CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Why Do the Nations Rage?

Nov 25, 2007

This famous phrase, made even more famous by Handel in his Messiah, comes from Psalm 2. The whole Psalm is about the nations, and their limited and temporary nature, in contrast to the everlasting God. The Psalm reminds us that there is only one eternal and invincible ruler, and that all mere earthly rulers are only there by his grace and permission.

The Old Testament speaks much to the subject of nations and human rulers. We are told that nations have a role to play in the purposes of Yahweh. Israel was just one of many nations, and while chosen by God to be his peculiar people, both Israel and the nations had responsibilities and obligations under Yahweh.

Indeed, the message of the Old Testament is quite clear: God is sovereign over the nations. In Psalm 72: 8-11 we are told that the rule of God extends to the ends of the earth. Psalm 2 spells this out clearly. Not only God’s covenant people, Israel, but all the nations, stand under the sovereign reign of God. When Israel disobeys and rejects Yahweh, she experiences divine judgement. But the foreign nations also experience similar judgement.

A familiar pattern emerges in the Old Testament. The covenant obligations of Israel to Yahweh are to be taken seriously. When they break these covenant responsibilities, God will often raise up foreign nations as an instrument of his judgment and chastisement. Even rebellious pagan rulers are described as those who serve God’s purposes.

Consider Assyria, long an enemy of God’s people. When the Northern Kingdom had become too disobedient and stiff-necked, God raised up the Assyrians as his tool of judgment. Isaiah 10 makes this quite clear, even calling Assyria the “rod of my [Yahweh’s] anger” (v. 5). Yet when Assyria has accomplished its divine task, it too is judged (v. 12).

Nebuchadnezzar, ruler of pagan Babylon, is called “my servant” (eg., Jer. 25:9). God uses Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon as his servants in judging Judah. Yet they are not exempt from the justice of God. Because of their sins and unrighteousness, Yahweh will judge them as well (Jer. 25: 12-14).

Cyrus the pagan Persian king is referred to as “my anointed” by Yahweh (Isaiah 45:1-7). Other examples could be mentioned. God therefore can and does use pagan rulers and nations for his purposes, but he also holds them accountable to his high standards.

Israel obviously had covenant obligations to God, as given at Sinai (spelled out in Exodus) and remade at Moab (detailed in Deuteronomy). But the surrounding nations also have obligations to the sovereign ruler of all the earth.

The fact that so much of the prophetic literature is comprised of prophetic words to the nations is an indication of this. Many of the prophetic books contain sections featuring oracles or prophecies against the nations. Sometimes a whole book (such as Nahum) is written exclusively to a pagan nation. Other times, large sections of a book (such as Jeremiah 46-51) are devoted to the nations.

These oracles are interesting for several reasons. Even though these pagan nations do not have the same covenant relationship to God that Israel does, Yahweh still holds them accountable to his standards of justice and righteousness.

If you compare the prophecies delivered against Israel with those against the nations, you will often find similar reasons for judgment, similar warnings of wrath to come, and even similar language employed. As an example, in Micah 3: 9-10, Jerusalem is warned of judgment because of its blood-letting: “hear this, you leaders of the house of Jacob, you rulers of the house of Israel, who despise justice and distort all that is right; who build Zion with bloodshed, and Jerusalem with wickedness.”

Quite similar sins and promises of judgment are made to Nineveh in Nahum 3:1, “Woe to the city of blood, full of lies, full of plunder, never without victims!” and Babylon in Habakkuk 2:12, “Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed and establishes a town by crime”.

So the foreign nations certainly do not escape the watchful eye and righteous judgment of God in the Old Testament. While the New Testament does not speak about the nations quite as often, at least in reference to the church, it is still clear that God is sovereign over the nations, and all nations will one day bow at the feet of Christ.

Indeed, Psalm 2 is one of the most often quoted of the psalms in the New Testament. The theme of Christ ruling over the nations with a rod of iron as found in Rev. 2:27; 12:5; and 19:15 all refer back to Psalm 2, and verse 9. And while Jesus was on earth he often spoke of his role in the coming judgment of nations, as in Matt. 24-25; Mark 13; and Luke 10 and 21.

