Oct 12

If you are reading this note on Sunday morning you are doing so while Joyce and I are in Arlington, TX, worshiping with the church we were a part of for 20 years before moving here in December 2005.  I have been asked to preach at their 55th Anniversary Homecoming and we are thankful for the opportunity to be with old friends and worship with this church family that was such a blessing as we raised our daughters.

I know you will be blessed to hear the message of God from Phil Stapp Sunday morning and Ambrose Clincy Sunday evening.  And it will be a blessing to have the individual Shepherd Groups meeting as well.  It will be a great Lord’s Day!

This past week the Supreme Court weighed in on the issue of same-sex marriage by, um, actually deciding NOT to weigh in and will not consider this important question.  Their inaction effectively allows the lower courts to ban marriage amendments—like the ones in Texas and North Carolina.  The end result?  More states—soon all states I believe—will have to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples, redefining marriage in our society to include gay and lesbian marriages.

So basically a few judges get to decide that what has been true since the Garden of Eden is actually unconstitutional and will no longer be the law in this country.

I must admit I’m not all that surprised, given the direction our nation has taken over the last several years to turn farther and farther away from the Judeo-Christian values we have always sought to hold.  Granted, we have always held those values imperfectly.  But it has been the desire of our country and our leaders to seek out a path for our nation that allows and enables those values to be forefront in our lives as individuals, as families, and as a society.

No more.

What does this mean for us?

Actually, nothing directly.

Faithful Christians will continue to serve our Lord as individuals and as a church in ways that are consistent with the teaching of Scripture.  Hopefully that will not cause us to be in trouble with the law of the land, or to have to make sacrifices and even endure persecution in our daily lives.

But it might.  And I think, over time, it probably will.

Are you ready?

In the meantime, continue to love and respect others, even those with whom you disagree.  Seek out those candidates and leaders in our political arena who share your values.  Vote for them, and work for their election.  Or run for office yourself.  Be involved in the discussion, whether at school, at work, in letters to the editor, in email and twitter messages.  Do this with the utmost respect and consideration!  Do not write something that you would be ashamed to read out loud before the throne of the Crucified One on the Day of Judgment!  But actively live out your faith.

And don’t give up hope.  Our God has faced bigger problems than we’ve got.

Bill Allen

Dr. Bill Allen preached at South Fork from 2005 to 2015. He received a Bachelors degree in Bible from Oklahoma Christian in 1978, a Masters in Bible from Abilene Christian (ACU) in 1988, and a Doctor of Ministry from ACU in 1992. He now preaches at the West Erwin Church of Christ in Tyler, Texas.

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