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God, the Bible and Prime Minister Scott Morrison

The Honourable Scott Morrison MP

Scott Morrison 2014.jpg

30th Prime Minister of Australia

Incumbent

By Spencer D Gear PhD

Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, and his family attend Horizon Church, Sutherland Shire, NSW, Australia. This is a Pentecostal congregation associated with the Australian Christian Churches, affiliated with the Assemblies of God worldwide.[1]

He allowed the mass media into the worship service to see him in worship.

clip_image002(Photo: Prime Minister Scott Morrison and wife Jenny sing during an Easter Sunday service at his Horizon Church at Sutherland in Sydney, Sunday, April 21, 2019. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas. Courtesy Eternity News, 23 April 2019).[2]

Morrison is Australia’s first Pentecostal Prime Minister.

This article will examine how Morrison’s theology integrates with his politics.

1. Biblical views before he became Prime Minister

When he was treasurer in 2016, he did not support change from traditional to include same-sex marriage (Dziedzic & Norman 2016).

2. What about abortion?

clip_image004(Advocates hold placards during a rally outside the New South Wales Parliament. Source AAP, photo courtesy SBS News)[3]

Even though these comments are by ScoMo as PM, they are in the context of the debate to decriminalise abortion in 2019 in the State of NSW. Channel 7 News reported:

Mr Morrison, who is a Pentecostal Christian, said it was a matter of conscience for state MPs ahead of a delayed vote in the upper house next month.

“It’s not a matter before the commonwealth parliament nor is it one I’m seeking to have brought before the commonwealth parliament,” he told The Sydney Morning Herald….

“I have what I would describe as conservative views on this issue as people know I have on other issues. That’s really all I think I need to say”.[4]

3. Morrison’s view when it becomes law

Now that homosexual marriage has been legalised in Australia, what is Morrison’s view? Notice how he dodges the journalist’s questions:

Scott Morrison says he supports the law of the country but wouldn’t say if his personal opposition to same-sex marriage has changed since it was legalised….

Mr Morrison abstained from voting for marriage equality when it passed the House of Representatives in 2018, and he voted “no” in the national survey.

When asked if he is still personally opposed to same-sex marriage, the prime minister replied: “It’s law. And I’m glad that the change has now been made and people can get on with their lives. That’s what I’m happy about.”

When pressed on whether his opinions have changed, he told reporters in Perth: “I always support the law of the country” (SBS News 2019).[5]

So, he supports Australian law but won’t own up to his current personal beliefs about homosexuality. I wonder, as a Pentecostal Christian, whether he accepts the Bible’s view on the topic. See Romans 1:25-27 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.

God’s view is different from Morrison’s. Those who practise homosexuality (male & female) will not inherit the kingdom of God. Whether ScoMo is a PM or an ordinary Christian, he should support the Bible’s view.

4. His views about God

Leigh Sales of ABC’s 7.30 grilled him on his view of God:

“I’m not running for Pope,” Mr Morrison shot back. “I’m running for Prime Minister.

“And the theological questions are not ones that are actually, I think, germane to the political debate in this country.”

“My faith teaches me to love others and God loves everybody and we should be agents for his love in this world which is what I’ve always believed.

“And that’s what my church community does and every church community I’ve been part of, including my parents who served in their local youth organisations for 45 years, every Thursday and Friday school night, my parents were there, running boys and girls brigade for young people in our community.

“They taught me a life of faith and service and that’s what my faith means to me. It means service and caring for others” (news.com.au 2019).[6]

He avoided a splendid opportunity given by Leigh Sales for him to nail his colours to the mast and declare his worship of the Trinitarian Lord God Almighty, no matter the political consequences.

OUTinPerth, an LGBTIQ+ news source, made this observation of ScoMo’s views on homosexuality when a journalist interviewed him in Perth:

Scott Morrison said he was now supportive of same-sex couples being allowed to marry because it had allowed people to “get on with their lives” and because he “always supports the law of the country.”

