The train is leaving the station

In his The Briefing for Wednesday September 20, 2023, Dr Albert Mohler examines the trajectory of a well-known US pastor and his church –

When a Conference is More Than a Conference: The Trajectory of Andy Stanley and the “Unconditional” Conference

and in his remarks, he gives some background to, and reads from, his current article in World MagazineThe train is leaving the station:

Andy Stanley, one of the most influential pastors in the United States, has been moving in this direction for years, often by suggestion and assertion but clouded by confusion and the deliberate avoidance of clarity. Back in 2018, he called for the church to be “unhitched” from the Old Testament, arguing that the Old Testament should not be understood as the “go-to source regarding any behavior in the church.” There goes “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination” (Leviticus 18:22). But, in truth, there goes the entire Old Testament. …

Senate committee rejects call for inquiry into hospital takeover

“A Senate bill to force the ACT Legislative Assembly to conduct an inquiry into the takeover of the former Calvary Public Hospital Bruce should not pass, a committee has concluded. Source: Canberra Times.

The Labor-led legal and constitutional affairs legislation committee has said the bill “would undermine the independence” of the territory’s legislature.

But opposition members have dissented from the committee’s recommendations and have recommended the bill should pass. …

The opposition members accused the committee of not adequately engaging with concerns raised in 65 submissions and 7000 letters received by the committee in regard to the bill.”

– Report from CathNews with links to other news stories.

Photo: Calvary Hospital, Bruce, in Canberra’s north via Calvary Hospital website.

A Review of Rosaria Butterfield’s Five Lies of Our Anti-Christian Age

“Here is one way to summarize Butterfield’s thesis: Don’t believe our culture’s lies about God’s design for men and women.

She presents five lies and explains, ‘What all these lies have in common is they don’t think that God had a plan and purpose when he created men and women’ (p. 290). At the root of the lies is what she calls ‘our nation’s reigning idol, a formidable monolith represented by the letters LGBTQ and the symbol +’…”

– At American Reformer, Andy Naselli reviews Rosaria Butterfield’s latest book. It will be available in Australia later this year. (Reformers bookshop, for example, has it on pre-order.)

Does NSW really need to ban gay conversion therapy?

“The Australian state of New South Wales is about to launch into a debate over ‘conversion therapy’. …

Loose talk about ‘conversion practices’ conjures up electric shocks, nausea-inducing drugs, exorcisms, ice baths, aversion therapy and so on. There is no evidence of such practices having occurred in Australia for decades. A bill banning them is like a bill banning cruelty to unicorns. …”

– Michael Cook, Editor of Mercator, writes this opinion piece. (Link thanks to Anglican Mainstream.)

Importantly, see also:

Contact your MPan initiative of Freedom for Faith:

“NSW government just released proposals to ban so-called conversion practices …

Leading up to the election, the Labor Party promised that they only intend to ban damaging practices, without banning prayer, preaching, and spiritual guidance rooted in deeply-held beliefs about gender and sexuality.

“We’re not just going to transpose the Victorian legislation and implement it into New South Wales…. Taking offence at the teachings of a religious leader will not be banned. Expressing a religious belief through sermon will not be banned. And an individual, at their own consent, seeking guidance through prayer will not be banned either.”

– Chris Minns (NSW Premier)

But the proposal, which was developed by the Department of Communities and Justice, is effectively borrowed from Victoria which bans –
• Prayer
• Preaching
ª Counselling
… and any activity that is vaguely deemed as changing or suppressing someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

Parents, pastors, teachers, counsellors, chaplains, youth leaders could face criminal charges under the proposed law.

The government plans to introduce the legislation by this November. If we do not take action now, we risk allowing our fundamental rights to slip through our fingers.

Imagine a world where parents are afraid to have open conversations with their children, where pastors and teachers fear criminal charges for expressing their deeply-held beliefs, and where our religious communities are silenced by vague and overreaching laws.

The time to speak up is NOW.”

Freedom to preach, pray & counsel under attack in NSW

The Australian Christian Lobby’s Wendy Francis warns of the NSW government’s reported intention to introduce ‘conversion therapy laws’.

Watch here.

See also:

Report from The Sydney Morning Herald, 11 August 2023.

In another move, this one by the federal government:

Why bureaucrats can’t be left to censor free speech under Labor’s ACMA bill proposal – David Coleman, Opposition communications spokesman. The Australian. (Subscription.)

New ACMA powers to combat misinformation and disinformation – Australian government. Submissions on the proposal close on 20 August 2023.

‘Intolerable corruption’: Anglicans warn euthanasia may force exit from aged care

“The Anglican Church has advised its aged care homes to discourage residents from using voluntary assisted dying when NSW’s laws take effect this year, and has warned the practice could become so morally corrupting for church-run facilities that it may have to exit the industry. …

‘The Board of Anglicare Sydney decided … VAD will not be available at its residential aged care homes, and the organisation and staff will not actively participate in the provision of any VAD services,’ said the report to the Synod, an Anglican parliament…”

– Story by Jordan Baker in WA Today.

