Blue Flower

MARK LATHAM SAYS SAME-SEX MARRIAGE VOTE WILL OPEN A CAN OF WORMS

 

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article by Mark Latham shows the minefield that the legislation of  "any two people" getting married will unleash on the children and families of Australia.

 

There is a widely held expectation in Australian politics that once the result of the same-sex marriage postal vote is announced on November 15, the matter will be resolved, once and for all. According to opinion polls, a Yes vote looks likely, clearing the way for amendments to the Marriage Act. But perhaps there's one more twist in this long-running, vexed issue. I hate to say it, but it might run for a good while yet. By now, we have all heard the Australian Bureau of Statistics advertisements, encouraging people to vote on "whether Australian marriage laws should be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry". If the proposition is carried, the average voter would expect extra clauses to be added to the Marriage Act, widening the scope of wedlock to include homosexuality.

 

Marriage is currently defined as "between a man and a woman". One would logically expect the new legislation to read:  "Marriage is a union between: a) A man and a woman; or b) two homosexual men; or c) Two lesbian women." But this is not what our parliamentarians have been proposing. Opposition leader Bill Shorten sought to define marriage as 'a union between two people' When Bill Shorten introduced his private members' Marriage Amendment (Marriage Equality) Bill in 2015, its purpose was to "allow Australians to marry regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status." He sought to define marriage as "a union between two people", meaning that all Australian adults were eligible: heterosexuals, homosexuals and people of any other gender or sexuality.

 

In the Liberal party-room, whenever private members' bills have been proposed to amend the Marriage Act, they too have followed the Shorten formula. That is, marriage as a union between any two people of any gender or sexuality. This raises an immediate contradiction. The current postal vote is asking about "same-sex couples". But where is the question covering other possibilities, the various sexual orientations, gender identities and intersex statuses allowed for in both the Labor and Liberal private members' bills? This is no small matter. Left wing activists claim to have identified up to 250 gender and sexual categories. These include the well-known LGBTI designations, lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, transgender and intersex, plus a bewildering array of other terminology.


Apparently it is now possible to be genderqueer, demisexual, twospirit, asexual, pansexual, polyamorous, fluid, femme, gender-binary, gynephilic, SAAB, MSM/WSW, skoliosexual, agender, androsexual, bicurious, cisgender, demiromantic, down low, FtM/F2M and MtF/M2F. I swear those last two featured in one of the Star Wars movies. Clearly Labor and Liberals have in mind a far broader definition of marriage. It won't be restricted to heterosexuals and homosexuals. It will include the multitude of categories listed above, most of which I've got no idea what they are talking about. I mean, what does the legalisation of polyamorous, skoliosexual and twospirit marriage involve?  Why is the postal vote question asking about same-sex (the LGB component) but not the other 247 types of marriage being promoted by the left?

 

And why won't the government release the amended Marriage Act it has in mind so we can understand what a YES vote will mean in practice? A big part of the problem has been the left's strategy of mission creep: using this debate to constantly broaden the definition of marriage. Fifteen years ago, they advocated "gay marriage". Then the mantra became "same-sex marriage" and finally, "marriage equality". Most of us thought this was a marketing ploy, an exercise in semantics. But it actually had a serious intent. Marriage equality is not just for gay couples. It involves a sweeping redefinition of marriage, extending to the other 247 gender/sexual categories. My advice to people would be: if you don't understand the proposal, don't vote for it. I won't be.


I'm also worried about the way in which marriage between any "two people" legitimises the notion of gender fluidity. Through neo-Marxist programs like Safe Schools and Respectful Relationships, radicals have infiltrated our education system. They are trying to convince young people of the possibilities of gender fluidity: that at any time, boys can be girls and girls can be boys. Prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall, Marxists tried to create political anxiety and rebellion through the economic system. Now they are trying to manipulate the identity and feelings of school students, to convince them nothing is fixed in this world, such as biological science. They want young Australians to believe that "capitalist hegemony" is suppressing their true gender and sexuality, a new source of social unrest. We must resist this propaganda at any cost.

