A Presbyterian pastor explains why he is relinquishing his status as a marriage celebrant
Dear Senator Brandis,
Today, with profound sadness, as the Governor General signs into law the redefinition of the institution of marriage in the Commonwealth Marriage Act, I resign my status as a Minister of Religion registered under the Act, and relinquish my Celebrant’s Number, T2816.
I thereby revoke my right to conduct weddings as a recognised agent of the Act, and sever any other official connection to it.
I RESIGN FOR THREE REASONS:
1) The “Commonwealth Marriage Act” is from today no longer concerned with marriage: with the exclusive, lifelong union of one man and one woman, freely entered into. Although the novel Act retains the word “marriage,” it now uses this word to refer to something very different to marriage, to something in fact repugnant to the nature and purposes of marriage.
Marriage brings together the two different and complementary sexes of humanity, and the two incomplete parts of the human reproductive system. The novel Act no longer recognises the unique importance of this union, but instead obfuscates and undermines it by applying the word “marriage” to the union of any two adults.
And marriage binds together and protects a man and a woman in sexual relationship, and the children that are very often born out of such a relationship. The novel Act does not do this. On the contrary, it legitimises the removal of children from their natural parents.
2) The Sacred Scriptures clearly delineate what sexual activity God has determined to be right and wrong. Sexual intercourse was given by the Creator to one man and one woman joined in marriage. Fornication, adultery, prostitution, incest, and homosexual practice is forbidden as a misuse of our reproductive organs and sexual desires.
The novel Act, by contrast, places homosexual acts, forbidden by God, on a moral level with male-female married sexual intercourse.
3) The novel Act will be a root and tool of injustice.
It is not just for adults to unnecessarily give up their responsibility to love and raise the children that they conceive. In fact it is manifestly cruel to abandon one’s offspring in this way. The novel “Marriage Act” legitimises and institutionalises this injustice.
Nor is it just to unnecessarily sever a child from their biological heritage: from their natural family tree of parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. The novel Act legitimises this injustice.
And it is not just to unnecessarily remove a child from the protection, love, and daily care of the mother and father who conceived and bore them. In better days our nation stood united against this kind of injustice, inflicted upon the children of the Stolen Generation, and the children of forced adoptions. The novel Act, rather than protecting children against this, actually institutionalises the destruction of this sacred parent-child bond.
For these reasons my conscience cannot permit me to remain an authorised celebrant of the novel “Marriage Act.” I cannot give any semblance of legitimacy to something so manifestly immoral and unjust.
My position is now this: I am sworn as a citizen and a Christian to obey the governing authorities of Australia. My highest allegiance, however, belongs to Jesus Christ, whom God has made King of kings and Lord of lords by virtue of his public resurrection from the dead, attested by scores of eye-witnesses. Where the laws of Australia contradict the laws of King Jesus then I must choose to obey Him.
THESE THEREFORE ARE MY INTENTIONS:
I WILL ONLY RECOGNISE MALE-FEMALE UNIONS.
1) Though same-sex couples will now “marry” under the novel Act, I will only recognise male-female unions.
2) For two thousand years it has been the privilege and duty of Christian pastors to marry those under their care. My calling and ordination to the pastorate compels me to go on with this duty. I will continue therefore to marry couples who can be rightly married, whether they are Christian or not, and will submit to whatever civil penalty may be attached to such action.
3) I will support those male-female couples who, for whatever reason, do not want to register their marriage under the novel “Marriage Act.” I will be ready to marry them in the sight of God and according to his laws, and will submit to whatever civil penalty may be attached to such action.
4) Love for my nation compels me to fight for the recovery of marriage: for the recovery of our understanding of what marriage is, for the sacred exclusivity of the marriage bond, for the permanency of marriage, and for the recovery of our responsibilities as husbands and wives for each other and the children that we may bear. This recovery work will likely take many centuries, there is no time to waste.
5) And love for my nation compels me to help ameliorate the damage that the novel Act must cause. Men and women who have forsaken their children will need to be called to repentance and healing, and will need to recover, if at all possible, their responsibilities to know, love, protect, and provide for their children. Children who have been unnecessarily removed from their natural parents experience a deep sense of pain, rejection, and loss, and will need to find healing and, wherever possible, reconciliation to their parents. Those who have given themselves to sexual acts that God has forbidden will also need to find his forgiveness and healing.
