by Ps Barbara Miller, Centre for International Reconciliation and Peace, Cairns.
The press has been heralding the result of the recent federal elections in Australia as a “miracle” and “Lazarus 11,”and Prime Minister Scott Morrison as the “Messiah from the Shire.” It was certainly a victory of biblical proportions and, as the Prime Minister himself said, a miracle. It was also a victory of Christians in Australia on their knees and a Prime Minister on his knees praying.
As well as many nameless, faceless Christians and churches who prayed, the Australian Prayer Network, the National Day of Prayer and Fasting, the Canberra Declaration, Victory Life Centre, the Isaiah 967 group and the shadow spiritual government Norman and I lead, all played a part. Australian Christian Lobby, Christian schools’ associations and others took positive action. But in the end, the glory is the Lord’s, not ours.
As I was reflecting on the federal elections, I felt it was a momentous event in the heavenlies over our nation. In Roman times, victorious generals used to parade the vanquished captives and spoils of war in a kind of victory parade or triumphant procession. Jesus did this when He died on the cross and was resurrected:
“And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”
2 Cor 2:14 also talks of Jesus’ victory parade.
I was also reminded of the victorious second coming of Jesus. Now the Australian federal elections can’t compare to these two events of course. But I was sensing an important victory in the heavenlies.
What I think we have though, is a move towards righteousness in our nation. Proverbs 14:34 says “righteousness exalts a nation but sin condemns many people.” Mat 25:31-46 talks about Jesus judging the nations into two groups — those who will inherit the kingdom and those who won’t i.e. sheep and goat nations. They are judged by how they treat other people and how they treat Jesus’ natural family, the Jewish people.
In the time of Esther in the Bible, when the power shifted from Haman to Mordechai, many people converted to Judaism. I sense we are going to see a revival in Australia because there has been a shift in the public moving towards more godly values.
I also sensed that we have avoided a catastrophe. This might be strange but that is the word I was hearing in the Spirit — “catastrophe.” Now we know that the ALP and their supporters are shocked and devastated they didn’t get in, and I won’t repeat the swear words used on social media to describe the result. One journalist wrote about moving to New Zealand and the electorate, particularly Queenslanders, have been called dumb, similar to Hilary Clinton’s deplorables.
I have six points of where I think we are seeing a fundamental change in Australian society and where we have avoided catastrophe. They are in no particular order:
1. RELIGIOUS FREEDOM AND SPEECH
Christians lost the same-sex marriage postal vote because of division, and because of a very active campaign from the LBGTIQ lobby. It is interesting that The Australian recently carried a story headlined “Religious Seats Punish the ALP.” Eight out of ten seats that were previously ALP strongholds in Western Sydney, and where a majority of voters did not support same-sex marriage, returned Coalition MPs. There is a high proportion of migrants in these seats, and they felt the ALP had ignored their concerns.
The ALP campaigned on removing the protections for religious schools (of all faiths) that they themselves had legislated, from the Sex Discrimination Act out of concern for gay students and teachers. There have been no cases of discrimination by these schools. The problem with this is that schools could face discrimination charges for preferring to hire teachers whose values align with the values of the schools. However, there is concern that ALP’s policy would make it an offense for churches and other faith-based institutions to teach a traditional view of marriage or teach according to their faith.
Workplace discrimination against Christians became an issue with Israel Folau having his contract torn up by Rugby Australia because he quoted a Bible verse mentioning homosexuals in a list of people who would go to hell if they didn’t repent. This was on his own time, not in the workplace. Corporate activism by sponsor Qantas CEO put pressure on Rugby Australia, which is hypocritical when Qantas partners with the airlines of nations with anti-homosexual policies. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten tried to trap Scott Morrison regarding his position on Israel Folau. How many more workplace contracts now will try to silence Christians in their own homes?
The ALP planned 3 important initiatives that would turn Australia away from being a sheep nation:
A. To reverse Scott Morrison’s decision to recognize West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel even though it is sovereign Israeli territory.
B. To unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state without conditions even though there is no peace plan and there are no agreed-on borders.
C. To increase by $20 million Australia’s funding to the United Nations Works and Relief Agency (UNWRA) to support Palestine even though a large part of that budget goes to the families of suicide bombers who have killed Israelis rather than to improve the life of its people.
