A committee of the Queensland Presbyterian Church to help answer questions that are very important, but perhaps a bit more difficult- answers to help you live.

 

biblical answers

 

A resource of submissions, recommendations and decisions of the Public Questions and Communications Committee to the Queensland Assembly.

 

 

Thursday
Dec172009

1996

At Brisbane within  the Ann Street Church on 21 May 1996 on which the General Assembly being duly constituted.
INTER ALIA:

MINUTE 55

The deliverance as a whole was approved as follows:
That the Assembly:
1. Commend the Sex Education Video “Why Waiting is Worth the Wait” to the Church.
2. Commend the article “Is Toronto Biblical?” by Rev Peter Bloomfield to Presbyteries and Sessions for their consideration.  (Appendix B of the Report of the Public Questions and Communications Committee).
3. Thank Mrs Marise Taylor for acting as an Observer on the Queensland State Executive of Australian Family Association on behalf of the Presbyterian Church of Queensland.
4. Concur with the Media Release on Euthanasia and Sexual Practices and Relationships issued by the Clerk of Assembly with the concurrence of the Moderator and Convenor of the Public Questions and Communications Committee in response to the Statement made by the Governor General Hon W.G. Hayden, at the Medical Conferrence held at the Gold Coast on 21st June 1995.  (Appendix D of the Report of the Public Questions and Communications Committee).
5. Commend the book “A Gambling-Led Recovery?  Don’t Bet on It!” from The Presbyterian Church of Victoria, to Sessions and congregations for study and educational purposes.
6. Commend the book “A Life Worth Living – The Euthanasia Debate” from the The Presbyterian Church of Victoria, to Sessions and congregations for study and educational purposes.
7. (a) Appoint Mr G.S. Rutherford and Mr D.L. McCullough to the Consultative Council of DRUG-ARM.
(b) Thank Mr Gordon Dunkley for his past service to the cause of Christ on behalf of the Presbyterian Church of Queensland as a Director appointed to the Board of Christian Television Association of Queensland.
(c) Appoint Mr Andrew Newman and Rev Les Percy as Directors to the Board of CTA Queensland Ltd.
(d) Note that at the special General Meeting of CTA Queensland held on 11th December 1995, members resolved to reduce the numbers of Directors appointed by The Presbyterian Church of Queensland from three to two and to reduce the annual subscription of the Presbyterian Church of Queensland from $12,000, with a phased-in period of one year resulting in an allocated subscription to CTA Queensland by The Presbyterian Church of Queensland in 1996 of $9,705.28.
(e) Note that the difference between the 1996 budget and the amount to be paid to CTA Queensland. Will be found from Assembly expenses.
(f) Commend the CTA Queensland. For its improved financial position and for maintaining ahigh standard of positive Christian witness to the community.
8. Commend Members of Parliament willing to accept prayer to the prayerful support of the Church. (Appendix F)
9. Commend Australian Presbyterian Life (Living Today) to congregations as a source of information on the life of the Presbyterian Church of Australia and encourage Presbyteries, Sessions and congregations to submit local news items to the Editor.
10. Give thanks to the Lord for the faithful and dedicated work of Rev L.J. Percy as Convenor of the Public Questions and Communications Committee.

MEDIA RELEASE ON EUTHANASIA – 22 JUNE 1995

The Presbyterian Church of Queensland is opposed to any amendment to Queensland's law in order to make voluntary euthanasia legal.

MEDIA RELEASE - SEXUAL PRACTICES AND RELATIONSHIPS

22 JUNE 1995

The Presbyterian Church of Queensland affirms that -
i All homosexual practice (and lesbianism) is an utter defiling abomination before the holiness and goodness of God, never in any circumstances to be justified.
ii That to accept homosexual practice (even de facto) is a sin that the Church of Jesus Christ must publicly condemn and from which it should disassociate itself.
iii Each individual, and the nation as a whole should uphold the Biblical standard of heterosexual chastity before marriage and heterosexual fidelity within marriage to the exclusion of all other sexual practices and preferences.

Extracted from the records of the General Assembly by me- (Rev) R Clark- Clerk of Assembly

Thursday
Dec172009

1995

At Brisbane within  the Ann Street Church on 23 May 1995 on which the General Assembly being duly constituted.
INTER ALIA:

MINUTE 74

The deliverance as a whole was approved as follows:
That the Assembly:
1. Note the following Memorial Minute recorded by the Public Questions and Communications Committee with reference to the late Mr Don Wilson:-
“It was moved and agreed that the committee note the death of Mr Don Wilson, and give thanks to God for his life and commitment to the work of the Public Questions and Communications Committee.”
2. Note the following documents –
i Media Release – Creation
ii Defacto Relationships and Wrongful Deaths
iii Abortifacient – RU486
iv Human Rights (Sexual Conduct) Bill 1994 – Submission by the Commission of Assembly
v Human Rights (Sexual Conduct) Bill 1994 – Submission to the Senate Enquiry by Rev L.J. Percy.
vi Media Release – Safe Sex Guide
vii Media Release – Abortion
3. Endorse the following responses –
(a) that of the Moderator to the article by the Anglican Archbishop of Brisbane in which he denigrated Biblical Creation, and the Statement released by the Moderator
(b) that of the Moderator with the concurrence of the Clerk of Assembly and the Convener of the Public Questions Committee to the Queensland Law Reform Commission on the matter of “Defacto Relationships – Wrongful Death”.
(c) that of the Commission of Assembly on the matter of the abortifacient RU486.
(d) i that of the Commission of Assembly in issuing a Statement on the Human Rights (Sexual Conduct) Bill 1994, and forwarding a submission to the Senate Enquiry on the Bill.
 ii that of the Convener of the Public Questions and Communications Committee in making a verbal submission to the Senate Enquiry into the Human Rights (Sexual Conduct) Bill 1994.
(e) that of the Moderator, with the concurrence of the Clerk of Assembly and the Convener of the Public Questions and Communications Committee in issuing a Media release objecting to the material in the supplement of the December 1994 Edition of “Cleo”, featuring a “Safe Sex Guide” endorsed by the Federal Minister of Human Services and Health, the Hon. Carmen Lawrence.
4. (a) Commend the Models of the Unborn with the associated posters and book to congregations for use in the life of the Church.
 (b) Commend the video “Learn to Discern” to congregations for use in the life of the Church.
 (c) Request the Public Questions and Communications Committee to take no further action in endeavouring to define “The Family”.
 (d) Commend Rev Peter Bloomfield for his Position Paper on Divorce and request the Committee on Outreach and Nurture to publish the Paper on behalf of the Public Questions and Communications Committee.
 (e) Appoint Mrs Marise Taylor as Observer to the Queensland State Executive of the Australian Family Association.
5. Appoint Mr D.L. McCullough and Mr G.S. Rutherford to the Church Advisory Council of Drug Arm.
6. (a) Appoint Convener Rev L.J. Percy, Mr G Dunkley and Mr A Newman as members of the Board of Directors of CTA Queensland Ltd.
 (b) Note the improved financial position of the Christian Television Association and commend Christian Television Association for its promotion of Christianity Explained Courses.
 (c) Commend the National Journal “Australian Presbyterian Life – Living Today” to the prayerful support of the Church and encourage congregations to promote the journal by use of bulk subscriptions.
7.  Note the response by the Queensland Minister for Health of the statement by the Moderator on the “Safe Sex Guide” published in “Cleo” which was endorsed by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Human Services, and approve it for inclusion in the record.
8. 1. Note:
 (a) Blue Book 1992 Minute 166:
  Declare that personhood is to be considered to occur from the commencement of conception which is from the penetration of the wall of the ovum by a sperm.
 (b) 1980 BB Minute 116:
  Affirm the Biblical teaching of the Right to Life, especially as this applies to the unborn child, that all life is sacred to God, and that human life is a gift of God from conception.
 (c) 1983 BB Minute 123.20,21:
20. Affirm that abortion is always unacceptable, except where at least two competent medical authorities (other than the one under consideration to perform the abortion) deem the abortion essential to protect the life of a mother or of her prenatal child (or children), when threatened with immediate death, should the pregnancy continue.
21. Affirm that if and when the rare contingency mentioned in clause 20 should ever arise, everything medically possible also be done to try to ensure the continuation of the lives of all that are thus being threatened.
 2. Advise the Premier of Queensland with copies to the Minister for Health, the Attorney General, the Leader of the Parliamentary Liberal Party, the Leader of the Parliamentary National Party, Right to Life Australia, Right to Life Queensland, and the Media, that the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Queensland:
(i) regards personhood to commence from the beginning of conception and that the lives of persons created in the image and likeness of God are unique and sacred, and that it has declared its position in this matter and the matter of abortion as follows:-
(a) 1992 Blue Book Minute 166:
 Declare that personhood is to be considered to occur from the commencement of conception which is from the penetration of the wall of the ovum by a sperm.
(b) 1980 BB Minute 116:
 Affirm the Biblical teaching of the Right to Life, especially as this applies to the unborn child, that all life is sacred to God, and that human life is a gift of God from conception.
(c) 1983 BB Minute 123.20,21:
20. Affirm that abortion is always unacceptable, except where at least two competent medical authorities (other than the one under consideration to perform the abortion) deem the abortion essential to protect the life of a mother or of her prenatal child (or children), when threatened with immediate death, should the pregnancy continue.
21. Affirm that if and when the rare contingency mentioned in clause 20 should ever arise, everything medically possible also be done to try to ensure the continuation of the lives of all that are thus being threatened.
(ii)  in the light of media reports of alleged breaking of laws relating to abortion, calls for the vigorous application of the current sections of the Criminal Code dealing with abortion so that the lives of the unborn are better protected;  and
(iii)  calls upon the Government of Queensland to reframe the laws relating to abortion in accordance with the position held by the Presbyterian Church of Queensland.

i   MEDIA RELEASE – CREATION

BRISBANE, TUESDAY 15TH NOVEMBER

The Moderator of The Presbyterian Church of Queensland, the Hon. Pastor D.T. Gallagher said to-day that The Presbyterian Church of Queensland is a confessional church which embraces and proclaims the fundamentals of the Christian Faith.  He said that the Church embraces the Scriptures of the Old Testament and the New Testament as the infallible Word of God in which the mind of God is communicated to all mankind.  Pastor Gallagher went on to say that the Virgin Birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, His death on the cross as the only effective sacrifice for sin, and His demonstrated victory over death in His physical bodily resurrection are some of the fundamentals of the faith.

In responding to the matter of origins, Mr Gallagher explained that another fundamental of the Christian Faith is that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Creator of the Universe.  There is no valid distinction between "religious" truth against "scientific" truth, but that when the Word of God identifies the Lord Jesus Christ as the Creator of all things in John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:13-20; and Hebrews 1:1-4, it also identifies Him as Lord for whom all things were created.

The vast array of scholarly research by creation scientists in recent years has clearly demonstrated the scientific force of the biblical record of creation, so that even evolutionists have admitted that it deserves to be included in the science curriculum in the classroom.  Added to this is the considerable disarray evident in evolutionary circles today, and documented in recent scientific studies of evolution such as Michael Denton's book, "Evolution: A Theory In Crisis."