I will point all people to Christ. He can heal those who have been hurt and broken by the dissolution of marriage. He loves us, and died to set us free from all the painful and destructive effects of sin.
Today the bright star of marriage sets behind the dank horizon of blind and selfish populism. It is a day to weep. But it is not a day to despair. For marriage is obscured, not destroyed.
In time we will see again what today we despise. In time God’s gift of marriage will once again arise in the collective heart of our nation, to be respected and enjoyed for the incalculable treasure that it is.
For this bright distant dawn all Christians will work and pray.
Campbell Markham is a Presbyterian pastor in Hobart, Tasmania.
Date-stamped: Dec 4 2017 | By: Campbell Markham | Article Title: How one pastor is responding to Australia’s redefinition of marriage | Article Link:mercatornet.com
From: Rev Lawrence Shave. Perth. Western Australia.
It seems that the Federal Australian Government Parliamentarians have laid the golden egg and killed the goose in celebration Same sex marriage, but they the parliamentarians have deceived the general public in Australia as they did not tell the general public that the “Yes and No Vote” had more devious demands to silence the Christian Church from the truths of the gospel in speaking out that in the Bible in 1 Corinthians 6 it says that “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived “Neither the sexually immoral”, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexual offenders, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor slanders, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of god “And that is what some of you were. “But” Praise God” “Some” You were sanctified, you were justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by His Spirit you were Saved.
SIN BECOMES ENTERTAINMENT:
Human sinfulness is God’s condemnation of a condition even more damning than the practice itself, supporting and encouraging evil by taking pleasure in the immoral actions of others. This disposition is the ultimate in depravity, vicarious enjoyment of lust and evil as sin becomes “Entertainment” .
Today we know what great harm is produced by the portrayal of immorality that dominates the entertainment media, yet many approve of it and derive pleasure from it. Being entertained by watching other people sin and engage in ungodly actions, even while you yourself abstain, brings you under the same divine condemnation as those engaging in such evil practices, Sin is intensified in any society wherever it meets with inhibition from the disapproval of others.
In the Bible it says that SIN is worthy of death and will be exposed and judged at the final day of judgement, also God says that its an abomination “Detestable, Revolting and He The Lord of Lords Loathes this practice, and I see also that the gay festival started in Sydney Australia some years ago and was not excepted by 99% of Australians and the Rev Fred Nile protested against such practices, but since that time many other have welcomed this fun parade but I would also see that now the fire of sexual perverted sin will kill hundreds of millions people in Australia and overseas as they the sinner have given there souls over to the devil for destruction as the devil comes to Steal, Kill and Destroy, and the parliamentarians had the opportunity to stop this sexual love perversion, but took a blind eye to it, and maybe these same people are in this sexual lust for themselves as I see that the City of Canberra is the Capital City of Sin.
And I see even the Muslim community are asking now that the “Yes” vote has been passed that male Muslims should be available to have four wives, so I think that Abraham would turn in his grave if knowing of the Muslim people not supporting to No vote and I think Abraham would also turn these people over to the dark side of the devil for destruction because of there double mindedness as it says they unstable in all there ways and are not true to there faith, and I believe that there is only one mighty man in Federal Government in Canberra and that is Mr Tony Abbot, no wonder he got kicked out of being Prime Minister of Australia as “All” the other Ministers on both side of the House ganged up against him because he is a true Christian and stands by his principles laid and given instructions in the Holy Bible, and it seems that Federal Ministers are in the habit of killing innocent people even young children that have not a say for themselves behind closed doors, and the Government of the land ignores them, but aborts them instead killing millions upon millions of unborn Children, and the Federal Ministers celebrate having a marriage between two men or two women, but what next a man and a donkey or a woman and a horse, its not love between to people its lust of the flesh.
I will not be marrying anybody that are gay, only “Born Again Christians,”
In His Service Rev Lawrence Shave Perth. Western Australia.
by Lyle Shelton. Managing Director. The Australian Christian Lobby
Wed, Nov 15, 2017
It’s a disappointing day. And sometimes as Christians we find ourselves in a season of Lament.
Indeed, there is a whole book of the Bible called Lamentations. I just happened to be in Chapters three and four as part of my devotional readings this morning.
Despite his Lament, the author Jeremiah, was able to say in Lamentations 4:19 “But you, O Lord, reign forever; your throne endures to all generations.”
And then in verse 21 he says “Restore us to yourself, O Lord, that we may be restored! Renew our days….”
