On SCOTUS, the family, religious freedom, and what we as Christians should do about it | Teach 4 the Heart

On SCOTUS, the family, religious freedom, and what we as Christians should do about it

I don’t know about you, but to me, this 4th of July week feels a little different – and it’s not a good different.

Our church had a patriotic service yesterday, and the songs that normally stir me to gratitude and pride for this great nation kind of just fell flat.

Christians, I’m worried.

I’m worried we are starting to lose our religious freedom.

I’m worried we – yes, we Christians – are starting to lose track of what is right and wrong.

And I’m worried we’re not going to wake up and do anything about it until it’s too late.

Our religious freedom was purchased at a great price & is worth fighting for

Is the fact that gay marriage is now legal across America the end of the world?

No, I don’t think so.

But this decision did way more than that. It struck a huge blow to our religious freedom. It left pastors open to prosecution for declining to marry a homosexual couple. It left Christian schools vulnerable to being forced to hire teachers that disagree with their core standards and beliefs.

This is troubling.

But what’s perhaps even more troubling is many Christians’ reaction to all this.

Too many Christians are simply not thinking Biblically.

If I hear “we shouldn’t judge” or “we need to love” one more time I might throw up in my mouth. Dear Christian, I know you mean well, but you are misunderstanding God’s truths. You really are. We’ll get to that in a moment….

I have so much to say on this topic, but instead of lamenting all that’s wrong and all that’s out of control, I’m going to focus the rest of this article on what we can do about it – about what IS in our control.

So, my fellow Christians, if we want to pass on a free America to our children, if we want the next generation to believe and uphold Biblical truth, here’s some things we MUST do. And do NOW.

We as Christians MUST…..

  1. Think Biblically. It does not matter what I think or what you think or what our friends think. The only thing that matters – the only thing we know is true – is what the God thinks. And He has shown us what He thinks in the Bible. We could say so much on this topic, but here are a few relevant points of Biblical thinking…
  • God ordained marriage to be a sacred union between one man and one woman until death do them part. This is crystal clear in the Bible, but unfortunately we Christians are straying so far away from this important and Biblical definition. And it’s not just homosexuality that’s threatening our families. Too many Christians simply accept that divorce, cohabitation, and sex outside of marriage are just kind of going to be the norm. 

    We’ve got to get back to thinking how God thinks. All of these things are harmful – to society, to the church, and to the very people who are involved. There is so much hurt that comes when we deviate from God’s plan. 

    Just because our society says differently doesn’t mean a thing. We must follow God, not our society. We must get back to believing what He believes.
  • We are called to love. And to speak the truth. These are not opposed to each other. Listen, we are absolutely 100% called to love others. For sure. But, dear Christian, loving someone means you want what’s best for them. It means you say the tough thing to them because it’s what they need to hear, even if it stings a bit at the time. 
     
     Saying that homosexuality is a sin does NOT mean we hate gay people. Saying divorce is wrong or that cohabitation is wrong does NOT mean we hate people who have been divorced or who are living with someone. 
     
     We are always called to love people, to care about them, to be there for them in the tough times. 
     
     But that does not at all mean that we are supposed to start calling evil good. That does not mean that we should be afraid to say what a God-honoring family should look like for fear we might offend someone. 
     
     That is not love. That is fear. That is cowardice. 
     
     And we’re doing no service to the next generation (i.e. we are not loving them) when we refuse to show them that there IS a best way to structure a family.
  • “Judge not” does NOT mean “discern not.” Okay, so this “I’m not gonna’ judge” thing is getting completely out of control. 
     
     We are not to judge people, but we are absolutely 100% called to discern between right and wrong. 
     
     We should never condemn people or hate people or be mean to people because we don’t agree with their lifestyle. I think we’re pretty much all in agreement about this. 
     
     We also need to realize that we are ALL sinners. But that’s the point – we are ALL sinners. Does that mean we should never preach against sin? That we should never say what is right and wrong? 
     
     Not at all. 

    We are to humbly but boldly declare the truth. To say, “This is wrong” with an attitude of concern, care, humility, love, and grace. 
     
     To say, “Your actions are harmful but Jesus is the answer” is not judging someone. It is, in fact, the most honest form of love. 
     
     If you’re really confused about the whole “judge not” thing, please read my article “What Does ‘Judge Not’ Really Mean?” It goes into way more detail than I have time to go into here.
  1. Talk bolding with other Christians about our Biblical beliefs. 
     
