The Witness

Black Christian Leaders Respond to SCOTUS Ruling on Same-Sex Unions

Comments (38)
  1. Russ Davis says:

    Christopher Priest’s notion that following Moses or Paul somehow hinders following Jesus is an inaccurate view of God’s Word Written, since He is coextensive with God’s Word Incarnate, Jesus come in the flesh. Now a WRONG understanding of Moses or Paul will yield a distortion of what Jesus says, but a right 2 Timothy 2:15 dividing/handling of God’s Whole Word Written will not, for God’s Whole Word Written, again since He is coextensive with God’s Word Incarnate, Jesus come in the flesh, cannot contradict, rather taking us to Him, as Galatians 3 tells us. Soli Deo gloria!

  2. The greater threat to American Democracy is to weaken the U.S. Constitution by selectively applying its values and protections. Similarly, the church must look not to the U.S. Constitution, nor to the Levitical Holiness Code, nor even to The Apostle Paul. Conservative white churches and nearly all black churches I have experienced in my life tend to teach this false Old Testament doctrine, this Pauline doctrine. Memo to the church, white and black: Jesus Outranks Paul. In the final analysis, all of the liturgical complexity boils down to this: the church—white, black, Asian or what have you—must look to Jesus. This is what we routinely do not do, placing emphasis on Paul or Moses or whomever else, and using their words to supersede or overlay those of The Master. We routinely turn away from Christ, to Paul, to Moses, when we cannot find ammunition for our hatred and loathing within the Gospels. We look beyond Jesus because, obviously, Jesus is not enough for us. We’ve formed our opinion and keep flipping pages until we find some line of scripture we can rip out of context to justify behaving like idiots.

    Beloved: if you call yourself a Christian, you must look to Jesus. The trite phrase has lost none of its truthfulness: What Would Jesus Do? Jesus walked the earth under the imprimatur of the Roman Empire, among the most perversely corrupt pagan societies the world had ever seen. Homosexuality was freely and openly practiced in Jesus’ day, as were gross displays of depraved sexual conduct of all orientations—hence the term “Roman Orgy.” Yet, there is no record of Jesus ever once having mounted any campaign or having spent the donations of the faithful in some fruitless political effort to rail against the empire.

    Like many voices here, I do not affirm gay marriage; I don’t believe that is God’s plan for us. The question is: do things I *don’t* believe in threaten those things I do? Of course not. For, if they did, my belief would be meaningless.

    The Church’s mission is not to create God’s Kingdom here on earth, nor to enforce God’s “Law” upon people by political means. The mission of the Church is simple: to tell people about Jesus. This is rarely done. Past all the rhetoric and pulpit thumping, the actual telling-people-about-Jesus part is an afterthought, tossed in before the benediction. We can fistfight over gay marriage all day if you want to, the bigger threat facing America is a church that refuses to follow Christ.

    1. Marianne W. says:

      Yes, the bigger problem is Christians not following Christ, by for example endorsing gay marriage, i.e. endorsing sin. There are two reasons why you must as a Christian oppose gay marriage. It has vast implications for every sector in society. They teach that it’s morally right in schools, universities, etc and FORCE people to agree. People are now fired just for disagreeing. Most of all, they TEACH and champion that it doesn’t matter to kids if they don’t have a father or mother. Children are treated like dolls that you can kill, buy or sell depending on whatever you want. They are sacrificed at the altar of lust. Hillary Clinton has vowed to BAN the right to disagree. They clothe it in terms like “discrimination” when in reality it is their right to FORCE everyone to agree with them. You need to pay close attention to what’s going on and who you vote for in the next election. This is really dangerous stuff. This vote by SCOTUS was another full on assault on democracy. Americans have repeatedly voted down gay marriage, and they have repeatedly denied that vote.

      1. Thanks, Marianne. Perhaps you missed my point where I indicated I do not endorse or affirm gay marriage  My point was that there were a great many things going on, approved by both the community and the government, which Jesus would never endorse, but He mounted no campaigns, started no petitions, organized no rallies, nor did He teach us to. Jesus focused on doing the will of His Father, and did not allow His ministry to suffer from worldly distractions. They brought Him a woman caught in adultery… what was His response? Engage in debate? Defend her behavior? Lobby Congress? [John 8:1-11]

        Herod The Great committed infanticide—slaughtering thousands of infants—but did Jesus organize against abortion? Did Jesus campaign for any ballot initiatives or encourage His followers to support only Christian-friendly administrators? What is the personal example of Jesus Christ? Of Paul, who wrote to the churches warning of the debauchery being practiced throughout Asia Minor? Did Paul organize politically? Did Paul organize picket lines outside of pagan temples? There is absolutely no biblical model for much of the conservative Christian agenda. I don’t believe Jesus would form a SuperPac and cozy up to politicians He’d know, full well, were just using Him. Jesus stayed focused. He didn’t allow Himself to become distracted.

