It was a thrill to see over 4,500 people turn up for the ‘Babylon’ grand finale in Melbourne last Friday night!
Over 4,500 people were in attendance and over 40,000 people watched the Livestream of ‘Babylon’ in Melbourne. You can watch the highlights by clicking on the video below.
Martyn Isles heads up the organisation Australian Christian Lobby (ACL). God has raised up this young man for such a time as this and he is being obedient to God’s call. On the ACL website it states:
ACL is a grassroots movement motivated by faith, together making truth public.
In Australia as well as across the western world, truth in the public square is being attacked and suppressed. The greatest stronghold of truth – Classical Christianity – is being pathologised and blamed for significant harms.
“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” Proverbs 14:34
To this end, Christian institutions are being undermined. Churches are being pressured by new moral and legal norms. Individuals who speak or live consistent with truth are made prey.
To stand for truth in public as a relentless, unquieted, and effective voice is a leadership role that is desperately needed. It requires divinely inspired courage, wisdom, and endurance. Martyn has all three.
But the courage of one inspires the courage of others. And the truth, whenever it is spoken, will yield fruit. Silence is not an option.
Isaiah 59 records God’s displeasure at the paradigm in Israel which so closely mirrors the concerns articulated in Australia. In particular, the Lord marvelled that “there was no one to intercede.”
ACL seeks to ensure that such a statement cannot be made of modern Australia. To intercede for the cause of truth, righteousness, and justice in the public squares is our burden and our core business. This includes interceding for the cause of those who are made prey.
Through being a politically effective voice, ACL helps to see Christian principles and ethics accepted and influencing the way we are governed, do business and relate to each other as a society.
Over 220,000 individuals share ACL’s vision to be a voice for God’s truth in the public squares. Together, we are seeking to bring a Christian influence to politics. We want to see Christian principles and ethics accepted and influencing the way we are governed, do business and relate as a society. We want Australia to become a more just and compassionate nation.
In times of great political change, major cultural transformation, and social upheaval like you and I see today, we have to remember that God is in control.
This is of extraordinary comfort to the Christian. God knows His people and He cares for them.
That is the story of Scripture and of history. And that is your story. He will not leave or forsake you – that is one thing you can be certain about.
There is not one square inch of all creation over which God is not sovereign. He governs all things; He ordains all things. He sits above and behind all things and gives all things their meaning – including the government.
Daniel 2:21 tells us: “He changes times and seasons, deposes kings, and sets up kings.”
Romans 13:1: Paul said: “there is no authority except God, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God.”
God can’t be shut out of government.
Some want to say, “No, this is a secular society and God cannot come in.” But it’s not possible. It matters not whether the people in government have faith or not. God was, and is, already there.
And you and I are in a rare situation today – it’s called a democracy.
That means as Christians in this nation, you and I can be a voice of righteousness when leaders are weak, failing, or evil. It means you and I have an opportunity to speak up. We can tell the truth. We can mobilise.
Some may say, “Does political action really matter? Shouldn’t we just preach the Gospel?” My response would be: “Why can’t we do both?”
You and I need to be whole Christians. We need to be Christians who live and speak the Gospel in the workplace, in the community, and in the public squares. That’s when people will ask, “What’s different about you?” and they’ll come on the journey towards Christ.
That is desperately needed right now. YOU are needed right now – to be salt and light in a society that is gripped by uncertainty.
In difficult times the work of God becomes more urgent, not less. People need to hear the truth with more urgency and clarity because the stakes are higher.
You and I are called to speak of Christ, represent Christ, and do good. To be salt to stop the decay, and light to drive out the darkness.
Democracy is a precious gift we can use to be the voice that our leaders sometimes are not.
And that leads me to the upcoming elections. If you want to know how you should vote, I will tell you … Vote for righteousness.
Don’t vote for the widest motorway or the biggest welfare cheque. Vote at a macro level for right and wrong.
Obviously, it’s never a perfect choice. But vote for the one who you truly believe will promote that which is good, and restrain that which is evil, more than the other. That’s what the government is meant to do!
ACL is here to inform you, equip you, and mobilise you to be a voice of truth and righteousness at a time when there are many conflicting messages, and when our government is making critical decisions for our nation.
