Pastor Dr. Jerry E. Johnson Sr.
Addresses Supreme Court Same Sex Marriage Decision
'We Shouldn't Lose Our Minds Over the World Being the World'
I think that we should not lose our mind about the world being the world and the Church being the Church. This is not a news flash. The world is gonna be the world and the Church is going to be the Church, and you have to understand the difference.
The Supreme Court, as a worldly institution, has one job: to uphold the rights of all Americans.
The Supreme Court is there to make a decision based on constitutional rights and legalities that fit all Americans.
They are just not debating Scripture. I guarantee you that they were not in there looking at Romans 1 and First Corinthians weighing it against the policies.
We have bought into all this rhetoric about America being a Christian nation.
America has a lot of Christians in it, but the country is governed as a democracy and not by theocratic principles.
In a democracy such as ours, we are to be ruled by laws. As Christians who are strangers and pilgrims, we have found ourselves at various junctures unable to find a biblical basis for key legal laws that govern our society. It is a fact that the United States of America has now added same-sex marriage to a list of legal rights which adults may exercise but the Church of God in Christ does not practice, including: gambling; the production, distribution, selling and consumption of alcoholic beverages; the practice of the smoking of tobacco; the purchase of pornography; and the securing of abortions. In the states that permit the recreational use of marijuana, we opt not to exercise the right to use that drug. As Christians who are strangers and pilgrims, we refuse to exercise these particular legal rights, understanding the Bible as calling Christians to holiness. We are not called to panic nor be anxious; we are called to live a holy life. We are called to live a Christian life as commanded by the Bible; we are called to be in the world but “not of the world." We are called to trust God.
But what we do need to watch is that our religious freedom is also respected and protected so that we don't have to get caught up in the winds of the world and go the way the world is going.
That runs against what Jesus commanded His followers to do, "Jesus said go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every living creature."
The Supreme Court makes its decisions based on the Constitution, debating the constitutionality of any particular issue. God does not judge you by the Constitution. He judges you by the Word of God. So while the Supreme Court is looking at the Constitution, you better search the Scriptures.
We understand even better now why the Bible calls Christians “strangers and pilgrims” in the world (I Peter 2:11). It is clearer now why Jesus instructed us to be in the world but “not of the world" (John 17:15-16). In fact, today’s Supreme Court decision is just another legal law that makes the holiness message even stranger to our society. While the moral landscape of our society has definitely shifted, we know that the Bible is yet right and God still reigns.
The perception in our society today is that if you don't say you're for same-sex marriage or if you say homosexuality is a sin that you're homophobic and you're against gay people. And that's not true.
I'm not called to give my opinion. I'm called as a pastor to give the scriptural position on it. It doesn't mean I have to agree with you to love you. I don't dislike anybody. I love everybody.
I believe sex between two people of the same sex is condemned in the Scriptures, and as long as it is condemned in the Scriptures, I don't get to say what I think. I say what the Bible says.
I'm not anti-gay, I'm not anti-anything.