The Christian view of lament is never without hope. We recognise the reality of our situation but we move forward in hope because we serve the living God.
Despite today’s loss in the marriage plebiscite, there is hope and there is much that we can take out of this campaign.
Almost five million Australians voted No and at least one million of those were Yes voters who were persuaded by our campaign to vote No.
That is a heroic effort.
As Tasmanian Liberal Senator Eric Abetz pointed out in an email, this represents a higher vote than the Coalition’s current primary vote, a higher vote than Labor’s at the last federal election and more support than that of One Nation and the Greens combined.
Despite our loss today, you are not alone – you are part of a large movement of Australians who will always believe the truth about marriage.
The challenge is what to do now. In many ways, not much changes. We continue to build a movement of Christians seeking to bring Christ’s influence into politics.
In addition, the Coalition for Marriage team, of which ACL is a part, is determined that this is not the end but the beginning of a new phase.
Our amazing volunteers, having had a taste of grassroots political activism, want to keep going.
We were inspired this afternoon to be on a phone hook-up with key volunteers from around the country.
The clear message from them was ‘we want to keep going’.
At ACL and as part of a wider movement of coalition partners, we are determined to continue to provide you with a voice and mechanisms for taking political action.
We lost today because too many of us and our leaders have not been participating in public debates for far too long.
The other side have been relentlessly using the tools of democracy to advance their cause for more than ten years.
These tools are available to us if only we would use them (present company excepted).
It was always going to be difficult for us to catch up even in a three-month-long postal survey.
Going forward, things must change, we must speak more, not less.
That said, I want to personally thank you for journeying with ACL and the wider Coalition for Marriage Team.
Thanks to all who volunteered, door knocked, staffed call centres, held up banners and donated.
Without you there would have been no campaign.
Without you there would not be the resolve to keep going.
The shape of the nation we leave to our children and grandchildren depends on what we do together next.
God bless you, Lyle Shelton, Managing Director. The Australian Christian Lobby
by Marriage Report + Euthanasia Challenge Warwick & David – Canberra Declaration
Good News Update 230 – 15 November 2017
Today we received the news of the marriage survey results. While disappointed by the result, we are determined to fight on regardless because our children deserve the best possible start in life.
Senator Eric Abetz, a longtime friend of the Canberra Declaration team, said, ” I am heartened by the strong “no” vote in the face of such a relentless campaign from the “yes” campaign by the media, political elites and celebrities.
Please pass my thanks onto the Canberra Declaration team who have fought so well for marriage, life and family. To have gained 38.4% of the vote affirming marriage between a man and a woman is no small feat and needs to be acknowledged and respected. To put this in perspective, the “no” vote, in percentage terms, is more than:
• The Coalition’s current primary vote;
• Labour’s primary vote at the last election;
The voices of the millions of “no” voters deserve to be recognized in the framing of any legislation. A hubristic winner-takes-all approach in this matter would ignore the will of the 4.8 million Australians who have concerns about changing marriage.
Protecting fundamental freedoms – freedoms such as parental rights, freedom of speech, freedom of religion and conscientious objection will be vital to alleviate the valid concerns of millions of Australians… To defer, let alone defeat, consideration of these vital protections would miss an obvious opportunity to reduce the valid and very real concerns of many Australians.
I place on record my sincere thanks to the thousands of volunteer campaigners who advocated for marriage – especially when they knew from the beginning it would be a difficult campaign. They put principle before populism and made the case for marriage in a calm and respectful way.”
So we too thank you for being part of the Canberra Declaration community and for your amazing effort in prayer, giving and action in the battle for marriage. We will not give up but continue to stand for marriage, family, faith, freedom and life.
Speaking about life, we need to renew our stand against the insidious creep of euthanasia into both Victoria and NSW. Watch thisshort video to see what the Canberra Declaration says about LIFE.
Tomorrow, the Voluntarily Assisted Dying Bill 2017 will be debated, and most likely voted on, in the NSW State Parliament Upper House. In Victoria, debate in The Upper House around possible amendments to the bill before the Council will commence tomorrow until a vote on the second reading is taken.
We again call for more prayer and action.
In 2014, Belgium became the first country to allow the euthanasia of children. This is an example of how the scope of euthanasia always ‘creeps’ to include more groups of vulnerable people. See this articleLegal Euthanasia for Victoria? Beware by Paul Russell that appeared in The Spectator early this year.
