Why O'Reilly Is Wrong!

Bill O’Reilly raised a controversy when he stated that Christians who use the Bible to defend their position against homosexual marriage are “Bible Thumping.” He further stated that Christians who oppose homosexual marriage must make a better argument that is not based on the moral authority of the Bible. O’Reilly’s views reflect a common misunderstanding found within our culture. That misconception is that “all laws” are actually the legislative encoding of someone’s morality. The important question iswhose morality is being used to make the laws?

When we examine O’Reilly’s statements from a biblical worldview we can see that his own worldview is actually a form of Gnostic dualism. What he is saying is that one’s faith should “only” apply to the “spiritual” dimension of one’s personal life – not to the culture and its lawmaking. In other words, Christianity from his worldview should be a privately held belief with no expression in the public policy arena.

This view is unbiblical and dualistic. It is what Christian philosopher Francis Schaeffer described as the sacred/secular divide. This dualistic worldview relegates the Christian life solely to the “spiritual” dimension of one’s personal life - not the material world in which people live in a cultural context with others. The Gnostic heretics the Apostle Paul encountered during his era had a similar worldview. They taught that since the Christian life only deals with the “spiritual” dimensions of one’s personal life, what one did with their bodies didn’t matter. As a result of adopting this dualistic worldview some professing Christians indulged in all types of sexual activities and perversions which were prohibited by the Bible. They justified this behavior on the basis of the dualistic view advocated by the “Christian” Gnostics (and O’Reilly).

The Apostle Paul declared this view a heretical misunderstanding of Christianity. He taught that Jesus is Lord of the universe which includes every facet of one’s life. To limit the lordship of Christ only to the “spiritual” dimension of one’s personal life is a heretical mistake, according to the Apostle Paul. The Bible reveals this was one of the first major heresies Paul encountered. He knew the dualistic teachings of the Gnostics would lead to a weak church filled with lawless Christians and non-Christians. Paul knew that if allowed to persist, this view would destroy the early church.  He wrote portions of the Scripture to directly confront this error and presented a holistic Gospel in which Jesus is recognized as both Lord of the universe and all of one’s life.

With regard to the origin of the laws for our nation, O’Reilly is in error, much as these early heretics and the Christians that accepted their dualist worldview. Our Founding Fathers stated that our “inalienable” rights are given to us by our Creator. They emphasized that God gave them to us – not the government. Jefferson stated that these rights are based on “the laws of nature and nature’s God.” During the founding era in our nation’s history this meant the moral laws of God as revealed in the Bible. Note that Jefferson was careful to link the laws of nature to the “Creator” of nature. The reference to “nature’s God” was a direct reference toward the Christian God that created both nature and the universe.  

Thomas Jefferson wrote:

"Man has been subjected by his Creator to the moral law, of which his feelings, or conscience as it is sometimes called, are the evidence with which his Creator has furnished him .... The moral duties which exist between individual and individual in a state of nature, accompany them into a state of society, their Maker not having released them from those duties on their forming themselves into a nation."

The point Jefferson makes here is that the Christian God and His moral laws are the ultimate moral authority upon which the laws of all nations are to be based. This view of law is referred to in the legal profession as “higher law.” It is the legal basis for the inalienable rights - which the American government cannot deny to any of its citizens.

Higher law is the moral law revealed by the Christian God to men. It supersedes any laws men may make that contradict its moral principles. During the Nuremberg trials of the Nazis for their war crimes, natural law was the legal ground upon which they were judged and convicted. The Nazi’s defense for their inhumane actions was that German law allowed them to exterminate inferior races. The court found them morally and legally responsible for their actions based on a higher moral standard of law. This moral standard supersedes the laws of both the German nation and all other nations. The reasoning of the court was that there are moral laws by which all humans are to be held accountable since they are universally known by all people to be true.  Our Founders referred to these moral laws as the laws of nature given to us and defined by the creator of nature, the Christian God.

