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NEWS 24 - The Advertiser, July 12, 1997


The MORALS of GOD are NOT for SALE


The Natural, The Supernatural and the Unnatural

This element may be read in conjunction with the original commencement for News 15, for which our Section 1 here was an Endnote, or in isolation as here with the new development.

We start with the relevant part of the record from May 9, but update and add a development in which a female Minister in the Uniting Church now speaks to her Church Assembly (which decided to postpone consideration of the issue which has for so long rocked its stability and dented its testimony from any supportable Biblical perspective).

Her advice: She is a lesbian, would have it so, has no plans to change, sees no way legislation can affect it.

First, then, we place the earlier Endnote material on this point as Parts I-2; then we turn to the development above as Part 3.

I
No Sale Tag

For the record, since a Uniting Church speaker has recently been reported (The Australian, May 9, p.7) as declaring that God in the Bible is silent on sexual orientation (topic, homosexuality): it might help to read for information on that topic what is written in that place. Included are: Ephesians 5:3, I Corinthians 5:11, 6:9,18, Romans 1:19-20,24-27, I Timothy 1:9-10, II Peter 2:1-3, Leviticus 18:22-28. The last is an evocative and excoriating passage, with extreme international implications noted: not a 'mere' commandment. Listen then!

Precisely for such things - "abominations", we read, God removed Israel's precursors! The land that did this "spewed out" its people at His will. Whatever a person's will may be, the text of the Bible is exceedingly clear.

In Romans, the Leviticus position is mirrored - a position someone called GOD has on a creation of His, called man: and HE should know, does know and does declare the character of the matter in hand: death is fitting where design in this is not followed, and perversion strictly so-called is wrought. Thus Romans 1:20-32 has this wreath for the altar of perversion (as at a death, a funeral, not a laurel wreath). It states this - that WHEN they knew God they:

a) did NOT GLORIFY Him as GOD, and

b) were NOT THANKFUL, so that they became

c) VAIN in their imaginations, and their imaging, and

d) had FOOLISH hearts which were DARKENED. Indeed, they

e) PROFESSED themselves to be wise, while in fact being FOOLS.

As a result, they moved from the actual God - to one who is not the eternal,

not omniscient, to one whose understanding is not infinite, who does change.

In this, they became contrary to God - (Malachi 3:6, Psalm 147:5), whose word is Truth (John 14:6, 12:49, 17:14-17, Matthew 24:35, Jeremiah 23:17-34, Isaiah 8:20); for theirs was some other image.

And then ? this is what happened next (Romans 1:24-26):

God

       1) GAVE THEM UP - they became God-forsaken in their ways.

       2) yielded them to UNCLEANNESS through lusts, and

       3) suffered them to DISHONOUR their own bodies.

What prevailed in this sequence ? Let us see.

They:

       a) changed the truth of God into a lie.

       b) worshipped part of creation more than the Creator.

       c) were given up to vile affections.

       d) changed the natural sexual usage - to what is "against nature" (1:23-25).

In 1:26, what is so "against nature", "against the natural function" is "vile" affection, here  by divine definition. 1:27 refers to "men with men" committing "the shameless deed" (NASV). The REASON the passions are referred as "degrading" is actually stated: "FOR" , we read" their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural".

Stronger language, temperate in objectivity, deeply probing in evaluation, could scarcely be imagined from Paul, as he weds words with deeds to strike out this sin like a plague, as indeed it was in Sodom which paid the just reward (Jude 7) in terms of their going after "strange flesh", paying the punishment of eternal fire, as that Biblical passage indicates, summing up both cause and consequence. And Paul, he is the one who "received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for His name." (Romans 1:5-6). And those at Rome ? where do they fit in ? Why, they are "among" those nations, as "the called of Jesus Christ."

What then of Paul's command in the name of the Lord (cf. I Cor. 2:9-13, 14:37), as later in this context, at Romans 16:17, in the light of these facts and affirmations, in Romans 1:5-6 and allied places. What then is the status of Paul's injunction in Romans 16 concerning aberrant doctrine, departing teachers and the like: it is absolute, universal, of incalculable force.

