Helping Christians to make a difference
Dealing with current Issues
Helping Christian families to make a difference
We’ve often reported on the increasing frequency of legal complaints made against Christians and others who are prepared to speak the truth!
It’s often those who want to shut down debate who make the complaints - and often in the areas of homosexuality and Islam.
We were reminded recently, in Matthew’s gospel, that we will be persecuted (Matthew 5: 10-12), and that we will be brought before kings and tribunals – and that the Holy Spirit will give us the words to say (Matthew 10: 16-20).
Here are the latest two legal challenges – both happening here in Australia!
Please pray for wisdom and peace for Bernard, Kirralie and Q Society…
1. Homosexual activist Gary Burns sues Bernard Gaynor
Bernard wrote about the case taken by homosexual ‘discrimination activist’ Gary Burns against political candidate, Tess Corbett – where she made comments about homosexuality and pedophilia during an election campaign. Gary Burns has already taken a case against Tess – and won!
Gary is now taking cases against Bernard in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal. Bernard wrote about the latest development on Facebook recently – his case was heard on January 20, 2015… read Bernard’s Facebook post.
2. Halal certifier sues Q Society and Kirralie
We’ve often written about ‘halal certification’ of food by Islamic groups and individuals. In essence, a fee is paid by companies to the ‘halal certifier’ who then provides the company with a certificate to ‘guarantee’ that the food has been prepared in accordance with Islamic principles – if meat is involved, then it has to be slaughtered according to Islamic rituals of a prayer to Allah and particular killing methods. In recent years we have seen a huge expansion in ‘halal certification’ in Australia – it has been extended to even certifying packaging and transport!
Halal Choices, run by Kirralie Smith, has monitored and listed the names of companies who have obtained halal certification – and also provides a helpful list of companies who refuse to participate in the halal certification schemes – along with publishing a Shopping Guide
… Visit the Halal Choices website.
… Visit Halal Choices Facebook page.
… Watch the 30 minute presentation at the centre of this complaint…
In Australia there are around 17 different halal certifiers and there is fierce competition between the groups to get companies to have their organisation ‘certify’ the company’s products as being halal.
One of the halal certifiers is Mohamed El-Mouelhy, who operates as the “sole director of ‘Halal Certification Authority Pty Ltd”. He noted on his Facebook page on 17 January that is he suing for defamation in NSW…
Q Society recently confirmed that he is suing Q Society and individuals associated with Q Society, for defamation. Mr El- Mouelhy notes he is also suing Kirralie Smith, the founder of Halal Choices, for defamation – as well as You Tube!
The claims relate to comments made in two videos published by Q Society, where Kirralie speaks about halal certification.
The ‘Directions Hearing’ for the legal action in the NSW Supreme Court has been set for the second half of February.
I’ll leave it to Q Society to explain – this is their latest email update on the case… and posted on Facebook
Subject: UPDATE: Court action by Mohamed El-Mouelhy
We can now confirm that Mohamed El-Mouelhy as the sole director of ‘Halal Certification Authority Pty Ltd’ has lodged a ‘Statement of Claim’ against Q Society of Australia Inc, YouTube LLC as well as four individuals. He claims defamation and seeks “damages”, “aggravated damages”, “interest”, an “injunction against further publication of the matters complained” and “costs, including costs on an indemnity basis”. His claims are based on two videos published on our YouTube channel.
We would like to clarify ....
If you listen to homosexual activists, or much of the media, you would think that being bought up by a homosexual couple is ‘just as good’ as being brought up by a mother and a father who are married.
Recently four adults, who had each been brought up by homosexual parents, gave evidence to a court in the USA, and opposed same-sex ‘marriage’. They each testified that their upbringing had negative influences.
The four people were Katy Faust, Dawn Stefanowicz, B.N. Klein, and Robert Oscar Lopez (we have previously written about Dawn and Robert’s stories).
In a compelling and revealing article, Kirsten Andersen, of Life Site News writes, “Recounting childhood memories of households made deeply dysfunctional by their parents’ sexual appetites and the radical subculture that went along with their “gay” identities, all four argued that redefining marriage to include homosexual couples will likely lead to the exploitation and abuse of countless children for political and personal gain.”
Read the full article…
Life Site News, 13/1/2015.
23 Jan 2015
Campbell Newman, Queensland’s Premier (Liberal National Party) has called a state election for Saturday 31 January 2015.
The writ for the election was issued on 6 January.
Recent media reports claim that the election could be close, with a Galaxy Poll showing a 12% swing against the Newman government; there is also some speculation that there could be a hung parliament and that Campbell Newman could even lose his own seat of Ashgrove (see media report).
Of course, we know that the ONLY poll that actually counts is the vote on election day!
With a very short election campaign, when most people are still in ‘holiday mode’, voters in Queensland only have a short time to investigate political parties and their promises, and contact their own local candidates.
This email provides some basic information about the election, candidates and parties - AND the Christian Values Checklist...
Due to the time frame, we will not provide the sort of detailed information that we did for the Victorian and federal elections. For further information about elections, allocating preferences, and so on, please see the articles we published for the 2014 Victorian election – click here.
Christian Values Checklist
The Christian Values Checklist for the Queensland election has JUST been published. It compares political party positions on a range of moral issues.
Please read, circulate to friends and distribute at your church!
Overview – Queensland election
This overview contains information under the following subheadings:...
22 Jan 2015
On 26 January we celebrate ‘Australia’ Day’, which marks the arrival of the First Fleet at Port Jackson, now Sydney Harbour, in 1788. The eleven ships of the First Fleet consisted of six ships containing 780 convicts and hundreds of officers, along with two naval vessels and three supply ships (read more about the ships here and the convicts here).
