Christian Leaders Missing in Action (Again)

Here we go again. Another wolf in sheep’s clothing. Another political leader who claims to be a Christian who violates the very clearest of biblical teachings on matters of faith and practice. Another politician who does not seem to have a clue what her faith is all about.

The Premier of New South Wales, Kristina Keneally claims to be a Christian and a Catholic. Yet she has decided that NSW should grant homosexuals adoption rights. She has been all over the place in trying to defend this decision. At first she said, “My religious views do not play a part in the legislation that I as a leader of the Labor Party bring before the government.”

Yet she soon started waxing lyrical about theology, or at least her rather skewed version of it. When she was asked to explain how her Catholic faith could be reconciled with homosexual adoption rights, she said, “Jesus sat with the sinners and the saints and he was not a man of judgment but rather a man of love”.

That of course got her into trouble with the PC brigade and the homosexual militants. So she had to backtrack from the impression she gave that homosexuals might be sinners: “That’s not at all what I meant to say. My point is this. Jesus loves all. He accepted all. For me, that is the strongest message that comes out of the gospel.”

The further she went with this, the more she mangled Scripture and biblical Christianity: “Jesus was about love.” She continued, “If I look at the gospel message it is one of acceptance, it is one of love.” And even more: “Where in the gospel [sic] do they talk about same-sex relations?”

Using examples of usury, women and slavery, she said we must “reinterpret Scripture in light of human understanding and human experience”. Finally, she said Jesus and Christianity are about unselfish love. “When I see gay and lesbian people giving that unselfish love to a child, that’s something that I – not just as a Christian and a Catholic but as the leader of this state – want to support.”

There is so much sloppy thinking, poor reasoning, and downright unbiblical nonsense here that one hardly knows where to begin. Perhaps it first can be said that we expect as much from a feminist and “progressive” Catholic who has clearly jettisoned traditional Catholic teaching on these issues, let alone basic Christian teaching.

For example, the American-born Keneally wrote a master’s thesis in Ohio in which she argued that God is female, or at least that God should be cast as a woman. So much for historic Christianity. Let’s just rewrite the Bible to fit it in with modern feminist theory.

And she clearly rejects even her own Catholic standards of orthodoxy. The authoritative Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994) is meant to be, as Pope John Paul II declared, “a sure and authentic reference text for teaching catholic doctrine”.

Section 2357 of the Catechism states: “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’ They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstance can they be approved.”

Now I am not a Catholic, but even as a Protestant I can see that the Premier is at odds with what her own faith teaches. But of course she is also at odds with what the Bible teaches. As to her various weak and distorted pronouncements on Scripture, I have written about such matters frequently.

Biblical love is not mere sentimentality and letting anyone do anything. Biblical love is tied in with keeping God’s commandments. Jesus made it perfectly clear that if his followers do not keep his teachings, then God’s love is not in them. Consider just a few passages:

John 14:15 If you love me, you will obey what I command.
John 14:21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.
John 14:31 but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.
John 15: 10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.
John 15:14 You are my friends if you do what I command.

And Jesus was in fact making judgments all the time. He warned people to flee wrath to come, and he spoke about hell more than any other New Testament figure. He rebuked, he challenged, and he spoke the truth. He made it clear that it was a narrow, exclusive road to eternal life which many would reject.

Her backtracking on the S word is also interesting. Of course the Bible makes it clear that we are all sinners. Some however have come to Christ, admitted their sins, repented, and received God’s forgiveness. So in that sense homosexuals are sinners like anyone else, in need of redemption like anyone else.

And even if we leave Christianity out of the discussion entirely, we still have to ask how it is loving to deny children their own mum and dad. Where is the love for these children who will be deliberately denied of the most basic and essential of human rights, to be raised by one’s own mother and father?

Just because homosexual adults want children is no reason to forget about the ones who stand to lose the most here – the children. But in these debates the welfare and wellbeing of children are never considered. It’s all about the selfish desires of adults. Nothing very loving there Kristina.

But we have seen this time and time again: leaders parading their Christian credentials, but when it comes to crunch time, these are chucked out the window, as they bow to every politically correct social engineering agenda. Their faith seems to be all words and no actions.

The Old Testament made much of this situation. It especially targets religious leaders – be they prophets, priests or kings – who claim to be God’s people, but live lives showing they clearly are not. Indeed, some of the sternest and most frightful condemnations found in the OT are reserved for such people.

