Men Meeting The Challenge Conference 2020

Posted on October 12, 2020 
Filed under Encouragement, Resources

This year’s Men Meeting the Challenge Conference, not surprisingly, will be an online conference. Keynote speakers are Al Stewart and Ross Ciano.

From the organisers:

Why not join us at Men Meeting the Challenge this year, online, on Saturday 7 November 2020, for some real encouragement and inspiration. Gather a group of men today and go online at menforchrist.asn.au and register for a conference that will really make a difference!

And you can watch the promo video here.

Capitol Hill Baptist case — COVID restrictions on gatherings unlawful

Posted on October 11, 2020 
Filed under COVID19

“Most of us are chafing under restrictions on gatherings imposed by COVID-19 laws.

Getting the balance right here is hard, and we want to give the government as much leeway as possible; but the restrictions have been very difficult for churches, and the rules adopted in some jurisdictions seem to discriminate against church meetings in comparison to other activities which are now allowed.

These were the issues at stake in the recent decision of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in Capitol Hill Baptist Church v Bowser (Case No. 20-cv-02710 (TNM), McFadden USDJ, Oct 9, 2020). …”

Neil Foster at Law and Religion Australia comments on the Capitol Hill Baptist Church case, and also notes the current circumstances in New South Wales.

The DC Mayor Doesn’t Get to Define Church

Posted on October 10, 2020 
Filed under COVID19, Theology

“Since the spring, Christian commentary on COVID-19 restrictions and church closures has focused on the authority of government. Do we as Christians believe the Bible gives Caesar the authority to ask churches to cease gathering in times of emergency?

That’s a conversation worth having. Yet an equally important theological question has quietly lurked in the shadows, which many Christians have missed: What is a church? More specifically, must the members of a church gather on a weekly basis to be a church?…”

Jonathan Leeman writes at Christianity Today about the nature of “church”. It’s a good question to consider as we seek to encourage Christians to gather.

(Photo: Capitol Hill Baptist Church.)

@HomewithColin One-Off online show — Saturday night

Posted on October 9, 2020 
Filed under Resources

The Gospel Coalition Australia is partnering with Colin Buchanan for a special one-off Saturday online @HomewithColin concert.

It will include a bunch of Colin’s Christian kid’s favourites – plus a few surprises!

@HomewithColin One-Off is streaming this Saturday 10th October, from 5:00 pm AEST on Colin’s Facebook Page.

Sydney Archbishop: Indian MP must retract false statements about Graham Staines

Posted on October 8, 2020 
Filed under Sydney Diocese, World news

“The Anglican Archbishop of Sydney Glenn Davies has demanded an apology and a retraction of statements made by an MP during a debate in the Indian Parliament which accused murdered missionary Graham Staines of child abuse. The Archbishop called the statement ‘slanderous’…”

– Story from Indian Link via SydneyAnglicans.net.

See also the Diocese of Sydney Media Release, 08 October 2020.

Anglican Church Diocese of Sydney
Media Statement

Call for retraction of false statements about murdered missionary    

Archbishop Glenn Davies has called for an apology and the retraction of a slanderous accusation by an MP during debate in the Indian Parliament in which murdered missionary Graham Staines was accused of child abuse.

Mr Staines was an Australian missionary who worked tirelessly and selflessly with leprosy patients in India for more than 30 years. Along with his two sons, Timothy (aged 8) and Philip (aged 10), he was burned to death in an attack by Hindu extremists in Uttar Pradesh in 1999.

During Parliamentary debate in September, a member of the ruling BJP party and a representative of Uttar Pradesh state, Satya Pal Singh, accused Mr Staines and other Christians of molesting 30 girls belonging to local tribes in Odisha and converting them to Christianity. He cited this as the main reason for the murders and as justification for stringent amendments to the law on the basis ‘forced conversions’ are still being perpetrated by Christian missionaries.

The Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies called the comments ‘reprehensible’.

“The murder of Graham Staines and his sons was a stain on the history of India. The then President K.R. Narayanan was right to describe it as ‘a monumental aberration of time-tested tolerance and harmony’ and that the murders belonged to ‘the world’s inventory of black deeds’. For the MP to now use parliamentary privilege to bring such baseless accusations for political purposes deserves the strongest condemnation. A retraction and full apology should be issued for the sake of truth and as a bulwark against religious intolerance.”

The Archbishop said many Sydney Anglicans have travelled to India in recent years and been welcomed, along with the help they bring to the population. “I would like to think that the Government and others from Mr Singh’s party would not sit idly by while such comments are made. They should be repudiated in the strongest possible terms.”

