Disclaimer: This is not an article about gay marriage and whether it’s right or wrong. This is an article about how Christians should be responding to the whole ordeal. Thanks!
I’m sure you’ve heard about Kim Davis and her refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Even though it’s legal in this country for gay people to get married, the state government is “prohibited from substantially burdening a person’s freedom of religion” unless there is a compelling reason to do so. Issuing marriage licenses is part of her job description as a county clerk, but issuing them to same-sex couples is not part of her job description as a Christian.
Thankfully for those offended couples, the federal law of gay marriage is technically upheld, as long as you don’t apply for marriage under Kim’s watch. She was released from jail Tuesday with the order that she is not to impede the licenses being issued by other coworkers in her office. So everybody wins…kind of.
So now she’s back to her old job for she has announced her refusal to resign. Back to the same routine, which will inevitably lead to another if not identical, story.
On Tuesday when she was released from jail, she said, “I just want to give God the glory. His people have rallied, and you are a strong people. We serve a living God who knows exactly where each and every one of us is at. Just keep on pressing. Don’t let down, because he is here. He’s worthy.”
As expected, the Internet’s response is meme after vicious meme, and hateful posts and comments about this woman, from Atheists, Christians, and everyone in-between.
How is a genuine Jesus follower to react?
- Remember Whose you are. If you proclaim Jesus as your Lord, you are covered in His blood and God has promised to give you a new heart and a new spirit within you. Part of growing in faith means that your heart-attitude is changed. “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” (Galations 5:22-23).
- We are commanded not to judge others. I stopped counting at 45, but just take a look at how many verses in the Bible issue wisdom about this very topic (I got to 45 before I stopped counting!) When something is repeated this many times in God’s inspired Word, I’ve got to check myself and take it seriously. It’s not up to me to judge her, especially considering how far removed I am from the situation. “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.” (Matthew 7:1-2)
- We don’t have the whole story. Only God knows the degree of sincerity in our hearts. Only God knows Kim’s story and whether she is taking advantage of the state law in vengeance against other people, or if she’s just honestly searching for a way to show her faith. We like to think we have the whole story because we read it on CNN, but we just don’t.
- “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2, emphasis mine). The whole idea of following Jesus is that we would turn from pursuing the pattern of this world. He called us to be the different ones, to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. The world’s pattern is just the opposite.
If every believer who claims to be a Christian reacted as the Bible teaches, we would truly be showing His glory and His nature off to the world. To be sure, we aren’t perfect, but that’s the very point in having hope in Jesus as our Anchor — that he will being to completion all the good works he started in us.
So let’s start now, with this insignificant speck of an event in history. Join me in acting differently than the world which is to say more like Jesus, and reserve judgement on Kim Davis and what she did.