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and Politicians: Examples of Dangerous Biblical Ideas
Needs Biblical Guidance
3 Biblical Guidance — Final Reply
4 Everyone Needs Biblical Guidance Part 2
The Bible and
of Dangerous Biblical Ideas
(Investigator 148, 2013
No 147, page 52 Anonymous suggests Australian
politicians need Biblical guidance. However, there are ideas in the
Bible that most people wouldn't want our elected representatives to
embrace regardless of their political persuasion.
lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed
an abomination; they shall be put to death, their blood is upon them."
(Lev. 20: 13).
Wong is the first
Asian-born federal minister, as well as the
first openly lesbian member of the Australian cabinet, so I don't think
the above advice would go down too well, do you?
describes how people are to be treated for
worshipping other gods: "you shall surely put the inhabitants of that
city to the sword, destroying it utterly, all who are in it and its
cattle, with the edge of the sword."
2001 and 2011,
the number of people reporting a non-Christian
faith increased considerably, from around 0.9 million to 1.5 million,
accounting for 7.2% of the total population in 2011 (up from 4.9% in
2001). The most common non-Christian religions in 2011 were Buddhism
(accounting for 2.5% of the population), Islam (2.2%) and Hinduism
(1.3%). Of these, Hinduism had experienced the fastest growth since
2001, increasing by 189% to 275,500, followed by Islam (increased by
69% to 476,300) and Buddhism (increased by 48% to 529,000 people).1
false gods are
obviously any god that isn't the God of the Bible,
so as you can see from the above statistics a considerable portion of
the Australian population would be put to death if politicians were to
embrace this scriptural injunction. Is that a good idea? I hardly think
Timothy 2: 11-12 says
"Let a woman learn in silence with all
submissiveness. I permit no woman to teach or have authority over men;
she is to keep silent."
female prime minister
permitted, no female theologians or teachers
permitted and so on. Does that sound like a good idea to you?
think is a good
idea is to keep religion out of politics. The
Bible is the product of an age noted for its lack of human rights and
generally barbarous attitudes. We have moved on since these primitive
times towards a brighter more humane future. Let's keep it that way.
EVERYONE NEEDS BIBLICAL
(Investigator 149, 2013
I gave practical
examples showing how heeding the Bible would
make politicians more objective and law-abiding. To advocate lawful
conduct is not "involvement in politics".
responded: "Deuteronomy 13:15 describes how people
are to be treated for worshipping other gods: 'you shall surely put the
inhabitants of that city to the sword, destroying it utterly, all who
are in it and its cattle, with the edge of the sword.'"
ignore context, or
assume every law is forever, or fail to
distinguish war from peace, judiciary from non-judiciary, or history
from law — leads to silly conclusions. Consider:
How can I
encourage my daughter to find work?
not disabled, aged or sick, found loitering or
wandering, and not seeking work, or leaving it when engaged, shall be a
vagabond; and … shall be marked, by means of a red hot iron, with the
letter 'V'…" (English law enacted in 1558)
husband plays the
pokies, what should I do?
Blackburn, caught gambling in April 1822, was sentenced to
twenty-five lashes every morning until he gave the names of his fellow
gamblers..." (Abbott 1993)
atheism, how should non-atheists be treated?
people were murdered, imprisoned or dragged off to
GULAG. Eastern Europe was plundered, and its civilization set back a
thousand years." (Tolstoy 1982)
a command to Israelites to destroy Israelite
towns that turned to idol-worship during the wars with Canaanites. With
God considered head of state, idolatry was treachery against God as
well as collusion with enemies seeking Israel's annihilation.
Foreigners living peacefully in Israel, however, had religious freedom
and the command to "love your neighbour" included foreigners.
ancient Israel and
Judea ceased, any commands of Moses on how to
run Israel no longer applied. If someone nowadays set up Canaanite
idols in church the idolaters would be removed by lawful methods.
Straughen cites: "If a
man lies with a male as with a woman, both of
them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death, their
blood is upon them." (Leviticus 20:13).
