Friday, January 26, 2007

Render unto Caeser

There's an article in today's Economist, 'Render unto Caeser', (sadly a subscription article) that I fully disagree with, perhaps unsurprisingly. It relates to the furore about Catholic adoption agencies standing up and saying that these rules will force them to do something Scripture forbids, and hence the agencies will be forced to close, lest they break the law in continuing to not put kids into the care of gay couples.

For once a good example of Christians standing up for Scripture, and not capitulating into our "anything goes" liberal-minded culture. There are limits, we are made in certain ways. If we start thinking it's ok to do these kind of things, what comes next? This is a tired argument liberals always despair over, but it is true. Once society becomes used to one thing that used to be taboo becoming normal, they look to the next thing they can attack.

However, God made the world, and made us in particular ways. Even if you don't believe that, you have to believe men and women are different; they just are. There are absolutes, and there always will be, and at times we have to discriminate based on them. For Christians, this is one.

So well done to the Catholic church. It's worth emphasising that despite the strong words used by Paul in 1 Corinthians, cited below, the Christian church does not shut out homosexuals, just as (thankfully) it doesn't shut out those that have sex outside marriage, those that do the many other things that make them sinful. Else I'd have no chance of getting right with God, and no-one would. Thankfully Jesus did engage and accept these people, and even died on the Cross for them (us) - though not without warning them what following Him meant.

Here's my letter I just whacked out to send to the Economist, for whatever it's worth:

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing in response to the article ‘Render unto Caeser’ in the Economist, 27th January 2007. It goes without saying that the use of the title is quite inappropriate, in that Jesus was referring to paying taxes and not whether or not a Christian should submit to the law when the law is openly contradictory to Scripture. For example, 1 Peter says ‘Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority instituted among men’. Now if that same New Testament also says in 1 Corinthians 6:10: ‘Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? ‘Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God,’’ then how can the Bible believing Christian abide by a policy forcing him or her to put children in the care of any of the people described in this verse?

To argue that views will change in time is a very weak argument to attempt to coerce Catholic organisations to put children in the case of gay couples, not least because the areas listed are irrelevant. The Christian is not compelled to lend without interest. While the Old Testament did prohibit it, Jesus came to fulfil the law, and hence particular parts of it have been superceded. In contrast to homosexuality, there are no New Testament commands relating to the taking of interest. With black people, this is not a policy that was ever supported by Scripture. If Christians went along with societal prejudices against black people, this was plain wrong, not least from James 2, which says in verse 1: ‘My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism’.

When Christians are forced, as this law will introduce, to choose between obeying the law and obeying the Bible, their clear instruction is to do the latter. Is it discrimination? It is, in the world’s eyes, but then those eyes have large planks in them. Our world discriminates on the basis of nationality every single day as just one example, and discrimination will continue to be a huge part of this fallen world until the day Christ returns.

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