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Closing the Door on the Light: Abolishing Protections in Anti-Discrimination Laws

First I want to address the issue of the protection of religious bodies. Once legislators started to add to discrimination law protected attributes such as for sexual activity, which we have in Victoria and one other jurisdiction, sexual orientation, and gender identity, we were no longer dealing with attributes like age, sex, or race, where there would be a 99.9 per cent consensus that it was wrong to treat anyone differentially on the basis of those attributes in most circumstances.

Once we moved into law for sexual activity, sexual orientation and gender identity, we entered into an area of controversy because “lawful sexual activity” would include sex outside marriage and adultery. Some people think adultery is fine, but other people do not.

So, when these attributes were introduced into legislation, the pressure came on to think about the groups – mainly but not exclusively religious groups – that will not be happy with a law that says they cannot differentiate or treat people differently on the basis of lawful sexual activity, gender identity or sexual orientation.

Now, instead of taking a nuanced view of this, the architects of anti-discrimination law back in the 1980s just said, let’s describe what it is to discriminate as broadly as possible. We’ll put in a really broad definition of discrimination. So, any adverse conduct in employment in relation to a person or any adverse conduct in relation to a student limiting any benefit that a student might get; really broad.

And then they thought, oh, there is going to be a problem at religious schools, because religious schools might not treat everyone the same, if a person’s sexual conduct is contrary to the religion. So, we’d better have an exemption – I prefer to call it a “balancing provision” – for religious bodies and educational institutions.

The classic form of exemption is like the one in the Northern Territory Anti-discrimination Act, which permits religious educational institutions to discriminate in relation to who they employ as staff in schools. If the discrimination is on the grounds of religious belief or activity, or sexuality, and is in good faith to avoid offending the religious sensitivities of the people of the religion to which the school adheres, it has to be in accordance with the doctrines or tenets or beliefs of that religion.

So, if it is the case of a teacher who engages in serial affairs or serial adultery, for instance, you do not have to employ that person, even though that would be unlawful under an anti-discrimination act that prohibited discrimination on the grounds of sexual activity. When it came to sexual orientation, a similarly broad definition of discrimination was applied, with pretty broad exemptions.

Looking again at the Northern Territory. Late last year, the NT removed that exemption totally. So, now religious schools in the NT do not have the benefit of that exemption in the case of employment and they have to prove a genuine occupational requirement. That is, they have to prove that the staffing position in question, whatever it is, genuinely requires that the person the school is looking to hire personally holds the same religious belief and adheres to the same moral standards as the school.

Now, under this amended legislation, the school has to show why in practice it is applying filters about sexuality, sexual conduct and religion to staff. These rules about not discriminating also apply in relation to students and board members and so on.

In Victoria, last year, a new law came in, through the Victorian Equal Opportunity (Religious Exceptions) Amendment Act, that limits the freedom of religious schools to discriminate in employment decisions and regarding students. So, for example, in terms of employment, the Victorian law says religious schools, colleges and universities have to prove the following things:

That it is inherent to the staffing position that the person conform to the doctrines, principles or beliefs of the religion of the religious educational institution.

Before the religious educational institution can take any adverse action on this basis, it has to prove that the person cannot satisfy the inherent requirement because of the person’s religious belief or activity (Note that it is about the person’s belief, not about the person’s sexual conduct, whether the person has a lawful occupation as a sex worker. That is a lawful occupation in Victoria, and the ACT now. You cannot look at those things. You can only look at whether their religious belief or religious activity does not conform to that of the religious educational institution.)

You also have to be able to prove that whatever action the school or college or university took in respect to the staff member or the applicant for a job was reasonable and proportionate in the circumstances.

It is causing religious educational institutions considerable heartburn to work out how to deal with this, in terms of their staff, their hiring process, their ongoing performance review and performance management of staff; and also, in respect to students.

Which brings us to the federal Sex Discrimination Act and the federal Fair Work Act. These have some exemptions for religious bodies when they engage in discrimination or differential treatment for religious reasons.

