Quill and writing

Summertime Musings

As for My people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O My people! Those who lead you cause you to err, and destroy the way of your paths.” [Isaiah 3:12]

“But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”  [Matt 7:26,27]

I listened this morning to Al Mohler deliver his ‘Briefing’ from Thursday 5th September (part 1).  It’s available here.  His analysis of the current crisis erupting in the UK over Brexit – like a slow deadly volcano – was accurate enough.  He articulated well the problem we face here with a political legacy of constitutional ambivalence – it seems we don’t have a written constitution.  Therefore, defending a position of integrity & honour by an historical appeal to the past cuts no ice!  We are quite literally at the mercy of the whims & discretion of our political class.

Yesterday I received an email from a good friend who this last year became employed by one of our leading ‘Christian’ lobbying groups and think-tanks – The Christian Institute.  He had just completed (excellent) production on this piece – on behalf of the ‘Coalition for Marriage’ (CfM) – concerning the further erosion of traditional ‘Marriage’ and the increasing ease of its dissolution through lawful divorce.

My friend instinctively imagined I’d like the video and presumed that I would heartily endorse its message.  I couldn’t – for much the same reasons I could not get altogether on-side with Al Mohler despite my membership of the UK Brexit Party.  I’d like to explain why.  Alas, it is typically at this point that the argument becomes a little arduous and most Christians simply give up.

The trouble with Al Mohler & the Coalition for Marriage are typical ‘troubles’ confronting 99% of Christian ministries seeking to engage the Christian Church with cultural trends.  I worked for several years (as a Director) within a similar ‘Christian’ organisation – Truth in Science a decade or so ago.  All of these organisations believe that they must operate in a marketplace of ideas in which Christianity represents one further voice clamouring for a place at the table.  They marshal arguments that rest upon (i) personal opinion, (ii) historical precedent, (iii) popular democratic preference, (iv) sociological theory, (v) medical expertise, (vi) legal convention and even (vii) common sense pragmatism.  In doing so they are like the foolish man who built his house upon the sand.

What they have collectively failed to do is BUILD A COMPREHENSIVE CHRISTIAN WORLDVIEW founded upon the truth revealed by God in His Word – holy Scripture.  The NT informs us that ‘All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.’ [2Tim 3:16 ,17].  Alas, these various groups have actually abandoned the Word of God and sought, in its stead, to establish a different authority for the way they think and proceed.

If Jesus is Lord, and His law-Word is truly our foundation and guide through life everything we affirm must be traceable back to that final authority.  We are admonished by St Paul to ‘not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled. But set apart Christ as Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defence to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.’ [1Pet 3:15]

At this point, you my reader will probably be getting a bit annoyed.  You genuinely don’t think that the various ‘Christian’ ministries and individuals are abandoning Scripture at all!  You will want to remind me that they are long-standing Christians of good repute and excellent character with commendable attachments to local Churches possessing a very high view of Scripture etc.  I hear your response and I do not doubt your sincerity nor theirs!

But familiarity with the work of Cornelius Van Til (professor of Apologetics at Westminster Seminary USA) and several of his proteges convince me that we have gone profoundly astray.  A helpful range of academic articles surveying Van Til’s crucial contribution to Apologetics may be found here.

The thing to do is to listen again to Al Mohler; then watch and listen again to the video from the Coalition for Marriage.  Are they REFERENCING the word of God?  Are they supplying BIBLICAL reasons for their assertions?  Are they supplying a warrant for their arguments from Scripture?  Listen again carefully!

The reason why they don’t is FEAR.  They are subtly, and perhaps even unwittingly, afraid that their audience might shrink back from taking them seriously if they were to sound ‘RELIGIOUS’.  When I worked for Truth in Science, the team was especially keen to avoid presenting a ‘religious’ argument.  They passionately believed that the ‘scientific facts’ were on their side.  They imagined that referencing the Bible would muddy the water and introduce unnecessary bias/hostility into the arena.  The fear of man brings a snare; but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe [Prov 29:25].  They have forgotten that they are Christ’s ambassadors.  They have appealed for a place at the table of public discussion.  They ought rather to have pointed out that Jesus Christ owns the table!

God will in due course remove the present ‘Christian establishment’ from their seats of power (Is 3).  In their place He will install a more honourable & faithful remnant who will enjoy providentially His blessing and protection.

In that day the Branch of the LORD shall be beautiful and glorious; and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and appealing for those of Israel who have escaped. And it shall come to pass that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy—everyone who is recorded among the living in Jerusalem. When the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and purged the blood of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning, then the LORD will create above every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and above her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night. For over all the glory there will be a covering. And there will be a tabernacle for shade in the daytime from the heat, for a place of refuge, and for a shelter from storm and rain. [Is 4:2-6]