Responding to Victorian government moves to ban preaching on Romans 1 and 1 Corinthians 6

In today’s episode of The Pastor’s Heart, Dominic Steele speaks with Murray Campbell, Pastor of Mentone Baptist Church, on how Christians should respond to moves by the Government of Victoria which would restrict Christian freedom.

This could well include restrictions on teaching from passages such as Romans 1 and 1 Corinthians 6.

“A new definition of Conversion Therapy proposed to the Victorian Government defines teaching Classical Christianity as harmful.”

Watch or listen here.

The relevant discussion begins 7:20 into the programme.

Newcastle Synod Decision a “Stitch-Up”

Last week the Synod of the Diocese of Newcastle approved two controversial bills relating to human sexuality. reports on some concerns and unhappiness as to how the bills came to the synod.

(Photo: Diocese of Newcastle.)

The Draft Religious Discrimination Bill and possible impact on healthcare professionals

Associate Professor Neil Foster presented a paper tonight on the topic “The Draft Religious Discrimination Bill and possible impact on healthcare professionals” at the meeting of the Newcastle University Clinical Unit in Ethics and Health Law.

He has made his paper available for download at Law and Religion Australia.

Bendigo Cathedral Priest enters Same-Sex Marriage

“A few weeks ago we reported on the self-publicised plan of Bendigo Cathedral priest to enter into a same-sex marriage.

The Bendigo Advertiser reported on the actual marriage itself.

Drew Reid and Father Noel Richards have become the first same-sex couple to be married in a Bendigo church.

The couple said ‘I do’ in front of family and friends at St Andrew’s Uniting Church in Bendigo on Saturday.”

– via (Image: Bendigo Advertiser.)

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.

Newcastle Synod decision pushes Australian Anglicans to Precipice

“The synod of the Diocese of Newcastle which met this past weekend has taken a decision that will only further exacerbate the already very high tensions in the national church.

As we reported last week, the synod was due to consider 2 controversial pieces of legislation.

The first is an ordinance to remove the possibility of clergy in a same-sex marriage being open to a disciplinary tribunal by virtue of that relationship. The second, a bill, sought to establish a “Wangaratta”-style blessing for persons in same-sex marriages.

Only the first ordinance actually passed. Reports from the synod tell of time running out on the second bill and so, although it had support in principle, it could not be completed and will have to be presented next year. …”

– David Ould takes a close look at what happened at last weekend’s Newcastle Synod.

Photo of Bishop Peter Stuart addressing the Synod: Diocese of Newcastle.

What future has the Anglican Church of Australia?

“There can now be no doubt that the Anglican Church of Australia is headed towards a crisis moment. Some might argue it has been a long time coming but recent events have catalyzed the sense that we are rapidly arriving at a moment of decision.

So what has brought us to the edge of this cliff? …”

– At The Australian Church Record, David Ould gives his take on what is happening, and where he thinks things may go from here.

‘Newcastle Anglicans support gay marriage’

Newcastle’s Anglican diocese has voted to change church rules to allow ministers to bless same-sex marriages and prevent clergy in same-sex marriages from being punished by the church.

More than 200 clergy and lay people voted on the two bills at the diocese’s synod on Saturday, the majority in their favour. …”

The Northern Daily Leader is carrying this AAP report.

Like the earlier move by the diocese of Wangaratta, it appears that this will be considered by the Appellate Tribunal.

See also:

Bishop Peter Stuart Opens Synod with Presidential Address” – Newcastle Diocese. It includes a link to Bishop Stuart’s Presidential Address (PDF).

Photo: Diocese of Newcastle.

True Discipleship and The 51st Synod

“He said what?!

By now, most of you would have heard about Archbishop Glenn Davies’ address at the 51st Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Sydney.  It has been quoted and misquoted on social media, the Sydney Morning Herald, and has even reached British shores where I am living, with an article in the Guardian from former Sydney pastor Joel Hollier.

As he has made clear, Archbishop Davies was not calling on those struggling with same-sex attraction to leave the church. We all struggle with sin, which is why the grace and mercy of Christ is such a wonderful message to the world. But there is a difference between struggling with sin, and declaring something not to be a sin. …”

Tom Habib cuts to the heart of the matter at The Gospel Coalition Australia. Be sure to read it all.

By sad contrast:

“The Bishop of Liverpool [in the Church of England] told the Guardian: ‘I still hope that bishops from Sydney will attend the Lambeth conference next year so that we can all talk together and learn from one another there.

‘Meanwhile, I’m glad that other parts of the Australian church are engaging in dialogue with Sydney and are advocating for a greater inclusion and a wider and more diverse church. It’s good to be in the same communion with all these people.’

Other Church of England bishops declined to comment on Davies’ comments, saying they did not represent mainstream views within the church.”

– from The Guardian.

A Model of Convictional Courage

In his The Briefing podcast for Friday 18 October 2019, Albert Mohler spoke about Archbishop Glenn Davies’ Presidential Address.

“I can only say that I pray for the day that the average evangelical pastor in the United States of America would summon the courage to speak as courageously as the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney on these central and unavoidable issues that are necessary to our understanding of sin and sexuality, but also to gospel and church.”

The segments starts at 09:32 into the programme. Listen or read the transcript.

There’s an integrity problem in the Anglican Church of Australia

“Imagine the marketing director for a major soft drinks company who drank and promoted the competitor’s leading brand of drink at press conferences. They wouldn’t expect to keep their job very long.
If they had any integrity.

Imagine a left-wing politician who only ever advocated for conservative positions. You’d think they’d resign and join another party.
If they had any integrity.

So what about ordained Anglican ministers who promised to defend and promote the church’s teaching from the Bible but instead constantly undermine and attack it while banking their stipend every month. The right thing to do would be to resign and join another group.
If they had any integrity. …”

David Ould challenges Bishops in the Anglican Church of Australia to act with integrity. See it all at the link.

Melbourne Anglicans vote to express ‘sorrow’ over blessing of same-sex marriages

“Melbourne’s Anglican church has formally voted to record its ‘sorrow’ over a regional Victorian diocese’s decision to bless same-sex marriages.

The nod of approval given by the Wangaratta diocese in August has angered the Melbourne church’s governing body…”

– Story from The Guardian.

Here, we understand, is the motion which was passed at the Melbourne Synod:

Motion 17: Response to Wangaratta Synod

That this Synod expresses its sorrow to the Bishop and Synod of the Diocese of Wangaratta for their approval of a liturgy that could be used to bless persons in same-sex relationships at their recent Synod meeting (August 30-31).”

Further, a motion concerning the consecration of Bishop Jay Behan was also passed:

Motion 11 Church of Confessing Anglicans Aotearoa / New Zealand

That this Synod:

a) Welcomes the formation of the Church of Confessing Anglicans Aotearoa / New Zealand.

b) Assures the Church of Confessing Anglicans Aotearoa / New Zealand and its bishop, Jay Behan, of our love and prayers.

c) prays for God’s blessing on all Anglicans in New Zealand as they seek to proclaim Christ faithfully to New Zealand.”

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