Freedom of faith and Israel Folau — Public Statement from Archbishop Glenn Davies

Posted on June 25, 2019 
Filed under Australia, Culture wars, Sydney Diocese

“Christians do not ask that everyone agree with us on the reality of heaven and hell, but it is part of our faith DNA that we speak out about Jesus, whatever the cost. I say again that I support Israel Folau as a Christian brother.”

Archbishop Glenn Davies has issued a public statement on Israel Folau and the issue of Freedom of Speech, Conscience and Belief.

Full statement follows:

“Israel Folau’s right to express his faith and act according to his conscience is of fundamental importance in any democracy, and it is of great concern to many Australians that this right is being denied and vilified. Many are wondering whether they will be next. No-one should suppose that there are not deeply held views on either side of this issue. But at the moment, only one side is being heard. The way in which Folau’s motives have been impugned and his avenues of support have been cut off smacks of a new and ugly Australia where dissent from narrow cultural views is not tolerated.

The original post on Instagram canvassed some basic tenets of the Christian faith. It was not the entire Christian message, but it was posted without malice and from a place of deep conscience and concern. It encompassed all people, for we are all liars. It was posted with respect and with urgency. It had nothing to do with rugby and it should have been his right as a citizen to speak of what he believes without threat to his employment.

Christians do not ask that everyone agree with us on the reality of heaven and hell, but it is part of our faith DNA that we speak out about Jesus, whatever the cost. I say again that I support Israel Folau as a Christian brother. I support the right for him to articulate his faith in the public sphere of social media. I admire the resolute way he has given his personal testimony. Why, in the diversity of views in modern Australia, is that faith to be silenced – the faith from which springs so much of the values and virtues of our own civilisation, let alone the charitable works of many Christian churches across our land.

Ultimately, this will not be decided in the media. The clear support of ordinary Christians has been ignored, marginalised and silenced. Many commentators (and many politicians) have failed to understand the precious nature of conscience and belief and its power in the lives of ordinary Australians. Loud, intolerant voices swamp the quiet faith of many. But I pray that what Israel Folau is going through may shine a light on an issue which is vital to our democracy and of crucial importance for Christians – freedom of speech, freedom of worship and freedom to live according to our faith.”

Dr Glenn N Davies
Archbishop of Sydney
25 June AD 2019.

Source: SydneyAnglicans.net.

Australian Christian Lobby donates $100,000 to Israel Folau

Posted on June 25, 2019 
Filed under Australia, Culture wars

“In the wake of GoFundMe’s removal of Israel Folau’s fundraiser, the Australian Christian Lobby has today donated $100,000 to his legal defence and is assisting Israel Folaul to launch an alternative fundraising site. …

–  Read it all here.

Update: Israel Folau’s donations surge past $600,000 after GoFundMe ban – ABC News.

“The Australian Christian Lobby’s Israel Folau support fund looks set to surpass the sacked rugby star’s previous GoFundMe campaign total of $750,000 in just 24 hours.

Donations have poured in at a rate of almost $1,000 per minute with the fund now worth more than $675,000…”

(Editor’s note: The Anglican Church League and the Australian Christian Lobby share the same initials, but are different organisations.)

“Grafton Synod indicates rejection of both National Constitution and Bishops’ Agreement”

Posted on June 24, 2019 
Filed under Australian dioceses, Culture wars

“The Synod of the Diocese of Grafton, which met this last weekend, has passed a number of controversial motions and heard a question which indicate a walking away from aspects of the national church constitution and the recent Bishops’ Agreement. …

the Synod debated asking the General Synod to introduce same-sex marriage and blessing liturgies. That motion, as expected, was passed along with a number of related matters. What surprised some delegates at Synod was that the following motion was comprehensively defeated:

27. Standard of Worship and Doctrine

That this Synod affirms the authorised standard of worship and doctrine of the Anglican Church of Australia as set out in the Fundamental Declarations and Ruling Principles of the Constitution.

The motion was defeated in a vote by houses with approximately 2/3 of the delegates voting against.”

– David Ould has a report.

‘Smear campaign’: Why Aussies are giving Israel Folau their money

Posted on June 24, 2019 
Filed under Culture wars

“The managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby says Australians are pouring money into Israel Folau’s GoFundMe appeal in fear of their rights around religious freedoms. …

‘Israel Folau has today been accused of greed, playing the victim, and being in a conflict of his own making. All three accusations are false,’ the Australian Christian Lobby MD wrote on Facebook. …”

– Story from Yahoo! Sport.

