"Serpents and Doves"
May 28, 2015
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. 1 Timothy 2:1-5
The media has been having a field day with the case known as Obergefell vs. Hodges.
In case you haven't been paying attention, you should know that for days the United States Supreme Court heard arguments concerning Obergefell and Hodges. When the arguments were over, the court began its work of deliberating and deciding. It is anticipated the verdict won't be made public until sometime in June.
Most prophets and political pundits are predicting the court will render a split decision, which will end up redefining the legal definition of marriage in the good old U.S. of A.
For Bible-believing entities that might lose their tax-exempt status, the decision could be financially devastating. That being said, there are a few things we need to remember:
1. No court, supreme or otherwise, can define marriage. The Lord who created the institution has already done that, and He is above and beyond any court's jurisdiction.
2. This is not the first time we Lutherans have encountered a government that thought it could shape our theology. Many of us are descendants of those who -- searching for religious freedom -- left home, family, and all that was familiar.
3. Even as the Supreme Court liberalizing abortion gave the church a chance to take a stand and make a powerful witness, any proposed changes to marriage will allow us to do the same.
4. For those of us who are in this world, but not of this world, our course of action is plain. As the apostles once said, "We must obey God rather than men" (see Acts 5:29).
Obeying God may mean the church will need to become as "wise as serpents" and as "innocent as doves" (see Matthew 10:16).
That means God's people may need to become creative. For example, suppose we no longer performed civil wedding ceremonies of any kind. That would mean all couples would get hitched in a civil ceremony, and Christian couples would come to the church to receive the blessing of the Lord as well as their fellow believers.
That is just one possible course of action. There are many, many more.
But until the Supreme Court's decision becomes the law of the land, and thereafter, it is right and proper that we take to heart the words which St. Paul shared with his young understudy, Timothy. We need to pray for those folks in authority. Let us ask the Lord's direction upon them that they rule wisely and we be given the wisdom to lead peaceful and godly lives. That is, after all, what God expects of His people who have been saved and are motivated by the Savior's sacrifice.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, grant that Your people may live their lives glorifying and witnessing to the Savior who suffered, died and rose so they might be saved. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries