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Australian academic, author and public speaker, Dr. Stephen Chavura has given his strongest message to date on the dangers of apathy in the face of virulent cancel culture.

In his essay from Kevin Donnelly’s ‘Cancel Culture and the Left’s Long March’, abridged by The Australian, Chavura argued for what he calls, ‘courage culture’ to meet and ‘remedy cancel culture.’

Central to cancel culture, writes Chavura, ‘is an emerging therapeutic totalitarianism, which seeks to outlaw speech and practices deemed “unsafe” or “harmful.”

This is evidenced by the emerging police state in the West, which from behind a wall of fearmongering narratives, ambiguous legislation, and EULA’s headlined as regulating “hate speech,” the Left arbitrarily polices thought and speech that it hates.

By extension, we also see the cancelling of livelihoods, personalities, places, and conservative platforms the Left hates, which are now becoming too numerous to mention.

For instance, cancel culture’s ‘woketivists’ have seen to the ‘termination of careers and punishment of free speech of ordinary Australians working in education, health, the public service, and private corporations. In Australia the Human Rights Law Alliance represents dozens whose religious views – particularly regarding sexuality and gender – have resulted in them losing their jobs or being disciplined in their workplaces.’

The upside to this, says Chavura is that there are a growing number of people, corporations, and institutions who recognise that Cancel culture is fascism proper. That it’s a direct domestic threat to civil liberties, and constitutional democracies.

In thanking them for their courage, Chavura acknowledges the limitations these groups face in the struggle to be heard within the Leftist echo chamber that violently opposes opposing viewpoints, with often manipulative lawfare, and intimidation through false claims on the moral high ground, and a consensus from the majority.

These groups see Cancel Culture’s inherent negation of life, its hypocrisy, and absolute hatred of anything its “feelings first” yardstick renders as life unworthy of life.

What’s needed, said Chavaru, are ‘more organisations defending freedom of speech and other liberal rights [to] emerge to fight back against cancel culture.’

If so, then ‘more brave individuals will stand tall when the cancel mob comes for them.’

Along with this community uprising will come support for those holding the line against the fire on the horizon, stoked as it is by the darkness of another world-shattering gathering storm.

He writes, ‘Cancel culture is itself a test of how committed citizens in comfortable and prosperous liberal democracies are to their freedoms of speech, religion, and, conscience.’

This storm can be stopped, ‘but only by courage culture.’

If, he adds, ‘our freedoms are cancelled because of our apathy and fear, then we’ll only have proven that we forfeited our right to those hard-won freedoms long ago.’

Closer to home, Chavura has long held the view that the Church in the West faces a Kairos moment; built for a time such as this, a time for choosing, of risking, of meeting the task handed to it as Christ’s hands, and feet on earth.

This is a time for defending society where freedom is governed by objective morality, against a phantasmagorian utopia governed by nothing other than what has been prescribed for us by mob rule, an unelected bureaucratic elite, and the nihilistic abandonment of individual responsibility, God and the obligation of reciprocity His grace commands of us.

Those who deny the existence of Cancel Culture are usually part of the “resistance” pushing Cancel Culture.

These groups are all too ready to throw other Christians under the bus for personal gain.

Buying permission to speak into politics, they purchase privilege with the blood of saints they’ve slain on the altar of their own self-righteousness.

It’s a political play for influence, power and an audience. It has nothing to do with building up the body of Christ; and everything to do with maintaining the Left’s hold on the body of Christ. Man’s lordship over against Christ-as-Lord.

Its therefore not hard to see why these goats are quick to attack others for calling a spade a spade.

Cancel Culture represses free speech, demands heart allegiance, and imposes new cultural laws in order to pursue the erasure of civil liberties.

The goal is to replace Classical Liberal societies, and their Biblical foundations, with Marxist Promethean wokeness (my definition for Cultural Marxism.)

Chuck Colson called barbarism, ‘inhumanity done in the name of humanity; the killing of people for their own good.’

Cancel culture is fascism proper. It’s barbaric, and this barbarianism is punching its way through the gates.

Flawed, anti-Nazi theologian, Karl Barth, saw this first hand. His faith in Jesus Christ led him to reject the deification of the state, and its sycophants in the German Church. As a result, he was booted out of Germany by Hitler.

