Category Archives: Absolutes

Australia is in deep trouble: Droughts, floods and fires

By Spencer D Gear PhD

This title page points to five articles following that need to be read consecutively to see the message unfold.

1. Get to the heart of the BIG drought, fires and floods


(photo courtesy WordPress at The University of Melbourne)

We can’t make it rain. But we can ensure that farming families and their communities get all the support they need to get through the drought, recover and get back on their feet” the government said in a statement’.[1]

2. Pointing towards a solution: Australian disasters

But there’s not much we can do about it.”

3. Connection between spiritual condition of the nation and disasters


(image courtesy Pinterest)


(image courtesy

They are only examples of two bits and pieces (euthanasia, abortion) in Australia. The bigger picture is what Francis A Schaeffer described as the inevitable consequences that follow for any nation that follows this world view:

Those who hold the material-energy, chance concept of reality, whether they are Marxist or non-Marxist, not only do not know the truth of the final reality, God, they do not know who Man is. Their concept of Man is what Man is not, just as their concept of the final reality is what final reality is not. Since their concept of Man is mistaken, their concept of society and of law is mistaken, and they have no sufficient base for either society or law.

They have reduced Man to even less than his natural finiteness by seeing him only as a complex arrangement of molecules, made complex by blind chance. Instead of seeing him as something great who is significant even in his sinning, they see Man in his essence only as an intrinsically competitive animal, that has no other basic operating principle than natural selection brought about by the strongest, the fittest, ending on top. And they see Man as acting in this way both individually and collectively as society (Francis A Schaeffer 1981:25-26).[2]

4. This deep-seated problem brings ruin to the outback and to the Australian nation


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The Australian Constitution of 1900 begins:

WHEREAS the people of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, and Tasmania, humbly relying on the blessing of Almighty God, have agreed to unite in one indissoluble Federal Commonwealth under the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and under the Constitution hereby established.[3]

Where is God in the media, marketplace of ideas, government and education? Labelling Australia as a ‘secular’ (nonreligious) nation demonstrates how secularists don’t understand the consequences of a secular-humanist world view. We see the consequences in Australia today.

5. The path Australia treads to ruin


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6.  Notes

[1] Stephanie Bedo 2018. Australia’s crippling drought crisis: Overcoming past mistakes to save ourselves for the future. (online), 6 August. Available at: (Accessed 7 January 2019).

[2] Francis A Schaeffer 1981. A Christian Manifesto. Westchester, Illinois: Crossway Books. The chapter from which this citation is drawn, ‘The Abolition of Truth and Morality’ is available from The Highway at: (Accessed 28 May 2019).

[3] Available at: (Accessed 6 November 2018).

Copyright © 2019 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 28 May 2019.


Kill yourself if life is meaningless: Dr David Goodall’s dangerous precedent

Image result for photo Dr David Goodall euthanasia public domain

(Dr David Goodall, courtesy

By Spencer D Gear PhD

This is a reply to Peter FitzSimons, ‘David Goodall leads the way with choice we should all get to have’ (Brisbane Times, The Sydney Morning Herald, 13 May 2018).[1]

What a way to start an article! Where are the pro-lifers and fierce opponents of euthanasia?

Peter, we are in the cities, towns and streets across the nation. The mass media generally don’t seek us out to give the reasons why we oppose assisted suicide and euthanasia. Our views don’t get much air-play. They’re not accepted in an Australian culture where people do what is right in their own eyes.

FitzSimons promoted his pro-euthanasia view triumphantly, asking if Dr David Goodall got it right or wrong and whether we are on a slippery slope in our culture.‘David Goodall ended his life at 104 with a final powerful statement on euthanasia’.[2]

If I accept this reasoning, I should have quit counselling suicidal youth and others through 30 years of counselling. Many considered life was pointless and they could be aged 14, 44 or 84.

I should have forgotten about my suicide awareness training programmes. Disregard referring suicidal people to Lifeline (ph 13 11 14) and Beyond Blue (ph 1300 22 4636) for counselling.