Archbishop Glenn Davies
8 October 2020

Frontline church leader battles cancer

Posted on October 8, 2020 
Filed under GAFCON, People

“There’s been a worldwide prayer request for one of Africa’s senior church leaders, who has been hit by colon cancer.

Archbishop Ben Kwashi, the general secretary of the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) and Archbishop of Jos in Nigeria, has begun treatment after being diagnosed last month. …”

– Story from SydneyAnglicans.net.

Victoria: Christians celebrate a basic liberty retained!

Posted on October 8, 2020 
Filed under COVID19, Culture wars

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

“Victorians can now breathe a sigh of relief with the Andrews government relenting on its grab for controversial detention powers in its COVID-19 Omnibus Bill.

‘The Australian Christian Lobby welcomes the government’s move to delete this unwarranted measure,” ACL spokesperson Jasmine Yuen said today. “The government wanted to appoint anyone as an ‘authorised officer’ to detain people, without warrants, for indefinite periods of time if they are considered ‘high-risk’ and likely to fail to comply with emergency directions.

“The Christian community in Victoria, including Christians from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, expressed grave concerns that the Bill left all Victorians’ freedoms open to abuse. As Christians, we are concerned when the state curtails freedoms. Often the first freedom to be impacted is freedom of religion.

“Some of our migrant Christians have come from – or even fled from – their home countries where their religious freedom no longer exists.

“The Christian community in Victoria have been doing what they can to fight for their hard-earned freedom and were determined in their opposition to these draconian measures.

“We are pleased that, in this instance, the Andrews government has heard and respected the voice of its citizens.æ’”

Source.

Archbishop Ben Kwashi on colon cancer, the future of Gafcon, COVID in Africa

Posted on October 6, 2020 
Filed under GAFCON, People

From Dominic Steele at The Pastor’s Heart:

“As general secretary of GAFCON, Nigeria’s Archbishop of Jos Ben Kwashi is one of the world’s most influential Anglican leaders.

With GAFCON representing two thirds of the world’s Anglicans, Archbishop Kwashi has been described as the most influential person in the Anglican Communion.

Nine days ago rumours started to circulate on social media that he’d been diagnosed with Colon Cancer.

Archbishop Kwashi joins us to give an update on his health, the 74 orphans who live with him and his wife Gloria, plus news on navigating COVID in Africa and the future of the GAFCON.”

– Plenty to pray about. Be sure to watch or listen at The Pastor’s Heart.

MTS Recruit videos online

Posted on October 5, 2020 
Filed under Resources

The videos from the MTS Recruit conference sessions the last few days are now available to watch.

Ray Galea and Phillip Jensen give the main addresses. Plenty of encouragement to consider gospel ministry.

Feel the Breeze

Posted on October 4, 2020 
Filed under Encouragement, Resources

“In the past people used to curled up with a good book. Now the joy is curling up with your Kindle or iPad. Some people like to log in to video games, while for others it’s a good movie or just the TV. It’s hard to speak of these with joy because so often the content is less than joyful and can even be quite stressful.

I want to give a plug for some time in the sun, to walk the great outdoors. I want to give a plug for something more than your world hemmed in by four walls. …”

– Rick Lewers, Bishop of Armidale, writes with encouragement for you.

Lift up your hearts – GAFCON devotions – this month by Simon Manchester

Posted on October 2, 2020 
Filed under GAFCON, Resources

Simon Manchester is contributing October 2020’s ‘Lift up your Hearts’ devotions for GAFCON. On the book of Deuteronomy.

And see the interview with Simon on the page linked above.

(Photo: St. Helen’s Bishopsgate.)

Daylight Saving in NSW begins on Sunday 4th October

Posted on October 2, 2020 
Filed under Resources

In NSW, Daylight Saving begins at 2:00am on Sunday 4th October.

Pastoring Through Political Turmoil — 9Marks Journal September 2020

Posted on October 2, 2020 
Filed under Culture wars, Resources

“Ordinarily, the 9Marks Journals push in a theological direction. The last six issues, for instance, have covered the work of a pastor, gospel-centered preaching, complementarianism, the atonement, church membership, and Calvinism.

Yet you won’t be surprised to hear the number one question we’re hearing from pastors these days: how do we pastor through a season of political turmoil?

Hence, this issue of the Journal is devoted to pastoring through political turmoil. …”

The latest 9Marks Journal is not only about US politics, and will be helpful for Australian pastors in navigating the huge social changes we face.

For example, there’s “How to hold your tongue about politics and thereby not split your church over things the Bible doesn’t talk about” – Part 1, and (more expansively) Part 2.

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