Tuesday, 02 April 2013 14:51
If we don't want same-sex 'marriage' legalised in Australia then NOW is the time to ACT!
The following provides information about the pressure being placed on the Liberal Party to support same-sex 'marriage', but is is VITAL that we ACTUALLY CONTACT contact Tony Abbott and our Liberal MPs (see ACTION section...)
Tony Abbott has been firmly opposed to the legalisation of same-sex 'marriage'. During the debate in federal Parliament on same-sex 'marriage' last year, he voted against it. Most importantly, he insisted that all Coalition MPs vote against it as well - thus he didn't allow a 'conscience vote' for MPs. Mr Abbott maintained that the Coalition's policy was to oppose same-sex 'marriage' and thus MPs should vote against it. Backbenchers had some freedom to vote for the legislation, but it was made clear that Shadow Cabinet Ministers had to vote against the proposed law.
Pressure from homosexual groups
Homosexual lobby groups, such as Australian Marriage Equality (AME), are continuing to put pressure on Mr Abbott. Whilst they would love to see him change his mind, they recognise that he may never actually support same-sex 'marriage'.
BUT they also know that if Mr Abbott allows a 'conscience vote' for Coalition MPs they will probably get enough votes to ensure the passing of same-sex 'marriage' laws.
Pressure from Tony Abbott's sister
Tony Abbott's sister, Christine Forster, is a lesbian with a female partner (following a marriage lasting 19 years). Ms Foster is a Liberal member of Sydney City Council, and participated in the recent homosexual mardi gras on a 'Sydney Liberals' float (source). Tony and his sister were then both interviewed for a story on 60 Minutes where his sister endorsed him (article and 60 Minutes story)
Pressure from Tony Abbott's daughters
Now two of Tony Abbott's daughters, Bridget and Frances, have spoken to the media about him - mostly to try and dismiss the 'Misogyny' tag.
In the interview, however, Frances and Bridget say they support same-sex 'marriage' and have spoken to their father about their views. They say they were influenced by their aunt's lesbian relationship, and by work colleagues. They also said they wouldn't 'judge a woman who had an abortion'. Interestingly, they note that they stopped going to church when they were old enough to choose, and 'consider themselves non practising Catholics'. Read the report of the interview.
Pressure form Robert Doyle
Then there is pressure from within the Liberal Party. We all know about Malcolm Turnbull - and about Campbell Newman....
But a few days ago, Robert Doyle, a former Liberal Opposition leader in Victoria and now the Lord Mayor of Melbourne, has said that he supports same-sex 'marriage' and that is is time for change.
Read his statements.
The article notes he is a patron of homosexual radio station Joy FM, so it is perhaps hardly surprising that he now says he supports same-sex 'marriage'!
Tony Abbott's response
Fortunately, Tony Abbott has responded to the comments of his daughters by saying that he still opposes same-sex 'marriage' and will not allow a conscience vote on the issue for Coalition MPs... BUT that depends on the Coalition policy - or non-policy!
He told Sky News, "Coalition party policy is that marriage is between a man and a woman. Now, if future party rooms decide that it is no longer party policy, well then, obviously, there won’t be a whipped vote, but it will be up to future party rooms to determine what the policy is. While it’s party policy there’s no question of a conscience vote. It only becomes a free vote if there is no policy on the subject."
Read News.com article.
We must help the Coalition to stick to their policy of opposing same-sex 'marriage'!
OUR RESPONSE? Time to ACT!
1. It is vital that we ALL contact Tony Abbott and politely make these points:
* Thank him for opposing same-sex 'marriage' and for saying that he does not support giving Coalition MPs a conscience vote on these issues.
* Encourage him to ensure that Coalition policy REMAINS OPPOSED to same-sex 'marriage' - BOTH in the party room AND as a political party.
With a federal election looming, we need to ensure that the Coalition CONTINUES to oppose same-sex 'marriage'!
2. Your own Liberal MP
If your own local MP is a Liberal, contact them and make the same two points - click here for contact details...