        We have to stop this zero-sum mentality: not becoming distracted is not the same thing as endorsing things out of step with our beliefs. I am far more concerned about child prostitution, the never-ending massacres going on in emerging Third World countries, homelessness, starvation and other issues than I am worried about who marries who. You want to end abortion? Tell somebody about Jesus. Follow the Master’s example: engage, forgive, invest yourself. It’s easy to organize and give money to political factions and mount ballot initiatives; those choices make a virtue of cowardice because we do all this paperwork and write a check because far too many of us are too timid to engage people one on one. Why not follow the Master’s example: sit with one person, just one, this week, and you’ll have accomplished more than all the millions wasted on trying to force Christian conduct on people who do not know Christ.

        My point, and I apologize for not making it clearer: we should keep our eye on the ball and do what Christ commanded of us. We should not worry about, organize behind or rally against things we don’t believe in or endorse. If you don’t believe in it, stop giving it energy by being the face of intolerance. Every nickel your church wastes on the knucklehead stuff—petitions, political donations—is a nickel that is not clothing or feeding someone. We should follow Christ, follow His personal example and stop wasting time and energy fighting the wind. Being the salt of the earth does not mean we exhaust ourselves trying to force Christian principles upon it; it means being living witnesses and teaching the world, through our example, of a better way. It is not our job to change the world or, frankly, to complain about it. Our job is to tell the world about Jesus. Only an un-Christlike hubris makes us believe we are actually accomplishing that goal by demonizing people or exhausting ourselves trying to oppress them.

      2. Marianne W. says:

        You’re line of reasoning is faulty and unbiblical. First off, you’re comparing apples to oranges. You’re putting 1st century Israel in comparison with modern day. They didn’t have petitions then for example. And Herod the great killing infants happened when Jesus was born. Abortion was not legal, it was heavily denounced by Christians and others. Every read the Hippocratic oath? Jesus spoke out strongly in defense of children. The polar opposite of today’s narcissistic society which champions adults sexual wants before children’s needs and natural rights. The great commission by Jesus, recorded in all 4 Gospels plus Acts describes Jesus’ command for us to evangelize until the whole world have heard the Gospel. I.e. every single person on earth should hear it and have the chance to chose to follow Jesus. What is happening now with regards to this Supreme Court ruling opens the floodgates for religious discrimination, but MOST of all; it denies children’s natural born right to a father and mother. It is already very bad.. but this is cementing it to get much worse. If you are silent and don’t speak out and fight FOR THEM, you are giving your silent consent. There is no such thing as neutrality. It doesn’t exist. Jesus himself said in Matthew 12:30 “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”

      3. (Sorry for jacking up the thread, but my sister hit reply to an earlier post)

        “If you are silent and don’t speak out and fight FOR THEM, you are giving your silent consent.”

        Jesus never commanded us to fight for them. There is absolutely no biblical model for your supposition. This has absolutely no basis in the personal example of Jesus Christ, Who never once protested the sin-sick world in which He lived. He taught about the Kingdom of Heaven, avoided religious (or political) debate. This was the repeated example, of Christ literally ignoring the knucklehead stuff and choosing instead to engage us, in whatever state we were in, one on one, with love and compassion. He stayed focused on His mission and did not allow His purpose to become distorted by distractions. Beloved, if we spent even a fraction of the time we waste shaking our fist at city hall telling people about Christ, we actually could change the world. Instead, we yell from the cheap seats and think we’re actually obeying God. God said “Feed my lambs.” This ain’t it.

        As for Matthew 12:30: “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.” Here you’re taking scripture completely out of context. This verse has absolutely nothing to do with public protest or ministry being conflated with political action. Here Jesus is talking about religious hypocrites, who were the sole and singular targets of His disdain.