Thus the concern of Psalm 2 finds its final fulfilment in King Jesus. It is that conviction which must give all believers hope today. It may seem like the nations have forgotten God and spat in his face. It may seem that the nations conspire and plot against God (Psalm 2:1)

And it often appears that the secular rulers show only contempt for God and his law. The kings and rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One (the Messiah) (v.2).

These secular rulers may seek total autonomy from the creator of the earth, and seek to be rid of all divine interference. They may say, ‘let’s break our chains and throw off our fetters’ (v.3).

But this scoffing, rebellion and lawlessness is only temporary. Soon enough the righteous judge will judge all the earth. The one who sits enthroned in heaven laughs, and the Lord scoffs at these vain rulers (v. 5).

God has appointed Jesus to be the sole, true ruler of the nations. He has given the son the nations as his inheritance (vv. 6-8). Jesus will rule with a complete and total rule, and the only wise thing the nations and rulers on earth can do is serve the Lord with fear and trembling (vv. 9-11).

They will either experience his full wrath, or if they humble themselves, they can seek refuge in him as judgment comes (v. 12). All in all this is a huge encouragement and word of hope to believers who at the moment may seem like they are increasingly becoming strangers in a strange land.

I often think of the many long decades, for example, that believers had to endure terrible persecution and death under the godless communist rulers. For seven decades it seemed like God was not on the throne. But to the amazement of the whole world, the cruel reign of atheistic communism came to a crushing end, as first witnessed at the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

Today the horrible thugs Lenin, Stalin, et. al., are but the dust of history. So too with every other rule on earth, be it atheistic totalitarianism or secular democracy. One day every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. God is not unaware of, or indifferent to, what the nations and the rulers are up to, and everyone will one day stand before the true King of Kings and Lord of Lords to give account.

For the short term, it may seem like these rulers are getting away with murder, but this is very short-lived indeed. We need the eternal perspective as so forcefully presented in Psalm 2. For those who would lose heart or become weary in well doing, the best antidote I know of is to read and read again the first of the Royal psalms, Psalm 2. In it we will find that the purpose and destiny of the nations are ultimately tied up with the purpose and plans of almighty God.

[1307 words]

27 Responses to Why Do the Nations Rage?

  • Bill, these are really comforting thoughts on the heels of yesterday’s resounding bad news. If we remember that it is God who appoints history and moves events and leaders to achieve His ultimate goals, things quickly move into perspective. It doesn’t quite numb the emotions but it clears the mind of the clutter, the images of ridiculing and mockery, and the newspaper headlines. Timely wisdom. Thanks so much.
    Dee Graf

  • Yes, timely wisdom. Perhaps the old adage ‘we get the government/leaders we deserve’ came true on Saturday.

    Ewan McDonald, Victoria.

  • Bill, well said – again!

    I think the election result means everybody had their prayers answered – for some the answer would have been “Yes”, for others “No”, and some (maybe a small group) a “Wait”.

    And of course we are all waiting for the Senate voting to be finalized. 🙂

    John Angelico

  • Habakkuk Chapters 1 & 2 are instructive too. Why would God let a more evil instrument (Babylon) deal with the sins of Judah? We find God’s answer satisfies Habakkuk, who then bursts into the familiar words of praise in Chaper 3, something some of us will have to practice over the next 3 years!
    Stephen White

  • Thanks Bill for using Psalm 2 to encourage those who received the election results as ‘bad news’ or ‘who would lose heart or become weary in well doing’. It encouraged me again to see our Australian nation as a significant part of the Sovereign Lord’s great redemptive plan.

    But Bill, I wonder how Psalm 2 might give the Judaeo-Christian parliamentary constituency an apologetic to bring to their local member, or to the government, or the opposition as they formulate and execute their legislative programs?

    if we perceive they may not agree with our worldview on various issues, do we present Psalm 2 to them in an adversarial way? Or do we encourage them by sharing it with them, and giving testimony to the challenge and comfort and refuge we find personally, and in our churches corporately, by taking its truth into our hearts, and by faith realising the blessings it promises? And then will we promise them our support and that we will pray for them and follow with interest their contribution to debates and their voting decisions, whether or not we agree with them?

    And how should we bring Psalm 2 to those who appear to share our worldview?

