Moderator's Comments - Posted 31 October 2017
(John and Paula Wilson are leading the reformation tour on behalf of our denomination, in John's absence past Moderator General, David Cook writes this month's column).
When abortion law reform was introduced through Australian State Parliaments in the 1970's, it was done so, 'under strict medical circumstances'.
Most of us believed this was a necessary reform and that probably there were valid grounds for 1 or 2000 abortions each year in Australia. That figure has now grown to 180000 to 200000 abortions each year!
I am now hearing the same argument for the proposed introduction of legislation allowing the termination of adult life, 'under strict medical circumstances'.
It is amazing, with the knowledge explosion all around us, that we humans tolerate and endorse a persistent ignorance in relation to ourselves. The secular mind is always overly optimistic in its assessment of the human condition and has no real explanation for our callous treatment of one another.
As I write we are being asked to vote 'yes' to major societal change and to entrust the consequences, regarding the maintenance of blood-won freedoms, to our political leaders, who have shown in the past very little commitment to principle rather than to expediency.
In his excellent chapter on Humanity, in the book 'Truth Matters', Neil Chambers writes: 'Why are we humans the way we are? Why is the world the way it is?...Any world view has to be able to give an explanation for human evil, our capacity to do wrong, to harm and hurt others...we have locks on our doors... we have courts and gaols. The Christian answer...is sin, namely the human determination to distrust and disobey our Creator'.
Because we have shaken our collective fist at God, asserting our rights to take what He offers but to reject Him, we ruin everything we touch. Even necessary reforms become twisted instruments of greedy self service.
We hate the reminder that our biggest problem is that one day each of us must stand before God and be judged by Him, ' Just as man is destined to die once and after that to face judgement', ( Hebrews9:27).
But just as God is clear in His revealing the nature of humankind, He is also clear in pointing to His solution, namely the coming of His model man, His son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Through the perfect life of Jesus ( the worst his enemies could say against him was that he ate with the wrong type of people), his death as our substitute and his guaranteeing, bodily resurrection, we now have the opportunity of forgiveness and a fresh start living in friendship with God.
The message of the Reformation of 1517 is that no matter how dark the days, this gospel message is still powerful and God is the ever effective evangelist, He will continue to use the gospel to bring men, women and children into His family.
You may think that the Apostle Paul was not the fearful, timid type. The Lord spoke to him directly in the red light city of Corinth and told him not to be afraid and not be silent, 'because I have many people in this city' (Acts 18:10).
That is a word to us. Put your trust in God. He will call His people out as we speak about His rescuing work through Christ. Do not be fearful!
The world says we Christians live in unreality; the converse is the truth. We have a realistic assessment of others and ourselves; we know where our confidence is to lie and we know that the God, so active in the past, has lost none of His great power and presence.
'The one enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. Then He rebukes them in His anger and terrifies them in His wrath (Psalm2:4-5)
past Moderator General, David Cook