Euthanasia and assisted suicide can indeed be made to sound compassionate and dignified, but this is largely based on myths. Legalisation would remove a key safeguard that protects our nation’s most vulnerable citizens. It could make the elderly and the disabled feel they are a burden on society. Physicians would be under pressure to take part in state-sanctioned killing.
Once again we ask all Australians to –
• PRAY: We, supported by prayer groups across the country, are calling for two days of prayer and fasting Thursday 16 & Friday 17 November. Then we call for an ongoing rolling campaign of prayer and fasting whenever either the NSW or Victorian Euthanasia bills are debated in either of the state parliaments. Please pray that Victorian and NSW Upper House MPs will be awakened to the insidious dangers of legalising euthanasia and assisted suicide. Please pray that both Voluntary Assisted Dying Bills will be soundly defeated.
• ACT: Please phone NSW Upper House National Party MPs urging them to vote against the Bill. We ask you to ring the seven National Party Upper House members listed below and politely remind them that the National Party has stood for life, family and conservative values since it formation in 1920. This is almost 100 years of solid representation of those who generally stand fast for the things all Australian families hold dear. Ask them not to turn their back on the families they have stood for all these many years.
RING the Parliament House switchboard in Sydney on 02 9230 2111 all day on Thursday 16 November and ask to speak to each of the seven National Party parliamentarians one at a time.
• Hon. Ben Franklin
• Hon. Bronnie Taylor
• Hon. Duncan Gay
• Hon. Niall Blair
• Hon. Rick Colless
• Hon. Sarah Mitchell
• Hon. Trevor Khan
Thank you for your commitment to make a stand for life.
Yours for pushing back the culture of death,
Warwick Marsh & David Rowsome
PS Here are two resources to help you pray and act.
• How can I pray and act for what is happening in the Victorian Parliament this week? Click for more details in Right to Life Victoria email.
• How can I know how to pray for the underlying issues in the euthanasia challenge? – Download A Prayer for Protecting the Vulnerable in Australia and use to pray concerning strongholds (print it as an A5 booklet).
Margaret Court at Victory Life Church.Picture: Megan Powell
Margaret Court says she is inclined to end her 50-year association with the Liberals over same-sex marriage, believing the major parties are presiding over the nation’s moral decline.
The tennis legend and pastor, who is married to former WA Liberal president Barry Court, urged politicians who were personally opposed to same-sex marriage to follow their conscience rather than the national survey result.
Mrs Court, who argues that marriage is set down in the Bible as being between a man and a woman, said there did not appear to be place in the major parties for people with similar views.
“We look at what’s there now and they are not listening to the conservatives or what a lot of people would like,” she said. “They are not allowing you to speak. I don’t think I want to be with either party.”
Mrs Court, whose Victory Life Church was opened by Liberal luminary Sir Charles Court in 1997, said she did not believe Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull or the media had properly examined the effects of same-sex marriage on education and society overseas.
The record grand slam holder, whose stance on marriage has led to calls for Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne to be renamed, said she would continue to speak her mind but “it should have nothing to do with my tennis career”.
Liberal State president Norman Moore said he hoped she would reconsider.
Date-stamped: 2017, November, 16. | Time-stamped: 4:30 am - By: Daniel Emerson - Article Title: Same sex marriage: Court may cut ties with Liberals over Yes vote - Article Link: thewest.com.au
Goodmorning. I bring you good news and bad news and the bad news is very bad but the good news is very good (sounds like a nursery rhyme from my childhood about a little girl with a curl on her forehead).
I trust that by the end of this morning you will be more alert than ever to our times and the need for prayer and sometimes action, and that you will be in tune with a theme that we have in our early morning weekday prayer time 5 days a week – grief for our nation, mourning for our world and the suffering church, excitement for tomorrow and joy for today.
And if anyone here does not know Jesus as Lord and Saviour, my prayer is that by the end of this morning you will come to that place of commitment.
My serious side is always mixed with fun which sometimes gets me into trouble. I have to be careful in the surgery consulting room to keep my sense of humour in check – but not always. I enjoy camping and it was around a camp fire about 5 yrs ago that I talked about some of the challenges facing us as Christians and threats to our world and one person who had been listening asked me the next morning “how can we prepare?” And so I talked about that the next evening and it became a paper on “A Safe Place for our Children” which you will find on the Choose Life Australia website and we will mention this briefly later.
And so, what are these threats?
