2020 Vision: a look at why and what we must now do in 2012 part 2
2020 Vision: a look at why and what we must now do in 2012 part 2.
Six weeks ago I presented to you a scenario of where we might be in the year 2020. In light of that this is a look at how we got to where we are now and what we must do to guard our future and the future of our children and grandchildren. Things have galloped on with two Australian ethicists hitting world headlines talking about “post-birth abortion”. As we said six weeks ago, this is not a new thing but we have sanitised it a little by calling by a different name. Do I have your attention? Instead of calling it infanticide, call it post-birth abortion.
The logic is impeccable. After all, if we can de-select (kill) pre-term babies in utero legally up to term for no reason, as in Victoria, then there is a logical consistency in de-selecting the “post-birth” baby – the newborn – for the same reasons or lack of reasons before it becomes “really human”, before it develops self-awareness – up to 4-6 weeks according to these ethicists, and others such as ex-pat Aussies Professor Julian Savulescu in Oxford and Professor Peter Singer at Princeton. There are also the advantages of giving the post-birth “thing” an anaesthetic as we de-select it and we can examine it properly first to make sure we are not de-selecting it in error. Did we happen to mention infanticide? No, of course we didn’t.
You will remember that this is only one of a series of scenarios presented along with the loss of freedom to speak of what we believe. We will have lost the freedom to respectfully disagree. We are losing it now.
So what is going on here? Fundamentally this is a rejection by people – many of whom do not believe in God at all let alone have a healthy sense of fear of God – of who God is, His Creation, the creation of male and female and of mankind being created in the Image of God.
Commenting on one essential part of this rebellion John Yates writes “the oppositional but complementary nature of heterosexual gender identity is written into the very framework of the order of the universe and the peak of the Creator’s genius. The challenge is far more profound than most Christians realise. This is a claim (for same-sex marriage) that God did not create His Image as male + female, it is an attack on the very existence and nature of God. The spiritual warfare around this issue is very intense.”
Where has the pressure come from? It’s a peculiar mix.
- For SSM it’s the push by mainly radical homosexuals, comprising a small proportion of the <2% of population that call themselves homosexual, for acceptance and respectability
- The left pushing for “equality”, anti-vilification measures and no-discrimination, freedom (for anyone but Christians), freedom to abort, euthanase
- Closely related to the above, the “revisionist/elite”, determined to experiment with social engineering, anti-family, marriage can be anything you like, children do not need fathers and mothers, children should be brought up in community centres and subject to indoctrination
- The “anti-anything-Christian” lobby – atheists and others with an axe to grind
- The Greens – freedom to do and be anything you like and don’t you tell us otherwise
- Emily’s List – personal autonomy at any cost – even at the cost of the human child I am carrying
- But why the ordinary person in the street, the people who go out to see the Pride marches? An anti-God “we will do what is right in our own eyes” and flaunt it group, but also a wishy-washy “this will be fun” group.
How could this have been happening? Because we have been alseep and in denial. I have been reminded this last week of the opposition that Amy Carmichael experienced when she wrote of the pioneering work she was doing in India in rescuing small girls from temple prostitution – people in England not only reacted with denial and disbelief but withdrew their support.
I remind you of the response by the German people when told of what Hitler was doing “no, no, that cannot be, we are German” until it was way too late.
The Small Picture and the Big Picture.
It seems weird to call it the small picture but I mean the already present, everyday picture of abortion, embryo selection and de-selection, eugenic selection aborting cleft lips and >90% of Down Syndrome babies, mid and late-term abortion without anaesthetic for the baby, the tearing apart of mid-trimester babies and then re-assembling the bits to make sure it is all there, the horror of partial birth abortion when the scissors are shoved in the baby’s neck so the sucker can be put into the brain and the brain sucked out so the skull can collapse and the head be delivered through a not fully dilated cervix, babies “accidentally” born alive and then left to die, clandestine euthanasia against the person’s will – there’s more but that’s enough.
But that’s just the “small” picture.
