In a remarkable recent development that sets a standard for Australia and every nation, the leadership of Papua New Guinea has resolved to declare the country to be officially Christian.
This builds on Papua New Guinea’s recognition of its Christian heritage, as described in the preamble to its Constitution that was adopted upon independence from Australia in 1975:
We, the people of Papua New Guinea ... pledge ourselves to guard and pass on to those who come after us our noble traditions and the Christian principles that are ours now ... under the guiding hand of God, to be the Independent State of Papua New Guinea.
The country is highly Christianised, with around 70 per cent of people indicating personal faith in Jesus, in a culture that is steeped in Christian morality.
But in June 2020, a report issued by the PNG National Research Institute, concluded the country is not officially Christian.
The report's author, Dr Eugene Ezebilo, said that a country is Christian only when it has Christianity as the official national religion and features an established church. He cautioned that if PNG officially becomes a Christian nation it may dissuade non-Christian people from moving to PNG from overseas.
Papua New Guinea's National Executive Council in August 2020 approved a proposal to formally declare the country Christian under the Constitution, apparently in response to the report.
However, according to Dr Ezebilo, it is unlikely that a constitutional referendum will occur to effect any change.
FamilyVoice Australia spokesman David d’Lima said constitutional recognition of the Christian faith is a helpful feature for any nation, but ultimately does not make for a Christian country.
“Australia and Papua New Guinea have a rich Christian heritage and a constitutional recognition of the sovereignty of God,” he said.
“In Australia, the preamble declares the people to be humbly relying on the blessing of Almighty God and the Father of Federation (Sir Henry Parkes) wrote in a column published in the Sydney Morning Herald on August 26, 1885, that we are pre-eminently a Christian people.
“But every nation, just like every person, is Christian only to the extent that Christ himself lays the claim - or not - as he explained when referring to sheep and goat nations,” David d’Lima said.
“Like any parent, we may well be proud of Papua New Guinea as our offspring nation that seeks to honour Christ.
“However, if we continue our headlong plunge into wrongdoing in Australia, we may eventually have to rely upon missionaries from PNG to re-evangelise our country.
“The ethical behaviour of PNG and its embrace of the Christian gospel is far better than Australia which has become increasingly sinful in its social behaviour and legal provisions in recent years.”
Prince William with Catherine and their children
Becoming a father is often a life-changing experience.
Prince William said that becoming a father was one of the most amazing moments of life. “Having children is the biggest life-changing moment, it really is.”
Freelance writer Rob Jenkins says that fathers can change the world, one child at a time. He says to dads: “Resolve to improve the world one child at a time — starting with your own.”
Dr David Popenoe, Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University, says:
“Fathers are far more than just ‘second adults’ in the home. Involved fathers – especially biological fathers – bring positive benefits to their children that no other person is as likely to bring.
“They provide protection and economic support and male role models. They have a parenting style that is significantly different from that of a mother and that difference is important in healthy child development.”
That is because men and women are different. Both are equally important to children, but they parent a little differently.
The Christian ministry Focus on the Family has this to say:
“Dads … love their children more dangerously. That’s because they play ‘rougher’ and are more likely to encourage risk-taking. They provide kids with a broader diversity of social experiences.
“They also introduce them to a wider variety of methods of dealing with life. They tend to stress rules, justice, fairness, and duty in discipline.
“In this way, they teach children the objectivity and consequences of right and wrong. They give kids insight into the world of men. They prepare them for the challenges of life and demonstrate by example the meaning of respect between the sexes.”
Focus on the Family quotes parenting expert Dr Kyle Pruett who points out that while mothers and fathers are both physical with their children, fathers are typically physical in different ways.
Fathers tend to play with their children, and mothers tend to care for them. Generally speaking, fathers tickle more, they wrestle, and they throw their children in the air (while mothers warn, “Not so high!”).
Fathers are louder at play, while mothers are quieter. Mothers cuddle babies, and fathers bounce them. Fathers roughhouse, while mothers are gentle. Fathers encourage competition; mothers encourage equality. Fathers encourage independence while mothers encourage security.
Fathering expert John Snarey notes that children who roughhouse with their fathers learn that biting, kicking and other forms of physical violence are not acceptable. They learn self-control by being told when “enough is enough” and when to “settle down”. Fathers help girls and boys learn a healthy balance between timidity and aggression. Children need mum’s softness, as well as dad’s roughhousing. Both provide security and confidence in their own ways by communicating love and physical intimacy.
On Fathers Day – this coming Sunday – we celebrate the special place of fathers in our families and our society. I pray that the Lord will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, as in Malachi 4:6.
National Director - FamilyVoice Australia
UK barristers are sounding the alarm on a legal review into “hate” laws which threatens to criminalise opposition to same-sex “marriage”.
Currently in Northern Ireland there is an explicit law which protects those who disagree with same-sex marriage:
“Any discussion or criticism of marriage which concerns the sex of the parties to marriage is not to be taken of itself to be – (A) threatening, abusive or insulting or (B) intended to stir up hatred or arouse fear,”, the law reads.
But a review into “hate” crime laws is considering repealing the protection, placing those who dare to dissent from LGBT orthodoxy at risk.
