California bill would require stores to feature gender-neutral sections for children’s goods

A bill set to be considered by the California State Assembly this month would punish large retailers in the state for having separate sections for children’s merchandise based only on gender.…”

– Report from the Washington Examiner.

Albert Mohler discusses the story in his daily Briefing – for 10th March 2020. (Part III.)

Are we living out Romans 1?

“Practicing homosexuals — of which I was once one — may not be conscious of the larger, biblical meaning of their sin as outlined in Romans 1, but it would be to their betterment if they were. …”

– Rosaria Champagne Butterfield gives some very insightful comments at Desiring God.

Related:

An Atheist and a Pastor on Same-Sex Relations and the Image of the Self – Justin Taylor.

The Culture of Death Reclaims Ground in Germany: A Renewed Threat to Human Life

“When suicide becomes an option, it will not just be one option among others. We can easily see the deathly logic inherent in the loss of human dignity as a pillar of society. The most vulnerable and aging will be told, at some point, ‘You have simply become too expensive. Healthcare resources are wasted on you because you have no hope of recovery. You need to get out of the way in order to free up needed medical funds and resources for others.’

It won’t be said exactly in those words – that would be too intellectually honest for this worldview. But make no mistake, that is indeed the internal reasoning of a worldview system that utterly rejects human dignity and the sanctity of life. …”

– Albert Mohler writes bluntly about the past and the future of the Culture of Death. Well worth reading.

It pays to hold your nerve in the Transgender Debate

“As Douglas Murray observes in his book The Madness of Crowds, we’re making long term decisions about people’s sexual and mental health based on untested ideas that have been around for the past twenty minutes.  And now people are starting to take a reality check. …”

– Stephen McAlpine sees signs that the tide beginning to turn. Image: BBC.

Despondent Tasmanians need hope, not darkness

Here’s a media release from The Australian Christian Lobby:

The Australian Christian Lobby encourages hope and purpose, even in the final chapter of people’s lives so that despondent Tasmanians would not choose to prematurely end their own lives.

‘The bill proposed by Mike Gaffney MLC is very concerning, as it goes much further than the current models legalised in Victoria and Western Australia. In those states, a person must be terminally ill and have only 6-12 months to live. Mr Gaffney’s bill expands the barriers beyond that, removing the terminal illness requirement. People who have an irreversible medical condition could access euthanasia,’ observed ACL Tasmania director, Christopher Brohier.

‘There is also no requirement for a psychiatric assessment. Lethal drugs could be administered to someone who is depressed or suffering anxiety,’ Mr Brohier added, ‘Under the bill, consultation on euthanasia could be by video link, a process with no rigour. Fortunately, telecommunications services cannot be used to promote suicide – though advocates are also looking to overturn that law as well.’

‘Then we have the horrifying spectre on the horizon if Mr Gaffney’s bill becomes law. He proposes, within 2 years of euthanasia being given to adults, that it be extended to children.‘

‘Do Tasmanians want more suicides or less?‘ Mr Brohier asked, ‘When you consider the tragedy of suicide and the many efforts being made to prevent it, the answer must be less. We reject calls to legalise assisted suicide in Tasmania.‘ ”

Source.

Related:

Euthanasia: an unfolding national tragedy – Australian Christian Lobby.

Progression or Regression? – David Cook (on what’s happening in Victoria)

And other posts concerning euthanasia on this website.

Progression or Regression?

David Cook writes:

On 1st December 2018, election night in Victoria, the victorious Premier, Daniel Andrews stated that ‘Victoria is the most progressive state in the nation.’

Having spent the month of February, 2020 in Victoria, progression is not the adjective l would have used.

How’s this for a ‘progressive list’:

All this in a State with some of our nation’s finest cultural icons, The MCG, The Rod Laver and Margaret Court Arenas, the finest collection of Australian art in the nation, more theatres per head of population than any other Australian city.

