Time for Civil Disobedience, Christians
By J. Matt Barber
“Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.”
– John 15:20
The push back has begun. Christian business owners, lawyers, parents, judges, county clerks, organizations, universities, hospitals, adoption agencies and other individuals and groups have been given an ultimatum by five unelected, unaccountable liberals in Washington, D.C.: “You must now obey us and disobey God. You must pretend, with us, that sin-based same-sex ‘marriage’ is an actual thing.”
To which we say, “Not on your life.”
“Or our own.”
Absolute truth is a stubborn thing. Attempts at marital alchemy notwithstanding, the highly contentious, wholly contemptible 5-4 “gay marriage” opinion (and that’s all it is, an opinion) released last week by five pagan extremists in black robes is altogether illegitimate and should be treated as such.
From a moral, biological and legal standpoint, the court’s majority opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges is a complete farce. It’s an absurd missive, a bohemian word salad that was roundly, and rightly, condemned by the court’s four dissenting justices. “The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie,” mocked Justice Scalia.
These “five lawyers,” as Chief Justice John Roberts called them, can no more suspend the laws of natural marriage, than can they suspend the laws of gravity. “[D]o not celebrate the Constitution,” wrote Roberts. “It had nothing to do with it.”
This opinion, which has been branded “the Dred Scott of marriage,” has not changed, one iota, the fixed and immovable reality that the institution of marriage, an institution as old as mankind itself, is, and shall forever remain, centrally defined by its binary male-female requirement.
Indeed, as the four dissenting justices noted, the majority failed, at every level, from a precedential, historical, moral and, perhaps most importantly, a constitutional standpoint, to make the case for redefining marriage – something no man can do.
So how should we Christians react to this haughtiness – to this rebellion against God?
God’s word tells us how to react: “But Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than men.’” (Acts 5:29)
Many of us have long warned that this day would come, and it has arrived. In the Spirit of Daniel the prophet and MLK the reverend, we Christians must now engage, as relates our peaceful response to the imposition of counterfeit same-sex “marriage,” in widespread civil disobedience. It’s the right thing to do. In fact, it’s a sin if we don’t. “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” (James 4:17)
There are those who will prefer the path of least resistance and will cite, out of context, various Scriptures in order to avoid the possible persecution that may come as a result of obedience to God. For example: “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” (Romans 13:1)
To be clear, under our constitutional republican form of government, “We the People” are “the governing authorities,” and our elected officials in Congress and the White House are the hired help. They are subject to us, and we are all subject to God, Who is the Final Authority.
These nine unelected, unaccountable justices on the U.S. Supreme Court are appointed and confirmed by the elected officials we hire to represent us. Five of the nine have now presumed to defy both the sovereign will of tens of millions of “We the People” who engaged the constitutional process and voted to defend the immutable definition of marriage, as well as, and more importantly, the sovereign will of God Almighty, the very Author of marriage itself.
Central to Christianity, and clearly delineated throughout both the Old and New Testaments, is the unambiguous and timeless proposition that any sexual practice outside the bonds of true man-woman marriage constitutes sexual immorality and results in separation from God. This, of course, includes sexual acting out between members of the same sex, whether or not such acting out is tied to the novel notion of so-called “same-sex marriage.”
So let’s see if we can make this abundantly clear. Christians, true Christians – regenerate, Bible-believing Christians who strive their level best to maintain fidelity to the word of God and honor His commands – will not, indeed cannot, participate in, approve of, facilitate or encourage certain behaviors deemed by the Holy Scriptures to be immoral or sinful. This is both our constitutionally affirmed human right and our Christian duty.
It is not so much that Christians wish, willy-nilly, to call homosexual behavior, polyamory, fornication, adultery, bestiality, incest or any other disordered sexual proclivity “sinful.” It is, rather, that we must. For the true Christian, God’s objective truths will always trump man’s subjective desires.
And so this opinion, let’s call it “Kennedy’s folly,” will result in, must necessarily result in, widespread civil disobedience – disobedience of the sort we haven’t seen since the civil rights struggles of the 1950s and ’60s.
For 2,000 years, whenever such conflicts have arisen, Christians have placed the laws of God above the laws of man.
What makes you think we’re about to change now?
As many in the early church refused to bow a knee to Caesar in worship, so, too, will many modern Christians refuse, under any circumstances, to obey any court opinion or man-made law that presumes to make sin obligatory.
If the ancient church, through the power of the Holy Spirit, was able to face the lions in hopeful anticipation of joining Jesus, then we, too, under the same Spirit, will face anything today’s pagan left can threaten.
In the ongoing culture war, it seems there are no rules of engagement. The secular left will accept nothing short of unconditional surrender. That is to say, the pagans demand that we Christians abandon the biblical worldview altogether, and adopt their own.
This will never happen.
In his “letter from the Birmingham jail,” Martin Luther King Jr. famously declared, “One has not only a legal, but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”
“A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God,” he explained. “An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law.”
An unjust law is, in point of fact, lawlessness.
One can imagine nothing more “out of harmony with the moral law,” than the twisted and oxymoronic notion of so-called “same-sex marriage.”
And so, Mr. Kennedy, our answer is no.
Come what may, we will not obey your unjust lawlessness.
Matt Barber is founder and editor-in chief of BarbWire.com. He is an author, columnist, cultural analyst and an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. Having retired as an undefeated heavyweight professional boxer, Matt has taken his fight from the ring to the culture war. (Follow Matt on Twitter: @jmattbarber).