Category Archives: Articles

Triumph of identity politics over open debate (The Australian)

Triumph of identity politics over open debate
Excerpt from an article in The Australian by Greg Sheridan
September 15, 2016

The single most depressing aspect of the debate about the proposed same-sex marriage plebiscite is the determination that there not be a debate — more than that, the authoritarian, censorious, profoundly illiberal strain that the very business of debating the issue is somehow insulting if not illegal.

As Malcolm Turnbull observed, some in the opposition seemed to imply that if you didn’t live in a family with two gay parents, you had no right to have a view on the Marriage Act at all. It’s akin to the view that we must change the Constitution purely because Aboriginal leaders want it changed, that the only change must be a change that they want and that the views of non-Aboriginal citizens are less important — though, unfortunately for the advocates of such change, in our democracy all citizens get to vote.

This sudden and utterly toxic triumph of a doctrine of the supremacy of identity politics — your views are legitimate only if you belong to the relevant or approved identity group, and then only if you repeat the orthodox positions — is one of the most dangerous, undemocratic and ill favoured excursions our democracy has ever taken.

Turnbull has sounded the very soul of reason and sense in this debate. Like the Prime Minister, I will vote yes in a plebiscite if we get one. But, like him, I think it utterly offensive and dismayingly depressing that so many advocates think it is improper for the matter to be discussed in public unless to offer ritual support.

These actions are undemocratic and bad in principle, and promise much worse ahead. They are a sign of the degeneration of our political culture into one of bureaucratic command and diminished freedom. This style, which renders many subjects illegitimate for normal political discussion, was pioneered in practice if not in theory by the EU. It produces bad government and ultimately generates a savage, populist backlash.

If the public feels that mainstream political leaders are not allowed to discuss issues they care about, they finally resort to populists who refuse to take direction from the political class.

Typically, the political class then decides even more censorship is necessary and completely needless bitter conflict ensues, wholly because of the anti- democratic impulses of the bureaucratic authoritarians who police the official ideology.

Plainly 18C is desperately bad legislation and ought to be amended, but the trend in identity politics is all the other way. Nothing was more odious this week than to hear the Greens’ Adam Bandt, when speaking of Lyle Shelton of the Australian Christian Lobby, demand of Turnbull that he not empower “bigots like him” to have a voice in the debate.

Bandt is a typical modern face of authoritarian illiberalism. The desperate desire to prevent a popular vote, and the uncharacteristic concern for public money, that it might be spent on the no case as well as the ideologically approved yes case, wore an air of extremism and menace.

Turnbull was right to admonish Bandt that in labelling his opponents bigots he was doing everyone a disservice. I think there is no longer a case for the civil law preventing same-sex couples from marrying. But there is a real danger to religious freedom in the way we are heading and it is here the churches should make their strongest representations. We saw the likely future when the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commissioner entertained a complaint against the Catholic Archbishop of Hobart for publishing the most mildly and politely worded pamphlet imaginable in support of the traditional view of marriage.

The complaint was not laughed out of court, as it should have been, or defeated in a considered process. It was withdrawn in what seems to have been a tactical consideration. In this sort of abuse of democracy, often the process is the punishment. Most people, perhaps even the Archbishop of Hobart, cannot afford the endless legal and administrative and financial costs defending such actions entails.

But that surely is the shape of the future. Christian churches, schools, adoption agencies, publishing houses and the rest will all be subject to complaint and even litigation if they simply teach traditional Christian teaching.

I don’t think the law should enforce traditional Christian teaching but I don’t think it should outlaw it either. All these subjective rules are not good laws but dangerous political fashions, which change. Opponents of abortion believe it kills innocent human beings. A few decades ago the law agreed with this view. Opponents of abortion thus would have found it highly offensive — hate speech indeed — to advocate the acceptance of abortion. But such advocacy was never illegal. Notionally, we were more conservative then. But in critical ways we were more truly liberal.

We are at an evil fork in the road. Thought control, needless, ideological speech control — these are not a decent path ahead.

Link to original article

 

Message of Christmas Encouragement

Of the increase of his government…
there will be no end…

How does the above prophetic word of the prophet Isaiah relate to the uncertainties and increasing levels of threat we are experiencing in our world today? Aren’t we experiencing a massive escalation of anti-Christian sentiment on a global basis?

Well I want bring to you a special word of encouragement this Christmas.

While there seems to be a “restraining order” against God in our society today, we can be assured that God has his own plan and calendar that cannot be averted.

Let me share with you a remarkable story that is historically accurate in the detail of the overriding sovereignty of God…

Alexander the Great

In 553 BC the prophet Daniel received a vision that included precise details about Alexander the Great, who would not be born until 356 BC. This prophecy is recounted in Daniel 7:6 and 8:5:14 – some 200 years before the events took place!

