More Obamanations

It is hard to know in which area Barack Hussein Obama is the most radical. Will he be the most pro-abortion American president ever? Or will he be the most pro-homosexuality president ever? Probably both, one suspects. He is not yet even president (five more days remain before that happens) but he is already making quite a stir.

Consider the issue of homosexuality. When he invited megapastor Rick Warren to say an Inauguration Day prayer, that stirred things up. The choice was in many respects a sop to the evangelical community which unfortunately was duped into supporting Obama in the first place. But since Warren has supported California’s Proposition 8, which forbids homosexual marriage, the homosexual activists have gotten into a frenzy about Obama’s choice.

But this choice was all about appearances. Obama is anything but an evangelical Christian, and this was simply a move to persuade evangelicals to remain onside with Obama. But his real colours appeared a few days ago when he chose a homosexual church leader to give the main invocation on January 20.

New Hampshire Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, the Church’s only openly homosexual bishop, will join Warren in a few days time, giving a much different message. This is how one press account details the story:

“The choice of Bishop Robinson to preside at Monday’s Lincoln Memorial event is a clear effort to reassure the gay community, which strongly backed both the Obama and Clinton campaigns. Bishop Robinson and his long-time partner, Mark Andrew, were married in a civil ceremony in June, after the New Hampshire legislature made such unions legal. ‘It is an indication of the new president’s commitment to being president of all the people,’ Bishop Robinson said. ‘It will be my great honour to be there representing the Episcopal Church, the people of New Hampshire and all of us in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.’ Bishop Robinson advised Mr Obama on gay rights during the campaign. His consecration in 2003 set off a growing rift in the Episcopal Church’s parent body, the Anglican Communion. Since then, Bishop Robinson has become an internationally known spokesman for gay rights – a hero to some and an object of scorn to others.”

It remains to be seen just what Warren will say at the Inauguration. But we can be assured that what the homosexual Bishop says will be a very unbiblical affair. This is what the press said of the proposed prayer: “Bishop Robinson said he had been reading inaugural prayers through history and was horrified at how ‘specifically and aggressively Christian they were. I am very clear that this will not be a Christian prayer, and I won’t be quoting scripture or anything like that,’ he said. ‘The texts that I hold as sacred are not sacred texts for all Americans, and I want all people to feel that this is their prayer.’ Bishop Robinson said he might address the prayer to ‘the God of our many understandings’, language that he said he learned from the 12-step program he attended for his alcohol addiction.”

Let’s unpack all this a bit more. Here we have a major church leader who could not even control his use of alcohol. Then there is the matter of him dumping his wife and young children – breaking his Christian marriage vows in other words – to take up with his homosexual lover. This is a man driven by immoral lusts, who cannot remain faithful to his own wife and family, and certainly cannot remain faithful to the clear teachings of the Word of God.

Yet he is a big cheese leader in a major American denomination, and is being asked to parade his idolatry and immorality before the watching world. A great pick, Obama. He is a perfect match to Obama’s worldview. They should get on together swimmingly.

Indeed, he is a perfect choice: a “Christian” leader who shies away from everything specifically Christian. Notice that the homosexual bishop was “horrified at how specifically and aggressively Christian” past prayers were. Yes, I suppose it is rather amazing that Christian leaders would actually pray “Christian” prayers. What does the good bishop want? Hindu prayers? Atheist prayers?

Actually, it seems that he does. Note that he will address “the God of our many understandings”. In other words, the god of our choosing. Want to be a homosexual activist? No problems – just remake God in your own image. Want god to be a political revolutionary or an eco-freak? Easy-deasy. God can be whoever you want him to be.

Of course all this should come as no surprise. If the bishop cannot get basic biblical sexuality right, then he will not likely get much else right in Scripture. Indeed, as Robinson once said, “I believe in my heart that the church got it wrong about homosexuality.” That is just fine if one rejects the Bible as the authoritative Word of God, fully relevant to both doctrinal and moral issues.

So if one believes in one’s heart that the church got it wrong on paedophilia or fornication, well, fine. Our feelings obviously take priority over the clear teachings of Scripture. At least that is what our homosexual bishop thinks. What we have here is simply what Scripture so strongly warns about: the time when everyone does what is right in their own eyes.

Indeed, the prophet Isaiah warned millennia ago that a corrupt people, choosing self over God, would come to a place of turning basic morality upside down: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” (Isaiah 5:20)

When we put sin and self ahead of God, we turn the moral universe upside down. And when we choose idolatry and immorality ahead of worship of the one true God, we end up in all kinds of error and moral confusion. No wonder Robinson does not want to use the Bible in his invocation message.

Indeed, why he even refers to the Scriptures as “sacred texts” is beyond me. What is sacred about them, in the bishop’s eyes? He does not seem to believe a word of them, yet he can give us this baloney about them being sacred. If he really regards them as being sacred, his first response would be to obey them, not ignore them in order to justify his own immoral lifestyle.

If Robinson is an abomination to biblical Christians everywhere, then he is a ‘godsend’ to the Obamanation. His worldview and that of Obama fit together perfectly. The secular humanism and amorality of the President-elect are nicely matched by the open defiance and rebellion of the idolatrous bishop. They make a beautiful couple.

www.theage.com.au/world/gay-bishop-set-to-pray-for-obama-20090113-7g3g.html

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44 Replies to “More Obamanations”

  1. And from the same article it is clear that Obama holds in contempt 1Timothy 2 too. America is about to reap the whirlwind.

