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Australia Day is a great opportunity to give thanks to God for the country he has made for us, and for the many great things about this nation: the freedom, the prosperity, the natural beauty, and the relaxed attitude to life.
Yet, strangely, when some people reflect about something they have that is good, they sometimes become more protective and selfish.
Sadly, we’ve seen this in the ugliness of the race riots of Cronulla 2005, and we continue to see it with the ‘Aussie Pride’ slogans that attack the Australians who joined our nation through immigration, even though they themselves are often the descendants of the original migrants of 1788.
According to his good will, God has brought people from all nations to share this land he first gave to our indigenous brothers and sisters, and like all good things that come from God, we should be truly thankful for this rich gift.
I recently heard a missionary being asked what had changed most in society in the five years since he moved away from Australia.
His answer was that he noticed that the Australian media had become increasingly active in their intolerance of Christian belief.
When individuals speak out about issues of human sexuality, they are regularly censored and persecuted for their comments.
This week, when federal senator Cory Bernadi published pro-life comments against abortion, he was reportedly subjected to a flood of public and private hatred.
We should expect more and more of this as God’s word clashes with the world that stands in opposition.
But this is not something that should surprise us.
After all, Jesus said, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:11-12)