Sporting brain snaps

“When you read this I will be winging my way to Melbourne for part of a holiday.

Why Melbourne? Well we don’t have the Australian Open Tennis in Armidale.  We don’t have the rich celebrity temper tantrum, racket smashers from around the world in Armidale. We just have the normal temper tantrum racket smashers and club throwers of our local region. I think it will be interesting to see how the great ones of the sporting world do it. I am not planning to take any tips from them, however I might just be embarrassed and perversely entertained by them…”

– Diocese of Armidale’s Bishop Rick Lewers shares some challenges about anger.

Sound an Alarm: Gender Activism is about to silence us

“The Victorian government intends to pass a law very soon that may see ordinary citizens imprisoned if they speak up against the chemical, psychological and physical mutilation of confused adolescents. …”

– Retired Judge of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia Stuart Lindsay, writes this opinion piece in Quadrant.

The Recruitment Problem

“While I was training at Moore Theological College (2012- 2015) the constant rhetoric was that the Sydney Anglican Diocese was oversupplied with full-time gospel workers. We were warned from the very beginning of the need to be creative in funding our own Sydney Anglican positions if we were to stay in Sydney.

From one perspective, this was a great win for the Kingdom! It forced many people to consider full-time gospel ministry outside Sydney and caused those who wanted to stay in Sydney to consider the cost of staying. …”

The Australian Church Record has republished this article by Mike Leite in the ACR’s Journal for Summer 2019.

Photo: Moore College, 1956.

Patient leadership required

“What has become of our culture that we, who are sown into the fabric of the culture, have become so impatient? The computer, by comparison with the old typewriter, is quick. But when I turned it on just now, the time this piece of genius took to awake from its slumber had me impatiently complaining. …”

– Bishop Rick Lewers of the Diocese of Armidale writes his regular column. Very timely.

‘The Anglican Church of Canada extinction event’

“Recent attendance statistics from the Anglican Church of Canada predict that it will cease to exist by 2040. …

The new Primate, Linda Nicholls, sees this as a ‘wake-up call’ and asks, ‘what might need to be tried’ to reverse the decline? I would be tempted to suggest ‘Christianity’ if I thought it would fall on any but deaf ears. …”

– In Canada, The Anglican Samizdat comments on responses to the Anglican Church of Canada’s attendance forecast. It’s no laughing matter.

Conversation between former Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson and Journalist Melanie Phillips removed from YouTube

[Update, Tuesday 17 December: The video appears to have been reinstated.]

Former Australian Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson has been continuing to post his Conversations series on his website,

There, he explains his motivation. In part, he says:

“Increasingly in Australia our famous commitment to a fair go for all, mateship, and rubbing along with people who have different views, seem to be under threat.

It often seems to me that the old adage, ‘I may disagree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,’ is giving way to a notion which says, ‘if you dare disagree with me I’ll do whatever it takes to silence you.’

The good policy that Australia desperately needs now will not come out of a bad or silenced debate, which is the inevitable outcome of a loss of respect for other people and the views that they hold.“ (emphasis added)

On Friday (13 December), he published his latest Conversation, this one with Melanie Phillips, Journalist, Author and Broadcaster. Today (Monday 16 December), the video of the conversation has been “removed for violating YouTube’s Terms of Service”.

In a message to subscribers, John Anderson says,

“We are currently trying to determine if taking down the video was an honest mistake and are working to have it reinstated as soon as possible. We’ll let you know if and when it is available to view again.

In the meantime you can listen to the discussion on podcast at these links: iTunesSpotify.“

Droughts, Fires and Other Disasters

“what is the Christian to make of what we call natural disasters?”

Presbyterian Moderator-General Peter Barnes offers a Christian perspective.

Churches need to be more like the world?

“I’ve just read Nikki Gemmell’s latest contribution to The Weekend Australian, ‘Why the Anglican church must evolve or die’.