Mr Gallagher went on to explain the fact that, as Jesus has authenticated the historical accuracy of the Book of Genesis, allied with His statement that "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no man comes to the Father except through Me" in John 14:6, poses the problem that to reject the Lord Jesus Christ as Creator is to reject Him as truthful and to reject Him as Saviour.

ii  DE FACTO RELATIONSHIPS AND WRONGFUL DEATHS

THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF QUEENSLAND

18 November 1994

The Secretary
Queensland Law Reform Commission
PO Box 312
ROMA STREET, BRISBANE Q 4003

Dear Sir,
Re:  De Facto Relationships and Wrongful Death

We write in relation to the preparation of a draft report on the matters relating to "de facto partners and de facto relationships" with reference to the Moura Disaster, and in which you have called for comment, and, in particular, on the Draft Report's preliminary recommendations which are stated as being:
"1. The surviving partner in a de facto relationship should be able to benefit from an action for wrongful death.

 2. De facto partner should be defined as:
(i) a person who had a dependant child by the deceased person and who was living in a "de facto relationship" with the deceased person immediately prior to the deceased person's death; or
(ii) where there was no dependant child, a person who was in a "de facto relationship" with the deceased person for a continuous period of 1 year immediately before the deceased person's death.

 3. "De facto relationship" should be defined as the relationship between two persons (whether of a different or the same gender) who, although they are not legally married to each other, live in a relationship like the relationship between a married couple."

The Presbyterian Church of Queensland considers De Facto  Relationships contrary to the mind of God, in His revealed Word, and therefore not a substitute for marriage.

We further believe that the more such relationships, and particularly such relationships between two persons of the same gender, are encouraged and facilitated in our society, the more we see a further erosion and breakdown of family stability and happiness.

We fully appreciate that as this matter has grown out of the Moura disaster, a highly emotive element has been introduced into the debate, and we would not wish to detract in any way from the sadness caused by the tragic loss of life, nor from the feeling of compassion toward all concerned and especially the children.

However, it is particularly for this reason of highly charged emotion that we believe it to be dangerous to seek to make a decision against this background, which will be established in law, long after the event, and which, if it follows the preliminary recommendation, will adversely affect the fabric of our society now and in the future.

Hon. Pastor D.T. Gallagher
MODERATOR

iii  ABORTIFACIENT – RU486

THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF QUEENSLAND

                   P.O. Box 286 
16 August 1994           BROADWAY Q 4006
MEMORANDUM

TO: The Federal Minister of Family Services, The Prime Minister, the Leader of the Federal Opposition, the Leader of the Federal Liberal Party, the Leader of the Federal National Party and the Media.

FROM: The Clerk of Assembly

SUBJECT:  ABORTIFACIENT – RU486

The Commission of Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Queensland, which met on 10th August 1994, made the following resolutions:

i The Presbyterian Church of Queensland is opposed to trials of RU486 on the grounds that it is an abortifacient, and out of concern for the health and welfare of the women involved in those trials.

ii The position of The Presbyterian Church of Queensland on abortion is set out as follows:
 
Affirm that abortion is always unacceptable, except where at least two competent medical authorities (other than the one under consideration to perform the abortion) deem the abortion essential to protect the life of a mother or of her prenatal child (or children), when threatened with immediate death, should the pregnancy continue.

Affirm that if and when the rare contingency mentioned above should ever arise, everything medically possible also be done to try to ensure the continuation of the lives of all that are thus being threatened.

We request the Minister’s intervention to stop the proposed RU486 trials from continuing.

Very Rev. Dr. K.J. Gardner, O.B.E.

iv  HUMAN RIGHTS (SEXUAL CONDUCT) BILL 1994

THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF QUEENSLAND
      
       P.O. Box 286 
11 November 1994           BROADWAY Q 4006
MEMORANDUM

TO: The Prime Minister, The Attorney General, the Leaders of the Federal Parliamentary Liberal Party, National Party, and The Australian Democrats, the Premier of Tasmania, and the Media.

FROM:  The Clerk of Assembly

SUBJECT:  HUMAN RIGHTS (SEXUAL CONDUCT) BILL 1994
 The Commission of Assembly of The Presbyterian Church of Queensland, which met on 9th November 1994, has the following grave concern in relation to the Human Rights (Sexual Conduct ) Bill, 1994:-

1. (a) The Bill uses International obligations under Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to overarch State Legislation dealing with matters for which no provision has been made in the Constitution of Australia.

 (b) The “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights” as a secular humanistic covenant is being used to set aside the provision of laws based on the Word of God declared in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament.

2. That in enacting legislation which declares:
“Arbitrary interferences with privacy
4.(1) Sexual conduct involving only consenting adults acting in private is not to be subject, by or under any law of the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory, to any arbitrary interference with privacy within the meaning of Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Note: Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is set out in Schedule 2 to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act 1986.
    (2) For the purposes of this section, an adult is a person who is 18 years old or more.”,

the following practices, against the holiness of the declared will of God, viz sodomy, lesbian practices, sado-masochism, beastiality and incest, could become legal between consenting adults in private anywhere in Australia and its Territories.

Very Rev. Dr. K.J. Gardner, O.B.E.

v  HUMAN RIGHTS (SEXUAL CONDUCT) BILL 1994

Verbal Submission of Rev. L.J. Percy to the Senate, Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee, Considering the Human Rights (Sexual Conduct) Bill 1994

Percy, Reverend Lester James, Convenor, Public Questions and Communications Committee, Presbyterian Church of Queensland, 35 Amelia Street, Fortitude Valley, Qld.

CHAIR – Reverend Percy, do you have some words to say?

Mr Percy – Thank you for the opportunity to be here today.  I am the Convenor of the Public Questions and Communications Committee of the Presbyterian Church of Queensland.  I am here to support the submission from the Clerk of our State Assembly, the Very Reverend Dr. Ken Gardner.  I must make it clear that, as I address the submission which is in the name of the Church and supported by the Commission of Assembly of the Church, I can only speak in a private capacity.  I do hope that my comments accurately reflect the thinking within the life of the Church.

The primary thrust of this submission addresses the change in Australian law making from a Judeo-Christian to a Secular-Humanistic base and the embracing of multicultural pluralism as an expression of this change.  The Presbyterian Church of Australia is a confessional church which has adopted the standards of the Westminster Confession of Faith, as amended and read in the light of its Declaratory Statement, as its Subordinate Standard, subject to the Supreme Standard of the Word of God in all matters of faith and practice.  The Presbyterian Church declares the mind of God to its members, to society and also to the civil authority.

I make it clear that there is no conflict between the submission from the Presbyterian Church of Australia and this submission.  It is just that they were produced in parallel without consultation.

When we look to the preamble of the Constitution of Australia, we find the following statement:
Whereas the people of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and Tasmania, humbly relying on the blessing of Almighty God, have agreed to unite in one indissoluble Federal Commonwealth under the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and under the Constitution hereby established.

We find that the God whose blessing is sought on 9 July 1900 is the Triune God of all creation-the God of the Bible, the God who has revealed himself in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.  God has revealed his mind in relation to moral law in the Ten Commandments and elsewhere in the scriptures of the Old Testament and the New Testament, which are the basis of our Common Law, and until recent times, the basis of state and federal legislation in Australia.

The use of International Convenants by the Commonwealth of Australia in overarching the Constitution of Australia and enabling the Commonwealth to impose its will on the states where the constitution makes no provision for the Commonwealth to do so is a grave concern.  The effect is that the constitution is being changed without a referendum of the people.  Furthermore, these overarching laws are based on the philosophy of Secular-Humanism which sets the mind of man over that of the mind of God and is by definition a position of idolatry.

In 1991 the Queensland parliament enacted the Queensland Anti-discrimination Act.  The preamble to this act recognised and supported a number of International Human Rights Instruments that the Commonwealth had ratified as the 'need' and the 'justification' for this legislation.  However, in that legislation it carefully defined such matters as 'marital status' in clause 4, whereas 'sexual activity' is not so defined in this bill.  But when it is mentioned in section 7.1(l), 'lawful sexual activity' is defined in the criminal code in Queensland even though acts of sodomy between consenting adults in private have been decriminalised.

Senator ELLISON - That included definitions of that piece of legislation, did it?

Mr Percy - Yes.  It particularly defined 'marital status' and other such things.  The Queensland Law Reform Commission is currently considering public submissions so that it may define the term 'de facto relationship' so as to give persons in such relationships (perhaps most likely same sex relationships) the same status before the law, at least in terms of awards following accidental death.  That arose in particular out of the Moura mine disaster.

The Human Rights (Sexual Conduct) Bill that we are considering is overarching legislation over the states and territories of the Commonwealth.  However, it does not define 'sexual conduct'.  That is obvious from this morning's discussion.  What does sexual conduct mean?  Does it encompass adultery, fornication, incest, abortion, bestiality with two consenting adults, sadomasochism, prostitution, pornography, lesbian practices and sodomy?  There is a need for the term 'sexual conduct' to be defined in the bill itself so that it is clear.  This does not mean that we are in favour of the bill, but it needs to define what 'sexual conduct' means.

The more basic issue is this:  what does society accept as acceptable moral sexual practice?  Sodomy, along with other sins, is identified in Romans 1 in the New Testament as an expression of idolatrous rebellion against the holiness of God and, unless repented of, is identified as worthy of the punishment of eternal death.  Incest in the New Testament church, which was identified in 1 Corinthians 5, called for the extreme judgment of excommunication from the church.

Over the last 20 years or so by legislation, by administrative decree and by general practice in society, we have as a nation departed from the absolute standards of the mind of God as revealed in the Scriptures of the Old Testament and the New Testament.  In so doing, we have weakened the sanctity of marriage and the stability of the family.  We have embraced the relativism of Humanism, and we have paid the penalty of God's judgment on us as a people.

We need to consider the effects of the following over this period:  abortion as contraception, easy divorce, the recognition of de facto relationships as equivalent to marriage, sexual freedom which has amounted to promiscuity and homosexuality declared as valid sexuality.  If this bill is passed into law, we have as a nation declared in law the position of an idolatrous rebellion against the holiness, the goodness and the mercy of God.  I fear that we will see the further judgment of God on us as a people.  If this bill is passed, how can we expect the blessing of Almighty God on our nation as we called for in 1900 in the preamble of the Constitution?

CHAIR - Thank you very much for that.

vi  SAFE SEX GUIDE MEDIA RELEASE

THURSDAY 9TH MARCH 1995

Our attention has been drawn to the public debate arising from the disclosure of two separate but related issues involving so-called sex education.

The first of these was the "safe sex guide", published as a cooperative effort between personnel from the office of Carmen Lawrence, Federal Minister of Health, and a national women's magazine.

Issued ostensibly as a guide to the young, but obviously intended for a wider audience as it was touted as a "non-judgmental resource everyone should read", it received a subsidy by courtesy of Australian taxpayers of $250,000.

We strongly object, not only to the way in which this guide has been produced and funded, with the full approval of the Minister herself, but also, and more particularly, to the depraved sexual practices which are described and disseminated through its pages.

The second issue involves the publication of sexually explicit swap cards by The Queensland AIDS Council.  We commend the State Government on banning their distribution.

Once again, we strenuously object to the funding of this pornographic "Bubble Boy" campaign with taxpayers' money, and even more to the nature of this sexually explicit material.

We have noted the objections of the AIDS Council, who are repeatedly considering a challenge to the State censor's ruling, but believe it is ludicrous that a society which will strenuously maintain that cigarette advertising sends a powerful message of societal approval to adolescents, will insist with a perfectly straight face that there is no moral context to the distribution of pornography in the form of popular style swap cards, which pander to voyeurism.

