In post-Obergefell America, Evangelicals and other orthodox Christians will be unable to outrun our freakishness. That is no reason for panic. Some will suggest that a Christian sexual ethic puts the churches on the “wrong side of history.” Well, we’ve been on the wrong side of history since A.D. 33. The “right side of history” was the Eternal City of Rome. And then the right side of history was the French Revolution. And then the right side of history was scientific naturalism and state socialism. And yet, there stands Jesus still, on the wrong side of history but at the right hand of the Father.
Interesting article by Russell D. Moore in the current issue of First Things (“Evangelicals Won’t Cave: Why evangelicals will not be surrendering to the sexual revolution,” October 2015 (http://www.firstthings.com/article/2015/10/evangelicals-wont-cave).
It is sometimes argued that the trajectory of Biblical teaching is such that some things which are permitted in the Old Testament are restricted in the New (e.g., slavery) and sometimes the Old is restrictive where the New Testament is expansive (food laws). Recently we have heard much about this with regard to same-sex marriage. It is a complicated subject.
Darrell Bock has a good post about it today.
Darrell Bock, “The Bible and Same-Sex Marriage: 6 Common but Mistaken Claims,” The Gospel Coalition (July 27, 2015) http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/bible-same-sex-marriage-6-wrong-trajectories
Two more worth reading:
Alan Jacobs, Frequently Unobserved Distinctions (June 27, 2015) http://ayjay.tumblr.com/post/122595740803/frequently-unobserved-distinctions
John Piper, So Called Same-Sex Marriage: Lamenting the New Calamity, desiringgod.org (June 26, 2015) http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/so-called-same-sex-marriage
This is not a substitute for working through the opinions, which as far as the Supreme Court goes, are relatively accessible.
[E]vangelicals are going to have to get used to living in a society which is no longer as congenial to them as once it was.
Mark Wood, Gay Marriage is Legal in the US, Christian Today (June 26, 2015). http://www.christiantoday.com/article/gay.marriage.is.legal.in.the.us.try.not.to.worry/57286.htm?print=1
If you do not have the energy to sit down with the opinions in Obergefell v. Hodges yet (and you will need to try, people), here’s some “warmup” reading:
Amy Howe, In historic decision, Court strikes down state bans on same-sex marriage: In Plain English, SCOTUSblog (Jun. 26, 2015, 1:07 PM) (http://www.scotusblog.com/2015/06/in-historic-decision-court-strikes-down-state-bans-on-same-sex-marriage-in-plain-english/).
Emily Belz, Supreme Court: Marriage is between ‘two persons’, World (06/26/2015) (http://www.worldmag.com/2015/06/supreme_court_legalizes_same_sex_marriage).
Mark Galli, Six Things to Do after the Supreme Court Decision on Gay Marriage: Now is not the Time to Sulk, Christianity Today (June 26, 2015) (http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2015/june-web-only/6-things-to-do-after-supreme-court-gay-marriage-decision.html?utm_source=ctweekly-html&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_term=15817700&utm_content=364591641&utm_campaign=2013).
Marvin Olasky, From Bible-blocker justices to the Daniel option, World (June 26, 2015) (http://www.worldmag.com/2015/06/from_bible_blocker_justices_to_the_daniel_option).
5-4 with Kennedy writing for the majority that states are required by the Fourteenth Amendment to license same-sex marriages and recognize same-sex marriages performed by other states. Religious institutions have a right to speak against same-sex marriage.
Four separate dissents by Roberts, Scalia, Thomas and Alito.
No opinion today in Obergefell v. Hodges. It will be issued tomorrow or Monday, per the good people at SCOTUSblog.
“No matter how it rules, the Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges will go down as one of the biggest cases in recent memory. There are actually two questions before the Court in the four cases, which hail from Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, and Michigan: whether the Constitution allows states to prohibit same-sex marriage; and whether states can refuse to recognize, or give effect to, the marriages of same-sex couples who were married in another state where same-sex marriage is legal.
Two years ago, Justice Kennedy joined the Court’s four more liberal Justices to strike down a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act that defined marriage, for purposes of over a thousand federal laws and programs, as a union between a man and a woman only. So all eyes were on him at the oral arguments in April. He was hard to read, with tough questions for both sides, but supporters of same-sex marriage can take some comfort from the fact that he had virtually no questions during the section of the argument devoted to the question whether states have to recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere – after all, that question only matters if the Court rules that there is no right to same-sex marriage. Will Kennedy join the more liberal Justices again and solidify his position as an ‘unlikely gay rights icon‘ by ruling in favor of same-sex marriage? We will know soon enough.”
The Court is expected to rule tomorrow or Monday.