    Mr Obama will also create another “first” when the Reverend Sharon Watkins from the 700,000-member church Disciples of Christ becomes the first woman to deliver the sermon at an inaugural event. She will give the sermon at the traditional National Prayer Service the day after Mr Obama is sworn in.

    [I originally posted this to a different topic, but it fits better here]

    Mansel Rogerson, Melbourne

  2. Hi Bill,

    I would like to ask a question: how would you respond to people who compare conduct prescribed by the Bible regarding marriage to conduct prescribed regarding, say keeping the Lord’s day?

    Most Christians nowadays do not keep Sundays in particular free for rest, but abide by the principle behind the rule that one must have rest from work and time spent with God. Many people argue that rules for sexual conduct in the Bible should similarly be interpreted as upholding a main principle of love: commitment (marriage, no fornication) and refraining from causing injury to the other person involved (no incest, no rape, no paedophilia).

    Is the only way to counter this to say that homosexual acts are actually injurious to both parties, even if the element of commitment is present? And are there any particular Biblical verses upholding this?

    Natasha Sim

  3. Thanks Natasha

    I can only provide a short answer here. The case against homosexuality can of course be argued on purely secular grounds, including the health risks, and so on. But if one wants to approach it from a biblical perspective, then one must speak of God’s intention for humanity, including human sexuality. He has made us and determined the best for us, if we follow his plans and live in accordance with his guidebook.

    Since God is our creator, he knows what is best for us. When we deviate from his purposes for us, we hurt ourselves and others. Love is not sentimental or boundary-less, but means living in conformity to the commands of an all-loving and all-wise God. Romans 1 is the classic passage on how the creature rejects the creator, and brings upon himself very real negative consequences.

    The fact that people ignore the commands of God does not mean that they no longer apply. The Sabbath is for our good, and when we ignore it, we suffer as a result. The same with God’s intentions for our sexual health and wellbeing.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  4. Natasha people try to make out that because Christ was single then he was homosexual. But Christ is married – to the Church. One day he will come and claim his bride, us, and lead us to live with him forever. Likewise Paul says in his letter to the Ephesians that just as Christ loved the Church by sacrificing himself for her, then husbands should love their wives. There is no way that the words “husband” and “wife” are interchangeable; they mean completely different things.

    Neither did Noah select the animals that went into the arc on the basis of whether they were loving and committed but on the basis of their being male and female. What God created was good and woe betide if we think we can reorder nature to suit our own degenerate appetites.

    David Skinner, UK

  5. Bill,

    You say: “If Robinson is an abomination to biblical Christians everywhere…..”. I say “Robinson is an abomination to Christians everywhere”.

    John FG McMahon, Kolonga, Qld

  6. …and before someone tries to raise the alleged ‘false dichotomy’ between Jesus and Paul on homosexuality, they should check Christ’s teaching on marriage: Matthew 19:4-6.
    Michael Watts

  7. “Robinson once said, ‘I believe in my heart that the church got it wrong about homosexuality.’”

    Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

    John Nelson

  8. Robinson’s ‘horror’ at the ‘aggression and specificity’ of prayers is sheer hypocrsy. He has been aggressive himself in pursuing those Anglican Churches in the USA who seek to remain faithful to the Bible, and wishing to withdraw from the Episcopal Church of the USA to form newer Anglican Provinces.
    Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin – he has been weighed in the balance and found wanting (for judgement).
    Wayne Pelling

  9. It may be an appropriate time to inform Rev Rick Warren that he appears to have been conned, by being asked first.

    He will then have to make up his mind if he can participate in a multi-faith service of modern “Caesar-worship”.

    I believe Mr Obama has crossed the line, and true Christians need to question how much discretion will represent the better part of valour. You can’t win the fight if you are not in the ring, but it’s also necessary to define which fight we’re in.

    John Angelico

  10. ‘The texts that I hold as sacred are not sacred texts for all Americans, and I want all people to feel that this is their prayer.’

    I think this highlights very well the type of belief system that Robinson follows. Its principles and what it holds sacred are not dictated by God, but by popular opinion and a need to garner approval at any cost from all sectors of society. It is really sad that this type of split within the Church confuses and misleads people who might genuinely be looking for God.

    PS: Thank you Bill, David & Michael for responding to my question, what you said is very helpful!

    Natasha Sim

  11. Perhaps it is time for Rick Warren to have an Elijah moment when he confronted the prophets of Baal – or even a Richard Wurmbrand moment.