3. State Liberal Senators
Then please contact ALL the Liberal Senators in your State - click here for contact details, then use the 'Browse by state box and map.
Thursday, 28 March 2013 12:11
As we reflect on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ at this time, it’s important to remember that it is a time when the secular world actually thinks about religious matters. The media will report on the ‘Easter messages’ given by various church leaders. Unfortunately, some of these often focus on political messages rather than the resurrection of Jesus and His sacrifice for our salvation. That’s the real message we need to be sharing with the world.
We report on an outreach documentary on TV on Good Friday, share some reflections about Easter, and report that the Progressive Atheists are ‘re-enacting’ part of the account of the resurrection of Jesus…
Documentary on Ch 7 – “FORGIVEN PEOPLE”
A new documentary, prepared by professional filmmakers for Christian Television Australia (CTA), in association with SPARC, will impact many people tomorrow. The film is directed and filmed by Don Parham, who has made profoundly moving documentaries for ABC and SBS.
Titled, ‘FORGIVEN PEOPLE – three stories of faith and forgiveness’, it will be screened at 3pm on the Seven Network on Good Friday.
The CTA website sys, “Three colourful Australians speak candidly about a dark past and their spiritual journeys towards a more positive lifestyle”. The people are Susie, an “ex-bikie chick who led a rebellious life as an adolescent”, Johno, a former rock drummer and drug abuser, and Monique, an “articulate, creative musician/composer, author and public speaker. A survivor of child sexual abuse, she has struggled to come to terms with her negative past”. In each case, their Christian faith has enabled them to deal with their past and find hope and meaning in life.
Click here for full details about the film on the CTA website.
Please share it with your friends and watch it as well.
If you miss the screening it will be available on the Christian Television You Tube Channel and their website from 4pm Friday, 29 March.
Reflections on the death and resurrection of Jesus
Last Sunday, on what is known as Palm Sunday, many churches reflected on the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on a donkey. At the church we attended, the minister noted that the people shouted, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” (Luke 19: 38) He commented that this declaration is an echo of the message proclaimed by the angels at Christ’s birth (in Luke 2) - something I hadn’t thought of before.
Our reflections this week also included attending a Passover meal at a local church – facilitated by Celebrate Messiah, a Messianic Jewish group. It was very meaningful and helped us understand more about the ‘Last Supper’ that Jesus shared with His disciples before His crucifixion.
Even the atheists are ‘re-enacting’ the resurrection of Jesus!
When the crowd cried out as Jesus entered Jerusalem, Luke goes on to tell us that “Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” (Luke 19: 39-40)
In a time when some sections of the Christian church actually deny the physical resurrection of Jesus, the stones are beginning to cry out.
In Melbourne, the Progressive Atheists are dressing up to ‘re-enact’ some of the events associated with the death and resurrection of Jesus that are described in Matthew 27.
You’d think that atheists would be content with just not believing in God. However, the recent Atheist Conferences have shown that they really aim to denigrate Christianity.
The Progressive Atheists in Melbourne are taking that to a whole new level (or depth) by planning to dress as ‘zombies’ at 11 am on Easter Sunday in Federation Square, Melbourne (source).
What are ‘zombies’?
According to Dictionary .com zombies are ‘bodies of dead people given the semblance of life by a supernatural force – but mute and “will-less”.
They are doing this to re-enact the account that “many holy people were raised to life”, and came out of their tombs and walked around in the city after Jesus rose from the dead (Matthew 27: 50-53).
The question is, ‘Why would the Progressive Atheists do this?’
Our source tells us that even some of them don’t know why! Their flier says they want to highlight that they think it’s a myth that people were raised to life.
Of course, they are doing this to mock the Biblical account, as they believe it is a ‘myth’.
Ironically, however, they have printed the text of these four verses on their flier and on their website! (source)
Scripture tells us that God’s Word ‘does not return void’ (Is 55:11). So the truth of the gospel actually appears on their website.
