Some Reflections on the Global South Primates Meeting

Posted on September 14, 2017 
Filed under Anglican Communion, Opinion

“Many of you will have read the statement of the Global South Primates Steering Committee from their meeting in Cairo this past weekend. In the swirl of the weekly news cycle, it’s easy to look at this statement as just another murmur from the background of Anglican geopolitics.  I’d like to offer a few thoughts about why their statement should be considered newsworthy.

First, let’s remember that the Global South Primates include the Archbishops or principal Bishop-leaders of the largest Anglican Churches in the world – Nigeria (in terms of real average Sunday attendance in church), Kenya, and Uganda for starters.  They include those leaders of the Gafcon movement – which plants the future of a renewed Anglicanism around a common confession of faith, the Jerusalem Declaration.

But the Global South movement existed before Gafcon, and includes those provinces in that part of the world that have not yet joined Gafcon, like Southeast Asia, but have for many years stood firmly on the authority and clarity of the Bible as the ultimate authority within the councils of the Church. That’s a big deal. …”

– Canon Phil Ashey, President of the American Anglican Council, puts last week’s Global South communique in perspective.

Free speech and vilification in the marriage law postal survey

Posted on September 13, 2017 
Filed under Culture wars, Resources

“Australia is involved in a debate about whether same sex marriage should be introduced. The question is being put to the electors in the form of a voluntary postal survey, the question in which is simply: ‘Should the law be changed to allow same sex couples to marry?’

The original intention of the current Government had been to put this question to the people of Australia in a compulsory plebiscite. This option being defeated twice in Parliament, the postal survey has been designed to be run without explicit authorising legislation. However, once it was decided that the survey would proceed, concerns were expressed that the debate might contain misleading and deceptive advertising, which would usually have been dealt with under the electoral laws (but since the survey was not being run under those laws, no such protections applied for the survey.) In addition, concerns were expressed about hateful and harmful speech on both side of the debate.

In response to these concerns, the Commonwealth Parliament today (in a rare example of swift bipartisan action) saw the introduction and enactment of the Marriage Law Survey (Additional Safeguards) Act 2017(which has now received the Royal Assent, and become Act No 96 of 2017). The Act will come into operation on Thursday 14 September, 2017 (tomorrow, as I write.) …”

– Associate Professor Neil Foster has published some important information about legislation coming into effect tomorrow.

Anyone who plans to comment publicly on the plebiscite and related issues would do well to read it.

Must read: Deception on freedom of religion key to SSM Yes case

Posted on September 13, 2017 
Filed under Culture wars, Opinion

“We are being put on notice. You would have to be politically blind to deny the reality (an option many politicians have deliberately chosen). The post-same-sex marriage battle is already under way. This is because while many people genuinely see same-sex marriage as an issue of non-discrimination, this was never its essence. It is an ideological cause seeking fundamental changes in Western society, laws and norms. It will continue apace after the law is changed.

Marriage equality is an ideology and ideologies, by nature, do not settle for compromise victories. As Benjamin Law says in Quarterly Essay: Moral Panic 101: “It might be stating the obvious but same-sex marriage is far from the final frontier in the battle against homophobia.” The struggle will continue — in schools and in institutions. Law says the two biggest LGBTI issues are Safe Schools and same-sex marriage. …

The pretence by Yes case politicians that the plebiscite has no consequences for the Safe Schools program treats us like fools. …”

– Paul Kelly, writing in The Australian (subscription) argues that freedom of religion will be one of the first casualties of same-sex marriage. Read it all.

Praying together this Sunday

Posted on September 13, 2017 
Filed under Culture wars, Resources, Sydney Diocese

“Archbishop Glenn Davies has urged churches to set aside this Sunday as a day of Praying together for Marriage.

The Archbishop foreshadowed the initiative in this month’s edition of the Diocesan magazine, Southern Cross, which includes a prayer Dr Davies wrote for the day.

The Australian newspaper last week reported the initiative, set down for this Sunday, September 17th. …”

– Read the story from, and please be encouraged to pray.

Related: Archbishop Davies’ prayer.