Why bother with trying to show there are better alternatives and providing compassionate support in making those decisions? Getting assistance in killing oneself is better! Right?

If they wanted to kill themselves, my advice should have been, ‘Go ahead and do it ASAP. That’s your choice. Good luck!’

Dr Goodall and those who promote assisted suicide set dangerous precedents. They place life and death decisions on the level of everyday choices.

Think of the ramifications!

FitzSimons asked: Where is the problem in any of the Swiss procedures and the way Goodall died?

Many! I will address only four of them:

1.   World views make a world of difference

Worldviews have consequences.

FitzSimons promotes moral relativism. In his words, ‘It’s not your choice (opponents of the right-to-die). It’s our choice (euthanasia supporters)’.

What is a world view?

A world view is a way of viewing or interpreting all of reality…. A world view is really a world and life view. That is, it includes within it value indicators or principles by which one makes value judgments…. One set of world view “glasses” can be exchanged for a different world view. In science this kind of major change is called a “paradigm shift.” In religion it is called a “conversion” (Geisler & Watkins 1984:11-12).

Image result for clipart moral relativismFitzsimons’ reasons to support euthanasia provide an example of the world view of moral relativism in action. Ethical decisions and choices of right and wrong are determined by individuals or group choices in this world view.

2.   The logical consequences of moral relativism

What are the logical consequences of such a view?

Dr Goodall and Exit International consider that euthanasia ‘supports an individual of sound mind’s right to choose and implement a peaceful death at a time of their choosing’.[3]

The late Labor MLC of the NSW upper house, Paul O’Grady, maintained ‘voluntary euthanasia is a question of basic human rights. It is about the right of individuals to choose for themselves the quality of life they want and when they no longer enjoy that quality of life’.[4] Should such a view be applied to people of any age, including teenagers who claim life has no meaning?

The University of Southern Queensland (Toowoomba) published, ‘Business Ethics: boardroom pressures in an age of moral relativism’,[5] affirming this world view in Australia.

Outside of the life/death sphere, history and contemporary experiences tell us that moral relativism has had serious or deadly repercussions, such as paedophilia, terrorism, the Nazi holocaust, Port Arthur massacre, alleged bribery and fraud of the financial sector, mayors unfit for office, cricket ball-tampering, etc.

3.   There is a better way

Some will call this better way a choice because it is not forced on anybody. Australia was built on the moral ethics and government has its foundations in the absolutes of the Judeo-Christian world view.

Why do we need absolute standards of right or wrong in the euthanasia debate? Imagine living in an Australia where murdering anyone either voluntarily or involuntarily was considered right for the country.

We need standards that are beyond fickle human decisions. This does not require us to toe the line of the Judeo-Christian world view. It invites us to participate in upholding the absolute standards of all human beings who are made in the image of God.

So to kill such a person is to take over the sovereign God’s authority in life and death decisions. It is an attack on God’s sovereignty, in the name of human freedom.

John Piper summarised God’s view of life and death and whose right it is to take human life. ‘It seemed to him that in the euthanasia discussion, ‘Human life, which is distinct from all other earthly life in being created in the image of God and designed to exist forever, is the gift of God. And he owns it and may do with it as he please, take it any time he please without wronging anyone, and this is his unique prerogative’.

These verses of Scripture (from the ESV) support that view:

  • 1 Tim 6:13, ‘[He] gives life to all things’.
  • Deut 32:39, ‘See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god besides me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand’.
  • 1 Sam 2:6, ‘The Lord kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up’.
  • James 4:15, ‘Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that’.

He gained the understanding from these passages of Scripture ‘that giving and taking life is ultimately God’s right. Human life in its fullest sense is a miracle that only he can create and only he has the right to take, unless he has given the state the right to use the sword in various settings to take life. But as far as medical things are concerned, I think it is clear that God’s rights are at stake here and we dare not intrude on what he alone has the right to do’ (Piper 2016).

Why invoke the commands of the Deity, the Lord God? Put simply, it’s because He tells the truth about life and death decisions. The New Testament use of ‘truth’ not only means the difference between true and false facts, but also that which conforms to reality, as opposed to mere reality.

