“Good News” CDP (WA) Conference 19 Nov 2011
“Good News” CDP (WA) Conference 19 Nov 2011
I’m pretty sure the first thing I knew about Lachlan Dunjey speaking on “Good News” was when I saw the program on the web. Now hang on guys, why not pick on Job or Jeremiah? Hey Jeremiah – we’re sick of all this stuff you’re blogging, how about telling us some good news! Yeah, well they did say that to Jeremiah too and they shoved him a well. You’ve read my blogs on grief and mourning and warnings to the churches. You know I don’t bring good news – I bring bad news and warnings of more to come.
Well that’s not wholly true. I have also informed you of the various declarations including the recent San Jose Articles and today I will tell you about the Doctors for the Family and other items.
But it is also true that I have written about grief and the fact that we all should have an appropriate sense of grief for what is happening here and overseas – far worse – but we hold this in tension with the fact that every day is a new day – allegedly hotter but we will all be cooled by the rising sea levels anyway – and that we live in the luckiest country in the world even though we will all get skin cancer from the sun and if we cover up we will all be vitamin D deficient and get osteoporosis and crumble into a heap of dust but if we take vitamin B12 as well as D at least we may reduce our Alzheimer’s and able to torture our children for even longer by having them support us – now, where was I?
Yes, we do live in the lucky country. Europe is in free-fall financially, demographically and more importantly morally. The USA has signs of hope – the pro-life movements are stronger than ever; the younger generation – and I believe this is true here too – has an intrinsic concept that life does actually begin at fertilisation, that un-born babies actually are human too, and that a “person’s a person no matter how small” (where is that from? From the movie Horton Hears a Who by Dr Seuss – and there have been a lot of other good news movies out recently including pro-life), and that Roe v Wade should be overthrown. Yes, there are winds of change in the USA.
We are servants of the King. The King is returning and before Him every knee shall bow. Hey, the news doesn’t get any better than that. How lucky are we to be His children and His servants – well, it’s not luck at all but you know what I mean.
We can of course hold grief and joy in tension. Grief for the world as Dietrich Bonhoeffer (have you read Eric Metaxas’ book on Bonhoeffer? You must – that is very good news) wrote from prison shortly before his execution “…taking on not just our own sufferings but those of God in the world, watching with Christ in Gethsemane,” but also having joy for today in all that God gives us.
And as we consider the things that are wrong, God reminds us Who is in charge.
God answered Job from the eye of a violent storm.
Who set the cornerstone
While the morning stars sang in chorus
and all the angels shouted praise?
And who took charge of the ocean
when it gushed forth like a baby from the womb?
That was me! I wrapped it in soft clouds,
and tucked it in safely at night.
Then I made a playpen for it,
a strong playpen so it couldn’t run loose,
And said, ‘Stay here, this is your place.
Your wild tantrums are confined to this place.’
And yes, much of our good news is reaction to bad things happening as immortalised by Dicken’s famous lines “it was the best of times; it was the worst of times” from Tale of Two Cities.
It is good news that you’re here today. Because at least you know not only who to vote for but how to vote – and so many still don’t understand our preferential voting system and think their vote will be lost if they put us first. They get scared at the last moment and put their major party of choice no.1. They also fail to realise their Christian responsibility in looking at what I call DEFINING ISSUES. When governments legislate to permit evil that is a defining issue. Worse, when governments not only permit evil but legislate to compel evil – as did the government of Victoria in the 2008 abortion legislation – that SURELY IS A DEFINING ISSUE. And the good news is that the bad MPs were targeted in the next election and the government was changed although many of Victorian Liberal are also on the wrong side of life.
But the bad news is that these things were pointed out prior to the federal election, that Emily’s List MPs played a significant role in Victoria as Candy Broad who introduced the abortion bill is a founding member of Emily’s List, and that Julia Gillard was not only a founder but wrote its constitution, that Julia Gillard would almost certainly be beholden to Bob Brown should she win and would therefore compromise on issues like same-sex marriage and instead of ruling a change to the Marriage Act out would cave in to a conscience vote – all this was pointed out but we had great difficulty in making it known. It was a matter of great frustration that Christian magazines published nice articles about how Christians could look at elections but failed to point out these issues.