This command applied in Israel
and enforcement was up to the authorities of that time. We see the
benefit when we consider that ancient people had no antibiotics, and
sexually transmitted infections still kill millions every year. The New
Testament counterpart of Leviticus 20:13 would be excommunication.
regulated national and religious life in Israel
(Psalms 147:20) and was abrogated with Christianity. (Hebrews 8:13)
however, does not
make it useless. The Law was intended as the
best of all law codes: "And what other great nation has statutes and
ordinances as just as this entire law…?" (Deuteronomy 4:8)
officials in one country may study the laws or policies of other
countries to determine whether to adopt them. We can study Moses
similarly and, after identifying the reason behind specific commands,
investigate whether they or their underlying principles could improve
Bible is also
relevant on broader issues of government. Christians,
for example, on the basis of "thou shalt not kill" and the Bible's
concern for the innocent, opposed Nazi efforts to exterminate the
disabled, and Nazi law was amended. (Lifton 1986)
Church not only abolished the [Roman] games; it also condemned the use
of torture in law courts. St. Augustine thought the idea of obtaining a
true confession from a felon by torture was "absurd." In 384, a synod
in Rome denounced the use of torture in civil courts. In the 6th
century, Pope Gregory I ordered judges not to accept any statement made
under torture. As a result, torture as a legal device to obtain
information or a confession virtually disappeared in Europe for nearly
a thousand years…
determined guilt by "witnesses" not torture, and the
New Testament foretells the time when all pain will cease. (Revelation
21:4) Today we have world-wide efforts to abolish torture — but the
Bible was there first.
one of the bitter
ironies of history that the Church, which had abolished torture as a
legal device, was the institution to revive it. (p. 34)
mentioned the Bible's influence against
infanticide, Roman amphitheatres, mutilating of children, human
sacrifice, idolatry, and religious prostitution. Today pensions and
medical-care programs in many countries reflect biblical concern for
health and life.
fulfil the "blessing" of Abraham to "all the
nations of the earth". (Genesis 18:18) But achieving higher living
standards is taking centuries longer than necessary because most people
reject biblical guidance.
BIBLE ON WOMEN
alleged prejudice against women e.g. their "silence"
the original status of women — "It is not good
that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner."
The Hebrew here for helper and help is "gehzer". The word implies
nothing demeaning since God himself is called "helper" and said to give
"help". (Psalm 33:20; 70:5; 121:1-2; 124:8)
was disrupted by sin with the consequence:
"your desire shall be for your husband and he shall rule over you."
(Genesis 3:16) In many cultures women's status became barely better
than a goat's. Improvement came with Moses — the command to "Love your
neighbour as yourself" included and benefited women as did the Ten
came "to destroy
the works of the Devil". (I John 3:8) He
acknowledged the helper/partner relationship by giving women roles in
his ministry. Further progress came with Paul: "There is no longer Jew
or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male or
female; for all of you are one in Christ." (Galatians 3:28)
"helper" sets no
restriction on the range of helps or
about "I permit no
woman to teach"? (I Timothy 2:12) Paul refers
to himself, "I", because the instruction is his, not God's, similar to
1st Corinthians 7:12 where he writes, on another matter, "I and not the
Lord…" The instruction against women teaching in church seems a
response to local circumstances. Paul writes that Eve, not Adam, was
"deceived" — so possibly the problem was the virtual absence of women's
the Bible and
Christ is the foundation of millions of
ministries by one or a few people. In Adelaide I've noticed a "bread
run" to collect leftover bread from a bakery and distribute it free.
Another ministry restores old bicycles to donate to people lacking
exist. The website
http://relzim.org/social-ministry/children lists 30 ministries in
Zimbabwe directed at orphans and street kids to house, feed and educate
Poverty founded by John Kirkby in 1996
works with people to make them debt-free and is active in many
Doctor Service has saved thousands of
lives. It began when Reverend John Flynn took the Gospel to Australia's
"Outback", promoted pedal-powered two-way radio-communication, and
introduced airplanes to transport the sick.
Mangalwadi, in The
Book That Made Your World (2011), shows
that the Bible inspired the beginning of universities and modern
science, and "created the soul of western civilization".
to overturn the foundation. Roman
amphitheatres, Nazism, Fascism, Communism, Maoism, Islamism, North
Korea, torture, and crime statistics demonstrate what would happen.
Everyone needs biblical guidance!
G. 1993 A
History of Torture, Brockhampton Press
R.J. 1986 The
Nazi Doctors, MacMIllan
D.P. 1970 The
History of Torture, NEL Edition
N. 1982 Stalin's
Secret War, Pan Books
Biblical Guidance - A
I've read Anonymous' Everyone Needs Biblical Guidance (No
pg 45) and can see that in a way he is agreeing with my comments in my
initial reply to his original article.
