On God’s Truth, and Man’s Hypocrisy
The hypocrisy of those on the left has ceased to amaze me. It is not that they do not care about how it makes them look; it is that they are incapable of seeing how it makes them look.
Want some recent examples? Here are just a tiny fraction of the ones that have come out just this past week:
House Democrats are backing a bill to require presidential candidates (read: “Mitt Romney”) to release ten years of tax returns, while Senator Harry Reid, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, and DNC chairwoman and Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz have all said they will not make their returns public, thank you.
President Obama touts himself as the president who is actually cutting back on spending, while he and Michelle have taken more vacations in three years than any prior president, at a cost to taxpayers ranging from a $4.2 million one in Hawaii, to Michelle’s $83,000 to ski for just one weekend in Aspen.
In running for re-election, President Obama keeps making the same promises he did four years ago, but calculates that no one will notice how he has broken most of them already.
Over in the Episcopal Church (USA), we have one and the same General Convention positively embracing a huge contradiction:
1. It adopted blessings for same-sex couples. God made them that way, and what He made must be good.
2. Simultaneously, it removed any obstacles to positions in the Church for transgendered people. In this case, what God made them was not right or good, and they should not be penalized for His mistake.
Not only does the Episcoleft want to adopt contrary views of God’s creation, depending on whose orientation they are trying to promote, but for the most part they contend that their views are no longer open to discussion. That’s right—after years and years of pleading for “dialogue” with fellow Episcopalians on the other side, they now say the dialogue is over. And why? Well, not just because they have won what they wanted. That’s just for starters. Listen to one of their spokespersons, the Rev. Candace Chellew-Hodge, writing “Why Gays and Lesbians Should Never Argue Scripture”:
The most important reason, however, that gays and lesbians should never, ever argue about scripture is because the Bible has nothing much to say about homosexuality. We have to remember that this is an ancient book. It was written at a time when people believed the world was flat and that the earth was in the middle of a three-tiered world with heaven above and hell below. It was written at a time when people believed that the whole of human reproduction was held in the sperm of a man and a woman was merely an incubator. Speaking of women, this was a time when they were seen as chattel—property to be passed along from father to husband, from husband to brother and so on. It was written at a time when slavery was seen as God-ordained and animal sacrifice was the way to cleanse sins.
In short, we cannot extract modern ideas from an ancient book. The writers of the Bible no more understood homosexuality than they understood that a spherical Earth orbited the sun. At most, we have a commentary on same-sex sexual behavior involving lust and abuse, but nothing—pro or con—about the modern concept of sexual orientation. We don’t take the Bible’s word for it that the earth is flat and women only incubate babies and contribute nothing else to the process. Why on earth would we take it as an authority on sexual orientation?
Excuse me, ma’am? Because the Bible was written by people who lived thousands of years ago is no reason to heed what it says on topics as to which you and your ilk “know better”? In other words, your God speaks more clearly to you than their God did to them? That sounds like a winning recipe for today’s theology: God is someone who changes His message to suit His audience.
Not only does such a thesis try to put man’s / woman’s judgment above God’s, but to preach it to professing Christians seems like a foolhardy thing to do—if Jesus is to be taken at his word:
17:1 Jesus said to his disciples, “Stumbling blocks are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! 17:2 It would be better for him to have a millstone tied around his neck and be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.
Moreover, notice how the Rev. Chellew-Hodge sets up a bunch of straw men for her then to knock down. (Even the Greeks, who invented logic, had no trouble spotting this fallacy, which in Latin was called ignoratio elenchi —or in our terms, “a red herring.”) The Bible and slavery? Slavery was a fact of life in the ancient world, and so the Bible, as a contemporary text, mirrors its culture in depicting it, but does it endorse it? Show me the text where God commends putting people into slavery. All of its great stories are about people escaping slavery.
The Bible and women? Same fallacious argument: show me the text in the Bible where God orders men to treat women like slaves. God made Eve as Adam’s companion, or help-meet, i.e., “one suited to help man in his tasks,” in the language of King James.1 All other feminist-based views of the Bible are a denial of that simple truth. Feminists don’t want to meet men halfway, or to be seen as a help to them—they want to do whatever they do on their own terms, thank you.
And her final straw man, the conceit of “sexual orientation”? Please: the Bible nowhere speaks to how people believe they are attracted to others, but only to how they express that attraction. It expressly forbids fornication, or sex while unmarried; it forbids adultery, or sex with a person married to another; it forbids incest, or sex with a sibling; and it forbids sex between males and other males, and between women and other women. (See this post for details on the former, and see Romans 1:26 for the latter.)
The left cocoons itself, is finished talking or debating about other views, and thus cannot see its own hypocrisy, or its fallacies. We on the right, on the other hand, can sometimes be equally blind to our own faults, but we are never in doubt that we are susceptible to fault, because we know for a certainty that man is a broken, fallen creature—who needs God’s grace if we are to walk in His truth and ways.
That is the single most important difference between left and right: the left doesn’t require God’s help, thank you very much, because God is love, and (to quote the Rev. Chellew-Hodge once more) “Anything that does not promote love is not of God.” God loves us just as we are, with no need for change or correction on our part.
Just as, in politics, Obama needs no help from private business to create jobs or to grow the economy: That is government’s job, which he (as the only government that matters) can do just fine on his own, thank you very much.
Answering all such arrogance without sounding arrogant oneself is quite difficult—I hope that what I have written above does not come across in that way. The truth in man’s hands can sound arrogant, because man is just man, after all. That is why I try always to refer what I say back to God’s words.
But in politics, the best answer to the arrogance of President Obama is the humble working man himself, who has worked hard, without asking for any help, to build his own business over generations:
Thus if anyone from the left has troubled to read this far, this is the message I pray you would take away with you—not my message, but God’s words, from Romans ch. 8:
8:31 What then shall we say about these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 8:32 Indeed, he who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, freely give us all things? 8:33 Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 8:34 Who is the one who will condemn? Christ is the one who died (and more than that, he was raised), who is at the right hand of God, and who also is interceding for us. 8:35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will trouble, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 8:36 As it is written, “For your sake we encounter death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 8:37 No, in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us! 8:38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor heavenly rulers, nor things that are present, nor things to come, nor powers, 8:39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
1 Genesis 2:18. The original Hebrew word translated into English as “a help” or “helper” is ‘ezer, a word of which the scholars associated with the New English Translation say (at n. 56):
The English word “helper,” because it can connote so many different ideas, does not accurately convey the connotation of the Hebrew word עֵזֶר (’ezer). Usage of the Hebrew term does not suggest a subordinate role, a connotation which English “helper” can have. In the Bible God is frequently described as the “helper,” the one who does for us what we cannot do for ourselves, the one who meets our needs. In this context the word seems to express the idea of an “indispensable companion.” The woman would supply what the man was lacking in the design of creation and logically it would follow that the man would supply what she was lacking, although that is not stated here. See further M. L. Rosenzweig, “A Helper Equal to Him,” Jud 139 (1986): 277-80.
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