Great article on “why beauty matters” – the Solzhenitsyn reference is great.
A voice rarely heard…
Jensen spoke words of love not homophobia
I am a pastoral worker for Liberty Christian Ministries. I once identified as a gay man and lived actively as one for about five years. In that time I went to Anglican churches where Dr Peter Jensen was the archbishop, and I was frequently warned against living in sin. Though I resisted hearing that at times it never once made me feel suicidal or depressed: rather, I felt loved and safe (Letters, September 12.)
I knew living as a homosexual was wrong even independently of what the Bible said because I had to have regular health checks to ensure I hadnt picked up hepatitis, AIDS, or blood toxicity from the things I was doing. That is what the gay life involves – risky sex that puts life on the line. It diminishes life quality and life expectancy.
Health research bears out the reality of the risks of gay sexual practice. The 2010 national STD conference run by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in the US produced evidence that the rate of new HIV diagnoses among men who have sex with men is more than 44 times that of other men and that the rate of syphilis among this population is more than 46 times that of other men.
Peter Jensen’s words on Q&A were reasoned, reasonable and said in love because he wants, as I do, people to have freedom in Christ and live life to the full now. Thats not homophobic, thats love.
via Sydney Morning Herald Letters to the Editor 13th September 2012.
An excellent and courageous letter. Thank you Archbishop Jensen.
The Lord Jesus quoted and affirmed the teaching Genesis 2, asking, ‘Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh”’ (Matt 19:4,5). The Apostle Paul points to the deeper significance of this in saying that the union of a male and a female models the union between Christ and his Church, in which the Church is the bride of Christ.
A helpful orthodox and Biblical statement from Roman Catholic bishops in Victoria.
Excellent analysis of the marriage debate by Archbishop Jensen. We need more courageous voices like this!
We are in the midst of a sustained and brilliantly orchestrated campaign to radically alter the marriage laws of this country to allow same-sex marriage.
Three slogans carry the message: ”marriage equality”, ”marriage won’t change”, ”it’s inevitable”. Of course, the difficulty with slogans is that they are not arguments and, so, are hard to refute, except by slogans in return.
We are going to this on Saturday.
On October 10, 2008, the Victorian Parliament passed the Abortion Law Reform Act, one of the most extreme abortion laws in the world. This law eliminated all legal protection for Victorian children until the moment of birth
In remembrance of this shameful day, we gather to march for the babies who never see the light of day in Victoria. The babies of every one in three pregnancies. The more than 20,000 babies killed in Victoria every year.
Together we express our profound disapproval with our Government’s failure to:
Protect the fundamental right to life of every person in our state.
Offer real help to women in crisis pregnancies, and others who have suffered through abortion.
Allow freedom of conscience for our health care professionals.
Our goal is to overturn this terrible law and provide full legal protection to our most vulnerable Victorians.
Please join us, as we march in this peaceful witness to life, from Treasury Gardens to Parliament House, and hear inspirational speakers and music with a message of courage and hope. There’s a long road ahead, but we shall overcome!
via March For The Babies.
Another good porn article.
This is a great article on the destructive nature of pornography.
Pornography, by its very nature, leads to insatiability. One picture, stored in the memory, will never be enough to continue arousing a man. God, after all, designed the man and the woman to be satisfied not with a single sex act but with an ongoing appetite for each other, for the unitive and procreative union of flesh to flesh and soul to soul. One seeking the mystery outside of this covenantal union will never find what he is looking for. He will never find an image naked enough to satisfy him.
Life is a precious gift of God. Are our medical professionals losing sight of this?
A TERRITORIAN has woken from the dead.
Gloria Cruz was diagnosed as being “brain dead” by a team of doctors after suffering a massive stroke.
But her distraught husband Tani begged them not to switch off her ventilator.
“I’m a Catholic – I believe in miracles,” he told them.
A doctor finally agreed to put a breathing tube into Mrs Cruz’s throat before turning off the machine.
