By now, most of us have heard about the 50-year-old Democratic/Republican county clerk out of Rowan County, Kentucky, who famously resisted the Supreme Court’s decision to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples (but even if you haven’t, that’s a pretty good summary right there). Because of her religious position on the issue, she was subsequently thrown in jail for contempt of court, only to be released five days later to a standing ovation and a press conference headlined by none other than Republican Presidential nominee, Mike Huckabee. Due to her actions, she has become a champion to conservative rights groups, and a pariah by virtually every “progressive” organization in the country, and has even garnered a personal audience with the Pope himself.
Part of the brouhaha that surrounded this whole ordeal was the voice of several leading “Christian” writers/speakers/bored people, that either praised or denounced her behavior, claiming that she is either “shortsighted,” or the poster child for a new American Christian persecution. Ted Cruz was even able to work her into a blog on his website, stating, “I call upon every Believer, every Constitutionalist, every lover of liberty to stand with Kim Davis. Stop the persecution now.” Quite a call to arms for a woman that was virtually unknown six months ago.
But the reason for this article is not to extol the vices or virtues of Kim Davis as a person, claimed believer, or government officeholder. Rather the point is to make the simple – but possibly inflammatory – argument that the whole “Kim Davis saga” has actually been a positive thing for the state of Christianity in the world today, and for billions of non-believers all over the world. Let me show you what I mean.
Because of her & her actions:
- More people are studying their Bible
Unfortunately, for much of mainstream Christianity, actually studying their Bible is a feat best left to only the most skilled of us all: those with the ability to read, to analyze, and to have the courage to – gasp! – actually talk about it with others! How dare a common mortal pick up the Book of the Lord and actually examine it for themselves! For shame! The horror!
And yet, that’s exactly what a lot of Christians are actually starting to do. They have begun in earnest – and most likely because their worldly friends are starting to ask them harder questions – to study the Bible for themselves, and see what it actually does say about homosexual marriage. Does God allow it? Did Jesus talk about it? How does Paul’s teachings coincide with Jesus’? Does it even matter what Paul said? These are all questions that are starting to come to the forefront of most dormant Christian’s minds.
And that’s exactly what should be happening. We have a responsibility amongst ourselves to “study to shew thyself approved unto God” as a “workman that needeth not to be ashamed” (2 Tim. 2:15 KJV), lest we be “destroyed for a lack of knowledge” (Hos. 4:6). We should know where we stand on the subject of homosexual marriage, adulterous marriage, or any other kind of marriage, as well as a myriad of other Biblical topics. And where at one point that mentality was stagnant, now it has been thrust full force into the behaviors of everyday Christians.
- More people are recognizing the other parts of a “Biblical marriage”
Is homosexual marriage against God’s laws on marriage, divorce, and remarriage? Absolutely. But is it the only law when it comes to the institution of marriage? Absolutely not.However, there’s no doubt that in our world today, it has most certainly become the fashionable thing for Christians to denounce. Never mind the fact that Jesus’ primary teaching on the subject in Matthew 19:1-9 had no mention whatsoever of homosexual marriage (most likely because none was needed at that moment; everyone understood God’s law concerning it), but had everything to do with divorce and subsequent remarriage – a sin that our nation won’t stop committing. Of course, in today’s culture of pop Christianity, someone who is guilty of that is taken care of by the “grace of God.” Can you see why the world calls mainstream Christianity hypocritical?
Finally, the world is catching up to the idea that there are more marriage-based sins than just homosexuality. Consider this quote from the more left-leaning Huffington Post: “It [the Bible] does say quite a bit about the issue of divorce. It seems to say that if a person gets a divorce for a reason other than infidelity and then remarries, that person is guilty of adultery (that’s one of the big 10!). I wonder how many divorced people Kim Davis has issued marriage licenses to?” (from an article entitled, 4 Reasons — From A Christian Perspective — Why Kim Davis Is 100% Wrong). Finally, everyone is starting to notice what else God says about marriage laws from a Biblical perspective! That should get some conversations going, don’t you think?
- More people are recognizing what persecution could look like
Don’t misunderstand me, I don’t believe for one second that what Kim Davis has gone through is classified as “religious persecution,” anymore than someone who walks into Chili’s to get a job as a waiter can cry “religious persecution” when they ask him to serve alcohol: it comes with the job, and it’s best that Christians not put themselves in that position to begin with. Kim Davis knew the direction our country was headed as much as anyone else, and if she refused to leave in the wake of such inevitabilities, then she knew that this day would eventually come.
That being said, there will come a day when real religious persecution might find it’s way onto our shores, whether it’s in the form of teaching against homosexuality being classified as hate speech, or disfellowshipping an errant member for any number of very Biblical reasons, and being charged with slander or defamation in the process. That day is, in all likelihood, in the pipeline for this country, and when that day comes, we have to ask ourselves, what will we do?
If you take away the legal and supposed hypocritical stance of Kim Davis (hypocritical because of her own personal life), the simple fact of refusing to condone homosexual marriage is of itself, very brave. We have to ask ourselves, will we make a very similar stance when two guys and a news crew want to ask us our opinion on some kind of sin that society has condoned?
Jesus claimed that those who would “confess Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in Heaven” (Matt. 10:32; Luke 12:8), but what does that statement even mean? Is Jesus referring to the common practice we have today of confessing Jesus in front of a group of Christians during the invitation song before we’re baptized? I would argue – and the context supports – that Jesus had something much bigger in mind when He spoke those words to His disciples: the coming persecution. How will we respond when that day comes?Last modified: January 22, 2019