     
    The Great Commission commands to preach the gospel to every creature and teach them to observe all the things He’s commanded us (Matt. 28:19-20). We focus a lot on that first part – evangelism. And well we should. But the 2nd part – discipleship – is just as important. 
     
     And we’re not doing a very good job at it. 
     
     Too often we just sit and say nothing. We don’t want to discuss important issues because they’re a bit uncomfortable. Or frustrating. 
     
     But if we don’t discuss them, who will? 
     
     Just this morning a fellow Christian asked an honest question in a Facebook Christian mom’s group about what we as Christians should think about the recent SCOTUS decision. My first thought was to just keep scrolling, but then I realized, No. This mom is asking for Biblical thoughts on this topic. I shouldn’t just sit by and say nothing. I should go ahead & speak the truth. 
     
     As the conversation continues, I keep being tempted to just “unfollow” it and move on with my day, but then I realize that young Christian moms are reading this conversation, they’re struggling with what the Bible has to say about it, and they’re honestly looking for the truth. If I can say something that will help them think Biblically about this topic, then I absolutely should. 
     
     We Christians really need to start adopting this type of approach – where we stop sitting on the sidelines and start speaking up. 
     
      Please note that we need to be wise in this. When an unsaved friend posts about a gay wedding he attended, it’s best to just keep scrolling. That is not the time or place to speak up. 
     
     But when a fellow Christian asks a genuine question, we absolutely need to engage. Even if it’s a bit uncomfortable. 
     
     The truth’s worth getting a little uncomfortable for.
  1. Earnestly teach the next generation to think Biblically. Teachers and parents, this country needs you. It needs you to speak the truth.
     
     Let me talk for a moment to Christian school teachers:  If you teach in a Christian school, then you have the privilege and responsibility to teach Biblical truth. Please, please, please be intentional about teaching your students to think Biblically. It’s hard work. It’s not easy. But it is so important. 
     
     Public school teachers, your situation is tough. There is a lot you cannot say, but there is still a lot that you can say. So say what you can. And refuse to be part of the indoctrination of young children. If your school demands you teach young children about how great it is to have a 2-mom family, that might just be worth losing your job over. 
     
     Parents – you are most important. I can’t say it any better than God does in Deuteronomy 6:6-9: “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” 
     
     In other words – his truths should be discussed EVERYWHERE.
  1. Be ready to sacrifice to defend our religious freedom. This Supreme Court decision could mean that things get pretty dicey here in the near future. And we need to be ready. 
     
     When the first pastor is thrown into prison for refusing to officiate a gay wedding, we have got to do more than just talk amongst ourselves about “how horrible it is.” 
     
     I’m not sure what it will look like, but we’ve got to be ready to stand as a united force. To speak up. To rally. To sacrifice, if need be, to defend our religious freedom that was purchased at so great a price. 
     
  2. Pray. And pray. And pray. God has sent revival before. He can send it again. But historically revivals always start after His people get serious about praying. 

    So let’s pray.

Are you having trouble figuring out what exactly is the Biblical way of thinking about all this? Share your questions or concerns in the comments & let’s talk about it.

 

Linda Kardamis

I believe that when God calls us to teach, He promises the strength & wisdom to do it well. All we need to do is keep learning, growing, and depending on Him. I'm here to provide practical advice and Biblical encouragement so you'll have the confidence and perspective to not only inspire your students but reach their hearts as well.

  • Latosha says:

    Thank you for writing this post. I’m sadden by what is happening to this country. But I know with all that is happening in the world, I must continue to pray and share God’s truth through love. There were days I thought I should work in public school education, but then I think about this gift I have to teach and I know I am where I belong. I an so thankful to be able to share God’s word with His children, and I would not trade that for anything in the world.

  • Yes, Amen, amen, and AMEN. I JUST started reading your blog, and this was so well said. You also helped me with some ideas that I was having trouble put into words. I am encouraged by this to be bold with truth in love–so many things I could say about why I am thankful for this post.

  • Anonymous says:

    Very well written, this is exactly what Christians are supposed to do!

  • Thank you so much for taking the time to write this. It is so important that we think biblically and teach our children to think biblically and to know the truth.

  • gill94 says:

    Well written! Thanks for the call to think biblically. My priest challenged us on Sunday to boldly, but lovingly, adhere to God’s Word, and to bravely speak out against wrong.

