A Kentucky Clerk of Court is jailed for refusing to issue a same-sex marriage certificate. What would you do?
[Darris McNeely] America is abuzz right now because of a recent decision made by a county clerk in Kentucky when she refused to issue a marriage certificate to two same-sex couples who came into her office wanting to be married. In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling a few months ago that legalized same-sex marriage across all fifty states in America, this has been an issue now that has begun to boil over into the real-life situations at the county level – at the lowest level where marriage licenses are issued. This particular clerk in Kentucky was jailed by a judge for disobeying the law. What has happened of course by the Supreme Court ruling, this now has become the law of the land. It has circumvented all the states, legislative bodies, even Congress itself. That’s where America is right now as judicial decisions determine the law of the land in so many different cases, and in this one regarding same-sex marriage, it is the case.
Now, the lady, Kim Davis, who was jailed, did so based on her conscience and her belief in the Bible about marriage being between a man and a woman, and not wanting to, in her case, violate her conscience. And so the judge has put her in jail, and now even today, as I speak, others in her office are issuing marriage certificates through some type of an arrangement that has been worked out. Reports also show that there are other county clerks in the state of Kentucky who themselves have said they would not issue licenses. It will probably come up in other places, as well, as individuals take a particular stand.
It raises the question, What will you do? Now, as you debate this particular case, a point can be made that this individual was elected to her office as a county clerk, and she swore an oath to uphold the law of the land. Others would debate that she cannot violate her conscience, her religious belief. What has happened in this particular case with same-sex marriage is it is becoming an open debate at many different levels in the United States, not just about same-sex marriage, but about religious liberty and the rule of law, and how this change is sweeping over the country at such a rapid rate that many people really don’t even know how to deal with it and the ramifications and the unintended consequences of certain decisions being made, whether at the highest level or at the level of a county clerk, or perhaps an individual who might be asked to provide flowers or a rented facility for such a wedding, and refusing to do so and what might happen.
The cultural change is moving so quickly in this country that it is having consequences far beyond what even most people can begin to wrap their mind around. Again I ask, What will you do when something like this comes to you? Right now perhaps that’s the one question for us to consider. Regardless of what you believe, regardless of perhaps the job that you might have, when any type of an issue that violates your biblically-held belief, your biblically-held value in life, comes to you, to your desk, to your front door, to your classroom, to your place of living, what will you do? Strip away all of the other arguments that can be made – the social arguments, the legal arguments – what will you do? People – men and women of God – have had to face that question throughout the ages.
There’s an example in the book of Acts 5:29 Acts 5:29Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
American King James Version×perhaps all of us should consider. It’s when the apostles were brought before the religious authorities ruling the land of Judea and Jerusalem in their day for their preaching of Jesus Christ and Him crucified, and violating the religious laws, the moral, religious compact of the day, and they were preaching Jesus Christ crucified and resurrected as the Son of God. The religious officials didn’t like it. And so they forbade it and even threw them in jail. And at some point the apostle Peter had to stand up and say to those assembled, “We ought to obey God rather than men.” We ought to obey God rather than men. That is the reaction of Peter and the apostles in their day when they were faced with a matter of conscience, based upon the word of God and their conviction based upon God’s Spirit leading them.
So my question is to all of us to consider, what will you do when it, whatever “it” might be – comes to you, creating a matter of conscience and a problem of conscience between you and your biblically-held belief and values?
That’s BT Daily. Join us next time.