They have included a caricature cartoon image of Jesus on their flier and on their website. Whilst some might be offended by the coarseness of the image, the image actually depicts Jesus, alive and walking around, with a tear in the side of His robe with blood coming out, and pierced hands (also with blood). In effect, although they may not realize it, they show a risen Jesus Christ who bears the signs of his crucifixion!
Please pray for the atheists who participate in this re-enactment; that they would be convicted of the truth of the gospel.
If you know young people going to Melbourne city on Easter Sunday morning, you could perhaps alert them to this activity and urge them to avoid Federation Square!
As we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, please pray that people’s minds and hearts would be open to the message of the gospel.
Monday, 25 March 2013 16:52
You can get some help from The Golden Sceptre...
We often encourage you to write letters to your MPs and to make 'submissions' to Inquiries.
We always encourage you to write short, polite letters stating your main concern and asking for a response.
Click here for our 'Guide to writing letters' page.
But we know some of you would love more help on getting letters written AND sent!
One of our colleagues, Mansel Rogerson, has developed a ministry called 'The Golden Sceptre' - he generates individualised letters on behalf of subscribers. For instance, Mansel reports that he recently had his program "set up each of my subscribers to send out 41 emails at once (one to the Tasmanian Dept of Health concerning the draft Reproductive Health (Access to Terminations) Bill and a copy sent to every Tasmanian MP)".
Mansel has written the following short article to explain HOW it works... along with some comments from people who use The Golden Sceptre . . .
Check out the website for full details...
The Golden Sceptre
The Golden Sceptre is a completely new time-saving service, designed to augment the ministry of Salt Shakers by helping Australian Christians to make much more regular contact with their Members of Parliament and to encourage them to legislate more in-line with Biblical principles.
Our service is different because we identify for you the most pressing issues in your area at the State and Federal level and then we draft two emails a month for you to send. You can still make any changes if you want, and then with the click of one button the emails are sent from your email address to all your relevant Members of Parliament at once! It’s a serious time-saver and allows most people to send far more emails sent than would otherwise be the case.
Choose our premium service, for $9.99 a month, and you will receive unique emails which require no further changes before sending. Or choose our standard service, for $25 a year, and either send your emails unchanged as form-letters, or personalise them yourself before sending. You may find out more and subscribe at our website.
We’re sure you will find it’s a convenient and articulate way to express your Christian opinions and make a difference. Here is what some of our current subscribers say:
“The Golden Sceptre premium subscription has taken all the hassle out of contacting my local MPs and Senators about matters of concern to me as a committed Christian. Considering the excellent quality of the letters written on my behalf, I find they require zero editing by me, which helps me to have a voice in the political arena even though I have a full time job, part-time study, and a busy church-based social life. I would recommend the services of the Golden Sceptre to any believer who desires to take his faith public and be salt and light in the earth but doesn't know where to start or doesn't have much spare time.” Joel van der Horst, Dispensary Technician/Philosophy Student, Emerald Victoria
“I would like to recommend The Golden Sceptre to each and every one reading this. I have been receiving emails to forward to politicians or persons of note for about twelve months now and have been extremely impressed by the quality of the letters and the reliability of the service. The emails have needed no editing and I have received a reply in most instances. On one occasion I received a phone call from the secretary of one of the local politicians ensuring me of their concerns regarding the contents of my email. Letters from constituents do make a difference.” Anne O’Dwyer
“We have found our subscription to The Golden Sceptre to be a wonderful blessing. The range of issues covered and the attention to detail are admirable. We feel deeply about all these issues and the impact they are having on our society but do not have the time to research and lobby as we would like to. To date, every letter and every issue has been impeccably handled and we cannot recommend this service too highly.” Nick and Nat, Victoria
“Before subscribing to The Golden Sceptre I don’t think I ever sent a letter or email to any politician to voice my support or opposition regarding current social or government issues. The excellent emails prepared for me by this service now enable me to make my voice heard from a Christian perspective on a regular basis. So now with very little time and effort on my part I can keep our politicians aware of my views. The Golden Sceptre is excellent value for money and I highly recommend it.” Mr Dirk Jackson, Hawthorn, Victoria
“I would recommend this service to any Christian. It not only keeps one aware of current issues which concern us, and which need to be timely brought to the attention of one’s political representatives, but also it is so designed for its personalised emails to be easily scanned, often to a handful of people, and finally sent by one click. Apart from that it is a great time-saver and modestly priced.” Ken Lewis, Doncaster Vic
Wednesday, 13 March 2013 09:15
First - an Update on recent developments, visas and media reports.