All of these things are just the outcomes of our attitudes and way of thinking, that there’s a value we can put on life as to whether it is worth living – an attitude of doing our own thing, of doing what is right in our own eyes, of rejecting God, His creation order and of ourselves as created in His image.
You know the OT history of the people of Israel, how they worshipped idols – making their own “gods” – and then they put things right to an extent and then they rejected God again and this cycle was repeated many times.
We have done the same.
As a result of Nazi Germany the world met together to see what could be done to prevent the atrocities of Nazism from ever happening again and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was drawn up to ensure these things would never happen again. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person…
And you know what I am going to say – we have overthrown this lesson of history and are wilfully going our own way again. As you have heard from me before we have introduced bills of rights into Victoria and ACT and deliberately excluded the unborn human from both these bills.(see http://www.medicinewithoutmorality.info/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2011/09/Human-Life-as-the-Imago-Dei.pdf ).
The defence that the authors of the paper on after-birth abortion have raised has been thesimple logic of the argument that if we approve of X for certain reasons then we must also approve of Y with the same reasons and that they weren’t actually recommending infanticide – they were just exploring ideas. But as another writer has pointed out “ideas have consequences” and often what starts as an idea leads to a claim that such may be a human right.
And that – as another author has already pointed out – leads us to the reality of the “slippery slope”.
And as a part of that reality there is the slide from permission to compulsion. Permission becomes Compulsion.
When Permission Becomes Compulsion
- Homosexuality is legalised so then it is permitted in school curricula and then it is compulsory for children to attend – yes, fathers put in jail for refusing; Toronto school board forbidding parents to withdrawing their children from pro-homosexual education because it violates their human rights policy.
- Criminalising of those who disagree – either by speech, or refusing bed & breakfast, or adoption to same-sex couples, or fostering to Christian families, or hiring of campsites or church facilities.
- Homosexual “marriage” legalised/permitted leading to compulsion of registrants, then ministers, then use of church buildings.
- Abortion is legalised/permitted, then it becomes compulsory for doctors to participate or perform.
- Abortion being legal and permitted, it is then applied to eugenic selection “under the radar” and then becomes the norm (as for Down Syndrome) and the expectation (refusal brands you as being a “genetic outlaw”), and then compulsory – genetic cleansing of our society by genocide of a whole group of people.
- Killing people by euthanasia is legalised/permitted, then it becomes the expectation (the “duty to die”), then compulsory for sickness, disability or even age. Funding disallowed for palliative care but allowed for assisted suicide (as in Oregon).
I was reminded recently of the British psychotherapist who was set-up by a client pretending to be homosexual who wanted help to be free of his homosexuality. She (the therapist) offered to help him in line with his request to be free. She was reported to the governing association and reprimanded and ordered to attend re-education classes. Her crime? Instead of working with what the client wanted – the usual thing – she should have refused and affirmed him in his lifestyle that his homosexuality was entirely normal and that he did not need deliverance. Now such instruction also of course contradicts the usual rule of working within the patient’s frame of reference. This just shows how far the homosexual agenda has penetrated society and organisations. The radical homosexuals have been extraordinarily successful. Some churches of course have agreed with them.
OK, this is the picture, big and small – what must we do? We talked last time about the need of personal holiness to survive such times as are ahead. And we left with the challenge: what else apart from having our focus on God, spending time with God, and setting our hearts and minds on heaven do we need to do? And the answer was, well, maybe nothing.
But today I want to look at some other things that must arise.
First, let me deal with the issue of voting so we can get it out of the road. Those who understand what has happened in Victoria in particular with the passage of legislation that not only permits evil but compels evil will understand the matter of “defining issues”. You will also know that, no matter what logic we employ, we cannot change the minds of some MPs because that is why they are there, and we must exercise our Christian responsibility at the ballot box when it comes to vote. And we must understand the opportunity we have in Australia in the power of the preferential voting system to throw these people out. We must not fail to prevent evil at this level.
This last week we have seen the launch of Australian Christians http://australianchristians.com.au/ This is a re-branding of CDP with a stronger appeal to people of all churches. We are aiming for federal Senate seats.
