Published September 8, 2015

Paul's Epistle
"And So It Begins..."

Would you do it?

Seriously – would you do it?  Would you go to jail for your Christian beliefs?

The nation watched this past week as the chief county clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky, was thrown into jail. Her "crime?" As a believing Christian, Kim Davis refused to issue marriage licenses over her signature for same-sex couples. She refused personally to sanction that which God has labeled an abomination.

As Davis put it, "God's moral law conflicts with my job duties. You can't be separated from something that's in your heart and in your soul." She added, "To me this has never been a gay or lesbian issue. It is about marriage and God's word." And, to make it very clear, she told the judge hearing her case, "Marriage is a union between one man and one woman."

Davis didn't seek out this notoriety. "I never imagined a day like this would come, where I would be asked to violate a central teaching of Scripture and of Jesus Himself regarding marriage. To issue a marriage license which conflicts with God's definition of marriage, with my name affixed to the certificate, would violate my conscience. It is not a light issue for me."

According to Davis, "I owe my life to Jesus Christ who loves me and gave His life for me... I am not perfect. No one is. But I am forgiven and I love my Lord and must be obedient to Him and to the Word of God."

While sodomites celebrated their "victory" — quite publicly "punishing" Davis for having the audacity to place God's perfect law ahead of man's fallible law — Christians in this country who are paying attention are waking up to the ever-growing persecution of Christians merely for their belief in God and His principles as given in His word, the Bible.

We shouldn't be surprised that all this is happening. Satan's strategy is always to persecute and marginalize Christians, especially in a nation that was ostensibly founded on Christian principles — many of which are now being overthrown, ignored or simply discarded by a corrupt society and even apostate "Christians." But take warning: in God's eyes, "Those ... who render evil for good, they are my adversaries..." (Psalm 38:20). Who would choose to be an enemy of God?

This particular legal case against Davis was kick-started by the recent U. S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing "same-sex marriage" in all 50 states. It was, as you'll recall, a 5-4 decision.* One of the dissenters, Chief Justice John Roberts, wrote, "Today's decision .... creates serious questions about religious liberty. Many good and decent people oppose same-sex marriage as a tenet of faith, and their freedom to exercise religion is – unlike the right imagined by the [liberal] majority – actually spelled out in the Constitution."

Roberts is referring to the very first amendment to the Constitution: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." You hear a lot of noise these days from people crying about supposed government endorsement of religion, but you hear virtually nothing about that second clause – that government is to do nothing to prohibit the free exercise of religion. (How convenient for them simply to overlook that "minor detail." Such hypocrisy!)

The arrest of Davis is being seen by many as a "tipping point," where it becomes quite obvious that Christians will be persecuted, even — as in this case — thrown in jail, for their beliefs. As former Baptist pastor Mike Huckabee recently noted, "Kim Davis in federal custody removes all doubts about the criminalization of Christianity in this country."

And so it begins. "Persecution of Christians in America" is no longer an idle threat. It's happening, and has been elevated to the level of government persecution. We've already seen it with Christian business people who have endured huge fines, potentially rendered homeless and even jailed for standing firm — refusing to endorse sin.

Beyond that, Davis and her family have even endured death threats. "Gays" have threatened to burn down her home while the family slept. She's been threatened with rape and her husband with torture. Nice people, huh?

As Kim Davis stands seemingly alone against those who persecute her for her beliefs, she is, in effect, an "ambassador in chains," as the Apostle Paul described himself (Ephesians 6:20). As you know, Paul spent a lot of time in prison for his unwavering stand for Christ. In fact, scholars believe that, during the years of his ministry, he spent as much as six years in prison or under house arrest. (He was eventually beheaded by the Romans.)

Over the centuries, countless Christians have been persecuted – even to death – for their beliefs. And today, around the world, there is an ever-increasing persecution, with imprisonments, beheadings, even crucifixions. It's nothing new – but perhaps it is new to us here in the good-ol' USA.

The well-known hymn, "Faith Of Our Fathers," includes these lines:

     Our fathers, chained in prisons dark,
     Were still in heart and conscience free...

Ah, there's the difference! They might have been – they might be – in prisons. But their conscience is free – their conscience is clear toward God. And isn't that what really matters?

Franklin Graham says, "We need more Americans who are willing to take a stand for religious freedoms and biblical values in our communities. If we don't, we won't even recognize the America that our children and our grandchildren will be left with. Pray for Kim Davis and for our nation today."

Kim Davis sums up this matter this way: "I'm just a vessel God has chosen for this time and place. I'm no different than any other Christian. It was my appointed time to stand, and," adding an ominous warning for all Christians, "their time will come. ... This is a heaven or hell issue for me and for every other Christian that believes. This is worth fighting."

So... It has begun.

How committed are you to Christ? Would you be willing to take such a stand for Christ, regardless of consequences? Or would you compromise with the world? Are you willing to fight for what you believe? Would you actually go to jail, literally, for your Christian beliefs? The way things are going, you might not have to wait long to find out.

- Paul

*Two of the Justices who voted to endorse same-sex marriage, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, should have recused themselves from the case by the court's own accepted code of ethical standards, since they had personally performed gay "marriage" ceremonies, creating an apparent bias. Had they done so, that would have changed the entire outcome of the case. But, of course, ideology trumps ethics, and they were simply reflecting the values of the president who brought them to office.

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