    “In 1945 Romanian Communists seized power and a million ‘invited’ Russian troops poured into the country. Pastor Wurmbrand ministered to his oppressed countrymen and engaged in bold evangelism to the Russian soldiers. In the same year, Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand attended the Congress of Cults organised by the Romanian Communist government. Many religious leaders came forward to praise Communism and to swear loyalty to the new regime. Sabina said, “Richard, stand up and wash away this shame from the face of Christ.” Richard warned, “If I do so, you lose your husband.” She replied, “I don’t wish to have a coward as a husband.” Thus Richard declared to the 4,000 delegates, whose speeches were broadcast to the whole nation, that their duty is to glorify God and Christ alone. Richard spent the next twenty years suffering and being tortured for Christ.”

    http://www.persecution.com.au/who-are-we/the-story-of-richard-and-sabina-wurmbrand/
    http://members.cox.net/wurmbrand/wurmbrandbio.html

    In the West we should all be prepared to suffer persecution and oppression that appears to be coming very soon. For many, in increasing numbers it has already started with visits from the police, loss of jobs and businesses, public humiliation, fines, and even prison. A seventy year old man, is due to appear again at Kings Lynn Magistrates, Norfolk, UK on 4th March, on a charge of sending pictures of aborted babies to a third party. He has already had sixteen spells in prisons for the sake of God’s righteousness, the last being in 2006: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/antiabortionist-jailed-for-photo-protest-477279.html This is not Russia but tolerant Britain in the 21st century.

    David Skinner, UK

  12. Natasha, your objections and expressed doubts are a challenge to us all and we must thank God for Culturewatch, where precisely those doubts can be aired and shared. Even John the Baptist had doubts that needed clearing up: ‘Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?’

    If I may be allowed to answer you from Bill’s previous article, “Christianity’s Positive Contributions: An Atheist Confession,” I understand this thing about attacking the sin and not the person. We often hear it, but I believe this view has become distorted to the extent that for fear of hurting the feelings of others, we remain silent. Christ and the apostles were certainly not averse to dishing out harsh comments towards specific individuals. Christ said to Peter, “Get behind me Satan.“ There is a difference between judgment (sending to hell) and strong rebuke that is designed to save an individual from hell.

    Sin is not some general abstraction but very personal. What we cannot do, which is what Islam does, is to set ourselves up as judges and executioners. But whilst Jesus Christ, when he came the first time, did not come to judge the world but save it, his second coming will be a very different affair. In order to alert those around us of this first order threat, infinitely worse than global warming or world poverty, we are called to expose those things done in the dark. Proverbs tells us that the wise man welcomes rebuke, and loves the one who rebukes him. For the wise man knows that he can learn from rebuke, and become wiser still. He sees that God is at work to guide and teach him in righteous paths.

    Let’s call a spade a spade and stop shilly-shallying about. If I am double minded, wicked and perverse I just hope those around care enough to tell me.

    David Skinner, UK

  13. Thanks for this post Bill. It amazes me that so many commentators, who are supposed to be Evangelical, cannot see through Obama.
    Stan Fishley

  14. I was taken by comment –

    “The kingdom of God is not going to arrive on Air Force One.” – Cal Thomas

    Doug Holland

  15. Hi Bill
    I agree with your comments on the inauguration ceremony and would disagree with one word if I thought you were serious about referring to Robinson as the “good’ bishop, but I realise many people use that term facetiously, when speaking of someone, who has acted quite stupidly.
    The comment by a writer above, inferring that “The Church got it wrong on homosexuality” is automatically suggesting than God got it wrong. If God can create the whole Universe, surely He could get bit of human plumbing right. After all, the human body is not created to accommodate homosexual acts normally.
    Also I am astonished that the editors of some Christian publications are so starstruck with Obama, that it has been next to impossible for me, to have a letter critical of his stance on abortion and worse published.
    My opinion is that Obama is the worst phony, ever to stand for President and that’s saying something.
    Frank Bellet, Petrie Qld

  16. Hi BIll,
    Thanks for the continued updates re: the realities of what various leaders are standing for. It’s all too easy to not look that hard, and just go with what the media is telling us.
    I, too, agree that Obama’s specific policies cannot in any way be seen to align with Biblical commands. Having said that, and being VERY aware of my own ignorance on these issues, I have to say that I see some principles in his apparent worldview that I do think are biblical. This is a man working for justice and human rights in Guantanamo Bay. Leaving aside the Terror legislation, I think the Bible is pretty clear about torturing those whom God loves. I also see in Obama a man trying to rebuild a country torn apart by prejudice and bias – racial, gender, age, sexuality, etc. While many of his decisions are not those I agree with, I do believe that he is desperately trying to be a peace-maker, and one who places value on humanity. Yes, I think he takes it to an extreme that muddies those waters, but to miss some of his good points is unhelpful – I think that while he could learn something from listening to some decent Biblical apologetics, we too, as Christians, could learn something from his commitment to those he leads, and to reuniting a country torn apart by hatred. Maybe if we encouraged him in his peace-sowing efforts, rather than taking every chance to tear him down, we might get further.
    Also, I’m unsure as to why you refer to him by his full name. As far as I’m aware, he eschews any Muslim connection, so it seems unfair to constantly make a connection between him and the Muslim world – guaranteed to immediately put any right-wing Christian on their guard – when no such connection occurs in anything but a name that he had no control over being given. I’m very open to being misinformed on this one, and if there is a connection, I’d be interested to learn more.

    Again, thanks so much for creating a forum for honest discussion!

    Janna Becker

  17. Thanks Janna

    Christians of course can and do disagree on these issues, but since you enjoy the ‘honest discussion’ and acknowledge that we shouldn’t ‘just go with what the media is telling us,’ then let me deal with your concerns, especially in light of what the mainstream media (MSM) is or isn’t telling us.

