“The defiant Kentucky clerk has doubled down in her determination not to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples.” Her Christian convictions and refusal to comply has landed her in jail. Is Kim Davis doing the right thing? Is she obeying God?
In case you didn’t know, county clerks are elected officials who are responsible for keeping county records and issuing licenses and certificates. This would include marriage and divorce licenses, business licenses, as well as birth and death certificates. Most of these documents have an official seal with the county clerk’s personal name printed at the top in order to establish its authority.
When the U.S. Supreme Court recently handed down its decision legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide, Kim Davis refused to comply based on religious convictions. She would not issue a same-sex marriage license because her name was printed at the top and she could not endorse this definition of marriage. Mrs. Davis also ordered her 6 deputies to refuse issuing same-sex marriage licenses as well.
Her reasoning was that she was acting “under God’s authority”. Is that true? Would God want her to respond this way? Although this discussion can get a bit convoluted, there are some guiding principles from God’s word that will help.
Romans 13:1-2 – Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.
Scripture is clear that Christians are to be law-abiding citizens. In fact, when Christians break the law, they are also sinning against God. Based on this truth, Kim Davis is breaking the law by refusing to uphold the recent decision that was handed down by the Supreme Court. It is also important to note that she is a government employee and getting paid to obey the law and uphold the U.S. Constitution.
So where does this leave Christians who are being instructed to violate God’s word in order to continue employment? Biblically speaking, there are only two godly options available, resign or resist within the law.
In Acts 25:7-12, Paul the Apostle felt he was being wrongly accused by governor Festus and defended his rights as a Roman citizen by appealing to Caesar. This resistance was both legal and within his rights. So there are times when Christians can and should resist in order to defend themselves within the law. But the Kim Davis situation is very different. Paul the Apostle was not being paid by the government he was resisting and Kim Davis is not being wrongly accused. No one is debating whether she will or won’t issue a same-sex marriage license. The issue at hand is whether Mrs. Davis has the legal right to resist based on religious convictions. This is where things get convoluted.
Being an elected official, Mrs. Davis can’t be fired by an employer because she works for the people. In a sense, she is the governing authority mentioned in Romans 13. Even the Kentucky governor cannot make Mrs. Davis resign. Her removal would require an impeachment process and proof of criminal activity. This is where the debate is currently taking place because it is not clear what religious freedoms are granted to public officials in light of their responsibility to fulfill their duties. 
Because of this confusion, I believe Mrs. Davis is handling the situation in a godly and direct manner, especially given her suggestion to simply remove her name from the marriage licenses. She has agreed to issue same-sex marriage licenses as long as her name is not listed. This seems like a reasonable compromise given the situation because it will both accommodate her religious convictions and allow her to uphold the recent Supreme Court decision. Of course, this will probably create more legal issues for the courts to sort out, but hey that’s the price for changing the law!
At least it’s placing the responsibility back on the courts where the whole problem began. Remember it’s the courts that changed it up, not Kim Davis. Now if she would have been elected after the same-sex marriage law was passed, we would be having a very different discussion.
Although, I believe putting Mrs. Davis in jail seems a bit extreme and more political than anything else, I do think the dialog that is being created will be beneficial.
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