  • So much wisdom here, thanks for sharing , I will pass this on

  • Anonymous says:

    Thank you!

  • Anonymous says:

    Thank you Linda for speaking up. Some would say it will cost you for doing so, but as you stated so well – it’s the only true loving thing to do. We all (born gain believers) must decide to choose you this day whom ye will serve, as for me and my house we will serve the Lord. It’s time to take a stand and having done all to stand!

  • So much wisdom here, thanks for sharing , I will pass this on

  • Carol Eaves says:

    Thanks for speaking out truth. May God give us the strength to stand courageously and not wallow in apathy.

  • Jennifer Smith says:

    I truly want to understand why people have a problem with same-sex marriage. If you don’t believe in same-sex marriage, don’t marry someone of the same sex. It seems so simple to me. Why all the fuss?

    You state that the bible defines marriage as between a man and woman, but the bible says a lot of things that Christians don’t follow or teach. For example:
    1 Timothy 2:9 – In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with decency and propriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
    So do you not wear gold or pearls or braid your hair? Do you buy cheap clothes? Why is it okay to pick and choose things from the bible?
    1 Timothy 2:12 – I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.
    Aren’t you all teachers?

    I was raised in the church, but have since converted to Atheism/Humanism. Every day I treat others with kindness, love and acceptance. I don’t make discernments about others, I simply accept them. It’s okay for others to have different beliefs and opinions from me. Does that make them less than? Nope.

    I’m not bashing your beliefs, I just want to understand. How does same-sex marriage affect you?

    I’m actually proud of our country for treating all people who want to get married equally.

    • You ask some great questions, Jennifer.

      Let me try to answer them in turn….

      First you need to realize there are two separate issues: homosexuality in general and then same-sex marriage. When it comes to homosexuality itself, I believe this is wrong. However, I believe in free will and believe that people should be free to make their own choices. I will speak out against it (just as I speak out against divorce, cohabitation, and other damaging choices) and try to caution people to avoid it, but people are & should be free to make their own decision.

      Same-sex marriage, however, is a completely different issue. This is changing a very fundamental and long-standing institution and saying it is now different from what it always was – from what God intended it to be. And that is where I have a big problem. If two homosexual people want to live together and have a binding legal union, that is fine (well, I don’t agree it’s a good choice, but none the less they should have the right to do as they choose.) However, this is a different thing altogether. This is redefining what marriage itself is, and it’s also an intentional effort to tell our young people that homosexuality is just as good and healthy as a choice as heterosexuality. Now I know people will disagree with me for saying this, but that’s just not the case. It is not healthy and it is not good, and when we change the norms in our society. When we say it’s just as good for a little girl to have two daddys as it is for her to have a dad and a mom, that’s not a good thing for society. And that’s what I’m speaking out against.

      Second – you asked “but the bible says a lot of things that Christians don’t follow or teach.” Okay, two things here. #1 You’re right. we Christians fail all the time to follow the Bible as we should. We cannot measure up (which is actually the point. None of us can measure up & that’s why we need Christ.) But just because we mess up in some areas doesn’t mean we should stop trying or stop caring about very clear commands in Scripture.
      #2: I know both of those passages are a bit hard to understand, but you’re misunderstanding them. I’d be happy to explain them to you if you’d like but I don’t want to write an entire book here if you’re not really interested in hearing an explanation. So let me know if you do want me to go into those verses & what they actually mean & I’d be happy to.

      Finally, I completely agree with you when you say that other people will have different beliefs & it doesn’t make them any less than you. I feel the exact same way. I know other people disagree with me, and I respect their right to disagree. I don’t think that makes them a worse person or somehow lesser. We all make mistakes, and we don’t all agree. However, I believe the Bible to be true, so I’m going to go ahead & say what it says even though I know not everyone agrees.

      So many people are confused about this, but it truly is completely possible to love & care about someone while simultaneously saying you don’t agree with the choices they’re making. Take our students, for example. We love them to death, so we go ahead and say, “you’re making a really bad choice here. You need to think about it and reevaluate.” That’s how I feel about this issue & the people involved in it. I love them, I care about them, I’m concerned about them. So I say “I really think you’re making a bad choice here. There will be consequences, so please think long and hard on your decision.” After that, the choice is theirs…

      • Kathleen Callison says:

        There are many instances where we as a society do not allow people to make their own choice. We do not allow people to take other people’s belongings, it is stealing and people are separated from society for making that choice. We also do not let people freely buy and sell certain drugs or engage in prostitution because we believe these choices are detrimental for society. I believe this change in law will affect us all morally, culturally, and also financially as our tax dollars will be paying for medical and other benefits for those that can now be considered a spouse under the new law.

