Will The Church Go To War?

Well, the verdict is in and the government has made a choice, by a majority vote, which cannot be supported by a plain reading of the Bible. For this, the government will be accountable to God. This law declares, in a way which is unmistakable, that the government of the UK is not a Christian government.

The people are not helpless nor are they faultless. These are elected representatives. To be sure, many citizens feel as if they have been misled, even lied to. They voted, in good faith, for a man who claimed to have a Christian faith. These citizens must feel betrayed and bereft of leadership which they can support.

Still, the role of the people is to elect better representatives. Christians should not vote based upon party loyalty nor for economic returns. Christians must vote for a government which will work to uphold the values of the majority. The voting citizen will also be held accountable to God.

Right away the church must see the need for it to return to doing its job properly. The answer is not another election. The answer is Christ. The church must rise up, speak out and do the hard work of evangelism.

There is war in the government. There is war in the schools. There is war in the Universities. There is war in the heavenlies. There is war in the media. There is war in philosophy.

Will the church go to war?

Our weapons are not guns, bombs or threats. Our General is the Lord Almighty, the God of the Universe. Truth is our strategy and speaking is our plan of attack. Silence is our weakness. Neutrality is not an option.

Will the church go to war?

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23 thoughts on “Will The Church Go To War?

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  1. CS Lewis refuted this long ago, saying that Christians could be honestly Liberal, Conservative or Socialist. And though more Tories voted against than for the Bill, their leadership pushed it through with Labour support. You could always move to Northern Ireland and vote DUP.

    The thing is, though, I am a Christian in favour of equal treatment. Whether you think gay lovemaking is sinful always, or just in particular contexts, such as during idol-worship or with enslaved rent-boys, you do not believe any of us is sinless. Why have a legal restraint on gay people without similar legal restraints on remarriage, which is clearly condemned in Jesus’ words.

    1. Hello Clare,

      Thanks for the comment!

      How do you think C.S. Lewis would have voted for the Bill? You see, I think C.S. Lewis was right to insist that a Christian could be a member of any of the political parties. However, a Christian is not free to publicly deny Christ. So when a Christian, who is also a politician, votes in favor of normalizing something the Bible calls sin then this person has placed themselves squarely within the bounds of Romans 1:32. The people who are in view of Romans 1:32 are people who suppress God’s truth, who have rejected the truth about God and exchanged it for a lie.

      Christians may vote in various ways for different forms of taxation. Christians may vote for various ways of working in and protecting the environment. There are numerous other political issues which Christians could have myriad opinions about. Yet when it comes to a law which will normalize something the Bible – and Jesus – calls sin then every Christian, regardless of party, must oppose such a thing.

      One of the difficulties with this bill is revealed in your last sentence. How have people who commit homosexual acts been restrained? They were already free to marry a person of the opposite gender. They could even participate in a civil partnership ceremony in a church which would allow such a thing. How has this Bill removed any restraints? The only way this Bill removes restraints is by imposing restraints upon Christians – and this is precisely what will happen. Christian ministers will be forced to either stop conducting marriages altogether or to conduct homosexual marriages. Churches will be forced to either stop hosting weddings altogether or to begin to host homosexual weddings. This Bill has not improved the abilities of homosexual people. Rather, it has imposed a new set of restraints upon Christians.

      Remarriage is a red herring because all of the legal restraints which are required for remarriage are already in place. If a minister feels that a couple should not marry because of their previous divorce then he/she is already allowed to refuse to conduct the ceremony. This happens regularly. Churches can go this route as well by simply allowing only church members to use their buildings for weddings.

      Let me ask you, as a Christian: how can you support homosexual behavior in this way?

      1. Because I interpret the Bible only to condemn homosexual acts in circumstances where we would condemn heterosexual sex: such as during idol worship, as in Romans 1.

        The problem is that you make attitude to homosexuality the sibboleth that defines Christianity for you, more important than turning to Christ or being born again, because my attitude in some way is seen to vitiate my Christianity.

