Euthanasia’s Dark Side

“Slippery slope arguments are not always invalid.

Indeed, in some cases they are very important. …

I once heard a Dutch researcher speaking about the situation in his home country, where euthanasia was legislated in 2002. He summarised the litany of shocking outcomes after more than a decade of euthanasia, by saying that in his country, the ‘psyche of care’ has been fundamentally changed.

Once you accept that death is a valid form of care, you have changed a great deal.”

– The Australian Christian Lobby’s Martyn Iles presents some deeply disturbing examples of what has already been happening on that slippery slope.

The Dividing Church: When a Denomination Chooses Syncretism

“Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.”

But the people said nothing.” (1 Kings 18:21)

“Last week the 15th Assembly of the Uniting Church of Australia adopted a motion to permit same-sex marriage for their churches. …

The deal is being packaged as a triumph for diversity, and a celebration of recognising the rights of people to marry whomever they wish. However, once we’ve stripped the rhetoric of its layer of spray paint, what’s left behind is good old-fashioned syncretism…”

– Murray Campbell doesn’t beat around the bush.

And he also encourages us all to pray for “the many Christians within the Uniting Church who have difficult conversations and decisions ahead of them”.

Wanted: A party to stand up for parents

“The row at Heavers Farm Primary School in Croydon, south London, caused by the head teacher’s plan to parade pupils as young as four on a homosexual pride march, illustrates a terrible truth: British state education has now become an engine for imposing anti-Christian cultural Marxism to the spiritual and moral harm of children…”

Julian Mann in South Yorkshire wonders which British politicians will stand against the tide.

Further background in this earlier article by Anglican Mainstream’s Andrew Symes.

(Photo: Julian Mann with Archbishop Ben Kwashi.)

Uniting Church: Post 15th Assembly Pastoral Letter from the Assembly of Confessing Congregations

“In our view, the UCA Assembly has removed itself from the faith and unity of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

On behalf of the National Council of the Assembly of Confessing Congregations, we therefore say in the strongest terms possible, that we reject not only this decision, but the authority of the National Assembly and therefore stand aside from this Council of the Church. …”

The Rev. Dr. Hedley Fihaki writes on behalf of the Assembly of Confessing Congregations National Council.

Doubtless, many in the Uniting Church would value your prayers for wisdom.

Update:

The 15th Assembly’s Resolution on Marriage and same-gender relationships has been published:  Read more

Two doctrines of Christian marriage? That’s OK says Uniting Church theologian

“The headline conceals what actually happened in Melbourne this week. Without setting out to do so, the Uniting Church recovered its stated vocation of making visible unity in diversity. …

without disputing the biblical and theological validity of the traditional understanding of marriage … the Assembly has approved an additional statement on marriage for the Uniting Church, also biblically and theologically valid.

Two doctrines of Christian marriage? Two expressions of that in ‘the rites of the Uniting Church in Australia’? How does that work?

Well, that’s the kind of thing that the Uniting Church was always supposed to be able to manage: unity in diversity. …”

– Past President of the Uniting Church of Australia, Prof. Andrew Dutney, explains that ‘unity in diversity’ is what the Uniting Church of Australia is all about. (Did George Orwell have a word for this?)

Uniting Church chooses on Marriage

The Uniting Church of Australia will officially attempt to sit on both sides of the fence.

Here is a press release from the 15th Assembly of the Uniting Church of Australia, meeting in Melbourne.

Emphasis added:

“The 15th Assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia has agreed to hold two equal and distinct views on marriage to honour the diversity of Christian belief among its members.

Meeting for the first time since last year’s change to Australian marriage laws, members of the Church’s national decision-making body, the Assembly, resolved to allow its ministers the freedom to conduct or refuse to conduct same-gender marriages.

“This decision follows many years of reflection, prayer and discernment, and I want to thank Assembly members for the way they have responded with grace to what is a difficult conversation for many people of faith,” said Uniting Church President Dr Deidre Palmer.

Dr Palmer acknowledged the ministry and struggle of LGBTIQ people in the Uniting Church over many years.

‘I know that this conversation is painful and difficult for you,’ said Dr Palmer, directly addressing LGBTIQ Church members.

‘We also acknowledge those who for whatever reason have not been able to support this change – and your pain and difficulty in this space.’

‘Please rest assured that your rights to follow your beliefs on marriage will be respected and protected.’

‘I thank you all for modelling a loving Christian community, holding together and caring for each other, across our diversity of strongly and faithfully held views.’

Members of the Uniting Church’s 15th triennial Assembly have been considering the change to the marriage policy and other issues since Sunday 7 July at Melbourne’s Box Hill Town Hall.