The federal Sex Discrimination Act currently says that a religious educational institution can discriminate in employment in good faith in order to avoid injury to the religious susceptibilities of adherents to the religion or creed.

The Federal Government referred the matter to the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC), asking for recommendations on how to do two things:

How to remove those freedoms of religious schools to discriminate in employment decisions and regarding student conduct.

And how to allow religious schools to maintain a community of faith by selecting staff who have the same religion as the school.

The ALRC produced its consultation paper in early February. It is amazingly unbalanced, thin on international law, and its analysis is not a good starting point to come up with any sort of balanced solution to the dilemma.

Let me give you a quick flavour of what the ALRC is recommending. It has some pretty bizarre proposals. It proposes that the rights of religious schools to preference people of faith in the selection of staff should be limited only to teaching roles; not the nurse, not the administration staff, not the maintenance person. And only those teaching roles where the observance or practice of the religion is a genuine requirement of the role having regard to the nature and ethos of the institution. For example, the religious studies teacher or a chaplain.

Another proposal that the ALRC has come out with is to say that religious schools must employ teachers who may not share or support the religious beliefs of the school. That employment, though, can be terminated if the teacher actively undermines the religious ethos of the school.

Yet even religious education teachers cannot be required to teach beliefs concerning sexual orientation, gender, identity, marital or relationship status, or pregnancy, in accordance with the religion of the school, unless such teachers are given the freedom to discuss with students alternative views about other lifestyles, other relationships, other sexualities.

It is worth noting that such strictures do not apply to a political body.

‘Conversion Therapy’

The second issue which we might discuss in more detail relates to suppression practices laws. These laws are being passed around the country. They started in Queensland and the ACT and Victoria, Tasmania will have a bill this year. It’s not clear where Western Australia is going; it said it was going to pull back a bit.

These laws are usually badged as “conversion therapy” laws, but they run much more broadly than that. For example, in Victoria, suppression practice is defined as any practice or conduct that includes a conversation directed towards a person, regardless of the person’s consent: that they have asked for the conversation or asked for the counselling is utterly irrelevant.

Conduct has to be in relation to the person’s sexual orientation or gender identity and it has to be for the purpose of changing or suppressing that person’s sexual orientation or gender identity or inducing the person to change or suppress their sexual orientation or gender identity.

So, in any discussion – with a group of young people or old people doesn’t matter – where you say, this is our understanding of God’s will for your sexual identity or sexual orientation or your gender, you are at risk of being accused of inducing a person to change or to suppress their gender identity or sexual orientation.

The legislation is not fully explicit in saying that that practice can include religious practice, such as praying with someone, or exorcism or referring someone on to a counsellor or a psychiatrist or psychologist.

The legislation is so broad that it causes concerns about what can be said in sermons, in Bible studies, in discussions; when working with youth, youth pastors; and what teachers or a student welfare officer in a school can say.

We have already seen an example of the consequences in Tasmania. Under Section 17 of the state’s Anti-discrimination Act, a person must not engage in conduct that offends humiliates or intimidates, insults or ridicules another person on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, sexual activity in circumstances in which a reasonable person would have anticipated that the other person would be offended, humiliated, intimidated, etc.

A complaint was made under this provision against Archbishop of Hobart Julian Porteous when he approved the distribution of a publication produced by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Don’t Mess with Marriage. The complaint was withdrawn subsequently.

Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia currently have recommendations to government to introduce laws like this, which are called, in shorthand, harms-based speech laws.

Interactivity of Laws

How might these three types of laws interact? Let’s say you are at a school and you are saying to someone, that this type of expression of sexuality, sexual relations, sexual activity is not in accordance with the beliefs or ethos of the school.

Someone might come by and say, well, you are inducing me to change or suppress my sexual orientation or gender identity. You can say, no, there was no inducing of anyone to suppress or change.

Then might come the accusation, you are discriminating against me on the basis of my lawful sexual activity, sex orientation or gender identity. Then the exemptions or balancing provisions under anti-discrimination law would come into play in your defence.

