A reader of Jesus Name News submitted this to us and asked us to post it. We read it and it was really good so we decided that we would share it with all of you. We would like to thank Anthony K. Brent for sharing this with us.
The Sun had barely risen on an early September morning in the Middle East. It was setting on the states and making its way here as I prepared to get up for work and watched the baristas at Starbucks prepare my customary overpriced morning cup of iced coffee. As usual I decided to check my Facebook, just to see what was going on back home in the states with friends and family. This would be my first time reading about the brave county clerk in Nowheresville, Kentucky who was refusing to issue marriage licenses in defiance of a Supreme Court ruling made in June redefining marriage.
I supported her immediately. It put a smile on my face. Not only because she was exhibiting the courage and conviction that is missing from this generation of Americans, but because this little act of valor was reviving an important discussion in this country buried by news of Caitlyn Jenner, Deflate-gate, and The Donald running for President. That’s the discussion of Judicial Activism and how the Supreme Court’s recent rulings have grossly over-stepped constitutional boundaries. At this point I had no clue that she was Apostolic. My support for Kim Davis had nothing to do with her religion; it had everything to do with her fearlessness in the face of judicial tyranny.
It was later, while watching the videos that I noticed that she “looked like us” (this should be a lesson on the importance of separation and holiness, but I’ll leave that topic alone). I asked around until it was officially confirmed that she was an independent Apostolic Pentecostal. Rev. Rashidi Collins, a rising voice amongst youth in the Apostolic Pentecostal Movement, tweeted this and I thought it was absolutely brilliant:
“Let the Record reflect – First person jailed for their beliefs about Gay Marriage is an Apostolic Christian”
The prophetic nature of this post struck me. This now adds a significant spiritual aspect to this political discussion. Not only was she a political hero, she’s one of “our” own. I can’t say that I wasn’t surprised. Apostolics are so far from politics in many ways. It may in part be because of our culture. We’ve relegated politics to “the world” and given the reins of government over to the Philistine. Our excuse is: “that’s how the World operates”, or “it’s a secular government so how can you expect them to be godly? Let’s just be concerned about souls.” It’s our way around engaging the culture in which we live. Now our culture, however, has engaged us. We have nowhere to run. The woman who was arrested and thrown in jail was an Apostolic Pentecostal, whether you like it or not. The LGBT Agenda came knocking on the door of the church, and it walked straight past the Southern Baptists, Charismatics, Assemblies of God, Reformists, and Lutherans and landed straight in the lap of the “People of the Name”. I call that Divine Providence.
But there’s a series of voices in the Apostolic Movement that don’t see it that way. Many are saying that Kim Davis should have “Obeyed the Law”. “She’s not a pastor,” many in our own movement proclaim, “she’s a public official.” The assertion is that conscious objection is something to be left at the door when you’re a public official. “An open letter” to Kim Davis was posted on Jesus Name News recently which stressed these objections.
The General Superintendent of the United Pentecostal Church International in his official statement regarding Kim Davis did a marvelous job of stressing the fact that we can have differences of opinions within the Apostolic Movement, and that Kim Davis was within her rights to respond to her personal disagreement with the Supreme Court ruling as she saw fit. I have great respect for this leader in our Movement. His words are wise and timely. So I’m not going to “condemn” anyone in this “open letter”. I’m simply going to lend a voice to those who ARE in support of Kim Davis. If I can’t do that articulately enough, I’ll just lend a voice to myself. However, somebody has to stand up for Sis Davis, within our movement. It can’t just be the socially conservative wing of the Republican Party supporting her. I’m willing to through 100% of my support behind Sis. Kim Davis’ stance politically and religiously, and I’m going to try to in a few words explain why.
Who I Am
This “open letter” will not be written anonymously. My identity will be disclosed fully with the publishing of this post. I am an Apostolic Pentecostal Christian. I was Baptized in Jesus Name and Filled With the Holy Ghost on the same day: January 30, 2011. I am a faithful tither and member at my Pastor’s church in Clovis, New Mexico. I’m currently serving my country overseas at the moment.
I believe in the traditional definition of marriage. I also believe in the redemptive love of Christ. Homosexual practice is a sin according to the Bible, however homosexuals and lesbians are no less loved by Christ than any other human being. We are all called to repent of our sins and turn to Christ who is the penalty for our sins. If God had not called me out of my sins and showed me a better way I surely would not be a shell of who I am today. I like, Sis. Kim Davis, owe him (Jesus Christ) my life. Now that that’s out the way, let’s get to the point.
What the Bible Says About Human Government
The Bible is very clear about the importance of Human Government. Many scholars believe that Human Government was established in Genesis 9:5-6 which requires justice for the spilling of human blood. There are two reasons for the development of human government in God’s eyes: to administer justice and to protect life. When Apostolics discuss an issue we use scripture to support our point. This is good. This is a part of who we are because we believe in the absolute authority of scripture. It seems sometimes though, that scriptures can be taken out of context to mean just about anything. So we have to weigh the scriptures and rightly divide them.
In Kim Davis’ case her supporters are using Acts 5:29 which suggest that we should obey God’s laws rather than men’s laws. Whereas he detractors often turn to Romans 13:1-7 which tells us to respect and honor human government, pay our taxes, and be good citizens. Many argue, because the Bible tells us to honor government, that Sis Davis should either obey the government and issue the licenses or simply resign. By not doing so she is rebelling against the government and therefore out of order.