“It does seem that the clear purpose of the amendment is to expose people who criticise ‘same-sex’ marriage to prosecution,” said Barrister Thomas Leonard Ross QC.
“The withdrawal of the defence would not automatically turn such discussion into an offence. But it’d certainly give the prosecution authority the green light to have a crack at obtaining a conviction for it.”
Likewise, barrister Ivan Hare QC has spoken out against the review, which could see so-called “hate” laws broadened to not just cover same-sex “marriage” but transgender issues, too, restricting people from speaking out about the male-female biological reality of sex.
In a legal opinion for the Christian Institute, Hare said that there is “a very real risk that robust and uninhibited discussion of matters of great public importance will suffer a chilling effect”.
Reports recently that Queensland has become the first state to ban “conversion therapy” by health professionals was a sad day for all Australian mums and dads who know the biological reality of male and female.
The ACT government is pushing hard to make the same move while many are distracted with the COVID-19 crisis.
“Conversion therapy” is a red-herring term designed to conjure up images of shock therapy. Instead, the bill attacks people who offer evidence-based spiritual or clinical therapy to help people struggling with gender dysphoria and unwanted same-sex attraction.
The proposed ACT bill will have implications for the teaching of scripture in churches and religious schools.
The ACT legislation is so broad it does not appear to exempt clergy members or religious counsellors acting in a religious capacity, nor does it exempt parents or grandparents acting substantially in the capacity of a parent or grandparent and not in the capacity of a mental health therapist.
Is sexual orientation fixed or fluid? For LGBTIQA+ activists, the answer depends on what position most benefits their cause. When it comes to so-called “conversion therapy” to change sexual orientation, the LGBTIQA+ lobby claims that homosexuality is immutable and cannot be changed. Yet in other contexts they claim that sexual orientation is fluid, especially in adolescence.
If sexual orientation is fluid, then it seems reasonable that some minors would seek therapy to change unwanted sexual feelings. And indeed, until the LGBTIQA+ lobby intervened, the psychiatric community largely agreed.
The true harm to children of “treatments” for gender dysphoria, is the destruction of sexual function and fertility through hormones, or by surgically removing genitals or breasts. The hypocrisy of supporting such dangerous “treatments” is morally repugnant and the harm they are doing to children cannot be undone.
FamilyVoice is asking you to contact all members of the ACT Parliament and calling upon them to reject the bill. It should halt this ill-informed legislation until its harmful implications can be fully explored before the ACT election.
Here are some concerns with the Government’s bill you can convey:
Greg Bondar, NSW/ACT State Director
Last Wednesday morning, Prime minister Scott Morrison said that he would like to make coronavirus vaccination mandatory, if current trials are successful.
Following an outcry on social media, Mr Morrison backtracked later that day. “There’s been a bit of an overreaction to any suggestion of this – there will be no compulsory vaccine,” he said.
Vaccines have a long history dating back to the development of a vaccine against the smallpox virus in 1796.
We don’t hear much about smallpox these days. Last century, this dreadful disease killed some 300 million people.
Today, smallpox has been totally eliminated from the human population, thanks to an effective vaccine and a vigorous eradication program. Now, only a few small samples of the virus remain in high security laboratories. The vaccine is still being produced, in case of biological warfare.
Over the past century, dozens of vaccines have been produced for a wide range of bacterial and viral illnesses, including tetanus, diphtheria, polio, measles and mumps. We “moderns” have little understanding of the horrors such diseases inflicted in times past.
However, vaccines themselves can be dangerous. In the 1940s and 1950s, polio (or poliomyelitis) paralysed or killed over half a million globally every year. Dr Salk’s vaccine against this greatly feared disease was tested on 2 million children in 1954 and its success was widely hailed. But in 1955, a batch of vaccine produced by Cutter Laboratories was faulty. Some 200,000 US children received it; 40,000 caught polio, 200 were paralysed and 10 died. The fault was later corrected.
Vaccines can also be dangerous to people with certain pre-existing conditions. Contra-indications to vaccination are listed in the Australian Immunisation Handbook, for example.
Like all medical treatment, whether you should receive a vaccine against a specific disease is a question for you and your health professional. The doctor needs to weigh the expected benefit against the likely risk, given your personal medical history. You can either accept or decline the doctor’s advice.
This fundamental human right to give or refuse consent to medical treatment comes from the Christian faith. All people are made in the image of God and are accountable to him for their actions. To be accountable for actions to our own bodies, we must have freedom to decide whether to accept or reject possible treatment.
This is the origin of the common law offence of battery – intentional touching of another person that is harmful or offensive. A doctor must have a patient’s consent before doing anything with the patient’s body, such as giving an injection. A doctor who acts without consent runs the risk of being charged with battery.
Good medical practice in Australia requires doctors to obtain a patient’s informed consent before undertaking any examination or providing treatment (except in an emergency).
Consequently, any proposal to make vaccination mandatory conflicts with the person’s primary accountability to God. It denies a person’s freedom of conscience and is contrary to good medical practice. We pray that the Prime Minister keeps his word that there will be no compulsory vaccine.
National Director - FamilyVoice Australia
FamilyVoice Australia upholds Christian values and the family: permanence of marriage, sanctity of human life, primacy of parenthood and limited government.
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