 

With a majority of parents saying they don't want radical queer theory in the school curriculum via Safe Schools, why would we want it in the Marriage Act? Marriage equality has become a wolf in sheep's clothing. What does this mean for Parliament post-November 15?  If the public votes Yes, conservative MPs in the Coalition party room will be entitled to limit the scope of any new marriage statute to the mandate of the people. This means writing into law a specific provision for marriage between same-sex couples. But no more than that. The postal vote process has made no mention of the other 247 categories. If the public hasn't approved marriage beyond heterosexual and homosexual couples, how can the Parliament proceed with a broad, "two people" definition?  Malcolm Turnbull's political nightmare with same-sex marriage is a long way from ending.

Source: The Daily Telegraph

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CONTINUOUS PRAYER DURING THE PERIOD OF 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:

 

In Malachi 2:3 we see that one of the consequences for not listening to the Lord and honouring His name affected their descendants.  "Because of you I will rebuke your descendants" or "corrupt your seed." We too can see the consequences on our children/grandchildren from our lack of listening and honouring God's name.  Many of them have rebelled, many left the church as soon as they were allowed to make their own decisions and many were deeply affected by the fallout of our marriages and the divorces they led to. 

 

CONFESS:  Our children are suffering because we didn't set our hearts on honouring God's name in our homes and marriages. Confess whatever areas the Spirit is highlighting for yourself or for others you know as it pertains to this and how it has affected our children. Forgive us, Lord!


PRAY FOR:

* God to have mercy on our children/grandchildren and restore them back to Himself and heal their wounded hearts, for their spiritual ears and eyes to be opened, especially for those who have delved into a life of sexual immorality, to be awakened in this season of prayer to the truth that is in God's plan for sex and marriage. 

*  A righteous, holy and pure army to arise from amongst our children and grandchildren, an army that knows and listens to God's voice and whose hearts are set on honouring His holy name in all they do, say and think!

 

DECLARE:  The Holy Spirit will be poured out on our sons and daughters to save, heal and deliver them from the plans and schemes of the enemy. They will arise as sons and daughters of God and prophesy and see visions.  They will be a generation that seeks the Lord with clean hands and pure hearts and they will not lift their souls to another or swear by what is false when it comes to marriage.  They will know the truth about God's plan for marriage and family and the truth will set them free!

Source: Australian Prayer Network

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COMMUNITY CHAPLAINCY GROWTH SPURT

Plans are underway to recruit a force of 1000 community chaplains by the year 2020. The aim is that community chaplains will act as evangelists in every community to either form churches or feed into existing churches. Already the Sydney Anglican Diocese has 70 community chaplains deployed in areas as diverse as Muslim evangelism, hospital work and prison chaplaincy as well as police, ambulance workers and in sporting clubs. The inaugural community chaplaincy forum held last year was attended by church leaders, working chaplains, training providers and many potential chaplains. Rev Bruce Hall, who chairs the community chaplaincy task force, says those being recruited will be licenced or authorised by the Archbishop under their local supervisor. "Our target is 1000 community chaplains deployed in the Sydney and Illawarra areas by 2020.

This will require every chaplain to recruit one or two more a year and every parish to deploy at least four chaplains," Mr Hall says. "Sporting clubs are an area of great opportunity with, currently, 8000 unfilled sports chaplaincy positions across the country. Those chaplains already in place face many demands. Raewyn Elsegood, chaplain to a netball club in Castle Hill, has been asked by Netball NSW to provide a self-esteem course for all young netballers in the state. Surf Lifesaving club chaplain Mark Gilbert provides pastoral care to young surf lifesavers facing stressful life issues. "An ideal community chaplain is a faithful Christian man or woman who is able to love a particular people group and communicate with them about Jesus," Mr Hall says. Other examples of community chaplains include Mel Fung, who started the Jesus Club, an outreach for adults with intellectual disabilities. This now runs in at least nine parishes around Sydney. Another ministry works with women recovering from domestic violence in the Rockdale area.