There are so many books that we should read. Yeah, I know, people keep telling us don’t they? Elizabeth Kendal is an Australian writer who publishes the Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin. Last year she published “After Saturday Comes Sunday” that highlights Islamic aggression “first the Jews, then the Christians”, an Arabic war cry – as sure as Saturday (the day of Jewish worship) is followed by Sunday (the day of Christian worship), first we’ll kill the Jews, then we’ll kill the Christians.
I don’t know whether any of you listen or watch Dr Michael Youssef on Sunday morning – I was amazed to hear him say one time that he grew up in Egypt with this taunt from other children.
We probably all realise the threat of Islamic extremism bathed in the resentment of many centuries. To understand the Middle East and the threat to the “Nations of the Cross” inscribed in blood from the 21 Coptic Christians beheaded on the beach in Libya, you need to read this book. And so, Islam, the first threat.
And we need to add in here the unpredictable threat of North Korea and nuclear holocaust!
The next threat is internal and is from the aggressive atheistic lobby with the leftists onside in wanting to erase anything Christian, re-writing our Christian heritage, stopping children from talking about Jesus in recess, replacing Happy Christmas with happy holiday, and with the militant evolutionists wanting to deny any uncomfortable evidences or logic in Intelligent Design and barring scientists who do accept ID – or, even worse, flood geology or Creation Science – promotions in their university or other fields.
And this of course leads to the threat to our freedom – control of belief and to speak of that which we believe, and beyond that, control of our thoughts and minds – if necessary with correctional re-education classes. This threat is spearheaded by the push for same-sex marriage, the “nice” name for homosexual “marriage”. But even that nice name is now not acceptable. As doctors in the response to the AMA statement supporting “marriage equality” we were accused of using the term same-sex marriage instead of marriage equality with a counter-response saying “which shows what we are up against”. So even using the nice term of same-sex marriage is regarded as hurtful.
But the marriage equality push is, as I said, only the head of the spear to control our freedom – Marxist philosophy in its “long march through the institutions” as Tony Abbott said in an editorial The West Australian just three days ago.
But this in turn is only indicative of the war in heaven and the satanic push to counter God’s creation plan and to wage war on God’s people.
So, how is this war in heaven played out at our level?
By a direct attack on Creation and Creation order. By attacking that mankind is created in the Image of God and then by attacking the creation of male and female – first demonstrated by the attack on sexual behaviour, then the attack on marriage and now – with the transgender issues so much before us – with the attack on masculinity and femininity, what it means for God to have created male and female and make it of no essence.
John Yates puts it so well “the oppositional but complementary nature of heterosexual gender identity is written into the very framework of the order of the universe and the peak of the Creator’s genius. The challenge is far more profound than most Christians realise. This is a claim (for same-sex marriage) that God did not create His Image as male plus female, it is an attack on the very existence and nature of God. The spiritual warfare around this issue is very intense.”
This is direct rebellion against God in an intensity as we have not seen in our lifetime – and against His people, the Bride of Christ, the Church – to silence it, to divide it, and to destroy our freedom to teach our children about our Christian faith. Yes, we’ve been here before with Communism and German fascism but not in our time and not in the “free” West.
It reminds me of that scene in Revelation 12 where Satan declares war against “those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus”.
Yes, the real issue for humanity, for us – and it always has been – is what we do with our God. Terrorism and war may then be what God does with us – or at least permits.
Are we in the Last Days? Who knows but if we are then remember the words of Jesus on the Calvary Road to “lift up your heads for your redemption draws nigh”.
And the other day I was reading Hezekiah’s prayer (2 Kings 19:16) when Jerusalem was surrounded by the army of Sennacharib and Hezekiah responded to Sennacharib’s challenge against God by praying “give ear, Lord, and hear; open your eyes Lord and see; listen to the words Sennacharib has sent to ridicule the living God. Now, Lord our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone, Lord, are God”.
And what is our way forward?
More than anything else it is to engage in prayer as did Hezekiah. Remember as never before that our war is more than just against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
We are quite fortunate here in Australia in that we realise the agenda has become more transparent in moving from same-sex marriage to definitions of male and female and transgenders and gender fluidity with state driven indoctrination with its many broad aspects in our schools and even in our pre-schools. The push to wipe out “hetero-normativity” is so extreme that in some early childhood education programs children are not supposed to ask whether a new-born baby is a boy or a girl.