Thus here the international becomes national, the general specific, the generic is exemplified.

First however note the emphasis expressed in the phrase "obedience to the faith" - that shown in Romans 6-8: that faith works. Like a car it is manufactured by others than the driver who receives it; but once it is on the road, it works. That, it is because it is a good car. It is a car which knows its lord; just as the child of God knows his Father, and has plenty of power (Ephesians 1:19) supplied with which to serve. The grace which supplies the car (for in this case we do not pay) must never be confused with the power by which it runs; nor may its imperfections in use - since we are still sinners though not under the dominion of sin (John 8:31-32, Matthew 7:22ff.) - be confused with wilful abuse, or departing, loving this present world. That is not what God's children are.

Let us then revert to his moral and doctrinal teaching at length in Romans 1, as later in this context, to Romans 16:17 and what that implies concerning separation that is spiritually defined, not carnally impelled.

Romans 1:24 with 26 affirms and re-affirms the divine Lord abandoning what had wilfully cast itself away.

Thus when GOD GAVE THEM UP, these 'slightly healed' people as it would appear (cf. Matthew 13:21-22 where the word died in shallow hearts with unbroken - unrepentant hardness underneath; Jeremiah 6:14), and this because of their spiritual inventions: then they changed the natural usage in sexuality. It was vile, and it was one of the RESULTS of being forsaken.

It was AGAINST NATURE. God characterises it as lust, whatever they say; and God is here making it clear that it is PRECISELY the turning from HIM and what HE has to say and to declare and to define, that constitutes the FOOLISHNESS, which is VANITY. UNCLEANNESS is defined as per the word of God who is here objecting to its overthrow, disregard and the change in Him which is implicit in the rejection of what HE calls worthy of death; of what HE calls natural; and of what HE calls clean.

It is a rejection so total that DEATH penalty, to the minds of those here called reprobate, is to be regarded as wrong-headed. That is, GOD in HIS definition of man and mankind has to be revised; and another god is on stage; and that is of course the god of this world.

JUST AS they did not like to retain GOD in their minds, so God gave them up to a REPROBATE MIND. That then is the mind that condemns the word of God by asserting its own, worshipping the creation in its images, especially itself as the new purveyor of what God thinks; and hence becomes an enemy of God, God-forsaken. That is incontestably the teaching here.

Thus JESUS CHRIST indicated in extremely categorical terms that He did not come to ABROGATE the LAW, but to FULFIL IT (Matthew 5:17ff.).

When death becomes life, and condemnation becomes commendation, when unclean becomes clean, and detestation becomes acceptation: then we know that a divinely defined "reprobate mind" is in view, which may indeed declare ANYTHING of its affections; just as adulterers with those of the opposite gender may; but it is still death, so that Paul declares in I Corinthians 5:11 that COMPANY must NOT be kept with so-called Christians who, amongst other things, are "fornicators" - that is loose users of sex other than as Biblically prescribed as correct. Indeed, in I Corinthians 6:9, he spells out in ignominious detail the list of what excludes from the kingdom of heaven, including perverse practices in sexuality.

THIS, he says ...DON'T YOU KNOW ? is what is the position: SUCH PEOPLE SHALL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD. "Be not deceived!" he warns. Now if they did, Paul would be WRONG, presuming to categorise for the kingdom of God Himself in the future, while in fact it would be otherwise!

That then is no "mere" cultural matter (cf. Romans 1:5-6 where the "obedience to the faith among all nations" was exposited, earlier in this Item); nor was it in Leviticus where God Himself specified definitively for human relationships; nor was it so by inspiration of Paul from the God who is beyond culture, and whose word, being truth, does not capitulate to it in declaring what is right and wrong: for HE is God, and man is flesh (I Corinthians 2:9-13).

As to God: He does not hide His word in some secret place (Isaiah 48:16). Indeed, in that very place, He declares that idols say things which DO NOT come to pass, while HE ALWAYS is reliable in fulfilling precisely and exactly and always JUST what He says. He would exclude Himself, if His alterers prevailed! (Cf. SMR pp. 422Q-T.) Christ, "the same", the wisdom of God (Heb. 13:8, I Cor. 1:24,27-31) shames the world!

