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Obadiah on the Scriptures, Elections, and a Citizenship Found in Heaven

by ervte

Next: The old ALP membership card used to say: “The unity of labor is the hope of the world”. Wrong. Obadiah has been a staunch union member for most of what could be laughably called his career. (He’s made a career.) But he knows this world’s hopes are next.

Obadiah on the Scriptures, Elections, and a Citizenship Found in Heaven

In But Out Of This World: Pastor Mark Edwards — a key opinion leader in Australia’s network of Christian churches — wrote in Eternity that he felt he was not heard in the election.

Not so much during the campaign but on election night itself.

“If you were one of those disillusioned who dealt a heavy blow to the government by electing someone outside the major parties, waking up on Sunday morning must have felt so good.

“But as a person of faith, I went to bed on Saturday night and woke up the next morning with a constant frustration that my voice didn’t seem to be heard. I now know what it’s like to scream in the wind. Before Election Day, I had learned a hard and painful lesson: people of faith err in believing that if we get the right people in the right places, change will happen.”

Mark opens his heart to the piece he wrote for Eternity. Mark, most of us Christians feel the same way. We belong elsewhere. But Obadiah thinks he should take heart – the feeling of not being quite fit is what you expect when you’re a citizen of heaven.

And when we went to vote—contrary to what we may have felt on election night—most Christians found it difficult to find a party that suited us. We had to settle for what we could find on the voting form.

As Paul tells those Philippians, “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Redeemer from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our humble bodies to be like his glorious body through the power that enables him to bring everything under his control.” Philippians 3:20

Mark knows that, of course. But Obadiah thinks the scripture reference is part of what this column is for! It is infinitely more reassuring than any election material.

Meanwhile, we do our best to love our neighbors and proclaim King Jesus. Keep straight, Mark!

Shattered: Mark said he learned this is NOT happening: “If we get the right people in the right places, change will happen.”

Obadiah risks smart-nursery and wants to point out:

1) Social conservatives like Mark (and that’s not an insult, folks) haven’t gotten enough people in the right places. Conservative polls promised too much, hence the popular vote on same-sex marriage and the car accident of the Religious Discrimination Act.

2) Learning to count is the job of politics, which means building coalitions and not expecting to have everything you want.

Obadiah jumped into Philippians 3 at that point. So here’s the context – the previous two verses. “For, as I have often told you and now say again, even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their fate is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory lies in their shame. Their minds are set upon earthly things.”

Slope points with tears at Paul’s writing. There is so much we want to tell the world that we need tears for.

Shocked: Obadiah was pleasantly shocked when he acted as a volunteer scripture teacher at his local public school. The kids remembered him from teaching for a few months, pre covid.

Two Texas newspapers, The Houston Chronicle and The Fort Worth Star-Telegram teamed up in 2019 to discover hundreds of abuse cases involving Southern Baptist pastors. The publication of a report on hundreds of sexual abuse cases involving pastors of the massive Southern Baptist denomination in the US was accompanied by details of how church leaders tried to prevent the investigators from accessing legal documents. They feared the reputational damage. That led to a new investigation.

As in the case of Joanne McCarthy of the Newcastle Herald’s lone struggle to expose sexual abuse in the Catholic and Anglican churches, it’s up to the press to bring things to light if the church doesn’t step in. Of course, not all media stories are as well-found or accurate as these examples. But unfortunately, they were needed, and Slope is proud of his journalistic comrades.

Pedants’ Corner: Readers familiar with Obadiah Slope’s original in Anthony Trollope’s Barchester novels will remember it was Tom Towers, the opportunistic journalist in the Barchester books. So Tom, instead of Obadiah, should congratulate his journalistic comrades.

Here’s Trollope’s damning description of Tom Towers from The Warden. “Tom Towers likely considered himself the most powerful man in Europe, and so he went from day to day, striving diligently to look like a man, but knowing in his heart that he was a god.”

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