September 4, 2015 ©Homer Kizer
Commentary — From the Margins
The State as Greater Christendom’s God
[Kim] Davis has become a symbol of religiously motivated disobedience after the landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage in June — she’s said she is acting under “God’s authority” when she repeatedly turns gay couples away. But Davis is very much alone in her defiance. The refusal of other clerks to marry same-sex couples largely melted away as it became obvious their legal claims would not hold up in federal court. Only 13 counties in Alabama and two counties in Kentucky are refusing marriage licenses to gay couples, according to the gay rights group Freedom to Marry. Despite many loud proclamations of defiance after the ruling, the vast majority of counties have accepted the law. (From Liz Goodwin’s Yahoo Commentary [Yahoo Politics] dated September 3, 2015)
There has been a shortage of faith within greater Christendom for centuries—faith of the sort that undergirded the civil disobedience of both Protestant Reformers as well as the Radical Reformers dubbed Anabaptists by their more timid neighbors; for persecution works: the enthusiasm of early 16th-Century Anabaptists dissipated as they and their leaders were hunted as it they were foxes … 17th-Century Anabaptists found social holes in which to hide as they became “quiet folk,” not participating in the governance of the land upon which they dwelt as strangers, illegal aliens, paying taxes but doing their best to hide in plain site.
But Anabaptists couldn’t really hide: their plain dress separated them from Christian Reformers and the Reformed Church; from Catholic priests and the Old Church that following the Council of Trent undertook reform, albeit well diluted by tradition.
A quick survey of 1st-Century Christians leaders will disclose that all but John the Elder died prematurely: were martyred although Justin Martyr of the 2nd-Century hadn’t yet lent his name to being murdered for ideological or theological reasons … the United States of America is a “civilized” nation. We will not murder Kim Davis for her profoundly held religious beliefs. No. Instead we will deprive her of her freedom for not doing the State’s bidding. We will label her a criminal and treat her as such. And Kim Davis will join the list of modern martyrs that have been determined to be criminals by State Agents, whether the former Soviet Union or Nazi Germany or Mao’s China or the Islamic Republic [Iran] or Islamic State [ISIS]. So much for the First Amendment: of course the United States made no law pertaining to religion or the exercise thereof. There’s nothing to see here; just a simple case of contempt of Court.
Every Christian has to be willing to passively defy the State when the State uses its authority to compel unChristian acts, with the definition for what is Christian behavior based upon what Christ Jesus did that got Him murdered by the State: Jesus walked in this world as an observant Jew, keeping the words of Moses but not necessarily the words of the Great Assembly, the theological governing body that had placed a hedge of do’s and don’ts around Moses so that never again would Jews find themselves slaves in a far land, not at all realizing that they had enslaved themselves within their own geographic border.
Why did the God that Jews in Jerusalem and the House of Judah profess to worship bring His servant Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon (Jer 25:9), against them to destroy them, driving them out of their land that He had promised them? The answer is simple: because Jerusalem [used metonymically] had not obeyed the voice of the Lord; had not believed Moses, but had succumbed to the idolatry of the people Israel was to dispossess when Israel crossed the Jordan behind Joshua [in Greek, ’Iesou — Jesus].
Has not greater Christendom in the United States succumbed to the idolatry of the people? It certainly has for how many Kim Davises are there? For the defiance vocalized by Christians before the Supreme Court expressed its carnality in its ruling on homosexual marriage has produced little resolve …
In symbolism, ancient Israel crossing the Jordan on the 10th day of the first month (Josh 4:19), the day on which the Passover Lamb was selected and penned until the 14th day when it would be slain between the evens, had Israel a type of the Passover Lamb, but a type that had spot and blemish and that was not an acceptable sacrifice even though the children of Israel were “penned” in the Promised Land, the earthly representation of Sabbath observance (see Heb 3:16–4:11 for scriptural reference). Thus first the House of Israel [the northern kingdom of Samaria] went into captivity (ca 720 BCE) for its idolatry, then the southern House of Judah [Jerusalem] went into captivity (ca 586 BCE) for its idolatry. And the sacrifice that the children of Israel had potentially represented when this people crossed the Jordan and were circumcised in the flesh at Gilgal (Josh 5:2–7) could not occur until Christ Jesus was crucified at Calvary nearly 1,500 years after the children of Israel crossed the Jordan behind Joshua.
Another 1,500 years passed before Radical Reformers tried to return greater Christendom to its roots, Christ Jesus—and Radical Reformers, my ancestors—didn’t accomplish the task they set for themselves. Radical Reformers returned their disciples to the “Christianity” that existed before the Council of Nicea (ca 325 CE), an ideology about Christ Jesus, but not to the ideology of Christ Jesus … the Apostle Paul admonished his disciples to follow [imitate] him as he imitated Christ (1 Cor 11:1 et al). John said that those who claim to know Christ ought to walk as He walked (1 John 2:3–6). And State authorities crucified the man Jesus at Calvary.
How many America Christians are willing to passively die for what they believe, not resisting the State but submitting to the State in open defiance by not transgressing the Law of God, written on the heart and placed in the mind of the disciple under the New Covenant? Everyone who expects to be in heaven had better be holding up his or her hand.
Christians who have the faith to walk in this world as Christ Jesus walked need to support Kim Davis—and Christians who do not have the faith to imitate Christ Jesus’ walk in this world need to question their Christianity, asking themselves why they identify themselves as a disciple of Christ Jesus when they are not willing to walk as He walked.
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