Abortion was not a big election issue. However, it did affect the Christian vote. As abortions are mostly performed in private hospitals and cost, the ALP planned to force state government hospitals to perform free or low-cost surgical abortions by using funding as a stick. Some doctors complained about being forced to do this. The ALP planned to make medical abortions easier also. The ALP backed down and exempted Catholic hospitals, assuring them that their funding would not require them to do abortions as the Catholics maintained abortion was killing a baby. Many other Christians would agree.
The ALP is pushing a radical gender ideology with unforeseen consequences. In an effort to reduce discrimination of the LBGTIQ community, which is a worthy goal, their plans would impose massive punitive social change on the rest of the population i.e. the majority. Plans to take gender off government documents e.g. birth certificates, drivers licences etc. are just the beginning. Calling people Mum, Dad, brother, sister, wife, husband, he, she etc. could not only become problematic but illegal. The Tasmanian ALP government is likely to pass legislation that includes the offense of “misgendering” even when you mistakenly misidentify someone’s gender.
The federal coalition stopped funding the Safe Schools program in Victoria but the state ALP government is funding it. There have been concerns it is causing gender confusion and indoctrinating children at a young age that they can choose their gender and it doesn’t need to match their biological gender.
If the ALP had got in federally, they planned to fully fund sex change operations and hormones to help change someone’s gender.
As well as the cultural Marxism that has been identified, the ALP planned to turn Australia into a socialist state by redistributing wealth from the “big end of town” to its coffers, to fund its programs like higher wages for child care workers and dental care for pensioners and other schemes. Of course, we don’t want to see a big gap between rich and poor, and we need a fair tax system to bring some equity. However, the ALP was creating division by talking of inter-generational theft and trying to turn children against their parents and grandparents by attacking franking credits and negative gearing etc. In generating the politics of envy, they were forgetting that we need to keep businesses running to provide jobs.
Australia is one of the best social welfare states in the world. It is not perfect but there are protections for the unemployed with unemployment benefits and pensions for the sick and aged etc. There are also free public hospitals and free state schools. I feel sorry for those in the USA who are out of work or need hospital treatment, as they do not have the support we have in Australia.
6. CLIMATE CHANGE
And finally, climate change. This was a big election issue for the Greens, the Independents (probably funded by Get-Up) and for the ALP. Since left-wing teachers and university lecturers have been feeding this to our children for so long, how could it not sweep the ALP-Greens to victory?
Bob Brown and the Greens overplayed their hand when they took a cavalcade from Tasmania to Central Queensland to tell mine workers and their families that that the Adani mine should not go ahead. The arrogance and elitism they displayed and their lack of concern for workers being able to have jobs to feed their families made their efforts backfire.
Of course, we want to protect our God-created environment. We need to meet the challenges of pollution and global warming. However, Bill Shorten was not able to cost their climate change policy and expected people to trust him no matter what the cost to the economy and people’s lives.
Apparently, the media have been told to start talking about “climate emergency” rather than climate change to ramp up the rhetoric. However, I think the biggest emergency we have is having Australians come to a saving knowledge of Jesus rather than be progressively subjected to the forces of secularism and political correctness.
Interestingly, even though Get-Up targeted the seats of a number of coalition MPs, they were only able to remove former Prime Minister Tony Abbott. To do that, they spent about $13 million and had about 10,000 volunteers campaigning against him, throwing most resources into that seat. One commentator called him a “sacrificial lamb.” Tony Abbott’s Christian and conservative values are well-known. It is to be hoped he will continue to make a valuable contribution to public life.
7. DECENT DAD FACTOR
We cannot underestimate the contribution of Scott Morrison himself who honoured God and was not ashamed of God, so God honoured him and was not ashamed of him. No doubt he was strategically led by the Lord and the media noted he didn’t make a wrong move. Bill Shorten tried to use Scott Morrison’s faith as a weapon against him but it backfired.
The media talked of him as “the daggy Dad next door” but his constituents in Cook described him as decent, genuine and authentic and the PM was often out in the community and approachable. When it comes down to it, the Australian voting public want someone with integrity and authenticity, someone decent and even a Prime Minister with good Christian character and values. They don’t want a Prime Minister they can’t trust and who is “shifty.” Also, I think they warmed to a family man who loves his wife Jenny and children and who is loved in return by them. The warm-hearted Jenny was by his side for most of the campaign.
And no, I don’t think we’ll have a Quexit where the southern states will boot Queensland out of Australia, even though some commentators would like to. But we have avoided catastrophe in Australia. The sensible centre has spoken. Common sense has prevailed. The prayers of Christians were heard (2 Chron 7:14) and most of all, God intervened.