Dare to Be a Daniel

Phil Congdon, New Braunfels Bible Church, June 28, 2015

Two days ago the Supreme Court of the United States decreed that any and all state laws against homosexual marriage are unconstitutional.  In layman’s terms, this pits the law of our land against the law of God.  By mandating this understanding, we in the church who uphold the teaching of Scripture are set on a collision course with the law of our land.  As the Family Research Council put it, “in one breathtaking move, the nation’s highest court took for itself the power reserved for its people – overturning the votes of millions of Americans and demanding that they walk away from millennia of human history, human nature, and the explicit teachings of Scripture in the process.”

God blessed America in our founding with pilgrims, settlers, and pioneers who believed in God and obeyed His Word.  They established a democratic system of government to guard against tyranny and protect liberty.  Chief Justice John Roberts declared that this week’s decision “completely undermines America’s democratic process.”  He wrote:

“The majority’s decision is an act of will, not legal judgment.  The right it announces has no basis in the Constitution or this Court’s precedent. …The Court invalidates the marriage laws of more than half the States and orders the transformation of a social institution that has formed the basis of human society for millennia, for the Kalahari Bushmen and the Han Chinese, the Carthaginians and the Aztecs. Just who do we think we are? …

“If you are among the many Americans – of whatever sexual orientation — who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today’s decision.  Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal.  Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner.  Celebrate the availability of new benefits.  But do not celebrate the Constitution.  It had nothing to do with it.”

In his joyful response to the decision, President Obama announced that “this is a victory for America,” and that as a result of this decision, “we are all more free.”  He couldn’t have been more wrong.

In 1857, the church was largely silent when the Supreme Court handed down its infamous Dred Scott decision decreeing that African-Americans were property, not persons, a direct denial of God’s truth that all men are created in His image.  As a result, hundreds of thousands of Americans died in the Civil War.

In 1973, the church again was largely silent when the Supreme Court handed down its infamous Roe v. Wade decision mandating legalized abortion, the killing of unborn children in the womb, in direct defiance against God, who made “Thou shalt not kill” one of His commandments.  To date, over 50 million human beings have been put to death before their first breath because of that ruling.

With this week’s decision by the Supreme Court, we who claim allegiance to God and His Word must not be silent.  In their decision this week, the Supreme Court has shaken their fist in the face of God, who established the institution of marriage in the Garden of Eden, and decreed that it was between one man and one woman, for life.  God’s Word has nothing good to say about homosexuality; rather, it everywhere and always condemns homosexuality as an abomination, an affront to God as Creator.  Romans 1 singles out homosexuality as a sin which invites God’s wrath.

After Friday’s decision was announced, Franklin Graham wrote, “I pray God will spare America from His judgment, though, by our actions as a nation, we give Him less and less reason to do so.”

I have no special gift of prophecy, but I know God’s Word: Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people (Prov. 14:34).  God’s judgment is coming to America.  Our leaders are brazenly inviting God’s wrath.  It may be slow or it may be swift.  But whatever comes, as the author of Hebrews said of Moses, we choose “to endure ill-treatment with the people of God, rather than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of” this world (Heb. 11.25-26).

When I was a child, we used to sing a song (written by P.P. Bliss, 1873):

Dare to be a Daniel,
Dare to stand alone!
Dare to have a purpose firm!
Dare to make it known.

Like Daniel in Babylon, Christians are in ‘exile’ in America today.  This is a day for Christian ‘Daniels’!  Dare to be a Daniel, dare to stand alone, and dare to make known to all the message of God’s truth and grace.