Church columnist: What’s a Christian to do?
The latest news about Kim Davis, the county clerk of Rowen County, Kentucky, is that she has been jailed for her refusal to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples seeking to get married.
This refusal is based on her personal moral convictions. She believes that she would be taking part in, or endorsing, an activity that she personally believes to be morally wrong. She bases her conviction on the biblical teaching regarding homosexuality.
The biblical teaching on homosexuality is very clear (Rom. 1:26, 27; 1 Cor. 6:9, 10; et al).
Nothing in those verses teaches hate against any person. They teach unacceptable behavior that cannot be tolerated by Christians.
Intolerance does not mean that we are supposed to mistreat anyone or be hateful to anyone. We should be loving and kind and charitable to everyone, regardless of what sinful behavior they might be engaged in. Intolerance means that we cannot and must not give any indication of participation or endorsement of such behavior.
We will not run with the world in the same “flood of dissipation” (1 Pet. 4:4). Peter says they will speak evil of us for our convictions but we cannot be carried with their overflowing wickedness.
There are those who want to make the Kim Davis case about discrimination and liken it to the Civil Rights Movement, to the anger and horror of black Americans who know the difference between discrimination over skin color and over a chosen lifestyle. But the Kim Davis case has nothing to do with discrimination and everything to do with forced participation in immorality; it is about forcing tolerance of sin.
Here is what I posted on Facebook in response to Kim Davis being jailed:
“The Kim Davis issue isn’t about freedom for same-sex couples to marry. If that was all it was about then those seeking same-sex marriage licenses could just go to a neighboring county and get their marriage license.
Kim Davis isn’t hindering anyone from getting married. The real issue is forcing people to tolerate and accept same-sex marriage whether they like it or not. Even though any one of those claiming discrimination based on sexual orientation could have simply gone elsewhere to seek the service they wanted (whether flowers, cakes, or licenses), they wanted to FORCE the one that didn’t want to take part in something that went against their beliefs.
Why can’t they just go get their flowers, cakes and licenses elsewhere? Today Kim Davis is in jail because she would not put her signature on a same-sex marriage license.
Tomorrow it could be me in jail because I won’t either. Will it be too far then? When preachers start getting thrown in jail for not performing same-sex weddings and signing off on same-sex marriage licenses will there be those who say, “well, if they don’t want to do the weddings then they should’t be preachers”? How far will things go before people finally wake up?”
“I wonder what the results would be if the survey question simply said: ‘Do you believe that individuals should be forced to participate in activities that they believe to be morally wrong?’”
The two keywords are “forced” and “participate.” That is where we are headed in this country, “forced participation” in activities that are contrary to an individual’s personal morality. The Bible teaches that, whether a thing is actually wrong or not, to actively participate in something that you personally believe to be immoral is wrong (Rom. 14:23).
People are being forced to choose between doing wrong or going to jail. Personally, I too would choose jail.”
So, what’s a Christian to do? Stand with Christ and say like Peter, “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).