Monday, September 7, 2015

Something Else You Should Know Before Defending Kim Davis As An Orthodox Christian

In Sunday School this morning, someone sent up a request for prayer for Kim Davis, the Clerk of Court in Kentucky who refuses to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. In my last post, I pointed out what I consider to be some grievous errors in our thinking on this matter and in this post, I want follow that up with a short and direct response to those that are holding Davis out to be a Christian martyr. Before I say more, I agree with Kim Davis that same-sex marriage is immoral and not sanction by God, and therefore it is impossible, civil license or not. Only God can sanction marriage.

Now, before you run to Kim's defense, not only should you consider my last post, you should also consider this one. First of all, I do not accept the argument that Christians ought to bother themselves with the issue of religious freedom. It is NOT our duty to stand up and fight for our right to practice our religion freely. The NT says just the opposite. We can expect the culture and God-less civil authorities to persecute Christian belief because those institutions are guided and controlled by men who are hostile to God. Why we find this shocking is, well, shocking to me. Why would God-hating civil authorities want to submit to Christian principles? Truly Christian principles for Christian reasons? They don't and where it appears they do, the explanation is all too easy to understand. The order they know society requires to function without deteriorating into chaos can only be had by those innate principles that humanity shares, like the idea of morality, etc. But make no mistake about it, the embracing of these values is as superficial and hypocritical as it can be. America has been one of the biggest hypocrites as a nation in the history of nations. She has given little more than lip-service to Christ all the while increasing her level of immorality with each passing year. And she has been doing this from her very beginning. We are strangers in this world, aliens, citizens of a heavenly kingdom with a responsibility to our reigning King, whose kingdom is and is yet to come. It is the Church, the body of Christ that concerns us. As for the world, the civil government, our duty to them is to love them, to show them what godly love is by loving one another, and by giving them the truth. If we teach them to adopt Christian principles externally only, we do nothing more than create a bunch of self-righteous hypocrites. Regrettably, that is what America has been mostly made of for centuries now. So lets make sure that when it comes to this issue, our loyalty is to God and His Church more than it is to some misplaced idea about an American revival, or about changing the civil codes so that we feel like we are doing something.

It has been reported that Kim Davis is a member of an Apostolic Pentecostal church. Those churches are not uncommon in that part of the country. I grew up in West Virginia, just 15 minutes from the Kentucky border. I knew people from those churches and at one time, as a teenager, was invited to speak at one. My familiarity with Apostolic Pentecostal churches is based on several years of experience. These churches would be classified more as a cult than anything else. They are clearly not part of historic Christian orthodoxy. The website for Apostolic Churches beliefs can be viewed here.  For starters, Apostolic Pentecostal churches deny the doctrine of the trinity, holding firmly to the heresy of modalism. This alone places them outside the Christian community. The Apostolic Pentecostal churches also believe that faith and repentance along with water baptism only in the name of Jesus Christ, and the modern tongue-speaking phenomenon are all required to be saved. The churches that I knew believed that women had to wear dresses, some of them held that those dresses had to be ankle length with sleeves going all the way down to their wrists or they were committing an abomination. The churches were legalistic in the extreme.

Clearly, the Apostolic Pentecostal churches are an aberration of biblical Christianity. It is a legalistic sect rejecting historic Christian teaching, a movement entirely in rebellion of apostolic teaching not unlike the one John dealt with in his letter. Ironic I think, but damning at the same time. Kim Davis is said to be part of this community for over four years now. If this is in fact true, it means that Kim Davis is a member in pseudo-Christian community, a group that is in rebellion against Christ and His teachings. So here are the final issues as I see them.

1. Kim could issue marriage licenses without sinning in my opinion.2. Kim should resign if she cannot issue these licenses in good conscience.3. We cannot truly claim that Kim is being persecuted in Christ's name because she is not in jail for preaching Christ.4. Kim is in jail for refusing to carry out her civil duties as clerk of court, not because she loves Christ.5. Kim quite probably belongs to a cult, not a true Christian community and as such, she should not be supported by the Church. If she accepts the teachings of the Apostolic Pentecostal church, she must be marked as a heretic and given the gospel of faith and repentance in Christ.

What bothers me the most about this issue is the outrage I see from my fellow brothers and sisters. These are the same people who will give illicit divorce in the Christian community a wink and nothing more. Professing Christians can divorce for unbiblical reasons and these people just "mind their own business." But on this sin, a sin they hate more than the sin of illicit divorce, they get all worked up. I, for one, have to wonder if they are getting worked up because this sin is wicked in the eyes of God or because this sin is one of the ones they hate the most. If we are not going to tolerate gay marriage, then neither can we tolerate illicit divorce among Christians. In fact, we should not tolerate it among the world either. But we do don't we. Why is that? This hypocrisy is no different than a Christian bed and breakfast owner not inquiring as to the marital status of a man and woman renting a room while rejecting the gay couple a room claiming it injures his conscience. Either we are stupid or we have an obvious double standard. At this point I am not sure which one it is. But I am sure of this: Willow Creek has hired Tullian Tchividjian just two weeks after he filed for divorce. How can a man who has admitted to adultery recently and who is filing for divorce be in a position to be the director of ministry? And there is no outrage at all that I can tell. The bottom line is that the Church has to clean up its own back yard before and then some. 

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