It’s no surprise that lobbyists for homosexual marriage and the mainstream media have no problem attacking someone’s character and heaping scorn upon them if they dare to express an unapproved opinion.
Margaret Court knows all too well the cost of sticking one’s head above the parapet to differ from the group think. But she has also invited the scorn of someone identifying as a Christian. Robyn Whitaker also identifies as an expert in sexuality, gender equality and feminism.
If I were to judge the tree by its fruit (as Jesus taught us to), the article Ms. Whitaker has just written about Margaret Court and the Bible’s teaching on the holy sacrament of marriage would identify her as an extremely liberal, radical leftist.
Whitaker’s first degree was from Monash University which my recent guest and former leftist Gary Johns described as “a very radical campus”, and which includes notable alumni such as Bill Shorten, Daniel Andrews, Richard Di Natale, Susan Carland and Tim Flannery.
Whitaker’s bio’ on her article on The Conversation briefly mentions she lectures in Biblical Studies at Trinity College. Trinity College proudly lists as a Current Academic or Teaching Fellow, and therefore as someone “who will render outstanding service to the academic life of the College”, none other than our very own Ms Yassmin Abdel-Magied.
So. That’s the kind of fruit in the orchard where Whitaker is planted and from which her reinterpretation of the Bible grows (along with more than a few weeds). Academia is now generally infamous for being anything but welcoming of diversity in thought, especially socially, spiritually, economically or politically conservative thought.
Whitaker’s article is a terrifying insight into the amazing onslaught of intellectual dishonesty that our kids can face straight out of high school. It’s an essential reason they must be taught how to think ASAP, as academia’s goal is often to teach them only what to think.
1. Some Parts of the Bible Are Not Meant To Be Read Literally, But Some Are
Obviously intended to be patronising in its title, Whitaker starts her rebuttal simplistically.
“Note to Margaret Court: the Bible isn’t meant to be read that literally”
Although she basically acknowledges the Bible is 66 books, not one, she fails to acknowledge its diversity in genres. It includes history, poetry, allegory, prophecy, and doctrine. Some parts are not directive, and some parts clearly are. As Bill Meuhlenberg puts it in his response to Whittaker, “Simply because the Bible describes various behaviours does not of course mean that God approves of those behaviours and considers them to be prescriptive.” Much of the Old Testament is descriptive, not prescriptive.
Whitaker observes that no one is advocating polygamy although the Bible records heroes of the faith like Abraham and David having concubines. This is a classic strawman fallacy, offered as simplistic evidence that not everything in the Bible is intended to be imitated forever. Having proved that point, which no one would contest, she assumes she’s proved her argument – her argument being that the Genesis account of God’s complementary and perfect design for marriage (lifelong, between a man and a woman excluding all others, for partnership, pleasure and parenting) is just as culturally contextual and transient as Solomon’s concubines. But she entirely fails to make that point, and making a different point about polygamy doesn’t help.
The fact is that the most literary diversity occurs in the Old Testament, while the New Testament is almost exclusively written as doctrine intended to be the model for Christian living until Christ comes again. The New Testament’s position on marriage and sexual immorality is cohesive and consistent, without ambiguity, and leaves no room for reinterpretation (without significant theological gymnastics and contortions).
2. Christian Marriage Is Not Culturally Subjective
The very clever and very highly educated Robyn J. Whitaker then makes the absurd and extravagantly indulgent claim that Jesus never said anything about homosexual relationships. That’s complete nonsense, and here’s why.
The Pharisees asked Jesus about marriage, and Jesus referred them to the Genesis account. In Matthew 19:4-6 it says,
“And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
Jesus gave 100% explicit approval and endorsement to the Genesis account, which nobody hearing His words would have interpreted any other way than complete sexual morality for marriage. This necessarily excluded all deviations from God’s design including “no fault” divorce, fornication, adultery, polygamy, homosexuality, bestiality, and all the other sexual misbehaviours of the nations surrounding them since they left Egypt. Purging those perversions was the entire purpose of the bloody conquests in those years, in necessary preparation and preservation of the precious bloodline of the then future Saviour of the world.
What’s more Jesus made multiple references to the judgement of Sodom, and everybody also knew that their judgement was for their sexual sin, including homosexuality. It’s patently absurd, as Whitaker did, to suggest, “Jesus said nothing about homosexual relationships or marriage, except that people should not divorce.”
Most critically for Christian doctrine, marriage is a reflection and a theological model of the relationship Jesus has with His Church, the Bride of Christ. Paul offers this love as a model in his letter to the Ephesians for how husbands should sacrificially love their wives, and how wives should submit to their own husbands. (I bet the “expert in feminism” rejects that as literal doctrine as well.)
He immediately goes on to repeat Jesus’ endorsement of the Genesis account of God’s original and perfect design for marriage, and explicitly acknowledges the “great mystery” of how Christian marriage theologically reflects the unique (ergo, not “equal”) relationship between Christ and the Church.
It beggars belief that Whitaker goes on to infer that Mary, Jesus’ mother, left her husband. If anything was going to convince the objective inquirer of Whitaker’s imposition of her bias into the text, this one is a lay down misere.
