It always amazes me how God is able to get his message across. When God’s people are unable or unwilling to be accurate spokespersons for Him, then God is quite able to raise up other means by which his truth can be transmitted. Many biblical examples spring to mind. The most notable is perhaps Balaam’s ass. Jesus had the same idea in mind when he said, “if [the disciples] keep quiet, the very stones will cry out.”
Of course it is a tragedy if and when God must resort to using others to get his message across because God’s own people refuse to do so. Unfortunately we have far too many examples of those who call themselves believers who simply will not represent God aright, but will instead push their own agendas.
These so-called believers are in effect false prophets. They tell people what they want to hear, instead of what they need to hear. Scripture of course strongly warns against false prophets. But they were not just the stuff of biblical times. They certainly abound today as well.
Consider the issue of homosexuality. There are many believers who are in fact theological revisionists, who seek to totally distort the biblical message concerning homosexuality. They insist that instead of this being a sinful lifestyle, it somehow is a gift of God, and that the Bible actually nowhere condemns it. These are simply false prophets.
They even go so far as to suggest that God judged Sodom and Gomorrah not for the sin of homosexuality, but for the sin of not extending hospitality to strangers. I kid you not. This is what we mean by theological revisionism. They radically revise the commonsense understanding of Scripture in order to promote their own ungodly worldview and immoral lifestyle.
Thus many believers actually applaud and make excuses for the new American president, Barack Obama. They want to downplay the clear biblical denunciation of homosexuality, and seek to justify the strong pro-homosexual agenda of Obama. They do not even seem to have any problems with an openly homosexual bishop taking part in his inauguration.
But while some Christians are absolutely failing in their duties here, God is able to raise up those who proclaim his truth, even if they do not call themselves Christians. One example of this is Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt. Bolt is not a believer. At best he is an agnostic. But perhaps eight times out of ten his opinion pieces will more or less reflect biblical truth.
Indeed, he will often defend Christian values and beliefs, even when Christians themselves will not! He seems to be a good example of Balaam’s ass to me. Or if he finds that a bit offensive, he appears to be like one of those stones that Jesus spoke about.
Another example of a non-believing stone making a pretty strong case for biblical truth is an article which was penned over five years ago. It concerns someone who is not only an atheist but a homosexual as well. But his comments penned back then are fully relevant to what will take place in a few short hours when BHO is sworn in as America’s 44th president.
The stone in question is English writer Matthew Parris. He should now be a familiar name, as I recently drew attention to a column of his in which he said – as an atheist – that Christian missionaries have been the best thing to ever happen to Africa. In this older column he argues, “No, God would not have approved of gay bishops”.
Given that it is a gay bishop – Gene Robinson – who will be a major player in Obama’s inauguration, this older opinion piece is well worth looking at. Consider the case that he makes, bearing in mind that he says so many things that Christians should be saying, but often are not. And he speaks as a homosexual atheist.
He begins with these words: “As it happens I do not believe in the mind of God. But Christians do and must strive to know more of it. Nothing they read in the Old and New Testaments gives a scintilla of support to the view that the God of Israel was an inclusive God, or inclined to go with the grain of human nature; much they read suggests a righteous going against the grain.”
Wow, if we stopped there that would be enough. The modern mantra today is that of tolerance and inclusion, and wishy-washy Christians, along with their interfaith buddies, are all about turning the holy and jealous God of the Bible into some celestial chum who accepts anyone and any lifestyle.
He continues, “Certainly it is true that Jesus departed from conventional Judaic teaching in the emphasis He put on forgiveness, but neither the story (for example) of the woman taken in adultery, nor the parable of the prodigal son suggest that He countenanced a continuation of the sins of either. What these stories teach is that repentance is acceptable to God however late it comes, and that the virtuous should not behave in a vindictive manner towards sinners. That is a very different thing from a shoulder-shrugging chuckle of ‘different strokes for different folks’.”
More wow. He is destroying every PC bit of theological nonsense going around! Imagine an atheist acknowledging that Jesus came to call people to repentance. I wish all Christians could figure that one out. Why do so many believers not get it while Parris does? But wait, there’s more:
“‘Inclusive’, ‘moderate’ or ‘sensible’ Christianity is inching its way up a philosophical cul-de-sac. The Church stands for revealed truth and divine inspiration or it stands for nothing. Belief grounded in everyday experience alone is not belief. The attempt, sustained since the Reformation, to establish the truth of Christianity on the rock of human observation of our own natures and of the world around us runs right against what the Bible teaches from the moment Moses beheld a burning bush in the Egyptian desert to the point when Jesus rises from the dead in His sepulchre. Stripped of the supernatural, the Church is on a losing wicket.”
Wow some more. (OK, he seems to confuse the Reformation with the Enlightenment in terms of the grounding and discovery of truth.) Perhaps this guy is really a closet Christian. He sure talks like one – certainly much more so than many so-called followers of Jesus. And Parris also rightly knows that if there is no miraculous, then there is no Christianity:
“Even as a ten-year-old boy in Miss Silk’s Scripture class, when I heard the account of how the parting of the Red Sea could actually be explained by freak tides, and that the story of the loaves and fishes really taught us how Jesus set an example by sharing His disciples’ picnic (so everybody else shared theirs), I thought: ‘Don’t be silly Miss Silk! If Jesus couldn’t do miracles, why should we listen? If the bush was just burning naturally, then Moses was fooled’.”
So what about the homosexuality issue? Even here, as a homosexual, Parris speaks far more sense – and biblical truth – than many Christians do: “Jesus was never reluctant to challenge received wisdoms that He wanted to change. He gives no impression that He came into the world to revolutionise sexual mores. Even our eye, if it offends us, must be plucked out. So this, in summary, is my charge against the Anglican modernists. Can they point to biblical authority for what, on any estimate, amounts to a disturbing challenge to the values assumed in both Testaments? No. Can they point to any divinely inspired religious leader since to whom has been revealed God’s benevolent intentions towards homosexuals? I know of no such saint or holy man. Most have taught the opposite.”
Those wows keep on coming. Here is an atheist and homosexual who at least on this issue is far more honest and biblically savvy than many church folk are. What an incredible collection of truths coming from this stone’s mouth. This incisive and perceptive stone finishes with these words:
“A religion needs a compass. Logic alone does not point the way and religion adds to the general stock of human reasonableness a new directional needle — if it adds anything at all. I cannot read the Gospels in any way other than as declaring that this was revealed to man by God through Jesus. Revelation, therefore, not logic, must lie at the core of the Church’s message. You cannot pick and choose from revealed truth. The path to which the compass points may be a stony one, but this should not matter to a believer. The teachings of the early Church looked unattractive to the Romans. Revelation pointed the way, and only Revelation can point the way now. I believe this Revelation is false, but Christians have nothing else firm to cling to.”
One last wow. He has it all correct here – except for his rejection of Christian truth. But he perfectly understands the truth claims of Christianity, and what is at stake if we jettison the revealed word of God. Would that most believers had such a clear and fundamental understanding of the biblical message.
This is one stone who is only a stone’s throw away from entering the kingdom. He has a terrific understanding of what the biblical message is all about. Now he needs to embrace it, and know God’s love in a personal and very profound manner. Pray for Parris in this regard. And pray for a half-hearted and apathetic church that it would begin to grasp some of the Christian basics which Parris obviously has.