The online Bible teaching ministry of John Brand

Q: What is at least as bad as a wolf in sheep’s clothing?

A: How about a sheep in wolf’s clothing

Recently I wrote about the current situation in Scottish politics where those who live as enemies of the gospel profess to be Christians and even quote from Scripture, albeit quoting out of context and twisting it as you would expect.

But there is another serious problem with the current state of affairs and that is when those in politics who are, as far as any of us can tell, genuine believers and yet, for whatever reason, side with the enemies of the gospel and adopt positions that are blatantly contrary to Scripture.

For example, how has Kate Forbes succeeded in becoming Deputy First Minister?  This in itself is a matter of great concern. While having no reason to doubt that her personal views and beliefs are biblical, there are numerous evidences that, for reasons best known to her, and which we can only guess, she is prepared to believe one thing in her heart but act and speak in a contrary way.

When she was standing for the position of First Minister – only a year ago – she brought a firestorm of abuse on herself by courageously saying she was anti-abortion and same-sex marriage and would not have voted for the iniquitous Gender Recognition Reform (GRR) bill that Nicola Sturgeon had been promoting. Compare those views with recent statements, all of which are at odds with Christian teaching and values.

  • “The first minister has been absolutely clear that the Scottish government intends to promote, to protect and to enhance the rights of every LGBT person in Scotland, and I wholeheartedly endorse that position.” Thereby she is promoting a lifestyle that is an abomination to God.
  • “I couldn’t conceive of having an abortion myself. I’ve seen my baby at 12 weeks and 20 weeks but yes, I defend the right of women to make use of that legal provision to access abortion.” Thereby she is supporting the slaughter of countless unborn children and, in my opinion, any Christian taking that position has lost integrity and spiritual credibility.
  • “I’m a servant of democracy and in a democracy you have a debate, there is a vote by majority, and then it’s for every leader to uphold.”

I find that last statement deeply troubling and revealing. It means that the will of the people – not the Word of God – will determine what position she takes on issues. Logically, that would mean that if, for example, in a referendum, the majority of people voted for abortion up to full-term, for euthanasia or for the closing down of every church in Scotland, Kate Forbes would feel that she had to uphold that position to stay in politics! Even now, as Deputy First Minister she has publicly accepted the principle of collective cabinet responsibility which means that she publicly supports the GRR legislation which she previously opposed, abortion, same-sex marriage, the new Hate Crime law, buffer zones near abortion clinics which, among other things, prevent people from praying for and offering help to women attending for an abortion and numerous other godless policies of the SNP.

So how did this deeply concerning situation arise? Well, the corrupt SNP establishment have, very cleverly, got her exactly where they wanted her. If I was a betting man I would bet my pension on what went on at SNP HQ after Humza Yousaf resigned. John Swinney was persuaded to be the ‘stop Forbes at all costs’ candidate. Make her DFM because then her unpalatable views are silenced. For the dubious privilege of that position Kate Forbes has now openly accepted the principle of collective cabinet responsibility, meaning that she now has to publicly support and promote things she was once apparently against. Things like the GRR legislation, abortion, same-sex marriage, the new Hate Speech law and buffer zones near abortion clinics.

Now, I can only go by what I see and hear, and what I see and hear, is a politician who has been vilified for her personal convictions now publicly saying the very opposite in order to achieve a political position that would otherwise be unattainable to her. I am happy to be proved wrong but I can’t come to any other conclusion.

At this point, I ought to say that I have raised all of these points with Kate Forbes herself, telling her that I was minded to write publicly about these concerns because they relate to public comments she had made. I offered her the opportunity to correct me if I am wrong, but she has not responded after several weeks.

But does all of this really matter in the sordid world and murky water of politics? Absolutely it does. I read a recent Christian blog post which said that, “Politics is the art of compromise and what is possible”. Well that may well be true and necessary but the issues I have highlighted here can not be subject to any form of compromise.

We would do well to heed these words of the Puritan William Gurnall:

The Christian should not be of such a complying nature as to cut the coat of his profession according to the fashion of the times.”

A few years ago, I had some personal correspondence with Kate Forbes and asked her how being a practicing Christian was consistent with being an SNP MP. She responded by saying that she wanted to be a Christian voice in the public square. But what is the point of that if, in order to survive, you just end up espousing the same views – at least in public – that the secular and godless world does?

What is the point of being a Christian in the political arena and then when you have the position and influence to do so you speak and act in a way not so dissimilar to the enemies of the Gospel? You can’t be salt and light if you lose your saltiness to the extent that it is trodden under foot, and if a cover is put over the light just so you can maintain you position. You can’t, in your private life, say that you submit to the teaching and Lordship of Christ and then in public submit all of that to the lordship of the Parliament, the electorate or your party. What’s the point in holding biblical views if you reassure people that they won’t influence your political decisions? Is that not, at the very least, hypocritical?

Interestingly, when Kate Forbes was recently verbally abused for her views in a session of the Scottish Parliament, not one of the other MSPs who are known, or at least reputed, to be Christian spoke up to say that they shared the same Christian views as she did. Not one of them opened their mouths. Shame on them!

I am always intrigued when folk make comparisons between people like Kate Forbes and other Christians in the public arena of politics and Daniel or Joseph. However, neither of those men were in their positions voluntarily but under a certain level of duress. While I appreciate that the phrase ‘the lion’s den’ has a broad application to trouble and affliction, the point is, of course, that Daniel was in that place precisely because he refused to compromise or capitulate; Joseph in prison for the same reason. If you want to stretch that analogy to this issue, the evidence would seem to suggest that Kate Forbes has, sadly, chosen to dodge the den in order to save her political career.

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