    If we can make such apologetic we may find that we can establish some kind of rapport with them, such that when a thorny issue arises they may be open to hearing our point of view in disagreement with them.

    The experience of meeting the candidates at the ACL sponsored pre-election meetings certainly has paved the way for this kind of fruitful interaction.

    Thanks for giving Psalm 2 a kick start Bill!

    Bernard Tibbs, Wollongong NSW

  • The Old Testament book of DANIEL chapter 2: 20-22: Daniel answered, Blessed be the name of God forever and ever! For wisdom and might are His! He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and sets up kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding! He reveals the deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him

    The first recorded group prayer meeting of the first century church, Acts 4:24-30: And when they heard it, lifted their voices together with one united mind to God and said, O Sovereign Lord, You are He Who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything that is in them, Who by the mouth of our forefather David, Your servant and child, said through the Holy Spirit, Why did the heathen (Gentiles) become wanton and insolent and rage, and the people imagine and study and plan vain (fruitless) things [that will not succeed]? The kings of the earth took their stand in array [for attack] and the rulers were assembled and combined together against the Lord and against His Anointed (Christ, the Messiah). For in this city there actually met and plotted together against Your holy Child and Servant Jesus, Whom You consecrated by anointing, both Herod and Pontius Pilate with the Gentiles and peoples of Israel, To carry out all that Your hand and Your will and purpose had predestined (predetermined) should occur. And now, Lord, observe their threats and grant to Your bond servants [full freedom] to declare Your message fearlessly, While You stretch out Your hand to cure and to perform signs and wonders through the authority and by the power of the name of Your holy Child and Servant Jesus.

    My favourite words from this account are: ‘They plan vain and fruitless things that will not succeed’

    Romans 13:1: LET EVERY person be loyally subject to the governing (civil) authorities. For there is no authority except from God [by His permission, His sanction], and those that exist do so by God’s appointment.

    Proverbs 8:15: By me kings reign and rulers decree justice.

    Des Higgs

  • Thanks Bill for you insightful message and thanks also to the creator of all the earth The Lord Jesus Christ for placing John Howard in the position of prime minister of Australia for the last 11 or so years. Just like the 10 lepers who were healed only one came back to give thanks. We have so much to be thankful for the government we have had.
    It’s quite ironic, my son who is stationed in the air force at Townsville just last week sent me a christmas card and a photo of him standing next to John Howard on the tarmac shaking his hand before he depated Townsville.
    We can’t compare the outgoing prime minister to the new one but one thing is certain we all need to hold up this new government before God in prayer.
    Michael Bourke

  • I see God’s wisdom in all this. Naturally we are sorry to see our good John Howard go, arguably one of the best prime ministers this fair land has produced, but I reckon our 2-party system is a bit like a marriage: what he can’t supply, she often can. The aboriginals will normally not get a look-in until a labour govt comes into power. When the coalition have been in power too long, it’s invariably too much the way of the boss, and not enough for the worker. Please don’t quote me if we get a nation-wide relationships register, and an easing of the already-too-lax abortion rules, but Father God is still on His throne, as Bill points out, just like He was during WW1, WW2, Great Depression, Holocaust etc.. What we all sow is what we will reap, so lets hook in and get with the program of dealing lovingly, humby, graciously, but firmly with the new govt. Go the Kingdom of God!
    Ian Brearley

  • Bill,

    There seems to be an unfounded assumption here that a Labor government is not supported by Christians.

    Abortion and gay rights might be key issues for some, but they are not major concerns for most Australian families. In any case, they are largely state government issues.

    These are the main reasons why I think Australia voted to change the government:

    – Howard stubbornly refused to recognise or understand the looming global warming crisis, and this is one of the major reasons why people thought he was out of touch. All polls suggested that people are more concerned about this issue than they are about terrorism.

    – Howard made no attempt to groom a successor, until it was way too late. Hubris trumped logic.

    – Costello was widely seen as a buffoon, and no one wanted him as future prime minister.

    – our treatment of refugees and aboriginals made many people ashamed.

    – Howard alienated many Australians with the way he blindly followed George Bush’s “war on terror”.

    – the economy has been growing for 17 years, not just 11. The government in power can make only a minor contribution to “the economy”. Other factors such as the global economy, the resource boom, and corporate decisions all have a role to play in economic growth.

