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Peter reflects on the new year, and the need to follow God, not man...
As 2012 comes to a close, one thought is on my mind above all others – and it isn’t retirement!
No, it is, ‘Where is the world and, even more importantly, the church, going to head in 2013?’
The answer is quite simple, if we listen to ‘the Jury’ (that is, the people) - the answer, quite bluntly, is, ‘Down the sewer’. Because, if we do not look to the ‘Judge’ the Creator of Heaven and Earth and all that is in it, we are gone; there is but only one way and that is down - down to the lowest common denominator of ‘man’.
As the Lord said through Jeremiah the Prophet (Jeremiah 17:5-9), “Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land which is not inhabited. Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” (NKJV)
So, if we rely on ‘the Jury’, rather than on God Himself (the Judge) we are really in trouble.
Sadly, in my humble opinion, (and I say that because I certainly do not claim to be a prophet), it is to the ‘jury’ that so much of today’s church has turned, and consequently so has our government and almost every government in the Western World.
Yet, we must listen to the ‘Judge’ in 2013 and beyond, and not the Jury.
The Judge, in His love and through His mercy, has shown us the way – from Genesis through to Revelation He has spoken – if we deny any part of His Word we become the ‘Jury’, choosing our own way, and our wicked hearts will inevitably lead us astray.
The battles we face have all been fought – the victory was won on the Cross. Truth was nailed to a tree because the jury decided, and today Truth is again being nailed to the tree of death by the jury.
As the articles we sent out before Christmas, by Murray Macleod-Boyle, pointed out, there are only two sides and we are on one or the other. If we follow the jury (our hearts and/or the people) we go against God.
This, I believe, is the great challenge of 2013 - Will we follow the Jury or God?
The answer to that question will determine what happens concerning marriage, what happens about the culture of death, in fact what happens about every issue we face as a nation, as a church, or personally in our own lives in 2013. Who will we serve – the jury or God?
I can only answer for us, in our house – to the best of our ability we will endeavour to serve God before any man. What you do is your decision.
We may not change the world – that is up to God who still controls the nations, the environment, the world, and the whole cosmos. We can only determine, by our individual decisions, whom we will serve.
Will it be ‘The Jury’ (man)? If that is our choice it will drag us, the church and the nation further down the slippery slope. Or will we choose God, the ‘Judge’, who, despite the battles that will rage all around us, will give us personal peace? While the world exists in its current form, that is the only peace we can be sure of.
So, please, choose this day whom you will serve in 2013 - the jury or God.
Just in case you’re wondering what prompted this message, it came to me during the night, as a result of an ongoing email ‘conversation’ with a young man who says he is a Christian and who is struggling with his homosexual thoughts and feelings.
I stated that homosexuality is neither genetic nor innate and his response was, “the Jury is still out on that”.
As I pondered on that statement, and not for the first time I must admit, the answer came – it is not the Jury we must listen to, it is God.
God has already spoken, but all too often we don’t want to hear what He says, we want another, easier, or less definitive answer, and while we can say ‘the Jury is out’ we can avoid the truth.
This is not just the excuse for the person struggling with homosexuality; it is an excuse we all like to use one in way or another. Satan’s first question to Eve in the Garden of Eden gave us that ‘excuse’, and he is still giving it to us today – ‘Did God Really Say?’/ While we hang on to that question we have an excuse, an escape clause led by our hearts.
But God DID really say? From the beginning of time God spoke and it was and He has spoken through His Word about every decision or issue we or the church or the world faces.
Evolution is the ‘big daddy’ of all the ‘Did GOD really say?’ questions that have, especially in recent times, led us away from the Truth because “the heart of man is inherently wicked”.
We want there to be an ‘undecided jury’ so that we don’t have be held accountable.
But God spoke and it was – HE is the Truth, He is the only way.
He has not left us with an undecided ’Jury’ for 2013, but with the TRUTH.
WE must choose this day – the last day of 2012 - whom we will serve in 2013: God or the undecided Jury that is still pondering that question, “Did God really say?”
Have you offended anyone? Get your LETTER in NOW!
This is the last chance you have to get a letter or submission in to the Senate Inquiry on the Labor government's proposed new anti-discrimination law.
Submissions close TODAY!
If you've run out of time, you can make a ONE MINUTE response.
Just write an email telling the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee that you totally oppose the draft Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill 2012.
Tell them that no amount of changes will improve it.
If you want to add more specifics, see our previous information - click here for our Campaign page.