    As to how we should think about Obama, I have written a number of pieces which you might refer to, so that I do not have to repeat myself here:
    https://billmuehlenberg.com/2008/09/12/on-barack-hussein-obama/
    https://billmuehlenberg.com/2008/12/08/he%E2%80%99s-a-killer-but/
    https://billmuehlenberg.com/2008/10/16/should-christians-support-obama/
    https://billmuehlenberg.com/2008/11/03/is-obama-really-the-messiah/

    One of the areas I find the MSM, and the left, trying to completely bamboozle us on is this whole notion of ‘social justice’. Just what does that term mean Janna? And more importantly, how does it compare/contrast with the Biblical understanding of justice?

    I would think that the most fundamental example of justice and human rights is the right to life. Yet Obama is as pro-abortion as they come. And the right to life obviously precedes and is the basis for every other human right. So just how is he being concerned about justice?

    As to Guantanamo, that is another clear example of the MSM giving us a very one-sided view of the matter. So too the other matters you raise. Just how exactly is America ‘torn apart by prejudice and bias – racial, gender, age, sexuality’? And just how is Obama going to fix all this? Take the issue of sexuality. He is fully in favour of special rights for homosexuals. Are you arguing that America is wrong to be concerned about same-sex marriage and the like?

    Take the issue of race. Let me just quote what I wrote in another article:

    Black American, Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, assesses an Obama presidency: “No amount of phony Hollywood theatrics can hide the fact that Sen. Obama’s agenda is a continuation of left- wing policies, which have turned Dr. King’s dream into a nightmare for Black Americans.” He continues, “Ninety percent of Black Americans support Sen. Obama. Millions are caught up with his celebrity status, but we must take a step back and look at the real Barack Obama. Here’s a sample of what an Obama administration won’t do for Black America: 70% of Black children are born out-of-wedlock; yet Sen. Obama has no plan for this crisis. According to CDC reports AIDS remains the leading cause of death among Black women between ages 25 and 34. In Washington D.C., more than 80 percent of HIV cases are among Black people. Yet, Obama is counting on condom distribution to deal with this scourge. Sen. Obama was a committed member of a racist church for 20 years. He gave $20,000 of his own money to the anti-American Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Does this sound like a man who’s judging people based on the content of their character? Since 1973, 13 million Black babies have been aborted; meanwhile, as an Illinois state senator, ‘pro- choice champion’ Obama even opposed legislation designed to protect babies who survived late-term abortions. Sen. Obama opposes CA Prop. 8, which recognizes marriage only between a man and a woman, yet supports Sex Ed for Kindergarteners as long as it’s ‘age-appropriate’. In Los Angeles, illegal alien gang members randomly shoot down Black Americans, but Mr. Obama says immigration raids are ineffective and that illegals should have a ‘path to citizenship.’ Barack Obama wants to be king, but clearly he is no King. Obama’s ideas and policies are a nightmare for all Americans.”

    With all due respect, the left and the media simply throw these issues out there, and they really are nothing more than clichés. So you are right, we desperately need to go quite beyond the empty rhetoric of the MSM – and the left I might add. But as I say, believers may have to agree to disagree on some of these issues.

    As to BHO, well, that is his name, after all. It is probably better calling him BHO than Fred. Anyway, that is another issue the MSM is not telling us the whole story on.

    Blessings,
    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  18. Janna, what is wrong with using Barrack Obama’s full name? On inauguration day he is going to be sworn-in as the 44th President of the US with those same full names yelled out for the whole world to hear. The whole world is waiting in anticipation for “change”. The only change I see coming is a downward spiritual trend for the US and it’s value systems. As a fellow “black” African (Australian) I agree with the statement that this is not even close to the dreams that Dr King for the Blacks in the US. And I am so sure that Dr King would have been appalled at the choice of Bishop Robinson to give the main invocation. So sad….. “Heaven and earth shall pass away but His word shall not” – time will tell.

    Nigel Onamade

  19. This is just my observation as an ordinary person reading your articles….it seems that your article on Obaminations seemed so self-righteously pharaisaical..
    When Obama asked Rick Warren to be the prayer man , you suggested that Warren should not do it because He would be condoning Obama who supported sins like as if Bush and the Republicans did not sin at all… then he turned to this homosexual bishop and you criticize the more which of course is your privelege or right…is this how we should respect government as Peter said. Jesus did not comment on the Pontius Pilate’s horrible crimes.I just perceived that if Jesus was living today who talked and mingled with sinners such as abortionists and homosexuals then we would probably not recognize the Messiah. I was just thinking that as we strongly broadcast this self-righteous atttitude the more we alienate these sinners and separate ourselves as supposedly holy like the Pharisees condeming them. Hence, these sinners seem to look at conservative Evangelicals as just people who did nothing but dislike and condemn them but how do you win them to Christ. We know that Christ criticized more the hypocritical religious authority and not the sinners because He came for the sinners and applied first His grace….and we should follow Christ’s footsteps who loved the sinners and win them to His grace.
    Thanks for the space to comment.
    Pyke Magno

  20. I think it’s fair to look at BHO critically, and I think on balance it’s completely reasonable to question his Christian credentials, in “Evangelical” terms.

