Saturday, September 12, 2015

My thoughts on the religiousness of Kim Davis.

I have thought long and hard on the Kim Davis story, and this post is my thoughts put into words.

I understand Kim’s religious conviction as to why she refused to issue same-sex marriage. I understand Kim’s own marital history. I understand that Kim Davis believes she is a new Christian. I understand that Kim Davis was targeted by certain individuals who demand the same rights that she deserves. I understand that certain individuals that demand tolerance will not tolerate those who do not tolerate their behavior. I understand that freedom of religion is only applicable when certain people are offended by it.

I understand that government of the United States is slowly falling away from the tenets of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I understand that political correctness is supplanting freedom of speech. I understand that God has been kicked out of schools. I understand that the moral fiber of the world is fast deteriorating. I understand the Lord’s words when he said, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.” I understand that apostasy must come first before the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I also understand that marriage definition was turned over to the governments many years ago by “reformers” who believed marriage is a “civil thing”. I understand that religious organizations and congregations are under 501c3 regulations. I understand that marriage redefinition continued with the acceptance of unilateral divorce laws in many of these congregations. I understand that tenets of feminism have entered many congregations. I understand that congregations do not stand together when key doctrinal issues such as marriage are governed by culture.

I understand that governments, congregations, and radical groups are under the sovereignty of an Almighty God. I understand that a marriage license and a divorce decree are just pieces of paper. I understand that issuing pieces of paper and having us believe God approves of them is silly. I understand that a marriage is not ordained by God when any man, woman, pastor, judge, or government believes they can issue, perform, or celebrate a marriage without His consent. Since I understand that marriage is from above, no power in this universe can change the definition of one man and one woman for life.

Kim Davis, like so many evangelicals who support her, is only guilty of ignorance, unless she knowingly understood the holiness of marriage and decided to keep her job anyway. If she is indeed ignorant of the redefinition, which allowed her to divorce and remarry on several occasions, then maybe the Holy Spirit will convict her. Once she understands that the tenets of the evangelical church (Westminster Confession) has deceived her into believing that remarriage is not adultery, perhaps then she will understand that her civil position, as it pertains to issuing marriage licensees, has nothing to do with God.

The point is that I believe that Kim Davis is a religious person and not a disciple of Christ. I know, because I was there too. I thought that you could uphold a marriage vow by remaining unmarried. I too believed that my "marriage" (a remarriage after divorce) was “holy” and “righteous”. The problem I had was viewing my marriage as if it was ordained by God simply because a pastor told me so. The words of Luke 16:18 were ever so clear many months prior to exchanging vows with a divorced woman who I had lived with months prior to the ceremony. I too received a marriage license to validate my adultery.

We both understood that there was clear scripture that pointed to her remaining unmarried or to reconcile her marriage to her then separated (not divorced) covenant husband (1 Cor 7:10,11). Instead, I thought that I could date her, live with her, and go to church with her long before the divorce papers were finalized. After all, it was the twenty-first century, why would the antiquated and outdated values of remaining pure have anything to do with what was right in my own eyes?

Everyone was doing it…

I was forced into the hands of a merciful and gracious God when my unlawful marriage crumbled due to me living a less than holy but very religious life. I was crushed when she was dolefully persuaded to enter into a relationship with another man who was not her husband. Self-analysis of a life that involved sexual immorality and the complete humiliation of having to face the realities of a unilateral divorce was more than enough to send me to my knees. I was a broken and contrite. That brokenness caused me to see the futility of living a life without the covering of Christ’s blood and His reconciling me to the Father.

It took me nearly five years to see the significance of my relationship with a woman who divorced from her first husband to enter into a twenty year relationship with a man (me) who is not her husband, only to divorce me and continue to live with another man who is not her husband. I too fell into the lie believing in Westminster Confessions, exceptions and privileges. I can tell you that the five year process of sanctification afforded me to understand the significance of marriage and how this pertains to society, congregationalism, and the coming of the Lord. I will not remain silent.

My prayer is that Kim Davis’ eyes and ears would open to the truth of her current marriage and the full understanding of covenant marriage. She does right by her convictions against same-sex marriage, except her convictions should have brought her to realize that she most likely issued marriage licenses to men and women who forfeited their vows to divorce and remarry by believing God does not remain in a covenant He designed. Kim Davis would have issued a marriage license to me

When Kim Davis realizes that the law of marriage began before the fall of mankind into sin, she will see that marriage is a representation of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. God has designed marriage as one man and one woman to show us the frailties of what it takes to seek Him and desire His providence over His creation. It was by grace that God created man in His image, and then created the perfect helpmeet so that man would not be alone. One cannot say that they have a complete understanding of marriage after they come to believe the Gospel. Marriage in its truest form, IS the Gospel.