The PM would not be drawn on whether or not he believed gay people would be sent to hell, an apparent reference to the Israel Folau controversy, saying he keeps his personal religious views private….

The majority of voters in Morrison’s NSW seat of Cook voted in favour of marriage equality, but Scott Morrison abstained from voting when the legislation was before parliament.[7]

5. Religion does not mix with politics

Morrison told a journalist, ‘he doesn’t “mix [his] religion with politics”’ (Karp 2019).

Regarding homosexuals and hell, this was his view:

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been forced to clarify that he does not believe gay people go to Hell after he earlier did not answer a question about his religious beliefs on gay people.

“No, I do not believe that. It was a desperate, cheap shot from Bill Shorten who is looking to distract attention from his housing tax that will undermine the value of people’s homes,” Mr Morrison said in a statement on Tuesday (SBS News 2019).[8]

However, only a year ago Morrison took a different line in supporting stance on sinners (including homosexuals) going to hell: ‘I think he’s shown a lot of strength of character in just standing up for what he believes in and I think that’s what this country is all about’ (AAP 2018).[9]

Now he denies the Bible’s teaching of what will happen to wrongdoers, including those who commit homosexual acts. Scripture teaches: ‘Those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God’ (1 Cor 6:9). If they don’t go into God’s kingdom at death, where do they go?

We know this from the Scriptures of the New Testament that after death, unbelievers are:

  • Conscious and in torment (Luke 16:23);
  • ‘Under punishment until the day of judgment’ (2 Peter 2:9);
  • Matt. 25:41, “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels’”.
  • Mark 9:43-44, “And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell [gehenna], to the unquenchable fire”.
  • Rev. 20:15, “And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire”.

I urge Morrison to tell the truth about what happens at death for sinful homosexuals who have not repented. See my article: Where will unbelievers go at death?

6. Morrison and the Bible

When compares Morrison’s views on morality and a Christian world view, how does his philosophy match up with biblical teaching? From what I’ve written above, alarm bells should be ringing.

Morrison declares his faith in Jesus Christ, invited the TV cameras into his church to see him in worship, but when push comes to shove – in my view – he has failed the test of a Christian worldview that is consistent with Scripture on issues of morality.

Judith Brett (2019) wrote in The Monthly:

Could it be that the heart of Morrison’s Christian faith is not dogma but the desire to be part of a community and the chance for an enthusiastic sing-along? Perhaps, too, he values its detachment from politics. Morrison talks a lot about the “Canberra bubble”. We all need places to go to re-centre ourselves, perhaps politicians more than most.

That could be it for Morrison. He’s happy to be in the sing-along, Pentecostal happy-clapper believers whose faith is not too embedded in Christian doctrine.

From the evidence before us so far in Morrison’s Prime Ministership, he seems to be more interested in appeasing the journalists and not being overt in the content of his Christian faith.

7. Works consulted

Brett, J 2019. Howard’s Heir: On Scott Morrison and his suburban aspirations. The Monthly (online), September. Available at: https://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2019/september/1567260000/judith-brett/howard-s-heir-scott-morrison-and-his-suburban (Accessed 23 January 2020).

Dziedzic, S & Norman, J 2016. Election 2016: Scott Morrison weighs in on gay marriage after Penny Wong comments. ABC News Brisbane, Qld, 22 June. Available at: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-22/election-scott-morrison-responds-to-penny-wong-same-sex-marriage/7532372 (Accessed 2 October 2019).

Karp, P 2019. Scott Morrison claims he now backs same-sex marriage – but dodges question on hell. The Guardian Australia (online), 13 May. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/may/13/scott-morrison-claims-he-now-backs-same-sex-marriage-but-dodges-question-on-hell (Accessed 2 October 2019).

Payne, K 2019. Inviting the cameras into church. Eternity News (online), 23 April. Available at: https://www.eternitynews.com.au/australia/inviting-the-cameras-into-church/ (Accessed 2 October 2019).

8. Notes


[1] Wikipedia 2019. Horizon Church (online). Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horizon_Church (Accessed 2 October 2019).

