Category

Newsletters

WHEN CHRISTIANS GET INVOLVED GOVERNMENT CAN BE TRANSFORMED

By Feature Articles

Article by Karen Hardin, intercessor, author, minister and literary agent. Her work has appeared in USA Today, World Net Daily, Intercessors for America, Charisma, CBN.com, The Elijah List, etc.

If you poll the majority of Americans, most of us want to simply live our lives, raise our families and serve God.  But as government has grown in dominance and control of our nation and its people, we can no longer remain in the background or remain silent.  Instead we must act.  How can we do that?  According to Jesse Leon Rodgers, “By getting Christians back into government rather than the silent posture we have taken over the years.”  Rodgers is doing that very thing through a biblical, reformational form of city governance which is based upon the model of the governing elders of the ancient cities of Israel and the function of New Testament Eldership.

Rodgers is chairman of the Oklahoma Watchmen on the Wall Network; the pastor’s network of the Family Research Council and founder and president of City Elders an organization that is introducing this biblical structure in the state of Oklahoma USA. and the transformation taking place is amazing.  So far, forty-two of seventy-seven counties in Oklahoma have embraced this new structure in which governing city leaders sit at the table to work side-by-side with Christian leaders in their city to bring strength and transformation.  City elders are shepherds, civil servants, and stewards.  They are experienced and recognized leaders from the Church, civil government, and business.

As Rodgers and his team continue working to introduce this model to every county in Oklahoma, they are already receiving requests to assist in other states as well.  Why is this important?  The truth is, we’ve been lied to that the church and its people are to remain separate from government.  It’s not in our Constitution and it’s not in the Bible.  Instead, within the pages of the Bible, we see example after example of religious leaders taking on the role to assist in the organization and development of governing the people or speaking into governmental leaders.

When the task of governing the Israelites became too burdensome, Moses called upon the Lord who said, “The Lord said to Moses: ‘Bring me seventy of Israel’s elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people.  Have them come to the tent of meeting, that they may stand there with you.  I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take some of the power of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them.  They will share the burden of the people with you so that you will not have to carry it alone.’” (Num 11:16-17)

Daniel and Joseph of biblical days both served as advisors to government leaders.  The Apostle Paul, as a religious leader of his day, referred to government laws and interacted with government leaders. (Acts 16:37, 22:25)  So, how do Christians transform our nation?  State-by-state, city-by-city, town by town.  According to Mark Nittle, transition director for Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, “We don’t need a revitalization plan.  We need an infrastructure plan.  What we currently have is not sustainable.  For example, in Oklahoma in many of our county seats, the government is the largest employer!  Our Constitution’s language is outdated and needs to be updated.  Our school system needs to be reorganized and restructured to better utilize the funds available.”

Although Nittle was referring specifically to Oklahoma, this can be said for almost every state in our nation.  As this is addressed, we will begin to see real change.  Our country is in crisis and on the verge of socialist takeover.  This is in part because the biblical example of Christian elders and leaders in government positions has been abandoned because of the misuse and deceptive interpretation of “separation of church and state,” which Jefferson used to describe the need to protect the Church and religion from the government, not the reverse.

What can we do?

  1. Pray.

Therefore, I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour (I Tim 2:1-3).  We need to recognize that we have a biblical mandate to pray for those in leadership over us.  It doesn’t say only for those you like or agree with, but for ALL who are in authority.  It also doesn’t mean you pray against them.  We are to pray for them.  Also, pray for those Christian leaders who are working behind the scenes to support our government, and help bring about transformation.

  1. Get involved.

For far too long the Church has stood on the sidelines as our governments and schools have been taken over by those who do not fear or reverence God.  We can no longer simply point at the problem, but must be willing to join in to help bring change.

