A Reply to Mr. Rudd’s Unbiblical Answer

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Monday evening on Q&A, a Christian pastor asked a few questions concerning the Prime Minister’s changed view on homosexuality and asked “why don’t you believe the words of Jesus in the Bible?” Mr. Rudd (who identifies himself as “a devout Christian”) gave his reply, “Well, mate, if I was going to have that view, the Bible also says that slavery is a natural condition.” He went on to state that homosexuality is a normal condition. An examination of his eisegesis can be considered another time. After listening to Albert Mohler’s Briefing on 3rd September, I thought I would share with you some of the things he had to say (emphasis in the quotation is mine):

“Now one of the things that intelligent Christians must always keep in mind, is that when an argument is assailed against us or against the Scripture, it can come in many forms. But, to cut it in half, it can come in a stupid form or a rather intelligent form. It does serves us well to suggest that every argument made against us and every argument made against a Christian truth claim is in itself unintelligent. Sometimes the argument can come in an intelligent way, there needs to be answered in an equally intelligent way. This is not one of those cases. This is not an intelligent argument. This is a profoundly unintelligent argument. It is an argument made by someone who claims to be a devout Christian but doesn’t know anything about interpreting the Scripture. And instead simply throws the Scripture under the bus so to speak in order to try to do his very best to maintain some hope of being kept in office. To suggest that the human condition and the social conditions change and therefore we have to abandon the Scripture, is to defy the very nature of Scripture itself as not only the inerrant and infallible word of God but a word that has endured not only through the ages but will endure for eternity. In other words, even as social and human conditions change, we need to recognize that that change has been a constant since . It didn’t await the last couple of decades of Australian history. Furthermore, the kind of unintelligent biblical interpretation he offers here should be an embarrassment to the Australian Prime Minister and certainly a humiliation to anyone who would claim to be a Christian. Unsurprisingly perhaps this politician who joined so many others including Americans (including the President of the United States), and evolving on the issue of same-sex marriage, said that his decision to support gay marriage was in line with what he calls ‘the Bible’s emphasis on universal love’. He said, ‘I’ve concluded in my conscience through an informed conscience and a Christian conscience that it is the right thing to do’. He went on to elaborate, ‘What is the fundamental principle of the New Testament? It is one of universal love. Loving your fellow man. And if we get obsessed with a particular definition of that through a form of sexuality, then I think we are missing the centrality of what the gospel, whether you call it a social gospel, a personal gospel or a spiritual gospel, is all about. If you think homosexuality is an unnatural condition, then frankly I cannot agree with you based on any element of the science.’ That is a very confused man offering a very confused argument. And that is a very confused man, who when identifying as a Christian bears a particular responsibility not to offer such a horribly corrupted and confused line of argument.

The church has spent centuries grappling with homosexuality, but Mr. Rudd said he spent months grappling with the issue and ultimately decided homosexuality is not unnatural and that same-sex couples deserves recognition of their relationships. His next sentence is very important, ‘I do not believe people when they are born choose their sexuality. They are gay if they are born gay. You don’t decide at some later stage in life to be one thing or the other. It is how people are built. Therefore, the idea that this is somehow an abnormal condition is wrong. I don’t get that. I think it is a completely ill-founded view’. Well, this is an argument that intelligent Christians are going to meet over and over again, sometimes in a more intelligent form than that offered by the Australian Prime Minister. Though we need to note something very significant, when Mr. Rudd uses the word ‘natural’ he’s using it as if it makes perfect sense of this side of the fall. In-other words, things as they are now are simply as they are supposed to be. He would say that about any number of other conditions. That in a fallen world are also horrifyingly natural. But when it comes to this ‘natural’ is all the moral argument he thinks he needs. But Christians for the understanding of nature don’t go to fallen nature in order to learn our lessons, but rather to nature as it was created and intended to show God’s glory without the corrupting effects of the fall.”

If you would like to listen to the full episode of the edition of the briefing, click here.

3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.

He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” 11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

14 The Lord God said to the serpent,

“Because you have done this,
cursed are you above all livestock
and above all beasts of the field;
on your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”

16 To the woman he said,

“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be for your husband,
and he shall rule over you.”

17 And to Adam he said,

“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,
‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”

20 The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. 21 And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.

22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. 24 He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.

