Book Sale

Monday 21 August 2023

How Will It Evolve?


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The advocates of the Voice to Parliament say that the Voice will be "just an advisory body." But they also hint that it will become more and is in fact designed to do so.

“Part of the driving force behind the Uluṟu Statement and the call for an Indigenous Voice to Parliament to be enshrined in the Constitution, as a direct and powerful expression of the wishes of the Australian people, is that the moral and political weight behind it will make it extremely difficult for future governments to whittle away the strength of such a Voice. Even though the Voice would be an advisory body only to the government of the day and the Parliament, with no power to veto policy it disagrees with, any future government that did not properly fund, support and give due respect to its representations would be judged accordingly.

With its continuity guaranteed in the Constitution, the Voice would be able to mature and evolve as an effective part of the ongoing drive to close the gap on the inequities built into Australian society over 235 years. It could also make serious inroads on the dysfunction and trauma so starkly reflected in the statistics that conflict dramatically with the image we like to project of ourselves as a nation to the world.”[i]

This excerpt is from The Voice To Parliament Handbook: All The Detail You Need, a small information book which was put out by some official representatives of the Voice to Parliament.

Look at what they admit.

They admit it will make the government's job harder. They admit it will evolve. They admit that it will stand in judgement of every government policy the Voice representatives desire. So already in their own information books they admit that the Voice is just a start for their agenda, not the goal.

But we should also ask, what will high court judges decide about such a Voice, and how it should be listened to? Will they decide a proposed law cannot be passed until the Voice has been heard? This could become an effective veto, even if not an official one. We can't be sure, because we have no power over how future activist judges will decide to rule. But we do know that this Voice is intended to evolve.

In our TikTok and social media driven culture something like the Voice could grind government to a halt simply by its official representatives saying: "We think this policy or proposed law is racist." This kind of statement could bring our government to its knees. The Voice doesn't need to rise to the level of a third chamber of parliament to have a deleterious effect on our society. Our political leaders are already weak kneed, the idea of being told on every policy, or even any policy, that they are working against indigenous interests will have the effect of weighting our parliament towards prioritising one small minority group far above every other, simply so they can avoid being called racist.

The Voice will not facilitate reconciliation. Because it cannot. It will very likely build resentment amongst the Australian people because it is deliberately designed to give one particular part of our society a favoured place at the table, on top of everyone else. It could even be the worst policy decision to ever effect the relationship between Indigenous Australians and the rest of us. Isn’t creating different categories of Australians supposed to be anathema in our modern society? How does Constitutionally enshrining separate categories not create the conditions for ongoing building resentment? The ability of this thing to close any gaps is all just theoretical. There is simply very little proof that such a body could effectively close the gap between indigenous Australians and the rest of society. But it resulting in creating new divisions in society is guaranteed. Because these divisions are built into the framework of the proposed change to our constitution. 

And for those who argue: the intention of the framers of this Voice is not for this thing to have this kind of effect on society, or power over the parliament. Ok, perhaps you are right. But is there any government bureaucracy that ever evolves to become smaller, less powerful, and less invasive into people's lives? Isn't the trend almost always in the other direction?

Voting against this Voice to Parliament is a must. Because no one can be certain how it will evolve, but it is certain that those advocating for it want to go further, and would see a victory for their policy as the license to do so. 

List of references

[i] Mayo, Thomas; O'Brien, Kerry. The Voice to Parliament Handbook (p. 40). Hardie Grant Explore. Kindle Edition.

Saturday 19 August 2023

You Were Told


Image: Unsplash

Feminists are like that person who reads the book of Proverbs and says, “Nah, I want to learn every single one of these principles the hard way, before I admit I was wrong all along.” But at least they are learning, the dream of having it all, the job, husband, perfect kids and the career, was always a lie. Whenever someone tells you that you can have it all, they are lying. As,  amazingly the Guardian notes,

“Although my job was intellectually demanding, nothing prepared me for how challenging looking after young children can be. It is unlike any other job I have done. The difference is you can do it badly without losing your job.

We’ve moved from it being impossible to have a job if you have children, to the impossibility of not having a job when you have children, and this has been exacerbated by parents in the media and in parliament who have chosen to work and cannot understand why anyone would choose anything else.

The government has demanded that women with young children should work. How long will it be before we recognise the advantages of having young children looked after by a loving, dedicated adult, and how many fewer anxious and depressed teenagers and adults might we have as a result?”[1]

Parenting is one of the most rewarding things you'll ever do in your life, but doing it properly is hard and consistent work. It requires focus, sacrifice, dedication and patience. Putting yourself first, so that your career can flourish, and expecting that your children will also flourish is just not really that possible. Many people will argue with me, and say, “But my kids turned out fine.” But how many of those kids have had therapy, addictions, broken relationships, and serious periods of rebellion. Many. We should not base the way we structure society on the exceptions, but the norm. And the normal kid is severely disadvantaged in life by a mother that works fulltime out of the home, in many different ways.

