On Marriage, Faith, & Discipleship

Photo Credit: justindc via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: justindc via Compfight cc

If you are on social media at all, you have witnessed the explosion of posts that followed the SCOTUS ruling on Same-Sex marriage. Many words, both loving and hateful, have been posted, shared, and tweeted about what people think about marriage. When I read the posts from my brothers and sisters in Christ, I think that often they saying more about their faith and view of discipleship than their view of marriage.


In Seminary, the primary focus of my thesis was Faith and the work of James Fowler. Fowler created a faith development theory and at the heart of that theory is a very helpful way of understanding faith. Faith is ultimately about trust and whatever you find at the center of that trust becomes the foundation of your worldview. If God is at the center of your faith, then God is the foundation on which you build your worldview. If you, money, power, sex, or anything else is at the center of your faith, then that is what your world is built around. To have faith means to order your world and life around that person.

What I believe that we have seen this last week is a myriad of people who have misplaced their faith. Following Jesus has never been about what the government decides. The SCOTUS ruling has everything to do with what America believes is right and not my faith in Jesus. Sure there are many in America who disagree with the ruling because of their faith, but there are many others in America who also approve for similar reasons. At the end of the day, however, if you are a Christian we put our faith not in anything the American Government does, we put our worldview shaping faith in Jesus.


Specifically, I believe that this ruling has revealed our view on making disciples. Jesus said, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” [1] I believe that the reaction to the SCOTUS ruling shows that we have been relying on the Government do our teaching and discipling for us. When that happens, we share with people a very poor view of Christianity. When Christians look to the government to spread Christianity, legalism is spread instead of Christianity. Instead of sharing Jesus, we spread the law.

While I do believe that there are times when we turn to the government to fight injustice, this time I think that we have failed. Instead of loving our neighbor and seeking to share the hope of the Gospel, some Christians have fought to impose a very narrow section of God’s word on many people who don’t even believe it to be true. We have brought a great injustice on many in our country because we failed to love them first.

What’s Next?

We now live in a new world. I know that many people are uncomfortable with what happened last week. The reality of the world, however, is that there’s a lot out there that doesn’t line up with what you believe and there always has been. If you are a Christian, no matter what your stance is on marriage, you can count on your faith in Jesus Christ as the King of the World being challenged on a daily basis. My challenge to you is to rest your faith squarely on Jesus and to make disciples of him through love and personal relationships and not through the courts.

[1] The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Mt 28:19-20.

2 thoughts on “On Marriage, Faith, & Discipleship

  1. Steve 07/03/2015 / 2:09 pm

    Great thoughts, Peter!!

    • Peter S. 07/03/2015 / 4:33 pm

      Thanks, Steve.

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