Tag Archives: Australian Christian Lobby

I Recommend

This past week, I shared the following links on social media and I think they’re worth sharing here too:

Distancing Darwin from Racism Is a Fool’s Errand

“It is very true what you say about the higher races of men, when high enough, replacing & clearing off the lower races. In 500 years how the Anglo-Saxon race will have spread & exterminated whole nations; & in consequence how much the human race, viewed as a unit, will have risen in rank.” ~ Charles Darwin

Sin is Like a Snowball

Scott Bredenhof reflects on how sin can gain dangerous momentum in our lives — and what God has done about it.

Dusting When the Light is Dim

I love these kinds of illustrations. This is a good one is about sanctification — I’ve saved it for future reference.

We Have Met the Enemy

Tal Bachman: “But the most alarming revelation was the astronomical rate of suicide among post-surgery transgenders, particularly after a decade. The post-surgery suicide rate wasn’t 25% higher than normal, which would have been disturbing enough. Nor was it 50% higher. Nor was it 100% higher. It wasn’t even 250% higher, which would have been, or should have been, a screaming alarm for the medical community and public alike. Nor was it 400% higher, or 600% higher. It was nearly two thousand percent higher.”

We the Screamers

Another powerful piece from Jonathon Van Maren.

Can a politician be personally, but not politically, pro-life?

Some conservative politicians try to take a middle-of-the-road approach to abortion: personally against, but politically indifferent or even for. Jon Dykstra analyzes this from a biblical perspective.

Australian Christian Lobby in the News

The Australian Christian Lobby has no equal elsewhere in the world. This is an organization doing phenomenal work to bring biblical thinking into the public square. ACL is headed up by Martyn Iles. He’s been doing a tour across Australia with his “The Truth of It” program. When ACL attempted to hire public venues in Western Australia, they were refused. The explanation is in the video clip below. Just yesterday (Friday July 16), ACL announced that the WA state government had backed down.


People’s Republic of Western Australia

There’s some crazy stuff happening in the state of WA. The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has been told that they’re not allowed to use certain WA public venues because their views don’t agree with the state government. The state government is Labor, led by Premier Mark McGowan. For non-Aussie readers, Labor is leftist, roughly similar to the New Democrats in Canada or the Democrats in the United States. For more, see this video clip interviewing Peter Abetz, the WA State Director of the ACL:


Book Review: ‘I Kid You Not’

‘I Kid You Not’: Notes from 20 Years in the Trenches of the Culture Wars, Lyle Shelton.  Redland Bay, Queensland: Connor Court Publishing, 2020.  Softcover, 273 pages.

I’m told that when you join an army combat unit, you’ll usually get a lesson on that unit’s battle history.  I came to Australia nearly five years ago with little knowledge of the battles that have been waged here for what’s good and true.  Since then, I’ve witnessed the fight for the preservation of marriage and a few other skirmishes.  However, reading Lyle Shelton’s new book opened my eyes to many of the battles that took place before we arrived in 2015.  It’s like reading the battle history of biblically-minded and politically-involved Christians in Australia for the last two decades.

For those who don’t know him, Lyle Shelton may be the most hated man in Australia.  I follow him on Twitter and the abuse his trolls heap on him is ghastly.  While he first started drawing fire as a city councillor in Toowoomba, Queensland, it was really as the Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) that he became the target of intense animosity.  This book documents two decades of his Christian political activism, battles fought — both those won (a few) and lost (more).

From his time in city government in Toowoomba, we read of the fight against brothels in Queensland in chapter 2.  Chapter 3 describes the battle against pornography in Australia — a fight simply to introduce a mandatory filtering policy.  There are chapters on abortion and euthanasia.  The battle against same-sex “marriage” takes up three chapters.  For me, one of the most interesting sections was the chapter on aboriginal relations.  I took a keen interest in that area when I was serving as a missionary to a First Nations community in Canada, so naturally I wanted to hear Lyle’s take on the Australian situation.  I was impressed with how Lyle applies Christian principles of forgiveness, atonement, and reconciliation.  His balanced approach deserves a hearing.

As mentioned, there’s history in this book of which I was unaware, having come “late to the party.”  For example chapter 6 describes Guy Barnett’s move to defund second trimester and late-term abortion.  Today, Guy is a well-known figure in Tasmanian state politics.  But in 2008, he was serving in the Australian senate.  He made an effort to roll back some of the gruesome practices of Australian abortionists.  The ACL supported his effort and, as part of that, invited Gianna Jensen, a survivor of a late-term abortion to come to Australia to assist the campaign.  I’ll let Lyle pick up the story:

She is probably the only person alive today whose birth certificate was signed by her abortionist.  He arrived back on the scene when it was too late.

