CultureWatch

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

Whose Side Are You On Anyway?

Jul 21, 2017

We have all seen it and experienced it: people who claim to be Christians who attack and criticise other Christians, all the while defending and promoting manifestly anti-Christian ideas, practices, organisations, agendas and individuals. They will actually side with the Christophobes and misotheists while attacking fellow believers.

It is really appalling to see this happening so often. I find it occurring all the time sadly. I just scratch my head and ask myself, “Just whose side are you on?” How can they claim to be believers yet side with all the non-believers on so many crucial issues?

Just what gives here? How are we to account for this? There would be various reasons for this I suppose. Some believers are well-meaning but just rather clueless. They may have good intentions, but they may be inclined simply to emote rather than think clearly, do a bit of study, and actually use some God-given discernment.

whoseI guess we can give such folks a bit of slack, pray for them, and try to encourage them to be a bit more informed, a bit more discerning, and a bit more biblical. But other folks who claim to be Christians who slam other believers while siding with anti-Christian agendas and outfits are another kettle of fish.

When they actually strongly side with clearly unbiblical and anti-Christian activities and agendas, then we can rightly ask what sort of Christians they in fact are. Are they real deal believers, or are they just claiming to be? As always, only God knows ultimately and fully those who are truly his.

But we are told in Scripture that we can know people by their fruit, by what they do, and by what they believe. So we can at least get some rough ideas about where folks are at, while still leaving the final judgment up to God. And when folks push rather obvious anti-Christian stuff, that may be the time to ask, “What gives?”

I write all this because of yet another example of this very thing happening. Over the past few days all sorts of Christians have come out to defend the indefensible. I refer to the latest example of outrageous and despicable ABC anti-Christian bigotry.

Yesterday I wrote a piece on a really nasty and bigoted hit piece by Julia Baird and the ABC. It claimed evangelical Christians were at the forefront of domestic abuse. The really shocking thing is the patently bogus “research” used. The only piece cited in fact states upon closer inspection the exact opposite – as does plenty of other research!

But you can read all about this deplorable hit piece and its blatant lies and distortions in this article. Have a read of it to get the full background on this matter: billmuehlenberg.com/2017/07/20/christophobic-abc-strikes/

However, as mentioned, there has been a steady stream of believers attacking me and others who carefully assessed this fake news piece, while defending to the hilt Baird and the ABC. I kid you not! To be really honest here, I am not sure which is worse: the wretched ABC for yet another bit of Christophobia and pseudo news, or those Christians who have rushed to defend Baird and the ABC.

We all fully expect the secular left ABC to run with this rubbish, but what is surprising is when people claiming to be Christians will side with the ABC against other Christians. That is just mind-boggling in my books. As I say, some of these folks are just rather clueless and uneducated.

But some of these folks are lefty trendies who seem to use Christianity to push their hard-left agendas. And some in fact are just wolves in sheep’s clothing. So we have a real mix here: some are just not too bright and discerning; some are just really misguided, even deceived, Christians, who really need to get back to the Bible; and some are utter fakes and frauds intent on destroying the church.

I have spent the past day or so dealing with many of these folks. It gets rather depressing to encounter so many who seem to think the ABC offers gospel truth while they attack us for pointing out a few inconvenient truths. Plenty of examples could be mentioned here, but let me close with just one case in point.

One fellow claimed I was out of line to dare question Baird and the ABC. He kept defending both over and over again, no matter what I said. He really thought the Baird piece was fair and balanced, and that there was no need to hear stories from the other side of the debate. My last reply to him went something like this:

Let me one last time try to make it really simple for you: If, say, the ABC wrote an article on you, attacking you, and it quoted only three people in the story – all of whom were disgruntled friends of yours who maligned your character, slammed you, and told porkies about you – but did not bother to mention just one of your real friends who could vouch for your good character and give a much different perspective on things, how would you feel about that? Would you defend that article to the death and call it balanced and fair journalism? Would you insist that both sides of the story do NOT need to be presented there?

 

Let me answer that for you: of course you wouldn’t – you would be the first to loudly protest this unjust, imbalanced, and completely prejudiced attack piece – even more so if you knew you were subsidising such bigoted beat-ups with your own tax dollars.

 

That is exactly what we have in this piece. It is the very same thing. Baird and the ABC ran with all the emotive and sad stories they could come up with (and such stories as I already said are sad indeed, and no one should support such violence and abuse), but ignored the stories which present a different picture. It was a deliberately biased and one-sided piece through the selective use of stories. That has nothing to do with balanced and fair reporting, and everything to do with pushing their relentless anti-Christian agenda.

 

But you continue to massively miss the point here: even if they did offer one or two stories to the contrary, that is not the main problem here. This is the real issue, so please try to read carefully: Baird distorted the evidence massively. The actual evidence (even from the source she quoted from) says the exact opposite of what she and the ABC ran with.

 

So either they deliberately presented this false and misleading information, or they did it because they are lousy and unqualified reporters and news networks. In either case, they are to be condemned for such appalling unprofessionalism, incompetencebias and bigotry. They should offer an apology and vow to get their act together. They certainly should not be defended to the hilt as some Christians are doing.