  1. Give.

I was talking with a courageous woman who had recently made the decision to enter a tough political contest against a well-known and long-running Democrat in a Democrat dominated area in New York.  It is a courageous move and an up-hill-climb due to the district she is in.  As I talked with her she said, “People often tell me they are behind me and will pray for me.  And I need that! But I also need finances.  We are working to get a website up, flyers in the mail, and have to pay for television and radio ads.  It takes money and I can’t do this without help.”  We have to realize that prayer by itself is not enough.  Faith without works is dead.  We need to open our wallets and put our money where our mouth is.  If there is a God-fearing candidate willing to put their name and time on the line to help bring about transformation, the least we can do is get behind them financially to help them.

  1. Spread the Word.

A brave young woman in the city where I live courageously ran for a position on our liberal-dominated school board in the last election.  She campaigned hard.  Unfortunately, because it wasn’t a presidential campaign, most people weren’t listening.  Although she worked hard, she lost.  Later, when I posted about the loss and frustration of the lack of voter turnout, numerous Christians responded by saying they didn’t realize the election was even taking place!  This is an area in which everyone can help.  How?  We can spread the word.  Talk about upcoming elections.  Be informed.  Search out when elections in your local area are taking place.  Be there and take others with you.

Talk about candidates and why you support them to your family, friends, and those you meet.  Be willing to engage in conversations, rather than remain silent.  Some may say, it’s a personal issue, so we shouldn’t get involved.  Is it a personal issue?  Yes.  I take it personally when current political leaders try to remove God from our nation.  I take it personally when the Constitution is twisted and those in government positions try to steal the freedoms for which those who have gone before us so courageously fought.  I take it personally when our schools, city councils, and judgeships are ruled by those who are strategically working to remove parental input in the lives of our children and brainwash them to their agenda.  You should take it personally as well.  It’s time we get involved to not only pray, but to take back our nation city-by-city, town-by-town and state-by-state.

Source: Article by Karen Hardin, intercessor, author, minister and literary agent.

Print This Post Print This Post

 

SEX INDUSTRY TARGETS UNIVERSITY STUDENTS ON CAMPUS

By Australian Newsletter

University students are being aggressively targeted by the sex industry, with so many working as prostitutes that support groups have become common on campus.  Sex-worker welfare organisations routinely set up stalls at university open days.  Cameron Cox, chief executive of the government-funded Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOT), said that prostitution was seen as an acceptable option by many university students.  He said SWOT reached out to students on campus by running workshops at orientation days and doing talks at student union meetings to make sure young people had access to support networks.

“I put myself through university by doing sex work and that was more than 40 years ago. It wasn’t uncommon then, and it’s not uncommon now,” he said.  The issue has come to light following the murder of a Sydney University woman Michaela Dunn 24, who was stabbed to death by a man who had arranged to have sex with her at a unit in Sydney’s CBD.  Police sources have confirmed Ms Dunn and a girlfriend had been running a sex service, renting a fourth-floor unit in the city’s CBD, to meet customers.  Police have revealed it was the girlfriend who discovered Ms Dunn’s body, after she went to check on her at the unit because she was not answering her phone.

The revelation Ms Dunn had been living a double life, working as a “high-end” private sex worker, compounded the horror for her family and friends.  It appears Ms Dunn first registered as a sole trader on July 19, 2016, following the advice of a popular local website for freelance sex workers.   Under the heading ‘Tips and hints, private escort world”, the site also advises freelancers to keep their private lives separate.  Many workers, it says, blurred their faces on website photos because “putting themselves out there on the internet is a risk”.

Ms Dunn’s sudden cash flow in 2017 appears to have funded her extensive overseas travel including a Contiki travel tour of Europe in 2017 and trips to Fiji and Sri Lanka last year. Her final trip, four months ago, was to the celebrity-studded Coachella music festival in California.  “High-end” escorts can command anything from $700 for an hour to $5500 for an “overnight”.  Well-known inner-Sydney brothels clearly target students in their jobs ads.  A Touch of Class describes the work as “perfect for students, earn high income while you study”.  At The Golden Apple, student recruits are even offered free airfares if they live out of town.