A third possible scenario is that someone might say, “I just heard in chapel or in religious studies class about the teachings of the religion on sexual orientation or on what is appropriate sexual practice or on gender identity, and that a reasonable person would have thought that that would offend or humiliate or insult me because of my sexual practices or sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Now, none of this is to say that anybody should be insensitive towards young people in particular or anybody in this regard. It is to say that the law is intruding in at least these three ways very substantially into the freedom that religious schools and colleges and religious bodies have to express, both in word and in conduct, appropriate conduct rules for members, for students, for staff, and to express the religious teachings of the organisation as they relate to sexual activity, sexual orientation and gender identity.


Originally published at News Weekly. Photo by Sora Shimazaki.

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Heliosorcery (2022) – Exposing the Occult Origins of Heliocentrism (Full Documentary)


The purpose of this documentary is not to provide scientific, practical, or Biblical evidence against heliocentric doctrine. But rather, to trace the presently raging cosmology dispute back to its ancient heritage.

We will review the hot political and religious climate in which heliocentrism
was reborn.

We will question whether it was more than a love for science which motivated the medieval hierarchy to get behind Copernicus’ new theory.

We will investigate lesser known facts about the celebrated champions of sun-centred cosmology; their powerful associations, and their hidden obsessions.

Gathering the common threads which tie the various players together, we will follow the steady evolution of this paradigm, marking the dramatic effects it has had upon the character of society. And we will ask the question: Who benefits?

Read ‘The Cosmology Conflict’ by Chris Sparks:

For more information visit:

00:00 Introduction
03:07 The Protestant Reformation
16:11 Gnosticism
26:04 Copernicus
31:32 The Jesuits
42:20 Galileo
48:29 Newton & Hermes Trismegistus
57:39 Kepler & Hermes Trismegistus
01:03:56 The World That Forgot God
01:07:53 Darwin, The Big Bang & NASA
01:26:44 Conclusion

SourceSouth Australian Gov Criminal Organisation

Deion Sanders Shouldn’t Shy Away From His Faith, And Neither Should Any Other Christian

Deion Sanders Shouldn’t Shy Away From His Faith, And Neither Should Any Other Christian

Although his debut as Colorado’s new head football coach is still months away, Deion Sanders has already found himself the target of an orchestrated left-wing attack on his faith.

In late January, the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), a nonprofit advocacy group for atheists and agnostics, sent a letter to the University of Colorado Boulder (CU) complaining that Sanders reportedly prays with staff and players before team meetings. The organization claims this is “inappropriate and unconstitutional,” although, as the U.S. Supreme Court recently re-affirmed, the U.S. Constitution protects public expressions of faith, including at football games.

“Multiple concerned Colorado residents have reached out to FFRF to report that CU’s new football coach Deion Sanders has been infusing his program with Christianity and engaging in religious exercises with players and staff members,” FFRF claimed. “It seems that in this case, Coach Sanders has not hired a Christian chaplain to impose religion on [his] players, but has done so himself, creating a Christian environment within his football programs that excludes non-Christian and non-religious players.”

The organization alleges several incidents of Sanders engaging in religious speech with staff and players. They include a Jan. 16 meeting in which a staff member, at the supposed behest of Sanders, led the team in the following prayer:

Lord, we thank You for this day, Father, for this opportunity as a group. Father, we thank You for the movement that God has put us in place to be in charge of. We thank You for each player here, each coach, each family. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen

FFRF claims such voluntary practices amount to “religious coercion.”

An outspoken Christian, Sanders has often credited God for providing him with life-changing career opportunities. Upon landing his head coaching gig at CU, for example, the NFL Hall of Famer praised and glorified Jesus Christ for putting him in the position.

“Out of all the persons in the world, God chose me,” Sanders said. “For that, I thank Him; for that, I love Him; for that, I magnify Him; for that, I glorify Him; for that, I praise Him; for that, I owe Him. Each and every day, I’m trying to please Him.”

FFRF demanded the school “take action” against Sanders, including that he be coercively “educated as to his constitutional duties under the Establishment Clause” and prohibited from engaging in such prayerful activities “in his capacity as head coach.”

