The Fallacy of Absolute Free Speech

You would have to be living under a log in the forest or in some remote backwater of the world to not know anything about the current conversations concerning free speech. This issue has gained momentum with the Tech Giants releasing their hounds of “fact checking” upon people’s posts. This fact checking is seen as censorship; censorship is viewed as wrong; the antidote promulgated is free speech – the inalienable right of every human to express their opinion without repercussion.

What do we make of such conversations, particularly from a Christian perspective?

This question is relevant. I have had debates on Social Media over this topic. Other Christians I have listened to hint at the fact that the absolutist position on free speech is necessary for the Church to be able to evangelise. Along with this, the question of censorship is raised and it is always viewed negatively.

So, what should be the Christian’s view on this free speech phenomenon?

Well, it is my contention that we should have no part of it. It is an evil to be shunned. It is anti-God. It is unBiblical. It destroys, it does not build. It is one more of those wolves in sheep’s clothing that will lead to the gates of Hell and not to the arms of God.

To say such things, I will immediately be labelled as the right-wing, fascist, red-neck. After all, such a position runs counter to the impetus of the modern-day culture and to those providing the catalyst for that movement. Herein, though, should be our first hint that something is wrong. Labelling language is universally condemned, is it not? One cannot pigeon-hole another. That is a supposed absolute of modern debates. Well, yes, maybe – unless, of course, you dare expose the erroneous aspects of the philosophy and actions of those pushing the current bandwagons-of-change. At that point, there is no amnesty, rather pigeon-holing, defamation, and a no-holds-barred approach are demanded. As stated, this should be our first hint that something is wrong. When those doing the demanding cannot and will not live by their own mantras, alarm bells should ring.

The real challenge is where to begin in critiquing this error. It has become so pervasive that no one questions the legitimacy of the statements anymore. Thus, as a Christian, I find once more that the only place to start is with God and the attributes of His being.

In the beginning, God spoke. In speaking, God created the world. In creating the world, God imposed His order upon that world. For the good order of its inhabitants, God revealed His Law and his standards so that Man could and would live in fellowship with God and each other. Man rebelled against God, which brought about a state of war. On one side, God and is people. On the other side, Satan and his people.

At this point, two divergent views come to the fore. Those standing with God, proclaim what God has revealed. These proclamations touch every area of life, but they always begin with God’s absolute sovereignty and His inalienable right as Creator to be Lord of His creation. The others, following Satan, have two primary lines of thought. The first, is a subtle suggestion, as Satan did in the Garden, “Did God really say?” and thereby questions not only God’s right to speak and reveal, but the very veracity of these actions. The second line amounts to much the same thing, but this is the ramped-up-on-steroids version. Here, the reality of God is vehemently denied and, therefore, those who speak on God’s behalf are ostracised as “loons”, “myth hunters”, “remnants of a bygone era” or, as we see at present, ‘those who are so dangerous that they must be silenced’—yes, all in a climate of “free speech” and “tolerance”!

With this said, let us look at the current debate and draws some lines from what we have said above to the things being pronounced in the free speech debate today.

Firstly, and this will seem bizarre to some, we need to look at the conjoined topics of definitions and the authority by which those definitions are made and on which they stand. I have started with some definitions and a basic summary of my worldview. This is the worldview, the interpretive paradigm for looking at and making sense of reality, that God has revealed in Scripture. This is where I stand, and I can do no other. Yet, as my summary shows, there are those who oppose. There are those who question not only God’s right to speak, but His right to exist.

Thus, and this is very important, the Bible states that God alone, as King and Creator, has the right and authority to define, to name, to delineate, to demarcate, to delimit, and to determine, and so forth, as He sees fit. As an example, God determined to make Man in His image. This Man, He did make in his Image. God named him Adam. God defined Man as head of creation and different from the animals. God also made another Man, thus God delineated between male Man and female Man. On brining female Man to male Man, Adam was given the privilege of naming his wife and he named her Eve. He had the right as head to use a derived authority to do so. However, God placed a demarcation on Adam. Adam never was God. He had a derived authority that was rightly his to use, but it was never an absolute authority by which he could challenge God or determine his own norms for living.

No doubt this may seem a bit heavy to some, but the salient points are these: A. Words have meanings and definitions – despite the airy-fairy world of the nondescript being forced upon us – and that for any conversation, act of speech, to happen, clear definitions must be present; B. Acts of speech require a degree or an element of authority for them to be credible. This authority can be innate or derived, but it must be present.

If we look at the current statements regarding free speech, we will see that, for the most part, there is a lack of specific definition and there is a lack of genuine authority. For example, when someone flies the free speech flag today, are they arguing for a person’s right to speak or to say or both? This is a vital question. To speak, looks at a person’s right to engage their mouth. To say, focuses upon the content flowing from the mouth.

Let us look at a real-life example of the conundrums. To do this, I would like to look at a small portion of a video posted on Facebook by Marcus Somerville 05/03/21. Marcus is the moderator of the Paul Murray Supporters Group, which, I will clarify as Marcus does, has nothing to do with Paul Murray the television presenter.

On the above date, Marcus posted a video in response to some clamour on the site. In that video, he gave a brief outline as to the purpose of the group.[1] He noted that PMSG concerned itself as a “Conservative Movement” with “Conservative Concepts”. It was a platform for Conservatives / Libertarians / Patriots who want to get together and have free speech.” He went on to outline his concerns that some were “being attacked for sharing their views.” He then stated that, “I am a free speech absolutist. I believe in everyone’s right to speak their minds without fear or favour.” He added, “You might think they’re and idiot. You may think they’re a moron—maybe they are!—but that does not give you the right to silence them.” At this point, the discussion turned to laud the internet as the ‘best idea for destroying bad ideas’ because all the relevant information for decision making was out there on the Net.

The first thing to note is the declaration. On what basis is one a ‘free speech absolutist’. The above text gives a definition, but the aspect of authority is never addressed, it is merely assumed. It is at this point that we encounter the first deviation from the Christian worldview outlined above. God is no longer the one true source of authority, no, this now belongs to fallen, autonomous Man for he has stolen the King’s crown or so he thinks. Autonomous man, as an individual, now has the self-appointed right to make any proclamations he so wishes, on any topic he wishes, for whatever purpose he so wishes, and any such proclamations are non-contradictable.

Second, ‘everyone has the right to speak their minds – now addressing content – without fear or favour.’ This content, too, is above contradiction and judgement, even above mere assessment! Again, this attacks the Christian worldview. God defines. That is His right and His alone. God defines truth, for God is Truth. God defines ethics and seeks from Man a moral life; one judged to be so by God’s Law. Is it then acceptable that a person can speak falsely without being held to account? If this speaking without consequence is indeed correct, how then do we have defamation cases, as just one example?

Thirdly, one of my favourites – which has been raised several times – “You might think they’re an idiot / moron; maybe they are!” Please grasp this point. Here, one posits, straight faced and without a single guffaw, that not only perceived idiots and morons, but actual, bona fide idiots and morons, have the right to hold the public’s ear without any consequence. Seriously? Unless I have utterly lost the plot, the terms idiot and moron are pejoratives, speaking of those whose ideas may not necessarily be in the public’s interest, yet we will let them speak!

It is at this point that we must see the utter nonsense of this unfettered free speech bandwagon. We have, here, a relatively smart man espousing the fact that idiots have the right to be heard in the public square. However, he is not alone. Arguments of a similar vein have come forth from other social commentators and it beggars belief!

The irony here is that we have people in the public square complaining about the happenings in society and how certain forces seem to be at work for the deconstruction of our society and our way of life; yet these same people are defending the rights of idiots and morons to be heard, read ‘sow their destructive ideologies.’ If this were all, it would be beyond the pale, but … these people then engage on social media sites with the idiots and take part, not in edifying conversation, but slanging matches. You see, in this scheme there is no truth, there is not an arbiter of truth, the whole argument is about Humanism – the right of one man to espouse whatsoever he will. In this system, words, speech, conversation, edification, enlightenment, truth, justice, education and more, give way to an argument that is really about nothing more than someone’s right to exercise their pterygoid and digastric muscles. Content and definition are gone. Authority means nothing. It is, therefore, when all is said and done, the simple right of the individual to flap his or her gums for which we are arguing.

This point must be understood. When this current argument is couched in these terms, it is nothing less than a pernicious evil that will lead to destruction. How so? Well, the best answer that can be given comes in the form of a question: Is all speech truth, edifying, wise, and correct? In other words, looking at our world and all the hurt, mayhem, and disfunction that is present, we must ask, ‘What role has evil speech played in bringing about these current circumstances?”

At this point, we are back to worldviews. Having denied absolute truth in our culture we have begun spreading poison under the guise of free speech. This poison seems liberating to many because it ostensibly empowers them to raise their voice and be heard in the big, wide world. Yet, this often leads to more poison being spread, and before too long, that big, wide world outside begins to wither and die.

Think here, for analogous purposes only, of how Hitler made the nation feel important by putting people into a uniform. As a more relevant example, we may think of the French Revolution and how the term “Citizen” was used to bring about a similar feeling of importance.[2] In the same way, Social Media has made people feel important. People feel that their voice can be heard and is heard and from that fact alone they derive some sense of worth; but it is all smoke and mirrors. To exercise one’s pterygoid and digastric muscles does not give a person worth; it does not legitimise their position; it does not give them a true standing of importance; it does not give them respect; and it most certainly does not give them meaning.

As stated, the oxymoronic status that is evidenced in this free speech debate is bewildering. People are arguing for everyone’s right to say what they want, then scrambling about in a vain attempt to undo the mess caused by those very words. The absurdity can be seen in this illustration: Society allows a certain proportion of the populace to light fires on hot, wind days, precisely so that the rest of society can run around attempting to put out the spot fires before they become uncontrollable and burn down everything that those people hold dear.

This is the sad reality that must eventuate when absolutes are denied and rejected. Instead of unity, we have disunity. Instead of building, we tear down. Instead of safety, we expose to danger. Instead of understanding, we have confusion. Instead of peace, we have chaos. Instead of life, we become lovers of death. Instead of prosperity, we have want. Instead of friendship, we have hatred—and a house divided can never stand.

If you are confused by my point, ask yourself these questions: What does it mean to tell a lie? What does it mean to deceive? What does it mean to defame someone? What does it mean if something or someone is false? How does one commit perjury? What does it mean to prevaricate? What is mendacity? Maybe, we need to make the language more colloquial. What is a Porky, a Whooper, a Fib? What is implied when one ‘fudges the facts’, gives someone a ‘bum steer’ or ‘yanks someone’s chain’?

All these terms, well most, are used by our society on a regular basis and they have to do with a blatant untruth or the manipulating of truth. Let me now ask, “How many of you take joy from being deceived or being on the receiving end of a lie?” Scene. Mother ringing father while dad is at work. “Oh darling, please pick up a new toy for Johnny on your way home. I caught him telling his first lie today. Isn’t it wonderful! I know, I should have waited till you got home, but I just could not contain my excitement.” Yeah, right! So not happening. Yet, in this fool’s paradise of Modernism, we deny truth so that people can lie to us and deceive us.

Back to worldviews. This country was never truly a Christian country, but there is no doubt that this country was founded upon certain Christian principles. Those principle gave us meaning, purpose, and cohesion. Prime among those beliefs were the existence of the God of the Bible, truth, justice, and punishment. If you do not like these terms, substitute right and wrong. We knew that there was truth. We knew that there were errors, lies, and falsehoods. We knew that avoiding lies and deceit were good things. We knew that telling the truth, despite some consequences, was always the right and noble thing to do.

Fast forward. We have now jettisoned God. Absolutes do not exist. There is no definition of right or wrong, good or evil, apart from what the State tells you—but that is another article! In fact, you cannot even use the terms “good” and “evil” anymore, because that might impinge upon someone’s individual choices, robbing them of personal peace, and making that one feel poorly about their choice. In this environment, we are back to ‘gum flapping’ for gum flapping’s sake. Words and content do not matter. The consequence of those words is downplayed. All that matters now is that we, too, get our ten seconds of fame by being able to respond on Social Media with derogatory terms, diatribe, and vitriol. There are no cogent arguments, precisely because truth and knowledge have been murdered.

In contrast to this “Land of Confusion”, as Phil Collins put it, we have the Biblical statements. It may surprise some Christians, and non-Christians alike, to realise just how much the Bible has to say about speech and especially the tongue.

Let us start with the Ten Commandments. Most Christians will hold to the fact that these Commandments are still binding upon men. Others, who have only a tacit allegiance to Christianity, will also recognise some authority here. Would it surprise you then to realise that two of these Commandments deal with speech?

Commandment 3: You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.[3]

Commandment 9: You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.[4]

Both these Commandments are in fact saying much the same thing. The main difference is in the object of the command – Commandment three focuses on God; Commandment nine on man. Both are saying that empty and vain speech, derogatory speech, defamatory speech, and outright lies are evils that are condemned. Now, please understand this point. Many think that to take God’s name in vain is simply to use His name when one, say, hits their thumb with a hammer or when Jesus is invoked in a moment of rage. However, this is an overly simplistic approach to the matter at hand. Vain speech and blasphemy may include those aspects, but they reach farther and deeper. These terms really mean to speak lies about or concerning the being that is the object of your speech. Thus, to misrepresent God or man on any matter means that you have breached these laws. The bearing of “false witness” also carries with it the connotation of deliberately trying to sabotage a person’s life or property by deceit.

If you are reading this as a Christian who believes the Ten Commandments, can you really subscribe to an absolutist position on free speech? If God has said that you do not speak lies regarding His nature and being or that of your fellow man, how then would you justify a position on free speech that not only allows false witness, but encourages it?

Let us now consider some wisdom from the Book of Proverbs:

A worthless person, a wicked man, is the one who walks with a false mouth.[5]

Put away from you a deceitful mouth and put devious lips far from you.[6]

For the lips of an adulteress drip honey and smoother than oil is her speech.[7]

The lips of the righteous bring forth what is acceptable, but the mouth of the wicked, what is perverted.[8]

Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal faithfully are His delight.[9]

There are six things which the Lord hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, a false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers.[10]

The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable, but the mouth of fools spouts folly.[11]

One from Ecclesiastes:

Words from the mouth of a wise man are gracious, while the lips of a fool consume him; the beginning of his talking is folly, and the end of it is wicked madness. Yet the fool multiplies words. No man knows what will happen, and who can tell him what will come after him?[12]

One from the Prophet Isaiah:

For a fool speaks nonsense, and his heart inclines toward wickedness, to practice ungodliness and to speak error against the Lord, to keep the hungry person unsatisfied and to withhold drink from the thirsty. As for a rogue, his weapons are evil; he devises wicked schemes to destroy the afflicted with slander, even though the needy one speaks what is right.[13]

When these texts are analysed, it can be clearly seen that Scripture draws a clear line of demarcation, one which touches not only the speech, but the speaker. There are the wicked, the fool, the rogue, and the adulteress. Together they speak smooth words that are folly, madness, wickedness, deceitful, and devious.