[2] Payne (2019).

[3] SBS News 2019. Scott Morrison a ‘conservative’ on abortion (online), 28 August. Available at: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/scott-morrison-a-conservative-on-abortion (Accessed 2 October 2019).

[4] Ibid.

[5] AAP 2019. Gay marriage is the law: PM Morrison (online), 13 May. Available at: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/gay-marriage-is-the-law-pm-morrison (Accessed 2 October 2019).

[6] Leigh Sales grills Scott Morrison over his faith and plebiscite views in final interview before election (online), 16 May. Available at: https://www.news.com.au/national/federal-election/leigh-sales-grills-scott-morrison-over-his-faith-and-plebiscite-views-in-final-interview-before-election/news-story/0ffb8040eaee81c2b8094e61656cb3db (Accessed 2 October 2019).

[7] PM Scott Morrison says he now backs same-sex marriage (online), 14 May. Available at: https://www.outinperth.com/pm-scott-morrison-says-he-now-backs-same-sex-marriage/ (Accessed 2 October 2019).

[8] ‘No, I do not believe that’: PM clarifies that he does not think gay people go to hell (online), 14 May. Available at: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/no-i-do-not-believe-that-pm-clarifies-that-he-does-not-think-gay-people-go-to-hell (Accessed 2 October 2019).

[9] AAP 2018. Scott Morrison praises Israel Folau’s ‘strong character’ after anti-gay remarks. The Guardian Australia, 12 April. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/apr/18/scott-morrison-praises-israel-folaus-strong-character-after-anti-gay-remarks (Accessed 2 October 2019).

Copyright © 2020 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 23 January 2020.

Image result for clipart colored single lineImage result for clipart colored single lineImage result for clipart colored single line

Have politics changed ScoMo’s Christianity?

‘I’m not running for Pope’

The Honourable Scott Morrison MP

Scott Morrison 2014 (cropped 2).jpg

30th Prime Minister of Australia

By Spencer D Gear PhD

This article was first published by On Line Opinion, 6 November 2019.

What is Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, telling us about his Christianity with these statements?

Flower8 Before becoming PM, he did not support same-sex marriage. What about now?

Flower8 When interviewed by Leigh Sales, he had an opportunity to tell those watching what his views were on the existence and nature of God. He pushed that one aside with a ‘love’ view.

Flower8 He’s a Christian who doesn’t mix religion and politics.

Which God is he serving? He and his family attend Horizon Church, Sutherland Shire, NSW, Australia. This is a Pentecostal congregation associated with the Australian Christian Churches, affiliated with the Assemblies of God worldwide.

He allowed the mass media into the worship service to see him with his wife at Easter Sunday service 2019. ScoMo was praising God with hand raised. This is a common practice in Pentecostal and other evangelical church worship, supported by Bible passages such as Psalm 63:4.

This article will examine how Morrison’s Christianity integrates in public with his politics.

1. Prime Minister’s moral views

When he was treasurer in 2016, he did not support change from traditional to same-sex marriage. This is in agreement with Jesus’ endorsement of heterosexual relationships:

‘‘’Haven’t you read,’ he replied, ‘that at the beginning the Creator “made them male and female,” and said, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh”? So they are no longer two, but one flesh’ (Matthew 19:4-6).

What about abortion?

The context of the recent abortion debate in NSW was when the PM acknowledged it was a State issue where the MPs and MLCs were granted a conscience vote. He would not make it a Commonwealth issue but acknowledged

I have what I would describe as conservative views on this issue as people know I have on other issues. That’s really all I think I need to say”.

That statement was made after he became PM.

2. When new moral views become law

Now that homosexual marriage has been legalised in Australia, what is Morrison’s view? Notice how he dodges the journalist’s questions:

Mr Morrison abstained from voting for marriage equality when it passed the House of Representatives in 2018, and he voted “no” in the national survey.

When asked if he is still personally opposed to same-sex marriage, the prime minister replied: “It’s law. And I’m glad that the change has now been made and people can get on with their lives. That’s what I’m happy about.”