At first, I assumed this must be satire, for the essence of her argument is that for Churches to succeed they need to become more like majority culture!

‘the majority of Australians do support same-sex marriage. It feels like the archbishop is damaging his church and Jesus’s teachings of tolerance, gentleness and inclusivity.’

‘The church has been on the wrong side of public opinion recently on abortion as well as same-sex marriage. It’s slowly killing itself by refusing to open its heart to others.‘ …

Without question, Gemmell’s call to the Anglican Church sounds almost identical to what Jesus says, in a misutopian Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy kind of way…”

Murray Campbell in Melbourne takes a look at Nikki Gemmell’s Commentary published today.

Photo: Nikki Gemmell courtesy of The Australian.

I support Sydney’s Anglicans

“The Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Glenn Davies, has been getting some rough treatment of late, aided largely by media coverage that either deliberately or negligently took his words out of context. …

The media portrayal of him as someone who was asking the faithful who struggle with the teaching on marriage and sexuality to leave was unjust and it, too, needs to be called out.”

– Monica Doumit, Director, Public Affairs and Engagement for the Archdiocese of Sydney, writes in The Catholic Weekly.

“Who Am I?” A Sydney Anglican Female Perspective

“My favourite moment of my favourite musical comes when Les Miserable’s protagonist breaks into his moment of existential crisis. “Who am I?”, he lyrically wails.

As I read Julia Baird’s latest offering about the caricatured, oppressed, silenced and invisible women of the Sydney Anglican Diocese (“In praise of the oddities and outliers resisting bonkers fundamentalism in Sydney”, SMH Oct 26th), I found myself having my very own Jean Val Jean moment (though, sadly, without the accompanying symphony). Who am I? I’m an ordained member of the Sydney Anglican clergy. But I’m also a woman. …”

The Australian Church Record has published an expanded version of an article by Dani Treweek which was first published in The Sydney Morning Herald.

What has the Sydney Morning Herald got against Anglican women?

“I love the word bonkers. My mum used to say it all the time, and I just don’t seem to hear it often enough anymore. That was until Julia Baird used it in a piece for The Sydney Morning Herald, to describe the position many Sydney Anglicans hold regarding the role of women in the church. Yet I want to suggest the reason people hold this view isn’t quite as muddled headed as Baird might presume. …”

– Writing at Spectator Australia, Archdeacon Kara Hartley responds to an article in the SMH.

‘NSW abortion bill has left us feeling betrayed’

“There are signs that maybe, just maybe, Premier Gladys Berejiklian is starting to listen and understand how much damage NSW’s extreme abortion bill has inflicted on her government.

Last week offered a ray of hope, as she softened her stance on amendments to fix some of the bill’s most brutal flaws, such as sex-selection abortions that would target girls, just for being girls. Her party is bitterly divided. …

And then, just three days ago, the Stand For Life rally in Martin Place and outside Parliament House in opposition to the bill drew a mammoth attendance of an estimated 10,000 people. … Perhaps the most breathtaking moment of the emotional evening was the live audio of a 23-week-old unborn baby’s heartbeat, amplified onstage by ultrasound.”

– Writing in The Catholic Weekly, Campion College student Bethany Marsh writes about the Stand For Life rally and what is really at stake.

After the Stand for Life rally, students from Campion College sang this haunting carol for for passers by. The carol is based on Matthew 2 and the Massacre of the Innocents.

Here’s another video of the singing at Freedom for Faith’s Facebook page.

Are the Nationals the ‘New Greens’?

“Are the Nationals the ‘New Greens’? Has the National Party been commandeered by the Progressive Left? What does the National Party stand for any more?

G.K. Chesterton said: ‘When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything.’ Equally, it could be said that when a political party loses its reason for existence and its moral fabric it will inevitably allow anything. …”

– The Bishop of Armidale, Rick Lewers, doesn’t beat about the bush in his latest “In Focus” article.

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