    I read in the weekend paper that there is at least the suggestion that he and Michelle will redecorate their White House living quarters with Fung Shuei principles in mind. Something that would be a complete nonsense to an Evangelical, methinks.

    Would it be reasonable, then, to put to bed this question of his “faith” with the understanding that he and his wife share a “nominal” faith that the majority of Americans would not be in an educated position to assess, either way?

    You and your readers, Bill, represent a small minority of global opinion — granted, a growing one — and even within the US, the conservative Evangelical/Reformed community is a small one.

    The interests and “agenda” of y/our community are, no doubt, critically important for the future health of the USA and of the Christian faith there, but did anyone really think Obama was “in our camp”? Really?

    And as important as abortion and homosexuality are, I think I’m with Janna in wondering why these issues always get inordinately more airtime than almost any others! It opens us conservatives to the accusation that we have an imbalanced agenda, and that we don’t care about anything else.

    I am no less a pro-lifer than any other Evangelical, and I find homosexuality no less grievous to the Lord either, but I think the moral reprehensibilities on both sides of the Israel/Palestine issue are as newsworthy, for example.

    When did you last read a right-wing Evangelical commentary on the evils on the Israeli side of that conflict? Anyone??

    Where is the critical post-mortem of the Bush II “era”, from the Evangelical camp, which dares to find ANY agreement with left-wing concerns and objections? Personally, I am nothing short of angry at the complete failure of the right-wing Christian “camp” for failing to cry foul on the Iraq war.

    We look stupid, frankly.

    Alister Cameron, Burwood East, VIC

  21. Thanks Pyke

    But I would have thought that in a democracy citizens should be free to offer critiques of their elected leaders, just as you seem to feel free to critique me.

    As to Jesus not criticising the political leaders of his day – of course he didn’t. That was not his mission. He would not allow politics or anything else to get in the way of his appointed work, which was his sacrificial death at Calvary. But plenty of other biblical leaders did offer political critiques.

    Think of Nathan criticising David, or Daniel criticising Nebuchadnezzar, or the prophets criticising the Kings of Israel, or John the Baptist criticising Herod, or Paul criticising Ananias, etc. Were they all being “self-righteously pharaisaical”?

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  22. Thanks Alister

    Of course I and others have spoken to the Israeli/Palestinian issue often. We are also concerned about such issues. So I am not sure how imbalanced we are. But the point is, in that particular issue, as I have said many times, Israel is far from perfect or free of moral shortcomings. But it is the only democracy in the entire Middle East, and it is the only country there simply seeking to preserve its own existence.

    So I reject the moral equivalence that is so often suggested here. I think it is factually correct to argue that one side is far more “moral” here than the other side. In much the same way, I and most people reject any moral equivalence concerning WWII. With that in mind, let me paraphrase one of your sentences:

    ‘When did you last read a right-wing Evangelical commentary on the evils on the Allies side of that conflict? Anyone??’ I don’t think there was much need to persuade Americans or the English that they were just as bad as the Nazis. So there was not much Christian commentary critical of the Allies during WWII. And rightly so.

    (That does not mean that everything the Allies did was always right or morally acceptable. It just means that there was a tremendous moral difference between the two sides, and it would be a silly for a free people under siege from a totalitarian regime to seek to give “equal time” to criticisms of both sides. That would have been ludicrous – and treasonous.)

    In the same way, I do not see Israel as being in the same league as its enemies – morally , ideologically or politically – so I for one will offer more critical commentary on Israel’s enemies. If you want tons of critical commentary on Israel, simply consult the MSM. But as I have often said, since the MSM is so one-eyed, that is why this website exists – to seek to give the other side a bit of a hearing.

    As to Iraq, it would be expected that evangelicals would be critical of it if they in fact believed it was wrong, immoral, and so on. I for one did not see the situation that way, thus you did not hear me criticising it. Instead, I praised the efforts to free the Iraqi people and to dispose of a murderous dictator. I still do.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  23. Alister, it’s easy to explain why abortion and homosexuality get so much “airtime” – that is where the battle happens to rage a lot and there is no middle ground, no matter what anybody says. And the stakes are very high. They are life and death issues. And given the agendas of the anti-life and the gay ‘marriage’ brigade, people, organizations and churches around the world are being forced to conform. ‘Freedom’, ‘tolerance’ and ‘choice’ are meaningless words used like weapons. You only have to look at Victoria’s recent abortion law reform – it is now illegal for a doctor to refuse to murder someone just because that someone happens to be unborn.

    “If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ.

    “Wherever the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved and to be steady on all the battlefield besides is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that one point.”

    – Martin Luther

    …and I don’t know if we should care that much if we look stupid (at least, the eyes of the world) – what does God say about wisdom and foolishness? Did Jesus care what people thought about him? Don’t we believe that someone rose from the dead?

    Mark Rabich

  24. Bill writes:

    ‘When did you last read a right-wing Evangelical commentary on the evils on the Allies side of that conflict? Anyone??’ I don’t think there was much need to persuade Americans or the English that they were just as bad as the Nazis. So there was not much Christian commentary critical of the Allies during WWII. And rightly so.

    But there was quite a lot of criticism of the Allies from the churchian left, which sounds much like the moral equivalence nonsense about Israel v the Hamas terrorists today, as documented in The End of Illusions: Religious Leaders Confront Hitler’s Gathering Storm by Joseph Loconte:

    Paul L. Blakely declares that “[i]n the moment that this country goes to war, the guarantees of the American Constitution will be swept aside by a dictatorship.”

