Why O'Reilly Is Wrong!

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

When we examine O’Reilly’s statements from a biblicalworldview 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. Inother words, Christianity from his worldview should be a privately held beliefwith no expression in the public policy arena.

This view is unbiblical and dualistic. It is what Christianphilosopher Francis Schaeffer described as the sacred/secular divide. This dualisticworldview relegates the Christian life solely to the “spiritual” dimension ofone’s personal life - not the material world in which people live in a culturalcontext with others. The Gnostic heretics the Apostle Paul encountered duringhis era had a similar worldview. They taught that since the Christian life onlydeals with the “spiritual” dimensions of one’s personal life, what one did withtheir bodies didn’t matter. As a result of adopting this dualistic worldview someprofessing Christians indulged in all types of sexual activities and perversionswhich were prohibited by the Bible. They justified this behavior on the basisof the dualistic view advocated by the “Christian” Gnostics (and O’Reilly).

The Apostle Paul declared this view a heretical misunderstandingof Christianity. He taught that Jesus is Lord of the universe which includesevery 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, accordingto the Apostle Paul. The Bible reveals this was one of the first major heresiesPaul encountered. He knew the dualistic teachings of the Gnostics would lead toa weak church filled with lawless Christians and non-Christians. Paul knew thatif allowed to persist, this view would destroy the early church.  He wrote portions of the Scripture to directlyconfront this error and presented a holistic Gospel in which Jesus is recognizedas 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 thataccepted their dualist worldview. Our Founding Fathers stated that our“inalienable” rights are given to us by our Creator. They emphasized that God gavethem to us – not the government. Jefferson stated that these rights are basedon “the laws of nature and nature’s God.”During the founding era in our nation’s history this meant the moral laws ofGod as revealed in the Bible. Note that Jefferson was careful to link the lawsof nature to the “Creator” of nature. The reference to “nature’s God” was a directreference 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, ofwhich his feelings, or conscience as it is sometimes called, are the evidencewith which his Creator has furnished him .... Themoral duties which exist between individual and individual in a state ofnature, accompany them into a state of society, their Maker not having releasedthem from those duties on their forming themselves into a nation."

The point Jefferson makes here is that the Christian God andHis moral laws are the ultimate moral authority upon which the laws of allnations are to be based. This view of law is referred to in the legal professionas “higher law.” It is the legal basisfor the inalienable rights - which the American government cannot deny to any ofits citizens.

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

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

"Man ...must necessarily be subject to the laws of his Creator. This will of his Makeris called the law of nature.... This law of nature...is of course superior toany other.... No human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this: and suchof 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 allmen in all locations and at all times.

 The law of nature…dictated by Godhimself…is binding …in all countries and at all times; no human laws are of anyvalidity if contrary to this; and such of them that are valid derive all theirforce and all their authority, mediately or immediately, from this original.William Blackstone found in Harold Berman, TheInteraction 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 moralauthority when it comes to the prescribing the laws for mankind. God’s revealedlaws are the ultimate authority for determining whether a law is just, or not. Themisguided Bible thumpers O’Reilly refers to stand in good company. They includeour Founding Fathers, Blackstone, the Apostle Paul, Moses, our common lawheritage and the historical standard for law and justice given by God sincetime began.  

If our legal system is allowed to move to another source of moralauthority to determine whether a law is just or not, then the judges will make themselvesthe final authority regarding moral and legal issues. Because people aremorally fallible and sinful by nature, they will deny individuals theinalienable rights given to them by God and our Constitution. The real dilemma weface today is that for many people, including O’Reilly, the moral authority forlaw has shifted from God’s law to men. O’Reilly joins these people when he chastisesChristians for referring to the Bible as the ultimate moral authority todetermine the lawfulness of homosexual marriages. In doing so, he contradictsthe legal views of our Founders and the original law system based on biblicalrevelation and natural law.

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

The same approach is reflected in the book defendingnatural 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 amoral argument about homosexuality. In the book, the authors begin with thisdeclaration:

 

What we have cometo call the gay marriage debate is not directly about homosexuality, but aboutmarriage.”  They continue, “First, it is not in the end abouthomosexuality. We do not address the morality of homosexual acts or their heterosexualcounterparts. We will show that one can defend the conjugal view of marriagewhile bracketing this moral question and that the conjugal view can bewholeheartedly embraced without denigrating same-sex attracted people, orignoring their needs, or assuming that their desires should change.”

 

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

Weare in the midst of a battle of worldviews for the soul of our nation. Lawmaking has become divorced from our nation’s historical moral reference pointsthat originated from Christianity. The secular postmodern culture has underminedthe biblical moral foundations upon which the Founders established our nationand its laws. The ultimate sin in our culture today is to declare that there isone overriding truth and moral authority by which all people are heldaccountable. The Supreme Court has been especially active in promoting the humanistpostmodern view into our laws. In 2003, JusticeAnthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion in the landmark case Lawrence v. Texas. It struck down alllaws criminalizing homosexual acts. In this decision Justice Kennedy arguedthat the moral opposition to homosexuality was not a rational basis for theestablishment of laws regulating it.

 

This ruling was a radical break from how laws have historicallybeen determined legitimate. It reveals a clear expression of the postmodernsecular worldview that is opposed to the Christian worldview. In his counterargument Justice Antonin Scalia argued that Kennedy had just eliminated anylegal barrier to same-sex marriage. “If moral disapprobation of homosexualconduct is ‘no legitimate state interest’ for purposes of proscribing thatconduct … what justification could there possibly be for denying the benefitsof marriage to homosexual couples exercising ‘the liberty protected by theConstitution?’”

 

The result of this decision was that any discussion of Christianmorality, when it comes to law making, will no longer be tolerated. The removalof Christian moral consideration from law making has set the stage for thecontroversy we see today. The Texas decision marks a total reversal for how ournation’s law system was originally founded. The nature of the vicious nature ofthe culture war can be seen in how Phillip Robertson, one of the characters inthe reality show Duck Dynasty, was attacked nationally by the secular worldwhen he addressed the biblical position God has revealed toward homosexualbehavior.  The secular world came out onthe attack in full force and demanded his head for stating what the bibleteaches about homosexual behavior. The secularists went berserk! They will nottolerate a biblical perspective of morality to be expresses in our culture. Somuch for the tolerance that they demand to present their own views. They are totallyintolerant to any views that contradict theirs. They forced A&E to firehim. This is the future agenda they have for our culture. A fascist intoleranceof any views other than their own.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

When the courts approve an ungodly law, we need to standwith the Founders and oppose it based on biblical morality and justice. In thepast history of our nation the Supreme Court declared that black people werenot humans but chattel property. Blacks had no human rights since they were notregarded 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 tomurder them in the womb. As we learned in Nazi Germany, what is legal is notnecessarily what is moral. The Nazi leaders were held to account for their crimesby the higher moral standard of natural law revealed by God in Scripture.

 

The situation today is no different. We have degenerated culturallyand legally because many of our church leaders have gone along with thepostmodern secular worldview rather than confronting it. These passive church leaders,similar to those in Nazi Germany, are learning the hard lesson that there is noneutrality with the pagans when it comes to the war of worldviews. Either theChristian worldview or that of the pagan secularists will ultimately rule theday. Jesus has already given us our marching orders that deal with this issue. Hecommanded us to disciple the nations and transform the cultures of the worldaccording to the moral principles of justice revealed in the Bible. Let’s startin our own backyard with the discipleship and redemption of America’s peopleand 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