        Here is an in-context quote of what Jesus said regarding those outside of the faith, His advice to His disciples regarding a distraction from their work for the Kingdom:

        “Now John answered and said, ‘Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow with us.’ But Jesus said to him, ‘Do not forbid him, for he who is not against us is on our side.’” (Luke 9:49-50 NKJV)

        When we see God, and every one of us—believer or non-believer—certainly will, He won’t be the least bit concerned with how many ballot amendments you voted for or what protests you organized or how many blogs you went on to decry the injustices of this world. None of that builds the Kingdom of Heaven. Striving to transform the Kingdom of the World is idle foolishness and unbiblical; we were never commanded to do that. When we see God, He will require an accounting of what we did not to change the world but to build the Kingdom of Heaven: how many lives have we touched? How many seeds have we sown?

        All the rest of it is just us veering way off purpose and distorting scripture in some vain attempt to “help God out” by ending abortion or passing some amendment to oppress the very people we are commanded to share love with.

        I’m sorry we disagree. I love and respect you in Christ, and I can’t imagine why you feel it necessary to accuse me of sin just because I disagree with you. It’s a little Sanhedrin-ish.  And it’s the kind of knucklehead stuff we need to stop doing: calling each other devils just because we have a difference of opinion.

        In any case, it’s not my desire to take over my brother’s blog, so I’ll be signing off. May God’s grace and peace abide with you!

      4. Marianne W. says:

        This long response is in a nutshell saying that Christians should never engage in politics and stand by and be silent. Are you a Jehova’s Witness? Because that is their the religious exact position. You wrote “passing some amendment to oppress the very people we are commanded to share love with.” Oppress? Can you specify what you mean? And do you Christians should be ok with being silenced, sued, prosecuted, fired, have our children taught that what we consider is sin, is ok? Please answer. And do you not know that religion and politics are 100% intertwined then and now. In Jesus’ time the religious hierarchy was the ruling political body. Jesus was as political as it gets. What do you think he did when he went into the Temple and overturned the tables? Sorry. You’re completely wrong.

    2. William Pleasant says:

      Would like to step out of the “biblical” “for or against homosexuality” argument and speak strictly anatomy for a minute, and get back to biblical at the end of this post. I was not a good biology student, but from what I’ve read every part of male and female sexual anatomy leads to an apparent biological (emphasis on logical) design of male and female organs (penises, testacies, vaginas, wombs, ovaries, etc.) as a primary function to procreate. This applies to the animal kingdom as well. Gays like to point to naturalist’s observations of wild life indicating homosexual behavior among some animals, but fail to point out that this behavior is an anomaly and I see no evidence that such behavior becomes exclusive or permanent by males towards males of females toward females in the animal kingdom. At best (or worse) it shows animals occasionally will override natural instincts to satisfy sexual urges. Humans are more than capable of engaging in deviant (the word not used judgmentally here, but rather mathematical as deviating from the norm) to satisfy achievement of pleasure as the ultimate virtue ( hedonism). Natural design implying heterosexual intent and overwhelmingly heterosexual behavior as the dominant (again dominant behavior meaning mathematically the overwhelmingly sexual behavior practiced in the animal world) is not convenient to their argument. In short one could understand someone who never read the bible still somehow being uncomfortable with homosexual activity as an anomaly either personally or socially. Now getting back to biblical and even political arguments. John the Baptist denounced Herod for sleeping with his brother’s wife. A New Testament indirect reference to an Old Testament prohibition in sexual activity. Yet Jesus said of John there is no greater man in Israel. For those championing Christian and Church silence on sexual or any other sins outside the church (or increasingly by some in it) Jesus’ acclaim of John would apparently be a little at odds with the argument that the church should never be a voice crying in the wilderness for repentance as well as celebrating the Lamb of God. The inference that the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) are the only valid scriptures because they don’t explicitly quote Jesus denouncing homosexual behavior is again an argument for silence of the church on such matters. That same John wrote in Revelation that those who practiced sexual sins would not enter the kingdom of heaven. I would agree that if the church isn’t careful this issue could become a distraction from preaching the gospel and disciplining throughout the world as Jesus commanded before His ascension. I think it is an argumentative distraction to imply however that because CNN, MSNBC, FOX etc are all consumed by this issue that churches are all consumed by this as well and not feeding and helping the poor and needy, acting justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with their God. Much of what the church does in these areas is not shown on popular media. It doesn’t mean it isn’t being done. Lastly, and now I speak as American citizen, I do find it repulsive and offensive that the proponents of gay marriage have elevated their cause above other civil rights causes by having the White House bathed in the rainbow colors as an expression of celebration the Supreme Court’s decision on gay marriage. Presidential signings or support of previous civil rights decisions or passage of landmark legislation traditionally have been a White House signing (if a law was passed by Congress), distributing signing pens as gifts, and a press conference with political and social leaders standing in the background for an historic photo op. It appears we have crossed into a new expression which I am afraid portends a clash of religious freedoms vs. equal justice under the law as outlined in the Constitution.