Same-sex marriage is a test of Australian maturity that we may not pass

Posted on September 13, 2017 
Filed under Culture wars, Opinion

“It’s time not just to focus on who will win the marriage war, but how we are going to live with the peace.

For good or ill, the legislation of same-sex marriage in Australia became inevitable once Labor made it party policy. Irrespective of what happens with the postal plebiscite, Labor will achieve government at some stage.

There will be no peace until same-sex marriage is enacted in a way that can’t be undone. It will be on the day after the change — or rather, in the decades after — that Australia will face an important test of its maturity as a civil and civilised society. …

in my own Anglican tradition, simply reading the prayer book preface to the service of matrimony will become a politically controversial act. Here, for example, is the opening of the second order for marriage in An Australian Prayer Book: …”

– Robert Forsyth, retired Bishop of South Sydney, has had this opinion piece published by the ABC.

Tony Abbott on why same sex marriage would fundamentally change society

Posted on September 12, 2017 
Filed under Culture wars, Opinion

“We shouldn’t lightly change what’s been the foundation of our society for generations; and, if we do, it should only be after the most careful weighing of all the consequences. Yet if the polls are to be believed, we are about to discard the concept of marriage that has stood since time immemorial in favour of a new concept that would have been scornfully rejected even by gay people just a generation ago. …”

– Tony Abbott MP writes in The Sydney Morning Herald.

Global South Primates’ Communique, Cairo, September 9 2017

Posted on September 12, 2017 
Filed under Anglican Communion

“We, the Primates of the Global South, met in Cairo from 8-9 September 2017 to work together in service of the Church, to follow up the recommendation of the 2016 Global South Conference and to discuss arising issues. …

We express our sadness for the decision taken by the Scottish Episcopal Church to change its doctrine of marriage and are thankful for the faithful remnant of the Scottish Anglican Network that continues to contend for God’s Word. We are also saddened by the decisions of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada to allow same-sex marriage. If this decision is ratified it will further tear the fabric of the Communion.  …

We are saddened that the 16th meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council in Lusaka, Zambia, did not unequivocally accept the decisions of the last Primates Meeting. While we expressed a desire to walk together as a Communion, this was contingent upon our decisions regarding The Episcopal Church being respected and upheld. Unfortunately, this agreement was not enforced and The Episcopal Church has been allowed to take part in decision making regarding ‘matters pertaining to polity and doctrine.’ They have also represented us in ecumenical meetings.  This has led to a further breakdown of trust and confidence.

In light of this reality, we discussed the Archbishop of Canterbury’s invitation to the upcoming Primates’ Meeting. …”

– Read the full Communique at Global South Anglican.

Same-sex-­marriage postal survey without detail a ‘blank cheque’

Posted on September 12, 2017 
Filed under Culture wars

“Malcolm Turnbull has been ­accused of handing a ‘blank cheque’ to the parliament after the government declared it would not move to provide religious protections before the same-sex-­marriage survey is finalised.

Senior ministers yesterday confirmed that no bill outlining ­religious protections would be ­endorsed by the government until after the result was declared, arguing it would only be required should a Yes vote be returned.

The decision flies in the face of a warning from former prime minister John Howard, revealed in The Weekend Australian…”

– Story from The Australian. (Subscription.)


Andrew Hastie MP is interviewed on The Bolt Report, 11 September 2017.

Church Society launches a Podcast

Posted on September 11, 2017 
Filed under Resources

The first episode includes an interview with the Church Society’s President, Bishop Wallace Benn.

Reformation Rally 2017 — Dr Gerald Bray

Posted on September 11, 2017 
Filed under History, Resources


Dr Gerald Bray spoke at Moore College’s Reformation Rally held at St Andrew’s Cathedral on 26 August 2017.

His topic: The Way the Reformers looked at the Work of The Holy Spirit.

Reformation Rally 2017 sermon — Dr Glenn Davies

Posted on September 11, 2017 
Filed under History, Resources

Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies, preached the sermon at the 1552 Book of Common Prayer: Morning Prayer Service. He speaks of the Scriptures as the very bedrock for understanding God.

It was part of Moore College’s Reformation Rally held at St Andrew’s Cathedral on 26 August 2017.

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