I recommend this interaction on the need for God and moral absolutes: Ravi Zacharias – Absolute Moral Law & the Existence of God (YouTube).

Read the Scriptures and see the diagnosis of truth (reality) for Australia. They fit like a hand in a glove. You will find the cause of the problems of sin, evil and disease (Genesis 3), the impact on creation and on human beings all around us. From where do crime and violence come? The solution to the moral madness is found through God’s absolute moral standards (10 commandments, Exodus 20; the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5-7).

TRelated imageThe solution to the human sin dilemma for individuals is found through Jesus Christ’s salvation (John 3:16; Acts 4:12) and the ultimate end of the wretched condition on earth will come at Jesus Christ’s second coming (Acts 1:9-11; Revelation 1:7).

What about the diseases inflicted on human beings, the deformity in vegetation, and animals who suffer?

Chantal Sébire is an example of a beautiful looking French woman who became a picture of gross facial deformity when a cancer from her left eye spread to engulf her face. This could be used as an emotional example to support assisted suicide. However by doing that, I would commit an ‘Argument by Emotive Language’ (see below) and it is false reasoning. Why? It does not provide evidence of the benefits and disadvantages of assisted suicide in any society. I do not provide this example as a reason to promote euthanasia, but it is the type of example used to persuade people and governments to legalise assisted suicide. I oppose such irrational thinking.

Related image(photo courtesy

‘Chantal Sébire was a French schoolteacher who developed a rare form of cancer which severely disfigured her eye-sockets and face. She also lost her senses of sight, taste and smell’. She died in 2008 from a drug overdose when the French government would not grant her the right to euthanasia’ (courtesy Ranker).

In the euthanasia debate, the Christian world view lays out the reality of life and death decisions, as opposed to mere appearances. It declares the truth of reality.

That’s not how euthanasia promoter, Philip Nitschke, sees it. He remonstrated with this insulting attack on religious freedom, ‘Just bugger off christian lobby’.[6]

Our nation was built on the Judeo-Christian foundation of the 10 commandments and Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. But euthanasia takes life and death decisions and places them in autonomous hands.

Former medical practitioner and now Presbyterian minister, Neil Chambers’ Christian response to euthanasia got to the more foundational issue: ‘Who rules: God or [people]? Who has the right to determine who lives and who dies?’

His assessment rocks the foundations of human freedom: ‘The euthanasia proposals being discussed in Australia and other parts of the world today seek to give to one group of humans—doctors—the right to end human life. They do this without reference to God, or to the circumstances under which God has said human life may be taken’.

They justify the morality of euthanasia by giving human beings ultimate authority and freedom, ‘accountable only to themselves and thus free to do as they wish with their own lives’ (Neil Chambers).[7]

In a Quora forum, Ken Creten gave a typical objection to moral absolutes: ‘I agree with others here that there are no absolute moral values’.[8] What did he do? He created his own absolute in trying to deny absolutes. This new absolute is, ‘There are no absolute moral values’. That is a self-defeating argument.

Where would Australia be if we stuck to God’s sovereign and absolute standards of right and wrong in life and death decisions?

4.   Appeal to the use of emotive language is a fallacy

FitzSimons’ choice to promote euthanasia by an appeal to a 104-year-old scientist who considered life had no meaning, commits an ‘Argument by Emotive Language’.[9]

It is faulty reasoning when he used an emotive example of an aged man euthanised in Switzerland and emotional language such as, ‘So where are you now, you fierce opponents of euthanasia and the right-to-die? How many of you, honestly, can look at the triumphant -you heard me – passing of the 104-year-old … and say that he got it wrong, that society is on a slippery slope, et cetera?’ .

This argument provided no logical reasons to support or reject euthanasia. He replaced reason with emotion to try to win the argument. ‘It is a type of manipulation used in place of valid logic’ (Dr Bo Bennett).[10]

We know from countries with legal euthanasia, no matter the safeguards, they have moved from voluntary to involuntary euthanasia and many cases are not reported in the data.[11]

FitzSimons asked what my choice would be regarding death and my farewell hymn. This article should make that obvious. I have asked my children to sing these songs at my funeral service: ‘How Great Thou Art and ‘I’d Rather Have Jesus’ (Jim Reeves), and ‘What a Day That Will Be’ (Jim Hill, the song’s composer).

