Of ALL the sins in ALL the Bible, these were gathered and placed in the Top Ten. They're repeated in the Old Testament and in the New, by Jesus himself. There's no way to miss them. There's also no person alive who hasn't broken at least one of them, whether in thought or in deed. Jesus said if you even think such thoughts, you've committed the act. So if you've wished for anyone's death, or even *hate* another human being... well that kinda counts. In a big way.
When I divorced my first husband, Dan, and married my second husband, Steven, it didn't really feel like THAT big of a sin, certainly not worthy of the Top Ten. I was in love. He made me happy. The choice of mate I made at 30 was much better for me and my future than a choice I had made at 17. I had grown up a lot along the way, and I realized that Dan and I were better friends than spouses. Even he would have told you that. He wished nothing but the best for me and for Steven, and supported the new family we were creating. It was all above board and on the up-and-up, condoned by my family and Steven's, even the religious ones, even though-technically speaking, from a Biblical standpoint-what we were doing was a big ol' undeniable irrefutable Top Ten Sin. I was committing adultery every single day I was with Steven and not Daniel. I had made my vows before God to be faithful and true only to Daniel, and I didn't make good on that promise.
Sure. I could make a lot of excuses or provide a host of reasons why I was better off in marriage #2, but if we go by Biblical law, there were a lot more Scriptures to denounce what I was doing rather than anything written to support it. Gay folks have this same probably usually, only, for some silly reason, theirs is the binding standard and mine... well, not so much.
Yes, I was happier, in a stronger and healthier relationship and even brought Steven into the faith (he was agnostic when I met him, and became a Christian while we were dating-even though dating me made HIM a sinner as well,) but if we go by strict black and white translations of the Bible, my being with Steven made me a sinner all the way until Daniel died.
It's one of the MANY reasons that I don't stand in judgment of another person's particular proclivities. The way I see it, we all have our dirty little secrets and sinful thoughts and desires to manage and reconcile (or renegotiate) with God in our own ways. Every single one of us has done this on some issue from the Bible, whether we dismiss the "old" rules as useless and unnecessary, or we fill in the vague peculiarities of those things that we *think* might be sinful, but we're not exactly sure because the things we face in the modern world were strangely left out of Scripture.
It's inevitable that we're going to sin, and inevitable that we find a way to live with that. God didn't create us to be perfect, and in fact constantly used imperfect people in the Bible to teach great lessons of empathy and compassion. Per the Bible we ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and none of us are perfect enough to stand in judgment of another master's servant, which is why we're told again (Matthew 7:1-5) and again (Luke 6:37-42) and again (Romans 2:1-3) and again (James 4:11-12) and again (Luke 6:31-36) and again (James 4:11-12) not to do that very thing.
But Ginger, it is our job to judge the unrighteous. Most of those scriptures only apply to other believers.
I'm so glad you bring that up, since it's the only exception to my no-judgy, live-and-let-live rule. If someone is going to use the Scriptures to judge, then they sorta kinda really have to actually, y'know, live by the scripture. Otherwise they're just beating someone ELSE over the head for their sins, as if their ledger is cleaner from having done so.
Newsflash:NONE of our ledgers are clean. HENCE WHY WE SHOULDN'T JUDGE ANYBODY.
Pretending otherwise actually dilutes the message when the people we're trying to reach see through the hypocrisy. You can't teach a message of perfect obedience and screw up, which is why we *should* be teaching perfect grace instead, since it is by that we're all saved anyway. (Again, according to the Bible. These aren't my rules and words so don't send me ugly comments about it.)
This is the issue I take with Godly-folk being judgmental, hateful, unyielding jerks.
I'm sure, then, it should come to NO surprise to you that I have a problem when a *thrice-divorced* elected official has suddenly "found Jesus" and feels it is her sole duty to administer her limited and short-sighted view on what she believes is a "central" issue of the Bible. You might understand then why I might feel compelled to point out the hypocrisy of this. Sin is sin is sin, we've all done it, I don't care. But the hypocrisy of caring about sin when it comes to everyone else? Nuh-uh. I can't let that slide, especially when everyone involved is getting the message horribly, comically, totally wrong.
There are a handful of verses in the whole Bible mention/refer to homosexuality, but there are also those verses that speak about the consequences of adultery... and of the two, only the latter was significant enough to include in the Top Ten. Also of the two, only the latter was spoken against by Jesus.
That means Mrs. Davis doesn't have a leg to stand on in her argument, and as such needs to sit her silly self down because she's making a mockery not ONLY of her particular beliefs, but Christianity itself. When you get saved, it's not so you can "join the club" and clobber others for not believing the same things as you. It means that you own that you're not perfect, and learn how to love perfectly as a response.
In case you need a refresher of what that love is supposed to look like:
Matthew 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[i] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
By beating someone over the head with your double-handled judgment stick, making light of what you've done to divert focus on something else, everyone from Jesus to the heathen next door (i.e., me,) can see that you're doing it wrong.
But Ginger... she was only saved four years ago. That means all her sins were "washed away" with Jesus's forgiveness and grace.