We affirm that the kind of "education" revealed in both these publications has nothing to do with disease control, and everything to do with normalising a sexual ethic.

They are symptoms of what Judge Fred McGuire, president of the Children's Court of Queensland, recently described as "a serious malaise in our society which threatens its very existence."  "The moral dilemma," he said, "can only be resolved by an acceptance of the moral imperative.  What is needed is a moral renaissance, a moral reawakening, a restoration of ordinary goodness - in short, a return to the 'good and the right way'."

We affirm unashamedly that that "good and right way" has been clearly revealed by God and is set forth in The Bible.  This is true in the right ordering of society generally, as well as the specific matter of child crime which was Judge McGuire's concern.

It is especially so in the ordering of family life where God ordained the normal arrangement as being a marriage of a man and a woman, committing themselves to a life-long relationship of faithfulness and love in marriage, and the building of a home where children would be protected and nurtured in a secure love.

In a day when the position of women is receiving continued attention, we also affirm that it is the Judeo-Christian ethic, insisting that romantic love could be found and protected only in marriage, which began the process of raising the status of women from breeding animal to full human dignity.  In contradistinction, the material to which we have been objecting here does nothing to uplift and enhance the position of women or of family life in our society today.

It is time to call a halt, not only to the dissemination of this morally destructive material, but also to its funding from the public purse, whether Federal or State.

For and on behalf of THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF QUEENSLAND

Very Rev Dr K J Gardner, OBE
Clerk of Assembly

vii  ABORTION MEDIA RELEASE 

BRISBANE, TUESDAY 15TH NOVEMBER1994

The Moderator of The Presbyterian Church of Queensland, the Hon. Pastor D.T. Gallagher entered the Abortion debate to-day when he said that The Presbyterian Church of Queensland had a clear position on abortion in that it had declared that it regards Personhood to commence at the beginning of conception, that is, when the head of the sperm penetrates the wall of the egg.  Mr Gallagher went on to report that the Church holds the following position in relation to abortion:

That abortion is always unacceptable -- except where at least two competent medical authorities (other than the one under consideration to perform the abortion) deem the abortion essential to protect the life of a mother or of her prenatal child (or children), when threatened with immediate death, should the pregnancy continue.

That if and when the rare contingency mentioned in the above clause should ever arise, everything medically possible also be done to try to ensure the continuation of the lives of all who are thus being threatened.

Mr Gallagher said that he agreed with the public reaction against the abortion of post 20 weeks babies by cranial decompression but that he sees no difference in the status of a 21 week old baby as a person, to that of a 6 weeks old person or to that of the newly formed single celled person, for each has all the genetic material that it will ever have and each is only at different stages of development.

He further expressed his concern that the expendability applied to unborn persons is also being applied to the aged and sick and that these pressures will result in community standards moving to accept euthanasia as a normal option.

MINISTER FOR HEALTH
         Ref: M1042668
         File: 0055-3334-003-002
Very Rev Dr K J Gardner
Clerk of Assembly
Presbyterian Church of Queensland
PO Box 286
BROADWAY  Q  4006

Dear Dr Gardner

Thank you for your letter dated 10 March 1995 regarding the Cleo Safe Sex Guide and the swap cards produced by the Queensland  AIDS Council (QuAC).

With regard to the Cleo Safe Sex Guide, this publication was produced by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Human Services with only minor input from relevant State/Territory Health Departments.  I have been advised that the behaviours discussed in the Guide are all legal and are practised by a significant number of young Australian women.  To avoid the worst impacts on the general community of sexually transmissible diseases, there is a need for properly researched, accurate and targeted information to reach those most at risk.  I suggest you pass on your concerns to my Commonwealth counterpart, Dr Carmen Lawrence.

In relatioin to the Bubble Boy swap cards I can only reaffirm the comments of the State Censor who expressed concern that the cards may end up in the hands of the very young who are not the target group for safe sex education.  I acknowledge your concerns about inappropriate and sexually explicit material as being morally destructive and against biblical teachings.  I have however a public health responsibility to ensure that accurate and potentially life saving information is made available to those most at risk from the deadly effects of HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases which impact on people who do not subscribe to Christian teaching or standards.

All general community focussed safe sex campaigns stress a hierarchy of safe behaviours beginning with abstinence as the first option.  This message does not reach those many Queenslanders who are sexually active and other safe alternatives need to be discussed.

You can be assured however, that I agree with the State Censor in relation to the Bubble Boy cards in their current format and as these cards have now been classified as Category 1 they cannot be distributed, displayed or sold in Queensland.

Once again thank you for your letter expressing your concerns.

Yours sincerely
Jim Elder – MINISTER FOR HEALTH

Extracted from the records of the General Assembly by me- (Rev) R Clark- Clerk of Assembly

Thursday
Dec172009

1994

At Brisbane within Church Offices on 9 March 1994 on which the Commission of the General Assembly being duly constituted.
INTER ALIA:

Minute 14 

Aboriginal Deaths in Custody – Appointment of Representative of PCQ to the Australian Council of Trade Unions:  The Clerk laid on the table communications from the Public Questions and Communications Committee and moved that they be received.  Rev L.J. Percy was invited to explain the matter to the Commission.

It was moved, seconded and approved:
(a) That the Presbyterian Church of Queensland decline the invitation by the ACTU to be involved in their Committee on Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.
(b) That the letter from the ACTU and the issues relating to the implementation of the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody be referred to the Public Questions and Communications Committee.

Minute 15 

Queensland Law Reform Commission:
(i) Female Genital Mutilation and
(ii) Routnine Infant Male Circumcision

The Clerk laid on the table material from the Queensland Law Reform Commission and communications from the Public Questions and Communications Committee and a response from the Rev Peter Bloomfield and moved that they be received.

The Commission noted that the Church had been granted an extension of time until 18 March for a submission to the Queensland Law Reform Commission.

It was moved, seconded and approved, that the Commission:-

Adopt the response from the Rev P.J. Bloomfield, with the addition of a new clause 5 under “Male Circumcision” as follows:-

“5. However, not withstanding this, we are aware that medical opinion is divided on this matter, and we are also concerned about the gradual dilution of parental authority in our society today.

Accordingly, we believe that parents should be informed, but that should they elect to proceed with circumcision for their son, no impediment should be placed in their way.”

EXTRACT MINUTE

At Brisbane within  the Ann Street Church on 26 May 1994 on which the General Assembly being duly constituted.
INTER ALIA:

Minute 159 

Ad hoc Committee on Education and Schooling
The Report of the ad hoc Committee on Education and Schooling was laid on the table and received.  Clause 1 was approved.  Clause 2 was approved.

Minute 160 

Deliverance as a whole, Ad hoc Committee on Educations and Schooling
The Deliverance as a whole was approved as follows:
That the Assembly:-
1. Continue the authority of the committee.
2. Re-appoint the committee as follows – Dr I Scott, Rev. Prof. I. McIver, Revs P. Bloomfield, D. Secomb, D. Bound and Messrs E. Woodward and G.S. Rutherford.

Minute 199

The deliverance as a whole was approved as follows:
That the Assembly:

1. Advise the Church that –
i  the most effective response to offensive material in the Media is the response of individuals and groups directly to the Media outlet and also to advertisers who support programmes; and
ii a member of the Public Questions & Communications Committee is available to meet with interested persons to assist in responding to offensive material in the Media;
iii a member of the Public Questions & Communications Committee is available to act as a contact with Ministers of the Church in cases where interviews are sought.
1. Appoint Convener Rev L.J. Percy, Mr G. Dunkley and Mr A. Newman as members of the Board of Directors of the CTA Queensland Ltd.
2. Request the Public Questions and Communications Committee to bring a report to the November Commission of Assembly on the desirability of maintaining our financial membership of the Christian Television Association beyond 31 December 1994.
3. i Give thanks to God for the gospel centred witness of CTA through the media of TV and radio.
ii Give thanks to God for the expertise and dedication of Mr G. Gardiner and his staff in producing the various witness spots and shows on TV and radio.
iii Urge our Charges to pray for the directors and staff of CTA that God would give them wisdom in all future decision making.
iv Urge our Chargs to join the CTA’s 200 Club and request the CTA to provide details of that Club to the Church Office so that these details may be forwarded to Churches through the Church Office Bulletin.
5. (i) Note that the Board of Directors of the CTA of Queensland Ltd resolved:
  “That the Board recommend to the Member Churches that the Lutheran Church, the Wesleyan Methodist Church, the Westminster Presbyterian Church and the Churches of Christ be invited to consider membership of CTAQ.”
 (ii) Recommend to its representative at the Annual General Meeting of the CTA Queensland Ltd on Monday 30th May that he support the recommendation of the Board to invite the Lutheran Church, the Wesleyan Methodist Church, the Westminster Presbyterian Church and the Churches of Christ to consider membership of CTAQ.
6. Encourage Sessions and Committees of Management to support our National Journal “APL – Living Today” through the use of bulk subscriptions to the journal.
7. Advise the Commonwealth Minister for Health, Housing, Local Government and Community Services, with copies to the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Federal Opposition, the Leader of the Australian Democrats, the Premier, the Queensland Minister for Education, the Leader of the Queensland Opposition, the Leader of the Queensland Parliamentary Liberal Party, and the Media, that the Assembly views the HIV/AIDS Educational Package “Friends for Life”, which is to be placed in Queensland State Schools by the Commonwealth Department of Health, Housing, Local Government and Community Services, as unacceptable for the following reasons:-
i. Explicit sex education material is being presented to primary school children.
ii. This sex education material is being presented apart from the positive Biblical ethical standards of chastity before marriage, and fidelity in life long, heterosexual monogamous marriage, to the exclusion of all other sexual preferences and practices.
iii. The situation for class consideration is the non-representative one of a man who has just died of AIDS, leaving a wife who was infected by him with HIV, who in turn infected her daughter in the womb, as well as a teenage son who is not infected.
iv. There is a failure to identify the degree of risk that there is to be found in the community, by advising the number of HIV/AIDS infected persons in Australian in each of the following categories:-
 - homosexuals/bi-sexuals  - intravenour drug users
 - medically acquired  - heterosexually acquired
 - child of infected mother  - other
v. While rightly identifying abstinence from sexual activity (vaginal/anal/oral) as safe sex, the use of condoms is claimed to give infection free sex, even though holes in condoms are larger than the HIV.
8. Concur with the Statement of the Moderator, Clerk of Assembly and Convener of the Public Questions & Communications Committee on Sex Education in Queensland State Schools (Appendix A) and incorporate a copy of the Statement in the record.

APPENDIX A

PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF QUEENSLAND
Office of the Moderator

12th October 1993

The Hon Pat Comben       Moderator
Minister for Education       Rev G Kettniss
Parliament House       68 Charlton St.
George Street        ASCOT  Q 4007
BRISBANE Q 4000       (07)  268 4151

Dear Mr Comben,

Re:  Sex Education in Queensland State Schools

Firstly I would like to commend you on your actions reported in the Courier Mail (8/10/93) which you took in condemning the action of a worker from the Queensland Aids Council, who gave obscene material to students as the Dakabin State High School.

Secondly we wish to draw your attention to other material which has been distributed within Queensland State High Schools, such as Trinity Bay High School (Cairns) on 15th October 1992, and the Newmarket State High School on the last school day for 1992.  This material was also prepared for distribution by the Queensland Aids Council and DEET.

