OUR BIBLICAL BASIS
By David Malcolm
Family and sexuality is God’s idea. He made people as male or female and directed them to multiply (Genesis 1:27,28). God’s desire is “godly offspring” (Malachi 2:15). This verse also speaks against rejecting “the wife of your youth”. Marrying a close relative was condemned, after mutations started to build up, because there would be an increased likelihood of children with genetic defects.
Prostitution has been around since early biblical times (see the account of Judah and Tamar in Genesis 38), but was to be judged (condemned). Throughout the Bible there are passages condemning homosexuality, because it violates the purpose for family that God set in the Garden of Eden. Even cross-dressing is spoken against (Deuteronomy 22:5).
That sexuality is all about creating offspring is not to say that is its only purpose. God provided benefits: When the aged Sarah is told she is to have a baby, she says “Shall I have pleasure?” Also couples are told their bodies belong to each other, so not to withhold physical relationships except for a short time and for a good reason. (I Corinthians 7:4,5).
Ever since the Garden of Eden, there has been work to do (Genesis 2:15). Making a living became onerous after Adam sinned (Genesis 3:19). We talk about the Judeo-Christian ethic. Our work ethic also embodies such ideas as “A fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work”.
After the world-wide flood God brought in new covenant with requirements for all of mankind. If anybody should be killed by a person or a beast, then the killer must be put to death (Genesis 9:5,6). This presupposes that some organisation exists to bring about the “reckoning” (NKJV).
Later, when God chose Israel to be his special nation, he gave them the Law through Moses. While this code of law was never mandatory for gentiles (See Leviticus 27:34, Ephesians 2:12, Romans 3:1,2), western nations have adopted many of its provisions: –
- Manslaughter will carry a lesser penalty than murder – banishment to a City of Refuge (Numbers 35:9ff).
- There should be a hierarchy of courts.
- Two or more eye-witnesses are required to establish a case (Leviticus 17:6; Numbers 35:30).
- Common law. ie. the same for all regardless of status (Exodus 12:45; Numbers 9:14; Numbers 15:15,16; Deuteronomy 24:17).
A good government can pass laws on many issues, but cannot make changes concerning definitions of family, marriage &c, as these things predated the institution of government. One church put up the sign “Legalised sin is still sin before a holy God”.
There was a “Jerusalem Decree” brought down (Acts 15:24-29) which answered the question “What laws are mandatory for the gentile Christians?” There were 4 things they were asked to avoid: –
- Things offered to idols
- Things strangled
- Sexual immorality.
It is evident that number 4 comes from the establishment of the family from the Garden of Eden. Numbers 2 and 3 probably follow from the covenant God made with Noah for all his descendants. Offering sacrifices to idols (number 1) was a very sensitive issue at that time. To request gentiles to respect Jewish sensibilities would not be unreasonable.
STATUS OF WOMEN
The Bible teaches that men and women are equal (Both created in God’s image – Genesis 1:27; and equal before God – Galatians 3:28). although they may have different roles. In contrast, some other religious systems see women as having an inferior status.
The Law that God gave through Moses required that grain left over after the field had been harvested, had to be left to be gleaned by the poor. The book of Ruth tells us about a godly man Boaz, who went even further, directing his workers to deliberately leave some. Thus a godly society would make an effort to provide for the poor and underprivileged.
Only one recreational drug (alcohol) has been authorised by God (Psalm 104:15; Deuteronomy 14:26). And there are many passages that condemn drunkenness and drinking to excess. For example to avoid “much wine” (I Timothy 3:8).
God’s chosen people were told to teach their children (Deuteronomy 6:6,7). This was picked up by the ancient Jewish people. The first priority is a religious basis. Followed by learning a trade at a more advanced age. Schools were thus an accepted institution by New Testament times (Galatians 3:24,25.
The time periods we are used to, came from the Bible. The day, the month (originally) and the year are set by God-ordained astronomical periods (Genesis 1:14), and the 7-day week reflects God’s pattern set at creation (Exodus 20:8-11).
Biblical history is clear that everybody on earth descended from the eight people who survived the world-wide flood about 4,500 years ago. Further back, we all descended from Adam who was made in the image of God.
Some nations have tried to justify slavery, but Australia’s record is not perfect either: –
- The British explorers deemed Australia to be terra nullius (empty of human inhabitants).
- Early settlers were encouraged to kill aboriginals and send their skulls to museums as evidence of missing links.
- In West Australia, aboriginal affairs was part of the Flora and Fauna port-folio
- Children of inter-racial birth were taken away from their patents and brought up in white homes, because their fairer skin evidenced a higher evolutionary status.
- It wasn’t until 1967 that the Constitution was changed so indigenous people would be counted in the census as humans, granted the right to vote and essentially were made as equal humans to all Australians.
- Even today racial insults of “ape” are directed at dark-skinned people.
IF the church had rejected evolution and stood on its biblical basis there may have been very different historical results and a total avoidance of the difficulties we face today concerning the subject of a persons ethnic orign.
IF we expect real change in this area, the school curriculum needs to be changed to include creation as an intergrated subject.
IF first-nation people come to realise the implications of evolutionary thinking, they will stop supporting claims or claiming to have lived in Australia for tens of thousands of years.
One author has written: -“Forget what you think you know from evolutionary thinking – there is absolutely no scientific justification for the belief that someone is inferior or is to be treated differently because of belonging to people group A instead of people group B” (One Human Family. Carl Wieland. 2011. Creation Book Publishers, Georgia. USA. page 365)
BILL OF RIGHTS
A Bill of Rights, as such, seems to be foreign to both the Scriptures and traditional western societies. Our rights are everything not forbidden under our law. As examples, we can expect not to have hands amputated as punishment for theft, and we can expect not to be forcibly sterilised if we have a defective gene.