A Terrible Court Decision:


Deliver Those Who Are

 Drawn toward Death


By Ken Ryland


n the beginning, God carried out two great acts designed to preserve the spiritual and social health of the nations. He created the Sabbath to bring man into fellowship with Himself and into a bond with his fellow man. All mankind was to come together and appear before their Creator on that blessed day each week. God also created marriage between a man and a woman to guarantee that His laws and His values would pass to each succeeding generation. Since the beginning of time, whenever any nation has cast aside the Creator's grand design for the nations, it has fallen into moral debauchery and chaos.  As I write, God’s first great institution, marriage between a man and a woman, is being pulled down in, of all places, the world’s largest Christian nations.

How does one react to the destruction of the very foundation of society? Right now I'm wrestling with that issue. My sense of grief for this nation is as profound as at any time I can remember. As many know, in late June, the Supreme Court of the United States declared unconstitutional a Texas state law that made sodomy a criminal offense. If this were not bad enough, the Supreme Court not only overturned the Texas law but declared that any law attempting to outlaw sodomy or any other mutually consensual, private sexual conduct was, on its face, unconstitutional. A truly stunning decision from a court that had previously been viewed as tilting to the conservative side! This same court, less than ten years ago declared a similar law in the state of Georgia to be constitutional, because the state had a "compelling interest" in regulating such behavior.

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision comes just a few short weeks after Canada's highest court declared that any law in that nation which restricted the definition of marriage to a man-woman relationship was null and void.

One of the most remarkable aspects of both court decisions is that they were made by bodies of officials who were not directly elected by the people. In both cases the legislative bodies, which are elected according to the will of the people, were bypassed in order to impose upon the two populations decisions that were directly contrary to the wishes of the people. The decisions of both courts to follow current depraved social trends exhibits their utter contempt for the Constitution, for current law and common law.

The day following the U.S. Supreme Court decision, the same court majority issued an opinion that the state of Kansas should vacate the conviction of a young adult man who sodomized a retarded 14-year-old because the act appeared to be have been consensual, even though such an act in any case is considered to be statutory rape.

I do not know what remedies might be possible in Canada, but in the United States there is only one remedy (short of replacing all members of the U.S. Supreme Court that voted in favor of the abolition of sodomy laws). That is to change the Constitution—to amend it—an arduous and lengthy process to be sure. Even before the court decision, a marriage amendment, defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, was being considered by many in the U.S. Congress as the only method of truly preserving the sanctity of the home, the foundation of every stable civilization throughout the history of mankind. To be sure, the urgency of passing such an amendment will greatly increase, but the process requires a two-thirds vote in both houses of Congress and ratification by the state legislatures of three-fourths of the states—a procedure that generally takes several years to complete.

If you have not thought about what these cases mean to your families and to the preaching of the gospel, please take some time to meditate on the consequences of these court decisions. These are not inconsequential or insignificant matters. Will the Church of Christ be able to preach against all sins, or will declaring that same-sex relationships are a sin become a hate-crime punishable by imprisonment? Will gay marriage become the law of the land? Will any type of union between consenting adults now be legal—including incest and polygamy? As you can see, the potential for mischief is almost limitless, and already, on the covers on some popular news magazines, these very same arrangements are being examined.

We have observed for many years the snipping away at the fabric of society, but now the way is open to rip it to shreds. To many Christians this whole societal slide toward Gomorrah is seen as inevitable, albeit regrettable--a necessary precursor to the return of Christ, a matter of unchangeable ancient prophetic pronouncements. Others will stand and fight against such trends because they foresee their effects on their children, their grandchildren, and their neighbors. Let me tell you how I view this matter in light of Bible prophecy.

First, I see the vast majority Bible prophecies as predictive warnings. That is, God is saying, "Straighten up or else!" I do not view most prophecy as rigid edicts—although there have been times when God has said to the people, "You are out of chances; you have already ignored too many warnings for Me not to act." God has always been willing to listen when the people repented, but there does come a time when the "critical mass" of sin reaches the intolerable stage with God. I do not believe that we are at that point because the influence of Christians and Christian values and principles in society is still important and relevant to most people.

The Church of God is weak but not dead in the U.S. and Canada, and its members must not roll over as if they were dead. As sin abounds the gospel and grace of Christ should abound all the more. The Church is at war with the kingdom of Satan, and it is our duty to rescue out of  the enemy's kingdom those who are being drawn away toward death and destruction. Many Christians are "burned out" with preaching the gospel. If you are burned out, go to the source of living water and renew your strength in Him. Too many of us have tried to draw on our own strength for this exhausting battle for the hearts and minds of men and women (including our own children). Refresh and renew yourself in Christ, the Captain of the armies of the Living God, and go out again to fight for the souls of men. While we have breath, it is never too late to save another soul from death. Long ago, our Lord gave us our marching orders: "Deliver those who are drawn toward death, and hold back those stumbling to the slaughter" (Pro. 24:11). Maranatha!