Betrayal of the Gospel of Life

“There are so many things that can be said about the passage of the abortion-till-birth bill through the Lower House last week.

We could talk about the ramming through of a Labor-Greens policy under the banner of a Berejiklian-Greenwich government.

We could talk about the ‘lipstick on a pig’ amendments that did nothing to make this evil bill any better.

Or we could talk about the chilling, cackling laughter from MPs that was heard throughout the Parliamentary chamber after the bill passed.

For anyone who heard it, the sound could only be described as demonic.

But I won’t explore those in any detail this week. Instead, I want to talk about two other aspects of last week’s debate that really struck me. …

It wasn’t only the MPs that were betraying the Gospel of Life (and the Gospel more generally) last week. Disgracefully, certain Christian leaders did too…”

– Monica Doumit, Director of Public Affairs and Engagement for the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney, writes this opinion-piece for The Catholic Weekly.

Cathedral gimmicks illustrate spiritually blind Britain and mute Church

“No doubt buoyed by the old cliche that there is no such thing as bad publicity, the Church of England continues to include in its own Daily Media Digest several reports and opinion pieces in a number of media outlets about the installation of a golf course and helter skelter in Rochester and Norwich cathedrals.

While some have defended the gimmicks as harmless ways of raising money and attracting to an experience of the sacred those who would never normally darken the doors, there have been criticisms (for example here and here) from those pointing out that this trivialises the Christian faith and is a sign of lack of confidence in the gospel…”

– Andrew Symes writes at Anglican Mainstream.

The Lethal Corruption of Euthanasia

“Let me take you back 24 years to a moment of great significance during the first great euthanasia debate in Australia. It was a moment that crystallised the concerns of many that the so-called ‘right to die’ would come to be felt by the most vulnerable in our community as a ‘duty to die’.

The year was 1995, just before the Northern Territory passed its euthanasia law. At the height of the debate, our Head of State at the time, Governor-General Bill Hayden, addressed the Royal Australian College of Physicians on the Gold Coast about why he supported euthanasia …”

– Toowoomba GP, and university lecturer in palliative medicine, David van Gend writes in Quadrant.

MPs urged to ‘Care for the most vulnerable’

“Archbishop Glenn Davies has told a State Parliamentary inquiry that the catchcry of new legislation has been ‘decriminalisation’ but skates over the details that it radically extends abortion in New South Wales.

Abortion is not unlawful in New South Wales under certain circumstances because of a precedent set by the ruling of a District Court Judge in 1971.

The new legislation, which allows for abortions up to birth without effective safeguards, has had minor amendments in the state’s Legislative Assembly and now goes to the Upper House for scrutiny and then a vote.

After two weeks of media appearances and joint appeals with other religious leaders, Dr Davies was able to speak directly to the Upper House MPs who form the Social Issues Committee of the Legislative Council. …

The Archbishop also lodged a submission by the Social Issues Committee of the Diocese, which argued against the legislation on several grounds, including its impact on women.”

Read the full report from SydneyAnglicans.net.

Richard Coekin on The Pastor’s Heart

On the latest edition of The Pastor’s Heart, Dominic Steele speaks with Richard Coekin, leader of the Co-Mission network in London.

Watch or listen here.

Further towards a culture of death?

“Another tragic milestone in our country’s history was put in place on Thursday night as the New South Wales Legislative Assembly, by a vote of 59 to 31, passed legislation to decriminalise the late-term abortion of unborn children. The tragedy lies not just in the vote, but in the arguments put forward in support of the Bill and the reaction of politicians and other advocates once it had been passed.

Of course, this was simply one more step along a road that Australia and the Western world have been travelling for some time. …

While there is still an opportunity we should petition those in the New South Wales Legislative Council not to give their concurrence to this Bill. Yet even more, we need to speak of life and hope in this context of death and fear and extraordinary self-righteousness in which we find ourselves.”

– At Theological Theology, Moore College Principal Dr Mark Thompson writes plainly about the Reproductive Health Care Reform Act 2019.

Pass the link around, and be encouraged to make a submission before 5:00pm Tuesday 13th August 2019.

Getting know Foley Beach, the Anglican Church in North America, and GAFCON

“The new Chair of the Gafcon Primate’s Council tells his story of relationship with Jesus, the Anglican Church of North America and the journey that Gafcon has been on and is on.”

