Kim Davis and the Samaritan Woman
Kim Davis, clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky, was informed by a judge that she would be jailed for openly and consistently refusing to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples. Ms. Davis had been in the news ever since she turned down a homosexual couple who were wanting to be married after the Supreme Court nationalized same-sex marriage earlier this year.
As is the case with just about anyone who makes the news, especially those who take stances which go against the hedonistic worldview of most in Western media, everything about Ms. Davis was investigated and reported on. Two items about her life which came to light are that she was likely a member of the Apostolic Christian Church and that she was an adulterer who has been married four times.
The Apostolic Christian Church was by their own admission founded in the 1830’s rather than on the Pentecost after Christ’s death and resurrection as was the church of the Bible (Acts 2), and holds an unscriptural view on baptism in that they believe conversion and a new walk of life in Christ happens before immersion, not after immersion as is taught in Romans 6:3-5. If Ms. Davis is in fact a member of such a church, she is not in a right relationship with Christ (2 John 9-11; cf. Eph. 4:4-5).
Likewise, it appears from reports on her marital past that she has repeatedly violated Jesus’ teaching on divorce and remarriage (Matt. 19:9), as well as the biblical injunction against adultery (Gal. 5:19-21; 1 Cor. 6:9-10). Such is unfortunate, not only in light of the situation it puts her soul should she have not repented of such sins, but also because it has given those who oppose her biblical view about homosexual marriage ammunition to use against her in their efforts to distract others from her message that homosexual marriage is sinful.
However, are those who disagree with her biblical views about homosexual marriage the only ones who are bringing up her sinful background? What about those who join with her in agreement with what the Bible says about same-sex marriage?
Within a few hours of the announcement of her imprisonment, I saw several Facebook posts from brethren in the Lord’s church, brethren who stand with her behind the biblical condemnation of homosexuality who also have either questioned or have outright denounced her for being a member of a man-made church and for being involved in adulterous relationships. I’m not in complete disagreement that such questionings and denouncements have been made. We live in a world of religious confusion, a world filled with false teachings (2 Tim. 4:3-4), a world filled with religious people who are guided by naive feelings rather than biblical facts (Prov. 14:12) and thus are easily deceived “by smooth talk and flattery” (Rom. 16:17-18) as they are “tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine” (Eph. 4:14). I can easily see the religiously naive both in the Lord’s church and in the religious world of Christendom as a whole look at Ms. Davis’s stance for the truth about homosexual marriage and come to the erroneous conclusion that she is heaven-bound simply for that alone, irregardless of whether she is part of the one church talked of in the New Testament or whether she has repented of her adulterous remarriages, and thus be influenced to believe that they likewise are heaven-bound simply for standing against homosexual marriage, or for being a good person, or some similar ideas. Such notions are dangerous in that they ignore Jesus’ warning to the religious elite of his day that obedience is essential to salvation (Matt. 7:21-27). From this perspective, those who speak up about Ms. Davis’ questionable religious and marital background are doing the right thing.
That being said, I cannot help but be reminded of the Samaritan woman whom our Lord encountered at Jacob’s well (John 4:1-42). She likewise had a sinful marital background as described in John 4:16-18:
Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.”
Not only that, the Samaritan woman likewise had a questionable religious background as described in John 4:19-20, 22:
The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.”….(Jesus said to her) “You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.”
According to James Coffman’s commentary on John 4:
.. the Samaritans came into possession of the Pentateuch, the only part of the Hebrew Bible which they accepted. They set up a system of religion based partially upon the Pentateuch, but containing also a number of foreign elements.
Thus, the Samaritan woman was part of a religion that had chosen to unrepentantly take away from the divinely-inspired Old Testament (cf. Deut. 4:2; Josh. 1:7), no different from the Apostolic Christian Church and the rest of the denominationalism of Christendom today which also adds to and takes away from Scripture.
Yet, in spite of her failings and the sin in her life, our Lord was able to use this woman as a catalyst to bring souls to him. Notice what happened after their conversation as recorded in John 4:28-30, 39-42:
So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” They went out of the town and were coming to him…Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.”
I believe it entirely possible that if our Lord could then use a woman living in fornication and worshiping under a counterfeit religious system to bring souls to him, he can still do the same today with a woman like Ms. Davis who also reportedly is living in adultery and part of a man-made church. I both pray for and believe that there are “honest and good hearts” (Luke 8:15) out there who are lost in sin while “hungering and thirsting for righteousness” (Matt. 5:6) who take notice of Ms. Davis’ stand for the truth concerning homosexual marriage in spite of the persecution brought upon her for doing so, are thereby inspired to study their Bibles more and decide that they likewise are going to stand for nothing more or less than what the Bible says, and as a result come to both know and obey the pure, unadulterated gospel of Christ, be added to the one true church which is described in the New Testament, and thus be saved (Eph. 5:23; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; Gal. 1:6-9).
I also pray for and believe that many of my brothers and sisters in Christ who are already part of his church will take notice of Ms. Davis’ courage to stand behind the truth concerning homosexuality regardless of the cost and decide to follow her example by unapologetically standing behind ALL of the truth of God’s Word, and thus become more evangelistic and lead more souls to Christ by bringing the unchanged gospel to their attention. I pray that I myself can follow her example of courage and do so.
Lastly, but far from most importantly, I pray for and believe that those of us who know, believe, obey, and stand behind what the Bible says about not only homosexuality but also the oneness of the church and divorce and remarriage will recognize Ms. Davis as a soul for whom Jesus died and whom Jesus loves, and will do more than simply point out from afar on our Facebook posts her religious and marital failings because we do not want anyone to be led astray by ignoring such sins because they’re blinded by her celebrity. I pray for and believe that we will prayerfully do whatever we can to reach out to her personally, just as Paul did with the Athenians (Acts 17), and both applaud her for her stand for the truth about same-sex marriage while also seeking to lovingly and patiently start a dialogue with her in which a Bible study can show her something which perhaps she doesn’t know about the will of God, something which she needs to hear, something which she needs to believe and obey (Eph. 4:15; 2 Tim. 2:24-26; James 5:19-20).
This woman needs our prayers and our evangelistic efforts even as we need to follow her example of conviction. Let’s remember that.