Persecution comes quickly

What is it you believe in and what stance will you take on it tomorrow?

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Philippians he was incarcerated because of his defense of the gospel.

Amidst the culture wars going off all around us, as a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ we must decide today what stance we are willing to defend tomorrow.

When opposition comes, we will need to know what we believe and why we believe it.

I say when opposition comes but reality check it’s been here for decades, but until now its been subtle and happening to fellow Christians overseas.

Most are familiar with the cake makers who hit the headlines when they refused to make a cake for a gay wedding.

We are all familiar with how the Australian rugby international Israel Folau was cancelled after his anti-gay social media post.

But here’s another example from Australia of how Satan’s world is working to cancel Christian belief.

For the first time, someone has lost their job not because of something they said or did, but because of the church they belong to.

The Melbourne based AFL Essendon Club which boasts an 80, 000 membership appointed a local businessman, Andrew Thorburn, as its chief executive.

Andrew lasted just one day in his new job, the story is best summed up by the Herald Sun headline, “Essendon’s chief executive Andrew Thorburn has stepped down after shock link to church was revealed.”

Notice the language. This was a ‘shock link’ – not to a strip club, not to a gambling syndicate, not to a drugs scandal – they would barely have raised an eyebrow. This was a shock link to a church.

The new CEO was forced out not because of anything he said or did, but simply because he is linked to a mainstream Christian church which teaches the Bible – he is the chairman of their board.

In theory it is illegal to discriminate against someone because of their religious beliefs.

 But as the Essendon club president admitted, “In the interview processes you’re not allowed to ask about people’s religious beliefs. It’s against the law. But what we did, as soon as we saw them, we acted.”

In other words, once they did check Thorburn’s religious beliefs (or the beliefs of the church he belongs to), they then decided to discriminate and determine that he was not a suitable candidate.

The Essendon board declared that this was nothing to do with religious beliefs and that Essendon was a club where everyone was welcomed and respected.

 Yeah, right moment right there.

 Only those with pre-approved beliefs will be welcomed.

Those who blaspheme against ‘progressive’ doctrines will be suitably excommunicated.

Welcome to the fundamentalist church of the woke!

Reading the media and listening to the Victorian Premier, Dan Andrews, one would think that City on a Hill was a Westboro Baptist-type extremist cult.

 They are a mainstream evangelical Anglican church.

The press trawled and this is what they found from a 2013 sermon:

“We believe that we must be a voice for the voiceless, stand for the rights of the unborn baby and be pro-life…Human life begins at conception. All women and men have intrinsic value and worth as images of God. Abortion denies the voice of the most vulnerable.”

“Sex is designed for marriage, and marriage for fulfilling God’s mandate for humans to ‘be fruitful and multiply’…. Lust is a sin, sex outside of marriage is a sin, practicing homosexuality is a sin, but same-sex attraction is not a sin.”

Like the Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church, the evangelical Church, the Muslims and many others, City on a Hill holds that abortion is wrong and that sex outside marriage, including homosexuality, is wrong.

As if the club’s intolerance wasn’t enough to deal with, political endorsement came in the form of

The Victorian state premier Dan Andrews joined in commenting “Those views are absolutely appalling. I don’t support those views; that kind of intolerance, that kind of hatred, bigotry is just wrong.”

The problem is that the Victorian Premier boasts about being a Catholic himself and sends his children to a Catholic school. If he believes that belonging to a Church which disapproves of abortion and homosexuality disqualifies you from public office (or even being a CEO of a private company), then why does he not immediately resign?

After all he is a member of a Church which disapproves of abortion and homosexuality.

When Dan Andrews stated that “that kind of intolerance, hatred and bigotry is wrong”, he spoke better than he knew.

He wants to ban the wrong kind of intolerance, hatred, and bigotry.

His kind is perfectly acceptable.

The question then becomes: if Christians cannot be CEOs, can they stand for parliament, work for the Government, or in hospitals, schools, and the police?

The significance of this event is that it marks the day when Australia moved away from being a pluralistic tolerant society, to one where those who deviate from the new progressive religion are not allowed to participate fully in civic society.

Remember Essendon was a club which preached diversity and inclusion.

Andrew Thorburn would have been unaware, the club preached it but didn’t practice it.

So it would be fair to state his Christian beliefs being challenged in this manner  came as a surprise to him
I mentioned at the outset we, as Christians need to decide today what it is we are prepared to give up if called upon to make a stand for the Gospel.

Andrew Thorburn was prepared when asked to choose between his job and his church, he gave up a salary which was thought to be $850,000 (AUD)

His response was gracious, thoughtful, compassionate, and intelligent:

“It became clear to me that my personal Christian faith is not tolerated or permitted in the public square, at least by some and perhaps by many.

I was required to compromise beyond a level that my conscience allowed.

People should be able to hold different views on complex personal and moral matters, and be able to live and work together, even with those differences, and always with respect.

So, I ask again as a Christian, what is it you believe and what stance will you take on it tomorrow.

When opposition comes, and you know it will, we will need to know what we believe and why we believe it.

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