      1. Marianne W. says:

        Well said. AMEN to all of it.

  3. tomkieft says:

    Wy Plummer hit the nail on the head with his statement that American evangelicals have sometimes confused being American with being Christian. It is the Supreme Court of the United States, not the Supreme Court of Evangelical Christianity. Despite the assertions of many evangelical Christians, this nation was not founded upon the Bible or Christian beliefs. Based largely upon murders, assassinations and civil wars that occurred due to Catholic Church vs. Church of England disputes in England and the British Empire during the 200 or 250 years before 1776, USA founding fathers recognized the necessity of SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE. This (secular) wisdom of the founding fathers promoted the strength of the USA, promoted individual freedom of ALL religion (not just evangelical Christianity), and precluded the type of extremism we see in some of the religion-based nations in the middle east. God covenanted with the ancient nation of Israel. But Christianity teaches a new, spiritual, personal, individual covenant; not a covenant with the modern nation of the USA.

    1. Mike says:

      Can someone show me in the constitution where it says separation of church and state. I never can find it. I am not being funny but everyone talks about it but I don’t see it.

      1. Paul Russell says:

        It’s not there. The phrase comes from a letter T. Jefferson wrote to a group of Virginia Pastors assuring them that the federal gov’t would never interfere with their free exercise of religion.

  4. Margaret says:

    Really, where were the black pastors when the president lax the laws for late term abortion? Why didn’t they speak against it then? Twice they supported the president and they said nothing. So woe to thee. I will believe you when the majority of black pastors stop supporting one party only.

    1. Shirley says:

      Just because the media does not report on pro-life, black pastors, does not mean they don’t exist. Take a look at these websites:

      God Bless

  5. Laird Leavitt says:

    Thanks for the great reminders of truth.

  6. Emmanuel David says:

    It’s good to read Christians speaking their faith and belief in love and not in hate. We are to extend the ‘unconditional’ love to everyone regardless of their beliefs and personal preferences. We are not to impose, rather we are called first to love. At that point, it is God who’ll change the heart of men.
    If they believe it is not sin, we should respect it but be firm that for us Christians, it is a sin. But we don’t impose that they should believe the faith that we have. It is the same way that they should not impose that we should believe that it is not a sin.
    Let’s us love even in return we are hated for our belief.
    The point is, don’t impose but be firm to your belief and continue to extend the love from God

  7. Betty Shorten says:

    Yesterday was so
    disheartening. But God bless you for keeping it in context with God’s supreme will and purpose. So we go on loving people for His Name’s sake. But stand firm on God’s Word

  8. Elizabeth Shorten says:

    4240 46A Ave Unit 8

  9. Quizmaster says:

    Wouldn’t it be interesting if this were the point where black Americans started voting majority Republican? That would turn national politics into a republican landslide.

    1. says:

      Are there any blogs where African American Christians are repenting of voting Obama after the White House.was.lit up in.rainbow colours and Obama is telling. CHRISTIANS TO change their beliefs?

  10. Byoung says:

    Thanks for these reminders. I should keep in mind that I am Christian first and American second.

  11. Travis says:

    Love does win in the end… but unfortunately the lost that are hardened in their sin have rejected that love… the love we are trying to speak, blog, and communicate. The true love that says “Don’t go this way, son. This road leads to death. ” the love that corrects and disciplines. The messy kind that most people don’t even have for their own selves. Christ cares enough for us to get involved and be hated for the truth…i will too.#lovewins alright.

  12. taboos says:

    Love does win in the end… but unfortunately the lost that are hardened in their sin will have rejected that love… the love we are trying to speak, blog, and communicate. The true love that says “Don’t go this way, son. This road leads to death. ” the love that corrects and disciplines. The messy kind that most people don’t even have for their own selves. Christ cats enough for us to get involved and be hated for the truth…i will too.#lovewins alright.

  13. julia brown says:

    Your god is becoming less relevant, which is allowing more people to embrace their true selves and love whomever they wish (which should be a right, not a privilege).

  14. Joseph says:

    One small step for the supreme court, one big leap for human kind. Religion must be prohibited from poisoning politics and forcing their worldview to everyone else. Freedom won today.

