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First Thoughts

Refusing to Celebrate in a Post-Roe World

A Moral Earthquake

The Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v Jackson was a massive earthquake that rocked the entire world. Only time will tell how massive is the number it registered on the cultural Richter scale. What we know right now is that there was a massive fault line separating professing believers. You might not have seen it before, but the Dobbs earthquake has turned that fault line into a massive chasm.

That chasm separates two kinds of people in the Christian community.

A Chasm Between Two Kinds of Professing Believers

On one side of the chasm are the Christians who are celebrating the end of the era of Roe. On the other side of the chasm are those who are not.

I have taken one opportunity to celebrate this moment in a blog and another opportunity in front of the congregation at First Baptist Church. Here, I want to strain my eyes across the wide chasm separating those of us who are celebrating and try to understand the tiny little figures walking around quietly on the other side of the breach. Their silence is motivated by something important and has mammoth implications. If you’re excited about the overturning of Roe, then you need to understand what is going on with those who express no joy.

Two logical possibilities exist to explain the refusal of leaders to celebrate in the Christian world.

Two Options Explain the Absence of Joy

The first option is that they are not celebrating because they are not happy. They believe the Supreme Court got it wrong and that we were better off the way things were. This is appallingly wrong but simple enough to understand.

The second option is that they are happy Roe was overturned but are unable to say so. That one is tricky. How are we to explain so-called Christian leaders whose job it is to give commentary on cultural issues yet remain silent on one of the greatest moral and cultural developments of our time?

Granting exceptions to any leader who has been bound, gagged, and trapped in a basement since the decision—or any other such providential hindrances—the only logical reason for the silence is that a public celebration would offend people they wish to please.

The Biblical Truth Behind a Refusal to Celebrate

There they are. Two reasons exist for a refusal to celebrate Dobbs on the part of apparently Christian leaders. One has to do with a lack of joy in a just decision; the other has to do with a lack of will to express that joy in front of unjust people.

Neither of those are good reasons, and neither of them bode well for the integrity of the so-called Christian leaders.

As you think about that, consider the words of Proverbs 21:15, “When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.”

There is a lot to say about the implications of that passage to joyless men and women who think of themselves as Christian leaders. But one truth needs to sink deep into the hearts of those of us who are happy. It is this: the Christian leaders who have refused to celebrate this wonderfully just decision from the Supreme Court have revealed their heart and have lost any claim they have to be a trusted voice for Christians. They must repent.

Dr. Heath Lambert is the Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, FL. He is the author of several books, including The Great Love of God: Encountering God’s Heart for a Hostile World. 

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