Archives For November 2017

Most people in the business world are trained to know the difference between a good deal and a bad one. Wisdom that governs commercial transactions is rooted in the phrase “let the buyer beware.” In Latin, caveat emptor.

Along with “customers make pay-days possible”, caveat emptor reigns supreme in the memory of anyone conducting business with the intention to stay in business.  While these ancient rules guide those in the business world, they’re also applicable to the savvy home-maker. Particularly at a time of traditional giving and thanksgiving, such as  the Christmas season.

Caveat emptor implies freedom in limitation. In an economic sense, it encourages a self-disciplined approach to getting the best possible outcome for the money spent. Caveat emptor is tough self-love. It helps us to remember that individuals are responsible for what they choose to buy and how they choose to buy it.

Let the buyer beware informs all and any cost to benefit analysis. Knowing when to say yes to something and when to say no. Knowing when something is worth buying and when something isn’t. Knowing when to look past a polished exterior and the smoke and mirrors of marketeers. Knowing when to stock up and make the most of the deal and when to hold back.

In short, working hard to be well-informed and practising discernment are hard to beat. Researching what you want to buy, where you should buy it, and taking time to consider how you should buy it, usually pays well at the end of the day.

Using the pseudonym, John Ploughman, 19th Century author, and preacher, Charles Spurgeon, well-known for his sharp wit and no-nonsense commentary on Victorian era British life, compiled a list of useful advice that comfortably fits in well with the caveat emptor rule.

In an essay called Hints as to Thriving, Spurgeon gives his thoughts on managing finances. So I’ve made a list and I’ve checked it twice. Here are ten ways you can bring out your inner savvy Christmas shopper, during the Christmas shopping season:

1. Believe in travelling on step by step; don’t expect to be rich in a jump. Slow and sure is better than fast and flimsy.
2. [Remember], better a little furniture than an empty house. From bad to worse is no improvement. Don’t jump out of the frying pan into the fire. A small fire that warms you is better than a large fire that burns you.
3. Don’t burst a bag by trying to fill it too full, and ruin yourself at too much. In a great river fish are found, but take good heed lest you be drown’d.
4. Keep your weather eye open. Sleeping poultry are carried off by the fox. Who watches not catches not.
5. Never ruin your soul for the sake of money: it is like drowning yourself in a well to get a drink of water. Better walk barefoot than ride in a carriage to hell.
6. [Check product or store reviews & look for the honest salesperson]. A good article, full weight, and a fair price bring customers to the shop, but people do not recommend the shop where they are cheated.
7. Look most to your spending. No matter what comes in, if more goes out you will always be poor. The art is not making money, but keeping it.
8. [Remember], that a fool may make money, but it takes a wise man to spend it.
9. Never indulge in extravagances unless you want to make a short cut to the poorhouse. Money has wings of its own.
10. Earn all you can, save all you can, and then give all you can. Giving is true having.
John Ploughman wishes all young beginners long life and prosperity. Sufficient of wealth, and abundant health, long years of content, and when life is spent, a mansion with God in glory.
(Spurgeon, CFP 2007:119)

As you look to buy gifts for loved ones, keep in mind that one of the best birthday presents you can give Jesus Christ, is the gift you give to those who most need it. For by doing so, you have done so unto Him.

For anyone who might be stumped on how to give to those in need, along with the normal gifting of presents and food for the great December day ahead called Christmas. Here are five trusted organisations that you can donate through:

Compassion Australia

Open Doors Australia, Gifts of Hope

Mercy Ships Australia

Samaritan’s Purse Australia

Global Care


References:

Spurgeon, C.H. 2007 Hints as to Thriving in The Complete John Ploughman, Christian Focus Publications

Image: 19th Century photo of Charles Spurgeon. The modern artist who photoshopped in the Santa hat is unknown. Sourced from The Confessing Baptist

 

Some Western Leftists, coddled by revisionism in the Universities, protest under the banner of Communism. On the border between North Korea and South Korea a man risks death to escape it. They couldn’t be more ignorant about Communism and what a dictatorship of the proletariat actually means. This North Korean soldier doesn’t just deserve his freedom, give the man a book deal and make it a core text for University students.

