Corner of Crown & Albion Streets, Surry Hills, NSW, Australia
Photo by Albert Chiu



The stained glass windows of CPC's auditorium.

Pastoral Letter 30th April 2023

Rev. Christopher Chan

Christian Freedom under further threat

(Excerpt from a report by John McClean, Convenor of the Church and Nation Committee of the Presbyterian Church of Australia with slight modifications)

The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) released a consultation paper in January 2023 and invited submissions by late February. The paper recommends that schools should have no exemptions which allow them to discriminate against students on the grounds of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital or relationship status or pregnancy or on the grounds that a family member or carer has one of these attributes. It accepts that schools should be able to have uniform requirements, though even these would have to accommodate for “transgender and gender diverse” students. It also recommends that religious educational institutions only be able to preference staff with a faith commitment for positions that directly teach religious material or lead religious activities, that is chaplains or Christian studies teachers. Even then such preference would not be allowed to equate to discrimination. This would mean that a school could not refuse to employ a Christian studies teacher who said they were a Christian but was in a sexual relationship outside of marriage.

If these proposals become federal law, they will erode the capacity of Christian schools to offer a distinctive education in a community shaped by a faith ethos. Furthermore, schools may be subject to complaints under the Act for policies relating to student behaviour in the area of sexual expression generally; uniform requirements, the provision of bathrooms, changerooms and accommodation, as well as requirements that students attend chapel and take classes which teach classic Christian views of sex, marriage and gender.”

The Consultation document gave a series of examples of the impact it envisaged would flow from the proposed changes to the Sex Discrimination Act. One of these was that “a school could no longer refuse to accept as school captain a LGBTQ+ student elected or appointed in accordance with its applicable process”.

Th ALRC is due to present its final report to the Attorney-General soon. The public release of the report will then be in the hands of the Attorney-General. The government will then consider its response to the ALRC report. That will be an important window for schools, churches and individuals to contact government leaders and MPs to express their concern that Christian schools be able to continue to pursue their holistic mission and cultivate a genuine Christian ethos.

Please pray earnestly that the Holy and merciful God will not allow this formally Christian nation to further rebel against His truth and restrict God’s church to uphold the same.








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