NSW Abortion Law | Abortion Grief | I’m offended! | Sydney Attack – S3E2 The Truth of It


G’day, I’m Martyn Iles and this is The Truth of It – ACL’s weekly newscast on politics and current events where we cut
through the fake news and bring you what it says
on the tin which is the truth of it. I’m going to start today with the big topic of the week which is abortion legislation in New South Wales. Now I have given my extended thoughts on that legislation and the issue of abortion in general in the last episode. So if you haven’t seen that one go back now you can go to our YouTube channel all the episodes are there. You can go to
the playlist and go through the full episodes or even The Truhf
of It clips where you can just get the abortion clip from the last episode or watch the full thing. It’s the second topic that I deal with. If you’re podcasting, you can also go back to the
previous episode. Those are my extended thoughts on the abortion issue. Also subscribe, by the way, to YouTube while you’re there because it all goes up on YouTube and we’re aiming to get 10,000 subscribers very very soon that’s going up
very rapidly and it’s increasing quickly so getting on it. But I’ve given my extended thoughts there and what I want to do now is hone in on something because since I did that piece the bill has actually passed the lower house of the New South Wales Parliament. And you know that may be what a lot of people don’t know is that during the debate on the bill in the lower house of the New South Wales Parliament a whole range of amendments were
moved changes to make this dreadful law a little bit better and there’s some pretty solid ones here. Most of them were moved by Tanya Davies MP, the MP for Mogo. I think that’s right is it
Mulgoa? Yes. And each of these amendments was voted
down rejected by the upper house she said well what were they. Well
unfortunately this is pretty depressing stuff. The first one which is of tremendous significance is that an amendment to ensure babies
that are born alive are rendered medical care. That is the same neonatal care that would be afforded any other child
born at the relevant stage of gestation if it were a wanted child if the mother had made the designation that yes I want to keep it. Medical care would be rendered and the parliament said no – babies born alive as a result of botched abortion procedures must be left to die. Is that really an issue? Well yes in Victoria between 2009 and 2016 there were 304 babies born alive during an abortion process left to slowly die on operating tables rendered no care. In Western Australia between 1999 and 2015 at least 26 babies were born alive after
failed abortion attempts. They too were left to die. Gemma Tognini writes in The Daily Telegraph an amendment to provide medical care
to babies that survived abortions was somehow voted down voted down. Say that aloud if you dare. A baby born alive who needs medical help is left to die – My heart breaks. This actually happens right across the country it’s very hard to get the stats but we have two states there – one that’s highly populated with liberal
abortion laws; one that’s less populated with less liberal abortion laws. It’s happening across the country. These babies will continue to die in criminally inhumane wicked circumstances simply by being left on the operating table
and not being rendered any care. Second amendment that was voted down as an amendment to require that
abortions performed on children under 16 are reported to the relevant
authority and the parliament said no. They voted against it. So a pregnant minor may seek an abortion and no investigation is made
regarding possible child sexual abuse –
it’s not even brought to the attention
of any authority. The bill in its current form contains provisions for overruling in fact the wishes of parents when an abortion is requested by their child a minor. And we know that girls who abort rather than carry a pregnancy to term are five times more likely to seek
help for psychological problems thereafter, three times more likely to report
trouble sleeping, nine times more likely to report
marijuana use. But no, they wouldn’t allow an amendment into this bill that would require a doctor to make a report when a child, a girl under 16 comes in for an abortion. Thirdly an amendment to allow counselling and a 72-hour cooling off period for any woman seeking an abortion. That too was voted down. So why would you why would you go to allow counselling? Well because women in circumstances that have led them to seek an abortion are often facing grave challenges. It is true that very many women
don’t have an abortion for choice. It is true. An independent counsellor in those circumstances and challenges may actually be rather helpful. Three month post abortive women we know are three and a half times have a three and a half times greater
incidence of clinical depression and one fifth higher rates of post-traumatic stress disorder. That’s not just some random fringe study you look at the Royal Australian
College Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and
