What a person thinks is not always seen in direct, forthright and bold declarations of their views but it is found in an incidental manner. Such is the case in the article under consideration. Mrs Robinson reveals fortuitously just what it is she believes! I will illustrate that by examining some statements she makes taken from her published article.
I think it is true that Mrs Robinson has in the past gone through a trying time of mental stress. We have sympathy for her in that battle. However, it is no answer to such trials to abandon the Word of God and seek answers from extraneous sources.
1. “I don’t have all the answers as to why (church attendance is falling) and I want to clearly acknowledge that in many areas and on many issues the church does good, hopeful and helpful work – supporting foodbanks, community initiatives, holiday schemes and children/youth activities to name a few.”
That is an interesting summary of what Mrs Robinson considers the ‘good, hopeful and helpful work’ done by churches.
I find it interesting because of what she makes no mention of — the preaching of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
When the Saviour sent forth the apostles, He did so with these words. “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen,” Matthew 28:18-20.
There is not a mention of ‘foodbanks, community initiatives, holiday schemes and children/youth activities’ by the Saviour. Mrs Robinson and the Saviour very obviously have differing views as to what ‘good, hopeful and helpful work’ entails.
What Mrs Robinson lists are chiefly the affairs of the physical and social aspects of human activity whereas the Lord Jesus laid His entire emphasis on the spiritual needs of men (I use that term as does the Bible, meaning all of mankind).
Hear His own definition of the purpose of His coming. “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance,” Luke 5:32. His was a spiritual work!
What the Saviour commanded His apostles to do provides ALL THE ANSWERS TO OUR NEEDS, whereas what Mrs Robinson considers a ‘good, hopeful and helpful work’ will provide, at best a very temporary relief with no benefits at all for the eternal souls of mankind.
It must be stated that where there is a teaching of men to observe all things that Christ taught His disciples this will not only provide them with the eternal comforts of the gospel of saving grace, but it will also result in a very much improved moral, physical and social environment.
The sinner converted to new life in Christ, through faith in His atoning death at the cross, is a better son, daughter, husband, wife, employee and employer, overall a better neighbour and citizen.
The change the gospel brings to sinners trusting in Christ is seen in the life of Zacchaeus. Before conversion he was a greedy, grasping, ruthless tax-collector, who frequently exacted from citizens more than was his due.
All this changed at his conversion. Listen to the narrative of his conversion.
“And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that [way]. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house. And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw [it], they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner. And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore [him] fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham,” Luke 19:3-9.
In these verses we have his free acknowledgment of his former wickedness and his readiness to make more than generous restitution to any he had wronged. He also was immediately in the ‘foodbank etc business’ for he gave away half of his goods to the poor.
I have never heard of any Members of Parliament doing that and I am sure I would have for such stories invariably hit the headlines!
Making restitution and giving generously to the poor would not have brought Zacchaeus to heaven. It was his faith in Christ, whereby he had come to possess, as the Saviour assured him, God’s salvation. “This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.”
The saving grace of God, which is what the apostles were charged to preach, brings salvation to the souls of sinners and as a result they become new and good persons. “Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new,” 2 Corinthians 5:17.
That wonderful change has brought into this world the innumerable earthly blessings which have sprung from the preaching and receiving of the gospel.
Paul the apostle said of himself that he was “before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did [it] ignorantly in unbelief”. From such wickedness the gospel made him into one of the chief human benefactors of mankind, to this very day.
The problem with the churches today, which Mrs Robinson does not seem to have noted, is that they have left off preaching the gospel that Christ gave His disciples to preach and instead have taken up the gospel of ‘foodbanks, community initiatives, holiday schemes and children/youth activities’!
Such activities may well offer a little aid to the belly and some provisional comfort to the body but it will leave the souls of men lost in darkness and on the road to eternal hell!
2. “However, for many people, I have become increasingly aware the Church feels ‘out of touch’ with life in today’s modern world including attitudes towards our LGBT+ community, women, difference, disability and diversity.
“That doesn’t even begin to take into account the damage the legacy of mother and baby homes and impact of abuse has had on individuals, families and communities — much of which has yet to be properly acknowledged or addressed.
“I grew up in traditional conservative evangelical church context however these days my faith is probably best described ‘progressive’. Last year, I joined the team of Left Side Up — a progressive faith organisation based in Belfast in which I lead the Faith and Mental Health Project.”
