We are all familiar with the story of Jesus overturning the trading tables and driving out the moneychangers from the temple.
Following this outburst, Jesus was confronted by the chief priests and elders demanding to know by what authority he was doing these things.
He responded by asking them their opinion of John the Baptist and then telling them a parable:
There was a man who had two sons. The man went to the first son and said, “Son, go and work today in the vineyard.”
“I will not,” the first son answered, but later changed his mind and went.
The father then went to the other son and said the same thing, “Son, go and work today in the vineyard.”
“I will, father,” he said, but did not go.
‘Which of the two sons did what his father wanted?’ Jesus asked the Pharisees.
‘The first!’ they answered.
He then rebuked them, telling them that although they acknowledged the first son was the good son, they were more like the second son – saying one thing but doing another:
‘Truly I tell you, tax collectors and prostitutes will enter the kingdom of God before you will.
‘John came to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did’.
Proverbs and axioms such ‘Actions speak louder than words’ and ‘I can’t believe what you say, because I see what you do’ have for centuries reinforced the link between personal and public morality. You simply couldn’t get away with saying one thing and doing another.
Sadly, it appears that rule no longer applies.
In today’s world, the second son gets the free pass if he mouths the right platitudes.
What he does no longer matters. It is the first son, the one who spoke the wrong words but did the right thing, who is now the villain.
Remember the seven deadly sins?
They are not quite as well known as the Ten Commandments, but they are equally important in theological terms. They are:
What is noticeable about these seven deadly sins?
Or rather, what are they not?
None of them are actions. Murder is not there, adultery is not there, stealing is not there.
One would think that murder was a deadly sin. The same goes for adultery. But no.
The old theologians had it right, the deadly sins are not about the ‘what’, they are about the ‘why’. Why people do what they do.
One of the most fundamental differences between Judaism and Christianity, is Judaism says God divides people into good and evil, whereas Christianity says God divides people into believers and non-believers.
Which brings us to the South Australian by-election for the seat of Dunstan, caused by the retirement of former Liberal Premier Steven Marshall.
In 2022, then Labor Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas went to the SA State election with one overriding campaign pledge – to fix ambulance ramping at Adelaide’s new $2.3bn hospital.
He won in a landslide – 27 seats to the Liberals’ 16.
Two years later, ramping is now worse than it was under the Liberals, and yet Labor retains a significant lead over the Liberals in the opinion polls.
Actions, it seems, no longer speak louder than words.
In fact, these days it appears to be just the opposite. No-one is punished for lying anymore, but lots are punished for telling the truth!
Former Premier Marshall’s left-leaning colleague, Deputy-Leader Vickie Chapman, retired in May 2022.
It was the actions of Marshall and Chapman (in particular) on issues such as euthanasia and abortion that led to the establishment of the Australian Family Party.
Launched in October 2020 as ‘Family First 2.0’ in the wake of the Liberals’ profound anti-life policies, the Party’s membership grew quickly, and the Party was registered the following year.
Inaugural letterbox flyer from 2020
One Liberal MP, however, who refused to go along with Vickie Chapman’s ghastly legislation was the Member for Black, David Speirs.
Interestingly, Speirs is now Leader of the Liberal Party in South Australia.
Accordingly, as a vote of confidence in his leadership, the Australian Family Party will preference the Liberal candidate in Dunstan at the forthcoming by-election on 23 March.
Our candidate is Dr Nicole Hussey. A former research scientist who now teaches biology and chemistry, Nicole has had a wide experience in the medical/scientific sector and has direct knowledge of our education system. Nicole would make a great Member of Parliament.
If you would like to help Nicole in the by-election, please let me know here (choose Federal Director from the button list).
And for those interested in the ongoing ‘church and state’ debate, this year’s Church & State Conferences – now in their 7th year – will be held in Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart and Launceston. These conferences are excellent. For more details, visit their website Church & State.
Thank you for your support.