“Safe Schools Coalition is about supporting gender and sexual diversity… Not about stopping bullying. About gender and sexual diversity. About same-sex attractive. About being transgender. About being lesbian, gay, bisexual – say the words – transgender, intersex”. And her Marxist agenda slipped in a tweet about the rainbow flag flying over the Victorian parliament when she said “Now we just need to get rid of the racist Australian flag on top of the state parliament and get a red one up there and my work is done.”
And so, this plebiscite is more than just giving gays permission to marry and marriage equality. Equality was achieved by the law changes of 2008. There is no inequality. Gays too are free to marry but marriage is for male and female as a complementary biological pair.
Legislation has consequences – changing marriage law is no exception
To include any “two people” as per law changes already suggested also includes different genders i.e. transgender marriage would be legal
Legislative approval of sexual indoctrination of our children to accept such a gender-less society (gender is fluid), to explore their sexual orientation and their gender identity, being encouraged at a young age to declare their sexuality, that there are two virginities (with a chick and a dude), that homosexual behaviour is “normal” and without risk, and to groom for early sex
In giving such legislative approval of a homosexual lifestyle with reinforcement through our schools we are exposing them to all the medical risks of that lifestyle (but we’re not allowed to talk about that like we are able to talk about smoking and alcohol and drugs)
Legislative approval of a new “stolen generation” of children being raised in same-sex/transgender families without the solid foundation of mothers and fathers – particularly biological mothers and fathers
The attacks on freedom of speech and belief – at risk now as has already been demonstrated during this campaign – will be “weaponised” through anti-discrimination laws On freedom to bring up our children with our own values and not be subject to “diversity/sensitivity re-training”. Ultimately, as we have seen overseas, home schooling will have to incorporate such instruction and children will be tested to ensure that they have “learned”.
The push to transgender, to change our sex when we feel like it and to approve of such to our kids is an extraordinary issue that has come out of this revolution and moved with lightning speed. On the one hand in Toronto parents are considered to be abusive unless they agree to their transgender child having medical or surgical therapy to help them transgender, and are threatened with having the child taken away from them. On the other hand we have very prominent paediatricians including our own Dr John Whitelaw considering it abuse if treatment is given.
The elephant in the room is biology (some elementary one-liners)
• The biological design and purpose of male and female sexual anatomy and function is the creation of progeny and the formation of family
• Sexual activity outside of biological parameters is not the same – it is different..
• Sexual activity outside of biological parameters is associated with significantly increased rates of disease.
• Legislative approval of “marriage” outside of these biological parameters is therefore a public health disaster
• State indoctrination of our children through school curriculum’s that endorse and encourage sexual activity outside biological parameters is likewise also a disaster
• Children have a right to know and be brought up by their biological Mothers and Fathers
• None of these can be classified as hate-speech.
What is our responsibility to be? What did Jesus say that is applicable to this battle?
Firstly: Jesus affirmed the creation story. Matt 19:4-6 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh.” As we have said, this warfare is an unprecedented rebellion against God and His Creation – we must preach and teach the fundamentals of creation and their application – male and female created He them, the ordinance of marriage and the Imago Dei – to be created in the image of God
Secondly: Jesus explained and affirmed the command (Luke 10:27) to love our neighbour. Loving our neighbour and our neighbour’s children means warning against approaching calamity (e.g. a flash flood) or helping to protect their future from encroaching evil – in this instance against state mandated sexual indoctrination. It is not optional (oh, I don’t get into anything political, I just concentrate on evangelism). “Hate evil and love good, then work it out in the public square” (Amos 5:15 Msg)
Thirdly: Jesus said “whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matt 18:6). If we, as informed Christians, support SSM and support and vote for politicians whose firm commitment is the sexual indoctrination of our children through legislative mandate, then we too are guilty of allowing our little ones to be led into sin.
“…taking on not just our own sufferings but those of God in the world, watching with Christ in Gethsemane.”
Realise above all that this is a battle in the heavenlies and pray
Realise at the earthly level this is now a political exercise and for the sake of our country and our future
Talk about it. Know how to communicate with different age groups
Vote! And encourage others to vote. (No, of course!)
Do the Zoom program via the CoalitionforMarriage.com.au website
Teach and learn scripture. Learn it and by your example teach your kids and grand-kids to learn it. Teach them as we walk along the road, as they go to bed and as they get up. What they learn now will stand them in good stead as they face these battles in the times to come. This is Deuteronomy 6 of course – the Shema: “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
For the same reasons learn and teach songs – the tunes stay in our head and we can sing along to the tune (even in times of trouble like Paul and Silas did in the jail at Philippi).
