Despite claims from people on either side, the issues are complicated surrounding Kim Davis’ refusal to issue marriage license to same-sex couples in Rowan County Kentucky.
Different Christians will have different perspectives on what Davis should do. They will disagree about how she should have handled her job from the first moment she faced what she believed to be a conflict between her role as county clerk and her faith.
I am under no illusions that all who claim the name of Christ can agree on how Davis should proceed. There will be not be an unified extension of support there (though there should be a unified extension of grace).
No, it’s not her present or future that should unite all Christians. It’s Davis’ past that should lend us the opportunity to support her regardless of our position on her actions.
Clearly, her past does not line up with what the Bible teaches. She has a checkered history when it comes to men and marriage. But all of that was before she came to Christ.
Because people don’t understand what it means to be a Christian, they tried to make a meme mocking Davis, but they actually presented the gospel.
That’s understandable for those apart from Christ, but it worries me to see Christians lampooning her over her previous lifestyle.
Whatever your thoughts are on her political tactics, it seems (from all appearances) she has been radically transformed by God’s grace. That’s someone every Christian should recognize.
But many Christians, in an effort to distance themselves from Davis (and “Christians like her”), have displayed the very pharisaical attitudes they accuse her of holding.
They want to be known as the right kind of Christian, to be accepted by the right kind of people in culture, so they mock Davis’ past and condemn her over sins from which Christ has redeemed her.
Who is the Pharisee in that picture? It’s not Davis, regardless of what you believe about her position on her job or gay marriage.
She’s not the one loudly proclaiming to all who would hear, “God, thank you I am not like other people—judgemental, uncultured, ignorant, or even like this woman in Kentucky. I’m modern and sophisticated.”
Should we really be surprised that someone whom God has set free from a past where marriage was not honored would be extremely passionate about seeing it defended now?
If her past prevents her from speaking about marriage presently, then we can ignore most of the New Testament. It was written by a bunch of men with some really screwed up, sinful, hypocritical lives.
Don’t listen to Matthew when he records Jesus speaking of laying up treasures in heaven. After all, Matthew used to be a tax collector who stole from people.
There’s no reason to read Peter’s words about following Christ and enduring suffering. He ran away when Jesus was taken and spent the night denying he even knew Jesus.
Why would we even allow Paul the opportunity to write about what it means to be a Christian at all? He was trying to kill those who claimed the name of Jesus.
But that’s the amazing thing about Christianity: Christ has made us into a new creation. The old has gone; the new has come.
For you. For me. For Kim Davis. For anyone in Christ.
Every Christian, regardless of what we believe she should do, can join with Davis and rejoice that our past no longer defines us.