I am preaching in a Church in the central business district of Melbourne where my closest Protestant neighbouring Churches both unashamedly endorse the same sex marriage agenda of the state.

And the Premier, Daniel Andrews, who presides over all this, is a practicing Roman Catholic, one wonders when a Priest or Bishop will have the courage to place him under Christian discipline.

In Romans 1 the apostle Paul makes it clear that ‘the wrath of God is revealed from heaven’, he does not say it will be revealed in the future but it is being revealed now. (Rom 1: 18)

Why? Because humankind has exchanged the glory of God for idolatrous images, (Rom 1: 25) and worships and serves the creature rather than the Creator. (Rom 1: 25)

Idolatry is the lie (Rom 1:25) and God’s wrath is evidenced in that he gives mankind up to the fruit of that exchange.

Paul says, God gave them over

(Rom 1: 24) to uncleanness

(Rom 1: 26) to scrambled sexual expression

(Rom 1: 28) to debased mind

The mind, the attitudes, the worldview of humanity is thus under the judgement of God, the mind is counterfeit and incapable of making proper moral judgements. (Rom 1: 28-32)

Such a mind calls regression, progression!

The only hope is the new life, the new heart, which comes through the Christian gospel by the gift of God.

The moral man, Nicodemus, in John 3 must be converted to see or enter God’s  Kingdom and the same opportunity and need is offered to the immoral woman who is offered living water by Jesus in John 4.

Paul makes it clear that due to the mercies of God we are given new minds, from which the judgement of God has been lifted and by the renewing of these minds we are being transformed.

We are people of a new mind, minds which are able to ‘discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect’. (Rom 12: 2)

Pray that Daniel Andrews will experience God’s mercy.

In one of the mid-week services here l preached on John 3, ‘Jesus and Nicodemus’ under the heading, ‘Why Daniel Andrews is wrong’.

Thankfully l am still free to preach in the Commonwealth of Australia if not, it is a quick car trip of 3 hours back to the border, to good old regressive NSW!!

– Rev David Cook 18.02.2020

(David Cook has served as Principal of SMBC and also as Moderator-General of the Presbyterian Church of Australia as well as in parish ministry. Inset photo courtesy St. Helen’s Bishopsgate.)

Frankin Graham Event and the Glasgow Hydro Arena

“The cancellation by the SSE Hydro in Glasgow of the Franklin Graham event is a deeply disturbing decision that is antithetical to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and to true democratic values. …”

– Members of the West of Scotland Gospel Partnership have signed this letter of support for Franklin Graham, freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

Bishop Rod Thomas’ letter after the Archbishops’ statement following the earlier release of the ‘Pastoral Statement on Civil Partnerships for Opposite Sex Couples’

The Bishop of Maidstone, Rod Thomas, sent this letter on 31st January, 2020 to incumbents of all evangelical resolution churches:

Dear Partners in Ministry

I thought I should write following the statement that was issued after the conclusion of the College of Bishops yesterday. The statement can be found here.

My understanding at the College was that the statement was needed for two reasons. First, it was felt that the Pastoral Statement on Civil Partnerships for Opposite Sex Couples which had been released on 22nd January was pastorally insensitive in the way it was framed and released to the press. Secondly, there was concern that as a result, some of the necessary participation in the discussions which will follow the publication of the Living in Love and Faith materials could be jeopardised. Yesterday’s statement therefore apologised for the release of the Pastoral Statement.

However, it was also my clear understanding that nothing in yesterday’s statement should be taken as a retraction of the doctrinal teaching of the Church of England on marriage and sexual relationships. While some of that teaching may well come into question during the discussions about the LLF materials, it remains the current teaching of the Church. The position set out in the Pastoral Statement on Civil Partnerships for Opposite Sex Couples, and which was agreed by the House of Bishops, therefore continues to apply.

