More on Bishop Emmanuel

Further thoughts on the terror attack of earlier this week:

The good news is, Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel is in good condition after the Islamic terror attack, and he has already released a message to his community. More on that in a moment. But let me mention a few other things. We see much of the leftist agenda already being played out here, including the idiotic belief being promoted that anyone who stands up for Christian teachings is in fact the bad guy here.

Attacking the victim

Much of the lamestream media went on the attack, not condemning the assailant, but condemning the Bishop for somehow provoking the attack! ‘His views on, Islam, homosexuality, vaccines and even Trump are simply unacceptable, so he really got what he deserved’ the media outlets are effectively saying. See more on this from my friend Rod Lampard:

And of course already various radical Islamists have been calling the attacker a hero, singing his praises and holding him up as a great example for all Muslims to follow. In my previous piece I noted how radically different Islam is from Christianity in this regard:

Indeed, the picture I have chosen for this article perfectly encapsulates the major differences between Islam and Christianity. The attacker, with a sword (knife) in hand versus the Christian with a cross in his hand. The two could not be more different.

Retaliation, versus self-defence

In the message the Bishop just recently released, he urged his followers not to resort to retaliation and violence. He said in part: “A piece of advice to our beloved faithfuls, I need you to act Christ-like. The Lord Jesus never taught us to fight, the Lord Jesus never taught us to retaliate, the Lord Jesus never said to us ‘an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth’.”

Now all of this is sage advice. Tensions are running high there right now, with two major knife attacks occurring in a few days. And western Sydney is the main Muslim population hotspot in the country. Given how beloved the Bishop is, it is natural for some of his followers in the heat of the moment to want to exact revenge of some sort.

But that is not the way to proceed. The mob scenes outside the church on Monday night I have already addressed in my previous article, saying they were not the path to be taken. Yet that did not stop the usual atheist trolls from sending in comments claiming I said nothing about that! The reading skills of these God-haters is just as bad as their thinking skills.

While Islam has always been spread by the edge of the sword, Christianity is spread by sharing the good news of what Jesus did for lost sinners at Calvary. That is how we share the Christian faith. So attacking police, trashing police cars and preventing emergency workers from helping out is not the way for believers to proceed. And in his brief message the Bishop called out those very things, urging calm and urging prayer for his attacker.

But let me look at bit more at the matter of self-defence, and how it is NOT the same as personal revenge or retaliation. In my earlier article I included a link to a piece I did on these matters over a decade ago. It is still worth looking at:

In addition, I have written on this matter of an ‘eye for an eye’. Known as the lex talionis, I discussed how Jesus did not actually reject this Old Testament principle, but the wrongful use of it. In a two part piece, I discussed both the Old and the New Testament understanding of this:

And here:

In the first piece I spoke of how this principle actually prevented blood-lust and personal vengeance. Among others, I quoted Old Testament scholar Douglas Stuart and his remarks on Exodus 21:22-25. He said this:

The goal of the laws that use the wording “life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth,” is that the penalty imposed for causing physical injury must be appropriate to the nature of the injury. In other words, a mere monetary penalty (a fine) cannot be considered adequate justice when someone has been permanently maimed by a person in a manner that clearly demands a punishment. This kind of law represents an advance on the non-Israelite biblical-era laws, which routinely provided for fines as satisfying the legal requirement of justice in the case of a superior person’s permanently injuring an inferior person. By contrast to the laws of pagan nations, the law governing God’s chosen people Israel required real equity at law and forbade people with money being able to buy their way out of criminal penalties.

And in the second piece I noted what Jesus taught about this. While some think he advocated complete pacifism, others see things rather differently. I shared what Gordon Wenham said about texts like Leviticus 24 in relation to the Sermon on the Mount:

In context Jesus’ remarks are a criticism of interpretations of the OT current in his day. These interpretations aimed to take the sting out of OT ethics. For instance it was said, “Murder was forbidden, but it does not matter being angry.” Jesus said that while murder may be the worst consequence of anger, even anger is sinful (5:21ff). Further it was said, “adultery was wrong, but divorce was all right.” Jesus said that remarriage after divorce could be adultery by another name (Matt. 5:27–32). The context of vv. 38–42, therefore, makes it improbable that Jesus was rejecting the lex talionis as such. What seems more probable is that Jesus is attacking those who turn this legal principle into a maxim for personal conduct. Christ’s followers are not to live on a tit-for-tat basis. Total selfless love like that of Christ must characterize their attitude to others. “Give to him who begs from you, and do not refuse him who would borrow from you” (v. 42). It is unlikely that our Lord’s remarks were intended to encourage judges to let offenders off scot-free. The NT recognizes that human judges must mete out punishments appropriate to the offense (Acts 25:11; Rom. 13:4; 1 Pet. 2:14, 20) and declares that it is on this basis that God will judge mankind (Luke 12:47–48; 1 Cor. 3:8ff).

