Heaven Is Still THE Supreme Court – Let Us Sing!
Rev. Alexander S. Campbell, D.Min.
To faithful American believers who still both love and fear the one true God, June 26, 2015, may seem to be a “day of infamy” which has the potential for launching a spiritual battle on a scale not dissimilar to the struggle begun by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. On this date, The United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of recognizing the right of homosexuals to legally marry one another. This blow to religious liberty and cultural morality came on the heels of the same court affirming mandates within the Affordable Care Act that helps to foist government-controlled medical care upon the nation. In addition, both of these detrimental decisions occur at a time when so many are grieving the loss of nine black worshippers killed by the unrestrained malice of a disturbed young white man. Calls by the forces of political correctness for the removal of the Confederate flag are joined by an unrelenting press for all Southern whites to wallow in the shame of their past and to cleanse the landscape of the vestiges of our heritage.
It seems that the revisionist forces of progressivism will never rest until we all bow our knees to the rainbow flag of tolerance. The long-standing, foundational pillars of Biblical morality, American liberty and cultural heritage are being toppled by the winds of liberal jurisprudence and intolerance in our own American Republic.
For many Christians, the prophecies of George Orwell’s dystopian classic 1984 are being revealed in a grievous way – only 31 years later than Orwell predicted. The late James M. Boice of the venerable Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia preached, “Our culture is in a state of decline, so that things we used to take for granted are disappearing – things like honesty, courage, concern for other people, self-discipline, responsibility, and hard work – and in their place we are producing a generation of cultural barbarians whose only thought is for their own immediate self-gratification. These are the new Dark Ages.”
So, what is a Christian to do in such discouraging times? How are we to react to dark forebodings of a new Dark Age? What do we do when the principled is punished and the perverted is protected?
Well, the Bible tells us that we are to sing! We are to sing because heaven is THE Supreme Court and God, Himself, is the THE Chief Justice. “Sing praises to God, sing praises; Sing praises to our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth; Sing praises with a skillful psalm” (Psalm 47:6-7). While Christians desire peace and protection like everyone else, the source of that peace and protection comes from a different source than that in which others place their hope. Our security comes from God who is “King of all the earth.” Our hearts can be at rest in the midst of cultural decline for “Those who trust in the LORD Are as Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever” (Psalm 125:1).
What we experienced on June 26, 2015, is nothing new. It is just another battle in the long war against God and His people. Since Cain slew Abel, the human forces of good and evil have been in conflict. Do not despair, God always raises up a righteous Seth to take up the sword in Abel’s stead while Abel rests in glory. Those who celebrate recent cultural declines as victories join the company of millennia of mockers. The Psalmist asks, “Why are the nations in an uproar, and the peoples devising a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand, and the rulers take counsel together against the LORD and against His Anointed” (Psalm 2:1-2).
Christian, do you really suppose that the purposes of God can be thwarted by the misguided decision of a “Supreme” Court? “Why should the nations say, ‘Where, now, is their God?’ But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases” (Psalm 115:2-3)! The Church of Jesus Christ, His Bride, is safe in the loving care of her jealous and all-powerful husband. Has not Providence used evil to accomplish His good purposes myriads of times in ages past? Indeed, “we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). “All things” includes the plots and machinations of a state that appears determined to replace God as the foci of a people’s dependence. For, “The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes” (Proverbs 21:1).
Perhaps just one from a million examples in church history will help restore your joy. The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were challenging times for Christians in Great Britain. The principles of the Protestant Reformation were being embraced by millions while also being opposed by the established church and the state at times. One such time saw the arrest and imprisonment of a godly Scottish pastor by the name of John Durie. When Durie was released from prison in 1582, he was met at the jailhouse gates by a company some 200 faithful Christians to celebrate his freedom. Someone in the crowd began to sing Psalm 124. In moments, this single voice was joined by over 200 voices in perfect four-part harmony. As they made their way down the cobblestoned High Street of Edinburg, the 200 were soon joined by additional residents of the old city to a point when a throng of some 2000 voices cried out in harmonic unison, “Had it not been the LORD who was on our side, When men rose up against us; Then they would have swallowed us alive, . . . Blessed be the LORD, Who has not given us to be torn by their teeth. Our soul has escaped as a bird out of the snare of the trapper; the snare is broken and we have escaped. Our help is in the name of the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.” The joy of the Christians overwhelmed the city and one of the wicked men who was responsible for the prosecution of the godly Rev. Durie was said to have trembled in terror at the sound of the singing.
So, “Clap your hands, all peoples; shout to God with the voice of joy. For the LORD Most High is to be feared, a great King over all the earth. He subdues peoples under us, and nations under our feet. He chooses our inheritance for us, the glory of Jacob whom He loves. God has ascended with a shout, the LORD, with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth; sing praises with a skillful psalm. God reigns over the nations, God sits on His holy throne. The princes of the people have assembled themselves as the people of the God of Abraham; for the shields of the earth belong to God; He is highly exalted.” (Psalm 47:1-2).
Heaven is still THE Supreme Court – so, let us sing!