    1. Julian says:

      Interestingly, the supreme court ruling is exactly that – someone imposing and forcing their worldview on someone else. Don’t agree? wait for the lawsuits and prosecutions of Churches and Christian Businesses who try to act in accordance with their faith and refuse to get involved with or promote same-sex marriages.
      Freedom actually did not win – it lost bigtime.

      1. Marianne W. says:

        Exactly. It’s already started and will get worse. Since Americans have consistently overwhelmingly voted against this, it is nothing short of authoritarianism. And the censorship has already been in place for awhile and will also get worse. And Obama himself lied to get the black Christian vote; so he lied about his faith to get elected. Jesus was executed for speaking the Truth. I.e. what Obama did was the polar opposite of what Christianity is about. The only thing that won was the Lie

      2. tomkieft says:

        People are Christian, businesses are not. If a Christian starts a secular business, within the secular national and secular international business world, and takes advantage of the secular laws of the secular state and secular nation to protect the secular business against secular liability in secular courts, and uses secular advertising systems to promote income of secular money, then that secular business must abide by the secular laws. In the not-too-distant past in the U.S., religion had been used by secular businesses to refuse services to individuals based upon racial differences. Some states had laws forbidding marriage across racial lines. And the Bible was cited as giving the right to such discrimination. Today’s Christians can thank God that SCOTUS has historically taken steps to put an end to discrimination based upon race, religion, ethnicity, gender, and, now, sexual orientation.

      3. Marianne W. says:

        You are wrong. First of all; “secular” is not a neutral word. There is no one who is neutral. The government is made up of people who all have beliefs whether they are theists or atheists. Christians should NOT abide by secular laws if they directly violate our faith. Abiding by God’s Law is the only thing that matters. We’re talking matters for *eternity* here. Abortion is legal. It’s the killing of a human life. Christians should never ever ever engage in that. The fact that it’s legal does not make it right. Racism as NO foundation in the Bible. None. So, when that was illegal it was wrong. Same sex marriage is as wrong as can be. Homosexual practice is a grave sin the Bible and marriage is between one man and one woman. This is no small matter or private as part of their agenda is that they have a right to raise children. Every same sex partnership is sterile and they can never have children, but this is the thing, it should not be about what they want but what children have a right to, and they have a right to a father and mother and not having either can and do have devastating consequences. It is a highly narcissistic society we live in where adults pleasures and desires takes precedent every time. It advocates killing, selling, and buying children. Jesus was crucified for speaking the Truth, his Apostles and countless disciples then and now died rather than compromise their faith. The kind of lame conform to society Christianity that you advocate for is not Christianity at all. You advocate for following the way of the world, Satan’s playground. Jesus’ Kingdom is contrary to the way of the world.

    2. Iggy Iggthorne says:

      I think what you are referring to is “license”, not freedom. With freedom comes responsibility. Not required with license.

  15. Emily says:

    This is legit. Thanks. Godspeed.

  16. Jim bob says:

    We can finally celebrate separation of church and state! God is great!

  17. Rebecca says:

    Thank you. What a great reminder that our walk is to be steady no matter what storms are around us. The part about sometimes forgetting that being an American is not synonymous with being a Christian rings so ttie to me. Also, the quote about cleansing the church….that was very encouraging- it’s heartbreaking to see fellow believers turning down the path of ‘it’s ok if it makes you happy’…using only the feel good moments in the Bible instead of the whole account. This tells me that we need to be reading it a whole lot more so we can stand firm, even if those we stood with, now stand against us. …and continue to love love love.

  18. Eddie Jones says:

    Thank you brothers so much! Hearing clear heads speak on this issue and decision is refreshing. Keep speaking the truth in love! CHRIST IS KING!

  19. Erwin Aniban says:

    Amen! Yes my spirit is sad. However, God will not allow things to happen without His knowledge and permission. What we can do is to continue to stand with the truth and continue loving God and our neighbors. We need to pray for those who are lost. Jesus already crushed Satan’s head more than 2,000 years ago and the enemy is already a defeated foe. People will continue to live a life of lawlessness until Jesus comes back. It is now just a matter of time in completing the process of wholly reclaiming back the entire creation back to God. We have the ability to choose. Choose between good and evil, choose between a lie and the truth, choose between God and the enemy. But as for me and my house, we choose God, we choose the good, we choose the truth.

  20. Marianne Widmalm says:

    THANK YOU Pastors. This is a dark day and the persecutions will only intensify. Most of all; they have legitimized stripping children of their natural born right to have a mother and father. Jesus foretold us this would happen, and well; now it’s happening.

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