Amanda Prestigiacomo, of Daily Wire:

“Oh is the third member of the North Korean army to defect this year. It is estimated that some 30,000 North Koreans have fled the oppressive country since the Korean War in 1953.”

Kyrie Eleison.

Controversial blogger, Adam Piggot in an article on Christian men and feminism raised some talking points about the current state of the Church. Adam discussed how Christians have backed down in the face of feminism. His major point was that ‘the modern Christian fears’ taking a stand against feminism.

Adam’s argued that men, women and children have now become its puppets. Men in the Church have a particular responsibility for this. They’ve allowed the feminist conquest of the Church by feminist ideologues, who seem hell bent on either running churches and dominating their agenda, or destroying them outright.

Though I consider some of Adam’s points valid, his generalisations ignore the portion of Christian men who don’t easily fit into his assessment on feminism and the church. Not every Christian male has surrendered his faith to this vindictive new lord, and master.

Since it emerged from Judea, under Jesus Christ, the Christian Church has struggled to avoid being strangulated by a flood of competing alternatives. Alternatives that more often than not, raise themselves up by pulling Jesus Christ, or putting the Church down. These alternatives need the Church’s sins in order to justify their existence. For example, without the villain of patriarchy, its difficult for feminism to maintain support for the claim that they are its victim.

Though other pertinent examples exist, this record from German Pastor Wilhelm Busch’s diary about his interrogation by the Gestapo is sufficient enough to explain my point:

“Yet again I was led down the corridors to the Gestapo office.
Then one of the three officers smiled, offered me a seat and said,
“We have been observing you now for a while. And, we have noticed that you are really not that bad. Only…it’s time you began to realise that this occupation is completely redundant. In the future we will not need youth pastors anymore.”
I must have been a bit astonished, so he tried to make himself clearer:
Today we have a new world view. Christianity has had its day. In ten years no young person in Germany will know who your imaginary Jesus is! We will see to that!”
(‘Christ or Hitler?’ Christian Puritz, 2013)

It’s important to recognise, that as long as the Left continue to rampage and manipulate the political agenda to suit their ideological goals, or seek to engineer an unhealthy Christian or conservative response to it, Christians and conservatives have to work harder on how they communicate their responses.

The imperative for this is handed down to Christians and conservatives by William F. Buckley Jnr. In one of his final debates with progressive homosexual and Democrat, Gore Vidal. Buckley was baited into attacking Vidal. After a pre-scripted diatribe about Vietnam, the well prepared Vidal persistently accused Buckley of being nothing but a crypto-Nazi. Having had enough of the manipulative attacks, Buckley, adamantly rejected the accusation, rose out of his chair and threatened to physically attack Vidal. Buckley lost the debate and is said to have lived with the regret of his misstep for the rest of his life.

Christians and conservatives alike, have to recognise the manipulative tactics of the Left. Otherwise in any attempt to respond, Christians and conservatives could end up shooting themselves in the foot with the gun the Left hands them. Like Vidal did to Buckley, their smug opponents will look on, smile and state with pride, “see everybody, they are what we told you they were…”

In light of Buckley’s experience Christian men have to be cautious in how they answer feminism.We also understand that any misstep in this process can have catastrophic outcomes for the Gospel and our freedom to faithfully proclaim it. Being careful doesn’t mean fearful. Being careful puts into action Matthew 10:16 and Proverbs 4:23:

‘Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.’ & ‘Guard your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.’

Most Christians who haven’t easily capitulated to radical feminism; and I speak from a theologian’s corner, try to understand the complaint of feminism and respond to it. We can acknowledge the complaints of feminism without surrendering to it. Listening for how it can inform us about sin and its corruption of the human heart, in the light of Jesus Christ.

While there is value in listening to the critique of feminism, we don’t have to subscribe to its extreme blueprints for society.

This involves acknowledging and criticising feminism. Noting where feminism does and does not provide a corrective that can enhance man and woman’s love for God and each other. Exposing the compromise of Christian theology as it’s bent and twisted into the service of false prophets, their ideology, their rejection and attempted dethroning of the God who speaks to us through covenant and in Jesus Christ.

When allowed to speak freely Christian theology becomes a necessary critique of feminism.

