It has been over a year since I last posted anything on here, partly due to business of schedule, partly due to not always having something that I really feel like I need to talk about, and partly due to forgetfulness. Today however, my heart is heavy as I read the news about Kim Davis and her current incarceration for refusing to give a marriage certificate to same sex couples.
As I have been looking at the news, I have been attempting to read articles and reports from both sides of the spectrum, from both the liberals and conservatives, so as to really get a grasp of what they are communicating in defense of their stance. As I have read and researched a few thoughts have come to mind, that I feel I need to share. Perhaps only a handful of people will read these words, but I want to publicly express my thoughts in regards to this very important social and spiritual issue in our country.
As I was trying to bring myself up to date on exactly what had been going on in Kentucky, I came across this video of two men coming into the county office to try to get a marriage license, As I watched it, there were several things impressed on my mind. Firstly, I was impressed with how gracious Mrs. Davis was in responding to the two gentlemen who were confronting her in what seemed to me to be a pretty belligerent attitude. She spoke in a very calm and gracious manner to them, and as they raised their voices to her, and the crowd began to chant against her, she continued to speak in a very civil and measured way toward them. As they began to make personal attacks against her, citing her four marriages (a point I will return to in a minute) she continued to speak very calmly, such that I could not hear most of what she was saying over the chanting of crowd and the raised voice of the man in front of her. She did not ask them to leave, she did not threaten them in anyway, she simply said that she was not issuing any marriage licenses today, and that they were welcome to stand in front of the counter as long as they would like to. They then asked that question that is so quickly thrown out when someone stands up for what they believe, “Why are you being so hateful?” Now if I were an outside observer, and to have no idea what the issue was over, and merely had body language, gestures, and voice dynamics to gauge from, I would have to say the one person in that office who was not behaving in a hateful way was Mrs. Davis. She never once condemns them for their decision to live a homosexual lifestyle, and specifically says that they have their opinion, and are entitled to it. Please tell me what is hateful about that? Eventually the encounter ends and she turns and returns to her office. I have a tremendous amount of respect for how Mrs. Davis handled herself and the situation, because truthfully, I wonder if I would have been able to be so calm and even pleasant as people began attacking myself, the choices I have made in the past, and my right to take a stand based on what I believe.
During this encounter, at one point, the gentlemen who were talking with Mrs. Davis, brought up (and threw in her face) the fact that she had been married 4 times, and claimed that because of that, she had no right to make a judgment about them and the way in which they were sinning against the standards of the Bible. I have read other liberal reporters and bloggers being quick to make the same point and accuse her of gross hypocrisy. Frankly, this is a load of hogwash, and does not even make sense. Firstly, usuall when we throw around the word “judgement”, we are using a Biblical term, from a specific Biblical context, that has a clear Biblical meaning, and then attaching our own modern day meaning to that same term. The verse that is frequently thrown around in this situation is Matthew 7:1 – “Judge not that ye be not judged.” This verse, in this context, is saying that Christians cannot judge others in the sense of a judge passing condemnation and punishment on a criminal. This verse is absolutely right. As a Christian, I do not have the authority to see a persons sin and condemn them to punishment for that sin. However, when most people accuse you or I of judging them, it is not because we have condemned them to punishment, rather it is because we have formed a negative opinion of them or their actions. Another popular catch phrase is, “Who are you to throw stones?” referring to the passage in John 8:1-11, in which Jesus is confronted by Pharisees who caught a woman in adultery, and tells them that whoever is without sin should cast the first stone. The problem here is, that this passage and context is talking literally about throwing stones at a person. I don’t know about you, but when somebody has told me that I have no right to throw stones, I have never had a rock in my hand ready to throw it at them. I have probably however formed a negative opinion about them and their actions, something which Jesus clearly does in v. 11 when He says to the woman who was caught in the sin of adultery, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” Christ did not throw any stones at this lady, but He makes very clear to her that what she was doing was sin. As Christians we are not to pronounce condemnation and punishment on somebody’s sin, nor are we to literally throw stones at them, however we are entitled, and even commanded, to form negative opinions about sin, whether that be in our life, or somebody else’s life. Hebrews 5:14 says that Christians are to “have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” Romans 12:9 commands a christian to “Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.” There is a clear declination made between good and evil, and it is the Christians responsibility based on God’s Word, and the truths that it gives us, to form a negative opinion about evil, and a positive opinion about good. The ironic thing is that when somebody tells me I am wrong for “judging” them (forming a negative opinion about their actions) they are themselves forming a negative opinion about my actions… It just doesn’t make sense.
The second problem with the media throwing up Mrs. Davis’s past marriages and divorces to say she has no right to take a stand on what the Bible says, is the fact that sins I have committed in no way change the truth of God’s Word, or its authority in my life. I would be the first to confess very openly, that I have committed many sins in my life – I have told lies, dishonored my parents, taken the name of the Lord in vain, coveted, spoken filthy language…the list could continue. Sins I have committed in the past do not in any way change the Word of God, nor do they change my ability to hold myself and others to the standard of God’s Word. Every single person that has ever lived (except Jesus Christ) has committed sin. Just because I have told lies in the past, does not mean I have changed what the Bible says, and now it is ok for me or others to lie, it means that I sinned also, and I too will be held to the standards of God’s Word. Just because I have spoken filthy language from my mouth does not mean that I think that language is acceptable, it means that I was wrong in my past, and based on the Bible I have formed a negative opinion about what I did. For the media to say that Mrs. Davis has no right to make a stand against gay marriage, because she has failed marriage and divorce in her past is simply ridiculous.
Thirdly, I did some research into those past marriages of Mrs. Davis, and I found out something very interesting. I found in this article that Mrs. Davis was married and divorced three times, in 1994, 2006, and 2008. I am in no way seeking to play down divorce, or the sin that it is. The Bible is very clear in saying that God hates divorce. (Malachi 2:16) However, what is very interesting is that by her own testimony (in court), and reported by NBC, Mrs. Davis says that she became a Bible believing Christian in January of 2011 – three years after her last divorce. How ridiculous is it to accuse a present day Christian of doing things that do not match up with their Christian faith, when those things were done before they became a Christian? That would be about as ridiculous as me accusing Tom Brady of being the reason the Patriots lost the Superbowl in 1997. (For those of you who are not NFL fans, Brady was not drafted by the Patriots until 2000) I have not personally spoken to Mrs. Davis, but it would appear that when she accepted Christ as her personal Savior in 2011, her whole moral compass was changed, including her view on marriage. Her past failed marriages and sinful choices back then have no bearing on her ability to stand for right in the here and now.
I have some more thoughts on this subject, but my words have run long, and my time has run short, hopefully I will be able to do a part two next week. For now though, I hope I have provided some food for thought.