Helping Christians to make a difference
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Helping Christian families to make a difference
Labor leader Bill Shorten used his speech at the Australian Christian Lobby’s conference last weekend to lecture Christians on what their views should be on homosexual ‘marriage’.He told the audience that he supports full ‘marriage equality’ for homosexuals.
Link to the speech is BELOW.
Of course, the fact that Bill Shorten supports homosexual ‘marriage’ wasn’t a surprise, though some media reports trumpeted the news as though this was a new revelation from Bill Shorten (eg SMH).
Bill Shorten voted FOR same-sex ‘marriage’ when the issue was debated in the House of Representatives in 2012.
[Click here for ABC’s report of the vote.]
Bill Shorten has long supported homosexual rights – when he was running for the Labor leadership, he even suggested that there should be a QUOTA system in order to get more homosexual politicians! (source)
It was more about him going to a group that had opposing views and telling them exactly what he thought!
Homosexual rights groups have been campaigning for months to get Bill Shorten to use his speech to berate the ACL conference attendees, and leadership, about their opposition to homosexual ‘marriage’.
Back in July, when it was revealed Bill Shorten was to be the ‘Keynote Speaker’, Australian Marriage Equality launched a campaign to ‘persuade’ Bill Shorten to make this a central theme of his speech! In the week leading up to the conference, the homosexual media reported that Bill Shorten would use his speech to express support for ‘marriage equality’! Of course, after the speech AME was VERY happy to issue a media release about his ‘powerful statement of support’!
In the week before the conference, homosexual activists campaigned against the Hyatt Hotel for having the ACL conference at their hotel – they showed no ‘tolerance’ for other views being expressed. Although the Hyatt continued to host the event, the Hyatt expressed support for homosexual rights, even forming a ‘Working Relationship’ with homosexual group Australian Marriage Equality and hosting a ‘Gaycrash party’ (source)!
Of course, the homosexuals want FULL acceptance – even though ACL had supported the changing of Commonwealth laws to give rights to homosexual couples, and have supported ‘Relationship Registers’ for homosexuals, that wasn’t enough – homosexuals want support for marriage and adoption as well.
In choosing speakers to address our supporters, we’ve always chosen speakers for our Dinner who are ‘on side’ and will encourage Christians to stand firm! Having Bill Shorten as the ‘Keynote Speaker’, when his support for homosexual ‘marriage’ is well-known, was always going to be problematic.
Perhaps the most startling aspect of the speech was the fact that Bill Shorten emphasised his ‘Christian faith’ – as well as his support for ‘marriage equality, saying, “I believe in God and I believe in marriage equality” and "I'm a Christian and a supporter of marriage equality under the law."
If you haven’t heard him speak about his Christian faith before, you’re not alone – we hadn’t heard him speak about it either!
He said, “I think I’m like many Australians, I don’t usually talk publically about my faith – and I shall not make a habit of it.”
Bill Shorten mentioned he had spoken to his priest, who suggested he “begin with something from the scriptures.”
So what Bible reading did he choose?
One that we at Salt Shakers are very familiar with!
Matthew 5 – the Beatitudes. But he stopped BEFORE he got to the verse about being blessed when you are persecuted (v 10)!
And of course, he didn’t get to the section on being salt and light (v 13-16).
And did you know that the Sermon on the Mount is all about love and tolerance?
Bill Shorten said, “In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus shares the universal love, tolerance and service that underpins his Gospel which is the core of the Christian message….”
He continued, “Judge not, Jesus tells us: For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
It’s not surprising that he cited this one – it’s another verse that is often taken out of context.
Then for good measure, Shorten added, “And above all, he tells us to love our neighbour as we love ourselves.”
Mr Shorten went on to talk about tolerance:
“Sometimes people describe modern, multicultural, multi-faith Australia as ‘tolerant’. But the society we have built beneath the Southern Cross goes beyond that. We do not just ‘tolerate’ difference, we celebrate it.”
He said, “And no faith, no religion, no set of beliefs should ever be used as an instrument of division or exclusion….”
Mr Shorten went on to talk about Christians speaking against ‘blended families’ like his own – but didn’t mention that in his case, whilst he was married to Deborah Beale he had an affair with the daughter of the then Governor-General. After she became pregnant, Bill Shorten divorced his wife and married Chloe (Bill Shorten's Keynote Speech to the Australian Christian Lobby). He didn’t mention that the Catholic Church which he said he belongs to doesn’t support adultery or divorce - or homosexual ‘marriage’!