Legalising euthanasia in Australia would have ramifications way beyond the apparent ‘goodness’ of such decisions.

See also my articles:

5.   Works consulted

Arndt, W F & Gingrich, F W 1957. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press (limited edition licensed to Zondervan Publishing House).

Geisler, N L & Watkins, W 1984. Perspectives: Understanding and Evaluating Today’s World Views. San Bernardino, California: Here’s Life, Publishers, Inc.

Piper, J 2016. ‘Ask Pastor John: May Christian Doctors Help Patients Die If the Law Permits? Desiring God’, 10 March. Available at: (Accessed 28 May 2018).

6.   Notes

[1] Available at: (Accessed 25 May 2018).

[2] ABC News, Brisbane Qld, 11 May 2018. Available at: (Accessed 25 May 2018).

[3] Exit International. ‘Our philosophy’, available at: (Accessed 25 May 2018).

[4] The Sydney Morning Herald 2015. Paul O’Grady, campaigning politician, dies at 54, 19 January. Available at:–at-54-20150119-12t9p1.html (Accessed 25 May 2018).

[5] Presented in 2004. Available at: (Accessed 25 May 2018).

[6] Available at: (Accessed 25 May 2018).

[7] Neil Chambers 1995. The Image Disaster: Euthanasia and God’s view of human life, The Briefing, 18 July. Available at: (Accessed 25 May 2018).

[8] Quora. What is an absolute moral standard, and how is it different from a non-absolute one? Available at: (Accessed 25 May 2018).

[9] Bo Bennett 2018. Argument by Emotive Language. Logically Fallacious. Available at: (Accessed 25 May 2018).

[10] Bo Bennett 2018. Appeal to Emotion. Logically Fallacious. Available at: (Accessed 25 May 2018).

[11] Pereira, J 2011. Legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide: the illusion of safeguards and controls. Current Oncology, April 18(2). Available at: (Accessed 25 May 2018).


Copyright © 2018 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 31 May 2018.

Image result for clipart colored horizontal lines public domain

God’s absolutes are absolutely true!


By Spencer D Gear

It’s not unusual to hear people scoff at the idea of God’s absolute values for people and societies. Here is one example from the www:

Any claim of absolute Truth is simply Relative Truth that is “dressed up” in a god’s or some authority’s clothing. It is only based on blind belief, and it is usually known as ABSOLUTE BELIEF. Nobody and I mean nobody can show one proposition that is proven to be absolute truth. If they could, they would put an end to this discussion in a hurry. They just want you to believe in their system of belief – Absolute Belief!…

There are NO absolutes! It is impossible to be sure about anything in the past or future. Anybody who thinks they can, must consider checking themselves into an insane asylum.[1]

Do you notice what had to be done to deny absolutes in the above statement? It stated, ‘There are NO absolutes!’ That is an absolute statement! So, in an attempt to deny absolutes, this author had to affirm an absolute.

That was in line with what Friedrich Nietzsche, wrote, ‘There are no eternal facts, as there are no absolute truths’. He also stated, “I will now disprove the existence of all gods. If there were gods, how could I bear not to be a god? Consequently, there are no gods’.[2] Nietzsche fell into the same trap. To affirm that ‘there are no absolute truths’, he had to use an absolute statement. So to deny all absolutes requires an affirmation of an absolute.