For example, nowhere is he endorsing the death penalty for homosexual
acts nor the suppression of woman's rights in contemporary society — a
sharp contradiction to the Bible — for he argues that these attitudes
were only appropriate for the age that spawned them.
This demonstrates that we need something higher than Biblical guidance
— in this case the application of reason in deciding which moral codes
to adhere to and which to reject on the basis that they represent the
prejudices of the unenlightened past. The Bible might say "X", but it
is human reason which must decide if "X" is right.
Anonymous tends to make sweeping claims when attempting to promote the
Bible, and while there is much good in scripture, so too, is there much
that isn't. My comments intended to show that his sweeping claims are
unwarranted by highlighting aspects of the past that are not applicable
to the modern age. Be this as it may Anonymous nonetheless attempts to
justify the unjustifiable, and I shall now briefly comment on his
defence of questionable conduct.
That the Bible describes the slaughter of entire populations is simply
wrong by any standards and any age, especially the killing of children,
and no amount of obfuscation by Anonymous can hide this fact. I think I
need say no more.
His attempts to justify the death penalty for consensual sex between
men are unconvincing to say the least as there are non-lethal
alternatives to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases
which he alludes to by reference to excommunication.
Finally, his attempt to defend the prevention of women from holding
positions of authority or teaching on the basis of lack of education
has serious flaws. Wisdom and education are not necessarily linked — I
think most of us know someone who, though well educated, has made
foolish decisions. Therefore, just because a woman is poorly educated
doesn't mean that she is incapable of deep insight and should remain
At the end of his reply Anonymous suggests atheists want to overturn
the foundations of civilization. Well, I think he may have gotten a bit
carried away with apologetic zeal in this instance.
Naturally, I can only speak for myself when I say I want to humanise
religion rather than destroy it, and by humanise I mean keeping the
fanatics in check by reasoned argument that will expose their dangerous
views as being both harmful and unfounded.
For example, the Reconstructionist Movement, a right wing Christian
group, would be a threat to democracy and human rights if they came to
social customs would change under the appropriated Law of the ancient
Israelites. Strict patriarchy would return to the family, and the
practice of indentured servitude would turn prisons into temporary
holding places, end unemployment and keep problem teenagers busy.
Following Old Testament law, the criminal-justice system would get
tougher on homosexuals, blasphemers, career criminals,
Sabbath-breakers, adulterers, incorrigibly misbehaving older children
and nonbelievers ...
Christians who follow the movement are no less disturbed. Not
only would Reconstructionists roll back painfully won civil and
political reforms, but religious liberty itself would be at risk.
Rushdoony [an influential figure in the movement], for example, sees no
place in a Reconstructed society for the panoply of Jews, Buddhists,
Muslims, Hindus, Baha'is, humanists, atheists and non-Reconstructionist
Christians that make up American religious pluralism. Were it to be
otherwise, he maintains, "in the name of toleration, the believer is
asked to associate on a common level of total acceptance with the
atheist, the pervert, the criminal and the adherents of other
religions." The Reconstructionist call is not for a republic neutral
toward religion. The First Amendment's establishment clause would be an
early casualty." (1)
Our elected representatives are there to govern for all, regardless of
race or religion and this is why politics must remain religiously
neutral, and the only way it can remain neutral is to keep religion out
EVERYONE NEEDS BIBLICAL
GUIDANCE Part II
(Investigator 152, 2013 September)
Alfred the Great (849-899) defeated the Danes, became "father of the
English navy" and, arguably, founder of the English nation.
A nation requires a law code and Alfred began with the Ten
Commandments. Twenty percent of Alfred's law code came from the Bible
and developed into England's common law.
King Henry VIII (1491-1547) had books published to give Christian
guidance to England. His son Edward VI (1537-1553) introduced the Book
of Common Prayer (1549) which promoted The Ten Commandments and had
a huge positive impact. In 1558 Queen Elizabeth ordered that every
church have the Ten Commandments prominently displayed.
John White (1606-1648), Rector at Dorchester, founded a Puritan regime,
based on the Ten Commandments and other laws in Exodus and the New
Testament. Puritan law provided education, assisted the poor and
widows, fined drunkenness and immorality, and in many ways heralded the
social benefits enjoyed today. The Puritan "experiment", however,
became too strict for many people and ended in 1660.
