Fellowship with New Zealand Appeal

From The Archbishop of Sydney’s Anglican Aid:

“In May this year the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia decided to allow diocesan bishops to authorise the blessing of same-sex marriages and civil unions.

Following the decision of the General Synod a number of clergy and their congregations decided to leave the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, while still wishing to remain Anglicans. They felt that they could no longer stay in a Church, which had abandoned the teaching of Jesus and compromised the fundamental principles of their faith.

At the end of September, there were nine clergy and four congregations, representing approximately 1000 members who have or are planning to disaffiliate from the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, in addition to a parish in West Hamilton, which has already disaffiliated in anticipation of these developments. In taking this step, church leaders have forgone their income and possibly church property.

The Archbishop is encouraging Sydney Anglicans [watch video of his Presidential Address, 15 October 2018] to support these faithful brothers and sisters who wish to remain part of the Anglican family as they seek to establish an extra-provincial diocese. Gafcon Australia, with the support of Synod, has launched an appeal through Anglican Aid to assist them as they set up this new structure. Funds will be disbursed through the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans New Zealand.”

– Read the details, and donate, at Anglican Aid. (Links added above.)

For some background to what’s been happening in New Zealand: Related posts.

‘Anglican bishop defends same-sex marriage ban’

Bishop Michael Stead was interviewed by Linda Mottram for ABC Radio’s PM yesterday.

Ruddock Report (part 4): overview and the Big Three areas

This evening, a packed room of Sydney Synod members heard Associate Professor Neil Foster present an overview of the leaked recommendations of the Ruddock Report.

He identifies the three most important areas of reform flowing from those recommendations as:

  1. Rec 15, that the Commonwealth enact a Religious Discrimination Act (and rec 2, on principles to follow in drafting such an Act);
  2. Recs 5-8, that religious schools generally remain free to run their schools consistently with their religious ethos; and
  3. Rec 9, concerning parents being given notice by schools of teaching which might be contrary to their beliefs.

See his full post, with links to his paper and Powerpoint summary – at Law and Religion Australia.

More Same-Sex Blessings motions fail to pass in Australian Synods

“This past weekend saw synods in the metropolitan dioceses of Melbourne and Adelaide here in Australia. We’ve previously reported on the proposed motions there (Melbourne, Adelaide) to provide for blessings of same-sex marriages contracted by civil celebrants.

As is becoming clear, these motions are part of a coordinated campaign across the whole country. …”

David Ould with an overview from last weekend.

(Image: Anglican Church of Australia.)

‘Uniting Church Ministers might be forced to stop marrying same-sex couples’

“Same-sex couples planning to wed in the Uniting Church in coming months might be forced to make alternative plans, after the general secretary warned that all same-sex weddings could be paused from November. …

Under the church’s constitution, within six months of a decision being made at the assembly, if 50% of the presbyteries (local bodies) in 50% of the synods (state bodies) lodge an objection and say there was not enough consultation for a decision, it has to be paused until there can be another vote. …”

– Story from BuzzFeed. (Photo: Uniting Church President Dr Deidre Palmer.)

Related:

Resources from last month’s Assembly of Confessing Congregations National Conference in Sydney have now been posted on their website. (Bishop of South Sydney, Dr. Michael Stead, gave the keynote address, explaining the Anglican situation, and the reasons for the formation of GAFCON.)

Conscientious Objection in the Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2018 (Qld)

“On 17th October 2018 the Queensland Parliament passed the Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2018 (Qld).

This law will, among other things, allow abortion on demand up to 22 weeks’ gestation, and abortion up to full term if approved by two independent doctors who agree it is appropriate taking into account all the circumstances.

Setting aside for one moment the significant objections to the primary function of this legislation in general, a major point of contention with the bill was the extent to which health practitioners are able to refrain from providing abortion services because they have a conscientious objection. …”

– In a guest post at Law and Religion Australia, Dr. Alex Deagon, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law, Queensland University of Technology, looks at the implications of the new bill for health practitioners.