When we speak of moral absolutes, some want to play coy as though they don’t know what it means to say that God’s law is absolute. I encountered this with a person who claimed that

I’m trying to understand what it means to say “God’s law is absolute” if you can’t actually point to what God’s law is and you treat the bits you can point to as guiding principles not an absolute.
In order to affirm “God’s law is absolute” I would need to know what God’s law is, and what is meant by calling a law absolute.[3]

In further interaction, I stated that both of us live in Australia. We know what is an absolute law of government. Those who murder and steal in Australia, will be prosecuted if found, because the law of the land in Australia absolutely forbids murder and stealing.[4]

This person’s response was:

I wouldn’t try and use absolute in that way at all. The word “absolutely” seems completely redundant in “the law of the land in Australia absolutely forbids murder and stealing”. It adds emphasis, but it doesn’t really tell you anything
Nor do I know what you might mean trying to transpose that into “God’s law” that you can’t point to and feel only guided by the intent of.[5]

This is an attempt to avoid the issue or deflect attention away from God’s moral absolutes. The Aussie law is absolute when it comes to murder and stealing. There are no exceptions.

What are absolutes?

However, as I reflected further, I became aware that the language of ‘absolute’ or ‘absolutes’ is that of a number of disciplines in our society, including science, theology, ethics and philosophy. I’ll raise a couple of points here about absolutes in theology and ethics. However a definition of ‘absolutes’ in this context is necessary.

What does it mean to speak of ‘absolutes’?

In science, we speak of ‘absolute standards’, one definition of ‘absolute’ in physics is, ‘a particle or object designated as a standard by assigning to it a mass of one unit; used in defining quantities in Newton’s second law of motion’.[6] gives the meaning of ‘absolute’ as, ‘free from imperfection; complete; perfect…. not mixed or adulterated; pure’.[7] Another example of the meaning and use of ‘absolute’ is by Isaac Newton. He

founded classical mechanics on the view that space is distinct from body and that time passes uniformly without regard to whether anything happens in the world. For this reason he spoke of absolute space and absolute time, so as to distinguish these entities from the various ways by which we measure them (which he called relative spaces and relative times).[8]

What about logical absolutes? Matt Slick has summarised it simply:

Logical absolutes exist.  Logical absolutes are conceptual by nature, are not dependent on space, time, physical properties, or human nature.  They are not the product of the physical universe (space, time, matter), because if the physical universe were to disappear, logical absolutes would still be true.  Logical absolutes are not the product of human minds, because human minds are different, not absolute.  But, since logical absolutes are always true everywhere, and not dependent upon human minds, it must be an absolute transcendent mind that is authoring them.  This mind is called God.  Furthermore, if there are only two options to account for something, i.e., God and no God, and one of them is negated, then by default the other position is validated.  Therefore, part of the argument is that the atheist position cannot account for the existence of logical absolutes from its worldview.[9]

Absolutes and God

When I say that one of God’s attributes is that of absolute moral perfection, I mean that God is morally impeccable. Yes, God is an infinite Being, but he is an infinitely perfect being. i.e. he is absolutely perfect (Geisler 2003:345). We understand this from these kinds of Scriptures: ‘He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he’ (Deut. 32:4 NIV). ‘As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless’ (Ps 18:30); ‘Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect’ (Mt 5:48). Geisler explains:

Sacred Scripture asserts that God is absolutely perfect. There cannot be two beings who are absolutely perfect, for to be two they must differ; otherwise they would be the same. To differ one would have to possess some perfection that the other lacked. But the one who lacked some perfection would not be absolutely perfect; therefore, there can be only one Being who is absolutely perfect—holy, in the metaphysical sense.

Further, if perfection is thought of as moral perfection, then absolute perfection implies holiness as well. God is absolutely perfect, and what is absolutely perfect is set apart from all else. Therefore, God is holy: He is perfect in and of Himself; all else is perfect by participation in His perfection (Geisler 2003:316).

Geisler explains that the English word, ‘perfect’ means flawless, excellent. But there are several Hebrew words for ‘perfect’. These include tanim = complete, sound, blameless, perfect, without blemish; shalem = complete, safe, blameless; tam = complete, blameless, perfect; omen = perfect, faithful; kalil – entire, whole, perfect; and taman = complete, finished, blameless. Greek words for ‘perfect’ include: teleios = complete, perfect, mature; teleiow = bringing to an end, completing, perfecting; teleiotes = completeness, perfection; and katartizw = to perfect, to prepare (Geisler 2003:345-346).

