My Take On Kim Davis

My Take On Kim Davis

As I write this, I’m sitting in a Trevecca chapel service listening to Shawna Songer Gaines preach from Daniel 1.

Four promising young Hebrew men have been exiled to Babylon under King Nebuchadnezzar. The king is in the process of assimilating them into the Babylonian mind-set. He has already changed their names from Hebrew-God-honoring names to Babylon-god-honoring names.

Now, they are being directed to consume the Babylonian food. Daniel, whose names means God is my judge, has been re-named Belteshazzar, which means Bel protect his life. (Bel was a Babylonian god.) But Daniel refuses to eat the king’s fare and requests that he and his three Hebrew friends be allowed to eat vegetables instead. They will be the test crash dummies for the diet. If the food they eat (and the God they serve), does not make them better, they will accept their fate.

And at the end of the test, they are actually stronger and healthier than the young men who ate the rich food of the king.

The moral of the story might well be eat your vegetables. But I think it may also show us that Kim Davis, who has made news headlines recently for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses to gay couples in Kentucky (saying to do so would violate her religious beliefs), has a point.

Somewhere, sometime, on some issue, we will be asked to consume the fare of the kingdom in power. And something within us will rise to say no.

Daniel did it, fully willing to accept the consequences at the end of the trial. And he did it again when he prayed to God instead of the Babylonian king. And he did it again when he refused to bow before the image. The book of Daniel is known for fiery furnaces and lion’s dens. Daniel went willingly into both with full faith in God.

What makes us different from Daniel is that we want to take the stand and be delivered from any consequences. Sometimes God delivers us. Sometimes God doesn’t. Like with Jesus on the cross. Either way, we must refuse to eat the king’s fare.

Comments

  1. Dan
    What about Kim’s stand and what “God has told her” regarding her 4th marriage?
    She has been married to her current husband twice, with a divorce and another husband in between. She also had two children when she was not married in 1994.
    In court, she said, “Based on the biblical definition of marriage is a union between one man and one woman.”
    Is this the classic case of “cafeteria style” application of the Word?
    Did she eat the king’s fare with her divorces and bearing children while not married?
    For me, this is the very essence o why “we” have lost our light & saltiness.
    Just sayin

    • I’m glad you are where you are on this matter, Dan. As the dissenting Supremes warned us, the freedom of exercising our religion has been put in jeopardy by the five Judges who way over-stepped their authority. Regarding Mike’s reply, my understanding is that Kim was recently converted to Christ. Her B.C. life is one thing, her new life in Christ is another. If I am correct in my understanding that would explain what appears to be a contradiction, but is not.

      • I’m guessing a new believer put in this spotlight would be hard for anybody. I want to give her some slack, not knowing a blooming thing about her walk in life.

    • Your argument of her former immoral choices before recently becoming a follower of Christ IMO are evidence of the transformative power of God’s grace. Since professing faith in Christ she seems to be willing to do what her faith instructs she should do regardless the cost.
      Perhaps her actions are what John Henry Cardinal Newman was thinking of when he wrote, “Conscience is the aboriginal Vicar of Christ.”

      • I hope she is growing in this ordeal. I don’t plan to pile on. Sometimes the obedience we offer God is conditioned by the circumstances that have formed us. I expect better from some Christians than others because of where they’ve come from and what they’ve gone through.

    • I heard that Kim was a fairly new Christian. Perhaps she has grown in recent months/years. I wonder if Daniel The patriarch had sinned as well. And if he did, does that negate his righteous indignation?

      • I don’t know Kim and have tried not to guess her motives. While I appreciate anyone willing to take costly stands on their conivctions, there seems to be some maturity lacking in this instance.

        • We are being forced to take the mark of the beast (satan) by our man made laws. Remember…we won’t be able to buy or sell unless we take the mark of the beast. Kim has the mark /the name of Jesus in her forehead. What she did or didn’t do before she gave her life to Jesus was covered by the blood of Jesus. I admire her courage for standing up for Jesus. Acts 5:29 obey God, not man. Whose name is in your forehead? Acceptance of Sin has been forced on all of us by our Government legalizing abortion, same sex marriage, taking the mention of God out of schools paid for by our tax dollars., etc. It is only going to get worse. WWJD? He would rebuke these sins and drive these law makers away out of the seats that they hold in high places. Thumbs up to Kim. If we had more like her, we would not be seeing our America become another Sodom and Gomorrah.