The Queensland Presbyterian Church expressed its deep concern that you as the Minister do not seem to have any control over what is issued in the State Schools of Queensland, and we do not think it is sufficient that you simply abrogate your responsibility with the statement ‘that it is no longer the role of the Central Office of the Department of Education to specify what resources are used in schools, provided broad policy guidelines are met.’  (Your letter of 20th March 1993, to Mr G Cook – Ref 014710).  We would like to point out that you as the Minister for Education have a responsibility to safe-guard the moral and spiritual well being of our children – children who have been entrusted into your care by their parents – and not allow anything which would jeopardize their future physical and mental well being.  For these reasons, we appeal to you to exercise your authority in ensuring that material as mentioned above, be no longer permitted to be distributed in the State Schools of Queensland.

Please find enclosed statements relevant to this issue as determined by The Presbyterian Church of Queensland.

Yours faithfully,
(Rt Rev) G K Kettniss      (Very Rev Dr) K J Gardner
MODERATOR       CLERK OF ASSEMBLY
Copies: Premier of Queensland
  Leader of the Opposition
  Leader of the Parliamentary Liberal Party
  Chairman of the Queensland Aids Council

STATEMENT BY THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF QUEENSLAND ON SEX EDUCATION AND OTHER RELATED MATTERS

THE ASSEMBLY OF THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH –

(a) Regards instruction in human sexuality to be primarily a responsibility of parents, to be given within the Biblical constraints of chastity before marriage and fidelity within marriage, to the exclusion of all other sexual practices and preferences.

(b) Affirms that:
(i) The living, active, knowing presence of the One true and living God (Father Son and Holy Spirit) whose commands and precepts in the 66 canonical books of the Christian Scriptures are the duty of every person (without any exception) to obey with love.
(ii) This is irrespective of whether a person believes, likes or has any other attitude about the existence or person of the God of the Scriptures.
(iii) No person who ever has been, is or shall be created is excepted from this duty to love and obey.
(c) Affirms that all homosexual practice is an utter defiling abomination before the holiness and goodness of God, never in any circumstances to be justified, and totally opposes homosexuality (including lesbianism) as a legitimate alternative lifestyle.

(d) Believes the only true solution to the problem of sexually transmitted diseases, including A.I.D.S., is for each individual and the nation, as a whole, to uphold the Biblical standard of chastity before marriage and fidelity within heterosexual marriage to the exclusion of all other sexual practices and preferences.

(e) Encourages Ministers and Elders to minister to A.I.D.S. sufferers with sensitivity and compassion, endeavouring to present newness of life through the Lord Jesus Christ.”

9. Reaffirm 1989 BB Min.279.14:
“Regard instruction in human sexuality to be primarily a responsibility of parents, to be given within the Biblical constraints of chastity before marriage and fidelity within marriage, to the exclusion of all other sexual practices and preferences.”

10.(a) Commend the discussion paper “De-facto Couples Seeking Marriage in the Christian Church” (Appendix B) to all marriage celebrants within the Church for their consideration, and incorporate a copy of the paper in the record.

APPENDIX B

DE-FACTO COUPLES SEEKING MARRIAGE IN THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH

What should our policy be?  What is the consistent Biblical position?  This paper proposes the answer and deals with common objections.  The sad thing is that in our interface with the world the church does not have a consistent Bible-driven policy and because of this inconsistency, we lose integrity.

The following three observations are foundational to a Biblical response:

1) Sexual union before marriage is immoral.  It is the sin of fornication.. Presumably this does not require proof here.

2) "De-facto" marriage is not true marriage!  It is still fornication by another name.  It is lamentable that so many "Christian" teachers defend the notion that although fornication committed once or twice or ten times is an immoral act which God promises to judge (Heb 13:4), yet if you decide to "shack up" with someone and continue the same activity on a more permanent basis, it has now ceased to be sin.  Indeed, it has become the beautiful thing called marriage!

There are very weighty criticisms of that opinion.  First, it makes not attempt to argue Biblically.  The Bible plainly sees marriage as a solemn covenant (involving witnesses).  De facto marriage seeks the benefits of a covenant without entering the lifelong obligations.  Since marriage is a picture of the unreserved commitment of Christ to His bride the church, then de-facto relationships smear and dishonour that most gracious covenant, striking at the very essence of Christianity.  Thank God that Christ did not enter into a mere de-facto arrangement to love us as His bride but with no firm commitment to keep it that way!  Secondly, the philosophy of the case is impossible to defend.  It is a sort of "metamorphosis" idea analogous to the grub changing into a butterfly.  It is impossible to argue logically that the sin of fornication committed several times by two people living in different homes now becomes legitimate once they shack up together.  A regular plan and determination to sin does not legitimize sin!  Indeed, it aggravates it.

Moreover, think what advice we would logically have to give de-facto couples.  Let's tell them that they don't need to get married because they are really married.  Let's tell them they have no sinful immoral relationship to repent of, and that what they are doing is just as proper and acceptable to God as the union of a lawfully married husband and wife.  And let's dispense with marriage services altogether.  They are, on this basis, an expensive and unnecessary thing.  What on earth is the meaning of marriage vows, commitments, and witnesses if, after all, you can just live together?  We should reflect on texts like John 4:18 where Jesus tells the woman at the well that, though she has previously had five husbands, "the man you presently have is not your husband".  A de-facto relationship is illegitimate.

3) The issue is not whether de-facto couples should marry.  They can marry because marriage is a creation ordinance for non-Christians also, and a civil celebrant could legitimize their relationship.  The real issue is whether the Christian church should marry them.  In particular, should the de-facto couple be allowed to continue living together right up to their "wedding day"?  Does the Church have higher standards than civil celebrants?


THE PROPER POLICY

Whilever they continue to live in an immoral relationship, they show a very clear dishonour for the sanctity of marriage and they run foul of Hebrews 13:4:  "Let marriage be held in honour among all and let the marriage bed be undefiled: for fornicators and adulterers God will judge".  Therefore the church should counsel them accordingly, carefully and patiently explaining these things to them, not with the view of denouncing them, but of helping them to face up to conduct that dishonours God and marriage, and exhorting them to cease the de-facto relationship, and only if that condition is met should the church proceed to marry them.

Some objections answered

1. "They'll only go to liberal churches or to civil celebrants who'll do it anyway."
Notice that this makes no attempt to argue Biblically: it is simply pragmatic.  We are not responsible for the unbiblical actions of other churches.  Our policies on marriage and everything else are to be fashioned on what God's word says, not on how people will react.  In any case, if we lower the Biblical standards we ourselves become more like the liberal churches!  Shall we also baptize anything that moves, hold "blessing the pets" services, and even marry homosexuals?  The liberal "churches" do those things too.

2. "We have lost the chance to evangelise them:  We didn't even open the Bible  with them."
That is not true.  The very fact of carefully explaining the Biblical ethics is opening the Bible with them.  In explaining the sin of fornication we should explain also that Christ is a Saviour willing and able to forgive that sin too, and that He will do so on the basis of sincere confession of it (owning up to it) and repentance (turning away from it).  That is evangelism!  But if they refuse that offer, then they have once again refused Christ on His own gospel terms.  If they still want to get married we should point them to a civil celebrant, exhort them not to take God's name in vain in some "church" marriage, but under no circumstances should we lower the standards of Scripture.  We cannot provide Christian blessings to those who high-handedly flaunt Christ's ethical standards.

3. "We are imposing Christian moral standards upon them before they're even  Christians.
What standards do you expect the Christian Church to impose?  (Non Christian standards?)  Anyway, they are moral standards for all men, not just for Christians.  If they reject Christian standards of marriage then they show utter contempt in coming to the Christian church for marriage!  If Christian standards are not to their liking then let them marry without the church.  How can we allow them to step immediately out of a relationship of immorality which dishonours true marriage and then waltz into the aisle of a church building the next minute and pay lip service to "THE HONOURABLE STATE OF MARRIAGE"?  And how can we escape the charge of hypocrisy?  In reality, it is the world which is imposing its standards onto the church!

4. "Even if they separate their addresses they can still keep up a sexual relationship.  You will not know, so what's the point?"
The fact that there are ways around the law does not argue for dispensing with law.  The fact that there are limits to the maintenance of Biblical standards does not mean we surrender those standards.  We have to do all that is reasonable, and thus we ask for their solemn word of promise that the de-facto relationship is truly ended.  If they deliberately lie then they incite the wrath of God.  We can do no more and any guilt beyond that is on their heads.

5. Not all de-facto situations are identical.  Do we require all couples to separate?
No.  I am not advocating an inflexible policy.  The following examples will help.

1. Suppose there are children involved, either born to the de-facto couple or from a previous "marriage" by either partner.  Separation would now involve extra factors, even traumas.  I would not normally require separation, but I would require a sincere owning up to the sinfulness of their previous lifestyle and a willingness to learn of the forgiveness of Christ through faith.  On that condition I would proceed to marry them with a clear conscience.

2. Suppose a plausible case is presented such as..."we are not cohabiting, only sharing the house together in order to economise living expenses."  The male did not want to share a house with another male because of the appearance of homosexuality which he abhors, and similar reasons for the female.  What policy should the church make?  Again, great care should be taken, but it is conceivable that the case is not normal and, carefully handled, the overseers of the church might in good conscience permit the marriage.

3. Consider an elderly couple (now aged 75 years) who have been "shacked up" together for 50 years and now wanting to marry.  I would not insist that they separate.  The two old people have grown to depend on each other so much that separation would be traumatic.  However, we should still insist on a genuine acknowledgment that their previous arrangement was wrong.  If they will not agree with Christian ethics then let them go to a celebrant who does not require Christian standards:  a civil celebrant.

6. This policy is hypocritical and unfair.
The absurdity of this claim is clear from two observations.  First, hypocrisy occurs when a person is deliberately inconsistent:  When what is done is not in line with what is believed or taught.  The real hypocrisy occurs when the weak church claims to believe the Bible but doesn't apply Biblical standards in its interface with the world (be it for marriage, baptism, etc).  The hypocrisy of the church amounts to it saying, in effect, "we don't approve of putting our stamp of approval on your immoral relationship, but we'll do it anyway.  We don't approve of you coming and dictating standards and rules for marriage in the church, but we'll go along with it anyway.  We in the church are subject to the rules of King Jesus, but we'll bend those rules in your case because you don't care two hoots for His authority."  There is also breathtaking hypocrisy on the side of de-facto couples who come to the church requesting marriage without the slightest intention of ceasing their present dishonouring of marriage.  It is analogous to a non-member of your golf club saying:  "That's a nice picturesque little clubhouse you have there.  We want to celebrate something there.  We want your office-bearers to officiate at our celebration on your property at the date we choose, and by the way, we dislike the rules and standards of your club.  We don't believe those things.  They are too restrictive.  So we demand that you change the rules, and give us what we want, when we want it, in your premises on our terms."
Second, as for the charge of "unfairness", consider the following case.  Two communicant members of your church ask their Minister to marry them.  They are regular, active, useful members.  Everyone is excited...until the bombshell drops.  It is discovered that they are having a sexual affair, though not living together.  The evidence for the fornication is undisputable.  Question:  What do you expect the church to do?  What is the Biblical responsibility of the Elders?  Obviously, they would counsel the couple from Scripture and exhort them to confess and repent and desist.  If they sincerely did so, the marriage could go ahead.  If they refuse then not only would it be wrong to marry them, but persistence in the sin would disqualify them from the privileges of church membership.  The Biblical steps of church discipline are to be followed, even to the point of excommunication if the couple become hardened in contumacy.  How grossly unfair then if "outsiders" can live lives even more flagrantly sinful and still get married "in the church".  That's where the unfairness really lies!  It means non-members will have more privileges than members!  This makes membership both meaningless and odious.

