In England an Evangelical Christian who works as a counsellor declines the opportunity to offer marriage counseling to a homosexual couple. He’s fired. He sues for unfair dismissal due to religious discrimination. He loses his appeal and the judge speaks out against religious freedom. Read about it here.
What is remarkable is that a judge–who is supposed to be not just a fair man, but an educated and knowledgeable person– can be so appallingly ignorant about the true nature of religion. His basic argument is that religion has no basis in factual evidence. It is simply a subjective experience and therefore it has no rights in the courts of law.
There is one major problem here and one interesting observation. The major problem is that the judge regards religion as not having any basis in historical or factual evidence. However, what does he do with the simple historical existence of Christianity for the last 2000 years? Is the whole parade of Christian history not a very huge fact that has to be reckoned with? Have all the accomplishments of the Catholic faith in human history and Western culture simply been the fabrications of subjective religious experiences? What planet is this man living on?
Linked with this is the undeniable fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It seems inconceivable that we have been so lax in communicating the simple apologetical details of the facts of Our Lord’s death and resurrection and the astounding result which is the establishment of the Christian religion. Clearly this educated and high level Englishman is ignorant of the most important ‘fact’ of human history: the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Why would this be? Because for the last 75 years the liberal scholars who have dominated the Protestant denominations like the Church of England have increasingly denied the resurrection. The reality of Christ’s death and resurrection have been downplayed. Academic theologians have found it embarrassing. They have conjured away the resurrection with liberal ‘re-interpretations’ of the gospel–keeping the traditional language of religion while denying the power thereof. Then they’re surprised when their Christian society drifts away, becomes secular and relegates religion to a personal subjective experience?
The second point is an observation about Protestantism generally. In the sixteenth century they did away with the historical fact of the authority of the Catholic Church. What did they put in it’s place? Personal interpretation of Sacred Scripture. Sola Scriptura enshrined the personal subjective interpretation of Christianity as a cornerstone of Protestantism.
In the twentieth century, through the new Biblical ‘scholarship’ they did away with the authority of Scripture. More than ever the Bible was simply a historical book which recorded the ‘religious experience’ of the Jews and early Christians. Without Church authority and without belief in the inspired Word of God the Protestants were left with nothing but a religion of personal experience.
And in this they gloried. Evangelicals enshrined the ‘personal salvation experience’ as the only thing that matters while the liberal Protestants enshrined the pursuit of a politically correct agenda as the only thing that matters. Both are simply matters of taste, so no wonder this poor, ignorant judge in England has drawn the conclusion that religion is no more than a matter of taste or a certain type of personal experience.
He does not that individual taste or personal experience should affect the general public in law. He believes it is a personal, subjective matter and it therefore has no right to allow a person to discriminate against others.
I once engaged in a debate at Oxford with the Anglican theologian Alistair McGrath on the premise, “The Reformation: Triumph or Disaster?”
The above is another reason why it was a disaster…
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