In conclusion, I have weighed all the circumstances surrounding Kim Davis and I have concluded that the decisions of this one woman have brought to light the significance of marriage. Never mind the idea that she was exercising her religious freedom, that is not the point. Kim Davis has opened the door to people opening their Bibles and seeing what the Lord has to say about marriage. This story has the Holy Spirit bringing conviction to many who have been falsely led to believe that a one-flesh covenant marriage can end in divorce.

The evangelicals rail on about how marriage is a sacred covenant, yet they have not repented of turning marriage over to civil authorities, and they will not repent of redefining marriage by initiating, performing, and participating in adulterous unions. Kim Davis is a product of evangelical blindness and she only needs to remove the plank out of her eyes to see that true marriage definition need not be defended in court because true marriage definition is a defense onto itself. One man and one woman for life.

The world will be watching if the evangelicals would repent of divorce and remarriage, and stand firm on the permanence of marriage. The permanence of marriage strips the civil authorities of definition and administration of both marriage licenses and divorce certificates. The permanence of marriage leaves no room for justification by hypocrisy. The homosexual cannot defend their sin by pointing at the sins of those who divorce and remarry into adultery. Lastly, the permanence of marriage focuses on the grace and mercy of the Creator, and not on the emotions and desires of His creation. Divorce, same-sex marriage, and remarriage after divorce all focus on the desires and glorification of self, and never for glorifying God.

Heb 13:20,21 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant. Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

In Christ's love,


Monday, September 7, 2015

Sarcastic Exceptions? The Gospel in Betrothal

 John 6:42 And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?

I have often wondered why there is very little information or discussion on the events of Christ’s incarnation and the fact that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit DURING Joseph’s betrothal to Mary. Why did God choose Mary, and why did the Holy Spirit impregnate Mary while she was betrothed to Joseph? Would this timing conflict with what evangelicals believe about divorce and remarriage, especially as this pertains to Matthew’s “exception clause” (Matthew 5:32 and 19:9)?

The evangelical church believes that the exception clause refers to unrepentant sexual immorality. The Greek word in this text, “except for Porneia”, refers to the fornication. Evangelicals insist that this word, porneia, refers to all kinds of sexual immorality. This exegete of this word is significant in what the evangelicals believe about marriage, divorce, and remarriage. There is a minority of scholars who believe that since this exception clause is only found in Matthew’s account, the word porneia is specific to fornication of the woman during the betrothal period of marriage.  

Betrothal marriage is significant to Jewish culture that calls for a man to marry his wife by contractual agreement, and the after a year of “betrothal”, the husband and wife would consummate the marriage. This year of betrothal is not unlike engagement, the difference is that they have already committed to being husband and wife, and the husband had to hand his wife a paper of divorce if he found her not to be a virgin on the consummation night. 

In the case of Mary and Joseph, the Holy Spirit comes to Mary during this period of betrothal. 
Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

Perhaps we could conclude that the Holy Spirit conceived the child “before” Joseph took Mary to be his wife; scripture tells us otherwise.

 Luke 1:26 -28 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

There should be very little argument against the Holy Spirit conceiving the Lord during the betrothal period. What seems to be lacking is any commentary as to this timing and how this timing corresponds with what the Lord has to say on divorce. If the Lord chose Mary, why did He choose her when she was betrothed to Joseph? Did the Pharisees of this time know that Joseph was betrothed to a pregnant woman? Did the Pharisees believe that the Lord was a bastard child? What was adoption like in the Old Testament?

Question: Why did the Lord choose Mary and Joseph?

Both Mary and Joseph are direct descendants of David of the tribe of Judah. Fulfilling prophesy was one part of this timing. Also, Mary was a virgin and not yet consummated through Joseph. This is very important to note as I believe this may be why the Lord answers the Pharisees when they ask Him about divorce. I believe it is very ironic that the Lord would tell the Pharisees that the ONLY exception for allowing divorce was “fornication”. The evangelical church believe that the Lord allowed divorce and remarriage if there was unrepentant fornication. What if the Lord was being sarcastic in dealing with the Pharisees?     

Matthew 19:3 The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?

And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.

And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

If the Lord was conceived in what appears to be fornication, would the Lord’s words appear to be sarcastic in nature? There seems to be no indication from scripture that the Pharisees believed the Lord was conceived in fornication, unless it was obvious Joseph adopted the Lord Jesus. If it was understood that Joseph adopted Jesus as his own, would the Pharisees believe that perhaps Jesus was the Messiah?  

