A View of the SCOTUS Ruling

Note: This article has appeared in the Cleveland Banner and the Baptist & Reflector. Dalton King is an 18-year-old member of Michigan Avenue Baptist Church in Cleveland and a summer missionary with Ocoee Outreach of Bradley Baptist Association, based in Cleveland. He will be a freshman at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, this fall.

Friday, June 26, 2015, was a day to remember.

On that day the Supreme Court of the United States ruled 5-4 that states cannot ban same-sex marriage, making same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states. This was a landmark decision in American history and has established a new civil right.

After this decision, many Christians fired back. Some with hate, some with concern, some with a call to other believers to stand firm in their beliefs but to love anyway. Over the past few years, same-sex marriage has been a hot topic; a topic that has divided Democrats and Republicans, believers and non-believers, even believers and believers. Some look to the Bible for authority on the issue, some to the Constitution. Some want to honor and obey God's Word and creation (which obviously supports unity between a man and a woman). Some want to ensure the happiness of others over all.

Whatever stance you have, I ask that you respect and love others. If you support this ruling and the "#LoveWins" hashtag, just love. Don't devalue others' beliefs the same way people have devalued your support of same-sex marriage. If you oppose this ruling, refrain from hate. Remain in love.

How can we support the Word of God, a word that promotes love, grace, and hope by disrespecting others because of their sin? That's not biblical just as much as homosexuality is not biblical.

We must love others unconditionally, just like Christ first loved us. We must give grace and bestow mercy to others, just like Christ shed His grace and mercy on us.

Grace is defined as "UNMERITED (non-deserving) divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification."

Mercy is defined as "kind or forgiving treatment of someone who could be treated harshly (someone who doesn't deserve it).

If we claim to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, mercy and grace must be at the forefront of our treatment of others. That is the theme of the cross. God had mercy on us, enough mercy to send His perfect Son to the cross to die for our sin. Each and every one of our sins has a desperate need to be atoned. In order to even be looked upon by the God of the universe, we must be made new.

Only the love, mercy, and grace that Jesus gives to us can be used to combat those that oppose us. Nothing else will reign.

All those tweeting #LoveWins — yes, love always wins. Because of the love Christ showed on the cross, love is victorious. And as Jesus showed when He rose from the dead after three days in the grave, His love is even victorious over death. The one thing that ends life as we know it, death, is no match for the love of Christ and the power of God.

If you claim to be a follower of Jesus, just follow Jesus and love people. That's all we can do. Stand strong for your beliefs, but do not hate. Hate is the exact opposite of the teachings of Christ and you cannot defend the Word of God by throwing out hate to your opposition.

Here is a word of encouragement to believers from one of my favorite teachers of God's Word — David Platt, president of the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Platt reminds us: "Marriage will ultimately make it (Revelation 19). Supreme Court justices cannot overturn or overcome the supreme judge of creation."

God is the God of the universe. He reigns over every nation, every social movement, no matter how disobedient. Our God is in control.

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