Jesus Christ is my Savior.
He was executed on a Roman cross twenty centuries ago. That’s history.
But I also believe He died for me. That’s faith.
When Jesus rose from the dead, He conquered death … and sin … and hell … and Satan.
And in the process, He become Lord of All.
So when Jesus became my Savior, He also became my Lord … my Director … my Benevolent Master. Romans 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
This is why the New Testament so often refers to “our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” In this context, the word “Lord” refers to Jesus not only as our Director, but more importantly, as God.
And when Jesus taught, He was speaking the very words of God.
Whenever He engaged in debate with the Jewish leaders, He quoted the Old Testament as the final arbiter for His followers.
And when He selected the apostles, He made provision for the writing of the New Testament … mostly written by His apostles Matthew, John, Paul, Peter, and John.
There are two ways to look at Jesus’ relationship to the Bible:
One way is to start with the Bible and then embrace Jesus by saying, “I believe the Bible is the Word of God and that the Gospel writers accurately reported what Jesus did and said.”
Another way is to start with Jesus and say, “I believe Jesus is my Savior and Lord and that I adopt His view of the Scriptures … that they are divinely-inspired and authoritative for all His followers.”
Jesus does not allow us to say, “I will receive you as Savior, but not as Lord.”
But that’s exactly what too many professing Christians are doing right now with gay marriage … or as the culture puts it … marriage equality.
Christians today seem to want all the privileges of salvation without embracing any of the responsibilities of discipleship.
(If you’d like, you can read what I wrote about this issue last May: https://blog.restoringkingdombuilders.org/2012/05/10/thoughts-on-gay-marriage/)
I expect the culture to cave on this issue. I expect secular politicians, entertainers, commentators, and justices to wilt … and I expect the Republican party to cave as well, guaranteeing they they’ll lose future elections by even larger margins.
Like you, I know all the arguments for and against gay marriage.
But it grieves my soul … almost to the point of torment … to hear professing Christians – especially Christian leaders – cave on this issue as well.
Because for a follower of Jesus, this is about one thing and one thing only:
Is Jesus your Lord or not?
If not, just declare that you have given yourself the right to pick and choose which commandments of Jesus you will obey:
Adultery? Since it’s so prevalent, it must now be relevant.
Stealing? Must be permissible in certain situations.
Idolatry? What an archaic viewpoint!
Murder? Well, that’s wrong … unless we’re killing a fetus with a heartbeat, in which case it’s perfectly permissible.
Because too many Christians are living like this already, the church in America is losing its voice … its nerve … and its impact.
But if Jesus is your Lord … if you sincerely seek to follow Him … if you believe that Jesus’ words truly set people free … then what will you do with His words in Matthew 19:4-6? Jesus said:
“Haven’t you read that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”
*Jesus quotes from Genesis 2:24, the definitive and authoritative biblical text on marriage. Paul, the Christian apostle, cites Genesis 2:24 as the basis for marriage in Ephesians 5:31.
Jesus the Christ … Moses the Lawgiver … and Paul the apostle … all agree on the importance of this verse for marriage. That’s a pretty powerful trio … and I’d rather follow their wisdom than that of Beyoncé, Bill O’Reilly, or Barack Obama.
*This directive is trans-cultural. Jesus doesn’t cite a poll or an article in the Jerusalem Journal. He goes back to the beginning … back to creation … back to the loving and wise intentions of God the Father.
Marriage is a gift from God to human beings. Animals don’t get married. Stars and plants and rocks aren’t capable of a lifetime commitment of love.
*The verse does not envision or permit marriage between two men or two women. 3,500 years of orthodox Judaism and 2,000 years of Christianity both recognize this fact … as well as the teachings of Islam and Mormonism.
If God intended men to marry men and women to marry women, He had 1,500 years to state His viewpoint while the Bible was being written. But rather than change His position, He solidified it over time.
And He isn’t issuing any new Scriptures.
*God’s ideal for the family is for two heterosexuals to marry each other … for two heterosexuals to be parents … and for two heterosexuals to produce children.
I think most “Christians” who applaud gay marriage are just jumping on the cultural bandwagon. It’s a way to feel cool … to brand oneself as open-minded and progressive … to feel real empathy for people who wish to live in a committed relationship.
I get all of that.
But most of us don’t realize where this is headed.
Because “marriage equality” will prove to be a Trojan Horse inside Jesus’ church:
*Bible versions may have to be rewritten. The words of Moses and Jesus and Paul may have to be changed to reflect this reality.
In fact, entire sections of Scripture – like 1 Corinthians 7 – may have to undergo extensive revision. Some people will insist on it … and even take Bible publishers to court.
And some parts of the Bible may either have to be rewritten or eliminated because they “offend” certain people.
I’ve heard the argument, “How will two people who love each other and want to get married hurt you?”
But where will this end? Based upon the evolution of people’s position on this issue, it won’t end until everyone in the culture is forced to recognize “marriage equality.”
*Jesus’ views on marriage (as expressed in the Sermon on the Mount and Matthew 19) may be branded as archaic and even dangerous.
Pastors may not be able to quote from Matthew 19:4-6 at wedding ceremonies because Jesus doesn’t discuss the possibility of “marriage equality.”
And the words of Moses and Paul on marriage may be branded as bigoted … unenlightened … irrelevant … and hostile.
After all, doesn’t culture know best … even better than the “Son of God?”
*Pastors and churches will be sued (this has already started to happen) for not marrying gay couples.
What Uncle Sam has given … Uncle Sam will be happy to take away.
And just like in Nazi Germany in the 1930s and China today, the day is coming when churches will have to register with the government … and if churches don’t comply, they will be closed down and their pastors will be arrested.
Will you decide to speak up then?
In fact, what do Christian pastors in America believe anymore? Do they still believe in the Lordship of Christ? If so, why aren’t they equipping their congregations to handle these issues?
When is the last time your pastor addressed this issue publicly? If not, why not?
But the silence coming from our pulpits is deafening … and we’re conceding the issue without a struggle … demonstrating to the culture that Christians are pushovers who lack the courage of their convictions.
We may have already lost the fight about “marriage equality” in the culture … but God’s people cannot acquiesce or approve of it inside our churches.
This issue of gay marriage isn’t just about gays or marriage.
For Christians, it’s about the Lordship of Christ, the infallibility of God’s written Word, and the right of Christians to hold and express our faith without government interference.
As Peter and John told the Jewish Supreme Court when ordered to shut up in Acts 5:29:
“We must obey God rather than men!”
Jesus is my Lord.
If you’re a Christ-follower, is He yours?
Or is culture your Lord?
It’s your call.
And the decision you make – and the way you arrive at that decision – will determine the influence of the Christian church for years to come.