Helping Christians to make a difference
Dealing with current Issues
Helping Christian families to make a difference
9 June 2015
“It’s time” to ask the PM to continue to DEFEND marriage between a man and a woman.
Advocates for homosexual ‘marriage’ would have us believe that they have WON the battle – and that it is ‘inevitable’ that same-sex ‘marriage’ will be legalised in Australia (perhaps by the end of the year).
But that is by no means certain… we must NOT give up!
Some MPs in the Liberal Party who oppose homosexual ‘marriage’ are starting to speak up – and they need our support.
We MUST write to the PM, Tony Abbott, asking him to continue to affirm marriage between a man and a woman, to oppose a ‘conscience vote’ and to NOT support a move for Coalition MPs to ‘co-sponsor’ a homosexual marriage’ Bill….
See below for ACTION details… (if you want to write NOW, click here...)
Tomorrow we’ll have a short article on homosexual ‘marriage’ … and the importance of maintaining what is right and true.
Bill Shorten’s same-sex 'marriage' Bill – and Mr Abbott’s response
When Labor Opposition leader Bill Shorten announced that he would introduce a Bill into the federal parliament to legalise homosexual ‘marriage’, Prime Minister Tony Abbott responded by calling on him not to do so, saying that if same–sex ‘marriage’ is to be legalised it should be a parliament bill… (source)
3 June 2015
When we speak about the issues, we usually start with God’s ideal of marriage. Of course, that means starting in Genesis, with God making man and woman in His image and telling them to be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1: 26-28). Jesus affirms this in Matthew 19.
Any departure from that, whether it be pornography, abortion, homosexuality and so on, is a departure from God’s design. We often hear peopple say, 'Jesus never said anything about homosexuality'. However he spoke from the WHOLE of the Scripture - his hearers would ahve known exactly what the Old Testament said about sex - and homosexuality. Then, in Matthew 15:19 Jesus said, "For out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander." The word porneia is translated here as fornication, but it includes all forms of sexual activity outside of marriage (this article explains the poiint, including definitions from Greek lexicons).
In Genesis 2, God introduces the concept of marriage between a man and a woman (we were reading Genesis this week, and I was struck by the fact that God, as Father, brought Eve to Adam, and this is the model for marriage of a father bringing his daughter to be married!)
Creation Ministries recently published a very good article by Lita Cosner, about what the Bible really says (from beginning to end) about homosexuality… we encourage you to read it.
by Lita Cosner - Published: 7 May 2015.
Some professing Christians direct hateful statements toward the homosexual community, while others minimize or even reject the Bible’s teachings on this issue. Homosexual activists point to the former group as proof that Christianity is often inherently ‘homophobic’, and point to the latter to demonstrate that Christians can reinterpret the Bible’s foundational teachings on the topic.
Because this is such a politically and emotionally-charged topic, it is essential that we approach this issue by first understanding what Scripture has to say about it, regardless of whether Scripture’s stance is considered politically correct or not. However, this does not mean we have to be gratuitously offensive to those who have unbiblical views and lifestyles (if they must be offended, let it be by the truth, not due to a fundamentally unloving heart!).
This is a ringing endorsement of monogamous, lifelong marriage, and an implicit criticism of any alternative arrangements.
You’ve probably heard of ‘situational ethics’ – which is still being promoted today.
For example, the BBC website says, “In situation ethics, right and wrong depend upon the situation. There are no universal moral rules or rights - each case is unique and deserves a unique solution. Situation ethics rejects 'prefabricated decisions and prescriptive rules'. It teaches that ethical decisions should follow flexible guidelines rather than absolute rules, and be taken on a case by case basis.”
There have even been Christian theologians who’ve promoted ‘situational ethics’, with “love” being the highest goal (see Wikipedia entry).
However, as Christians, we can’t decide our ‘ethics’ by our situation, or what is currently the trendy idea, but, rather, we must decide our ‘ethics’ by using, and referring to, the Word of God!
Murray Adamthwaite, who is a member of Salt Shakers Reference Panel, has a degree in theology and a PhD in ancient history – which means he has an excellent understanding of the impact of such movements.