Jules Kim, chief executive of the Scarlett Alliance, the national peak body for sex workers, said over the past few years there had been a dramatic increase in the number of sex workers freelancing on websites rather than working for brothels, where the owner takes up to half the workers’ earnings.  “It’s gone from around 20% of the industry to 50%” Ms Kim said.  The owner of a brothel in Sydney’s inner west, who asked not to be named, said she had seen an “explosion” in the number of women working privately.  “I’d say there are about 8000 girls working in Sydney privately,” she said.  “I warn my girls against it because they don’t get the protection they do in a brothel.”

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

Print This Post Print This Post

 

AUSTRALIANS DEMAND INQUIRY INTO CHILD PUBERTY BLOCKERS

By Australian Newsletter

Australian experts are calling for an urgent national inquiry into unproven hormone drugs being given to ever younger gender-confused children.  Their detailed submission, arguing that risks including infertility and lifelong regret outweigh the benefits, has been sent to Health Minister Greg Hunt and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.  According to The Australian, “2145 children were referred for gender treatment between 2014 and last year, with a 41% increase in Victoria.  Girls as young as nine are believed to be put on ‘puberty blocker’ drugs, and boys from about 11.”

Paediatrics Professor Whitehall, who backed the submission, asked,  “Who gave ethics approval for this treatment when it lacks any scientific basis and therefore is an experiment?”  “We should give the psychiatry and psychology a full run before we start castrating children.”  The experts are among a growing number of critics challenging the trend of putting children on blockers:  “virtually all those on blockers go on to cross-sex hormones (and sometimes surgery), meaning an irrevocable transition to a medical approximation of the opposite sex.  This makes them lifelong patients with a range of potential complications and a high risk of infertility.”

Health sociologist Geoff Holloway, who wrote the submission, says the role of culture in gender dysphoria is unmistakeable:  “People who object to what’s going on can lose their jobs, quite apart from being ostracised.  This is supposed to be a scientific endeavour, not a witch hunt.”  Developmental psychologist Dianna Kenny said, “It has been massively and irresponsibly over-diagnosed.  These children and teens are going to be irrevocably damaged by the treatment they received.”  Binary spokeswoman Kirralie Smith said “I am pleased that Australian experts are speaking finally speaking out on this issue and demanding standards that will protect our children.”

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

Print This Post Print This Post

 

BREAKTHROUGH ON SOUTH AUSTRALIAN PROSTITUTION

By Australian Newsletter

The South Australian (SA) Labor Leader of the Opposition has come out against the Attorney General’s prostitution decriminalisation Bill. Mr Malinauskas is to be commended for this position which displays concern for SA’s youth.  It shows wise leadership.  We must pray that the Premier will follow suit.  Mr Malinauskas has expressed concern that outlaw gangs would be given open slather by this Bill.  He is correct.  This follows a survey the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) conducted in August which showed a complete lack of support for the Bill.

The polling showed 61% of 2,214 respondents believe that their local MP should vote against the prostitution Bill while 1 in 2 said they would be less likely to vote for a member of parliament who supported the legislation.  ACL is encouraging all Christians in South Australia to continue to ask all lower house MPs to reject the Bill and instead enact Nordic legislation which decriminalises the selling of sex, criminalises the buying of sex and pimping and brothel owning, and provides real exit strategies for those in prostitution.

Source: Australian Christian Lobby

Print This Post Print This Post

 

MORE ON THE RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION BILL

By Australian Newsletter

The proposed Religious Discrimination Bill is silent on the issue of whether current exemptions for religious education institutions in the Sex Discrimination Act will be repealed.  These matters are before the Australian Law Reform Council (ALRC).  Furthermore, the inquiry’s terms of reference have just been narrowed and the discussion paper delayed from this September to early 2020 and the reporting date delayed from April 2020 to December 2020, closer to the next election and leaving schools in limbo for longer.  This is highly disappointing, both for the delay and that the Bill and Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) inquiry will not be considered together.

The Bill is expected to pass through Parliament this year but the ALRC inquiry is not due to report until the end of 2020.  We do not want the Bill to be a ‘trade-off’ for losing protections being considered by the ALRC said a spokesperson for the Association of Australian Christian Schools (AACS).  If the exemptions in question are removed without rights being put in place beforehand, the ability of faith-based schools to expect employees to behave in line with their faith inside and outside of work hours would be in doubt.  One could suggest that the desire to uphold and protect the Christian ‘brand’ is not that much different from that of corporate sporting entities.

