Join the public voice

While stories of the Church denying both its call and Christ to pursue affection and belonging in the culture of its day are not uncommon.

Thank God there are also many stories where the Church embraced the cross of their day, to be slain by the political and economic lords, in order to be a true witness to our Lord.

I pray that today, that for us, our story would not be that of a Peter denying Jesus at the Sanhedrin (John 18), but that of Peter before the Sanhedrin himself (Acts 4), testifying of the Christ who is come.

We must join that very public voice then with a very public voice now, one that does not shy away from controversy, or unpopularity, or criticism.

A voice that speaks as a prophet for our age to call our nation, including its politics and economics, to God.

This year, as New Zealand returns to the polls to vote, we shall choose not only the leaders of our land, but also a number of major laws they seek to implement.

The passage of the End of Life Choice Bill through Parliament (a Bill I worked on to oppose for over 2 years) at the end of 2019 was conditional on it being popularly supported by the public in a referendum at the General Election.

Likewise, the legalisation of recreational cannabis will also be made law if the draft legislation is supported in September.

Additionally, legislation which has received support from across the House to reform and liberalise abortion law in New Zealand, removing many of the safeguards currently in place and allowing for abortions at much more advanced stages of pregnancy (potentially up to partial birth), has also been advanced by our nation’s leaders.

If the Church of God is to avoid being swept up in the shifting tides of popular culture, varying perspectives, and political and economic expediency, then we must stand today in our public square and speak the frequently uncomfortable, yet undying, truths which our Lord came to preach.

The inextricable, inviolable, infinite value of the individual, whether unborn or on death’s door, is a gift of our creator God.

We must join that very public voice then with a very public voice now, one that does not shy away from controversy, or unpopularity, or criticism.

As He is the giver of life, we are no more entitled to take the life of a disabled baby or a dying octogenarian than we are entitled to enslave the body of another man into forced service.

The ultimately rebellious sin that is represented in the evils of abortion and euthanasia and slavery alike is the defiant declaration that humanity is sovereign, not God.

This purported sovereignty is the same lie that tells us we are authors of our own truth and lords of our own lives.

When we live in such a way, and legislate in such a way, we become as individuals and a nation, more enslaved than any slave ever shipped to faraway shores.

I pray that God would invigorate His Church this year to boldly stand for the truth of His gospel, and to publically oppose the passing of wicked legislation that will bring enslavement and death.

Let the light of life, God given life, shine in our hearts and into the lives around us that the darkness of death would enslave no longer.

  • Jonathan Ayling is involved in work on euthanasia, drug reform, and abortion. He has postgraduate degrees in politics and theology, and will be travelling to churches around the country in 2020 encouraging Christians to engage in the 2020 New Zealand election.
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