Then get ALL your friends to do the same!
Why should we tell them we don't want this law?
If you've ever 'offended' or 'insulted' anyone, YOU could be carted off to the Commission and the Court!
Has a work colleague been offended by a comment you made about their religion or political opinions?
If they think they have been 'unfavourably treated' because of that, they could lodge a complaint.
Do you have a B&B and have refused to allow a same-sex couple - or a de facto couple - to use a double room? As has happened in the UK, they could claim 'unfavourable treatment' and lodge a complaint.
In all of these situations, and more, it comes down to whether the person feels offended or insulted!
Once you've written your email (THAT'S the priority!) read the very entertaining but ominously truthful article about offending people - Swagman and Jumbuck vindicated at last - by Rowan Dean in the AFR!
On 14 December we posted a 3 page paper (and sent an extensive E-News) listing some of the key ares of concern about the proposed law - and some suggestions of points to make in your submissions.
It will be posted here SHORTLY - web program updated and changed - finding out how to upload it!
PLEASE use your own words!
Get your submissions in by FRIDAY 21 December, 2012.
PLEASE NOTE ...
The proposed law ALSO makes it an offence to OFFEND or INSULT anyone based on ALL the attributes in giving a person 'unfavourable treatment'!
It also prohibits a religious organisation from saying who can and can't live in an aged care facility!
Visit our campaign page for more info...
The 2011 census found that there are around 33,714 same-sex couples in Australia.
(Source: Counts of same-sex couples in the 2011 census - ABS)
The majority of those live in NSW (12,731) and Victoria (8,722), with most living in the capital cities.
The 2011 census gave same-sex couples the opportunity to define their relationships. The vast majority - 96% - classified their relationship as 'de facto partner'. Some reported their relationship as 'husband' or 'wife - but this only applied to 1,338 couples.
With all the talk of relationships and marriage, few same-sex couples have chosen to formalise their relationship even when states have formal legislation that allows them to do so.
In Victoria, the Relationships Register began four years ago - on December 1, 2008. But only 572 same-sex couples have actually registered their relationship in those four years. (Source)
That's just 6.5% of the homosexual couples in Victoria (using the census data).
The homosexual media claim that the low figure for 'relationships registers' is because same-sex couples want to be able to 'marry' so are flying overseas to do so.
They state that 1,338 couples have done this - a figure taken from the 2011 census. However, this is still a very small proportion of the total 33,714 same-sex couples. The census question allowed people to self-report as to whether their 'partner' was a 'husband' or wife' - and these could have occurred over a number of years.
Even if half of these 'married' couples were from Victoria, that only makes a total of 1241 couples (669 + 572) who have legally formalised their relationship. Overall, that would mean that only 14.2% of all same-sex couples had taken either of these steps to formalise their relationship. This is still a very small proportion!
Perhaps more concerning is the fact that heterosexual couples are choosing to register their relationship rather than getting married. In the past four years, 900 heterosexual couples have registered under the Victorian Relationships Register.
Thankfully, this is still only a small percentage of those who are getting married - in Victoria 27,503 couples married in 2011. In the past four years there have been 111,038 marriages. (Source)
So 900 heterosexual couples registering their relationship is only 0.8% of all couples who have legally formalised their relationship!
However, we need to remember that, in Scandinavian countries, the introduction of Registered Partnerships (from 1989 onward) - for homosexual and heterosexual couples - eventually led to a decline in the number of heterosexual couples getting married.
This trend of 'registering' heterosexual relationships really does lead to the undermining of marriage.
We need to do all we can to promote the benefits of marriage between a man and a woman - the commitment it entails, the benefit it provides for the nurturing and protection of children and the fulfilling of God's design for humanity as laid out in Genesis 1 and 2.
The federal government is proposing to introduce MORE anti-discrimination laws.
Although they say exceptions for religious groups will not change, they are proposing that church groups that run Commonwealth-funded aged care will NOT be able to discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Read more in our post below...
The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee has been asked to hold an Inquiry into the proposed law 'Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill 2012'.
Submissions are due by 21 December
Yes, we know that's the week before Christmas when everyone is REALLY BUSY! Perhaps that's why submissions close then!
It is VITAL that we make a submission/write a letter to the Inquiry!
Express your concern about adding sexual orientation and gender identity, about religious 'exceptions', about the aged care issue, about having to 'justify' behaviour - reversing the onus of proof and so on...
Click here for our Campaign Page - with FULL details and info on how to make a submission!