Our Father knows best

David CookTucked away in the catalogue of sins resulting from humankind’s rejection of God, are the words, ‘they disobey their parents’ (Romans 1:30)…”

– David Cook, Presbyterian Moderator-General, reflects on the importance of families in God’s economy.

‘Cover-up — can’t stop truth coming out’

safeschools“The story of Cheltenham Girls High School is a textbook example of the subterfuge involved in the controversial Safe Schools Coalition and how far education authorities and governments will go to preserve and conceal a program that subverts parents rights and values. …

It all began last week with our story of how teachers at the all-girls school in north-west Sydney were asked in a staff meeting to stop referring to students as “girls”, ladies” and “women”, but to use “gender-neutral” language instead.

– At The Daily Telegraph, columnist Miranda Devine looks at one particular school, and also publishes a recent list of schools involved in the ‘Safe Schools’ programme.

The Hunting of Andrea Leadsom

David RobertsonIt’s the hunting season again.

With the Tory party in the throes of choosing a new leader its time for our PC secularists to start trawling the web in order to find dark and hidden secrets of the various candidates. Have they ever lied in the past? Cheated on their taxes? Kicked the cat? Gone fox hunting?

But the big sin – the one that guarantees the Twitterati and Facebook pages go ballistic – is ‘are they Christian?’. Like, really Christian. Not David Cameron’s ‘my faith is like the patchy reception of Magic FM in the Chilterns’. Instead, a Christian who actually reads the Bible (!), goes to church (!) and even prays!!!

If so, they must be hunted down and burnt at the secular stake…”

– Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland, David Robertson, comments at The Wee Flea.

Assisted Suicide: A Quadriplegic’s Perspective

Joni Eareckson TadaCulture is so easily influenced by the entertainment industry. This is why I am sounding an alarm about a very dangerous message in a film released this summer. The movie? Me Before You.…”

– The wonderful Joni Eareckson Tada has a few things to say about a tragic movie. (h/t Tim Challies.)

Religious schools and discrimination in Victoria

victoria-mapRecently a Greens MP in Victoria, Sue Pennicuik, has introduced a Bill into the Victorian Parliament to reduce the ability of religious schools to deal with potential admissions, or their current student body, on the basis of the school’s religious beliefs. The Equal Opportunity Amendment (Equality for Students) Bill 2016 had its second reading in the Legislative Council on 22 June 2016.

The legislation is arguably an impairment of the religious freedom of parents and the schools, and ought not to be passed…”

In his latest post at Law and Religion Australia, Neil Foster discusses the latest moves in Victoria. Among other observations, he wonders of the proposed changes are constitutional. Once again, Neil has done the wider community a service by teasing out some of the key issues for us.

‘A debate on marriage equality need not be hate-filled’

catholic-archbishop-of-sydney-anthony-fisher“In a wide-ranging speech delivered last week and published in the Guardian (“Straight politicians don’t understand what it’s like to hide their relationships in fear), Senate opposition leader Penny Wong made the case against a plebiscite on the redefinition of the marriage.

Her three claims were: that opposition to same-sex marriage is essentially homophobia; that the Australian people cannot be trusted to have a respectful discussion about such matters; and so the matter should be left to the parliament. …

The fact is that many ordinary Australians are both pro-gay people and pro-traditional marriage. They know and love people with same-sex attraction and want only the best for them. They know that such people have often suffered injustices in the past and sympathise with the complaint that something is being denied to them still. But they also believe that marriage is a unique relationship that unites people of the opposite sex as husband and wife and, more often than not, as father and mother. Such ordinary Australians are not bigots.”

This opinion-piece by Roman Catholic Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher was published in The Guardian just before the federal election. (h/t SydneyAnglicans.net. Photo: Archdiocese of Sydney.)

Pope Francis continues to sow confusion

Pope Francis. Photo: The VaticanIn the latest episode of The Briefing, Albert Mohler turns to recent statements made by Pope Francis, and considers the confusion being sown among Roman Catholics and the wider public.

It is a masterly analysis, and is worth hearing. Many regard the Catholic Church as the font of Christianity, so the pronouncements of a Pope who contradicts the clear teaching of Scripture and who seems to be re-writing Reformation history deserve examination.

The 17 minute audio segment is the first on this page. (Photo: The Vatican website.)

Sexual orthodoxy and admitting lawyers

Assoc Prof Neil FosterThe decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal in Trinity Western University v. The Law Society of Upper Canada, 2016 ONCA 518 (29 June 2016) is an interesting illustration of the strength of the current orthodoxy in society on sexual behaviour, and how those who dissent are increasingly being cast in the role of ‘heretics’ and unfit for civilised society.

(While this blog is mostly about Australian issues, those raised by this case are likely to be replicated here and elsewhere in the West, so I think it is worthy of note.)

The decision is the latest in a line of cases relating to the attempt of TWU, a private Christian university located in British Columbia, to start a law school…”

– At Law and Religion Australia, Neil Foster comments on yet another example of increasing intolerance of Christian morality.

Why Saturday’s election is like all the others, and yet not

Tony PayneVoting in elections, like pretty much everything we do, is an exercise in glorifying God by loving our neighbour.

Or as Paul puts it: ‘So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved. Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ’ (1 Cor 10:31-11:1).

The principle as it applies to voting is simple enough: we should do everything for the glory of God by seeking the advantage of many. As we eat or drink or work or drive or vote, we should not seek our own good, but the good of many others, and especially their chief good of being saved in Christ. 

What does this mean for our vote this Saturday?…

… Christians will regard people’s destiny in Christ as their chief good. As we consider all the good and harm that may be attained through governmental action, we will give a special priority to those actions that provide space and opportunity for the gospel to be clearly proclaimed. As Paul said, do everything for the glory of God by seeking the good of many, so that they may be saved

And that’s why this election is unlike any I’ve voted in over the past 36 years in Australia…

– At Moore College’s Centre for Christian Living, Tony Payne lays out the great motivation for evangelical Christians to consider carefully how they should vote.


Same Sex Marriage: Don’t wait till after the Election.

Why we need a plebiscite.

Social Media – Enemy or Friend

David CookThere is no use complaining about social media. Like wealth, it is here to stay. Like wealth, it is very useful.

When I left SMBC in 2011, the student body presented me with an iPad. Frankly, I didn’t know what I was going to do with such a contraption. Now, nearly five years later, I don’t know how I ever coped without it.

With my iPad I do my banking, receive and send emails, read the newspaper, listen to the radio, check cricket, rugby league and even AFL scores. As well, there are all sorts of apps which I find useful.

However, like wealth, there are dangers. Like wealth, social media is a very helpful servant but a dominating and potentially destructive master…”

– David Cook calls Christians to reassert control.

Seasoned with Salt? – Christian Responses to Brexit

David RobertsonSome of the comments from Christians who were on the Remain side have also been sober, reflective and asking for prayer and unity. Again as I would have expected. But what I did not expect are the number of comments and posts which have reflected a very different spirit; bitter, cynical and full of contempt and fear…”

– Free Church of Scotland Moderator David Robertson (who is currently in Oz) reflects on some of the Christian responses to the Leave vote, with a reminder that God is still sovereign – irrespective of which way the vote went.

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