Gynaecologists, they recommend this woman’s physical social emotional and psychological needs should be taken into account in the course of decision making and pre and post termination counselling by appropriately qualified professionals should be made available. Why? Because it’s more than just a medical procedure. Why? Because it’s not just removing a clump of cells. Why? Because there’s something psychological that takes place when a woman kills a child. When a woman’s motherhood instinct is truncated and cut short and the child is taken away. The psychological impacts the activists tell us it’s not significant it is significant. Or if you want anecdotal evidence that was the case of Kathy Clubb which taught me a great deal. Kathy Clubb went to the High Court. Why? Because in Victoria she stood near the East Melbourne abortion clinic and she made simple offers of help to women who were approaching that clinic and Kathy in the course of her ministry saw more than 300 babies born alive because of the interventions of her and others doing the same ministry as her as part of a group called the helpers. These women often had a trouble had a doubt had a concern about what they were doing. But there was a problem that drove them to it. Sometimes it was domestic violence and coercion needed help sometimes it was that they were poverty stricken bankrupt needed help sometimes it was that they’d been deserted and left alone in the world and had no friends or support needed help. Sometimes it was they did not know how they were going to care for that child and raise it as an infant needed help. Help can be provided to women who find themselves in these circumstances and abortion is not the answer. An amendment to permit conscientious objection by doctors was also voted down. We know the law as it currently stands says that a doctor regardless of faith regardless of religious conviction regardless of their conscience must be complicit in abortion must either perform the abortion or refer the patient, the woman to someone who definitely will. Now anybody with a Christian faith or anything like that knows. That is to be complicit. The doctor’s right of integrity of his conscience is taken away. Now this is deeply harmful to a person to have them required by law to do something that is that infringes upon that wounds that harms their conscience. That then inflicts them with guilt is very serious and people simply won’t do this. But if they sanction for it forward it will drive them from the medical profession how wrong it is not to take conscience seriously and because the Parliament thinks it’s a good idea because the Parliament wants to impose this law. The Parliament now wants every doctor to be complicit and to affirm and applaud it through their practice. A reasonable amendment to permit the most basic of freedoms the freedom of the mind and the conscience and the belief rejected voted down an amendment to make it an offence to coerce someone into having an abortion believe it or not in an age of domestic violence concerns. That too was voted down. A Galaxy poll was done in Queensland a while ago of the general public and asked abortion related questions and I can scarcely believe this was a pretty big poll by reputable company. Of those asked in the Queensland community living breathing walking Queenslanders 26 percent more than a quarter of people reported knowing someone who has been coerced into having an abortion by another person. I find that astonishing. Two high profile footballers recently had former girlfriends come out and say we were coerced by this person. One was paid hush money to go and have abortions both regretted it, both spoke out. Now I know that neither of those footballers have been banned for life. Unlike a certain someone else who made the do the terrible sin of speaking up for his beliefs. But what happened to domestic violence concerns. This was voted down. Do you know an amendment speaking of domestic violence speaking of women and you know the things that are done to them. Women’s rights. An amendment to ban sex selection abortion was voted down. Now some cultures we know prefer male children. That is widely known. It’s recently been documented in an area of India covering one hundred and thirty two villages. There have been no girls born for three months and that’s not a demographic anomaly. It can’t be it’s a result of targeted sex election abortions. You say well, that’s in India in these villages know. Actually that’s a convenient belief to confine it to other countries. But there’s been a study conducted by La Trobe University and it notes that there are far fewer girls being born into certain ethnic communities in Australia demonstrating that sex selection abortion does occur in Australia. It’s interesting I had a guy come to my place to fix my NBN connection the other day and we got talking about the New South Wales abortion laws because he asked me what I did and he was telling me if he’s an Indian guy and he was saying look in some provinces where he’s from I haven’t verified this but he told me that actually they’ve they’ve banned doctors from disclosing the sex of the child to parents for fear that girls will be aborted because it’s been such a problem which he says is getting less. And I told him I said Well do you know the New South Wales law. It allows sex selection abortions in fact they voted down an amendment to prohibit sex selection abortions and his eyes went as wide as saucers and he said to me I don’t believe you. And so we had to talk about it further but it shows how outrageous this is that now we’re actually going to learn from these places in India on sex selection who actually made a step to prevent it whereas we’re making a step to facilitate it. You know Melbourne doctor Mark Hobart was disciplined by the Medical Board of Victoria when he was accused of having committed an offence under that state’s abortion law. Very much the same as the New South Wales when we’re talking about. He was accused of committing an offence because a patient and her husband requested a sex selection abortion after an ultrasound determined that their child was female. They wanted the boy. And so they asked Dr Hobart to abort the child and I don’t have the information here but it was was not it was not very early in the pregnancy. Let’s put it that way. I can’t reveal the exact number of weeks I think was 20 something as well along. And anyway I was where it was along the pregnancy some way. Now under Victorian law as under this law the doctor is obliged to refer the patient to someone who will do it. Doctor Mark Hobart declined said he had a conscientious objection and he couldn’t refer for that purpose. They took him to the Medical Board and the Medical Board did in fact discipline him. But the doctor who did the sex selection abortion was not disciplined in