Image from a video by St. Helen’s Bishopsgate.

Victoria’s Anti-Conversion Legislation promotional is a soothing Bed-Time Story

“The Victorian Government has just published its media information pack on conversion therapy. And I’ve gotta say, the YouTube video its has produced takes the biscuit. And it’s taken a leaf out of casting central, by employing Mr Bed Time Story Guy to provide the voice over. As I was watching it I wanted to curl up in my jimmy–jams with a hot cocoa.…”

Stephen McAlpine gives his take on the Victorian Government’s PR campaign.

Image: YouTube.

Calvary Hospital update — Federal Senate Enquiry

Here’s a short video update on the Calvary Hospital acquisition from Tony Percy and the Catholic Voice Archdiocese Canberra & Goulburn.

“Our aim, as you know, is to make sure that this is the first – and the last – hostile compulsory acquisition done by an Australian government on a private institution. In this case it was a Medical Institution – Calvary Public Hospital – we want to make sure it doesn’t happen with our educational institutions whether they’re religious or otherwise…”

NSW Gay conversion law would ban suppression of gender identity

“The NSW government’s plans to ban gay conversion therapy will be expanded to include making it illegal to change or suppress a person identifying as trans or gender diverse.

Attorney-General Michael Daley has confirmed the government is pushing ahead with its own new laws, rather than backing independent MP Alex Greenwich’s bill later this month. …”

– Report from The Sydney Morning Herald.

The book for concerned and confused parents

“The 1960s had the sexual revolution and the 2020s has brought us the gender revolution. So this is a fitting title for a book with the clear purpose to ‘provide the biblical basis for a contemporary Christian response to the complicated feelings and experiences of gender dysphoria’. …”

– Russell Powell writes about The Gender Revolution at

The Gender Revolution — book review

“There are times when I receive a new book and find myself saying ‘I don’t think we need a new book on that.’ After all, some topics have been covered so skillfully, repeatedly, and exhaustively that yet another book on the subject could only be overkill.

Yet sometimes I receive a new book and find myself saying, ‘I’m so glad someone has written a book on that!’ There are some topics that may not have been covered sufficiently or that may reflect such new realities that we are still awaiting good analyses.

The Gender Revolution falls squarely in the second category. …”

Tim Challies draws attention to an important book from an Australian publisher. Most of our readers should be able to find a copy.


The authors speak with Dominic Steele on The Pastor’s Heart.


Euthanasia in Canada. MAiD in hell?

“More people are being euthanised in Canada than anywhere else in the world. In the last official report, for 2022, 10,064 people died through what Canadians call ‘medical assistance in dying’ (MAiD). …”

– Michael Cook writes at Mercator. Link via Anglican Mainstream.

Heresy! Why Christians must confront false teaching

“Jesus warned his disciples that false doctrine and false teachers would arise within the Church. He spoke of thieves, robbers, strangers, hired hands and wolves (see John 10) and of himself as a good shepherd, protecting the flock. So it ought to come as no surprise when the Church becomes something of a battleground, and all kinds of heresies spring up. This has happened throughout history. …”

– Church Society’s Lee Gatiss writes for Premier Christianity.

Two very differs approaches to ‘Babylon’

Here are two unrelated stories – but both about Christians responding to ‘Babylon” –each response will generate a range of reactions.

John MacArthur’s “The Essential Church” film documents Grace Church’s stand against satanic tyranny – Not the Bee.

Anglican leader welcomes Pope’s vigil for Christian unity – The Catholic Leader.

I am now a Culture Warrior

“‘I was wrong’.  This is not a phrase I use a lot!  At least when it comes to major subjects.   Over the years I have been aware of significant changes in thinking that have had an enormous practical impact for me – baptism, Calvinism, the European Union, socialism, worship and environmentalism being the main ones I can think of.  Recently I have been forced to change my view on the question of culture wars.

I often used to say that I did not want to get involved in culture wars and that it would be a mistake for the Church to do so.  Recently I have been compelled to rethink.  The trouble is that the term ‘culture wars’ is itself a product of the culture wars.  Here in Australia, we look askance at some of the culture wars that are going on in the US, and most of us want nothing to do with them.  It is a negative term associated with white nationalism, Donald Trump and Tucker Carlson,  and suggests that Christians are some kind of political force whose mission in life is to combat the Left.  No thanks.  We want to influence the culture, to win the culture,  not to fight it.  Besides which if we engage in culture wars then won’t we alienate people from the Church and the message of the Gospel?  Doesn’t the Scripture itself tells us that our weapons are not the weapons of this world? …”

David Robertson writes compellingly at AP, the national journal of the Presbyterian Church.


Tucker Carlson reads the Bible. (Not the Bee)

The trans culture wars vs lovingly pastoring gender incongruent church members – with Rob Smith

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