God has not changed, and he still demands that those who call themselves by his name should walk the talk. Those who do not will have to give an account of themselves one day, and it will not be a day in which cheap excuses or PC rhetoric will get very far.

Once again, we need to pray for our political leaders, whether they call themselves followers of Christ or not. And we also need to exhort them when they need exhorting, and challenge them when they need challenging. We have a watchman’s duty here, and if we do not carry it out, we will be held responsible (see Ezekiel 3 and 33 for example). This is an important obligation which we all need to take seriously.

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26 Replies to “Christian Leaders Missing in Action (Again)”

  1. Bill, I absolutely agree with your views here. Basically another person trying to call themselves ‘Catholic’ again. Australian Catholics for the most part are so removed from Catholic Church teaching (and Biblical Teaching for that matter) it is not a joke. Some priests and bishops are the cause of this problem. There are many traditional Catholics, by this I mean, people who still believe in the true teachings of the Catholic Church, and I believe they are a strong ‘sub Church’ within the dying modern Church. As a protestant, you have stated things exactly how they are. You are wise and insightful, and actually many ‘fed-up’ biblical Catholics have moved to protestant churches, esp evangelical arms because of the lies that are being taught in Catholic churches and schools.
    Well written Bill.
    Jane Petridge

  2. Dear Bill,
    Great work. Great article.
    Refreshing to read your clear thinking without bias.
    Nice to catch up with you after so many years too.
    Nick Marvin

  3. I must say I think I am growing increasingly disappointed with the Catholic church at the way it deals with these prominent figures who claim to be “catholics” and then reject teachings the church says is important.

    I don’t really expect any better from a feminist neo-pagan like Keneally (lets be honest that is what she is), but why is the catholic church so unwilling to publicly censure her for saying these sorts of things in one breath and claiming to be a catholic in the next?

    It is about time the Church leaders stood up and said “NO” to this sort of thing. If you want to claim to be a Roman Catholic then part of that is towing the line and following the teaching of the church. If you want to privately reject it, that is your own business, but if you are going to stand up in public and claim to be a Roman Catholic surely at the very least you should be expected to take all of the teachings of the church seriously.

    I wish the Pope and the bishops would get serious about this sort of thing and start denying the mass to such people and where necessary excommunicate them.

    Jason Rennie

  4. We do not worry, Kristina Keneally and other Catholics who oppose Church teachings have excommunicated themselves, they are no longer a part of the Church, cannot receive her Sacraments and cannot receive God’s grace until they repent.
    They need to be Catholic first and a politician second.
    Creos Mary Roman

  5. Her reasoning is very similar to that of a self-styled “liberal” Catholic whom I once encountered. This fellow, a married man, actually marched in the Sydney Mardi Gras to promote understanding and acceptance of homosexuality. He explicitly said so. I got into an argument with him and to my dismay caught him actually fabricating “evidence”.

    We are all fallible, and anyone can make a mistake in their reasoning, but the sheer persistent speciousness of the pro-gay position is something to marvel at. As for Keneally, it is saddening to see the world’s greatest religion being used to rationalise the acceptance of homosexuality. Will she be happy when gay activists start demanding the right to set up a sado-masochism fair as was done in San Francisco? How could anyone who has painted themselves into the corner of addled sexual liberalism reasonably object?

    John Snowden

  6. The Catholic Church is being destroyed from within the ranks, but there still exists a ‘core’ group of Catholics (lay and priests/bishops etc) who are faithful to the true teachings of the Catholic Church.
    I listen to sermons with absolute amazement for the way bible teachings are cleverly misinterpreted or manipulated to promote a politically correct agenda. Issues like abortion and homosexuality are no-gos.
    Take a look at the theme for Catholic Education Week. A green agenda!! The modernists should split and start their own ‘faith’ system. Look at what happened at St Mary’s Parish in Brisbane!
    Jane Petridge

  7. Kenneally made a stupid comment about walking the kokoda track which revealed her lack of knowledge about Australian history. Her comments about homosexuality and Jesus – yes Christians are to show grace in this area but also point out the sin – reveals her knowledge around Scripture is also poorly lacking.
    Wayne Pelling