When pressed on whether his opinions have changed, he told reporters in Perth: “I always support the law of the country“.

So, he supports Australian law but won’t own up to his current personal beliefs about homosexuality. I wonder, as a Pentecostal Christian, whether he accepts the Bible’s view on the topic.

OUTinPerth, an LGBTIQ+ news source, observed ScoMo’s views on homosexuality when a journalist interviewed him in Perth. Now he was supportive of same-sex couples being allowed to ‘get on with their lives’ because he ‘always supports the law of the country’.

ScoMo would not be drawn into a discussion on whether he believed ‘gay people would be sent to hell’ – referring to the Israel Folau controversy.

3. His views on God

Leigh Sales of ABC’s 7.30 grilled him on this topic: ‘I’m not running for Pope,’ Mr Morrison shot back. “I’m running for Prime Minister. And the theological questions are not ones that are actually, I think, germane to the political debate in this country’.

Then he defined faith as loving others, ‘which is what I’ve always believed’. His parents taught by example, serving in local youth organisations, boys and girls brigade for the youth in their community. ‘They taught me a life of faith and service and that’s what my faith means to me. It means service and caring for others’.

Image result for clipart Who Is GodHe had an ideal public opportunity to declare his belief in the Lord God Almighty and Jesus the Saviour who offers salvation to the world. He turned to the ‘loving others’ definition of who God is. In my view he dodged the issues regarding attributes of God for a Christian PM.

When will ScoMo have the courage to lead the country in repentance and prayer for rain? He stated when it rained in Albury: ‘I do pray for that rain. And I’d encourage others who believe in the power of prayer to pray for that rain and to pray for our farmers. Please do that’.

We heard former PM, Malcolm Turnbull, state, ‘We can’t make it rain’. Step up to the mark ScoMo. You know the One who sends and withholds rain: God the Father ‘lets the sun rise for all people, whether they are good or bad. He sends rain to those who do right and to those who do wrong’.

I’m waiting on Morrison’s call to the nation to flood into churches, public halls and local parks to pray earnestly for rain. We can’t force God to send the rain but he has told us to ‘never stop praying’ and wait for his sovereign action in sending the liquid gold to the parched regions of the nation.

It is time for this Christian PM to tell us who sends the rain. This view espoused by many that ‘we can’t make it rain’ is true but it avoids announcing who sends rain and how we should respond to the drought.

4. Religion does not mix with politics

Morrison told a journalist, ‘he doesn’t “mix [his] religion with politics”’.

Regarding homosexuals and hell, he clarified his view before the 2019 election: No, I do not believe that’, he told SBS News.

Image result for clipart religion and politicsHowever, only a year prior he supported Israel Folau’s ‘strength of character in standing up for what he believes in and I think that’s what this country is all about’. Folau believes sinners go to hell. Does he support Folau’s ‘strength of character’ without affirming Folau’s moral and theological beliefs?

Does he believe all sinners go to hell? I have not found his making a clear public statement about this.

However, The Horizon Church where he and his family attend, stated in its Doctrinal Basis (for Australian Christian Churches), ‘We believe in the everlasting punishment of the wicked (in the sense of eternal torment) who wilfully reject and despise the love of God manifested in the great sacrifice of his only Son on the cross for their salvation’ (Bible references provided).

If ScoMo is a member of that Church he would have to accept this teaching.

5. Which Bible does ScoMo read?

Twelve months ago when he was treasurer, Morrison’s views on morality and a Christian world view do not match his philosophy with biblical teaching today. From what I’ve written above, alarm bells should be ringing of conflicts between his beliefs and actions.

Related imageThe first alarm concerns how a person’s world view affects life in the real world, including politics. All of us have a world view, a lens through which we look and interpret all of life.

The global warming world view uses a certain set of lenses. Left wing and right wing agitators also use different lenses. The Christian and atheistic world views see life through the theistic God’s existence (Christian) and the lack of evidence for God (atheism).