Edited (31/10/2014): Bill Shorten told Neil Mitchell in November 2012 that he was no longer a Catholic. It seems that he now considers himself an Anglican - St Thomas' in Moonee Ponds, which Bill Shorten mentioned in his speech in having spoken to his local priest, is a Anglican Church. Bill Shorten married Chloe Bryce at St Thomas' in 2009 (source).
But the Anglican Church doesn't support any of those things either...
But it was in his promotion of same-sex ‘marriage’ that he became very critical of Christians who do not support it…
“When I see people hiding behind the bible to insult and demonise people based on who they love…I cannot stay silent. I do not agree.
When I hear people allege that ‘God tells them’ that marriage equality is the first step on the road to polygamy and bigamy and bestiality…I cannot stay silent. I do not agree.
These prejudices do not reflect the Christian values I believe in. They paint the accusers as people who would rather judge than understand. People all too willing to cast the first stone.
And it sends a broader message, it feeds a perception that Church and faith are somehow incompatible with modern families, with modern life, with modern Australia. And I reject that….”
All of that was said before he even got to the heading in his speech, “Marriage Equality”.
Under that heading, he said,
“Friends, if we can agree on these things, if we agree that our duty is to help the vulnerable, to speak up for the powerless, to gather in those who feel marginalised and excluded - I wonder how we can continue to draw a line based on who people love?
How can compassion, charity, love, recognition and endorsement continue to be restricted to heterosexual Australia and the nuclear family?
I believe in God and I believe in marriage equality under the civil law of the Commonwealth of Australia.”
Although he acknowledged that many in his audience would not support his view on ‘marriage equality’, he called on people to support change to the Marriage Act despite their religious views:
“Whatever our religious views about marriage, and whatever our social views about how best to raise and educate children, we have to change this law which discriminates against adult couples on the basis of who they love.”
In Bill Shorten’s eyes, everything comes down to ‘not discriminating’ - and being ‘tolerant’ and ‘accepting’!
His interpretation of the Bible passages he quotes does not match the Biblical account.
Watch / Read Bill Shorten’s speech:
A round up of the week's news - well, some of it at least....
Click here to read the News Update:
In August 2012, following the publication of Mark Regnerus’ study on parenting by various types of families, which showed children in homosexual families don’t do as well as those in married two parent biological families, Robert Lopez wrote an article about his own negative experience of growing up with two mothers.
In his article, Robert didn’t even mention homosexual ‘marriage’ – though he has since spoken out against that. He is not totally opposed to homosexual rights – in an article published yesterday, Robert says he supports civil unions and foster care by homosexuals. But none of that stopped homosexual activists from targeting him.
Robert is an academic, an Associate Professor of English and Classics in California. You’d think that academic integrity would allow for freedom of thought and expression. That’s what Robert thought, too.
In this revealing article, Robert writes about how he was targeted by homosexual activists after his initial article was published – and the apalling personal and professional consequences.
If you were in any doubt as to what some of these activists are doing and saying about anyone who opposes them, you won’t be after you read Robert’s account.
As James White, of Alpha and Omega Ministries, said on Facebook about this article,
“Homosexualism has become a militant, life-consuming, truth-suppressing crusade, and there is a clear theological reason for it: those who suppress God's truth are encouraged when others join them in so doing…. So even if a person is not themselves consumed with homosexual lust, they wish to promote the destruction of anyone who would say anything whatsoever in the way of righteousness on the matter for in so doing they provide cover for their own sinful rebellion against God.
Sin loves company, as Paul reminded us in Romans 1:32. It is a lesson, I believe, that homosexualism is the movement that is being used to attack the last vestiges of Christian influence and morality in Western culture---not a movement based upon heterosexual adultery, for example, or a movement supporting theft or anger or whatever else---but a movement built around the most fundamental twisting of the human identity. For the one with eyes trained in inspired writ, there is much to be seen here.”
Read Robert’s story of being ‘targeted’…
Robert Oscar Lopez, First Things, 21/10/2014
I am a professor of English and Classics at Cal State-Northridge, where I began teaching in 2008 after earning my doctorate in English and MA in Classics from SUNY. I specialize in American literature and published a scholarly study of American writers and conservatism in 2011.
