Blue Flower

10 REASONS WHY CHRISTIANS SHOULD VOTE NO IN THE MARRIAGE PLEBISCITE

EDITORS NOTE:  Australian Christian Churches have prepared these 10 points to assist Christians in their deliberations as they prepare to vote in the upcoming plebiscite. Please study them carefully and use them in discussions with others who are seeking to understand the consequences should same-sex marriage be legalised. 

 

Australians are being asked to vote on whether marriage should be redefined to include homosexual couples. The Australian Christian Churches urges all Christians to vote "no" at the upcoming postal plebiscite, because we believe there is a lot more at stake.

 

1. Upholding the Biblical Definition of Marriage

 

The Biblical view of marriage is a lifelong, exclusive union between a man and a woman. This definition is made crystal clear in Genesis 1 and 2 which lays out God's blueprint for human sexuality. It is endorsed by Jesus in Matthew 19v5 and by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 5v21. Redefining marriage to include homosexual couples is completely contrary to clear Biblical teaching. This is an important consideration for Bible believing Christians, yet it is only one reason we should vote "no" to same sex marriage. People need to realise that same sex marriage will profoundly change Australian society and impinge upon our freedoms.

 

2. Legalising Same Sex Marriage Means Christian Ministers Will Eventually Be Forced to Conduct Gay Weddings

 

Our politicians currently agree that pastors will not have to perform homosexual weddings, but gay activists are already insisting such exemptions should be dismissed. Editor at Large for The Australian newspaper, Paul Kelly, wrote that even if exemptions for Christian ministers are made law, only "a fool" would believe such exemptions can last. What is given as an exemption will come to be viewed as an anomaly and eventually a loophole that must be closed, he said. This is already happening overseas. For instance, gay marriages were legalised in Sweden in 2009, with exemptions for ministers, but in June this year Sweden's Prime Minister, Stefan Lofven, said priests should be forced to perform gay weddings.

 

3. Legalising Same Sex Marriage Means Christian People Will Lose Their Freedom of Conscience

 

Whilst politicians promise that ministers will not have to be involved in gay weddings (for now), they are offering no such protections for the overwhelming majority of Christians who are not credentialed ministers. Freedom of conscience means citizens should have the right not be compelled by the State to participate in things they believe are morally wrong. Legalising gay marriage means Christian business people would be forced to participate in gay weddings, with threat of legal action, if they refused to do so. There are dozens and dozens of examples from countries where gay marriage has been legalised, of anti-discrimination laws being used to fine, fire or bankrupt Christian business people for doing no more than politely declining to participate in a homosexual wedding. Same sex marriage, presented as a shield to protect homosexuals from discrimination, will be used as a spear to go after Christians in the marketplace who do not wish to participate they believe are morally wrong.

 

Legalising gay marriage means Christian business people would be forced to participate in gay weddings, with threat of legal action, if they refused to do so. There are dozens and dozens of examples, from countries where gay marriage has been legalised, of anti-discrimination laws being used to fine, fire or bankrupt Christian business people for doing no more than politely declining to participate in a homosexual wedding. Same sex marriage, presented as a shield to protect homosexuals from discrimination, will be used as a spear to go after Christians in the marketplace who do not wish to participate.

 

4. Legalising Gay Marriage Threatens Our Ability to Teach the Bible

 

Teaching traditional marriage will become hate speech if gay marriage is legalised. If this sounds far-fetched, consider the case of Hobart Archbishop Julian Porteous who, in 2015, was dragged before Tasmania's Anti-Discrimination Commission for teaching the Christian view of marriage. This is shocking when you consider that Archbishop Porteous was taken to court for upholding the legal view of marriage. If a Christian is marched before the courts for speaking against gay marriage when gay marriage is illegal, what happens to a Christian who dares to teach a Biblical view of marriage when gay marriage is the law of the land? In February this year UK evangelist Gordon Larmour was imprisoned overnight and charged with "abusive behaviour aggravated by prejudice relating to sexual orientation". His crime was to have shared the story of Adam and Eve when asked his view of sexuality by a gay activist. Larmour was eventually cleared of any wrong-doing, but only after a six-month legal ordeal.

