A grievous assault has been made on American Christianity. Our country, established for and upon religious freedom, has now come to the socially acceptable practice of criminalizing it. When Kentucky County Clerk, Kim Davis, was held in contempt of court for refusing to sign a same-sex 'marriage' license, her constitutional right to practice the religion of her choice was trampled before all.
I had a recent Facebook conversation with a fellow ORU classmate. She agreed that what Kim Davis did was honourable. But then the conversation took an interesting turn.
Classmate: "I would have resigned if it were me, but I also have a two-year-old that needs his mama."
Me: "I understand that, yet frankly, it's like Rosa Parks saying, 'I'll just give the white man my seat.' NO. It's not that you're attempting to become a social justice figure, you're just trying to do the right thing morally, even if it doesn't happen to be the right thing legally. If Kim had resigned from her job, it would have been someone else's name up there."
Classmate: "That's probably true. But we can't all be Rosa Parks. I still think that resigning would be an honorable option for someone in that situation who had a family that needed them or some other reason that going to jail would affect more than just themselves. Thank God we did have Rosa Parks, but I don't think all the people who DID give up their seats on the bus did anything wrong."
Me: "I don't know that I would go so far as to call resigning honourable. It's certainly understandable, certainly not dishonourable. Resigning would have made a difference in the life of Kim. Standing firm is making a difference in the life of our nation and the Body of Christ."
Classmate: "Well, somebody probably had to do it. But it's also not the only moral thing to do. And resigning would clearly be more honorable than just giving in and signing the papers--giving up your job and probably your financial security along with it isn't exactly an easy way out."
Me: "What would the 12 apostles have done?
"The point is, if this continues, many Christians will be forced to choose between their comfort and their convictions. Most of us weren't making our voices heard before things got this bad, when we wouldn't have had to face jail time for our beliefs. And now we're collectively reaping the benefits of that."
I share this conversation because I feel it offers insight into what many American Christians may be thinking about the Kim Davis situation. "Sure Kim is brave, but you know--not everyone can be expected to do what she did."
My friends, this is precisely the problem.
Had more believers stood together, prayed effectively, repented on behalf of ourselves as well as our nation, and made our voices heard through various means, we would not be in the situation we are in today.
We have a my-four-and-no-more mentality. We are only concerned with how our family and loved ones are affected. We also have a save-my-own-skin mentality. And finally, largely, we have a someone-else-will-handle-it-because-[insert reason why] mentality.
"I...have a two-year-old that needs his mama." The Apostles all had wives, children, and elderly parents--including Mary, the Mother of Jesus--depending on them. And wasn't it Paul who said that those who don't provide for their families are worse than infidels (I Tim. 5:8)? The Early Church needed its leaders to guide them in the ways of the Lord (Eph. 4:11-16). While it is certainly true that it is easier for a single person to single-mindedly pursue the things of God, God is not in the habit of only calling single people to do great things for Him.
We can always come up with a multitude of excuses as to why God can't or shouldn't use us for His purposes. Moses claimed stuttering as his excuse. Jeremiah claimed a lack of desire. But none of that matters to God. He knew what you had and what you were feeling when He placed you between a rock and a hard place. Our excuses, at their honest core, are just selfishness and a lack of submission to Christ's lordship.
With the unconstitutional arrest and sentencing of Kim Davis, it is official that American Christians are well past the point of comfort. Many of us have the option of living out our lives as nominal Christians: not bothering anyone, not offending anyone, never ruffling feathers or rocking the boat. But it isn't nominal Christians who change the world.
It is dark situations such as these that create an atmosphere for our light to shine brighter than ever before.
"Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you." (Isaiah 60:1-2)
"But the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits." (Daniel 11:32)
God has not called us to a life of comfort. Had the Church in America truly banded together before this unholy law was passed, when there were no fines to pay and was no time to serve, then we would have had things much easier than they are now. But we didn't. The things that have and are coming to past in our nation are not just the fault of the End Times. They are also the fault of a sleeping apathetic Church.
But I think Perry Stone summed it up best when he said that sending persecution on the Church in America was the worst thing he could do! Because in the face of persecution, we will cast aside our fractious factions and denominational differences and stand shoulder to shoulder as we stand toe to toe with the Spirit of AntiChrist. And when we do that, we will absolutely win!