Moderator's Comments - Posted 28 January 2016

The citation said that General Morrison was selected for his commitment to “gender equality, diversity and inclusion”.

During the preamble to the presentation of his award, it was noted that Mr Morrison is now chair of the Diversity Council of Australia.

During the speeches, the word “diversity” was repeated again and again, and so I googled some of Australia’s largest companies including the banks, and found they each have Diversity Officers.  The role of a Diversity Officer is to ensure that difference is respected and that no one is hindered from progress in the organisation because of their gender, race, religion or sexual preference.   That all sounds beneficial but then I wondered, if I worked in the bank and began to faithfully, sensitively evangelise my workmates, would I be reported to the Diversity Officer and called in for reorientation?   Would I be able to express moral convictions or would that call for some re-education by the Diversity Office? And, what if the re-education doesn’t work, does that mean that I don’t work?

On 20-21 February I spent a weekend at the Koinonia Campsite in Evans Head, 50kms south of Ballina on the far north coast of NSW.

It was the annual houseparty of Tenterfield Anglican Church, 50 Adults and 30 children had made the 2.5 hour, winding 200km journey to spend a weekend together.

When I told my friends in the coffee shop about this, they were amazed that people would travel such a distance for a weekend on the beach.

What could be the attraction, surf, fishing, a festival perhaps?

We sang songs of Christian praise, we prayed together, we heard the Bible preached, we enjoyed Bible discussion groups, we ate, we played games and we slept, before the 200km journey back home.

The world thinks we are crazy to waste a perfectly good weekend with such activities, so why do we do it, what do we know which causes us to get excited about such a weekend?

Moderator's Comments - Posted 29 October 2016

Light trumps darkness

Reformation trumps Halloween. In fact it’s no contest.

For reasons unclear to me we’re being enticed by a dark festival of American origins that brings stocks of evil and bizarre to shelves where weeks before fresh food or other cheery merchandise sat. In supermarkets and $2 shops throughout Australia, the dark, the gruesome, the macabre and the scary hold sway.

Why witches hats, ghoulish masks and spider webs? As if swinging with the breeze, parents bend to accommodate this strange festival, children are attracted to it and society is the worse for it.

By strange coincidence, the same weekend as Halloween, the Presbyterian Church of Australia celebrates light.

Moderator's Comments - Posted 1 November 2018

In the postscript to C S Lewis’ classic (Screwtape Letters), the senior devil proposes a toast at the annual dinner of the Tempters’ Training College for young devils. With tongue-in-cheek satire, Lewis makes some amazing predictions about where he sees western democratic governments headed. Let me pick up and evaluate for today two superb sayings from Lewis’ writing in the 1950s.

  1. Through the mouthpiece of Screwtape: the senior devil persuades how a devil can work on his man: “you thus induce him to enthrone at the centre of his life a good, solid, resounding lie.”

On the matter of gender, right now I think we’re being sold a lie. Why is there confusion? The Bible is clear enough: gender is binary.