His resistance is summed up with one sentence:

‘Christianity is the protest against all the high places which human beings build for themselves’ (C.D IV/II p.524).

It’s why the Barmen Declaration that he helped forge was a founding document of the Confessing Church.

It sought to stop opportunistic clergy, and their congregations, from subsuming Christian theology into the service of Nazism, boldly proclaiming:

‘We reject the false doctrine, as though there were areas of our life in which we would not belong to Jesus Christ, but to other lords–areas in which we would not need justification and sanctification through him.’ (Barth, 8.15 second thesis, Barmen Declaration 1934).

Heed Chavura’s call, because he’s right: ‘Courage is the only way forward.’

In the spirit of the movement supporting cancelled Star Wars actress, Gina Carano, of The Mandalorian, ‘Welcome to the Rebellion!’


First published on Caldron Pool, 9th April 2021.

©Rod Lampard, 2021.

Christian Democrats founder, and the party’s only member of parliament, Reverend the Honourable Fred Nile has announced his retirement, and at the same time his replacement.

Nile’s time in politics spans 40 years, and like many Christians in the public eye, it’s been met with a mixture of hate, vilification, misrepresentation, and admiration.

He left school at 15. Worked as a booky, converted to Christianity, served in the military, worked a day job and an event co-ordinator. He is the Parliament of NSW’s longest serving member.

Rev. Dr. Ross Clifford wrote of Nile’s legacy, ‘He’s never sought to disrupt the elected Government but rather amend bills where appropriate, oppose bad and immoral legislation and ensure legislation based on Christian principles is considered and debated.’

Though not without mistakes, like his myopic opposition to Christian 80s metal band Stryper, Nile is the personification of John Stott’s axiomatic ‘Christianity belongs in the marketplace, not the museum.’

Fred Nile’s greatest examples are consistency, and teachability. His greatest achievement is providing a reliable voice for Christians, at the round table of democratic power, so often sold out to the dehumanising gods of the secular humanist religion; and it’s “me, myself, and I”, neo-Pagan age.

Shelton faces the same challenges.

Tom Rabe, The Sydney Morning Herald’s transport reporter, quoted “independent” MP Alex Greenwich mocking the baton exchange calling Shelton “an irrelevant political blow-in,” stating that he’d ‘feel “completely out of place” [in the] NSW Parliament, because it valued and celebrated the LGBTI community.’

Greenwich’s criticism isn’t surprising. He was the architect of the poorly debated, ambush legislation that now allows for abortion up to birth in New South Wales.

Long absent from the media, Greenwich appears to be out for some quick political relevance himself, riding themes imbedded in click-bait articles from pro-totalitarian woke websites unhappy at the news, falsely claiming that Lyle’s replacement with Nile is ‘One homophobe replacing another homophobe.’

Lyle’s acceptance of the position, which is yet to be confirmed by the party’s State council, comes amid tax payer funded LGBTQAAI+ activists taking the former ACL director to Queensland’s human rights tribunal, demanding Lyle be pay them compensation, and be permanently gagged (aka cancelled), because of list of alleged “grievances,” among those is “hate speech.”

Shelton expressed reverence for Rev. Fred Nile’s years of dedication to Church and State, and publicly voiced gratitude for the opportunity in a brief social media link to Nile’s press release:

“A privilege & honour to be asked to succeed the Rev Hon Fred Nile MLC. He has been a courageous & often lone voice for Christ’s values in Australian politics over 40 years. Never before has the Christian voice been more needed in public life.”

He graciously told Eternity News (even after they published an ACL hit piece just hours before current director, Martyn Isles was to be a guest panellist on the Australian Public Broadcasters show Q & A) that, “Nile pioneered Christian political activism in this country and history will judge him to have been right on so many issues.”

In response to what appears to have been “social justice” questions from the Leftist social club for “woke” “Christians”, Shelton said he’ll be advocating ‘first and foremost for vulnerable people. The poor and disadvantaged, human rights for the unborn and support for their mothers.’

As well as taking a stand against radical transgenderism, and standing up for “freedom of speech and freedom of religion.”