It seems that last remark to him made little difference. In fact he simply dug his heels in even deeper, totally ignored the evidence, and would not even deal with what I wrote! Oh well. A quick look at his page makes it rather clear that I will not easily be able to reach him on such matters. But at least others might gain something from such debates, which is why I again revisit this whole discussion.

I fully expect the ABC to continue to push lies, misinformation, politically correct nonsense, and anti-Christian bigotry. What I do not expect, and will never come to expect, is for Christians to come to the defence of all this. Just whose side are you on anyway?

[1287 words]

23 Responses to Whose Side Are You On Anyway?

  • I sympathize with you Bill. Sometimes there is nothing you can say to get people to see the truth (which is very sad scenario when that happens). But keep fighting the good fight. Blessings.

  • Such people need to read and take to heart 2 Corinthians 13:5 “test yourselves whether you are in the faith. Don’t you know that Christ is in you? Unless you fail the test!” It is a fearful thing to fail this test. As did Judas who lifted up his heel against Christ as it was prophesied he should. Fear Godnot man who is dust. Poof! he blows away. Eternal truth is Christ – guilty man has no firm footing in this or the next world regardless of temporal resources of money politics or place in the race. There have always been false Christians – they have a salient warning here in this article Bill.

  • Hi Bill, I amongst many others in your blog family support you to the hilt. The reason that I in particular support you, is because you take the time and put in THE HARD WORK to ensure that the resources you draw on are accurate and balanced. These clowns at the ABC, and those that support them obviously do not. Any fool can flap their jaws and say what they like. If you want to be taken seriously, and respected for your views, then you have to put in the effort and the research. I no longer have any respect for the ABC, they lost me years ago. Good on you Bill, Kel.

  • The problem is the meaning of Christian is increasingly disputed. Whose gospel is to be preached, what values to be promoted? Is it about love, tolerance and equality e.g. marriage equality, Black Lives Matters, Marxism, and other activist agendas? Or is it about the Bible, and especially about Jesus?

    The difficulty is that while Jesus knew who and what the Pharisees were – so could call them out without difficulty, Christians struggle to see whether an individual is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, or merely a horrifically confused believer.

  • Yes quite right Andrew.

  • I just went through something similar in a Facebook group of Episcopalians. There was an article posted on Islam which included jihad, but talked only about the greater Jihad – spiritual struggle – and the lesser Jihad – defensive war. I pointed out that, in view of Islamic history (such as the conquering of much of the Byzantine and Persian empires right after Mohammed’s death), that needed to be revised. I got skewered by many of my fellow Episcopalians for criticizing Islam. There was also lots of “you-tooism”, criticizing wars fought by Christians. While it is right to criticize our ancestors unjustified wars (and atrocities in justified wars), that’s really a separate issue and doesn’t justify Muslims who use terrorism.

  • Bill, the effort and the maturity you have in fulfilling the calling to fight the good fight and finish the race are needed in these days (like most ages we have our work cut out to expose the lies and schemes of the devil and the sinful choices of people).

    In the end, your work will bear fruit precisely because the day will come when “heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and wages war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”

    Making war, a sharp sword striking the nations, treading the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of God, a rod of iron, and eyes like a flame of fire: this is what people ignore at their peril. It will happen as the final word on humanity’s rebellion, not the penultimate word and this is what is fearful and is a reason to follow carefully our Lord’s instructions and live lives that recognize the price He paid at the cross.

    I am not casting an opinion on this man’s salvation, but I do think that we must sound the warning whenever we can .There is a place for the most serious of warnings to be given to people because, though your warnings Bill are not to be ignored, they are far more palatable (and sadly can be ignored) than what is to come. Today is the day of Salvation for the day will come. When. It. Is. Too. Late.

  • We saw this story by ABC and my husband was so disgusted. But we weren’t sure how to get that voice of disgust heard. Happy for any suggestions

  • Thanks Melissa. Any means possible is the way to go here: use the social media, tell your friends, write letters to the editor, get on talk-back radio, contact politicians, etc, etc. One can also contact the ABC and express one’s disgust at this bias and bigotry masquerading as journalism:

    http://www.abc.net.au/contact/contactabc.htm

  • The really stupid part of the ABC article was that it consisted, in the most part, of one piece of anecdotal evidence of a wife who’s supposedly “evangelical” husband misinterpreted Eph 5:22 to dominate her. Of course there’s the etymological argument of the real meaning of “submit” or be “subject to” ( depending on the translation) But all is needed to be done is go back to v 21 which says Christians are to “submit to one another”. Boom,there goes that argument .

  • I’m on your side Bill and always will be.

  • Thanks Dawn. Of course as you know the ideal is to be on the Lord’s side, but I will certainly accept your very kind words. Bless you!

  • The more we learn about the hatchet job of Baird and the ABC, the more we see how reprehensible they really are, and how despicable this story really is. There were actually some real positive stories that could have been included, based on lengthy interviews, but they were deliberately omitted from the program. As mentioned, it seems clear they had one predetermined goal in mind: to paint evangelical Christianity in the worst light possible, even despite all the evidence to the contrary. And we have to subsidise these Christophobes. See this story:

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/broadcast/abc-ignored-churchs-positive-story/news-story/3e301d4f813b4eafa182d730b64c95d0

  • @Melissa
    ABC apparently has a specific contact email on this whole matter: ABCIPV@gmail.com
    For what it’s worth, voice your disapproval towards them.

