‘I’m on about Jesus’

“Archbishop Glenn Davies has put the furore over an Instagram post by star Rugby player Israel Folau in context, saying all people should turn to Jesus. …”

Read it all at SydneyAnglicans.net.

Related: Two Ways to Live – the choice we all face.

Rejection by C of E has driven LGBT people to suicide, says Paul Bayes, Bishop of Liverpool

“A senior Church of England bishop has said some LGBT people have been driven to harm or even to kill themselves as a result of ‘pain and rejection’ caused by the church.

Paul Bayes, the bishop of Liverpool, also likened the struggle to persuade the Church of England to be truly welcoming and inclusive to LGBT people to the fight against slavery.

Speaking at the launch of the Ozanne Foundation …”

– Story from The Guardian.

A very helpful book in thinking about all this is Rosaria Butterfield’s 2015 book Openness Unhindered: Further Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert on Sexual Identity and Union with Christ. (Also as an AudioBook.)

Reviewed at The Gospel Coalition:

“When it comes to same-sex anything, the church can appear awkward and clumsy. As the pressure mounts, we Christians fumble around with our Bibles, unsure of how to connect the truths in God’s Word to cultural discourse or personal struggles.

The church would be hard pressed to find someone better than Butterfield to help us make sense of our uncertainty. Once a tenured English professor, she approaches the issue of sexuality with notable scholastic rigor; her theology is profound. Once a committed lesbian, she empathizes with those in the grips of same-sex attraction; her compassion abounds. In her new book Openness Unhindered: Further Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert on Sexual Identity and Union with Christ [20 quotes], we benefit from both.”

See also:

Analysis of Bishop of Liverpool’s Speech at Ozanne Media Launch – Julian Mann.

John Anderson in conversation with Jordan Peterson

Former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia John Anderson has recently launched his website.

“Like so many Australians, I’ve watched events with increasing concern.

The extraordinary loss of economic discipline, the revolving doors of political leadership, the increasingly strident silencing of out of favour views in a way that threatens our most important freedom, that of speech, the never-ending promotion of division over unity as a nation, and overshadowing it all the deteriorating global strategic environment, are all cause for deep and urgent reflection.

We need – now – to reunite as Australians in the face of a grim reality: we are in danger of eating ourselves out from within.”

One of his first posts features his interview with Jordan Peterson.

(Watch it – but also be sure to watch John Piper: Don’t Waste Your Life – or his earlier, shorter version.)

Archbishop Davies interviewed on 2GB about Israel Folau and freedom of speech

Archbishop Glenn Davies spoke with Ben Fordham on 2GB about Israel Folau and freedom of speech today.

Worth hearing – Listen at the link.

Statement on Israel Folau — Archbishop Glenn Davies

Here is a Media Statement from Archbishop Glenn Davies

“The way Israel Folau is treated will be a test of Australian Rugby’s ‘inclusion’ policy.

Israel Folau should be free to hold and express traditional, Biblical views on marriage and sexuality without being penalized – just as other players have spoken out with their differing views.

Rugby Australia has said ‘rugby is a game for all, regardless of sexuality, race, religion or gender’ and it would be hypocritical for administrators to censure a player for expressing views which spring from his own faith and conscience.

Dr Glenn Davies
Archbishop of Sydney
9 April 2018.”

– Background, from MailOnline:

Israel Folau defiant ahead of D-day meeting with Rugby bosses

“Wallabies star Israel Folau has received the support of some of Australia’s top religious figures for his outspoken views on homosexuality.

Folau, a devout Christian, has been under fire for social media comments saying gay people would go to ‘hell unless they repent of their sins and turn to God’.

The comments have left Rugby Australia in a tough situation as major sponsors prepare to walk away if he continues to post in such a matter.

But the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Glenn Davies, told The Australian it was a matter of free speech, and Folau should be allowed to have an individual view…”

Same sex marriage implications for Christian health professionals

Neil Foster, at Law and Religion Australia, writes:

“I am presenting a paper on this topic this evening to a group of Christian health professionals in Newcastle. The paper may be downloaded here: Same Sex Marriage and Christian Health Professionals. [PDF file.]”

‘CEO Activism clashes with Religious Freedom’

“Reports today that Qantas is considering withdrawing its sponsorship for the Wallabies because of Israel Folau’s recent comments about homosexuality are the latest example of the national carrier’s attempts to marginalise Christians.

