Presbyterian Church of Australia Set to Defy Gay Conversion Bill

8 February 2021

1.9 MINS

In response to Daniel Andrews’ Change or Suppression Practices Bill, the Presbyterian Church of Australia stands poised to defy the recent legislation. As has previously been reported, there are a plethora of problems with the bill — which has significant legal repercussions also for people outside of the state — and it was recently passed by the Victorian Upper House without amendment, with a cross-party group of politicians also vowing to push a similar proposal in the New South Wales Parliament. According to the Star Observer:

The group is made up of NSW parliamentarians from across the party spectrum. Members include Liberal MLC Shayne Mallard, Labor MLC Penny Sharpe, Greens MP Jenny Leong and Independent MP Alex Greenwich.

With Penny Sharpe saying that she was “moved” by the debate in Victoria, especially the stories of survivors, and acknowledged “there is work to do in NSW.”

Significantly, the former deputy Prime Minister of Australia, John Anderson, has said about the Victorian legislation:

A law before the Victorian parliament seeking to outlaw parental, therapeutic or religious discussions on issues of sexuality and gender is the biggest threat to our democratic freedoms in Australia’s entire legislative history.

In response, the Moderator General of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, Rev. Dr. Peter Barnes, has requested that all Presbyterian ministers “preach the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:26-27) and preach not only that all sex outside of marriage — between a man and a woman — is sinful, but that all Christians should actively seek to pray for LGBTIQ people to turn away from both their behaviour and desires. As Dr Barnes argues:

The Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Bill has now passed through both houses of the Victorian parliament. It forbids any attempt to change or suppress, or induce any person to change or suppress, his or her sexual orientation or gender identity. Prayer or counselling designed to change a person, even at that person’s request, is prohibited. In short, this means that sexual preference is protected by law, as is any person’s gender preference. Homosexual sex is not permitted to be called ‘sin’, and a male today can claim to be a female tomorrow.

Significantly, the Victorian legislation makes it illegal for a parent to pray for their own child, even if they had requested them to do so. As such, Dr. Barnes believes that it is right for Christians to defy the governing authority such as,

“When King Darius exceeded his God-given authority, Daniel did ‘as he had done previously’.”
~ Daniel 6:10

What has now become clear is that with the redefinition of marriage, Australian society has crossed the proverbial Rubicon. For this was never about marriage, but power. And as such, it’s only a matter of time before the debate in Victoria comes to public prominence in New South Wales. The only question is, will the Christian leaders in positions within both the church and state have the moral backbone to stand against the tide?


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  1. Joe Rodrigues 8 February 2021 at 10:48 pm - Reply

    Fight the good fight Mark

  2. Ryan Henty 9 February 2021 at 2:20 am - Reply

    The Lutheran Church of Australia will most certainly NOT stand on the True Word of God on this issue any more than it has stood firm (NOT) on a range of issues, allow all sorts of sin to permeate it’s authority. At least the Catholic Church is attempting to face it’s corruption!

  3. Scott Lucas 9 February 2021 at 7:28 am - Reply

    “What has now become clear is that with the redefinition of marriage, Australian society has crossed the proverbial Rubicon. For this was never about marriage, but power.” This is so true. There was the claim that there was no slippery slope, and yet here we are halfway down the slide and continuing.

  4. Russell Gray 9 February 2021 at 9:18 am - Reply

    I support this approach by the Presbyterian Church 100%!
    This should lead to a challenge to the High Court of Australia!
    Let’s pray the this leadership will encourage other faiths to push back against legislation that threatens 95% of Victorians to lock in 5% of Victorians against seeking voluntarily help about their lifestyles including parents, medical and church resources to draconian financial and jail terms!!!
    Let’s be prepared to support the Presbyterians financially!!!

  5. Les Smith 9 February 2021 at 9:39 am - Reply

    Good on the Presbyterian church. You are a shining light among the Protestant churches in Australia. It is pleasing to see the use of biblical truth being used to support your position.

  6. Jessie 9 February 2021 at 5:16 pm - Reply

    I like the last sentence

  7. margaret angenent 9 February 2021 at 10:00 pm - Reply

    I agree with the Rev Dr. Peter Barnes and also with Martyn Iles. that there is a time when it is right to defy the governing authority. Daniel 6: 10;Acts 5:29…’we must obey

    We must obey God rather than men’.. Acts 5;29. Daniel 6:10. ‘Significantly the Victorian legislation makes it illegal for a parent to pray for their own child, even if the child requests it , and I agree with the Rev Peter Barnes that it is right for Christians the governing authority, such as is found in Daniel 6:10, Acts5:29 etc.etc

  8. Ronald Rodrigo 9 February 2021 at 10:44 pm - Reply

    I am glad that you are standing for biblical truth. God’s law is higher than the law of any government or country. God’s law must be obeyed under all circumstances. We need people, ministers with guts to stand up for the truth without allowing politicians to tell us how to live a good moral life. Our politicians state and federal have no Godly values. Shame on you, remember we voted you to represent us, not to fall for a minority that have an agenda birth by the devil himself. This bill does not and should not concern the true believers, we will carry on our mission given to us from the Lord Jesus and preach, teach, and pray accordingly. We are called to obey God and not man.

  9. Melinda Rau-Wig 11 February 2021 at 5:12 am - Reply

    Praise God for this AMAZING Stand for Christ.
    We are UNDER God’s Authority first and foremost – then man’s….
    Now Church Leaders – It is YOUR TURN to SHINE for God!

  10. Paul Barbieri 13 February 2021 at 10:39 pm - Reply

    No government or anyone fir that matter can wage war and win against our saviour king Jesus my prayer is that this leadership shown will be tha model for all denominations may all that are called by HIS name humble themselves and pray turn from there wicked ways and the Lord will be attentive to the prayers offered up in this manner
    The prayer of a righteous man are powerful and effective

  11. Treasa van Ommen Kloeke 1 March 2021 at 7:09 pm - Reply

    As a lifelong practicing, traditional Catholic, I support and admire the Presbyterian Church and it’s leadership. I hope the Archbishops and all the Catholic clergy of Australia stand for the full teaching of Almighty God. That will naturally include repeatedly affirming God’s Creation of man and woman, the sanctity of marriage, the authority of the Christian parent and the expected respect due to them from elected officials. Politicians do not have the authority to change the word of God or His Creation.

  12. Jan Fisk 3 March 2021 at 9:28 pm - Reply

    God bless the Presbyterian Church. I pray that we are all prepared to stand for truth and righteousness.

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