The basic argument for why women should work and not stay in the home, is that whatever task the woman has at work requires her undivided attention for at least 8-9 hours during the day time, but the women’s own children of far more value and worth, do not need that attention. Which is really backwards. And let’s not kid ourselves, most working women are doing menial work, not world changing research that will change the course of history. This is true for many men as well, but it is the man’s role to provide, it is the women’s role to nurture, and kuds need that nurturing. 

Women have been sold a short shrift when they have been told that they can have it all, with the amazing family at home and the career. This is not how the family home was designed to work. And the results of our society wide experiment of putting so many women into the workforce, proves this to be true. Children need their mothers in the home. If you are among those whose children are doing fine without it, imagine what they could be with their mother in the home?

You were told, feminists, you were told. Most women rejected feminism in the 19th century. And most would today if they knew they could. Well, you can. And it is best if you do. 

Friday 18 August 2023

Evil, Stupid, or Cunning?


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If you take an honest look at the United States strategy in Ukraine, you can only conclude one thing: those pushing it must surely be stupid? The U.S. support of a minor power against a major nuclear power seems shortsighted and likely to lead to the largest international conflict since World War 2. Are they insane? Are they stupid?

What if they are not insane? What if a bigger war is the aim? How could anyone be so stupid as to want to start a world war, you ask? Because this is not a stupid plan if your goals are evil, if your goals are the destruction of the current world order to usher in some version of a New World Order. In fact, the strategies of the elite classes of the United States appear to be very akin to those of the old Bolsheviks, as Suvorov tells us,   

“It was clear that Germany could not successfully continue to fight on two fronts, but defeat of Germany would mean the end of the war. Consequently, Lenin's task, to prolong the war, was to create a situation in which Germany fought on only one front. For this purpose, he took Russia out of the war. Lenin's plot was simple: let Germany and Austria-Hungary fight against Great Britain, France, and the United States. Let them wear out each other’s strengths. Most importantly, do not allow the flames of war to be extinguished. Russia would remain on the side and add fuel to the fire. While "peace" was being made on Lenin's  orders in Brest-Litovsk, intensive preparations for a revolt against the German government were underway in Petrograd. The revolutionaries published half a million copies of a Communist paper in German, Die Fackel (The Torch). Even before the Brest-Litovsk Treaty was signed in January 1918 a German Communist organization, Spartakus, was formed in Petrograd. The newspapers Die Weltrevolution (The World Revolution) and Die Rote Fahe (The Red Banner) were also born, not in Germany but in Russia under Lenin's orders, while he made peace with Germany's government. Communism would become deeply rooted in Germany in the 1920s. Part of the credit for this goes to Lenin, who fueled the instability of German politic precisely at the time when he had a peace treaty with the German government. While Germany was conducting a hopeless and devastating military campaign in the West, Lenin was subverting its political system.

Finally, World War I ended. In November 1918 Europe's condition was exactlv what the Kremlin leaders had hoped it would be. The economic hardships caused by war had reached their limits in all the nations. Europe was facing an unprecedented crisis that encompassed all spheres of life, including the economy, politics, and ideology. Germany admitted her defeat. The monarchy crumbled. Anarchy and famine ruled the land.

Just then, Lenin and Trotsky's love for peace vanished. The government of Soviet Russia issued, on November 13, 1918, an order for the Red Army to begin offensive operations against Europe.

A review of the protocols of any of the countless meetings and congresses of that period reveals that the only question on the agenda was the World Revolution. The aim of the Soviet advance narrowed down to installing Communism on the European continent. In a few days, the Red Army crossed into the Baltic countries. The Communist government of Estonia formed on November 29, that of Latvia on December 4. Lithuania followed on December 8, 1918. On December 17, a manifesto published in Riga named Germany as the imminent objective of the offensive. The most important goal of the operation: fuel a new world war.

Lenin's calculations were precise: Worn out by World War I, the German empire unable to bear the pressures of another war. The war ends with the crushing of the empire and is followed by a revolution. In war-torn Europe, on the remaining fragments of the old empires, Communist countries arise, remarkably similar to Lenin's Bolshevik regime. Lenin was ecstatic: “We are at the doorstep of world revolution!”[1]

In other words the Bolsheviks and the other Russian reds, did everything they could to both stoke World War 1 to make it bigger, and provoke other wars, so that they could rebuild society in their own image from the ashes of the societies broken by war.

Viewed through this lens, a lot of what has been happening in the world over the last few years makes a lot more sense. Lockdowns and mandates were guaranteed to harm society. What if that was the plan? The vaccines, experimental, untested, and dangerous, were guaranteed to hurt people. What if that was the plan? The war in Ukraine, following on from the disaster in Afghanistan was guaranteed to harm much of Europe and other parts of the world. What if that was the plan? Western leaders weakening their own Western nations appears insane, unless completely dismantling them to rebuild them is the plan. 

In other words, if you assume the people who consistently keep pushing such evil ideas and agendas are stupid, then you are both selling them short, and missing that there is a deeper motivation: evil intent. The intent to achieve the revolutionary ends their ancestors ultimately failed to, though they came close. 

