You cannot legislate prayer
As has been widely publicised, Victoria (led by its openly communist Premier Daniel Andrews) has recently passed the Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Bill. In effect, the legislation casts a very wide net in seeking to outlaw any religious practice that might challenge, question or denigrate a person’s self-perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.
Of all of the similar legislation in Australia (Qld and the ACT have similar legislation), Victoria’s is the most extensive. They have gone to a lot of trouble to build in infrastructure that will give the legislation some real teeth, primarily around criminalising certain actions. One whole section is dedicated to giving the Human Rights Commission (which is generally only interested in anybody who isn’t a Christian) the power to investigate people and organisations. It sets up the whole expectation that they are going to be monitoring groups (primarily churches, since there is nobody else in the community that is even mentioned) because of their supposed conversion or suppression practices.
Unlike the Queensland legislation (which focused on health professionals) and the ACT legislation (which focused on the rights of children and at least gave some recognition to religious freedom) the Victorian legislation has no upfront acknowledgement of the rights of those who hold opposing religious views. In fact, it doesn’t signal any interest in balancing the rights of people or give any consideration to the dangers of suppressing free speech.
Consider some of the objects of the legislation:-
· to ensure that all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, feel welcome and valued in Victoria and are able to live authentically and with pride;
· to affirm that a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity is not broken and in need of fixing and affirm that no sexual orientation or gender identity constitutes a disorder, disease, illness, deficiency or shortcoming.
As I mentioned in the sermon last week, communistic governments seek to tell you how to think and this legislation does exactly that. This is the process of “dumbing down” the population so as not to allow a dangerous bunch of people to go and do something radical like think for themselves.
One of the most shocking parts of the legislation is that even if a grown, capable adult wants to seek help around the issue of change and suppression, they are not permitted to.
Gladly, Victorian churches have started to take a stand. Rev. Dr. Peter Barnes, Moderator General of the Presbyterian Church of Australia has reminded Presbyterian ministers to “preach the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:26-27) and preach that not only is all sex outside of marriage sinful but that all Christians should seek to pray for LGBTQI people to turn away from both their behaviour and desires. Dr Barnes believes that it is right for Christians to defy the governing authority such as when King Darius exceeded his God-given authority and Daniel did “as he had done previously” (Daniel 6:10).
There are a number of Christian lawyers who have been discussing these issues and they have observed that the real danger is not for church leaders, but for parents (both Christian and non-Christian) of children who have been indoctrinated with the gender fluidity teachings of the Safe Schools nonsense. Let’s continue to pray, pray, pray. Not only will God hear our prayer but it will show Daniel Andrews that Christians will not remain silent before God, as he so intends.