This 32 minute video was recorded at Moore College in May 2019.

Watch Archbishop Foley Beach at GAFCON Australia, or direct link to video.

Norwich Cathedral erects 50 foot helter skelter in Nave

Not to be outdone by Rochester Cathedral’s indoor crazy golf course, Norwich Cathedral has built a 50 foot (15 metre) helter skelter in its Nave.

To be fair, the helter skelter is part of the Cathedral’s strategy to connect with the community and to open up conversations about the gospel:

“Could the playful presence of a helter skelter help to open up conversations about the building, help open up conversations about God? This unexpected presence in the Cathedral would act as a draw. Climbing to its top, the visitor will literally see the Cathedral differently. They will also come closer to the roof bosses and to the story they tell, the story of Salvation. …

in the South Transept will be a Bible Box, offering the opportunity to literally sit inside the Word of God. Surrounded by all the words of Scripture, and the story of Salvation …

And in the East end of the Cathedral will be displayed stories from individuals explaining how Jesus has helped them see life differently. …

The fun comes in the shape of a helter skelter. The serious comes in creating opportunities for reflective, God-shaped conversations. It is playful in its intent but also profoundly missional. It is the Cathedral doing what it has always done – encouraging conversations about God. By its sheer size and grandeur it speaks of the things of God; it points beyond itself. Its sheer presence helps to keep the rumour of God alive and plays its part in passing on the story of Salvation.”

Image: Norwich Cathedral.

Opportunity to make a submission concerning the Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill 2019

The Standing Committee on Social Issues of the NSW Legislative Council has called for submissions concerning the Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill 2019, which passed the Legislative Assembly last week.

Submissions may be made until Close of Business on Tuesday 13 August 2019.

See the Standing Committee on Social Issues web page for the text of the amended bill which was passed, as well as a link to make your own submission.

The Australian Christian Lobby has some suggestions …

“This week, the draft law will be sent to a committee to look in detail at the bill.

The committee has called for written submissions from members of the public. They are due by 5pm on Tuesday 13 August.

Please act TODAY by making a brief, written submission to the Inquiry, calling for the bill to be rejected or failing that, amended.

Here are some points you might like to make …”

Living for Others

Here is a photo of my son Noah, when he was about 25 weeks old.

My wife and I had just been told that Noah had a massive hole in his heart, and that he was likely to have Down Syndrome. (He did.)

Put yourself in our shoes. There are many heavy emotions flowing thick and fast through your heart. Your mind races ahead, drawing out a narrative of the next few weeks, months, & years ahead. …

Now, you’d be amazed just how quickly all of the above thoughts can flash before your eyes.

And you have the power to make it all go away.

– Thanks to The Gospel Coalition Australia for publishing a very personal reflection by Matt Dodd.

By way of contrast, this morning brought the news that the “‘Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill 2019” passed in the Lower House last night, and now goes to the Upper House of NSW Parliament.

“Members of Parliament were granted a conscience vote on the bill, which aims to remove abortion from the Crimes Act and define it as a medical procedure in its own legislation.

The bill was passed just before 11.00pm with 59 in favour and 31 against.…”

Lawyers commenting on NSW Abortion Law changes

Assoc. Professor Neil Foster writes, “I am a member of an informal coalition of practicing lawyers and legal academics which goes by the name of the ‘Wilberforce Foundation’. A number of us have signed off on a press release designed to make it clear that comments from the ‘Australian Lawyers Alliance’ supporting the proposed changes to abortion laws in NSW do not represent the views of all lawyers. The statement follows. …”

It’s worth reading in full. At Law and Religion Australia.

Bishop Rick Lewers on the proposed Abortion Bill

“It is a little staggering that after weeks of writing articles on family I have to write in the hope of saving our children from the poor decisions of our politicians.

There is before our State Government the ‘Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill 2019.’  It is a Private Members Bill, but don’t let the title of the Bill deceive you. It would seem that those moving the Bill and those supporting it are too embarrassed to call it what it actually is.

This Bill, if it is passed by the NSW State Government, will significantly change the law on abortion. …”

– Bishop of Armidale, Rick Lewers, has written this column for his local newspaper. It’s also published on the diocesan website. Do read it all.

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