Not only did the Soviets help prolong World War 1, Suvorov notes that Stalin helped rearm Germany prior to World War 2. Why? He wanted war. Lenin also wanted more war in World War 1. The Bolsheviks wanted war wherever they could provoke it, because it enabled them to achieve their ends: world revolution. And they damn near achieved it too. The wars in Europe were so devastating that the Soviets were able to take control of half of Europe, and then spread their evil ideology to countries around the globe.

The U.S. empire is employing the same strategies, almost as if they are being directed by the same evil…because they are. Policies which lead to terrible ends for the citizens of many countries of the world, but continually increase the power of those in elite circles cannot be accurately described as simply motivated by stupidity. It is better to describe them as malicious and stupid, because the ultimate result of evil is destruction and chaos, and this often effects the very elites who once profited from the policies which drove it. Short sighted narcissistic evil is probably the best way to describe it. 

But it is clear, those in power at the top have a plan, and this plan is based on a strategy that has been employed for at least several decades successfully. Will it succeed this time? I don’t think so, a far more competent elite in China and Russia appears to be turning this strategy against those who used it successfully in the past, but only time will tell for sure. But what is clear, is that you should not ascribe to stupidity, which historically was a sign of a true and genuine malicious evil.  

"From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?" (James 4:1).  

List of References

[1] Victor Suvorov, The Chief Culprit, p4.

Saturday 5 August 2023

Be Aware Of Evil


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A lot of good Christians have the idea that their immoral political leaders are just average, decent people, that are fallen, but are just trying to do their best. In the case of Judah in the days of Ezekiel, God takes the prophet behind the curtains to show him that the outward corruption he sees emanates from demon worship behind the scenes. The Bible’s view is that where there is corruption, it emanates from an evil source.

Where corruption increases, conspiracy increases, because where corruption increases the influence of demons is increasing, and demons work in the darkness. By the time a nation gets to open demon worship, which eventually happened in Israel (Deut. 32:17; Ps. 106:37), it had been doing so in the dark for some time. Evil flourishes in the darkness (Eph. 5:7-11), but as evil increases it does not like to remain hidden, it becomes arrogant, proud, and seeks to flaunt itself.

Without conspiracy, that is without the wicked plotting in secret, evil could not flourish in this world as it does. This is not to say that conspiracy is the only means of the extension of evil into the world, it is not, the sinful heart of man is central to the evil we experience in the world. But man was helped in his fall by the chief conspirator himself. Conspiracy is intrinsic to how evil gains supremacy, because evil needs to remain hidden until it has enough power to be unchallenged.[1] Darkness does not feel comfortable in the light, unless it can first dim the light.  

Paul tells us in one of the most well-known passages in the Bible, that our true battle is not against human beings, but against dark and evil forces,

“10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm” (Eph. 6:10-13).

Paul explicitly tells us that this world is ruled by evil demonic powers. But they are not just disembodied spirits, that can cause people some annoyance from time to time, they are far more than that. They are “rulers”, they are exercisers of authority, they are the real-world powers that are responsible for or “of” this present darkness, and they are evil spiritual forces. They originate in the Spiritual realm. Paul is not shy about who rules this world from the shadowy spiritual realm, the Devil and his minions. 

Most orthodox Christians understand this at some level. But for many people it is so far removed from their everyday conscious experience. Many people do not take on board the worldview that Paul is presenting us with. He is saying that the powerful men (and now women too) you see “ruling” the world, do not really rule the world, they are simply front-men (and front-women). The true authorities are the demonic powers that lie behind the people ruling the world. To the extent that good men exist in leadership positions in the world, they are working in a system that is inherently corrupted by evil.

The consistency of this effect evil has in our world is remarkable. Hence the Bible reflects this reality. Conspiracy is so common in the experience of the people of the Old Testament, particularly the powerful, that it was incorporated into their worship in the Psalms. Here is a powerful example,

1 Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint;
    preserve my life from dread of the enemy.
Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked,
    from the throng of evildoers,
who whet their tongues like swords,
    who aim bitter words like arrows,
shooting from ambush at the blameless,
    shooting at him suddenly and without fear.
They hold fast to their evil purpose;
    they talk of laying snares secretly,
thinking, “Who can see them?”
    They search out injustice,
saying, “We have accomplished a diligent search.”
    For the inward mind and heart of a man are deep.

But God shoots his arrow at them;
    they are wounded suddenly.
They are brought to ruin, with their own tongues turned against them;
    all who see them will wag their heads.
Then all mankind fears;
    they tell what God has brought about
    and ponder what he has done.

