Jesus and the Moon Landing — Easter Message 2019

Posted on April 17, 2019 
Filed under Resources, Sydney Diocese

“The leader of Australia’s largest Anglican Diocese, the Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies, has recalled the Moon Landing and its 50th anniversary, in his Easter Message this year.

Celebrations are being prepared for July when NASA will lead the anniversary of Neil Armstrong and the Apollo 11 team landing on the surface of the Moon in 1969. …”

Read the media release and watch the video from Archbishop Davies.

Great for sharing – and you could embed the video on your website.

There’s also a media release.

Looking for a church this Easter?

In support of Billy Vunipola

Posted on April 17, 2019 
Filed under Culture wars, Opinion

“Dear Sir,

I am not a Rugby fan, but I wish to protest at your treatment of Billy Vunipola. Mr Vunipola has done nothing wrong, other than express his Christian beliefs in support of another Christian believer. …”

– Anglican Mainstream has published this Letter from a South Yorkshire Rector to the Rugby Football Union and the Saracens Rugby Club.

Background:

Billy Vunipola: England number eight given formal warning by RFU – BBC News.

“The 26-year-old number eight liked the post by Folau and called for people to ‘live their lives how God intended’. Vunipola, who has also been warned by his club Saracens, has been ‘reminded of his responsibilities’ by the RFU. …”

See also:

Israel Folau to challenge Rugby Australia’s breach notice over social media post – ABC News.

When talking about hell… – Murray Campbell.

Malcolm Richards named as new Bishop for International Relations

Posted on April 16, 2019 
Filed under People, Sydney Diocese

“The Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies, has named Canon Malcolm Richards as the new Bishop for International Relations.

Canon Richards will take over from Bishop Peter Tasker who has held the position since its inauguration ten years ago. Bishop Tasker has represented the Archbishop at consecrations, conferences, and made pastoral visits across the globe since 2009. …

As well … Moore College has announced Canon Richards will take up a parallel appointment as the Director of the Centre for Global Mission.”

– Read the full story at SydneyAnglicans.net.

Reflections on the Israel Folau affair

Posted on April 14, 2019 
Filed under Australia, Opinion

“Celebrity rugby player Israel Folau is in a complicated legal position. He shared a ‘meme’ on social media site Instagram recently, the text of which was: ‘Warning: Drunks, Homosexuals, Adulterers, Liars, Fornicators, Thieves, Atheists, Idolators: Hell Awaits You – Repent! Only Jesus Saves.’

To this he added his own personal comment: ‘Those that are living in Sin will end up in Hell unless you repent. Jesus Christ loves you and is giving you time to turn away from your sin and come to him.’ …

His remarks were not well-received by many members of the public, and in particular by the peak bodies in rugby. …”

– At Law and Religion Australia, Neil Foster offers some comments on the latest news relating to Israel Folau.

ACR Journal Winter 2019 now out

Posted on April 13, 2019 
Filed under Resources, Theology

The Australian Church Record’s ACR Journal for Winter 2019 is just out.

“This issue is packed with articles about ministry: being ordained to the ministry, training for ministry, ministry in the Bathurst diocese, and ministry across the Southern Hemisphere.

As well as these ministry insights, Nathan Walter recounts what exactly was decided concerning the remarriage of divorced people at last year’s Synod.”

Final Letter from Archbishop Okoh as GAFCON Chairman

Posted on April 12, 2019 
Filed under GAFCON

“My dear people of God,

This month is the last time I write to you as Chairman of the Gafcon Primates Council before I hand over later this month to my beloved brother in Christ and fellow Primate, Archbishop Foley Beach.

As I look back over nearly three years in which I have been privileged to serve the cause of the gospel in this way, I am full of gratitude to Almighty God for his continued favour. By His grace, we have gone far, but it is because the Lord has helped us. Just as Samuel raised his Ebenezer, the stone of remembrance, I also humbly ask that we remember and do not forget how God has blessed this movement far beyond what we deserve and far beyond what our own efforts could have achieved. …”

Read Archbishop Nicholas Okoh’s full letter.

‘Folau Sacking is Religious Discrimination’

Posted on April 12, 2019 
Filed under Australia, Culture wars

Here is a media release from the Australian Christian Lobby* –

“The Australian Christian Lobby has expressed deep disappointment with Rugby Australia over plans to sack Israel Folau just for stating his beliefs.