The clash between biblical Christianity and feminism takes place when one sinner is elevated over and above the other. Feminism teaches that man is forever the oppressor, woman forever the one man oppresses. In contrast, biblical Christianity teaches us that sin is pervasive in all of humanity. In other words it affects both man and woman equally.

Sin is the denial of relationship; the rejection of God’s grace. The rejection of relationship and the quest to replace God with humanity,  or make gods in their image. Humans become the sole source of morality, ethics; the determiners of what is good and what is evil. Within this is the will to dominate. The lust for power pervades the human condition, steals from relationships and diminishes fullness of life.

Sin leads us to devour each other. It’s a puppeteer that manipulates humanity. Sin enslaves us all to the servitude of its faux lordship, in it we are lost in the abyss of its nothingness. Sin fills the place where God should be. The One, who in Jesus Christ answers our sin, with both His own sacrifice, suffering, mercy and judgement.

Freedom for relationship exists in God’s liberating humanity from sin. 

 ‘man is set free to be free for woman, woman is set free to be free for man, and both are set free to be free for God.’ (Karl Barth, 1951 Church Dogmatics III.IV)

John Machen, in his 1923 book ‘Christianity Vs. Liberalism’ made an attempt to protest the shift towards modern liberalism by the Church. The extremes of modern liberalism are upheld by tea-straining theology through the lens of social justice; of feel-good activism and an ideologically mandated politics, which is quick to damn anyone they’ve collectively deemed as having fallen short of their faux word of god. It’s a revisionism that tries to fit the Bible and Christianity into a neat political box.

These are built on the imperatives of the “social gospel”, which has, in some Churches, slowly replaced Jesus Christ as the Gospel. The social gospel ultimately bends Christian loyalty towards a political ideology, a faux Christ, faux gospel and therefore a faux god.

In its final form this monster, this faux god, emerges, and assumes control over both spheres. Still distinct in identity, both Left and Right worship, and conduct themselves under one faux religion. The difference is that one side, through compromise, jettisons the true God, for the power it thinks it will gain for having done so; whereas the other side, provoked into pushing back, finds itself slowly becoming exactly what they’ve been accused of being.

The danger of the social gospel was noted by anti-Nazi theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who stated that

‘A lack of obedience to Scripture is characteristic for the teaching of the social gospel.’
(Bonhoeffer, DBW 12, Memorandum, p.242)

The conservative Christian is dragged into this downgrade of the Gospel. Reacting against the temerity of modern liberalism, conservative Christians build their own ideological fortifications in order to protect classical liberal principles and the foundation those are built upon, such as the Judeo-Christian faith. In direct conflict with the faux gospel taught and fought for by modern liberalism, conservatives stand in a state of constant conflict with those on the Left.

I’m cautious of Adam’s conclusions. It’s too easy to say that all christian men fear feminism, and as a consequence christian men are solely to blame for the current state of the church. The issue is complex and as I’ve stated above, has multiple factors that need to be acknowledged.

If, however, we exclude those who haven’t surrendered their all to the ideology of the day, Adam’s critique of those who over accommodate feminism through fear of it, is spot on.

Feminism as it currently exists is a perpetually angry, false religion; married to the cult of modern liberalism, at the beck and call of all that it demands.

Feminism has become a religion without the revelation of God in Jesus Christ. It’s absent of God revealing Himself to humanity; absent of the knowledge about who and what God is, because it lives and asserts itself outside the God has made Himself known. The God who reveals Himself in man, through woman is denied his masculinity and chained to the watered down feminist ideal. Misandry has turned Jesus Christ into an effeminate passive servant, far removed from the carpenter, who stares down the devil in the wilderness and takes a whip to hypocrites in the temple.