    – to the extent that “Australia is prosperous” as we kept hearing ad infinitum, the prosperity is not shared equally. The boom state is WA, followed by Qld, and both economies are driven by mining. NSW is doing badly, as is SA, and Tas has only one industry. The federal government can take little credit for the mining boom.

    – Australia has a major problem with its growing current account deficit. This was rarely ever mentioned by Howard or Costello.

    – Australians are living to excess on credit. Why are we as a nation so reliant on credit card debt if we are supposedly prosperous?

    – Interest rates are out of the government’s direct control, so the Coalition or any other government has no right to claim any credit. Historically Australian rates tend to follow the US, but about 20% higher.

    – similarly our stock market slavishly follows what overseas markets did the day before.

    – reduction of government debt was done at the expense of one-off asset sales. But the real debt is not zero. A big problem is unfunded public service and military superannuation. Successive governments have effectively stolen public sector superannation rather then investing it, and the so-called Future Fund goes only part of the way towards covering the massive liability.

    – the Coalition government embarked on no significant reform, except for Workchoices, and even then they got the balance wrong. Australia is today only lightly unionised, but many people could see that those who invest their brains and their labour in a company need at least as much consideration as those who invest their spare capital, especially in times of alleged prosperity.

    – the government had no housing policy, and as a result we have a housing crisis that hits the younger generations hardest. Tax concessions to encourage investment in housing through negative gearing are widely recognised as contributing to the problem, because they aren’t targeted at new housing. Consequently the same limited supply of housing stock is shuffled around between investors. There are other factors at play, but government inaction has been a major contributor.

    – the government had no effective broadband infrastructure, and Howard had no clue as to its importance in the economies of the future.

    – the government has no national infrastructure policy generally. Our ports, roads and railways are well below international standards.

    – Australia had the potential in the mid-1990s to become a world leader in solar power, and we have the climate to capitalise on it best. Yet the technology was lost to Australia and it was left to other countries to develop, particularly Germany and China. (Howard’s most idiotic comment on this topic was that solar power doesn’t work at night).

    – our education standards and institutions have slipped, particularly at the tertiary level. No action has been taken by the government to halt the brain drain.

    It remains to be seen whether Rudd will do better, but he has at least demonstrated that he understands many of the problems, and has energy and vision. He’s also a practising Christian, and I fail to understand why some Christians think they have something to fear from a Labor government.

    Christine Henderson, Sydney

  • Ian, I don’t see God’s wisdom in this. I see man’s stupidity.

    Aboriginals have been screwed by successive federal and state governments thinking that they can solve the problems by throwing lots of money at them. Aboriginal culture is a real problem for a start, and it does not help when you have leftist ideologues promoting the noble savage idea, and the ‘stolen generations’ myth which prevents children in real danger from being removed out of fear of repeating something that never actually happened! Noel Pearson and Mal Brough were really making some real progress on aboriginal health, welfare and integration into society, but now the Manchurian Candidate, Chairman Rudd and friends will most likely abandon the government’s programs.

    In what way is it “too much the way of the boss and not enough for the worker”? Remember that a boss is not obligated to employ anyone! A particular boss offers employment terms that he can afford and that maximise his profit. No-one is forcing a worker to accept these terms, but if a worker believes that they are fair and/or offer him more and better opportunities then he can accept those terms. If not, he can look elsewhere. Given that there is almost full employment, there are many choices for workers and strong competition between employers for workers. This means they are more likely to offer higher wages and better conditions.

    Read my paper on Biblical Economics for more detailed explanations:
    http://hermeneutics.kulikovskyonline.net/hermeneutics/BiblicalEconomics.pdf

    We won’t get a relationships register, we will get full blown gay marriage because the ALP will bring in a statutory Bill of Rights and activist judges in the courts will simply read down the Marriage Act provisions, and legislate from the bench.

