The pornographic awfulness of Eurovision

“I have been meditating recently on chapter fifteen of St Luke’s gospel which contains three well-known parables of Jesus. There is one key word, ‘lost’ which recurs five times in the chapter: the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost (prodigal) son.

These parables are generally relegated to Sunday School, and the children’s bible will show a picture of the Good Shepherd (Jesus) with a little lamb over his shoulders, surrounded by happy, smiling children.

But the true meaning of the parables is much deeper and darker, speaking as it does of the utter lostness of humanity when separated from the creator. …”

– After watching the latest iteration of the Eurovision Song Contest, Dr Tom Goodfellow reflects on its emptiness. At The Conservative Woman.

LLF Working Groups – is it just the next step on the travelator?

“The Church of England finally announced the membership of the three Working Groups that will continue the work of implementing the outcomes of Living in Love and Faith. The press release says that the role of the Working Groups is to:

‘…feed into the Programme Board, helping to shape recommendations to be presented for consideration at the House and College of Bishops ahead of bringing an outline proposal to the July meeting of the General Synod.’…”

– This piece, published a few days ago at Anglican Futures, argues that the process within the Church of England has been well organised to provide the desired result.

Inside the hidden assumption in Albanese’s ‘misinformation’ bill that undermines its entire premise

“As Claire Lehman of the Quillet puts it: ‘In universities across the world, humanities departments have, over time, come to reject the notion that there is such a thing as objective truth.’

If they are right, there is no point in any debate or discussion about either the news or our opinions of the news. …”

– At Sky News Australia, Kel Richards points out the fatal flaw in all ‘misinformation’ legislation.

Justin Welby left Spinning

Comment from Anglican Futures:

“The Primates Meeting has been wonderful,” declared the Archbishop of Canterbury in the official Press Release.

But his face at the Press Conference suggested that it had also been exhausting, which might explain why he appeared to struggle to give coherent answers when it came to some pretty simple questions. …

Read here.

Bishop Mari Emmanuel forgives his attacker and endorses freedom of speech and religion


For ANZAC Day, Bishop Mari Emmanuel of Christ the Good Shepherd Church in Wakeley has spoken out in forgiveness and in support of freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

The Gateway Drug to Post-Christian Paganism

“I recently revisited a book that I had not read for many years: Robert P. Ericksen’s Theologians Under Hitler.

It is a study of how three intellectuals, Gerhard Kittel, Paul Althaus, and Emanuel Hirsch—scholars of the Old Testament, Luther, and Kierkegaard, respectively—came to support Hitler in 1933 and ultimately be identified with an evil ideology that cost millions of lives, both in the death camps and in the war that German expansionism precipitated. …”

– At First Things, Carl Trueman has a warning for Christians – whatever their political leaning.

Link via Tim Challies.

“Brace Yourselves!“: The Reduction of Public Bible Reading

“It’s quite possible, as a missionary who has just returned from his first term in another country, that the old bugbear of ‘reverse culture shock’ has made me just a little bit tetchy.

On the other hand, as I’ve travelled to our twelve or so supporting churches (of various denominations) who support us in our work, I may have seen something of what many of us are prioritising as we meet week by week.

Usually I’m the guest preacher, and Revelation 7 (with John’s vision of a ‘great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language’) has been my text. And so, as Bible readings before the sermon, I’ve asked for Revelation 7 along with a few short paragraphs from the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah. Now, these are not long passages. And they are certainly not boring! Yet, without blushing, one service leader politely asked me if the short Old Testament readings could be done away with, and Revelation 7 itself – not a long chapter! – be chopped in half. …”

– At The Gospel Coalition Australia, Mike Fischer notices that something important is missing from some churches.

Sorry, but Christianity must be more than just cultural


“In 2007, the four men who came to be recognised as the leaders of New Atheism – Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens – met at Hitchens’s apartment in Washington DC to affirm their alliance and explore together the nature of their respective anti-theisms.

Hitchens, ever the contrarian, voiced two heretical views at the meeting: first, that as religion is so deeply engrained in humans due to their evolutionary trajectory, it is unlikely that it will disappear; two, that it is undesirable that religion should disappear since arguing with religious people sharpens sceptics’ polemical skills. Hitchens later stated to Doug Wilson, his debating partner on the ‘God is not Great’ book tour, that for the rest of his life he would never forget the look of hostile incredulity on Dawkins’s face when he said those two things. …”

– At The Conservative Woman, Peter Harris points out that “it is not enough to defend those Christian-based moral values … by calling ourselves cultural Christians”.

Image from Dawkins’ LBC interview two weeks ago.

