Greetings in the name of Jesus, fellow Ministry Partners. Today was an historic day for the United States of America because of the ruling of the Supreme Court on the case styled Bostock vs. Clayton County. Please continue reading below because this introduction is not the main point of today’s blog. The main point of today’s blog discusses our best reaction to this deplorable circumstance.
It seems justifiable to say the Supreme Court crossed the boundaries of interpreting law and made a move to modify the law making it justifiable in its opinion. That is, I believe it moved beyond the judicial branch and entered the legislative branch of government by interpreting law beyond the scope of what the law ever was meant to say. It is especially egregious because Congress, who has the responsibility of writing law, has addressed the very issue under consideration and made multiple determinations to not allow it as part of the legislative law it produces. Yet, the Supreme Court in its “humble” opinion has decided to make the law include what legislators declared it never should.
You may read more about it using the links below. I do not intend to discuss it beyond citing it as an illustration to guide us in our response to this and other contrary rulings of government toward the religious liberties this country was founded to uphold.
Also, you can get the opinion of the Southern Baptist ERLC at the links below.
The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission
of the Southern Baptist Convention
901 Commerce Street, Suite 550
Nashville, Tennessee 37203
There are multiple times in history when governments have chosen to act contrary to the people of God. We should not be shocked. But neither do I want us to become distracted. God has provided governments for this world and saviors for his people. We can be assured our God knows the circumstances wherein we live.
We have our mission assignment. We have our marching orders. Jesus gave his disciples, of which we now are, the Great Commission and guidance with his commandments, including the Great Commandment. We are called to Focus On Jesus And Follow His Plan. We are called to be a Vibrant 21st Century Church. We are to be about our Father’s business, just as Jesus was. We are slaves to our King Jesus and joint heirs with him as adopted children of Father God. Let us not get distracted by every little thing.
It is not our duty to legislate law, execute law, nor adjudicate law. Not even in the Kingdom of heaven, where we hold citizenship, are we to be writing law, executing law, or adjudicating law upon the citizens of this world. That is God’s privilege alone. We are to apply law to ourselves, teach God’s law so others may know the will of God in his children’s lives, and nurture believers into clearer understanding of the law of God. We are to let people know the One Lawgiver* has produced his laws and everyone is condemned under the law and that only his grace by faith in Jesus Christ (The Gospel) will save us. We are even to warn lawless people of the consequences of breaking the law of God. But we neither design, enforce, nor adjudicate God’s law upon people other than ourselves.
*Isaiah 33:22, KJV
For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us.
*James 4:12, KJV
There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?
Wherein we serve in civil governments at the local, state, or federal levels, then we involve ourselves in law at those levels, typically by voting for or against a particular legislative measure in recommendation to the legislators. But we serve in a government beyond the governments of this world. We are ambassadors for King Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of heaven. We are what we are. We are high-ranking citizens and officials of the Kingdom of heaven serving under King Jesus. We are ambassadors of Jesus to the kingdoms of this world. Therefore, we live in respect to our citizenship in the Kingdom of heaven and within the limits, so much as is morally upright towards God, in the governments of the lands wherein we dwell.
There was a noble young Hebrew man who found himself in a similar situation. I want us to remember his story and observe his behavior as a model for us in handling situations like the one we find ourselves today. This man had many previous encounters with another King and his successor. Now, he was excelling under new leadership and appeared ready to be put in charge of the whole country, even though he was a slave of the King. But envious people thought to do otherwise. Let’s just enjoy the narrative.
Dan 6:1-28, NIV
1. It pleased Darius to appoint 120 satraps to rule throughout the kingdom,
2. with three administrators over them, one of whom was Daniel. The satraps were made accountable to them so that the king might not suffer loss.
3. Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.
4. At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent.
5. Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.”
6. So these administrators and satraps went as a group to the king and said: “May King Darius live forever!
7. The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions’ den.
8. Now, Your Majesty, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered–in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.”
9. So King Darius put the decree in writing.
10. Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.
11. Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help.
12. So they went to the king and spoke to him about his royal decree: “Did you not publish a decree that during the next thirty days anyone who prays to any god or human being except to you, Your Majesty, would be thrown into the lions’ den?” The king answered, “The decree stands–in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.”
13. Then they said to the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, Your Majesty, or to the decree you put in writing. He still prays three times a day.”
14. When the king heard this, he was greatly distressed; he was determined to rescue Daniel and made every effort until sundown to save him.
15. Then the men went as a group to King Darius and said to him, “Remember, Your Majesty, that according to the law of the Medes and Persians no decree or edict that the king issues can be changed.”
16. So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!”
17. A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed.
18. Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night without eating and without any entertainment being brought to him. And he could not sleep.
19. At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den.
20. When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?”
21. Daniel answered, “May the king live forever!
22. My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.”
23. The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.
24. At the king’s command, the men who had falsely accused Daniel were brought in and thrown into the lions’ den, along with their wives and children. And before they reached the floor of the den, the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones.
25. Then King Darius wrote to all the nations and peoples of every language in all the earth: “May you prosper greatly!
26. “I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel. “For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end.
27. He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.”
28. So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
Daniel did not let the laws of the land dictate his moral choices. He continued faithfully to hold his highest loyalty to the One Lawgiver, the God of heaven, and so should we. We are not presently under threat of law in the Church for upholding the moral code according to our understanding of Divine law. The day may come when that happens. If it does we will not change our behavior and we will face the consequences of man’s government because we are citizens of a higher government whose realm is not bound by the length of this age but is a kingdom that exists for all eternity. We will be here when the wickedness of this earth is consumed in fire and the governments of this world are under the jurisdiction of our King. Let us be encouraged and motivated to serve our God, King of kings and Lord of lords.
There is a priori which must exist for us to be able to have the expectation of a posteriori that includes our continuing according to the law of God aside from the laws of this government. We must first already be observing God’s law as our means and mode of conduct. Daniel was already praying to God three times a day. He did not suddenly start when the government of the land wherein he dwelled decided to make a ruling preventing him from doing it. In this case the Church has stated its belief in God’s law which is contrary to the laws of this land as interpreted by the Supreme Court today. At this moment, the Supreme Court is also saying faith-based organizations are exempt from enforcing this interpretation for their ministers. But there is a ruling coming later this year wherein the Supreme Court will decide if religious schoolteachers are included in that ministerial provision of law. Pending the outcome of that case we may get a hint of how long before this government becomes more oppressive towards the people of God and moral decency. The future may hold more trying times for us. However, we must hold ourselves accountable to the law of God and not become encumbered with political parties and processes beyond the common activity of voting, etc., unless that truly is our ministry to be doing.
Let us set our sights on eternal matters and follow our Divine marching orders. We have the good news, the gospel, and we have the promises of Him who is faithful that makes promises to us and keeps them, even God himself. Be strong and courageous dear friends and do not be dismayed at the feeble cleverness of our adversary Satan as he turns the focus of this world’s governments away from God.
But we will do the work of faith, believing in Jesus Christ and sharing the gospel. Expand your horizons. Learn new ways to do the work of our Lord. Find new ways to reach people who were otherwise unreachable. For us, we are in the final harvesting days of our lives. Let us build new and better disciples for tomorrow and the days after them, until our Lord’s return.