    Georgia Harkness calls for an “international police force in a world federation of states…. involving some surrender of national sovereignty and much economic reorganization.”

    Harry Emerson Fosdick asserts that “the all but unanimous judgment seems to be that we, the democracies, are just as responsible for the rise of the dictators as the dictatorships themselves, and perhaps more so.”

    Although these liberal clergy sound like today’s whiners against Israel’s right to defend itself against rocket-shooting terrorists, they were opposed to US fighting against Hitler.

    However, the churchian pacifists were demolished, e.g. by Reinhold Niebuhr:

    Yet [M]ost modern forms of Christian pacifism are heretical. Presumably inspired by the Christian gospel, they have really absorbed the Renaissance faith in the goodness of man, have rejected the Christian doctrine of original sin as an outmoded bit of pessimism, have reinterpreted the Cross so that it is made to stand for the absurd idea that perfect love is guaranteed a simple victory over the world, and have rejected all other profound elements of the Christian gospel as “Pauline” accretions which must be stripped from the “simple gospel of Jesus.” This form of pacifism is not only heretical when judged by the standards of the total gospel. It is equally heretical when judged by the facts of human existence. There are no historical realities which remotely conform to it.

    And Lynn Harold Hough’s essay “Defending Justice Despite Our Own Injustice” targets those moral equivalence bloviators who criticize their own nation in order to eliminate any moral credibility it might have to oppose another. Such people “use every ingenuity to find evil motives for good deeds and dark purposes back of fair action.” So today’s pro-Hamas clergy (like Comrade Obamov’s pastor for 20 years) are nothing new. Hough instead points out that the Allies had to oppose Hitler regardless of their own lack of perfection:

    “The evil which has been set loose upon the world must be crushed. And we cannot wait for perfect men or perfect nations to crush it.”

    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  25. Thanks Jonathan

    Quite right. Yes I am aware of leftist criticism of the Allies made by those living in Allied nations during WWII, especially in the US and England (enslaved Europeans were not so foolish, and could clearly see the moral differences between their Nazi captors, and the Allied liberators). The irony is that the religious left could ramble on all they liked about moral equivalence, yet they were freely making their criticisms in democratic nations. The Germans did not have that luxury under the Nazis. Critics were swiftly and harshly dealt with.

    In the same way today, there are plenty of critics of Israel, even within Israel. It is a democratic nation which allows self-criticism. However, those in Gaza seeking to criticise Hamas will find things much different.

    And another war time Christian who saw the folly of pacifism was CS Lewis. His essay on pacifism, like that of Niebuhr’s, is first rate. It appears in The Weight of Glory and other collections of his articles.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  26. Just a little clarification/correction on my part – of course, the doctor can refuse, but only if he/she refers to another who will happily take money for the murder. And that makes it OK – at least to our lawmakers it does.

    But to any prolife doctor, they become an accomplice, which is equally as wrong to them as carrying out the murder themselves.

    Mark Rabich

  27. Janna, you look for a connection between Obama and Islam. Maybe this was just a slip of the tongue but it is certainly not one that I, or any Christian that I know of, could possibly make. Thanks for highlighting this issue! http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=XKGdkqfBICw&feature=related

    As for Obama healing a divided nation, who is doing the dividing, not the Christians; it is him and Gene Robinson who are tearing families and babies apart. This is like a protection racketeer bringing violence to a neighbourhood and then saying, for a price, it will bring peace and order. His peace will be that of Pax Romana- enforced by oppression.

    The suggestion that homosexuality and abortion, let alone experiments being conducted on live foetuses are peripheral issues to climate change, population explosion, the threat of nuclear holocaust, world poverty or the Israel/ Palestinian problem, (the Islamic world merely wishes to finish that which Hitler started ( http://www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/3267446/the-mildmannered-british-desire-for-the-annihilation-of-israel.thtml ) is a demonic distraction, not only from the destruction of truth, reasoning, education, marriage, the family and children but that Homosexuality and abortion are bringing spiritual death to millions. The cross is an offence to both secularists and Muslims. Their common cause and common purpose is to eradicate the cross: http://archbishop-cranmer.blogspot.com/2009/01/coronation-street-producers-deem-cross.html

    The claim that Christ and the disciples did not meddle with politics but just went about dispensing that feel good factor is not only blazingly contradicted by the fact that all of them were either executed or put in prison by the authorities, but by Christ‘s own words: “But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. This will result in your being witnesses to them.” Luke 21:12-13; see also Matthew 10:17-20.

    Throughout the Old Testament, godly people, like Moses and Queen Esther, risked their lives, confronting earthly rulers. I wish that our own Queen Elizabeth had the moral courage to invoke her own Coronation Oath which was to defend the gospel of Jesus Christ and the ministers of the church.