  2. Bruce Barnard says

    While I’ll always respect your position within our tribe, equating Kim Davis to the prophet Daniel, chosen by God himself, may go down in Nazarene history as one of the least intelligent things ever written…

    • I was actually trying to demonstrate how she was different from Daniel. He took a stand and left the consequences for his stand in the hands of God. Kim took a stand and wanted there to be no consequences. My concern is that American Christianity owns no expectation of suffering for refusing the king’s fare.

  3. I’m really surprised that you would suggest that Davis’ stance is akin to refusing to eat the King’s fare. Despite how one might feel about the ethic of same-sex unions, there are so many mitigating factors in this story, it is difficult for me to place her so easily alongside this biblical narrative.

    • Rich, I wasn’t trying to write about the merits of her stance. Sadly many friends took this piece as a defense of Kim Davis. I was trying to make one simple point. Daniel took a stand and left the consequences for his stand in the hands of God. Kim took a stand and wanted there to be no consequences. My concern is that American Christianity owns no expectation of suffering for refusing the king’s fare.

  4. Was Kim Davis a conquered citizen? Threatened with assimilation? Or even asked to “assimilate?” Was she asked to sin against God?

    Her job was to approve that marriage certificates that complied with the law – that’s it. She was an elected official, so she could not be fired. Hence, judges found her in contempt, put her in jail, and still she refuses.

    It’s a fine line to be asked to violate one’s personal belief – for Daniel, the food would have been sinning. For approving a legal marriage certificate, she is being asked to do something against her conscious; but not to sin herself.

    ^All that to say that she’s not quite in the same predicament as Daniel.

    And in her case, her conscious (I suppose) is asking the questions, “Do I condone this act with my approval?” and, “Is this act immoral?” If the approval doesn’t violate question 1, there is no need to go to question 2.

    It appears she is concerned about question 1, so how about question 2: is homosexual marriage a sin? And that is one that no one has a satisfying answer for.

    • You have a point that I agree with. The situations are different in the ways you pointed out. I intended no defense of Kim. I was trying to make one simple point. Daniel took a stand and left the consequences for his stand in the hands of God. Kim took a stand and wanted there to be no consequences. My concern is that American Christianity owns no expectation of suffering for refusing the king’s fare.

  5. Rich Schmidt says

    I like your last paragraph about what makes us different from Daniel. But I think a more important difference is that we’ve been eating the king’s fare for a long, long time. We’ve learned to love the taste of violence, at the personal, national, and global levels. We pair every meal with a big glass of self-reliance and individualism. And we follow it with a dessert that’s equal parts consumeristic overconsumption and vanity.

    Why, after getting fat on these for years, would we suddenly turn up our noses at this particular dish? Do we really think that eating this one vegetable will make up for all the other junk food we consume, that we’ll end up looking healthier than those around us?

    If we really refuse the king’s fare, our lives will begin to look like Jesus. Instead of drawing moral lines in the sand that we refuse to cross, we’ll look up from the sand to offer words that lack condemnation and are full of hopeful grace.

  6. I would have respected her a lot if she stepped down from her position publicly, stating that this violates her conscience. The way in which she dissented bothers me. She took an oath to perform the duties of that office and uphold the laws. When you can no longer perform those duties, you should step down. While her motives may be pure, her method gave another angry Christian face to the culture war. It mostly just made me sad.

    • Sadly many friends took this piece as a defense of Kim Davis. I was trying to make one simple point. Daniel took a stand and left the consequences for his stand in the hands of God. Kim took a stand and wanted there to be no consequences. My concern is that American Christianity owns no expectation of suffering for refusing the king’s fare.

  7. Isaac Burch says

    “Accepting the consequences” would be for her to step down from her elected position instead of continuing to receive pay for a job she is unwilling to do. If she doesn’t want to issue the licenses, fine. She should not be coerced into doing it. It is, however, dishonest and unethical to take money from people who pay her to do a job when she won’t do that job. The Christian thing to do would be to step down.

    • Isaac, either step down or willingly accept the consequences of termination. Sadly many friends took this piece as a defense of Kim Davis. I was trying to make one simple point. Daniel took a stand and left the consequences for his stand in the hands of God. Kim took a stand and wanted there to be no consequences. My concern is that American Christianity owns no expectation of suffering for refusing the king’s fare.