And three days later, she woke up. Mrs Cruz, 56, is now alert and getting around in a wheelchair at Royal Darwin Hospital.
Her husband said: “She’s well on the way to recovery.”
He said the family never gave up hope.
“We have a strong faith and always believed that God would help us.”
Ms Cruz had a stroke in her sleep on March 7 and was rushed to Royal Darwin Hospital.
After a CAT scan, a doctor said she probably had a brain tumour. Mr Cruz, 51, who works as a forecaster at the Darwin Met Bureau, said: “The doctor didn’t elaborate. He just said I should prepare myself.” His wife underwent brain surgery immediately.
“The moment I saw my wife in the ICU I thought I’d collapse,” he said.
“I couldn’t believe that I was looking at the woman I have loved for 27 years. She was not my wife. Her face was swollen. Her hair was gone. Tubes were inserted in her mouth. There was a tube in the top of her head. Another in her hands. And she was lying almost lifelessly.”
Doctors said the case was “hopeless” and she would probably die within 48 hours.
When a doctor recommended that the ventilator be removed and Mrs Cruz be allowed to die, her husband told them: “A miracle could still happen. I told him that God knows how much I love her – that I don’t want her to suffer but I don’t want her to leave us.”
Mr Cruz asked for a 48-hour respite. A doctor, social worker and patient advocate later rang him and again asked him to agree to have the ventilator turned off.
After two weeks, a breathing tube was inserted in Mrs Cruz’s mouth and the ventilator was turn off.
Hospital staff were stunned when she woke from her coma three days later.
A doctor was so amazed, he said: “It’s a miracle.”
And then he turned to Mr Cruz and said: “I am happy that my prognosis was wrong.”
May 11th 2011
Thanks Mark for your courage and wisdom. I pray for God’s blessing on your ministry.
Last Saturday I had prepared a motion to bring before the Anglican Synod of the Diocese of Melbourne. Unfortunately it was not possible to present the motion. Here is the motion, and an edited version of the speech which I had prepared to present.
The blog has more posts with stats on late term abortions and interactions with opposition.
Abortion is killing babies. Apparently when they don’t die quickly it is ‘extremely distressing for parents and medical staff’. May the light of Jesus Christ shine in the dark death-filled Australia.
A GROWING number of induced babies are born alive following failed late-term abortions.
New Queensland Health figures show 19 babies were aborted at 20 weeks or more in 2007, but rather than dying at birth as intended, the newborns were able to breathe unaided.
The babies, some as advanced as 26 weeks, were aborted using drugs to induce labour. Once born, no medical help was offered and they died soon afterwards.
Former Queensland Health obstetrician Dr Caroline de Costa, now a professor at James Cook University in Cairns, said it was extremely distressing for parents and medical staff when terminations went wrong .
“If babies are born alive after this they are likely to die within a few minutes, although it can take up to half an hour,” she said.
“We can only keep them wrapped up warm. It is up to the parents whether they want to see the child.”
This man was a prophet – this speech to Harvard graduates in 1978 is a powerful condemnation of Western pride in the middle of the cold war. His commentary on materialistic self-destruction seems even more apt 30 years later. His Christian faith points the way out of the burden of humanistic modernism.
Truth is seldom pleasant; it is almost invariably bitter.
In the process [of achieving Western prosperity], however, one psychological detail has been overlooked: the constant desire to have still mroe things and a still better life and the struggle to obtain them imprints many Western faces with worry and even depression, though it is customary to conceal such feelings.
Western society has given itself the organization best suited to its purposes, based, I would say, on the letter of the law. The limits of human rights and righteousness are determined by a system of laws; such limits are very broad. People in the West have acquired considerable skill in using, interpreting and manipulating law, even though laws tend to be too complicated for an average person to understand without the help of an expert. Any conflict is solved according to the letter of the law and this is considered to be the supreme solution. If one is right from a legal point of view, nothing more is required, nobody may mention that one could still not be entirely right, and urge self-restraint, a willingness to renounce such legal rights, sacrifice and selfless risk: it would sound simply absurd. One almost never sees voluntary self-restraint. Everybody operates at the extreme limit of those legal frames. An oil company is legally blameless when it purchases an invention of a new type of energy in order to prevent its use. A food product manufacturer is legally blameless when he poisons his produce to make it last longer: after all, people are free not to buy it.