For those wanting more on the Sermon on the Mount, and the place of the use of force in protecting the innocent, see a piece such as this:

Australians and self-defence

The ability of ordinary Australians to protect themselves is almost non-existent. The reply that we should just leave things to the police is great advice if you live in some non-existent ideal world. But we do not. The average time for police to arrive at things like violent home invasions may be around 20 minutes.

Even if it were just five minutes, if the folks at Good Shepherd church just sat there and did nothing to protect the Bishop, waiting for police to eventually arrive, he more than likely would have been killed. Rod Lampard again has been helpful on these matters:

I mentioned in my earlier piece that even something like pepper spray could be quite helpful, but most Australian states have banned that. So that leaves most of us quite defenceless. In the case of the Bondi attacker, a woman with a firearm (a police officer) did finally bring down the criminal. But before she did, far too many innocent people were wounded and killed.

In the case of the church knife attack, a number of able-bodied men were able to quickly leap to the Bishop’s defence and subdue the Islamist. But again, in something like a home invasion (cases of which seem to be skyrocketing around the country), ordinary Australians are just not that fortunate.

We read of horrific and bloody attacks, with blood-soaked homes and terrified victims. One recent case I read of involved a woman waking up to find five men in her home. Imagine that! Many other cases involve gangs of youths armed with knives, machetes and other weapons, wreaking havoc in our homes as they terrify the victims – sometimes killing them – and steal so many valuables.

But even if the police can be called, by the time they finally do arrive, the damage has already been done. Now that I live alone, I think about this almost nightly, and pray for God’s protection. But at least if there is a household of people, perhaps one person can call the police while the others try to deal with the attackers.

And as I said in my other piece, the only ones who obey things like gun control laws are the innocent victims. Criminals do not pay the slightest notice to such laws. And the truth is, those cities with the strictest gun control laws in America tend to also have the highest crime rates, including gun crime. Oh, and they all happen to be Democrat-controlled cities. Just think Chicago, Washington D.C., or Detroit for example. And the number of mass shootings that have been PREVENTED in the US by law-abiding citizens with firearms can also be mentioned.

But all that is the stuff of another article to present the pros and cons on. The simple point I am making here is we have allowed ordinary Australians to basically be left without any defence when it comes to crime and criminals. I for one am thankful that the members of the Good Shepherd church sprang into immediate action (and the use of force) to help save the Bishop’s life.

Again, that has nothing to do with retaliation, violence, and personal revenge, but everything to do with protecting the innocent and seeing justice upheld – at least until police can show up and deal with the situation. And that matters – greatly.

But please keep praying for the full recovery of Bishop Emmanuel. And like him, keep praying for his attacker, that he leaves the violent political religion of Islam and comes to know the truth of the love of Christ and the Christian gospel.

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15 Replies to “More on Bishop Emmanuel”

  1. Sadly his church background seems to be from the Ancient Church of the East which departed from orthodox Christianity in the early 5th century holding onto the Nestorian heresy which says that Jesus existed as two persons, the man Jesus and the divine Son of God, rather than as a unified person.

    Consistent with that he has said the following things that he claims Jesus told him about Mary:
    “when you love my mon. you love me. When you respect my mum you respect me, and when you see my mum you see me because I and my mum are one” and
    “if you respect me you better respect my mum because I bow before my mum, because I bow before my mum, because she is my mother and how dare you not respecting my mother”.

  2. Thanks Adrian. I am of course an evangelical Protestant and I do know a bit about theology. Thus I am quite aware of the various differences I might have with all sorts of folks, including this Bishop. But those who read my two articles on him will see I clearly had three main aims in mind:

    -To point out the Islamist war against Christianity. What this jihadist tried to do to him will happen to others – even to you or me.
    -To show how under-protected ordinary citizens are in places like Australia.
    -To encourage people to pray for the Bishop and his attacker.

    The point of these pieces was NOT to engage in yet more theological warfare and sectarian debates. There is a place for that, but that was not my intent here.

  3. Thank you Bill. I don’t know if you have seen the whole video of the Police arresting their so-called first rioter to be arrested, it goes for over 3 minutes. I was totally shocked by the military like lengths they went to in his arrest and the political statement made to him by the Officer in charge. For whatever reason most of the media outlets have either ignored the video or have blocked out most of the dialogue by the Police in their shortened versions. I could not help but reflect that this would not happen to any other religious group. I could be wrong but I do not believe so. As far as the riots, I wasn’t there but my on personal experience has taught me that the Police on many occasions turn a peaceful group into people who start to defend themselves from pepper spray, gas cannisters and physical violence. Of cause it is always reported that the Police were attacked and so forth. My brother was a senior Police Officer for many years and he resigned manly because of the violent culture that now seems to be encouraged. He tells me the training used to be about using “verbal judo” as their main weapon but that is no longer even taught. A culture of “shoot first, ask questions after” has taken its place. Pepper spray and physical violence is now the the first line “tool”. I’m not excusing violence but things are not always as they seem as I’m sure you know. I agreed with the words of the Bishop but was saddened by his encouragement for people to call crimestoppers.