  8. At a guess, the Catholic hierarchy WON’T take issue with the NSW Premier because they want to send the message that after all, Catholics are loving and forgiving. And inclusivist. And tolerant. Even to the point of refusing to to take issue with a Catholic public figure who misrepresents them.
    Phil Manley

  9. Bill,
    Of course , God loves homosexuals. He loves them so much that He sent His Son Jesus to die on Calvary for their sins. What He requires now is for us to repent of our sins and put our faith in the finished work of His son, Jesus for our salvation. God is love but His holy justice does not permit Him to overlook anybody’s sins, homosexual or straight, otherwise Calvary would have been unnecessary.
    Barry Koh

  10. So obviously is what I will say thus following that it should not need to be clarified for the biblically illiterate such as Mrs Keneally. When Jesus embraced a sinner like Zacchaeus or Mary Magdalene he did not affirm them in continuing to be either a corrupt tax collector or a prostitute but told them repent and believe the good news. So it is for those engaging in the homosexual lifestyle.

    Trpimir Kesina

  11. Bill, you said:
    “There is so much sloppy thinking, poor reasoning, and downright unbiblical nonsense here that one hardly knows where to begin.”
    Here’s a good place:
    ‘…he [Jesus] was not a man of judgment but rather a man of love.”
    a) was = past tense, not present
    b) man = not fully God Who was also fully man.

    She obviously has no idea of Who she is talking about.

    John Angelico

  12. “My religious views do not play a part in the legislation that I as a leader of the Labor Party bring before the government.” – This is the private conscience/majority consensual action divorce, our leaders’ idea that they can in some sense believe one thing, but in public enact the very thing that their beliefs forbid (I would have said this about Britain’s Anthony Blair, but we now know that his beliefs did include abortion and homosexuality promotion; shame on the Catholic Church for letting him in). “When a statesman ignores his private conscience he leads his country by a narrow route to chaos” (or something); Thomas More’s words in A Man for All Seasons
    John Thomas, UK

  13. Is having children a right or a privilege? I would have thought that it’s a privilege.
    Ross McPhee

  14. Yes quite right Ross

    There is no inherent right to have a child. Yes, as Article 16 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights says, “Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.” But there is no law which says any adult can and must for any reason have a child on demand. Certainly not those who choose to preclude having children by spurning the opposite sex.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  15. Hi Bill,
    Great piece. Reminds me of the Ben Gurion University professor who was recently sacked for “stating his opinion that the development of children raised by homosexual parents could be harmed, and that sexual inclinations can be restrained and chosen”. see
    While I was thinking about how to pray for the coming elections and for our politicians, it occurred to me that we really should be praying for the whole nation. Politicians are beholden to their constituents. To pray for our teachers and lecturers who educate us and our children.
    I was recently talking to my own children about the need to have a solid scriptural grounding in order to be able to weigh what they are getting out of school and university. Do you have an article or know of a book to help them with critiquing the commonly taught world values and philosophies?
    Henry Lim

  16. Thanks Henry

    There would be many of my articles to choose from. A few on Colson might be a start:

    Plenty of books could be mentioned as well. Here are a few:

    Colson, Charles, How Now Shall We Live? Tyndale, 1999.
    Geisler, Norman and William Watkins, Worlds Apart: A Handbook on World Views. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker, 1984, 1989.
    Noebel, David, Understanding the Times: The Religious Worldviews of Our Day and the Search for Truth. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House, 1991, 1995, 2006.
    Pearcey, Nancy, Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from its Cultural Captivity. Westchester, Ill.: Crossway Books, 2004.
    Sire, James, The Universe Next Door. Downers Grove, Ill.: Inter-Varsity Press, 1976.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  17. Good comment Bill. You are right to be scandalised (in the theological sense) by Keneally’s disingenuous statements.
    And thanks to Barry Koh for putting it so accurately and simply that God so loves the sinner (we are all in that category) that He sent His Son to save us – but that He abhors the sin.
    John McCarthy

  18. Thanks Bill,
    You have Christian politicians or you don’t, there are no politicians who are, by the way … Christian.
    This is classic politicking. Similarly there are Catholic politicians or there are not, most have jettisoned current Catholic teaching long ago.
    The ‘Christian’ label gives the punters a sense of security, whilst gaining the most important defining votes in most electorates.
    Yes, we can be disappointed in the lack of Church leadership, but at the end of the day we are the voters.
    To a politician, votes mean more than a canonical admonition.
    Luke McLindon