Although the U.S. Supreme Court ruled just five months ago that the U.S. Constitution protects religious exercise and religious speech even of government employees, including many football coaches, CU caved to at least part of the organization’s demands. In a Jan. 31 letter, CU Executive Vice Chancellor Patrick T. O’Rourke notified FFRF that the university’s Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance met with Sanders “to provide guidance on the non-discrimination policies, including guidance on the boundaries in which players and coaches may and may not engage in religious expression.”

FFRF’s Arguments Fall Flat

FFRF’s arguments are extremely flawed, for two key reasons. First, as the group admits in its letter, the alleged concerns about Sanders’s prayers during team activities are from “Colorado residents,” not CU players or other members of the football program.

FFRF fails to name a single player or staff member who was coerced into praying. Nor does the group identify any individual who claimed he felt excluded by such practices. For all we know, these supposed complaints could have come from Colorado residents who don’t attend or have any connection to the university. It’s such a major flaw in FFRF’s justification for filing the complaint that even O’Rourke noted it in his response to the organization.

Second, the FFRF’s claim that Sanders’ use of prayer violates the Establishment Clause of the Constitution, which stipulates that government cannot establish an official religion, is meritless. As noted by the First Liberty Institute, a legal group that sent a letter to CU defending Sanders, FFRF’s arguments “rely on an outdated legal test the Supreme Court disavowed” in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District in October.

In that case, the Supreme Court affirmed high school assistant football coach Joe Kennedy’s constitutional right to pray on the football field after games. It also made clear that public school employees are permitted to engage in acts of religious expression.

“Just because a coach is engaging in prayer or other private religious expression does not mean it’s ‘coercion,’” First Liberty’s Jorge Gomez writes. “The FFRF’s argument fails to acknowledge the difference between public and private speech, which is a highly important distinction the Supreme Court considers regarding public employee religious speech.”

Be Bold in Prayer

While egregious, FFRF’s bid to prohibit Sanders from exercising his First Amendment freedoms isn’t the least bit shocking. As American culture has become increasingly immoral, activists have increasingly targeted the constitutionally protected rights of religious Americans to worship freely. The attack on Sanders serves as a prime example. In its obsessive secularism, FFRF attempts to compulsively stamp out any public displays of religious devotion.

While Sanders shouldn’t be viewed as any kind of sinless idol, we should all embrace his unapologetic devotion to God. The American founders firmly believed that without a religious and moral citizenry, the form of limited government they created couldn’t function.

We shouldn’t cower when under siege for our beliefs. In fact, it’s during such trying times when we should be embracing God the most and working to share His Word with others. So, take a page from Sanders’ book and be bold in faith and prayer. After all, “For with God, nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37).

Shawn Fleetwood is a Staff Writer for The Federalist and a graduate of the University of Mary Washington. He also serves as a state content writer for Convention of States Action and his work has been featured in numerous outlets, including RealClearPolitics, RealClearHealth, and Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnFleetwood


The True Beauty of Esther

Welcome to this year’s reflection on Purim.

Purim begins Monday night, 6th March, 2023 until nightfall Tuesday, 7th March 2023. In Jerusalem, Shushan Purim is celebrated on 8th March (Shabbat permitting).

In the Jewish Bible, we read of the story of Queen Esther in the Ketuvim (writings).  Queen Esther is a Jewish girl who becomes the queen of King Xerxes of Persia. She walked an unusual path, and her faith and courage were used by God to save her Jewish people from annihilation.

Date of Writing: The Book of Esther was likely written between 460 and 350 B.C.

You may wish to view my previous articles for more background on Esther: (1)(2)

Purim is still celebrated today in Israel and the diaspora. It commemorates the time when the Jewish people living in Persia were saved from extermination through Esther.

Part of the celebrations includes dressing up in costumes, performing plays and even beauty contests.

When the Megillah (Book of Esther) is read, noisemakers (e.g. groggers) are used by many to blot out the sound of Haman’s name. Food is also a big part of the celebration with Hamantaschen, triangle-shaped pastries to represent Haman’s ears or Haman’s pockets. Also, food gifts are given.

