Archives For Political Theology

In criticising Marx’s Utopian communist dream, Simone Weil also provides an exemplary commentary on the final part of the movie Wall-E. The crux of which is found here:

“We have only to bear in mind the weakness of human nature to understand that an existence from which the very notion of work had pretty well disappeared would be delivered over to the play of the passions and perhaps to madness; there is no self-mastery without discipline, and there is no other source of discipline for man than the effort demanded in overcoming external obstacles.
A nation of idlers might well amuse itself by giving itself obstacles to overcome, exercise itself in the sciences, in the arts, in games; but the efforts that are the result of pure whim do not form for a man a means of controlling his own whims. It is the obstacles we encounter and that have to be overcome which give us the opportunity for self-conquest.”
(The Causes of Liberty & Social Oppression, 1934:80) [i]

Weil is critiquing Karl Marx’s ideal society. Oppression and exploitation, as understood by Marx, can only be eliminated when we have eliminated the curse of work. This is an either-or fallacy and Weil rightly takes it to task. Even if the worker owns the means of production, instead of being the means by which production happens, the worker is left with having to overcome his or her own vices, such as sloth.

Creativity requires work. Tending to gardens in order to enjoy them requires work. Adam, for example, was given the task of tending and keeping the garden before the fall (Genesis 2:15). This was one of God’s first commands to humans. Work becomes cursed once Adam and Eve fall out with God by eating fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 3:19, 23). Something that were explicitly told not to do.

Despite this, God graciously works to clothe them, and in what could be described as discipline, moves to protect humanity from further destruction, by closing the Garden off to humanity. Eden’s gates are shut and guarded by angel and flaming sword (Genesis 3:24).

The result is that work is redefined by sin. It’s no longer something done in partnership with God. Work becomes what it was never intended to be, cursed, because humanity took it upon themselves to become the source of morality, good and evil.

Every dictator this side of Eden’s gates stands as the master, determining right and wrong, good and evil, to be whatever he or she dictates. The transcendent word of God, made imminent to us by His revelation, is replaced by the word of man and the word of woman.

Weil’s criticism doesn’t specifically mention Genesis like this, but the sentiment is shared. Work cannot be eradicated, it can only be reformed. It can only be redeemed. Work that begins in God’s work on our behalf. Just like the clothes made for Adam and Eve to replace their own meagre work (Genesis 3:7).

This is because the absence of work, which is said to set the worker free, only ends up enslaving the worker. Likewise the absence in our own work is flawed, if the God who lovingly summons us through His own work is ejected or forgotten. The worker is subjected to an ‘unconditional surrender to caprice’ [ii].

According to Weil, there is no way to avoid work, no way of eliminating it without also eliminating ourselves. Therefore, work, in the quest to fight oppression and exploitation of the worker, has to be redefined, reformed, then validated, it cannot be eradicated.

True liberty, writes Weil, is not ‘defined by a relationship between desire & its satisfaction, but by a relationship between thought & action.’ [iii]. Life requires work. Progress requires effort and a reliable foundation, not a mechanised overlord, or a machine that replaces human thought. I see a lot of room in Weil’s thought here for Dallas Willard’s mighty theme, ‘grace is opposed to earning, but not to effort’ (The Great Omission, 2006).

Weil writes:

“Bureaucratic machines almost reach the point of taking the place of leaders. Thus, in all spheres, thought, the prerogative of the individual, is subordinated to vast mechanisms which crystallize collective life, and that is so to such an extent that we have almost lost the notion of what real thought is.”
(1934. p.104) [iv]

My translation:

“If we have machines to tell us what to think, who needs to learn how to think? ‘Ah, just google it’ or ‘I don’t need to be interested in government, if I leave them be, they’ll leave me be. Each to their own.”

