Saturday 23 April 2016
Over 600 people gathered today in the Wesley Centre in Pitt St, Sydney, for the Australian Christian Lobby’s national conference. The lineup of speakers included American author and speaker Eric Metaxas, federal treasurer the Hon Scott Morrison MP, Wendy Francis, and the ACL’s managing director Lyle Shelton, amongst others.
A protest against the ACL planned for 12:30pm outside the Wesley Centre meant that conference organisers encouraged participants to stay inside the building.
We shared some of the highlights of the conference throughout the day.
3:30pm: Thanks for joining us today. We hope you enjoy our highlights.
Eric Metaxas, author, speaker and radio broadcaster
“The core of education has to be: who am I? Where have we come from? Where are we going? Is there a God? Can we know? What can we know?
“If you really trust the Lord, he will take you on a strange journey.
“You are called by God to be the conscience of the state. The church has a prophetic voice to hold the state accountable for its actions.
“There is no Christian truth. Truth is truth. Either Jesus rose from the dead bodily, or he did not. It’s true. It happened. We need to be emboldened in our faith. The people who don’t believe it are actually mistaken.
Wendy Francis, QLD Director of Australian Christian Lobby
“Our porn culture is warping our understanding of sex and love.
1:25pm: Conference organisers have urged participants to not go outside during the lunch break, as there is a “significant protest” that might make “a lot of noise”.
1:24pm: Some photos from the protest outside the ACL national conference.
Dr Jeff Ventrella, Alliance Defending Freedom
“We have to swim against the tide, in order to turn the tide.
“What do you love? The loves of a few men move the lives of many. In particular we are called to love God and our neighbour. When you love God, you will promote law and policy, and a public square, and a society that promotes him and protects human flourishing.
“Those who want to win the world for Christ must have the courage to come into conflict with it.
12:44pm: A man dressed in striped pyjamas (reminiscent of victims of Nazi Germany), with red paint on his hands representing the blood of victims, just interrupted Dr Jeff Ventrella, claiming that Dr Ventrella has imprisoned gay people around the world, for being gay. Security escorted him from the conference theatre, while ACL conference attendees sang Amazing Grace. Before he left he held up his hands, and cried, “this blood is on your hands.”
Dr Stephen Chavura, ARC Senior Research Associate, Macquarie University
“The origins of the separation of church and state in Australia is part of our Christian heritage and something we should be proud of. We shouldn’t be afraid of it.
“The best way to encourage people to be kind to one another is to encourage religion.
“A secular state does not mean an irreligious state, but a state that wants to foster religion, because religion often encourages a happy life.
“Don’t be fooled by those who say Christians and Christianity has no right to contribute. Christians have been contributing to the public space from the beginning.
“Speak the truth in love – take the abuse, some of it is just hate, but some of it comes from deep hurt – we listen as well as speak.
Scott Morrison MP, federal treasurer
“I’m a big believer in prayer, I’ve seen the impact of it in my own life. I know it works.
Dr Gary Millar, Queensland Theological College
“There is no need for us to be scared of anyone or anything other than God himself. Jesus will win in the end. We fear God, not men, We fear the God who treasures us intimately.
“The people we engage with have largely already rejected God. I’m still taken aback when people are mean to me because of the gospel. We slip far too easily into thinking that people will be nice to me if I’m nice to them. People are either for Jesus or against him.
“It’s all too easy for those who have thrown ourselves into serving the Lord Jesus Christ … that somehow we allow Jesus Christ to be left out.
Lyle Shelton, managing director, Australian Christian Lobby
“I want to make it very clear that the ACL doesn’t hate anyone. No one. we serve the God of love who commands us to love everyone.
“There’s never been a more exciting time in Australia to be a Christian.
“We are people of hope, called to shine the light of Christ, even and especially into public policy.