Again, the challenge is put forth. If you believe yourself to be a Christian who reverences the Bible as truth, how do you reconcile these truths with the idea that anyone can grab a microphone and enter the public square? Even if you are not a Christian, there must be a tacit acknowledgement of the Scripture’s truth on these points, namely that there are those who speak both foolishly and foolishness. In which case, the question still stands: “Do you want foolish people filling the airwaves?” Even in the quote from PMSG there is reference to morons and idiots. Do we want such ones giving counsel to the naïve in the public square or anywhere for that matter?

Recognising that there are some within the sphere of Christianity who think more highly of the New Testament, let us look there, too, for guidance:

And I say to you, that every careless word that men shall speak, they shall render account for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned.[14]

But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth.[15]

Let no unwholesome (rotten, worthless) word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.[16]

Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we shall incur a stricter judgment. … So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. Behold, how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed, and has been tamed by the human race. But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison.[17]

With this survey complete, we are able to see that the Bible speaks with one accord – there is such a thing as evil, worthless, and destructive speech and we are warned, nay, commanded to have nothing to do with it.

Of interest is James’ warning that not many should become teachers. Granted, this is, in the first instance, spoken to the Church, but it has wider application. The teacher as the speaker is warned not to be one who spreads untruths. To inculcate a generation with errant words and ideas is extremely dangerous – it is the spark that starts a bushfire. Combine this with Jesus’ words and we have two warnings about being held to account for careless words and for teaching with worthless words. I will leave you to make application to the idea of free speech as it is peddled today.

Before concluding, something needs to be said concerning the topic of Censorship.

With the absolutist free speech position being pushed in our society, it has become equally important to slam the idea of censorship. Censorship is an evil. Censorship is the immediate enemy of free speech. No society can be truly free, if censorship is in play; and to make the point, countries like China are highlighted.

So, let us navigate our way gently through this sensitive topic. These combined topics must be one of the biggest loads of bull fibs ever dumped on our society. They are nothing less than an extravagant lie, dressed in fancy garb, so as to fool the onlooker. As with most of these issues, the populace is caught in the emotion of the moment and never takes pause to ask questions or to break the idea down to it base concepts.

Let me ask you this: Is it an absolute evil to guard something that is precious? Should, say, a Dutch Master be hung on a lamp post in the rain so that the clamouring hordes of one age might catch a glimpse before it is irreparably damaged or should it be hung in a guarded space so that generations might gaze upon and appreciate the vista?

The more relevant question, “Have you ever drawn a line of demarcation, physically or verbally, in order to protect the vulnerable?”

The point here is very, very simple. Censorship, in its etymology, really denotes the quality of assessing the worth of something and making a decision as to whether it promotes good or not. It does not mean, as so many take it to mean, oppression. As a parent, did you allow your children to drink roundup, down a bottle of aspirin, or attempt to cure their constipation with a good-sized helping of draino? Methinks not. In such situations, you used your knowledge to make the wise choice and, in essence, became a censor to you child. Did you let your child play with fire, hot stoves, or poisonous reptiles? Same answer. Every time you interjected your will and knowledge into such situations, you were acting as a censor. You were guilty of the high crime of censorship or so the moderns would have you believe. What you actually did was protect and enrich both your life and the life of your child. You turned the young and naïve away from harm, pain, suffering, and, yes, even death. Not such a bad thing, methinks!

At this point, we are back to that clash of worldviews. Since the Sixties, Humanism has been on the rise. This is the idea that God is dead or, if He is not dead, He created a closed system and has no personal interaction with His creation. On this basis, Man and his reason become god; these standards become the measure of all things. In this view, Man is unaffected in any way by sin or any concept approximating sin. Man is mature. Therefore, he is able to make correct choices in the moral realm. He can function in an unbiased way. He does not require, in anyway, an external source to guide or guard.[18]

The end of this philosophy is the rampant and indulgent individualism that we see around us today. It culminates in the demand for ultimate freedom for the individual. Society falls from view. Each man becomes king over his little kingdom, the individual life. Concomitant are demands for individual expression; the supremacy of personal choice; ironically, the demand for society to recognise, uphold, and abide by my personal choice[19]; the death of truth as individual opinion must now hold sway; the denial of censorship as the opining individual can never be wrong; and the list could continue.

Over and against this chaotic and anarchistic worldview, we have the Biblical worldview outlined above. God’s worldview says that there are evil speeches and there are naïve people, the combination of which can, and often does, end in disaster. Therefore, I am to be my brother’s keeper. I will not speak evil in his presence nor allow him to hear evil. That is my duty before God as a godly censor. This is not oppression. It is not infantile. It is not treating my brother as a child. It is keeping him safe in a world where there are dangers and pitfalls, many of which he may not be aware. Equally, putting any hint of arrogance to bed, he does exactly the same for me!

We have mentioned worldviews throughout, precisely because they are the nub of the matter. If you listen to the Devil, you will deny God, absolutes, and the idea of man as deficient in any way. Putting this worldview to the test, particularly if you have walked this earth for more than a couple of decades, ask yourself the simple question: “Is life better now”? An honest appraisal must answer, No! Has the Social Media phenomenon of everybody shouting into a microphone brought us to utopia or the edge of the dystopian zombie apocalypse? Is our society or country unified, expectant, prosperous or are we rent, downcast, bankrupt – and I do not just mean fiscally.

We once had a way of life, given to us by God, in which we recognised the dangers and pitfalls that are extant in the world. We were willing to build little fences in order to keep people safe. We did not want people to suffer, as per our analogies above, so we built those little fences; we shepherded, guarded, guided, and we worked hard to keep people from danger – yes, even the dangerous ideas. We did this because God revealed His truth to us in Jesus Christ. We learned to be servants, one of the other, and we benefitted in kind—I cannot be happy if my brother suffers. We learned from the Bible sayings like: Do unto others as you would have done to you.

This is Biblical censorship. It is a censorship that recognises good and evil. It seeks to honour God and protect man. However, we need to recognise another totalitarian type of censorship, one that is prevalent today, but which is largely unrecognised. This censorship, which we shall label ‘suppression’ has no aim other than to silence. It is not interested in debate. It is not interested in truth. It is not interested in absolutes. No, this suppression creates silence amidst the clamouring hordes. “Hang on” you say. “How can there be silence and clamouring hordes?” Good question. First, the clamouring hordes are encouraged, e.g., ten seconds of fame on Facetube or Twittergram. Everyone becomes used to having a voice, but, subtly, certain messages are given more volume, so as to persuade the naïve and garner support. Then comes the silencing. Those not “getting with the programme” are turned down until they are turned off.

We noted at the outset the silencing by the Tech Giants. It has recently been revealed that one such company has a policy to deny the reality of your situation based on the promotion of its ideals. A simple illustration. You take a photo of your fleet of fishing boats. This company thinks fishing is environmentally questionable, so your photo is put in the rubbish bin. Maybe, you just have a fleet of ships, but this company’s ideal is air travel. Your photo is shredded. Your reality does not gel with their ideals, so you are silenced. Another example was the suspending of an account belonging to someone who did some research on voter fraud during the last US election. This person simply sent individuals to photograph the addresses of people who had voted. Many were vacant lots. For putting this information in the public domain, the account was suspended. This is tyranny and silencing. It is not true censorship.

Yet, these Tech Giants are not the only ones guilty of this. Our Governments are becoming more and more tyrannical with their use of suppression. In what is truly a cruel irony, we have people and governments extolling the virtues of free speech, yet at the same time demanding or implementing wide ranging measures for the suppression of speech.

As an unhappy Victorian, let me give some examples from my home State. The Andrew’s government introduced laws on religious vilification, supposedly assuring that I could never be vilified for believing what I do. It then introduced certain things on homosexuality, which run counter to my Christian belief. Now, we have certain conversion laws that make it illegal for me to explain my beliefs on certain topics, even if I am asked by someone for such an explanation. Suppression to silence![20]

This oxymoronic state exists precisely because God is denied. If there are no absolutes, then there can only be the arbitrary. If the arbitrary holds sway, then so does rampant individualism and fickle governmental policy – until the two collide. When this is the status quo, anarchy must be the outcome. When anarchy is present, society, however that is to be understood, will only be ordered by forceful, tyrannical suppression. In short, some man or government will play god; they will appoint themselves as the determiner of truth, right and wrong, good and evil – all the while denying these very points.

Before concluding, just a few words on Marcus’ statement that the internet is a great place for exposing lies. Again, I would have to respectfully disagree.

Once again, the presupposition of such a statement seems to be that men are willing to think critically about any given issue. This has not been my experience at all. Most people do not think deeply. As we have noted above, we do have the naïve in our society and these do not always show a propensity toward deeper learning. Moreover, the internet is full of lies and deceit. Take as an example two recent instances. One post was in regard to a speech given by Bill Gates to a class of 6th graders or some such. It may have some good points, but the common consensus is that Bill Gates never gave such a speech. Another recent example is of a quote by Cicero. This quote speaks against the enemy within and points out the dangers of the traitor. It is very apt for our day and makes a sound point. However, research suggests that it came from a fictional novel (A Pillar of Iron) based around Cicero and was written by Taylor Caldwell.

These are just everyday examples of the cut and paste methodology that so many people use today. Scan the Net. See something you like. Cut, paste, post, without ever stopping to see whether it is in fact true. Of course, if Bill Gates or Cicero said it, it must be true! Equally, no one is going to plagiarise and then falsify by adding someone else’s name, just to gain more traction, are they? I mean, the Net is above such things. It is a bastion of truth. Just like Leonard said so sarcastically to Penny, “Right, it’s not like they let anyone have a website!”

As a Christian, I can equally point to many web entries on Christian history and doctrine that do not represent the historic, orthodox position of Christianity.

No, the Net is not a bastion of truth and integrity. Just like every other tool man has created, it will be used according to one’s worldview and the ethics determined thereby. It will serve God or it will oppose God. It will speak truth or it will lie.

One last word. It is worth noting that Free Speech, like many other things, is a perversion of Christian truth. The Reformation sought to correct many errors that had come to the Church and World. Central to the Reformation was the fact that God’s Word is not only truth, but it is absolute authority. Consequently, the Reformation gave us the concept that one man armed with God’s Word could ably stand against the fifty-one percent.

In short, as we see today, the vote of fifty-one percent in our modern democracies does not always work for the benefit of a nation. Fifty-one percent are not always right. The governments elected by the fifty-one percent do commit evil and they do act foolishly. Consequently, the Reformation posited that one man armed with God’s truth could stand against the fifty-one percent. Indeed, such a man is under an obligation to stand for the truth and, therefore, has the right to speak out—not on his own authority, but on God’s, not with words and concepts of his own making, but with God’s. Authority to speak and God honouring content is the essence of speech that is truly free.


The modern infatuation with free speech and the opposition to true censorship only serves to prove two things: 1. The enemy has done an exceptional job with its smoke screen; 2. How the mighty have fallen.

Saying that you are a conservative and then saying in the same breath that you are a free speech absolutist just points up the confusion that reigns in our current day. All roads do not lead to Rome, just as all roads do not lead to freedom, peace, and prosperity. The pathway of absolute free speech is a path that will lead only to destruction. If you want proof, turn on your television, look out your front door, or look at the discussions (please read “rant-fests”) on social media.

Absolute free speech is a pernicious evil and it is time that we were awakened to that fact.

The Lord Almighty warned Man to be vigilant at all levels of society, “lest there shall be among you a root bearing poisonous fruit and wormwood.”[21] This free speech absolutist position is a poisonous root. The carnage caused by the consumption of its deadly fruit is on display for any with a discerning eye.

Lastly, we would do well to remember that, Biblically speaking, speech is rarely free. In fact, errant speech, in particular, is said to come at a great cost – it can cost reputations, it can cost lives, and, yes, it can cost you a positive eternity.


[1] Now, I wish to be clear here. Although I disagree with Marcus, I have not singled him out for attention because he is worse than others or any such thing. It just so happened that, as this article was bouncing around inside my head and the opportunity to begin writing was presented, this video came into my ken. Equally, when extrapolations are made from these statements, it does not mean that Marcus would subscribe, necessarily, to every option.

[2] In fact, when you listen to the free speech absolutists, you would think that they are reading straight from the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. In that document, free speech is espoused with very few limitations. Yet, the French Revolution ended in a bloody mess because it was never underpinned by God’s absolutes—but I digress.

[3] Ex 20:7.

[4] Ex 20:16.

[5] Pr 6:12. Literally, with crookedness of mouth. Emphasis added.

[6] Pr 4:24.

[7] Pr 5:3.

[8] Pr 10:32.

[9] Pr 12:22.

[10] Pr 6:16–19. One can legitimately infer that the ‘spreading of strife’ may well employ tongue and speech.

[11] Pr 15:2.

[12] Ec 10:12–14.

[13] Is 32:6–7. Note, here, how slander is used as a tool against the one who speaks truth. Have you seen any instances of this during Covid, for example?

[14] Mt 12:36–37.

[15] Col 3:8. Interestingly, the Greek term behind the word ‘slander’ is the same word from which we derive our word ‘blasphemy’.

[16] Eph 4:29.

[17] Jas 3:1–3:12. Edited.

[18] As an illustration of this point, think of our television ratings system. The Mature rating is at the extreme end. Porn, nudity, gambling, occult, drugs  etc etc are allowable under this label. In short, the Mature are the ones who fill their eyes and minds from the toilet bowl of entertainment. Biblically, the Mature would be the one who knows that this is excrement and would turn himself and his neighbour away from this poison.

[19] So, for example, in Australia that means that society would have to uphold and abide by 20 Million plus opinions and somehow work through all the resulting conflicts. You can imagine what a nightmare that would be! No imagination necessary – You are living it in stereo baby!

[20] The true evil in this legislation is that it was premised upon a lie simply to legitimise governmental suppression. Once more, we are back to the topic of speaking evil.

[21] Deuteronomy 29:18.

Israel, Complacency, and Disunity

Every now and then, the Lord so orders happenings into our lives for the purpose of giving us clarity and perspective. These events unfold in such a way that the studious onlooker should immediately gain clarity and perspective on such things as law and order, the faithfulness and obedience of the Church, the humility or tyranny of government, and the predominant ideology that pervades society, Church, and government.

