Scratching Scripture in the Name of Fashion

The Bible, containing 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, is the infallible Word of God, written under inspiration of the Holy Spirit and having supreme and final authority on all matters to which it speaks. It is without error in the original manuscripts and contains all the words God intended for His people to have in order to trust and obey Him.

Couldn’t be said better. I found this while searching for City on a Hill Church and instead mistakenly went to City Hill Church in Minnesota. Yet I believe that the church which has given Andrew Thorburn so much trouble and Daniel Andrews so much demonic apoplexy would equally subscribe to the words and sentiments expressed by City Hill Church. In fact, the words and sentiments are unexceptional. The number of books aside, the Roman Catholics have an extra seven, they accurately describe the faith of Christians. All Christians, that is, except those among the laity and clergy who, being dedicated followers of fashion, have decided to pick and choose which words and sentiments suit the times and which don’t.

Call it what you will. But interpreting the Bible to suit the times is heresy whatever the weaselly explanations of woke churchmen. Accordingly, within the worldwide Anglican community, it led to the establishment of GAFCON (the Global Anglican Futures Conference) in 2008. And, recently, within Australia, under the auspices of GAFCON, to the (breakaway) “Diocese of the Southern Cross.”

Daniel Andrews and others like him are appalled, apparently, by sermons which issued from the City on a Hill Church in 2013. These sermons described “practising homosexuality” as being sinful (i.e., doing the act is sinful, not same-sex attraction per se) and also condemned abortion. The allusion to the Holocaust in respect of abortion, which has now been deleted, was unwise, as it is generally. But that’s by the way. The substantive issue remains. The morality of killing millions of unborn babies.

What I find surprising here is that the lowlife who dug these sermons out had to go back to 2013 and, in another case, to 2016. What the heck has the church been doing since then? Has it become woke? Hope not.

Let’s be clear, the religion responsible for uplifting the Western world into enlightenment, freedom and prosperity, for ridding the world of slavery, the religion of truth, which is itself true, is unequivocal about fornication. Sex outside of a marriage between a man and a woman is sinful. Full stop. Thus, a lot of us sin, including those who engage in same-sex sexual activity.

To broadcast this Christian truth is not bigoted or hateful as Mr Andrews claims. He’s the bigot and the hater. It is God’s law whether he likes it or not. Fine, if he doesn’t like it. Best, though, not to pretend to be a Christian. Be a libertine or something. A Christian, other than one in name only, accepts scripture, however inconvenient it is for one’s personal preferences. Another thing: the LGBTQ+ fraternity are free to act out their lifestyles precisely because of the influence of Christianity over centuries and decades in moulding tolerant societies. Being grateful is the very least they can be.

As to abortions, murder is wrong. On that surely everyone outside of the Devil’s spawn can agree. The question is whether abortion is always murder. While there are lots of references to unborn babies in the Bible (“… the baby in my womb leaped for joy.” Luke 1:44), abortion is not mentioned. My own view, such as it is, is that not all of the killing of unborn babies is murder. Among some Christians that view is not acceptable, I know. But there it is. To partly explain, not all killing is murder. Killing in self-defence isn’t murder. David killed Goliath without it being murder. So far as I’m aware, those nailed to crosses beside Jesus were not being murdered; simply receiving just deserts from the Roman authorities for their crimes. Thus, Christians are entitled to query whether particular killings are murder.

We are down here in a troubled world trying to do our best. In that context, I simply cannot accept the proposition that a woman must be forced to carry a baby which is the product of rape or incest or where the baby will be disabled when born. And there may be other dire circumstances where the decision has to rest with the mother. None of us live the lives of others. People might say that the father should have a say in such circumstances. Yes, but not the final say. Always, as well, it is to be remembered that the mother’s life takes precedence over the unborn baby’s life. Common sense and instinct tell us that but Exodus 21:22-25 makes it biblically clear.

What I’m trying to say is that there is a debate to be had on abortion. But when almost one million abortions occur in America each year something untoward is afoot, to put it very mildly. It is not about the reproductive health of women. That is the use of language to veil the nasty business of killing a separate and unique human being; whether justifiable or not. In Australia it is estimated there were 65,000 abortions in 2021; compare that with the 2,500 abortions in 1971. Again, it is hard to see this squaring with the sanctity of life, which the Bible proclaims in many passages.

What I found disappointing about this episode is not the bigoted attacks on Mr Thorburn and the City on a Hill church. That’s par for the course in this Godless, post-Christian, vindictive age. The third characteristic, by the way, is very much a product of the second. What I found disappointing is the lack of any full-throated defence on the part of church leaders around Australia of the positions taken by the church in question. I might have missed it of course.

What I heard was that we all have to get on. See the other chap’s point of view. And, whatever you say, don’t mention the Bible. Some samples.

Rev. Tim Costello reportedly said: “I can tell you, just about every one of us who goes to church disagree with sermons, argue with what’s said in church, have very different views to what might even be on the website.” Hmm, you don’t say Tim. The Melbourne Anglican Archbishop: “Everyone should expect to be judged on their behavior not on their religious beliefs.” And Louis Farrakhan’s religious beliefs about Jews? The Melbourne Catholic Archbishop: “Helpful diversity draws people together. Harmful diversity pushes people apart.” What does that mean?

