On Friday, June 26 the Supreme Court of the United States handed down a ruling that legalized same-sex marriage across the country. In what has been likened to the Roe v. Wade case a generation ago, the court’s declaration enshrines into law an unbiblical practice and departs from long-standing socio-cultural tradition.
Celebration of the SCOTUS decision may be expected from people who hold secular beliefs, but many religious adherents, even those claiming Christianity, revel in this moment. Yet God continues “to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (Titus 2:14). While Christians of all races continue to affirm the biblical definition of marriage, several Black Christian leaders have shared their sentiments on this significant ruling.
The Supreme Court’s historic ruling has shaken the foundation of the traditional understanding of marriage between one man and one woman as traditionally defined by both Christians and non-Christians. But Christians must not confuse the court’s ruling with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Rather, we must continue to uphold lovingly what we believe the gospel teaches us about marriage.
—Jarvis Williams, Associate Professor of New Testament Interpretation, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
This ruling is an eye opener and a reminder to American evangelicals, who have sometimes confused being American with being a Christian, that this world is not our home. This ruling is a demonstration of just how blind we can be and how easy it is to call what is right, wrong and to call what is wrong, right. But our job as Christians is be salt and light and loving at all times. We have been left in this world as ambassadors with a mission to communicate the good news of the Gospel, that while we were yet blind sinners, Christ died for us.
—Wy Plummer, African American Ministries Coordinator, Mission to North America (PCA)
The recent ruling of SCOTUS has tremendous social and legal implications for all citizens of the country. But the ruling does not in any way change the Christian understanding of marriage or the biblical understanding of sexual morality. The ruling will sharpen and clarify the difference between the church and the world, and sometimes it will do that between true churches and false churches following the course of the world. This is a sad development to the extent that it hardens people in their sin. This is ultimately a good development to the extent it purifies and strengthens the church. But nothing fundamental has changed for those who love their Bibles and obey their Lord in the most intimate of matters.
—Thabiti Anyabwile, Author and Pastor, Anacostia River Church
We’ve turned a historical corner today, one that is not only significant in terms of US history but also in light of God’s larger redemptive narrative. I see this new age as one of opportunity for the Christian believer, as we prepare to embrace any and all whose present joy might later turn to emptiness, confusion or despair. May the Church meet the new struggles of this age with all the soul-stirring love, faithfulness, and courage of Christ Himself.
—Karen Angela Ellis, Adjunct Professor of Ethics, Oxford Graduate School
[The hashtag] #LoveWins is trending. Ironically, many who post and tweet this in celebration of the SCOTUS ruling will hate our love for them. Nevertheless, we must love. Love with patience and kindness, putting to death arrogance and rudeness, never rejoicing in wrongdoing but only in truth of the Gospel — our hope and theirs.
—Phillip Holmes, Co-Founder of RAAN; Staff Writer and Content Strategist, Desiring God
The recent ruling by the SCOTUS is disheartening in many ways. Though we could anticipate this day coming, we nonetheless express regret that our country continues to slide down the slope of moral relativity. Nevertheless, the church must remember that our marching orders don’t come from earthly kings or judges. But rather we put our trust in the one who judges rightly (1 Pet. 2:23). Regardless of what some may be saying, God’s word is not ambiguous on these matters. We must remember “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever” (Isa. 40:8). Let us continue to stand on it and for it.
— Tony Carter, Lead Pastor, East Point Church; Contributor, The Front Porch