If the old proverb “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” is true, then the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges and the subsequent celebrations inspired by that decision that have taken place and that continue to take place across the country are simply reaffirming what has been evident for some time – we are a nation of fools. Objectors to the Supreme Court’s historic ruling handed down last Friday can point to reasons why that decision was reached – reasons like Justices Ginsburg and Kagan’s clearly demonstrated bias in favor of same-sex marriage, Justice Kennedy’s apparent discovery of some previously lost section of the Constitution that includes the right to marry as a “fundamental right inherent in the liberty of the person,” or even the Supreme Court majority’s willingness to use an argument based in philosophy rather than in law to reach an unprecedented decision that was, as Chief Justice Roberts said in his dissent, “an act of will, not a legal judgment.” The only real reason that the Supreme Court ruled the way it did is because five justices determined in their hearts that their personal opinions of right and wrong superseded God’s commands.
The events of last Friday and those following clearly illustrate the fact that our nation is in the process of living out Romans chapter 1 to the letter. Even though God has woven evidence for His existence into the intricate fabric of our universe, including the basic knowledge of right and wrong that is stamped on our hearts, we have of our own volition refused to acknowledge Him as creator, preferring instead to attribute our existence to a random explosion somewhere in the far reaches of space that caused something to exist where there was only nothingness before. Our unchecked idolatry has been allowed to progress to the point where we have raised the ultimate idol in the place of God – the idol of ourselves. According to Paul in Romans 1, same-sex sexual activity is the ultimate (not the only, but the ultimate) expression of idolatry. Last Friday’s ruling was an attempt to legitimize the idolatry of same-sex sexual activity and to place it on the same level as the sacred union that God established between one man and one woman at creation that we know as marriage. But legitimacy in the eyes of man or in the eyes of the law does not equal legitimacy in the eyes of God. Of course, that matters little to us. People who have willfully blinded their eyes to God’s existence are unconcerned with what He commands or expects.
In the Old Testament account of the great flood, the rainbow was the sign that God used to reassure Noah and his family that He would never again send a flood to destroy all living things. How ironic that the same sign is now being used to celebrate immorality, idolatry, and the wholesale rejection of God. Instead of being a symbol of God’s mercy and His covenant with all living things, the rainbow is now being used to mock God’s forbearance in the face of blatant sin. Gilbert Baker, the man who created the first rainbow flag and flew it in the United Nations Plaza in San Francisco on “Gay Pride Day” back in 1978, reportedly wept when news broke Friday of the Supreme Court’s decision. We would do well to join Mr. Baker in his weeping. Not tears of joy, but tears of sorrow. Tears of sorrow for a nation and a people who have made the choice to defy their Creator and to elevate their own desires above His commands. If the greatest commandment really is contained in Jesus’ words from Matthew 22, that we are to love God with all of our heart, soul, and mind, then love did not win on Friday. Love lost. May God have mercy on our nation for our sinful rebellion and our blatant defiance of His law, and may God have mercy on our souls.
Kevin Sartin is pastor of First Baptist Church on Main St. in Nashville. Here is some more biographical information about him that we’ll have to collect later.