Other potential issues arising from the removal of exemptions (without other protections in place) are enrolment, uniforms, toilet facilities and camping accommodation; policies based on biological sex and the ability to resist curriculum at odds with Christian beliefs (i.e. gender theories in schools).  Both direct and ‘unreasonable’ indirect discrimination against people of faith is prohibited.  However, courts are known for narrowly defining what is necessary for religious freedom, let alone in their future deliberations on what is reasonable and what is not.

As one advocate noted, courts tend to equate freedom of religion ‘more with a “freedom to worship” rather than a broader freedom to express faith in word and action throughout the week’.  If you are a government body you are able to restrict what your employees say about faith outside of work hours.  Companies turning over LESS than $50 million per annum can restrict employee religious speech if it is deemed ’reasonable’.  Companies turning over MORE than $50 million per annum will need to show ‘unjustifiable financial hardship’ to be able to restrict employee religious speech.

This test could be potentially be enlivened via threat of boycott (or confected threat i.e. via social media). ‘Harassment’ and ‘vilification’ are also not included in this protection.  It is left open for groups to argue that not only have they been ‘offended’ or ‘insulted’, but that they have also been ‘vilified’.  The Bill explicitly overrides the far-reaching Tasmanian law that saw Archbishop Porteous in trouble when he wrote to Catholic school parents on same-sex marriage was a surprise in the Bill.  However, it only takes a statement to be deemed as harassment or vilification by a Tribunal for such a statement to not be protected at all.

The arguments that Christian teaching is harassment or vilification are common place in public discourse and it remains to be seen how they would be characterized by a Tribunal, particularly the unknown weight that would be given to theological context.  The Bill grants additional protection for conscientious objector medical professionals.  Any state-based laws allowing conscientious objection will not be able to be overridden by hospital policies or professional body requirements.  However, there is no protection if such state-based laws override conscientious objection themselves or in cases of limited service availability, in which case protections may not apply.

There are no protections for religious bodies that solely or primarily conduct commercial activities (even if not-for-profit and funds given to charitable purposes).  For example, hospitals and aged care facilities are not protected.  The protection of other charities and faith-based retreats are therefore in question.  The Human Rights Legislation Amendment (Freedom of Religion) Bill 2019 is amending the Charities Act to ensure that upholding a traditional view of marriage is not a disqualifying purpose (Ruddock recommendation #4).  Ideally it should be expanded to traditional gender, sexuality views etc., not just marriage.

Source: Association of Australian Christian Schools

Print This Post Print This Post

 

CROSS PARTY GROUP OF NSW MPs JOIN TO AMEND ABORTION BILL

By Australian Newsletter

Coalition MPs who support the abortion bill are prepared to consider “sensible amendments” to the draft laws to ensure terminations are removed from the criminal code.  Nationals MP Trevor Khan, who is one of the bill’s co-sponsors, said it was likely that the upper house would agree to changes to the draft legislation.  “I believe the bill would have passed the upper house without amendments but we are prepared to consider sensible amendments,” Mr Khan said.  Liberal MPs Tanya Davies and Kevin Conolly have warned that they would be prepared to move to the crossbench and risk the government’s majority if the bill was not amended.

Their threats have angered some of their colleagues, who believe Mrs Davies and Mr Conolly should not be forcing their views on MPs over a conscience issue.  A group of Liberal, Labor and crossbench MPs have revealed they will move 10 amendments, including banning sex selection and tightening when terminations can be performed.  Shooters, Fishers and Farmers’ MLC Robert Borsak was joined by Liberal Matthew Mason-Cox and Labor’s Courtney Houssos and Greg Donnelly in releasing their amendments.  Other sponsors of the amendments include One Nation’s Mark Latham, Christian Democrat Fred Nile and Liberal MLC Natasha Maclaren-Jones.