The King James Bible (1611) influenced education, law-makers,
and democracy in England and America for centuries. (See #139)
and principles of English law that trace back to the Bible in turn
benefited the world. Windschuttle (2011) writes:
imperial rule in many parts of Asia, Africa and the Americas was not
representative or democratic, but it was nonetheless orderly, largely
benign, and usually fair. Thanks to English law, most British colonial
officials delivered good government…
In India English
law together with Christianity opposed widow burning,
killing of lepers, religious prostitution, and the caste system besides
introducing scientific medicine. (See # 115; #122)
the modern systems of finance, transportation and manufacturing that
emerged at home to much of the undeveloped world. Far from a form of
plunder that depleted the economies that came under its influence,
British imperialism brought many of the institutions of modernisation
to its territories."
Berman (1974) points out: "the law of the Roman Empire prohibited
Christian worship. The church was illegal… Thus the first principle of
Christian jurisprudence, established by historical experience, was the
principle of civil disobedience: laws that conflict with Christian
faith are not binding in conscience."
Later the Church expanded and became part of the political
emperors of Byzantium considered it their Christian responsibility to
revise the laws, as they put it, "in the direction of greater
humanity." Under the influence of Christianity, the Roman law of the
postclassical period reformed family law, giving the wife a position of
greater equality before the law, requiring the mutual consent of both
spouses for the validity of a marriage, making divorce more difficult
(which at that time was a step toward women's liberation!), and
abolishing the father's power of life or death over his children;
reformed the law of slavery, giving a slave the right to appeal to a
magistrate if his master abused his powers and even, in some cases, the
right to freedom if the master exercised cruelty, multiplying modes of
manumission of slaves, and permitting slaves to acquire rights by
kinship with freemen; and introduced a concept of equity into legal
rights and duties generally, thereby tempering the strictness of
general prescriptions… Like civil disobedience, law reform remains a
basic principle of Christian jurisprudence from the early experience of
The Bible influences modern legislation too. The USA has a nationwide
holiday in January honouring Martin Luther King (1929-1968:
minister who advocated the use of non violent means to end racial
segregation… He founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in
1957 and…was instrumental in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of
1964, which outlawed discrimination in public accommodations,
facilities, and employment… (Encyclopaedia Britannica)
based on "race" is unbiblical because: "God treats
everyone on the same basis…no matter what race he belongs to." (Acts
Murphy (2013) reported: "A Norwegian woman has…been sentenced to 16
months' jail in … Dubai for having sex outside marriage after she
reported being raped… Earlier this year Australian Alicia Gali, 27,
said she was thrown in a Dubai jail for eight months after she reported
Many Islamic countries punish rape victims. The perpetrators go free
but the woman, having admitted to unmarried sex, is punished. The Bible
in contrast teaches: "One who justifies the wicked and one who condemns
the righteous are both alike an abomination to the Lord." (Proverbs
Muslims need biblical guidance.
In #133 I wrote about "The Bible Against Debt".
Many governments create debt they can't repay and face crisis after
crisis. For example: "Greece was thrown into crisis last week when the
Greek premier ordered the shutdown of Greek Radio and Television…and
the immediate ouster — without compensation — of its 2700 employees."
(The Weekend Australian, June 22-23, 2013, p. 10)
If nations can't pay their way now when enjoying the most benign
climate in history, what will happen when climate-change really
Governments with all their consultants often don't know right
from wrong and need Biblical guidance.
BLESSING ALL NATIONS
Genesis foretold "blessing to all the nations of the earth" through the
descendents of Abraham. (Genesis 18:18)
"Blessing" refers to everything that commonly promotes happiness
including prosperity, fair laws, health, security, and people
renouncing "their wicked ways". (Acts 3:25-26)
"Blessing" is promoted when charities teach, heal and meet human needs;
when individuals live Christian lives, setting a good example; and when
organized effort changes evil laws and hurtful social structures.
I've previously mentioned Christian/Biblical opposition to infanticide,
slaughter in Roman amphitheatres, religious prostitution, slavery,
mutilation of children to enhance their effectiveness as beggars,
widow-burning, torture, killing of the sick, racism, etc. I also showed
Christian input in the origin of universities, modern science, and many
social benefits including pensions for the aged.