Weil’s words match perfectly with the story-line of Wall-E. When the time comes for humanity to return to earth after a long period of waiting, the machines designed to keep humanity safe, become humanity’s prison wardens. They know what’s best. When evidence is presented that earth is now liveable again, the machine seeks to destroy it. The only thing in its way is a lowly earth robot called Wall-E, who, while still a machine, has human-like consciousness. Unwittingly he finds himself in a struggle for human freedom.

Wall-E is a good illustration for the soulless mechanisation that Simone Weil was criticising. On board the ship, humans have gradually become obese, having nothing to do, but be served by their machines. All work has been eradicated. The worker is free, only to find themselves held captive under the dominion of their own creation. Even the Captain is moved around in a chair. All he really does is fill a role to assuage appearances that says to everybody on board that a human is still in charge.

Another example comes from the band Styx. ‘Mr. Roboto’,  lifts Weil’s concerns straight up from the page they were written on:

“The problem’s plain to see, too much technology.
Machines to save our lives, machines dehumanize”
(Dennis DeYoung, 1983)

Simone Weil isn’t advocating a troglodyte existence. Her criticism is about our dependence on technology; a dependence that ultimately works against humanity.  As Weil wrote, ‘the picture of a completely oppressive social life is where every individual is subject to the operation of a blind mechanism.’ (p.94) [v] This is already happening when it comes to who we rely on for information, morality, ethics, and how we approach education.

To be so convinced that true reality (or freedom) is existence without the One who birthed that existence, is to give in to an arrogance which rejects God’s grace, and chains humanity to the Dark agenda of total extinction.


 References:

[i] Weil, S. 1934 The Causes of Liberty & Social Oppression in Oppression & Liberty, Routledge & Kegan Paul 1958.

[ii] ibid, p.80

[iii] ibid, p.81

[iv] ibid, p.104

[v] ibid, p.94

Image: Simone Weil, date unknown sourced 9th December 2017, from brainpickings.org

Last year I posted a quick response to the hysteria surrounding the election of Donald Trump. I headlined that post, ‘Why Trump is Not Hitler, & Why American Evangelicals Are Not German Christians’. My aim was to counter a lot of what I was seeing posted on social media by people who were usually level-headed and intellectually responsible.

It was disappointing to see normally sane individuals suddenly join the ranks of anti-trump – which really were I’m angry because the Leftist power structures and its monopoly on power, were diminished – riots. (It’s safe to say, that after twelve months, they’ve started to lose their shine as well.)

Worse still, were some Christian conservative academics who took to social media to virtue signal to the all-powerful Left in what I can only describe as a sycophantic attempt to validate themselves in the eyes of those on the Left. Even I felt pressure to censor my view of Trump and the current political scene, so as to not fall foul of the power brokers in my field of academic work and study.

Generally balanced academics picked up Karl Barth and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, forged both into anti-Trump weapons, and started swinging them around in unison with the “Trump is Hitler” chorus. Despite the intimidation, I decided to work a way back towards unity; shared ground.

Informing my post at the time, is the fact that both Barth and Bonhoeffer, who were anti-Nazi theologians, would be unlikely to leap before they looked, when it came to the political scaremongering surrounding Trump. They weren’t fans of labels, generalised slogans, and false doctrines. Nor were they supporters of the imposition of new cultural laws, restrictions on freedom of speech, inciting the mob, Nazi flags in churches and, collective conformity to party-lines. That’s part of what made them anti-Nazi theologians.

Did some Christians commit the blasphemy of looking to Trump as though God Himself had been elected to the White House? Sure, but no differently to how people deify celebrity, or in the relevant political arena, how people fell apart when President Obama was moved on and Clinton lost.

