IN THE LAST DAYS THEY WILL CALL EVIL GOOD AND GOOD EVIL

Following SAME SEX MARRIAGE becoming lawful in Australia, a review is underway of religious freedoms.

The YES Campaign for Same Sex Marriage has advocated for the complete removal of religious freedoms from discrimination laws. Christian schools, churches and religious organisations would not be able to employ staff or enrol members or students that share their faith.

The Rationalist Society argues for the same, adding that the “overwhelming” yes vote in the postal survey confirms that such “prejudice” is no longer acceptable in modern Australia.

They are far from alone, and they are not the most extreme.

The National Secular Lobby goes the farthest, arguing that the indoctrination of children into religious faiths is a “tragic consequence” of religious freedom protections in international law. They claim, “It now represents ‘intellectual child abuse’ to allow children to be taught Biblical myths…”

The Northern Territory may be the first to fall, with the Attorney-General’s department currently undertaking a “modernisation” of their anti-discrimination laws which includes a complete review of all the religious freedoms they contain. Their discussion paper on the issue is ominous.

Christians are already getting in trouble with the law for living out the most basic tenets of their faith. These changes would make it worse.

Tasmania’s discrimination laws have seen Christian pastor Campbell Markham and Catholic Archbishop Julian Porteous hauled before the Equal Opportunity Commission for publishing Christian teachings. Markham may soon be at the Tasmanian Supreme Court.

Flimsy protections for religious freedom have seen a Western Australian couple scrambling for justice since having their foster parenting application declined based on their Christian convictions.

Anti-Discrimination laws are currently being weaponized against faith-based schools in Victoria to force them to adopt radical transgender policies that contradict their beliefs.

Teaching the gospel, maintaining a Christian home, providing a Christian education to disciple the next generation. All these endeavours, and many more besides, are genuinely under threat.

HOPE FOR AUSTRALIA – TREASURER ON RELIGIOUS LIBERTY

Treasurer’s Speech on Religious Liberty Scott Morrison MP

 Address to the House of Representatives – Marriage amendment,  4th December 2017

“I was amongst the 39 percent that voted for the traditional view of marriage to be maintained. As a nation we must now move forward in grace and love, as my Christian faith teaches us.
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I will respect the democratic outcome of this Australian Marriage survey, both nationally and in my own community, by not standing in the way of this Bill.
However, with the closure of one debate, a new one commences. This new debate is not about opposing same sex marriage, it is about sensibly protecting religious freedoms.
There are almost five million Australians that voted no in this survey who are now coming to terms with the fact that on this issue, they are a minority. That did not used to be the case in the Australia they have lived all or most of their lives in.

They have concerns that their broader views and their broader beliefs are also in the minority and therefore under threat. And they are seeking assurances at this time.
Assurances, rightly or wrongly, that the things that they hold dear are not under threat also because of this change.
On the night of the first referendum to establish our federation in June 1898, Alfred Deakin prayed ‘thy blessing has rested on us here yesterday and we pray that it may be the means of creating and fostering throughout Australia a Christlike citizenship’.
In an earlier speech campaigning in Bendigo for the Federation he quoted a local poet defining the true Australian goal of Federation as for ‘us to arise, united, penitent, and be one people – mighty, serving God’.

Our Constitution went on to proclaim …

WHEREAS the people of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, and Tasmania, humbly relying on the blessing of Almighty God, have agreed to unite in one indissoluble Federal Commonwealth … with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal.
Then in S116 our Constitution deliberately afforded a protection ‘that the Commonwealth shall not make any law .. for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion.’
This is the religious inheritance of our Federation, our Constitution, from more than a century ago. If we ever act in dissonance with these founding principles, it will be to our peril.
This is not to say that Australia is a nation with an established state religion. It is not. We are thankfully free of such a restriction on our liberty.
Such freedom though should not be used as a weapon against the importance of faith, belief and religion in our society, or as a justification to drive faith and religion from our public square. At the same time, protection of religious freedoms cannot be used as a cloak for religious extremism, that undermines our freedoms.
We may be a secular state, but we are not a Godless people to whom faith, belief and religion are not important. Quite the contrary. It is deeply central to the lives of millions of Australians. In my own church, like many others, we refer to Australia as the great south land of the Holy Spirit.
Whether you raise your hands, bow to your knees, face the holy city, light incense, a candle or the menorah, faith matters in this country, and we cannot allow its grace and peace to be diminished, muffled or driven from the public square.
Separation of church and state, does not mean the inoculation of the influence of faith on the state. The State shouldn’t run the church and the church shouldn’t run the State. In fact, separation of church and state was set up to protect the church from the State, not the other way around. To protect religious freedoms.
As I argued in my maiden speech in this place, secularism, secular humanism, is no more our established state religion than any other. It is one of the many free views held by Australians. It holds no special place of authority in our Commonwealth.
For millions of Australians, faith is the unshakeable cornerstone of their lives. It informs their identity and provides a genuine sense of well being. It is the reason why people can look beyond their own circumstances and see a greater purpose. For countless Australians, faith is life.
In my maiden speech to parliament almost ten years ago, I spoke of the two key influences on my life – my family and my faith.
And how my faith in Jesus Christ was inherently personal, not political or preachy. As Christians we do not lay claim to perfection or moral precedence. In fact it is the opposite. Conscious of the frailties and vanities of our own human condition, Christians should be more conscious of the same amongst those around us. This is why faith encourages social responsibility – the bedrock of faith in action…
The fragrance of faith has washed over society for centuries and helped to shape and mould it for the better.