Source: Anglican Media Services

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ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN LEADER SAYS THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS SAME-SEX MARRIAGE

The leader of Egyptian Christians says there is no such thing as same-sex "marriage." "According to the Holy Bible, when you read either in the Old Testament or the New Testament, there is no same-sex marriage at all," Coptic Pope Tawadros II said in responding to questions about Australia's plebiscite on same-sex "marriage." Such a union "is completely forbidden by the Christian faith," he flatly stated. The statement was made when the Patriarch was visiting the faithful in Australia recently. "God created man and woman," Tawadros said. "The first family was made by man and woman."  Homosexuality "is not acceptable," the pope continued. "It is considered a sin. It is sin." "Our constitution as Coptic Christians is the Holy Bible,"

Tawadros said the same thing to guide Coptic youth to whom he spoke at the International Convention Centre in Sydney. He encouraged them to "fight for what is right" regarding the national referendum on same-sex "marriage." "Family equals father and mother," the patriarch told the nearly 1,000 attendees. Tawadros is the pastor of 20 million Copts in Egypt and another 2 million worldwide.  His official title is "Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark." 

 

Source: LifeSiteNews

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Have you visited our Web site? Australian Prayer Network

IRAN: CHRISTIAN SCHOOL CHILDREN TOLD CONVERT TO ISLAM OR LEAVE

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has been informed that children from Christian families in the cities of Rasht and Shiraz have been told they must either study Shi'a Islam, or leave school. The majority of these children are second generation Christians. As part of a minority faith community recognised in the Iranian constitution, they are allowed, by law, to have access to religious instruction designed by members of the Christian community, and approved by the Ministry of Education. Until recently, their families were able to present a signed letter from the denomination that exempted them from studying Shi'a Islam. However, the authorities are now rejecting this letter on the grounds that the church is an "illegal organisation", and are insisting the children either agree to study Islam, or go home. Sources in the denomination have told CSW that "the message is clear: convert or leave."

Under Article 30 of the Iranian constitution, the government is obligated to provide free education for all children until they complete secondary school. However, the policy adopted by school authorities in Rasht and Shiraz effectively deprives children who are currently in primary and secondary school of education unless they agree to religious instruction that does not conform with their own faith. Iran is party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which recognises the right of parents to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in line with their own convictions, and has ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), which also recognises this right. The country has also ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which commits signatories to ensuring access to primary, secondary and tertiary education.

CSW's Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas says: "It is worrying that the education of so many children will be unduly interrupted until their parents agree for them to study a religion different to their own. Education is a basic right which Iran has undertaken to guarantee to all of its citizens. Children should not be victimised in an effort to penalise their parents for exercising the right to adopt a religion of their choice. Since education is the responsibility of central government, we urge the Special Rapporteur on the right to education and other key international human rights experts to make urgent representations with President Rouhani, with a view to ensuring the country fulfils its national and international obligations to respect the right of the child to education, and particularly to religious education commensurate with the convictions and beliefs of their parents."

In other news, Church of Iran member Suroush Saraie, who was rearrested on 18 July, is now in Adelabad Prison. He was initially taken to Pelak 100, a notorious detention centre run by the Intelligence Services (VEVAK).  CSW is informed that while there, attempts were made to pressurise him into making an unspecified "confession". Mr Saraie was rearrested at his home in Shiraz after being released early from Adelabad Prison in November 2015. Another Church of Iran member, Eskandar Rezaie, was rearrested on 6 July, after being released temporarily from Adelabad Prison in December 2015. Both men were initially arrested on 12 October 2012, along with five other Christians, during a raid on a prayer meeting, and were found guilty of 'action against national security' and 'propaganda against the order of the system'.