Feminism has become something that seeks to identify women as innocent goddesses and men as vile demons. Evidence for this can be found in the uncontrolled emotional outbursts and reactions to the 2016 election in the United States. The sinless goddess, Hilary Clinton lost the election to the demon, Donald Trump; or so the tale of woe goes…

‘The warfare of the world has entered even into the house of God, and sad indeed is the heart of the man who has come seeking peace.’ (Machen, 1923)

References:

Barth, K. 1951 Church Dogmatics III.IV

Bonhoeffer, D. Memorandum, Soziale Evangelium, Berlin: 1932–1933, DBW 12

Machen. J.G. 1923 Christianity & Liberalism

Artwork: John Martin, 1849. The Last Man, Oil on canvas

One of the more vicious stigmas attached to homeschooling, particularly by The Greens, is that homeschooling is the equivalent of child abuse. While this misconception and prejudice, isn’t shared by mainstream Australia, the view is reflected in the assumption that homeschooling is the equivalent of over parenting.

Over parenting, however, is not the same as homeschooling. Over parenting involves doing everything for the child. Over parenting is the parent smothering the child in too much kindness. An old term for this is ‘’babying or pampering’’. This is a term more properly applied to the parents who refuse to let their child grow up, or the parents who raise their child in a secular or religious bubble.

Every bump, bruise or brawl is accompanied by an excessive amount of sympathy and concern. Even if their child started the fight, or caused an incident, their child is innocent and everyone else is to blame.

In some instances, over parenting is about making the parent shine. Everything done for the child is only done for the sake of the parent’s need for affirmation in the eyes of the public.

What usually drives this is quest for affirmation is insecurity and anxiety. For instance: mum or dad projects their fears and insecurities onto their child. Acting on an unhealthy fear and connection with their child, mum or dad wraps their child in cotton wool.

Being seen to be a good parent, always saying “yes” to our children in order to keep them feeling happy, is given high importance. In these cases, maintaining appearances in public or on social media takes priority over the actual nurturing a child’s character. An appeal to keeping up the right appearances, mixed with an appeal to the vanity metrics of social media, and the world looks on and applauds.

Ironically, this constant “yes” and the subsequent banning of ever saying “no” to their child, results in the parent having done next to nothing for the adult that their child will one day become.

As 19th Century pastor Charles Spurgeon wrote,

‘Happy is he who is happy in his children, and happy are the children who are happy in their father. All fathers are not wise. Some are like Eli, and spoil their children. Not to cross our children is the way to make a cross of them. Those who never discipline [say “Yes” as well as “no” to] their children, shouldn’t complain when their undisciplined children become a burden to them.’ (2007 pp.80-81) [i]

In addition, Psychologist, Lisa Firestone notes:

‘When we assume our children need more than they do, we are undermining their abilities and hurting their confidence… as parents, we often fail to recognise how capable our children are.’ (2012) [ii]

There’s no disputing that most parents want the best for their kids. For some parents, though, the only way they think this can be achieved is by doing everything for their child. Everything they might never have had done for them. This is admirable, but it ultimately goes from one extreme to another.

The problem is that,

‘doing too much for our kids teaches them to be dependent.’ (Firestone, 2012)

It’s important children be given guidance and a reasonable amount of room for independence as they are growing up because

‘growing up, by its very nature, is a series of weaning experiences for children. From the moment a child is born, they are weaned from the comfort and safety of their mother’s womb. Learning the lessons of how to get their needs met then transitioning to meeting their own needs is not only essential to a person’s survival but to their psychological well-being.’ (Firestone, 2012)

While over parenting can be a real trap for some homeschooling parents, it’s wrong to equate over parenting solely with homeschooling.

The basic goal of homeschooling is raising children up in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6). This involves being raised up outside the academic industrial complex. There is no conveyor belt conformity. Homeschooled kids do not become clones of a system, nor are they forced to conform to the social order established by their peers, under limited supervision of adults in the school yard.

Homeschooling is about equipping the child with the shared responsibility for their own education.  Ideally, the homeschooled child will not only have acquired academic skills from a holistic and rigorous learning environment, but the child would also have acquired a decent amount of life skills.

For instance, they learn to love learning. They deal with people of different ages and backgrounds on a consistent basis. They may learn life skills like, how to change a car tire, maintain a bike, cook, clean, and craft. Most also learn how to think critically, when to show compassion and hopefully, how to live out a loving relationship with God and neighbour. In short, they learn to become independent adults in a nurturing, as opposed to an over parenting environment.

