Thoughts of a messed up Christian saved by God's grace

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Daniel, a fiery furnace, and Kim Davis

  I was slow to get on the "support Kim Davis" bus. I am one of those rare people who truly believes what Jesus said about marriage and divorce, and felt she was a poor person to be standing against gay marriage when she was on her fourth marriage, making just as a mockery out of marriage as gay marriage makes. I didn't disagree with her stand, I just wasn't sure she was the person to do what she is doing.

  But I was wrong. I'll admit when I am. Her multiple marriages and divorces happened before she was a Christian, and as trite as it sounds.... all of that is forgiven and under the blood. I wouldn't want anyone to hold against me what God has forgiven me for, so I cannot do that with her. So with that issue resolved in my mind, I support her actions and feel she is being wronged by being jailed without bail. That isn't American, and that is not freedom. Our Constitution should protect her from what is happening.

  It shouldn't surprise me, but I am amazed at the amount of conservatives and Christians who believe she should just resign her job or just give the license. After all, gay marriage is the law and since she is working for the government, she has to uphold the law and should check her religious rights, freedoms, and beliefs at the door.

  Wrong. There are a few things wrong with that thinking:

1) First off, there is no law for her to uphold. Most elementary kids who have studied government and history can tel you that judges cannot make laws. They can rule on if a law is constitutional, but they cannot ever make a law. They struck down a law forbidding gay marriage, but made no law that Kim Davis has to uphold.

2) Working for the government does not strip anyone of their rights. Government employees still have the same freedoms, rights, and beliefs that we have.

3) Gay rights do not trump religious rights and freedoms. Oh, 99.99% of the time they come up against each other, gay rights win, but they should not trump religious freedoms.

4) God is not OK with homosexuality and gay marriage. His Word - Old and New Testaments both - condemn the sin, and only makes allowance for "one man and one woman til death do us part" marriage. No Christian should have any part in a gay wedding, whether it be the license, baking a cake, or taking photographs of a gay wedding. Will that offend people? Yes, but since when did God say to embrace or approve of sin to make people feel better? Never.

   We have become so influenced by the world we live in that we see everything through worldly eyes instead of through God's eyes. Too many Christians are quick to condemn and judge Christians for standing up against these things, and they seem to forget and ignore what people did in the Bible. A friend of mine posted something today that got me to thinking, so consider these cases from the Bible. I am sure that if you could time travel the same Christians condemning Kim Davis, Aaron and Melissa Klein, and others like them to Bible times they would condemn the same people who the Bible lauds for doing the right thing.

  Case #1 Daniel:

   Even though Daniel was in captivity, he had found favor with the king and was a trusted adviser. Evil men got jealous and conspired against him. They got the king to issue a decree that no one could pray or worship anyone other than the king. They knew that every day, Daniel opened his windows and prayed to his God.

  Most of us would still pray, but we'd close the windows, hide in our closet, and whisper our prayers. Not Daniel. He opened his windows, and prayed aloud in the open as always. He got thrown in the lion's den, but we all know how that ended. The lions decided they didn't want Daniel burger for supper, and he came out unhurt.

  "But oh," our modern Christians bashing Kim Davis would say, "He is a government employee. He should comply with the order! How dare he openly break the law. He is just trying to make a scene and be a martyr. He needs to pray in quiet and not in public, or not do it at all, or resign his job."

Case #2: Daniel, Sharach, Meshach, and Abednego:

  This happened long before the lion's den incident. Israel had been conquered. Those who were not killed were hauled off into captivity. The Babylonians picked out the best looking of the young people they had captured to prepare for the king's service. They would be groomed and given the best of the king's wine, meat, and other delicacies. Sounds pretty sweet. They weren't going to get McDonalds and Taco Bell, but get ritzy and expensive steakhouse fare.

  But the young men said no. This was most likely food sacrificed to idols, and some of it most likely didn't fall into what God had ordered for them to eat. They convinced the men in charge to allow them vegetables and water. And they turned out healthier than the people eating the king's fare. Daniel 1:8 says " But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself".

