Anglican Diocese of Armidale

The Anglican Diocese of Armidale exists to glorify God by introducing people to Jesus and helping them home to heaven.

 

In Focus

Synod 2015 - President’s Address

Friday, September 18, 2015
Bishop Rick Lewers’ address to Synod can be downloaded in full.

An extract follows:

Two Australian Anglican church leaders, greatly respected, spoke at a conference I attended in July.  One declared that from the long dusk of Christianity in Australia, the sun has finally set and we have now entered into an age of darkness.  The other spoke of when, not if, people will enter Christian meetings in Australia and threaten death to those who will not become apostate and leave.

Should the Lord not return immediately, one Christian leader believes that he will suffer increasing persecution, his successor will be imprisoned, and the subsequent successor martyred before people will again look to Christ to rebuild the ruins of times without Him. 

It is impossible for us to see the church as it was two decades ago.  The ground has moved.  The new atheists, while not significant in themselves have put steel in those who find the church and its message objectionable.   

Of concern is the censorship applied to recent debate on same–sex ‘marriage’ by some radio and TV broadcasters who refused to air an innocuous advertisement from the Australian Marriage Alliance.  Let me play that advert for you now…  

The advert is a simple and inoffensive attempt to encourage a breadth of thinking on the issue. While not wanting the definition of marriage to change, nor for permission to be given for same-sex ‘marriage’, a plebiscite would seem the best way forward on this issue, allowing equal funding and time for both sides of the debate to outline their positions.

While on holidays, I was introduced to the TV series The Newsroom where the lead lady, seeking to inspire the newsreader, says, ‘There is nothing more important in a democracy than a well informed electorate.  Where there is no information - and much worse, wrong information - it can lead to calamitous decisions and clobber any attempt at vigorous debate.’  

Infested by the cult of celebrity, it would serve the media well to reflect on this quote and to realise its failing nobility and loss of public confidence.  While the media may pretend at being the watchman at the gate defending its city, its censorship of debate makes it an evil that must be held to account.  We must pray for the media and give thanks for those unafraid of debate and willing to shed celebrity status for truth and the good of all people.

While debate is parlous, and intelligent and informed comment is met by ridicule and slander, the battle for the hearts and minds of this nation has perhaps never been more urgent.  It is a battle that can only be won by the prayerful proclamation of the Gospel, where Christians continue courageously to offer a clear apology for what we believe,  arguing, convincing, debating and pleading with people the cause of Christ.