Mr Borsak said he was “not against removing abortion from the Crimes Act” but he would not be prepared to support the bill in its present form.  “In my nine years as a member in this Parliament, I have never seen a more flawed and rushed process, especially in relation to an issue that deals with life and death, the result of which is what we have before us now,” Mr Borsak told MPs in an email.
The bill last month passed the lower house 59 to 31, but it created a split within the Liberals, with 19 of the party’s 35 MPs voting against it.  The majority of Nationals supported the bill.

It was expected to also pass the upper house but a lengthy debate over amendments is now likely, and if passed amended, it will need to return to the lower house.  Mr Mason-Cox described the current bill as an “abominable piece of legislation”.  The 10 amendments also include reducing the threshold for an abortion from 22-weeks to 20 unless it is “necessary to save the mother’s life or the life of another unborn child”.  There is also one to “ensure it is a crime to force or coerce a woman into having an abortion”.  Health Minister Brad Hazzard, another co-sponsor of the bill, has also been working on amendments with Mrs Davies and Mr Conolly.

One Liberal upper house MLC said they supported the bill presently, but would be prepared to support “reasonable amendments” to ensure abortion is decriminalised.  “If that’s what I need to do to get this through, then I am prepared to support amendments as long as they are sensible and reasonable,” the MLC said.  But the Liberal said there was a feeling that they were being held to ransom by Mrs Davies and Mr Conolly’s threats of defecting.  “I am very disappointed with their behaviour in all this,” the MLC said. Another Nationals upper house MP said they were “comfortable with the bill as it is but would consider reasonable amendments if that’s what it takes.”

“If there are reasonable amendments put forward I will be ok with that” the MP said.  “But I would say that some of the amendments we have seen so far are not necessarily sensible.”  Two upper house Labor MPs who support the bill in its current form also confirmed that they would consider amendments.  During a trade mission to Europe last month, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she would be comfortable with her upper house colleagues “strengthening the bill”.  Ms Berejiklian was spared from a damaging debate over abortion at her party’s recent council meeting after a majority of Liberals opposed a push to condemn the bill.

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

Print This Post Print This Post

 

PRO-LIFE MOVIE ‘UNPLANNED’ NOW IN AUSTRALIA

By Australian Newsletter

The producers of the pro-life movie “Unplanned” have announced their film has arrived in Australia.  The filmmakers announcement on social media says “Prepare to discover the startling message of hope & healing that judges no one and touches hearts at every intersection in the #abortion debate.”  As CBN News has reported, “Unplanned” is based on the pro-life transformation of a former Planned Parenthood abortion clinic director named Abby Johnson.  Her compelling true story has opened up the hearts and minds of thousands of people who have seen the movie.

Chuck Konzelman, the films’ director has revealed that nearly 100 abortion clinic workers have sought to leave their jobs after seeing the pro-life film.  The PureFlix movie has grossed almost $19 million since it was released last March.  The film had a production budget of just $6 million. The film’s makers have also released a companion devotional titled Planned from the Start: A Healing Devotional to help former workers and other women heal from the pain of abortion.  The website for the film describes the book saying it “reveals five core areas of emotional turmoil often faced following abortion and brings healing to those who are hurting.”

Previews of the movie are being organised around Australia by the Australian Christian Lobby.    You can book your ticket to one of the remaining screenings by going to their website at www.acl.org.au  Session screenings still to be held:

18 September – 7pm – ADELAIDE, SA. Hoyts Norwood.

18 September – 7pm – PERTH, WA. Hoyts Booragoon. SOLD OUT.

18 September – 7pm – WARRAWONG, NSW. Hoyts Warrawong.

22 September – 7pm – HOBART, TAS. Village Cinemas.

24 September – 7pm – NEWCASTLE, NSW. Hoyts Charlestown.

24 September – 7pm – TOWNSVILLE, QLD. Warrina Cineplex.

25 September – 7pm – LAUNCESTON, TAS. Village Cinemas.

8 October – 7pm – REDCLIFFE, QLD. Hoyts Redcliffe.

Source: Australian Christian Lobby

Print This Post Print This Post