Australia is a Christian country, or rather it was until the 60's when the secularist rot set in. We had all the institutions of law, education, parliament, reigion inherited along with our British heritage, but were were not immune to the swinging sixties, nor to feminism, marxism and foreign influence. We fought wars on the good-guys side. The 'Family' was strong and proud, pleasing and gave structural foundation. Many of our politicians were honorable men. We welcomed peoples from all over the world: those who wanted to live with and adopt our ways - - and unfortunately the vanguard of a multiculti, feminist, marxist fifth column that now inhabits our corridors of power.
Those latter people hate everything Oz stands for and with.
And now it is coming to a head. Rod Dreher had his eye on Oz from the other side of the Pacific, and especially on the recent increase in monastic response. In part he expressed some gloom.
The Benedict Option In Oz
The Benedict Option won’t work in Australia and it soon won’t work in other Western countries because even the existence of separate Christian communities is anathema—if we build monasteries, they will attack those too. As a whole, Bird agrees with Dreher about the state of the West—the future looks bleak and culture continues to spiral out of control.
Nothing is more needful today than the survival of Christian culture, because in recent generations this culture has become dangerously thin.
At this moment in the Church’s history in this country (and in the West more generally) it is less urgent to convince the alternative culture in which we live of the truth of Christ than it is for the Church to tell itself its own story and to nurture its own life, the culture of the city of God, the Christian republic.
I applaude the Benedict Option, m'self and see it as a way to regenerate the Faith.This is not going to happen without a rebirth of moral and spiritual discipline and a resolute effort on the part of Christians to comprehend and to defend the remnants of Christian culture.In my book, I cite research showing that Christianity in the United States is, in fact, dangerously thin — even among Evangelicals. Surely it is the same or worse in Australia — and surely Michael Bird recognizes this. Christians cannot hope to change Australia, America, or anywhere else if they are first not transformed in real ways by grace. This is the greatest challenge facing the churches today — even more urgent than the fact that we are living in an increasingly anti-Christian world.
Rarely do we have referendums, being a once democratic people. But a recent one divided the nation even further and gave us a good shove even faster down the slippery slope.
And it was pushed along by our political class who 'promised' there would be no repercussions. There would be no adverse consequences for society.
An open letter from religious leaders was signed by the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Glenn Davies; the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher; the Catholic Archbishop of Hobart, Julian Porteous; the Maronite Bishop of Australia, Antoine-Charbel Tarabay; the President of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church of Australia, Jorge Munoz and the Moderator-General of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, John P Wilson.
Other signatories included the National President of Australian Christian Churches, Wayne Alcorn; the National Ministries Director of Australian Baptist Ministers, Keith Jobberns; the National Leader of the Apostolic Church Australia, Wayne Swift; the Senior Minister of the Life Ministry Centre, Graham Nelson and the National Chair of the Assembly of Confessing Congregations within the Uniting Church in Australia, Hedley Fihaki.
The Primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, Archbishop Stylianos also lent his name to the letter along with the Senior Priest for the Coptic Orthodox Church in NSW, Tadros El-Bakhoumi and the Executive Assistant to Bishop Suriel of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Melbourne.
Joe Kelly told us what they said:
Church heads pen open letter over same-sex marriage bill fears
The heads of Australia’s churches have written an open letter to both Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten sounding the alarm on the lack of religious freedoms included in a bill to legalise same sex marriage.The letter, sent today, was signed by 14 of the most senior Church leaders in the country and appealed to both leaders to make good on their undertakings during the postal survey to uphold religious freedoms.
