AUSTRALIAN PRAYER NETWORK NEWSLETTER – AUSTRALIAN NEWS 25th SEPTEMBER 2013
The Australian Prayer Network office will be closed from today for the next 5 weeks to allow our team to undertake strategic prayer assignments in the Middle East. Newsletters may be irregular and limited in content during that time. Full operations will resume as from 3rd November. Thank you for your understanding, and for your prayers for us as we undertake these strategic assignments.
- MARRIAGE DEBATE MUST GO TO THE PEOPLE
- COMPASS LEADERSHIP TRAINING COURSE
SETBACK FOR EUTHANASIA REFORM IN FEDERAL ELECTION RESULTS
MARRIAGE DEBATE MUST GO TO THE PEOPLE
A referendum of the Australian people should decide the future of marriage following a report that Kevin Rudd may introduce a private members’ bill to redefine it in the new Parliament. Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) Managing Director Lyle Shelton said the issue of same-sex marriage achieved an incredibly high profile during the election campaign but proved not to be a vote winner for Mr Rudd and Labor. “Any analysis of the Federal election results must take into account that this issue was front and centre of Labor’s campaign but failed to attract votes amongst the broader Australian community,” Mr Shelton said.
“Mr Rudd’s bullying of Christian Pastor Matt Prater on the Q&A program has caused many people to worry about freedom of speech and freedom of belief should the law on marriage be changed. “There are many Australians who for reasons of conscience will always believe that marriage is between a man and a woman and will want to teach their children this,” Mr Shelton said. “Mr Rudd’s tone suggested that there was no place in Australia for these beliefs.” Mr Shelton said it should not be up to politicians to change a law that would impact so heavily on freedom of speech, belief and religion.
“The far-reaching consequences of changing the definition of marriage means a conscience vote of the Australian people, not politicians, is what is needed.” Moves by the ACT and NSW parliaments to introduce same-sex marriage meant Australia risked having a hodgepodge of marriage laws when in reality the marriage power resided with the Commonwealth. ACL’s election panel webcast to 300 churches just prior to the election heard former Attorney-General Robert McClelland and former deputy prime minister John Anderson both call for a constitutional referendum to settle this matter.
“I think the High Court will ultimately, if there is a change in the law, be required to determine what the constitutional founders meant when they included the marriage power in the constitution,” Mr McClelland said. “I don’t think that’s a comfortable place for the High Court to be. I think if there is going to be any reform in this area, and I don’t think there should be, but if there is, it should be through the public debating it through the course of a referendum.” Mr McClelland reminded the audience that his 2009 reforms to 85 laws meant there was no discrimination against same-sex couples.
Mr Anderson said he was “deeply troubled by the lack of civility” in the debate. “I think this debate puts politicians under unbelievable pressure because the community is so polarised. “I actually think this now needs to go to the people.” Mr Anderson said a referendum should come with a “publicly funded, properly articulated yes and no case”. He said there should also be an honest acknowledgement of what changing the law on marriage would mean for freedom of belief and the right to express that belief. He also said the rights of children, wherever possible, to be raised by both their biological parents should be part of the debate.
Source: Australian Christian Lobby
COMPASS LEADERSHIP TRAINING COURSE
Can you imagine if Christians were known across the world as a creative people? Were thought to provide insightful, empathetic, and Imaginative leadership in uncertain situations? Were understood to possess a fresh and innovative approach for dealing with complex local and global issues? Were seen to offer a vision of meaningful life that considered not only human flourishing, but the flourishing of all creation? If you are interested in being part of a gathering of young people seeking to explore such possibilities the 7th annual Compass Summer Conference to be held from the 12th – 19th January 2014 at the University of Queensland is for you.
Compass’ intent is to nurture a select group of younger Christians who will be deeply shaped by the biblical story, who can listen and discern the various worldviews influencing our culture and who will have the leadership skills, resilience and humility to contribute to deep and lasting transformation of society and culture. It is a long-term vision and requires our intentional ongoing education, networking and encouragement of alumni, and the sustaining of rich conversations about the gospel and culture post the conference itself. It is a long-term vision for the development of strategic Christian leaders in this nation.
We are seeking nominations of young adults who are:
. Motivated, thoughtful, perplexed, trusting, loving, and imaginative young Christians, preferably aged between 17-30.
. Endeavouring to integrate faith with all aspects of life.
. Seeking to influence society and culture through their future professional activity.
The cost of the program is $1100 (inc. GST), which covers accommodation, meals and conference sessions for the week.
Students can nominate directly at http://www.admin.compass.org.au/. Potential nominees should go to http://www.compass.org.au/for full details about Compass and the Summer Conference. For more information please feel free to contact Salli Taylor on firstname.lastname@example.org ring the office on 07 5518 8839.
Compass Foundation Australia
Source: Compass Foundation Australia
SETBACK FOR EUTHANASIA REFORM IN FEDERAL ELECTION RESULTS
Well known euthanasia advocate Philip Nitschke stood as a Senate candidate in the ACT for the Voluntary Euthanasia Party at the recent Federal elections polling only 1.47 of the vote. Prior to the election Nitschke had outlined his party’s policy on euthanasia in the Canberra Times newspaper. Nitschke argued that euthanasia made good economic sense on the basis that older Australians choosing to die would help restrain the health budget. He wrote “Whilst no one is saying we should put people down against their will, we are suggesting it is a worthwhile debate to have – especially if hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars in the health budget could be saved.
Nitschke has consistently advocated for virtually unrestricted legalisation of euthanasia, giving ground only on the basis of excluding minors and people with mental incapacity from such legislation. Whilst many advocates argue that legalisation of euthanasia would only impact a relative few, Nitschke’s claim that it could save “hundreds of thousands, if not millions” of dollars from the health budget, appears to indicate that he has it in mind that many thousands of people would take advantage of the legislation by killing themselves. Whatever the figure it is likely to be boosted by those encouraged to euthanize themselves by those who see a possible economic gain from a deceased estate.
Despite Nitschke’s poor showing at the ballot box we must not become complacent. The Australian Greens Party, well known advocates of euthanasia, are proposing to again table a bill to try and overturn the Euthanasia Laws Act 1997 which would allow euthanasia and assisted suicide debates to resurface in the ACT and The Northern Territory. They are also claiming that the Commonwealth holds the power to legislate under the Constitution power it has to provide medical services. With the make-up of the Senate due to change from 1st July 2014 as a result of the recent election, it is not known how several of the minor parties elected would cast their votes on the legislation.