At present, Covid-19 is one such happening. It has certainly brought things into a stark reality; but more of that in a different article. At this point the focus will fall upon the “prequel” to Covid-19, known colloquially as the “Israel Falou saga”!

When our Mighty and Gracious God acts to bring us to an awakening of our sins and our parting from His ways and the reckless abandonment of His law, He rarely goes directly to lightning bolts, plagues and pestilence, or the sword wielding enemy. The history of Israel shows that there were always gentle reminders as well as stern warnings before the ultimate state of calamity unfolded upon the people.

In the Israel Falou saga, we had one of these gentle proddings. It should have awoken the Church from its stupor and, if nothing else, alerted us to the great divide and lack of unity that is current in Christianity; and that is to say nothing about the Church’s lack of credibility in the World’s eyes.[1]

The time is April, 2019. Israel Falou uses social media to push back against certain pernicious evils that have been growing stronger throughout the land over the previous decades. His communiqué is a basic quotation of 1 Corinthians 6:9-10:

Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Immediately, there was a hue and cry. The clamorous hoards broke out their repertoire of pejoratives and began to recite the prescribed mantras outlined for them by the high priests of Humanism. Now, the response from this quarter was banal to the extreme, went on ad nauseum – please pass the bucket – and was hackneyed by any estimation or appraisal. It said nothing new. It simply resorted to the bullying and harassment tactics that have become the stock and trade of this movement.[2]

Much noise was made. Many things were said. All sorts of people opined based upon their subjective experiences or feelings. Absent from the chorus was the one important question, given the statement made by Israel, namely, “Is this what God has truly said?”

At this juncture, we intend to narrow the focus in looking at the response to this Biblical passage. Of course, non-believers and god-haters are going to come out and object to these passages in the most vehement terms. That is to be expected. The proclamation of God’s law in the sinner’s ear reminds him of his accountability to God and of his rebellion against God, so naturally he is going to demand that the voices are silenced so that he can return to his untroubled rebellion.

It was even expected that the Liberal elements that claim to be part of the Church of Christ, and are not, would come forth and sprout their baptised Humanism, in which they preach love, light, and tolerance without any real reference to Scripture and the Holy God therein revealed.

What was not expected was the response from the so-called “Conservative” wing of the Church. Now, some clarification is needed here, of course. Not all Conservatives remained silent. Not all Conservatives are known to us.[3] This said, however, it was a source of amazement that so many seemed to look for an excuse and a reason to duck for cover and to remain silent on this issue. It was sad, indeed, to see some scrambling to find uncommon ground so that one could safely distance themselves from the man and his comments.

In one example, the minister of a so-called “Reformed” denomination chose to preach about this particular issue. He tentatively paid his respects to the idea that Scripture is our standard and that we should not back away from its message. So far, so good – or so it seemed! Then came all the caveats. These were simply a bowing to Humanism and they, in effect, negated anything heretofore said. We were told, in essence, that this quotation of scripture by Israel had brought the name of Jesus into disrepute. In typical psychobabble, this was couched in and around the popular phrase, ‘it’s not what he said, but how he said it!”

Now, for those who may be unaware, this term has been gathering popular momentum as the ultimate reason to deny a truth that is obvious. Imagine this scenario. An average Aussie, with the language of an average Aussie, say, a truck driver, is on his way home. Suddenly he is confronted by the sight of a home being engulfed by flames. Risking all, he kicks in the door, makes his way to a back room where he finds a man oblivious to what is happening. In first class Ocker, the truck driver outlines the situation with expletives, relays the imminent danger, again with a random scattering of expletives, and then urges upon the occupant of the house the somewhat dire need of the aforesaid to ‘get his scrawny butt moving!’ He does not respond.

Fast forward. Fire fighters have entered the house and dragged the man out at the insistence of the truck driver. He is given medical care on scene, but he is beyond hope. Asked why he did not leave when warned by the truckie, he musters the last of his strength and his final lungful of air to explain, ‘Well, his tone was rough and, above all, he did not say “please”!’

Question time! In this scenario, who would criticise the truck driver? More later.

The second example, is, we admit, an amalgam. During this time, many conversations were entered into regarding this subject. We admit to deliberately steering conversations to this topic so as to be able to gauge the responses. What was evident, sadly, was the lack of solidarity and backbone amongst these “Conservatives”. On more than one occasion, responses like these were heard: ‘He belongs to … denomination’; ‘He does not believe … doctrine’; ‘I think he might believe … idea’; and the favourite, ‘Did he really quote Scripture?

Seriously! Imagination time again. What if it wasn’t a rugby career on the line, but a man’s life? If this same quotation were to see a man incarcerated for a decade or, worse, his life forfeit, would such foolish and trite reasons still have been trotted forward? Would we have sermons denouncing the man or would the tone and direction of those sermons have changed?

Alright, time to make some statements and to pull some threads together.

First, there is no relationship with Israel and on this sojourn that is not likely. Second, there is most definitely disagreement with some aspects of his life and belief. Yet, none of that should have caused the reactions and the excuse-making it did. The Church was in the midst of its most crucial battle in years, if not decades. Indeed, it may well be the crucial battle of a lifetime. We lost! Why? For all the reasons outlined in this article!

We were too busy tracking through some pro forma checklist on orthodoxy attempting to assess whether Israel Falou was close enough to “our clan” to see whether or not he was worthy of support. All the while missing the most basic point – He is a blood-bought brother who took an accurate stand on Scripture precisely when it was most needed in the midst of a war. That stand deserved the Church’s support, if only as a conversation starter and a rallying point; but, no, we were too busy ticking boxes of orthodoxy or protecting our brand of evangelism to side with Biblically accurate commentary. We focussed on the messenger and not the message.

The Lord gave us a prodding to show us where we stood. The Lord shone light upon the Church and showed that the adoption of unbiblical ideas had led us off the path. Israel’s courage showed us that very point. Did we listen? Did we learn? No, we did not. We got rolled because a ‘house divided cannot stand!’

As Christ’s Church we have three main unifying points: Jesus, His Spirit, and His Word, Scripture. These are what should have been front and centre in our minds and nothing else.

Brothers and Sisters, please, let us learn the lesson.


There are additional points to be made, which may impinge upon how you view these happenings and this article.

First, what Israel quoted was Scripture. No doubt. If his quotation is disqualified, then we must disqualify several Biblical writers who do not quote texts verbatim. That the order is changed does not impact the message when it is simply a list. That some points are combined does not alter the message.

Second, Israel’s list contained eight sins that would disqualify form the Kingdom. How much did you hear about the seven that stood apart from homosexuality? I didn’t hear anything from the International Fraternity of Liars; nothing from AA – adulterers active; nothing from Animists for Idolatry. Anyway, you get the point. Homosexuality became the point of discussion precisely because it was the relevant point under discussion within our country at that time and it was the point being vehemently espoused by the radical God-haters. Again, the highlighting of this single point to the exclusion of all other points raised should have been a red flag to any Christian onlooker.

Third, did not Jesus, our Commander and Chief, tell us that we would be hated. The World did not accept the message from His lips, so It is going to raise a ruckus when It hears the same message from ours. Was Jesus not worthy of hearing when he preached condemnation?

Fourth, Israel has shown the courage to speak out or stand on a number of issues. During the fires, he drew attention to these being Judgement from God. Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, who should have known better, followed the party line and labelled the comments as “appallingly insensitive”. Was Jesus appallingly insensitive when he spoke of hell and judgement? Was Jesus appallingly insensitive when he warned the people to fear God, Who, after killing the body, had the power to cast into hell? Was Jesus appallingly insensitive when, in Luke 13, people address to Him the issue of Pilot murdering certain Galileans and He turns the issue on its head, addressing the living and not the dead, urging His hearers to consider their standing as sinners? This is important. If Jesus were judged by the evil, PC standards of our day, He would be condemned as a monger of hate-speech, intolerant, unloving, and one who failed the test of inclusivity!

Fifth, most recently, Israel refused to get down on his knee in support of a particular protest. Again, the clamorous hoard started up their evil ‘sinphony’ and condemned the man. This condemnation even states outright lies. On the Wikipedia entry for Israel Falou, we find reference to this incident and some commentary that concludes that the protest in question was a “symbol of solidarity against police brutality and racism.” Now, I know of no such protest. I am aware of a “Black Lives Matter” movement, but is that the same thing? Why would Wikipedia’s entry not say “BLM”? Why would it rather choose to imply that, in essence, Israel Falou is pro both police brutality and racism?

The point here is a call to unity.

Is God’s Law still relevant?

Does God judge sin here and now using nature and the like?

Will our culture survive, if we continue to provoke God to anger?

Why did Jesus say so much about Hell, if there is nothing to fear?

Why did Jesus preach repentance, if Man has not transgressed God’s moral code?

These questions must be answered. As the Church, we will continue to be “rolled” in the cultural debates of our day and into the future until we return to the unity that Christ commands – a unity found in His Person, His Word, and His Spirit.

Lastly, we need to return to the truckie. Would any reasonable person reading that story ever begin a “it’s not what he said but how he said it” type conversation?

Do you think that the ambulance officers and fire fighters, upon hearing the victim’s confession, would have begun to lambaste the truckie, demanding or at least strongly suggesting that he should think of attending ‘finishing school’? Do you think that the driver’s companions would have abandon him in droves and then begun to enumerate reasons such as, ‘he buys the wrong tyres’, ‘I never have liked the colour of his truck’, ‘he drives for … company’, and ‘did he really fill in his work diary correctly?

We hear a lot about love today. The question that needs to be asked, though, is this: Are we loving sinful Man more than our Holy Father in heaven? You see, true love tells a man what he needs to hear, not what he wants to hear. Equally, sometimes that message can only be delivered with certain words and certain tones.[4] Jesus was not appallingly insensitive. On the contrary, because He loved He spoke forth God’s warnings based on the truth and reality that all men will one day be called to give an account.

The current and errant view of love – an emotion that excuses and accepts all – and the adopting of the this “not what he said but how” gibberish is a pernicious evil. If you doubt this, simply look at the erosion of the Church’s doctrine over the years. We have been trying for years, to mellow the concepts of sin and hell in order to present them in a nice way – making the ‘how he said it’ acceptable to the rebellious sinner. What is the result? We have mellowed these doctrines so much that in many circles they no longer exist! We have sugar coated these doctrines so much today, that we simply preach jellybeans – all sugar with a pretty coloured coating, but no substance.

Before us, brethren, is the choice: Continue to turn the doctrines of Christ, one by one, into jellybeans or speak God’s truth, as hard as that may be at times, and allow the Holy Spirit to use the Word of Christ to glorify God.

It is the Gospel, full and unfettered, that is the power of God unto salvation – not nice words and jellybeans – and of this Gospel, full and unfettered, the true disciple of Christ Jesus should never be ashamed.


[1] Here, we do not mean the current attempt by the Church to curry favour with the World by capitulating to its demands, rather the words of Paul in 1 Timothy 3:7: And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church.

[2] Please note this well. In the current sorry state-of-affairs, those who are labelled as the “lefties” – an errant term to be corrected – do not engage in sound arguments. They simply shout louder and louder in an attempt to drown out their opposition or, worse still, they just do not allow them to speak. Over the years the people have been warned about the coming censorship associated with the PC Movement. Many scoffed. Look now at what the Tech Giants are doing, as just one example. They have appointed themselves as the arbiters of truth and they will shut you down for simply quoting facts that disagree with their agenda.

[3] We are aware that an online petition was circulated. We are aware that ACL set up a page to fund certain defences. We are aware that not every Christian turned their back. The point of this article is to focus upon the so-called “conservative wing”; those who were once the champions of Biblical doctrine, once the “unafraid”, once the “defenders of the faith”.

[4] One is yet to figure out how the reality, substance, and sheer horror of Hell can be accurately portrayed by slapstick!

Controversial “Theo-” Words (Pt. 4)

In this last part, it is our intention to look at two concepts and then some texts that show us clearly that the Old Testament and the Old Testament concept of Law were neither unknown nor forsaken by the New Testament writers.

  1. Scripture:

The first concept is that of Scripture itself. As Christians we are familiar with this term. We use it all the time to refer to our complete Bible. However, this understanding can also lead us astray. For the Early Church, their Scriptures, their Bible, if you will, were the writings of the Old Testament.

Thus, when we read statements in the New Testament in regard to Scripture, we must understand that those statements, in the clear majority of cases, refer to the Old Testament. This is important, for the term Scripture occurs over thirty times in the New Testament. It is also important because this term is used by all New Testament writers bar one, Jude.

Consequently, when Paul, writing to Timothy, says that, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work[1], he has in mind, primarily, the writings of the Old Testament. Similarly, when Peter states that, “no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God[2], his statement, likewise, must be taken as referring to the Old Testament in the first instance.

  1. It Stands Written:

A second important concept has to do with the phrase, “It stands written”, which is often used by the New Testament authors to introduce the Old Testament Scriptures. This phrase is important, first, because of its frequent usage and, second, because it occurs in the Perfect Tense. As the name implies, the perfect tense points to perfected action. In Greek, the perfect has the connotation of something that is completed in the past, yet has abiding validity in the present. As such, the use of this term in this tense to introduce Scripture makes a potent statement about the nature of the Scriptures being quoted. In other words, this tense suggests to us, very strongly, that the Old Testament Scriptures are still valid and authoritative and that they are not to be easily forsaken, overturned, or discarded.

  1. Texts:

Next, we want to demonstrate just how widely the Old Testament was relied upon by the so-called New Testament writers. Now, please understand, the point here is not simply to multiply texts or Old Testament quotes. It is, rather, to display the importance of the Old Testament text, the range of the texts relied upon, and the speaker’s or writer’s emphasis upon the validity of the Old Testament for founding, making, or completing an argument.

          3.a Jesus:

  1. Have you not read: Beginning with Jesus, our first port of call is to see how Jesus rebuked His opponents for not reading and knowing Scripture, the Old Testament. Four times in Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus replies to questions or challenges with, “Have you not read?” This phrase is very much akin to the “It stands written”, spoken of earlier, in that it establishes the Old Testament as an authoritative source.

Equally, we must see that there are three topics in view when Jesus uses this term – the Sabbath, Sexuality / Marriage, and the Resurrection. Let us look at each briefly:

          Sabbath: Jesus shows that the Law of the Sabbath is by no means contrary to mercy, compassion, or genuine service (to God). To prove this, Jesus brings in two historical events, one concerning David (1 Samuel 21:6) and the other from the practice of the priests via the phrase, “Have you not read in the Law how …?” Jesus caps of this teaching with a further rebuke, “… if you had known” – implying very clearly that His opponents did not know – and then quotes Hosea 6:6, “For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, and in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.”