Mr Saraie received a two-and-a-half year sentence on 16 July 2013, later upheld on appeal, which he began serving in July 2014. Mr Rezaie was given a one year sentence, which he began serving in July 2015. "These re-arrests and the initial transfer of Mr Saraie to the notorious detention centre are deeply disturbing. Despite the country's constitutional and international obligations, Iran continues to criminalise members of the Christian community for exercising their right to the freedoms of religion or belief and association. Once again, we call on the international community not to neglect human rights issues during dialogues with Iran, and to urge the government to release all prisoners of conscience, and to respect the right of every citizen to freedom of religion or belief."

Source: Christian Solidarity Worldwide

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THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN REGULAR BIBLE READERS AND THOSE WHO DON'T

The team behind the megapopular YouVersion Bible app recently surveyed some users who regularly rely on the mobile and tablet app to read the Bible and their poll yielded some stunning results. When comparing the responses from YouVersion users to the reactions of everyday Americans who participated in the "Stress in America" study, a separate analysis conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA), the YouVersion team found that regular Bible readers in their community reported experiencing less stress. A YouVersion press release has some of the finer details:

The APA survey reports 59 percent of its respondents say terrorism is a very or somewhat significant source of stress. In contrast, 18 percent of Bible App survey respondents say terrorism is the current event that causes them the most stress. Similarly, the APA survey showed 57 percent of people say the current political climate is a very or somewhat significant source of stress, while 16 percent of YouVersion respondents say the national political climate is the current event that causes them the most stress. In the YouVersion study, 30 percent of respondents say that reading Scripture before a stressful event occurs helps them best deal with stress, and 41 percent say reading Scripture in the moment best helps them find relief.

And when they turn to Scripture to deal with stress, 47 percent first look at the Bible App's Verse of the Day. Others first look up their favourite verses from memory (45 percent), resume reading where they last left off in the Bible (45), or search for a YouVersion Bible Plan (40 percent) to deal with stress. YouVersion creator Bobby Gruenewald said that the results didn't surprise him, as he believes "the Bible withstands the test of time" and speaks to the challenges that people face on a daily basis. And with scripture becoming so accessible via technology, Gruenewald believes that the benefits are paying off. "People are opening and engaging with it throughout the course of their daily life, no matter where they find themselves," he said of YouVersion. "We're thankful to offer access, anytime, anywhere, to this source of timeless wisdom."

Source: Faithwire

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BIBLICAL TYPE MIRACLE HAPPENS IN TAMPA BAY AS HURRICANE ROARED THROUGH

Hurricane Irma caused massive flooding as it ripped its way through Florida and the Caribbean last week, but not for everyone. Tampa Bay residents experienced a bizarre phenomenon that some believe comes straight out of the Bible. Instead of pummelling Tampa Bay with massive waves, Hurricane Irma's powerful winds sucked the water away from the shoreline. "Huge parcels of the Bay became dry enough to walk on," Tampa Bay resident Aly Yohn said. "People were stunned! Manatees got beached because the water receded so fast, and people had to walk out into the bay, put them onto tarps and pull them further out to water," she said. Many people decided to take pictures and walk on the dry land that was once submerged by the waters of Tampa Bay. Weather scientists call the eerie event a "reverse storm surge" or a "bulge."


"In the centre of the storm, where the pressure is lowest and the winds converge, water piles up. Low pressure sucks the air inward. When the pressure is exceptionally low and the winds are very strong, it can create a bulge of ocean water under the centre of the storm," writes Angela Fritz, a scientist and deputy weather editor at The Washington Post. The unexpected phenomenon is causing some to suggest that God could have used a similar method to part the Red Sea and lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. According to Exodus 14:21-22: "Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, so that the waters were divided. The children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall unto them on their right  and on their left."