7. This turns people off Christianity and makes the church irrelevant to people.
This wrongly implies that sinners are either "on" Christianity, or neutral about it.  My Bible tells me they are "off" Christianity from their mother's womb.  They are born godless, hostile, rebels against the rule of Christ.  As for being "relevant" or not, the church has one main mandate, namely to preach the Gospel honestly and to exhort sinners to flee from sin and to Christ.  Whilever we maintain Biblical standards we are relevant.  We are showing them the way out of hell and into heaven.  As soon as we cave into worldly standards and demands, we cease being relevant.  We cease being the church.  We become the world by another name.

8. What about "common law" marriages?
"Common law" marriage means a couple have vowed themselves to each other privately, in which case it is sometimes assumed that it is not identical to a de-facto relationship, but that it is real marriage.  But this is problematic.  While it is true that a religious ceremony is not needed to establish a true marriage, the question remains: why would such a couple then approach the church for a wedding if it can be argued that they are already married in common law?  If it is because of Christian convictions, then they will have no trouble meeting the Christian standards for a church wedding.  If it is on other grounds, we have no business being a party to it.  However, the truth is that according to the Bible, marriage is a covenant, and the essence of a covenant is oaths and vows made in the presence of witnesses.  Without witnesses there is no proof of a covenant.  If couples are serious about covenanting together as man and wife until death parts them, then let them put it in writing before sober witnesses who also sign the covenant deed.  Why do they do it in private without documentary or human witnesses?

Sadly, there are now civil ceremonies where the couple vow to be husband and wife "as long as we still love each other".  What a difference this is to the Biblical model.  If the church of God does not uphold the standards of marriage, who will?

With the earnest desire that the church of Christ would be faithful

To the glory of God in His holy bride
Peter Bloomfield.”

10.(b) Remind all Marriage Celebrants within the Church of 1989 BB Min.279.14:-
“Regard instruction in human sexuality to be primarily a responsibility of parents, to be given within the Biblical constraints of chastity before marriage and fidelity within marriage, to the exclusion of all other sexual practices and preferences.”

11.(c) Appoint Mrs M Taylor as Observer to the Queensland State Executive of the Australian Famly Association.

12. Concur with the action of the Moderator, Clerk of Assembly and Convener of the Public Questions and Communications Committee in submitting a statement on behalf of the Church on Cannabis and the Law in Queensland, (Appendix C) and incorporate a copy of the statement in the record.

APPENDIX C

THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF QUEENSLAND
Office of the Moderator

Mr R S O’Reagan QC      Moderator –
Chairman        Rev G Kettniss
Criminal Justice Commission     68 Charlton St
557 Coronation Drive      ASCOT  Q  4007
TOOWONG  Q 4006      (07) 268 4151

Dear Mr O’Reagan,

Re:  Cannabis and the Law in Queensland

Please find enclosed a statement by the Presbyterian Church in Queensland on its opposition to the legalising the use of marijuana apart from any medically prescribed purposes.

Yours faithfully,
(Rt Rev) G K Kettniss     (Very Rev Dr) K J Gardner
Moderator       Clerk of Assembly

Copies to: Premier of Queensland
  Leader of the Opposition
  Leader of the Parliamentary Liberal Party

“STATEMENT BY THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF QUEENSLAND ON MARIJUANA AND OTHER DRUGS

BIBLICAL GROUNDS FOR PROPER USE OF DRUGS:

1. (a) The Gospel of Jesus Christ and the doctrine of justification by faith alone through grace (WCF) Ch.11) are absolute in the salvation of man from the curse and from sin, for the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes (Romans 1:16) and "there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved".  (Acts 4:12).

  (b) Man is saved by faith alone and good works by necessity are the fruit of this living faith alone for "faith without works is dead".  (James 2:17) (WCF Ch.16).

(c) The doctrine of Christian freedom and liberty of conscience is set forth in the Word of God - 1 Cor. 6:12, Colossians 2:20 ff, Romans 14, Galatians 5:1. (WCF Ch.20).

(d) Care must be taken to properly exegete scriptural texts used to demand or encourage abstinence from or use of alcohol, Scripture being its own interpreter.  (WCF Ch.1).

THE BIBLICAL INJUNCTION TO CARE FOR OUR BODIES AND OUR NEIGHBOUR:

2. We recognise that Scripture does point to the fact that::

(a) Our bodies are the temples of the Living God (1 Cor.6:19).
(b) We are commanded to love our neighbours and thus to be our brother's keeper. (Mark  12:31, Genesis 4:9-15).
(c) We are not to cause our brother to stumble.  (Romans 14:13-15).
(d) We are to shun all appearances of evil.  (1 Thess. 5:22).

3. In view of this and in the face of the universal degradation of individual, family and society life through the abuse of alcohol and other drugs, we counsel Christians to:

(a) Abstain from alcoholic beverages and tobacco.

(b) Refrain from the unprescribed use of other drugs such as marijuana, cocaine and the  opium derivatives morphine and heroin.

(c) Use all prescription drugs only as prescribed by a competent and reliable doctor.

We would also counsel Christians to refrain from giving the impression that such habits are condoned by Christians, in the light of ultimate judgment.  (Matthew 2:3-8).

ORGANIZATIONS AVAILABLE TO HELP:

It is recommended to those who have the responsibility to lead, guide and advise people overcome by the use of the drug, alcohol, that there is a help agency to whom they may be directed, Alcoholics Victorious (sponsored by Drug Arm, the community support arm of the Queensland Temperance League).  It is a Christian-based program providing care and support for those seeking victory over alcohol dependence, and those who have already won the victory through the Lord Jesus Christ.

(WCF - Westminster Confession of Faith, a statement of faith, subordinate to the Bible, stating the beliefs of the Presbyterian Church).”

13. Appoint Mr D.L. McCullough, Mr G.S. Rutherford and Mrs J Lees to the Board of Management of Drug Arm.
14. Note the Response of the Commission of Assembly to The Queensland Law Reform Commission in the matters of the Circumscision of Male Infants and of Female Genital Mutilation (Appendix D) and incorporate a copy of the response in the record.

APPENDIX D

“14 March 1994

Mr Wayne Briscoe
Commissioner
Q'ld Law Reform Commission
P.O. Box 312
ROMA STREET, BRISBANE  Q   4003

Dear Sir,

Response to the Queensland Law Reform Commission's Research Papers
"Circumcision of Male Infants", and "Female Genital Mutilation".

Preface:  We preface our response by sincerely thanking the Law Reform Commission for the clarity and scope of the two excellent Research Papers.  We also think it is appropriate to indicate the grounds for our following response.  Our standard for assessing right and wrong is the Holy Bible, comprising the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, and whatever may be deducted from the same by good and necessary consequence.

(a) Response anent the circumcision of male infants.

The Presbyterian Church of Queensland advises that:

1) Since male circumcision was the covenant sign for Jehovah-worshippers in the period of Abraham to Christ, being explicitly commanded by God himself, after which it gave way to the bloodless sign of water baptism; and since the inspired Apostles of Christ regarded circumcision thereafter to be a thing indifferent, for which they strenuously opposed the Jewish "circumcision party" for its hardline approach in denying liberty and insisting on mandatory circumcision for God's people; therefore there is no longer any warrant for male circumcision on religious grounds.

2) Therefore we oppose in principle the ritual circumcisions practised by Jews, Muslims, and Australian Aboriginals.  The religious warrant for circumcision was fixed in terms of both epoch and culture.  It was restricted to the Mosaic epoch of the covenant, and it was intended for the descendants of Abraham together with any proselytes who converted to the worship of Jehovah.  No other religions have ever had warrant for circumcision, since they deny the very covenant it signifies.

3) While we believe that therapeutic circumcisions are appropriately left to the decisions of competent medical practitioners operating with informed consent, we see no good reasons for the practice of routine neonatal circumcisions.  We therefore concur with The Australian Medical Association, The Australian College of Paediatrics, and The Royal Australian College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, that routine neonatal circumcision should be discouraged.

4) We see no need to change the law at this moment because of the widespread community acceptance of neonatal circumcision and because it is very unlikely that legal action could succeed against a competent medical practitioner operating in good faith and with due care.  However, we do commend the suggestion for reform, that medical practitioners be required, either by law or a professional Code of Practice, to inform parents of all arguments for and against circumcision, prior to undertaking the procedure.  We also believe that routine neonatal circumcision should be removed from the Medical Benefits Schedule and that a suitable community education programme be started.  These two measures would probably greatly reduce the number of circumcisions taking place.

5) However, not withstanding this, we are aware that medical opinion is divided on this matter, and we are also concerned about the gradual dilution of parental authority in our society today.  Accordingly, we believe that parents should be informed, but that should they elect to proceed with circumcision for their son, no impediment should be placed in their way.

(B) Response anent female genital mutilation.

1) The Presbyterian Church of Queensland agrees with the Commission's view viz "female genital mutilation is a practice which is totally unacceptable to the Australian community".  We regard it as a barbaric, inhuman, and godless practice.

2) Given that there is a question of whether or not the Queensland Criminal Code does, (one way or another), prohibit all forms of this ghastly practice, we believe that there is a need for law reform.  We believe that law should contain specific provisions prohibiting female genital mutilation except for recognised medical procedures.

3) We also urge the Commission to consider legislation that would preclude Australian residents travelling overseas in order to have such operations done to themselves or their daughters.

4) We assure the Commission of our sensitivity to the difficulties inherent in a multicultural society where freedom of religion is the right of all its members.  That freedom cannot be absolute.  There is the question of where to "draw the line".  Thus we concur with the Commission:  "Although Australia is a multicultural society which recognises that an individual's own cultural values should be respected to the greatest extent possible, there are some practices that are so abhorrent to the wider Australian community that they should not be tolerated.  For example, Australians have never tolerated the Indian practice of women throwing themselves on their husband's funeral pyre or Chinese child footbinding."

Likewise, we should not tolerate the pagan rituals (e.g. Moloch worship) which include painful and grossly superstitious acts being done to children or other initiates, even child sacrifices.

We regard some Aboriginal initiation rites as ongoing examples of this pagan superstition.  They are in a true sense parallel to the loathsome practice of female genital mutilation.  They constitute irreversible, non-therapeutic, maiming, intrusive, procedures with grave risks to the health and general quality of life for the person who suffers them.  It is a sad thing that our society shows tolerance to Aboriginal bodily mutilations.

We therefore urge the Commission to be consistent in any decisions it makes regarding female genital mutilation, so that other like forms of body-mutilation, such as Aboriginal initiation rites, are not overlooked.

Respectfully submitted by The Presbyterian Church of Queensland,

Very Rev Dr K J Gardner, O.B.E.
Clerk of Assembly”

15. Advise the Premier, with copies to the Leader of the Opposition, Leader of the Parliamentary Liberal Party and the Media, that The Presbyterian Church of Queensland is opposed to any move that would further liberalise laws relating to abortion in Queensland, and that the position of The Presbyterian Church of Queensland in relation to abortion is as contained in BB 1983 Min.123.20,21 viz:

20. “Affirm that abortion is always unacceptable, except where at least two competent medical authorities (other than the one under consideration to perform the abortion) deem the abortion essential to protect the life of a mother or of her prenatal child (or children), when threatened with immediate death, should the pregnancy continue.
21. Affirm that if and when the rare contingency mentioned in clause 20 should ever arise, everything medically possible also be done to try to ensure the continuation of the lives of all that are thus being threatened.”