The point here is that Jesus does not dismiss the Sabbath as no longer relevant. Jesus does not expunge the Law of the Sabbath. Rather, by appealing to the Law and the Prophets, Jesus shows to us the true nature of the Sabbath. The Sabbath is then a sacred and hallowed day in which we must cease from our labours and turn our thoughts and actions unto God, but it is also a day that is pre-eminently about mercy and compassion.[3]

The important point, in regard to our argument, is that Jesus does not simply quote the fourth Commandment and give some instruction. No, Jesus, quotes from history, the Law, and from a prophet to show the validity of the Sabbath and its true meaning. If it is only the Ten Commandments that are valid and authoritative, Jesus must have made a grave error or, the more likely scenario, we have contrived a falsehood when we insist that the Ten Commandments are the Moral Law.

          Sexuality / Marriage: Jesus is asked one of those sticky questions by the Pharisees regarding divorce. In answering, Jesus goes first to Genesis 1:27 (5:2), the Cultural Mandate, to establish the fact that Man was crated male and female with genuine, purpose built sexuality and then moves to Genesis 2:24 to show that this sexuality reaches its acme in the covenant bond of marriage. In short, male and female being fruitful, multiplying, and ruling, only occurs legitimately in the permanent bond of marriage.

Again, note that Jesus’ answer is not the quotation of the sixth command, but a restatement of God’s creation order and purpose. In taking this tack, Jesus is upholding the summary of the Law in the Ten Commandments, but He is also showing that God’s Moral Law and God’s Morality can be found in narratives that predate the Law and the Ten Commandments.

This point is essential for our understanding and for pressing home the Crown Rights of Jesus Christ in our daily lives. Take, as one example, the issue of homosexuality, which looms large today. There is much nonsense peddled in Christendom today with the result that many are confused. Our local Anglican Bishop came forward and stated that he could not see that homosexual marriage would be in anyway contradictory to the teachings of Christ. Such a position can only be arrived at through gross and wilful ignorance. Jesus, in the passage before us, upholds God’s creation order. In doing so, Jesus, by good and necessary consequence, upholds the fifth, seventh, and tenth Commandments as well as validating texts like Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1:27; 1 Corinthians 6:9; and Revelation 22:15. Jesus 1; Bishop zip!

          Resurrection: In regard to the resurrection, all that needs to be noted are these basic facts: 1. Whist the OT acknowledges eternal life and resurrection, it does not give much information; 2. We would expect that Jesus may have given us clearer information regarding the resurrection; 3. What Jesus did, however, was quote the narrative of Exodus 3:6 to show that God is the God of the living.

Once more, we see that Jesus went back to the Law in order to make an authoritative statement regarding a little known subject. Using the narrative of Exodus, Jesus simply affirmed that the patriarchs were alive. The implication then being that all Abraham’s true children will live. What Jesus gave us was not a new revelation, but an authoritative restatement of what was already known, but not grasped and understood.

Equally, we cannot miss the point that there is authoritative and valid information contained in the Law, occurring outside the Decalogue and on subjects to which the Decalogue does not speak.

2.What is the Law? Most Christians know the story of the Rich Young Ruler, as it has come to be known. Here is a young man who declares that he has kept the Law from his youth. What many people miss, particularly in Matthew’s[4] account, is the very nature of what is to be called “the Law”.

Most Christians generally refer to “the Law” as the Pentateuch, the Torah, or as the first five books. This is acceptable, in one sense. However, as we have seen, many or most Christians, when pushed, would state that it is the Ten Commandments alone that are the real “Law”, the Moral Law, which unaccompanied is binding and valid. With this view in mind, let us see what Jesus’ encounter with this young man reveals.

Jesus is asked concerning life eternal. Jesus’ reply is “keep the commandments.” It is an aside, but it is very interesting that Jesus asserts that keeping God’s law goes hand in hand with eternal life! Anyway, in response to Jesus’ statement, the young man asks, “Which ones?” Jesus then gives this reply: “You shall not commit murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honor your father and mother; and You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Looking at this list of Commandments, and thinking of the Ten Commandments, the Moral Law, do you notice anything odd?

Let’s go through them. Jesus lists six Commandments. They are, in the order Jesus gives them, six, seven, eight, nine, five, and … whoops, what happened? The last Commandment that Jesus gives is actually a partial quote from Leviticus 19:18 and it is this same partial quote that forms the second great commandment, recorded in Matthew 22:39.

Now, it is very possible that Jesus quotes Leviticus 19:18 as a parallel to the tenth Commandment, “Do not covet”, for, indeed, to covet your neighbour’s wife or possession is to show an extreme lack of love to your neighbour, especially if this errant desire is acted upon. However, in regard to our argument, it is imperative that we once more grasp the fact that Jesus gives Moral teaching from the Law, but not from what we so often label the Moral Law. Once grasped, we must acknowledge that equating the Ten Commandments with the Moral Law, as done by the moderns, is in fact a modern aberration. The Reformation Church, with its teaching that the Decalogue is a summary of the Moral law, had a much sounder and more Biblical belief.

          3.b Paul: The Apostle, Paul, has some interesting uses of the Old Testament Law that are instructive. They are so precisely because the moderns would never, by their standards, classify these Laws as applicable, abiding, or moral—indeed they would categorise them as those particular to Israel and of no benefit to modern man—yet Paul picks up these Laws and applies them to his day and in such a way that they must be understood as applicable, abiding, and Moral.

First, we read in 1 Timothy 5:17-18, “Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.””

Here, we come face to face with two case laws that would be, by most modern Christians, placed in the “judicial law” category, which is supposed to have passed away with Israel and therefore be of no relevance to us. Yet, Paul picks out these two Old Testament case laws, one dealing with a threshing ox (Deuteronomy 25:4) and the other dealing with a labourer’s wages (Leviticus 19:13), and applies them squarely to the issues of the sustentation and honour of the Elder. In making such an application, Paul demonstrates that these Laws were of Moral importance in their original setting and, in applying them to Elders, a continuing office of the Church, he makes these Laws applicable to every situation and for all time.

Next, we must understand, and we do mean must, that these Laws did not take on an authority because Paul, the Apostle, quoted them and somehow filled them with authority and validity. No, Paul quoted these Laws because they were already filled with authority; for they contained the very breath of God. Paul, in quoting the case laws of Leviticus and Deuteronomy was but practicing his own advice that he gave to Timothy, his son in the faith: “All Scripture is God breathed and useful!

Second, in 1 Corinthians 5:1, Paul confronts a real issue of morality with the words: “It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father’s wife.”

In looking at this text, it seems a bit pedestrian on the face of things. However, if we focus on the last three words – his father’s wife – we will see that these words bear a striking resemblance to certain Laws contained in the Old Testament. For example, we could look at texts like Leviticus 18:8, “You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s wife; it is your father’s nakedness”; Deuteronomy 22: 30, “A man shall not take his father’s wife so that he shall not uncover his father’s skirt”; or Deuteronomy 27:20, “Cursed is he who lies with his father’s wife, because he has uncovered his father’s skirt.”

To make sense of this, let us look more closely at the text. Note that Paul states that there is “immorality” in the midst of the Corinthians. Immorality implies that a sin has been committed. What sin? The Greek word used (porneia) means any unlawful sexual transaction. This term does not specify the sin exactly; only that it is of a sexual nature. To make clear why this fellow is guilty of a sin, Paul then makes reference to the Law. Thus, once more, it is the Law that is the authority; it is the Law that has been transgressed; and because the Law has been transgressed, the man is guilty of a sin, which is classified as immorality.

Please also grasp the fact that Paul did not simply appeal to the fifth Commandment, “Honour father and mother”, but looked passed the summary to actual laws that embodied this principle and showed exactly how to honour one’s parents by elucidating specifics.

          Third, and briefly, we will make reference to Romans 1:32: “although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

Focussing upon the phrase “ordinances of God”, there are two points to be made. The first is that of understanding the term “ordinance”. It is not a term familiar to us in common usage. We might be more familiar with the term through our televisions, for the Americans use terms such a “city ordinance” more commonly. That usage shows to us that the term ordinance has at its root the concept of law. Thus, Paul is not speaking of a vague concept in regard to God, but rather of His law and His righteous decrees.

The second point comes in the form of a question, “To what is Paul referring?” The only possible answer that makes any sense is to say that Paul refers to the sins that he has listed in the immediate context, namely, the preceding verses.

Once more, Paul takes his stand in the Law of God. Man is to be condemned because he has turned from the knowledge of God and wilfully broken His righteous decrees even though Man knew that to do so was to court death.

          3.c Peter: Lastly, let us consider a few words from Peter. In regard to the first quotation, it is to be admitted that we will change tack slightly. The point at this juncture is that the New Testament writers understood the abiding validity and significance of God’s word. Says Peter, 1:1:23-25, “For you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and abiding word of God. For, “All flesh is like grass, And all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls off, but the word of the Lord abides forever.” And this is the word which was preached to you.

Peter’s contrast, so it seems, is between the transient nature of man and the abiding Word of God. Man is but a “flash in the pan” compared to the eternity of God and His word. We are perishable and perishing, but God’s word is imperishable and abiding.

However, when we dig deeper we see that the brilliance of the passage is in its correlation of salvation for God’s covenant people. Peter quotes from Isaiah (40:6f), an Old Testament prophet who spoke to God’s wayward covenant people concerning God’s great day of redemption. Peter, speaking on this very same topic, only from the point of fulfilment, not type, highlights that the abiding Word which brings life is the Gospel. It is the Word proclaimed by Isaiah, preached by Peter. It is the abiding Word that not only brings life, but which then governs and orders life so much so that we must “fervently love one another”.

The second text from Peter, returns us to the point that God’s Morality can be found throughout the Old Testament and not just in the Decalogue. Likewise, this Morality, precisely because it belongs to God, is eternal and binding. Noting that there is to be a moral and righteous relationship between Christians on the basis of our redemption, Peter says (1:3:8-12), “To sum up, let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil, or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. For, “Let him who means to love life and see good days refrain his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking guile. “And let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it. “For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears attend to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.

Can you see Peter’s methodology here? First, Peter makes certain statements in regard to what Christians should be and why. Then, to prove the correctness of his position he gives an extended quote from Psalm 34:12-16. Once more, the Old Testament does not become authoritative because it is used by Peter. Much rather, Peter uses the Old Testament because it is authoritative.

Similarly, we must see that the Psalm, not being part of the Decalogue, is nonetheless considered to be both Moral, valid, and abiding.


When the Biblical evidence is assembled, it shows that Theocracy and Theonomy are not terms to be shunned, much rather, they are to be embraced. Furthermore, the very lack of understanding in regard to these concepts stems from the fact that we are using the World’s wisdom to gain understanding instead of turning unto God’s wisdom.

For example, we are being told by the word that Theocracy is bad and that it equates with tyranny (as if the World does not have a barrow to push!). We are told that a Secular government is right because it alone is neutral and will govern for all citizens. The simple fact is that both of these are lies, blatant lies!

Yes, from the Caesars to Idi Amin there have been those who have believed that they have been given a divine right to rule. In one sense they are right. God appoints all rulers and their place and time in history (Job 12:23; Daniel 2:21), but this act of Sovereignty by God is by no means equivalent to a genuine Theocracy. The true Theocracy is a rule established by God and for God. It rules by God’s law and for His glory. Despots with a “Jesus complex” or who delude themselves are rightly to be called rebels not theocrats. Even in regard to Israel, whilst we use the term Theocracy readily, we must understand its use in a loose manner. If the king, like an Ahab, did not fear Yahweh and seek to fulfil His commands, such a king was rebellious and not theocratic. He was in the truest sense a usurper and a pretender.

So, let us not use cases of abuse and cases which are not Theocracy to deter us from believing in the truth of a genuine Theocracy.

The second lie is that of Neutrality. All governments must be biased. They will of necessity be biased toward their fundamental belief system. Even a Theocracy – the very reason it is denounced – is not neutral but actively biased to God. Thus, when Bill Shorten, as one example, campaigns under a slogan of government for all Australians, he is nothing but a bold faced liar. Mr Shorten peddles the politics of Socialism. Therefore, he will discriminate against one group in favour of another, based on his belief system. For example, he has pledged to introduce same-sex marriage within so many days of taking government. This is not governing for all, as it immediately discriminates against every person who believes homosexuality to be errant.

So let us not as Christians, continue to peddle the Myth of Neutrality and concepts like religious freedom and the right of a Secular government, and so on, for it is this plurality that has led us into the current crisis. By admitting that there are many ways that are right, we have denied the exclusivity of God, His right to rule, and His right to rule by His law. In taking this stand, we Christians have opened the door to pluralism and fostered its uptake. Now the chickens are roosting and we are to pay the piper. How long will we halt between two opinions?

Lastly, let us remember the words of Paul: “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, in order that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.[5]

Paul calls God’s people to prayer. Paul calls God’s people to pray for those in authority. This must, of course, include those who form government, no matter what form that government takes. For us, the importance comes when we consider the purpose for which we are to pray – that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity (NIV: holiness; we like “reverence”).

If we take these words seriously, then we cannot just pray a flippant prayer; we cannot just pray for a good government; No, we must pray for a righteous government! It is only righteousness that leads to peace and tranquillity. Godliness cannot be achieved through a Secular government; neither can holiness or reverence.

Therefore, if we are to be true to Paul’s command, we must be praying for a government that fears and honours Jesus Christ and such a government can only be had when the hearts of those men forming government are yielded to Jesus by His Spirit!

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore.

Controversial “Theo-” words (Pt. 1)

Controversial “Theo-” words (Pt. 2)

Controversial “Theo-” words (Pt. 3)


[1] 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

[2] 2 Peter 1:20-21.

[3] Even the Westminster Divines, who are big on worship and Sabbath acknowledge this point: WCF 21:8 – This Sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering of their common affairs before-hand, do not only observe an holy rest all the day from their own works, words, and thoughts about their worldly employments and recreations, (Exod. 20:8, Exod. 16;23,25–26,29–30, Exod. 31:15–17, Isa. 58:13, Neh. 13:15–19,21–22) but also are taken up, the whole time, in the public and private exercises of His worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy. (Isa. 63:13, Matt. 12:1–13)

[4] Matthew 19:16-22.

[5] 1 Timothy 2:1-2.

Controversial “Theo-” Words (Pt. 3)

In this third part, we shall look again at these controversial “Theo-” words and continue in our endeavour to show how the modern attitude, which generally despises these terms, is in fact a digression from Biblical truth and historic Christianity.

