Dear Kim Davis,
I know you think what you are doing is right. That you are standing up for your convictions and pleasing God. In fact, you and I share similar beliefs in Jesus. However, I wish you’d think this through. I wish you’d consider:
- Your Convictions Are Inconsistent. I understand you think you are defending the sanctity of marriage but if that’s true, how many marriage licenses have you signed for couples already living together? How many have you signed for couples that also had a prenuptial agreement? How many couples did you authorize who had a different view of marriage than you do? I realize you see marriage as a covenantal commitment under the authority of God (as do I) but you’re selective in how you impose your convictions. It makes it look like this isn’t really about you standing strong in your convictions, but more about you selectively withholding rights to certain citizens of our country.
- Your Faith Is Unfair And Unattractive. By your logic, could a Muslim grocery clerk refuse to sell you bacon? Or how about a Mormon clerk refusing to scan your coffee? These are equally valid religious convictions by honest people trying to live out their faith. What you’re really saying is only your Christian convictions are important and able to defy the laws of our country. You are making yourself more important than others while Jesus requests you think of others as more important than yourself. (Phil. 2) Your faith is known for its rights and privilege rather than its love and service.
- There Is A Plank In Your Own Eye. By this point, we all know about your multiple divorces. I’m not here to rub your face in it, because I’m sure that must have been incredibly painful. I’m here to remind you of how desperately you need grace. The apostle Paul understood this and boldly stated, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.” (1 Tim. 1:15-16) Imagine what that fateful afternoon would have looked like if you had gotten up that morning and allowed God’s amazing grace to remind you of all you’ve been saved from. I imagine you’d feel less threatened and more generous because God has been so generous with you. Freely you have received Kim, so please freely give. (Matt. 10:8) Love the sinner and hate your own sin.
- Your Morality Has Lost Its Meaning. I’ve written about this a lot lately, but anytime we subtract relationships from our convictions, the Pharisees win. That afternoon was about you being right instead of you loving a nervous and excited couple. Our God did not simply send a pamphlet down from heaven with a list of rights and wrongs but he sent his Son filled with grace and truth. He took time to get to know people, listen, love, and build trust. How do you think that couple felt being rejected by you? I imagine it must have been incredibly embarrassing and painful. I’m sure it left an indefinite scar. Sadly, I’m sure that’s probably how they view our God now as well. You shut the gate and walked away while Jesus tells a story of leaving 99 sheep just to find one.
- Your Are Not Being Persecuted. Earlier this week, I had someone speak of persecution and quote Acts 4:19 “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” They were trying to connect Peter’s arrest to yours. There are some stark contrasts with the two stories. Peter got arrested for asking God to heal a lame man. He was part of an oppressive system funded by Rome. He was powerless, and facing possible execution. You got arrested for oppressing others. No one is forcing you to sign anything. You had the freedom to step down from your appointed position and go find another job. As a white American woman you have an insatiable amount of power and privilege. Try speaking of persecution with a Christian missionary living in North Korea or Sudan whose lives are often threatened? It’s insulting. You broke the law. Also, your privilege weakens your voice. Please remember our God came to this world as a vulnerable baby instead of a conquering king. He bids us to go in the same way. (John 17:18)
- You Forget God Is In Control. This “sky is falling”, “take back America” rhetoric needs to stop. It’s a false nostalgia. We were never a Christian nation, nor is it even God’s will that we become one. Things are finally starting to become fair in our country. Historically, the less power and privilege Christians have had in any culture, the more effective they’ve become. The Kingdom of God is a subtle, subversive movement that sprouts up in beauty and hope in the least expected places. It is not demanding. It is not controlling. It is patient, it is kind, and it does not dishonor others. (1 Cor. 13) Ultimately Kim, you make God look really small. As if He needs defending. As if He does not make all things work for the good of those who love him (Rom. 8:28) I wish you’d shout less, and trust him more.
Finally Kim, you are my sister. Honestly, I’m embarrassed and frustrated by your actions. I think you make us all look silly and arrogant, but I think we’ll be neighbors someday in heaven. I actually think grace is that spectacular. I want you to know you don’t have to get God’s attention or impress him. There is nothing you will ever do to make him love you more. He loves you and I do too. You are more than these headlines and that fateful afternoon. You are a unique, complex, and magnificent creation made in the image of God. If we ever met, I wouldn’t even bring up what happened, because all this attention has probably been brutal. Instead, I’d just give you a big hug and buy you a cup of coffee and try to make you laugh. I’d be a friend to you Kim so you’d be reminded of how God feels about you.
And how He feels about that couple as well.
The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ (Matt. 11:19)