On the 15th of November it was announced that more than 61 % of the Australians who voted in the Same-Sex-Marriage survey voted in favor of allowing same sex marriage. It is sad and a sign of the direction into which our society is heading. However, this should not come as a surprise for us. The Bible is clear on this: it is what sinful people want. It will get from bad to worse, if it is not God’s Word that determines the laws in our society.
It is remarkable and a good indication of what we can expected in the future, that most of the media reported this outcome with a certain glibness, as if it is the most normal thing in the world that Australia voted in favor. Something that was not done for centuries, even more than thousand years in Western societies, is being promoted now as the most normal thing in the world. And those who are against it usually don’t get a lot of empathy or understanding. An interesting article has been published about this by the Australian, for those who have an (electronic) subscription. A country that turns away from God, is being given over to a mindset as Paul describes in Romans 1.
Should we see this as another defeat for Christianity in Australia? No. As I showed in an earlier article, this ‘plebiscite’ (actually it was a survey), gave Christians the opportunity to speak up and speak out and let their voices be heard. We could speak in public about God’s Word and God’s will. That was a huge opportunity. And we can continue to speak up, because the battle about this issue has not been finalized yet. In Parliament a bill has to be discussed and adopted that allows for this change. In that bill, provisions may be made for ‘freedom of religion’, to protect those who have conscientious objections against same sex marriage.
The extent to which this freedom is allowed will indicate how far our country is on the way to legalise and normalize what is sinful. We must act now to address our governments, so that they will protect the churches, the schools and other organisations, from the attacks and vitriol of those who are pushing for this whole same-sex marriage thing. The WA government is seeking legal advice on removing religious schools’ abilities to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. It is important that we don’t wait until it is too late, but act now and contact our representatives in parliaments, both federally as at the state level. See this as another opportunity to let our voice be heard, or rather, to speak up as witnesses of Christ and His name can be mentioned in public again.
In this context, it is telling that even the UN’s Human Rights Committee, in its sixth periodic report on Australia, voiced concerns about the lack of direct protection against discrimination on the basis of religion at the federal level. Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states that “everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion”. It also states that parents should have the liberty “to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions”. Some Senators are trying hard to get this article incorporated in Australian law. Read more about this in another article in The Australian. They need our support, and other politicians should know that these senators have our support. Let your voice be heard now!
It is important to keep in mind that almost 40 % voted ‘NO’. Among those 40% were not only Christians. Also non-believers and ‘other-believers’ are among them. Paul writes in Romans 1 that same-sex relationships go against nature. There are still many who recognize that and don’t want it. We can be thankful that God in His grace has not given our country over to complete decay and corruption yet. We can and must make use of that. However, let that not obfuscate the message we have to bring to this world: life is only good if it is lived in obedience to God’s commandments and when it finds it purpose and redemption in Jesus Christ, the only Saviour.