The issues are drawn. It is God or another. It is the god of this age or the God who made all ages. It is the truth or a lie; it is a howl or holiness. It is wolves or wisdom; and the fear of the Lord is the BEGINNING of wisdom.

Further: was Paul a master-builder of the church (I Corinthians 3:10 affirms that he was), and was he divinely inspired to issue commands in the name of the Lord (I Corinthians 14:37 affirms that he was), so that if any man thought himself spiritual, he was to acknowledge Paul as sent! Paul, in specifying his inspiration for revelation (I Corinthians 2:9-13), makes it clear that it is GOD who gives BOTH the words and the material, conveying in His own way, the substance and the communication means to ensure the teaching was correct.

Hence it is not PAUL but GOD who would be wrong! for there is no limit, qualification or other restriction whatever. To add here is to defy the word of God (Proverbs 30:6), and to identify oneself, if teaching so, in the terms specified by the apostle to the Ephesians elders ( Acts 20:28-30): the howlings of wolves. It is unpleasant: hell is more so. This is what is taught; and it is what nature teaches, as the word of God expressly declares.

Now how does one know that it is false teaching ? because it contradicts the apostle who warned of its onset ? or because it agrees with him ? WHAT is the nature of a warning from the apostle who tells them he has preached the whole counsel of God to them (Acts 20:27), except to identify diversions of false teaching in terms of the true: namely that given by him as master builder, who spoke his doctrine as inspired by God, matter and expression, and laid it down not as TAUGHT of men, but as TAUGHT of God, explicitly.

Other gods, as specified in Romans1:19-24) where it deals at length with perversion, are a potent source in such affairs. Indeed, a reprobate mind is the container unit for ignoring what is of NATURE ("to dishonour their own bodies") and specifying for sexual orientation what is categorically AGAINST it (1:26), in conduct or teaching. "Against nature" comes the apostolic condemnation, fresh on the heels of the declaration that it is God who created all nature. As to this, it was DOING those things which are "not convenient" which summed up the perversions noted by the apostle Paul; it was being "against nature" which expressly characterised them.

The place of such things was one literally "God-forsaken" (1:24), a pocket of proud rebellion re-organising what God had organised, refurbishing what God had created, re-orienting to what God had set in His own perspective. Made creative, man here becomes a competitor with his Creator, and without the power or the capacity to constitute nature, he mars it with moral outrage. This is the clear and continual message of the apostle.

Not allowing to the Almighty His attributes morally and metaphysically, man here redrafts the drawings, outmodes the model, and in so doing, this is the assessment of the apostle of the practitioners: "they became futile in their thoughts and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they become fools." Accordingly, God "gave them up" to "uncleanness in the lusts of their hearts". The mode of expression of this: they proceeded to "dishonour their own bodies among themselves". Details follow. Our point is this: it is the correlation of form and function, broken by such adventurers, that Paul finds outrageous. Feelings in the practice do not here register, any more than in a case of abuse such as heroin addiction. THAT is the teaching.

In general, fornication, Biblically defined, since Christ came to FULFIL the law, and Paul indicates he does not abort the law, but ESTABLISHES it for practice (Romans 3:31): is one expression of the reprobate mind which is so oriented, so regards and so practises. It embraces every sleight of sex in human relationships, taken as a way of life. And this, says Paul ? it results from being God-forsaken. It is part of the itinerary OUTSIDE the KINGDOM of God. And the godly alternative to this and all such procedures in mind, spirit or body ? it is a matter of "receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved" so that we "may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear" (Hebrews 12:28) - for God is a "consuming fire", of indescribable purity.

It is this God into the gates of whose city, as John tells us in Revelation 21:8, "those who engage in unlawful sexual intercourse" (Greek - pornois) - shall not enter. That, very definitely, again marks the end of the matter, as John is careful to express it in 22:18. God is not mocked, and is not immoral, whose apostle roundly condemned that misinterpretation of "grace" which was that "sin might abound". Saved without works (Romans 3:28), we are directed as to the expression of that free salvation, without itch or hitch (I Timothy 4:1).