William Blackstone was the highly regarded jurist of the Founding era. With regard to natural law he stated the commonly held belief of law in that era,

"Man ... must necessarily be subject to the laws of his Creator. This will of his Maker is called the law of nature.... This law of nature...is of course superior to any other.... No human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this: and such of them as are valid derive all their force...from this original." - Sir William Blackstone (Eminent English Jurist)

God’s Law, or higher law, is universal. It applies to all men in all locations and at all times.

 The law of nature…dictated by God himself…is binding …in all countries and at all times; no human laws are of any validity if contrary to this; and such of them that are valid derive all their force and all their authority, mediately or immediately, from this original. William Blackstone found in Harold Berman, The Interaction of Law and Religion, 31, Mercer L. Rev, 405, 406, 408, (1980). Copyright @1980 by Mercer University Law School.

The point made here is that God - not man - is the ultimate moral authority when it comes to the prescribing the laws for mankind. God’s revealed laws are the ultimate authority for determining whether a law is just, or not. The misguided Bible thumpers O’Reilly refers to stand in good company. They include our Founding Fathers, Blackstone, the Apostle Paul, Moses, our common law heritage and the historical standard for law and justice given by God since time began.  

If our legal system is allowed to move to another source of moral authority to determine whether a law is just or not, then the judges will make themselves the final authority regarding moral and legal issues. Because people are morally fallible and sinful by nature, they will deny individuals the inalienable rights given to them by God and our Constitution. The real dilemma we face today is that for many people, including O’Reilly, the moral authority for law has shifted from God’s law to men. O’Reilly joins these people when he chastises Christians for referring to the Bible as the ultimate moral authority to determine the lawfulness of homosexual marriages. In doing so, he contradicts the legal views of our Founders and the original law system based on biblical revelation and natural law.

O’Reilly is just one of many professing Christians making this mistake. Eric Teetsel is author of the Manhattan Declaration. His column, published in USA Today, included the following statement: “This understanding requires no judgment about the morality of homosexuality.” He went on to argue that many non-marital relationships, including same-sex romantic couples, “are worthy of rights and relationships,” but the state’s interest in marriage is its ability to create and nurture children. But, he insists, this concern “requires no judgment about the morality of homosexuality.”

The same approach is reflected in the book defending natural marriage titled, What is Marriage? by Sherif Girgis, Ryan T. Anderson, and Robert P. George. The authors try and make the case that the issue is not a moral argument about homosexuality. In the book, the authors begin with this declaration:

 

What we have come to call the gay marriage debate is not directly about homosexuality, but about marriage.”  They continue, “First, it is not in the end about homosexuality. We do not address the morality of homosexual acts or their heterosexual counterparts. We will show that one can defend the conjugal view of marriage while bracketing this moral question and that the conjugal view can be wholeheartedly embraced without denigrating same-sex attracted people, or ignoring their needs, or assuming that their desires should change.”

 

Christian leaders are surrendering the role that morality should play in law making to the pagan secularists. They are trying to make an argument based on pragmatic social reasoning, rather than moral persuasion. This is a losing strategy because they are abdicating the moral authority upon which our government and its laws have historically been based.

We are in the midst of a battle of worldviews for the soul of our nation. Law making has become divorced from our nation’s historical moral reference points that originated from Christianity. The secular postmodern culture has undermined the biblical moral foundations upon which the Founders established our nation and its laws. The ultimate sin in our culture today is to declare that there is one overriding truth and moral authority by which all people are held accountable. The Supreme Court has been especially active in promoting the humanist postmodern view into our laws. In 2003, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion in the landmark case Lawrence v. Texas. It struck down all laws criminalizing homosexual acts. In this decision Justice Kennedy argued that the moral opposition to homosexuality was not a rational basis for the establishment of laws regulating it.

 

This ruling was a radical break from how laws have historically been determined legitimate. It reveals a clear expression of the postmodern secular worldview that is opposed to the Christian worldview. In his counter argument Justice Antonin Scalia argued that Kennedy had just eliminated any legal barrier to same-sex marriage. “If moral disapprobation of homosexual conduct is ‘no legitimate state interest’ for purposes of proscribing that conduct … what justification could there possibly be for denying the benefits of marriage to homosexual couples exercising ‘the liberty protected by the Constitution?’”

