The new book My Final Word: Holding Tight to the Issues that Matter contains a prophetic collection of short essays and memos penned before the death of Watergate figure and Prison Fellowship founder Chuck Colson. One in particular was stunning in its relevance to the threats faced by modern-day Christians in public life.
Colson speaks to us from the past regarding a dust up between Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and the Washington Post. Scalia scandalized the left when he publicly stated that as a Christian, he actually believed in the resurrection of Jesus. Shocker. The press exploded, and a journalist even said he wasn't fit for the court.
Colson, as was his gift, cut right to the crux: "If people like Scalia or Clarence Thomas take seriously their faith, then by definition they're disqualified. The only way people of faith could get by … would be to denounce their own faith. In other words, to keep quiet about what they really believe."
He goes on, "What Scalia's critics are really after is preventing Christians from expressing truth claims in public. That's where we're going to see the real anti-Christian bias over the next few years."
Keeping quiet and denouncing their own faith would make them what Colson describes as watered down, disingenuous "stealth Christians."
Stealth Christianity is certainly what culture and even the US government is pressuring believers to embrace today. County clerks, judges and local officials are confronted with the dilemma today when faced with their entanglement in Supreme Court sanctioned same-sex "marriage." The most public of cases is a Kentucky clerk named Kim Davis.
Christianity cannot be compartmentalized. The moment that we, quite arbitrarily, set the Constitution and Christianity at odds with one another, with no accommodation, Christians will be pushed out of public office. And that may even be the goal of the other side.
Kim Davis' detractors claim that she is only required to sign a piece of paper certifying that the legal requirements to marry have been met. The truth is marriage isn't just a piece of paper. It's a holy covenant that people of faith cannot in good conscience change or expand.
It makes one question whether the reality is that many gay couples don't just want to get married; they want to make everyone love that they are getting married. Certainly most straight weddings cannot even boast such unanimity of support!
Davis is not asking for much. She's not endangering or threatening gay couples in any way. She's not bursting into bedrooms to prosecute homosexuality. She's not blocking every alternative a gay couple has from getting a license, as there are options for a gay couple to still obtain one. She's not even differentiating between straight and gay couples, because she's stopped issuing licenses entirely. With her refusal, the couple's lives change little. With their insistence, her life changes much. She's lost in court. She's spent time in jail.
Chuck Colson spoke of "the need for Christians to refuse to buckle under attempts to force them to keep silent about their beliefs — or worse, attempts to force them to deny those beliefs."
Minority beliefs have always had a place in our country and legal system, and this case should be no different. The only way both sides can be respected is by peacefully allowing gays to pursue alternative routes of licensing while Christians refuse to be involved in any way, but that's not enough for the intolerant left. Christians stand with Kim Davis, asking for a country where all sides can be honored and freedom of religion stays strong.