Now, whatever your thoughts are at that level, let’s leave it behind us.
Another practical point is that we must stay awake.
We must not repeat the failures of 9/11, the Vic bushfires and WA bushfires:
The US Congressional inquiry found that there was a failure to realise the threat, a failure to be organised and watchful, a failure of communication, a failure to share information, and a failure of imagination. But all of this is dependent on the need to realise the depth of evil. The co-chairman said: “The fact is we just didn’t get it… we could not comprehend that people wanted to kill us…” This in spite of the statement in a 1998 staff memo by an intelligence head that said: “We are at war.”
We need to understand the times. So we need people to be watchmen. In this congregation. We must not continue in denial of what is happening. It would then be too late as the people of Germany found out. And be watchful for yourself – keep those lamps burning. Remember the parable of the wise and foolish virgins.
Three more personal attitudes – very briefly:
- Fear of God. A proper sense of awe and respect for the great God who is also our Father and loves us with a holy love. We should have great fear of turning away from Him and of missing out on His blessings. The paradox is that when we continually surrender to Him we are free as the old song says Make me a captive Lord and then I shall be free (but we need a new tune).
- We need to have a proper sense of grief, to be in mourning. We need to be appalled. We need to recover the ability to shudder, to recover our sense of horror, shame and grief. To have this as a continuing underlying sense but also an ability to enjoy the day – every new day as a gift.
- We need to be desperate. Be holy. Be distinctive. The gap is widening in belief, in behaviour and in what we have to offer. Be aggressive – intentional if you like – in our evangelism. Make a difference!
Now, if we are going to get involved in any way then we must realise that apart from what we do, this is an area of spiritual warfare as John Yates affirmed. Prayer then is foundational. Prayer at special times by ourselves, prayer at special times with others, prayer at meal time, prayer with visitors, an underlying attitude of prayer at all times. There is something very special about corporate prayer at special times and being tuned to the prompting of the Holy Spirit in such things.
I am reminded of what is attributed to Augustine Pray as though everything depended on God, work as though everything depended on you.
Remember, what we are dealing with here is a fundamental rejection of God’s plan. In prayer we are warring against principalities and powers, against rulers in high places.
But this is a serious and dangerous business.
The more we become involved in the prayer and activities of breaking down strongholds the more we will be attacked. One might even wonder whether it would be better to be a complacent Christian, but that is not an option and has as a consequence it’s own slippery slope. Please do not choose this road.
What sort of attacks? Sexually – either adultery or pornography, greed, power, pride. Shared problems, shared danger, even shared highs – these can all be a danger. Someone of the opposite sex who understands and listens. It is so sad to see leaders fall. But there are also difficult ethical situations where one compromise leads to another.
So what must we do? With an appropriate degree of fear and humility and a sense of our own inadequacy, we must beware of the slightest complacency, the slightest letting down of our guard in boundary keeping, the slightest lapse of concentration when we’re driving, in every aspect of everyday life.
Further we need to watch out for each other. We need to challenge, confront and restore. We need to encourage each other and we need to be accountable. In our work – including our work for God – we must also take time for spouse and family. Nurture your marriage.
There always was and always will be a spiritual battle going on until Christ comes. For now, in Australia, it seems to be more intense and I have sought to illustrate this intensity today. We have highlighted attitudes: being awake, to have an appropriate and continung sense of grief – mixed with joy, how to vote, and to be desperate in our personal relationship with God. Finally, with a call to be involved in this battle through prayer and to be prepared for the attacks that inevitable follow.
Lord, in Your strength, keep me focussed on you, dependent on you at all times, lead me not into temptation and deliver me from evil. Help me through Your Holy Spirit to be faithful in this warfare through prayer. Please Lord, for my sake because You love me but primarily for the honour of Your Name don’t let me bring Your Name into disrepute and may Your Name be glorified in our nation.
Lachlan Dunjey. Morley Baptist Church, Western Australia 18 March 2012.