In Daniel 8:19-26 the archangel Gabriel gave Daniel a precise predictive account of the life of Alexander the Great. After Alexander’s death his empire was broken up into four regions. In 175-164 BC Antiochus Epiphanes, who ruled the Greek/Syrian region (the little horn of Dan 8:9), invaded Jerusalem and desecrated the temple. He brought an altar of Zeus (a Greek form of Baal worship) into the temple to celebrate the birthday of the SUN God. Antiochus sacrificed a pig in the Holy Place of the temple on 25 December 167 BC (some commentators vary on the year).

Hanukkah

The angel Gabriel told Daniel that this desecration of the holy place would last 2300 days (6.3 years). This prophetic word, some 200 years before the event, was precise in identifying the time of Antiochus’ persecution from 171 to 165 BC. After Antiochus death the Jews celebrated Judas Maccabeus defeat of the Greeks, the cleansing of the holy place and the relighting of the Menorah with one days oil that lasted eight days. This is the celebration of lights known as Hanukkah, which ends today (14 December 2015).

The Menorah – Golden Candlestick

The Menorah is the symbol of both Israel and the Church. In Revelation 1:20 Jesus tells us that the seven gold lamp stands represent the seven churches. Therefore let us make no mistake – the church does not replace Israel. In truth the church is grafted into Israel (Romans 11:11-22). This is why we share the same symbol and why the tongues of fire at Pentecost (and subsequently) light up the followers of Jesus after our own redemption from personal desecration. We become the new temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19-20).

Prophecy of the Return of Christ

Jesus the SON of God’s birthday is marked by Christmas on the same day as the temple was desecrated by Antiochus to the SUN god’s birthday – 25 December!

In Matt 24:15 Jesus spoke about the desecration of the temple in 167 BC and prophesied a second desecration still ahead in the future. Antiochus Epiphanes was a forerunner to the final Anti-Christ. We are now moving rapidly towards this final historic movement that heralds the return of Christ who will take over the running of this planet from Jerusalem. Be encouraged church!

Paul’s Second Missionary Journey

Around 50 AD Paul intended to return to the churches he had established in Asia Minor (central Turkey today). In Acts 16:6-9 the Holy Spirit does not permit Paul to go to Asia but sends him to Macedonia. Why Macedonia?

God’s Overriding Calendar

Paul takes the Gospel to the very region where Alexander the Great came from. The Holy Spirit insists that Paul take the Gospel to the West and the four corners of the world from Alexander’s birth place – Macedonia. God overrode everything that Alexander and Antiochus Epiphanes had done in hostility to God and released the Gospel to the four corners of the world from the launch pad of Alexander’s home nation of Macedonia.

Conclusion

Fear not people of God by what you see and hear. Whatever the devil and the growing anti-Christian culture purposes to do… God already has a plan and a timetable that will override his enemy and bring his son Jesus back to rule over the nations from Jerusalem.

Now with this overview in mind we can re-read Daniel 7 and 8 and the book of Acts to rejoice in the victory of Christ and of the increase of his Government of which there will be no end.

There may be as many as 100 million Christians in China today. If not today there will soon will be. The Great South Lands of the Holy Spirit are called, as part of this Asian longitude, to participate in taking the Gospel back to Jerusalem.

Christian Federation

For this reason we sense our call. This is the time for the followers of Jesus to arise together in our positioning to win the war between the Kingdom of Light and the Kingdom of Darkness (Col 1:13-20).

Now we can start to join the dots between the teaching of scriptures such as Psalm 110, 1 Cor 15:24-28 and Hebrews 10:12-13. It’s time to be part of a Federation of Jesus followers who arise to the battle on our watch in 2016.

We are on the winning side with Jesus.

Of the increase of his government…
there will be no end…

  • Isaiah 9:6-7
  • The prophetic words of the Hallelujah Chorus,
  • Handel’s Messiah.

Every blessing to you and your family for Christmas,

Peter

Jesus and Labour Day – William Guthrie Spence

William Guthrie Spence The crack as the first musket went off was like a clap of strange thunder.  ‘Gid doon, boyo! Thair feering…’ A rough hand thrust Bill to the ground. He could hardly understand the Irishman’s words. Then it registered: Get down, boy! They’re firing… A volley of muskets roared out. Bill poked his head up long enough to stare in disbelief as unarmed men fell in front of the soldiers’ fire. There was screaming from somewhere in the distance. ‘We don’t have no weapons!’  But it didn’t seem to matter. The officers ordered the soldiers to fire again. The smoke, the violence, the blood and, above all, the stark injustice of the day imprinted itself on Bill’s mind forever.