    Yes, God is still on the throne, but that does not mean that everything that happens is according to His will. The Israelites–if they had believed and obeyed God–could have gone straight into the promised land. Instead, they wandered around in the desert for 40 years. Australia is about to enter the desert. I hope it doesn’t take us 40 years to emerge…

    Andrew Kulikovsky

  • Actually, the Aboriginals got a look in only because of the courage of John Howard and Mal Brough. For far too long, politically correct rubbish and stolen generations mythology has failed aborginal children in danger. The racial grievance mongers have been the self-appointed aboriginal spokespeople, feasting on government funding, while the ordinary people have suffered.

    Under Labor, we are more likely to see nonsensical apologies from people who did nothing to people who were not done to. But the real problems continue unchecked.

    Let’s listen to real aboriginal leaders like Noel Pearson, who says that welfare has killed his people.

    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  • Is Christine Henderson some kind of speech writer for Kevin Rudd or something? Firstly her statement that “Abortion and gay rights might be key issues for some, but they are not major concerns for most Australian families”, completely misses the point from a Christian perspective. It doesn’t matter that most Australian families don’t care about abortion (they’re mostly pagan, what else would we expect?) – but it should matter to every Christian, and if a Christian thinks something like climate-change matters more than abortion then they need to start looking at things from God’s perspective rather than their own.

    And on the topic of climate-change, it doesn’t matter that “polls suggested that people are more concerned about this issue than they are about terrorism”. What should matter to Christians is truth not what polls say is popular. The fact is that Islamic terrorism is orders of magnitude ahead of climate-change as a serious threat to the world. And on the issue of the current account deficit, I didn’t recall Rudd or anyone else from federal Labor even mentioning it throughout the whole campaign. Despite what Christine says, we have a great deal to fear from a federal Labor government – try federal religious vilification laws, a bill of rights, and further entrenchment of homosexual ‘rights’, to name a few.

    Ewan McDonald, Victoria.

  • Thanks Christine
    You raise all sorts of issues here which of course cannot be properly answered in the comments section. Indeed, your shotgun approach of just making numerous claims and charges is not as helpful as it might be. But if you are in fact interested in why I and others may have differing views on these issues, I have covered most of them elsewhere on this site, and you are welcome to browse and discover why some have had concerns about governments of the left.
    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • This is an excellent article that (in my humble opinion) accurately describes the rebellion of mankind in general and God’s revelation concerning their fate. But are people seeing a direct reference in this piece to the ALP? Is there one?

    Is the ALP a greater antichrist than the Liberal party?

    Damien Carson

  • Thanks Damien
    I did not mention any parties in the article. Both parties are certainly fallen, as are all of us. However, one might argue that one party is slightly more reflective of the biblical worldview than the other.
    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Fair enough. I voted for my local Liberal MP and am usually a Liberal voter, but we evangelicals seem to be blurring the lines between a biblical worldview and conservative political policy. There are some godly, evangelical ALP members (and at least one cabinet minister that I know of) in state politics and ALP MPs are never required to breach their conscience when voting in parliament.

    I am certain that I have not thought out the role of Christians in society as thoroughly as you or many of the contributors to your site, but I understand our role as Christians to be ambassadors of heaven and “priests for the parliament” as we support them and pray for them in what I consider a thankless and unenviable task.

    I don’t think I can agree that one party is more reflective of the biblical worldview than the other. The Liberal party controlled House of Reps & Senate gave control of RU-486 to the TGA, knowing full well what the TGA would do with that power, as well as passing the Patterson Bill late last year. Here in QLD, I could not spilt the ALP & Lib senators on what percentage voted for & against those issues (although both NAT party senators voted against).

    Damien Carson

  • Ewan,

    Why is not possible to criticise the failings of the outgoing government without being accused of being a “speech writer for Kevin Rudd”? For the record I have no association whatsoever with the ALP, or any other party. But I understand you were a Senate candidate for the CDP, so you can hardly claim to have an objective opinion.

    You accuse Australian families of being “mostly pagan”? According to the last census, 65% of Australians claim to be Christian, yet the CDP was able to attract only 0.2% of the vote in Victoria. That indicates that the CDP’s notion of “Christian values” is a long way removed from that of the typical Australian family, so perhaps it is you that is out of step with Christian thinking rather than the other way around. You are also part of a very small minority still in denial about climate change.

    And while I don’t support religious vilification laws, might I say that if believers of all persuasions exercised love of neighbour and stopped preaching hate towards other creeds, they might get better respect of the rest of the community.