One of those warriors in Australia is Martyn Isles of the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL). This recent email from him reports on his recent tour around Australia entitled The Truth of It.
Looking back, I’m so thankful for how God directed The Truth of It LIVE tour so friends like you could attend – narrowly missing lockdowns, border closures, and other problems. More than that, I’m thankful for how many people said it was timely for them personally.
There’s a hunger for truth right now that is very significant.
It has been many years since large venues were filled night after night with people who wanted to hear biblical truth.
But that’s what happened in Queensland, Western Australia, Tasmania, and South Australia this year, with more than 18,000 people attending meetings to lift up the name of Jesus!
The church is being stirred to action through events like The Truth of It LIVE that you’ve helped provide.
You’re helping to inspire Christians to be bolder in their public witness for Christ, to study their Bibles, pray for our nation, think deeply about the issues of our day, and speak up about the lies harming our nation.
And not just small numbers of Christians – thousands of them are finding their voices and bringing their influence to the public squares in Australia.
What is also worth noting is that you’re helping people become Christians through our efforts together to make the truth public.
People write to me saying they’re emboldened to talk about God’s truth and, as they do, they’re leading people to Christ. Here’s an internal note that one of our staff members shared with our team…
“I was just on the phone with one of our supporters. She is a busy mum of five and lives in Victoria.
“Being a mum, she hasn’t had much chance to tune in to what is happening in the political sphere. She wanted to extend her gratitude because she said without ACL, she probably wouldn’t know what is happening.
“Shesaid the content that comes from ACL affects her and her family greatly, causing them not only to be aware of what is happening in Australia, but it also stirs them up to be part of cultural change.
“She saw Martyn’s talk on Q&A and it affected her greatly. After watching this episode, one of her friends who is gay reached out to her in hope that she could shed some light and peace.
“He was in a place of confusion, brokenness, and said he was more lonely than ever before. He had given up on God, but after seeking some guidance from her, he started to question his whole life.
“She said it was because of watching Martyn on Q&A and The Truth of It videos that she knew how to approach the situation when he came to her. He has given his life back to God and come to a place of repentance!”
Amazing! I’ve had numerous people approach me at The Truth of It LIVE saying they watched my videos to hear the imagined ‘lies and hatred’ I was spreading – and then one thing led to another, and they became Christians.
Not only that, but a ministry that has a call-in line for people who have questions about God also told me that many callers say their first exposure to the Gospel was through The Truth of It videos.
Who would have thought that people would be started on their journey towards Christ through the hard truths discussed in those videos?
Testimonies like these reveal the true power of the Word of God.
Even when people are hostile to Christianity and they hear confronting, uncomfortable, unpopular truth – the Lord can use it to transform their lives.
That’s why you and I should never be ashamed to talk publicly about what the Bible says.
The fruit from The Truth of It LIVE tour this year has been remarkable, and now there are more communities that are hungry for truth – people we can reach together.
Your support of this recent tour has also sent a powerful message to MPs, Senators, and Premiers, as they’ve now seen venues like Brisbane City Hall, Perth’s RAC Arena, Hobart’s Federation Concert Hall, and the Adelaide Convention Centre filled with Christians who want to engage in the public squares.
So today I’m asking for your help to take The Truth of It LIVE to more towns and cities next year.
Get behind and support the warriors like Martyn Isles that God is raising up in your nation, your town, your suburb. Use Martyn’s videos The Truth of it Live on YouTube to inspire and encourage others. If you would like to donate go to http://www.acl.org.au
Another powerful message, The Truth of It from Martyn Isles that will minister to each of us, but it is also a message that will impact and convict many unbelievers. As you watch it, prayerfully make a list of those with whom you will share it.
God is using this young man powerfully to impact many for Him. Thousands of people attended the RAC arena in Perth W.A. last Saturday and over 6,000 viewers watched the meeting live streamed. Make sure you watch it too.
One of the most fascinating aspects of this Q & A programme was the tweets that the ABC flashed up on the screen. In that unique definition of impartiality that the ABC has, all of them were hostile or mocking to Martyn and Christianity.