  2. Specifically, the Bible condemns heterosexual sex outside of marriage. This is called adultery. All sex outside of marriage is adultery.

    Romans 1 is not condemning homosexual acts as part of idol worship. Here is the passage beginning in verse 25:

    “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator – who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way, the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.”

    This passage, in a simple reading, makes it plain that the Bible teaches homosexual relations are unnatural, perverse and the result of unchecked lust, which is also condemned. How can you interpret this passage – or the many others – to indicate that homosexual acts are permitted in any circumstance? Can you suggest any passage in the Bible which portrays homosexual acts in a positive light or seems to make allowance for them as something which is not sinful?

    Homosexuality does not define Christianity for me in any way. Rather, as you have suggested, a person becomes a Christian when they turn to Christ and are born again. Yet I expect that a Christian is someone who loves Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself said, “If you love Me you will obey my commands.” (John 14:15) What commands did Jesus give? Jesus agreed that the greatest commandment was to love God with one’s heart, soul, mind and strength. Love and disobedience cannot co-exist perpetually. Therefore, a person cannot claim to be a Christian while knowingly, intentionally and unflinchingly disobeying any of God’s commands.

    Do you disagree with this?

    1. You have quoted the very words, and yet- are you blind to them? “Worshipped created things”- this is activity during idol worship, which is the problem.

      Jesus does not condemn gay people or gay sex.

      It is you who makes it your sibboleth.

      Your word “Unflinchingly” is a nice get-out. I suppose a glutton can stay in the church as long as he feels vaguely guilty when stuffing himself. Watch out for your judgment of how sin can exclude one from Christ.

      1. Your reading of these verses is mistaken. Please read again Romans 1:24: “Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity…” This does not indicate that the sexual impurity happened during some form of idolatrous ceremony. Rather, because people reject God’s truth and exchange the worship of God for the worship of idols, God gives them over to what they want to do. The judgement follows the sin. This worship of idols follows on from the inner rejection of God as God and the lack of gratitude towards Him.

        Jesus quite plainly condemns lust, adultery and divorce. In doing so, especially in Matthew 19, Jesus upholds the view of marriage as being between a man and a woman. If Jesus, being God, had wanted to permit homosexual marriage He could have spoken differently about it in this instance. Jesus did not do so. In fact, Jesus’ view of holiness was considerably higher than that of most people. He calls not just the act but the thought of sexual immorality sin.

        A glutton may not stay in my church for very long without feeling vaguely guilty. I cannot presume to speak for other churches. In our church, if we can identify a known sin in someone’s life then we would begin to work to help that person to leave this sin behind. This is the nature of Christian family life – we help each other through encouraging one another to love and to good deeds. Some sins are more easily diagnosed than others. Still other sins have worse consequences than others. Only a simple reductionist would not admit this is the case.

        Are you implying that sin does not separate a person from Christ?

        In your response, you did not address the fundamental question: Can you suggest any passage in the Bible which portrays homosexual acts in a positive light or seems to make allowance for them as something which is not sinful?

        This is the crux of the matter. Either God calls these acts sin or God does not do so.

      2. The two most obvious passages are Jesus healing the Centurion’s pais, and Jonathan’s love being greater than that of women. Separately, the “man” carrying a water jar may have been transgendered, though that is a separate topic.

      3. Neither of these examples are obvious by any means. The centurion’s servant, as the word is most commonly translated, does not imply any sort of homosexuality.

        Equally, there is nothing in the account of David and Jonathan to make the claim that they were part of a homosexual relationship. While it is true that they kissed, this is a pretty common custom around the world today – even in the most homophobic of countries. Equally, a great love can be shown between one man and another without there being any sort of sexual relationship. In fact this might be exactly what is implied by the phrase yo quoted. Jonathan and David loved each other as men and brothers selflessly without regard for their own gratification. This is perhaps a much better understanding of what this means.