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Andrew Courtis

Andrew Courtis

ANDREW - Serves as Pastor of Hills Bible Church. I am married to Dianne and we have three children (Kate, Emma and Jack). I was born and raised in Melbourne, moved to Adelaide to undertake theological studies (BMin.), and have completed additional studies with the Australian College of Theology (MATh.). I have served in pastoral ministry in both Melbourne and Sydney and am a qualified school teacher. I am committed to expository preaching and making the word of God known and understood.

One thought on “A Reply to Mr. Rudd’s Unbiblical Answer”

  1. Here’s another analysis of the Kevin Rudd answer to the Queensland Pastor.

    by: Adam Ch’ng
    From: The Australian
    September 05, 2013 12:00AM PM clashes with pastor over ga…

    “Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has clashed with a Brisbane pastor over gay marriage.

    IF there is actually such a thing as the “Christian vote”, on Monday night Kevin Rudd lost it.

    For many, the Prime Minister’s spirited defence of same-sex marriage on ABC1’s Q&A program was a watershed moment.

    Kerryn Phelps hailed it as a “historical moment in Australian politics” and penned a 475-word article of thanks to Rudd.

    For Phelps and so many other LGBTIQ (lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender/intersexed/questioning) voters, this was the “sweetest victory of all”.

    Yet for so many Christian voters, this was the moment that the sheep’s clothing came off the wolf’s back.
    At 7.30pm that Monday, more than 35,000 Christians gathered across 339 churches in every state and territory of Australia to watch Rudd and Tony Abbott address the Christian constituency.

    Not yet knowing what was to come, many of us sympathised with Rudd’s apparently genuine admission that: “Many in the Christian churches may be disappointed with some of the decisions that I have taken as Prime Minister or as a person. I have also undertaken those decisions in good and prayerful conscience, even though people in equal prayerful conscience may disagree with some of those conclusions.

    If the night had ended there, many of us would have been disappointed but at least sympathetic towards Rudd’s clumsy attempt to navigate through a complex moral minefield. What came next, no one could have foreseen.

    Not more than three hours later, Rudd publicly crucified a mainstream Christian pastor for questioning the PM’s backflip on marriage policy.

    Instead of the “gentle Kevin meek and mild” we’d seen earlier that night, Rudd now not only failed to directly answer the question but mercilessly lambasted the pastor, whose personal views were irrelevant to his response.

    According to Anglican Archbishop of Sydney Glenn Davies, Rudd was “profoundly wrong in his understanding of the Bible. He misquoted the Bible and attributed to the Bible something that Aristotle said (that slavery is a natural condition).”

    While Rudd’s gross distortion of biblical truth was deeply concerning, it was his modus operandi and treatment of the Christian church that was offensive.

    In retrospect, the Prime Minister’s apparently gracious words of 7.30pm were akin to Judas’s kiss before his 10.30pm betrayal. Voters can forgive a prime minister for changing his or her mind on even an important policy issue. On Monday night, however, Rudd treated every Christian voter in Australia with absolute contempt.

    Far from being some moment of great integrity and strong leadership, the Prime Minister’s visceral attack on the Christian church was nothing more than cheap political opportunism.

    It was this Prime Minister’s attempt at creating his own “misogyny speech”, with the same confected moral outrage against a fictitious straw man. It was political desperation on steroids.

    With the Labor Party heading for electoral wipe-out on Saturday, Rudd’s attempt at leveraging the same-sex marriage debate as a Hail Mary pass was always doomed to fail. It has irreparably damaged his once close relationship with the Christian constituency across Australia.

    In fact, across the course of the election campaign, Rudd has gradually severed ties with the people with whom he identified so closely in 2009.

    According to former ALP senator John Black, Rudd has neglected the “young working-class families in the outer suburbs, many of whom go to church and believe in God”.

    “Frankly, I haven’t seen Kevin Rudd talking to those people a lot during the course of this campaign,” Black said.

    In June 2010, Rudd was torn down by his own party over his mismanagement of the emissions trading scheme and resource super-profits tax. His gross lack of political judgment cost him the confidence of his “gang of four” and caucus.

    Unfortunately, that same lack of judgment appears to have motivated his neglect of vast swaths of the electorate who were supporters of Kevin07.

    Joe de Bruyn, national secretary of the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association, cautioned that “Labor runs the risk that people who traditionally vote Labor will not vote Labor because they don’t like the (same-sex marriage) issue. So Labor is actually running the risk, the more they prioritise this, people will vote against it.”

    On Monday, the Prime Minister ran that risk and crashed through. So this Saturday, he should crucify any expectation of political salvation.”

    Adam Ch’ng is a workplace relations lawyer and policy adviser in Melbourne

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