Sunday, June 28, 2015
Do not give into bitterness, hate, or judgment. . .
As we consider what this will mean for Churches who confess marriage as God’s design of man and woman, it is important that we not rush either to fear or to bitterness. God’s people were never going to triumph at the ballot box or in the courtroom but by the bold proclamation of God’s Word, the Law and the Gospel. This is our strength and this is our power. God has promised the gates of hell shall not prevail against His Church.
In addition, the world expects Christians to be angry and bitter. Now is not the time to rage but to show the face of Christ, to speak not simply with the voice of no but the positive description of the relationship God designed and man and woman before the Lord, living in fidelity, mirroring His creative love with the gift of children, raising their families to know and love the Lord through His Church, and committed to love their neighbors with Christ’s all surpassing love.
We must also acknowledge that we live in a new social climate in which the values of God and His kingdom are increasingly in conflict with the values of a world clearly headed its own way. Yet with this conflict comes the real opportunity to explain what we believe, to give reason for the hope that is within us, to teach God’s purpose in creation and redemption, and to show forth the power of His redeeming love in our own lives and our lives together as the Church.
We will face great pressure to conform, to be unfairly labeled and criticized, and to be persecuted for the sake of righteousness. But do not be afraid. God has not given us over to the enemies of His Word and God has given us all the resources of His grace to endure the day of trouble, to proclaim the Gospel without fear, and to live boldly the love of Christ. Our calling is not to win popularity contests or to embrace every detour of culture but to be steadfast and faithful to Christ and receive the crown of glory that does not fade.
verbum dei manet aeternum -- The Word of the Lord endures forever.