Romans 1 describes widespread acceptance of homosexual behavior as a tipping point in a nation’s story. Using a threefold refrain, Scripture outlines God’s release of a nation to the consequences of its rebellion against Him:
Therefore God delivered them over in the cravings of their hearts to sexual impurity, so that their bodies were degraded among themselves. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served something created instead of the Creator, who is praised forever. Amen.
This is why God delivered them over to degrading passions. For even their females exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. The males in the same way also left natural relations with females and were inflamed in their lust for one another. Males committed shameless acts with males and received in their own persons the appropriate penalty of their error.
And because they did not think it worthwhile to acknowledge God, God delivered them over to a worthless mind to do what is morally wrong (Romans 1:24-28).
I am certain the attention of the nine justices of the United States Supreme Court, along with the rest of the country, was focused on
Grapevine, Texas, on May 23 when the Boy Scouts of America voted to open its membership to open, avowed homosexual youth.
One year ago, President Barack Obama announced his support for gay marriage (May 2012). Over the past twelve months, a relentless assault against biblical marriage has been unleashed—six states have legalized gay marriage, bringing to twelve the number of states that have done so; a small cadre of Boy Scouts leadership mounted a stealth move to change its historic membership and leadership policy; and the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments about the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8, both of which define marriage as between one man and one woman. With such a barrage, it could be easy to become faint of heart.
Though the vote of the Scouts is very disappointing, we must not lose sight that this vote was a compromise. After a huge public outcry, the Scouts removed the homosexual leadership component from its proposal. Further, thirty states have adopted constitutional amendments defining marriage as between one man and one woman, including North Carolina just one day before Obama’s announcement. America still has a moral remnant willing to stand against the tide of radical social change pushed by activist groups who oppose a biblical worldview and biblical values. It is too soon for the Christian community to run up the flag of defeat!
But . . . we must remain steadfast in prayer! Unless and until the Supreme Court reverses 237 years of biblical morality in regard to sexual matters enshrined in our nation’s governing documents, we as a nation have not yet moved into the latter part of Romans 1, despite the large numbers of our citizenry who are already there.
As we look beyond the Boy Scouts’ vote to next month’s Supreme Court anticipated decision about gay marriage, we must answer for ourselves these questions:
- Am I an inevitable-ist?—“It’s going to happen no matter what!”?—Or am I a faithful prayer warrior?
- Am I a culturalist?—“Whatever! Let’s just live and let live!”?—Or am I truly “a people of His own”?
- Am I an evangelist?—For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation . . . (Romans 1:16)?—Or am I
merely a worried bystander?
The answers to these questions will guide the content of our prayers for our nation during this next month. As we pray for the nine justices of the Supreme Court, how do we pray?
Let us pray . . . that a majority of the justices will stand on biblical principle and established practice, unswayed by recent events promoting same-sex marriage and homosexual behavior.
Let us pray . . . that God’s people will engage their friends and neighbors in winsome evangelism, giving both verbal and lifestyle witness to the transforming power of the Gospel.
Let us pray . . . that our churches will recommit themselves to biblical discipleship, shining as houses of hope and prayer.
Let us pray . . . that our worship services will be oases of vibrant worship and momentary places of refuge from a lost and clamoring world, preparing and fortifying us to head back out into the howling storms of spiritual battle.
Let us pray . . . that our God, who is mighty to save, will bring across our path many in whose hearts and lives He is already creating a deep hunger and thirst for righteousness.
Let us pray . . . as if we believe that God hears and answers prayer, for He does and will.
And, let us not forget: Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance (Psalm 33:12, NIV).