In celebrating this day, you might ‘fly the flag’ at your home or on your car. It’s often a day to gather with friends for the traditional ‘Aussie BBQ’!
Praying for our nation
We encourage you to pray for our nation, Australia, on Australia Day. As you pause to reflect and pray, we invite you to include the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) in your meditation.
We recently read Matthew Henry’s commentary on the Lord’s Prayer, which provides some helpful insights:
Read comments on verses 1-15 from his ‘Concise Commentary’
Australia’s Christian heritage
Australia has a rich Christian heritage, dating from the sending of the First Fleet, when Rev Richard Johnson was selected to be the chaplain and brought thousands of Bibles and Christian literature with him.Shortly after arriving, Rev Johnson held a church service.
Dr Graham McLennan, leader of the National Alliance of Christian Leaders, has researched and prepared a lot of material about our Christian heritage….
- Watch the 5 minute video presentation about Rev Richard Johnson establishing the first church and school in the colony.
- View Dr McLennan’s Powerpoint presentation (97 slides), which provides a comprehensive overview of Australia's Christian Heritage.
Christian Heritage Sunday – Feb 1st, 2015
Mark your diary now to celebrate Christian Heritage Sunday at your church – it will be held on Feb 1st 2015.
Visit the Christian Heritage Sunday website for full information – about participating, resources and links.
After a few weeks break, we are back into looking at the issues ... which haven't stopped.
With the recent terrorist attacks in Sydney, France and the foiled attack in Belgium, the world is becoming increasingly aware of the threat from 'radical' Muslims. In the past, many leaders have proclaimed the 'Islam is peace' mantra, and some say that only a few Islamist radicals are the problem.
French President Francois Hollande said, "Those who committed these acts, these fanatics, have nothing to do with the Muslim faith." As Daniel Pipes noted, this is far from the truth - he noted that the french Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, did a bit better: "We make war … against radical Islam."
At the same time, Boko Haram, the violent Islamic group in Nigeria, carried out yet more atrocities, killing hundreds of people. We heard a lot about the Paris protests, with huge marches and global meetings of world leaders, but little about the killing of Nigerians. Some have compared the responses, saying that Nigeria needs our help (for example, see this article).
Some Islamic leaders have also spoken out against the violent attacks. But the problem is that those who are carrying out these attacks, and those who are fighting in Iraq and Syria, take their inspiration from the Qur'an and from the example of Mohammed.
Clive Kessler, emeritus professor of sociology and anthropology at the University of NSW, has written an excellent 'must read' article about the historical context of today's 'resurgent Islam' - in The Australian this week and posted on the UNSW website.
Article: Islam cannot disown jihadists driven by rage against history
A longer version, titled 'A rage against history' appeared on the ANU's New Mandala website.
What is Australia doing?
In Australia, there are an increasing number of reports about what should be done about the young Muslims who are going to Iraq and Syria to fight with ISIS/ISIL/'Islamic State'. Tony Abbott has joined a number of other world leaders who refuse to use the name ISIL or Islamic State because he says it is neither a state nor Islamic - he suggests using the name Daesh. The Telegraph writes, that 'Daesh' is "an acronym for al-Dawla al-Islamyia fil Iraq wa'al Sham, an Arabic version of the group's name. The term is despised by the group itself because it is a pejorative in Arabic and sounds similar to an Arabic term for treading underfoot and a separate term for a person who sows discord."
The Australian government is facing several problems - monitoring those who are 'at risk', watching those whose passports have been cancelled and dealing with those who have returned to Australia after fighting with Islamist jihadist groups overseas. The federal government has funded a package of measures to try and deal with the growing jihadist threat. In August 2014, the Abbott government announced an additional $630 million in funding to try and deal with the radicalisation of Muslim youth, including those returning from fighting in Syria. Much of this was to boost the capacity of anti-terrorism efforts by our security agencies.
The government also conducts the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Programme, which includes providing Community Resilience Grants and 'Living Safe Together' grants to (Islamic) community groups to try and prevent radicalisation of Muslim youth. These grants have been provided to community groups since 2011. This year the government is providing grants worth $1 million - applications for close on 16 February. [Similar programs to try and prevent radicalisation were introduced by the Howard Coalition government!]
Australia is planning to join a summit of international leaders next month - that will address the problem of dealing with 'homegrown terrorists' (source).
Geert Wilders and other leaders made a different response . . .
One politician who is prepared to make a different and forthright response is Geert Wilders from The Netherlands - his latest messages are clear about the beliefs of Islam and the threat to the west. You can listen to his message after the Paris attacks, and his speech to the Dutch parliament on January 14, 2015.
Daniel Pipes, writing about the so-called 'far-right' parties in Europe, notes that some of the leaders of these parties are prepared to speak the truth. He notes that Marine Le Pen, of the National Front, was not invited to the President's public parade. He writes, "Le Pen was, as usual, the only French leader boldly to come out and identify their cause: "We are fighting an ideology, that of Islamist fundamentalism."
These are difficult times - as Christians, it is important that we are aware of the competing ideologies and worldviews in our society.
And it's vital that we remember that Jesus Christ provides the only solution to the violence and turmoil of this world – and that the peace He gives is not what the world sees as 'peace'. In fact, Jesus told us that we will face persecution and trouble (Matthew 5).
We need to reach out to Muslim neighbours and work colleagues in friendship. Many Muslims around the world are coming to faith in Christ - I recently read a book called 'Miraculous Movements' that has inspiring stories about the discipleship program being used by Cityteam to reach hundreds of thousands of Muslims (and others), particularly in Africa. It was compelling reading! Read some of the testimonies here - the book is available at Koorong or online.