Our first answer in relation to the extent and application of God’s law began by focusing upon our love for God. If we truly love God with all our being and God rules our hearts and minds, we can only be Theocratic and Theonomic in our outward expression of His manifest love. After all, if God rules our hearts and minds, we are already, as individuals, Theocratic and Theonomic, so it is only logical that the truth that governs the inner man ought to flow out through our words and actions.

This then hints at the first stumbling block – are we loving God so completely that He rules our hearts and minds? The reason that Theocracy and Theonomy are a challenge for many Christians in regard to the public arena has to do with the fact that they are not yet Theocratic and Theonomic in the inner man. The inner man, truly yielded to Christ the King, will live out the Theo- words in all of life. In fact, unless he be an utter hypocrite, it is impossible to do otherwise. Conversely, the inner man, not truly yielded to Christ Jesus the King, will remain committed to and under the rule of the Auto- words.[1]

Another stumbling block seems to be that, for many Christians, we have succumbed to a lie which tells us that law and love are opposed to each other. Most find it odd to have obedience tied to love, fealty tied to surrender. Thus, we have trouble with Jesus’ “If you love Me you will keep My commandments” because we try to rework our definition of obedience to fit with our skewed concept of love. Correspondingly, we have fallen for modern, erroneous notions that like driving wedges between concepts. Thus, obedience is opposed to love; law is opposed to grace; freedom is opposed to requirement, and so forth. This is what the moderns teach, but it is false. God loved us so much that He placed the requirement of the Law on Jesus so that He could show us grace and mercy. If we love Jesus, we will obey Him, just as Jesus loved the Father and obeyed Him. Our freedom from law is found in our obedience to God’s law. God’s law is grace because adherence to it keeps us safe[2] and nurtures us in the life of Christ.

So, please, let us grasp the idea that a profession of love to and for God means that we love Him exclusively, explicitly, and absolutely. To love God after this manner means surrender to His will and standards, which can only mean obedience to His revealed Law. To reject this package is to follow apostate Israel into adultery and idolatry and to contradict Scripture’s clear teaching.[3]

Moving on, a second answer comes from John. The apostle states that “sin is lawlessness.”[4] What law, then, are we “less” in order to be considered a sinner? Is it Man’s law or God’s law? The Westminster Divines asked and answered this question thusly: “What is sin? Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, the law of God. (1 John 3:4)” So, to be lawless is to sin and to sin is to be “less” the law of God.

If you are in doubt, consider the next verses from John: “And you know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him.” Says John, ‘God appeared to take away sin; God does not sin; the one who loves God does not sin; the sinning one does not know God.’ Confused? No need to be. It is very simple. Sin is Lawlessness. Sin is the lack of conformity unto or the transgression of the Law of God. If we are God’s, we are Lawful and sinless; if we are not God’s we will be Lawless and sinful.

Therefore, Biblically and historically, the Church, in the case before us the Early and Reformation Churches, has recognised that it is God’s law alone that provides the standards by which all things are to be measured. The transgression of God’s law brings sin and is sin, which equally equates to the fact that God’s law must be and is the only standard of righteousness.

Consequently, no individual, no family, no part of the Church, and no State can claim to be honouring God if they are not living under God’s King and honouring God’s law.

A third answer would be in regard to the Ten Commandments. Most Christians, erroneously, state that the Ten Commandments are the Moral Law of God, but importantly, most admit that this Moral Law is still binding upon all men.

The question that springs to mind is, “If the Ten Commandments are the Moral Law of God and are still binding, why do we pick, choose, and discriminate between these Ten?”

What do we mean when we ask this? Well, let’s do a little survey. Below is an abbreviated list of the Ten Commandments. Please have a quick look and ask yourself, “Which of these are still valid for today?” Place a tick beside those you believe are valid.

  1. No Other God’s;
  2. No idols; (No false worship)
  3. Do not take the Lord’s Name in vain;
  4. Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy;
  5. Hour your father and mother;
  6. No murder;
  7. No adultery;
  8. No thievery;
  9. No false witness;
  10. No coveting.

If we are consistent with the belief professed that these Ten Laws are equal to God’s Moral Law and that they are, consequently, still binding upon all men, then everyone should have ten ticks. Do you have ten ticks? If not, why not?

Now, we will make it tougher. All of these Ten Laws had penalties applied to them. How many of these Laws do you believe are still valid and abiding along with the original punishments? How many ticks do you now have? Less than the first time? If so, why?

The point of the exercise is to demonstrate how we will give hearty approval to ideas and concepts, but often, when those concepts are to be applied, we become shaky and our resolve evaporates.

For most Christians, there will be an affirmation that God’s Moral law is still binding. Christians will tell you that murder, thievery, and adultery are wrong. Some would even agree that the penalties given in the Law should still apply. Yet, here, we are already seeing the gap of opinion widen. For example, most Christians would agree that capital punishment for murder is right, but few would agree that capital punishment for adultery is right. How then do we justify this difference?

Most Christians agree that God alone must be worshipped and that idolatry is wrong. Yet, how many Christians believe that mosques and Buddhist temples should be banned in Australia because God is God and false worship is incorrect? Not many, judging from conversations and experience. Why this inconsistency?

The fourth Commandment establishes the Sabbath as a day to be hallowed, but to this most Christians would say, “Sabbath! What Sabbath?” Even though this is the Fourth of the Ten, Christians question it readily and they do so with no apparent reason. Why is this one Commandment not relevant any longer?

Again, these questions and points are not irrelevant. Experience has taught us that many Christians will give a hearty, “Yes! God is King. He must be honoured and obeyed!” but when it comes to practice, they will not oppose the mosque because this is Secular Australia. We will be told that we must accept homosexuality because God has either changed His mind on the subject or that we are no longer in Israel. These answers then entitle us to the privilege of once more listening to the hackneyed “love and tolerance” speech of the moderns.

Yet, we must ask, “How do we justify this type of double standard?” If God is God and He is jealous for the integral holiness of His Character – reflected in and by His law – how do we dismiss, change, or denigrate the first or any of the Commandments? Equally, for those enslaved to the “New Testament Christian” concept, we ask, “Where in the New Testament are we taught that God has abandoned His holiness, that God no longer cares about morality, that God has whittled the Ten Commandments to Four Plausible Proposals? The answer is, “Nowhere!”

It seems that we arrive at these points of inconsistency precisely because most Christians and most of Christendom are not committed to the Biblical concepts of Theocracy and Theonomy. Consequently, when we seek to live our lives we operate on principles that make us inclusive, implicit, relative or conditional, and plural, rather than being exclusive, explicit, absolute, and singular.

Turning again to the Church of the Reformation, we will find two snippets of wisdom that are very helpful and which will assist us to see that the principles of the moderns are new. The first is from the Westminster Shorter Catechism and asks, “Where is the moral law summarily comprehended? The moral law is summarily comprehended in the ten commandments. (Deut. 10:4, Matt. 19:17)”[5]

This first help comes in the word “summarily”. The Reformation Church did not believe that the Moral law was the Ten Commandments; it believed that the Ten Commandments were a summary of the Moral law.

Thus, the Commandment on adultery, for example, becomes case laws that proscribe fornication, bestiality, and homosexuality whilst conversely promoting and upholding marriage, family, and sexual purity. The Commandment on thievery becomes a command not to shift a boundary stone or to offer a bribe in order to pervert justice.

When understood in this manner, we see that the case laws are not irrelevant abstractions for the Old Testament people, which had no continuity to the Moral law, but were, rather, an application of God’s holy character to life and were themselves Moral Laws.[6]

The second help comes from the Westminster Larger Catechism and asks, “Of what use is the moral law to all men? The moral law is of use to all men, to inform them of the holy nature and the will of God, (Lev. 11:44–45, Lev. 20:7–8, Rom. 7:12) and of their duty, binding them to walk accordingly; (Micah 6:8, James 2:10–11) to convince them of their disability to keep it, and of the sinful pollution of their nature, hearts, and lives: (Ps. 19:11–12, Rom. 3:20, Rom. 7:7) to humble them in the sense of their sin and misery, (Rom. 3:9,23) and thereby help them to a clearer sight of the need they have of Christ, (Gal. 3:21–22) and of the perfection of his obedience. (Rom. 10:4)”[7]

The Reformation Church is most helpful in clarifying this point. As noted above, we today want to drive wedges between concepts. Consequently, we will not preach Law, contrary to Biblical commands, because we want Man to experience God’s love. Because we will not preach Law, we must then try and invent ways to evangelise. When these manmade inventions fail, we simply move on to ‘Version 2.0’ rather than repent and seek God’s wisdom. However, in contradistinction to the modern concept, the Church in former ages realised the validity of the Law as a God appointed instrument of righteousness by which men will see Jesus the Christ and His perfection as their only hope.

Therefore, if we want to see God in Christ glorified, we must understand the importance, centrality, and abiding validity of God’s Moral Law, which is summarised in the Ten Commandments. If we would see a holy people and a holy nation that willingly bow before Jesus in heartfelt gratitude at the wonder of His salvation, then the one firm Biblical directive we have is, “Preach the Law!” (Galatians 3:24.)

God almighty is not divided; neither is His word; neither are the Persons of the Trinity; neither are His revelations. As God is One, so is all that He has given to Man for wisdom and instruction. The Old Testament does not teach one way to God and the New another. Jesus does not appear on the pages of the New Testament other than as the Messiah who was foreshadowed and promised in the pages of the Old. Jesus does not arrive with a different Law or set of principles, indeed Jesus could not, because He came to make known the Father; Jesus came as the exact representation of the invisible God![8]

Hence, any view that denounces Theocracy and Theonomy must be dismissed as attacks upon God’s Kingship and Rule over His creation through Jesus Christ, His Son, and, by extension, through His saved people. The Church in history has understood these points and has given us sound wisdom and we will ignore it to our peril.

God is King! He does rule and He must rule. We, the Church, are redeemed that we might “reign with Christ”[9] and our apprenticeship is now. If we love God, we will honour and obey God’s King, Jesus Christ, by living according to all that God in Christ has commanded.

Therefore, Theocracy and Theonomy are fundamental concepts that play an essential role in imbuing us with the essence of our identity as sons and daughters of the Most High God. We seem to forget that we were created and ordained as God’s viceregents, those given rule over God’s creation for God’s glory – fruitful, multiply, subdue, rule! We forget that our redemption is a restoration and re-empowerment to achieve this task. We forget that we are a people redeemed and called to worship (to declare the worth of God)—Worthy art Thou, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for Thou didst create all things, and because of Thy will they existed, and were created! (Revelation 4:11); called to display His wonder upon the earth by reflecting His Kingship; called to live in obedience as a witness to Man that God is rightly to be obeyed for He alone is the true Sovereign; called that the display of God’s righteousness in us will convict men of their sin and show the exceeding wonder and perfection of Jesus, God’s Saviour and King.

Controversial “Theo-” words (Pt. 1)

Controversial “Theo-” words (Pt. 2)

Controversial “Theo-” words (Pt. 4)


[1] It would seem that too many have fallen for the heretical, “Take Jesus as your Saviour, but the lordship of Christ is an optional extra” line. Yet, the truth is that Scripture only knows a Saviour that can save because He is first and foremost God the King.

[2] My father spent a few years in the police force. He recounts a conversation with one old sergeant in which this experienced man said, “If you ever find someone at the bottom of the river, they will have fiddled with the till or with someone’s wife.” Thus, according to his observations, if we ‘do not steal’ and ‘do not commit adultery’, we have less probability of swimming with the fishes in an unhealthy manner.

[3] John 14:15 — If you love Me, you will keep My commandments; John 15:10 — If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love; John 14:21 — He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him; John 14:23 — If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him; 1 John 5:3 — For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome; 2 John 6 — And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it. Please note the consistency of the theme: to love God is to obey or keep his commandments.

[4] 1 John 3:4.

[5] Question and answer 41.

[6] I do not wish to labour his point, but would beg your indulgence for a practical demonstration of this point. The Westminster Larger Catechism, Q&A 104, reads: “What are the duties required in the first commandment? The duties required in the first commandment are, the knowing and acknowledging of God to be the only true God, and our God; (1 Chron. 28:9, Deut. 26:7, Isa. 43:10, Jer. 14:22) and to worship and glorify him accordingly, (Ps. 95:6–7, Matt. 4:10, Ps. 29:2) by thinking, (Mal. 3:16) mediating, (Ps. 63:6) remembering, (Eccl. 12:1) highly esteeming, (Ps. 71:19) honouring, (Mal. 1:6) adoring, (Isa. 45:23) choosing, (Josh. 24:15,22) loving, (Deut. 6:5) desiring, (Ps. 73:25) fearing of him; (Isa. 8:13) believing him; (Exod. 14:31) trusting (Isa. 26:4) hoping, (Ps. 130:7) delighting, (Ps. 37:4) rejoicing in him; (Ps. 32:11) being zealous for him; (Rom. 12:11, Num. 25:11) calling upon him, giving all praise and thanks, (Phil. 4:6) and yielding all obedience and submission to him with the whole man; (Jer. 7:23, James 4:7) being careful in all things to please him, (1 John 3:22) and sorrowful when in any thing he is offended; (Jer. 31:18, Ps. 119:136) and walking humbly with him. (Micah 6:8)” Here the Divines are speaking of Man’s duty to God as it is outlined in the first Commandment. We would simply like to draw your attention to the list of texts to which they refer in order to prove their statements. The Moral Law, summarily comprehended in the Decalogue, is proved to be true for the whole of Scripture.

[7] Question and answer 95.

[8] See: Colossians 1:15 and Hebrews 1:1-2.

[9] See: Revelation 3:21; Revelation 20:6; 2 Timothy 2:12.

Marriage is Life: AP Version

 (This version was produced for the Australian Presbyterian. It is a shorter version, but also includes a few comments that the original version does not. It is only 1200 words. Print it out and hand it to your friends. Lord willing, it will help you have some worthwhile conversations on the topic of Marriage.)

There is little doubt that, in Australia today, we are experiencing a clash of worldviews. Over the last decades, the Secular Humanist attack upon Biblical Christianity has gathered pace and it recently presented to this nation a new challenge.

Christianity, both as a belief and a worldview, has been systematically attacked in this country for at least fifty years. In that time, attacks have been mainly focused against the application of Biblical law. Examples of this may be seen in the erosion of (traditional) marriage. The concept of both “de facto” relationships and divorce were popularised and de-stigmatised. By stealth, therefore, marriage was undermined. Its significance and importance was devalued. Marriage was relegated to the status of a cultural relic from the bygone age of “religion” and non-enlightenment.