  19. Great article Bill.
    Luke, I am not sure what you meant by “You have Christian politicians or you don’t, there are no politicians who are, by the way … Christian.”
    Are you saying there are no Christian politicians – which I would suggest is incorrect, or that the ‘Christian’ must come first – i.e. Christian politician rather than politician who is a Christian, which I would agree with.
    It certainly seems that those politicians who strive most for power always seem to be the latter – putting their political leanings ahead of their Christianity.
    Sadly, I think many whom we call Christian leaders do exactly the same thing – they put their thoughts, and yes, sometimes their politics, ahead of the Bible.
    Until we have strong Christian leaders who are willing to put the Bible first and to boldly proclaim the real Biblical Jesus, as outlined by Bill above, we will continue to see weak politicians claiming to be Christians.
    Peter Stokes

  20. Oh shame to think that this poor foolish woman can seriously claim to be Catholic. I am a Catholic teacher, trained in a Catholic tertiary institution {just before Vatican II} and I know” In whom I have believed”. The tragic reality is that too many Catholics today have a poor understanding of what it means to follow Jesus. Tough love corrects the sinner, doesn’t abandon him to perdition out of mistaken “compassion” and any serious Catholic can very easily access profound and theologically accurate scriptural teaching by reading Papal encyclicals or summaries of them if the texts are too difficult. One of our duties as Christians is to study and grow in understanding of our faith.
    Anna Cook

  21. Dear Bill,
    Why do we try to discourage people from smoking, drug taking and excessive alcohol intake? Because they detract and shorten the lives of those who do. So why are we as a society supposed to accept the homosexual lifestyle, when it is clearly a high risk, life shortening way of life? The lifestyle is characterised by high rates of violence, suicide, drug and alcohol abuse and promiscuous sexual practices that promote the transmission of LOTS of diseases, AIDS being just the tip of the iceberg. The average age for a gay man is 49 years against 79 for a married straight man. My cousin was a supposedly monogamous gay man. Trouble was, his partner wasn’t so faithful. My cousin died at age 49! My Boys Brigade leader was gay(unbeknown to me at the time). He died several years ago from AIDS. We need to help these people escape what is a self destructive lifestyle, and we won’t do this by encouraging them to continue their practices, as Keneally wants to do. As Jesus said to the woman brought to Him by the pharisees when they caught her in the very act of adultery, “Go away and sin no more”. In other words, your sin will kill you if you continue to act that way, and I might not be around to save you next time. My love will change you if you receive it.” This is message to homosexuals. With God’s help, you can change, as The Holy Spirit will incline you always to love and life-not death and destruction as the evil one would have us do.
    Lou d’Alpuget

  22. The simple answer to Lou’s question, “Why do we try to discourage people from smoking, drug taking and excessive alcohol intake?… So why are we as a society supposed to accept the homosexual lifestyle…”, is a very powerful lobby group. One that has deliberately infiltrated all walks of life including the church.
    Take the latest disturbance in the UK over the possibility that a homosexual would be appointed a Bishop in the Anglican church.
    I would suggest the man is not a Christian and neither are those supporting him.
    How can I say that and dare to be so judgemental? Because Jeffrey Johns himself has denied substitutional atonement – the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
    That surely says it all. I would suggest that most of those in positions of leadership in the church who support homosexuality have jettisoned their belief in the Holy Bible. They are infiltrators and do so to undermine whatever they infiltrate – politics, church, and society.

    That said, beware, the drug lobby is getting more powerful too, and we will see more license given to drug taking as society degenerates even further. Why? Because they have asked the homosexual lobby “how did you do it”, and are now infiltrating positions of power for their cause.
    Peter Stokes

  23. Unfortunately, many Catholics today reject authentic Church teaching on various subjects. Also, the Church authorities sometimes sadly go along with this rejection. As a good priest said recently in a church near here, “Jesus didn’t mince words: he spoke out strongly against grave sins and told of the severe punishments resulting from them”. One only has to think of “depart from me ye cursed, into everlasting fire…” to abandon any idea that Christ was soft on sin. This modern idea is born of self indulgence and trying to justify perversion and serious transgressions of the commandments.
    Jerome Gonzalez

  24. Bill once again it is amazing to read your work.

    As a Catholic, I think you did a great job explaining Keneally’s issues with the faith.

    God bless mate.
    Bob Brewer

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