        The real problem with your position is your basic worldview and set of assumptions. Let me quote from your own website:

        “The Bible does not condemn gay people or gay relationships. If it did, I could ignore it.”

        By definition, this means you reject the authority of the Bible. With this basic rejection you then twist the truth of the Bible to meet your own desires. Someone who believes the message of the Bible cannot make a statement like you did.

      4. How dare you criticise my “worldview and assumptions”? Look to your own. You start with the wicked and unChristian view that gay people are disgusting and wrong, and from that you create your wide interpretation of verses which might be argued to condemn gay people, and your narrow interpretation of the verses which celebrate us. It does not matter that other Christians take the same view, it is still wicked.

        “By their fruits shall ye know them” is the test. Your interpretations lead to bullying, misery and suicide. Truthful interpretations lead to fulfilled gay people as servants of Christ. You are mistaken.

        And yes, the Bible has mistakes and contradictions. Did Jesus give the exception for adultery, which is only in Matthew, to his condemnation of divorce, or not? Which evangelist is right? So if there really were verses which condemned all gay sex, as you falsely claim, I would ignore them.

        You show no respect for the Bible if you claim it is infallible. Read it with open eyes.

      5. No, my interpretations most certainly do not lead to bullying, misery and suicide. Besides which, Scripture is not open to private interpretations. Rather, the meaning of the words is plain. There is work to be done by scholars to resolve issues where the meaning of individual words is not sufficiently clear. Equally, modern Christians have the task of working through the science of hermeneutics, which is the application of the Bible to today’s world. Yet neither of these processes is essentially private. The interpreter still has to bring the interpretation to the community of Christians. Here the interpretation must be judged by others.

        I find it fascinating that in all of my writing I have never described people who commit homosexual acts as disgusting and yet this is your charge against me.

        The Bible claims its own infallibility. This is set out in verses like 2 Timothy 3:16 and 2 Peter 1:20. Also, the very large number of times when God speaks in the Bible and it is recorded as “The Lord says” are also indications of Divine Inspiration.

        Even a very basic search about how to resolve these alleged contradictions in the Bible should point you in the right direction. Logic does not dictate that four eyewitnesses will all report all of the same events with the same level of detail. Differences in eyewitness accounts, when they are not contradictory, cannot be cited as examples of contradiction. I think what you may be looking for is an occurrence in any of the Gospels where one Gospel records something which the other Gospels say did not happen. This would be a contradiction. Please locate one if you can.

        Again, it is the worldview which is the issue here. In my way of thinking – and this has been the dominant view for the vast majority of Christians for the better part of 2000 years – is that the Bible (as the revelation of God’s Person and character) determines which things are morally right and which are morally wrong. So when the Bible declares, in multiple places, that homosexuality is wrong then Christians should accept this as the case.

        As far as I am aware, there is no support for the view that homosexual activity is anything other than a personal choice. The Christian view is that this choice is wrong. However strong the temptation may be the duty of the Christian is to resist this temptation regardless of the cost to ourselves.

        Have people bullied other people in the name of Christ before? Probably. Yet Christ never condones bullying. So any accusation that my views lead to bullying is a logical non sequitur. My view is that all people are created in God’s image and should be loved, respected and helped. Loving people means telling them the truth, helping them to resist temptation and respecting them even if they choose wrongly. People who act in other ways do so in opposition to Christian teaching and not in obedience to it.

      6. j, I cannot be bothered wasting any more time on you. Know that your views disgust me because I am Christian. I do not think you are capable at the moment of the change in your life and beliefs which Christ can give you. The truth would set you free, but you will not see it. Turn to Christ!

        Oh, and contradictions? Did Jesus drive the money-changers from the Temple at the start or at the end of his ministry? Of course you are right that different witnesses recall things in slightly different ways: and so this is a human record, mostly truthful. Yes, the word of God, but not dictated.

