“There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as an error which proceedeth from the ruler: Folly is set in great dignity and the rich sit in a low place.” Ecclesiastes 10:5-6
There is far more that can be said about Kim Davis, the Rowan County Kentucky Clerk, that can be written in a single article or treatise. The confrontation between popular culture and the people of scripture could not be more stark or foreboding. What we have seen in Kentucky, began in Eden, and will culminate at the throne. In the mean time however, this conflict is just one play in the first quarter of the final game the American culture as we know it will ever play. It is a first down in the Red Zone for the wrong team and the officials are dressed in their uniforms. The sad thing is that this is one game they don’t know they can’t afford to win. The wrong team winning will mean the wrong team ultimately losing, and it appears the odds are stacked in their favor.
When she refused to provide marriage licenses to same-sex couples she did far more than just stand with the scripture, intentionally, or unintentionally, she called the bluff on the American culture. A nation which has long trumpeted “religious freedom,” even sometimes getting a favorable nod from the Anti-Christ Labor Union (ACLU), is being forced to admit what we’ve known for a long time. She has brought to a fine point a conflict in which there is no real compromise. Someone will win this down.
Can a Bible believing Christian hold public office, and administer that office like a Bible believing Christian? According to Noah Feldman of the Chicago Tribune, the answer is no.
“It’s just fine — in fact, I think it’s admirable — for a public official to say that he or she won’t enforce any law that’s fundamentally immoral and in contradiction to God’s laws. But the only way to keep that promise consistent with the oath of office is for the official to resign when she thinks enforcing the law would be wrong. Given Davis’ statement of faith that it would violate her interpretation of God’s will to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple, she should quit her position as county clerk. Indeed, she must — or she’d be living in a position of hypocritical sin.” – Noah Feldman – The Chicago Tribune
In fairness there have been various calls and outbursts on newscasts and in the background of stories with the same sentiment. “If you can’t do your job, resign.” Which essentially states, “You should not hold office if you obey the Bible.” Whether anyone wants to put it in these terms or not the end result is that Bible obeying people would, should, and have no other choice, but to abstain from running for or holding public office. For this conflict to be framed with the “violation of conscience” discussion is one thing, but the broader thing is the ultimate effect of carving out conservative scripture believing people, and cornering them into avoiding public office influence. For the Christian, every time the law forces them to disobey God, or forbids them from obeying God, that law becomes null and void to them.
The fact is that all things being rightly understood, we don’t obey the laws of the land anyway. We obey God; and He has told us to obey the laws of the land. In other words, I don’t pay taxes because I get a letter in the mail; I pay taxes because I have a Bible on my desk and in my heart. I don’t sell drugs because there is a police force to deal with; I don’t sell drugs because the Word of God is the governor of my heart and mind as best as I can yield to it. The reality is that any right thinking Christian is only “under the government” as the Government is Under God. My seven-year old has no authority over my fifteen year old – until I tell my fifteen year old to do what the seven-year old says. When the fifteen year old does what the seven-year old says, the fifteen year old is not obeying the seven-year old, she is obeying me. This is a fact of the true Christian life that the world at best knows nothing about, at worst makes up its own version.
We should pray for Kim Davis. One – that she has the strength to stand; and that the people surrounding her will be a comfort and care to her and her family. Two – that we can somehow cause a turnover. This down will not be decided until she is either out of office, sentenced to prison and replaced, or the law is re-written to protect Bible believing people from having to choose between divine marching orders, and county ordinances. Without question such laws would benefit the country more than the Christian and would unequivocally be a change worth making.