One year ago, everything changed.
The biblical definition of marriage that had stood for thousands of years was suddenly swept under the rug. The view of how one man and one woman come together in a holy union that held true for millennia was, in an instant, shifted in the eyes of the law.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges on June 26, 2015, which legalized same-sex marriage in every state in the nation, may have changed the law but will never alter the word of God.
Following the announcement of the decision a year ago, I quoted Winston Churchill, who said after the fall of France in 1940 that the Battle of France was over and the Battle of Britain was about to begin. Just so, I had said, unless there was a great spiritual awakening in America, the battle for traditional marriage was over and the battle for religious freedom had begun.
One year ago, the battlefield shifted to religious freedom. Many expected that the progressive, totalitarian and intolerant left would attempt to force or compel people to affirm same-sex marriage. In some ways, these expectations were realized. Once the high Court seized the historic role of defining marriage from the individual states and stripped it away from voters, everything changed, including God’s most basic definition of how He designed man and woman and intended for them to live as one.
Now, a year after the SCOTUS decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, the nation continues to have a government not of the Constitution but a government of capricious and arbitrary men. Last June, 100 Christian leaders, myself included, responded to the Court’s ruling to legalize same-sex marriage.
We reminded the Court that the Bible clearly teaches the enduring truth that marriage consists of one man and one woman. This could not be more true one year later, and Evangelical churches must remain faithful to the biblical witness on marriage regardless of the cultural shift. As Evangelicals animated by the Good News that God offers reconciliation through the life, death and resurrection of His Son Jesus, we must commit to respect and pray for our governing authorities, even as we work through the democratic process to rebuild a culture of marriage and teach the truth about biblical marriage in a way that brings healing to a sexually broken culture.
Dr. Richard Land is president of Southern Evangelical Seminary and former president (1988-2013) of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the Southern Baptist Convention’s official entity assigned to address social, moral and ethical concerns, with particular attention to their impact on American families. He has taught as a visiting or adjunct professor for several seminaries and has authored or edited more than 15 books.