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Pastoral Letter 14th March 2021

牧聲 二零二一年三月十四日
14/3/2021
by
Pastor Dorothy Choi

We have often heard that we live in a secular world, the core values of which are different to what the Bible teaches. We may not be aware how this can limit the Christian ways of living.

Here is an example. The Change or Suppression Practices Prohibition Bill, which was passed in Victoria last month, outlaws practices that seek to change or suppress a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. In other words, even with their children’s approval, Victorian parents may be at risk of breaking the law if they pray for or counsel their children in the contexts described above. An objective of the bill is to “further promote and protect the rights set out in the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities”. And this bill applies to medical, therapeutic and religious areas.

The protection of individuals’ right seems fair at first glance. However, it runs against the biblical principle of training children in the right way to live (Proverbs 22:6). And if we were a faith community in Victoria, it would be challenging for us to journey with a person facing this struggle, in accordance with the teachings of Scripture while complying with the new bill. The world has little respect for our values and mandate.

The current preaching series on the book of Micah allows us to see God’s perspective and His condemnation of the political and religious systems of that era. Let’s also reflect on the systems of the present age and see how far off they have departed from how our God desires for us to live.

我們經常聽到我們活在一個世俗化世界中,而它的核心價值是與聖經的教導不同。我們可能沒有意識到它如何限制了基督化的生活方式。

以下是一個例子。上個月維多利亞省通過《改變或壓制行為禁止法案》。那是禁止試圖改變或壓制一個人的性取向或性別認同的行為。因此,即使在孩子的同意下,維省的父母如果在上述情況下為孩子祈禱或作輔導,也有可能觸犯法例。該法案的目的是“進一步促進和保護《人權與責任憲章》規定的權利”。而這個法案的範圍也延伸到醫學、治療和宗教的場所。

這對個人權利的保護看上去是公正的。但它違背了以正確方式教養孩童的聖經原則(箴言22:6)。而且如果我們是在維省的一個信仰群體,我們將很難按照聖經的教導與面對這樣掙扎的人同行,而又同時遵守以上新的法案。這世界很少尊重我們的價值觀和使命。

現在彌迦書的講道系列讓我們看到神的視野和衪對那個時代的政治和宗教制度的責備。讓我們來反思一下當今時代的體系,看看它們與神想我們生活的方式距離有多遠。

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