I have spent all my life under a communist regime and I will tell you that a society without any objective legal scale is a terrible one indeed. But a society with no other scale but the legal one is not quite worthy of man either. A society which is based on the letter of the law and never reaches any higher is taking very scarce advantage of the high level of human possibilities. The letter of the law is too cold and formal to have a beneficial influence on society. Whenever the tissue of life is woven of legalistic relations, there is an atmosphere of moral mediocrity, paralyzing man’s noblest impulses.
The defense of individual rights has reached such extremes as to make society as a whole defenseless against certain individuals. It is time, in the West, to defend not so much human rights as human obligations.
Destructive and irresponsible freedom has been granted boundless space. Society appears to have little defense against the abyss of human decadence, such as, for example, misuse of liberty for moral violence against young people, motion pictures full of pornography, crime and horror. It is considered to be part of freedom and theoretically counter-balanced by the young people’s right not to look or not to accept. Life organized legalistically has thus shown its inability to defend itself against the corrosion of evil.
On journalism: How many hasty, immature, superficial and misleading judgments are expressed every day, confusing readers, without any verification. The press can both simulate public opinion and miseducate it. Thus we may see terrorists heroized, or secret matters, pertaining to one’s nation’s defense, publicly revealed, or we may witness shameless intrusion on the privacy of well-known people under the slogan: “everyone is entitled to know everything.” But this is a false slogan, characteristic of a false era: people also have the right not to know, and it is a much more valuable one. The right not to have their divine souls stuffed with gossip, nonsense, vain talk. A person who works and leads a meaningful life does not need this excessive burdening flow of information.
Without any censorship, in the West fashionable trends of thought and ideas are carefully separated from those which are not fashionable; nothing is forbidden, but what is not fashionable will hardly ever find its way into periodicals or books or be heard in colleges. Legally your researchers are free, but they are conditioned by the fashion of the day.
But should someone ask me whether I would indicate the West such as it is today as a model to my country, frankly I would have to answer negatively. No, I could not recommend your society in its present state as an ideal for the transformation of ours. Through intense suffering our country has now achieved a spiritual development of such intensity that the Western system in its present state of spiritual exhaustion does not look attractive. Even those characteristics of your life which I have just mentioned are extremely saddening.
This means that the mistake must be at the root, at the very basis of human thinking in the past centuries. I refer to the prevailing Western view of the world which was first born during the Renaissance and found its political expression from the period of the Enlightenment. It became the basis for government and social science and could be defined as rationalistic humanism or humanistic autonomy: the proclaimed and enforced autonomy of man from any higher force above him. It could also be called anthropocentricity, with man seen as the center of everything that exists.
However, in early democracies, as in American democracy at the time of its birth, all individual human rights were granted because man is God’s creature. That is, freedom was given to the individual conditionally, in the assumption of his constant religious responsibility. Such was the heritage of the preceding thousand years. Two hundred or even fifty years ago, it would have seemed quite impossible, in America, that an individual could be granted boundless freedom simply for the satisfaction of his instincts or whims. Subsequently, however, all such limitations were discarded everywhere in the West; a total liberation occurred from the moral heritage of Christian centuries with their great reserves of mercy and sacrifice. State systems were becoming increasingly and totally materialistic. The West ended up by truly enforcing human rights, sometimes even excessively, but man’s sense of responsibility to God and society grew dimmer and dimmer. In the past decades, the legalistically selfish aspect of Western approach and thinking has reached its final dimension and the world wound up in a harsh spiritual crisis and a political impasse. All the glorified technological achievements of Progress, including the conquest of outer space, do not redeem the Twentieth century’s moral poverty which no one could imagine even as late as in the Nineteenth Century.