Mrs Robinson claims to be ‘progressing’ in her faith. That term suggests a leaving of one place and a moving toward another. Just what she is ‘progressing’ from and what it is she has ‘progressed’ to may be found in the words I have just reproduced from her article.
I do not think I do her an injustice by saying she appears to be saying she has ‘progressed’ from a ‘traditional conservative evangelical church context’ to ‘a progressive faith organisation’ defined by the very ‘trendy’ title of the organisation she is now associated with: ‘Left Side Up’.
This organisation takes its philosophy from some words they quote from one of the early Church Fathers, Iranaeus of Lyon.
I do not find it surprising that this organisation is NOT inspired by a quotation from the One Who is far above a second century believer, the Lord of lords and King of kings.
It might be noted that Romanism looks to the same man for justification for its claim to be the ‘Mother Church’.
The ‘only rule of faith and practice’ is the Word of God, the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments – Shorter Catechism question/answer 3. The quotation that this group have made their ‘inspiration’, their motivating force, is ‘The glory of God is the human being fully alive.’ That they should take as their inspiration a quotation from Iranaeus which is rather obscure and indeterminate, except to those who would declare their interpretation as being infallible, is indicative of what they think about the Bible.
It is significant that Mrs Robinson makes no mention of the Bible at all in her article!
Now you can sail your vessel in many directions using this chart but I prefer such words as are found in 1 Corinthians 10:31. “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” The Shorter Catechism gives us a like direction in its first question and answer. “Question 1: What is the chief end of man? Answer: Mans chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.”
Such words as these provide us with a Scriptural charter and code for finding and enjoying the full purpose of God amongst men.
It is clear that Mrs Robinson has ‘progressed’ to a place where she has developed a new attitude toward many things, including what she calls ‘our LGBT+ community.’ Such terminology indicates that she has cast over the Bible’s view of the wicked perversions embraced and gloried in by those termed the ‘LGBT+ community’.
The initials stand for those who claim to be lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender in their moral proclivity! The plus sign indicates that such terminology is more than a little fluid and other perversions are to be included with those represented by the initials LGBT.
The Lord uses only one word for those lumped together under these initials – ABOMINATION!
“Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it [is] abomination,” Leviticus 18:22
“The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so [are] abomination unto the LORD thy God,” Deuteronomy 22:5.
‘Foodbanks, community initiatives, holiday schemes and children/youth activities’ will not bring any eternal benefits to such as these. Nor will embracing them and calling them ‘our LGBT+ community’. There is only one thing that can grant true and lasting help to such as abide under the curse and judgment of God. It is not the ‘progressive’ ‘mollycoddling gospel’ of Mrs Robinson but the gospel of Christ.
Heed these words which I have often quoted when dealing with the follies of those who would try to rationalise sodomy and its allied deviations. They are words that should resonate with Christians.
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God,” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.
Paul clearly states that there will be an entrance to heaven for those in Corinth Mrs Robinson terms ‘our LGBT+ community’. Such are referred to by the Holy Ghost under the terms — “adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind.” Those were the ‘LGBT+’ sinners residing in Corinth in Paul’s day.
But what ‘foodbanks, community initiatives, holiday schemes and children/youth activities’ could never have done for them, the gospel the apostles were sent out to preach did. They were saved by the grace of God. They were pardoned and delivered from their evil lifestyle and are in heaven even now!
Whatever Mrs Robinson will offer to these poor benighted souls it is not the Word of God. It would seem that all she will perhaps provide is what little comfort comes her from siding with them and calling them ‘our LGBT+ community’. What will that achieve other than to encourage them on in their sin, down the road to hell!
3. “Our eternal destination is not more important, or significant, than our lives lived here, right now, in community, loving those around us. That, after all, is what Jesus explained to be the most important Commandment: love God, love your neighbour, love yourself.
“Being passionate about mental health and wellbeing for all, we have spent the last 7 months researching Faith and Mental Health, listening and learning to the experiences of those connected to church and faith.”
Nothing could be more evil and wrong and contradictory to the teaching of the Lord Jesus than these words. To say, as does Mrs Robinson, that “Our eternal destination is not more important, or significant, than our lives lived here, right now . . .” is to set forth the lie of the devil.