16. Advise the Premier, Attorney General, Minister for Health, Leader of the Opposition, Leader of the Parliamentary Liberal Party and the Media that it regards personhood to commence at conception and that it regards the harvesting of body parts from aborted foetuses as an affront to the sanctity of human life.
17. Concur with the actions of the Moderator, the Clerk of Assembly and the Convener of the Public Questions and Communications Committee in writing to the Prime Minister, the Hon. Paul Keating, and the Leader of the Opposition, Dr John Hewson, following their public support for the “Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras” in Sydney, (Appendix E) and incorporate a copy of the letters in the record.

APPENDIX E

An original of the following letter was sent to the Prime Minister, Hon P.J. Keating, with copies to: the Leader of the National Party, Mr T.A. Fischer, and the Premier of Queensland, Hon W.K. Goss, and the media.

“9 March 1994

RE:  PUBLIC SUPPORT OF THE GAY AND LESBIAN MARDI GRAS

It is with deep feelings of sorrow that we write to you on behalf of The Presbyerian Church of Queensland, following your public support for the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras held in Sydney last Saturday.

At best, your actions could be considered a cheap exercise in vote buying from a vocal minority in our community  At worst it is a public rejection of the Biblical ethics which are so clearly set forth in the Word of God in Romans Chapter 1:18-32.

The practice of homosexuality is a direct idolatrous attach on the authority and Lordship of almighty God.

In this Year of the Family we call on you to support and promote the Biblical position of chastity within heterosexual monogamous life-long marriage to the exclusion of all other preferences and practices.

How long before we can expect you to be giving public support to parades of adulterers, paedophiles, murderers or thieves parading through the streets of our capital cities?
Yours faithfully,
Right Rev. G K Kettniss     Very Rev Dr K J Gardner
Moderator       Clerk of Assembly”

18. Refer the proposed statement on “The Family” back to the Public Questions and Communications Committee for further consideration, and report back to the 1995 State Assembly.

19.(i) Commend the Government of Tasmania, through the Tasmanian Premier, Hon R.G. Groom, MHA, on its decision to retain the criminality of homosexual practices; and include a copy of the Assembly’s Resolution on homosexualing as found in 1984 BB Min 212.3 and 1989 BB Min. 279.26(b).

1984 BB Min.212:3

”That the Assembly:  Approve of the Statement on Homosexuality, as printed in the Report, and commend it to all Sessions for promulgation to Church members.

STATEMENT ON HOMOSEXUALITY

1 Corinthians 6:9-10: "Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God? ... neither... effeminate, nor homosexuals..."
One of the most disturbing movements today is the pressure being brought to bear for liberalization of the laws about sexual behaviour. While some review is undoubtedly needed, the great cry is for the recognition of a homosexual lifestyle as a legitimate lifestyle, as valid as that of heterosexuality; and the right for it to be put forward, and even taught as such throughout our education system.
As Christians, our task is to -
(i) determine what the Bible has to say on this matter;
(ii) allow the Biblical view to dominate our response.
THE BIBLICAL VIEW

1. The Old Testament in the Mosaic law specifically condemns all homosexual behaviour as an abomination (see Leviticus 18:22, 20:13) and its punishment has no qualification such as is found with rape (Deuteronomy 22:23-29) or killing (Deuteronomy 19:4-13). The act of homosexuality, like bestiality, has no excuse.
2. The New Testament: Christ does not mention it, but we know He did not take away from the force of the Law, but strengthened it, (compare the depth of the Sermon on the Mount with the Ten Commandments), and extended its radical demands for perfection. Paul's writings are clear in condemning homosexuality. In Romans 1:26 it is condemned as a shameful lust. 1 Corinthians 6:9 condemns it without qualification. 1 Timothy 1:10 shows the Law was made to restrain... homosexuals... whose actions are contrary to sound teaching. Revelation 22:15 would imply that homosexuals are among the immoral ones left out.
3. For the Early Church, homosexuality was the unnatural sin, the sin that characterized a world lost in shame.
Facts we should note are:¬
1. Homosexuality is not a mental illness but is a learned characteristic - a socially learned process (Rom.1:24-27).
2. Homosexual activity is in rebellion against God (Rom.1:25-29)
3. Homosexual feelings should be recognised as sin, as too should all other kinds of sinful feelings, and homosexual activity must firmly be disapproved of. Our response should be seen against this background.
So our task is -
(a) To show the sin of homosexual activity is condemned of God.
(b) To stand against any legislation that would allow its free spread as a "legitimate lifestyle".
(c) To reach out with compassion to the homosexual with the loving, transforming power of the Lord, Who is able to cleanse the penitent from sins and renew in holiness.
(d) To warn against the danger, especially of young boys and girls being corrupted by homosexuals and lesbians whom they may meet, and to urge Government authorities to prevent the appointment of, and to remove known active homosexuals and lesbians from teaching and tutoring positions.

1989 BB Min. 279.26(b)

(b) “Affirm that all homosexual practice is an utter defiling abomination before the holiness and goodness of God, never in any circumstances to be justified.”

19.(ii) Forward a copy of the communication and the Assembly’s resolutions to the Leader of the Tasmanian Opposition, the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Federal Opposition, the Leader of the Federal Parliamentary National Party, the Leader of the Federal Parliamentary Liberal Party, the United Nations Commissioner on Human Rights, the Media, and the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Tasmania.

Extracted from the records of the General Assembly by me- (Rev) R Clark- Clerk of Assembly

EXTRACT MINUTE

At Brisbane within Church Offices on 10 August 1994 on which the Commission of the General Assembly being duly constituted.
INTER ALIA:

MINUTE 16 

Australian Family Association – Home Maker’s Allowance

The Clerk laid on the table communications from the Public Questions and Communications Committee and moved that they be received.
The motion was seconded and approved.
Rev L.J. Percy was invited to explain the matter to the Commission.

It was moved, seconded and approved that the Commission:-
Note the Submission from the Australian Family Association anent the Home Maker’s Allowance and Rev Robert Carner’s response to that Submission.

MINUTE 17 

Matter of Abortifacient – RU486

The Clerk laid on the table a communication from the Public Questions and Communications Committee and moved that it be received.
The motion was seconded and approved.

It was moved, seconded and approved that the Commission:-
Advise the Federal Minister of Family Services, with copies to The Prime Minister, the Leader of the Federal Opposition, the Leader of the Federal Liberal Party, the Leader of the Federal National Party and the Media, that:

i The Presbyterian Church of Queensland is opposed to trials of RU486 on the grounds that it is an abortifacient, and out of concern for the health and welfare of the women involved in those trials.
ii The position of The Presbyterian Church of Queensland on abortion is set out in the following minute:
 1983 BB Minute 123.20,21
22. Affirm that abortion is always unacceptable, except where at least two competent medical authorities (other than the one under consideration to perform the abortion) deem the abortion essential to protect the life of a mother or of her prenatal child (or children), when threatened with immediate death, should the pregnancy continue.
23. Affirm that if and when the rare contingency mentioned in clause 20 should ever arise, everything medically possible also be done to try to ensure the continuation of the lives of all that are thus being threatened.

iii We request the Minister’s intervention to stop the proposed RU486 trials from continuing.

EXTRACT MINUTE

At Brisbane within Church Offices on 9 November 1994 on which the Commission of the General Assembly being duly constituted.
INTER ALIA:

MINUTE 19 

Sexual Privacy Bill
The Clerk laid on the table a communication from the Public Questions and Communications Committee, and correspondence relating to the Human rights (Sexual Conduct) Bill 1994 and moved that they be received.  The motion was seconded and approved.

It was moved, seconded and approve that the Commission:-

Advise the Prime Minister (with copies to the Attorney General, the Leader of the Federal Parliamentary Liberal Party, National Party, and The Australian Democrats, the Premier of Tasmania, and the media) that The Presbyterian Church of Queensland has the following grave concern in relation to the Human Rights (Sexual Conduct ) Bill, 1994:-

1. (a) The Bill uses International obligations under Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to overarch State Legislation dealing with matters for which no provision has been made in the Constitution of Australia.

 (b) The “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights” as a secular humanistic covenant is being used to set aside the provision of laws based on the Word of God declared in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament.

2. That in enacting legislation which declares:
“Arbitrary interferences with privacy
4.(1) Sexual conduct involving only consenting adults acting in private is not to be subject, by or under any law of the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory, to any arbitrary interference with privacy within the meaning of Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Note: Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is set out in Schedule 2 to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act 1986.

(2) For the purposes of this section, an adult is a person who is 18 years old or more.”,

the following practices, against the holiness of the declared will of God, viz sodomy, lesbian practices, sado-masochism, beastiality and incest, could become legal between consenting adults in private anywhere in Australia and its Territories.

MINUTE 20 

It was moved, seconded and approved that the Commission:-

Forward copies of the above decision to Senator Ron Boswell and the Australian Catholic Bishop’s Conference.

Thursday
Dec172009

1993

At Brisbane within the Ann Street Church on 27 May 1993 on which the General Assembly being duly constituted.
INTER ALIA:

Minute 227

The deliverance as a whole was approved as follows:
That the Assembly:
1. Note the supplementary Statement of Educations Aims (Appendix A) of the Committee on Publlic and Communications Report.
2. (a) Appoint an ad hoc committee to prepare a policy statement on education and schooling.
 (b)  Approve the terms of reference for the ad hoc committee as follows:-
While not limiting the scope of the contents of the report, direct that the statement should address the following areas:
a. The nature of education within a Christian context.
b. The purpose of schooling.
c. The Church and State education/schooling.
d. The Church and non-State education/schooling.
e. The aims of church/Christian schools.
f. Home schooling.
(c) Refer the Statement on Educational Aims as contained in the Appendix to the Public Questions and Communications Committee report to the ad hoc committee for consideration.
(d) Request the ad hoc committee to circulate it to all Presbyteries and Kirk Sessions, the PMSA, and Fairholme College with the request that they forward any comments to the ad hoc committee.
(e) Appoint the ad hoc committee comprising seven members (with power to co-opt), by ballot with nominations to the committee to be made by 12.30 pm on Thursday 26th May.
(f) Request the ad hoc committee to present an interim report to the 1994 Assembly if the work of the committee is not finished.
3. (a) Advise Sessions that before the course “Pholosphy of Christian Womanhood” is offered to members of the Congregation, the course should be previewed by the Session, keeping in mind the possibility that women who participate in the course may adopt a position of subservience, rather than the position of biblical submission.
 (b) Advise Sessions that the course “Philosophy of Christian Womanhood” may be previewed on the payment of a deposit of $150.00 to Challenge Ministries, P.O. Box 91, Croydon NSW 2132.
4. Appoint Mrs M. Taylor as Observer to the Queensland State Executive of the Australian Family Association.
5. Appoint Mr D.L. McCullough, Mr G.S. Rutherford and Mrs J. Lees to the Board of Management of Drug Arm.
6. Note that –

 Dr Ifor Thomas, Medical Superintendent of the Royal Womens Hospital, Brisbane and the Rev. Dr Rod Duncanson, M.B., Ch.B, M.R.C.G.P., Dip.Obst.,B.Th, concur with the following statement quoted from the letter of Dr Graeme Hughes, Senior Lecturer in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of NSW, of 16/5/92.