More issues with the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Bill 2024

Associate Professor Neil Foster writes at Law and Religion Australia:

“I am happy to present a guest post today from Associate Professor Mark Fowler, raising more issues of concern from a religious freedom perspective with the recently released proposed Anti-Discrimination Bill 2024.

Dr Mark Fowler is Principal, Fowler Charity Law, Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Notre Dame, School of Law, Sydney and an External Fellow at the Centre for Public, International and Comparative Law, University of Queensland. …”

Read it here.

No agreement on ‘least-worst’ laws

“More than a half a decade before the NSW government brought on its ‘Conversion Practices’ bill being debated this week, the Sydney Anglican Church expressed its opposition to harmful ‘conversion therapies’. It had become apparent from the testimony of survivors that some groups, including Christian faith groups, have employed harmful practices in an attempt to change or suppress feelings of attraction to the same sex, or gender dysphoria.

Our decision to speak out came in 2018, before the move to legislate against such practices across Australia. Since then, such legislation has moved beyond these now rare and bizarre practices and in some jurisdictions encroaches unnecessarily and ominously into areas of orthodox religious belief and ordinary faith practices including teaching and preaching, prayer, conversation and mutual encouragement.

There have been comments that churches and faith groups have been consulted and are happy with the bill now on the table. This is not the case. …”

While grateful for the government’s engagement with faith communities on legislation, the Archbishop concludes that,

“What we have ended up with is a ‘least worst’ version of such legislation compared to some other Australian jurisdictions but cannot be regarded by biblical Christian churches as representing good law.”

The Daily Telegraph has today published this op-ed by Archbishop Kanishka Raffel – and has a copy.

Good to read and share – and do pray for the Members of Parliament as the proposed legislation is scheduled to be debated today.

France proposes further diminishing of human dignity

“If you are going to subvert the sanctity of human life at the beginning of life, as you have with abortion, then you are certainly going to also eventually get to subverting the dignity and sanctity of human life at the other end of the age spectrum. …

The slippery slope is indeed very slippery and it is a slope towards the acceptance of euthanasia or assisted suicide or whatever you might want to call it. …

… we are talking about a radical change in French law, and we as Christians understand that reflects an even more foundational and fundamental radical change in morality.”

– In his The Briefing broadcast for Monday 18 March 2024, Dr Albert Mohler looks at the sadly predictable pattern – this time, in France.

C of E’s helter-skelter plunge into heresy

“There are many good men and women in the Church of England who simply want to worship and serve God as best they can in the way their parents did. There are ministers whose preaching and teaching has enriched us and whose books Christians read with profit. Such Christians have been betrayed by their denomination. …”

– Presbyterian minister Dr Campbell Campbell-Jack writes at The Conservative Woman.

Church of England is ‘standing on the brink of a precipice’

“As the General Synod of the Church of England gathered once again in London on Friday, Rev Ian Paul, a member of the Archbishops’ Council challenged the agenda in forceful terms.

Suggesting that Synod had made ‘avoiding reality a bit of an art form,’ he claimed that the Church of England is ‘standing on the brink of a precipice’. A precipice which could leave the next generation with nothing but a ‘heap of ruins’ to fight over. …”

Susie Leafe writes at Christian Today.

See Ian Paul’s challenge last Friday (link should go to 01:31:28 in the video).

“The Church of England – a heap of ruins for the next generation.”

The Distorting Power of the Prosperity Gospel

“No one wants to suffer. In my culture, and in most African cultures, suffering is seen as a sign of bad luck; or proof that you did something wrong. Interestingly that was exactly the same thinking as Job’s friends. For example, Eliphaz says this about Job’s situation: “Remember: who that was innocent ever perished? Or where were the upright cut off?” (Job 4:7-8). His point? The innocent don’t suffer.

Everyone wants their best life now. And most would simply settle for a materially better life too.

This view of suffering explains the success of the prosperity gospel across Africa. …”

– At The Gospel Coalition Africa, Thomas Endjala at Namibia Evangelical Theological Seminary, outlines how the “prosperity gospel” ruins faith.

(Link via Tim Challies.)

Never Again

“Friends in Christ, last Monday evening, together with Bishop Michael Stead and a number of other church leaders, I attended a meeting hosted at the Great Synagogue, but convened by a group of Christians called ‘Never Again is Now’. They are concerned about antisemitism in Australia.

Antisemitism is the expression of hostility to or prejudice against Jewish people. It’s a form of racism, one that is particularly abhorrent, when we remember the impact of the Holocaust under Nazism in Germany before and during World War Two. …”

– In a recent Cathedral newsletter (and published on the Cathedral website), Dean of Sydney Sandy Grant explains why will he attend the Never Again rally 3-4pm on Sunday 18th February.

He also provides a link to the Never Again is Now website.

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