any way. Nature magazine says some 45 million girls worldwide were never born because of the use of sex selective abortions during the past half century. China and India account for the vast majority of these missing girls with twenty three point one million and twenty point seven million respectively. But an amendment to prevent sex selection abortions daughter slaughter as some have come to call in someone being killed because were a girl in the womb voted down. Now there’s an argument out there. This is what will it all make a difference anyway. I mean in New South Wales it may well be right now that abortion is in the criminal code but that does actually stop people getting abortions. People are getting it anyway. The practice doesn’t match the law. Really what this law is doing is bringing things up to current standards. Is that true? Well Associate Professor Joanna Howe and Professor Suzanne Myers of the University of Adelaide Law School have written this and said the New South Wales bill is based on the Queensland model which in turn was based on the Victorian laws. So the situation in that state is a relevant case study. Since abortion was decriminalised in Victoria in 2008 post 20 week abortions have increased by, wait for it, 39%. In Victoria in 2011 for example and abortion was carried out at 37 weeks and 10 healthy viable babies of healthy mothers between 28 and 31 weeks gestation were also aborted for, wait for it, psycho social reasons. In Victoria between 2009 and 2016 there were three hundred and four babies who were born alive in the abortion process who were left to die on the operating table. There is no doubt late term abortions will increase in New South Wales under this liberalised law. Not only that but all the atrocities that go with it. Babies born alive and left to die. Note the Victorian figures over 300 babies born alive and left to die in Victoria but in WA were the same extremely liberal law doesn’t exist. It was only about 30. It makes a difference. Sex selection abortions doctors taken to the Medical Board for conscientious objection. Who knows what? Children under the age of 16 seeking abortions. It all goes up. You know what? Sometimes I finish these sections by having some positive note I’m not going to do it on this one and I’m not going to do it on this one because I want it to sit. I want the gravity and the seriousness of this just to sit because I think we all need a bit of negativity in our lives sometimes and this is a moment because I fear that many Australian Christians are naive about where our society is at. With no sense or limited sense of just how bad things are. We have no sense of how people have forgotten God how brazen how deliberate how knowingly how carelessly otherwise respectable people are committing this grave evil with no conscience about it. Passing laws that facilitate and permit the things we’ve described. Quite apart from what I said last week and they don’t mind and so many of us are watching evil unfold not only to some of us not see the extent of it but there’s others that I’ll never understand this feel no outrage about it. I feel no grief about it there’s not crying out to God for mercy or for judgement. They’re not motivated enough to act to speak to condemn this to to say something. We need to understand how far we’ve come because the sooner we face it the sooner we will do as we are called to do in dark times and that is to shine the light in the darkness by doing good that is to remain uncompromised in our Christian integrity and character and action despite the pressure that is to stop committing the sin of silence despite the hostility and that’s a big one too many solemn people and also to be not ashamed. As Paul says in Romans 1 of Christ and His gospel – even though the world around us is telling us to be ashamed because you know as time goes on the more I am convinced that there is no other place and we go to false sources all the time. But there’s actually no other place in which the power of God for salvation is revealed to all people. I’m going to turn now to the
second topic and I’ve actually done a double barrel one here on abortion and the double barrel one on abortion is that I want to now talk a little bit about something called abortion grief and this because it’s not talked about that often which is surprising to me even though it is very real. You know abortion advocates actually deny the reality of abortion grief that is that women have abortion and it affects them psychologically thereafter. But at the same time they actually affirm the existence of stillbirth and miscarriage grief. And you know I just think you can’t have it both ways. The grief that women suffer from a loss associated with abortion is very real. There’s evidence out there to suggest that 20 percent of women suffer serious prolonged mental health adverse harm following an abortion. And the reality is this abortion is a very very common procedure. And so that is a lot of women. One of the most common procedures out there. In fact let me quote to you from U.S. psychiatrist I’m going to read a number of things I read that read the psychiatrist that I’m going to read some stories from women and anecdotal experience. U.S. psychiatrist Dr. Joanne Angelo writes this she says grief after induced abortion is often more profound and delay and delay than grief after other perinatal losses. Grief after elective abortion is uniquely poignant because it is largely hidden. The post abortion woman’s grief is not acknowledged by society because the reality of her child’s death is not acknowledged in order to gain her consent for the abortion. She has been told that the procedure will remove a blob of tissue or a product of conception or a pre embryo. She’s been assured that her problem will be solved and that she will be able to get on with her life as though nothing significant has happened. Women who have chosen abortion are often haunted by the obsessive thought I killed