The religious leaders warn that the Senate had “voted against amendments that aim to reasonably accommodate these matters” and argue the marriage bill due to debated in the House of Representatives next week does not adequately address freedoms of conscience, belief and religion.“It is our view that the amendments to the bill proposed by Senators Paterson and Fawcett in the Senate on November 28 2017 provide balanced and reasonable measures that respond to such concerns,” they say.South Australian Liberal Senator David Fawcett and his Victorian Senate colleague, James Paterson, unsuccessfully moved five amendments in the Senate this week to better protect faith-based charities, preserve parental rights and shield individuals from being targeted for continuing to uphold traditional marriage.The amendments were defeated on the floor of the Senate, with the 14 religious leaders today warning the legalisation of same sex marriage will force an immediate question as to “whether a charity that holds a traditional view of marriage will retain its charity status at law.”“A change in a social institution that is as fundamental as that of marriage has wideranging implications for our community,” they say.“The amendments of Fawcett and Paterson offer a reasonable means to unify our nation by effecting the will of the majority who voted in favour of same sex marriage, while also incorporating the legitimate beliefs of those who are concerned for the protection of freedoms in our community.”A growing number of government frontbenchers in the lower house have indicated their intention to support some or all of the amendments by Senator Fawcett and Paterson including Treasurer Scott Morrison, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton and Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation, Angus Taylor.During the postal survey on same sex marriage, Mr Turnbull said he believed in religious freedoms “even more strongly” than he did in same-sex marriage and promised to ensure it was adequately protected in the event of a Yes vote.Many of his own Coalition MPs believe he has betrayed them
The Bishops are mild men. They are kind men. They are eyes-wide-shut men. The politicians do not care what they ask for. They are not going to pay them anymore attention than they have the 40% of voters who said 'NO'.by not living up to his word, with some deriding the same sex marriage bill proposed by West Australian Senator Dean Smith — and which passed the upper-house on Wednesday — as resembling a Greens/Labor initiative.The letter from religious leaders urges the government to consider six key points, with the first priority being the right of parents to “ensure the education of their children in accordance with their religious and moral convictions.”It lists five more points including the right of religious institutions to ensure that their facilities are “used in accordance with their beliefs” and the right of charities to continue to express a view in favour of traditional marriage without losing their charitable status.On both these points, the religious leaders warn there are no protections in the Smith bill. It also says the “internationally recognised rights of religious institutions to establish and maintain faith-based charities in accordance with their convictions is not assured.”It also canvasses two more priority areas for further consideration including the rights of religious institutions to continue to “express their beliefs” in a way that respectfully engages with the wider community.Lastly, it warns the Smith bill only provides “transitional rights for existing celebrants, who are not ministers of religion, to act in accordance with their genuinely held religious or conscientious convictions.”“We believe new celebrants should also be able to apply to be a traditional marriage celebrant into the future.”
Much firmer action is needed.
My own view, for what it is worth is that all Religious should stop using the word - Marriage ' as it has become debased. They should all refuse to act as marriage celebrants under the secular Act. They should continue to marry men and women in the Eyes of God, but not register them.
Catholic Priests and Bishops should continue to conduct ceremonies of Holy Matrimony.
And Holy Matrimony, the Sacrement, is what it should henceforth be called. Only. Other denominations could do the same using their own nomenclature.
But none should be 'marriage celebrants' as defined in the ungodly law of the land.
One fellow of this locale stepped up: Campbell Markham. Fine fellow. He has written a letter too, yet to be sent.
I do not think he needs to relinquish his Ministry, despite it being a non-Catholic one.Resignation from the Marriage ActI will mail this letter to the Attorney General on the day that the Governor General signs into law the redefinition of marriage.Dear Senator Brandis,Today, with profound sadness, as the Governor General signs into law the redefinition of the institution of marriage in the Commonwealth Marriage Act, I resign my status as a Minister of Religion registered under the Act, and relinquish my Celebrant’s Number, T2816.
I thereby revoke my right to conduct weddings as a recognised agent of the Act, and sever any other official connection to it.I resign for three reasons:1) The “Commonwealth Marriage Act” is from today no longer concerned with marriage:
...with the exclusive, lifelong union of one man and one woman, freely entered into. Although the novel Act retains the word “marriage,” it now uses this word to refer to something very different to marriage, to something in fact repugnant to the nature and purposes of marriage.Marriage brings together the two different and complementary sexes of humanity, and the two incomplete parts of the human reproductive system. The novel Act no longer recognises the unique importance of this union, but instead obfuscates and undermines it by applying the word “marriage” to the union of any two adults.And marriage binds together and protects a man and a woman in sexual relationship, and the children that are very often born out of such a relationship.
The novel Act does not do this.
On the contrary, it legitimises the removal of children from their natural parents.2) The Sacred Scriptures clearly delineate what sexual activity God has determined to be right and wrong.
