In the midst of the Kim Davis saga, there has been a plethora of divisive commentary on both sides of the argument. Do a search in Twitter on the hashtag #KimDavis, and you’ll find yourself drowning in sea righteousness, rhetoric, and ridiculousness. I will admit I’ve been enthralled by the issue, and much to my own chagrin, fervently active, as well as a bit snarky, about it on Twitter.
This post is not meant to add fuel to the divisive commentary, although I will admit the choice for the title was deliberately bold. I imagine some people will quit reading this post right about here (and go block me on social media), and that’s fine. But if you do continue to press forward, let me explain why I felt compelled to write this post.
I need to also state I don’t claim to have all the answers. As binary as people claim this issue to be, there really is a lot of nuance that is overlooked as the vitriol and mimes are hurled in this Internet brawl. I was deliberately avoiding blogging about this matter, mainly because I’ve been know to put my foot in my mouth and, at times, rock an already sinking ship. But what drove me to write was the commentary I found in the wake of turbulence.
I am a Christian. More specifically, I consider myself a Christ follower. To be even more granular, I believe Jesus Christ is God, came to earth in human form, sacrificed himself so that all of humanity could be redeemed from sin, and conquered death through His resurrection. I also believe we are all sinners, incapable of perfection, and that we’re each striving for betterment in our lives.
As a Christian, I believe I am called to reach out to those who are not believers. I am called to reach out to those who are away from God, to be a light for those in darkness. I like to think I do that through my words and through my actions. As I’ve written before, we are called to evangelize God’s word. The actual soul saving part, however, is done by God.
And there’s the rub that’s at the heart of the Kim Davis controversy. I am sure Mrs. Davis feels she’s evangelizing. There’s no doubt in my mind she feels in her heart her convictions are true. To a certain extent, I commend her for standing up for those convictions. Where I disagree with her, however, is in what I feel is the imposition of those beliefs on others.
I don’t want this post to go down the tangential conversation of First Amendment rights, separation of church and state, and what contempt of court means. Instead, what drove me to write this post is what I perceive as the non-Christian approach many of the vocal supporters of Kim Davis are using to further their argument. With defiant hands in the air and signs lathered in fire and brimstone, the message I see them convey is, “Obey our God …. or else!” It’s a message not of compassion but of condemnation. It is not a message inviting others to share in the celebration of God’s love, but rather one cloaked in spite and bathed in fear mongering. It’s a message that makes me wonder if they’re talking about the same Jesus I love and worship and praise.
Perhaps this is simply a matter of style. I am not an ‘in your face’ kind of person. I don’t have the ‘come at me bro’ bravado the seems to work well for others. I subscribe to the school of thought my friend Rick employs in his approach to ministry, one that calls for us to be gentle witnesses to God’s amazing grace.
But what I find sad are the casualties this conversation – if you want to call the circus that is the Kim Davis issue a conversation – is producing. At the end of the day, are we, as Christians, presenting God as a loving and forgiving God? Are our words and actions working to bring others closer to Him? As Christians, regardless of what side of the argument we may find ourselves, is what we’re doing glorifying His name? The following tweets seem to indicate that for some, at least, the answer to those questions is no. And that’s the really heart-breaking part of all of this.
“We were not created to settle for mere religion. Jesus did not die so that we could have a religious belief system, but rather a life-giving relationship with our Father.” – Christine Caine