  3. You call yourself christian? Do you only read the new testament? I direct you to Leviticus. Unless you live your life by the same rules set out here, your not living a christian life. Example: you may not touch your wife during her period as she is seen as unclean at these times and therefore by touching her you have made yourself unclean.

      1. I’ll butt in here and say that you yourself stated:

        “Love and disobedience cannot co-exist perpetually.Therefore, a person cannot claim to be a Christian while knowingly, intentionally and unflinchingly disobeying any of God’s commands.”

        This must surely include the 400 odd commands listed in Leviticus – which means they should still be binding upon Christians and by not following them you are intentionally and unflinchingly disobeying God’s commands.. If God didn’t really mean what he wrote in Leviticus then the validity of the bible as the word of god which you believe must surely be challenged.

        If you admit that these are God’s commands then surely Abraham is correct in saying that by not following these old testament laws you are picking and choosing which parts of your holy book you wish to follow?

        Jesus did state in matthew 5:17 that

        “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”

        and John 16:16-17 states

        “16 “Until John the Baptist, the law of Moses and the messages of the prophets were your guides. But now the Good News of the Kingdom of God is preached, and everyone is eager to get in.17 But that doesn’t mean that the law has lost its force. It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the smallest point of God’s law to be overturned.”

        I understand that whilst you as a christian believe that you do not HAVE to follow all the laws of the old testament to be a christian due to belief that Jesus’ death over-rules the old testament law, the old testament laws like those in leviticus are still God’s commands and you state as quoted above that someone cannot claim to be a christian while disobeying God’s commands.

        While we’re on the topic of homosexuality, leviticus and obeying God’s commands leviticus 20:13 says that:

        “13 “‘If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”

        Seeing as this is what God commanded, if there were to be a vote in parliament over whether or not to kill christians, would you would expect/want a christian politician to vote in favour of this?

      2. You make a valid point which carries some weight. Christians typically have to little disregard for what is revealed in the Old Testament. Yet what is revealed in the Old Testament is the character of God. The New Testament quite plainly teaches that the function of the laws in the Old Testament was to lead people to Christ. Specifically, by trying to do all of the things which reflect God’s character a person soon learns that they are not capable of being good by themselves. Thus they need a Savior to make a way for them to be forgiven.

        I think, for the sake of an argument, you may be trying to make my words mean what you wish them to mean. Not only is this so, but yo may also not understand the force o the New Testament’s teachings. Jesus said that if a person loves Him then they will obey His commands. Yet the commands of Christ were not very numerous. The laws in the Old Testament reveal very clearly the kinds of things God approves of or disapproves of. This is what Christians should be concerned about.

        The issue of capital punishment for crimes is very simple to deal with. While God was functioning as the direct ruler of the nation of Israel this could be envisioned much more easily. Now, in the type of government we exist in, Christians take their cue from the New Testament. The New Testament makes no space for a Christian governmental philosophy. Rather, the New Testament reflects a Christian morality which Christians want (naturally) to be reflected by the governments of their countries. The New Testament does not permit Christians to put someone else to death for their sins.

      3. “I think, for the sake of an argument, you may be trying to make my words mean what you wish them to mean. Not only is this so, but yo may also not understand the force o the New Testament’s teachings.”

        This is a response i was expecting. your words are crystal clear and I have not taken them out of context, nor have i twisted them in anyway..,whilst this is an easy comeback to make it’s dishonest and lazy. I also understand your understanding of the new testaments teachings as a modern christian (i mention this in my post) but you correctly say that someone cannot call themself a christian while ignoring God’s commands. The old testament has hundreds of commands – arent these God’s commands?

        The fact a christian cannot live up to God’s standards does not mean that they can disregard God’s commands.

        ” Jesus said that if a person loves Him then they will obey His commands. Yet the commands of Christ were not very numerous. The laws in the Old Testament reveal very clearly the kinds of things God approves of or disapproves of. This is what Christians should be concerned about.”