my baby. They find themselves alone to cope not only with the loss of the child that they will never know but also with their personal responsibility in the child’s death. Their guilt is not merely subjective or neurotic. It is object even real reminders are all around them. The expected date of delivery children the same age that their children would have been a visit to the gynaecologist. The sound of a suction machine in the dentist’s office baby in the television at a new birth. Another death experience. Each of these may trigger a breakthrough of guilt grief anger and even despair. This cycle typically continues for many months or years before appropriate help is found because until recently mental health professionals have failed to recognize the many faces of post abortion grief. You know that’s a psychiatrist speaking but I find so often is the anecdotal stuff that’s profound that is the individual stories. You know research should really be the profound thing. But anecdotal stuff is powerful to. Live Action is a group in the US they’ve put back put together some stories as have Family First in New Zealand. Here’s some of them. Here’s Laurie a quote from her she says I’ll wake up in the middle of the night thinking I hear a baby crying. I simply miss my baby. I constantly wake up wanting to nurse my child wanting to hold my child and that’s something the doctor never told me I would experience. Ashley says every night my sweet boy praise to God for a sibling. And every time I hear those precious prayers my heart aches over what I did. Katrina says I killed two of my children robbed my parents of grandchildren and murdered my son’s siblings. These abortions directly caused a medical condition known as incompetent cervix which resulted in the premature birth of another son who died after a week long struggle in the NICU in 2001. The suffering I’ve endured and caused others is immeasurable and the guilt almost drove me suicidal. I am a coward in every way. Here’s an anonymous story I was back at work Monday continued to party and live life on my terms. But something had changed. I was brittle and numb a piece of me had dropped into a hole of grief. The other part of me was up the top singing dancing and protecting the grieving part of me. I had no awareness of my split personality. If you’d mentioned abortion it would have not registered. I was profoundly disconnected from myself. I began to feel weighed down by something it would not go away. Finally a dream of huge significance graphically involving a doctor a huge bean a dead body of a young teenage man convinced me I needed to do something about my abortion. Your inner being gets destroyed a bit more every time you think about it says somebody else. Well here’s a story and I find this one particularly significant since I came out of the room I lay on the bed next to the laughing girl and her boyfriend next to me and I screamed and I sobbed I cried out I’ve never cried such a while of loss in my life. The room went dead silent as I screamed and cried what had I done. The loss I felt was overwhelming the emptiness inside me wasn’t just from my womb it was somewhere deeper something in my very being was very very wrong something was so very wrong I couldn’t understand it I’ve never felt so much loss and so empty and so cold in my life Why didn’t I feel normal and okay with this? What was this awful pain in my heart? The next few days I walked around like a zombie. I had no words no answers but gradually life took over the relief of being done with that situation took over and I carried on thinking I was done with it but it never left my thoughts. It was never far from my mind. Day after day week after week I would remember no matter how much I told myself it was fine I’d done the right thing. Something in me whispered liar. I did lie to myself to others for years. I shut that part of my story up in a deep dark box and never breathed a word to anyone. Until one day, I had a radical encounter that changed my life. I met Jesus. A friend took me to church and I encountered God. I learned how Jesus died on the cross for my sins. A wave of grace washed over me as I begged the Lord’s forgiveness. He forgave me as he will anyone who turns to him. Why the pain? Why the grief? Because this is sin as sin for anyone who is complicit. Man Woman health professional whomever it’s seen. The conscience can be seen it. The voice of guilt can be quieted as we’ve seen but you know in fact as humans it’s not just abortion that we do this in relation to we do this in a myriad of ways and it drives us in ways and destroys us internally in ways that we can scarcely begin to understand. We do that as human beings. I said last week guilt though it doesn’t have to drive us into ourselves it doesn’t have to
drive us into darkness and away from the light it can actually drive us instead somewhere else. As that last testimony said and I had to read it because you see there. What did Christ say? He said those who come to me I will never cast out. I said this last week. He died so that all our guilt whoever we are might be absolved for it was done away with. And it was punished in his cross. And that’s the great liberty that confronts every human being that has never ever dealt with guilt whether it’s the guilt of abortion the guilt of coercing an abortion the guilt of being complicit in abortion or the guilt of any number of other things that is driving us into self and away from the Lord and away from Christ who said come for I have died that that guilt might be absolved. That’s the message that we must hold high in this debate time and again not merely not merely that abortion is wicked it must be stopped but that there is in fact the healing power of Christ in salvation for all who have been through it. Well I’m turning now to one other topic and that is what I have called – I am offended. And it’s not because I actually am offended but a lot of other people are offended. I don’t know