 “As with any drug or hormone, the combined oral contraceptive (The Pill) affects most organs of the body.  The Pill does not select out the ovary and only work on that organ.  It affects other pelvic organs including the bowel, the uterus, the bladder and so on.  However its contraceptive action depends on its amazing ability to stop ovulation,  (i.e. the production of eggs from the ovaries).  It does this by suppressing hormones normally produced by the pituitary gland in the brain.  The Pill affects the uterus by thinning the lining of that organ.  It affects the mucus at the cervix by making it thick and resistant to bacteria and sperm.  The Pill affects the breasts by making them produce more milk glands.  (Despite recent publicity there is no evidence that it causes cancer.)

 The Pill can be associated with many side effects, but it does not cause miscarriages or abortions.  It cannot do that as there is no egg to be fertilised.  The Pill stops ovulation.  Occasionally women do get pregnant because they have not taken the Pill reliably, or they may not have absorbed it.  In these cases, when there is a breakthrough ovulation, the lining of the uterus is normal and the cervical mucus is normal.  It is ovulation that makes these organs normal.  When there is no ovulation (no egg) there is no stimulus to make the uterine lining lush and juicy.  The mucus at the cervix is also fertile, even if she becomes pregnant because of failed Pill taking.

 So it is the fact that ovulation is stopped that causes these changes, rather than these changes causing embryos to abort.

 There is one way to take the Pill that may cause abortions.  The so called ‘morning after the night before’ pills.  If four or five pills are taken daily for three or four days after sexual intercourse, this may cause a miscarriage.  This use is not recommended by the manufacturers, and can lead to harmful side effects.

 Sometimes, for breast feeding women, a Mini Pill is advised for contraception.  This pill contains only the one hormone Progesterone, and works by making the cervic hostile to sperm.

 The Pill certainly does have side effects and is not the choice of contraceptive for every woman, but the actions are clear and have been well researched and documented.  There is no argument among scientists that it works by abolishing ovulation.”

7. (a) Concur with the action of the Clerk, the Moderator and the Convener of the Public Questions and Communications Committee in submitting a response to the Electoral and Administrative Review Commission’s Paper No.20, ‘Review of the Preservation and Enhancement of Individuals’ Rights and Freedoms’.
 (b) Note the action of the Commission of Assembly in relationi to the communiqué ‘Review of Permanent Exemptions under the Sex Discrimination Act 1984’.
 (c) Note the statement ‘On Racism’ as found on page 3 of the report from The Reformed Ecumenical Council – “Although South Africa will live with the aftermath of apartheid for some years to come, the Assembly was able to see that substantial progress has been made in this area, both in South African society and in our member churches.  The Assembly, at the same time expressed its awareness that racism was not restricted to our churches in South and Southern Africa.  It therefore requests that all member churches examine themselves, and report to the REC on mattes of race relations at our next Assembly.  The text of the resolution reads:
  “Member churches are requested to include in their reports to the next REC meeting matters of race relations in their countries and churches as well as the response of their churches to racism.”
  And request the Public Questions and Communications Committee to present a report on racism to the 1994 Assembly.
8. Appoint Convener Rev L.J. Percy and Mr G. Dunkley as members of the Board ot Directors of CTA Qld. Ltd.
9. Encourage Sessions and Committees of Management to support our National Journal APL – Living Today through the use of bulk subscriptions to the journal.
10. Note the action of the Commission of Assembly in adopting the Church and Nation Committee Paper on Homosexuality as the position of the Queensland State Assembly.
11. Endorse the memorandum re:  Status of Laws Relating to Abortion in Queensland, forwarded by the Clerk of Assembly to the Premier, Leader of the Opposition, Leader of the Parliamentary Liberal Party, The Courier Mail (Church Column) and the media.
12. Direct the Clerk to include the following media outlets in those advised, when the media is advised of a matter:-
 Bureau
 AAP Reuters (Brisbane)
 Television
 Channels 7, 9, 10, ABC TV, SBS Television, TEN Queensland, Sunshine Television, WIN Television.
 Newspapers
 The Courier Mail, The Sunday Mail, Quest Community Newspapers, The Australian, The Cairns Post, Chronicle (Maryborough), The Chronicle (Toowoomba), The Daily Mercury (Mackay), Daily News (Warwick), Gold Coast Bulletin, The Gympie Times, The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton), News-Mail (Bundaberg), The North West Star (Mt Isa), The Observer (Gladstone), The Queensland Times (Ipswich), Sunshine Coast Daily, Townsville Bulletin.
 Radio
 B105, 4MMM, 4BC, 4BH, 4KQ, 4QR.

13. Approve the following resolution -
 “That pursuant to Section 249 of the Corporation’s Law, Rev L.J. Percy or failing him, Mr Gordon Dunkley be appointed to act as the Corporation’s representative at any meeting of the members of the Christina Television Association of Queensland Ltd. In which this Corporation is a member” and authorise the Clerk to convey it to the CTA Qld. By way of certificate under the Common Seal of The Presbyerian Church of Queensland.”
14. Note that in relation to the matter of youth unemployment, which was referred to the Public Questions and Communications Committee by the 1992 Assembly [BB Min.166.15 of 1992] that the Public Questions and Communications Committee has advised the Assembly that the matter of youth unemployment is not a simiple matter of economics, but it is in reality, a complex spiritual, moral, and economic problem that is at this point of time beyond the resources of the Committee to bring an adequate report to the Assembly.
15. (i) Note that the Queensland Law Reform Commission is reviewing the law in Queensland relating to consent to medical treatment of people under the age of 18, and that:-
(a) Written or oral submissions should be received by 15 June 1993.
(b) An information paper discussiong a number of the issues which will need to be addressed by the Commission is available upon request from the Commission’s offices.
(c) The Commission’s contact is: Wayne Briscoe, Commissioner, PO Box 312, Roma Street, Brisbane Q 4403, phone (07) 227 4544, Fax (07) 227 9045.
(ii) Encourage members of the Church, Sessions and Presbyteries to make submissions to the Commission.
(iii) Advise the Commission, with a copy to the media, that the Assembly is opposed to any action which would:
 (a)  undermine the status of a parent with the child,
 (b)  encourage or assist immoral behaviour.
(iv) Advise the Commission, with a copy to the media, of the following resolutions of the Assembly:-
 (a)  1989 BB Minute 279.14
Regard instruction in human sexuality to be primarily a responsibility of parents, to be given within the Biblical constraints of chastity before marriage and fidelity within marriage, to the exclusion of all other sexual practices and preferences.
(b)  1980 BB Minute 116
Affirm the Biblical teaching of the Right to Life, especially as this applies to the unborn child, that all life is sacred to God, and that human life is a gift of God from conception.
(c)  1983 BB Minute 123,.20,21
20. Affirm that abortion is always unacceptable, except where at least two competent medical authorities (other than the one under consideration to perform the abortion) deem the abortion essential to protect the life of a mother or of her prenatal child (or children), when threatened with immediate death, should the pregnancy continue.
21. Affirm that if and when the rare contingency mentioned in clause 20 should ever arise, everything medically possible also be done to try to ensure the continuation of the lives of all that are thus being threatened.
(d)  1991 BB Minute 203.17
17. (a) Affirm that in relation to the issue of prostitution, we have a moral obligation to our neighbour, and to proclaim Christ as the Saviour who sets free and cleanses the sinner.
  (b) Declare prostitution is not a ‘victimless crime’ for it essentially destroys a human being’s personal worth by corrupting such human being into ‘merchandise to be traded’.
  (c) Advise the Premier, Leader of the Opposition, Leader of the Liberal Party, Criminal Justice Commission, the Minister for Health, the Minister for Justice, Minister for Local Government, and the Media that the Assembly:-
i Strongly opposes any relaxing of the laws relating to prostitution (male or female) or soliciting.
ii Request the introduction of laws which prosecute those who use male or female prostitutes.
iii Strongly opposes the setting aside of special areas for use for the purpose of prostitution.

16. Advise the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Federal Opposition, the Premier, the Leader of the Queensland Opposition, with a copy to the media, that the General Assembly of the Queensland Prersbyterian Church, in considering the matter of the debate surrounding the Monarchy or a Republic; hold to the following:-
(a) That God has appointed the Civil Ruler as His Minister under the Headship of the Lord Jesus Christ, for the good order of society and the free proclamation of the Gospel (enclosing a copy of Chapters 23 and 31 of the Westminster Confession of Faith and Romans 13:1-7).
(b) That while other nations have been established as, or become a Republic, that there is no guarantee that the rights and privileges of the people of Australia, including the freedom of practices of the Christian Church, will be any better protected under a Republic than under the present system, and may very well be less so protected.
17. Advise the Premier of Queensland, with copies to the Leader of the Opposition, the Leader of the Parliamentary Liberal Party, and the media, that the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Queensland:
(a) regards pornography and prostitution as affronts against the holiness of God who has created man in His image and likeness.
(b) calls on the Premier not to liberalize laws relating to censorship and pornography but to move to protect individuals and families from exposure to their harmful effects.
(c) commends the Government for its move to close down brothels and prosecute those who use them but calls on the Premier to amend legislation so as to make prostitution in all its forms illegal.
18. 1.  Note Section 47 of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act 1986 provides for the addition of  “international instruments” to this act.

On February 24, 1993 the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religious Belief was published in the Commonwealth Gazette.  This Declaration has the force of law from that date.

 The Declaration, originating in the United Nations, contains provisions which have implications for the Christian Church and for the practice of the Christian faith by its adherents.  The following exceprts fall into the areas of concern:-

Article 1:
3.  Freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.
Article 2:
1.  No on shall be subject to discrimination by any State, Institution, group of persons, or person on grounds of religion or other belief.
2.  For the purposes of the present Declaration, the expression “intolerance and discrimination based on religion or belief” means any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on religion or belief and having as its purpose or as its effect nullification or impairment of the recognition, enjoyment or exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms on an equal basis.
Article 4:
1.  All States shall take effective measures to prevent and eliminate discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief in the recognition, exercise and enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms in all fields of civil, economic, political, social and cultural life.
Article 5:
3.  The child shall be protected from any form of discrimination on the ground of religion or belief.  He shall be brought up in a spirit of understanding, tolerance, friendship among peoples, peace and universal brotherhood, respect for freedom of religion or belief of others, and in full consciousness that his energy and talents should be devoted to the service of his fellow men.
5.  Practices of a religion or belief in which a child is brought up must not be injurious to his physical or mental health or to his full development, taking into account article 1, paragraph 3, of the present Declaration.
Article 6:
In accordance with article 1 of the present Declaration, and subject to the provisions of article 1, paragraph 3, the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief shall include inter alia, the following freedoms:
(a) To worship or assembly in connection with a religion or belief, and to establish and maintain places for these purposes.
(b) To teach a religion or belief in places suitable for these purposes.
Article 7:
The rights and freedoms set forth in the present Declaration shall be accorded in national legislation in such a manner that everyone shall be able to avail himself of such rights and freedoms in practice.

