A big moment for the Presbyterian Church in America

“As a denomination we are facing what I believe is a watershed moment.

Overture 2 which was submitted by Calvary Presbytery will grant full constitutional status to Book of Church Order (BCO) 59 which states that ‘Marriage is to be between one man and one woman, in accordance with the Word of God’ (59-3), and that ministers are required to obey the civil laws of the community regarding marriage ‘to the extent that those laws do not transgress the laws of God as interpreted by the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church in America’. …

by granting BCO 59 constitutional status the PCA would be offering additional protections to pastors and chaplains who are being and will continued to be called upon to perform homosexual weddings.”

– At The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, Todd Pruitt writes about one move to protect biblical teaching on marriage.

Religion test for office?

In the latest episode of The Briefing (08 June 2017), Albert Mohler highlights some ominous developments – a religious test applied in a US Senate Committee – and government control of families in Ontario.

Freedom17 Conference – Religious Freedom in a Secular Age?

More relevant than ever. The 2017 Freedom for Faith conference in Canberra on June 14. Details here.

“Freedom 17 is a unique conference for church leaders, lawyers, policy makers and politicians to meet in Canberra and talk about the pressing public issue of religious freedom.”

And for a secular voice on some of what is at stake in western society, Andrew Bolt’s editorial from The Bolt Report on SkyNews Australia – “stopping the activist bullies is now more important than same-sex marriage”.

Margaret Court vs Sensible Evangelicals

“Margaret Court’s mistaken assumption, from what I can see, is that she talks to the world as if it should know better. It doesn’t and can’t, not because it doesn’t know better, but because it doesn’t know the one who is better – the Lord Jesus. …”

– In a long and thoughtful article, Stephen McAlpine in Perth considers the huge shift which has occurred in our culture, and how Christians can respond.

(h/t Tim Challies. Photo: Victory Life Centre.)

Church of Scotland Assembly agrees on apology to gay people

“The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has approved an apology to gay people for the history of discrimination they have faced in the Church.

Commissioners also approved a report which could pave the way to allow some ministers to conduct same sex marriages in the future. …

Professor Torrance told commissioners that the Church’s journey on the issue had parallels with the one it has taken on the ordination of women in the 1960s.”

– Report from The Church of Scotland. Photo credit: Church of Scotland.

Margaret Court Arena name change called for after star’s Qantas boycott over gay marriage support

“Martina Navratilova has joined calls for Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne to be renamed after the tennis champion said she would no longer fly with Qantas because of the airline’s stance on same-sex marriage.

Margaret Court, who is now a pastor at Victory Life Church in Perth, wrote an open letter to Qantas in yesterday’s West Australian saying she was disappointed that Qantas chief Alan Joyce had become an active campaigner for same-sex marriage. …”

– Contrary views no longer permitted. Story from ABC News.

Duty to Die? — ‘Australian Presbyterian’ on Euthanasia

In the light of today’s news of a proposed “Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill” to come before NSW Parliament (ABC News story here), the current issue (Winter 2017) of Australian Presbyterian magazine is particularly timely as it addresses the issue of euthanasia.

Article 1: Opening Pandora’s Box. Why Christians must stand firm against euthanasia. An interview with Dr. Scott Rae.

Article 2: A bad move. By Moore College graduate Dr Neil Chambers.

(In addition, Marylynn Rouse from the John Newton Project reflects on John Newton’s experience of God’s amazing grace.)

The issue is available as a PDF file at this link.

Related posts on our website.

Abortion bill defeated in NSW Parliament

“The decision of the NSW Legislative Council to reject Greens MP Mehreen Faruqi’s extreme abortion bill is a win for both women and unborn children in the state, according to the Australian Christian Lobby.

The Abortion Law Reform (Miscellaneous Acts Amendment) Bill 2016 sought to make abortion legal up to birth, remove the rights of doctors to conscientiously object, and ban prayer vigils and sidewalk counselling outside abortion facilities or be subject to 12 months in prison or a $16,500 fine.

ACL NSW director Mark Makowiecki said the bill did not include any safeguards for women seeking abortion, nor did it require abortion practitioners to hold a medical qualification. …”

– from an Australian Christian Lobby media release.

And from Paul Green, MLC, Christian Democratic Party:

“We have received hundreds of emails and letters, including a correspondence from the Catholic and Anglican Archbishops. As well as support of over 55,000 people signing and promoting petitions regarding this Bill.

I also commend the work of organisations such as Australian Christian Lobby, Abortion Rethink, Canberra Declaration and many more for vocally standing against this Bill. Rather than decriminalising abortion, we need to review our attitudes and practices to ensure there are appropriate safeguards for the well-being of the unborn child, the woman, and others impacted by the decision.

We need to address the underlying causes and provide women with real alternatives to unplanned pregnancies that are not going to expose them to further harm.”

(both via e-mail)

Earlier post: Proposed Abortion Law changes in NSW.

Hotel hosting Christians targeted by ‘Safe Schools’ supporters

“A Melbourne hotel has been caught in the crossfire of debate about the contentious Safe Schools program.

Arrow on Swanston, in Carlton, had agreed to host an Australian Christian Lobby event last night with speakers discussing Safe Schools and gender reassignment.

Before the event, the hotel received harassing phone calls and online threats that called the ACL a hate group and condemned the business for associating with them. …”

– Report from The Australian.

Background: What is Safe Schools? – The Australian Christian Lobby.

Proposed Abortion Law changes in NSW

Update:

We understand that the proposed bills are likely to be debated this week – on Thursday 11th May.

Important news:

“Two NSW Private Member’s Bills relating to abortion may be debated in the NSW Parliament in the next month.

One in particular will completely remove any legal regulation of abortions in the State. It will also have serious consequences for religious freedom and free speech. …

This Bill was introduced into Parliament on 11 August, 2016, by Dr Mehreen Faruqi, Greens MLC. If enacted it would make sweeping changes to the law of abortion in NSW. It would allow the killing of an unborn child at any stage prior to birth.

It would impose a serious burden on the religious freedom of medical practitioners who have a conscientious objection to abortion. It would also seriously impede rights of religious freedom and free speech of those who would wish to protest against abortion near abortion clinics…

– At Law and Religion Australia, Neil Foster, Associate Professor in Law at Newcastle, discusses proposed abortion law changes in NSW which, if passed into law, would have far-reaching consequences. (Emphasis added.)

Related:

The Australian Christian Lobby describes the first bill as “The Worst Abortion Laws… Ever.” and is one of the groups organising petitions to the President and Members of the Legislative Council.

If you wish to sign their petition, please note the important information to ensure it is acceptable.

Christians under siege, religious freedom inquiry hears

“A Melbourne IT specialist engaged to work on the Safe Schools program was sacked after privately expressing concerns about the contentious initiative during a staff meeting, with his employer later accusing him of ‘creating an unsafe work environment’. …

His predicament is just one of several cases of discrimination ­alleged by Christians or opponents of same-sex marriage that have come to light as part of the inquiry, which, in the wake of the Coopers Brewery fiasco, has heightened concerns about free speech and a growing intolerance towards traditional views.”

– Report from today’s The Australian.

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