Question: Was the Holy Spirit sinning by conceiving through Mary while she was betrothed to Joseph? 

We know that Joseph believed that Mary’s pregnancy was why he wanted to put her away quietly. Joseph was a just man, and though he was upset about the nature of Mary’s pregnancy, he did not want her to be unjustly exposed. There is no indication from scripture that anyone other than Mary’s relatives knew of the pregnancy, or that there was backlash from the community. The later writings in the Jewish Talmud make a bold statement that Mary was raped by a Roman soldier. However, there is no indication in the New Testament writings that the Jews believed Jesus was conceived by rape.

We could consider that Joseph adopted Jesus, and that even if Mary was raped, Joseph showed compassion, and married Mary anyway. This would be applicable to the law as Deut 22:25-27 makes it clear that a woman is not found at fault if she was raped in the wilderness. We know that Mary was not raped, but was willing to be obedient to the Lord. She was chosen by God to birth the Savior of the world, just as Joseph was chosen by God to adopt and raise the Messiah as his own. 

The significance of the timing shows the love of God by Mary, and the compassion and humility of the man Joseph. All the while, God did this all within the framework of the law, and most importantly, the spirit of the law. Joseph was more than willing to accept that birth of Christ during his betrothal to Mary, and he understood the significance of the coming of the Messiah.

As mentioned previously, there is evidence that others knew of Mary’s pregnancy. Both Elizabeth and Zacharias knew that Mary was blessed among women because they knew that their son, John, would be the voice crying out in the wilderness to the coming of the Messiah. 

Question: Was adoption mentioned in the Bible? 

We know that Moses was adopted by Pharaohs’ (Exodus 2:10) daughter and Mordecai raised Esther as his own. (Esther 2:7) The idea that we as Christians are to take care of the widow and the orphan has significance to the idea that Joseph raised the Lord Jesus as his own. 

Question: Why is there very little information on the timing of this conception and how it relates to Matthew’s “exception clause” (Matthew 5:32 and 19:9)? 

I have no idea. What I do know is that all of these instances, the timing of the birth during betrothal, Joseph’s reaction, the exception clause, and the Lord’s view of marriage, the response of the Pharisees, are all related and intertwined in Matthew’s Gospel. I certainly believe the timing of the Lord’s birth during the betrothal adds to the significance of marriage and the very nature of the Gospel.

What the timing shows me is that the Lord Jesus Christ was conceived during a betrothal and that the husband of that betrothal accepted and believed what his dreams told him. Mary’s reaction was to tell her husband the truth. Joseph had two choices, believe the dream and accept the role the Lord gave him, or divorce Mary. He chose the former.

If the exception clause is God’s way of being sarcastic to a people (Pharisees) who added unto the law, then “except for fornication” is not a valid excuse to divorce and remarry. If the Pharisees believed that the Lord Jesus was a bastard child, adopted by the compassion of Joseph, then they had no foundation to issue a divorce decree for any reason.  
And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. Mt 19:9

Joseph did not put Mary away even though many would have believed that Mary “committed” fornication. The spirit of the law is mercy and grace. Joseph was one who believed Mary, believed the angel in the dream, and believed that “divorce” is only for those who have hard hearts. Joseph was willing to go against the Pharisees and the people who would make the claim that he should have divorced Mary, and she should have been stoned. 

In conclusion, we must consider the context of the scripture in the manner in which it was written, and who it was written to. I am beginning to see that the “exception clause” not only historically points to “fornication” during betrothal, I am beginning to see this clause as a sarcastic reminder from the Lord that the Pharisees not only have hard hearts, they are unwilling to see that Mary’s child of fornication would save them from both sin and death.  

If you believe that you can divorce for certain “instances”, then you must believe that God is not capable to defend what He has joined together. Christians will say once they believed the Gospel they came to understand that marriage between one man and one woman is a holy and sacred covenant. The Bible says that marriage was ALWAYS holy and sacred, and to believe otherwise is folly. The law of marriage came BEFORE the fall of man into sin. If you divorced and remarried on any grounds, consider that your first covenant marriage was recognized in heaven and that breaking this vow before God will have consequences.

The Pharisees believed in both divorce and remarriage, but the Lord calls one hardheartedness, and the other adultery. Consider the words of our Lord and make the right decision today. Trusting Him in the most difficult of situations is a sign of weakness, it is a sign that when we are weak, he is strong. Joseph wanted to put away Mary privately…instead, he denied himself and trusted the Lord. I have truly come to believe that the “exception clause” should never point to our desires, it should point us to a Savior. It is not about us, it is always about Him.

Luke 1:47 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

In Christ’s love,