10 Let the righteous one rejoice in the Lord
    and take refuge in him!
Let all the upright in heart exult!”[2]

This theme is common in the Psalms and talked about in many different ways and contexts. Here are a few other examples:

-        “Those who seek my life lay their snares; those who seek my hurt speak of ruin and meditate treachery all day long.”[3]

-        The arrogant have hidden a trap for me, and with cords they have spread a net; beside the way they have set snares for me. Selah[4]

-        “Keep me from the trap that they have laid for me and from the snares of evildoers!”[5]

-        “The wicked plots against the righteous and gnashes his teeth at him,…”[6]

-        “O God, do not keep silence; do not hold your peace or be still, O God! 2 For behold, your enemies make an uproar; those who hate you have raised their heads. 3 They lay crafty plans against your people; they consult together against your treasured ones.”[7]


The authors of the Psalms wanted God’s people to be thoroughly aware that evil men were plotting against them. Their consistent emphasis proves this, “They lay crafty plans against your people…” Too many Christians underestimate the level of evil amongst the rulers of our world. The Bible, however, was written by men who understood the level of evil among the powerful and sought to warn us, as best they could. 

[1] Consider this example, crime. In a city run by relatively honest men you still have crime and corruption, but the criminals do everything they can to remain sheltered by secrecy and darkness, so as not to get caught. But as the city becomes more corrupt evil becomes emboldened and criminals can operate more openly. This is seen in high crime cities in places like South Africa, and other areas, where crime is so rarely punished, that criminals will walk up to a car at the light, smash the window, take what they want, including the car in some instances, and just move on as if nothing happened. This situation was described to me by someone I know who lived in such a place. But it is observed in different places around the world. The higher the preponderance of good men the more crime and evil needs to work in secrecy, the lower the preponderance of good men the less it needs to work in secrecy.

Broken windows policing is loosely based on understanding this principle. Police recognize that if the culture of a city says crime will likely not be punished, then criminals will more likely commit crimes.,windows%29%20in%20generating%20and%20sustaining%20more%20serious%20crime. 

[2] Psalm 64.

[3] Psalm 38:12.

[4] Psalm 140:5.

[5] Psalm 141:9.

[6] Psalm 37:12.

[7] Psalm 83:1-3.

Friday 4 August 2023

The Return of the Pagan Worldview


Image: Unsplash

Have you watched any of Yellowstone?

I watched some of it, and while it has interesting characters, powerful drama and well a well told narrative. It is as bleak a show as you can find. Except for maybe its spinoffs, which I just could not get into, and were more nihilistic than anything I'd ever seen before. 

Yellowstone and other shows just like it are part of a growing trend of nihilistic productions with incredible production values and no clear villain or hero. The Duttons are not good guys. The native American opponents seeking to reclaim their ancestors land are not good guys. The out of state developers and money managers are definitely not the good guys. There really are no good guys. There is simply struggles for power, betrayal’s, heroic events, cowardly acts, violence and rinse and repeat. There is no one to barrack for, because no one is really worth barracking for. Sure, some elements are far worse than other elements, but this is only in comparison. It does not make for good viewing in my mind. I like a good old fashioned good verse evil story.

But our world has a very different default setting.

I have been reading the Iliad recently and it is remarkable to see how much closer in style and themes it is to something like Yellowstone, than it is to something like the Marvel Cinematic universe, or Superman*. One would think that it would be far more akin to the superhero movies and shows of our era, because these heroes are based in part on ancient Greek, Roman, Norse and similar legends. But it is not. It is simply a nihilistic story, it has heroic elements, but it is ultimately small and bleak in its worldview. 

It is probably better to say that it works hard to endear you to both sides and then turn you against both sides. There are no good guys, only winners and losers in certain moments, and this includes among the gods, who are just as fallen as the Greek and Trojan heroes. It is not a classic good verse bad story, because this was not the worldview of its author, or its audience. 

Whereas what I mean by a good old fashioned story is really the narrative structure of the Bible. Genuine good verses genuine evil. The classic storylines. Based on the struggle between good and evil in the Bible. In the pagan cosmology there is not really any objective evil, there is instead situational or subjective evil. Stealing a cities women and children is not evil, it is only evil if it happens to your women and children, for instance. This is very close to the worldview of shows like Yellowstone. They exude such nihilism.

It is interesting to see how our society is returning to the paganism of a past era. It is even more interesting to consider how very different the Biblical worldview is to that of the pagan world. There is a superficial similarity, because the Greeks and Moses wrote about supernatural events. But the worldview of the Bible is alien to the worldview of the Greeks. And this is important to remember. There really is good and evil. There really are heroes and villains. Not everything is a shade of grey.

*Christopher Reeves Superman. 

Thursday 3 August 2023

So Much For Untouched People Group

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So Much For Untouched People Group

One of the myths of Australian history that many people seem to still believe is the idea that Australia remained untouched by non-indigenous peoples until the coming of Europeans in the age of Colonial exploration. But there is a growing body of evidence that this is not the case. When you sit down and consider the idea just from a rationalistic perspective, it does not really make sense. People were able to travel here once, whenever the first people found this continent, so whatever means they used to get here would have been available to many other peoples. Polynesians were able to find far flung and tiny islands in the pacific by tracking the fight paths of birds, so it is incredulous that other skilled seafarers were not able to find Australia again and again. However, we don’t have to rely on logical deduction to make this assertion, or even just oral history, we have solid evidence of the fact that non-indigenous Australians interacted with the people of pre-European Australia, as the ABC notes,

“The discovery of a trove of long-forgotten, black-and-white photographs in an Italian library has proven that a group of Indigenous Australians formed a community in South East Asia 150 years ago…

…The striking images were taken in the Indonesian city of Makassar in the 1870s, and show half a dozen young Aboriginal men and children from northern Australia.