The theme of this story and many other Jewish stories has developed into this saying: “They tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat!” And so it is for Purim, a celebration with traditions of its own, including food.


To give you a brief background to the Book of Esther, we find that Jerusalem had fallen to Babylon and the Jews were exiled, around 605 BC. Babylon had been taken over by the powerful Persian Empire in 539 BC. Daniel survived the transition to the new empire, maintaining his administrative role (Daniel 6:28).

By the time of King Ahasuerus, also known as Xerxes in Esther, Daniel was gone and Haman had become the Prime Minister of Persia (Esther 3:1).

Let me introduce you to Queen Esther.

Esther’s name

Hadassah (Myrtle) was her Jewish name, but she assumed the name Esther to hide her Jewish identity. The three-letter root of Esther in Hebrew is s-t-r (סתר‎), “hide, conceal”. The passive infinitive is (לְהִסָּ֫תֶר‎), “to be hidden”.

As we know, Esther’s true name and identity were hidden, but also God’s name is not mentioned in the text, yet His work is evident throughout the story.

Esther’s qualities

  • Youth/Beauty

The scripture declares that she was young and beautiful — these were the conditions of the search made for the new queen for King Xerxes. Ahasuerus is evidently to be identified with Xerxes.

Then said the king’s servants that ministered unto him, Let there be fair young virgins sought for the king: Esther 2:2 (CJB)

… The young woman had a beautiful figure and was extremely good-looking… Esther 2:7 (CSB)

  • Wisdom/Humility

She was wise inasmuch as she listened to Mordecai and learnt what she had to do. There was favour and grace from God upon her life, but she also received the favour of the King.

Wisdom and humility go hand in hand.
The discipline of wisdom is fear of Adonai,
so before being honoured, a person must be humble.
~ Proverbs 15:33 (CJB)

Esther displayed wisdom when she gave her banquets to prepare the way for her requests to the King.

One could say that humility is dependence on the Lord and respecting others, while godly wisdom gives one the ability to discern and choose the best course of action.

When the Lord blesses a person with looks, wealth and His favour, it is not for the person’s benefit, but for the Father’s purposes.

Esther was loyal to Mordechai her cousin who acted as her father, and also to her non-Jewish husband. She moved with poise, based on her principles in the difficult circumstances of her day, and did not act irrationally but stayed the course to see a marvellous victory for her people.

At the time of Purim, we remember Esther’s courage in saving her people in Persia 2000 years ago, even though the circumstances were extreme.

When one fasts, there is a concept that we are untethering ourselves from earthly things and tethering ourselves to the Lord and heavenly realms. The Book of Esther does not specifically mention prayer, but it may be implied.

Esther trusted the Lord in her fasting and as a result, the King extended to her his golden sceptre.

Subsequently, we also see that the law of the Medes and Persians was altered to allow the Jewish people to defend themselves against the evil plans that had been put into place by Haman.

The Bible talks about when we fast, not if we fast.

“Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance.
For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting.
Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.” ~ Matthew 6:16

Fasting is the lifestyle of the believer awaiting the return of the Bridegroom —

“But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them,
and then they will fast in those days.” ~ Mark 2:20 (NKJV)

  • Jewish Culture

In the Jewish writings, Esther is called a Heroine, a Prophetess and yes, she was a stand-alone Queen. We can glean much from her life to enable us to stand against difficult odds, keep our eyes on the Lord and see Him break through our obstacles in His own inimitable way.

In fact, we, as Bible-believing Christians, have it within our ability to stand with the Father’s Beloved Chosen people to assist them through prayer, giving and going to the Holy Land to follow in the footsteps of our Lord. All are valid ways of supporting His Beloved Chosen People.