if you’ve noticed how common it is likely right now the three big areas of debate that we’re dealing with I suppose is firstly abortion particularly New South Wales. Secondly religious freedom and thirdly is obviously been the big Israel Folau thing and you know that’s a common thing that has come up in all three of those and in many others it happens more and more and that is the idea of offensiveness. Folau for example – should he be able to say these things that so many find to be spectacularly and utterly offensive to their sensibilities and still keep his job. Religious freedom – should we really be licencing people to believe and say things that are so out of step with the values of others that are offensive to others that that that offend groups deemed to be vulnerable or groups deemed to be victims. Abortion should Emily’s Voice the pro-life group be able to put up that billboard that merely says a heart beats at four weeks. That’s all it says scientific fact. Well New South Wales Minister Andrew Constance from the government says no. It should, it could offend some women. In Tasmania we already have a situation where laws prohibiting offence offending somebody are in existence. Section 18 see the Racial Discrimination Act invokes that idea of prohibiting offending somebody and that cry of I’m offended that I started with is becoming a practical tool for people in designated victim groups to throw up their arms and win the argument or even perhaps to accrue a little bit of political power to themselves. We’ve seen in the case of the Tasmanian laws and I say well what are we to make of this. It’s becoming increasingly significant. Is it good or is it bad. Well I first want to note something about the modern trend of taking offence. It’s very specific it’s particular because this argument is normally raised in the context of this. I’m offended because the answer after because usually comes back to something like something to do with who I am or something to do with what I have done. Notice not that I’m offended because I believe that you’ve done something wrong by some objective moral standard outside of myself but now I’m offended because of me I’m offended because you triggered me you said something that doesn’t affirm my identity my sense of self my inherent worthiness. You said something that makes me feel like something I did was a bad thing. It offends my sense of self dignity. That’s the kind of offence we’re talking about. The Emily’s Voice billboard it offends a woman who hasn’t but has had an abortion. That’s what we’re trying to stop offending people who have done something wrong and questioning what they’ve done. I remember that during the same sex marriage campaign for example there was this argument about whether or not non-traditional families were really in the best interests of children and what what does the science say about that is that a good idea. And I remember Senator Penny Wong got up and she condemned those arguments passionately and she even pointed them out as the reason why public debate should not be had on the issue. And I recall in one speech really the main thrust of her argument was this will I have kids she said, as if well I’ve done it so it’s right and this is offensive to me because I did something in your questioning what I’ve done. How dare we say something that doesn’t affirm the actions of somebody else – as if doing it makes it right. Look at Israel Folau what’s the problem there. While strong written condemnation of homosexual conduct. Why is that a problem? Because there’s people out there who engage in homosexual conduct and you’re offending their dignity their sense of self. I’ve read statements from those who are not gay but they railed against Folau’s post on this basis because that post indicated that they would be going to hell and there’s nothing more
offensive to the modern mind than the notion that I would be judged and found wanting that I wouldn’t measure up that I would be judged and condemned and that indeed was something that upset people. It’s the same of course with a huge majority of religious freedom cases their cases where someone has failed whether by deed or word or even just thought or even just belief failed to affirm someone else’s sense of identity or somebody else’s behaviour. And you know this whole trend that I’ve just described is reflective of something cultural. It actually reflects something of the spirit of this age in which we live. And you say well what’s that. Well it is this namely to think highly of the self. It is to believe that the self the inner self carries within it the formula for happiness peace success and my ultimate fulfilment. To believe that my identity is the most significant thing about me that it has to be discovered and served above all and be articulated and be lived out. And that is the good life. And to stand in the way of that is to stand in the way of my very dignity my very happiness my very fulfilment. It is to blaspheme that little god of myself by suggesting it’s not pure and good. This is why we live in an age that many people are describing as a therapeutic age an age in which we mollycoddle our children in some sort of misguided therapy to make sure they don’t feel negative where people are narcissistic because they’ve never been made to feel negative question themselves they are great or identity is champion because that which is within me is that which is worthy or human indulgence controls us because that which flows out of the heart that the lust the flesh the pride of life the lust of the eyes as John would say that controls us. That’s what we pursue as an age of self-esteem self-worth self-love and the selfie. An age of me time, of you do you, follow your dreams, surround yourself with people who champion you and you are beautiful. An age in which to put a biblical slant on this. Romans 1:25 an age in which Paul describes – they exchange the truth about God for the lie and worship and serve