Naaman The Leper & Gay Marriage Licenses
Background on these two (seemingly) unrelated stories….
Kim Davis is a County Clerk in Kentucky who was recently jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples. Davis refused to issue the licenses based on her religious beliefs. She claimed that she answered to “God’s law” and eventually demanded that the licenses be issued without her name on them.
Christians all over the country have flocked to support Davis on this issue, with the supposed belief that if she were to issue the licenses she would be supporting sin.
And then there’s the less well known story of Naaman. You can read Naaman’s story in 2Kings 5, but here’s the short version…..
- Naaman was the commander of the Syrian army and a high ranking official in the Syrian government. And he had leprosy.
- An Israelite servant of Naaman’s wife suggested that he go to Israel and be healed by Elisha, which Naaman attempted to do.
- Naaman was healed of his leprosy and convinced that “there is no God in all the earth but in Israel”.
- Naaman’s devotion to God was so great that he even asked to bring back two mule loads of Israeli dirt back to Syria so that he could offer sacrifices to God on it.
- Naaman announced that he would never serve anything but the true God.
But Naaman had a problem, with his job.
Immediately after Naaman pledges to only serve God, he explains his problem to Elisha….
2Kings 5:18 In this matter may the Lord pardon your servant: When my master goes into the house of Rimmon to worship there, leaning on my arm, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, when I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, the Lord pardon your servant in this matter.
Part of Naaman’s job in the government of Syria was to facilitate someone else sinning. Sound familiar?
So what should Naaman do? Was he commanded to quit his job?
After explaining the situation to Elisha and asking for God’s pardon, Elisha told Naaman to “Go in peace”. Naaman wasn’t expected to quit his job. He wasn’t expected to refuse to do his job. Naaman was told that even if his job facilitated sin, he could “go in peace”.
How far does this argument extend to us today? I don’t know.
But I do know that taking the stance that some Christians today are, that issuing licenses and baking cakes for homosexuals is a sin…..simply doesn’t harmonize with God’s answer to one of his followers in the Bible.
What I wish is that more people would take the stance of “I don’t know”, rather than “I know everything”. Because like it or not, just like with Naaman, there are some things that man has always dealt with that aren’t as black and white as we’d prefer.
I am thrilled to find I am not the only one who feels this way. We serve God first but we are also under the authority of many governments. Many can not seperate the two. As long as we are not part of the sin, in this case the act of homosexuality, then it not our sin.
Thanks Scott. I’m not sure exactly where the line should be drawn, but I don’t think it’s currently in the right place.
Thoughtful and well written article.