Like many people at the moment, I have been watching the Australian Open tennis and reading associated articles. In doing so I came across an article that is not directly about the tennis, but relates to Margaret Court, arguably Australia’s greatest tennis player ever, and now a pastor in Western Australia. Given the recent push for homosexual marriage in Australia to be legalised, she decided to make clear her views that although it’s peoples’ choice as to how they live their lives, the Bible clearly teaches against homosexual marriage. Naturally she was confronted with many scathing rebukes!
Now I don’t want to get into the topic of homosexual marriage, however I am strongly opposed to it simply because the Bible clearly teaches so. However I want to address something else which I think is far more important and often missed as a result of these symptomatic “surface issues”.
As I skimmed over the vast number of strong views against Margaret’s thoughts, a couple of comments stood out to me, which I think highlights a far deeper issue that we need to address.
One person questioned whether Margaret was a true Christian, as she should be supporting “all of God’s children”. It goes on to say that she is part of “a radical branch of Christianity not known for embracing the disadvantaged or different.”
The second comment was even more disturbing. It said that God is always changing. God is not the same angry God of the Old Testament.
Those two comments highlight what I feel is the real problem – the lack of authority that the Bible holds in people’s lives. Many people seem to base their perceptions of who God is and what He desires according to their experiences and own moral paradigms. God becomes a pawn to our moral compasses, someone who is moulded to suit our own desires and needs. Even worse we disguise this by standing up for what is seemingly right, as highlighted in the first comment. And we wonder why there is so much corruption and confusion in the world!!!!
This is the sad outcome of liberalized theology. People don’t take the Bible to be the absolute authority of their lives. They see it as a starting point, but then draw on their own perception, experience and knowledge of how the world has evolved and then refine their view of what they think God is like and what He desires. They focus on the “feel good” sections of the Bible and do away with the “jealous and wrathful” God and His pending judgment. How tragic and dangerous!!
We worship the same God in the New and Old Testament. God will judge all of us for our rebellion and rejection of Him. His judgement and wrath will be a frightening time for those who have chosen to reject Him. The Bible is clear on this. Romans 1 even talks of God’s judgement being made now by giving us up to the lusts of our hearts and our dishonourable passions, one being unnatural relationships between someone of the same sex (Romans 1:24-27). Yet the Bible is also clear on God’s mercy and love for us. While we were still sinners, He sent His Son to die in our place, so that we could be redeemed and enabled to enjoy God forever in heaven. It’s never too late to trust in Jesus, no matter how much we may have rebelled against God in the past. That is the beauty and supremacy of God’s merciful character and His love for us.
If we are going to submit our lives to God, we need to adhere to the whole of Scripture, not just the parts we think are right/appropriate in this day and age, or what we approve according to our own sense of moral standards. Sure there are some sections that you need to take in context of when it was written, however the principles and teachings are timeless. For one, I am grateful for that! On one hand God will not let the injustice go unpunished, and on the other His mercy is unchanging for those who trust in Jesus with their lives. May we all submit to the full counsel of the Bible and enjoy God for who He is as depicted in the Scriptures, and not who we may like Him to be.
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