 

In 2015 Pastor Barry Trayhorn, an ordained Pentecostal Minister in the UK, was disciplined for hate speech whilst leading a chapel service for prisoners at the local jail. During the chapel service Pastor Trayhorn read from 1 Corinthians 6v9-11: "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God." And then Pastor Trayhorn said: "You may want to complain about this, but this is the word of God. God loves you and wants to forgive you" A homosexual prisoner complained that Pastor Trayhorn's Bible reading had violated the Prison's Equality Policies. Pastor Trayhorn was found guilty of making "provocative statements that breached the prison's code of conduct". He has lost his job working in the prison.

 

5. Legalising Gay Marriage Means Christian Schools Will Be Threatened With Closure Unless they Teach Children LGBT Lifestyles

 

Australian parents have been horrified by the Safe Schools program which encourages primary school students to imagine they are homosexuals and instructs students on anal sex and "penis tucking". If gay marriage is legalised, such lessons will be insisted upon for all schools and Christian schools that refuse to teach LGBT lifestyles will be threatened with closure. This is not conjecture. It is already happening in Western countries that have legalised gay marriage. In June of this year, a private Jewish girls school in North London was one of seven faith-based schools threatened with closure for refusing to teach gay and transgendered lifestyles to students. The Education Department said Vishnitz Orthodox girls' school had failed its duty to give students "a full understanding of fundamental British values" because they had not taught children LGBT lifestyles. The Department acknowledged that the school's academic results were outstanding and that the school taught respect for all people but that none of this was an excuse for not teaching homosexuality. The school has received its third and final warning to comply before being deregistered.


6. Legalising Gay Marriage Means Christian Organisations Will Eventually Be Forced To Employ People in Homosexual Relationships

 

Earlier this year the Victorian State Government attempted to pass a law that would make it illegal for Christian organisations (including Christian Schools) to refuse to employ people living in homosexual relationships. The proposed law was defeated by just one vote. The Queensland Labor Government was intent on enacting a similar policy this year, but removed it from their platform when it became public. If gay marriage enjoys the same legal status as heterosexual marriage there will be no grounds to deny employment in a Christian organisation to someone on the basis of their homosexual relationship. We love homosexual people but we emphatically reject the idea that Christian organisations should be forced to employ people who are opposed to Christian values. It is ironic that whilst politicians are wanting to force the Church to employ people who are opposed to Biblical teaching, those same politicians do not believe the Greens, for instance, should be forced to employ people who are opposed to action on climate change or that the Australian Labor Party should be forced to employ people who are opposed to union membership.

 

7. Legalising Gay Marriage Means Gender Will Be Radically Redefined In Law

 

The basis of the same sex marriage argument is that gender is inconsequential. If gay marriage is legalised, the biological truth of gender will be radically redefined in law. Already Facebook asks users to select from 71 gender options. The so-called Safe Schools program teaches students that male and female are mere social constructs. The media champion parents who raise gender-neutral children. Earlier this year, the conservative UK government proposed legislation that would make it possible for a person to change gender on their birth certificate by simply filling out a form. There would be no requirement for a consultation with doctors, or even sex change surgery. A man who identified as a woman would be able to change his birth certificate and legally become a woman by simply filling out a form. If he decided he didn't like being a woman and wanted to be a man again, he could simply fill out another form and switch back. Equalities Minister Justine Greening, reflecting on the progress that had been made in gay rights (including gay marriage that was legalised in the UK in 2014) described the redefinition of gender as "the next step forward". People should be in no doubt that legalising gay marriage is not about respecting two people's right to love each other. It is about radically redefining marriage, gender and parenting.

 

8. Legalising Gay Marriage Means Mothers and Fathers Will Be Radically Redefined in Law

 

In August this year, CNN reported that Trystan Reese, a transgender man living in Portland, Oregon, had given birth to a boy with his male partner, Biff Chaplow. The news item described Reese as "a man who has a uterus and has the capacity and capability of carrying a baby". People who insisted that Reese was not a man with a uterus but rather a woman (since only women have uteruses and only women have the capacity and capability of carrying a baby) were called bigots. This is a direct consequence of same sex marriage (legalised in Canada in 2005) which insists that gender is irrelevant to marriage and therefore to parenting.

 

9. Legalising Gay Marriage Will Remove Any Principled Argument Against Further Redefinitions of Marriage

 

If marriage can be redefined to suit a particular group, such as LGBT, why can it not be redefined further to suit other groups, such as Muslims who want polygamy? When the US Supreme Court legalised gay marriage in 2015, one of the dissenting judges, Chief Justice John Roberts, contended that "much of the majority's reasoning" in support of same-sex marriage "would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage". Chief Justice Roberts told the court: "There is no reason at all why the two-person element of the core definition of marriage may be preserved while the man-woman element may not. Indeed, from the standpoint of history and tradition, a leap from opposite-sex marriage to same-sex marriage is much greater than one from a two-person union to plural unions, which have deep roots in some cultures around the world."

