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Standing Fast for Faith, Family and Freedom

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As I have documented now in hundreds of articles and various books, the things we hold most near and dear are under ferocious attack.

Christianity, marriage and family, and liberty are all being threatened big time. And one of the greatest threats is coming from the militant homosexual lobby.

They are relentless in their attempts to squash all three. Although small in number, they make up for it in loudness of voice, a compliant media, coercion, and a tireless commitment to win at all costs. Thus in their attempts to ram homosexual “marriage” down the throats of everyone else, they simply keep bashing away.

It is a war of attrition, and they believe they can just wear us down and tire us out, so that we will eventually raise the white flag of surrender. For example in Australia there have been over a dozen bills to introduce their war on marriage into Australian law.

So far we have held the line, but they keep on introducing new bills, the latest of which goes into Federal Parliament on August 11. But our side can easily be tempted to just give up – after all, they have often been asked to contact politicians, write letters, put in submissions, etc.

Many have faithfully done so, but are now beginning to grow weary of all this. Sadly our side does not seem to have the same determination, resolve and commitment on this as does the other side. But as tiring as it can be, we must never stop in defending faith, family and freedom.

This weekend I have been interstate speaking at a pro-marriage rally organised by a group of local Catholics. They had a pro-marriage weekend, complete with the renewing of wedding vows for married couples. It was encouraging to see this committed group in Albury making a stand. (At the same time a smaller group of “rainbow” activists had a brief march in the city.)

As I said to a large and eager crowd yesterday, this battle is far too important to opt out of. We simply do not have the luxury of sitting on the fence, nor can we grow weary in well-doing. We must stand and fight, and continue to do so for as long as it takes.

One thing that I was quite impressed with was a small, attractive booklet just released last month by the Catholic Bishops of Australia. It is a pastoral letter entitled “Don’t Mess With Marriage.”

Let me quote from this important document. It begins by noting how we must treat our opponents:

Every man, woman and child has great dignity and worth which can never be taken away. This includes those who experience same-sex attraction. They must be treated with respect, sensitivity, and love.

It then looks at some of the myths being perpetrated by the activists, including the concepts of “equality” and “discrimination”. It rightly states, “We must treat like cases alike and different cases differently.” It continues:

In this pastoral letter we argue that what is unjust – gravely unjust – is:
-to legitimise the false assertion that there is nothing distinctive about a man and a woman, a father or a mother;
-to ignore the particular values that real marriage serves;
-to ignore the importance for children of having, as far as possible, a mum and a dad, committed to them and to each other for the long haul;
-to destabilize marriage further at a time when it is already under considerable pressure; and
-to change retrospectively the basis upon which all existing married couples got married.

It reminds us that emotional ties are not the same as committed marriages. The traditional view of marriage recognises that:

marriage includes an emotional union, but it goes further than that. It involves a substantial bodily and spiritual union of a man and a woman. As the Old Testament taught and Jesus and St Paul repeated, marriage is where man and woman truly become “one flesh.”

On the importance of marriage and family it says this:

Because of the crucial role marriage plays as the nursery for the future of the community, and its responsibility always to act in the best interests of children governments everywhere recognise and regulate marriage.

Mothers and fathers are different, and a child needs both:

Sometimes people claim that children do just fine with two mums or two dads and that there is “no difference” between households with same-sex parents and heterosexual parents. But sociological research, as well as the long experience of Church and society, attests to the importance for children of having, as far as possible, both a mother and father. ‘Messing with marriage’, therefore, is also ‘messing with kids’. It is gravely unjust to them.

The booklet closes with a section on how there are very real – and very negative – consequences to redefining marriage. Here are a few of the examples given:

-The City of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, ordered Christian ministers to perform same-sex weddings under pain of 180 days’ imprisonment for each day the ceremony is not performed and fines of $1000 per day; some British MPs have threatened to remove the marriage licences from clergy who fail to conduct ‘same-sex marriages’

-Clergy in Holland, France, Spain, the US and Australia have been threatened with prosecution for ‘hate speech’ for upholding their faith tradition’s position on marriage; the City of Houston, Texas, has even subpoenaed pastors, compelling them to submit sermons to legal scrutiny when discussing sexuality

-In Colorado and Oregon, courts have fined bakers who refused on religious or conscientious grounds to bake wedding cakes for ‘same-sex weddings’; in New Mexico a wedding photographer was fined for refusing to do photography for such a ceremony; and in Illinois accommodation providers have been sued for not providing honeymoon packages after ‘same-sex weddings’

-British MPs have threatened to stop churches holding weddings if they do not agree to conduct same-sex ones

-The Chief Rabbi of Amsterdam and a Bishop in Spain have been threatened with prosecution for ‘hate speech’ merely for restating the position of their religious traditions

-Having allowed ‘same-sex marriages’, polygamous marriages have been permitted in Brazil and pressure for their legalisation is strong in Canada and elsewhere

-Businessmen, athletes, commentators, teachers, doctors and nurses, religious leaders and others in several countries who have spoken in support of traditional marriage have been vilified in the media, denied employment or business contracts, and threatened with prosecution.

The booklet closes with a call to action:

We all know and love people with same-sex attraction. They are our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, friends and neighbours. They need love and support like anyone else. But pretending that their relationships are ‘marriages’ is not fair or just to them. As Christians we must be willing to present the truth about marriage, family and sexuality and to do so charitably and lovingly.

I recommend that you all have a full read of this helpful booklet. And I wish that various Protestant groups would be doing similar things. Far too many are not, and are just sitting this one out. They naively think that all this will not impact them. They could not be more mistaken.

As I have written so often, homosexual marriage is a game changer – it changes everything and impacts everyone. For starters, see this.

We live in very dark times. The Christian faith and Western civilisation are both at risk of collapsing. And the final outcome really does come down to you and me. Will we stand in this very dark hour and be salt and light, or will we simply capitulate and compromise?

Charles Colson in his 2011 volume, The Sky is Not Falling: Living Fearlessly in These Turbulent Times, said this: “Our culture will collapse as surely as that of ancient Israel when they turned away from the protective and life-sustaining principles of God. But collapse is far from inevitable because the church has in its purpose, worldview, ethos, and mission everything needed to turn culture around.”

Exactly right. This is a winnable battle. But it will require time, effort, sacrifice and a willingness to face increasing persecution. And it will take all of us to get involved. Will you be counted in that number? Will you stand for what matters most? The choice is yours.



 

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