        Which again brings us back to the point that Jesus says NOTHING to directly condemn homosexuality. Therefore your basis on it being evil and sinful is based on old testament scripture. I accept this as the bible is clear on it’s beliefs on homosexuality in the old testament. Whilst you are happy to use the old testament to support the stuff you agree with (homophobia) you are making excuses as to why you can ignore old testament scripture when it suits you as Abraham points out. You say the old testament reveals the things God approves or disapproves of – well God disapproves of plenty of things which you seem happy to disregard.

        “Now, in the type of government we exist in, Christians take their cue from the New Testament.”

        The new testament where Jesus doesn’t condemn christianity. I can again use your prior arguments here: “Yet when it comes to a law which will normalize something the Bible – and Jesus – calls sin then every Christian, regardless of party, must oppose such a thing.”

        Jesus does not call homosexuality sin – that is old testament scripture.So you are using old testament scripture as the basis for your homophobic, intolerant viewpoint, whilst at the same time arguing that the old testament is irrelevant when it comes to the things you wish to ignore from it.

        “The issue of capital punishment for crimes is very simple to deal with. While God was functioning as the direct ruler of the nation of Israel this could be envisioned much more easily.”

        This makes no sense. You say God was direct ruler back then to try and establish a difference in circumstances – but he was not the one stoning people or murdering people for their ‘sin’ – he commanded those who followed him to do it.

        You have a very obscure and selective approach to how you balance the very contradictory and conflicting teachings of the old and new testamenta to justfiy that which you wish to continue as part of modern christianity and that which you want to disregard as ‘old’ and redundant.

  4. “So when a Christian, who is also a politician, votes in favor of normalizing something the Bible calls sin then this person has placed themselves squarely within the bounds of Romans 1:32. The people who are in view of Romans 1:32 are people who suppress God’s truth, who have rejected the truth about God and exchanged it for a lie. ”

    A politician should be guided by what is morally right, not an ancient book. A christian politician voting to give gay people the right to marriage does not mean he practices homosexuality, nor does it mean he approves of it – just that he accepts that 2 gay people in love are consenting adults who should have the same rights as same-sex couples…regardless of his personal feelings on homosexuality. Ultimately it is the acceptance that the relationships between 2 men or 2 women are none of his business. I don’t like religion but it would be entirely wrong of me as an atheist to ban people from worshipping and going to church if i had the power to do so.

    “How has this Bill removed any restraints? The only way this Bill removes restraints is by imposing restraints upon Christians – and this is precisely what will happen. This Bill has not improved the abilities of homosexual people. Rather, it has imposed a new set of restraints upon Christians.”

    As a christian you should not tell lies.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18407568

    It is a step forward to improving the rights of marginalised citizens It does not affect your ability to live a christian lifestyle in any way, to claim ‘restraints’ upon christians is dishonest. There are zero limitiations on your rights to worship or believe what you like.

    “Jesus upholds the view of marriage as being between a man and a woman. ”

    How do you feel about this contradiction with the old testament where polygamy is rife?

    1. How does one define which things are morally right?

      You and I have two opposing worldviews and this generates tremendous differences. The most obvious one being that in your view of the world there are gay people. I do not subscribe to such a view. Let me explain, please.

      Your view seems to me to be that being gay is a characteristic of a person. Hence someone could be born gay or choose to become gay.

      My view is that no one is gay. Instead, people commit homosexual acts by choice. When someone chooses to do this repeatedly then, for the sake of shorthand, I may refer to them as a gay person or a homosexual. What I mean by this is that the person in question repeatedly chooses to commit homosexual acts.

      Should a politician support homosexual activity? No, I do not think so. Certainly a politician who claims to be Christian, as some have done, has no business voting in favour of a law which will approve of what the Bible calls sin.

      Should the government be interested in the relationships between people? Certainly the government has been. Polygamy is against the law. Not for much longer, apparently. By this reasoning the government should declare any relationship legal where the parties in loved love each other. Yet this would manifestly include relationships which are also wrong.