During the meeting, they heard advice from theological and legal experts and had the opportunity to speak to proposals for and against the changes.

The proposal that was adopted on Marriage and same-gender relationships seeks to accommodate a range of views by adopting an additional statement of belief.

The existing statement of belief is that marriage is the freely given consent and commitment in public and before God of a man and a woman to live together for life.

The new additional statement of belief says that, “For Christians, marriage is the freely given consent and commitment in public and before God of two people to live together for life.”

The proposal also acknowledges the diversity of religious beliefs and ethical understandings within the Church, and that they have been “developed through continuing faithful discernment and held with integrity on matters relating to sexuality and marriage.”

The proposal determined that the Church is able to accept this diversity within its life and make the decisions necessary to enable its ministry and members to act with integrity in accordance with their beliefs.”

– Source: Uniting Church of Australia, 13th July 2018.

Euthanasia should never be glorified

“Australian Christian Lobby calls on the ABC and other media outlets to stop endorsing euthanasia.

The destruction assisted suicide is having on vulnerable people is real and deeply concerning and continues to go unreported. …”

– Source: The Australian Christian Lobby.

UCA Assembly still considering Marriage changes

“Members of the Fifteenth Assembly continued their consideration of proposals on marriage and same-gender relationships.

In response to requests from Community Working Groups, the Evening Session of Day 3 was set aside to hear further information.

Fifteenth Assembly members then had the opportunity to make two-minute statements in response to the information, proposals or anything else.

The matter will be revisited later in the meeting.”

– That’s all that has been released so far on the Assembly website.

Whatever happened to that same-sex marriage boom?

“Now that all the glitter has settled after last year’s non-binding voluntary postal survey – remember, we couldn’t be trusted to have a plebiscite, let alone a fair dinkum referendum – just exactly how many of the LGBTIQ community have tied the knot?

Well, rather than being the over-whelming flood, it has turned out to be nothing more than a trickle. In short, we were conned.…”

– At The Spectator Australia, Mark Powell asks the question.

Crunch time for the Uniting Church of Australia

The Uniting Church of Australia’s 15th Assembly meets in Melbourne this week, 8th – 14th July 2018.

The theme of the 15th Assembly is “Abundant Grace, Liberating Hope”,

However, the big question to be decided is whether the UCA will submit to God’s word in Scripture, or adopt a new doctrine of marriage – marriage being between any two people, regardless of gender.

A growing number of UCA ministers and Church Councils have have attached their names to this statement:

If the 15th Assembly of the Uniting Church adopts these proposals in or close to their current form, we humbly state that in accordance with our prayerful convictions, we will not accept these decisions, and we will stand apart from them in ways that we will determine after the Assembly meets.

More from the Assembly of Confessing Congregations. Much to pray about.

Update: 15th Assembly blog:

“Monday July 9 will see the start of the marriage debate. From 2 pm the eight proposals that have now been confirmed will be presented in order of their receipt. This session will continue until 3.30 pm. It is purely a presentation and information session and given the number of proposals will certainly take up this time. …”

Diocese of Wangaratta pushes ahead with Same-Sex Blessings

“The Diocese of Wangaratta, at its recent synod, passed the following motion,

That this Synod:

… commends the pastoral value of the Bishop authorising a Form of Blessing [of same-sex couples] for optional use in the Diocese of Wangaratta … and  …

requests that the Bishop of Wangaratta ensure opportunity for the clergy and laity of the Diocese to engage in further discussion as part of the process leading to the potential Diocesan provision for blessing of civil marriages. …

It is hard to see [Bishop Parkes’] actions here as anything other than a direct challenge to the position that the Anglican Church of Australia has established both at a national synodical level and also amongst his fellow bishops.”

– Read the post at DavidOuld.net for more.

Freedom for Faith Conference 2018 audio available

Thanks to the team at Freedom for Faith, you can now hear the audio from their recent conference, Freedom18, on the limits of religious freedom.

Speakers and topics were:

Dr. Alex Deagon: A Christian Framework for Religious Diversity in Political Discourse.

Senator the Hon. Jacinta Collins: Building Constructive Partnerships in Politics.

Dr. Joel Harrison: What is Religious Liberty For?

Hon. John Anderson AO: How Do We Now Understand Freedom?

Prof. Patrick Parkinson AM: The Limits on the Freedom of Religious Organisations to Select Staff Consistent with Their Ethos.

Emeritus Prof. Rosalind Croucher AM: The Role of the Australian Human Rights Commission as the National Human Rights Body in Promoting and Protecting Rights.

Hear the talks at Freedom for Faith.

And be encouraged to pray.

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