With Nile handing the CDP baton to Lyle, along with John Anderson returning to the fold, a new and interesting era in Australian politics has begun.

Include here the steadfast Claire Chandler, George Christensen, straight-shooting Mark Latham, Pauline Hanson, and no-nonsense Craig Kelly, all of whom are holding their own; paralleled with Andrew Hastie, Peter Dutton, and Amanda Stoker gaining what should be considered providential ministerial positions, the frontline in the Marxist culture war nobody but leftists wanted, has never looked so promising.

If we add to this the meteoric rise of non-leftist Indigenous Australians, such as Jacinta Price, Anthony Dillon, Warren Mundine and brave new arrival, Cheron Long, it’s no stretch to say that this diverse youthful brigade of new faces means the leftist dominated toxic swamp, colloquially known as the “Canberra Bubble” or “inner city elites”, has its days numbered.

Make Australia Great Again.


First published on Caldron Pool, 12th April 2021.

©Rod Lampard, 2021.

Rebel News has reported that police in Canada have gathered en mass to stop Christians from gathering at Grace Life Church, led by Pastor James Coates, who was arrested earlier in the year and spent 35 days in a maximum-security prison for opposing bureaucrats bullying citizens with COVID for political gain, by abusing power through the use of unmitigated fear.

The authorities also barricaded the church with fences, closing of the private property so that no one could use it.

There’s also been unconfirmed reports posted to social media, noting that the same police state crack down isn’t being applied to Mosques, with one Twitter user saying “Dont forget, this isn’t happening at the mosques in Calgary.”: https://youtu.be/XBKKNQI3Pr0

Rebel News’ Ezra Levant explained that ‘These are heavily-armed lockdown police in Edmonton, Canada. They operate out of a garrison they built at a church they seized because it wouldn’t close. FACT: These cops have set up latrines on the front steps of the church.’

Levant commented on the Church’s tenacity writing on Twitter, ‘Canada wouldn’t obey politicians and lock its doors. So they jailed the pastor for 35 days. The church still wouldn’t close. So police raided it, turned it into an armed garrison & occupied it. And still the Christians come.’

Blaze Journalist at large, Elijah Schaffer said “You cannot lock down Christianity.”

The crackdown brings to life the relevance of anti-Nazi theologian, Karl Barth’s resistance to Government assuming the role of God:

‘We confuse men’s consciences if we don’t reject the view that God’s laws and the so-called ‘ten commandments’ of socialist morality have the same humanist ends in view.’ (Karl Barth, Ten Articles on the Freedom and Service of the Church)

File under: Covid communism.

CALDRON POOL’s rolling coverage:

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Pastor James Coates Freed After Five Weeks In Prison

Pastor James Coates’ Release Delayed

Pastor James Coates To Be Released From Prison After Crown Withdraws Charges

Police Raid Canadian Church, Install Fences Around Building

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VIDEO: https://twitter.com/RealCanuck…/status/1381335392541151233


 

Popular author, public speaker and Evangelical, Beth Moore has officially removed herself from the Southern Baptist Convention.

The Washington Post, in an article copy and pasted from Religion News Service, added their weight behind the insinuation that Moore’s departure was the result of Trumpism, sexism, and bullying.

As part of a longish biographical sketch, the RNS/WAPO piece described Moore as an ‘unlikely celebrity Bible teacher’, who was a threat to those within the SBC because her ‘outsized influence and role in teaching the Bible have always made some evangelical power brokers uneasy, because of their belief only men should be allowed to preach.’

Faithwire appropriately added that ‘the “Beth Moore brand’s” partnership with the SBC was over’ (slightly paraphrased). Then stated that Moore’s departure was due to how she ‘no longer felt at home’ there, hence her announcement on Religion News Service that she was “no longer a Southern Baptist.”

While the RNS/WAPO article gives a well-deserved glowing rendition of Moore’s noteworthy calibre as a ministry team leader, and evangelist, there was little mention of Moore’s move towards accommodating Social Justice ideology, in an appeal to the Social Justice Warrior mentality.

To fill in the gaps WAPO left behind, it’s Moore’s slow embrace of Critical Race Theory, and apparent watering down of the Bible that has some in the SBC concerned. Not Moore’s gender, success and popularity.