Yohn isn't sure what to call the phenomenon, but she believes it is evidence of the hand of God. "Much like Moses leading the people of Israel out of Egypt and across a dried up Red Sea, the water in Tampa Bay receded and the land dried up," Yohn says. "You can call this what you want - a fluke, a surprise, a miracle or whatever. What we believe is that God used the natural forces of this storm, to force the water completely out," Yohn concluded.

Source: CBN News

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AUSTRALIAN COPTS REFUTE STATEMENT THAT PERSECUTION IS JUST A RUMOUR

Her Excellency Nabila Makram, Minister for Emigration and Expatriate Affairs in the Egyptian Government has asserted that the reports of Coptic persecution are merely 'rumours'. These remarks were reportedly made to Australian Parliamentarians during her recent visit to Australia according to Egyptian press reports. "We understand that Egypt is facing many challenges and threats, however, to assert that the severe persecution of Coptic Christians is merely based on rumours is simply outrageous in light of the great suffering of many Copts in Egypt and abroad", said Peter Tadros, spokesperson for Australian Coptic Movement (ACM). Coptic Christians have been subject to Islamic terror, mob violence, massacres, restrictions on worship, attacks from security forces and widespread discrimination. Earlier this year, churches were attacked on Palm Sunday in an attempt to assassinate the Coptic Orthodox Pope.

As recently as last month, churches in Minya were closed by authorities. The Egyptian government is responsible for an environment where anti-Christian sentiment is rife. Coptic Christians have been murdered with impunity. Coptic Christian women have been abducted and police are either unwilling or unable to investigate those matters. Copts routinely experience discrimination in almost all sectors. It is incumbent upon the Egyptian government to fulfil its responsibility to protect its own nationals. Egyptians are entitled to feel safe and secure in their homeland. It is not acceptable that the Minister dismisses the persecution and discrimination in the name of 'National Unity'. We totally reject the Minister's representation and we will continue to demand justice for all Copts who are victims of discrimination, persecution and terror.

Source: Press Release by the Australian Coptic Movement Association

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U.S.SUPREME COURT LIFTS RESTRICTIONS ON TRAVEL BAN FROM SOME ISLAMIC NATIONS

The Supreme Court has made a decision signed by the notoriously liberal Justice Kennedy, to lift restrictions placed on President Trump's travel ban. Now, they've made a decision to reject the appeals court ability to rule on the ban. The Supreme Court granted the Trump Administration's request to continue to bar the entrance of people from the Middle Eastern countries of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen . The court made the decision without comment. Their decision meant a "federal appeals court ruling that would have exempted refugees who have a contractual commitment from resettlement organizations from the travel ban while the justices consider its legality. The ruling could impact roughly 24,000 people according to CNN.".  The scope of the travel ban has been debated by courts since the administration announced the ban last spring.

 

This latest order agrees with the justices decisions to allow President Trump's ban to impact all those who don't have a "bona fide" relationship with someone already in the USA. The Supreme Court will decide on the ban permanently in October. This order could either be interpreted as giving hope to supporters of the ban, or it could just indicate that the justices are putting the decision off until October, but it may also simply reflect a desire on the part of the justices to maintain the status quo until the justices can hear the case next month. "Although it may be tempting to see the order as a harbinger of how the court is likely to rule on the merits, it's better understood as a very modest procedural step to stabilize the full scope of the injunctions against the travel ban over the next four weeks," Steve Vladeck, CNN Supreme Court analyst and professor of law at the University of Texas School of Law, said.

 

Source: FaithFamilyAmerica

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INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE PERSECUTED CHURCH - SUNDAY 5th NOVEMBER

Open Doors is encouraging all Christians to join in the International Day of Prayer for the persecuted church (IDOP) which they facilitate. Open Doors' has a mission to strengthen and prepare Christians living in persecution, and to mobilise the Church worldwide to identify with the needs of the global body of Christ. Imagine thousands of churches uniting in prayer for the persecuted! On Sunday 5 November 2017, Open Doors is asking groups and churches across the world to unite in prayer for the persecuted church. We want to see God strengthen His church in the most dangerous countries on the planet. Our prayer is to see those who are being persecuted supported, and to see nations transformed for Christ from the inside out. Open Doors is inviting Churches across Australia to commit 5, 10 or 30 minutes in their services on Sunday 5th November to pray for the persecuted church?