I also agree that there are similarities between the power structures in the 1930’s and today. However, where I disagree is where we draw those parallels. The similarities, as I’ve pointed out many times in my writing, fall parallel with socialism, repression and control of the universities by the Left. Among other points of constancy such as dehumanising anyone who disagrees them. For more on my thinking about this, take for example this quote from an article I published in October:

The danger should be clear enough. From a psychological point of view this rampant ad hominem is recognised as emotional manipulation. Recklessly calling someone a Nazi is a shaming technique designed to control the opponent in an attempt to discredit and silence them. The same goes for those who would paint all white people as racist.
Link both the reckless labelling of people as Nazis and the slogan “all white people are racist” together and the cocktail of hate is complete. All that’s needed are chambers filled with the pesticide Zyklon B, cyclone fencing, and all those determined by the Left as having “life unworthy of life”.
Any well-informed reader who knows the history behind the genocidal rampaging in Rwanda, of the Tutsis against the Hutus, will see that there is good reason for concern […]
Since the Left give us permission to do so, if a group of people calling other people Nazis are doing exactly what Nazis did, shouldn’t those being called Nazis have the right to punch a Nazi?
The answer is a tentative “no”. Those who stand opposed must do better than employ the same tactics used against them. Reagan, Pope John Paul II and Thatcher didn’t bring about an end to the Cold War by feeding the status quo.
(Let the Pharaohs of our Age also Learn: Pride comes before a fall, 18th October 2017)

Another similarity is the indoctrination of those on the Left by their ideological masters. Some may say that this is ridiculous. That those on the Left aren’t indoctrinated. That there is no, as I call it, leftist cult of modern liberalism. If that is true, then why has the past twelve months show the Western world that something is amiss and, although the man has his moments, it’s not Donald Trump or the “Christian right”.

Examples of how the culture of repudiation and its dehumanising has taken hold in the psyche of the average individual are magnified by social media, and those examples are incriminating. Such as the comment to this YouTube video.

This person is a victim of the times. So rather than argue with them online, I decided to write a general response outlining five reasons why their statement was flat-out wrong:

1. Unlike, North Korea, People aren’t risking their lives to escape America into Mexico, Cuba or Canada.
2. Unlike Zimbabwe, North Korea or Turkey, soldiers aren’t defecting from the United States, nor are America’s defences forces attempting a coup.
3. Unlike Syria, the United Nations is not monitoring the Government because of previous gas attacks on the Syrian people.
4. Unlike Turkey, the media and academics, despite their vicious and continued harassment of the Trump administration have not been rounded up and arrested.
5. It’s a logical fallacy, involves a poor reading of theology and it’s reckless labelling. One just doesn’t name-drop the anti-Christ or Hitler without qualifying the accusation in order to say why.

The real tragedy in all of this is that by crying wolf about Nazism, the Left desensitises people to the heinous crimes of Nazism. It reduces Nazism to the absurd and reduces the ability for anyone to call out the real thing, when and if it, or an equivalent, God forbid, rises once more.

False accusations turn the blood brother of Communism into a joke, potentially doing great damage to the legacy of the millions who fell and suffered at the hands of both their Nazi and Communist oppressors. The meaning and reverence in the words “never again” and “Solidarity” are not the battle cries of cultural Marxists, Antifa, Leftists or Trump haters.

Those words are prayers, and their meanings are forged in the fires of hell on earth, something far removed from the Nike Air, Apple iphone, iMac, ivory tower professors, millennials, and anyone else, sucked in by those on the Left who feed them lines about oppression, privilege, the need for safe spaces and all manner of pejorative phobias used to conveniently dismiss opposing opinions.

Like its Marxist brother, Nazism is pure evil. We cannot allow these attacks on the legacy of its victims. We must not let their memory fade at the hands of those who would rather use the fallacy of moral equivalence, for cheap applause, or to maintain the power structures of the Left, than think through what it really means when they accuse Trump of being Hitler, and most Trump supporters of being fascists.

Perhaps the best statement about Trump, I’ve read so far, comes from Mark Landsbaum,

‘Yeah, his style is rude, crude and clumsy, to say nothing about childish. But we’ve tried polite, considerate and grownup and guess what – that’s what got the country where it was a year ago. I don’t much care how crude and clumsy he is as long as he continues on the trajectory he’s charted: millions of babies saved and 150 victories in 10 months. He’s not my pastor. He’s my mechanic.’

