AUSTRALIAN PRAYER NETWORK NEWSLETTER
MARRIAGE ADVOCACY TO CONTINUE DESPITE PLEBISCITE SETBACK
The Australian Christian Lobby has expressed disappointment that ordinary Australians are being shut out from having a say about the biggest social policy change in a generation. Labor’s decision to block the people’s vote on redefining marriage shows that political elites in Labor, the Greens, the Nick Xenophon Team and Senator Derryn Hinch do not trust the public to have a respectful national conversation. Australian Christian Lobby Managing Director Lyle Shelton said it was only three years ago that Opposition Leader Bill Shorten was supporting a plebiscite. “During the 2013 election campaign Mr Shorten told an ACL candidates’ forum that he supported a plebiscite.”
Mr Shelton said same sex marriage activists had always found it easier to intimidate parliamentarians with the threat of being labelled ‘homophobes’ or ‘bigots’ if they did not fall into line. “Despite constantly claiming overwhelming public support for redefining marriage, it is perplexing that advocates are not willing to trust the Australian people with a decision that has enormous consequences for all families. “Such a big change with such big consequences for what children are taught at school, the rights of children to know their mother and father and for freedom of speech should be taken to the people,” Mr Shelton said. “The Coalition went to the last election promising a people’s vote and won the election.
“It would be a breach of trust by government members to allow any other pathway for change.” Mr Shelton said ACL would redouble its efforts with marriage coalition partners in coming months and years to ensure the Australian people understood the consequences of change. “There is no discrimination in Australian law against same-sex couples but there are significant consequences if the definition of marriage is changed,” he said. Mr Shelton said many Australians would be disappointed at a lost opportunity to resolve what has been a long running debate.
Source: Australian Christian Lobby
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TERROR MAGAZINE ENCOURAGES LONE WOLVES TO KILL AUSTRALIANS
An Islamic State magazine has encouraged lone wolves to attack and kill Australians in public acts of terror. “Kill them on the streets, and even in their backyards,” an article published in the new English-language online periodical urged. “Stab them, shoot them, poison them, and run them down with your vehicles until they are filled with terror for having waged a war against the believers, and by Allah’s will, they will be victorious.” The article urged “those living in Australia in particular” – to follow their lead. “Follow the path of these righteous souls because there is no other path,” it said. Light the ground beneath them aflame and scorch them with terror.”
Australia’s Prime Minister said there is a “real threat” of terrorism on Australian soil in the wake of these threats. Malcolm Turnbull said that as the allied forces take back Daesh’s territory, “it will resort to terrorist activities outside the Middle East. Australians can be assured that we have the finest security, intelligence, police forces in the world and we are providing them with the laws they need and the resources they need to keep us safe. We have a threat level of probable. It is a real threat. Our security services are relentless, tireless in keeping Australians safe,” Mr Turnbull said. “We do have to be very alert to the actions of these lone actors; individuals, who for a variety of reasons, may be radicalised. Often they have associated mental illness and can be radicalised very quickly.”
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on counter-terrorism, Michael Keenan, said the plea reflected the desperation of the terrorist organisation, as it continued to lose territory in the Syrian conflict. “The release of Islamic State’s new magazine is another desperate attempt to attract more supporters, in the face of substantial territory losses and dwindling numbers of foreign fighters,” he said. “IS has lost close to half of the territory it held in Iraq and up to 20 per cent of its territory in Syria. “Recent reports suggest IS fighter numbers have fallen to record lows. IS has not gained any new territory since June 2015.” Mr Keenan said the organisation had previously called for attacks on Australia and, “we will not let them win”. “Safety and security at home will always be the government’s first priority.”
