We Don’t Stop Praying for our State and its Flourishing
At the recent (August 16) Tasmanian Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast, the Chairman, Stephen Baxter gave a wonderful introductory speech. Here is an abridged version:
“Over the years, these changes have left some Christians dislocated, lost and struggling to come to grips with life in secular, pluralist Australia. Some are still learning they can’t pretend Australia is a “Christian country” or the clock can be turned back, or that Christian values should be the preferred option of all Australians.
“We struggle when our beliefs and values are caricatured and mocked; we are dismayed when they are overlooked in public policy discussions, and we are confused when we are branded bigots for just trying to explain our faith. We feel it when journalists and progressive activists portray us as “the new barbarians and enemies of progress.”
“Nevertheless, we don’t stop praying for our State and its flourishing. While we acknowledge others have fundamentally different visions of what flourishing means, our prayers are nevertheless filled with concern – not for what WE have lost, but for what our community is losing.
“Many make this point and Paul Kelly, in The Weekend Australian of July 8-9, described it this way. “The reality is staring us in the face. Yet it cannot be spoken, cannot be entertained, cannot be discussed because there is no greater heresy and no more offensive notion than that the loss of Christian faith might have a downside.”
“While some are pleased believing society has ‘grown up’ and we are finally free of the shackles of religion, others are not so convinced, particularly in the light of many atheistic tyrannies of the 20th century.
“The foundations of Western society are built on the teachings of Jesus. They are clear and easy to understand espousing life, joy, forgiveness, freedom, tolerance and justice. These are good for all and we are a poorer society when we reject their source.
“This alone is a compelling reason for us to pray. Not to force a Christian way of life upon our community, but to ask for wisdom for our leaders… that they consider well this “downside”, that they don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater and that they seriously consider what their decisions will mean for our children and our grandchildren. We pray our leaders may be granted wisdom, patience, empathy and grace.”
Click here for the full speech.
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