It might not be fashionable but as a Christian I am a bit of a literalist when it comes to what is right and wrong. Truth be told, I know no other way. If I were allowed to pick and choose from the Bible, or to put my own take on whatever is plainly written, I wouldn’t know whether I was coming or going. I would be in the same position as, say, the US Supreme Court or Australia’s High Court. Inventing rules out of thin air, oh-so loosely attached to constitutional texts.
My fellow Christians and I might end up all believing in quite different things. The doctrine of the Church of England, as set out in thirty-nine articles in 1592, is in part, as stated, “for the Avoiding of Diversities of Opinions…” These are not idle opinions but those that go to the tenets of the faith.
By the way, it goes without saying: believing what’s right is not the same thing as doing what’s right. I am talking about believing what’s right. Sadly, there is no easy option of believing only what you want to believe. Even more sadly, however, this does not deter those who seem to like easy options.
This brings me to Peter Wilkinson. He heads Catholics for Renewal, an Australian organisation of lay Catholics. I’m sure like organisations can be found in most Western countries across different Christian denominations. Prompted by the recent Victorian legislation – Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Act 2021 – Wilkinson reportedly said this:
The science has changed but the church is still holding onto a false assumption of homosexuality as physically or morally deviant … It is our hope that the passage of this bill will stir the official Catholic Church to recognise such moves as reflections of the signs of the times, calling upon it to rethink its now-outdated teaching on diverse sexualities.
First, the law to which Wilkinson refers. Its underlying foundation is caught by three affirmations. Here they are verbatim:
1/ a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity is not broken and in need of fixing
2/ no sexual orientation or gender identity constitutes a disorder, disease, illness, deficiency or shortcoming
3/ change or suppression practices are deceptive and harmful both to the person subject to the change or suppression practices and to the community as a whole.
The foundation of the law is flawed, clearly. Plainly, no scope is allowed for adults to make up their own minds as to whether they need help and what kind of help they want. No scope is allowed for children to be counselled on taking steps which might be irreversible and life-changing. There are stiff fines and, potentially, prison for those providing advice or counselling which challenges a desired sexual orientation or expressed gender preference; even if such advice or counselling is sought.
In a saner and more wholesome world than the one in which we live, legislation like this would not get to first base. As it is, it passed Victoria’s lower house easily, with the Liberals all abstaining. It passed the upper Legislative Council 27 votes to 9, with just two Libs breaking party ranks and voting nay.
Time to weep. And, is it time to cast the Libs aside? To simply go back to voting for a person. So far as I can tell that applies in all states and in the federal parliament. I will vote for Gladys Berejiklian (just) my local member in NSW, but not for Trent Zimmerman my Liberal federal member. Why would I vote for someone whose views are mostly the opposite of my own?
I agree, it’s a dilemma. Albo and his state counterparts are worse. But when will anything change for the better if we remain shackled to the Libs as they move ever leftwards?
I am off my main theme. The Bible is clear about fornication. It’s a sin. Let me admit for good reason that I’m not casting any stones.
The times don’t change sin. They don’t change the sin of murder, theft or bearing false witness. Though it might be inconvenient and unfashionable, neither do they make fornication permissible. Among others, Israel Folau and Margaret Court have pointed this out, bravely. Incidentally, why you have to be brave tells the story, in itself, of our darkening and increasingly dissolute times.
If you’re a Christian, who or what do you think is behind efforts to whitewash sin; to grow ostensibly Christian organisations which subject canonical scripture to the whims of science and fashion; and to persecute those who faithfully quote scripture? Apropos, read the South Australian Termination of Pregnancy Bill and search in vain for any acknowledgement that a human being, separate from the mother, an unborn baby, potentially an unborn baby at the point of birth, is being killed. Who or what is behind that callousness?
A friend sent me an article which explores whether people are becoming less intelligent. I don’t think there is any doubt. You simply have to look at the case of George Pell to understand that dimwittedness has reached even lofty levels of the judiciary. However, make no mistake, evil is also afoot; intent on undermining and undoing the Judeo-Christian values which have moulded our peerless civilisation.
Sure, most on the Left are simpletons and/or dupes. Read Phillip Adams in the Weekend Australian magazine. But not all, by any means. Recall Mark 5:10. “My name is Legion; for we are many.”