We very rarely, if ever, send out News Updates two days running but today we need to make an exception. You will see why as you read on. Things are happening quickly at this crucial time in our history.
And so we are calling you to make history tomorrow. Yes, you can be a history-maker!
We want to alert you to a call that has gone out from the Vatican by Pope Francis “for each and every religious person, and those against war, to join him together in prayer, in a spirit of penitence, to ask from God this great gift [of peace] for the beloved Syrian nation and for all the situations of conflict and violence in the world.” This world day of prayer and penance is marked for tomorrow 7 September especially between the hours of 7-12 pm when Pope Francis will lead a prayer vigil in St Peter’s Square. You can read more details here. Below is a media release issued today.
There are about 1.2 billion Catholics in the world today and 1 billion people of other Christian denominations (over half a billion of whom are Evangelicals). That is a POWERFUL PRAYER FORCE! Pope Francis has appealed also to non-Christians who welcome peace, to join him. It is in desperate times that people are known to resort to prayer. So potentially that is a POWERFUL cry from people’s hearts.
Could this be part of the answer to many prayers over the past 31 days of the Billion Souls Revival Prayer Call with it’s 4-point prayer plan? Today CBN.com Day 30’s prayer point in their 40 days of prayer reads “TODAY IS THE DAY OF SALVATION”. Pray for the salvation of at least 1 billion souls! GOD TV launched last night their Battle for 1 Billion Souls campaign that goes for one week and focuses on praying that our loved ones might know him. We are seeing a multiplication of prayer to God across the world!
Keeping in mind that the Word of God commands us to “not be yoked together with unbelievers” (2 Corinthians 6:14), we encourage you to join with many millions of Christians around the world in this historic, unprecedented world call to prayer for Syria. In line with the four prayer points of the Billion Souls Revival Prayer Call, let us pray, fast and repent for the billions belonging to other faiths who do not know Jesus. Pray that God will sovereignly reveal to them His love and Jesus Christ, His Son, as the answer for the world today. For Jesus said,
“I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.”
And as we fast and pray for God’s intervention in the situation in Syria let us also pray for our own nation Australia. While the United Nations has some questionable agendas, the fact remains that Australia is now on the United Nations Security Council with Ambassador Gary Quinlan its Australian President! Pray that God will grant special wisdom to Ambassador Quinlan and our newly-elected PM. May God impress on them that Jesus is the ultimate answer for a world that is in deep turmoil. Let us also pray for God’s will to be revealed in the Australian election tomorrow.
We received an important update from FamilyVoice Australia in regard to the stance of some Katter Australia Party candidates for the Senate on so-called “same-sex marriage”. We strongly believe it should be called “homosexual union” because what is being discussed can never be marriage as God intended.
Steven Bailey (KAP ACT Senate candidate) and James Blundell (KAP, QLD Senate candidate) support “homosexual marriage” – so any vote or high preference for the KAP in the Senate in these states could end up tipping the Senate in this harmful direction. While the KAP “party score” for the FamilyVoice election survey was 100, it now appears that Bob Katter did not choose his candidates in accord with his policies, and will allow any elected KAP candidate a conscience vote on this issue. In fact KAP Senate preferences in the ACT could elect the Greens. It is therefore generally unsafe to vote “1” above the line for Katter’s Australian Party in the Senate. If in doubt about any preference flows, voters should take their time to number every square below the line on the huge Senate ballot paper, using their own preferences.
FamilyVoice recommends a simple approach that you start with the minor parties you trust most, then the major party you trust most. Finish with the parties you trust least. It doesn’t matter how you number the parties in the middle, but you need to number every square if possible. The Electoral Commission will still accept your vote, even if you miss 10% of the squares below the line, or get the consecutive numbering wrong up to three times.
To get the most accurate and up-to-date situation in each state and territory prior to voting we recommend that you visit the FamilyVoice website article.
History in the Making!
Here are some latest news updates in the aftermath of Monday night’s Q&A on the ABC. On the program, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd failed to respectfully answer a fellow Christian, Pastor Matt Prater. It is a sad irony that Pastor Matt had previously had a positive interview with Kevin Rudd on his History-Makers radio program in 2006. Here are some glimpses of ‘history in the making’.
Short introductory speeches to Christians by Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott, and the Panel discussion on the marriage issue from Monday night’s ACL’s Make It Count webcast.
The 4-min incident between Kevin Rudd and Matt Prater on Q&A.
An excellent defence by Lyle Shelton of ACL on ABC TV News.
Various articles, including ones from non-Christian Andrew Bolt, as they appear in Saltshakers News from 5 September, 2013.
Commentary by Adam Ch’ng called “Judas Kiss will Cost PM” in The Australian 5 September, 2013 (see below).
Lyle Shelton’s article “Same-sex marriage should go to the people” in Online Opinion 6 September, 2013.
As you pray for the world and Australia please keep praying for Pastor Matt Prater, his family and his church.
Your prayers are making history!
Warwick Marsh and David Rowsome
PS. Thank you to those who have sent us a donation to help the Canberra Declaration in its mission to make a stand for life, faith, freedom and family. We have been getting this message out through news releases and our resources are low. If you haven’t given yet, would you give a donation of $20 to help the ministry of the Canberra Declaration in upholding our Christian values? Please Donate Here.