They corroborate written and oral accounts that describe Aboriginal people moving overseas with visiting Asian fishermen, some prior to British settlement of northern Australia, and some even dating back to the 1600s…

Large-scale trade

It's believed the boys and men were among a significant number of Yolngu men and women who moved overseas with visiting Asian fishing crews.

It's not known whether they left voluntarily or were forced. 

The annual visits by Makassan trepang fishermen are believed to have started in the 1600s and continued until 1907, when the Australian government shut down the industry.

Every year, an estimated 2,000 Asian fishermen sailed south to set up camp along the northern coast of Australia…

…There's plenty of evidence of interactions with local Aboriginal people, with Makassar words, tools, and images being incorporated into tribal culture.”[1]

So, there are several streams of evidence to show that some Australian Indigenous peoples had interactions with foreign fishers and traders from Asia in at least the few centuries before Europeans settled. But there is evidence of more ancient interactions as well.

Genetic evidence shows that ancient Indians from southeast Asia may have made the journey as well. Again, the ABC reports,

“A new study of Indigenous Australian DNA suggests there was some form of migration from India to Australia about 4,000 years ago.

Aboriginal people first inhabited Australia about 40,000 years ago and researchers had previously thought them to be isolated from the rest of the world for thousands of years.

A German study may change that assumption after it analysed about 1 million genetic markers in Indigenous Australians and compared the patterns of variation to other populations.

Doctor Mark Stoneking, from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, and a team of researchers found the first signs of Indian influence coincided with a time of significant developments to the way Aboriginal communities lived…

…The study shows the earliest Indian link occurred about 4,000 years ago during a time when dingoes first appeared in the fossil record and Aboriginal communities changed the way they sourced and prepared food.”[2]

Recent history, oral history and the observation of Australian authorities shows that Asian fishermen were coming to Australia as far back as at least the 1600s. But DNA evidence shows that such connections can be traced back to far more ancient times as well. Going back as far as we have history we can see that human beings have been adept sailors,  capable of traversing long distances across oceans on even the most basic sea vessels. We cannot be certain precisely how this DNA and the dingo arrived here. But we can say that either Indians themselves or people who were connected to ancient Indian peoples perhaps via trade and swapping of slaves, or alliances, or some other way, did interact with the indigenous. The genetic studies, observed cultural changes, and the existence of the dingo here all indicate this.

The similarities between dingoes and some east Asian dog breeds really drives this point home,

“A team of scientists analysed DNA from 211 dingoes from all over Australia, 676 dogs from other continents, 38 Eurasian wolves, and 19 pre-European archaeological dog samples from Polynesia.

The analyses showed dingoes share a high proportion of their DNA with dogs from East Asia. Differences in the DNA between dingoes and East Asian dogs indicated the dingo arrived in Australia 5,000 years ago.

The scientists concluded that dingoes are descendants of domesticated dogs from East Asia. All Australian dingoes may have arisen from a small number of dogs, possibly just one male and one female, that arrived in Australia in a single event.”[3]

So, although it is common in modern Australian political discourse to pretend that there was an unbroken chain of Indigenous settlement in Australia for sometimes up to 40,000 years or more, the evidence clearly contradicts this. And what is worse is that this basic, and errant, assumption is then used to make all sorts of political points that suit modern political agendas. But the archaeological record shows that Australia had successive migrations of peoples, just as did other parts of this world. They do, however, appear to be less common than they were on the Eurasian continent though. Which stands to reason, as Australia was much further away and in some ways a far harsher climate than the very fertile parts of southeast Asia.  

This is very significant point, because even many conservative leaning voters just accept that there was this unbroken chain of Indigenous settlement. And some of those same voters want to enshrine this in the constitution, when anthropological finds show that the settlement of Australia is a far more complicated story. We should not be enshrining debatable historical assertions into the constitution, because this will have a chilling effect on science and discourse on the issues.

To grant a particular people group in the modern era special privileges based upon a flawed historical assumption is dys-civilisational, and yet Australia appears to be rushing headlong into such a course. If the genetic evidence is correct, and the very existence of the dingo here suggests that it is, then there is a very strong likelihood that Australia faced warfare and conflict between migrating groups in the past, just as it did in more recent times, just as have most other peoples throughout history. To uncover the breadth of this story should be the goal of modern Australians.  

