Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

When Insanity is Substituted for Duty

Over the weekend, I read a couple of well-written articles (written by evangelicals) about the situation regarding Kim Davis. These articles, like some that I'd read before, were asserting that Kim Davis
should have resigned if she found herself unable to fulfill her duty of issuing marriage licenses. Now, I don't think that a person whose conscience was bothered at issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples would necessarily be committing a sin if he or she DID choose to resign. But MUST such a person resign? The argument for the "resign!" position says that since she was hired to do a certain job-a job that includes the issuing of marriage licenses-then, upon finding herself unable to do an important aspect of her job, she should have resigned. But notice: when she was elected to office, her job did not include participating in the re-definition of marriage. Also: it is debatable whether the Supreme Court has the authority to change her job in the way that it attempted to do.

For those who think that, beyond a doubt, Kim Davis should have resigned, I would like to pose the following question. How many basic definitions regarding a person's job could the courts change before some action could reasonably be taken by that person in protest? Say that Kim Davis had been elected as a dog catcher in her county and that part of her job included shooting rabid dogs. If the Supreme Court had come along and said, "The definition of 'rabid dogs' now includes people with blonde hair and blue eyes," then should Davis have felt conscience-bound to either comply or resign? Couldn't she appropriately resist without resigning?

In Obergefell, the Supreme Court declared a re-definition of a basic human institution. The idea of heterosexual marriage is not just the doctrine of some religious sect. "Marriage" is defined by moral law, natural philosophy ("the light of nature"), and thousands of years of tradition to be between man and woman. The Supreme Court of our nation has made a declaration that equates to moral and legal insanity. Kim Davis and other conscience-stricken government officials are trying to act in a sane manner given an insane situation. I believe that we would be wise to be careful in criticizing their choices in this matter.


Friday, September 04, 2015

Re: Kim Davis. Thinking Through Some Ramifications of Saying She Should Have Resigned

From NBC News, via Denny Burk:

A federal judge has ordered a Kentucky clerk to jail after she refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who has turned away same-sex couples seeking marriage licenses, was found in contempt of court and taken into custody on Thursday.
Davis, 49, was in federal district court to appear before a judge after refusing to issue licenses to gay and lesbian couples in Rowan County. Davis, an Apostolic Christian [a charismatic group], has said doing so would “violate God’s definition of marriage” and infringe on her personal religious beliefs.
District Court Judge David Bunning said that she is bound by an oath of office to perform her duties under the law, and ordered her to jail.

Some of my brothers and sisters in Christ are agreeing with Rod Dreher and others who argue that, while they think Davis should not have been sent to jail, "as an officer of the state charged with upholding the law, she ought to resign her position if she cannot fulfill her duties."

Those who take this position MIGHT be correct, but we should notice what the "resign!" position entails. It is not just Davis who would have to resign, but (now that the Supreme Court has redefined marriage for legal purposes) ANY Christian in a public office that is involved with the institution of marriage-any Christian official in such a position, who has a conscience provoked at the thought of giving approval to sin (Rom 1:32)-would also need to resign.

Furthermore, what about the Christian police officer who will now be ordered to arrest people like Kim Davis? If his conscience is provoked, should he necessarily resign his position? What about the Christian D.A. who will be called upon to prosecute those who refuse to comply with Obergefell (or legislation that will be crafted with Obergefell in view)? Should a D.A. in that position necessarily resign rather than remain in office while refusing to bring charges? Followed to its logical conclusion, the position that 'Kim Davis should have resigned' is a position that would have Christians vacate large sectors of governmental employment. IF you believe that Christians of conscience do not necessarily need to abandon an increasing number of government jobs in our country, then you must think through another view regarding Kim Davis (and those like her). Practically speaking, this other view may need to include a willingness for Christians to occasionally face jail-time as a matter of conscience-driven civil disobedience.


Wednesday, September 02, 2015

God's Internal Dialogue in the Early Chapters of Genesis

In the early chapters of Genesis, God reveals some instances of His own internal dialogue.

God’s words to Himself concerning Man, Genesis 1:26: Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

God’s words to Himself concerning woman, Genesis 2:18: Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

God’s words of judgment against fallen Man, Genesis 3:22: Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” 

God’s words of judgment against pervasive rebellion, Genesis 6:7: So the LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.”

God’s words of judgment against hubris, Genesis 11:6-7: And the LORD said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.

I take it, based on passages such as Isaiah 55:8-9, that God is incomprehensible-the Creator is infinitely higher than His creation-and that these examples of internal dialogue, while revealing something true and beneficial about God, are adapted to our limitations.

I find it significant that each instance of God's internal dialogue concerning Man following humanity's descent into sin involves judgment.