Bill was a young boy the day he witnessed events destined to become famous in Australian history: the Eureka Stockade. He was to grow up to become famous himself: William Guthrie Spence played an instrumental role in the Federation of Australia, transforming the country from individual colonies to one unified nation. He was also to become one of the greatest union organisers in Australia’s history and the most vocal supporter of the fledgling Australian Labor Party.

The Eureka rebelliont the only thing that ignited his passion for fairness in the workplace. For William Guthrie Spence, there was only one real role model for justice and it wasn’t Eureka. It was Jesus.

An architect of trade unionism in Australia and, ultimately, around the world, Spence was also a Methodist preacher and Presbyterian elder influenced by the words of the prophet Micah: ‘He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.’ (Micah 6:8 NIV)

William Guthrie Spence constantly argued for the labour movement to be based on the values of Jesuss the key.

In Bill’s life – from the time he was a young boy to his leadership of workers – it was all about one of the things Australians most valued: mateship. But for Bill that could not truly be found outside Christian values and the ultimate act of mateship: the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for the sins of the world. ‘Greater love has no one than this: that he lay down his life for his friends.’ (John 15:13 NIV).

Credits:
http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/spence-william-guthrie-4628
http://www.awu.net.au/opinions/william-guthrie-spence-nation-builder-labour-leader-worker

Written by Annie Hamilton
Thank to Graham McDonald, “Children of the World”
A ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ Australia.
Contact Graham McDonald:  graham.mcdonald@ccca.org.au

 

Almond Buds of Spring

I would like to share with you a note of great encouragement on how we as followers of Jesus have been scripted into the great plan and purpose of God from Exodus to Revelation…
In Exodus 25:33 the seven branched golden lampstand was made to a precise blueprint that God gave Moses (Hebrews 8:5). Every detail of the Tabernacle is very important and prophetically points to Jesus. The lampstand or Menorah was the only light in the darkness of the Holy Place of the Tabernacle. This symbol was pointing to Christ as the only light of the world – “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12). While the Menorah is the symbol of Israel it is also the symbol of the church for in Revelation 1:20 Jesus tells us that the seven golden lampstands are the seven churches.

In Matt 5:14 Jesus commissioned his followers to continue in his role as the Menorah bringing the light of the kingdom of God to the world. He moved on from “I am the light of the world” to: “You are the light of the world”. This was originally symbolised in Exodus 25:33 by the almond flowers with buds and blossoms. Why the Almond flowers? Because they were the first to bud and blossom in spring signifying new life being born again from the vine of Jesus: “I am the vine; you are the branches” (John 15:5).

In the tabernacle the priests were tasked to keep the cups of the branches of the Menorah filled with pure olive oil so that the flames would burn continuously. We can now see the beautiful symbology of the buds of spring representing Jesus followers being born again by the Holy Spirit to new life that is ignited as light in the darkness.

In the design of the Menorah Jesus is the stem and we are the branches (John 15). Israel is the original light of the world and the gentile followers are grafted into this vine (Romans 11:24)… and herein lies the hope of the world…

To do the works of God we have to be born again by the Holy Spirit, grafted into the vine and then keep on being continually filled with the Holy Spirit. But this is not enough. To be the light of Christ in the darkness of our commissioned part of the world we also have to be alight – on fire. This is what Jesus meant in Matt 5:14-16 – we are a light on a hill, not a light hidden under a bowl. Our light has to shine before men so that they may see our good deeds and give praise to our father in heaven. Decide today to shine brightly for Christ in your everyday world.

Many denominations coming together to see Jesus Exalted in Melbourne

Seka KeillorIt is a very exciting time to be a Christian in this great city of Melbourne. God is doing something wonderful in 2013. Before Jesus died on the cross we read his prayer to his Father in John 17:20-22 NIV

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one.”

On the 9th and 10th of May the River of Life Conference will be held in the city. I believe it will be the beginning of something that many have prayed for over many years, and that is to see Jesus glorified in this city and to see Revival in Australia. There have been many prophesies over this city and nation by powerful men and women of God from both here and other countries. They look forward to a mighty move of God in the Holy Spirit with many coming to know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. We pray for the authentic works of Jesus in our time with people being healed and set free from all sorts of problems and addictions.

The great thing about this conference is that it is not run by one denomination but many denominations coming together with one purpose – to see Jesus exalted in the city of Melbourne.

I have been to many conferences throughout my 50 years as a Christian but this is the first time I have seen such unity in the church.

I trust that if you have not already purchased a ticket for the 2 day conference that you do it as soon as possible. The Thursday seats have sold out as have the inner seats for the Friday in the auditororium.

Blessings to you,

Seka Keillor
Senior Pastor
Doncaster City Church