…In view of this, I also do my best to maintain always a blameless conscience both before God and before men. Acts 24:16 (NASB)
What is a conscience anyway? Why would it cause a baker to refuse to bake a wedding cake or a county clerk not to do her job and issue a marriage license? Or cause millions to stand on the side of roads holding signs condemning abortion?
I believe that it’s that little seed of godliness that God puts into every human being that separates us from the animals. As far as I know, no one has located it on the DNA chain, but it’s there. It’s the little voice that whispers in our ear. My five year old grandson lied to me this week, and then got terribly upset when I checked his notebook. Why? Because he knew that I would find out the truth. His conscience bothered him. He knew what he had done was wrong. It’s also the spark that the Holy Spirit ignites when the new birth occurs. But if it’s constantly ignored the seed begins to die and the voice grows quieter and quieter until it disappears completely.
Years ago, my ex-husband Wade went to use the copier at work one day, and found something he wasn’t meant to see. His boss was stealing from the federal government by getting HUD money for nonexistent projects by simply changing addresses and submitting duplicate plans under many different names. Wade immediately went in and tendered his resignation. Why? He was a licensed, registered architect, and his name went on the title block of many plans that were shipped out of that office. Everyone thought Wade was crazy to give up such a good job when the economy was terrible and he had no prospects of getting another one any time soon. His boss was later indicted and convicted of fraud. The names of those architects who had remained with the firm were tainted with the suspicion that they had collaborated with their boss’ dishonesty. Wade’s name and conscience were clear.
A lot of people are saying that Kim Davis should have done exactly what Wade did—go in and quit her job. But I’m not sure that’s at all true. Wade’s boss had done something to break his trust. That’s why he had to quit his job. Who is the county clerk’s boss? The people of her county. Had they broken her trust? Not at all. Her name was on the licenses. Over 70% of them had voted to uphold biblical marriage! She has a valid legal question no one seems to be paying any attention to. “Under who’s authority am I supposed to issue such licenses?” Congress has the authority to enact laws. Has any such law been enacted? No. Did her state enact such a law? Again, no. In fact, they had overwhelmingly said the opposite. The Supreme Court does NOT have the authority to enact laws. They can only interpret the laws that already exist. Of course the clerk did all this because she believes in a Holy God. He’s the Supreme Authority. We know what He thinks about the matter. He was the One Who created marriage in the first place. And He gave specific instructions about its implementation. Are the licenses now being issued that still carry Kim’s name but without her permission or authority even legal? I would think not, but in this upside down world, who knows?
And so she sits in jail without bail, something seldom denied to the most hardened criminals. And people are calling her a hypocrite (and much worse) because she’s been divorced herself more than once. I don’t know the circumstances of her marriages. I don’t know if they occurred before or after she found Christ. I do know that I am divorced, and not by my own choosing, but in many people’s eyes that makes me a hypocrite too for writing about this. We all fail, so I guess that makes us all hypocrites. That doesn’t make wrong right or right wrong. All I can offer her are the words of Peter. “If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.” (1 Peter 4:16)
Taboo Tuesday Question of the Day: Have you ever had a time when you had to stand up for your conscience and everyone thought you were crazy for doing it? What happened?