How many times have you heard people say, “He was good on the same-sex marriage issue, but he totally capitulated when it came to COVID-19 restrictions”?
More than a few pastors took a strong, public stand when it came to the state redefining marriage. They recognized marriage as an ordinance of God, and as such, they understood politicians and lawmakers were not at liberty to redefine what God Himself had instituted.
A few years later, we found ourselves in a similar spot, with the state now redefining another God-ordained institution, namely, their own — the civil government. Only this time, the authorities were not asking for our permission to move the ancient landmarks. The civil government’s authority was now limited only by the civil government’s will.
Jurisdiction over the church was simply assumed, and decrees were issued prohibiting the singing of praise to God in public worship, restricting the number of participants, requiring all worshipers notify the authorities of their attendance, and eventually closing services completely.
In response, many of the evangelical leaders who once refused to accept the state’s redefinition of God-ordained institutions were now complying at every point that the civil government imposed itself on the church, transgressing its God-defined limitations.
What’s more, some of these same leaders set their sights on anyone who echoed the slightest resolve they demonstrated only a few years earlier and maligned them as disruptive, rebellious, and unloving. Apparently, we were now supposed to accept the government’s remoulding of a God-define institution.
But here’s the thing: The God that created marriage also created the civil government. That pagans have utilized these institutions for thousands of years does not diminish the fact that they find their origin and definition in God. As such, both institutions are to be subject to God’s limitations.
The redefining of marriage simply reflected the greater issue made manifest during the so-called pandemic. The civil government does not recognise any authority above its own. It acts as though it is at liberty to redefine marriage because God does not restrain its power. It assumes authority over the church because it does not recognise that God has established boundary markers.
Such is generally the case when pagans are in power. That much can be expected. Our problem is that the church has adopted a similar mentality, albeit inconsistently and selectively. They’ve decided the civil government has no right reshaping the institution of marriage but every right in reshaping the institution of the state.
On what basis? Cowardice, ignorance, or hypocrisy? You can make up your own mind. Whatever it may be, to defend the definition and boundary markers of one God-given institution but not the other, is double-mindedness, the kind of which God hates (Psa. 119:113; James 1:8; 4:8).