CategorySexual Ethics

Same-sex marriage and religious freedom.

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In an article published on the Moore College website Tony Payne argues that this election is different from any other in that the legalisation of same-sex marriage will threaten the freedom of Christians to proclaim the gospel. He does so with some humility, recognising that he may well be overstating the threat. I think he most surely is. As I understand it, there are two sets of laws under...

Why Same Sex Marriage is Not the Issue

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As we approach the federal election many Christians are declaring same-sex marriage is one of the key issues. Claims have been made that children will miss out on the right to have a father and a mother, which will harm their emotional and social development; that the institution of marriage will be irreparably damaged as it is reduced from a bond providing for the bearing and raising of children...

Why I hope they’ll teach the safe schools curriculum in my son’s school

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The safe schools program has become the centre of a storm of controversy, so yesterday I decided to check it out for myself. I spent some time reading through the curriculum guide designed for students in years seven and eight. “All of us” consists of 8 lesson plans, with each lesson revolving around a video clip in which a young person tells of their experience of alternate sexuality, an...

Transgenderism, Same-Sex Marriage & Gender Roles. The Unspoken Tie That Binds Evangelical Hang Ups on Sexuality

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One of the areas in which Conservative forms of Christianity seek to distinguish themselves from the wider culture is their understanding of sexuality. As I have been contemplating this in recent months I have been helped by an observation in James Brownson’s book Bible, Gender, Sexuality: Reframing The Churches Debate On Sexuality, that the notion of gender complementarity lies at the heart of...

Shifting paradigms on sexuality. Why we don’t hear or understand each other

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One of the things I’m noticing about the same-sex debate within the church is that there is a stark difference between my parents generation and that of my children. It’s not uncommon for people in my parents and my grandparents generations to struggle with the idea that same-sex partnerships are a legitimate expression of sexuality; yet to many of my children’s generation...

Would same-sex marriage create another stolen generation? Lyle Shelton, the ACL and the Same-Sex Marriage Debate

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The Australian Christian Lobby, as expected, is campaigning hard against the legalisation of same-sex marriage. On Q & A this week, Lyle Shelton, ACL Managing Director, argued that recognising same-sex marriage would result in another stolen generation. It’s strong language, so what should we make of it? First, I think it gives us pause to reflect. The advent of surrogacy represents a...

Baking cakes for same-sex weddings. Do I have a right to be a bigot?

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What is it about cakes? John Hewson’s election campaign foundered when he couldn’t identify in simple terms how much GST would be payable on a cake. And now the debate around freedom of conscience in the event same-sex marriage is legalised is centering around the proverbial cake maker. Many fear that should same-sex marriage be legalised their freedom to practise and proclaim a...

What does the Bible teach about homosexuality? Five critical questions

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In the past couple of months I have found myself involved in many discussions around a biblical approach to same-sex relationships. Not only is our Parliament to debate same-sex marriage, but some prominent Christian leaders, including Steve Chalke, Tony Campolo, and ethicist David Gushee have called for the church to change its mind on homosexuality. At the moment those calling for a change are...

Same sex marriage and the failure of evangelical ethics

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I was out for dinner this week when someone wondered whether in 20 years time gay couples will be welcomed and affirmed in our churches and whether we will be as embarrassed by our present opposition to gay relationships as we are that Christians once argued in support of slavery, racial segregation, and female subordination? If history is anything to go by, rightly or wrongly, I think the answer...

A 17th Century Baptist Speaks To Us About Marriage Equality

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Opposition leader Bill Shorten has announced he will introduce a private members bill legislating for marriage equality.  As we consider this I think we have something to learn from the 17th century Baptist leader Thomas Helwys, who issued the first call for religious freedom written in the English language. “For we do freely profess that our lord the king has no more power over their consciences...

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