    As for homosexual rights, why should committed same-sex couples not have legal rights regarding inheritance, property etc? The lack of compassion and acceptance of people who are different is yet another reason why many people (both believers and non-believers) consider some Christians to be hypocrites.

    Christine Henderson, Sydney

  • Hello Christine Henderson.
    Beware, my old English teacher at high school would say “intoxicated as to the extent of her own verbosity.”
    May I suggest that you study the many areas that you proclaim are wrong, not just parroting media articles, before making statements that are so inflamatory and in many cases incorrect.
    The article that Bill wrote, after I reread it, does not instigate a political comparison between the Labor party and the Liberals, in fact, I believe that it refers to issues facing the world in general.
    Please, you are not promoting a discussion rather you want an argument.
    A discussion may look at one or two subjects at a time whereas the many topics you have covered will only lead to hostility.
    We must first agree to disagree.
    I am sorry, I am a conservative, I voted Liberal and I am proud of the fact.
    Your statements have failed to convince me otherwise.
    Jim Sturla

  • Hi Christine,

    Being a CDP candidate might mean I am biased toward the CDP but that doesn’t mean I am incapable of holding an objective opinion. Your assertion is absurd. Your comments demonstrate that you are biased yourself toward the Left/liberal end of the political/theological spectrum.

    You seem to think that truth is determined by a majority vote. I believe that truth should be determined by facts which is why I and many other thinking conservatives remain skeptical of all the alarmist bulldust that we hear on a daily basis in the MSM about the new pagan religion of man-made-global-warming.

    Nobody really believes that 65% of Australians are genuine Christians. If such a large number really are Christian then why is the nation so ungodly? It’s not that the CDP is “out of step with Christian thinking”, rather it is that so many professing Christians like yourself are out of step with the Bible. The church in the West is in serious decline as indicated by the decline in numbers regularly attending church and the fact that the culture is becoming less Christian and more ungodly on a daily basis. In general terms the typical Christian of the West today is biblically illiterate, theologically superficial/liberal, has a worldview that owes more to secular humanism than biblical Christianity, cares more about this life and materialism than eternity and salvation, etc.

    Ewan McDonald, Victoria.

  • Ewan,

    Accusing your fellow Christians of being ungodly pagans is hardly going to impress anybody. No wonder you got so few votes in the election.

    The arrogance of your remarks suggests you suffer from the “holier than thou” affliction that Christ condemned in the scribes and Pharisees. “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone” (John 8:7).

    As for global warming, you have no credentials that would provide any authority for your absurd conspiracy theories. Thank God the rest of the world is actually doing something about the problem.

    Christine Henderson, Sydney

  • Christine Henderson basically argues a pagan viewpoint. News flash: Chairman Rudd won by pretending to be a Christian conservative. The election was thus hardly a repudiation of conservatism, but was decided by the mendacious Union demagogery on Work Choices, abetted by traitorous leftist Evanjellyfish.

    It is also silly to whinge about negative gearing, that has bipartisan support. Rents skyrocketed the last time the government abolished negative gearing. In any case, negative gearing is only worthwhile because of the very high tax rates in the top brackets. They would be less worthwhile if tax rates were flatter and lower, and I would be happy to trade in the negative gearing deduction in return. But when the government confiscates almost half a person’s earnings, then there should be some compensation for expenses accrued to make these earnings possible.

    Meanwhile, the State Governments need to do their bit by abolishing stamp duty and increasing supply of land for housing. It’s ironic that those who squeal loudest about “affordable housing” are often those whose policies caused the problem. Cf. Affordable housing and [a href==”http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=3359″>Government Created Scarcity: California’s “Affordable” Housing Problem by Thomas Sowell (December 4, 2003).

    And the problems with allegedly unaffordable housing are often due to many people with expectations too high, wanting a first home much bigger than the first home their parents or grandparents owned. So they abandoned financial responsibility, e.g. making sure they could afford the repayments if the rates were increased by 2% (more than the total of the interest rate rises under Howard). So they put themselves into debt to buy bigger homes than they can afford—and THIS is a major factor in driving up house prices because of all this extra money pouring into the housing market. Unfortunately many young people trying to buy their first home have been hurt by financial irresponsibility of their elders living beyond their means and driving house prices skyward.