Our own nation was founded, built and undeniably shaped by Christian values, morals and traditions that helped to unite a fledgling country. A nation blessed and formed on Christian conviction. These issues of faith are not only gifted to us by our Federation fathers, but the many generations of Australians who have come to us since, including those from non-Christian faiths and experience… But there was one thing that could never be stripped away, through a millennia of struggle. One thing that sustained these stoic (Maronite)  communities. It wasn’t the governments that came and went with the wind, it wasn’t the leaders that so promised peace. It was their faith.
A faith that routinely stared adversity in the face and prevailed. A faith that held families together. When everything else was a struggle, their faith stood strong. A faith that the hundreds of thousands of Lebanese Maronite Australians brought with them to Australia from as early as the 1860s. But so too did the many Greek Orthodox migrants, Coptic Christians from Egypt, still being persecuted in their home country today, Syrian Christians from both Orthodox and Catholic faiths and Armenians.
And for the many Chinese, Korean and Filipino Australians, of Catholic, Baptist, Anglican, Presbyterian and Pentecostal faiths. Some brought their faith with them, others found it here in Australia.
When most of these migrants came to Australia it was not the Government they first turned to, to assist them to adjust to their new life in Australia. It was their local church or other religious community. If you want to understand the strong opposition to changing our marriage act in western Sydney and elsewhere you must understand the central nature of faith and community to the lives of these and so many other Australians.
Nine out of the top ten electorates that voted No are represented by Labour members, and are comprised of the vibrant faith communities that I have just spoken of.
I would urge them all of these Labour members to be freed up, released from any constraint, that would enable them to stand with their constituents now in supporting amendments that deliver the protections of religious freedoms that are currently absent from this Bill.
To pretend this Bill is whole and satisfies their concerns is to confirm a lack of understanding and empathy for those who hold them.
These Australians are looking for acknowledgement and understanding from this Parliament and their representatives. They are seeking assurance that changes being made to our marriage laws will not undermine the stability, and freedom of their faith and religious expression – what they teach their children, what their children are taught, the values they share and foster within their families, community, within and without their Church walls.
This a reasonable request that this Parliament should support.
commend the PM for initiating the Ruddock Review in protecting religious freedoms. Few people understand these communities and the issues and risks as well as the former Attorney. But that process is not, nor was it designed to be a substitute for sensible action now in this Bill.

To fail to make improvements to this Bill now would demonstrate a failure to appreciate not only the underpinnings of our own liberal democracy and Federation, but the nature of modern multicultural Australia.

I commend my colleagues both in the Senate and this house for standing firm on their convictions and beliefs; both representing their faith and those in their communities that share their values. I will be joining many of my colleagues in supporting amendments to be moved by the Members for Deakin, Mitchell, Canning and Mallee.

I will be joining them in moving amendments to ensure that no organisation can have their public funding or charitable status threatened as a result of holding views that are consistent with the traditional definition of marriage between a man and a woman.

The test of faith is the fruit that it produces. That is what Jesus taught in his parable of the fig tree.

The fruit of faith based organisations has been extraordinary – Mission Australia, Wesley Mission, Caritas, Anglicare, Baptist Care, our religious schools – the many Christian organisations involved in providing pastoral support in our schools – their funding through grants and other programmes and support through our tax system must continue to be about what they achieve, not what they consider to be the definition of marriage.

We need to ensure these protections are put in place.

It is now time to pass a truly inclusive Bill that recognises the views of 100% of Australians, not just the 61%, and I urge the House to not miss this opportunity.

“LAST DAYS” EVENTS ESCALATING AS PROPHECIED

Celebration of passing the Same Sex Marriage bill in Parliament House Canberra yesterday. Labour’s Senate leader Penny Wong is the one standing in the picture on the left. She has a particular interest as she is in a lesbian relationship and she and her partner have two girls. On the right, Bill Shorten, Labour’s leader takes part in a March to support the YES VOTE.

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Sadly, most of these people live their lives as if God does not exist, certainly not the God of the Bible who tells us that   to fear God is the  beginning of wisdom. Proverbs 1:7  At this time, I am also reminded of what Jesus said,

“If you abide in my WORD, you are truly My disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32

God’s word also tells us, that “scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgement and destruction of the ungodly.

The world no longer believes that God judged the world just four thousand years ago. Only eight human survivors of a worldwide flood and yet the evidence of billions of things buried quickly all over the world is stark and ample evidence.

Probably the greatest proof of the authenticity of the Bible is fulfilled prophecy. Over 300 prophecies of Jesus first coming is enough, but do you know that there are many more prophecies concerning His second coming and these are beginning to unfold in our time. One of the most significant is the prophecy of Israel being reborn as a nation and that God would bring Jews back to Israel from all around the world. This is happening at an increasing rate as we approach the last seven years before Jesus return – The 70th Week of Daniel.

