Saturday, 12 September 2015

Afflictions continue because of God's mercy

Matthew Henry, commenting on David's plea in Psalm 39 that God would be merciful and relieve him of some unspecified affliction that he was going through:

"He pleads the good impressions made upon him by his affliction. He hoped that the end was accomplished for which it was sent, and that therefore it would be removed in mercy; and unless an affliction has done its work, though it may be removed, it is not removed in mercy."

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Kim Davis and the rule of law

In the US in the last week, you've probably seen the news that, elected county clerk Kim Davis, a Christian, was jailed for refusing to issue marriage licences following the US Supreme Court's ruling that same-sex couples not only can marry, but that this is guaranteed by the US constitution.

Some Christians have commented that their sympathies are not with Davis, because a) her resistance will be (and now has been) proven futile, b) Christians should respect the rule of law and c) if she can't do what her job requires her to, then she should resign from her job.

On the contrary, my sympathies are entirely with Kim Davis, and so should yours be. How so?
  • The rule of law is great - but God has a law as well as man. And when they clash, God's law must trump man's, every time.
  • Any man-made law that strikes directly and unambiguously against God's created order, or which endorses and blesses that which God calls an abomination, is ipso facto necessarily invalid.
  • As such, it is not simply an option for a Christian registrar to chose to resist such a man-made law, but a duty. Extreme sexual depravity is not incidental to "same-sex marriage"; it is its very essence.
  • The legitimate rule of law and judicial tyranny are two very different things.
  • This shouldn't be hard to understand. Pol Pot, Stalin, Hitler, etc., all passed laws.
  • Resisting evil isn't something we're called upon to do simply in the abstract, as an intellectual game. It's something we're called to do in the real, physical world as part of the real history that God created us as part of.
  • When we look at pre-war and war-time Nazi Germany, we don't have a particular interest in whether German Christians were generally outwardly moral. We want to know specifically whether they resisted Hitler's evil laws requiring them to comply with the de-humanisation and eventual murder of Jews. That was a front-line of the battle they were in. Today, the secular West's war against God's created order with particular reference to gender roles and distinctions is one of the fronts for us.
  • Similarly, when future Christians look back upon our generation, they won't have a special interest in whether we had a generally good reputation for being nice moral people. They'll want to know what we did when confronted by routine baby-murder, how we used our unprecedented wealth and time in light of the appalling darkness that much of the world still resides in, and what we did to resist the secularist assault upon God's created order in relation to human sexuality.
  • Resistance against evil is never in vain. There will be another, higher court that sits, on another day, when God calls the world to account and judges it through Jesus Christ.
  • Whether we resist direct and obvious evil or not is not at all a question to be decided by whether we think we will immediately succeed in the direct object of our resistance.
  • The fact that the Western elite and media have been running a decades long campaign to persuade us that sexual depravity is nice and cuddly ("it's all about the lurve!") has absolutely nothing to do with the facts of the matter.
  • The public sector is not the private sector. The state is an ordinance of God, appointed to be his servant (Romans 13:1-8). In the private sector, you can quit your job and take up another, according to your contract. In the public sector, you have a responsibility to God and the people you serve to stand fast in times of trouble, and abandoning your post can be a neglect of duty in a way that leaving a post in the private sector isn't.
  • There is a difference between hunting for evil, and evil finding you. When evil finds you whilst you occupy a God-ordained role (such as as a state officer), it is your duty to deal with it - not to abandon your post and allow someone else to capitulate to evil on your behalf.
By being willing to go to jail as a testimony to God's truth, Kim Davis condemns legions of cowardly and worldly professing Christians in the West who aim to keep their heads down and coast comfortably into heaven, avoiding the way of the cross wherever possible. Moreover, she joins the glorious ranks of those who have suffered earthly loss for the sake of Christ, counting her freedom as worth less than a clear conscience before God and man. Such may, when everybody else's earthly hopes have passed away, look forward to a glorious inheritance which can never fade. Let us pray that God will sustain her to resist judicial and legal tyranny for as long as it remains her duty to do so.