    Meanwhile, under Labor, we can expect to see the end of the baby bonus. It’s most likely because it preserves the family as an autonomous decision-making entity, who might not follow the preferred path of the Anointed. The Anointed would rather have day-care subsidized, because they believe that the State knows best about taking care of children, cf. “It takes a village to raise a child”—Heilary Klinton. But this means that one-income poorer families subsidize the child care of two-income richer families. A childcare voucher would allow the parents to make the choice, whether to supplement the income of a stay-at-home parent, pay something towards Gran’s cost of looking after the kids, or pay a childcare centre. But the Anointed want the tax system to herd people into their way of doing things.

    A similar principle applies to education. The Anointed don’t want school vouchers, because it would give the parents the choice to send their kids to the schools the parents think are performing. Rather, the Anointed want kids to be thrown into the mass-education system to be educated their way, and damn parental wishes. With Comrade Gillardova now in charge of education, you can guarantee more PC black armband rubbish.

    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  • Christine Henderson

    Accusing your fellow Christians of being ungodly pagans is hardly going to impress anybody.

    It’s called comparing people’s actions with Christ’s teachings. What do you care what Ewan says about Christians anyway?

    No wonder you got so few votes in the election.

    In NSW, the CDP was fourth, ahead of the Dems.

    The arrogance of your remarks suggests you suffer from the “holier than thou” affliction that Christ condemned in the scribes and Pharisees. “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone” (John 8:7).

    You forgot “go and sin no more”, His followup, as well as an earler command to “judge righteously not according to appearance” (John 7:24). Not to mention what He said about marriage as a man and a woman “from the beginning of creation” (Mark 10:6 ff. citing Gen. 1:27 and 2:24 as real history).

    As for global warming, you have no credentials that would provide any authority for your absurd conspiracy theories.

    Irony of the year: alGore hasn’t any science qualifications, and a court proved 11 falsehoods in his film. A particularly glaring one was flashing his graph of CO2 increase v temperature change, but rushing through it without letting on that the temperature increase preceded the CO2 increase. So alGore deceitfully reversed cause and effect in something foundational to his case!

    But as long as gullible churchians like CH are convinced, he can count on raking in the shekels with his managed fund, paying for his carbon indulgences for jetsetting everywhere and living in an energy-guzzling mansion.

    Thank God the rest of the world is actually doing something about the problem.

    Oh yeah, by 12,500 flying business class into Bali for a wonderful junket talk-fest. Never mind that the CO2 emissions from all these jets would requite the planting of 2 million trees! So it seems that CH is being rather hypocritical herself in her selective accusations of hypocrisy!

    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  • Hi Christine,

    Are you so naive as to believe that everyone who claims to be a Christian really is one? And I didn’t accuse any fellow Christians of being ungodly pagans. What I did was accuse many of my fellow Australians of being ungodly pagans – there is a difference.

    You compare me to the “scribes and Pharisees” and imply that I shouldn’t be judging anyone. Did it occur to you that you are judging me? The only biblical prohibition against judging is against judging in hypocrisy. It seems to me that anyone who piously condemns another for the ‘sin’ of judgmentalism whilst doing exactly the same thing themselves is guilty of this.

    Re climate-change. You said: “Thank God the rest of the world is actually doing something about the problem.” I ask: What problem? You are simply blindly following all the hype and propaganda. Why don’t you take a closer look at the science behind this issue and start thinking for yourself instead of just believing the sermons of the alarmists? And where did I mention anything about a conspiracy theory?

    Ewan McDonald, Victoria.

