Moderator's Comments - Posted 19 August 2015
The latest biography of the late B.A. Santamaria, by Gerard Henderson, records an interesting incident. Santamaria had cooperated with the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne, Daniel Mannix, to see the successful establishment of the Democratic Labor Party in Victoria, but had less success with the church’s Sydney heirachy.
The Sydney Archbishop Gilroy and his Bishop, James Carroll opposed the establishment of the DLP in NSW. Santamaria worked with James McAuley, a prominent convert to Catholicism, a journalist and a poet, to persuade Gilroy and Carroll to cooperate, but was unsuccessful. McAuley’s parish priest expressed the fear that these political battles in Sydney might diminish McAuley’s recently acquired faith, he responded,
“Why do you think that because my Bishop is a liar and a schemer that this somehow disproves that Christ rose from the dead?”
The new Atheists assert that faith and reason are opposites, so that, religious faith is “unjustified belief”, according to Sam Harris.
McAuley was correct to recognise the reasonable basis of the Christian faith is the historically verifiable, bodily resurrection of Jesus.
Moderator's Comments - Posted 11 August 2015
At Theological College it was suggested that we students read the newspaper, standing up, giving it a cursory reading. I have never followed that advice, I enjoy the daily paper in a comfortable chair, newsprint and all, no online version for me!
Last week, I was asked to speak to a group of men about “how Christians read the newspaper”.
The news is usually confronting: ISIS, travel entitlements, single gender marriage, human trafficking as well as the natural disasters of fire and drought.
Moderator's Comments - Posted 28 July 2015
This past weekend I was in the Victorian countryside and challenged by an Elder for not being more involved in the media with the Church’s viewpoint. He was surprised when I told him about presbyterian.org.au and that I had written 62 columns since becoming Moderator General in September, 2013.
Ministers, please make this website known to your people and consider publishing its contents in your weekly notice sheets!
Today, I attended a Heads of Churches meeting to discuss our response to the gathering momentum for the next session of Parliament to change the Marriage Act to allow for same sex marriage.
God has spoken, a serious reading of Scripture makes clear that marriage is an exclusive union between a man and a woman (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:5, Romans 1:18 -32, 1 Corinthians 6:9-20).
The recent ALP national conference has made it compulsory, from 2019, for all Labor party politicians to favour same sex marriage. That is incredible! Those promoting toleration, now in the majority, have become the promoters of intolerance, to disagree, from 2019, is to be expelled from the ALP. I cannot imagine the horror which this policy brings to my ALP friends.
Moderator's Comments - Posted 14 July 2015
According to Solomon, of the seven things God hates, pride tops the list (Proverbs 6:16 – 19). CS Lewis called pride, “that complete anti-God state of mind – it leads to every other vice!”. Martin Luther claimed that his greatest enemy was not the Pope or Cardinal, but the enemy within, his own pride.
Pride is on display all around us – from the tennis courts of Wimbledon to the strange thinking of the Greek Finance Ministers.
Pride is at the core of one of the shortest books in the Bible, Obadiah, it comes between Amos and Jonah. Obadiah is a prophecy against Edom, the descendants of Esau, who having been deceived by Jacob, now themselves drip with the pride of self deceit (v3). Their confidence is in their impregnable position in the plateaux (v3), their confidence is in their allies and advisors (v7 – 8) and in their standing army (v9). Their pride has driven their cruel inhumanity, for in the day their national cousins Judah fell to the Babylonians, they stood aloof (v11) and did nothing to help.
That’s pride, it drives self deceit, it causes people to trust in the untrustworthy and it never forgets a wrong, it seethes and plots as it seeks revenge. Such pride is evidenced in the Family Law Court, in criminal networks, in battlefields and in church dissensions. It is everywhere.