been set aside. Conscience is set aside. Reason has been set aside. God’s Law has been set aside. Do you imagine that this is safe for you? For any of us?
Humanity itself is older than the government of the United States. The sacred offices of Husband and Wife are greater than the government of the United States. The sovereign office of Parent is older, farther-reaching, and transcends the government of the United States. And this government, like each one of us, remains to be judged in a far Higher Court than the one that has ruled here. God have mercy on us all.
I share the concern some of you have expressed regarding a possible backlash of violence in the aftermath of the Court’s decision. Please be careful. Please be safe. I want you to live, and be well. I want you to live, so I can engage you in a conversation about your opinions and your hopes. And I’d hope to share mine with you, as well.
You see, I’m like you. I’m not living under that moral code of natural law as if I’m some kind of pure innocent. I am guilty under it. I am exposed by it: unholy, unchaste, with unclean lips. I know why you are so desperate to silence your conscience. I know why you feel the need to hide your feelings of guilt under the affirmation and acceptance of others. The truth is, that Law convicts all of us. It holds us all accountable to God.
So finally I have a real hope to share with you—because God has provided a Rescuer for all of us, from all that condemnation. Jesus, God’s Son, is the only real innocence I know. Jesus is the only One who can cleanse me from my wrongdoing and my wrong heart. He does it by His blood, which poured out for me—and for you—on the cross.
Thanks for listening.
AJ Hamilton Christian, Husband, Dad, US Citizen, Parish Pastor, Concordia Lutheran Church, Eau Claire
THIS WEEK AT CONCORDIA
Monday, June 29th … Communion Service at 7:00 PM
Tuesday, July 30th … Matins at 9:00 AM
Tuesday Bible Class at 9:30 AM
Sunday, July 5th … Communion Service at 9:00 AM
ALSO COMING UP AT CONCORDIA
* Concordia Summer Book Club, meeting July, and August! We will read and discuss the Christian Classic The Hammer of God by Bo Giertz. Copies of the book are available through the Church Office for $8. Please Join us!
- Next Summer Book Club Session: Saturday, July 18th at 10 AM
- August Summer Book Club Session: Friday, August 21st at 6:30 PM
Lutheran Youth Assoc. Convention meets this year July 23-26 in Mankato, MN!
Vacation Bible School is planned for Concordia and for the community in the evenings of Sunday, August 16th thru Thursday, August 20th! Ages Three and Up.
Concordia Lutheran Youth Assoc. will work the Festival Foods Brat Stand on August 22nd as a fundraiser. Volunteers Needed!