So I guess that a gay person in a loving, committed relationship, who wants to marry his partner and live a life devoted to the teachings of Christ, can be forgiven his dirty, wretched, lascivious past and reconcile with God on a brand-new basis starting with the point of salvation.
Well, sort of. In the Bible we're supposed to turn from sin, not keep committing it. He'll have to "straighten" up and fly right to be *truly* forgiven and washed clean. In other words, as long as commits homosexual acts spoken against in the Bible, he's committing sin.
That makes sense, I guess. So then I assume Mrs. Davis ceased having sexual relations with Husband #4 the second she was saved... because she, too, would need to turn from her adulterous ways, and per the Bible, that is what divorce/remarriage is. I mean, divorce was given almost exactly the same treatment in the Bible as homosexuality (punishment = death, God hates it, etc,) EXCEPT that adulterers were actually included in God's Top Ten List of Big No-Nos.
I should also point out that Husband #4 has publicly said he has no problem using his Second Amendment right to take care any threat to him or his wife. Remember... thought OR deed. Being prepared to kill is the very same thing as killing someone, or so Jesus said anyway. That's two out of the Top Ten, I'm just saying. These are not necessarily the kinds of poster people you want for your cause, when your cause is to obey the law to the letter.
To edify for those not "up" on religious laws regarding divorce and remarriage, divorce was only sanctioned in instances of adultery. You didn't get to change your mind because you fell in love with someone else, or leave someone when they were sick, or trade in your older models on a younger version-repeatedly-you weren't even allowed to divorce if your spouse wasn't 'of the faith.' The only reason you could divorce and remarry, i.e., the original marriage was invalidated, was if her first husband had committed adultery. But it would appear that Kim herself was the one who committed adultery, since she had the babies of ANOTHER man five months after she divorced Husband #1. Husband #2 was not the biological father of these babies, either. No, that was Husband #3, whom she married and divorced before she re-married Husband #2.
And yes, all those things were sins she committed prior to being born again. But strictly speaking, if they are following the letter of the law, she's an adulteress every single day forward, regardless of how many of her past transgressions were "washed away" when she was born again. That clean slate only covers past deeds, remember? In the future she's required to turn from and not continue in what she knows is sinful behavior, which would include sexual relations with a second/fourth husband, with whom an argument could be made that she is in a continuous state of adultery.
Now you're just being silly, Ginger. The Bible doesn't make an explicit case against remarriage as an ongoing state of adultery.
So you're saying that something defined as sinful in the Bible (i.e., adultery,) can actually be permissible and acceptable once we toss it in the gumbo with a couple of other issues, just because those dots were never officially connected in Scripture. Remind me to remind you about this precedence you're setting when it comes to gay marriage, marijuana, gambling, masturbation and abortion, ALL of which were never specifically stated against in the Bible, and as such... by your own argument... are permissible and acceptable as a result.
I know I'm steaming a lot of your shorts out there. Rest assured, I'm not willing to get all up in your bidness to tell you what you can and can't do, any more than I want to peak into her bedroom and see if she and her current hubby are breaking any Biblical rule. That's not my job, and I really don't care. That's between God and the person in question.
BUT...(and it's a big but,) even if she and her husband don't have a physical relationship, per her own standard, she's sinning if she doesn't deny marriage licenses to those couples seeking remarriage. Per her own rules, she is violating a much more "central Biblical issue" than homosexuality. You don't see groups gathering around to protest dead soldiers holding "GOD HATES DIVORCE" signs, but he kinda does. He made the point repeatedly, much more so than the whole gay thing. In fact, a couple of the "gay verses" lump adulterers in with homosexuals, which means Biblically speaking, those two sins are on the same level. You can either accept both, or dismiss both. Picking and choosing your outrage is a matter of convenience.
But she doesn't treat them even remotely the same, does she? She doesn't have her Christian laundry list to check off to ensure that the couples who come before her seeking a marriage license *deserve* to get one, per her own rigid religious standard, otherwise we would have heard about it by now. Seems to be that she lets sinners like herself off the hook in a non-judgy, live-and-let-live, it's-not-her-job-to-condemn-another-person-because-it-actually-might-cost-her-something kind of a way just because she wants the same kind of pass for HER sin.
Therein lies the hypocrisy. You can't be rigid about the sin you don't do and give wiggle room on the sins you do. What she truly wants is a that free pass, to live her life on her terms and fit God into it in ways that truly cost her nothing.
But Ginger, she could lose her job based on her religious beliefs.
Why would she want this job if it so clearly violates her beliefs? Evidently it's morally taxing to be the ultimate authority on marriage. She's going to have to really grill every single person who comes through her office to see if they, too, should be getting a marriage license, otherwise she too will be held accountable for their sin, which she feels will damn her straight to hell.
But here's the thing: it's *not* violating her religious beliefs to issue marriages to gay couples. That's the law of the land. Per the Bible, in a passage written when Christian law was NOT the prevailing authority, she was instructed to obey governing authorities in submission to her faith.
Romans 13: 1 Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. 2 So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished.
Many vocal, outspoken people of faith also overlook verses 6 and 7 as well, so it's understandable that she might have missed this chapter, but it's in there, and carries as much weight as the other verses she's leaning on hard to make her case.