the creature rather than the creator who is blessed forever an age of self worship an age in which we have forgotten God and made ourselves gods. You know something and I say this to young people all the time. I always say you know Hitler followed his dreams and he did a great job of it for a while. A really great job. And you know people say well the first person to mention Hitler loses the argument there’s a point to what I said and the point is this the self is corrupt the self actually is not a reliable foundation for anything it’s a forgotten truth. What did Jesus say about the self. Wait for this for from within he says, out of the heart of man come evil thoughts sexual immorality theft murder adultery coveting wickedness deceit sensuality envy slander pride foolishness all these evil things come from within and they defile a person and you know something that is the teaching of the whole Bible from start to finish you know in the Bible we are given one complement and it’s a compliment we cling to oh gosh it’s a compliment we love and it’s found in Genesis chapter one – made in the image and likeness of God. A compliment for the human creature and its constitution and makeup. Isn’t that incredible? But you know what? It’s before the fall. And the fall desperately damages that. But not only is it before the fall. But if you turn your page there’s not that many pages in the Bible that don’t contain what you might call some form of negative feedback. Dead in trespasses and in sins we might read innovations enemies with God hearts deceitful above all things and desperately wicked says the prophet. Throats as Open Grave says the psalmist by nature children of wrath. Children of Satan says Jesus himself fallen short of the glory of God walking in darkness. Righteousness is as filthy rags to quote the King James I love the language sometimes reprobate minds condemned already Should I go on I could go on essentially negative very negative feedback and I ask this question Have we forgotten? Because I think we have I think we too often fall for the spirit of the age we too often mutate the Christian message to accommodate the spirit of the age we’ve redefined certain Christian words to accommodate it I mean you think of the way people define love and compassion. Somebody said a while ago well we need to do things that are loving we need to speak to our fellow man in a loving way and I interrogated them about what they meant by a loving demeanour or a loving approach. And it soon became very clear that they meant what is often meant which is in a way that doesn’t make the other person feel too negative in a way that doesn’t allow the other person to feel too offended you might say you know what is the organizing principle the basis for that definition of love. It’s that person’s feelings. It’s not God. God’s definition of love isn’t based on the self because the self is not our best interests. God says that to love is to do that which is in a person’s best interest regardless of the cost. That’s what Christ did. And it’s not to do with the feelings of the self is to do with what God declares as truth. We’ve stopped speaking about sin. It’s become mistakes. We’ve stopped speaking about evil that’s become brokenness. And also everywhere I go. You know half the time I get asked what would you give a positive message and the language of positivity comes into it. Why are we suddenly interested in so much positivity and feeling good?Again, is that therapeutic age? I can’t be offended don’t offend people that’s not kind. It’s not good. I don’t say things that might might affront people’s sense of self because the self is we’ve imbibed something of what’s going on in the world around us. The truth is positive and negative and we should seek truth above all else. The self is corrupt. It needs salvation. The self does evil. It needs training and discipline. Scripture says that the self needs to be put to death. It needs to be put off. Paul says in my flesh dwells no good thing because that which is good is outside of self it’s transcendent seeing God who is all good that which is beautiful you are not. Don’t fall for this trap your beautiful your beautiful blood. God is beautiful in that which he ordains has beauty and it’s transcendent. It’s outside of yourself. The truth the source of all truth the only truth is outside of self there is no my truth. Your truth is just your corrupt self. God says this is true and actually that is love in will found in pursuing what is true and being led by God to pursue what is true. It’s transcendent it’s outside of me it’s bound up in God and by His grace what God does to the person who he saves. He exposes our true condition to us and he trains us to love and serve not me but Him. And to be drawn up into himself into whom all good can be found to be changed from one degree of glory into another. You know I was reading Revelation 3 the other day and I was struck afresh by something that Jesus says to the church Laodicea you know the church Laodicea most of you will know that it describes our present age pretty well and it describes this sort of thing we see around us anyway in the church Laodicea Jesus says this he says for you say I am rich I have prospered I need nothing now that really is where we are in the West we’re rich we’re prosperous and we don’t believe that we have need of things outside of our own abilities. It’s not just a wealth statement finance it can be a statement of how we feel about the world within ourselves but Jesus says this and you have not realized that you are wretched pitiable poor blind and naked. He says you have lost sight of the gravity of your true condition before God. Is that not where we sadly find ourselves as hard as it is to accept the testimony of Christ the apostles the prophets and the scriptures and the reality of the world. It is the truth and you know this loss of this truth. This loss of this basic idea is causing issues in society and in the