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Moderator's Comments - Posted 1 March 2016

I live in Sydney, a beautiful city, what a pleasure to show friends from overseas around the harbour, the beaches and the mountains.

And yet, like all believers, my home is the eternal city which is above.

The writer of the Hebrews reminds his readers “For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come” (Hebrews 13:14). The whole book of Revelation is focussed on the future city, where there will be no more tears, death, mourning, crying or pain (Revelation 21:4).  The apostle Paul alludes to Isaiah when he speaks of our future hope, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

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Moderator's Comments - Posted 16 February 2016

On Friday 12 February, at the invitation of the Australian Christian Lobby, I joined a delegation to meet Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, in his Sydney office.  It was agreed that we confine our remarks to the issue of the plebiscite regarding single gender marriage which will be held, in the event of a coalition victory, soon after the next Federal election.

The issues which concerned us were:

  • The framing of the question to be answered in the plebiscite.  Would we have input into this so that it did not unfairly encourage the preferred response of either side?
  • The question of religious freedom both during and after the debate, if the plebiscite is lost.
  • If the Commonwealth was  to provide funding for campaigns, how would such funding be allocated?  The campaign in favour of single sex marriage in Ireland outspent the traditional campaign, 15 to 1.
  • When will the proposed Bill to change the Marriage Act and enable the plebiscite, be available?
  • Will the PM do all in his power to ensure equal access to media for both sides of the argument?

The PM was warm and engaging and assured us that he was interested in matters of spirituality and, “enjoys a good homily”.

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Moderator's Comments - Posted 8 February 2016

I am starting 2016 preaching at a conference called Sweatcon, being held in the south western suburbs of Sydney. The theme of the conference is, Discipleship in Mission and I will be speaking on Jesus’ answer to the fourth, of the four most fundamental questions of life:

• Where did I come from?
• Where am I going?
• Why am I here?
• How do I live?

In Matthew’s gospel, chapters 5 to 7, Jesus answers that fourth question in the Sermon on the Mount.

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In October, 2017 we will celebrate the 500th Anniversary of Martin Luther’s attachment of his 95 theses for debate, to the large doors of Wittenberg Cathedral in Germany.

Luther, an Augustinian monk, had felt the gates of paradise open to him when he understood Romans 1:17 the righteousness of God as that righteousness which He does not require but that which He provides through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.

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Pastoral Letter

Moderator's Comments - Posted 14 January 2016

Australia normally goes to sleep while we holiday for the five weeks after Christmas, undisturbed except by the latest cricket scores calmly delivered to us by Richie Benaud. That has not been the case this year, the standard of cricket has been poor, Richie is no longer with us and the following events have turned our minds to more disturbing matters: the resignation of two Federal ministers, Mal Brough and Jamie Briggs; the Chris Gayle interview involving journalist Mel McLaughlin; the ongoing drought in Western Queensland and NSW while NSW spends $7 million on fireworks on New Year’s Eve; the reports of widespread sexual harassment in Cologne, Germany on New Year’s Eve; North Korea’s “hydrogen” bomb test, the beginning of the cyclone season with Vanuatu once again being in the path, this time of Cyclone Ula.