The Canberra Declaration very quickly came into being when the redefinition of marriage became an issue for the 2010 Federal election. At that time there was evidence that the push for same-sex ‘marriage’ was spreading beyond the homosexual community and gaining support in the mainstream.
This threat continued and the Canberra Declaration called a strategic planning consultation in Parliament House in February 2011. The unanimous decision of the 30 or so Christian leaders present was to call God’s people to come together in Canberra to pray with Marriage as the focus. So began the first National Day of Prayer & Fasting.
We continue to thank God that in the past five years, the many attempts to redefine marriage in Australia have all been thwarted. Your prayers and action, we believe are making a difference.
Even though Australia is the last of the six Anglosphere countries – United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand – still holding to marriage as between a man and a woman, we believe change here isNOT INEVITABLE.
Nevertheless Tuesday night’s surprise announcement by Bill Shorten that Labor will introduce a bill, as soon asnext Monday, to legalise same-sex ‘marriage’, once again spurs us and many other like-minded Christians to pray and act to preserve marriage. Shorten’s move followed an announcement by the Greens that theirMarriage Equality Bill would be brought to the Senate on 18 June.
This strong push for renewed debate in Australia seems to have been triggered by latest developments overseas.
On 28 April, the United States Supreme Court conducted hearings on some same-sex marriage bans in a number of US states. If it rules that the US Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under law gives homosexual Americans the right to marry, it could establish so-called same-sex marriage as a nationwide right in the US once and for all.
Last weekend on 22 May, Ireland, which traditionally has been a staunchly Catholic country, became the first country to legalise gay marriage by popular vote (a referendum). The YES vote was heavily subsidised by $16 Million US dollars from an American-based organisation. As a result faithful Christians will now be on a collision course with the Irish state choosing between God’s law and the laws of fallen man.
Even Liberal Democrat Senator David Leyonhelm whose Freedom to Marry Bill 2014 was not brought to a vote as planned on 26 March is saying, “I think what’s happened in Ireland is going to be good for the potential of my bill to get through and get a positive vote.”
In response to the Irish referendum, Australian Doctor David Van Gend, President of the Australian Marriage Forum, points out that “a constitutional right to same-sex marriage means a constitutional right to same-sex adoption and surrogacy, and that means motherless and fatherless families are now enshrined as an ideal in the Irish Constitution.” His response begins with the words “Ireland has written a social suicide note and we grieve for her. But we will not follow her.” Read more here.
In March 2015 the Australian Marriage Forum launched their TV/YouTube campaign, ‘Think of the Child’, to challenge the injustice to children which is inherent in so-called ‘marriage equality’.
Lyle Shelton, Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby, stated in a media release that “marriage equality abolishes in law and culture the idea that, wherever possible, children have a right to both their mother and father.” Read today’s media release here.
Dr Robert George of Princeton University, as one of the drafters of theManhattan Declaration (which inspired the Canberra Declaration) and who has been called America’s “most influential conservative thinker”tells usthat our laws “have understood and defined [marriage] as a relationship shaped by the needs of children for mothers and fathers, rather than as an institution whose purpose is to serve the interests or desires of adults by facilitating sexual-romantic companionship.”
George, who is this year’s Wilberforce Award winner, continues that marriage “aims to secure for the children the inestimable blessing of being brought up in the committed love – the marital bond – of the man and woman who brought them into being.”
Homosexual ‘marriage’ robs children, who come into being through reproductive technologies, of the nurture and knowledge of both a mother and a father. In other words so-called ‘marriage equality’ makes the well-being of children subservient to the interests and desires of adults. It’s not equality at all. If we follow this path it is easy to see that we will end up with another Stolen Generation!
Marriage therefore is not simply a form of sexual-romantic or domestic partnership but something God ordained at Creation. Marriage as between a man and a woman is the foundational relationship of human society.
Now we invite you to watch this lovely short video on marriage produced by Natalie Lonsdale, our volunteersocial media coordinator for the Canberra Declaration. She has added music and images to the words of the Canberra Declaration about marriage.
The definition of true marriage cannot be changed. Jesus said, “Haven’t you read that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” (Matthew 19:4-6).
Yes, marriage is worth fighting for!
Firstly, take hold of the most powerful weapon that God has given Christians – prayer. Pray that God will preserve marriage as solely between a man and a woman as He purposed at Creation.
Secondly, please make an appeal to your local Federal Member of Parliament by visiting, ringing or writing. You can send an email message by using this convenient service by the ABC. Ask him or her to preserve the institution of marriage.
Thirdly, pass this email on to others urging them to sign the Declaration (click the button below) to support marriage or go to Canberra Declaration Facebook page and share this video with your friends.
Yours for the defense of marriage and family,
David Rowsome and Warwick Marsh
DOUBLE OUR NUMBERS CAMPAIGN UPDATE
We thank God that Strategy 3 “Contacting Church Leaders“ has gone out and is working like a small amount of yeast in a large batch of dough! We are seeing a steady trickle of signatures coming in. May it increase to a stream then a river 🙂
In the process we are learning more about how to build our contact databases for the different church denominations in each state and territory. Our volunteers have been doing a great job.
It is also a great joy to read nearly 200 New Signee Surveys and find out what issues are of greatest concern to them as well as ways they might like to be involved more.
We look forward to releasing Strategy 4 next week. Please pray and watch for that email.
Happy National Day of Thanksgiving!
This Saturday 30th May 2015 is Australia’s National Day of Thanksgiving. A day (or weekend) set aside to say thank you to God for all His goodness to us as a nation, and to say thank you to others for the special and unique contribution they make to our lives.
On Saturday, tens of thousands of Australians will be thanked, honoured or served by their fellow citizens in a day of goodwill, that is fast establishing its own unique place in the calendar of our nation.
On Saturday night, Christians will gather to worship and give thanks to God in combined Australia Worships celebrations and on Sunday Churches will celebrate with services of Thanksgiving.
The National Day of Thanksgiving is a day when our nation is touched by the love, grace and compassion of Jesus as expressed by those who are called by His name – the Christians of this great nation.
Why don’t you make a point of seeking someone out this Saturday to say thank you to, or to do an act of kindness towards, and let them see the nature and character of Jesus through your loving concern.