It's Great to Celebrate Australia Day!
Greetings this New Year in the Name of Jesus!
Our closing encouragement to you last year was to take part in the New Year's Day Sunrise Prayer Relay, now in its third year. According to Breaking Christian News this was a call to the world from Australia "to circle the globe with prayer, praise and worship"! We are thrilled to report that Christians in hundreds of locations across Australia and in at least 50 nations around the world gathered at sunrise to declare that Jesus Christ is Lord! You can read testimonies for 2018 and register, even now, for 2019 at the
Sunrise Prayer Relay website
Thank you to the many members of the Canberra Declaration community who took part. We believe God will use your prayers in mighty ways in 2018. You are making a difference for Australia and for the world which is in such turmoil.
With Australia Day on Friday, it's time to celebrate our history and Judeo-Christian heritage and all that has made Australia a great place to live.
But sadly, in recent weeks, changing the date for Australia Day became a real talking point
with much in the news. Greens leader Richard Di Natale declared last week that a campaign to change the date of Australia Day, on behalf of indigenous Australians, would be a priority for his party this year. The Greens leader has decided to champion this divisive cause even though from different reports most Aboriginal communities
seldom raise the issue
. Other communities even have a positive take on Australia Day.
In an article titled Australia Day or Invasion Day, Bill Muehlenberg of Culture Watch writes, "... t
he radical left has never been a fan of Western civilisation. It seeks at every turn to deride, attack, criticise and undermine the values and achievements of the West. So it comes as no surprise that each year when Australia Day is celebrated, all the usual suspects of the ever-offended left come out to pick a fight."
On the other hand, there are other voices such as Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, an Alice Springs' Councillor of both Indigenous and European decent, who asserts that
changing Australia Day won't change history
. She says
we celebrate on January 26 because it marks the beginning of what we now call Australia. We cannot change this fact. Aboriginal culture was never going to remain untouched by the rest of the world ... Deciding to be offended does not foster resilience or free us from our past. We have far more pressing issues to address. Let's lay our resentments aside to get on board together as Australians in the true spirit of reconciliation - to build a better future for us all."
Please watch Jacinta's
Save Australia Day youtube -
In the providence of God this land was colonised by a Christian nation who had no intentions of making an invasion. On the contrary, the First Fleet had in its cargo many Bibles and Christian books. Its appointed chaplain, the Reverend Richard Johnson, was the first person to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ on Australian soil.
In One People, One Destiny - A Christian History of Australia Mike Spencer writes, "the word 'invasion' has negative connotations of planned attack, dispossession and violation. Yet the reading of Australia's history, even at the most critical level, will find little or no evidence that 'invasion' was in the minds of the early colonial administrators. ... But despite the shortcomings and errors of European colonial intentions and action, European settlement brought the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Indigenous Australians."
The colony's first Governor was Arthur Phillip, who had captained the First Fleet. He is consider by many to be the founding father of modern-day Australia. As he prepared the First Fleet for setting sail from England he fiercely declared "there shall be no slavery in a free land." Committed to living peacefully with the indigenous people, he refused reprisal even when he was seriously injured by a spear in the shoulder.
The real agenda of the political and cultural elite, who want to rewrite, revise and reinterpret our history, is to deny that Australia's Judeo-Christian heritage has played a major part in making this nation great. By claiming indigenous Australians feel offended and excluded by Australia Day they are playing identity politics to undermine the freedoms of our liberal democracy which are based on Christian values. The Canberra Declaration states -
"The values that we have cherished and sought to strengthen are in large measure founded on the Judeo-Christian belief system. The many freedoms, advantages, opportunities, values and liberties which characterise the West owe much to the growth of Christianity with its inherent belief in the dignity of the human person as created in the image of God and the code of behaviour that flows from this belief."
we encourage you to
celebrate unashamedly Australia Day this Friday but also
National Christian Heritage Sunday on Sunday 4 February 2018. This coincides, as much as possible, with the first preaching of the Gospel in Australia on Sunday 3 February 1788. This annual commemoration was launched in 2013 by Dr Graham McLennan who was one of the visionaries behind the Canberra Declaration. Visit the National Christian Heritage Sunday website with its excellent resources and to find out how you can participate.
And so throughout 2018, until the next New Year's Day Sunrise Prayer Relay, let us keep declaring that Jesus is Lord over Australia.
Let us go out of our way to honour our Indigenous brothers and sisters as we pray with them for the revival and transformation for our nation.
For it is only by the power of the Gospel that we can truly become One People with One Destiny.
"So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptised into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:26-28).
Yours for a great celebration of Australia Day!
David Rowsome & Warwick Marsh
to protect life, marriage, family and freedom