This is a reprint of something I wrote for the church as a response to a single judge in Oregon overturning a law voted upon by the majority of Oregonians. The point of the post isn’t judicial activism but rather the Christian response to the issue of gay marriage.

Situations like this remind me of a shell game. You know, the game where you have three shells and underneath one is a pea. You have to guess under which shell the pea is. The one moving the shells is trying to misdirect and confuse the one guessing. Sometimes the same game is played with three cards face down and you have to guess which card is the queen, if you’ll pardon the pun. (People who know me, especially the gay ones, will know that that’s funny, not derogatory.)

Slogans like “We support love” and “equality for all” only serve to misdirect and confuse the heart of the matter. They get us arguing about things and posting things online in such a way that we want to win the argument but end up gaining nothing. It takes our energies away from that which will actually make a difference.

What I’m about to say may shock some. It might even offend, but hear me out. It doesn’t matter if gay marriage is legal or not. Legal or illegal does not equal moral or immoral. Changing a law does not change a heart. Jesus is in the business of changing hearts which results in changed lives. Winning an argument doesn’t win a heart and a life. Being more clever than someone on Facebook or Twitter doesn’t spread God’s righteousness.

The only thing that will make a difference is the Holy Spirit working in the heart of any kind of sinner (like He did in us) in such a way that they recognize that they need Jesus, and that their identity needs to be in Him, not in their sexuality, nor in a political party, religious tradition, nor anything else.

Jesus changes people from the inside out. Why would we expect Him to work any differently in an area like this one? Our energies need to be directed toward prayer. Prayer for the Holy Spirit to be working in the hearts and minds of people who need him, and prayer for ourselves to be so full of His love and His grace that we can answer both the critic and the repentant person just like Jesus did; with truth motivated by love.

We are not called to be soldiers in a culture war. We are called to be servants in a spiritual war.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12 NKJV)

The people involved are not the enemy. They are both the prize and the hostages in this kind of war. The only way to win the prize or rescue the hostages is to gear up by getting on our knees, praying for the Spirit to do His part in them, and praying for the heart and mind of Jesus for ourselves. Everything else is just a shell game, and this is no time for games.

Pray for miraculous expressions of God’s power, which is authentic love, and lives will be changed. That’s what we need to be about. If people want to make this about love, then Jesus wins. No contest.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8 NKJV)