How does IDOP work?

1.         Register to get your free digital and printed IDOP resources to assist in organising an easy and powerful prayer event during your church service or in your small group.

2.         Pray on 5 November, joining the world in prayer for the persecuted church. Share their stories and prayer requests with your church.

 

Join the prayer movement by getting your IDOP resources today from www.opendoors.org.au/idop17  or to find out more about IDOP contact  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Source: Open Doors

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Have you visited our Web site? Australian Prayer Network

WHY JEWS EVERYWHERE SHOULD BE HELPING EGYPT'S CHRISTIANS

 

Editor's note: This article is written by Yael Eckstein, senior vice president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship). She is the daughter of Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, The Fellowship's founder and president. It is a challenge to all Jews who receive support from Christians worldwide to give back by supporting persecuted Coptic Christians in Egypt.


During Israel's Operation Protective Edge in Gaza in 2014, I had dinner with a Christian pastor and his family in North Carolina. I was stunned and impressed that each time a rocket was launched from Gaza into Israel, the family's "Code Red" app blared on their cell phones and they stopped whatever they were doing to pray for Israelis in danger. And they didn't just pray. Their sincere concern for the wellbeing of Israel manifested itself in action. They donated tens of thousands of dollars to build bomb shelters all across Israel to help protect us. "It is our honour to use our money to provide protection to Israelis from terrorist rocket fire. Buying a new car, renovating my kitchen or doing anything else for myself wouldn't give me nearly as much joy and fulfilment," the pastor told me.

 

I left his house feeling awed and inspired. "I hope that my people would help Christians in their time of need, as they have done for us," I thought. Truth be told, on the whole, we as a people have done an excellent job in raising awareness among our children and our communities about the importance of tikkun olam (repairing the world), of reaching out and supporting worthy causes beyond those that directly affect Jews. At almost every rally and peaceful protest, you can see an Israeli flag, the Star of David or another identifier of Jewish presence. We are helping Syrian refugees, standing up for women's rights and volunteering in the world's poorest countries, just to name a few causes we champion. Helping others who suffer from persecution, injustice or discrimination is a hallmark of the Jewish community, and I am proud of that.

 

But at the same time, there are cries that have gone unheard, such as those of the Christians being systematically persecuted, and slaughtered, across the Middle East. Coptic Christians, an indigenous population of Egypt dating back to the 1st century A.D., hundreds of years before Muslims even came on the scene, have been especially targeted. They represent almost 10 percent of Egypt's population and are being persecuted by Islamic terrorists. At least 28 Coptic Christians, including many children, were ambushed and murdered May 26 as they travelled by bus to a monastery. Two terror attacks hit crowded Coptic churches April 10, killing at least 44 people. Since January 2017, more than 100 Copts have been targeted, murdered and systematically threatened.

 

In response to this horrific campaign of terror, I am astounded that the Jewish community has remained virtually silent. The Jewish community and Israel currently enjoy unprecedented, historic support from the Christian community. Christians are our loudest defenders in the political arena, our most vocal supporters on social media and our greatest contributors when it comes to charitable causes. The annual budget of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship) is $150 million, which is distributed to 1.4 million Jews in need in Israel and around the world. These funds are sacrificially donated by hundreds of thousands of Christian donors in the U.S. and worldwide. Moreover, Christians make up more than half of the tourists who come to Israel annually, significantly bolstering the Jewish state's economy and morale.