  Again, if modern Christians were there, we'd have a different story. They would point out that they were in captivity, don't make waves, the food won't hurt you. Don't make a scene, just do what they say and blend in. God will understand.

  But Daniel and his buddies wanted to please God, not a king who had them in captivity and held their very lives in his hand.

Case #3: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego:

  I know, I am stuck in the book of Daniel, but there is so much in there. I have to use one more. Nebuchednezzer was rather full of himself and built a huge image of himself out of gold that was 90 feet tall and 9 feet wide. Everyone had to gather and at the sound of the horn were to bow to the statue, and anyone who did not would get thrown into fiery furnace.

  In that crowd were Sharach, Meshach, and Abenedgo. What would we do? I know what our modern "don't rock the boat" Christians would do. "I'll bow outwardly, but inside will worship my God." Or "I'll bend down and adjust my shoe and appear to be bowing." Or "Oh look, what a neat rock. I'll just bend down and pick it up." Or "Psst, Meshach and Bed.... how about a quick game of tic tac toe in the sand?"

  But these 3 guys. They stood while everyone knelt to the gold figure. Since everyone else was kneeling, they were noticed immediately. The infuriated king had them brought before him and gave them another chance. Their reply from Daniel 3:16-18 was "16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. 18 But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”

   The Bible doesn't say so, but I would imagine they had friends and family pleading with them to just bow and get it over with. "God will understand, and you don't have to actually worship the statue, Just pretend."

  The furious king had the furnace heated 7 times hotter and had the three men bound and thrown into the furnace, and they walked out unharmed without a hair on their head singed and not even smelling like smoke.

Case #4: Peter and the apostles

  In Acts 5 Peter and other apostles were put in prison for preaching about Jesus. The jail could not hold them, and God opened the doors. They went back to the temple and preached again. And again, they were brought before the authorities and commanded not to preach and teach anymore. Peter and the apostles stood up and said in verse 16 "But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men." After a discussion, the apostles were beaten and ordered to cease their preaching........ and they went out and kept on preaching.

  Most modern Christians would have stopped the first time they were commanded, for after all it was a law and we are to listen to the authorities......

  The bold truth is homosexuality is a sin. Gay marriage is a mockery of marriage that tries to unite two people living in a sin God called an abomination in a sacred union that God would never recognize. And I firmly believe no Christian should have any part in a gay wedding. There is no right, as God calls it a sin and the supreme court cannot legalize sin, and Christians should not bow down to them just because they tried to make legal what God will never make right.

  I don't know what the true issue is. Maybe we have become so much like the world that we are not even interested in standing against what is wrong. Maybe the church is full of spineless cowards claiming to serve Christ, but afraid to do anything that might cost them.... like standing up against the government itself when it is wrong.

  Daily there is news about Christians being told we can't do this or that. Prayer has been banned from schools, football captains can't pray with their team or talk to them about God. Chaplains the military are being told they can't mention certain things or they will be out. Our country is increasingly becoming more and more hostile to true Christians, and daily are trying to shut us up and get us to buckle to what the atheists, Muslims, and government wants.

  What would these heroes of the faith do? Can you imagine Daniel being the captain of a football team and being told he can't pray with his team anymore? Do you really think he would stop? He faced the lions to keep praying in the open, I doubt a school board or the ACLU would faze him. Can you imagine Paul or Peter granting a gay marriage license? They never did what the religious leaders or government did back then, but obeyed God instead, so no... I cannot imagine them buckling on that issue.

  I cannot imagine Jesus baking a cake or doing anything else for a gay wedding, but many of His followers claim we should and side with the world against any Christian who dares to refuse to.