GOOD NEWS. BAD NEWS.
I don’t think the bad news gets any worse than this. I come back to the saying of our early morning prayer meetings – grief for our nation; mourning for our world and the suffering church; excitement for tomorrow because God is ultimately in charge; and JOY for today. Every day.
Are we in the Last Days?
Who knows but if we are then remember the words of Jesus on the Calvary Road to “lift up your heads for your redemption draws nigh”.
vs.28“And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.vs.29They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips,vs.30slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,vs.31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.vs.32Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” (Rom 1:28-32 ESV)
Paul is not describing an especially bad group of people, simply pagan society as he knew it in his day. Few can now deny that after centuries of Christianising these words apply to contemporary Australia where many believers have been shocked by the animosity of the Yes side on the same-sex marriage (SSM) debate.
Head buttings, sackings, attempts to de-register Christian doctors, threats to “hate-f…” those who believe in traditional marriage and so on have been astonishing.
Anyone who says anything in the least unfavourable about homosexuals is termed “homophobic”; i.e. someone who hates gays and is guilty of hate speech.
Whilst the marriage debate might seem to be a political or moral quarrel it is about something far deeper.
It is a manifestation of lost humanity’s true heart towards God.
Despite surface appearances the average Australian is not simply a “She’ll be right mate!” person happy to allow you to have your opinion as long as it doesn’t interfere with their hedonistic lifestyle. Rather, the average Aussie “suppresses the truth in unrighteousness…. hates the light… children of the devil…curses God” (John 3:20 ESV; Rom 1:18 ESV; 1 John 3:10 ESV; Rev 16:9 ESV). In his wisdom the Lord is using the SSM debate that “thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”” (Luke 2:35 ESV). His gracious intention is to bring to an end the sheltered middle class spectator religion that has long dominated Australian church going.
HATE IS BLIND
The hatred of fallen human beings always robs them of spiritual clarity. If “everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light” (John 3:20 ESV), and “in your(God’s) light do we see light” (Ps 36:9 ESV), then the angry devotees of SSM are spiritually blind. In their wrath to destroy whatever stands in the way of their vision they cannot see the light of the gospel (2 Cor 4:4 ESV).
These are beast like irrational people (Jude 1:10 ESV; 2 Pet 2:12 ESV). God is no passive bystander in this conflict, in his wrath has handed people over to this dreadful condition (Isa 44:18 ESV; Rom 1:24, 26, 28 ESV).
Ordinary Christians are shocked by the vilification they receive on Facebook if they post, “It’s Ok to say No.”, but the Spirit is helping us to see that we are in a day of moral and spiritual insanity.
As ex-gay activist James Parker puts it, the real problem in Western culture is not homophobia but heterophobia.
This is why, for example, the Safe Schools programme in schools is agitating against heteronormativity; labelling as dangerous the view that the normal state of human sexuality is to be male or female.
It used to be said that “love is blind”, but in the case of God’s love this is absolutely untrue. Only through the love of God revealed in the cross of Christ can we see good and evil as they really are.
JESUS LOVES THE HATERS
This prophetic word about Jesus, “‘They hated me without a cause.’” (Ps 69:4 ESV; John 15:25 ESV), is a true description at one level but not at another.
On the one hand Jesus never said or did anything that was harmful to another person’s well being, so that there was no reason to hate him. On the other hand those who hated Jesus held an ultimate intention in their hearts, they hated him because he was God-in-the-flesh (John 10:31-33 ESV).
All human anger against God was projected on to Christ; ““The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.”” (Rom 15:3 ESV).
The reality of humanity’s fury against the Creator became perfectly evident at the cross.
Here Jesus bears the rage of the nations against the Lord and the fierce hostility of men who behave like mad wild beasts (Ps 2:1; 22:12ff. ESV). The dying Jesus receives no mercy at human hands because he has become the focus of all of humanity’s resentments against God. Immersed in the darkness of our hate there is no divine light for the sinless Son of God; hence his cry, ““My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”” (Mark 15:34 ESV).
The cross is the one place in history where human beings openly treat God as they think he deserves!
But when Jesus prays, ““Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”” (Luke 23:34) it is clear that however God hates sin (Ps 11:5 ESV; Mal 1:3 ESV; Rev 2:6 ESV) he in no way hates as we do. His intent is never to destroy, but only to heal; “Mercy triumphs over judgment.” (James 2:13 ESV).