I thank God for the Australian Christian Values Checklist www.christianvalues.org.au/ and for the people that helped put this together. That’s good news. If there’s a choice between being nice and telling the truth, surely we must tell the truth. I thank God for Saltshakers and Family Voice and Life Ministries and Bill Muehlenberg.
Have you read Bill’s book? You must. It tells the truth about bad news but its good news that it is now out there. Has the main stream media (MSM) taken any notice? No, it is silent – that’s bad news.
“Can you catch the eye of the beautiful Pleiades sisters,
or distract Orion from his hunt?
Can you get Venus to look your way,
or get the Great Bear and her cubs to come out and play?
Do you know the first thing about the sky’s constellations
and how they affect things on Earth?
“Can you get the attention of the clouds,
and commission a shower of rain?
Can you take charge of the lightning bolts
and have them report to you for orders?
Serious bad news is that UN agencies are pushing abortion to third world countries as allegedly UN policy. This is untrue and it is because of this that the San Jose Articles were drafted http://www.sanjosearticles.com/
It is now commonplace that people around the world are told there is a new international right to abortion.
Those who receive this message are people who have the power to change abortion laws; parliamentarians, lawyers, judges and others.
Those delivering this message are influential and believable people; UN personnel, human rights lawyers, judges and others.
The assertion they make is false. No UN treaty makes abortion an international human right.
Even so, the assertion is gaining traction around the world. The high court of Colombia changed their country’s abortion laws based on this false assertion. More are considering such a change.
The purpose of the San Jose Articles is to provide expert testimony that no such right exists. The San Jose Articles were prepared by a group of 31 experts in international law, international relations, international organizations, public health, science/medicine and government. The signers include law professors, philosophers, Parliamentarians, Ambassadors, human rights lawyers, and delegates to the UN General Assembly.
San Jose Articles
- Article 1. As a matter of scientific fact a new human life begins at conception.
- Article 2. Each human life is a continuum that begins at conception and advances in stages until death. Science gives different names to these stages, including zygote, blastocyst, embryo, fetus, infant, child, adolescent and adult. This does not change the scientific consensus that at all points of development each individual is a living member of the human species.
- Article 3. From conception each unborn child is by nature a human being.
- Article 4. All human beings, as members of the human family, are entitled to recognition of their inherent dignity and to protection of their inalienable human rights. This is recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and other international instruments.
- Article 5. There exists no right to abortion under international law, either by way of treaty obligation or under customary international law. No United Nations treaty can accurately be cited as establishing or recognizing a right to abortion.
- Article 6. The Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW Committee) and other treaty monitoring bodies have directed governments to change their laws on abortion. These bodies have explicitly or implicitly interpreted the treaties to which they are subject as including a right to abortion.
- Treaty monitoring bodies have no authority, either under the treaties that created them or under general international law, to interpret these treaties in ways that create new state obligations or that alter the substance of the treaties.
- Accordingly, any such body that interprets a treaty to include a right to abortion acts beyond its authority and contrary to its mandate. Such ultra vires acts do not create any legal obligations for states parties to the treaty, nor should states accept them as contributing to the formation of new customary international law.
- Article 7. Assertions by international agencies or non-governmental actors that abortion is a human right are false and should be rejected.
- There is no international legal obligation to provide access to abortion based on any ground, including but not limited to health, privacy or sexual autonomy, or non-discrimination.
- Article 8. Under basic principles of treaty interpretation in international law, consistent with the obligations of good faith and pacta sunt servanda, and in the exercise of their responsibility to defend the lives of their people, states may and should invoke treaty provisions guaranteeing the right to life as encompassing a state responsibility to protect the unborn child from abortion.
- Article 9. Governments and members of society should ensure that national laws and policies protect the human right to life from conception. They should also reject and condemn pressure to adopt laws that legalize or depenalize abortion.
Treaty monitoring bodies, United Nations agencies and officers, regional and national courts, and others should desist from implicit or explicit assertions of a right to abortion based upon international law.
When such false assertions are made, or pressures exerted, member states should demand accountability from the United Nations system.
Providers of development aid should not promote or fund abortions. They should not make aid conditional on a recipient’s acceptance of abortion.
