Fellow Southern Baptist, Pastor Russell Williams, gave three reasons related to Kim Davis’ case for why Evangelical Christians are losing. He begins:
Since I am a pastor of a southern Baptist church please allow me to weigh in on the case of Kim Davis, the lady in Kentucky who refuses to issue a marriage licenses to a same sex couple.
I am a licensed Southern Baptist Minister which means I can legally marry people (not that this makes my position more authoritative). I simply disagree with brother Williams and do not believe Kim Davis is the problem with Evangelical Christianity. Below I will share where I think he swings and misses by addressing his three points in his slightly viral post.
First: This is not a case of the government forcing anyone to violate their religious belief. She is free to quit her job. If she quits her job to honor God surely God would take care of her.
What does Williams mean by “forcing?” Is someone only forced to do something if a gun is to their head? If so, then there are many instances where people have been forced to do something against their conscience that should not have been considered forced. But this is a case of government trying to force Davis to violate her religious belief that marriage is between a man and woman by coercing her to issue same-sex marriage licenses.
Davis is free to quit her job. She is also free to fight within the legal system as she has done and be subjected to the legal outcome. God taking care of her is not contingent upon quitting her job.
Second: This is not a case of someone trying to uphold the sanctity of marriage. If she wanted to uphold the sanctity of marriage she should not have been married four different times. If she is worried about her name being affixed to a marriage license that goes against a biblical definition of marriage, she should not have her name on the last three marriage licenses given to her.
The smoker who warns the tempted non-smoker about the health dangers of smoking is not wrong but possibly hypocritical. The Bible says not to make such hypocritical judgments though it does not say sins judged in those instances are not sins. Of course, Davis should not have been married four times. However, those marriages took place before she came to faith. The Apostle Paul was a murderer before repenting and following Jesus. Shall we rip out most of our New Testament?
Christians are to rightly judge after first removing the log out of our own eye. Has Davis done so with her marriage logs? It appears so, but as outsiders we cannot be sure. Does Williams have the definitive answer?
Third: This seems to be a case of someone looking to cash in on the religious right. Churches all across the south will throw money at her to come and tell congregations how the evil American government put her in jail because of her faith in Jesus.
This third point is a rather harsh speculation. Love should assume the best of Davis’ motives (1 Cor. 13:7). Maybe she is looking to cash in, but that remains to be seen. At this point, Davis is out of jail and there is no evidence anyone is throwing money at her.
Williams goes on to say, “This is why we are losing,” and “why people have such disdain for evangelicals.” He makes other statements about taking the log out of your eye of which my above comments may be applied.
I am not convinced, as Williams notes, that anyone is trying to use “the government to make America a Christian utopia.” Christians understand that we are not of this world, however, we may still seek a just society. We live within a legal system that allows us to pursue, through voting, etc., the kind of government that upholds God’s standards of morality. If we were talking about a religiously repressive country, we would not even be allowed to have this conversation.
I certainly agree with Williams’ statement that, “If we want sanctity of marriage then stop cheating, stop having affairs, stop looking at porn, stop getting divorces.” And I will add, that some have affairs, use porn, and get divorced is not a pass for those sins even when a hypocrite calls them sins.
One of the problems with Christians in this country is we have forgotten how to disagree graciously. Many disagreements in Christendom over Kim Davis’ decision to stay at her job and not issue marriages licenses show a lack of grace. Granted, not all disagreements have been ungracious. However, we Christians can do better in our disagreements by remembering, with empathy, that we are no more bound to another’s conscience than they are to ours.
Here I blog…
p.s. For the record, Kim Davis belongs to Solid Rock Apostolic Church in Morehead, KY. This church holds to a Oneness, anti-Trinitarian doctrine of God. Their beliefs fall outside of Christian orthodoxy and are not generally accepted within the Christian community, Evangelical or otherwise. I do not know Davis’ individual beliefs about God, but that does not mean Christians cannot stand with her in principle.Tags: