Tag Archives: Scott Morrison

Scott Morrison’s failure to integrate faith with politics

Morrison in 2009

By Spencer D Gear PhD

See Acts 5:29 (NLT), ‘But Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than any human authority”’. The NRSV has a similar translation.

1. Prime Minister Scott Morrison doesn’t mix religion with politics.

Before the 2019 election,

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says his “faith is not about politics”. . . . Asked directly . . . if he believed gay people go to hell, Mr Morrison replied: “I support the law of the country.”

“I don’t mix my religion with politics or my faith with politics and it’s always been something that has informed how I live my life and how I seek to care for and support others,” he said. “That is what I always seek to do”

The Liberal leader abstained from the final vote on the floor of Parliament.

“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” (Bagshaw 2019).

2. I find Morrison to be a disobedient Christian

Firstly, ScoMo is to be commended that he abstained from the final vote on homosexual marriage.

However, the position, “I don’t mix my religion with politics or my faith with politics” is in violation of Acts 5:29.

How is it possible for him to have a Christian faith that “has informed how I live my life and how I seek to care for and support others,” and yet not affect how he votes in Parliament.

The biblical view is that “we must obey God rather than any human authority” (Acts 5:29 NLT). Therefore, He is not a holistic believer in Christ. However, I must admit that it’s a tough job being an evangelical, Pentecostal Christian in a secular, democratic society. I’ll be surprised if he survives the next election.

However, some extreme statements have been made about Morrison’s rise as a PM at the last election:

Pastor Adam F Thompson from Voice of Fire Ministries and Adrian Beale from Everrest Ministries told a congregation of Hope City Church that Morrison’s elevation to power was divinely inspired.

Thompson, who says he can interpret dreams and that supernatural signs and manifestations accompany his ministry, said he’d received a message from God that Morrison and the Coalition must win the election (Hutchens 2018).

Is Thompson prepared to make a signs and wonders prophecy for the next Australian election?

3.  Could this be one of those jobs?

Could this be one of those positions where it would be better not to take such a position, even though Christians are desperately needed in the political process?

Here’s a Christian ethical dilemma:

Do homosexuals go to hell? If a journalist asks this question, how should Scott Morrison reply?

First Corinthians 6:9-11 (NIV) states:

Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men[1] nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Here homosexual male acts are included with other wrong-doing such as sexual immorality, idolatry, adultery, theft, greed, being a drunkard, slanderer and swindler. It doesn’t say such sinners will be sent to hell but that they “will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

What is the message in Romans 1 regarding homosexuality? See Rom 1:21-31 (NIV) where male and female homosexuals “received in themselves the due penalty for their error” (v. 27). They “invented ways of doing evil” (v. 29). What is the result of such actions? “They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator – who is for ever praised. Amen” (v. 25).

There are consequences for doing such evil. They will not “inherit the kingdom of God” and will receive “the penalty for their error.”

  • This is a journalistic question, “Do you believe homosexuals go to hell?” where it would be appropriate for ScoMo to respond: “Go read your Bibles! Particularly read Romans 1 and 1 Corinthians 6. That’s where you’ll find the answers.”

Could this be a job as an MP to avoid? I don’t think so. Instead, ScoMo needs to practise the Matt 10:16 (NLT) principle, “Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves.”

4. Conclusion

In my view, Morrison has failed to integrate his Pentecostal faith with his day-time job of Prime Minister. At least he took a step in not voting in the final vote on gay marriage. But he admitted his perspective, “faith is not about politics.”

To the contrary, all that he does has to do with his relationship with Jesus. His values must be informed by the Acts 5:29 requirement.

5.  Notes

[1] “The words men who have sex with men translate two Greek words that refer to the passive and active participants in homosexual acts.”

6. Works consulted

Bagshaw, E 2019. ‘I support the law of the country’: Debate over sexuality and religion creeps into election campaign. The Sydney Morning Herald (online), 13 May. Available at: https://www.smh.com.au/federal-election-2019/i-support-the-law-of-the-country-debate-over-sexuality-and-religion-creeps-into-election-campaign-20190513-p51mxm.html (Accessed 16 September 2019).

Hutchens, Gareth 2018. “’Darkness’ coming if Scott Morrison not re-elected, Pentecostal leader claims,” The Guardian Australian Edition, 7 September. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/sep/07/darkness-coming-if-scott-morrison-not-re-elected-pentecostal-leader-claims (Accessed 11 September 2021).

Copyright © 2021 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 11 September 2021.

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.

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