Now Esther was the daughter of Abihail, the uncle from whom Mordecai had adopted her as his own daughter. And when it was her turn to go to the king, she did not ask for anything except what Hegai, the king’s trusted official in charge of the harem, had advised. And Esther found favour in the eyes of everyone who saw her.
~ Esther 2:15 (BSB)

Her life and identity were hidden. It was as if she was the Lord’s secret agent in this perilous setting. The Lord’s solutions come through a man — or a woman in this instance. The Father always has someone through whom He can bring solutions.

The King offered her up to half of his kingdom. Some people throw money at problems, but in this case, money was not going to solve the problem of the Jews being annihilated — something more strategic was needed.

Once Haman was out of the picture, the King, although unable to annul a formal royal decree, instead adds to it, permitting the Jews to join together and destroy any and all of those seeking to kill them. (Esther 8:1–14)

The King spoke to Esther and Mordechai, who then called the secretaries — new letters were issued:

The letters said that the king had granted the Jews in every city the right “to assemble and defend their lives by destroying, killing, and exterminating any forces of any people or province that would attack them, their little ones or their women or would try to seize their goods as plunder.
~ Esther 8:11 (CJB)

The shift had begun and —

“And the Jews smote all their enemies with the stroke of the sword,
and with slaughter and destruction,
and did as they wished to those who hated them.”
~ Esther 9:5

They needed to be able to fight for themselves, save themselves, and be given some rights to stand up and defend themselves.

At the same time as Purim today invites lighthearted fun, the battle became serious as the Jews killed 75,000 who were standing against them, causing others to feign Jewishness.

Behind the Scenes

Even though God’s name does not appear in the Book of Esther, we can see His work behind the scenes.

Miracles did take place — the Lord’s hand was at work throughout these days of His people in Persia.

Time to Take Action

I believe prayer is always the first step before doing a work for the Lord. At this time, we can pray for Israel and her national security.

Perhaps you are being challenged to view the plight of the Father’s Beloved Chosen People differently in this season. The approaching nuclear capability of Iran, their enemy is one of the greatest threats to the existence of Israel at this time. May we pray that Iran will not reach this nuclear capability, as their stated aim is to annihilate the nation of Israel.

You are welcome to join Celebrate Israel with our Zoom calls as we pray for the nation of Israel each month.
Or you may wish to contact me for further information

Soon after my conversion experience, I had a special moment when I heard a message stating,
“Who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)

This message has stayed with me all my life and brought me to the place in which I now find myself, praying for and serving His Beloved Chosen People. May it be your moment as well.


Thank You, Lord, for bringing each one of us to a moment of realisation
of how we can pray for and bless Your Beloved Chosen People. Amen.


Painting: François-Léon Benouville, “Esther” (1844)/Wikimedia Commons

Thank the Source

Channel Ten’s The Project’s Crude Jesus Joke Controversy – A Christian Response

Earlier this week on the Channel Ten show The Project, comedian Reuben Kaye made a crude joke about Jesus on air and the hosts laughed along.

In response, many Christians and Muslims took offence and demanded an apology. Waleed Aly and Sarah Harris have issued a formal apology following backlash from the incident.

As Christians, there is a temptation to retaliate. To let those involved know how much offence and hurt they have caused. They were, after all insulting the One Who is most precious to us. As I watched the video, I wrestled with this temptation.

Some have raised their concerns about the fact that The Project is on at a time when families are gathered in front of the TV and little ears shouldn’t be exposed to crude jokes such as the one that was made, which I wholeheartedly agree with.

Christ’s Example

Now, returning to the response that we should take. As I reflect on the journey of Jesus to the cross, I see a man who did not retaliate.

I see a man who took no offence. A man who prayed for the ones spitting on Him and hurling insults. A man who knew His own innocence and yet did not defend Himself. In the face of false accusation, He remained silent.

Jesus, in a moment of excruciating pain, gazing over at the Roman soldiers, the Jewish leaders and perhaps even His disciples in the distance, utters the words, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

What amazing self-restraint and grace lies behind these words.

In a world that is becoming increasingly hostile towards Christians, we must reflect carefully on Jesus’s response to those from whom He faced hostility.

We have the opportunity to show the grace and love of Jesus to the very people who mock us; and we should, in fact, expect this hostility. In Jesus’ words, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before it hated you.”

