A flurry of conservative pastors and faith leaders have responded to Friday's same-sex marriage Supreme Court ruling, with many showing their disappointment over the decision to legalize gay unions across America, while voicing their concerns about religious liberty.
Below, see just seven reactions from prominent Christian leaders who take issue with same-sex nuptials:
Franklin Graham: "God Is Going to Judge Sin"
Evangelist Franklin Graham, son of famed preacher Billy Graham, has held little back in regards to his views on same-sex relations and, more specifically, his take on the high court's ruling.
He took to his Facebook page on Monday morning to respond to President Barack Obama's decision to celebrate gay marriage by lighting the White House in rainbow colors, calling the act "outrageous" and "a real slap in the face to the millions of Americans who do not support same-sex marriage and whose voice is being ignored."
The President had the White House lit up in rainbow colors to celebrate the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage....Posted by Franklin Graham on Monday, June 29, 2015
God is the one who gave the rainbow, and it was associated with His judgment. God sent a flood to wipe out the entire world because mankind had become so wicked and violent. One man, Noah, was found righteous and escaped God’s judgment with his family. The rainbow was a sign to Noah that God would not use the flood again to judge the world. But one day God is going to judge sin—all sin.
Only those who are found righteous will be able to escape His judgment. That righteousness comes through faith, believing on the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ who took our sins and shed His blood on the cross for each and every one. So, when we see the gay pride rainbow splashed on business advertisements and many people’s Facebook pages, may it remind all of us of God’s judgment to come. Are you ready? Are your sins forgiven?
Pastor Greg Laurie: "The Church Is Under Attack"
Megachurch pastor Greg Laurie, known for his Harvest Crusades, encouraged Christians to rely on prayer in the wake of the Supreme Court's gay marriage decision, also telling his congregation at Harvest Ministries in Riverside, California, on Sunday to "stand their ground."
"The church is under attack around the world," he said. "I'm very disappointed by this decision. It is clearly the wrong decision."
Laurie went on to list six things that Christians should do in light of the ruling: Don't panic, as God is still in control, remember that "Even a ruling like this can, in God's sovereign will, work together for our good and His glory," take steps to show everyone what a biblical marriage actually looks like, show others Jesus' love, engage people in the gospel and pray.
"America needs a revival like she has never needed it before," he said.
Read more about Laurie's reaction here and watch his sermon in its entirety here.
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez: "We Reject and Repudiate...Homophobia"
The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, released a statement in the wake of the decision, calling it a "legal catalyst for the marginalization of Americans who embrace a biblical worldview."
He defended traditional marriage as "biblical truth," but called Christians to also push back against bigotry.
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (AP)
"As children of the cross, committed to biblical truth, we affirm the biblical definition of marriage as a sacred union between one man and one woman," he said. "At the same time, as Christ followers committed to the loving Gospel of Jesus, we reject and repudiate all vestiges of homophobia, intolerance and bigotry."
Rodriguez continued, "For at the end of the day, I know for certain, that the moment biblical truth stands defined as hate speech in our nation, America, as we know her, will cease to exist.”
Dr. Robert Jeffress: "Culture Will Get Increasingly Darker"
Dr. Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Dallas in Dallas, Texas, released a video message condemning the Supreme Court's decision. While he said that he believes the "culture will get increasingly darker," Jeffrees added that he believes there's a "tremendous opportunity ... to share the light of Jesus Christ."
Here are some of the tweets he sent in the wake of the decision:
#SCOTUS created out of thin air an imaginary right for gay marriage. #SCOTUSMarriage got it wrong. http://t.co/0BKIyvMkwX— Dr. Robert Jeffress (@robertjeffress) June 26, 2015
#SCOTUSMarriage is a landmark mistake resulting in legal, sociological, and spiritual consequences for years to come. http://t.co/EuEPBhDPWt— Dr. Robert Jeffress (@robertjeffress) June 26, 2015
The Judge of all of the universe issued His decision: marriage should be reserved for one man and one woman. http://t.co/zjHI3QFz8h— Dr. Robert Jeffress (@robertjeffress) June 27, 2015
Dr. Albert Mohler: "A Central Assault Upon Marriage"
In an op-ed on his website, Dr. Albert Mohler called the pro-gay marriage ruling "a central assault upon marriage as the conjugal union of a man and a woman." Here's more:
As the decision approached, those of us who have warned that the redefinition of marriage will not stop with same-sex unions were told that we were offering a fallacious slippery-slope argument. Now, the Chief Justice of the United States verifies that these concerns were fully valid. You can count on the fact that advocates for legalized polygamy found great encouragement in this decision.
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the land, and its decisions cannot be appealed to a higher court of law. But the Supreme Court, like every human institution and individual, will eventually face two higher courts. The first is the court of history, which will render a judgment that I believe will embarrass this court and reveal its dangerous trajectory. The precedents and arguments set forth in this decision cannot be limited to the right of same-sex couples to marry. If individual autonomy and equal protection mean that same-sex couples cannot be denied what is now defined as a fundamental right of marriage, then others will arrive to make the same argument. This Court will find itself in a trap of its own making, and one that will bring great harm to this nation and its families. The second court we all must face is the court of divine judgment. For centuries, marriage ceremonies in the English-speaking world have included the admonition that what God has put together, no human being – or human court – should tear asunder. That is exactly what the Supreme Court of the United States has now done.
Pastor John Piper: "This Is The New Calamity"
In a piece titled, "So-Called Same Sex Marriage," theologian and pastor John Piper opened an article on his Desiring God by noting that Jesus "created sexuality," and that Christ died so that "heterosexual and homosexual sinners might be saved."
Pastor John Piper (Desiring God)
Making no bones about his opposition to homosexuality, he said that "mercy" is available to those who seek it. He wrote:
This is what the highest court in our land did today — knowing these deeds are wrong, “yet approving those who practice them.”
My sense is that we do not realize what a calamity is happening around us. The new thing — new for America, and new for history — is not homosexuality. That brokenness has been here since we were all broken in the fall of man. (And there is a great distinction between the orientation and the act — just like there is a great difference between my orientation to pride and the act of boasting.)
What’s new is not even the celebration and approval of homosexual sin. Homosexual behavior has been exploited, and reveled in, and celebrated in art, for millennia. What’s new is normalization and institutionalization. This is the new calamity.
My main reason for writing is not to mount a political counter-assault. I don’t think that is the calling of the church as such. My reason for writing is to help the church feel the sorrow of these days. And the magnitude of the assault on God and his image in man.
Read the rest of the post here.
Jim Daly: "Rejection of a Societal Understanding of Marriage"
Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, a Christian organization, also issued his disagreement with the ruling, claiming that the justices showed a "rejection of a societal understanding of marriage that goes back to the dawn of civilization."
Daly's concern — like many others — is on how the court's decision will impact religious freedom across America.
"We are also concerned that this decision will fan the flames of government hostility against individuals, businesses and religious organizations whose convictions prevent them from officiating at, participating in, or celebrating such unions," he said. "We’ve already watched this hostility operate against wedding vendors, military chaplains, and others, and anticipate that today’s decision will open the door to an unwelcome escalation of this problem."
Read more here.
Read more about the new reality facing conservative churches here.
Front page image via Shutterstock.com.