As Black Lives Matter critic, Darrell B. Harrison, dean of Social Media at Grace to You, has articulated at length since 2018 about what he sees as Moore’s move to syncretise Christ’s liberation, with Marxist Liberation Theology:

‘Beth Moore is a self-centered, cowardly opportunist. She is a woke fraud. Only when this current wave of social justice/CRT became the cause du jour within the SBC did she begin to conveniently, and disingenuously, comment on it. Prior to that—crickets!’

With his extensive list of credentials and experience, it’d be hard to argue that Harrison’s observations (however harsh they may appear to be) of Moore’s political theology were wrong. Worth noting, in response to his early criticisms expressed on Twitter, Moore blocked him.

Her own concerns might be more complex and nuanced, (like SBC member’s fragmented support for Donald Trump), but blocking out concerned stakeholders from engaging with her journey through those concerns, only appears to back claims that Moore’s public displays of concern, especially for black America are, in the end, self-serving.

There’s no way around ignoring how Moore has positioned her brand, and with her departure from the SBC, is perhaps repositioning her theology. She is fast becoming the Oprah of the Evangelical world. Not entirely a bad thing, unless there’s an empire to maintain. Ears to tickle. Fame to be had, drama to capitalise on, and fast money to gain.

Moore appears to have done everything she possibly could to push others away, and herself out. Removing herself from the SBC is akin to a celebrity tantrum. Thrown because the majority refuse to entertain virtue signalling, or surrender to Critical Race Theory, and compromise the Gospel by removing Christ, and coronating Marx in His place.

This isn’t unfair criticism when viewed in the context of her appeal to unfair, bandwagon hysteria.

While the Pauline view is that only men should hold the office of pastor. Nowhere does Paul say women aren’t entitled to a voice, or having an opinion. Regardless of its clumsy nature, Moore was given a platform for the latter, tolerated, celebrated, promoted, critiqued, and embraced.

Her decision to leave isn’t a betrayal, or abandonment, but many may see it as just that.

Despite the SBC’s flaws, it’s not Beth Moore’s theology that’s outgrown them, it’s her apparent compromise with the zeitgeist, allowing the post-Christian culture, not Christ to determine The Way forward for the Church.


First published on Caldron Pool, 10th March 2021.

©Rod Lampard, 2021

Hillsong Church has been hit with a barrage of criticism after an employee “accidently” used the official Hillsong Twitter account to ridicule Donald Trump’s performance in the first Presidential debate of the 2020 US election.

According to the Herald Sun an ‘unnamed staffer allegedly logged into the official Hillsong Twitter account, rather than their own personal one.’ The Tweet read: ‘Can’t someone just mute Trump’s microphone!! He is coming across as such a bully. No respect for him sorry.’

The “gaffe” was quickly deleted, with Hillsong posting an apology soon after, saying, “Earlier today a staff member accidentally posted on this account personal comments about the US presidential debate, that were meant for a personal account. Hillsong does not comment on partisan politics & apologizes. These comments do not represent the views of Hillsong Church.”

ChristianPost listed a series of criticisms for the original post, starting with Greg Locke, Pastor at Global Vision Bible Church in Tennessee. Who said, ‘Dear @Hillsong, that was deleted very quickly. Careful. I sat beside @brianhoustontv at the RNC acceptance speech at the White House. Your boss secretly likes Trump.’

The Post also highlighted how problematic the “gaffe” could be for Hillsong. Brian Houston has visited the White House, applauded Trump’s initiatives regarding the preservation of religious freedom, and is part of a group of Christian leaders active in lending Donald Trump prayer support.

Criticisms of the “gaffe” was met with a similar amount of fiery criticism for the apology. Candace Cameron Bure (Hallmark/Full House/Fuller House) simply remarked, “Oooof”.  While a list of other Twitter users took the apology as an opportunity to throw more anti-Christian abuse Hillsong’s way.

The loudest condemnation came from those attempting to conflate Houston with Hillsong. They labelled the apology hypocritical. Pointing out that Houston’s support for Scott Morrison, and Donald Trump negated the Churches’ claim to distance itself from political dichotomies by “not commenting on partisan politics.”