 


10. Legalising Gay Marriage Means Christians Found to Be Members of Churches That Teach a Biblical View of Marriage Risk Losing Their Jobs

 

In 2012 Victoria's Deputy Chief Psychiatrist, Kuruvilla George, was forced to resign from his job when it became known he believed children needed a mother and a father. Prominent politicians, including members of the Greens, argued that such views precluded him from being able to care for gay people in the community. Earlier this year LGBT activists campaigned on social media for IBM to sack their Sydney-based managing partner, Mark Allaby. Allaby's crime was to perform volunteer work for a Christian organisation that holds a Biblical view of marriage. Activists argued that since IBM was a supporter of gay marriage they should not employ someone who wasn't. Bear in mind that Dr George lost his job and Mark Allaby was threatened with losing his whilst gay marriage is illegal in Australia! If gay marriage is made the law of the land we can expect Christian people to be pressured to disassociate themselves with churches or face losing their jobs.

 

It is already happening in Western countries where gay marriage has been legalised. In 2016 there was a social media campaign to have Chip and Joanna Gaines, the stars of the HGTV home renovation show Fixer Upper, dropped from the network when it became known they attended a church that taught a Biblical view of marriage. Two years earlier, the same television network cancelled a show when they learned the brothers who fronted the program, Jason and David Benham, attended a church that taught a Biblical view of marriage.

 

CONCLUSION

 

The one thing that supporters of gay marriage and opponents of gay marriage agree upon is this: legalizing gay marriage will dramatically change Australia. The Rudd Government changed more than 80 pieces of legislation to remove discrimination under law against gay people. The Rudd Government was right to do this. We do no support discrimination against people based on their sexuality. But the postal vote on same sex marriage is not a vote about discrimination; it is a vote about whether or not marriage should be redefined and with it the norms and freedoms we currently take for granted. We urge you, if you value freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, freedom of association and the freedom to educate children according to Christian values, to vote no.

 

Our politicians currently agree that pastors will not have to perform homosexual weddings, but gay activists are already insisting such exemptions should be dismissed. Editor at Large for The Australian newspaper, Paul Kelly, wrote that even if exemptions for Christian ministers are made law, only "a fool" would believe such exemptions can last. What is given as an exemption will come to be viewed as an anomaly and eventually a loophole that must be closed, he said. This is already happening overseas. For instance, gay marriages were legalised in Sweden in 2009, with exemptions for ministers, but in June this year Sweden's Prime Minister, Stefan Lofven, said priests should be forced to perform gay weddings.

 

Source: Australian Christian Churches

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YES SIDE IN MARRIAGE DEBATE IGNORES THE IMPLICATIONS FOR FREEDOMS

One of the reasons I love being Australian is that in contrast to some other countries, we usually debate in a relatively civilised fashion. However, lately there has been some publicly expressed anxiety about the tone of debate on issues ranging from gay marriage to the so called statue wars. Indeed the tone of these debates is as much a subject for debate as the debates themselves, and there is no doubt the hysteria of the Yes campaign has to some degree propelled people otherwise inclined to vote "Yes" to lean towards the "No" side. That same-sex marriage is an acrimonious subject is hardly surprising, considering the Yes side sees it as a purely emotional and personal issue. The emotional young have a tendency to go in, boots and all, but it is not so understandable when sober and mature people such as Bill Shorten latch on to the coat tails of that hysteria, throwing around insults.

Those who want a Yes vote see marriage as a personal relationship, denying any broader implications, while the No side sees marriage as a social institution and points to the ramifications of gay marriage in countries with similar political structures, including human rights commissions and boards that have alarming power to impose a view about what is human and what is a right. These deeper issues are lost on the general public. So far the Yes side has captured the emotive high ground. The tactics it has used range from the slogan"marriage equality" and sentimental photos of same-sex couples in Qantas lounges to the ACT government spending taxpayers money on a Yes campaign. At the bottom end of the scale there is still the bullying and aggression that dominates social media, especially targeting the Australian Christian Lobby. 