YOU ARE IMPORTANT
Jesus promised us, ““If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you”” (John 15:18 ESV).
His assurance that the disciples would ““be hated by all nations for my name’s sake.”” (Matt 24:9 ESV) has powerful implications long been forgotten in the Western Church.
Those who are ignored as irrelevant cannot experience the “weight of glory” that belongs to those who commune with the sufferings of Christ (2 Cor 4:17 ESV; Phil 3:10 ESV).
To be hated for faith is a sign of spiritual significance and imparts a deep sense of worth in the image of Christ. The bad temper of the SSM debate is a God-given opportunity for us to live out the unconditional forgiveness of the gospel. Where this is practiced in love we can anticipate a visitation bringing tremendous illumination of spiritual reality. This is how the Lord is using the bizarre attitudes and values of our time to purify us his Church.
When a believer recently prayed, “the path is narrowing” (Geoff Morris), I could hear what the Spirit was saying to the churches (Matt 7:13-14 ESV; Rev 2:7 ESV etc.).
The King is moving us off the comfortable broad way of church services where mood music anaesthetises “worshippers” against the oppressive power of the wickedness daily surrounding them.
He is shifting us away from motivational addresses that hypnotise against the depth of depravity into which our nation has fallen. For decades many have prayed that the Lord shake out of his people everything other than his kingdom presence; but now it is happening few can see how the Spirit is moving (Heb 12:25-29 ESV).
Good does not depend on evil to exist, but only against the darkness of the terror of hate can we ever know just how good God was in sending his Son into the world to save us.
If we would be more like Christ and his Father we must suffer more from the anger of a world in wild rebellion against its Lord.
Only through this path of enlightenment can we appreciate that the wrath released by the SSM debate is a great gift to the Church. A gift to be received with praise and thanksgiving for the all surpassing wisdom in the gospel of a crucified Saviour (1 Cor 1:18-25 ESV). May we all embrace such a mindset to the glory of God.
On Tuesday 12 Sept. , survey forms will begin to be posted to homes around Australia.
This survey is a referendum on whether we want radical LGBTIQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Questioning) sex and gender education programs in our schools, it is about free speech, and – importantly – freedom of religion.
On the video below watch former Prime Minister John Howard speak about the direct threat to the Christian presence in the public sphere.
“Changing the definition of marriage…is not an exercise in human rights and equality, it is an exercise in de-authorising the Judaeo-Christian influence in our society”
Please take the time to watch this important video and consider showing it to your church.
The consequences of redefining marriage are real. For more information on the impact a change in marriage law will have on every Australian family, please visit 3 Reason to Vote NO.
There is a school of thought in the debate about redefining marriage that it is inevitable and that Christians should just sue for peace with the same-sex marriage activists.
Try and extract as many protections for religious freedom as possible and roll over.
To make it easier for us to capitulate, leading politicians such as Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, Attorney General George Brandis and Tim Wilson say same-sex marriage and freedom of religion can co-exist.
“I don’t accept the religious practice in this country is under threat,” Mr Shorten said this week.
What he is essentially saying is it is okay to go to church and believe what you like there.
But what is under threat, and what Mr Shorten is not telling us, is that religious practice outside the church, mosque or synagogue is under grave threat should the definition of marriage in law be changed.
Indeed, it is now Labor policy to use the law to punish anyone who does not conform to same-sex marriage ideology, unless they are “PROFESSIONAL CLERGY”.
This change occurred at the ALP national conference in Melbourne in August 2015.
I was there as an observer watching LGBTIQ policy motion after LGBTIQ policy motion being moved and passed. There was no opposition. Just silence.
Everything from fining the wedding service provider who declines to participate in a same-sex wedding to funding radical LGBTIQ sex education programs in schools such as “Safe Schools”.
One of the most bizarre policies adopted by Labor was for taxpayer funding of gender reassignment surgery.
Given that “Safe Schools” encourages children to access sex change operations “with or without parental consent”, it is an open question as to whether a future Labor government would fund this too.
At the end of the ALP conference, the rainbow flag was unfurled on stage with Mr Shorten and his leadership team proudly standing behind it as everyone stood and applauded except former union boss Joe de Bruyn and me.
The Liberal same-sex marriage rebels’ bill, put forward by Senator Dean Smith also offers no freedom unless you are professional clergy.