A new day has dawned. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled. It’s no surprise. We all saw this coming. The momentum for the proponents of same-sex marriage has been building over the last several years as state by state has fallen on this issue, mostly through legislation from the bench. The judges have ruled, and “Everyone can now do what is right in their own eyes” (Judges 21:25). Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
Now what? While same-sex marriage may now be the law of the land, it doesn’t change God’s Word on the matter. God’s truth is still God’s truth, and we are bound to obey God and His Word rather than men (Acts 5:29).
What does this mean for us on campus? We remain faithful. We confess the truth of God’s Word. We love our neighbors, just as we have done before. Yes, the times are changing, but this should be of no surprise. While we don’t yet know all of the potential impacts of this ruling on our life together, and they will be significant, we know this: Our life together is still bound in Christ.
It is truly a struggle to remain faithful and be Lutheran on today’s college campus. I don’t need to tell you that. You also know that the level of persecution and discrimination that Christians are facing on secular campuses has been on the rise. I fear that will only increase, especially as we head back to school this fall.
We broke new ground by tackling many of the issues that you face at this unique time in your lives at the TABOO National Campus Ministry Conference this past January. We will continue to tackle these issues together, and we will confess together all that God has to say about the holy estate of matrimony, in season and perhaps now out of season.
Yes, the challenges ahead are great. But so are the opportunities! At TABOO, we had the chance to send hot cocoa to some who disagreed with our confession of faith. Some of our campus workers dialogued with them, and a negative was turned into a positive. What a joy! Many more such opportunities are ahead for all of us.
No, we can’t sugarcoat this. Some dark days are ahead too. But “let not your hearts be troubled” (John 14:1). God has a habit of working great things out of dark moments. The same God who sent His son to suffer, die and rise from the grave for you has not changed and neither have His promises to you, no matter what you face. “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20b).
In the meantime, I encourage everyone to do the following:
1. If you haven’t done so, read President Harrison’s blog post in advance of this ruling.
2. Continue to learn and grow in your own understanding of God’s holy estate of marriage. There is a great collection of resources on the topic that can be found on LCMS.org.
3. The best witness to God’s gift of marriage is still God’s gift of marriage. Take this vocation seriously. Pray. Do all you can to seek a godly spouse. “This mystery [marriage] is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church” (Eph. 5:32).
4. Go to church, hear God’s Word and receive Christ’s body and blood. Be in God’s Word. Learn, grow and mutually encourage one another. These things, of course, are always a good thing. But we need to remain together as the body of Christ as much as ever!
5. Get connected and stay connected with LCMS U. Also, check out The Student Union, our new weekly 30-minute radio program starting at the end of July.
You are baptized children of God. Though the whole world may hate you, though your friends disagree with your faith, though your professors challenge your beliefs, you are not the walking dead. No, you are those who walk wet in the name of Christ, who marked you as His own in Baptism.
You are His. God is with you on campus and beyond. He is faithful.
Fraternally in Christ,
Rev. Marcus Zill
Director, Campus Ministry and LCMS U