The Yes vote is backed by big money and corporations such as Qantas telling us that we won’t be able to fly, bank or do business if we don't agree with this. Meanwhile, despite the fuming about homophobia, the No vote has managed to keep the tone rational, civilised and polite in general, largely because it has steered clear of the personal, until now. The television ads featuring mothers worried about what their children will be taught in school, including so-called queer theory, ramp up the case against same-sex marriage. There are precedents for the wider application of queer theory in countries where the introduction of gay marriage has meant wider acceptance of gender fluidity, and this is being taught to children. Queer theory is part of the compulsory curriculum in Canada and parts of Britain. Even supporters of gay marriage have been alarmed at the spread of this ideology.

Since it has already been introduced in Victoria and will be compulsory there from next year, its possible widespread compulsory introduction nationwide is, contrary to what Simon Birmingham might say, hardly a far-fetched prospect. Parents are appalled by mad gender theory, but they have little power to curb it because of new forms of human rights law. A reinterpretation of human rights has allowed same-sex marriage. Further such reinterpretations are what we face in the future, something George Brandis has deliberately ignored. The immediate consequences for religious liberty with the legalising of same-sex marriage have not been properly canvassed and there is not enough noise about these consequences. The so-called debate on this aspect has been superficial and extends only to weddings, not marriages.

Marriage in the church is a lived sacrament that, where possible, should produce children. It isn't the wedding. Nevertheless, that did not prevent the Catholic Archbishop of Hobart, Julian Porteus, being summonsed to appear before a human rights board in that state, to answer a claim by a transgender person that disseminating a booklet outlining Catholic teaching on marriage to Catholic schoolchildren was discriminatory. There are two things to be alarmed about here. First, this statement was part of the doctrinal education of Catholic children, via the school and their parents. It simply set out the church's teachings on marriage as a sacrament with virtually no reference to homosexuality. So challenging its dissemination was a direct challenge to that teaching. 

This goes to the heart of what parents will be able to teach their children, because the principle of Catholic education is that it exists only as an extension and complement of parental education. Secondly, the booklet was produced by the entire Bishops Conference. So if this complaint had been upheld, the entire body of Catholic bishops would be eligible for punishment by the human rights apparatus. This is similar to what has happened in parts of Canada and the US when bishops have taken a line vigorously opposed to the radical sexual agenda. What can be taught in schools is part of the broader debate, as are the effects on Catholic social services, particularly adoption and fostering. In Boston, Catholic adoption agencies have had to close because they refuse adoption by same-sex couples.

Instead of addressing these issues, the Yes campaigners think that they can simply ignore them, call them alarmist and irrelevant, and forget about them. However, this debate has broadly revolutionary consequences. Many who want gay marriage don't all see this, but those pulling the strings have ramped up this debate as purely personal, deliberately steering away from the wider implications, and that is why the tone is so shrill. It is very radical and sounds a warning for the future of free speech in this country.

Source: Angela Shanahan a writer for The Australian

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CONTINUOUS PRAYER LEADING UP TO AND DURING THE PLEBISCITE VOTING

The Australian Prayer Network is conducting continuous 24/7 prayer during the period of the plebiscite vote on same-sex marriage. Our National 24 Hour Prayer Watch is anchoring the prayer but many thousands of members of our general network are also joining in as they are able and for as long as their schedule allows. You do not need to register to be part of this initiative simply use the prayer points which we are giving each week in this newsletter. This week’s prayer points are as follows:

 

As we teach in the Australian Prayer Network "as the church goes, so goes a nation."  With this in mind, we invite you to take a journey with is over coming weeks to pray into the battle for Marriage in our nation by praying through Malachi 2.  Malachi 2 begins by God rebuking the priests for not listening and not setting their hearts on honouring God's name.  As New Covenant believers we can pray for "priests" from two perspectives:  1) "priests" as shepherds of God's people (spiritual leaders within the church) and, 2) "priests" as we each represent the "priesthood of believers".

 

CONFESS:  Our own failure as shepherds and the priesthood of all believers to listen carefully to the Lord regarding His heart and purpose for marriage and allowing our nation to slowly deteriorate to where we are today.  Confess our failure to set our hearts on honouring and upholding His plan for marriage as a demonstration of our heart's desire to honour Him, the Creator of the marriage covenant. 

 


PLEASE PRAY FOR:

*   those in the body of Christ who are refusing to listen to God's voice when He speaks to and convicts our hearts about the lack of love in many of our marriages. Pray for breakthrough of truth, softened hearts, conviction of the Spirit to be met with humility and true repentance that makes way for reconciliation and restoration of love and intimacy. 