International maternal and child health care funding and programs should ensure a healthy outcome of pregnancy for both mother and child and should help mothers welcome new life in all circumstances.
Hey, this is very good news. I think from memory they have also been presented to the British Parliament.
Bad news is that homosexual marriage (let’s be real about this and say homosexual instead of same-sex marriage) may be allowed federally but the good news is the collective voice in opposition. If we do manage to preserve the Marriage Act 2004 definition of marriage being between a male and female voluntarily entered into for life, the bad news is that it will only be a little while before the Greens try again.
The good news is that the ACL now has 73000+ names for the Save Marriage Petition.
More good news is that just this Wed evening (16 Nov 2011) Doctors for the Family was launched www.doctors4family.com.au (and you might recognise the handiwork of Guennadi Moukine in this).
The very good news is that God definitely has a sense of humour in created beings:
“The ostrich flaps her wings futilely—
all those beautiful feathers, but useless!
She lays her eggs on the hard ground,
leaves them there in the dirt, exposed to the weather,
Not caring that they might get stepped on and cracked
or trampled by some wild animal.
She’s negligent with her young, as if they weren’t even hers.
She cares nothing about anything.
She wasn’t created very smart, that’s for sure,
wasn’t given her share of good sense.
But when she runs, oh, how she runs,
laughing, leaving horse and rider in the dust.
Especially good news that you already know about is the formulation last year of the three – nay, four – great declarations.
Canberra Declaration http://www.canberradeclaration.org.au/ followed again – each one establishing the intrinsic value of human life, the need to uphold marriage and to preserve freedom of belief and speech.
I said in Brisbane earlier this year:
Humanity’s greatest crisis is the rebellion against what it means to be created in the Image of God, a rejection of who God is and what it means to be human – and I agree with Sven that the frontline of this battle is abortion. Congratulations Sven (good news from Sweden) on what you are doing in showing what abortion is. And Bill (Muehlenberg) highlighted the country’s knee jerk reaction to the horrifying images of cattle slaughter. I wrote 2 years ago about the dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan and abortion
How can it be that we betray the most helpless of humans? Our animal activist friends get really upset when they see a dolphin or whale foetus cut from its mother and rightly so. Yet these are frequently intact and have not been shredded or pulled apart. How can it be that our society is so schizophrenic that we get upset about dolphin slaughter yet rabidly defend our right to kill our unborn babies? How can this be?
It may be that this battle too may be won with word pictures and visual images and a new generation will thank us and wonder why the truth was withheld for so long.
So, thankyou Sven. And, by the way, I think we are changing the culture on this one – I sense we are winning. OK, that’s humanity’s greatest crisis.
Society’s greatest risk is the threat to marriage and family, the move to re-define male and female and thus ultimately destroy the fabric of society.
And the third great risk is to freedom of belief and to speak of what we believe – to even speak or show the truth re abortion or marriage or even quote scripture – and includes freedom of religion and liberty of conscience and that brings us to medicine’s greatest challenge.
But I said there were four declarations and the fourth is the Conscience in Medicine Declaration http://www.conscienceinmedicine.net.au/
We, the undersigned, seek to maintain the ethical independence of the medical profession and the liberty to practice medicine according to our conscience.
- We believe it is in the patient’s best interests for doctors to adhere to a code of ethics that is independent of any standards set by governments or practices that may be permitted by legislation.
- We believe that as health professionals we have a duty to educate and inform fully so that best management decisions can be made and that such may include a refusal to comply with patient demand where such is inconsistent with good medical practice.
- We further believe there are times when the patient request cannot be complied with because it conflicts with our integrity and ethical stance.
- It is our right and obligation to practice medicine according to our conscience. We will not engage in or facilitate procedures or practices that we believe are in conflict with our conscience.
And in yesterday’s good news there was a blog from the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) in England announcing in response to a meeting in London to be addressed by none other than our own Dr Philip Nitschke there will also be a meeting in York with Dr John Patrick from Canada – a tireless campaigner for good who has been to Australia at least three times. So, remember, next week Nov 23 in Clifton Parish Church in York at 7.30pm for those who might be taking a quick trip to England.
More good news from the USA just to give some figures:
During the Clinton years, 56 percent of Americans described themselves as pro-choice, while only 33 percent of us self-identified as pro-life. But in just a decade and a half, the numbers have completely shifted.
