On November 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivered the most renowned speech in American history on a battlefield in Pennsylvania where he uttered the words, “…we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
I think most Americans educated in America believe that our government is “of the people, by the people, for the people”. We place great hope in a government that will do what is right for the people since it is of, by and for the people.
Hence, when a monumental, life altering decision is handed down by the Supreme Court, we normally feel that justice has been served and obedience follows. Yet in the past forty years, we have seen the Supreme Court make decisions that are absolutely contrary to the Word of God. What then?
I think it is important for Christians to remember that the early church never looked to the government for direction or ultimate liberty. In fact, the early church was persecuted by their governing bodies and yet, they prospered.
The disciples and those around Jesus thought He was going to establish a government. That’s why they lined the gates of Jerusalem shouting ‘Hosanna’. They wanted Him to become the government. And what did Jesus say? He told them that His Kingdom was other earthly.
The Apostle Paul was tormented by government officials throughout his ministry. He was imprisoned, beaten and run out of town. He made judicial appeals to the government, but never asked them to change or make laws for his benefit or the benefit of the Kingdom of God.
We have been blessed since the foundation of this great country to have had laws predicated on the Word of God. We began as a Christian nation and have been ruled by Christian principles for over two hundred years and for this we should give thanks to God.
But times and landscapes are changing. We are experiencing a cultural phenomenon, not a judicial one. We are moving from a Christian to a post-Christian culture. We are just beginning to understand the ramifications of it.
In the midst of it all, remember this, the church has always been counter-cultural and should never be dependent on the government to make a way for the Kingdom of God. In fact, if our lives and views are not counter-cultural, then we probably are not living a life based on the life of Jesus and His Word.
The Christian faith is at its finest when it offers the world an alternative based on Scriptures and the life of Jesus therein. The world doesn’t try to be like biblically-based Christians, but Christians sometimes bend over backwards to try to be like the world and liked by the world.
The Supreme Court decision has given us a profound opportunity to be salt and light in a world that is growing impure and dark. This is a time to be exactly as Jesus wanted us to be… in the world but not of the world. May it be so!
Something to think about…