On August 6, 2012, I published an essay in Public Discourse, entitled “Growing Up with Two Moms.” It described my life growing up with a lesbian mother and her partner. Discussion of same-sex parenting until that point generally treated the children of gay parents as extensions of gay adults. Whatever was good for gay adults was presumed to benefit children they raised. No serious consideration was given to divergence between the children’s interests and the interests of gay adults who wanted and loved them.
My point was this:
Quite simply, growing up with gay parents was very difficult, and not because of prejudice from neighbors. People in our community didn’t really know what was going on in the house. To most outside observers, I was a well-raised, high-achieving child, finishing high school with straight A’s.
Inside, however, I was confused.
There were loving things about my childhood, but it was hard. That is all I wanted to say. I didn’t argue anything about gay marriage or even gay adoption. Eventually I did come to voice support for traditional marriage laws, but here I only spoke out of my own experience.
The same day, I received an email from someone named Scott “Rose” Rosenzweig, the first of more than a dozen. His message went to my Cal State account and was copied to colleagues and administrators, saying among other things,
Recently, CSUN’s Lopez published a gay-bashing essay about the Regnerus study, on the website of the Witherspoon Institute, which funded the Regnerus study; for reference, Lopez’s politicized gay-bashing is here: http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2012/08/6065
Because Lopez very substantially misrepresents what the published Regnerus study says, it is especially disturbing that he was in communication with Regnerus—who did not follow American Sociological Association Code of Ethics guidelines for communicating with the public about sociology. It is especially disturbing to note that as per Lopez’s admission, Regnerus ***first*** contacted Lopez, having seen some of his gay-bashing comments online.
Note how this distorts my essay from personal reminiscence to “gay-bashing,” an inflammatory charge on a college campus, the first in a relentless twenty-six months of harassment. . .
Read the rest of Robert's story - click here.
Hillsong Church held an international conference in New York on the weekend. Prior to the start of the conference a press conference was held by Brian and Bobbie Houston, senior pastors of Hillsong, and Carl Lentz, the pastor of the Hillsong New York City church.
Whilst a press conference about the event might have been unremarkable in itself, widespread press coverage resulted when the issue of homosexual ‘marriage’ was raised by Brian Houston in relation to a question about the ‘relevance’ of the church.
You may have heard about the controversy that has erupted…
This post provides an overview, as well as the primary sources so you can understand what occurred… along with some concluding comments about the need to be forthright about Biblical truth.
After looking at the recent press conference we also look at some of the statements, and changes in policy, regarding homosexuality from Brian Houston and Hillsong in recent years - including similar statements on homosexual marriage in 2013, opposing 'therapy' for dealing with homosexuality, and the REMOVAL of 'homosexuality from the list of 'sexual sins' in the 'Student Code of Conduct' for Hillsong College!
When asked by journalist Michael Paulson, from the New York Times, to clarify his statement about homosexual ‘marriage’, Brian Houston gave an answer that wasn’t definitive on the issue, spoke about a ‘conversation’ occurring in Hillsong about homosexual issues, and avoided Paulson’s specific question about whether their pastors could ‘marry’ homosexual couples. Brian Houston said that the issue of homosexuality, and the “real issues in people’s lives” are “too important for us to reduce it down to a yes or no answer in a media outlet.”
Of course, the media will always want to report on the controversial questions and answers!
Brian Houston has since released a statement, saying,
“Nowhere in my answer did I diminish biblical truth or suggest that I or Hillsong Church supported gay marriage. I challenge people to read what I actually said, rather than what was reported that I said. My personal view on the subject of homosexuality would line up with most traditionally held Christian views. I believe the writings of Paul are clear on this subject….”
We appreciate this statement being made by Brian Houston - but this issue is so serious it warrants close investigation...
So back to the press conference…
The journalist from the New York Times asked ‘how Hillsong strives to be “relevant” as secular values and opinions continue to clash with traditional Christian doctrine’, as reported in an article by Eternity newspaper (Bible Society)....
Click to read our full report...
Our regular News Update has been published ... I started this News Update thinking there wasn't much to report – but, as always, there is a lot going on, both here in Australia and overseas…
The Victorian parliament passed legislation to remove ‘convictions for homosexual sex’, a former adviser claims pornography was distributed in the Victorian parliament, kinders claim ‘Baa baa black sheep is ‘racist’, ‘Secularist Manifesto’ signed in the UK (by a homosexual activist) and the City of Houston demands to see pastors’ sermons (as part of a legal case regarding homosexuality and city ordinances)….
Read the Update . . .