Sexual intercourse was given by the Creator to one man and one woman joined in marriage. Fornication, adultery, prostitution, incest, and homosexual practice is forbidden as a misuse of our reproductive organs and sexual desires.The novel Act, by contrast, places homosexual acts, forbidden by God, on a moral level with male-female married sexual intercourse.3) The novel Act will be a root and tool of injustice.It is not just for adults to unnecessarily give up their responsibility to love and raise the children that they conceive. In fact it is manifestly cruel to abandon one’s offspring in this way. The novel “Marriage Act” legitimises and institutionalises this injustice.Nor is it just to unnecessarily sever a child from their biological heritage: from their natural family tree of parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. The novel Act legitimises this injustice.And it is not just to unnecessarily remove a child from the protection, love, and daily care of the mother and father who conceived and bore them.
This is a very effective point, showing just how hypocritical the Politicians and govenment are.In better days our nation stood united against this kind of injustice, inflicted upon the children of the Stolen Generation, and the children of forced adoptions. The novel Act, rather than protecting children against this, actually institutionalises the destruction of this sacred parent-child bond.
But no civil penalty can be applied to a private religious ceremony, not recognised as a civil 'marriage' conducted in the sight God outside of this 'Act'.For these reasons my conscience cannot permit me to remain an authorised celebrant of the novel "Marriage Act." I cannot give any semblance of legitimacy to something so manifestly immoral and unjust.My position is now this: I am sworn as a citizen and a Christian to obey the governing authorities of Australia. My highest allegiance, however, belongs to Jesus Christ, whom God has made King of kings and Lord of lords by virtue of his public resurrection from the dead, attested by scores of eye-witnesses. Where the laws of Australia contradict the laws of King Jesus then I must choose to obey Him.These therefore are my intentions:1) Though same-sex couples will now “marry” under the novel Act, I will only recognise male-female unions.2) For two thousand years it has been the privilege and duty of Christian pastors to marry those under their care. My calling and ordination to the pastorate compels me to go on with this duty. I will continue therefore to marry couples who can be rightly married, whether they are Christian or not, and will submit to whatever civil penalty may be attached to such action.
3) I will support those male-female couples who, for whatever reason, do not want to register their marriage under the novel “Marriage Act.” I will be ready to marry them in the sight of God and according to his laws, and will submit to whatever civil penalty may be attached to such action.4) Love for my nation compels me to fight for the recovery of marriage: for the recovery of our understanding of what marriage is, for the sacred exclusivity of the marriage bond, for the permanency of marriage, and for the recovery of our responsibilities as husbands and wives for each other and the children that we may bear. This recovery work will likely take many centuries, there is no time to waste.5) And love for my nation compels me to help ameliorate the damage that the novel Act must cause. Men and women who have forsaken their children will need to be called to repentance and healing, and will need to recover, if at all possible, their responsibilities to know, love, protect, and provide for their children. Children who have been unnecessarily removed from their natural parents experience a deep sense of pain, rejection, and loss, and will need to find healing and, wherever possible, reconciliation to their parents. Those who have given themselves to sexual acts that God has forbidden will also need to find his forgiveness and healing.I will point all people to Christ. He can heal those who have been hurt and broken by the dissolution of marriage. He loves us, and died to set us free from all the painful and destructive effects of sin.Today the bright star of marriage sets behind the dank horizon of blind and selfish populism.
It is a day to weep.
A truely brave man. Willing to pay the price.But it is not a day to despair. For marriage is obscured, not destroyed.In time we will see again what today we despise. In time God’s gift of marriage will once again arise in the collective heart of our nation, to be respected and enjoyed for the incalculable treasure that it is.For this bright distant dawn all Christians will work and pray.
I can see such a man simply refusing to render unto ceasar - or Bruce and Ahmed, Lily and Shaylene - any 'fines', or kow-tow to any complaints or bend a knee to any Prime Minister.
I can see him saying, "NO. I Will Not".
I can see such a man choosing jail. I hope he inspires bakers and florists, photographers and wedding reception venue owners.
I know he inspires me.
I hope to see many more fine, courageous and honest men join him until the cry of outrage is heard across the world.
Meanwhile I owe him a drink.
The Catholic Church has a firm means of dealing with Catholic MPs who fail in their duty. Excommunication. I would like to see the newspapers report that an MP was refused Communion at the altar rail. Perhaps the Archbishops should consider that. Perhaps start with Turnbull.