Salt Shakers - Christian ethics in action

Our children deserve to have something to look forward to, that's why Salt Shakers is dedicated to helping Christians understand the times and equipping them to be salt and light by upholding Biblical values and by being more aware of the ethical issues affecting our society.

Salt Shakers Journal Summary August 2008

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Editorial (In full below)
After writing last month’s Editorial about the values presented to our young people, and sending the journal off to the printers, I opened the following email... “In my two CRE classes, the subject of the f*** word and unsafe sex has come up. The children stated that sex education is coming up in the near future. What did I think, they asked...

The Illegal attack on the Family
Dr. Ted Baehr looks at the issue of same sex marriage and how this affects the family. He identifies the illegality of the former looking at theology and legal history.

Climate Change: Carbon-trading scheme
Jenny Stokes analyses the Rudd-government’s carbon-trading scheme, evaluating the Garnaut review and the Green Paper.

News and Action
Euthanasia; Superannuation; Nude Photos of children

Medicare funding of abortion
Did you know that Medicare funds abortions? During the last session of Parliament, Senator Guy Barnett, along with Senator Julian McGauran, presented a motion to the Senate to disallow Medicare funding of second and third trimester abortions.

Emily’s voice- changing society’s attitudes
A new campaign designed to promote a pro-life culture within society at large, particularly related to the unborn, was recently launched in Queensland.

Family Voice Australia
Thirty-five years after its launch in 1973, Festival of Light has changed its name to FamilyVoice Australia.

Television: Big Brother and Californication
Television standards are of continuing concern, with sex and violence frequently served up whilst teenagers are watching. However, this month there is SOME reasonably good news.

Will I always struggle like this?
Mosaic Ministries, located in Melbourne, provides support and assistance to those wishing to deal with homosexuality.

Homosexuality is not natural- there is no ‘gene’
Peter Stokes looks at research by homosexuals admitting that there is no such thing as a ‘homosexual gene’.

Victoria: Update on Abortion
The Victorian government is still considering the Options for ‘decriminalising’ abortion given by the Victorian Law Reform Commission (VLRC).

Anglican update: Lambeth and GAFCON
The Lambeth conference was held from 20-31 July 2008. It is the meeting of Anglican (and Episcopalian - USA) bishops held every ten years at Lambeth Palace in the UK.

Justice Kirby on religion and human rights again
Justice Michael Kirby gave a speech titled People of the Book: Reconciling religious fundamentals with universal human rights.

USA: Same-sex marriage
The first same-sex ‘marriages’ were performed in California on 16 June 2008, following a ruling by the state’s Supreme Court in May 2008.

Opposing the OIC- defamation of religion
A few months ago we reported that the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (representing the 57 Islamic nations) has proposed a Resolution to the United Nations on ‘Combating Defamation of Religions’.

Another Global Interfaith initiative
Since resigning as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair has taken on a number of roles. Immediately after announcing he was standing down as PM he was appointed a “Middle East envoy”.

World News
UK: Muslim prayer; USA: Homosexuality and Bible; Brazil – Abortion; USA: Transsexual gives birth; USA: Homosexual adoption; World Bank supports abortion.

Editorial (full version)

After writing last month’s Editorial about the values presented to our young people, and sending the journal off to the printers, I opened the following email...

“In my two CRE classes, the subject of the f*** word and unsafe sex has come up. The children stated that sex education is coming up in the near future. What did I think, they asked...

Have you any material to suggest for use in secular government schools in an RE context, where we can address the concept from God’s point of view – how He meant it to be for full enjoyment.

I imagine these children are just following the trends they see on TV, movies, magazines and pop idols.”

Note this is a PRIMARY school, with children under 12, asking about swearing
and sex!

When we speak at meetings we are often asked, “Is this presentation suitable for primary school children to hear?” Many parents seem quite unaware of what their children are confronted with at primary school. Although we may do a good job of protecting them, it does not seem to matter what type of school they go to - these issues are on the agenda today.

Back to the email - sadly, my response fell short because I was unsure how to answer the question, “Have you any material to suggest for use in secular government schools in an RE context”.

Then I picked up the latest copy of ‘Every day with Jesus’ the daily devotional notes that we use to take-in from God’s Word (almost) every morning. It is highlighting the value of studying the Book of Proverbs. The very book we mentioned last month

in reference to the vision (revelation) our young people are confronted with today.

There are 54 verses about ‘Wisdom’ and 39 verses about ‘Knowledge in Proverbs.

I have often said at meetings that if you hear the same message more than once it is not a ‘coincidence’, but it probably means God is trying to get your attention and you did not listen the first time. I think God is wanting to draw His people back to the importance of studying the Old Testament.

There is too much good wisdom in the OT to dismiss it. Of course, many people want to say it is irrelevant today because there are also lots of ‘do nots’ and ‘laws’. It also shows that God is a God of Justice and therefore has to punish sin. Thankfully we can then point to Christ as our redeemer if we trust Him and obey Him. This is all part of the knowledge young people need to know because they need to know He cares that much.

Yes, we must also appreciate that some aspects, such as the sacrificial laws and cautions about imitating specific cultural practices of the day (such as trimming a beard a certain way), do not apply today.

The history, wisdom and values that flow right through the OT and on into the New Testament, especially in Books about life and morality rather than history, like Proverbs and Psalms, need to be taught to today’s young people and to future generations. They are the very basis of Christian living and God’s creation.

We hope that CRE organisations are aware of the vital need to deal with the ‘practical’, but confronting, issues and have a suitable, Bible-based curriculum to help Primary-aged children understand what God says about such issues and the relevance of His OT values to today’s children.

Yours in Christ Jesus

Peter & Jenny Stokes

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