What more? "Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity" - II Timothy 2:19. And how is this COMMAND characterised by the apostle? It is a seal. Of what? Of "the foundation of God which stands sure."

2
The Supernatural Solution to the Human Error

What then is to be done in such a case, therapeutically, theologically, spiritually ?

Naturally, the solution to the whole matter lies in the supernatural diction of deity, not the international contradiction of the UN, or some uniting Church or any other body that by toleration sanctions rebellion, Biblically defined.

To enshrine such activities and attitudes in a law is merely, after all, to legislate rebellion. Nationally, however, it is righteousness which exalts a nation (Proverbs 14:34), whilst "sin is a disgrace to any people". People are judged by their use of liberty, be they free as you please; and having it does not sanctify its use for all purposes! Man is answerable to God in every aggregation, at that particular level, and will always remain so.

What then is the divine requirement for sin in general: it is repentance from its mind and kind, with faith in the finished work of Christ, in Him personally, in His mercy, goodness, truth and gospel, leading to a new heart, an imputed righteousness and action in the power of God who raised Christ physically from the dead: a new way (John 6; 15; Romans 3; 5; 6-8; 10:9; I Corinthians 15:1-3; I John 3).

What God especially detests, we see in the last verse of Romans 1, is the practice not only of the sin, but the willingness to "give hearty approval to those" who practise it (NASV). In other words, this is their milieu. To illustrate: it is like a child who is not only rude, but relishes and devises means for it, co-operates and co-ordinates with those of like mind, as if in an unruly school. It is really quite simple: the natural according to the rules of the supernatural, the created person in accord with his/her Creator; or lapse with possible extension to cherished rebellion - and then of course, to the finale of actually teaching it. This includes teaching that it is indifferent; since to give freedom where God gives none and withholds it, is as much false teaching as anything else. It is the arrogance of countermanding God, causing a division on that basis to which this inexorably leads those who practise such things (cf. Ch.7, pp. 106-107ff. infra).

Those who do this are required to be left (Romans 16:17, cf. Titus 3:10), by the "apostle to all nations" who minces no matters and makes no exceptions. Whereas once in the unnatural case, it was death as shown in Leviticus, now it is departure which must ensue. In either case, the type of community involved is not suffered to Sodomise, as in the present case, to acquiesce in unrighteousness, far less is it to teach it! The Biblical emphasis on cleanness is all categories is intense and immense, as we see not only in the extraordinary development of the concept and practice in many ways in Old Testament law, but in Ephesians 5:1-17, where the emphasis is on ALL uncleanness, in what is virtually the most categorical exhortation conceivable.

As to Paul, His role is as broad as the church is long (Ephesians 2:20, Acts 20:29-30, Psalm 11:3), whose God speaks the truth (John 14:6) without turning (James 1:17), to the redeemed (I Corinthians 6:9-20), and relates as long as being "bought with a price" relates - indeed, till we see Him face to face (I Corinthians 13). The alternative ? "Awake you who sleep, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light. See then you walk circumspectly and not as fools..."

Compassion exhorts, calls and helps; but it does not betray, condone or acquiesce in what is Biblically defined as folly in the name of the God of truth and Creator of man. Membership of unrepentant workers of Biblical uncleanness in a church is as far removed from the Bible as the sun from the moon; and indeed further: for association in fellowship is forbidden, and even the practice of eating where there is an issue ( I Corinthians 5-6). Each "team' gets on with its work, not playing golf on the cricket field; and if someone likes golf on cricket fields, then it is a simple matter of purchasing land and setting it up as a cricket field, and then proceeding to play golf on it - a strange practice certainly, and showing some conviction; but much better than playing games (of golf) where people are assembled and committing to playing cricket.

With God, it is not games: the matter is vital, crucial and ordained. Where these or other practices are tolerated - that is, proceed and are amplified in news and so forth for a given institution, the people of God are quite simply forbidden to be. The practices, where in, mean the people of God are out!

That is the Biblical teaching. The error does not have to be a matter of all in and always in; if the fellowship is "broad" enough to have these things occurring, the Christian way is narrow enough to require you to be elsewhere, or else you are implicated, involved in the fellowship by virtue of the character of the fellowship as defined by the Church.