Most homeschoolers won’t be entering the adult world with unrealistic expectations about how society works. They won’t have had these expectations drilled into them by the social order set by the trends, likes, dislikes and moods of those who dominate the playground or schoolroom.

Over parenting is not homeschooling because the aim is to

‘help our children get a real feeling for themselves by offering them real love and affection, while equipping them with skills that help them feel competent.’ (Firestone, 2012)

Homeschooling isn’t about training up experts. That’s an untenable goal. Independent of the academic industrial complex, both mum and dad, provide guidance and enough resources to empower their child to succeed in life.

Homeschooling is about not just doing school together. It’s about doing life together.

This process involves parents working alongside their children, helping them to identify and then develop their child’s gifts and talents; pointing them towards a trade and career.

Where over parenting dis-empowers, homeschooling channels freedom for empowerment. As Firestone puts it:

‘The most honest proof of good parenting is seeing our child doing well, showing interest, learning skills, finding contentment, and finding him/herself. What we can offer as parents is love, safety, support, and guidance, a strong security from which our children can confidently venture out and independently experience the world.’ (Firestone, 2012)

This isn’t over parenting. It’s homeschooling.

Homeschooling is best summed up by Hannah Arendt:

‘Education is the point at which we decide whether we love our children enough not to expel them from our world and leave them to their own devices, not to strike from their hands their chance of undertaking something new – but to prepare them in advance for the task of renewing a common world’

(Hannah Arendt, 1961:193 parenthesis mine) [ii]

Homeschooling still remains a viable option in most states within Australia. It’s not an easy alternative because of the social stigma attached to Homeschooling. Plus the cost of homeschooling requires making some financial sacrifices.  For example, the best curriculum can only currently be sourced from the United States. In addition, unlike the massive education industrial complex, there is no dedicated Government funding for homeschoolers. In fact, it’s the opposite. Based on figures from 2016, the homeschooling parent saves the tax payer a significant amount of money every year they homeschool their child.

As for accountability, in New South Wales, there are many small homeschool co-op groups who do activities together. In addition, NESA has a homeschooling department and representatives who visit either annually of biannually, depending on the need. They look at progress reports and curriculum. They measure the ground and distance traveled. My dealings with NESA have always been better than expected. For a government agency, NESA do a good job. Their involvement in homeschooling is small. They also don’t provide support, or actively encourage homeschooling. NESA only provide guidance on Australian Curriculum standards from which the homeschool family can build their own syllabus. As far as limited government goes, NESA’s homeschool department is a brilliant example.

As for the question of socialization, the majority of homeschooled children fare better in social situations, than some of the peers within the industrial education complex.

Homeshooling is about funding and facilitating our children’s potential. It’s about doing life together, not coexisting as strangers would in a workplace. Choosing to homeschool in Australia is a challenging, but rewarding endeavor. It’s another way of selling all that we have and giving to the poor. (Matthew 19). With transparency, just accountability, limited government involvement and family support, homeschooling done right, cannot, in any way, be justifiably equated with child abuse or over parenting.

Homeschool where you can, when you can, if you can.


References:

[i] Spurgeon, C.H. 2007 The Complete John Ploughman: Combined Edition Christian Focus Publications

[ii] Firestone, Ph.D, L. 2012 The Abuse of Over Parenting Sourced 20th November, 2017 from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/compassion-matters/201204/the-abuse-overparenting

[iii] Arendt, H1961 Between Past & Future, Penguin Classics p.193

Also published at the Caldron Pool under the heading ‘Is Homeschooling Over Parenting?’ on 9th December 2018

 

It always surprises me that people tend to only take from what I write, the things they most want to hear. Both for good and for bad. I could write a sentence, draw a picture, create a song or write a poem, and no matter how simple, it would be taken the wrong way.

So let me clarify:

Voting “no” to Same-Sex marriage was never about imposing “Christian law”, to say otherwise is to misrepresent the facts. Voting “no” to SSM was about bringing truth, some semblance of balance back to politics and preserving what is good about our society for future generations.

If the people don’t take an interest in governments, governments will govern outside the interests of the people. It is in all our interest to preserve classical liberal freedoms, to keep science free from ideological prisons, to keep the rule of law as it exists in its basic form, influenced by the moral revolution that saw Western Civilization rise from its solid foundation in Judeo-Christianity.