What did the Saviour say to His disciples?
“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, [shall he] not much more [clothe] you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day [is] the evil thereof,” Matthew 6:25-34.
Please note what verse 33 of this passage states. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness.” Mrs Robinson says : “Our eternal destination is not more important, or significant, than our lives.” The Lord Jesus says she is utterly wrong.
Lazarus the beggar had very little in this world but he is now in heaven with the redeemed. It is said of him by the Lord Jesus: “And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores,” Luke 16:20-21.
However, when he died “he was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom,” a term for the place of the redeemed. He had sought first the kingdom of God rather than money, food and clothing and a cure for his ills. In doing so, he was most correct.
The rich man, at whose gate he lay, obviously did pursue after the things of this world and obtained them and ended in HELL! “And it came to pass . . . . the rich man also died, and was buried; and in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom,” Luke 16:22-23.
Being ‘passionate’ about earthly wellbeing did nothing for this man’s eternal soul. Nor will the agenda that Mrs Robinson and her friends follow bring any lasting, eternal relief to those whose earthly wellbeing is all they show concern for.
Mrs Robinson’s philosophy entails the abandonment of the gospel and an embracing of a ‘theology’ that runs directly contrary to the teaching of Christ.
What good can come of that.
Yes, the first commandment is that we ‘love our neighbour as ourselves’! But to love ourselves is to “seek . . . first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness.” To neglect our souls’ salvation is self-murder! To ‘love our neighbour as ourselves’ is to press upon them the need of obtaining God’s pardon ABOVE ALL ELSE!
Listen again to the words of the Saviour.
“Blessed [are] they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled,” Matthew 5:6.
“Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed,” John 6:27.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it,” Matthew 13:44-46.
4. “For those who look at the Church and wonder does God have any relevance today, we say loudly and boldly, yes! God is still speaking, and we often hear that best from the margins of society. The question for those within churches and faith communities is are we willing to listen?”
Yes, indeed, God is still speaking but it is in the Bible that we will find what it is He is saying, not in the fanciful and heretical nonsense uttered by Mrs Robinson. We have no desire to be rude or discourteous but when it comes to eternal matters one cannot be mealy-mouthed. These things are too important to be dealt with ‘genteelly’ and referred to in polite speech!
Mrs Robinson is spreading error, error that will turn people away from God’s truth and His salvation to a modernistic, ‘progressive’ departure from the gospel and God’s salvation.
Against such we must ‘earnestly contend’, Jude 3.
In an interview with Claire Simpson, reported in the ‘Irish News’ on 7th June 2021, Mrs Robinson said “Bible teaching is ‘only one source of theology’ and has to be interpreted.”
In essence, that is a denial of the authority of the Word God gave of old and enthrones man’s interpretation or explanation of it as the final theological authority!
Although Mrs Robinson is not a DUP member, her views are to be considered part of the thinking of ‘mainstream DUP’. She is reported also as saying, in that Claire Simpson article, that her ‘views on conversion therapy and abortion are in direct opposition to those held by conservatives in her husband’s party’ and that ‘her husband is hugely supportive of her work’. Surely you cannot be supportive without being in agreement with!
She thus reveals the moral malaise that has taken root within the DUP and which helps explain the complete confusion and fragmentation presently exhibited within it!
For Christians to remain within the DUP is for them to be stained by its corruptions and dragged down with it. Doubtless, Lot pondered getting out of Sodom for he was ‘vexed’ with the ‘unlawful deeds’ (2 Peter 2:8) of its citizens. But aware as he must have been of its offensiveness in the eyes of God, he still loved what the city offered by way of earthly riches (Genesis 13:10-11) and was most reluctant to leave. Indeed he had to be dragged out of Sodom by the angels the Lord sent to rescue him (Genesis 19:16).
I repeat, it is in the Bible ALONE that we will find God’s truth and the way of life and what it is we must do by way of pleasing the Lord and also loving our neighbour.
“To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, [it is] because [there is] no light in them,” Isaiah 8:20.
“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book,” Revelation 22:18.
It is with these solemn words of warning, with which the Saviour ended His Word to the Churches of Asia, that we would end our warning to those caught up in this sad system of error and folly.
Rev Ivan Foster (Rtd)
21st June 2021.
Please also see our previous article titled Mrs Lindsay Robinson’s blasphemy