  • Hello Christine Henderson
    Your last blog to Ewan was to say the least most confusing.
    (1) You say that Ewan has no credentials to express an opinion.\, can you please relate to us what credentials you have that makes your comments so believable?
    (2) You say “the rest of the world is actually doing something about the problem”, I am interested, how can this be true when such countries like America, India and China are in opposition to many would be solutions?
    (3) Your ‘holier than thou” comment is especially intriguing, what was in Ewan’s blog that caused this?
    (4) Try as I might I can not find a reference to “ungodly pagans”, I found a refence to an ungodly country but perhaps my tired old eyes missed it.
    Jim Sturla

  • Interesting, this global warming debate. I wondered at all the non-science-based hype on this (whether man has caused it), but my opinion was clinched the night of the ABC debate a few months ago. I find just as in the evolution debate, there is this “this is THE viewpoint, and you better just believe it, or else” mindset that the ungodly throw at us. Interesting – it doesn’t have to have facts to back it (just like evolution theory), but if you don’t embrace it with all that you are, then you are a mongrel, anti-human-race, stupid, and why don’t you just get-with-the-program like everyone else who has at least half a brain, and just BELIEVE the thing. As soon as I saw this, I knew that anti-God forces are behind it. The planet is warming, but I think it’s just cyclical, and nothing to get alarmed about. Be sensible, learn to handle water and marginal cropping better – of course, but no panic buttons please.Ian Brearley
    Ian Brearley

  • Now Chairman KRudd is showing his true colours by intending to introduce an iniquitous Bill of Rights.

    “When we get in, we’ll change everything” #4
    Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, December 05, 07 (07:19 am)

    Before the election, [I]The Australian [/I]finds Chairman Rudd cool on a bill of rights:

    A bill of rights perhaps? It’s an issue dear to the civil libertarians who chafe under the repressive security laws post 2001. Well, (Rudd says) Labor has a commitment to seek “community consultation” on a bill of rights but ”no commitment” to implement one.

    But after the election, Chairman Rudd unleashes his cultural revolution:

    At some point in the next three years, the incoming attorney-general, Robert McClelland, plans to sign a landmark charter enshrining the rights and responsibilities of the nation’s legislators.

    For the first time, Parliament will be required to respect rights, such as freedom of the press, and responsibilities, such as protection of the environment or the need to respect minorities, rural Australians and the disabled.

    The environment now has rights?

    But the real problem is that here is Labor nibbling at the power of voters and adding to the power of judges. It’s the New Left project, and betrays the Left’s usual suspicion of the masses.

    Former NSW Labor Premier Bob Carr was rightly critical of such nonsense: The Rights Trap: How a Bill of Rights Could Undermine Freedom, noting (following his headings):

    The culture of litigation and the abdication of responsibility that a bill of rights engenders is something that Australia should try and avoid at all costs. …

    The transfer of policy decisions from governments and Parliament to the judiciary …

    “Freezing” rights: Our view of the importance and priority of rights changes over time. A constitutionally entrenched bill of rights freezes those priorities at a particular point in time. …

    Unpredictable interpretation …

    The creation of a culture of litigation …

    While the Courts are swamped with thousands of Bill of Rights cases, where will the ordinary person go for justice? The Courts will be made even more inaccessible and the cost of running the court system will increase. The main beneficiaries of a bill of rights are the lawyers who profit from the legal fees that it generates and the criminals who manage to escape imprisonment on the grounds of a technicality. The main losers are the taxpayers, and society in general through the reduction of community values to mere courtroom weapons.

    Conclusion

    Parliaments are elected to make laws. In doing so, they make judgments about how the rights and interests of the public should be balanced. Views will differ in any given case about whether the judgment is correct. However, if the decision is unacceptable, the community can make its views known at regular elections. This is our political tradition.

    A bill of rights would pose a fundamental shift in that tradition, with the Parliament abdicating its important policy making functions to the judiciary. I do not accept that we should make such a fundamental change just because other countries have bills of rights. The culture of litigation and the abdication of responsibility that it engenders is something that Australia should try and avoid at all costs. A bill of rights is an admission of the failure of parliaments, governments and the people to behave in a reasonable, responsible and respectful manner. I do not believe that we have failed.

    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  • Amen! I heartily endorse the reading of Psalm 2 for encouragement in these days, and in addition, and in the same spirit, recommend Ps. 37 as well.

    The church of days past had a practice of praying the Psalms of imprecation (judgment), which proclaimed God’s righteous judgment on civil authorities which flouted and violated God’s law, and assumed for themselves, as tyrants, the power and position God reserves solely for Himself.

    I have recently begun to make the praying of these Psalms a near-daily practice. The imprecatory psalms are: 35; 55; 58; 59; 69; 79; 83; 94; 109; and 140.

    Bradley Schmehl, York

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