Kim Davis and the Modern Pharisee

Kim Davis is demonstrating that her enemies are modern Pharisee accusers—a twenty-first century version of the Gospel enemies.

When I read Rob Knowles’ post about the accusations and mockery of Kim Davis I hadn’t seen one yet. Then today one showed up in my Facebook feed. (In fact, after Davis went to jail, I saw Liberals express joy at the thought that she might be subjected to homosexual rape. Because tolerance, you know.)

mocking kim

I think Davis is a goddess among humans. She is following the Gospel model of John the Baptist, who was also jailed because he wouldn’t submit to authority in a dispute about marriage.

However, Davis had an immoral past before she became a Christian. As was made clear in her letter, after leading a sinful life (which included a great deal of marital and sexual chaos) she repented and entrusted herself to Jesus as her Lord and Savior.

Now people are mocking her past as if that takes away all credibility.

This has happened before. Women and men who testified to the faithfulness of Jesus when he lived among us were also mocked for their immoral character. The people who often made these accusations were wealthy Pharisees.

One such story is found in the Gospel according to Luke, chapter 7. Simon the Pharisee invited Jesus to his house in order to find fault with him. Jesus accepted the invitation and Simon soon got his opportunity:

And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner” (Luke 7:37-39 ESV).

So Jesus told Simon the Pharisee a story.

“A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” (Luke 7:41-47 ESV)

We can learn a few things from this story. First, it is precisely because Davis has rejected her life of autonomy, which led to such marital chaos, that she now firmly loves Jesus and is publicly bestowing on Him all that she has as a public thank offering. He rescued her and she is grateful. She was forgiven much and she loves much.

Secondly, we can realize that the enemies of the Gospel are still just as much Pharisee accusers as they ever were. The can always find sins to use against the people they hate. They are quite effective at using those faults and sins against their targets. You can’t really overstate the hypocrisy and the irony. These people who constantly appeal to Jesus’ willingness to forgive women with sinful pasts, when they actually encounter a woman who acts like the women in the Gospels by repenting and following Jesus, immediately hurl accusations against her based on her sinful past. They are the modern Pharisees.

Third, we can see why so few people are willing to follow the example of Kim Davis—I’m thinking especially here of people high up in the Republican Party. They haven’t been forgiven much so they don’t love much.