Friday, September 4, 2015

Using the Bible to Bash Kim Davis

Before you use the Bible to try to criticize Kim Davis, there are a few things you should know. The Bible doesn’t work like a game of Scrabble; you can’t take random letters and words and use them to suit your current needs. So here are some responses to some of the critics I have seen over the last few days.

1. Yes, Kim Davis has been married four times, divorced three times, and had children out of wedlock. By her own admission she has made many mistakes, but the aforementioned indiscretions were committed before she came to Christ four years ago. The Bible speaks strongly against divorce (although some divorces are justified) and premarital and extramarital relations. But it teaches that when a person turns to Jesus, he becomes a “new creation; the old things have passed away, and behold, all things are made new (2 Corinthians 5:17).” Using her mistakes from her life without Christ to call her a hypocrite is inconsistent.

Furthermore, like I said in my post about Josh Duggar and Bristol Palin, we all make mistakes, and Kim Davis will continue to as well. That doesn’t make her a hypocrite; it makes her a human. Even if she were the biggest hypocrite on the planet, that doesn’t somehow nullify her position. Calling her names and demonizing her may make her look foolish, but her point is still valid: she should not have to resign or violate her religious beliefs.

2. Has Kim Davis issued marriage licenses to people with tattoos, mixed fabric, and shaved beards? Of course. But again, this doesn’t make her a hypocrite if you understand the Bible. The commands about tattoos, mixed fabric, and a host of other things appear as part of the Old Covenant, which was only given to a certain group of people for a certain time in history. Kim Davis is not a Jew in the Promised Land; she is a gentile in America living under the New Covenant, and therefore, she can freely unite people in marriage who have tattoos. (For more on this, see my post titled, “Yes, I Eat Shellfish”).

3. I’ve seen many people throwing out Romans 13 and other passages that instruct Christians to both pray for and submit to those in authority. Davis should definitely do that. But we are shortsighted if we cling to that verse to the exclusion of the biblical precedent to obey God rather than government if the government orders us to do something unbiblical (Acts 5:29). Kim can pray for and submit to government, but when government orders her to violate, not only her First Amendment right, but more importantly, her religious convictions, the Bible suggests obeying God instead of government.

I realize this debate will continue to play out in America, but if we are going to use the Bible, let’s at least agree to use it the right way. If you want to criticize Kim Davis, don’t do it by taking verses out of context. And if you do criticize, please remember that name calling doesn’t improve your position nor weaken the other side.   


Manwë said...

If you work in a government office and that office requires you to do something that is against your religion to the point you will not comply, you should probably step down, because by staying in your position and refusing service you are disrespecting God and government.

As you’ve mentioned people using: “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.” (Romans 13:1-2),

But as you pointed out what about when the laws of man go against the law of God. “But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29).

If the government forces you to issue Same Sex Marriage Licenses and you refuse because that goes against the laws of God [which it does (Lev 18:22; Lev 20:13; 1 Cor 6:9-11)], but at the same time you disobeying the government would be resisting what God has appointed, then the logical conclusion would be that if you are so offended as to not perform your government job, you should resign, because that would be the only way you would be neither resisting God or government.

Refusing to issue a marriage license because the persons requesting it may* sin [there is nothing forcing a person who applies for a marriage license to actually wed*], is in the same boat as refusing to issue a driver's license because someone may (and probably will) break traffic laws of the government and therefore dishonor what God has appointed, therefore sin. She is not a martyr, she is not doing this in love or if she thinks she is, she is not letting her light so shine before men, that they may see her good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Tommy Mann said...

I would have to disagree. Why should a person be forced to step down? Isn't that a violation of her rights? Why should she end up unemployed? There needs to be protection for her, but I'll be posting more about that soon.

I also disagree with your illustration about driver's licenses. The person issuing the license is not responsible if someone breaks the law and drives drunk. While a few may get a marriage license and never get married, that is certainly what the intent. To compare the two doesn't make sense. In one case, the minority may break the driving laws, while in the other case, the overwhelming majority of homosexuals applying for a marriage license will break God's law.

Kim Davis does not want to affix her name to a document that joins two people together in a union that Scripture condemns. And let's not forget: she was doing this job long before that was even conceived, and long before even President Obama and Hillary Clinton were conveniently for gay marriage.

She should not be punished, either by incarceration or resigning the job that pays her bills. The First Amendment guarantees the free exercise of an individual's religion.

Manwë said...

I am not saying she should be forced to step down. I’m saying that should be her desire. So as not to dishonor God and gov’t. We are not guaranteed jobs, but God will provide for the sparrows (Mt 6:26), why not her, especially if she gives up her job so as to honor him and his commands?

Yes, you have a right to free expression of religion, but that expression is limited in many ways, for instance Employment Division v. Smith with the Native Americans and Peyote use, and the Supreme Court has consistently not allowed expression of religion that infringes on anothers rights.

Like it or not, and I myself do not, SCOTUS has said it is a right of same sex couples to marry. She is infringing on their rights, within the office of her government job. That is not an acceptable expression of religion, no more than a jewish person working for the FDA refusing to issue a permit to a hog farmer because they do not eat pork due to their religion. This is not an attempt to wear a yarmulke to work or praying at one’s desk, this is a clerk, an officer of the court, within the confines of her secular government job denying someone their right.

If we allow her a gov’t employee to deny rights based on her conviction what would become of us Christians if, using her as precedent, gov’t employees that are muslims denied us rights based on Sharia law? Or Jews based on the Mosaic law? Or Atheists based on the waning morality of the natural man?

She should in fact be punished for her failure to comply with the supreme court of the land. If she chooses to stand for her convictions, she should understand that the world will hate her (Jn 15:18), and that there may be consequences, she should not be immune to consequence because she stands on her faith.

Tommy Mann said...

I appreciate you point, but I believe that people of any faith and people of no faith should all be protected. Jews, Muslims, and atheists should also be free to live out their beliefs. I posted my thoughts on the issue here:

Anonymous said...

Where her paychecks come from? probably not god, she is paid to do her job, she should do so or get fired like everybody else who refuse to do there job they get paid for.