It has been a challenging and blessed time for us down here in Hobart. The Gospel is going forth and it is a wonderful time to be a Christian in Australia. Due to the debate around marriage there has been many opportunities for outreach on the street and Christians often tell me that they have been able to speak of the Lord to many recently. As my pastor recently preached; “There has never been a better time to be a Christian”! Let me encourage you to use this time to share the great love of God for sinners through Jesus Christ. Let your love for them shine in the dark times that have come upon our nation, that many would give glory to God because of you.
There have been people asking how things are progressing with the legal case against us. In short, the answer is, slowly! The anti-discrimination case has been referred to the Supreme Court of Tasmania for a review of the case. This essentially is challenging the legality of the actions taken against us and asking a higher court to decide if the law is just and constitutional in its application and wording. The case is not likely to be heard until the beginning of November, I will give further updates on the case as time goes on.
Mr S. our accuser and regular heckler has been also engaging with the media over the last couple of weeks. Some of the more interesting comments that he has made include words to the effect: “I am not personally offended by what they (David and Campbell) have done” and “I have never wanted to see anyone fined or prevent them from expressing their views in Church. But honestly, there should be limits on what is said there too…”. When asked in an interview if he thought Christians should keep their views in church he says that Christian convictions (on marriage for example) if expressed publicly would lead to a breach of the peace!
Mr S. has revealed himself to be an enemy of freedom of speech and religion regardless of his claims that he is doing this to help others. I believe all people of faith need to sit up and pay attention to his words. Mr S. clearly wants to prevent people expressing their religious convictions publicly, this is a major problem and very real threat to freedom of speech and religion. Furthermore, Mr S. believes that when he disagrees with the content he should be able to place limits on what is said in Churches (and by extension Mosques, Synagogues and Temples). This desire to gag free speech and religion is founded in Mr S.’s radical opposition to Christian doctrine and not in personal offence.
We are called to rejoice when we are targeted for persecution like this! It is a wonderful thing indeed to have Christ so live in us that others would see Him there and be compelled to respond! Oh, that His name would be glorified in our life and death! That He, our great reward and treasure in heaven would be seen to be worth more than our all our earthly comforts!
"Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” [Mat 5:10-12 ESV]
Please pray for Mr S. and the many like him in our city, appeal to God on their behalf and plead for mercy and salvation for them.
"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” [Mat 5: 43-45 ESV]