Murray has written an excellent article for us, titled The New Situationism – dealing with the move to adopting ‘love’ as the measure of ethics and addressing current ‘situations’ in the church, including homosexuality.
Please read his article and understand more…
Article: The New Situationism
by Murray Adamthwaite PhD.
June 2015. Published on Salt Shakers website and E-News.
"When a prominent American pastor was asked in a recent interview what he thought about the homosexual lifestyle his reply was, “We have a stance on love, and we have conversations about everything else.”.
“Love” is now seen as the hallmark of Christianity, and in particular its ethic; the older approach of the Ten Commandments is very much “out”. But where did this idea come from?
The 1960s saw a new approach to ethics in the churches called “Situation ethics” or simply, “Situationism”. Under this scheme there was no “Ten Commandments” type of morality; indeed Law in any form was out. “Nothing prescribed except love”, was the slogan of Situationism’s advocates. There was for them no over-arching law or moral rule which applied to ethical decisions; on the contrary, each one must himself determine what is loving in a particular situation. To illustrate, and to bolster this approach one of Situationism’s prime advocates, Joseph Fletcher, posed a whole series of moral dilemmas where rules failed, simply because they were in conflict..."
Click title above to read the full article.
I’m sure you’ve noticed that media reports about conservative or Biblical Christian thinkers are often disparaging – whilst reports of research or speeches by ‘progressive’ thinkers are written in glowing terms . . .
In the following insightful article, Matthew Franck, of the Witherspoon Institute, compares the treatment of two ‘researchers’ into social science. The first, Mark Regnerus, analysed the data regarding parenting by homosexuals (we’ve previously reported on his study).
The second, Michael LaCour, is a PhD student who conducted surveys and had an article published in Science journal last December about how peoples’ views on same-sex ‘marriage’ were changed by ‘persuasion’ after being ‘surveyed’. His research was initially lauded by the media, but it has now been found that he apparently didn’t do the surveys as he claimed, and the “private firm allegedly employed to collect survey data says it has never heard of him or his study”. Now his academic co-author has called on the journal to withdraw the article.
Matthew shows how these two social science researchers are VERY different, despite a claim by a writer in the New York Times that they are ‘fundamentally similar as instances of “debunked” research.’ . . . Matthew notes that Mark Regnerus does solid social science on valid data, whereas the actual methods and claims of the second person are being questioned.
As he concludes, Matthew goes on to note the true ‘similarity’ between the two cases – how the academic elite (and media) responded according to their own philosophical position on the issue of same-sex ‘marriage’.
One of these cases is not like the other.
by Matthew J. Franck, First Things, 22/5/2015.
First tale: A tenured sociologist at a prominent research university, with a couple of books under his belt on related subjects, publishes the first-ever research, using a nationally representative sample, on the young-adult outcomes for kids raised by people who have same-sex romantic relationships. The results show that these young adults have more difficult life experiences across a host of variables involving their employment, education, dependence on public assistance, mental health, relationship success and sexuality, trouble with the law, and experience of abuse.
The study, which confirms that the “gold standard” for the rearing of children is the intact biological family, of married mom and dad staying together faithfully and raising their own offspring, naturally causes a furor. The peer-reviewed social science journal that published the study, along with commentary alongside it, commissions a member of its own editorial board (who has an openly hostile view of the study) to “audit” the peer-review process. He concludes that, as much as he dislikes the article, the journal did everything by the book in publishing it. The journal’s editor, who is likewise friendly to the cause of same-sex marriage, stands by its publication, and in a subsequent issue publishes a follow-up article by its author, who cogently defends and restates his findings.
Meanwhile, at the sociologist’s home institution, a “scientific misconduct” inquiry prompted by a hostile non-scholarly ideologue is undertaken, and the sociologist is cleared completely after a thorough review of his methods and even his correspondence. His double vindication, however—by the journal that published his work and the university where he works—makes little headway against the howling media denunciation of his “debunked” research. (This is a world where “we hate your results” means the same thing as “they’re invalid.”) . . .