This is despite the “gaffe, mistake, accident” – whatever – suggesting that Houston’s personal views don’t necessarily represent the views of Hillsong as a whole. The false equivalence seems to have blocked the obvious irony.

It shouldn’t be forgotten that the high visibility of the Church, sins of some of its leaders, and the massive success of its music arm in recent years has brought Hillsong under a microscope.

The consequence of such close quarters’ scrutiny is that any unintentional faux pas by, or connected to the “mega-Church”, are rapidly churned out for maximum attention in order to either undermine, discredit or cancel them. And not just Hillsong, but Christianity in general.

It’s Hillsong. Just like Trump. They’re influential, but not exactly THE authority when it comes to Christian theological truths, or the conduit by which all Christians make their decisions.

It’s also almost guaranteed that most of the people acting all dismayed at the recent US election Presidential debate were just as equally entertained by it. Such is our spectator culture.

Perhaps the problem with leaders is a problem closer to home?


In this sense the debate and reactions to it are a mirror. What we condemn in others, we must first address within ourselves. For instance, eye-to-eye respect will always trump plankeye, and eye-for-an-eye relationships.

As atheist, author and ex-Muslim, Ayaan Hirsi Ali quipped: “Everyone is talking about and asking about last night’s debate. I don’t want to make light of this because it is not funny. But where in the world do people in their seventies behave like stick-your-tongue-out preschoolers on national TV while vying for the highest office?”

The election debate highlighted the fact that the future of America, and by default her allies, will be decided by the choice between a career politician and a citizen President.

Trump doesn’t need the Presidency, Biden does. Trump’s income doesn’t ride on him being President, Biden’s does. Which of these is more likely to be the public servant Americans need? All the evidence shows that it isn’t Joe Biden.

If anything positive can be drawn from the debate moderator’s obvious favoritism, it’s that Trump was inadvertently painted as the underdog.

If the plan was to save Biden midway through, or gang up on Trump, and bait him for soundbites, it’s backfired spectacularly.


First published on Caldron Pool, 1st October 2020 

©Rod Lampard, 2020

American author and Pastor, Greg Laurie’s interview with Alive Cooper is an insightful look into Christian life outside a cloistered Christian culture. The interview was uploaded to YouTube on the 18th of August. Cooper calls himself a prodigal son and gives some background on his life, including his abuse of cocaine, alcoholism, his 43 year old marriage, the Church and his return to Christ.

Though unrelated, the interview presents a stark contrast between Alice Cooper and bestselling ‘Christian’ author, Joshua Harris.

I related to it because I came to Christ through the broken, dark alleys of life. I found home through darkened lyrics, written by broken people, who reflected my own dysfunctional context. Whether they intended it or not (I certainly didn’t see it at the time), they were being used to point me to the foot of the cross.

Though I acknowledge that having a firm connection with other Christians (fellowship) is important to Christian discipleship, I never found the way home to Christ by trying to fit in with the first-row, Sunday-only-Christians, who seemed to always look past me and my dysfunctional context with contempt and fear.

Thank God that He does not dwell in temples made by man, but reaches for us in the richness of relationship, made known to us through His revelation in Jesus Christ; an act that He Himself being free from religion, freely initiates in order to dwell amongst us, so that we may be freed from bondage to sin; free for Him and free for others.

I hear that Biblical theme brought to life in this interview.

It’s another reminder that God, in His Son, through the Holy Spirit, is still at work in the world. The reminder that when the mainstream Church misses the point or fails to reflect this solid theological truth, God, in His sovereignty breaks through the clumsiness, pride and stale idolatry of some Christians, reminding us that the Church is His, not ours. It also reminds us that the Church must mature beyond its four walls, rediscovering the fact that its sustenance and continuation doesn’t rest in bricks and mortar, or immaculate attendance records, but on the providence of God, and His fatherly Lordship shown towards us in Jesus Christ.

As Cooper worded it, “I don’t think we accept Christ, I think we accept the fact that He accepted us“. He mentions the importance of hearing about God’s mercy and judgement. Stating that he needed to hear about both God’s grace and the reality of hell, which “isn’t a place where we get high with Jim Morrison“, but a real consequence of sin.