 

The result of this decision was that any discussion of Christian morality, when it comes to law making, will no longer be tolerated. The removal of Christian moral consideration from law making has set the stage for the controversy we see today. The Texas decision marks a total reversal for how our nation’s law system was originally founded. The nature of the vicious nature of the culture war can be seen in how Phillip Robertson, one of the characters in the reality show Duck Dynasty, was attacked nationally by the secular world when he addressed the biblical position God has revealed toward homosexual behavior.  The secular world came out on the attack in full force and demanded his head for stating what the bible teaches about homosexual behavior. The secularists went berserk! They will not tolerate a biblical perspective of morality to be expresses in our culture. So much for the tolerance that they demand to present their own views. They are totally intolerant to any views that contradict theirs. They forced A&E to fire him. This is the future agenda they have for our culture. A fascist intolerance of any views other than their own.

 

The reality is that all law is a codification of someone’s morality. The question then becomes, whose morality will rule the day? The decision by the Supreme Court is that only a secular view of morality will be allowed to rein from now on. The Supreme Court has rejected the Christian God and His law as the final standard for legitimate law. The strategy being used by many Christian leaders, like O’Reilly and friends, is to appease the court and argue from a secular social rationale rather than a moral one. We will never win using this kind of strategy. We need to get back to defending the legal system given to us by God, our Founding Fathers and the Constitution. God’s law should be the ultimate standard for determining justice and the legitimacy of our laws – not judges pushing their agenda of an atheist worldview.

 

When the court approves an ungodly law, we need to oppose that law based on the unchanging moral principles revealed by God. Church leaders have been asleep at the wheel when it comes to cultural stewardship. Many have adopted the same Gnostic dualism that relegates the Christian life solely to the personal spiritual life – not the whole of life. As a result, they handed the reins of power within our culture to the pagans. They then react in bewilderment when the pagans use our government and the courts to transform the American culture into an immoral, sexually perverted secular state whose goal is to destroy Christianity.

 

The long-term solution for our nation is for Christians is to repent of the heretical dualistic worldview that relegates the lordship of Jesus solely to the individual’s personal spiritual life. In the Great Commission Jesus stated that He is lord of the whole universe:

 

All authority has been given to me in heaven and earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Mathew 28: 18)  

 

Discipling the nations includes teaching them biblical principles of governance and law making. Jesus has commanded us to redeem the cultural institutions so they reflect the justice of His law, which is the ultimate standard for determining right or wrong. Only by referring to God’s law can any culture have a truly just society since God ultimately defines what justice is, as well as what is right or wrong behavior..

 

When the courts approve an ungodly law, we need to stand with the Founders and oppose it based on biblical morality and justice. In the past history of our nation the Supreme Court declared that black people were not humans but chattel property. Blacks had no human rights since they were not regarded as people by our court judges. The same holds true today for unborn babies. The court has ruled that they have no human rights and that it’s legal to murder them in the womb. As we learned in Nazi Germany, what is legal is not necessarily what is moral. The Nazi leaders were held to account for their crimes by the higher moral standard of natural law revealed by God in Scripture.

 

The situation today is no different. We have degenerated culturally and legally because many of our church leaders have gone along with the postmodern secular worldview rather than confronting it. These passive church leaders, similar to those in Nazi Germany, are learning the hard lesson that there is no neutrality with the pagans when it comes to the war of worldviews. Either the Christian worldview or that of the pagan secularists will ultimately rule the day. Jesus has already given us our marching orders that deal with this issue. He commanded us to disciple the nations and transform the cultures of the world according to the moral principles of justice revealed in the Bible. Let’s start in our own backyard with the discipleship and redemption of America’s people and its culture before it’s too late.   

  

Resources:

Video of O’Reilly vs Laura Ingram on this issue

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VO32JMd7l_g

Written by Hector Falcon

Worldview Leadership Institute

WVLI.ORG

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