Divine Love

The human heart longs to experience true, unconditional love.

This love is exemplified in Jesus hanging on the cross, in our place, for the wrongs we have committed. The joke that was made referenced this very moment.

In an interesting twist, the very joke that was meant to mock the God I love, only brings more glory to Him. Because you see, the God Who has been mocked from the time He walked on this earth to this present moment knew that all humans would fail.

Fail to see Him as he is. Fail to worship Him as He deserves. And He still chose to be nailed to the cross.

Let us strive to exemplify this same level of love and grace to others, in the face of being misunderstood, falsely accused and ridiculed. Let us reflect our Saviour to a world that needs to experience a love that reaches beyond human understanding.

Thank the Source

Revival and the Healing of Australia

Years ago, while travelling to our friends’ cattle property in Central Queensland, Fiona and I were struck by how dry and barren the countryside looked.

We imagined the wild animals constantly searching for water in that unforgiving environment.


Desperate Need

Without a doubt, our nation has experienced a desert-like environment when it comes to the sweet flow of God’s Spirit. And like those animals in the Callide Valley, so many people have desperately searched for a water source to quench their thirst and impart life.

Not knowing any better, many have hoped for relief in Satan’s paltry offerings.

They have sought satisfaction in empty entertainment, alluring drugs and alcohol, soul-destroying sexual pursuits, and ever-demanding materialism — all of which are cruel mirages that promise so much and deliver only emptiness.

revival needed

There is only one thing that truly satisfies the thirsty soul, and that is the presence of God.

Promising Signs

Today the countryside in Central Queensland looks very different. Barren fields have been replaced by green pastures, following significantly increased rainfall over the past twelve months or so.

Previously near-empty dams are now full. Residents in South-East Queensland are even being “encouraged to make the most of high water supply levels” by way of a $55 discount on their water bills.

Perhaps this significant change we are witnessing in the natural environment is an imminent sign of what is about to happen spiritually in this nation.

“But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual.”
~ 1 Corinthians 15:46

On the back of cruel politico-pharma tyranny and medical segregation, social breakdown and imminent economic upheaval, there are signs that refreshing rains are coming and revival is set to break out in the churches.

Sweet Rivers of Revival

As evil increases and the world system fails, people become increasingly desperate for life-giving water and Divine intervention. History teaches us that they turn to God and look to the church.

Great Southland Revival

Responsibility falls heavily on the church at this time, and that is why we must have revival.

Our church meetings may be the last roll of the dice for many burnt-out, disillusioned travellers. It is essential that we are the life-giving oases that they are desperately seeking.

Our church gatherings must be refreshing springs. Our assemblies must be reservoirs of the living water that can transform dying souls into brand-new men and women!

Jesus Christ must be seen and heard in all that we do. He must not be hidden behind fancy trappings or empty religion.

We must have the presence of God in our meetings.

On the last day, that great day of the feast,
Jesus stood and cried out, saying,
“If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.
He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said,
out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”
~ John 7:37-38

Witnesses to His Power

There are incredible flow-on effects when just one life is mightily touched and transformed by the power of God. There is no greater witness to the life-transforming power of God, than the person who has just experienced it.

Jesus shared living water with a woman He met at a well and she went and brought the rest of the town back to get some!

woman at the well

From that city, many of the Samaritans believed in Him
because of the word of the woman who testified,
“He told me all the things that I have done.”
~ John 4:39

Flow Mighty River, Flow

There is a mighty rushing river about to flow in this nation. It will come like a flash flood and it will come out of the church. It is the sweet Spirit of God — the yoke-destroying anointing that terrifies Satan to his core.

Satan remembers being exposed by the anointing when our Lord Jesus Christ walked the earth and defeated him at the Cross. And he remembers his oppressive kingdom being plundered when the early church flowed in that same anointing.

All through church history, the devil has been broadsided when the church is revived and the anointing flows through God’s people in great measure.