No, let’s be crystal clear, the sermons at issue are right. Homosexual acts are sinful. Abortions in the numbers we are seeing strike at the sanctity of life and are to be condemned. These should be the positions of Christian churches anchored, as they must be, in scripture. Neither of them means we judge others, discriminate against others, or treat others other than with consideration and kindness. When are we going to get a church leader to say these things openly and honestly; to be unashamed of the Bible? Being anodyne to the nth degree and hoping you’re the last one to be eaten won’t work. To paraphrase 1 Peter 5:8, like a roaring lion your adversary prowls around, and won’t ever give up until you’re well and truly eaten, digested and excreted. Better fight back. Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war.

14 thoughts on “Scratching Scripture in the Name of Fashion

  • lbloveday says:

    “The number-one cause of death for black people is abortion”. Ben Carson

  • Warwick Lewis says:

    The church is ground zero for woke culture.
    Caution, lest the monster you are feeding turns and devours you.

  • Petronius says:

    One of the problems when behaviour is governed by rights is that the opponent’s plea is swept aside in a spirit of righteousness . It is a zero-sum game. By not enlisting the blinkered-eye of rights a human exchange can take place where neither party is fully right nor fully wrong, and compromise can be absorbed to a higher principle. Here there is a inter-flow of understanding and tolerance. This is a sign of the good society.

  • padmmdpat says:

    The statement about the bible at the beginning of this article reflects a literalist reading and interpretation of the bible and is often found in some evangelical protestant churches, and more than likely in Greek and Russian Orthodox communities. It is not an approach held by centrist biblical scholars, both protestant and catholic. Like them I hold that the bible is the inspired word of God, written in the words of men. God did not write one word or page of the bible, nor did any angel. Every word of the bible was written by men. And these men, inspired by God, wrote, not in some sort of spiritual trance but in this finite world. And they wrote in the language they spoke and used various literary forms available to them and in use at the time of writing. And they made historical and scientific errors. This poses a difficulty for people who read the bible literally and bring to their reading of it the question, “Well, what happened?” But the question we are meant to ask is, “What is the writer proclaiming in this passage?” In other words – what is the theological message conveyed? The question is not, what happened, but rather – what does it mean.

  • Brenden T Walters says:

    So, what does the Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne mean by his diversity comment. Does anybody know?

  • talldad says:

    Peter, have a look at the press release of the Presbyterian Church of Australia. I quote this par from that release:
    “The Presbyterian Church of Australia will continue to uphold the Bible’s teaching, that marriage should only ever be between a man and a woman, and that the lives of unborn babies must always be protected. This is for both the flourishing of families and all of human life. There is nothing loving about killing unborn children and promoting an anti-life view of marriage.

    “We pray for our political leaders and remind them that they, like us all, will one day have to give account before Almighty God. We also urge our people to pray, stand firm for the faith, and not give into the opposition from those who reject our Lord Jesus Christ and His Word.”

    I wonder what John Coleman (alma mater Kilmore College) would have said to the Premier, the Essendon Football Club and the community about such a stupidly bigoted affair?

    • Peter Smith says:

      Thanks talldad, I hadn’t seen this. But you’ll notice no condemnation of same-sex sex. Just that marriage must be between a man and a woman. Fine, how about condemning all fornication, including between those of the same sex. It won’t happen anymore, I think.

  • Rebekah Meredith says:

    10 October 2022 [I wish Quadrant had not removed the automatic date.]
    Mr. Smith, you have damaged your own argument with your unwillingness to state categorically that ABORTION IS MURDER. I cannot understand a viewpoint like yours, which declares that the unborn are individual lives, but are lives sometimes justifiably killed. To compare abortion to the killing of a criminal is insulting to the millions of tiny children who have been destroyed before they had the remotest chance to even commit a crime.
    I do not know whether or not there are times that abortion is necessary to protect the life of the mother; but, if there are, they would involve losing one life to avoid losing two.
    If the preborn have life just as much as the postborn, they have just as much right to it. Would a woman be justified in killing her two-year-old because his father had mistreated her?
    Should parents be permitted to “put down” their handicapped children? After all, parents and children would all be better off. That is what Hitler taught, and look how that went.
    Was Jesus His own life before He was born? If not, we are in an impossible theological tangle. If so, then so is every other unborn baby.
    By all means, defend Biblical Christianity and morals. But please DEFEND them, rather than weakening your argument by refusing to accept absolutes.

  • David Inches says:

    “I simply cannot accept the proposition that a woman must be forced to carry a baby …. where the baby will be disabled when born.”
    The difficulty in defining “disabled” sets off alarm bells for me.
    For example, the automatic abortion of all Downs Syndrome babies (i.e. disabled) would have meant no Stevie Payne being the strapper to Melbourne Cup winner Prince of Penzance, ridden by his sister Michelle.
    Let alone the moral imperative of caring for all lives equally, irrespective of physical attributes.
    I understand it’s a tough call for parents faced with a choice between two unpalatable alternatives.

    • STD says:

      I’m not quite sure if Love should looked upon as something unpalatable.
      There is always rights and wrongs as there are good and badder alternatives.
      Truth still remains though, killing babies is still the act of killing, of that my prejudiced moral RMI is dead on.
      Rape and incest is Rape and incest, compounding it with murder does not absolve the meaning of innocence ,or maybe it does.

  • Brenden T Walters says:

    “……..the mother’s life takes precedence over the unborn baby’s life” Really. Why would that be?

  • STD says:

    Brenden, it can only be greed, “To be or not to be”,this is the self centred question.

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