This diminution of perspective is attributable to Humanism’s attack on the application of Biblical law. These attacks stem directly from the fact that the Secular Humanist denies the existence of the Bible’s God (Psalm 14:1). With God removed, the Secularist believes himself free to set about making this world after his own image in order to rule by his own law. Consequently, the Secular Humanist has sought to erode any law explicitly based in Scripture.[1]

The question is, ‘What is next?’ What is Humanism about to attack and redefine after its own design? The answer is apparent. We have, of recent, witnessed the introduction of several bills to Parliament for the sole purpose of altering the Marriage Act; primarily allowing for homosexual marriage.

This is an escalation in the war. No longer are the Humanists simply attacking the peripheries – the application of Biblical law – they are now insisting on attacking God directly by redefining Man. This battle is not about the (human) tradition of marriage as a legal union. This battle cuts to the heart of Man and his sexuality as male and female and impinges upon the fact that marriage is God’s precise design and mechanism for perpetuating life to and for His absolute glory.

The question that must be asked is, “Why is homosexuality and homosexual marriage Biblically wrong?” To answer this, we must turn to the Cultural Mandate (Genesis 1:26-28) of Genesis.

In this text there are some fundamentals that simply cannot be ignored:

First, is the simple but important fact that Man is made in the image of God.

Man is not, therefore, a self-determining creature from the black swamp who “got smart” and decided to make something of himself. Man is not the Mark 4 in monkey design. Man is not chaos, chance, randomness, coincidence, or accident. He is not a cosmic virus virulent upon the earth as some type of intergalactic plague – with the earth hoping for a vaccine! Man is not the meaningless transient dream of the existentialist!

On the contrary, Man is the product of the perceptive absolute will of Almighty God. No mistake. No design flaws. Made in fullness! Made in perfection! Man, made as God planned. Man, endued and imbued with every power, grace, gift, talent, ability, faculty, facility, and function that God intended him to possess. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Second, God’s Man was created in plurality! Man is made in God’s image and he is made male and female. Like a coin, Man was made with two sides. Both image bearers. Both endued with God’s gifts, talents, and purposes. When the two are brought together in the marriage covenant, the whole becomes far greater than the sum of its parts.

This position must be understood, for it is the essence of any and every rebuttal to all schemes which attack Man and Marriage.[2] In Genesis 1:28, God pronounces a blessing upon Man. Part of that blessing is that Man should be fruitful and multiply. God’s Man, made in plurality, covenanted in unity through marriage, can receive this blessing and bring it to fruition.

Humanism’s Man cannot! It does not matter how much semen you pour into a man’s rectal cavity or how many attempts are made to fashion the perfect phallic symbol, Man’s futility can never replicate or replace God’s fertility! God made Man male and female. God gave them perfect fertility and bodies designed and equipped to fulfil Man’s assignment within God’s purpose and plan.

Before proceeding, we must say something simple about that plan. Please note that the text of Genesis 1:26-28 has to do with God’s dominion. That is to say, the fundamental aspect of that text is both the Rule and Worship of God over all and throughout all the earth. The mechanism by which this is achieved is the prosperity of the womb in covenant marriage and the subsequent education of that fruit in the fear and knowledge of God. In short, it is covenant prosperity to the glory of God. Thus understood, heterosexual Marriage is the key to life.

When marriage is pictured Biblically, we see that it is far from a cultural convention or tradition. It is a widely practiced principle precisely because it is a Creation Ordinance stamped onto the heart of every man. Marriage, sexuality, progeny, God’s rule, and God’s worship are all writ as writ upon the heart of Man by the finger of God. These components are who we are as Man. They cannot be erased, imitated, or substituted. It is only when male and female are brought together in the covenant of marriage that all of the blessings specified by God will flow freely and abundantly in fulfilment of God’s design and purpose. Then, and only then, are we truly the Married Man.[3]

Therefore, the homosexual desire for marriage is not simply a desire to change a rule or definition in regard to marriage. Rather, it is a diabolical attempt to redefine Man according to the idols of Humanism. It is an attempt to rebuild Man without any reference to God, His purpose, or His glory. This basically means that Man must be smelt and recast. Consequently, the new proposition is nothing less than an attempt to destroy Man. In short, it is death of Man in the Death of God!

Marriage is not a human institution, convention, or cultural tradition, Statist or otherwise. Marriage is the inherent consequence of Man being created male and female in the image of God. Marriage, therefore, is not only bound to Man as male and female, but it is bound up in the essential nature of Man as male and female. It simply cannot be imitated by male/male or female/female relationships. Marriage is not a mere mechanism to legitimise sexual behaviour. Whilst this is a right component, we must see that marriage only legitimises sexual behaviour of the type which accords with God’s design and purpose, thereby manifesting absolutely His rule, worship, and glory. Therefore, homosexual marriage must be repudiated as a travesty.

Marriage is life! That is, one man and one woman in covenant union before God and to His glory. Marriage is life!


[1] Well, not quite. He has eroded the laws that require restraint of carnal appetite and pleasure. He is rather keen to keep the laws regarding murder and theft as he wants to live to enjoy his greed and hedonism!

[2] Whilst texts like Leviticus and Romans are helpful and instructive, they tend to be limited to a sexual expression. By returning to Genesis, we are looking at the very design and purpose of God for Man.

[3] No comment here is directed toward childless couples or those God has called to a single life.

Of Shepherding Shepherds (Pt.5)

(God’s Shepherd alone has God’s Worldview)

  1. The Biblical Worldview and its Implications.

Having laid down the basis of our contention with broad brush strokes, we now need to move to the specifics. Thus far, we have spoken of a clash of worldviews and of the fact that Christianity and Humanism share fundamentally different presuppositions. This means that the two systems are mutually exclusive. Consequently, as noted earlier, Humanism ‘not only should not, but it simply cannot inform the Christian’.

Here, we will seek to show why this exclusivity exists and why reconciliation between the two systems is unachievable.[1]

The Biblical worldview, simply summed up, can be stated in four tenets: 1) God is; 2) Creation; 3) Fall; and 4) Redemption.

1.) God is: Giving fuller explanation to these tenets, Christianity posits and believes that there is a perfect, holy, benevolent, and just God who has existed from all eternity.[2] This God is a communicative Being, Who, though One Being, exists in three distinct Persons. These Persons have and always will enjoy complete fellowship and unity within the Godhead. This perfect God is rightly the Absolute.

2.) Creation: Moving out from this basic presupposition, we see that this perfect and eternal God created the universe. This universe, being so created, was perfect precisely because it reflected God. For this reason, God could pronounce over his creation the benediction, “It was very good!”[3] This benediction naturally and obviously included Man. Further, Man was exalted above the other creatures when created by God and placed upon the earth because he was the only true Image Bearer in all of creation. By this we mean that, whilst all of creation bears the Creator’s mark, Man stands above all else in his abilities to actively and consciously reflect the attributes of God in the operation of his being. As such, Man was made perfectly, with all aspects of his being reflecting his subordinate position as God’s vice-regent. Truly, Man was the bridge between heaven and earth.

Man’s elevated status is shown in the Cultural Mandate.[4] God spoke with Man, giving both covenant and blessing. Man’s task was to populate and rule over the earth whilst operating under God’s auspices. Man was to exercise a limited dominion, that is to say, Man was to rightly rule that which was below him whilst being ruled by God, Who alone was the true sovereign. Hence, Man’s identity, purpose, and essential nature are intrinsically tied to God. This comes as the essential consequence of being created by God, for God, and in the image of God.

Man did not make his own rules; he simply implemented God’s rules. Man did not exist in isolation, he existed in fellowship. This fellowship was upward to God and sideways to the creation. Man ruled in peace and was ruled in peace. As a subordinate, Man always had a superior unto whom he could turn for counsel, wisdom, perspective, and the like.[5]

3.) Fall: When we enter upon step three, the Fall, Man sets himself on a self-destructive course. Man loses the clarity of his identity and being because he no longer enjoys a peaceable fellowship with God. Having rebelled against God, Man now finds the creation in rebellion. The peace is shattered and replaced with a persistent tumult; a tumult which reaches to the very core of Man himself! Rather than service in submission to God, Man now, conflicted and without direction, either demands to be served or becomes willing to serve anything but the Creator.[6] This puts Man into a complete spin.[7] Rather than serving God, Man becomes a hater of God.[8] Man – at this point the ultimate Humanist – wants to carve out a new existence for himself,[9] but he cannot escape the indelible marks of the Creator that are stamped forever upon his being.[10]

In this, Man is like the rebellious son who shifts into his own home to escape his parents. Only too late does he realise that he may have his own space, but that it is impossible to escape his parents completely. After all, he sees reflections of them in his mirror, he hears their sound every time he speaks, and he witnesses their standards every time he acts – for he either finds himself conforming to or self-consciously rebelling against their standard.

In the Fall, Man transitions from a position of dominion to the place of subjugation, and this by all aspects of his being, his environment, and the creation he once governed. He loses perfection. He loses harmony. He loses peace. He loses ease. He loses fellowship. He loses control. In this state, Man is under God’s judgement. His one path to restoration – seeking God and his forgiveness – is the one path that he will not and, indeed, cannot now choose. Consequently, Man simply rails against God more vociferously in the hope that he will drown out his conscience.[11] Man, to use the modern term, “gets busy” spawning idols after his own image and of his own making so that he can live in a world without God. Man creates his own philosophy to explain how and why he thinks as he does. Man creates his own history so that God is nowhere mentioned as the origin of the species or anything else for that matter. Lastly, and pertinently, Man creates his own diagnostic tools to measure and explain his seeming dysfunction.

4.) Redemption: Man knowing that something is wrong, suppresses that knowledge and seeks alternate explanations. He seeks restoration and rightness (wellness), but what he does not seek is (Biblical) redemption. Man wants to be made right, but on his own terms. Man therefore relies on his deceptive, self-made diagnostic tools to help explain his seeming deficiencies.[12] Man will not turn to God, so the seeming deficiencies must be explained or excused by another theory. Here, Man is like the rebellious son in the analogy above. He wants to make his own way, but he can never escape the marks of his upbringing and these constant reminders become to Man a source of continuous consternation.

Enter, Secular Psychology—the restoration of Man by Man using his own deceptive self-diagnostic tools—and the crux of the problem. Man was made by God for God. This is hardwired into his being at every point. From this fact there simply is no escape. Consequently, any interpretation of Man that does not reference the four simplified tenets, above, becomes an overt attempt to remodel Man according to an ungodly or apostate pattern. This is Man’s ultimate act of vandalism as he seeks to actively deface himself in a vain attempt to remove from himself every remaining mark that says, “Made in the image of Almighty God!

Naturally, this is not only a painful process; it is a frustrating one, for it can never fully realise its goal. Imagine trying to remove a tattoo with steel wool. The image, ingrained in your skin, can only be removed by tearing away layers of yourself. Yet, the process never really satisfies. The removal of the image causes great mental anguish, as you suffer the pain of that steel wool incessantly gnawing at your flesh. This has to leave a mental picture that you will carry with you and which will undoubtedly be a reminder to you of your actions and aims. Then there is that painful abrasion. When you look to the site where the image was, you now see an open wound, bloodied, weeping, sore, and uncomfortable. This needs treatment. So there are trips for healing, procedures, dressing changes, and medications – all reinforcing the desperate nature of your act of erasion. After months, the pain subsides and the wound heals. Are you now satisfied? Not likely. Every time you look at the site where the image was, you are confronted with an ugly scar. Now you try to hide the scar with make-up and clothing – anything to make you forget! However, the very act of covering the site is in itself a constant reminder of both the removal process and your motives for that removal.

Linleigh J. Roberts[13] showed the futility of this approach with an even better illustration, akin to the following. You go out to your car one morning. After several aborted attempts the car finally starts. Yet, it is immediately evident that something is wrong, for the car sounds like the proverbial “chaff cutter” and after running for several minutes it is showing no sign of improvement. Frustrated you call the mechanic. He arrives and looks over the car. He politely asks you for the manual. The mechanic takes it in hand and begins thumbing through the pages. After so many pages he would put down the manual, change a few things, and start the car. Yet, nothing changed. The car still sounded like the “chaff cutter”. In the end, you see the frustrated mechanic take out his pen and begin to rewrite the car’s manual. Rubbing insult to injury, you are flabbergasted when the mechanic returns the manual and tells you that the car is working perfectly, as it now conforms to the manual.

Again, I sense spilt coffee and some muttered words along the lines of, “You have gotta be kidding me! No one would ever fall for or accept that type of practice!” Well, if that is what you are thinking, you are simply wrong. This is exactly what transpires every time we turn from God’s word and God’s appointed means. This is exactly what occurs every time we turn from the Biblical worldview.

Linleigh’s illustration sounds absurd only from the point of view that the owner knew that the car originally ran differently and, armed with this knowledge, he should not have accepted the mechanic’s remedy.[14] This granted, let’s modify the illustration slightly. Let’s say that this is the fifth owner of the car and that when he purchased the vehicle it ran like this. Let’s also say that this was the experience of owners two through five. What now? Owner five has only two viable options at this point. Option 1: Return to the first owner (or believe the Maker’s Manual), the only owner who knows how the car functioned when it was tuned to the manufacturer’s specifications, or; Option 2: Presume that the car has always, even from the assembly line, operated in this (defective) manner.

In essence, this is the quandary faced by all the Secular Humanists. When faced with a malfunction, a deficiency, the Secular Humanist does not return to the original owner or consult the Maker’s original manual. Rather, he amasses generations, owners two through five in our analogy, to support his supposition that Man has always operated in this particular way and that this model, homo sapiens, has always been attended by those particular rattles and clunks. However, it is important to note that this information is only based on the observation and experience of some of the owners. [15] No one has returned to the original owner and asked the question – “How did the car run when you owned it?” This distortion is then spread and confirmed by the mechanics who, having been taught to ignore the Maker’s manual, set about writing and disseminating a new manual which describes Man, with all his observed rattles and clunks, as normal.

Unpacking the illustration is very simple. God is the One Who wrote the Maker’s Manual – we call it The Bible. He knows Man’s vital statistics, so to speak. God made Man and God made Man to His standard. Therefore, asking any Man post-fall what Man should be or to what he corresponds is like quizzing owners two through five from the car analogy. All they know is the broken, fallen model, so they are of no use in finding out the original specifications. They simply cannot inform us as to Man’s original condition, for they are ignorant of that condition.

