Daniel Andrews, the Roman Catholic Premier of Victoria, has not only defied the God of the Bible, turned a deaf ear to the wider Christian population, but has specifically rejected the teachings of his own Church.
There are a multitude of problems with the Victorian ‘Change or Suppression Practices Bill’ which was recently passed by the Victorian Upper House without amendment. What’s more, a group of cross-party politicians is also vowing to push for a similar proposal in the NSW Parliament. According to the LGBTIQ+ newspaper, The Star Observer:
The group is made up of NSW parliamentarians from across the party spectrum. Members include Liberal MLC Shayne Mallard, Labor MLC Penny Sharpe, Greens MP Jenny Leong and Independent MP Alex Greenwich.
With Penny Sharpe saying that she was “moved” by the debate in Victoria, especially the stories of survivors and acknowledged “there is work to do in NSW.”
Significantly, the former deputy Prime Minister of Australia, John Anderson, has said about the Victorian legislation:
A law before the Victorian parliament seeking to outlaw parental, therapeutic or religious discussions on issues of sexuality and gender is the biggest threat to our democratic freedoms in Australia’s entire legislative history.
In response, the Moderator General of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, Rev. Dr. Peter Barnes, has written to all Presbyterian ministers reminding them that they are obliged to “preach the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:26-27) and, as such should “speak the truth in love” that all sex outside of marriage—i.e. which the Church has ruled is exclusively between a man and a woman—is sinful. Following on from this, every Christian should never cease praying for all people to turn away from both their behaviour and desires. As Dr Barnes argues:
The Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Bill has now passed through both houses of the Victorian parliament. It forbids any attempt to change or suppress, or induce any person to change or suppress, his or her sexual orientation or gender identity. Prayer or counselling designed to change a person, even at that person’s request, is prohibited. In short, this means that sexual preference is protected by law, as is any person’s gender preference. Homosexual sex is not permitted to be called ‘sin’, and a male today can claim to be a female tomorrow.
Significantly, the Victorian legislation makes it illegal for a parent to pray for their own child, even if they had requested them to do so. Indeed, as many have started to observe, if the rash of legal cases involving the ill-conceived ‘Recovered Memories Syndrome’ in the 1990–2010 period was destructive, this legislation will take family suffering to a whole new level.
And as such, Dr. Barnes believes that according to the Old Testament book of Daniel—which records a classic response of a believer to the laws of an unjust ruler—when Darius forbade all forms of religious worship apart from State-sanctioned prayer, Daniel ignored the law, even though he was the highest ranking official in the State:
Daniel did ‘as he had done previously’.Daniel 6:10
There are a number of lawyers who have been discussing these issues. And what they have observed is that the real danger is not for church leaders, but parents (Christian and non-Christian) of children who have been indoctrinated with the gender fluidity teachings through Safe Schools, online social media groups. This is because the Act weaponises those issues so that it is not possible for a parent to do anything other than affirm whatever orientation or identity their child has been primed to believe he/she is. If they do not do so, that is a legal path to removing children from their parents and criminalising their behaviour.
What has now become clear is that with the redefinition of marriage, Australian society has crossed the proverbial ‘Rubicon’. It is about the exercise of raw state power. And as such, it’s only a matter of time before the debate in Victoria comes to public prominence in the rest of Australia. For as Martyn Iles of the Australian Christian Lobby has rightly argued, this is a bill that criminalises the truth.