Many of the recent posts on this website clearly demonstrate we are in the “last days”. Another, very significant sign given by Jesus, is that in the “last days” there would be apostasy in the church. A great falling away, as the church no longer stands on God’s Word, heeding sound doctrine. Abortion, same sex marriage, gender fluidity and euthanasia are four abominations in God’s sight which will bring God’s judgement on nations that approve of these sins. Australia now joins those other nations that are going down this path of destruction. Judgement of Sodom and Gomorrah was a real historical event but the scoffers are blind.

BROAD COALITION OF EVANGELICALS RELEASE A TIMELY STATEMENT ON HUMAN SEXUALITY

A broad coalition of Christian leaders, including J. I. Packer and Francis Chan, have released a statement articulating God’s design for human identity as male and female. 

Dr. Richard Land (shown here), president of Southern Evangelical Seminary and Christian Post executive editor is one of the Nashville Statement’s initial signatories. He said, “The answer to the question ‘What and who is a human being?’ is the mega-ethical issue of our time. It impacts everything,” He noted that if the meaning of the human person cannot be defined in Scripture, the very Gospel is at stake.

“This statement is an attempt to equip the Church to address this issue from a biblical, Christian perspective,” Land said, “to provide a catechism for churches, for Bible study groups, for Sunday schools, families, college students, to equip themselves to understand what the Bible says about these issues and to do so in a positive way.”

“And if we truly love people, we are going to tell them the truth,” he emphasised, “and telling the truth to people is often hard. Telling the truth to segregationists about race was not easy. But they were trapped in racism. It stultified their souls and they were accountable to God for it and it was our responsibility as Christians to tell them the truth: God is no respecter of persons.”

When one engages sexuality issues, Land said, one must deal with the doctrine of creation, and specifically God’s creation of human beings. Although marred and twisted by the Fall, human beings are the only part of His created order that are imprinted with the divine image, he added, and that divine image cannot be separated from His plan for marriage and human sexuality.

Such a statement is needed, they say, in order to resist the spirit of the age and for the church to maintain its counter-cultural witness in a world that seems “bent on ruin.”

The document contains a preamble and 14 articles responding to the current realities in the Western world regarding the many messages swirling in society and even in some churches about sexuality, particularly homosexuality and transgenderism, which have come to the fore in both politics and church life in recent years.

“Evangelical Christians at the dawn of the twenty-first century find themselves living in a period of historic transition. As Western culture has become increasingly post-Christian, it has embarked upon a massive revision of what it means to be a human being. By and large the spirit of our age no longer discerns or delights in the beauty of God’s design for human life,” the statement’s preamble reads.

Important articles in the Nashville Statement say:

Article 4

WE AFFIRM that divinely ordained differences between male and female reflect God’s original creation design and are meant for human good and human flourishing.

Article 7

WE AFFIRM that self-conception as male or female should be defined by God’s holy purposes in creation and redemption as revealed in Scripture.

WE DENY that adopting a homosexual or transgender self-conception is consistent with God’s holy purposes in creation and redemption.

The authors of the Nashville Statement assert in Article 10 that matters pertaining to sexuality, including homosexual practice and transgenderism is an not an area where faithful Christians can “agree to disagree,” but that this is central to the Gospel message.

Katie McCoy, assistant professor of theology in women’s studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Forth Worth, Texas, commented to CP, “The gender issues facing women today hit at the core of our being. McCoy, who is also the editor of BiblicalWoman.com, is among the Nashville Statement’s initial signatories.

When asked what she wants the Nashville Statement to accomplish in the Kingdom of God and how it marks this present moment in church history, McCoy said she hopes it brings boldness to everyone to proclaim the timeless truths of Scripture.

“[Theological] orthodoxy will be increasingly unaccepted and unacceptable but with a statement like this comes the reminder that we are not as alone [as we think], that the truth is never quite on the fringes,” McCoy said.

“And God’s people will remain faithful to God’s Word no matter how unpopular it is, no matter how culturally unacceptable it is.”

The statement’s initial signatories include a multi-generational and racially diverse array of men and women leaders in the body of Christ from a variety of denominations. Over 100 prominent theologians, Bible scholars, church pastors and ministry leaders, seminary presidents, college professors, Christian public policy thinkers, and writers have all already signed on. Baptists, Anglicans, Pentecostals, Presbyterians, nondenominational evangelicals, and almost every other historic Orthodox Protestant tradition are represented among those signatures and additional signers continue to be added.

 

 

RAMIFICATIONS OF SAME SEX MARRIAGE

Listen to Martyn Iles do a great job of outlining the impact Same Sex Marriage (SSM) legislation will have on an individual’s freedom. How fortunate we are, to be able to see the outcome of SSM legislation particularly in the USA and Canada, before legislation is enacted here. Also, how blessed we are that God is raising up individuals of this calibre to represent Christians in Australia. We need to wholeheartedly support organisations such as ACL . You only have to read the vitriolic responses on the ACL website to realise ACL is doing a great job. Pray for them and support them financially if you are able.