This basic form exists as 1. Habeas corpus – the right to justice, a fair trial. One that limits the power of the court, king and community. 2. The vote – the right to have your voice heard and participate in the sociopolitics of the day. 3. Private property – the right to earn, create, and serve others without hinderance or threat.

Today’s generation has the responsibility to use the freedom they are given responsibly.

Confusing children about their gender, rejecting biological fact, endorsing forms of misogyny and misandry among many other things, is an evil that must be rejected and stood up against.

We are to cling to the good, and abhor evil. Not encourage it. Evil being the manipulation of others. Evil being the perversion of science. Evil being the corruption of theology for the service of ideology. Evil being the worship of the creature instead of the creator. Evil being the false doctrine that demands truth be whatever you feel it is.

Evil being the sexual corruption of the young to serve the sexual desires of those older than them. Evil being the turning of man against woman, and woman against man, through fear, suspicion, hate, indoctrination and idolatry. Evil being the false doctrine that says the State is my god, parent and lover, my sole provider, my owner, and therefore my master and lord.

For me and many others this loving “no” includes acknowledging the Lordship of Christ; truth, life before any others. It’s about living out our gratitude for what we have been given. It’s about refusing to allow all aberrations of freedom, justice and love.

It’s about saying no in a loving way, so that good – as defined by God in His revelation to us – will be held in distinction from all that threatens it. Therefore, our “no” is a “yes” to freedom, not a denial of it.

This is far from imposing a christian law or a theocracy. It’s about upholding classical liberal principles against a cult of modern liberalism, its lust for power and all that it demands.


Related content:

To Everything There Is a Season: Deifying Our Neighbour Isn’t One of Them
Conscientious Abstention From Same-Sex Marriage Is Not The Same As Racism
They’ve Paved Paradise & Put Up a Parking Lot…

On the day the same-sex marriage plebiscite results were released I was contacted by a friend from the Left. He was very excited and keen to hear my post-plebiscite analysis.

What he got was my congratulations and, multitasking between my work for the day, some short replies about how the “no” vote was engineered by governments and some corporations to lose.

There is strong evidence to suggest that the “no” vote was handicapped from the start. It was engineered to fail long ago, by a better funded opponent who is skilled in the sinister art of manipulation.

For example: Sydney city was clothed in Yes flags among other things. Venues refused to host “no” campaign meetings and the MSM gave priority to “yes” campaign material and refused to run “no” campaign material – even though it was paid. Sure some went to air, but it wasn’t anywhere near a “fair go.”

That doesn’t take into account the large number of yes voter bigotry. Churches being vandalised, people assaulted, the implied “anyone who votes no will face instant dismissal from their job” – or even an ex-PM being head-butted in the street. The MSM response pretty much gave the culprit responsible for that a free ride.

Let’s also include the one-sided [mis]use of state funds/tax payer money by adherents of the Leftist cult of modern liberalism, to dress up some suburbs in support of the LGBTQ religion, which included funding for counselling for triggered government workers, and an online unit to monitor the web for attacks and vilification against homosexuals. That’s not equality.

Even after the plebiscite result, leading conservatives were targeted and ridiculed. Reverse that and all hell would break loose.

It’s worth pointing out that 99% of “no to SSM” campaigners didn’t do what was done unto them!

In a politely critical way my friend shared that he hoped that conservative politicians would respect the outcomes of plebiscite and vote in accordance with the results from their electorates.

I responded by saying that the Left would not be as concerned or critical about their own responses, had the plebiscite delivered a clear “no” to SSM win. This wasn’t an aggressive counter-attack on my part, it was based on twelve months of non-stop Leftist media, academics and citizens, shoving their paranoia down our throats.

For instance let’s examine the double standard in the reactions and position taken by most Australian Leftists over the past twelve months:

The Australian Left, November 2016:
“democracy is dead; I’m quitting Facebook; Trump is Hitler; punch a Nazi and burn it all to the ground!”
The Australian Left, November 2017:
“democracy is alive! I hope all you conservatives; bigots, [insert expletives], & homophobes are going to respect the democratic process.”

