The most common response that I have seen is celebration. All over social media Americans celebrate “equality” as what God calls wicked America calls freedom. On the other end of the spectrum are Christians who are deeply troubled by the ruling and its implications for their liberty. But not all Christians seem bothered. Some are actually ambivalent, and as surprising as it may seem, some even call out their brothers and sisters for being bothered.
“Heartbroken to get on social media after a week at camp to find my nation glorying in their shame.” That was my Facebook post on Sunday when I got on to my Facebook and Twitter and saw such public celebration of so wicked a step in our nation’s history. I wasn’t entirely surprised when someone commented on my post saying the real concern was Christians that were trying to restart the crusades in America to end homosexuality, a phenomenon I have yet to see.
But many Christians seem to be taking this position – offended that Christians would publicly decry the position taken by the Supreme Court. Normally this comes from an overreaction to a real problem. There have been Christians who have blended their faith and their country in unhealthy ways, where Christ becomes a tool to make America great rather than a Savior of individuals. Many rightfully argue that this is unhealthy and distracts from the purpose of the gospel – to bring salvation to individuals. But does this mean that we as Christians should not be bothered when a nation takes a decided step away from God? I would argue no for two reasons.
1. The Old Testament teaches that God does deal with nations as nations.
- “Righteousness exalts a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” Proverbs 14:34
Don’t believe me? Read Amos 1-2, Isaiah 13-21, or Jeremiah 46-48. Read the whole books of Jonah, Nahum, or Obadiah, all addressed as warnings to foreign nations. God deals with individuals as individuals, but he also addresses nations as nations. To say that America is not Israel is absolutely correct. To say that God could care less about nations is wrong. In fact, that leads us to the second point. . .
2. Nations will exist in the millennium.
This one might be a bit surprising, but read Zechariah 14:16-19
- “Then everyone who survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Booths. 17 And if any of the families of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, there will be no rain on them. 18 And if the family of Egypt does not go up and present themselves, then on them there shall be no rain; there shall be the plague with which the Lord afflicts the nations that do not go up to keep the Feast of Booths. 19 This shall be the punishment to Egypt and the punishment to all the nations that do not go up to keep the Feast of Booths.”
If nations exist in the millennium, isn’t it logical that God cares about them now? That we should care about them? That the choices they make matter, and should be a concern to us? We should be concerned with the choices America makes, as well as the choices Canada makes, and Luxemburg, and India, and Ethiopia, and every other nation. But I believe we should especially be concerned with our nation, because. . .
3. Christians have a duty to their nation.
- “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.” Matthew 22:21
No, I don’t think that moral reform is the answer for our nation; I think Jesus Christ is. No, I am not surprised that our nation chose wickedness over righteousness. Yes, there are some Christians who are unloving in their response. But I do fear that the latest trend in Christianity is to act as if morality makes no difference. We serve a holy God, yet we seem unbothered as our culture slowly descends into the quagmire of sin. But nations do matter to God: they did during the Old Testament times and they do during the millennium. And Christ expects us to behave as citizens of both heaven and earth, because those two duties conflict a lot less than most people seem to think.
Read more posts by Ben