church. In society, you know it’s becoming harder and harder to make qualitative judgments to say what is bad and what is good. And to say that’s bad don’t do that this is good do this because you’re questioning other people’s choices you’re you’re failing to affirm other people loudly and often it’s harder and harder to make truth claims that originate outside the person not what’s true for me. But what is true for you God’s truth. And you know in all of this I really think we’re making babies of people babies who throw their toys out of the cot and have a cry whenever they find out that they might be wrong who will not face the reality that they could be something of self that is not up to scratch let alone totally corrupt but even not up to scratch won’t face it won’t face the questioning of that which comes from the self and that which the self does and that which the self is people cannot grow in character under these conditions they cannot improve their inner self by saying that’s better. This is worse. They cannot take that mass of unimproved chaos that is their inner self and grow out of it. That’s the first problem. It’s a massive character issue. In fact most of the postmodernist thinking doesn’t even believe in that character and growth and personal virtue it’s not even there. But you know perhaps this is the most concerning. Finally we are immunizing people against the gospel because the gospel begins by exposing the truth the truth about God and the truth about me and at first it’s not positive it is comes across to us in our sin as negative because it affronts our sense of self. It affronts our self-worth. It shows us the reality of God. Read Isaiah 6 and see what it did to him when he saw God and was revealed God was revealed to him. That is an offence to who and what I am. It’s the necessary first step. You see it in the preaching of Peter in the Book of Acts he gets up for his first sermon. What’s the fruit there. Cut to the heart. They offended and they say what can we do. Which is one valid response to offence to say Help me. I’ve realized I’m wrong whereas others will say no how dare you affront my sense of self and walk forwards. Jesus and John the Baptist the first words they said will repent repent. How do you repent if you’re not bad. How do you repeat it there’s
nothing wrong with you. How do you repent of yourself is little god. And the irony is this: what comes across at first as offence is nothing of the sort. The day I found out that I was a sinner. Going to hell. That was the message of Israel Folau was the best day of my life because it pointed me to Christ and reappointed me to the place where forgiveness is found and with it everything else blessed, says Jesus, are those who mourn for they shall be comforted comforted the repentant pained offended Saul receives the comfort of Christ’s forgiveness through the gateway of repentance we must never forget you know that Christianity to the modern sensitivity is a message of offence, the gospel is offensive. Jesus is called a rock of offence in the scriptures the preaching of the Cross Paul says in Galatians is offensive. Why is it offensive? Because Christ died for myself, my sins. Now that is offensive. Think about it to the modern mind. I was offended to learn of my sin, offended to learn of God’s holiness, offended in the modern sense. I had my sense of self not just questioned but it was torn apart. It was shattered and you know having cross that threshold. As Christians our life continues really in one way with those moments of offence coming to us particularly through the scripture which is described as a sword that pierces a rock a hammer that breaks rocks into pieces a mirror that shows up or your imperfections and problems for you to address and we continue to be formed to taken to to put off self. The old man as the Bible says and be more like transformed into put on Christ and so as Christians above all we must be willing to be offended in this modern sense. It’s built into the message it’s built into the life and I’m going to say something controversial but it must be said if you’ve never been offended like this then it’s dubious whether you’re a Christian at all. It’s the first step. Because Christians constantly putting to death the corrupt self and putting on Jesus Christ and so the next time you say I’m offended. Think of the Gospel. I’m going to finish today with the situation in Sydney this week with the young 20 year old Mert Ney. I don’t know if I’m saying that rightly but he was listed by his family as a missing person after he vanished from the family home a few days ago in western Sydney. And that was following an incident where he bashed and choked his sister disappeared. Details are still scant but you would’ve seen it in the news that he stabbed to death a 24 year old woman in the Clarence Street apartment building. She was a woman who was known to be a prostitute. He then took to the street and stabbed a 41 year old woman in the back. She survived she remains in St Vincent’s Hospital recovering right now. Ney has suffered from a range of psychiatric conditions it’s emerged pretty serious ones. He was also heard as you ran around the street with this bloodied knife that he was heard shouting Allahu Akbar and Allah will protect me and things like that which indicate some Islamic influence perhaps and Ney was chased he was tackled to the ground he was restrained with and so some of you might have