    Does Obama believe in turning the other cheek? When discrediting the Bible he mocked the Sermon on the Mount: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=4FCNKwHRCQM

    That Christians, or anyone else for that matter, should not speak up when they see and hear evil simply because no one is innocent of wrong doing, is not the stance demonstrated by one of the criminals who hung on a cross at the side of Jesus Christ. See Luke 23: 32ff

    The Christian, no matter how flawed, does not gloat over the failing of others, or try to a demonstrate a holier than thou attitude, but tries to warn others of the wrath to come. “Don’t you fear God?” Matt24:42: “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” Let’s keep watch with Bill and Culturewatch

    Davd Skinner, UK

  28. I feel America has made a very big mistake to elect Barack Obama as president. I can see the country and the world will suffer the consequences of Gods wrath on as all especially Americans who voted for Barack Obama.

    America is already in a bad mess already where they have gone against the christian morals.

    I am now worried that there will be less and less of real families as in a mother and father and children christian moral families.

    America needs prayer to pray that God will intervene and fight against the wicked ways. Pray that God be harsh and on Barack Obama to make him rethink of his own life and the lives of American people. Repent to God and hopefully things will change for the better for everybody.

    I went to hear the World view Summit when it was in Perth.

    Anthea Loton

  29. I forgot to say how much, I am sure, all of us value Jonathan Safarti, putting up Laconte’s article. It is just another piece, making clearer as each day passes, a giant jig saw.

    David Skinner, UK

  30. We are again seeing in some of the responses above a confusing of biblical and social ethics. Biblical ethics are defined by God in the Bible and so we know, e.g., that abortion and homosexuality are wrong. Conversely, social ethics are determined by a society for a particular time. Increasingly, these are being formulated by the left-oriented MSM and are less and less biblical.

    For example, social ethics now promote abortion and homosexuality so that millions of human lives are being slaughtered every year and the family is under massive attack. Social ethics also help determine our response to issues such as the war in the Middle East. So, rather than talking of a right for self-defense, the MSM talk of the ‘disproportionate’ response of Israel in responding to the constant, unprovoked attacks from Hamas.

    Focus on social ethics results in the convoluted logic emerging from a couple of the responses above. It is suggested by an ‘ordinary person’ (does that mean one influenced by the MSM?) that we shouldn’t be ‘alienating’ the people in the slaughter houses or those tearing apart the very fabric of the God-ordained family because, apparently, Jesus wouldn’t do this. Furthermore, we should be berating Israel for their ‘evil’ in finally defending themselves against a regime that doesn’t even recognize their right to exist!

    I wonder whether Alister Cameron’s perception of who was ‘evil’ might change if the rest of Melbourne decided that Burwood East and all its inhabitants were to be eliminated. Equally, if the rest of Melbourne adopted Hamas’ ideology and launched rockets from alongside schools, hospitals, etc. and deliberately secreted weapons caches in civilian homes, I wonder how he would react to those calling on the Christian right to condemn his attempts to defend himself, especially if there were ‘innocent’ casualties outside Burwood?

    I do not claim the evangelical right is perfect, but am concerned when I see such responses which casually dismiss biblical issues and instead focus on MSM-dictated social issues. I even heard a professing Christian recently suggest they would rather vote for Rudd or Obama because that would hasten in the end times!

    Christians these days are so easily seduced by the MSM propaganda. I would have thought that rather than retreating in to the leftist camp for fear of ‘looking stupid’ we should be encouraging and supporting columns such as this that provide us with resources to counter the humanist propaganda tsunami and look to expose their stupidity.

    Roger Birch

  31. Pyke Magno, if, as you claim, Jesus can attack the ‘Hypocritical religious authority’ of his day, so must ‘bishop’ Robinson be attacked for his authoritatively religious hypocrisy. This attack must also, logically, be extended to all who follow his religious hypocrisy and those who support his religious hypocrisy.
    Bill is purely highlighting the religiously hypocritical nature of Robinson, BHO and the MSM (who claim their own religious ‘authority’ in all matters of morality).
    Shalom.
    Mike Evans

  32. The American Family Association have highlighted the latest Obamanations:

    It didn’t take long for President Barack Hussein Obama to move his social issues to the top of his to-do list. His agenda can be found here, taken directly from the White House home page.

    This is only the beginning of Obama’s plans to reshape society. His view is that unborn babies aren’t worth protecting and that homosexuals deserve special rights.

    Ewan McDonald.

  33. Hi Bill

    This raises the issue of how Christians should respond when politicans say “Vote for me..I’m a Christian”. Both the winning and losing prime ministerial contenders in the last Australian Federal election appealed to voters on this basis. I think its time that Australian voters became much more discerning in this matter.

    What is of far greater significance is how the candidate will vote in the parliament. It’s easy to call your self “a Christian” But what really matters is how will you vote on the key questions that are important to Christian voters?

    I suspect there are a lot of disappointed Christian voters now when they see the sweeping changes being made that affect the status of marriage in Australia.

    Peter Findlay

  34. Agreed Peter, except for your suggestion that both Howard and Rudd appealed to voters on the basis of “Vote for me, I’m a Christian.” Rudd was the one who trumpeted his Christian credentials and who had an explicit agenda to appeal to the Christian vote. Although it was common knowledge that Howard claimed to be a Christian, he never promoted himself as such the way Rudd did.

    Ultimately Rudd’s strategy worked since surveys claimed a significant number of Christians changed their votes and helped to elect him. It just goes to show that Christians can be as easily deceived as anyone else, or at least the liberal ones can be.

    Ewan McDonald.