 

If we can stand up for the sake of other peoples who suffer and for different just causes, how can we not act on behalf of our greatest allies? With all of the issues we are taking on, how is this not at the forefront of our agenda?  For the last few years, Egypt's Coptic Christians have been the target of a calculated, cruel terror campaign. Men, women and children (and sometimes intentionally women and children) have been murdered in cold blood. Their places of worship and holy books have been blown up and burned. Their homes and shops have been attacked and looted. Sound familiar? We know all too well this pattern in history and we have vowed never to let it happen again. The Fellowship has not stood silent in the face of such horror. We have heard the cries of the Christians in Egypt and we are helping them.

 

The Fellowship is providing assistance such as summer camps for children and financial aid to families who are victims of terror; aid, including food, medical and psychological care; and security support. The Christian community has been Israel's staunchest supporter for the past half century, so it is disappointing that we are the only Jewish organization taking tangible steps to give them aid, support and protection. I implore Jews everywhere to join us in this effort. Do something, anything, to raise awareness about and to alleviate the suffering of Coptic and other Christians across the Middle East. As Jews, it is our sacred duty and natural obligation. As past victims of hatred, it is our people's commitment. As current beneficiaries of Christian support, it is an act of humble gratitude. It is time for Jewish communities around the world to give back to the Christian community, which has given us so much. 

 

 

 

Source: International Fellowship for Christians and Jews

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SYRIANS ARE LEARNING TO LOVE ISRAEL THROUGH HUMANITARIAN OPERATION

It's called Operation Good Neighbour and it's meant to increase aid to Syrian civilians caught in the midst of the civil war. But what might surprise you is who is behind it:  the Israel Defence Forces (IDF). "In March 2013, approximately two years after the fighting in Syria started, one night seven wounded Syrians came to our border seeking for help," said Dr. Noam Fink, Chief Medical Officer for the IDF's Northern Command. "A decision was made by Israeli commanders and government to allow them to enter the country and to give them full medical treatment. Since then, many, many other wounded Syrians followed," Fink told reporters on the Golan Heights. But what began as a trickle of Syrian war wounded appealing to their arch-enemy, Israel, for medical help, has now grown into a fully-fledged humanitarian aid mission, managed by the IDF, along the Israeli-Syrian border. 

 

"It's a well-known fact that in Syria, medical infrastructures are not functioning," Fink said.  "Approximately 70 percent of the doctors fled the country, and one year ago we decided to expand our cooperation and help even further by starting Operation Good Neighbour." CBN News was given a look at the base just about 650 feet from the international border, near the point where Syrian civilians have crossed into Israel to receive medical help. "We started bringing in sick Syrians, most of them are sick children, with neglected medical diseases and we've taken them in to our hospitals, to our clinics," Fink said. "Almost every night wounded Syrians are coming to Israel to get the best treatment, the same treatment we give our citizens," he added.  

 

In the past four years, Israel has helped more than 4,000 Syrians medically. Most of them were taken to Israeli hospitals. But Israel's aid to the Syrians didn't stop with the sick and wounded. Lt. Col. "E" is heavily involved in the project. "The last year, if I understand correctly, the Syrian population has a lack of many, many things, infrastructure for the water, the electricity and a lack of health care, medicine, equipment and doctors," "E" told journalists at an IDF base where supplies are gathered before transporting into Syria. "During the last year, we have established this humanitarian aid project," he explained. Many of the goods are donated by NGOs, including Friend Ships, whose shipping containers say "From Jesus with Love."  They provide medicine, basic foods, and powdered baby milk and diapers.

 

Israel has also provided half a million litres of fuel for generators, water pumps, schools and clinics.  They've even helped establish two medical clinics across the border for simpler cases. "Those people receiving the goods were educated to hate Israel. They are telling us today that they are very grateful to the State of Israel," said "E." Nearly every day the IDF carries out some aspect of this operation. They hope it will bear good fruit. "We are believing that this humanitarian aid is our duty to help our neighbours," he said. "We are believing that by doing this humanitarian aid we are making good neighbours and by this we can secure the Israeli-Syrian border," he added.