In his weekly video, ‘The Truth of It”, published 19 June 2019, the Australian Christian Lobby’s Martin Isles read a long excerpt from Israel Folau’s ‘controversial’ sermon in which he allegedly ‘targeted transgender youth’. What did he actually say?

Update: ‘Israel Folau’s campaign shut down by GoFundMe, donors to be refunded’ – ABC News.

“Sacked Wallaby Israel Folau’s attempt to crowdfund for his legal action against Rugby Australia has been shut down by GoFundMe, which will refund all money raised to donors. …”

How might Folau’s court case impact religious freedom?

Posted on June 22, 2019 
Filed under Australia, Culture wars, Opinion

“A victory in his case would be helpful as sending a message that believers have the freedom to speak in accordance with their faith, even when saying something that offends. And perhaps in persuading employers that they should not try to rely on over-broad “codes of conduct”. …

If he loses his case, it will in my view send a message to corporate Australia that they can require uniformity of opinion on controversial topics. It may lead to further restrictions on what Christians can say in public.”

The Gospel Coalition Australia speaks with Associate Professor Neil Foster about the decision by Israel Folau to begin legal proceedings against Rugby Australia.

Bishop William Love addresses the Albany Diocesan Convention

Posted on June 21, 2019 
Filed under TEC

Last year, Bishop William Love, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany in eastern New York state, directed his clergy not to use the trial same-sex marriage rites authorised by the TEC General Convention. This put him on a collision course with the TEC hierarchy.

At his annual diocesan convention, earlier the month, Bishop Love reported on the current situation.

“With the passage of B-012 by the General Convention, a line has been drawn in the sand — a line that I am unable and unwilling to cross.  As all of you know, in January of this year, the Presiding Bishop placed a partial restriction on my ministry in regard to overseeing Title IV Disciplinary Proceedings involving same-sex marriage. In issuing the partial restriction, the Presiding Bishop stated, “Bishop Love’s conduct in this regard may constitute a canonical offence…

I was told an investigation into the allegations made against me would be conducted and I should hear something in a couple of weeks.  That was in the middle of February.  It is now June. …

The jury is still out as to whether The Episcopal Church is truly welcoming, inclusive and diverse enough for those of us who cannot embrace TEC’s current progressive agenda.

If we are to have a real place in The Episcopal Church, we must be provided a way to remain true to our understanding of Holy Scripture and the sacramental nature of the Church, and to differentiate ourselves from TEC’s progressive actions and beliefs that violate God’s Word (as we understand it), and are so offensive and problematic to the vast majority of the wider Anglican Communion and Body of Christ. …”

Read it all here. (link via Anglican Mainstream.)

Some Research on Preaching in the Presbyterian Church of Victoria

Posted on June 20, 2019 
Filed under Other denominations, Resources

“In March each year the Presbyterian Theological Centre in Victoria runs a Pastors’ conference to encourage faithful and engaging expository preaching in our churches. … I presented an audit report on preaching in Presbyterian churches in Victoria.

In conducting the audit I listened online to 40 preachers, with at least one from each of the 13 Presbyteries in the state. …”

David Cook shares some encouragement – at AP, the National Journal of the Presbyterian Church of Australia.

(You might remember that Peter Jensen conducted a similar exercise in 2016.)

Annual Moore College Lectures 2019 – Gary Millar speaking

Posted on June 19, 2019 
Filed under Resources

The Annual Moore College Lectures 2019 will be held 15th, and 19th – 23rd August.

Dr Gary Millar, Principal of Queensland Theological College.

Topic: ’Great Expectations? A Biblical Theology of Transformation’.

New ACL Council elected for 2019-2020

Posted on June 18, 2019 
Filed under Australian dioceses, People, Sydney Diocese

The Anglican Church League is pleased to announce the following office bearers were elected at our AGM on 6 June 2019.

Please continue to pray for the work of the Council and Executive, that they would serve humbly and faithfully to help promote Christ and the reformed evangelical Protestant faith through the structures of the Anglican Church of Australia.