  8. Dan,
    You once preached from Mark, about chasing “the hot topics”. Your point is awesome. Seems to bare similarities of “Holy Discontent”. However, folks each and everyday stand in the gap of making bold choices in the face of severe consequences. I’m certain you could have found anyone less polarizing than her (although you mention her in passing); it seems you used her as a springboard for conversation. I’m wondering where the missing component of Grace? She represents so much of the secular view of Christianity – more of what we are against, rather than what we are for. Scripture shares, we will know “you” by how you love one another (including the least of these…).

    • Teddy, I miss you! Sadly many friends took this piece as a defense of Kim Davis. I was trying to make one simple point. Daniel took a stand and left the consequences for his stand in the hands of God. Kim took a stand and wanted there to be no consequences. My concern is that American Christianity owns no expectation of suffering for refusing the king’s fare. Blessings friend!

  9. Dr. Boone,

    Thank you for clarifying what you intended to say. Writing about such topics is always a difficult path to tread, given the typically emotive nature of such conversations. I appreciate your willingness to wrestle publicly with the variety of issues you tackle and to engage in conversation with others, even when it is difficult. Grace and peace to you.

  10. J. B. Chapman says

    Maybe a good follow up to this post, is to talk about the rise of Modalism. Is Kim Davis a “Christian” if she denies the Trinity? How do we handle heretics in our pluralistic society.

  11. Very good point, Dr. Boone. I think American Christians expect there to be an earthly kingdom that fights for their faith, when the people of God have always been at their best when they rely only on God and his kingdom. They believe that the republican party or one candidate or another are God’s way of wresting control of the powers of this world. That sounds very akin to the beliefs of the Sadducees in the New Testament.

  12. David D. Smith says

    What is the Kings fare in post modernity where Christianity no longer sits in the seat of influence and has not for decades? Even if you cannot name it to everyone’s satisfaction, the Kings fare is real.
    The impact of the kings fare is now being felt in greater and greater measure. It has already come to my town. Like it or not, it is coming to your town, to your parish, and the expectation is that you will acquiesce or pay. With a law suit, government funding cut off, or even with your life.
    Whether new believer, or seasoned mature Saint, it is coming. Whether Calvinist, Reformed, Wesleyan, Evangelical, or Catholic; it is coming. This sounds strangely familiar like it comes out of 1st & 2nd Century Christianity. If you are a Christian, holding to Apostolic basics (thinking the creed here), prepare yourself, it is coming. We fool ourselves if we have not this expectation, even in the southeastern US. Taking up the Cross of Christ is about to mean something again in a churchy culture that has forgotten what it cost.
    Don’t stick your head in the sand and deny this is happening now, nor act smug and judgmental because those fundamentalists had it coming.
    If you are democrat or republican, left or right or independent, and a follower of Jesus, be assured by Jesus words, he was hated and you will be as well.
    Prepare yourself now, at all times and places live in the power of the Holy Spirit, be ready to give a reason for the hope that is within you! You will overcome by the blood of the Lamb, the word of your testimony, and loving not your life, even to the point of death.
    Perhaps this is over the top, or an over reaction….or maybe an acknowledgment that we really are sheep among wolves after all.

  13. Janis Godwin Duncan says

    I realize this is an old blog post, but I am just now reading the post. I do not see refusing to do a job you were elected to do as taking a stand for God. When Jesus said, “…Whose portrait is this? and whose inscription?” “Caesar’s they replied. The he said to them, Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” Matthew, 22 19b-21. NIV
    Although this refers to taxes it is more applicable than the story of Daniel. She was elected to a government job, it was her duty to do the job. If she did not want to do the job because of religious beliefs, it was her duty to resign. Resigning would be a true sacrifice, as being thrown into the fire was for Daniel. He took on the consequences of his choice. She did not! She took her pay and refused to do a job she was paid to do. She bullied her employees into following her beliefs. It did not matter to her their stance on the subject. I believe that God loves all people in spite of who they love and her stance was unlawful and unfair. I am not without sin. I no longer believe that a person is able to live a sin free life, but I am forgiven and it is not up to me to make judgement on others’ lives. Janis Godwin (Ridley) Duncan.

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