As a nation we should not be endeavouring to try and right historical wrongs and mistakes, by ascribing a sacred status to one particular group of Australians with their connection to the land, and regarding the rest as at best guests and as at worst invaders. These efforts are more likely to perpetuate new injustices than right the wrongs of the past. The increasing efforts of so-called human rights groups, progressive groups, and others, to create special classes of citizenship for Indigenous peoples in lands like Australia have the danger of causing ongoing cultural conflict here. Because it will create tension between different people’s living in Australia, and there is no predicting what will be made of this tension and what political forces will exploit it. However, we can be certain that some will seek to exploit it.

The only real solution to this whole problem is to go back in time and stop the migrations of peoples into other lands. But as this is impossible, to seek to address it through special classes of law only creates the danger of making an imperfect situation worse. At the very least we should be slowing down immigration, because as we see from indigenous history, even when the settlers have peaceful intent, this creates dispossession and conflict over the real history and identity of a nation. This is not good for anyone.

We should also ask this question: if our current government really believes this nation is all indigenous land, why are they so determined to bring in record amounts of people here to occupy it? It would appear that other agendas are at play. Perhaps that is what should be examined?

List of References

Tuesday 1 August 2023

The Sign of Jonah Part One


Jonah Sermon 3: The Sign of Jonah Part One

You can watch the video of this sermon here.


So, two weeks ago we began a mini-series on the book of Jonah. Jonah is a powerful little book, and we noted last week just how famous this passage is, it is so famous even many non-believers will be familiar with it. But the main thing we focused on last week, was just how terrible it would have been for Jonah to be in the belly of the fish for 3 days and 3 nights. He compared it to hell, which is an apt description. Think about it, hell is defined in the scripture as a place of utter darkness, that is far from the presence of the Lord, and Jonah felt like he was cast out of the sight and presence of the Lord in the belly of that fish. Of course, God was there with him as he eventually realized, and because of this he did not give up hope. But still this is a terrible thing to happen.  

Before we move any further through the book of Jonah though we are going to focus for one more week on Jonah’s time in the bowels of hell. Because this passage points to a us forward to our Lord Jesus Christ.  

One of the problems with how a lot of Christians today think about the Bible is that they believe they can just write off the Old Testament. Some preachers will even say you can ignore the Old Testament and just read the New Testament. Considering how hard it is to get people to read the Bible, I understand why they say this. But it is terrible advice if that is what you are seeking to achieve. Most of the best stories are in the Old Testament. The New Testament is great and filled with wonderful events of course. But reading the Old Testament is like having a window into an ancient world so alien to our own modern times, but also so relatable in so many ways.

Tales of wars, and conquests, defeats and victories, love and betrayal, slaying of dragons and the shaking of nations, scorned lovers and licentious affairs, faithfully devoted wives and honourable husbands, the rise and fall of kingdoms and dynasties, heroes and villains, heroes turned villains and villains turned heroes. The Old Testament is far more interesting than most people realize and it presents its message in a way that at times causes some Christians to blush. If the Old Testament was a T.V. show most Christians wouldn’t watch it, because it would be too edgy, far too violent and far too real, but almost everyone else would, because it would be the most interesting show on T.V.. Rejecting the Old Testament is like cutting the handle off the sword of the God. Ridiculous foolishness. 

But these stories are not just there to entertain us, though they are thoroughly entertaining. They are there to serve as examples for us to learn from, but also for more than that, they also exist to point us to Jesus. Jesus is all through the Old Testament. So today, I want us to examine how all the prophets point us to Jesus, so that we can better understand how the word of God itself works, beginning with our teacher, Jonah. Let’s see just how alive and active the sword of the Lord is, and how this can encourage us and challenge us today and point us to Jesus.  

The Sign of Jonah (1:17) – Over the last couple of weeks we have looked in some detail at Jonah’s experience in the belly of the fish. We concluded a couple of weeks ago, that it is silly to try and explain this event naturally, because this was a special fish prepared by God for Jonah. It was still a big fish, but what kind, we won’t know till heaven. We saw last week just how horrific this experience was. In no way did Jonah think he was on a vacation while in that fish, as we have said, he was in the bowels of hell, almost literally. Yet he did not give up hope. So, we have looked in detail about why God put Jonah in the fish, and also how he felt about being in that fish, but there is one other big and important theme we have not covered: the fact that Jonah is a type of Christ, or at least Jonah points to Christ. Let’s see how. We read in Jonah 1:17 – “17 And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.” How does this point us to Christ? 

Three days and three nights – Well the answer is obvious, Jonah was in the bowels of the “grave” for three days and nights. As many of us know, Jesus actually makes this connection himself. Matthew 12:38-41 –

“38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” 39 But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.”

Jesus is very clear that Jonah’s experience points to the Messiah’s experience. In some sense he is a type of the Messiah.

The Grave – But what specifically is this referring to? Well, both Jonah and our Lord Jesus will be in the bowels of hades for three days and three nights. Some people struggle with the concept of Jesus descending to hell, or hades, but it is one of the oldest beliefs in Christianity, as is shown by it being reflected in the Apostle’s Creed:

“I believe in God,

the Father almighty,

Creator of heaven and earth,

and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

born of the Virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, died and was buried;

he descended into hell;

on the third day he rose again from the dead;

he ascended into heaven,

and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;

from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.”[i]

Some people seek to change the word “hell” here to “the dead”, or “the grave”, or “hades”, but these all meant the same basic thing in the ancient world. Think about it like this, if you died and are descending where are you going? You don’t descend to heaven. You descend to descend to Sheol.   