In terms of the four base tenets of the Biblical worldview, there is simply no agreement with Secular Humanism, nor can there be. The Secular Humanist does not accept that God is. The Humanist does not accept that Man was made perfectly in the image of this God. The Humanist does not accept the fact that man is a poor shadow of his former self because of the Fall. Hence, the Secularist will always look for auto-salvific means outside of God and rooted in Man.[16]

As a consequence, a Secularist can never arrive at the truth of God. Starting on the wrong road, he cannot reach the final destination. This is the key objection that must be noted. The Secularist may, as an image bearer living in God’s world, stumble across and observe certain of God’s truths. However, the Secularist can never see man correctly diagnosed or healed because he does not build upon the foundation of God and His Word. In essence, the Secularist sees counselling as corrective, not redemptive;[17] it is to bring inner peace, not peace with God; it is aimed at mitigation, not reconciliation.

Like the mechanic, the Secularist begins to re-write the Maker’s manual so that Man – the chaff cutter – is made to look normal. The process looks like this. Humanism’s basic presupposition is, God is not. Erasing God seems like an excellent start and it certainly helps to soothe Man’s aching conscience. Nonetheless, other issues are encountered. These can be summed up in the old chestnuts, “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?” with the addition of “How did I get here?”

With God removed, we now must explain our origins. So a new religion is invented. This religion is Evolution. Man is no longer the product of an eternal, ordered, perfect God; he is but the product of random chance, time, and chaos. Okay, this helps explain how we got here without reference to God. Phew! How about, “Who am I?” Does that not now become a bit tricky? Well yes, as a matter of fact it does. If we are not image bearers, then what am I; what is Man? Well, the new theologians of Evolution come up with the answer. They tell us that we are just a base animal who currently resides at the top of the food chain. Cool! Now, can you explain why I am here? Oh yes. That one is easy. If I am an animal at the top of the food chain, then I simply must endeavour to remain where I am. I have two goals. I must remain the fittest and to do this I must eliminate the weakest.

Conveniently, questions about morals, faith, and these sticky questions get left out of the discussion. When someone feels that they need to engage in behaviour outside the norm, they are generally encouraged in that direction.[18] However, the Evolutionary religion cannot explain the internal struggle that many feel. Abortion is natural. This baby can threaten my body shape, my wealth, my attractiveness to men, and so on. What counsel does Evolution give to a mother who struggles to make the decision to kill her child or the mother who regrets killing their child? Honestly, the only counsel that they can give that is consistent with their religion is, “Wake up to yourself you stupid woman, you have no conscience, there are no morals, simply embrace your decision as that which secured your future, for this is your only concern, and move on!”

This response is harsh, very harsh, yet it is completely consistent with Secular Humanism’s religion and professed beliefs.

Humanism, denying God, must ipso facto deny Creation, Fall, and Redemption, especially as they are defined in Scripture. This Man does religiously and philosophically. What he can never do is achieve this goal empirically and experientially, for God’s “make plate” is stamped indelibly onto His creation, Man most of all. This is the dilemma and the source of the Humanist’s pain. Man lives as though God is not there, yet every shred of his existence tells Man God is there.[19] So Man rewrites the manual. Man scratches painfully at his own being hoping to erase any trace of the Maker or His mark, but all to no avail. Instead of a panacea, Man only creates a pandemic as he misdiagnoses and mistreats himself. Instead of ending the crisis, Man’s faulty presuppositions make sure his suffering, dissatisfaction, and hurt are endless.

It is for this reason that we counsel the Christian to have nothing to do with Secular Psychology and the Secular practitioner. The Apostle states: “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols?[20] Thus, our counsel is not opinion; it is given on the authority of God, His Word, and His Apostle!

When you seek out the Secular Psychologist, you are seeking out darkness, Belial, and idols. Therefore, only danger awaits if you choose to stand in the “counsel of the ungodly”[21] and ignore all the Biblical warnings.[22]

Put as plainly as possible: It must be understood that Humanism is a complete turning away from the Biblical worldview. Humanism is, therefore, Apostasy.  Consequently, any science based upon such apostasy must of necessity partake of its poison. If we accept the science, we accept the poison. It really is that simple.

If you, as a Christian, baulk or are tempted once more to eject coffee from your oral cavity at these statements and the use of the term “apostasy”, then please consider this question: “Who, ultimately, are the Humanist’s rejecting?” Yes, that is right, Who, not what?

When the Humanist denies the basic tenets of the Christian worldview, this is not a harmless disagreement over what constitutes a worldview, it is, much rather, an obvious attack upon Who institutes your worldview. Thus, the Humanist does not start with the rejection of the material, Creation; rather he begins with the rejection of the Personal, there is no (personal, intimate, immanent) God! In rejecting God and His Personality[23] at the outset, the Humanist must continue to reject all of God’s Personal interactions with the world at every stage; Creation and Redemption. Thus, the Humanist is engaged in an outright and blatant attack upon God Himself, especially as He is revealed in the Person and Work of Jesus Christ, God’s only and beloved Son.

In each of the four tenets of the basic Christian worldview, as outlined, Jesus is of fundamental importance and plays an intrinsic role. Thus, the Humanist does not simply reject God; he rejects God’s Creator; he rejects God’s Judge; and he, therefore, ultimately rejects God’s Redeemer. Written out, in order to aid clarity, it would look something like this:

1) Who is God? Jesus Christ is God, the second Person of the Trinity;[24]

2) Who is the Agent of Creation? Jesus Christ is God’s Agent of Creation;[25]

3) Who is God’s Judge of the Fallen? Jesus Christ is God’s Judge;[26]

4) Whom did God appoint to be the Redeemer of His people? Jesus Christ is God’s only Redeemer.[27]

How then do we, as Christians, lie down with a system that blatantly attacks our beautiful and much beloved redeemer, Jesus? How do we claim to be obedient servants, if we are adopting and implementing a worldview, or parts thereof, that are built upon the explicit denial of Jesus as He is revealed to us in Scripture? How do we delude ourselves into thinking that such hostility and outright blasphemy can be baptised and then press ganged into service in the Church without detriment?

In conclusion, then, a denial of God, Creation, Fall and Redemption, or any portion thereof; a positing of another way of Salvation; an overt rejection of the fact that sin is separation from God and therefore lawlessness to be judged; or the adoption of any concept that denies that Man is made in God’s image, is nothing less than an explicit denial of the Person and Work of Jesus the Christ. That is a gross blasphemy. Therefore, if found in the mouth of a Humanist, it is sheer heresy; in the mouth of someone who claims to be a Christian, it is apostasy!


[1] The only way that these systems can be united, generally speaking, is for the tenets of one of the systems to be erased, ignored, grossly misapplied, or misinterpreted. Generally, it is the Biblical standards that are washed of meaning. As we shall see later, Secular Psychology is adept at stealing Biblical concepts, reworking and rebadging them, and then sells them as something new of its own making—just like the triumphant explore who returns home victorious after naming a supposedly as yet undiscovered mountain. The explorer did not make the mountain, place the mountain, or magically cause the mountain to be manifest. No, he simply discovered something that already existed, that was possibly already known to others, that was already present, and that was already impacting the world.

[2] See Question and Answer 4 of the Westminster Shorter Catechism: What is God? God is a Spirit, (John 4:24) infinite, (Job 11:7–9) eternal, (Ps. 90:2) and unchangeable, (James 1:17) in his being, (Exod. 3:14) wisdom, (Ps. 147:5) power, (Rev. 4:8) holiness, (Rev. 15:4) justice, goodness, and truth. (Exod. 34:6–7).

[3] Genesis 1:31.

[4] Genesis 1:26-28.

[5] It is important for us to avoid the idea that because this relationship existed in perfection that it was a cold, automated relationship. Adam would have been in constant fellowship with God. Adam would have asked questions, gaining knowledge and wisdom through these interactions. This pattern is exemplified in Jesus. He knew His task. He knew what it was that He was born to do. Yet this did not create distance. Rather, it was the basis for a deep fellowship and mutual respect.

[6] Romans 1:18-20: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.  For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

[7] Ephesians 2:12. Devoid of a covenant relationship with God, Man was without hope in the world. This lack of hope was the consequence of Man loosing / rejecting the one true guiding principle, God!

[8] John 7:7.

[9] Psalm 2:1-3; Genesis 11:4.

[10] Romans 1:32.

[11] Psalm 2:1-2.

[12] We speak of “seeming deficiencies” because Man will not admit to sin and moral corruption. Nonetheless, Man spends a great deal of his day seeking the Utopian dream. He speaks often of the “human condition”, expresses a constant desire for “peace” and “harmony”, and is constantly disappointed by and expresses outrage at Man’s own inability to realise these because of Man’s own self-destructive tendencies. The UN, Greenpeace, Doctors without Borders, Amnesty International, to name but a few, as well as the whole psychological movement are a testimony to the fact that Man acknowledges that he has a serious problem, a deficiency. Yet, he still refuses to admit that he has a moral problem. Man repudiates the idea that he has, if you will, a deep seated wiring problem (sin) that God alone can fix. Consequently, all Man’s panaceas must be of his own design and according to his own diagnosis. Man is simply deficient, not corrupt, and deficiencies can be corrected with education or coercion.

[13] A poetically licensed version. See Linleigh J. Roberts, Let Us Make Man, Banner of Truth Trust; Edinburgh. p 43. As Linleigh goes on to state, we would not accept this type of practice from a doctor. We would be rightly indignant if our GP simply rewrote his text books every time we showed at his clinic with an ailment. Why then do we accept this in the areas of philosophy and psychology?

[14] In terms of this illustration, though, we must remember that most people are mechanically inept and would therefore accept the mechanics judgement. After all, he is the professional. Similarly, most people do not have a clue about worldviews, so when the psychologist, the professional, suggests a remedy, they will generally imbibe it without question.

[15] An example of this can be seen in Andrew Marr’s, History of the World. In this BBC DVD set, subtitled “An epic and definitive account of 70,000 years of Human history”, Marr is left to conclude that the only thing from which we have to learn is our own history. There is no revelation from God; hence Christianity is explained away as the invention of Saul who had a bit of an experience on the road to Damascus – something akin to heatstroke! With this denial of revelation, Marr, and thousands like him, commit themselves to an ultimate futility. We can only know what Man might be or become based on what Man has been throughout history. Yet, history does not show Man to have been particularly successful at anything but bloodshed. Marr himself speaks words similar to, “Homo Sapiens means ‘wise man’”. He then refers to us as apes made good, before ultimately concluding that we are “smart” not “wise”. If this is what our 70,000 year history teaches us, what hope do we have? From whence does Wisdom come? The answer is, “Nowhere but our own history!” We must simply keep inventing and applying ideas in the hope that one day we may strike the right formula. Then, we must hope that the rest of mankind, looking back to us from the future, will realise that we had the right solution and adopt it for the sake of humanity.

[16] To be clear, Man does not truly seek redemption, he seeks wellness or rightness. In other words, he does not like his deficiencies. So, he is on a quest to discover the panacea. However, it has to be realised that it has become very fashionable of late for the Secularist to use the words redemption and atonement. However, he uses both terms erroneously. Redemption implies the act of redeeming, which means to “to buy back” or “buy out”. This is a perfectly Biblical word, as it aptly describes God’s action of paying for the sins of His people. We are God’s because He purchased us with the blood of His beloved Son, Jesus. What does the Secularist mean when he uses this term? How did he pay for his sins or remit the payment? Whom did he pay? With what did he pay? Similarly, the Christian treasures the term “atonement” as that which paid for our sins or covered over our transgressions. The Secularist has to break this word apart and make it say at-one-ment, thereby implying peace with himself.

[17] Compare Jay E. Adams, Competent to Counsel, Ministry Resources Library, 1970; p67 – “Any such counselling that claims to be Christian surely must be evangelistic. Counselling is redemptive.”

[18] See this article and note how the girl was guided to the Humanist options. Any other concept was dismissed. It is also worth noting that the Humanist hypocrites still cannot or will not explain, on the basis of their religion, why homosexuality and polygamy are acceptable but bestiality and paedophilia are not. This said, some Humanists have taken that leap, realising that for their religion to be consistent that all restraints are to be removed. These are generally ushered to the rear of the car and hastily stuffed in the boot – that’s the “trunk” for our US brethren – because their desire for consistency ultimately gives the game away.

[19] Ecclesiastes 3:11.

[20] 2 Corinthians 6:14-16.

[21] Psalm 1:1.

[22] Psalm 5:9 – “There is nothing reliable in what they say; Their inward part is destruction itself; Their throat is an open grave; They flatter with their tongue.” Proverbs 12:26 – “The righteous is a guide to his neighbor, But the way of the wicked leads them astray.” Proverbs 10:32 – “The lips of the righteous bring forth what is acceptable, But the mouth of the wicked, what is perverted.” Proverbs 14:7 – “Leave the presence of a fool, Or you will not discern words of knowledge.” — remember that the Biblical “fool” is not just a silly fellow, but the one that says “There is no God!” Surely, this is the Secular Humanist.

[23] That is, the Trinity. If God is rejected, then it follows that the Persons of the Godhead are equally denied.

[24] Judges 6:11-15; John 10:30.

[25] Colossians 1:13-17.

[26] Acts 17:31; Acts 10:42; John 5:22-24.

[27] John 14:6; Colossians 1:13-14; Luke 1:68; Romans 3:23-24. See also: Westminster Confession 8:1 – It pleased God, in His eternal purpose, to choose and ordain the Lord Jesus, His only begotten Son, to be the Mediator between God and man, (Isa. 42:1, 1 Pet. 1:19–20, John 3:16, 1 Tim. 2:5) the Prophet, (Acts 3:22) Priest, (Heb. 5:5–6) and King (Ps. 2:6, Luke 1:33) the Head and Saviour of His Church, (Eph. 5:23) the Heir of all things, (Heb. 1:2) and Judge of the world: (Acts 17:31) unto whom He did from all eternity give a people, to be His seed, (John 17:6, Ps. 22:30, Isa. 53:10) and to be by Him in time redeemed, called, justified, sanctified, and glorified. (1 Tim. 2:6, Isa. 55:4–5, 1 Cor. 1:30)

Equality and Coercion: The Antipodes of Humanism

You will know them by their fruits”, so says Jesus.[1] This is a wonderful piece of advice and one which every Christian should learn to put into practice. In essence, Jesus is telling us that if you want to understand what makes a man tick, look at the fruit of his ideas. If someone comes to you selling “sweetness and light”, but behind him there is a trail of stench and darkness, then you would rightly question the intrinsic nature of the salesman’s product. In such a scenario, the terms ‘witchdoctor’ and ‘snake oil’ would readily spring to mind.