Gianna indefatigably limped alongside me through kilometers of corridors in Parliament House — her bright and sunny disposition disarming the pollies before she unleashed her killer opening line (pun intended).  [the opening line:  “If abortion is about women’s rights, where were mine?”]

I’ll never forget the afternoon we ran into the then Greens leader Bob Brown in the Senate corridors.  I hadn’t bothered seeking an appointment with him.  The Greens care about saving tiny critters but, perversely, baby humans at risk of violence in the womb are not on their endangered list.

“This is Gianna Jensen from America, Senator,” I awkwardly said as we bumped into Brown.  At that moment, I had no agenda apart from being polite.  Brown, who is one of the most genuinely charming men you will ever meet immediately engaged Gianna in some good-natured banter about her need to see the sights of his home state, Tasmania.

My mind began racing as the Senator continued with small talk.  I felt I had to say something.

“Gianna is a survivor of abortion,” I blurted.  At that Senator Brown excused himself, turned on his heel, and walked off down the corridor.  Some truths are more inconvenient than others.  I’ll never forget it.  It was one of the most profound interactions I had at Parliament in my 10 years as a lobbyist.  I’ll always be grateful to Gianna for coming to our nation and telling her inconvenient story, even though her plea on behalf of unborn babies was politely ignored by our politicians.  (page 108)

An unforgettable afternoon, indeed — one prays it was unforgettable for Bob Brown too.

‘I Kid You Not’ is a must-read for newcomers to Australian politics — it’s a great primer on how we got where we are.  I’d also recommend it to Christian young people and others who are beginning to understand our need to be involved in the struggle for truth and goodness in the public square.  Lyle Shelton not only provides the battle history, he also has some insights into battlefield tactics — those used against the truth, but also those that should be used for the truth.  I would say that, unlike Lyle, and more like the current ACL director Martyn Iles, I believe we need to bring Scripture to bear on the situation.  That point notwithstanding, this book makes a valuable contribution to reflecting on how to be engaged politically as Christians. If we love our nation, if our desire is to see the nation flourish, then this is a battle to which all Christians are called.  Sign up.


Help Support Religious Freedom Down Under

The name of Israel Folau is well-known in Australia, and perhaps is becoming somewhat known overseas too.  He’s the rugby player who got into trouble with Rugby Australia for an Instagram post.  He shared the love of Christ for sinners and the message of 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 that unrepentant sinners are heading for hell.  If you’re familiar with the passage, you know that several types of unrepentant sinners are mentioned:  the sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, thieves, greedy, drunkards, revilers, and swindlers.  But it was just the mention of homosexuals that made so many people irate and ended up costing Folau his job as a footballer.  Apparently the drunkards and adulterers are not so easily offended.

He’s challenging that decision in court as a matter of freedom of speech and freedom of religion.  A few days ago, he set up a GoFundMe page and it quickly raised a lot of cash for his case.  However, GoFundMe pulled the plug on it.  The Australian Christian Lobby has now taken over the fundraising.  They’re hoping to raise $3 million.

It’s important to realize what’s at stake here.  It’s the freedom to openly share biblical teaching about repentance and salvation.  If Israel Folau is not allowed to do that, it won’t be long before no one is allowed to do that in Australia, including me as a gospel preacher.  This is where the erosion of freedoms begins.  We don’t have to take it sitting down.  We’re allowed to fight for the freedom to share the gospel using the legitimate means available to us.  If something is important to us, why wouldn’t we fight for it?

I probably don’t see eye to eye with Israel Folau on any number of theological issues.  It doesn’t matter.  The world perceives him as a Christian and me as a Christian.  To them we’re on the same page and for that reason we’re shoulder to shoulder.  They’re going to treat us the same and the spread of the gospel is affected one way or another.  I’m reminded of something Bill Muehlenberg wrote yesterday on his blog, adapting from someone else from an earlier era:

In Australia they came first for Archbishop Julian Porteous, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a cleric.
Then they came for Bernard Gaynor, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Catholic.
Then they came for Margaret Court, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a tennis player.
Then they came for Lyle Shelton, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a lobbyist.
Then they came for Israel Folau, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a footballer.
Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.

It’s time for us to speak up.  Whether you’re here in Australia or overseas, can you help?  See here for the ACL page where you can contribute to the legal costs to fight for religious freedom and freedom of speech in Australia.

By the way, don’t listen to the media on this issue.  They’re completely biassed against Folau.