The tweets themselves betray an ignorance of Christianity which is quite shocking. I will list them first so that you gauge the extent and nature of the ignorance.
“ACL needs to follow more of Jesus’ style”
“Who decides which souls need to be saved, Martyn?”
“I don’t want my soul to be saved Martyn. Please keep your beliefs to yourself and stop forcing them on to all of us?”
“We need a law giving us freedom from religion in this country. “
“Actually the Bible says we should ‘love one another as I have loved you’ so let’s not judge”.
“God loves everyone, made in his image. Straight, gay, bi, trans”
I believe this Q & A clearly shows we are in the days Jesus spoke of as representing the godless society that will precede His return first to take believers to heaven prior to His pouring our His wrath on an unbelieving, unrepentant world.
Although we are all made in the image of God, that image is tainted, distorted, perverted and fallen. We all need to be restored, renewed, reborn and there is only one way that can happen: repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. We must die to the old self and be been born again of the Holy Spirit as water baptism so clearly expresses. Only then will we realise that following the Maker’s instructions on all aspects of life not only sex and sexuality is essential for our own good and for the well-being of society. Also, that it is love that compels us to speak as we do.
The Sydney Morning Herald thought this week’s Q and A was a significant cultural moment. They compared it with another one in 2008 where the shibboleth question for our culture , that of homosexuality, came up. It was indeed a revealing programme – telling us a great deal about where Australian culture, politics and religion are at – and where we are heading.
Hamish MacDonald, the host, was joined by Trent Zimmerman, Liberal Member (Homosexual) for North Sydney; Anika Wells, Labor Member for Lilley;; Antoinette Lattouf, Journalist, diversity advocate, and author; and Teela Reid, Wiradjuri/Wailwan, Lawyer; and Martyn Iles, Managing Director, Australian Christian Lobby.
It was the appearance of Martyn Iles that was too much for some people – even before he had been on the show. Those who believe in love and are opposed to hate speech were quick to share the love…
“Just saw the line up for #QandA and omg the creep from the Australian Christian Lobby is on? “
“Honestly, giving people like Martyn Iles a public platform is very unhealthy for society. The ACL is a hate group. I dearly wish we had laws against this”
“I’d rather hear from a Satanist or someone other than that man…”
The Church that believes in love, unity and diversity was also quick to show us just how loving, united and diverse they are:
“Just want to pre-emptively comment on tonight’s #qanda. This man is likely to slander and bear false witness against LGBTIQ+ people and communities. He does not represent the Church, nor the majority view of Christians in Australia.” Leichhardt Uniting Church.
And it’s not just liberals – mention Iles name in some evangelical circles and eyebrows are raised, knowing looks exchanged and a general impression is given that we don’t really want to be associated with that sort of thing.
What did we learn from the show? We learned a great deal about contemporary Australian society… Here are some of the lessons….
1. For some, ‘lived experience’ trumps everything.
Facts, truth, democracy, morality, religion – everything is subordinate to what is called ‘lived experience’. Martyn was asked “have you lived experiences, heard, shared and acted upon?” The implicit statement being that unless you have walked in their shoes then you cannot represent, speak about or disagree with. “I don’t think Martyn can walk in a gay man’s shoes”. All of this sounds so true. But in ABC culture that only applies to some groups. Nobody on the panel (which was largely hostile to Martyn) seemed to grasp that they did not have Martyn’s lived experience as a Christian – but that did not stop them commenting on it and condemning it.
One panellist spoke of Lil Naz X as being a hero because of his Satan’s shoes video. She declared that this shows that you cannot speak unless you feel the hate, it doesn’t matter what the intention of the speaker is. She has a point? I felt that her speech, and much of the rest was full of hate for people like Martyn and me – i.e., biblical Christians. By her own standard she was guilty of hate speech. Or does this not work both ways?
When Martyn mentioned the story of the Canadian man who went to jail because he misgendered his teenage daughter, he was told – “I think that’s a very specific example and we don’t know all the details…I’m not interested in speaking this specific example”. So, some stories are not worth telling and don’t count as evidence?
