By Aaron Evans, Features Editor
On Sept. 3, 2015, Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis was the face of Christian persecution in America.
After refusing to sign same-sex marriage licenses, her decision not to step down from her job as county clerk, despite the recent Supreme Court ruling, left her with death threats from the LGBT community and five days in jail.
Davis’ release from jail on September 8 was met with crowds waving crosses over their heads like battle flags, shouting and cheering while holding banners covered in spray painted Bible verses and demanding Christians take their rightful ownership of the U.S. once again.
For many Christians across the country, this was a victory in the ongoing civil war between the government and the church. Joan of Arc was freed from the evil hands of her persecutors: the American government.
On Sept. 8, 2015, I learned about loving the lost in all the wrong ways.
This summer, I found myself clouded by the constant political debates finding their way into every conversation and all over my Facebook timeline. I wanted to stand on the Words of Jesus, but the way many of my brothers and sisters’ opinions about the state of our country and the brokenness therein were expressed left me with the overwhelming sensation to find every homosexual, atheist, drug addict and everyone in between and apologize for other Christians. I wanted to hug them tight and tell them that they were not hated, not by Jesus or me.
I couldn’t keep the questions at bay. Was I becoming a liberal because I didn’t agree with the way my politically conservative brothers and sisters were voicing their rightful opinions? Am I allowed to disagree with the Republican Party and still love Jesus? Was I wrong for finding no easy way to express my beliefs about marriage to those who are so convinced they have tasted true, real love with their same-sex partners?
[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]WE WILL NOT REACH THE LOST BY TRYING TO BECOME THE MAJORITY [/pullquote]
I still have a lot of questions unanswered, but the few conclusions I came to were simple; love is not expressed through fighting against the currents of society in order to maintain the lie that Christianity is still the dominant religion of America. We will not reach the lost by trying to become the majority again. They will know us— more important, Jesus—by our love.
In a recent article by Caleb Flores featured in The Gospel Coalition entitled “4 Things Jesus Didn’t Die For” said, “Jesus’ death was the glorious inauguration of his coming kingdom, not an invitation to use his name to legitimize our own little kingdoms…. [things like] social and political causes cannot save…Christians have one supreme message: the gospel of Jesus Christ’s atoning death, glorious resurrection and coming kingdom.”
While most of us tend to put up our defenses when it comes to laws or rulings that contradict what Scripture tells us, we must remember that at the end of the day, we are not being forced to stop believing in the Bible. No Supreme Court can tell me or anyone else to stop believing Truth in my heart—only I have control of that. But the minute my kicking and screaming to the government starts when they don’t agree with my stance on sexuality compromises my witness, my protesting is in vain, tainted by a desire to be right rather than my desire to see others encounter Love.
True martyrdom will lead the lost to Christ, not drive them away into further lies that they are hated by the one man who loved them first—Jesus.
1 Peter 2:23 tells us, “When [Jesus] was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.” While it is true that sin, confusion and brokenness thrive in America, we are called to show Mercy in the face of those who oppose us, even if that means giving up my job when it goes against my Christian beliefs. The gospel does not need a county clerk—or any other job title—to maintain its power. Christians don’t need to be the majority in America to proclaim the good news of Jesus.