      • Jennifer Smith says:

        Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I don’t agree with your answers but that’s what makes our country the beautiful melting pot that it is. This type of discussion is why the SCOTUS ruling is so important. It ensures equal rights to everyone irregardless of personal beliefs.

  • Kathleen Callison says:

    Linda, thank you, thank you, thank you for your well-explained Biblical post. Our hearts have been heavy and you helped me find words I can use to explain our Christian response to this recent ruling on marriage. I too will be forwarding your message on.

    I had a new thought yesterday. Why haven’t our hearts been troubled by the court ruling that legalized abortion in the same way? Is it because this change is happening now and abortion has been going on for so long that we have become desensitized to the impact of that ruling? I wanted to share that thought and so appreciate a place to process the changes we are going through. This has been hard!

    • Kathleen, I believe Christians have been severely troubled by Roe v. Wade for years now and I would argue that abortion is a bigger issue than this. We definitely need to keep fighting on that front too but I think people aren’t discussing it as much right now because this just happened. Like you said – we’re used to it. But we absolutely should keep fighting for life.

  • Angela p says:

    Thank you so much for writing this. Definitely explains how I feel in words. I am so glad that we do still have our freedom of speech.

  • Chris says:

    As a recent subscriber, I wanted to say I applaud your courage in standing up for your beliefs, which I share. I’ve greatly appreciated your many other posts–real-life, practical tips about teaching–but more than anything, I admire your willingness to take a clear, well-reasoned stand on this issue, but always with love for others foremost in mind. I’m also glad you made a distinction between disagreeing with and disliking someone. It would be easy to just avoid the whole conflict, but I’m inspired that you felt responsible for sharing your thoughts when appropriate. How can we approve of something that we have good reason to believe isn’t best for someone, and for society at large, for that matter?

    The last point you made, about prayer for revival, has been on my heart as well, just recently before this news even broke out. As you pointed out, I noticed anew that historical revivals were always preceded by serious prayer (I just read about the great New York revival begun through prayer meetings by Jeremiah Lanphier and thousands of American businessmen in the 1850s). I see our call as preparing solid but caring answers for our beliefs and praying earnestly for a fresh revival–first in ourselves, then shared with others.

  • Tabitha says:

    Thank you and God Bless you. Finally, a true and refreshing 100% BIBLICAL perspective. I’ve been saying this all week. I just stumbled upon your blog as I’m preparing for my first year teaching at a private Christian school. This was the first post I read. It was good for my heart to see people, even if we are the “minority”, standing together and proclaiming the truth of God’s will.

  • Jessica says:

    I just happened to stumble upon your website today and starting clicking different links and when I saw the title of this one I knew I had to read it. I am a Christian and I loved reading this!! I struggle sometimes because I really haven’t studied the Bible like I should’ve or want to, so reading this was so insightful! You mentioned how teachers can still say things in the public schools, what kinds of things are we allowed to say?? I’ve taught preschool for the last 3 years but this year I’ll be entering the public schools to teach 4th grade. I just always assumed we couldn’t/shouldn’t say anything. I would never deny God for any reason on Earth but to think of losing my job to speak up about a topic like this just doesn’t seem right either…. Any advice would be great!!!

    • Jessica, I’m no expert on what is and is not legal to say, but you can definitely share positive experiences and examples. For example, talk positively about strong marriages, lifelong commitments, people you know who have been married a long time, etc. And you don’t have to promote homosexuality – it really should be a non issue in an elementary classroom.

  • Julie says:

    I am sorry to say that I feel the exact same way as you. Sorry because since certain things have become so prominent in the media that my husband and I actually feel depressed and sad about it. Take same-sex marriage, Jenner transgender, Movie theater massacres, etc. So much going on but as inundating as it may seem, I don’t think we are past the point of no return. It is very important that we (as Christians) stand up for our beliefs and make sure to vote our morality in the next election. As we have seen our POTUS has really messed up things by the decisions and leadership (non-leadership really) he has provided our nation these past 7 years.

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