For me, Laurie’s interview with Cooper reflects the truth that life with God, begins with, God with us. This is a truth I passionately teach my own kids by bringing the relevance of the Christ into contact with the culture. Not in fear of it, or in subservience to the culture, but in critique of it. The kind of critique that coincides with the joy of recognizing where God is at work in the world, and learning from this how we, as Christians, can boldly be in the world, but not of it.

Cooper exemplifies the notion that any division between the secular and the sacred is ultimately false. As Karl Barth noted when talking about John Calvin’s theology, ‘the rule that history is life’s teacher is the light of which Calvin could view secular history as sacred history…History must be for us a school in which we learn to regulate our lives in the knowledge that from the creation of the world God has at all times [in freedom & sovereignty] ruled in his church’ and the world. [i]

Alice Cooper, like Johnny Cash, embodies the reason for why we shouldn’t limit the reach of God’s grace. For, ’the wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 8:3).

The interview offers a correction of perception. One that involves grounded biblical theology which teaches us that trying to measure what constitutes the right to be called “Christian” is problematic. The criteria falls short, if it doesn’t first and foremost involve a commitment to Jesus Christ, which acknowledges both God’s fatherly Lordship, and triumph over sin. In sum, our response being secondary, it’s Christ’s performance that takes preeminence.

This is especially relevant when Joshua Harris’ public renouncing his faith, is contrasted with Alice Cooper’s public affirmation of his relationship with Christ. One can have a relationship with the Church, but not Jesus Christ. Going to Church, or parading Christian culture on our selves doesn’t make a person a Christian. Relationship with Christ does.

It’s amazing to witness encouragement for the Church coming from someone who’d not be welcome in some churches. The irony being where Harris would be welcomed, Cooper would be exiled. Yet, where Cooper still stands. Harris has walked away.

I’m not suggesting Alice Cooper’s example is the answer to the Joshua Harris’ of the Church, but Alice Cooper’s example should make some Churches rethink their commitment to valuing appearances over substance; reputation over character.

I’m with lay preacher, A.W. Tozer, who brilliantly said:

‘I cannot speak for you, but I want to be among those who worship. I do not want just to be part of some great ecclesiastical machine where the Pastor turns the crank and the machine runs […] Can true worship be engineered and manipulated? […]  Engineers do many a great things in their fields, but no mere human force or direction can work the mysteries of God among men. If there is no wonder, no experience of mystery, our efforts to worship will be futile. There will be no worship without the Spirit’ [ii]

As Skillet’s John Cooper (no relation) told CBN recently: ‘we need to value truth over feeling’.

Joshua Harris, much the same as Rob Bell, are wake up calls for the Church. Falseness is too easy. False doctrine is too attractive. I think it’s fair enough to suggest that Harris became of product of his popularity, driven by worldly chuchian culture, not the koinonia; ecclesia; or haustafeln. I say churchian (for lack of a better word), because I don’t think the problem isn’t easily pinned on just one denomination. The problem is shared across denominations. It’s a mindset cemented in an apathy (if not ignorance) that has rejected the five solas of the Reformers, and put in their place the cheap grace of moral therapeutic deism.

I don’t think I’m alone in saying this, but I’d rather sit in a Skillet concert filled with long haired friends of Jesus all dressed in black, and ruminate on some of the theological depth coming out of the lyrics over coffee afterwards, than sit before a hipster, watching them mindlessly repeating the equivalent of bumper sticker theology, like some Instagram-perfect churches do. Don’t get me wrong. That platform has its place, but the Insta-perfect culture shouldn’t be the quintessential standard for what it means to be a Christian in the world, but not of it; someone who is led by the Spirit, not the culture.

As Keith Green and Corrie Ten Boom said in their own way, being connected with a genuine Christian community is important, but it’s just as equally important to remember that a perfect church attendance record doesn’t save us; “going to church doesn’t make you a Christian anymore than parking your car into a garage makes you a car; just as much as going to McDonalds doesn’t make you a hamburger.”

Alice Cooper, like others such as Brian ‘Head’ Welch of Korn, are an example for the Church. We mustn’t retreat back behind a closed, cushy cloister. The Church doesn’t need to. It just needs to drop the pretence of it’s own holiness, and let God’s holiness shine through the Churches honest presentation of the Gospel, and through the care for the community entrusted to it.