Keep reading the article - click here.
Several articles on the issues we cover – Mark Regnerus on same-sex parenting, unborn children feel pain, euthanasia is NOT merciful and an update on Gardasil…
Tomorrow we will send out our monthly Prayer Focus. Next week there will be some emails with a single ‘feature article’...
God bless you!
1. Mark Regnerus on homosexual parenting
Mark Regnerus provides an update on the research he has done about homosexual parenting compared to parenting by intact, married biological families. He also responds to another study that critiqued his use of the data. As Mark says, having experienced two inquisitions from his own university, the attacks will continue: “In my case, until I capitulate and admit I was wrong. I’m not above admitting mistakes, but neither am I prone to the sort of reeducation that is being pursued…”
Article: Making Differences Disappear: The Evolution of Science on Same-Sex Households, by Mark Regnerus, The Public Discourse, 12/5/2015.
“Social science was never going to save marriage’s male-female infrastructure. What it can do—if the narrative the data reveals isn’t manipulated—is reveal what is really going on.
Now that the Supreme Court’s oral arguments are behind us, and the justices have already privately cast their votes about the future (and the history) of marriage, perhaps it’s possible that the social science of marriage, sexuality, and child outcomes can catch its breath. Better yet, perhaps it can operate without the pressure-cooker of politically acceptable narratives.
But after three years, and two separate inquisitions by my own university, I’ve come to conclude that “the beatings will continue until morale improves,” as the saying goes. Or in my case, until I capitulate and admit I was wrong. I’m not above admitting mistakes, but neither am I prone to the sort of reeducation that is being pursued.
And so it is that a Washington Post blog recently covered the release of a study that re-analyzes the data I collected and described back in 2012 in my pair of studies of the adult children of parents who have had same-sex relationships, continuing a contest over the meaning of the New Family Structures Study (NFSS) that’s nearing three years in length now. Social science has become a spectator sport. . .”
2. Unborn children ‘feel pain during abortions’
An interview with Dr David Prentice, from the Charlotte Lozier Institute on the Point of View radio talk show about the science of fetal pain.
Dr Prentice states, “But the real science – and there’s some new things in fact, that have come out in the last few months – but the science pretty conclusively demonstrates: Young babies still in the womb at 20 weeks after conception, and probably even earlier, do indeed feel pain, and in fact, may feel more intense pain than a newborn or an adult.”
Transcript and interview:
Medical Expert Confirms Unborn Children Feel Excruciating Pain During Abortions, Life News, 12/5/2015.
Interview - to listen to the audio: http://pointofview.net/show/tuesday-may-12-2015/?listen_now=1
3. Euthanasia is NOT merciful
A very interesting Opinion article published in The Age. It seems that The Age is usually promoting euthanasia, so this article by Mary Ticinovic, a clinical psychologist, is even more significant.
Article: Euthanasia is not merciful: there's meaning in life even in the deepest pain, The Age, 20/5/2015.
“As a clinical psychologist, one of my roles when working with terminally ill individuals is to assist them to contain and tolerate their complex feelings of distress, fear, abandonment, helplessness and pain –physical and/or emotional. This is "true compassion" and empathy: accompanying someone during their unavoidable pain and suffering.
Treating people with dignity is providing care, compassion and company to those in desperate need of it, as they face their greatest fear: death.
Being in favour of assisted suicide goes against the principle that all life is precious. Euthanasia supports the view that human dignity or worth is dependent upon one's health status or capabilities, rather than it being dependent upon simply being human. Assisted suicide promotes a utilitarian view of humanity, where we judge whose life is worthwhile and whose is not, based on their medical status or capabilities. . .”
4. Update on Gardasil vaccine – correction and TGA Safety Update
In my recent ‘On the Issues’ email, I noted that Gardasil is a vaccine against HPV, as a possible preventative action against cancer. I said ‘ovarian cancer’ when it should have been ‘cervical cancer’. The report referred to loss of ovarian function in some girls in rural NSW. My apologies.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration, the official Australian government body, has released its second Safety Update – which lists the known adverse effects from the vaccine – read it online here.