Source: Compiled by APN from media reports
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A MONTH OF PRAYER FOR MARRIAGE AND FAMILY
Christians across the nation and across the denominational spectrum are coming together in concerted prayer during October, at a time when the Federal parliament will be considering changes to the structure of marriage in this country. The initiative, by the Catholic Church’s Marriage and Family Council, is being strongly supported by many Christian denominations, organisations and networks represented in Australia. The Australian Prayer Network, which believes all Christians must stand in solidarity on this issue if the threat to traditional marriage is to be defeated, is encouraging all our members to join in the month of prayer with their brothers and sisters in Christ. Each week we are publishing prayer points covering the focus being followed by all Churches, organisations and networks.
This week commencing 15th October our prayers will focus on all persons who experience same-sex attraction or gender uncertainty and their families.
* that God would make Himself known to all those who struggle with same-sex attraction and gender uncertainty.
* that God would make us all more aware, sensitive and supportive of such people rather than them identifying Christians as people of judgment and hate.
* that God would use circumstances that arise in the lives of these people to lead them to personal faith and healing.
Source: Australian Prayer Network
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CHURCHES COMBINE TO PROVIDE CHRISTIAN ALTERNATIVE TO HALLOWEEN
Editors note: As Halloween celebrations continue to attract more and more attention in Australia some Churches have decided to fight back by providing an healthier alternative type of celebration.
A Christian alternative to Halloween attracted over 200 children and adult guests to an Anglican Church in Goulburn last Halloween. Significantly the majority of the guests were not church people. “The party really connected with the wider community,” said Brian Champness, organiser of the no-tricks ‘Light Party’. Brian is Director of Families and Children’s Ministry for the F5 Anglican congregation in Goulburn. “Many parents and children don’t like Halloween – it’s not just Christians – and they loved having something else to go to. Some don’t like it because it’s an American thing and some don’t like the big commercial push behind it.” “We had about 125 primary school aged children, plus some below 3 years and some above 12 years, with about 80 parents; it was a great success.”
“The light of Jesus was shone brightly by all who served and many children and families were welcomed into the church buildings and grounds.” The party guests enjoyed a puppet show, singing, copious cakes and slices, a jumping castle, fairy floss, a cafe, a sausage sizzle, and art and crafts. The Light Party was supported by 41 volunteers from eight churches around Goulburn. The party wound up at 8pm so the ‘littlies’ could be in bed on time. The F5 Anglican congregation is a church plant started and led by the Anglican Bishop of Canberra and Goulburn, Stuart Robinson, and his wife, Jane, to reach the unchurched. Held in a church hall rather than a church, F5 has a ‘contemporary’ Anglican approach.
Source: By Terry Craig retired journalist and Christian magazine editor
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CHEST FEEDING BABIES BY MEN IS THE NEW FRONTIER OF SAME SEX MARRIAGE
The story of a woman identifying as a man “chest-feeding” a baby in an edition of Time Magazine is a poignant reminder that introducing same-sex marriage is not just about “love” but comes with significant social consequences. “Now that gay marriage is legal in the USA, the social battleground has shifted to new frontiers, frontiers that include the most private aspects of people’s lives,” the Time article says. Australian Christian Lobby Managing Director Lyle Shelton said Time’s profile of Evan “chest feeding” a baby (the article says you are not allowed to call it breast feeding) is about conditioning people for a post-same-sex marriage future. Mr Shelton said Australian school children were already being conditioned to the idea that their gender is fluid through the so-called “Safe Schools” program.
“This is where removing gender from marriage and its fellow traveller, ‘Safe Schools’, takes us. “This is why proponents of changing the definition of marriage do not want the Australian people to have a say through a plebiscite. They want to impose the consequences of their new normal without a public discussion,” Mr Shelton said. “Not only is this child being ‘chest feed’ by his biological mother identifying as a man, the baby is deliberately denied the love of his biological father as Evan is in a relationship with a woman. “The complexities this creates for the child are beyond belief. “With proponents of same-sex marriage and ‘safe schools’ labelling anyone who questions their ideology as homophobes and bigots, most people are afraid to question this new normal.”
Source: Australian Christian Lobby
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