As I grew up, one of my favourite hymns was ‘Trust and Obey’. Along with other songs like ‘OBEDIENCE Is…’, I was taught the Ephesians 6:1 principle of ‘Children, obey your parents’. Those songs are not part of the playlist in most churches and sunday schools today. Obedience and submission are not only absent in society, but they are frowned upon as archaic and discriminative.
This week Sydney’s archbishop, Peter Jensen, took a huge amount of heat for including the word submission in the proposed Anglican Prayer Book for wedding ceremonies. In spite of Ephesians 5 explicitly stating that submission is part of marriage, the uproar was huge. Over 1000 comments, in the corresponding SMH article railed against the church and Christians in general. As I listened to talk back radio discussing this ‘furore’, it became clear just how selfish and fleshly we have all become. Even marriage is now seen a ‘partnership’ based on what an individual can get rather than give. Never mind that the archbishop clearly stated that ‘Her submission rises out of his submission to Christ’. Church leaders are castigated as being sexist and the equivalent of modern day slave traders. I could not help but muse as to why the archbishop seemed to be one of the few public voices I heard teaching and obeying the Scriptural command of this subject. This subject is not an ancillary nicety of Christianity, marriage is a picture of the gospel and undermining Christian marriage is an attack on the gospel.
Meanwhile, down in Tasmania, outrage against God’s word continued. In a forum on same-sex marriage, the Australian Christian Lobby’s Jim Wallace, made a comment on the health costs associated with a gay lifestyle. He said, ‘I think we’re going to owe smokers a big apology when the homosexual community’s own statistics for its health – which it presents when it wants more money for health – are that is has higher rates of drug-taking, of suicide, it has the life of a male reduced by up to 20 years.’
The resulting media crusade saw the Prime Minister withdraw from speaking at the ACL’s forum next month. The clear message is, ‘If you want to be considered legitimate and mainstream, do not speak of views that run counter to mainstream, popular thought‘.
I believed we have reached a point where we all need to decide who we are going to obey. It is not easy to obey God, rather than men, but we must stop being silent. Our generation must be vocal and we must teach our children the importance of trusting God and obeying and professing His truth.
If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” – Mark 8:38
Will we confess Jesus and his teaching before men, or will be give Jesus reason to hang his head in shame when he looks at us? Without returning to the old days of legalism, we must restore our steadfast obedience to Christ. As followers of Christ, we can do no less.