As Christians in the year 2015, we have many witchdoctors peddling much snake oil, but it all comes packaged as “sweetness and light” or, more specifically, Religious Freedom and Equality. Yes, the packaging sells the product well. It is bright and shiny. It makes some wonderful claims that just warm the cockles of your heart. It’s calorie free. It can be consumed at any time. It will add volume to your hair and … you get the picture. Yes, it seems laudable and the racketeers, oh, sorry, marketers, do a fine job in pushing their product. However, have you stopped to look at the fruit of their wares? When you look at our culture, are people healthy, thin, and sporting voluminous bouffants or are they ailing, squidgy around the middle, and balding?

Brethren, what fruit do you see about you today?

This challenge is necessary precisely because the common place mantra in the Church today is “Do not judge; do not judge!” Consequently, when we as Christians are confronted with fruit that is rancid or which looks highly questionable, we tend to be duped or coerced into believing the packaging and its claims. Thus, we quote the mantra, breathe deeply, and take a bite, rather than dispose of the rotten fruit — pledging never to buy from that retailer ever again!

Two such pieces of ugly fruit, being mass marketed as we speak, are Religious Freedom and Equality. Yet, both are rotten to the core. They are so because they are anti-God and as such contravene explicit commands that God has given. As such, one would think that the average Christian would give these products wide birth. However, it still seems that Christians are willing to believe the promises of the racketeers, rather than the Word of God.

Reformation Ministries, Salt Shakers, and other Christian organisations, expend much energy on warning people, Christians in particular, about the dangers of Humanism and electing governments whose explicit agendas run contrary to God’s Word. Today, we place upon your table the fruit of Humanism’s hollow promises, garnished with a real life example of Humanism’s hypocrisy.

We are all aware of the terms Religious Freedom and Equality. Both are pushed by the Humanists. Both are said to mean that any and every man will be free to believe what he will and act in accordance with his own conscience. This sounds good to many, but it is in fact the first false step. Man was created in God’s image and for His glory.[2]  As such, Man’s beliefs and conscience are inextricably tied to the Law and revelation of God as opened to us in the Bible.[3] In short, Man is not autonomous, he is Theonomic. Man is not “I” centred (anthropocentric), but “God” centred (Theocentric).

Applying this Biblical truth means that Man is neither free to follow any religion he likes or invents nor able to demand equality for every practice. By this we mean that Man must worship God, through Jesus Christ, as God has specified in Scripture and that Man’s acceptable behaviour is that, and only that, which God in His Word countenances.[4] This means that bowing to a golden image is as wrong today as it was in Daniel’s time. It means that the wicked are not equal with the righteous or the murderer with the innocent.

Thus, Religious Freedom and Equality are usurpations of God’s rule and authority and they are a manifestation of Man’s desire to ascend to the throne of God.

That this is so can be seen in the case of Barronelle Stutzman, which comes to us from the USA.[5] This 70 year old, a Christian florist, has fallen foul of the State authorities for refusing to supply flowers for a homosexual union – what is termed as ‘gay marriage’. In looking at this case, we see that the Humanist veil has completely fallen off, displaying their bigotry, bias, and hostility to Christ and His own.

The cut down version of the story is that a long time customer of Mrs. Stutzman took advantage of perverse marriage laws[6] and decided to unite with his homosexual partner. Mrs. Stutzman was in turn asked to provide flowers for the event. After careful consideration, she politely declined the invitation. From this seemingly amicable declining of an invitation, the story, carried by the great evil of social media, began to circulate. At this point, Washington State’s Attorney General, Bob Ferguson, having viewed the social media, stepped in and sued Mrs. Stutzman. That’s right. The Attorney General, without a complaint from the man involved launched a suit against Mrs. Stutzman. Bob Ferguson’s rationale is this: “My primary goal has always been to bring about an end to the defendant’s unlawful conduct and to make clear that I[7] will not tolerate discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.”[8]

Here, we enter upon the conundrum. We subtitled this article, The Antipodes of Humanism, and we did so for this reason – Humanism cannot reconcile its two great mantras!

When Christians defend the faith, they can be criticised for being biased – which we are happily; biased toward God and His Word – and people can use that bias to disbelieve the message.[9] However, the above story, giving voice to the Humanist agenda, shows that the fruit of Humanist philosophy is rancid, unpalatable, and poisonous. It does so precisely because it proves that the two great Humanist mantras of Religious Freedom and Equality are completely incompatible. It proves that Humanism cannot guarantee everybody’s freedom. At some point, a person’s ideology (religion) is going to clash with another’s ideology as the fruits of that ideology (actions) are put on display.

Let’s make it simple. Your religion will dictate your practice. Your religion specifies your morals; your morals are worked out through your fingertips, so to speak. Now the fallacy of Humanism, and its outright hypocrisy, is that it tries to pretend that all actions and, therefore, all religions are equal. However, this simply cannot be true and the above story proves it to be so. A Christian operating on her religious convictions refuses a service to another person based on the fact that the other person’s religion and practice conflicts with her own. At this point, Humanism should be delighted. Both parties have expressed their conviction and have practiced their religion accordingly. Yet what we see is that Humanism is decidedly unhappy. Mr. Ferguson, wielding the power of the State, is incensed and feels that action is warranted.

Naturally, he must favour the Christian. After all, she holds to tenets that have been cherished and believed for thousands of years. She believes as the founders of America believed – in a Law giving God who proscribed homosexuality as an abomination. Hers is the established religion of centuries. The judges of America sit beneath the Ten Commandments. Surely, hers is the right! No. Not so.

You see, the new god dictates who is right and who is wrong. The worshippers of this new god know that Equality is a fallacy precisely because not all religions agree on every tenet and disagreement must mean a difference in practice.[10] Yet, they continue with their mantra hoping to blind as many people as possible.

The key lesson here is that Humanism is itself a religion and one that is, at present, far more destructive than the threat posed by Islam. Please do not be fooled by Humanism’s rhetoric of either Freedom or Equality; neither be fooled by Humanism’s claim to be neutral. All are lies. When a stalemate occurs, as in the above story, the servants of the new god become the umpires and they will always side with that which promotes their religion and their god.

This said, there are other disturbing elements to this story. For example, Mrs. Stutzman is not only being sued as a business, but also as a person. She has now also had lawsuits brought against her by the ACLU and the person involved. Then there are the homosexual activists who are now sending more requests to Mrs. Stutzman for flowers at their union ceremonies, knowing she will refuse and thereby increase fines and so on.

These elements are wrong and true justice is mocked. For example, how many times can a person be sued for one action? If the Attorney General proceeds first, in the name of the State, on what basis are these other suits presented. In essence, any person in America aggrieved at this lady’s action could sue her![11] Then we have to ask as to the rights of a business owner to refuse service to a person. How is refusing service to a homosexual any different to refusing service to a person with an inappropriate dress code or who is drunk?[12] Both these later examples are acceptable, with one being required by law. Hence, we can only conclude that discrimination is acceptable, it is simply a matter of whom you choose to discriminate against and on what basis.

This then leads us to a clarion statement: Christian, the persecuted Church no longer exists in Communist, Islamic, and Third World countries. It exists right here, in the so-called Christian West! America calls itself a Christian nation, yet She actively persecutes true Christians. Do not be fooled, the same is happening here in Australia. It may be less noticeable, but it is here. It is not different in nature, only in degree.

Hence, we, as God’s people, must take action whilst we are still able. Dear friends, this is why we ask you to join us in our stand against these false standards. This call is issued because, sadly, the Christian populace has largely embraced these false ideas of Freedom and Equality, either naively thinking that they were good or they have been coerced by law and threats of litigation.

In essence, Freedom of Religion and Equality are the Secular Humanist’s values enshrined in law and the means by which they will discriminate against all those who hold to a different religion. In the end, the question is not, “Will there be discrimination in our society?” but “Who is to be discriminated against and by what standard?”

We ask, therefore, that you might join in rejecting all forms of the Humanist agenda and thereby become an integral part of the Church Militant instead of the Church compliant.

[1] Matthew 7:20.

[2] Genesis 1:26-28.

[3] Question and answer 3 of the Westminster Shorter Catechism highlight this: “What do the scriptures principally teach? The Scriptures principally teach what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man. (2 Tim. 1:13, 2 Tim. 3:16)”

[4] The perfect example of this pattern is to be seen in the Ten Commandments. The first four deal with God and His worship, the following six with how man should relate to man. God therefore loves the one who worships correctly and hates the one who presents false worship. God deplores the thief and the adulterer, but has regard for the one who honours his parents. In God’s eyes, not all religions are valid or all actions acceptable. God, as the perfect Sovereign, determines these things. Not Man!

[5] We are citing this case because the USA is further advanced in capitulating to the homosexual agenda and it is hoped that the ramifications seen there might awaken us to action before we begin to see and experience the same here.

[6] This is of course an imposition of the Humanist god. The One living and true God says that marriage is a covenant between one man and one woman and that for life. God does not recognise homosexual unions as legitimate. They are viewed as rebellion.

[7] It is an interesting use of the personal pronoun at this point.

[8] If all discrimination is wrong, then open the jails. In fact, one must destroy all law. Any law, any compulsion, is intrinsically an act of discrimination or, at the very least, holds the potential to be discriminatory. Similarly, if Mr. Ferguson wants to remove “discrimination the basis of sexual orientation” and genuinely wants to be fair to all, why then does he only stand up for that which is Biblically and historically aberrant behaviour?

[9] Of course, the Humanists admit no such bias. They would have you believe that they were born in a vacuum and remain untouched by the world of ideas around them.

[10] A man whose religion sates that he is bound to obey a God who has revealed His will is going to have a very different set of practices to the man that sets himself up as god and believes that he rightly determines his own actions.

[11] It must be said that in Biblical justice the person wronged must be the complainant, unless that person is incapable of doing so. The Bible knows nothing of the State benefitting from cases of justice; the beneficiary must be the person wronged.

[12] We could even turn the question around and ask, “At what point will a customer be compelled to shop in a particular store against their will?” If the owner of a business is compelled to deal with everyone, when will he be able to compel everyone?

Hell: It’s Just Too Much

Last week we published a post entitled the Hypocrisy of Humanism. The point of that post was to focus upon the obvious double standard and fork tongues employed by the Humanists when they use the phrase Freedom of Speech. The example in that post was of Stephen Fry’s ability to publically call God “stupid” without repercussion or outcry from those most apt at ‘kicking up a stink’ when they claim to have been aggrieved.[1]

Today, we witness another abuse. This time the source of our complaint is some structured editing or dubbing to mask a clear Biblical statement.

Darrell Waltrip, ex NASCAR driver and Christian, was invited to be the key note speaker at this year’s US National Prayer Breakfast. This event has made some headlines of recent because, in the midst of rampant Humanism and the presence of a God-hating President, the organisers have actually invited speakers who believe in prayer and, more importantly, the God of the Bible Who alone hears prayer. This year was no exception.

Waltrip’s speech focused on certain aspects of his life, including the car accident used by God to draw Waltrip to salvation. As a result of this accident, Waltrip was confronted with the reality that his life could have ended there and then. This led to the inevitable question of where eternity would be spent. Waltrip knew that he had never made time for God and that he had certainly not lived for God’s glory. Thus, he rightly concluded that his eternity would have been one of Hell-fire.

At this point, Waltrip turned the tables and challenged the audience. Boldly, he stated that “Good people go to Hell”. He then went on to proclaim the Gospel truth that it is only those saved and repentant sinners, washed in the blood of Jesus, who go to heaven. Pointedly, Waltrip then added: “If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, if you don’t have a relationship, if he’s not the Master of your life, if you’ve never gotten on your knees and asked him to forgive you of your sins, or if you are just a pretty good guy or a pretty good gal, you’re going to go to hell.

Well done Waltrip.

Now the interesting thing, and the complaint of this post, is that one of the video clips viewed dubbed to silence the words “going to go to Hell”.[2] Interestingly, the dubbed version appeared on a page with this headline: “Atheists Outraged After NASCAR Legend Says This About God and Salvation.” Hmmm? So the people who do not believe in God or Hell are now outraged. Why? Do they feel sorry for Mr Waltrip because he is deluded? Not at all. It has to do with Freedom of Speech. These atheists want to be free to not listen to any speech that reminds them that they are under obligation to obey God and His law. Consequently, they campaign vigorously and complain vociferously so as to allow only that speech which does not challenge them to obey or remind them of their obligations.

Once again, we see the insincerity of these Humanists who demand the right to be able to say what they want in pursuit of their ideals and goals, but then deny that same right to those who would oppose.

There is great hypocrisy in the dubbing of these words. Let’s face it, the atheists of Hollywood are always using the term “Hell”. It would be hard to find a modern shoot-em-up movie that did not use the word at least once. We remember Kurt Russell’s portrayal of Wyatt Earp in Tombstone. Toward the end, as he sets out for vengeance, he yells, “Tell them I’m coming and Hell’s coming with me!” So, obviously, some parts of Hollywood believe Hell is real. Obviously, you are allowed to use this term in public on certain occasions. After all, it’s not very tough to wave your shotgun around and scream, “Tell them I am coming and that imaginary place of the deluded Christians is coming with me!” or “Tell them I am coming and that the non-existent, unpleasant, supposedly hot, eternal residence of the unrepentant is tagging along!” Whimper. Does it not seem the tiniest bit foolish to breathe out virulent threats when the thing threatened is imaginary or non-existent?

No, the point is that Wyatt is out for justice. In the Christian worldview, Hell is a place deeply associated with ultimate justice. It is the place wherein God’s just wrath is poured out upon those who despise Him. This is Hell. This is the truth of Hell. It is this truth that Hollywood chooses to exploit for its own convenience when it suits them.

Can you see the hypocrisy? The atheist can steal a Biblical term and misuse it all he likes whilst at times keeping the original and Biblical meaning. Apparently, what you are not allowed to do is stand up as a Christian and use that word in its original and Biblical meaning! Somehow, it has become an error of the highest order for a Christian to use a Biblical word, filled with the Biblical meaning, the meaning given by none other than Jesus Christ, God and Saviour.

Boiled down, the thief can make use of his ill gotten gain as he likes; whilst the original owner of the item is pilloried for using his item as it was intended. The atheist can malign and ridicule by using a stolen term for sport, parody, or travesty, but the Christian cannot use a Biblical term as it was intended. Hmmm!

Neutrality is once more shown to be a myth!

[1] Since Fry’s outburst, Google has been interrogated looking for the proponents of Equality to rise up and denounce the outburst. Thus far we have searched in vain. Criticisms have come from Christians and Christians have responded, but we cannot find those Humanists, so concerned with justice and freedom for all that they introduce religious vilification laws, coming out with weighty denunciations. It may be worth adding that Fry has apologised saying he took aim at none in particular. Yet, he surely would have known that he was criticising the Christian God, for his complaint does not fit any other god but God.