      Your challenge about Polygamy is not sustainable. Did God ever condone polygamy? No, He did not. There is no contradiction. Where people failed to do what God told then God cannot be charged with wrong. It is their own failure.

      The view of the BBC article is, I think, shortsighted. Will churches be forced to make the choices I outlined? Yes. Not because the government makes this law in this way but because the activism within the courts in the UK and especially within the EU will not allow discrimination based upon religion. So a church which conducts weddings for non-members will be forced to either stop conducting weddings for non-members or to conduct weddings for homosexuals. If you cannot see this possibility then I think you are perhaps a trifle naive in your view of the judicial system and the EU’s role in UK law.

      1. We define what is morally right by reason. Murdering someone is morally wrong because it deprives that person of life. What is morally wrong about 2 men being in love? Who is harmed by 2 women being in love?

        There is no reason to support your worldview that there are no gay people except that you do not wish it to be true. Certainly gay people commit homosexual acts by choice in much the same way you and I commit heterosexual acts by choice but the individual has no input into what sexual desires they have which motivate these choices. My worldview that there are gay people is based on a realistic approach to sexuality, real world observation and my own experiences. I know i certainly have no choice in being attracted to females, thats just the way I am – pretty much any gay person will say they have no choice in being gay. Did you make a choice to be attracted to women? Could you stop being attracted to females and attracted to males? If you have no experience of same-sex attraction and accept you cannot choose to be gay – how then can you maintain a belief that gay people arent gay but make that choice?

        You’ve failed to pick up on the clear distinction between ‘supporting’ and ‘accepting’ – i accept your right to worship – i do not support it. If there were a vote on whether churches should be demolished and christianity made illegal i would vote NO…but i do not support christianity in anyway… I merely accept that I have no right to impose my own personal opinions/beliefs on you and restrict your right to worship. And why shouldnt a politician support homosexuality – its a victimless lifestyle. The only victims of homosexuality have been those who have had to deny or hide their homosexuality or those who have been persecuted for it – by religious people for religious reasons.

        You say God didnt condone polygamy and imply that ALL the polygamists failed to do what God told them but this isn’t supported by scripture. For instance in 2 samuel 12:8 when god supposedly speaks through his ‘prophet’ nathan he says “I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more.” – God GAVE David his wives…so how can you hold the polygamists responsbile and claim theyre going against God’s real desires for marriage to be between only one man and one woman? There are of course other verses regarding polygamy such as a exodus 21:10 where god says ” If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights. 11 If he does not provide her with these three things, she is to go free, without any payment of money.” If God wanted marriage to be between one man and one woman wouldn’t this be an appropriate time to mention that rather than give rules about how to properly have multiple wives? You are happy to ignore biblical polygamy and say god doesnt condone it – but when it is such a reoccuring theme in the old testament why doesnt god condemn it?

        Regarding your final paragraph you’ve now gone from implying christians are being persecuted and this bill imposes restraints on christians to there being a ‘possibility’ of extraneous interference at a later date which might cause some mild inconvenience to some religious leaders. This is quite a difference.

    2. You ask how we evaluate reason – but reason is the process by which we understand and form judgement….reason is the means, not the end.
      I’m a little disappointed you ignored the real content of my post to ask a vague question like this in an attempt to somehow trip me up – rather than address the actual points raised.

  5. So you choose which parts of your holy book to live by and which to ignore. Modern christians and now different from ancient christians. So in the future when christian views change again and consider homosexuals equal will you change your mind. Will you ever consider things you can’t understand or are too close minded to try to understand? Are you capable of rational thought? Do you understand that due to religion there is more persecution in this world than there would be without it. It an innate human problem that people can’t live without believing there is a higher power. Why can’t you take responisbility for your own decisions in life, instead you choose to base them on a 2000year old book. “Modern christians” do not exist, read another book. The gnostic bible would be a good start.

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