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The Anglican Church of Australia is a diverse organisation, showcasing a variety of different expressions of ‘doing church’.
Yet, amongst this diversity there has long been the expectation that there is a unity of belief, based on the historical documents of the Book of Common Prayer, the 39 Articles of Religion, and the constitution and canons of the Anglican Church of Australia.
This weekend, Sarah Macneil (no relation) is consecrated as bishop of Grafton.
Whilst it is a concern that this position is held by a woman, the greatest problem is that Dr Macneil has stated that she is supportive of ordaining homosexual ministers, as well as preaching that the central teaching of penal substitutionary atonement, (namely that Jesus took the Father’s punishment for us), is “mechanistic and grim.”
These views are seriously out of line with the official position of our national church, and threaten to bring further serious division within our denomination.
Please pray that Dr Macneil changes her views to conform with God’s word and that the senior leadership within the Anglican church will have great wisdom in dealing with this division.
Pray also that the name of Jesus is not brought into disrepute over this conflict, and that people will come to know and grow in Jesus despite these errors in teaching.
For more details about this issue, please read the statement by the Anglican Church League.
With the reports of the poor conditions at the Manus Island Detention Centre, and this week’s resulting violence, our nation should be deeply concerned with the way that many legitimate refugees are being treated.
As a nation that “abounds in nature’s gifts” and prides ourselves as having “boundless plains to share” with “those who’ve come across the seas”, we should be moved to open our gates to welcome more people who are fleeing violent regimes.
People smuggling is an abhorrent crime, and we are right to do all we can to stop this crime.
But the problem, as Waleed Aly noted in the Fairfax newspapers on Friday, is that our nation has chosen to tolerate having the embarrassment of offshore processing because “it is the very logic of our asylum seeker policy – which is built on the sole rationality of deterrence – to create horror.”
Maybe Malcolm Fraser is right to suggest that the problem could be solved by increasing the number of humanitarian places we take directly from Indonesia.
Let us pray that our politicians act out of love and not selfishness, and that our immigration policies are humane and not cruel.