For ScoMo to state he doesn’t ‘mix religion with politics’, he violates a Christian fundamental belief: ‘And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him’ (Colossians 3:17).

So, ScoMo, as a biblical Christian, should live by the teaching: ‘I must mix my Christianity with political thinking and actions. By this I give thanks to God the Father through Jesus’.

Related imageA second alarm deals with ScoMo’s acceptance of moral issues after they become law, e.g. homosexual marriage and abortion. The biblical view is that promoted by Peter and the apostles when confronted with the Jewish high council (the Sanhedrin).

The high priest stated: ‘We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name. Look, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood on us! But Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than people” (Acts 5:28-29).

Should that be ScoMo’s approach to legislation that clashes with Scripture?

6. Bible, homosexuality and abortion

First Corinthians 6:9-11 is clear. Wrong doers or the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God. These include those who indulge in sexual sin, worship idols, commit adultery, are male prostitutes, practise homosexuality, are thieves, greedy, drunkards, abusive, or cheat people.

If they don’t inherit the kingdom of God, where do they go at death? Jesus said regarding the last judgment: ‘They [the unrighteous] will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life’ (Matthew 25:46).

Therefore, Izzy scored the try across the biblical line while ScoMo fumbled the biblical material and presented a view that is foreign to the text.

https://i0.wp.com/www.campaignlifecoalition.com/shared/skins/default/images/abortionphotos/abortedbaby22wks.jpg?resize=317%2C231&ssl=1(aborted 22 weeks, Campaign Life Coalition)

As for God’s view on abortion, is it more than ScoMo’s ‘conservative’ view? Is the unborn a living human being (from God’s perspective) whose right to live should be preserved? Or is the unborn child a lump of cells of no more value than a chicken fillet?

Scripture teaches that human life exists in the womb: ‘You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb’ (Psalm 139:13).

In the New Testament (NT), when Mary and Elizabeth met, both being pregnant, Elizabeth’s baby (John the Baptist) ‘leaped in her womb’ in salutation of Mary’s baby, Jesus.  Of special significance in Luke’s account is that he used the same word brephos (NT Greek) for an unborn child (1:41, 44), the new-born baby (2:12, 16) and the little ones brought to Jesus to bless (18:15).

Medical science agrees. Every human life begins at conception. The approximately 65,000 murdered in Australian abortions every year are pre-born children – human beings.

In 1970, in the midst of the United States’ abortion debate (it was legalised in 1973), the editors of the journal California Medicine (the official journal of the California Medical Association), noticed ‘a curious avoidance of thescientific fact, which everyone really knows, that human life begins at conception and is continuous whether intra or extrauterine until death’.

Therefore, to kill an unborn infant is to murder a human being.

7. Conclusion

ScoMo’s world view is not driven by biblical Christianity’s, ‘We must obey God rather than human beings’. When he reneges on what the Bible says about the destiny of all evil doers, including homosexuals, he has made a trade off to weaken what the Bible states.

To affirm that he is not running for Pope and serves a God of love avoids fuller explanation of who God is: All-powerful, one who knows all things, has wrath as well as love; he offers salvation to all who believe; we can know him truly, and he is eternal.

Could you imagine ScoMo taking a stand on the 7.30 program like this? ‘As a Christian who believes in the inspiration of the Bible, I endorse the content of Israel Folau’s Instagram post. As a Christian PM, everything I say and do will be under the scrutiny of the Bible’.

I appreciate that that kind of comment would lose some votes at the next election – while gaining others – and could be used by the opposition to denigrate his beliefs in a multicultural Australia. Nevertheless, the Australian Constitution has its foundation in the five states that joined together, ‘humbly relying on the blessing of Almighty God’.

All Christians are faced with the ScoMo challenge: ‘Everything you say and everything you do should be done for Jesus your Lord’. Imagine the PM saying it like that to Leigh Sales!

In my view, the public life of politics has weakened ScoMo’s overt Christianity.

ScoMo what will it be? Spiritual correctness or political correctness? Your future will depend on it.

Copyright © 2019 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 03 November 2019.

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