While I understand many of the concerns that were expressed at the College, I had the opportunity to say that for many faithful Anglicans the Pastoral Statement of 22nd January came as a great encouragement.  I was keen to establish that the apology did not relate to the doctrinal position it articulated.

I am conscious that many of you will remain concerned about these developments. Please be assured that together with other bishops, I will continue to make clear my commitment to the historic, biblical teaching of the Church. I hope most of you know that I don’t take part in social media discussions, but if you want to pursue any of this with me, there will be an opportunity to do so at our forthcoming regional conferences.

With every good wish in Christ

Rod Thomas
Bishop of Maidstone.

(Emphasis added in blue.)

Bishops’ pastoral statement fiasco — An English episcopal fumble

“What a game of Orwellian double-speak the Church of England’s bishops have been playing. Their ‘pastoral statement’ on heterosexual civil partnerships was surely not ‘pastoral’ at all? Surely it was thoroughly political and has now backfired?

After some of their number publicly distanced themselves from the statement their House had issued on January 22nd upholding the Book of Common Prayer’s teaching on marriage, the CofE’s senior pastors last week issued an ‘apology’. …”

– At Anglican Ink, Julian Mann comments on senior bishops who apologise for the teaching of the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer. And he wonders why anyone would want to be associated with them at the Lambeth Conference.

Orwellian nightmare which began when an officer told him ‘I need to check your thinking’

“Until 12 months ago, businessman Harry Miller led a blameless existence. He was running his successful plant and machinery company in Humberside, happily married and watching his four children grow up.

But at 3pm on January 23 last year – a Wednesday he will never forget – he received a call from one of his company’s staff just as he had finished shopping at Tesco. The staff member said a group of police had made an unannounced visit to Harry’s workplace and needed to talk to him. …

The 55-year-old now has an official police record stating he has committed a ‘non-crime’ transphobic hate offence.”

– Story from The Daily Mail. (Link thanks to SydneyAnglicans.net.)

Archbishops apologise for Church of England’s sexual ethics guidelines

We as Archbishops, alongside the bishops of the Church of England, apologise and take responsibility for releasing a statement last week which we acknowledge has jeopardised trust. We are very sorry and recognise the division and hurt this has caused.”

– Report via Anglican Ink.

The statement for which the apology has been made includes:

“7. It has always been the position of the Church of England that marriage is a creation ordinance, a gift of God in creation and a means of his grace. Marriage, defined as a faithful, committed, permanent and legally sanctioned relationship between a man and a woman making a public commitment to each other, is central to the stability and health of human society. …

10. The introduction of same sex marriage, through the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013, has not changed the church’s teaching on marriage or same sex relationships.”

Straw Men in the Religious Discrimination debate

An article in the Sydney Morning Herald (“Religious discrimination bill gives Australians ‘right to be a bigot’”, J Ireland, SMH 30 Jan 2020) sets up a number of “straw man” arguments so that it can knock them down and claim that the proposed Religious Discrimination Bill is harmful. I disagree.

The first paragraph offers some examples of things that the Bill ‘could make it legal’ to say…”

– Neil Foster at Law and Religion Australia looks at the arguments used in an article published in The Sydney Morning Herald. Is it actually “an argument against free speech, and for authoritarianism”?

New concerns over Victoria’s proposed banning of ‘conversion practices’

“As a Victorian, I have a moral obligation to report to authorities personal knowledge of alleged child abuse. As a pastor of a church, I have both a moral and legal duty to report knowledge of or suspicions of child abuse. Mandatory reporting is a social good. Even without the legal requirement, one’s natural concerns for a child’s wellbeing would automate contacting the police.

In Victoria, under new laws being proposed by the Andrews Government, I can be imprisoned for 12-18 months, for speaking up against the psychological and physical trauma inflicted upon children by gender warriors and dangerous medicos who work to change a child’s gender or sex. …”

– Murray Campbell in Melbourne warns of proposed legislation in Victoria.

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