Australian Christian Lobby Managing Director Martyn Iles expressed concern at the reports, “It’s not enough for Qantas to preach tolerance, they have to demonstrate it.

“This is just the latest attempt by big corporates to try to silence Christians and marginalise them for their beliefs.

“The threat to withdraw sponsorship for an athlete sharing his personal belief should send a chill down the spine of the millions of Australians who voted ‘No’ last year, and every politician who promised that gay marriage would not affect religious freedom …”

– see the full media release from the Australian Christian Lobby.

David Ould has some background to the controversy.

Pastoral Anglican euthanising

“I remember a time when for a church to be ‘prophetic’ it had to stand against the tide of the culture, against the immorality of the state, against the prevailing delusions that beguile our impressionable egos.

Not so today. Because same-sex marriage is legal, the church has embraced it and has assigned committees loaded with waffling liberal clergy to contort Scripture to their collective will. It is much the same for abortion. And now euthanasia.…”

– from Anglican Samizdat.

Heatbreaking background from The Globe and Mail includes:

“The Brickendens are at the vanguard of patients and families who are creating new rituals around dying in Canada – the kind of rituals that are only possible when death comes at a previously appointed hour. …

Dean [of St. James’ Anglican Cathedral, Toronto, Andrew] Asbil prayed, while Mozart, Bach and Scottish folk songs wafted through the room.”


A message from Archbishop Colin Johnson [of Toronto] on medically assisted death.

Freedom18 Conference – The Limits of Religious Freedom

Freedom for Faith is holding their 2018 Conference –

“Join with lawyers, politicians, academics and faith leaders at the NSW Parliament for Freedom18.  Our conference theme is ‘the limits of religious freedom’.

The debates around marriage highlighted tensions between claims of religious freedom and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation – should religious freedom be curtailed by other claims to dignity and rights? How does freedom relate to security in our secular liberal democracy? Do we live in over-regulated times that are going too far in constraining civic freedoms?

Freedom18 is a unique opportunity to network with some of Australia’s leading thinkers and practitioners. In the contested intersection of culture, public theology, and law, we want to offer a platform for the best possible conversations. …”

Read more about the Freedom for Faith conference to be held on Wednesday May 23 at NSW Parliament House.

FCANZ response to Motion 29 Working Group Final Report

“This is the formal response to the Motion 29 Working Group Final Report and Recommendations. The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans New Zealand (FCANZ) is thankful for the opportunities the Working Group has provided the Province to offer feedback, and to some extent shape the final recommendations included within the report. …

The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans has engaged fully and in good faith throughout the Motion 29 Working Group process. But, we repeat, if General Synod adopts recommendations allowing authorized services which contradict our existing doctrine and practice, many Anglicans will have been abandoned by their denomination and will have no alternative but to seek other ways of remaining authentically Anglican. …”

– The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans New Zealand has released their response (PDF file) to Motion 29 Working Group Final Report.

When Facebook falls out of Like with your blog

“Sorry Facebook, it’s not me baby, it’s you.

Lots of people have fallen out of like with Facebook over the years, but when it’s the other way around, it stings a little.

So, Facebook, I’m starting to fall out of like with you – fast falling out of like with you actually – because you’ve fallen out of like with me.

Or more to the point, you’ve fallen out of like with my blog. You’ve gone all silent on me.  Don’t even talk about me to anyone anymore. It’s as if you’re ashamed of me. …”

– Stephen McAlpine in Perth has come to a realisation about Facebook.

Anglican cleric disciplined for entering same sex marriage

“The recent decision of the England and Wales Court of Appeal in Pemberton v Inwood [2018] EWCA Civ 564 (22 March 2018) upholds what was in effect disciplinary action taken against a Church of England clergyman, the Reverend Canon Jeremy Pemberton, on account of his entering into a same-sex marriage.

The decision is a sensible one which upholds the religious freedom of the Anglican church to operate in accordance with its fundamental religious beliefs. …

Since Australia now recognises same-sex marriage, there is now the potential for a similar case to arise in this country. …”

– Associate Professor Neil Foster comments on a development last week in the Church of England, and the possibility of similar cases in Australia.

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