THE DEFIANT KENTUCKY CLERK

So is she a hero or a villain? Rowan County (Kentucky) clerk Kim Davis was welcomed by adulating throngs this Tuesday, when U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning, who had incarcerated her last week for contempt of court, released her from jail. At issue is Ms. Davis’ contention that as an Apostolic Christian her conscience forbids her from complying with the Supreme Court’s summer decision declaring same sex marriages legal across this nation. Citing her understanding of biblical injunctions against same sex sexual relations, the Rowan County clerk refused to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples applying for the Supreme Court mandated provision.

So if you were the county clerk, how would you have responded to that dilemma, caught between the highest court in the land’s ruling and a growing que of applicants for same sex marriage licenses?

The issue isn’t so neatly resolved, is it? On the one hand the Bible commands Christians: “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God” (Romans 13:1). That seems clear enough. For this fallen planet, God has ordained governmental authority and civil power to preserve a semblance of law and order for the human race. “Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience” (v 5).

But of course, “conscience” was and remains the rub. Simply because Ms. Davis cited her conscience as reason for disobeying the court order to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples. The same Bible that commands obedience to governing authorities also declares: “‘We must obey God rather than man’” (Acts 5:29). Those were Peter’s words to the Sanhedrin when he and his fellow apostles were charged not to publicly teach “in this name” of Jesus (v 28). Clearly there are instances when governmental authority is overruled (at least in the divine tribunal) by conscientious loyalty to one’s understanding of God’s Word and His will. Furthermore, even if you have misunderstood a biblical position, you are still enjoined by Scripture to be obedient to your conscience, “for whatever is not from faith [i.e., whatever violates what the conscience believes is right] is sin” (Romans 14:23). Simply put—it is dangerous to disobey your conscience, for through the conscience the Creator communicates with His sentient earth children.

Thus Kim Davis made the decision to honor her conscientious objection to the law of the land and refused to sign the same sex marriage applications. For her act of civil disobedience she was subsequently jailed. Again, what would you have done? Is there a proscribed Christian pathway through the minefield that our national debate over same sex marriage is taking us? What would Jesus do?

On October 3, as a final piece in our mini-series “The Pugwash Factor,” we will grapple with culture, conscience and Scripture in “How to Respond to the Supreme Court’s Same Sex Marriage Decision.” But we must not expect a neat and tidy resolution to the dilemma. Yes, obedience to conscience is in the end a simple matter—just do it—simply obey. But it is hard work to seek an informed conscience that intelligently discerns the issues swirling at Scripture's intersection with our third millennial complexity. Fortunately Christ will guide His followers. What remains for us then is to “take up [your] cross daily and follow Me” (Luke 9:23).

Comments

If I understood Mat Staver (Christian lawyer - alumni of AU) correctly, Ms. Davis has been serving this area of government for 27 years. Her name, because of her position, has been on every marriage license, and she does not want her name on the licenses if they condone a practice that goes against her faith's ideals. Mike Huckibee has quoted her as quietly asking the court "What law am I breaking [by not signing the licenses for same sex marriage]?" Facebook chatter has stated that Ms. Davis herself has been married four times, but it was brought out that she has become a Christian since her fourth marriage. I believe it was Herman Cain (Presidential Candidate of 2012) who pointed out the fact that the clerk in CA who started issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples, did do so under the law that clarified that marriage was between a man and a woman. He WAS breaking the law. He was NOT thrown in prison, even though the amount of licenses he signed were a much greater number than the amount of licenses Ms. Davis would not sign. Just some points to ponder... (So my question is: If the law of the land stated that marriage is between a man and a woman, does that law change simply by the court redefining that the law actually means two of the same sex as well? Does that not have to go through congress again...? Or can the supreme court make that change to laws in the land without the people having any more say in it? This is really important to understand...)

If we believe that God lead's us and cares for us when we have repented of past sins and converted to His way...if I was in her position I would have resigned my position and believed that God had something else for me in the way of employment. He promises never to leave us or forsake us. I think that the attention this has generated has put God fearing Christians in a light of self because of all the hoopla and it allowed a politician to try and further his agenda.

May God Almighty give us the courage, and the wisdom to stay true to His Name. For we know that... 'perilous' times will come.

I think I would resign from my job. Since I've been a repeat visitor & eventually a member of PMC, I've learned through sermons & bible studies you can reach & therefore witness to more people with the love of Jesus, than making a big deal about something. We are all Gods children and are all loved the same. If someone is right or wrong biblically we still need to show them love. We are all sinners. You can't save someone by shaking your finger at them.

Kim Davis ran for and was elected to this office. Thus she is a politician. When she realized that she, in good conscience, could no longer perform the duties she was elected to perform, she should have immediately resigned. Instead, she insists on keeping her job, while refusing to perform a legal part of her duties that she was elected to perform. She refuses to resign. If she continues in this post while receiving her full pay, she will become a thief, breaking the eighth commandment, "Thou shall not steal." If an accommodation can be reached, whereby she no longer has to issue any marriage license for any reason, then a comparable reduction in her $80,000 a year salary should take effect; otherwise she is stealing. She has been dubbed a "martyr." She is not a martyr. Martyrs gave up EVERYTHING, even their lives for their convictions. If she continues in this post as she is now, at full pay, she is no better that any other hypocritical, contemptible, conniving, crooked politician out to enrich herself at the public expense.

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