Since one of God’s metaphysical attributes is his moral perfection, that means that: ‘(1) God’s nature is morally perfect; (2) God is infinite, unchangeable, and necessary by nature; (3) Therefore, God is infinitely, unchangeably, and necessarily morally perfect’ (Geisler 2003:347).

This means that God is an absolutely perfect moral Being.

We can search the Scriptures and find that God is an absolute unity in His Being. In theology this is the teaching on God’s simplicity: ‘You shall have no other gods before me’ (Ex 20:3); ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one‘ (Deut 6:4); ‘The most important [commandment] … is this: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one“‘ (Mk 12:29). See also Isa. 37:16-20; 45:18; Mal. 2:10; Rom. 3:30; 1 Cor. 8:4-6; Eph. 4:6; 1 Tim. 2:5, and James 2:19.

It is evident from these many verses that there is, absolutely, only one God. But if God is absolutely one, then He cannot be divided into many gods. Combined with God’s immateriality, this lends further support to His simplicity. Even though the Hebrew word for “one” (echad) leaves room for a plurality of persons within a unity of substance,[10] in the monotheistic and anti-polytheistic context in which it was used, there is no implication of a plurality of beings or parts within a being. This would be tantamount to polytheism that Jewish monotheism vehemently opposed from the very beginning (cf. Ex. 20:3; Deut. 6:4) [Geisler 2003:39-40]

Ethical absolutes

In the discipline of ethics, here is a brief definition of ‘moral absolutes’:

The phrase moral absolute is ambiguous. As conventionally used it is taken to mean a moral rule which applies, or is true, irrespective of culture or society. More precisely it means a moral rule enjoining or forbidding some type of action or specifying some value to which there are no exceptions, one which is obligatory in all circumstances (e.g., one ought never to steal) [Harrison 1987:3].

To get all of us thinking seriously about moral absolutes, what would you have done in World War 2 to stop Jews from being annihilated in the Holocaust? Would you have hid them in your home secretly, against government law? What about smuggling Bibles into closed countries as Brother Andrew did, as told in his book, God’s Smuggler?

What happens when God’s Word (His law) conflicts with the laws of your country? Which one will you believe and put into practice? How does Acts 5:29 relate to this ethical issue when it states that ‘we must obey God rather than human beings’ (NIV)?

In Christian Ethics: Options and Issues(1989), Norman Geisler supports ‘graded absolutism‘ (1989:113f). He states that there are three essential premises of this view: (1) There are higher and lower moral laws; (2) There are unavoidable moral conflicts, and (3) No guilt is imputed for the unavoidable (1989:116-120). He provides biblical examples to support his view. These include:

  • The story of Abraham & Isaac and the real moral conflict of sacrificing Isaac (Gen 22);
  • Samson committed a divinely approved suicide (Judg. 16:20);
  • Jephthah’s sacrifice of his daughter (Judg. 11);
  • Lying and not helping to save a life, e.g. Ex 1 (Hebrew midwives); Rahab (Josh. 2);
  • The moral conflict of Jesus’ cross, which has caused many liberal theologians and historical Jesus’ scholars to reject the substitutionary atonement. John Dominic Crossan of the Jesus Seminar is one example. His view is that blood sacrifice should not include suffering and substitution and should not include ‘substitutionary suffering’. He stated that ‘worst of all, imagine that somebody brought together sacrifice, suffering, and substitution…. That theology would be a crime against divinity’. While it is correct to call Jesus’ death a sacrifice, but ‘substitutionary atonement is bad as theoretical Christian theology just as suicidal terrorism is bad as practical Islamic theology. Jesus died because of our sins, or from our sins, but that should never be misread as for our sins’ (Crossan 2007:140, emphasis in original). In spite of Crossan’s objections, the moral conflict is that innocent blood was shed for sins he did not commit (see Isa. 53; 1 Peter 2:24; 2 Cor. 5:21);
  • We have numerous examples in Scripture where there is a real conflict between obeying God’s command to submit to civil government and maintaining a commitment to God’s higher law, e.g. Hebrew midwives, Jewish captives who refused to obey Nebuchadnezzar’s command to worship the golden image of himself (Dan 3); Daniel disobeyed Darius’s command to pray only to the king (Dan. 6). The above examples of moral dilemmas in Scripture are from Geisler (1989:116-119).