  Have we become so used to stepping aside when the government or some judge says Christians can't do this or that, we can't put a cross there, we can't pray there, we have to accept that........ that when some Christian dares to stand up for what is right and dares to stand against wrong that our gut reaction is to stand against them? How sad and pathetic we have become if we so quickly take a stand against someone who is standing against something wrong. Is it wrong to give a gay marriage license? Yes, I believe it is. Are her rights being violated? I think the real question is, should a Christian do something wrong even if the government and other Christians think they should do it? And the answer is a resounding NO!

  We have become too concerned about our rights, but yet the real issue is doing what is right. Should we have caved to God and prayer being kicked out of schools? No! Should captains of sports teams buck the system and pray with students anyway? Yes! For too long we have just sat back and let evil take over our country. The atheists go to court and we do what we are told. A judge strikes down a law, so we do what we are told. And then when a Kim Davis comes along, we are angry with her for not just doing what the government says to do.

  I don't mean to sound like a prophet of doom, but things will get worse, especially if we keep voting in godless politicians who put in godless judges who fight against Christians with all of their might. If the day comes when we are told we can't have a Bible, will these same cowardly Christians turn theirs in and criticize those who do not? If Christian schools are closed and we are ordered to send our kids to public schools, will those who buck those orders be demonized by weak Christians who are afraid to stand for what is right and against what is wrong?

  The day may come here in America that Christianity is outlawed. And we will have no one to blame but ourselves. The courts and government keeps ruling against Christians in most cases that come up in courts, and we are so used to losing that we just accept it, and take a step back. And if we keep doing that, if we keep surrendering ground, pretty soon we will reach that point where Christianity is illegal, owning a Bible is illegal, saying homosexuality is a sin is illegal. And we will stand against anyone who dares to stand against those unjust laws and demand they also obey and cower to the authorities.

  Down through the centuries, Christians have defied kings, religious leaders, fellow Christians, and others to do what God wanted them to do. They were so intent on doing right, that they risked it all. And in many cases, they could have obeyed the law and not really broke God's law, but pleasing God and doing right was more important than life. If all of these heroes of the faith who stood strong through the ages could be here today, I believe they would stand with Kim Walker and count her among the faithful and those who have suffered for Christ.

  These Christians have printed and distributed Bibles when the law said not to. They have smuggled Jews to safety when the law said they could not. They have met to worship when there were laws in place saying they could not. Over and over through the centuries of Christendom, faithful men and women did what was right at risk of jail, death, torture, and at the risk of being fought by other religious people.

  If I ever have to choose between prison or death and in doing the right thing, may God give me the same strength and faith in Him to do what Kim Davis has done. She is as much of a hero as Daniel, the apostles, and other Biblical heroes are. She is doing what is right and standing against the wrong, and has been unjustly jailed for it. And many Christians are unjustly standing against her. We should be supporting a fellow Christian in her battle and praying for her, not writing blog posts and Facebook posts criticizing her and showing our own weakness and cowardice to do what she has done. Harsh? Maybe, but I am tired of Christians standing against other Christians for standing against the wrong and trying to do what is right.

  Yes, we need to love gay people. God loves them, but He would never, ever do anything to help them in their sin or do anything to indicate He approves of their sin. He would call them to leave their sin, deny themselves, and follow Him.

  This being a Christian is about giving our all, and loving God above all else.... even our own selves. If we "do" Christianity right, it will cost us something. It may mean sitting in a jail cell some day, or facing death. Other Christians have.

  When Daniel prayed, why were not others caught praying and thrown in jail? When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to bow, why were there not others who refused?

  And why are there not other Christians refusing to do what Kim Davis is refusing to do. Oh, there are a few, but there should be more. There should be Christian governors standing up against the legalization of sin, There should be mayors, Congressmen, and more to add their voice to saying we will not comply. This is wrong.

  May God help us to stand for the right things and against what is wrong. And may God help us to stand with other Christians when they are in a sitiation like Kim Davis is in, and may He help us to not go to the other side and condemn them and fight them. And may God forgive those Christians who have and are fighting Christians who have been and are in these places of standing for their faith.

  It will get worse. How many will be able to stand for the truth and serve God no matter what comes? I pray I will be among the faithful.