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Christians and Civil Disobedience – Part 1

BibleOn Today’s broadcast we had a special guest, Evangelists Dave Kistler. Dave is the President of Pastors Network, North Carolina, the Founder of HOPE ministries Intl. and a host of the Freedom Focus Radio Show with Sam Rohrer and Gary Dull.
Today we want to look into some issues of great concern in America. We are awaiting the ruling of the Supreme Court on same-sex marriage. We should learn their decision sometime this month. I want to start by looking at how the Supreme Court works.
The way the oral arguments work is quite different from what we see on TV. Some people think it works something like what we see on Perry Mason. Typically, there is 20 minutes on each side of an argument. Because of the importance of this case, the oral arguments actually lasted more than 2 hours. This should tell us just how important the Court considers this case to be.
Once the oral arguments start, the Justices will start interrupting with questions. The reason they do this is they know the case inside and out before it ever comes before them. The questions are not necessarily to learn from the lawyers, but more often to make a point with the other Justices. As I said, the arguments went on for nearly 2 ½ hours. This took place in the latter part of April.
Typically, with in 5 to 7 days after the arguments, the Justices will meet in a locked room and vote upon the case. After the vote they will choose who will write the majority opinion and who will write the minority opinion. These opinions will be formally presented at the Court and then to the public.
We believe this case will be announced either the 29th or 30th of June. That is when this session of the Court ends and typically controversial decisions are announced on the very last day of the session. The reason for this is that the 9 justices are leaving town as the decision is being announced. This way they don’t have to deal with the fallout from a controversial decision.
Dave has some contacts that cause us to make some suppositions concerning the decision. There are two lines of thought at play right now. Neither of them are good.
The predominant one is that the biblical definition of marriage will go down by a decision of 5 to 4. This means that 5 justices will support same-sex marriage and 4 will support traditional marriage. The swing vote will be Justice Anthony Kennedy.
A friend of Dave’s has watched the Court and been in many, if not most, of these critical cases for almost 2 decades. He has a different take on this decision. His relationship with the Court allows him to pick up some things that outside observers may miss. He believes that it will be a loss by a 6 to 3 vote, with Chief Justice Roberts voting in support of same-sex marriage.
He believes the decision will be based upon sex discrimination. The decision will say that states cannot refuse a marriage license to same-sex couples because it is sex discrimination. The reason Roberts will vote with the majority side is that he gets to say who writes the majority opinion. Dave’s friend believes that Roberts wants to write the majority opinion so he can include in the opinion strong language to defend religious liberty. The opinion becomes law as soon as it is filed.
Basically it would say that if you are a pastor, if you are a religious institution, if you are a church, you do not have to violate your conscience based on your sincerely held beliefs to perform a same-sex marriage and you don’t have to hire same-sex couples. He believes that Roberts, through the back door, will end up being the friend of First Amendment religious liberty even though there will technically be a redefinition of marriage.
Remember, this is all supposition and we can’t say this is what is going to happen. It is possible that the Court may actually strike down same-sex marriage.
We also need to remember that every state where the people have voted, the people have said that marriage is between a man and a woman. The federal courts have stepped in and reversed the vote of the people. There is only one federal court that has said that the states should have the right to define marriage. This has come to the Supreme Court in order to render a decision in the midst of all the confusion.
The ramifications of this decision are potentially catastrophic. It will remake the landscape of our nation if marriage is redefined to include same-sex marriage.
The only bright spot, if you can call it that, is that Chief Justice Roberts, realizing that same-sex marriage is coming someday, is trying to protect religious freedom. This is like sticking your finger in the hole in the dike. It is only a temporary fix. We know that those on the left and the proponents of same-sex marriage will keep chipping away at this until the eventually get their way.
It is possible that this goes completely bad. If it does we will have to decide what we, as Christians, are going to do. This could mean that pastors will be put in prison for their sincerely held Christian beliefs. Will we stand for God’s righteousness, or will we capitulate to the world once again?

Pew Research has an interesting report on how Americans feel about different religious groups. They have the warmest feelings about Jews, then Catholics, then Evangelical Christians, and at the bottom of the list are Muslims and just above them are Atheists. It is interesting that Jews are at the top of the list when we consider that Jews are the most persecuted group in America. Jews are  persecuted ten times more than any other religious group.

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Updated: June 15, 2015 — 6:26 AM
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