It is not a matter of agreeing or not; it is a matter of purging it or leaving. Tolerating such things is NOT tolerating the word of God which - with incalculable force - condemns them and requires no such fellowship. It is ipso facto contrary teaching (Romans 16:17), as well as forbidden fellowship.

Where God is, there is His love and there is His power also; and where His power is annulled there you have another religion, as Paul equally predicts (II Timothy 3:5). From such, says Paul, turn away. Lot was a little slow in leaving the area of such practices, categorically condemned in the Book of Jude: and it cost him more than a little. The mere presence in such an arena was a crucial issue, and in the end he had to be hurried away.

3
July 12, 1997

The decision of the Uniting Church of Australia this week, here reported, is that they are unable to resolve internal differences on the issues of perversion, and hence postpone decisions. Meanwhile, a lady Minister in an essential Committee announces amidst all this, that she is a lesbian. No action to resolve the matter accompanies this action to stress the situation currently obtaining in the denomination.

In Biblical terms, what does this mean, in the light of the foregoing?

It means that, for whatever reason, this body now tolerates what - as shown above - the Bible does not tolerate; and that hence that this same body is intolerant of this major doctrine as found in the Bible. Indeed, Christ Himself (Mark 7:7) made it clear that the holding of the traditions of men as interpreters of the word of God makes it of NO EFFECT. Effectively, this is nullifying His mouth, His teaching - Him! if it were possible. Here on earth, for a time it seems so; but all is judged.

Put differently, that which God demands, this church body relaxes to the category of reviewable: and in this, it defies God, making His authority subject to its own hallowed authenticity decisions. In so doing, it has created a division against His teaching, as also from all those Christians who know that the word of God is NOT subjective to review in terms of the word of man (Mark 7:7). God is of an entirely different magnitude (being infinite), and quality (being perfect, sinless and all-knowing). When man so takes over from God, this is the ultimate division: in fact, at that point, a coup has occurred!

Oh, it is nothing so very new: it occurred also at Calvary, and before Pilate, and in the priest-driven cries of much of the heedless and seething populace, who were apt to crucify what they could: in that case, His body. Here, it is the body of His words to which, no less, He has laid claim to (SMR Appendix D). When, further, the breach is in full view, as here, and no action is taken, then it is demonstrated that the bible is not the standard: that the apostle is - as it were - under house arrest.

Man, in the image of God, has his permissible physical inter-relationships defined by the word of God: in both Testaments the same. As to diversions of this kind, innovations or changes: the condemnation is vigorous, exclusive of the life first in Israel (death penalty), then in the kingdom (exclusion notice) as defined by its king through His apostles (I Corinthians 14:37, 2:9-13).

In Revelation 21:8, it depicts the exclusion as categorically as in Leviticus, Ephesians, Romans I Timothy 1:10, I Corinthians 6:9. In I Timothy 1:10, it is indeed specified in a list including "any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine", just as in Romans 16:17 orders are given to separate from such people - to "AVOID THEM". Christian fellowship is OUT, by direct order.

Ephesians 5 tells Christians to - "Walk in love, as Christ also has loved us, and given Himself for us, an offering and sweet smelling aroma"... "But," it proceeds, "fornication and all uncleanness ... let it not even be named among you." Paul writes: "For this know, that no fornicator, unclean person ... has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of thee things the wrath of God comes on the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them." (Emphasis added.) I Corinthians 6:9 of course, like I Timothy 1:10, spells out relevant specifics... covering all such cases as that in view here.

That is the direct, dire, unqualified, categorical direction of the apostle, master builder of the Gentile Church ( I Corinthians 3) with warning against false imagination that it doesn't matter, equally specific; and this direction: LEAVE SUCH PEOPLE. No fellowship! Biblically this puts this Uniting denomination out of reach for Christian, Biblically ordained fellowship.

This therefore becomes a major Biblically defined feature in the decline of Australia; and a challenge to people in it to follow God against culture, separating as divinely commanded, from all such things. Failure to do so has the normal consequence, like any spreading plague. (Cf. Ch.7, end-notes *1 and *2 infra; and see also, SMR pp. 750Bff..)