Of course, the Apostle’s creed, for us Baptists, is not authoritative. It is just a good guide. So, let’s see if Scripture backs this tradition up. Paul tells us this, Ephesians 4:9-10, “9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) (KJV). “the lower parts of the earth” is another way of speaking about Sheol, hades or the grave. All of the people of the ancient world conceived of hell being in the bowels of the earth.  

So, Paul affirms that Jesus descended into the bowels of Sheol, or hell, just like Jonah did. Of course, he did not stay there, “He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.” But the question is what was Jesus doing in hell, in the grave, while he was there? He suffered on the cross for our sins, no passage says he suffered in hell. So why was here there?

Peter answers that for us, 1 Peter 3:18-20,

“18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, 20 because they formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.”

Where did Jesus go? “To the spirits in prison”. Where is the one place that Spirits are in prison? Luigi’s haunted mansion? The Egyptian book of the damned? Arkham Asylum? No, only one place, hades, which is the current hell.

Why was Jesus there? To preach, to “make proclamation”. He was not there to give them a second chance, because it is appointed to a man once to die and then to face judgement. No, it was too late for these spirits. He was there to vindicate the prophet Noah’s message that they should have trusted the word of God. Which is every prophet’s message. Noah told people to repent. Jonah told people to repent. All prophets tell people to repent and trust in God. Jesus vindicated their faithfulness.

What is remarkable is that although Jonah suffered in the bowels of the fish, he still proclaimed the victory and righteousness of God, just as Jesus did in hades, “8 Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love. 9 But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to the Lord!” (Jonah 2:8-9).  

So, just as Jonah descended to Sheol, so too did our Lord. Their experiences were a little different. But we can clearly see that Jonah points to our Lord being in the belly of the earth for three days and nights, which leads to our next discussion, is there a contradiction here?

The apparent contradiction (vv. 1:17) – If Jesus and Jonah were in the bowels of hades for the same amount of time, doesn’t this leave us with an exegetical issue? Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights, so by our reckoning, if he went into the fish on a Friday afternoon, then he would have been spat out some time on Monday, correct? That is how we would read this.

This is why this creates for us an apparent problem. Because Jesus says this very clearly: “40 For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” So, if Jesus was 3 days and 3 nights in the belly of the earth, and he was taken down before sundown on Friday, so as to not desecrate the Sabbath, shouldn’t Jesus, therefore, have risen on Monday morning then, not Sunday morning? Should Monday be our Sunday? Should it be Easter Monday, not Easter Sunday?

We seem to have a bit of a problem here, don’t we. Because we know that Jesus was crucified before the Sabbath and died on a Friday afternoon. We know that the Pharisees did not enter the governor’s home, because they did not want to be disqualified from eating the Passover, the hypocrites (John 18:28). And we know that Jesus rose on the Sunday morning, three days later, but not three nights later. Because straight away Sunday became the new Sabbath for early Christians, the day of fellowship.

So, do we have a contradiction here? It appears that way.  

Some people have tried to solve this by arguing that Jesus ate with the disciples on the Wednesday, and died on Thursday afternoon. But this does not fit with what we read in the gospels and creates more problems than it solves.

There is a much simpler explanation, but I think some of you are not going to like it. The truth is we are simply interpreting the numbers wrong. The saying three days and three nights, was simply a Jewish idiom for saying 3 days, it did not mean literally three days and nights needed to pass. Which is obvious, because Jesus died in an afternoon and rose on a Sunday morning. He was not being mathematically precise.

The ancient Israelites were not always as precise with numbers, as we would like today. Which makes sense, because they had not invented maths, or literalism, and they did not think forensically, like modern people do. Large numbers just represented large amounts, or a lot of time. This means you have to be careful with numbers in the scriptures, sometimes they are literal, sometimes they are not. I told you, you would not like this answer, because most of us are literal minded people.  

We know from other sources, that the ancient Israelites just accounted any part of the day, as the whole day. We actually do something similar to this ourselves. If you asked me, what did you do on your day off, I might say I went to a theme park. But what I literally did is that I woke up, drank some water, got on the treadmill, then did weights, then had a coffee and read my bible, then a book, then I went for a drive to the coast, and then I went to a theme park. Did I lie by only saying I went to Dreamworld. No, I just condensed.

So, it is not hard to understand that the ancient Jewish people might have their own ways of summarizing periods of time, and other numbers. What supports this is Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:4 that he was raised on the third day, showing he understood this to mean precisely that.

So, there is no problem here when we understand the way they talked about these things in their own culture. But now that we have dealt with this issue, I want to show you one other way this week that this experience of Jonah points to Jesus, and next week we will look at another way.