I am, when it comes to President Donald Trump, as I have been from the beginning, a cautious optimist. I see him as a diamond in the rough. I’m not yet a fan, but the person and thousands like them on the internet, who are quick to call Trump another Hitler, should be called out for what they are mindlessly repeating. Word for word, Leftist dogma and its party-line propaganda.


References:

Artwork otherwise not tagged: author unknown

The Catholic herald in the U.K. recently published an excellent article called The Australian church is in desperate trouble. Although I’m protestant, I stand in solidarity with most of what’s written.

Three things are worth highlighting and commenting on:

The first, it’s too simple to say that Australia was never a Christian country. Australia was founded on enlightenment ideals, WHICH have their foundation in an understanding and living “robust Christianity”.

It’s fairly clear from history about what happens when that foundation is either ignored or attempts or made to completely severe it. I think in Australia’s case its going to be a matter of, “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”…People are already without hope, exhausted, and only happy when its “payday”.

Showing that the worship of money is the real contender for ”who’s to blame, for that lack of hope and unhappiness” spotlight, not Christianity.

The second, some churches have made some serious errors of judgement and even become accomplices in crimes against some young people entrusted to their care. No thinking, loving Christian would ever say that those church communities haven’t sinned and or that now their sin (as the Bible warns us in Numbers 32:23) isn’t finding them out.

That’s what’s been good about the Royal Commission. It’s a refining and a reminder to keep vigilant when it comes to protecting the young. Hence the large amount of “no” voters arguing against “safe schools” and saying “no” to SSM.

Why create a new stolen generation, because it ”seemed like a good idea at the time”? Why allow a system where abuse is too easy to hide behind a veil of tolerance, fear and politics?

Some Christians are rightly held accountable for their failure to stand up and speak out against child sexual abuse. That reverberates throughout the Church universal.

Yet, when the Church, who learning from their mistakes and the sins of others in their communities, decide to act and stand up, then speak out against what they see as potential abuse and potential for abuse, they’re called, intolerant, bigoted, unloving and worse.

It’s inconsistent and vile to say to the Church that they were wrong for not speaking out then, only to turn and tell the Church they should be silent now. The Church must rise to the challenges of life, in grace, truth and the light of Christ.

The third, it’s not the end of Christianity if it is forced into the shadows of Australian life, politics and society. Nor is it the end of Christianity, if it is silenced at the order of political correctness and enforced by the slaves of the bureaucratic caste who, through a false doctrine, indoctrinate them, and pay their cheques.

The end of Christianity, is, as it was with its beginning, centred in God’s triumph in and through Jesus Christ. The alpha and omega is not centred in temporal, abstract human power or human triumphalism (both inside and outside the Church). God, in Jesus Christ, has the final word.

Time to dust off Augustine’s City of God & Tertullian’s Apology. Our Christian forebears; our brothers and sisters in Africa, China, India; those who lived under Soviet rule and those brothers and sisters who suffer in the Middle East, already outline what our response should look like, they lived and live through much, much worse.

As the article concludes:

“For gold to be purified, it must be first tested in the furnace. Perhaps this is what is happening to Catholicism in Australia.
But the Church doesn’t end with the furnace; it ends in hope.
Last Sunday, which was the last of the liturgical year, we celebrated the feast of Christ the King. The Church in Australia will face the new year as the Church will do across the world – not with a sigh of relief, but with confidence that the battle is already won.” [i]

Jesus is victor!

#bewaretheauctioneers


References:

[i] Catholic Herald, The Australian church is in desperate trouble Sourced 2nd December 2017  

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

As a result 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.

The Church universal has struggled to avoid being strangulated by a flood of competing alternatives. Alternatives that more often than not, raise themselves up by 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 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 new lord and master.

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; 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 soley 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 accomodate 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, 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

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