There is a River of Life that makes the lame to walk and the blind to see, that opens prison doors, and sets the captives free. And that River is about to flow out of us corporately — in a mighty way — for the healing of the nation.


Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.
Behold I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it?

I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

The beasts of the field shall honour Me, the dragons and the owls:
because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert,
to give drink to My people, My chosen.

This people I have formed for Myself; they shall show forth My praise.

~ Isaiah 43:19-21


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Thank the Source

How Focusing On Prayer This Lent Could Lead You To Redemption

How Focusing On Prayer This Lent Could Lead You To Redemption

Redemption is actually not a religious term. The act of redeeming someone goes back to ancient times. It was the practice of buying back a servant or loved one who had been kidnapped. This payment was the ransom.

Redemption is needed when someone or something was taken. Today, this is applicable to our lives in a real way. What has been taken from us? What have we lost?

If you are like most Americans, you are too busy. Our calendars are filled with responsibilities regarding our careers and activities for the family. So many people explain that they cannot attend worship services or pray because they are simply out of time. In the time they do have, they are wiped out. 

Many Americans also question the meaning or purpose of their lives. According to Lifeway Research, 63 percent of Americans wonder if their life can have more meaning on a regular basis. The seemingly infinite human “To Do List” might fill our time, but it does not satisfy the human heart. 

The answer to redeeming America’s business and doubts about purpose actually resides in a meaningful Lent. Once a year, the church doubles down on what it means to be a follower of Jesus. What does it mean to be in a relationship with God, and how does one grow in it? After honest reflection, most people would admit they do not focus enough on the big questions that revolve around God and life.

Questions like, is there a God? Can we know God? Does God care about me? Does God interact with human beings? What happens when we die?

Lent can redeem us because it forces us to give space to what is most important. Forty days can truly change us if we commit. That is a critical key to redemption: commitment. This is summarized by the famous invitation of Jesus to his followers: “Follow me” (Matthew 4:19). God constantly invites us to a relationship with him, but things only begin to change when we commit.

Churches all over the nation have a commitment in mind. They offer more Masses, other services, and different opportunities for people to grow in their faith by committing to something so simple in Lent: prayer. Several studies have shown that prayer brings about many practical benefits.

A study from Columbia University suggests that the spiritual practice of meditation actually strengthens the brain’s cortex. This study posits that prayer helps guard against many illnesses and fights tendencies toward depression. Prayer can literally protect us against feelings of loneliness and purposelessness because it unites us with the God of love. Oregon State University found that prayer leads to less addiction, and it helps people regulate their emotions. 

In our world today, there are so many proposed answers to a person’s lost sense of self and purpose. Exercise, diet, sports, leisure — the list goes on and on. These are proposed as possible remedies for human heartache. The answer, however, is so simple that it is overlooked. A focus on the supernatural, on God, is the best way for a person to be placed in contact with the source of it all and experience true loving acceptance and a sense of relationship. 

One of the longest research studies on record was conducted by Harvard University. It has made headlines in and out of a variety of newsrooms recently. It is a multigenerational study on happiness. More than 700 males were chosen for this study, including their children and grandchildren. The takeaway was astounding. The No. 1 leading cause of happiness was meaningful relationships. 

We know happiness is immaterial; it is not a physical thing in the universe. That is why money cannot buy happiness. That is why you cannot purchase happiness on Amazon. God is also immaterial, for if God were material, He would have a beginning. Instead, He is the source of the universe, existing outside of it.

God is also a relationship: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. If the scientifically proven, No. 1 leading cause of happiness is relationships, and God is a relationship, it follows that we must lean on God if we desire our lives to be restored to the fullness they were made for.

So this Lent, focus on prayer. It could change your life and lead you to true happiness. Let us commit to focusing on God so we can receive Jesus, the true Ransom, at the end of these 40 days. That, and only that, can lead to a life restored and an America redeemed.

Thomas Griffin teaches in the Religion Department at a Catholic high school and lives on Long Island with his wife and son. He has a master’s degree in theology and is currently a masters candidate in philosophy. Follow his latest content at EmptyTombProject.org



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