We have placed too much hope in political and social reforms, only to find out that we were being deprived of our most precious possession: our spiritual life. In the East, it is destroyed by the dealings and machinations of the ruling party. In the West, commercial interests tend to suffocate it. This is the real crisis. The split in the world is less terrible than the similarity of the disease plaguing its main sections.
Got into a healthy stoush recently for trying to follow v19. God willing, next time I’m going to do a v20 in response to a v19 sin.
19 Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses. 20 Those who sin are to be rebuked publicly, so that the others may take warning.
This interview is from 2004 on the ABC.
It demonstrates the failure of secular ethics to protect women. Christians believe God has both designed and commanded sex to be enjoyed in a lifelong marriage union. What matters most is our maker’s mandate and consent.
The NRL needs to seriously get some new ethical advisors.
PETA DONALD: There have been stories of a culture of group sex in Rugby League. What do you think of group sex? Do you think it’s okay if it’s consensual?
CATHERINE LUMBY: Speaking as an academic, I think that there’s no problem with any behaviour which is consensual in sexual terms, many people would disagree with me.
Well worth consideration if you want to protect religious freedom. I suspect a charter of rights will legislate a wrong morality.
Bill M. issues a call to Christian civil disobedience.
If we know that unborn babies are being killed at the abortion clinic down the road, what is our response to be? Do we have an obligation to stop the slaughter? Should we be willing to violate human laws if need be to rescue the dying?
Coaching Federer would be the ultimate job for any tennis coach. Yet I think Cahill has made the right decision in rejecting Federer to be with his family.
There are lots of lonely broken men with successful careers out there. Not worth it.
“Roger is a guy who lives in Switzerland and trains in Dubai, and Darren has kind of set up a comfortable life in Vegas. And I think he realised that just being on the road 20-plus weeks would be too tough a go for him with his young family.”
This is a long but significant analysis of the foolishness (corruption?) of the USA Federal Reserve and Wall-St mega-banks. Going to be a rocky road from this point.
A side issue: although there is nothing inherently wrong in pain relief medication, what would happen if a Christian chose to shun medication in order to maintain mental lucidity to confess Christ clearly on their deathbed?
Head of palliative care at Cabrini Hospital, Dr David Kenner, said although most patients feared pain, the vast majority were pleasantly surprised by the efficacy of drugs and other techniques to manage it.
This correlation is somewhat hard to explain but makes sense from the Biblical importance of fathers…
Overall, the enormous increase in the divorce rate and in single-parent households since 1960 seems very likely to have played a major role in the decreasing age of puberty. However, it is not clear precisely why an absent or emotionally unengaged father should trigger earlier puberty.
Recently devoured this fascinating book. A great mix of soldier tales, classical literature, and personal growth.
Great quote – except give credit to Martin Luther – he did stand before the gates of hell, when excommunicated, making those words – which was like pronouncing your own death sentence before Roman Catholic powers that be in the 16th C.
What is courage? We know it by instinct. We see it. We feel it.
Courage is a firefighter standing before the gates of hell unflinching, unyielding with eyes of steel saying, “Here I stand, I can do no other”.
This is a “what if?” post – I am not an economist nor the son of an economist:
What if the global financial crisis is the beginning of the end of Western consumerism?
All idolatries are self-destructive ultimately. We should not be surprised.
So are Western Christians ready with an alternative that we’ve been living all along? Or are we shuffling pews in our chapel on the McTitanic?
What new idolatries will fill the void? I expect the idolatry of greed to resurrect itself in new forms – most of them violent.
But what if God in his wisdom decides to answer our prayers for financial justice by bringing the first world societies down to third world levels?
No-one expected that when we started praying for the Millenium Development Goals – not even Bono and Rowan Williams combined will be able to save us.
Am I allowed to do the crosswords in newspapers in cafes? Are there any established rules here? Do you need to ask permission?
Received an invite in the mail today to be part of a class action suit against a publicly listed company.
Don’t think I’ll get involved, but it feels nice to be invited.