The Anglican Church League, Office Bearers and Councillors for 2019 – 20

President: The Rev Andrew Bruce
Chairman: Dr Robert Tong AM
Secretary: The Rev Canon Tom Harricks 
Minutes Secretary: 
The Rev Matthew Whitfield
Elections Secretary: The Rev Gavin Poole
Membership Secretary: The Rev. Michael Leite
Communications Secretary: The Rev Dr Lionel Windsor
Treasurer: Dr Laurie Scandrett

Vice-presidents

Dr Claire Smith
Dr Laurie Scandrett
Mr Clive Ellis
The Rev Canon Dr Mark Thompson
The Rev Canon Phil Colgan
The Rt Rev Ivan Lee

Councillors

The Rev Roger Cunningham
Mr Jeremy Freeman
The Rev Dr Raj Gupta
Mr Edward Hannah
Mr Luke Jackson
Mr Angus Martin
Mrs Michele Morrison
The Rev Scott Newling
The Rev Caitlin Orr
The Rev Gavin Parsons
Mr Malcolm Purvis
The Rev Craig Roberts
The Rev Mike Taylor
The Rev Kate Haggar
The Rev Jason Ramsay
The Rev James Warren
The Rev Nigel Fortescue
The Rev Dave Keun

Emeritus Vice-presidents

The Rev Canon Dr Bruce Ballantine-Jones OAM
The Rt Rev Dr Paul Barnett AM
The Rev Canon Allan Blanch
Mr John Colquhoun
The Most Rev Dr Glenn Davies
The Rev Neil Flower
The Rt Rev Dr Harry Goodhew AO
The Rev Tom Halls
The Rt Rev Dr Peter Jensen
The Rev Phillip Jensen
The Rev Neil Macken
The Rt Rev Gary Nelson
The Rev Dr Peter O’Brien
The Rt Rev Dr Reg Piper
The Rev Canon Jim Ramsay
Mr Bruce Robinson
The Rev Gordon Robinson
The Rt Rev Ray Smith
The Rt Rev Peter Tasker
The Rev Dr John Woodhouse
The Rev Zac Veron.

Male and female: Equality and order in Genesis 1:27

Posted on June 17, 2019 
Filed under Theology

“I’ve recently picked up the Kindle version of Kevin Giles’s book What the Bible Actually Teaches on Women (Eugene: Cascade, 2018).

While I’m not in agreement with Giles on every issue, I expect to learn some things from his book. I expect come to a greater understanding of how egalitarian exegesis works, from an influential and prolific exponent of this position. And I expect to be challenged to see areas where I and other complementarians need to change in some way: perhaps repent, or at least sharpen up. Indeed, I have learned a number of useful things already (for more, see below).

Yet I’ve also been a little disappointed at certain points by how Giles treats his complementarian opponents. … I think the way this particular discussion has proceeded ends up hindering, rather than helping, constructive discussion about the Bible.”

Dr. Lionel Windsor interacts with the latest contribution from Kevin Giles.

GAFCON Sunday 2019 — 30th June

Posted on June 16, 2019 
Filed under Anglican Communion, GAFCON

Archbishop Ben Kwashi writes –

Gafcon Sunday is coming up on 30 June, so please join this joyous time of celebrating and renewing our mutual purpose of faithfully proclaiming the full truth of God’s Word to every nation.

A year has passed since the 2018 Gafcon Conference in Jerusalem and the launch of the nine networks. The enthusiasm of that time, as you will see when you watch this documentary, is undiminished today, as we stand together – a true worldwide movement of Anglicans standing on God’s Word.

While you prepare for Gafcon Sunday, please pray about what you can give to keep the Gospel ministry of Gafcon going strong, as together we take an uncompromising stand for the authority of Scripture. Our voices will be heard only if we speak out! Your help will make a vital and real difference.

I hope this gives you a better understanding why we must continue working together. And I am praying I can rely on your support at this important time.

God bless.

Archbishop Ben Kwashi
General Secretary – Gafcon.

GAFCON Chairman, Archbishop Foley Beach, (who has just been elected to his Second Term as Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America) speaks about GAFCON Sunday.

See also this newly-released video overview of GAFCON 2018 in Jerusalem:

Voluntary euthanasia to begin in Victoria as assisted dying laws take effect this week

Posted on June 16, 2019 
Filed under Australia

“Patients will take a glass, mix the drug with two liquids provided by the pharmacist and swallow the mixture. …”

– The latest developments in Victoria. ABC News.

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