So which verse should she follow? The one where she's told to obey the laws of the land? Or the ones where she's told not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples?
I'll give you a few minutes to find the verse for the latter, because of all the darned luck I just couldn't find it. And remember: specificity counts.
Modern Christians are spoiled, entitled children, who forget that early Christians didn't have a culture built around them to sustain their beliefs. They were bucking the norm to believe the way they believed, it wasn't protected by, condoned by, sanctioned by, supported by law. That was why they were persecuted and *truly* martyred... by the religious authority of that time, no less.
In case you need a refresher for what that means:
And Jesus told them to welcome that persecution in His name, that it was inevitable. Again it's that "free pass" thing, and she just doesn't get one. Sorry. Not from the heathens, not from the Christians, not even from Jesus himself.
Do you *really* think Jesus would treat Mrs. Davis any differently than the faithful masses who dragged an adulterous in front of him, demanding that he state outright she must die for her sin per literal translation of scriptural law?
What did he say instead? Come on. You know the verse. Say it with me now...
Remember this was an adulteress that was dragged before Jesus to judge, something Kim Davis was, something I was, and yet Jesus showed her mercy, like he would show her, or show me. And by his grace we were spared, and saved. Freely you have been given, so freely give.
But Ginger... aren't YOU throwing stones at HER?
No, I'm taking the stones from her hands. There's a big difference. How she lives and what she does in her spiritual walk is between her and God alone. I'm not preoccupied with how she sins, because I accept that she's going to. It's inevitable. It's inevitable for all of us.
I'm just not going to let her use God as an excuse to be a hateful hypocrite, because frankly speaking Jesus has enough of these jokers running around mucking up his PR. Christianity is not the problem. How people misinterpret it so that they can have an excuse to hurt others IS.
Basically I'm revoking her free pass.
I recently answered a 40-question survey how a Christian could support/celebrate marriage equality. I started it with a lot of confidence that I knew what my beliefs were, and that I could defend those beliefs even against those who might question it. (Personally I don't think you can truly know what your beliefs are until you've HAD to defend them, when you have to support your arguments with facts and evidence and experience, rather than just spouting off at the mouth whenever something tickles your tongue.)
In doing this survey, however, I made a rather shocking discovery about my core beliefs. Despite my rigid upbringing in a Southern Baptist church, I don't really care too much about sin. I don't care about defining it. I don't care about avoiding it. It really doesn't register on my daily list of priorities at all. Like I said, it's inevitable that we all will. I gave up on being perfect years ago, it simply wasn't going to happen. It won't happen for any of us. We're going to mess up because we're human. There's no way around it. We'll be faced with and even succumb to many temptations in our path. We always have, we always will. If our faith could be managed by some hard and fast rules of do's and don'ts, we wouldn't have needed Jesus's grace in the first place. We've been getting it wrong our entire existence as a species. My guess is that an omnipotent God would understand this. I'm a creator too, so I know how those little buggers can go off script and do their own things sometimes. Honestly, that's my favorite part of the creation process.
If I'm truly made in God's image, then I'd like to believe he's like that too. If he knows every hair on my head, and everything that will happen to me from birth until death, and still loved me anyway... then I have to believe that he accepts my sin as inevitable and even valuable. Just like every other powerful character in the Bible who got it wrong, from adulterers (David,) frauds and liars (Jacob,) and murderers (Paul, hello, who-in his religious fervor-actually martyred early Christians) we're going to make mistakes that can and will hurt other people.
Instead of using our faith as a Free Pass to hate those who sin differently than we do, we should use our faith as an excuse to love other people, because they're no different deep down than any of us. THAT is how you avoid true sin, because that's all sin really is-the absence of love, empathy, grace and charity. THAT is how you build a bridge instead of burning it. THAT is how you preach a message of good news... that you may be rotten, miserable excuse for a human-but God still loves you anyway, enough to send his son to die for you because you OBVIOUSLY can't get it right on your own.
If God can do that, then Kim Davis can issue a marriage license. She just has to figure out a way to do what Jesus did... to walk in love and not judgment. That's what it means to be Christ-like, and would be a much better use of her newfound celebrity than petulant defiance that she can't have things her way. "I have an $80K-a-year job that I don't want to lose, even though I know I can no longer do it. But I should be able to avoid doing said job, because I'm a Christian and I get special privileges."
Yeah... no. That's not Christian. That's self-serving and ego-driven. This, by the way, is what it *really* means to take the name of the Lord in vain, when you're doing it for your own self-serving purposes, not just letting an expletive fly when you stub your toe. And if there's one thing I've learned over the years, it's that those who are terribly concerned with pointing out the sins of others, conveniently invoking God's name to do so, are usually harboring some salacious sinful secrets of their own.
Pointing out the sins of others doesn't diminish your own sin, not in the eyes of God, not in the eyes of anyone. There is no free pass here, just because you wave Jesus around like your own personal Get-Out-of-Jail-Free card.
Do your job and stay. Don't do your job and be removed. The rules aren't special just because you think you are. So put down the stones, Kim. They have never been yours to throw.