seen the pictures and the video with a milk crate around his head and a chair over his body and four men who were identified as heroes were involved in that effort which is leak out. which is Alex Roberts, Paul O’Shaughnessy and Luke O’Shaughnessy. Now there is a debate taking place as to whether this guy was actually is an Islamic extremist or if he was mental and he was shouting those things out because of his mental conditions. Look I’m not usually sympathetic to the debates around. Well it wasn’t mental health or not. On this one. Okay let’s have a look. He had serious mental problems. Was he really even Islamic. Well happy to find out. Certainly by his own word he was influenced on that front. But the concern usually is that there’s a refusal to acknowledge Islamic connection I’m actually refreshed by the way in which the police are talking about this so openly. But there’s very often a refusal to acknowledge a connection where it is really clear and they refuse to do it and they always get in the mental health mental health mental health road. And it is a problem because I think we need to be alive alive to an alert to an issue which is that these these debates can obscure the reality that there is a very real connection between Islamism and terrorism. Nobody assumes that this guy is a disgruntled Presbyterian who’s just been reading the Bible. No one assumes that it’s another Pentecostal who’s been radicalized at his local megachurch. No one assumes that it’s a nun but everyone ask the question is it Islamist terrorism because there isn’t a clear and consistently confirmed link between violence and Christianity in fact violent judgment is the sole purview of the sole discretion of God himself in the Christian described scriptures. It is not something which we can take upon ourselves to do in our own rights. There is limited ground of power to the state to execute justice in that way but it is not granted to us as individual citizens. It is God’s purview. God will judge and he will judge on the coming day. Islam is different. It is there’s debate about how to interpret the Scriptures but certainly some of them interpret those Islamic scriptures that make direct appeals to violence very literally but see the difference is also seen in the fruit of that faith. Since September 11 Islamic terrorists have carried out more than thirty five thousand four hundred fifty three deadly terror attacks. That’s a remarkable number mostly in the Middle East. Yes and the week just the one week from August the 3rd to August the 9th there were 28 attacks one hundred nineteen people killed three hundred and thirty one injured four suicide blasts across 12 countries. Just two days ago in the Philippines three were killed one injured two year old girl is among those killed by Abu Sayyaf gunmen. Also two days ago Iraq two killed two injured gunned down by Islamic State soldiers three days ago in Nigeria. Two killed one injured. Boko Haram murdered two men and cut off the years of one woman. I could go on every day and many of them in those Middle Eastern countries but as you go through the list you see that there’s heaps that are spread to Europe more than we realize. We forget actually because the news reporting just just cycles over North America Asia. There’s a connection and we cannot be fools about the connection and it’s a connection between a certain type of radical Islamist and violence as a connection. It’s a connection that we cannot conflate with the connection between religion and violence in general. It is true and it needs to be said time and again that there is this one kind of religion that is substantially different to others. But let me say this in closing I could go into more detail on that another episode and all of the information there but I want to say something which is a good news point and I like to finish on a high note. And I watched some of the mobile phone footage taken by onlookers of this guy. And I must say there were really brave people involved, the news article mentioned four men. Most of the news articles do. But if you watch those mobile phone videos and so on you will see that for a substantial period of time there was actually only one man. And I don’t know which man it was but he was armed with a chair and he was taking it up to this guy who was had blood all down his front. He had a knife that had clearly been used more than once and he was swinging it around and he was behaving unpredictably and this one bloke with a chair was clearly you know his wits about him and was trying very hard not to be hurt but he was very brave. I mean he was incredibly brave and at some time later that you then see further video of the guy. The few guys that have tackled this fellow to the ground they’ve got a milk crate over his head so he can’t move that. And they got a body pinned with a chair and they desperately tried to avoid his flailing arms because they’re worried that he might have weapons on him. And here’s the point. You know men of character are a good thing. In an age of toxic masculinity, in an age of effectively man hating in an age that says there’s identity groups and there’s some identities that are bad by nature and that perpetuate violence. And one of those is men and all that terrible masculinity. Well I got to say this I’m glad and I think pretty much everyone in their right mind is glad that yesterday there were men on the streets in Sydney – these guys who were strong these guys who were full of testosterone, these guys who had an impulse to run into danger and not run away from danger. There is very little doubt that lives were saved because of the preventative efforts of these guys at potentially enormous cost to themselves. I did a vlog last year which said that a man’s strength is to be found in his strength of character first and that is what Christ calls us to. You see again if we deny the reality of people’s character, if we deny the reality of the importance of moral formation, then all we’re left with is the brute force of masculinity or whatever else defines an identity group. But when it is shaped moulded submitted to the character of Jesus Christ it is totally different. Christ calls us to take all that we have strength and everything else and use it with little thought for self but rather to lay down our lives for the sake of others. That’s Christianity. That is in fact a Christian legacy. I’m Martyn Iles and that was The Truth of It.

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