    “Do you have a story to share? If you are a survivor of domestic abuse in the Church, or have feedback on our series on domestic violence and religion, please get in touch: ABCIPV@gmail.com
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-18/domestic-violence-church-submit-to-husbands/8652028

  • In response to their usual selective anti-Christian diatribe perhaps they will be interested in doing a piece on Christianity in Africa. Consider an astounding, must-read column from one of my favourite commentators, Matthew Parris – He truly believe Africa needs God.

    Parris grew up in what is now Malawi, and returned there recently. He went to see the work of Pump Aid, a secular charity which helps rural communities maintain clean water supplies. Parris writes that seeing this work “inspired me, renewing my flagging faith in development charities”. However, that’s not all he saw in Malawi:

    “Travelling in Malawi refreshed another belief, too: one I’ve been trying to banish all my life, but an observation I’ve been unable to avoid since my African childhood. It confounds my ideological beliefs, stubbornly refuses to fit my world view, and has embarrassed my growing belief that there is no God.”

    This “belief” is Parris’ conviction about “the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa”. As he writes, this contribution is over and above the work of “secular NGOs, government projects and international aid efforts”:

    These alone will not do. Education and training alone will not do. In Africa Christianity changes people’s hearts. It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good.

    The Christians were always different. Far from having cowed or confined its converts, their faith appeared to have liberated and relaxed them. There was a liveliness, a curiosity, an engagement with the world – a directness in their dealings with others – that seemed to be missing in traditional African life. They stood tall.

    Even among those working for the avowedly secular Pump Aid were those who “were, privately, strong Christians”, and Parris attributes their “honesty, diligence and optimism” to what Christianity had taught them about “man’s place in the Universe”.

    Parris argues that Christianity “smashes straight through” the “crushing tribal groupthink” of traditional religion, liberating those who would otherwise live under the subordinating fear “of evil spirits, of ancestors, of nature and the wild, of a tribal hierarchy” – or of the “big man” of urban Africa’s “gangster politics”.

    In Parris’ view, for Africa to “walk tall amid 21st-century global competition”, it needs more than material development. “A whole belief system must be supplanted … by another”, he writes, before concluding:”Removing Christian evangelism from the African equation may leave the continent at the mercy of a malign fusion of Nike, the witch doctor, the mobile phone and the machete.”

  • Thanks Philip. But most importantly, he is an atheist! I did a piece on him when this story first broke 8 years ago:

    https://billmuehlenberg.com/2009/01/10/christianity%E2%80%99s-positive-contributions-an-atheist-confession/

  • Anyone who believes the ABC clearly does not check their facts. The ABC is completely biased and obviously performs in an echo chamber where their feeding frenzy attacks on truth and morality are not highlighted for what they clearly are and that is total and completely wicked bias. This is the problem with this sort of media who come across as authoritative but are in fact promulgating almost continual propaganda. For years now I have been unable to watch the ABC for any amount of time without becoming absolutely outraged. The fact that they are continually allowed to get away with complete but admittedly cunningly disguised lies and propaganda beggars belief. Where are the controls? I will never forget when I tried to complain about the ABC’s bias and the review came back that they were not biased just “somewhat tendentious”. Without controls the ABC’s propaganda spree will continue and many people will be influenced by their propaganda. This is the sad fact. Propaganda is effective and people who want to believe something or do not have the facilities to check matters will be influenced by the continual pushing of lies and the ABC’s obvious political agenda of promoting as much immorality as they can get away with. Until we get to the point where pushing lies for one’s own personal agenda are an immediately sackable offense, the ABC will continue to be a propaganda juggernaut.

  • I support you Bill admire what you are doing. I must also agree with Michael Weeks until the Govt DEMANDS on behalf of the taxpayers HONESTY in Public Broadcasting …we will be suffering more of this deceit and false reporting.The ABC I grew up respecting and trusting..the integrity of our ABC.. NOT anymore …when less than 1% of the entire worlds population is actively involved in the homosexual lifestyle (and bringing personal judgement on themselves ) how is it the ABC daily promotes and presents such a lifestyle as “normal” every third actor/presenter is an open homosexual..so DISHONEST and deceitful. sooner MANY of tge producers and so called “reporters”are sacked from ABC the better…

  • I have a story ABC, growing up in a violent, atheist home; finding peace and joy in a Christian marriage!
    I’ll hold my breath for a phone call from Ms. Baird or her colleagues…

    Thanks for your hard work and persistence, Bill.

  • Thanks Elle. Yes stories like yours need to be told, but “our” ABC will never touch such stories.

  • As someone who has both Christian and Atheist friends, I surprisingly find my Atheist friends defending Christians more than my Christian ones. Sadly the ones I have are clueless when it comes to everything that is going on with the world.

  • Yes that can sadly be the case James.

Leave a Reply