The only things consistent here are the abuse, dehumanising and reckless labels.

Our conversation took a slightly heated turn when he tried to make out that I was too touchy, exaggerating my short responses as a temper tantrum.  I reminded him that I my reasons for being short were because I was giving priority to more important tasks.

When I’m approached by people in this manner, I’m usually suspicious of the motive.

After all, some “friendships”  these days seem to be more about me being the token Christian, theologian and, in certain minds, their very own evil conservative. Such is the way our world has evolved. One where just having a friend of a certain group, means you are more tolerant than others.  More knowledgeable; it makes you an insider.

It gives you street cred, especially when you can misquote or plaster all your news feeds with that “friends” opposition to things that you agree with. Objections that further fortify a certain narrative about the people group that “friend” is associated with. Having that “friend” serves the self-interest of others.

Before I’m accused of a tu quoque fallacy or hypocrisy. I’ll be straight up and say that my friend, who happens to currently be a Leftist, and I have been mates for twenty years. I don’t see him as a token Leftist friend. I see the man and measure him on his ideas, his merit and value as another human being made in the image of God, not on where he comes from. I will always do my best to advocate seeing the man, and his heart not the melanin or where in life he started.

I grew up in a multi-ethnic, low socio-economic neighbourhood where girls outnumbered the boys. As a white man, I’ve never been more pushed by others, to see or treat someone else different because of the colour of their skin, than I have in the past twelve months by Leftism.

It’s a clear double standard when the LGBTQ and their supporters can freely criticise and push others to refuse service to those who disagree, then turn around and deny those in disagreement, the right to the same free speech and freedom of conscience.

If the Left are sincere in their concern about homophobia and the separation of religion from the public sphere, shouldn’t they be as concerned when people attack conservatives, Christians and their allies, people who do so out of fear. Shouldn’t they be concerned when politicians provide funding in support of one side of the debate via the government apparatus?

When we’re dealing with a cult-minded community who demand tolerance, but don’t reciprocate it, we shouldn’t be surprised if the answer to this is “no”.

 ‘In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and then bid the geldings be fruitful.’
(C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man 1944:25)

They’ve paved paradise, and put up a parking lot…


 

Not including those who spewed out vitriol, abuse, intimidation and violence, congratulations to the Yes supporters. Australia has voted. 7.81 million (61.6%) said Yes to SSM – 4.87 million (38.4%) said No, and another 3.28 million Australians were like, “meh; I don’t really care.”

If Australia’s Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnball, is serious about fairness, he’ll preserve the right to a conscientious objection to SSM; the right for people to hold the view, and teach their kids that marriage is between a man and a woman; and that those children have a right to equal access to their biological father and mother.

As I have hopefully made clear in the written contributions I’ve made to this national debate, I see the issues as a matter of social justice. The “no” vote has been about defending truth, liberty, fraternity, science, and even equality, from unbalanced ideological servitude.

The State wants the church to stay out of politics, but the Church is being encroached on by the State. The people want the church to stay out of politics, but it paints their political slogans on church walls, violently interferes with gatherings and misuses the Bible to manipulate or bash Christians into submission. The people want the church to stay out of politics, but they bring politics into the church, demanding a pledge of allegiance to systems that perpetuate hatred and inequality, behind a veil of tolerance, love and equality.

None of this is new, it’s the very same thing that was perpetuated by Nazis and Communists, as French theologian and Marxist scholar, Jacques Ellul noted:

‘But I’ve heard such talk a thousand times, from fascists as well as Stalinists: “You have no right to judge from the outside; first you must join up, sympathize totally with our aims, and then you can talk.” BUT that is just when one can no longer say anything! The experience of those who looked horrified, in hindsight, on Hitler’s or Stalin’s time confirms this: “How could we have taken part in that?” they ask.’
(Ellul, Jesus & Marx 1988:146)[i]

It’s a clear double standard when the LGBTQ and their supporters can freely criticise and push others to refuse service to those who disagree, then turn around and deny those in disagreement, the right to the same free speech and freedom of conscience. That’s not equality.

The line is blurring. Christians who support SSM have confused love of God with love of neighbour, and as such have compromised their neighbour, through a false [Marxist/materialist] claim that says we should place love for neighbour over and above God.