The New Testament:
The doctrine that
all are sinners makes the best type government one
with inbuilt rules for peacefully removing evil men from power.
Democracy beats dictatorship, dynastic succession, revolution, coups
and civil war.
dignity and worth by teaching that the "Son of God" "lived among us"
compassion and forgiveness because God forgave us first (Ephesians
responsible conduct by predicting people's future "resurrection" (Acts
24:15) and everyone being judged "according to what they have done".
Biblical values of dignity, mercy, fairness, generosity, accountability
and freedom gradually flowed into modern legal and social systems.
In the US Salmon P Chase (1808-1873), Chief Justice of the Supreme
Court of Ohio, examined the Bible as he would a court case, concluding
it is a supernatural book "from God." (#146) Its influence is probably
why he promoted equal rights for Blacks.
In Australia most of the prime
ministers had a Christian background. Roy Williams in In God They
Trust (2013) points out that Australians are "uniquely blessed in
human history" and "For this state of affairs our Prime Ministers
surely deserve some credit — perhaps a great deal…"
Ian Clarkson (2013) observes:
religion or ideology has presented a worldview through which nations
have been formed with such freedom and order. Name a country with a
majority of either Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims or atheists which has out
if its own culture developed a stable, open, free, humane peaceful and
economically progressive democracy? They don't exist. But where the
Bible has been preached and its message believed by the population,
civilisation is established."
Atheists, humanists, communists, criminals, dictators, Islamists, and
many others seek to destroy the Bible's influence. They imagine they
can discard the foundation of modern prosperity and freedom but retain
Ancient Israel thought that way too, and the Old Testament records
Israel's terrible fate. We also have modern examples:-
The cover title of Time July 6, 1987 reads "When China Went
Mad". Page 1 explains: "In 1966 Mao Tse-tung plunged China into a
decade of madness during which millions were tortured or killed on
Another madness was "Mao's Great Famine", which Dikötter (2010)
says killed 45 million from 1958 to 1962. Other millions died in
nationwide violence when atheists took control in 1949.
In 1982 America's President Carter asked Deng Xiao Ping (1904-1997)
(effectively China's ruler from 1978-1992), "Can the Chinese people
have their own Bible?" Deng answered "Yes". Printing reached 100
million in 2012 and China is no longer "mad".
Germany in the 1930s followed a man who wanted to destroy Christianity.
In 1945 five million Germans had died in war; invading armies raped on
average 20,000 women per day; and 25% of Germany's area was
confiscated. Post-war population-transfers and other retribution killed
another 2 million Germans. Germany had rejected the Bible and almost
The Sunday Mail reported "Carbon Tax Scrapped". (July 14, 2013)
Reams of legislation get discarded after every change of government in
almost every country. Such ongoing revision proves that governments and
law-makers often don't know right from wrong.
A South Australian royal commission into the rape of a girl at school:
"implicates Premier Jay Weatherill's closest aides in a cover-up that
has revealed a deeply flawed culture at the highest levels of
government." (The Weekend Australian, July 13-14, 2013, p. 18) "Cover
ups" occur across all nations because officials often don't know right
from wrong and need to hide what they did.
The Bible in contrast is simple:
guidance cover-up of rape in schools is disallowed
because the Bible condemns immorality besides stipulating, "Speak the
Jews in force from Moses until Christ;
who want wisdom; and
- The New
Wilson (2011) writes:
biblical perspective of humans as God's creature, made in his own
image, has influenced human notions of dignity, liberty, rights,
political systems and many other areas of culture and society. In
contrast, a humanist view … implies that there is no dignity, liberty
right to exist for humans beyond that which humans themselves
needs biblical guidance.
Berman, H.H. 1974 The Interaction Of Law And Religion, SCM, pp
Clarkson, I. Path to Prosperity, ACCatalyst, July 2013, p. 7
Dikötter, F. 2010 Mao's Great Famine, Bloomsbury
Murphy, B. Rape victim fights jailing, Sunday Mail, 21 July,
Wilson, D.A Nation of Creationists, Australasian Science, April
2011, p. 14
Windschuttle, K. The Civilising Power of English Law, Quadrant,
March 2011, pp 41-44
versus Bible critics on this website.
more than 20 years of debate what's the verdict? Is the Bible