Call for Support for World Day of Prayer & Fasting
Ps Matt Prater said, “We are very excited to support this global interdenominational call to pray and fast for an end to the conflict in Syria. The team behind the National Day of Prayer and Fasting previously called, with other key international prayer leaders, for 40 days of prayer, fasting and repentance from 6 August-14 September 2013. The 14 September is Yom Kippur, Israel’s National Day of Atonement and will be the first ever International Day of Repentance. We were inspired by the Australian Prayer Network’s earlier call to prayer for the Australian Federal Elections, so we are already praying and fasting at this time. Our key verse is 2 Chronicles 7:14. We feel that this call by the leader of the Catholic Church is in the timing and purpose of God. Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace and so we ask Christians, both in Australia and around the world, to pray for peace to prevail in Syria. This is of course also an opportunity to pray for our Australian elections at the same time.”
David Rowsome, a key organiser of the Billion Souls Revival Prayer Call said, “The Billion Souls Revival Prayer Call focuses on praying for four things:
1. Revival and transformation of the nations of the world.
2. A billion people to find Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord.
3. An end to abortion and for God to turn back the global tide of death and immorality.
4. A multiplication of prayer, praise and worship to God across the world as never before.
We believe that Pope Francis’ global call for Prayer, Fasting and Penance is a direct answer to our prayer for a global multiplication of prayer as never before. This is also an historic time for Australia as we have our elections on 7 September. We have a Prime Minister who has promised that if he is re-elected he will introduce ‘homosexual marriage’ within 100 days of being in office. Just as violence leads to more violence, so immorality begets more immorality. ‘Righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to any people’.
Australia has a strong Christian heritage as a nation so we ask that as you pray for peace in Syria, you also pray for revival and reformation for Australia. The Prince of Peace has all the answers for Syria and all the nations of the world. To God be the glory.”
If there is actually such a thing as the “Christian vote”, on Monday night Kevin Rudd lost it.
For many, the Prime Minister’s spirited defence of same-sex marriage on ABC1’s Q&A program was a watershed moment.
Kerryn Phelps hailed it as a “historical moment in Australian politics” and penned a 475-word article of thanks to Rudd.
For Phelps and so many other LGBTIQ (lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender/intersexed/questioning) voters, this was the “sweetest victory of all”.
Yet for so many Christian voters, this was the moment that the sheep’s clothing came off the wolf’s back.
At 7.30pm that Monday, more than 35,000 Christians gathered across 339 churches in every state and territory of Australia to watch Rudd and Tony Abbott address the Christian constituency.
Not yet knowing what was to come, many of us sympathised with Rudd’s apparently genuine admission that: “Many in the Christian churches may be disappointed with some of the decisions that I have taken as Prime Minister or as a person. I have also undertaken those decisions in good and prayerful conscience, even though people in equal prayerful conscience may disagree with some of those conclusions.”
If the night had ended there, many of us would have been disappointed but at least sympathetic towards Rudd’s clumsy attempt to navigate through a complex moral minefield. What came next, no one could have foreseen.
Not more than three hours later, Rudd publicly crucified a mainstream Christian pastor for questioning the PM’s backflip on marriage policy.
Instead of the “gentle Kevin meek and mild” we’d seen earlier that night, Rudd now not only failed to directly answer the question but mercilessly lambasted the pastor, whose personal views were irrelevant to his response.
According to Anglican Archbishop of Sydney Glenn Davies, Rudd was “profoundly wrong in his understanding of the Bible. He misquoted the Bible and attributed to the Bible something that Aristotle said (that slavery is a natural condition).”
While Rudd’s gross distortion of biblical truth was deeply concerning, it was his modus operandi and treatment of the Christian church that was offensive.
In retrospect, the Prime Minister’s apparently gracious words of 7.30pm were akin to Judas’s kiss before his 10.30pm betrayal. Voters can forgive a prime minister for changing his or her mind on even an important policy issue. On Monday night, however, Rudd treated every Christian voter in Australia with absolute contempt.
Far from being some moment of great integrity and strong leadership, the Prime Minister’s visceral attack on the Christian church was nothing more than cheap political opportunism.
It was this Prime Minister’s attempt at creating his own “misogyny speech”, with the same confected moral outrage against a fictitious straw man. It was political desperation on steroids.
With the Labor Party heading for electoral wipe-out on Saturday, Rudd’s attempt at leveraging the same-sex marriage debate as a Hail Mary pass was always doomed to fail. It has irreparably damaged his once close relationship with the Christian constituency across Australia.
In fact, across the course of the election campaign, Rudd has gradually severed ties with the people with whom he identified so closely in 2009.
According to former ALP senator John Black, Rudd has neglected the “young working-class families in the outer suburbs, many of whom go to church and believe in God”.
“Frankly, I haven’t seen Kevin Rudd talking to those people a lot during the course of this campaign,” Black said.
In June 2010, Rudd was torn down by his own party over his mismanagement of the emissions trading scheme and resource super-profits tax. His gross lack of political judgment cost him the confidence of his “gang of four” and caucus.
Unfortunately, that same lack of judgment appears to have motivated his neglect of vast swaths of the electorate who were supporters of Kevin07.
Joe de Bruyn, national secretary of the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association, cautioned that “Labor runs the risk that people who traditionally vote Labor will not vote Labor because they don’t like the (same-sex marriage) issue. So Labor is actually running the risk, the more they prioritise this, people will vote against it.”
On Monday, the Prime Minister ran that risk and crashed through. So this Saturday, he should crucify any expectation of political salvation.
Adam Ch’ng is a workplace relations lawyer and policy adviser in Melbourne.
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