This is what is called horizontal theology. It is grounded in the errors and perversity of natural theology; the implicit claim that by blindly loving  our neighbour we can reach God through our neighbor. This encourages me to treat my neighbor as though that neighbor was a second revelation of God. The kind of ideas that lead to the false worship of Kings, rulers, prophets and objects throughout history. In short, the creature is worshipped in place of the Creator, because the Creator has been confused with His creature.

We are to be Christlike in our treatment of our neighour; have Christ in mind when we go to serve our neighbour, but we are grossly mistaken if we think that Jesus’ words in Matthew 25:40 “as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me”, means that our neighbor replaces Christ.

This misunderstanding leads is to works-righteousness. It leads us away from the righteousness of God that is graciously placed on us by the dynamic love of God. Grace that is active, free and sufficient, in the work carried out by the obedience of Jesus Christ.

We reject grace, when we reject Christ and put our neigbour in His place. This is because we reject God’s invitation to relationship. It denies God’s revelation in Jesus Christ, “who is the way, the truth and the life”[ii] it denies the fact that life with God, begins with, God with us. Christless Christianity is an oxymoron.

Love is not love, God is love. That “they will know us by our love”[iii] is true, but that love involves the freedom to give both a reasoned “yes” and “no”. The alternative view confuses love with niceness, sloth and indifference.

What this does is turn Christianity into a numb universal ethic of niceness – a lukewarm empty shell; a stoic idol built to reflect and cater to the feelings of men and women.

The ethic of universal niceness is false and incompatible with a thinking faith that commands us to have no god before God; to “test all things, and hold fast to the good[iv]”; to discern and ultimately lean not “on our own understanding, but on God.’’ (Proverbs 3:5-7). To lean not on an abstract or vague idea of God, nor on a god created by human imagination, but on the tangible gracious grip of God, as the One who grasps us and testifies to us about Himself, in space and time, through covenant and in Jesus the Christ.

Faith seeks understanding.

Our response to this is found in prayer and gratitude. Actions; grounded in word, deed and attitude that reciprocates God’s selfless movement towards us, in covenant, manger, cross, empty tomb and beyond.

Being super nice has the veneer of Christian love, but it’s moral therapeutic deism at best, practical atheism (Christian in name only) at worst. This is the kind of thing that fed the blood and soil ideology of Nazism, and the Marxist ‘deification of the poor, over against THE POOR One’ (Ellul, 1988), through the dictatorship of the proletariat. Not that we should ignore the poor, but that we shouldn’t deify them to further the self-interests of those who take it upon themselves to designate who the oppressed and the oppressors are. For all have fallen short of the glory of God and are justified by his grace as a gift through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:23).

For the “no” voters there will be a need to take time to grieve.

Then there will be a need to catch our breath, rise and once again say to the world that we refuse to surrender or kneel before anyone but God, and His revelation in Jesus Christ.

To once again say to the world that love of neighbour is not love of God, nor should we confuse the two. For to do so is to make a god of our neighbour, and make love for neighbour, the means of salvation. Love of neighbour is grounded on and in our love of God, without the latter we are not free and therefore, we cannot truly do the former. We will be doomed to serving our own selfish interests.

Jesus is the way, tolerance isn’t. Jesus is the way, love is love isn’t. Jesus is the way, means that no man or woman, good work or intention, super niceness, or feeling is or can be. The true path to freedom, the only path to salvation is the revelation of God in Jesus Christ. This cannot be reversed. It is decisive. The path is set.  #bewaretheauctioneers

In light of the changes to come, Christians are to do what they are called to do, centre everything in Jesus Christ. To lay every issue before the cross, following Paul’s words in Romans 12, clinging especially to those which encourage us to ‘…rejoice in hope, be patient in trial, be constant in prayer.’

Kyrie Eleison.


References:

[i] Ellul, J. 1988 Jesus & Marx: From Gospel to Ideology Wipf and Stock Publishers

[ii] John 14:6, ESV

[iii] John 13:35 & Matthew 7:16 ESV

[iv] 1 Thess. 5:21, 1 Corinthians 14:29, 1 John 4:1 ESV