 

Source: CBN News

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CALIFORNIAN IMAM CALLS FOR ANNIHILATION OF JEWS

 

Egyptian-born American Muslim preacher Ammar Shahin gave a sermon at the Islamic Centre of Davis, California recently, saying that all Muslims, will be called upon to kill all the Jews on "the last day." The lecture is posted on the Davis Masjid YouTube channel in English and Arabic and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, officials from the Simon Wiesenthal Centre (SWC) quote Shahin's sermon: "The prophet Muhammed said: 'Judgment Day will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews'. Oh Allah, count them one by one and annihilate them down to the very last one. Do not spare any of them. Oh, Allah, make this happen by our hands. Let us play a part in this. Oh Allah, let us support them in words and deeds." 

 

He also prayed that al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem be liberated from "the filth of the Jews." The video requests viewers to, "share, implement, and make supplication for the victory of the Muslim community." The Simon Wiesenthal Centre (SWC) is calling on Secretary Kelly to open an investigation into the Imam's sermon. In their letter, SWC officials  wrote: "By urging Muslims to annihilate all Jews, Shahin has crossed the line beyond protected speech. Homeland Security knows better than anyone that Islamist terrorism, fuelled by religious fanatics, constitutes the number one threat to the safety and security of the American people. In addition, American Jews are the number one target of religious based hate crimes in our nation." The SWC also called on the Justice Department to investigate Shahin.
 


 

Source: CBN News

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JEWISH PRAYER FOCUS 2017 BEGINS SEPTEMBER 20

 

The Jewish Prayer Focus is a call to intercession for the Jewish people for the 22-day period (September 20-October 11) during the Holy Days of the Biblical calendar in Lev 23:26ff.  Our main focus is to pray for the salvation of the Jews (which is unfolding) and also to prepare ourselves for the return of the Messiah, which these holidays foreshadow.  The prayer guide contains prayer points, teachings, testimonies, and introductions to Israeli congregations, mostly written by Messianic leaders themselves.  Our 16th edition has the theme, 'Breakthrough' (Micah 2:13).  Copies of the prayer guide are available from JPF, PO Box 54, Kerrimuir VIC 3129, call 03-9090 7575 or email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  Donation: Aud $10.00 for one copy, $17.50 for 2, $23.50 for 3, $75 for 10, $125 for 20, incl local postage. Cheques to Living Way Christian Network Inc.  Credit card purchases at our website or download from www.jewishprayerfocus.org.  Also available at Koorong. 

 


Jill Curry, Jewish Prayer Focus International Coordinator

 

 

Source: Jewish Prayer Focus

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AUSTRALIAN PRAYER NETWORK NEWSLETTER - SPECIAL EDITION

HIGHLY RESPECTED AUSTRALIAN PRAYER PIONEER NOEL BELL PASSES AWAY

Noel Bell, founder and leader of the ministry known as Intercessors for Australia, went to be with the Lord last Tuesday, 12 September, 2017. He departed peacefully from the comfort of his home, surrounded by members of his family.  Noel, together with his wife Barbara, were pioneers of Intercessory Prayer in Australia at a time when it did not have the profile that it has today. Those who had the privilege of knowing and working alongside Noel were deeply impacted by his commitment to the call God placed on his life, his strong and effective leadership, and his intense love for Jesus. Whilst Noel retired from active public ministry many years ago his legacy is still strongly felt in prayer circles across the nation. He leaves behind not only a wife and family but also many spiritual sons and daughters who owe much to having sat under his teaching and shared in active prayer ministry with him for many years.


A service to celebrate Noel's life will be held at St Phillip's Anglican Church, Parkinson Avenue, South Turramurra, at 2 pm on Wednesday, 20 September.  The service will be followed by afternoon tea at the church.

Source: Australian Prayer Network

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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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Have you visited our Web site? Australian Prayer Network