Jonah’s Prayer Points To Christ – Jonah’s own prayer, his Psalm, also points to Christ in other ways. Look at this Psalm and structure, Jonah 2:2-9,

“…2 saying, “I called out to the Lord, out of my distress, and he answered me; out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and you heard my voice. 3 For you cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and the flood surrounded me; all your waves and your billows passed over me. 4 Then I said, ‘I am driven away from your sight; yet I shall again look upon your holy temple.’ 5 The waters closed in over me to take my life; the deep surrounded me; weeds were wrapped about my head 6 at the roots of the mountains. I went down to the land whose bars closed upon me forever; yet you brought up my life from the pit, O Lord my God. 7 When my life was fainting away, I remembered the Lord, and my prayer came to you, into your holy temple. 8 Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love. 9 But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to the Lord!”

Many of the Psalm’s point to Jesus, some more clearly than others, but this Psalm points to Jesus in a remarkable way. Look at this:

-        Just as Jonah cried out in distress, so did Jesus when he was suffering on the cross (Matt. 25:50).

-        Just as Jonah was given to the Sheol, so was Jesus, who was buried in the earth for three days.

-        Just as Jonah was surrounded by Chaos and darkness (represented by being in the deep sea), so was Jesus. Remember while Jesus was on the cross, the land went dark from about midday to 3pm in the afternoon (Matt. 26:45).

-        Just as Jonah felt like he was driven from the sight of God, so did Jesus feel the same way, which is why he cried out, "My God, my God why have you forsaken me." (Matt. 25:46).

-        Just as Jonah’s life was given to the pit, so was the life of Jesus. Though Jonah did not actually die, Jesus did, he was dead three days in the Tomb.

-        Just as Jonah felt that he had come into the temple of the Lord in his prayer, so too did Jesus, who actually ascended to be with God the father.

-        Just as Jonah glorifies God, saying salvation belongs to the Lord, so too did Jesus glorify his father, who was raised by God the father from the grave. John 17:1,  “When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you,” The same God that rose Jonah from the pit, rose his Son, Jesus, from the grave.

God put Jonah in the fish for the good of the Jonah, the Ninevehites, and for us, so that we might see that he is the kind of God that raises his people from the pit and saves the sinner. God put his son in the pit, so that we might see that he is the kind of God that raises his people from the pit and saves the sinner. Jonah is not the Messiah, but he sure does point to him.

All The Prophets (Luke 24:25-27) – So, we can now see how powerfully the book of Jonah points us to Jesus, but this is something every prophet does in their own ways,

“25 And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.”

The message of Jesus is all through the Old Testament, we just need the Holy Spirit and the Apostles to open our eyes to it. The Hebrew scriptures are in actual fact the Scriptures of our Lord Jesus Christ, his father and the Holy Spirit. So how can we cut them from our walk with him? We can’t.

Application - No Vain Idol (Jonah 2:8-9) – To apply this today I want to come back to Jonah’s Psalm and focus on his last two verses, “8 Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love. 9 But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to the Lord!”

Seeing what God did in and through Jonah, raising him up from the pit, and using him to point to Jesus, and seeing what God did in and through Jesus, raising him up from the grave, so that he could secure for us eternal life, you can only come to one conclusion: our God is no vain idol.

Most people in this world trust in vain idols, whether of stone, or wood, or silver or gold, today, just as in Jonah’s day, the vast majority of people trust in vain idols.

Work idols. Money idols. Physical idols. Sporting idols. Music idols. Religious idols. Wherever you are, in all these aspects of life, idols will rise up to try and deceive you. The human heart is a factory of idols, as John Calvin said.

If you trust in these idols, they will disappoint you. As John C. Wright notes,

“The Stoic in this atmosphere maintains himself by pride and iron willpower; and when they fail, he is left with nothing. The Hedonist in this atmosphere maintains himself by distraction, by diversion, by the constant clamor of the stimulation of the senses, by wine and women and song, by sex and drugs and rock and roll; and when they fail, he is left with nothing.”[ii]

Whatever your idol, it will fail you. Because they can only offer vanity. God can offer you resurrection.

You’re only hope is to trust in the Lord, because “Salvation belongs to the Lord!” You’re only hope is to trust in the God who raised Jonah out of the ocean. You’re only hope is to trust in the Lord, who raised the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead. You’re only hope is to turn from your sins and trust in him, because there is no salvation apart from God. So, I implore you today, believe. Trust in him and turn to him.

Conclusion - The book of Jonah teaches us that no matter who you are, a pagan false god worshipping mariner, a man of God’s people, or of the wicked nation, the Assyrians, no matter who you are, you need God to save you from the bowels of hell, and he CAN save you from the bowels of hell, and he is the only one who can save you from the bowels of hell. Salvation belongs to the Lord and is extended to all people. Which everyone, from pagans to prophets of God, need to be reminded of from time to time. Turn to him and trust him. Let’s pray.



[ii] Wright, John C.. Transhuman and Subhuman: Essays on Science Fiction and Awful Truth (p. 450). Still Waters Books. Kindle Edition.