The Land of the long weekend

David Cook“I am part of the pastoral team of an 800 member Christian Church, we are all being radicalised, every meeting, every week, to engage our society with the message of God’s love. We eschew bullets and bombs and take up a message of love, delivered as we are able with acts of kindness.

Here is the radical Christian message, God your Creator, who made you, loves you, He gave His Son to die for your sin, He raised that Son from the dead to prove to you He is Lord, lose control of your life to Him and you will find true abundant life!…”

– Another great post from Presbyterian Moderator-General David Cook.

Don’t hang all religions with Islam’s radicalisation problem

Dr Michael Jensen“Only two days after the appalling slaughter of Curtis Cheng as he peacefully went about his work, a commentator on ABC News 24 was heard to say:

‘We have to empower people in schools, people in mosques, people in churches to be able to see the beginnings of radicalisation.’

This, perhaps throwaway, comment was evidence of a more widespread response to the threat of religiously-motivated terrorism. In NSW, the government has moved to audit school prayer groups of whatever faith, in order to prevent extremism. Voluntary religious activities must be monitored, and parental permission obtained before high school students participate.

Can you see what has happened here?…”

– Michael Jensen writes at ABC’s The Drum.

Abortion-by-phone is ‘commerce, not care’

Bishop Chris Edwards“The Anglican Bishop of North Sydney, Chris Edwards, says the proposal that Australian women would be able to access abortions by phone and mail smacks of a program driven by commercial concerns rather than by genuine care for people…”

– see for more.

Discrimination and Opposition to Same Sex Marriage in Tasmania

Assoc Prof Neil Foster“There are press reports… that the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Hobart is being sued under s 17 of Tasmania’s Anti-Discrimination Act 1998 for causing “offence” or “humiliation”.

This was alleged to have been done by the Archbishop causing to be sent to Roman Catholic schools in his diocese, a booklet outlining the church views on marriage, and in particular expressing the well-known opposition of the church to the introduction of same sex marriage…”

– Neil Foster writes at Law and Religion Australia with some context for what’s happening in Tasmania.

Archbishop Welby, What will you do about it?

Canon Phil Ashey, American Anglican Council“I’m not fond of litigation. I take our witness to the world very seriously, and the damage to that witness from Christians suing each other is serious. And even though my former profession as a criminal prosecutor put me in the position of litigating daily in the courts, I would much prefer followers of Jesus Christ being able to follow 1 Corinthians 6 and work out their disagreements within the Church, through church or secular sponsored arbitration services and negotiated settlements.

I cannot, however, let the injustice pass that occurred in the oral arguments before the South Carolina Supreme Court, between the Diocese of South Carolina (Bishop Mark Lawrence) and The Episcopal Church (TEC.)…”

– The American Anglican Council’s Canon Phil Ashey is disturbed by the latest legal action in South Carolina, and wonders what the Archbishop of Canterbury will say to the TEC Presiding Bishop at the Primates’ gathering in January.

The Pope’s speech to US Congress: ‘Nothing explicitly Christian’

pope-francis-congress-1“I just finished listening to the Pope’s speech to Congress from earlier today. There is no question that the occasion was historic – the first time ever that a Pope has delivered such an address. …

Nevertheless, even though the speech was historic, it was also a disappointment – not so much for what he did say but for what he didn’t say…”

– Denny Burk has some reflections.

The wages of spin: death of truth?

The Rev Andrew Symes, Anglican Mainstream“Revisionist leaders talk a lot about their desire for unity in the Church. But more often than not, the only unity they are interested in is with the world, joining with the briefings of the secular culture against orthodox Christianity.

Here is what happened on Thursday, on the BBC Radio 4 ‘Today’ programme, where the Bishop of Manchester, David Walker, and myself were in separate studios to discuss Justin Welby’s recent invitation to the Primates of the Anglican Communion to attend a meeting in January…”

Anglican Mainstream’s Andrew Symes writes of his experience last week on BBC Radio – and looks at lesson we can learn. (Image: Christian Concern.)

Free to live by one’s beliefs

Assoc Prof Neil Foster“Many Australians are uncomfortable talking about religion or God. Sometimes we are surprised when one of our sporting heroes, like Jarryd Hayne, comes straight out and says: ‘All the glory goes to God, because without him none of this is possible.’ Some commentators are quick to criticise.

But there are many Australians who are very serious about religious belief. …”

– Associate Professor Neil Foster (who runs the Law and Religion Australia blog) has this opinion piece in today’s Newcastle Herald, ahead of a conference at the University of Newcastle on Friday September 25th. (Conference programme.)

‘The Anglican Communion is already divorced’

anglican-communion“Is the Anglican Communion about to split over different views of sexual ethics?

You might think so after reading headlines about the archbishop of Canterbury’s proposal to “loosen” the structures of the Communion — a way of retaining his relationship to the liberal wing of the Western churches as well as the traditional Anglicans of the Global South.

But to interpret the archbishop’s recent announcement as a split over sexuality is to miss the bigger picture. First, the impending dissolution of Anglicanism as it currently exists institutionally is over much more than sex. Second, the divorce has already taken place, just not formally…”

– At Religion News Service, Trevin Wax gives the Archbishop of Canterbury’s call for a Primates’ meeting some context.

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