Second - an appeal for you to pray about the conference and for Christians who will be present to speak and interact with Muslims... (scroll down for that)
The Islamic Peace Conference is on this weekend: 15 - 17 March.
There hasn't been a lot of media reporting... A few days ago, the first report about the 'Islamic Peace Conference' appeared in The Australian (source). The reporter highlighted the 'anti-Jewish' statements made by the Imam of Mecca, Dr Abdul Rahman al-Sudais. The Jewish News reported on similar matters.
Victoria's Multiculturalism Minister said that the organisers would be told about Victoria's 'Racial and Religious Tolerance' law and warned that "Organisers of any event are responsible for the conduct of individuals or speakers" in relation to this law.
Scott Morrison, the Coalition's Opposition, called on the Gillard government to reveal which speakers have been granted visas. (source)
In a Yahoo article, Senator Cory Bernardi criticised the conference, saying it was bring speakers who are "extremists and purveyors of hate."
Labor backbencher Michael Danby, who is Jewish, has said that al-Sudais was unlikely to be granted a visa on character grounds. In a statement he said, "Bigotry spewed out by Saudi extremist preacher Dr al-Sudais was un-Australian." (source)
Ironically, it seems to be acceptable for our politicians, such as Michael Danby, to have the freedom to speak against these extremist speakers, but not for visiting Dutch politician Geert Wilders to warn us of similar extreme preachers and beliefs.
Today The Australian reports that Immigration Minister Brendan O'Connor has confirmed that Dr al-Sudais has not applied for a visa. Apparently the reporter spoke to the Director of the National Centre of Excellence for Islamic Studies, in Melbourne, Dr Abdullah Saeed, who said he wasn't aware of the conference (source).
Reaching out to Muslims
A couple of Christian groups will be renting 'stalls' at the Conference. They will be talking with the people attending, who will mostly be Muslims and handing out literature.
Please continue to pray about this conference:
* Pray for the Christians who are planning to hold 'stalls' - for wisdom and guidance as they speak with both Muslims and non-Muslims.
* Pray that the Muslims attending that they would hear the truth of the gospel.
* Pray that the statements made by some of the speakers will continue to be exposed and that there will be more media coverage of this.
Tuesday, 12 March 2013 14:42
A couple of weeks back, in our Weekly Update, we told you about the six year old boy in Colorado who was being raised as a girl:
c) Transgender child in Colorado - The parents of a child in Colorado have made a complaint against their child’s school. The child, Coy Mathis, is six. The child was born a male, but was raised as a girl by the parents from 18 months old. The school initially allowed the child to use the girls’ restroom – but has now said the child has to use the boys’ toilets or the nurse’s toilet. Media report – click here.
The question we asked was, “Why did the parents decide to raise the child as a girl at 18 months?”
Well, in this insightful short video clip (12 min), Canadian journalist Michael Coren analyses the situation and tells us the answer.... in brief, it was because the boy 'rejected traditionally male toys' and wanted to wear a dress.
Michael Coren is an author, print and broadcast journalist and host. In the segment, he notes that adults can choose to do what they choose with their bodies, but he suggests that this case involving a child is really child abuse.
Importantly, Michael Coren then interviews Robert John, who he describes as a 'former transsexual' - after having surgery and treatment, he realised he still had the same body and was really a man. In fact he discovered he had a soul and that what he had done "wasn't the truth".
This is definitely worth watching to hear Robert speak about his own life....
Watch Michael Coren's report for more insights... click here