Geisler has some strong biblical points that we should consider. I don’t especially like the language of ‘graded absolutism’ that he used as it does have some oxymoron connotations. However, Geisler’s alternate label is ‘ethical hierarchicalism’ (1989:116). The latter is a much better summary heading. Acts 5:29 makes it clear that Christians are to obey God instead of human beings. Using the term, ‘ethical hierarchicalism’, as God’s explanation for exceptions to moral laws, as stated in Scripture, is a reasonable summary statement of what God means by hierarchy of ethical requirements when there is a moral conflict.

As an ordained Christian minister, I cannot support the moral absolutes of Scripture and marry homosexuals. When the Australian government passes laws that authorise homosexual marriage (as many MPs are threatening to support),[11] I will disobey the government and refuse to marry homosexuals. See Gen. 2:24-25, Deut. 27:10; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; and 1 John 2:3-6 for my reasons as these Scriptures assert obedience to God and his ethical absolutes. However, there have been whimpers that I’ve heard on the Australian mass media that clergy who object to homosexual marriage in Australia will not be required to perform homosexual marriages. An article stated that:

The motion [in the Australian House of Representatives], introduced by Independent MP Andrew Wilkie this year, states that if the Marriage Act is changed to allow gay marriage, churches would not be obligated to perform such ceremonies. It is expected to be debated in coming weeks.[12]

Obeying God rather than the Aussie government always will be my biblical and ethical commitment.

Marriage cover photo

Courtesy Salt Shakers (Christian ministry)

Works consulted

Crossan, J D 2007. God and empire: Jesus against Rome, then and now. New York, NY: HarperSanFrancisco

Geisler, N L 1989. Christian ethics: Options and issues. Leicester, England: Apollos (Inter-Varsity Press).

Geisler, N 2003. Systematic theology: God, creation, vol 2. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Bethany House.

Harrison, R K (gen ed) 1987. Encyclopedia of biblical and Christian ethics. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.


[1] Fatfist, Hub Author, ‘There are NO absolutes. There is NO absolute truth’, available at: (Accessed 14 May 2012).

[2] Cited by Peter Kreeft 1988. ‘The Pillars of Unbelief – Nietzsche’, The National Catholic Register, January – February, Catholic Education Resource Center. Available at: (Accessed 14 May 2012).

[3] Christian Forums, Christian Apologetics, ‘Can you be a Christian and support unchristian actions?’ ebia #132, 13 May 2012, available at: (Accessed 14 May 2012).

[4] Ibid., #134, OzSpen,

[5] Ibid., #136, ebia.

[6] McGraw-Hill Science & Technology Dictionary, available at Answers (online), (Accessed 14 May 2012).

[7] Available at: (Accessed 14 May 2012).

[8] Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ‘Newton’s views on space, time, and motion’ (online), August 22, 2011. Available at: (Accessed 14 May 2012).

[9] Matt Slick 2011. The transcendent argument for the existence of God, CARM. Available at: (Accessed 14 May 2012).

[10] At this point, Geisler has the footnote, ‘While the doctrine of the Trinity is not explicitly taught in the Old Testament, as it is in the New (Matt. 3:15-17; 28:18-20; 2 Cor. 13:14), nonetheless, it is implicitly contained in the fact that two or more persons are identified as God and sometimes even speak to each other (e.g., Ps. 45:6; 110:1; Zech. 1:12; cf. Isa. 63:7-10) [Geisler 2003:40, n.1].

[11] There was an Australian House of Representatives Committee inquiry into ‘Marriage Equality’ (read, to include homosexual marriage) in 2011, available at: (Accessed 14 May 2012).

[12] ‘Clergy speak out for marriage’, 25 March 2012, available at: (Accessed 14 May 2012).


Copyright © 2012 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 16 October 2015.

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