“Jesus’ own mother, who is an example of faith in the church’s tradition, appears to have left her husband and other children at home to follow her itinerant son.” – Robyn J. Whitaker
Of all the nonsense and poppycock this elitist academic has imposed on the willingly nodding echo chamber she exclusively appeals to, this is the most baseless. The vast and overwhelming majority of Christian theologians conclude that Joseph most likely died between Jesus’ 12th and 30th birthday. The fact is there is no further mention of Joseph, so wild flights of fancy such as Whitaker indulges in with this inconsistent theory is an unfounded reflection of her feminist projections, and nothing more.
Tragically, Ms Whitaker does great disservice to the Gospel itself by reducing marriage to a temporary and culturally subjective social construct in her shameless eisegesis.
3. Margaret Court Speaks For More Christians Than Some Extremist Liberal Feminists Do
The relativistic theology of extreme liberals must find support wherever it can, and Whitaker effectively appeals to her own superior academic and spiritual authority by futilely attempting to belittle Margaret Court’s.
“Not all opinions are of equal weight. While Margaret Court remains one of the most phenomenal sportswomen in Australian history, this does not qualify her as a spokesperson for Christianity on marriage equality. Nor does being a self-appointed leader of a church she created.” – Robyn J. Whitaker
At least Whitaker didn’t call for Court to be erased from sporting history for the crime of unapproved opinions, as her fellow leftists have. But to think for a second that Margaret Court has used her tennis as a soapbox for her politics is again, intellectually dishonest. She got media attention by writing a letter to her local paper and signing it as the pastor of her church. The media could have made a big deal out of Stuart Ballantyne’s same opinion, whom Margaret has referenced multiple times, but he’s not a celebrity. It was the media who linked Margaret’s sporting profile to her political one, not Margaret.
And as to her condescending description of Margaret’s spiritual leadership, Church leaders simply aren’t self-appointed. Without people following, there is no leadership. In the evangelical tradition, people freely change congregations as often as it takes to find one that suits their preferences. The fruit of Margaret Court’s spiritual leadership is free to be judged, and it’s full of life, love, spiritual nourishment and longevity.
Whitaker herself acknowledges that Margaret leads a church, although she conveniently fails to mention that Margaret leads a congregation many times larger than the Australian average which has been following Margaret’s pastoral leadership for decades. That’s self-evident leadership, not “self-appointed”.
“Many Christians are not represented by the views we’ve recently heard from Margaret Court, nor those espoused by the so-called Australian Christian Lobby. In fact, quite the opposite. Christian values of love, justice and inclusion found throughout the Bible are why so many Christians support marriage equality.” – Robyn J. Whitaker
I think I just vomited a little, right in the back of my throat. What a grossly mischievous statement. Probably 70% of Christians are politically “right of centre”, and actually believe the Bible – fundamentally. The quote above from Whitaker is simply dripping with leftist grease, and very little truth.
Granted, too many Christians enjoy having their ears tickled by worldly wisdom and forget to see the world through the lens of Scripture, and not Scripture through the lens of the world. That’s something this alternative media project is hoping to be part of the “self-appointed” solution to.
Dismissing God’s clearly communicated design for marriage is not loving, it’s hateful; it’s not justice, it’s a burden on individuals and families (Pharisees’ specialty). Jesus’ version of “inclusion” was giving everybody access to His very exclusive Truth, which He fondly called the “narrow gate“. Supporters of homosexual marriage are out of step with Jesus.
Christian values of love, justice and inclusion in the universal invitation for the freedom found in objective Truth are why so many Christians support marriage reality. Ed Stetzer clarifies the significant normality of this belief in this great article.
“Marriage is foundational, because this is what the Church has believed and taught for 2,000 years. We are living in a time when Evangelical organisations are saying one at a time, “Hey, we always believed this, but it appears now that we have to tell people we believe this.” Like Catholics, Mormons, and other religions, Evangelicals are saying (quite clearly) that this is a core belief.” – Ed Stetzer
4. “Progressive” No Matter The Cost
The problem with “progressives” is they hold tradition very lightly. In the name of almighty Progress, they dismiss and discard institutions vital to the future of society with gay abandon. Conservatives contrastingly have no problem with change for the sake of fixing and improving when necessary, but prefer to keep the proven and slowly improve the broken.
The Bible is not broken. God’s design for marriage is not broken. Many parts of the Bible, though not all, are meant to be read that literally. Christian “progressives” would be well advised to heed the ancient Proverb, lest they literally promote social regress to Sodom and Gomorrah:
“Do not move an ancient boundary stone
set up by your ancestors.” – Proverbs 22:28
The cold reality confronting Whitaker is that she’s wrong, over and over and over again. Embarrassingly so. The list is as long and as boring as my arm. Her article is terrible. I’m sure she doesn’t care what I think, and the feeling is mutual. But you the reader, and your children, need to know that although impressively qualified, she’s very wrong.
Amid the many voices and agendas competing for your attention, an independent, Christian voice is more crucial than ever.
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