*   our hearts in this season of concentrated prayer for marriage to be set afresh on honouring God's name in all we do and say within our marriages and in how we converse with people about this issue.  

 

DECLARE:  We are the priesthood of all believers and we will not be stubborn and harden our hearts but we will listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit as He leads us in what and how to pray for our marriages and for our nation. 

 

Source: Australian Prayer Network

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IS THIS THE FUTURE IN AUSTRALIA AS FATHERS DAY ADS DEEMED POLITICAL

Free TV Australia's decision to deem a commercial celebrating Father's Day "political" ahead of the government's same-sex marriage postal ballot has been described as "troubling", "garbage" and "political correctness gone absurdly mad” by politicians. However, the peak body for free-to-air commercial TV networks blamed the ad’s creator, not-for-profit group Dads4Kids, for the ad not running, saying they were asked to add an identification tag declaring political content and refused to do so. Dads4Kids spokesman Ben Pratt said the organisation had run similar ads for the past 15 years without them being classed as political. He said the political classification meant the ads could not be played for free under Community Service Announcement regulations, and Dads4Kids could therefore not afford to run them as it had done since 2002.

Media reports cited mention in the ad of the dads4kids.org.au website as the reason Free TV deemed it political, given the page, which has since been taken offline, suggested every child had a right to a mother and a father. In a 2014 submission to a Senate inquiry about recognition of same-sex marriage, Dads4Kids argued such relationships were a "a blatant attack on the rights of the children of Australia". Mr Pratt said these issues were at no stage raised with Dads4Kids, nor did Free TV provide such details to The Australian on Fridaywhen asked to respond to several questions about what the political content in the ad was. For Brisbane dad Heitor De Morais, Father's Day was about spending time with his wife, Helen, and their 10-month-old daughter Sophia.

"It's a day to celebrate fatherhood and to remind you of how lucky you are to be able to pass on all your knowledge and experience to your offspring," he said. Mr De Morais, a supporter of same-sex marriage, said he could not see what the issue had to do with Fathe's Day. Tasmanian senator Eric Abetz said the Free TV decision was "deeply troubling" and would "baffle most Australians". "This decision is manifestly stupid and I hope it will be reconsidered," he said. One Nation senator Pauline Hanson said attacks on special days such as Father's Day and Australia Day were a distraction from important issues such as energy prices. "To have the ad declared 'political matter' at a time that crosses over during the same sex relationship debate is just garbage," she said. Nationals senator Matt Canavan said it was "political correctness gone absurdly mad to be effectively putting a ban on Father's Day."

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

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YOUR HELP IS NEEDED IN COMING DAYS

The Coalition for Marriage headquarters in Canberra, an office that never sleeps, is looking for all the help that people can offer in the next few weeks as the plebiscite papers are sent out and voting commences. There is only a few precious weeks in which to win hearts and minds on marriage. The High Court this past week has ruled that the postal vote can proceed, and now we have a race to run with a finishing line in sight. And with the wonderful grass-roots organisation that has been built up, we can win. This brief note is to invite you to join us here at HQ by video conference and go through the 'campaign induction' that over a thousand volunteers have already gone through, preparing us to have "neighbour conversations" with hundreds of thousands of our fellow Australians.

 

Here is the link for more information: www.coalitionformarriage.com.au/volunteer_induction  We know that nothing else will "get out the vote" like personal contacts. We know that letter boxing won't do it; massive advertising won't do it although it will be part of our campaign (funds permitting). What will make the crucial difference is millions of moments of contact with a real person who is committed to the No vote. Someone with a volunteer's vest / lanyard / brochure who smiles at the door and says, "Hi, I'm Jim and this is Mary and we are volunteers on the marriage campaign. We are really concerned about the consequences of changing the Marriage Act, especially for what kids are taught at school, and for what we are allowed to say and believe." 


Many young people have been out there going from house to house already. Help us reach those neighbours in our towns who would vote No if only they could be given a reason. They need a friendly face to tell them that "It's OK to say No".  If you have not already done so, please sign up for a session in the next couple of days so you can join our nationwide network of volunteers who will win this thing! Sessions have had up to two hundred people at a time, but there are lots of spaces in the coming couple of days. People are often getting a room full of friends and beaming in to the session together.  Here is the link again for you to sign up at a time that suits you. www.coalitionformarriage.com.au/volunteer_induction  Enquiries can go to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .au  Thanks for standing with the Coalition for Marriage and all of the groups who are pulling together to win this vote. 

Source: Coalition for Marriage

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