According to the most recent Gallup polling, pro-lifers edge out those in favor of legal abortion by 47 to 45 percent. Half of all Americans agree that abortion is morally wrong.
And the news gets even better. Following a ground-breaking Nebraska law last year that bars late-term abortions because of the risk of fetal pain, five other states have passed measures outlawing nearly all abortions after five months of pregnancy. Legislatures in Kansas Alabama, Idaho, Indiana, and Oklahoma this year have enacted abortion bans after 20 or 21 weeks. The laws allow for exceptions when the mother’s life is at risk or she faces severe physical impairment. (from Breakpoint)
Just three months ago I highlighted the contrast between the celebration of Emily’s List at the rejection of amendments to the Victorian abortion bill
- parental consent for girls under 18 years
- mandatory reporting of suspected sexual abuse
- a “cooling off period” for women considering late term abortion
- provision of medical care for aborted babies born alive
- anaesthetic for babies aborted late term
- compulsion of doctors to refer for abortion to a doctor who they know will be in favour
- banning of partial birth abortions
Arizona on the other hand has passed a law that requires
- parental consent for minors
- a “cooling off period” of 24 hrs with provision of full and accurate information by a doctor
- medical professionals cannot be forced to perform abortions if it contradicts their religious or moral beliefs
noting that partial birth abortions are banned in the US anyway.
Amendment rejection: “victory for women” Emily’s List.
Amendment acceptance: “victory for women” in Arizona.
It is hard to understand the opposition of Emily’s List women to the proposed amendments. They all made sense. Surely one would want to anaesthetize a late-term baby about to have its brain sucked out by a partial birth abortion. Surely for a 14 year-old schoolgirl one would want to look at the possibility of abuse and the reporting of same. Such opposition I think will be thought very strange in years to come.
Now remember: just under 60% of female Labor MPs across Australia are members of Emily’s List including two state premiers – Anna Bligh in Queensland and Lara Giddings (another founder) in Tasmania – and our Prime Minister. They are a significant force in our nation and it is going to become increasingly difficult for any non-member female to gain pre-selection. Can we turn this situation around and let Labor know we will not vote for any candidates supported by Emily’s List? Or is it too late?
“Who do you think set the wild donkey free,
opened the corral gates and let him go?
I gave him the whole wilderness to roam in,
the rolling plains and wide-open places.
He laughs at his city cousins, who are harnessed and harried.
He’s oblivious to the cries of teamsters.
He grazes freely through the hills,
nibbling anything that’s green.
We are getting slightly better at propagating truth but there are serious limitations. We can show pictures of slaughtered animals but not of slaughtered babies. The “possible” evidence that abortion can give an increased risk of breast cancer by up to 1/3 is unreasonably repressed and denied as is also the evidence for post-abortion syndrome but in Sept this year the British Journal of Psychiatry published an article (Dr Priscilla Coleman) showing that abortion increases the risk of severe mental disease by 81% and that almost 10% of all women’s mental health problems are directly linked to abortion.
Good news that we are getting the truth out there.
CMDFA has published a booklet on euthanasia and the ethics committee is currently finalising one on conscience.
http://www.christianconcern.com/ the Christian Legal Centre is an organisation in UK that is well worth subscribing to. On that site you will read that the Christian couple fined 3600 pounds for refusing B&B accommodation to a homosexual couple are now being heard in court; that 83% of church-goers are opposed to the Conservative Party plans to legalise homosexual marriage; and parents are rebelling against their children being exposed to lessons on sex for pupils aged four and plans to teach homosexuality to six-year-olds.
There’s more good news. Fred Nile and Paul Green were elected in NSW election. Fred is amazing – 30 years in NSW parliament and he pours out press releases several times a week it seems – and they are good. We are grateful to God for the life of Elaine Nile who died just recently 17 October and who herself was in parliament for 14 years. A wonderful and honourable lady.
Paul Russell in SA of http://www.noeuthanasia.org.au/ has been able to work with other movements (SA lawyers, MBA of SA, Medicine With Morality, CMDFA) and provide significant opposition to the moves to legalise euthanasia. We have provided confusion. They introduced a series of amendments in a hurry to convince everyone that the euthanasia bill had nothing to do with euthanasia but then we pointed out that the amendments would seriously impact on palliative care and so they equally suddenly pulled all the amendments.