  4. Some of the ancestors of Bishop Emmanuel’s parishioners may have even heard the Apostle Thomas preach that Jesus of Nazareth is indeed LORD and God, indeed crucified and indeed risen from the dead.

    Others of the ancestors of Bishop Emmanuel’s parishioners may have been amongst those who repented at the preaching of Jonah in the Assyrian capital city, Nineveh.

    The bishop’s call to repentance from sin and to the wholehearted love and worship of Jesus of Nazareth as Lord and God is entirely within the spirit of the messages Jonah and a once-doubting Thomas preached so long ago.

    In that respect, Mar Mari Emmanuel is a voice crying in the spiritual desert of our benighted Western civilisation.


    Meanwhile, in the UK, two police officers accompanied by a mental health nurse, visited a Christian who had told a Priest that Christians should take a (non-violent) stand for Christ in the aftermath of the Australian Bishop stabbing:

  6. I was encouraged by the nuns running to help, too. Most would run away or stand back.
    I probably would have stood back.
    I feel the prayer warrior in me needing to rise up. I need to go out to the world and not let others do the job because of their youth.
    I feel mumma bear rise up too. She needs her claws removed before she damages the faith.

  7. I have had strange but significant dreams lately. Just before these attacks I dreamt I was hiking, with a backpack, back to where I was apparently staying, along a bushland road when a dark-haired man in a ute stopped and pointed a gun at me Ivan Milat style. I was surprised by the dream because since being born from above I basically don’t have bad dreams. As the man ordered me into the ute I started to wake up and think I can either panic and do what he says and probably suffer badly or I can keep a cool head and stand my ground. Long story short, by using my wits and strength I overpowered the man and as he lay semi-conscious on the ground with me now holding the gun I called 000 and remembered thinking, as I woke, that the police would take over an hour to arrive. This is not how the dream would have panned out in my past life because I would have simply panicked.

    Surely this dream is analogous to the situation God’s people now find themselves in. Now is definitely a time to be cool and act smart. I suspect Christian nations have been successful in conflicts in the past because of this very attitude.

  8. Bill, thanks for another insightful article.

    In Australia, the debate over online censorship has intensified with the recent clash between tech mogul Elon Musk and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. However, this controversy is not new; it stems from the contentious establishment of the country’s eSafety Commissioner, a move met with skepticism by many Australians.

    When the notion of a government-appointed arbiter of truth was first proposed, it sparked widespread opposition among citizens who actively objected to the idea. Many Australians called their members of parliament, sent emails expressing their concerns, and signed online petitions, all in a bid to have their valid concerns addressed. However, despite the public’s awareness of the implications of such powers for free speech, their objections were ultimately ignored. Critics argued that such an entity would wield unchecked power over online discourse, leading to the erosion of free speech and expression.

    Now, with the latest developments in the Sydney stabbing incident, these fears have come to fruition. The incident, involving a 16-year-old Muslim boy attacking an Assyrian Christian bishop during a live-streamed church service, has reignited the debate over the role of the eSafety Commissioner and the limits of government intervention in online content.

    In the face of escalating pressure from governmental bodies and influential corporate entities, it is imperative to denounce the deleterious legislation instigated by both the former Liberal administration and perpetuated by the current Labor government. These purported “Disinformation and Misinformation Laws” not only flagrantly contravene the sacrosanct principles of free speech but also egregiously undermine foundational pillars of jurisprudence, namely transparency, accountability, and the sanctity of truth itself. Compounding the egregiousness of these laws is the perverse reality that while they unilaterally impose stringent restrictions upon the populace, the government exonerates itself from the same stringent standards of transparency and accountability that it imposes on its citizenry. Moreover, the looming specter of forthcoming Digital ID legislation raises additional concerns, potentially mandating Australians to utilize these identifiers to access social media and other digital platforms, thereby further curtailing individual freedoms and privacy rights.

    The suppression of truth and information, exemplified by the withholding of crucial video evidence from the public, echoes the dystopian themes of Orwell’s “1984.” By allowing governments to control what information is disseminated and what is withheld, these laws pave the way for censorship and manipulation of public perception.

    In conclusion, the implementation of a “Department of Truth” under the guise of combating disinformation and misinformation is a dangerous precedent that threatens the very fabric of democracy. By entrusting governments with the authority to arbitrate what constitutes truth, we inadvertently empower them to silence dissenting voices and manipulate public perception. The irony is stark: in the name of protecting truth, governments stifle the very essence of it by withholding vital information from the public. As we navigate the complexities of online discourse, let us not forget that true democracy thrives on transparency, accountability, and the unfettered exchange of ideas. It’s imperative that we remain vigilant against the encroachment of authoritarianism disguised as benevolence, lest we find ourselves trapped in a dystopian 2+2=5 reality where truth becomes a casualty of political expediency.

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