Within a few minutes of that we were listening to someone who identified as “an aboriginal queer non- binary person” who went on to tell the story of a relative who died in prison. That very specific example was of course not going to be questioned.
Just before the programme I saw an advert for another ABC show – You can’t say that – where we were told that everyone has a story and deserves to be heard! But is that true? Would the ABC allow my story to be told? Or that of a transgender detransitioner? Or someone who is ex-gay? Sadly, in our society today, your story only matters if it fits in with the pre-determined narrative?
1. Identity Politics is polarising and dividing Australia.
Martyn was told that ‘you don’t have skin in the game when it comes to women’s issues”. That assumes a narrow fundamentalist individualistic view of what a human being is. All of us were ‘born of a woman’ and most of us had a mum as did Martyn. Martyn is young and not married but he has colleagues and friends who are women. I would suggest as a Christian he has a lot of skin in the game. He cares about issues such as the sexual exploitation of women and the trans attack on the very notion of what a woman is.
2. Most Australians don’t have a clue about Christianity and are hostile to what they do not know.
This was exemplified by the tweets that ABC put up on the screen. In itself it was revealing that the only tweets that I saw them put up were hostile. I’m sure they received some supportive ones for Martyn but that did not fit their narrative. He was there to be mocked and abused.
3. Shallow superficial soundbites have largely replaced substantive discussion as the primary discourse in Australian politics and media.
There were so many examples of this in the show. The lack of depth and thought was quite frightening. Take this one example. Anika Wells stated: “In the Bible there are 3,000 references to poverty and very few to homosexuality, so why can’t the ACL spend their money on that? “ This was retweeted as Gospel truth – but it’s just factually wrong. Clearly they had not bothered to read Mark Powell’s response to this oft made fake claim a couple of years ago – https://www.spectator.com.au/2017/11/abc-anything-but-biblical-christianity/
The point is that it sounds right, and they want it to be right, so the claim is made and left completely unchallenged.
Or take Trent Zimmermann’s claim that “any person should be able to decide what future they want from their own life and their body is part of that”. So if someone feels they are too fat they should be allowed to starve themselves? Or if people decide they want to change sexuality they should be allowed to seek conversion therapy? After all its their body!
Trent Zimmermann then went on: “we have to be careful about questioning whether transgenderism is a legitimate course for an individual to take…’ after pointing out that transgender people are much more likely to attempt suicide. Again, the host and other panellists, seemed to miss the rather obvious point that if being transgender does lead to such a high risk of suicide, perhaps we should question it a lot more?
But transgender is a very protected category on the ABC – the host gave out the Lifeline number after the discussion on trans….“if this conversation raises any issues…” which of course led to the inevitable tweet “If you have a guest on #qanda that makes you need to announce the LifeLine phone number that should tell you what sort of guest you have”.
4. The Cultural Elites don’t do diversity or equality.
At times this whole show felt like a put-up job. I think four of the questions were hostile to Martyn. The host questioned whether Martyn was just raising the Israel Folau issue (Israel was sacked from playing rugby after a Biblical post on Facebook that stated homosexuals were destined for Hell) as an attempt to increase the ACL’s membership, he also challenged Martyn’s figures on transgender. These are legitimate questions – the problem is that he made no similar challenges on the rest of the panel. He stated that Rugby Australia officials were not there to defend themselves – but permitted a series of attacks on Folau, who also wasn’t there to defend himself. He told Martyn ‘you’ve had plenty time, make it quick’ which again would have been fair enough if it were not for the fact that it was four (five?) against one and most of the questions were directed against him.
The audience seemed far more diverse than the panel (something noted by the Twitterati – some of whom objected that such people were even there). One young man made the telling statement “if you express your faith, then you will be met with severe career ending consequences”. This show was ample evidence of that.
Adapted from a report in The Australian Presbyterian by David Robertson
Martin Isles of the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) is worth following if you want to keep up to date with what the Australian Governments (State and Federal) are doing to restrict religious freedoms.
Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Bill 2020
You will be very concerned as Martin is that the bill before the Victorian parliament will see Christians in gaol, e,g. if pastors read sections of the Bible on LGBT issues such as marriage and homosexuality and counsel people according to God’s values expressed in His Word.