Laurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute wrote her thoughts about this week’s passing of the Gay Marriage Bill in the Illinois House of Representatives. She shared some of the emails received from “ardent supporters of genderless faux-marriage. “You Lose. Loser!!!!!!!!” “How does it feel? Really bad? Imagine a lifetime of people as evil as you against birth of a child living in misery. No more! Retire, all your work did nothing and means nothing!!! Marriage equality wins!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yayyyyyy, slam dunk in your face, freak!!!! “Reminder, Score: equality 1…Illinois Family Institute and NOM – ZERO!!!!! F U !!!!” “Ha ha! Ha ha, Laurie. You do still have the blood of gay-bashing victims dripping off of your bigot fingers, yet you live in a state where the gay people are going to have federal level equality. Your life is a waste. I think it would be a good idea for you now to kill yourself.”
Certainly not all the supporters of gay marriage are as intolerant and hate-filled as the people who wrote the above responses. Ms. Higgins opined that the defeat of Biblical values was due in part to the fact that “far too many religious leaders claim the church should not be involved in political issues. But what if political issues are first biblical issues? During the slave era, should churches have remained silent as Scripture was twisted to justify slave-holding (just as it is twisted today to justify same-sex pseudo-marriage)? Was it right that so many Christians refused to stand for truth during Hitler’s reign of terror? Should Christians have refrained from participating in the Civil Rights marches in the 1960’s?”
Something in that criticism does not ring true anymore. The slavery issue, Nazi Germany, and even the Civil rights issue were played out against a Christian consensus. In other words, the dominant culture was Christian and functioned on a biblical value system. This is no longer the case today. Our culture has past the point of no return where decisions are no longer made on the basis of biblical morality. In fact, the time has now come when biblical values are not only seen as intolerant, but as bigoted and unjust. In the not too distant future, mark my word, Christianity will be targeted as uncivil and may even be legislated against (like it was in the 1st century). We already see this is small ways—a case before the Supreme Court where a town council in upstate NY was sued because they had prayer before their meetings that was of a distinctly Christian nature.
This cultural shift has been taking place for a long time and we need to see that is the pattern of rebellion against God’s truth that is present in every age. However, it will be more and more characteristic of every culture as we move towards the Day of the Lord. The Bible never gives us the idea that our world is going to get better and better before our Lord returns and yet somehow we are totally bummed when we lose a battle in the culture war. 2 Timothy 3 vividly portrays the godlessness of the Last Days, and Paul specifically says “in fact, everyone who wants to lie a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” It may be gay marriage 1 and biblical marriage 0, but remember the lions (not Detroit) always outscored the Christians in the Coliseum.
I was a pastor of a church in Massachusetts where on May 17, 2004, that state became the first one to legalize gay marriage. In spite of all our efforts, the measure was passed, not by the legislature, but by the State Supreme Court on a 5-4 vote. I know what it is like to be slandered and hated because I was not in favor gay marriage. I never thought it would be possible that such a situation would ever take place in America. However, I had a choice to make; either to seek victim status and try to distance myself and my church against my culture, or to see the increasing desperation of my culture to find happiness apart from God as a greater opportunity to live out and speak the gospel. I was reminded of that last night as I watched My Hope by Billy Graham. It is the message of the Cross that will change and transform. Somehow the darker things are, even the faintest light makes a difference.