2.  Advise the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Federal Opposition, the Federal Parliamentary Leader of the National Party, the Leader of the Australian Democrats in the Senate, all Queensland Members of the Senate, all Queensland Members of the House of Representatives, the Premier of Queensland, the Leader of the State Opposition, the Leader of the Queensland Parliamentary Liberal Party, and the media:-
That the General Assembly of The Presbyterian Church of Queensland:
(a) is concerned that the addition of “International instruments” to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act 1986 has the capacity to overarch both the Constitution of Australia and Common Law.
(b) is concerned that the values stated in Paragraph 3 of Article 5 of the “Declaration on the Elimination of all Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religious Belief” are the values of the Religion of Humanism.
(c) is concerned that the religious freedom of the Christian Church in Australia may be eroded if the requirements of the “Declaration on the Elimination of all Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religious Belief” are rigorously applied.
(d) calls on the Prime Minister to move to rescind the legislation establishing the “International Instrument” the “Declaration on the Elimination of all Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religious Belief.”


Extracted from the records of the General Assembly by me- (Rev) R Clark- Clerk of Assembly

Thursday
Dec172009

1992

At Brisbane within the Ann Street Church on 28 May 1992 on which the General Assembly being duly constituted.
INTER ALIA:

Minute 166

The deliverance as a whole was approved as follows:
That the Assembly:
1. (a)  Thank Rev L.J. Hall for his dedicated service as a member of and secretary to the Committee.
(b)  Thank Rev B.F. Stuart for his contribution to the work of the Committee.
2. Encourage Ministers, Elders, and Communicants to become actively involved as members of Human Relationships Education Consultative Committees, noting the protection now afforded to those of a minority position.
3. (a)  Circulate the report anent the Philosophy of Christian Womanhood Course and Assembly Paper 19 to all Presbyteries and Sessions for consideration and comment with replies to be in the hands of the Secretary of the Public Questions and Communications Committee by 30 November 1992.
(b)  Forward to Challenge Ministries a copy of the report anent the Philosophy of Christian Womanhood, and Assembly Paper 19.
4. Note the paper by Rev Charles Green entitled “Factors which Negatively Impinge on Christian Aboriginal Families”.
5. Appoint Mrs M. Taylor as observer to Queensland State Executive of the Australian Family Association.
6. (a)  Note 1980 BB Min.116.8 and 1983 BB Min.123.17-21.
 (b)  Declare that personhood is to be considered to occur from the commencement of conception which is from the penetration of the wall of the ovum by a sperm.
 (c)  Request the Committee to consult with competent Christian medical practitioners prior to the presentation of a report to the next Assembly on the subject of oral contraception.
7. (a)  Appoint Rev L.J. Percy and Mr G. Dunkley as members of the Board of Directors of the CTA Qld. Ltd.
 (b)  Commend “Campaign ‘92” to the prayerful support of the Church.
 (c)  Thank the Rev J. Nicol and Rev L.J. Hall for their contribution as Directors of the CTA of Qld.
8. Request the Board of Governors of St. Andrew’s Hospital to:-
i Discontinue the use of Donor Sperm.
ii Treat the developing embryo as a person from the commencement of conception; which is to be considered as from the penetration of the wall of the ovum by a sperm.

9. (a)  Commend the national Journal Committee and Editor of “Living Today – APL” to the prayerful support of the Church.
(b)  Encourage Ministers, Elders and Members to subscribe to “Living Today – APL”. 

10. 1. Note that the Assembly, as a Member, has forwarded the following amounts to the Christian Television Association of Queensland Ltd.:  1984 - $3,850; 1985 - $3,852; 1986 - $4,140; 1987 - $4,500; 1988 - $4,750; 1989 - $5,000; 1990 - $5,000; 1991 - $5,322.42 + $1500; 1992 - (9,000 (Budgeted).
2    Note that the annual General Meeting of the CTA Ltd has requested members (including The Presbyterian Church of Queensland) to allocate the sum of $4,000 per Director appointed by the Member, as the subscription paid by the Member in the CTA 1993 Budget (Jan – Dec).
 3. Urge the Board of Finance to allocate $4,000 per Director as its subscription in 1993 (Jan – Dec) to the CTA of Qld Ltd Budget.

11. 1. Recommend to the Board of Finance, that in formulating allocations to Committees for 1993, it would be appropriate to fund any Commission of Assembly approved increased allocation to the CTA from Assembly Expenses rather than the Budget.
 2. Instruct the Board of Finance to examine the following matters in relation to the Christian Television Association, and report with recommendations to the 1993 Assembly, or if appropriate, a Commission of Assembly:
(a) the appropriateness of viewing Christian Television Association as a body of which the Presbyterian Church of Queensland is a member.
(b) if statement (a) is valid, the appropriateness of making CTA contributions from Assembly Expenses Funds.
(c) the need to ensure that the Board of Finance is kept au fait with the financial trends of the CTA whilst preserving the role of the Public Questions and Communications Committee in its non-financial relationship with the CTA.
And that the whole matter be examined in consultation with the appropriate Assembly Standing Committee.

12. Reaffirm its earlier support for Family Radio and encourage the Charges to support the work of Family Radio.

13. 1. Note Communication 8 (A.P.10).
 2. Note that the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 has not been proclaimed as yet.
 3. Note that Rev Peter Bloomfield, Rev Les Percy and Mr Craig Scott met privately with the Attorney-General, Hon Deane Wells, on Tuesday 26 May, 1992 and discussed the Act.
 4. Note that the Deputation was advised that Section 113 of the Act may be an appropriate section of the Act to meet the concerns raised regarding liberty of conscience.
 5. Request the Public Questions and Communications Committee to take up the matter of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 and authorise the Commission of Assembly to deal with this matter if necessary.

14. Direct the Clerk to write to the Premier with copies to the Leader of the Opposition, the Parliamentary Liberal Party, and the Media expressing the grave concern of the Assembly that the extent of gambling in this State is being further extended by the establishment of another casino in the State.
15. Refer the Communication No.9 (A.P.11) to both the Public Questions and Communications Committee and the Department for Social Mission for information and action as appropriate.


Extracted from the records of the General Assembly by me- (Rev) R Clark- Clerk of Assembly

Assembly Paper 10 – Communication No. 8   [Refer to 13. above]

Letter from Presbytery of Brisbane to the Public Questions and Communications Committee:

“12th May 1992

Dear Mr Percy,

Please find below a letter which has been forwarded to the Honourable Premier of Queensland expressing our deep concerns and reservations in regards the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Act 1991.  Perhaps your Committe could bring this matter up in the Assembly.

Yours faithfully in Jesus Christ,
CLERK.”

“The Premier
The Hon. W. Goss
Parliament House
George Street
BRISBANE 4000 

Dear Mr Goss,

Re:  Anti-Discrimination Act

At the May meeting of this Presbytery, very grave concerns were expressed at the Queensland Anti Discrimination Act 1991 and the following resolutions were passed by the Presbytery of Brisbane:

(a) That this Presbytery reminds the Premier that our freedoms have been traditionally protected under Common Law, and this Presbytery views the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Act 1991, as undermining this protection as established by Common Law.

(b) This Presbytery refers the Premier to Section 7.1 of the Act, which identifies prohibited grounds for discrimination, including:
 b. Marital Status,  i. Religion,  1. Lawful Sexual Activity.  ………………2

(c) In relation to (b) and (1) above, Presbytery reminds the Premier that members of the Presbyterian Church and other Christians, hold to the teaching of the Bible, the authoritative Word of God, which clearly teaches that all forms of sexual activities and relationships, apart from chastity before marriage, and fidelity within monogamous heterosexual marriage, are proscribed, and an affront to the holiness of God.

 It therefore expresses to the Premier, the grave concern that Christians who hold to the above religious doctrines, will be liable to prosecution under this Act, by doing what they believe to be right in accordance with the Bible.  For example: in refusing to rent a property to those living in a sinful relationship.


(d) In relation to (i) above, Presbytery reminds the Premier that the Bible teaches that Christians are united together in Christ and therefore may desire to give preference to fellow Christians in employment or accommodation.  Presbytery therefore expresses grave concern that such a person would also be liable to prosecutioni under the Act.

(e) Presbytery expresses the following grave concerns in the matter of the workings of the Tribunal –

(i) The absence of safeguards for the accused;
(ii) The level of proof required is only the balance of probability rather than beyond all reasonable doubt.
(iii) The accused appears to be preseumed guilty, until proven innocent.
(iv) That there is no avenue of appeal.

(f) Presbytery therefore urges that the Act not be proclaimed in its present form.

Be assured of our continued prayers for you and your government, that Parliament would ever seek to the righteous will of God, as clearly laid down in His Word.

Yours int the Lord’s Service,

Clerk
12th May 1992”


EXTRACT MINUTE

At Brisbane within the Church Office on 12 November 1992 on which the Commission of the General Assembly being duly constituted.
INTER ALIA:

6. The clerk laid on the table a report from the Board of Finance recommending, as part of the Budget recommendations, that the amount of $12,000 be allocated during 1983 (ie on the basis of three Directors at $4,000 each) and moved that the report be received.
 The motion was seconded and approved.

7. The Clerk reported that a nomination for Rev S.J. Nicholson had been received to fill the vacancy on the Board of Directors.

 It was  moved, seconded and approved that the Commission:-
Appoint Rev. S.J. Nicholson as a Director or the Board of the Christian Television Association.

23. The Clerk laid on the table a communication from the Public Questions & Communications Committee re the Presbyterian Church of Australia Church and Nation Committee – Statement on Homosexuality and moved that it be received.
 The motion was seconded and approved.

24. It was moved, seconded and approved, that the Commission:-
 Endorse the General Assembly of Australia Church and National Committee Statement on Homosexuality.

26. The Clerk laid on the table a communication for the Public Questions and Communications Committee re a “Report on Review of Permanent Exemptions Under the Sex Discrimination Act 1984”, and moved that it be received.
 The motion was seconded and approved.

27. Rev L.J. Percy moved,  it was seconded and approved, that the Commission of Assembly:-

Advise the Attorney-General, the Hon. Michael Duffy, with copies to the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition , the Queensland Members of the House of Representatives, the Queensland Members of the Senate, and the Media of the following:-

(a) The Presbyterian Church of Queensland requests that no amendments be made to Section 38 of The Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Educational Institutions Established for Religious Purposes) as the exemptions granted in the Act enable a Church to consistently administer its own educational institutions in keeping with its doctrines and practices.
(b) The Church’s position on sexual practices is as stated in its 1989 Communication to the Queensland Minister for Education [BB Min.279.13(b) (c);  14(a)] viz:-

“13. (b)Advise the Minister for Education and Director General of Education that the Assembly regards the proposals set forth in its interim report on ‘Human Rerlationship Education for State Schools’ as a major change in education policy across the whole curriculum from pre-school to grade 12, which is in conflict with Religious Education in schools in that the proposal propagates a pluralistic, humanistic and rationalistic philosophical basis for society rather than a Judeo/Christian basis.
 (c)  Call on the Minister for Education to return to the status quo in practice, whereby the Judeo/Christian philosophy is accepted as basic and whereby Biblical ethics and morality are not merely an alternative to other bases for behaviour.
14. (a) Advise the Minister for Education that the Assembly regards instruction in human sexuality to be primarily a responsibility of parents, to be given within the Biblical constraints of chastity before marriage and fidelity within marriage, to the exclusion of all other sexual practices and preferences.”

Extracted from the records of the Commission of the General Assembly by me- (Rev) R Clark-  Clerk of Assembly

Page 1 ... 2 3 4 5 6 ... 7 Next 5 Entries ยป