  35. Ewan, not only did Chairman Rudd strongly push the “I’m a Christian; vote for me” line, many evanjellyfish useful idiots shilled for him, just like Obamov. (“Useful idiot” is the charitable interpretation, presupposing naivety rather than intent to sell out Christianity, as in “traitor to the Gospel”).
    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  36. In this day and age, the bible can only be seen as irrelevant. Written thousands of years ago in a completely different world, it has lost its grip on an ever changing western world. To follow it’s teachings by the letter is simply and logically flawless. The fact is that the bible was not written by God, but by men. You could dispute that God told these men what to write or put the words into them, but mankind, much like the bible itself it riddled with flaws and inconsistencies, and thus these are not the teachings of God, but of men.

    Even if this is not so, the representation of a vengeful God in the Old Testament is a world apart from the loving and forgiving one in the New Testament. How are we to know if God has changed his supposedly resolote stance on issues like homosexuality? Clearly he has managed it before. It is clear to all people of intellect that some of the core codes and rules lay down by bible are still vastly important and necessary today, but to follow it word for word is impossible as it is full of contradictions (most of which are willfully ignored).

    One last comment (you must be getting sick of me by now). Say that I wrote a book saying everybody had a little wood elf that sits on their shoulder and watched over their good and bad deeds and this book became incredably popular. Say this popularity evolved into a underground following. Then say this then snowballed in popularity into the mainstream. Imagine that because of the story’s likable nature it becomes the status quo. After all, don’t we all like the idea that life is not meaningless and we all will be reward for our good deeds and have someone to rely on? Imagine that eventually several thousand years have passed and through human intervention the origins of the story have changed and instead of me writing it, the story goes that the divine wood elf spoke to a me and lit up the darkness of my life with his presence. Thus, I believe we have the bible. You may be sceptical but that sounds awfully familiar to me.

    I do respect the core ideals of Christianity, but I personally believe that parts of Christian teachings have been twisted and cause suffering for people born a way that is different from a mainstream idealogy.

    Seán Kannelly

  37. Thanks Sean

    But you might as well argue that people should “respect the core ideals” of your wood elf theology. If it is all just man-made mumbo-jumbo, why respect any of it?

    The merits of the Bible (its historical reliability, and so on) had been made by many scholars over the years. If you were genuinely interested in pursuing this further, I would be happy to suggest some titles to begin with. But if you already have your mind up, then it will be rather pointless for me to rehearse the arguments here or elsewhere.

    And your various atheist 101 objections have been answered numerous times. As to an old book – so what? Since when do truth claims have anything to do with the pages of a calendar? If something is true, the mere passage of time does not change that. You might as well argue that ‘2 plus 2 equals 4’ is a very old claim, and therefore suspect.

    And the fake distinction between the God of the Old and New Testament is so much foolishness, which I have discussed elsewhere. See for example:
    https://billmuehlenberg.com/2008/08/12/on-biblical-love/
    https://billmuehlenberg.com/2008/06/26/whatever-happened-to-hell/

    You simply parrot the usual sceptic objections, which have been thoroughly answered time and time again. You guys really need to come up with something new here.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  38. My comment was no question of “parroting the usual sceptic objections”, but a genuine enquiry! Ever since I realised that the Christian way of thinking was not for me I have tried to understand why people have come to let it into so much of their lives. No matter how many times I try and fail to understand people’s devotion to Christianity, I will always respect it enough to read through texts and documents to gain a new angle on where it is coming from.

    But I find it hard to find a new perspective with Christianity as it holds one belief which cannot be percieved any two ways: the belief in absolute right and absolute wrong.

    And why “You guys really need to come up with something new here.”? I stumbled upon this website when looking up your review of “Is Belief in God Good, Bad or Irrelevant? A Professor and Punk Rocker Discuss Science, Religion, Naturalism & Christianity” by Preston Jones and Greg Graffin, and somehow got the idea that this website was open to debate. It seems that you have taken my comment and made a personal judgement on me.

    I like to think I am an open minded person and would like to read further into the details of your arguments. I’m sorry if my initial comment sounded insulting or disrespectful, but i’m sure you can understand how this is a passionate debate! I look forward to hearing your reply in the true spirit of the debate that led me to this site!

    Seán Kannelly

  39. Thanks Sean

    I have plenty of people who come to this site who tell me how open-mined they are, only to make it clear after a few comments that this is far from the case. So I hope you indeed are open. As I say, that openness can be measured in part by a willingness to follow the evidence where it leads, and the desire to check out counter arguments. So as I mentioned, if you are asking more than rhetorical questions here, I am not only happy to discuss these things with you, but to provide a bit of recommended reading.

    I often do provide a list of titles to my critics, only to discover that they never did bother to read them, as their minds were already made up, and they simply wanted to argue for argument’s sake. So if you are a genuine inquirer, I am quite happy to debate and suggest further references.

    For beginners, since you mentioned the Jones/Graffin book, why not grab that and give it a go?

    So which issue do you want to run with? Are you really interested to learn something about the reliability, historicity and accuracy of the Bible? Are you really interested to discuss the nature of objective moral standards? Pick your topic and we can indeed have a chat. And if you are seriously interested, let me know, and I can offer a few good titles on any of the particular issues. So over to you.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

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