Voluntary assisted dying bill passes lower house of NSW Parliament

Posted on November 26, 2021 
Filed under Culture wars

“The voluntary assisted dying bill successfully passed the lower house of parliament, with 52 MPs in favour and 32 against.

Both Premier Dominic Perrottet and Opposition Leader Chris Minns were in the chamber to vote against it. …”

– Report from ABC News.

Australian “conversion therapy” laws and religious freedom

Posted on November 26, 2021 
Filed under Culture wars, Resources

From Neil Foster at Law and Religion Australia:

I recently presented a paper to a legal seminar which summarised the effect of three Australian laws on “conversion therapy” and their impact on religious freedom. The paper can be downloaded here: “Religious Freedom, Australian ‘Conversion Practices’ Laws & the Enforceability of Court Orders“.

Image: Diocese of Sydney.

Why I celebrate Christmas — Jinming Pap

Posted on November 26, 2021 
Filed under Good News

“Christmas was never a thing in my childhood. Growing up in a small town in Jilin Province, Northwest China, Christmas was not part of our yearly celebration. I was only introduced to Christmas through vague references in Western movies. From these movies, I learnt that Christmas was all about Santa, gifts and Christmas melodies. …”

– At The Australian Church Record, Jinming Pap, who serves at Moore College, shares the good news she discovered about the real meaning of Christmas.

Religious freedom bill in the House

Posted on November 25, 2021 
Filed under Australia

“The Commonwealth has a Sex Discrimination Act, a Racial Discrimination Act, a Disability Discrimination Act and an age Discrimination Act. However, there is no standalone legislation to protect people of religion, of faith, against discrimination. Or indeed for those who choose not to have a faith or religion. The introduction of this Bill, the Religious Discrimination bill of 2021, will fix this.”

With these words, the Prime Minister introduced the long-awaited bill into the House of Representatives.

A coalition of faith leaders, including Archbishop Kanishka Raffel and Bishop Michael Stead had previously called for the bill to receive bi-partisan support. …

– At SydneyAnglicans.net, Russell Powell has the latest on the Religious Discrimination Bill.

The Religious Discrimination Bill arrives

Posted on November 24, 2021 
Filed under Australia, Opinion

“After a long wait, the Federal government has released the text of the Religious Discrimination Bill 2021 which is about to be introduced into the Parliament. There has been no general Federal law dealing with detrimental treatment of Australians on the basis of their religious faith and activities, and this is a welcome development, implementing a recommendation of the Ruddock Review which reported in 2018.

The government previously released two “Exposure Drafts” of the Bill (see some comments on those in previous posts, here, and here.) Having promised prior to the last election that he would advance this law, Prime Minister Morrison will now introduce it into the House of Representatives. If passed by the House, the Bill will then need to approved by the Senate, where it seems likely to be referred to (yet another) committee before being voted on there, probably sometime in the New Year. …”

– At Law and Religion Australia, Neil Foster gives an overview of the Religious Discrimination Bill, and also indicates where it differs from previous drafts.

Jesus is off to the beach

Posted on November 24, 2021 
Filed under Apologetics & Evangelism, Resources

“This week, Senior Pastor of Seaforth Anglican, Rich Wenden, explores his findings on how we, as God’s people, can better bring the good news of Jesus to these places.”

– from The Pastor’s Heart.

Melvin Tinker

Posted on November 23, 2021 
Filed under GAFCON, People

Unwelcome news from Anglican Mainstream in the UK –

We are sorry to report the death of Melvin Tinker early this morning, from a particularly virulent form of cancer.

Melvin was Vicar of St John’s Newland, Hull, for many years, and known more widely as a speaker and author.

In recent years he developed a unique prophetic analysis of Western secularism, saw its influence on the church, and expressed the urgent need for renewed faithfulness and commitment to biblical truth. This led to him leading his congregation out of the Church of England, into a new Anglican jurisdiction under Gafcon.

I also knew him as a warm hearted friend with a great sense of humour. He will be sadly missed, especially by his wife Heather and his children and grandchildren.

Further tributes will follow shortly.”

Melvin contributed the Lift Up Your Hearts devotions for GAFCON in April 2021.

His book That Hideous Strength: A Deeper Look at How the West was Lost has been a great help to many.

Update: Julian Mann at Christian Today has more.

Synod steps into the “greenfields”

Posted on November 23, 2021 
Filed under Sydney Diocese

“When Bishop Peter Lin spoke to the Archbishop’s Election Synod this year, he shocked the audience with a series of big numbers. …

The future shock of the speech stirred a move to bring the Synod to the so-called ‘greenfields’ areas of southwestern Sydney. So, for the first time since 1866, the church parliament of the Diocese will not begin its meeting in the city centre.…”

– At SydneyAnglicans.net, Russell Powell highlights the massive changes planned for Sydney – and what the Anglican Church is doing.

The Green Captivity of the Church

Posted on November 22, 2021 
Filed under Culture wars, Opinion

“Even as I pressed the send button I knew it was a risky moment. And so it proved to be.

As soon as the article was published on a Christian website, there were cries of ‘heretic’, ‘he should lose his job’, ‘how unloving and unChristlike’, ‘cancel him’!?

What was the crime? What heresy was I expounding?

I had dared to suggest that perhaps the Climate Change debate was not over, and there were lots of questions that still had to be answered, and that we should approach the subject with a great deal more humility. …”

– At The Wee Flea David Robertson has republished a piece he wrote for AP (Australian Presbyterian magazine).

See also this article to which he links:

The Church must preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, not climate change – William Philip, The Tron Church, Glasgow.

The glory of the incarnation

Posted on November 21, 2021 
Filed under Theology

“As we approach this Christmas season, with the backdrop of a pandemic that has ravaged many people and communities, we ought to stop and ponder afresh the glory of the incarnation.

With people in churches, and those we meet who are caught up with the ‘spirit of the Christmas season’, we often neglect to see just how special it is that at exactly the right moment in history, God actually ‘tabernacles’ (cf. Exod 32-40) among us.

It’s why I think John’s prologue (John 1:1-18) is such a wonderful prompt to really take stock of the true meaning of Christmas. …”

– Ben George writes at The Australian Church Record.

Sunday morning encouragement

Posted on November 21, 2021 
Filed under Encouragement, Resources

A new song for Christmas – How Still the Starry Night – from Emu Music.

Ordained for far and wide

Posted on November 20, 2021 
Filed under People, Sydney Diocese

“It’s a very great joy to be settting aside these men and women for this ministry,” said Archbishop Kanishka Raffel as he took his first ordination service as Archbishop. “I am reminded of my own deaconing service in St Andrew’s cathedral and I’m so grateful to God for his faithfulness.”

The Archbishop spoke as ordinands prepared to embark to ministries as wide afield as suburban Sydney to Darwin, Norfolk Island and the Seychelles.  …

– Encouraging story from Russell Powell about the latest ordinations at St. Andrew’s Cathedral.

Biden Administration seeks to strip right from Christian Colleges to operate according to Historic, Christian Beliefs on Gender

Posted on November 19, 2021 
Filed under Culture wars

In his The Briefing for 18 November 2021, Albert Mohler warns about “a moral revolution of unprecedented nature”.

Listen here. He covers the topic in the first 9 minutes and 40 seconds.

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