Rebirth of the Gods: The Sexual Revolution

“The presupposition of our world right now is that we create our own identities and our own values. Therefore, if you make a statement of judgment, that’s seen as a personal attack. It’s a very delicate place to be as a Christian; if we make any kind of statements, we are dismissed as being hate-filled.

Behind all this is the attack on the binary. Stanford University offers a course entitled ‘Destroying Dichotomies: Exploring Multiple Sex, Gender and Sexual Identities.” Two lesbians write an article, ‘Can We Put an End to the Gender Binary?’ This is, of course, the notion that is currently driving our culture in terms of sexuality. A short time ago, a public school department in Texas sent a message to its schoolteachers, telling them they must no longer refer to children as boys and girls.

What’s going on here?…”

Dr. Peter Jones has published the third article in his series ‘Rebirth of the Gods’ at the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals’ Reformation 21.

(Dr. Jones is the Director of the Christian think tank truthXchange.)

Greens Bill a serious attack on religious freedom

“The Greens party has introduced a bill into the Senate dealing with a number of the issues that have been discussed in recent days about the right of religious schools to conduct their education in accordance with their faith commitment.

The so-called Discrimination Free Schools Bill 2018  would remove the capacity of religious schools (and, importantly, many other religious organisations) to make staffing decisions in line with their religious beliefs.

It is a serious attack on religious freedom, and should be voted down by the Senate when debate resumes. …

The Bill is straightforward, with the simplicity of a sledgehammer destroying a wall. Schedule 1, Part 1, item 2 in relation to s 38 says: “Repeal the section”. Religious schools will then not be able to take into account “sex, sexual orientation, gender identitymarital or relationship status or pregnancy” in decisions relating to staff or students. However much those who run the school, or the parents who choose to send their students to the school (often at significant cost), would like the choice to have a school which actively supports a religion vision of human sexual behaviour, they will no longer have that choice if this provision were implemented. …”

Important reading from Neil Foster at Law and Religion Australia.

Schools would be pushed into an impossible corner

“Faith-based schools are places of education and learning, but they are also communities that educate in a context in which the spiritual life of the child is nurtured and the convictions and beliefs of that faith community are upheld. This particularly means that the staff of the school – the people who most substantially represent and carry forward that school’s culture and ethos – need to wholly support those convictions. It also means a school must have the freedom to shape its community life according to those beliefs. That is why the school exists and parents have the option of choosing that particular perspective.

This is like the freedom that is afforded to political parties. Political parties become a nonsense if they are forced to employ people who fundamentally disagree with their philosophy and who expound contrary views even if only in their private life. …”

– from an opinion piece by Annette Pereira, Executive Officer of the Australian Association of Christian Schools, in The Sydney Morning Herald.

See also: Freedom of Religion policy-making debacleSMH.

Ruddock Report (part 3): religious schools and gay teachers

“Following the recent debate about whether religious schools in Australia should be entitled to expel gay students on account of their sexual orientation alone (as to which all seem to be agreed the answer is, No), there is now a push to remove the freedom of religious schools to make staffing decisions on these issues.

The ALP has announced that they want to pursue this issue when amendments relating to students are debated in Parliament. It even seems that some members of the LNP Government are unclear about the issue. …”

– Associate Professor Neil Foster writes at Law and Religion Australia.

Later in the same post, he writes,

“Of course the community at large has now indicated its support for homosexuality in changing the law to allow same sex marriage. But in the course of those debates, it was regularly claimed that allowing same sex couples to marry would not have a wider impact on those who disagreed with this change…”

Read it all.

Archbishop Glenn Davies speaks about the Ruddock Review

Here is an excerpt from the Diocese of Sydney 2018 Presidential Address, by Archbishop of Sydney Glenn Davies. Courtesy SydneyAnglicans.net.

‘Gay teacher law changes will have to wait: PM’

“The federal parliament will this week remove the power of faith-based schools to discriminate against children on the basis of their sexuality. …”

From SBS. However, note the clip from the Archbishop of Sydney’s Presidential Address in the video file. (Also on page 17 of the printed Printed Presidential Address.)

Related: Hey Fairfax and ABC: Why tell the Truth when an Untruth will do? – commentary from Stephen McAlpine in Perth.

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