14 September 2015

Sins More Grievous Than Sodomite Marriage and Why Kim Davis Misses the Point When it Comes to Enforcing God's Law in Kentucky

 or The Travails of a Babylonian Bureaucrat Pt. 2
There are other considerations with regard to the clerk in Kentucky that are not being discussed.

No one would accept this kind of behaviour in the private sector. If I were a teetotaling Baptist and I went to work at a tavern, would I have the 'right' to insist they cater to me and not force me to serve alcohol? Everyone would say I was wrong to take the job. And yet for Baptists the sin of alcohol consumption is pervasive in our society, almost ubiquitous. They may not like it but it hardly destroys the Church.

Of course I'm neither a Credobaptist nor a teetotaler, but there's a point to be made. Others will say it's a poor analogy because this isn't a private enterprise but a government office. Speaking from the perspective of an employee, I'm not convinced they're all that different but the Dominionist will necessarily view the wielding of political power (even at a functionary level) as critical to their social project.

Does Kim Davis filter out adulterers? I'm not speaking of bigamy or polygamy as the law defines it. She's insisting on imposing God's law on society. Does she hold pagans to the Biblical standard? What about Biblically unlawful divorces? We're not speaking of adultery, and obviously not of desertion resulting from an unwillingness to dwell with a believer. What about Joe and Jane unbeliever who fought over money and didn't get along and consequently divorce.

Biblically speaking a remarriage is adultery. When 'lawfully' divorced Joe shows up with Suzanne seeking a 'marriage', does Kim Davis the county clerk turn them away?

Why not? It's an unbiblical marriage. Issuing the license is condoning what God calls adultery.

That's not realistic. Of course it isn't. But that's hardly the point. She's insisting that she has a moral mandate to bring God's law to bear on her county in Kentucky. Why does she pick this one sin and not the other?
While the one (sodomy) is more egregious to the Christian veneer that Dominionism seeks to create... for in the end that's all it can really do.... in terms of God's commandments, adulterers go to the same hell that sodomites do.

Let's go further.

What about a Christian marrying an unbeliever? That's certainly sinful. It's one thing if two unbelievers are married and one converts. Paul deals with that in 1 Corinthians. The marriage may continue, their children are still holy.

But for a believing, professing Christian to marry a pagan... that's sin.

Granted the local church should be addressing these issues. But as with divorce, it is not dealt with. Let's be candid, if the Church really started to deal with this issue they would cut their own throats. They would lose 1/3 of their congregations outright and then perhaps another 1/3 would be so offended as to leave. This is not to suggest that is a proper response but that's how people tend to respond. It's called nominal Christianity, the very kind produced by Kim Davis' credo.

In a small town it can be even worse. One case of discipline can devastate a congregation. I've seen it happen. The truth is that most of the people attending were not all that interested in what the Bible teaches. Discipline so often ignored quickly separates the sheep from the goats.

But let's face it, there are buildings to be paid for, salaries to maintain and much more. The Church has turned itself into a business and consequently places itself into bondage. Like a drug addict it has to keep pulling in the funds.

I'm digressing but only wish to make a point. How much does it cost to operate the congregation that I'm a part of? Zero. Well, I take that back. I purchase a bottle of wine every couple of weeks and someone else either bakes or buys the bread that we use in weekly communion. I say this to point out that our congregation doesn't feel the money pinch. Numbers don't matter in the least and the influence of a wealthy congregant is no different than that of the poorest member.

Does Kim Davis screen each person to determine whether or not their marriage is being conducted according to Biblical law?

Of course she doesn't, and this exposes the absurdity of her stand.

This is a harder point to grasp (for some), but in reality the false Christian marriages are actually far more grievous and harmful (in terms of the Kingdom) than the fact that sodomites get a piece of paper from the Babylonian state saying they are married. They are the 'outside' that we bear witness against but that God will judge (1 Cor 5).

The 'inside' is far different. The world and its values entering the Church are a cancer. False converts lead to congregational destruction. The world invades and false converts and apostates listen to false teachers and prophets. They lose their way and soon you will end up like one of the deteriorating congregations in Revelation.

We are fighting a spiritual battle and indeed part of that battle is against the forces of the world, but the real threat is always from within. It should outrage us the Church allows adulterous marriages and doesn't call to account those who call themselves followers of Christ unlawfully (as per Scripture) consecrate and disintegrate marriages. That should be far more upsetting than seeing lost people behave like... lost people.

Dominionism confounds all of this. It inverts our priorities, goals and ethics. It creates a pseudo-Kingdom... for many it's a confused narrative about America or the West. Power becomes an end.

These points will not be comprehensible to Dominionist thinkers. They 'must' capture the spheres of society. They must control the narrative, the symbols and the nomenclature. The idea that something is 'outside' or not part of the 'holy' breaks their model.

But that's what the New Testament teaches.

Please note how this affects one's ethics. The political angle takes precedent and destroys the ability to work through the real implications of your actions. The principle is power, the end justifying the means.

Again, I feel sorry for Kim Davis. She's misguided and she's being used by those who would make political hay. It's startling to see how American Evangelicalism has had its Samaria crushed and it no longer has categories to deal with living in the world. The end of all this will be tragic but like the syncretists of Samaria, they're fall will not be due to a testimony of righteousness.