Shire-wide “Jesus is …!” Mission with Moore is just 8 weeks away
How will you take this opportunity? Please pray now for two people you can invite to church this term.
Ruddock reviews Religious Freedom in Australia
The Federal government has invited Mr Ruddock to conduct this review. Personally I come from a background of tolerance and free speech “I may disagree with you but I’ll defend your right to speak”. I’m deeply disturbed when governments and institutions ban people from speaking purely because some people will be upset by what they say. An example of this was when holocaust denier David Irving was refused entry. I consider his views unhistorical and ridiculous but I would rather allow him to speak and his views exposed for the rubbish they are rather than simply banning people and having the government or a public servant decide what views are permissible. Sadly universities have for years banned groups like the Navigators from simply giving away New testaments on campus. I am not suggesting that slander, abuse, bullying or vilification are ever OK, but we already rightly have laws against these.
Our Lord Jesus “fought” by speaking and persuading. When it comes the fight against radical militant Islam or other totalitarian advocates I believe these battles can only be won in the realm of ideas. Western secular humanism is bereft of power in this area, but Jesus and the Gospel aren’t. An example of this … reports are growing of large numbers of Iranian Moslems turning to Jesus. For years those fleeing Iran to Australia and elsewhere have been finding answers in Jesus. Now 10,000’s in Iran itself have joined house churches similar to what’s happened in China over decades.
But back to the Ruddock review. This week Bishop Hayward has circulated this prayer by Rev Nigel Fortesque and encouraged our churches to pray for the review. Would you join him and me in praying – remembering the most powerful weapon in the Christian arsenal is the gospel itself. Respect & tolerance can’t be enforced by legislation. But protection of religious freedom helps promote tolerance, debate and openness.
Prayer for the Ruddock Review
Heavenly Father, we pray for the upcoming Ruddock Review of religious protections and more broadly religious freedoms in Australia. We pray, Father, that this review would be fair, respectful and that it would give fair and full consideration of the impact of legislative changes to the definition of marriage and the roll-on effects to free speech, religious beliefs and convictions, and the conduct of faith groups, churches and charities in our nation. We pray Father for the religious representation provided by Freedom for Faith that its submission authored by Professor Patrick Parkinson will faithfully represent the concerns of faith-based groups, but will also be written with an eye to craft solutions that are likely to win bipartisan political support, both at state and federal levels. We pray that the Review and it’s reception by the federal government, under God’s sovereign hand, forge a new societal compact in which people of faith can continue to ‘live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness’ (1 Timothy 2:2). Amen.
Your brother and pastor in Christ, Graham