To the congregations of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, February 2021
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.
What is the Church to do? Two things come immediately to mind:
The apostle considered himself innocent of the blood of all because he proclaimed the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:26-27). We are obliged before God to preach all that He has revealed to us, whether law or gospel, and to do so in a spirit of love and truth.
There is nothing unique in such legislation. When King Darius exceeded his God-given authority, Daniel did ‘as he had done previously’ (Dan.6:10).
It is our task to keep on keeping on, to proclaim and to live out so far as we can the gospel of Christ which has been entrusted to us.
May God give us all wisdom and strength in Christ,
Rev. Dr Peter Barnes, Moderator-General of the Presbyterian Church of Australia
Rev. Dr Peter Barnes,
Moderator-General of the Presbyterian Church of Australia