Seriously incompetent is the only word for it. And the worrying thing is that there is another bill already in the wings. What do you do with incompetent politicians who are not willing to listen and understand? You throw them out.
The tide is surging in Mississippi where just this week a vote was being taken to amend the constitution of that state stating that “person shall include every human being from the moment of fertilisation” – the Mississippi Personhood Amendment. Unfortunately it was rejected after severe opposition by abortion lobby.
“Have you ever travelled to where snow is made,
seen the vault where hail is stockpiled,
The arsenals of hail and snow that I keep in readiness
for times of trouble and battle and war?
Can you find your way to where lightning is launched,
or to the place from which the wind blows?
Who do you suppose carves canyons
for the downpours of rain, and charts
the route of thunderstorms
That bring water to unvisited fields,
deserts no one ever lays eyes on,
Drenching the useless wastelands
so they’re carpeted with wildflowers and grass?
Hey, we changed state government with our preferences and 5 new pro-life people got elected.
We defeated cloning in WA.
We defeated euthanasia in WA.
And Jamie van Burgel got a magnificent vote.
Let us be very clear – Christian values are under attack. We must defend them
Jesus made it very plain in His prayer in John 17 that we will be hated for who we are, merely because we are Christians. We will be hated for what we stand for, the upholding of truth, and this year for simply stating the truth that marriage can only be between male and female.
Values that we hold to be “self-evident” and established securely in the international covenants like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – that came to be to ensure that the atrocities of WWII and Nazism would never, ever be repeated – are being discarded and ignored where they do not suit these agendas. At risk are liberty of conscience, freedom of speech and belief, and the intrinsic value of all human life including the unborn. Eugenic selection with abortion of even minor congenital abnormalities is now commonplace. What is wanted is complete control over life and death. Freedom of speech on issues that concern our faith and moral values in society is probably the most serious that will impact on our future as we will not even be able to declare what we believe. Also under threat is the freedom to choose teachers of like-minded values for our children.
We are in a war zone. Yes, it involves us in a battle but our weapons are weapons of peace and prayer and faith and perhaps most of all to tell truth. There is no violence here nor any incitement to violence – our weapons are the antithesis of violence.
And we know where the battle is going. We know the consequences of wrong actions in our legislatures yet many MPs have no idea or they keep ignoring the realities.
What do we need to do?
It sounds like a truism but first and foremost we need to be informed. Then and only then can we understand the times, and – like the men of Issachar – know what to do. Those who understand need to inform others. I have compiled a Chronicle of Shame for our nation. It makes for sobering reading.
We need to get among God’s people and inform them. We need to take the “watchman” role – telling the truth, informing, challenging, to be ambassadors committed to help others to understand the times
- In our homes as husbands and wives, as mothers and fathers, as grandparents
- In our everyday work
- In our churches
- In “mountains of influence” inside our work and in the community and recruit those already in mountains of influence
- Public role – in the village square and marketplace; to be a visible Christian presence and to have an audible Christian Voice
There is a significant role for the Mighty Men’s Conference in this, for mighty men to be watchmen to overcome the paralysis within our churches that hinders us in being effective politically. Many leaders seem to have a fear of alienating people when telling the truth about what is happening, that they will be seen as telling people how to vote. But a practical outworking of the informing role is to understand political policies and “hidden” agendas; to understand our responsibility in voting and of our preferential voting system so that votes are not wasted.
There is an object lesson for Christians in the failure of intelligence to warn of September 11th. 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.”
And we need to be the Voice that continues to stir.
I close with God’s word to Jeremiah when he was tired
“If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?”
Oh dear! But God has the last word:
“Are you the one who gave the horse his prowess
and adorned him with a shimmering mane?
Did you create him to prance proudly
and strike terror with his royal snorts?
He paws the ground fiercely, eager and spirited,
then charges into the fray.
He laughs at danger, fearless,
doesn’t shy away from the sword.
The banging and clanging
of quiver and lance don’t faze him.
He quivers with excitement, and at the trumpet blast
races off at a gallop.