Firstly, I’d like to say that the Bible IS clear; we must respect the civil authorities of the land. However Paul never tells us that we cannot have conscious objections to the law, and stand on those objections. In matter of fact we should, especially when the law requires things of us that God forbids. It is admonishment to be good Godly citizens. If I were a President, my favorite citizens would be Bible-Believing Apostolic Christians. People, who pay their bills and taxes (on time and honestly), work to make an honest day’s living, believe in respecting others, participate regularly in the electoral process and preservation of Democracy, have morals that govern their lives, and raise their children to do the same.
Born-Again Believers are the building blocks of a healthy society. Without our voice, this nation’s government will (and already has begun to) become increasingly corrupt and depraved. It is therefore not only permissible for us to peacefully stand against tyranny, but it’s our moral duty. This is especially true in our nation which was founded on Biblical Principles that were put in place to do what the Bible says human government is supposed to do: protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
What the Founding Fathers Said About “Rule of Law”
I found an interesting quote by Thomas Jefferson while studying this particular situation:
“Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.”
If Thomas Jefferson were here today and found out that the United States of America a County Clerk in the middle of nowhere was being jailed because she “defied” a Supreme Court decision, he’d be leading a second American Revolution.
This nation was undoubtedly founded upon principles of liberty. The First Amendment of the Constitution says this about religious liberty: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”. According to the constitution Kim Davis has a Constitutional Right to exercise her religion. “Free exercise thereof” is a radical term with no “buts”, “except fors”, and “unlesses” attached. The only stipulation is that she’s not infringing on anyone else’s rights. So here’s the million dollar question: Isn’t she infringing on the rights of homosexual’s to be married? Absolutely not.
You see the Supreme Court cannot make “law”, that’s the duty of the legislative branch of Government (Congress). The Supreme Court makes rulings on laws. Then the state legislatures make laws to comply with the Supreme Court’s rulings. The Supreme Court ruled that Gay Marriages are the law of the land nationwide. Constitutionally this in and of itself is a gross over reach of power since issues of marriage is traditionally handled by State Governments. But even with this decision, the States have the right to legislate this new ruling. In North Carolina for instance there is a law allowing county clerks to refuse to issue same sex marriage licenses on legal grounds similar laws were passed in Texas, Louisiana, and Utah. Why? Because, there are clerks that have no problem with issue a gay marriage license and those who have a legitimate religious objection to it. Gays have every right to go to one of the clerks who have no problem issuing them a marriage license. The marriage license is issued, the Supreme Court ruling is respect, gays are married, and people’s religious views are still respected. Everyone’s happy.
Except, that is, for extremists who wish to impose their ideology on others. This exposes the truth behind the LGBT Agenda. This is and never was about “equal rights”, this is about stamping out opposition and forcing compliance. It is judicial tyranny at its worst. There are no states which mandate that any clerk issue a marriage to anyone. Kim Davis has a right to freely exercise her religion, and the State can therefore issue licenses without her name on them to accommodate her rights. This may seem extreme to some, but radical liberty and freedom of conscious is what this nation was founded on. There is no “sexual freedom” or “freedom of sexual orientation and expression” in the constitution. The Supreme Court usurped authority from the states and redefined marriage, but the Constitution still upholds Kim Davis’ right not to participate, whether she’s an elected public official or not.
I’ve said all this to say this. Being young in America I’m existing in a culture where even within the ranks of Apostolics, most youth don’t know the biblical origins of the American Government, what the term “Judicial Activism” means, how government works, what “separation of Church and State” means and what it doesn’t mean, etc. This is dangerous. When we have an uneducated or ignorant society, those who want to abuse their power can do so with no opposition.
Therefore my concern is not to “write a letter” to Kim Davis. If I was going to do so, I’d just write a big “THANK YOU”. She has chosen to stand her ground and I send her my prayers. However, I’m concerned about my movement, our movement. I’m concerned about the First Century Church living in the Twenty-First Century. This agenda will not stop with Kim Davis. Ultimately it will make its way to our pulpits. There will come a time when Pastors, ministers, and regular saints are going to have to face this beast of out-of-control government and the culture that’s driving it.
I don’t pretend to have all the answers. I don’t know everything. In matter of fact I may not even know a lot about anything compared to many. I don’t claim some unction of God, and I’m not claiming to write on his behalf or on the behalf of my organization, the Bible College I attend, or anyone else. However, I can see a wake-up call for our movement when it happens. We need the brightest minds of Apostolic Christianity to come together and prepare for what’s coming down the road. We need to stop quoting Romans 13 and actually live it. We are the SALT of the Earth, we make everything better by our simple participation. Whether this is a Christian nation or not, we’re in it, therefore it’s our duty to make his name known. If we don’t wake up we will lose this culture war. And make no mistake about it: if we lose this culture war we will lose our youth in the process.
It’s not a coincidence that in August of 2015 NAYC shook the foundations of a major United States city and in September of 2015 an Apostolic woman was arrested for standing for her religious freedom. God is calling us, to stand and be “the city on the Hill that cannot be hid” (Matthew 5:14).
Jefferson, Thomas. Appleby, Joyce. Ball, Terrence. Jefferson: Political Writings. 1999. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge, England.
Bernard, David. United Pentecostal Church’s Superintendent’s Thoughts on Kim Davis. 12 September 2015.