We continue to stand with Israel Folau and support his right to express his beliefs,” said ACL’s managing director, Martyn Iles.

‘Far from being homophobic, Israel Folau’s social media post was very inclusive – drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, and idolaters – is a list which includes everyone, affirming the Christian teaching that all are equal in our need of salvation.’ …”

– Read it all at The Australian Christian Lobby.

Related: Rugby Australia and NSW Rugby Union statement regarding Israel Folau.

* The Australian Christian Lobby and the Anglican Church League have the same initials, but are separate organisations.

(Photo: PlayersVoice.)

The outrage mob is out to get Folau

Posted on April 12, 2019 
Filed under Australia, Culture wars

“The outrage mob is out in force following rugby star Israel Folau’s latest social media comments.

The mob wants to more than disagree with Folau’s opinion, as is our right in a free society. It wants to ban him from expressing it, which is totalitarian. …”

– Morgan Begg,a research fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs, writes in The Sydney Morning Herald.

Related:

Israel Folau to be sacked by Rugby Australia over homophobic comments – ABC News.

What the hell, Australia? – David Ould.

See also earlier posts – mainly from April 2018, including a media statement, at the time, 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. …”

The Bible is a wilderness, not a garden: Lessons from Donald Robinson

Posted on April 11, 2019 
Filed under People, Sydney Diocese

“In 2001, a young West Australian skipped Hebrew class to listen to a slight elderly man dressed in bishop’s purple and a clerical collar teach on the Epistle of James.

The class stood as he entered the room and remained standing while he prayed. They addressed him neither by his name (Donald) nor by the title of his most recent posting (Archbishop), but by the clerical order he occupied through the laying on of hands: ‘Bishop Robinson’.

The whole spectacle struck the young West Australian as otherworldly and exotic, though not inauthentic. Its effect was to lull students into a false sense of security – a security quickly removed as this unassuming figure treated the class to an exegetical tour de force, with original and daring insights thrown at the unsuspecting class with a velocity for which none were prepared. …”

– Rory Shiner writes at GoThereFor.com.

(1982 photo via Ramon Williams.)

The 2019 Federal Election and Religious Freedom issues

Posted on April 11, 2019 
Filed under Australia, Resources

Freedom for Faith Executive Director Michael Kellahan writes,

“The long awaited election has been called for 18 May. …

All the parties voice a commitment to religious freedom. What we need to know though is how this stated commitment will find expression at law. We have written to the parties asking a series of specific questions which will help you understand their positions heading into the election. We will publish a table of their responses.”

This article from Freedom for Faith board member Professor Patrick Parkinson discusses the key religious freedom issues. “Religious Freedom after Ruddock”:

“With the federal election campaign just around the corner, it would be understandable if people of faith were confused about the stance the major political parties take on religious issues, particularly given the differing responses of these parties to the Ruddock Report on religious freedom, which was completed in May 2018.”

High Court upholds abortion buffer zone laws

Posted on April 10, 2019 
Filed under Australia

“In an important decision on free speech issues, the High Court of Australia, in its decision in Clubb v Edwards; Preston v Avery [2019] HCA 11 (10 April 2019), has upheld the validity of laws in Victoria and Tasmania prohibiting communication about abortion within 150m of an abortion clinic.

The decision may have serious implications for free speech about other issues on which religious believers have deep-seated convictions contrary to the general orthodoxy of modern Australian society. …”

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

See also:

Kathy Clubb’s storyAustralian Christian Lobby.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words – David Ould.

Departing from orthodoxy: what it was like to split from the Church of Scotland

Posted on April 10, 2019 
Filed under Scotland

At The Australian Church Record, Matt Baines speaks with Peter Dickson, Scotland Team Leader of the Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship, about his 2011 decision to leave the Church of Scotland.

“Leaving the Church of Scotland was a prolonged process. … there were three years of negotiations, discussions, church courts, decisions meetings and correspondence which led to our leaving, finally, in 2011. …

It was a transition of immense upheaval but one in which people’s ultimate allegiances and beliefs came to the fore.”

You can read the full conversation here – and please do remember to pray for the salvation of many in Scotland.

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