The Church, in the face of a culture determined to set the agenda, should aim to mature beyond the four walls and steeple it’s become known as being. For the Church, it cannot be a business, or business as usual. The Church is we-the-people, with Christ at the head. If only for the fact that we never know who’s listening.  The Church must end its navel gazing, and make a keener effort to rediscover the origins of Christian community, which begins, is maintained, and ends with Jesus Christ.

There’s a lot more to this Laurie-Cooper interview than meets the eye.

He who has hears let Him hear.

 


References:

[i] Barth, K. 1922. The Theology of John Calvin Eerdmans Press, (pp.2, 3 & 17)

[ii] Tozer, A.W 2009, Whatever Happened to Worship? Authentic Media (pp.11, 60-61)

Image credit: Mohammad Metri on Unsplash

Also published on Caldron Pool, 29th August, 2019

©Rod Lampard, 2019

 

The Catholic herald in the U.K. recently published an excellent article called The Australian church is in desperate trouble. Although I’m protestant, I stand in solidarity with most of what’s written.

Three things are worth highlighting and commenting on:

The first, it’s too simple to say that Australia was never a Christian country. Australia was founded on enlightenment ideals, WHICH have their foundation in an understanding and living “robust Christianity”.

It’s fairly clear from history about what happens when that foundation is either ignored or attempts or made to completely severe it. I think in Australia’s case its going to be a matter of, “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”…People are already without hope, exhausted, and only happy when its “payday”.

Showing that the worship of money is the real contender for ”who’s to blame, for that lack of hope and unhappiness” spotlight, not Christianity.

The second, some churches have made some serious errors of judgement and even become accomplices in crimes against some young people entrusted to their care. No thinking, loving Christian would ever say that those church communities haven’t sinned and or that now their sin (as the Bible warns us in Numbers 32:23) isn’t finding them out.

That’s what’s been good about the Royal Commission. It’s a refining and a reminder to keep vigilant when it comes to protecting the young. Hence the large amount of “no” voters arguing against “safe schools” and saying “no” to SSM.

Why create a new stolen generation, because it ”seemed like a good idea at the time”? Why allow a system where abuse is too easy to hide behind a veil of tolerance, fear and politics?

Some Christians are rightly held accountable for their failure to stand up and speak out against child sexual abuse. That reverberates throughout the Church universal.

Yet, when the Church, who learning from their mistakes and the sins of others in their communities, decide to act and stand up, then speak out against what they see as potential abuse and potential for abuse, they’re called, intolerant, bigoted, unloving and worse.

It’s inconsistent and vile to say to the Church that they were wrong for not speaking out then, only to turn and tell the Church they should be silent now. The Church must rise to the challenges of life, in grace, truth and the light of Christ.

The third, it’s not the end of Christianity if it is forced into the shadows of Australian life, politics and society. Nor is it the end of Christianity, if it is silenced at the order of political correctness and enforced by the slaves of the bureaucratic caste who, through a false doctrine, indoctrinate them, and pay their cheques.

The end of Christianity, is, as it was with its beginning, centred in God’s triumph in and through Jesus Christ. The alpha and omega is not centred in temporal, abstract human power or human triumphalism (both inside and outside the Church). God, in Jesus Christ, has the final word.

Time to dust off Augustine’s City of God & Tertullian’s Apology. Our Christian forebears; our brothers and sisters in Africa, China, India; those who lived under Soviet rule and those brothers and sisters who suffer in the Middle East, already outline what our response should look like, they lived and live through much, much worse.

As the article concludes:

“For gold to be purified, it must be first tested in the furnace. Perhaps this is what is happening to Catholicism in Australia.
But the Church doesn’t end with the furnace; it ends in hope.
Last Sunday, which was the last of the liturgical year, we celebrated the feast of Christ the King. The Church in Australia will face the new year as the Church will do across the world – not with a sigh of relief, but with confidence that the battle is already won.” [i]

Jesus is victor!

#bewaretheauctioneers


References:

[i] Catholic Herald, The Australian church is in desperate trouble Sourced 2nd December 2017