Postal vote to go ahead rules High Court

Anglicans affirm traditional marriage

The High Court has ruled that the postal vote will go ahead, and the debate continues. Some people (both ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ voters) will be disappointed at this, worried about division and hurt in the community, or that the regular task of Christians, talking about Jesus as they seek to serve him, will be made harder during the next few weeks.

The Court handed down their unanimous decision at 2:15pm on Thursday 7 September, less than 24 hours after submissions closed. Ballots are due to be mailed out next week, starting on September 11. Voters have until November 7 to return the forms, with a decision due on November 15.

For others this will be the debate Australia had to have. Eternity does not know how Australian Christians may vote in the postal survey into same sex marriage.

But we do know the opinion expressed to the National Church Life Survey on 2011 by the people who were in the pews that day.

73 per cent were opposed, 13 per cent in favour and the other 13 per cent undecided. Pentecostals were 88 per cent opposed, and Church of Christ and Baptist 85 per cent. The Uniting Church was 56 per cent opposed. This means church goers in all major church groups in Australia expressed majority opposition to same sex marriage. (It is fair to say that some minority support for it was found in all these groups, including the most conservative.)

The Anglican Church General Synod (their national council meeting) today passed a motion affirming the Church’s doctrine of traditional marriage. The Synod “recognises that the doctrine of our church, in line with traditional Christian teaching, is that marriage is an exclusive and lifelong union of a man and a woman”. But the motion also calls for “a respectful conversation”‘ recognising the “genuine concerns of LGBTIQ+ people within the church and the community.”

Eternity has assembled opinion pieces from a range of Christian leaders. We have reflected the range of church-goers’ views.

We have always been confident that thoughtful Christians are good at working through a discussion of views, and here you can put them to the test:

Please take this seriously by Brian Houston

We’ll lose friends by Campbell Markham

Getting to ‘Yes’ by Simon Carey Holt

Reasons for ‘No’ by Lyle Shelton

Don’t Shift by Lucy Gichuhi

A real danger to religious freedom by Neil Foster

Why I won’t tell my church how to vote by Nathan Campbell


Some prayer points to help

Pray that respectful debate will occur during the postal survey. Pray for genuine communication between members of the Australian community who have opposing views. Pray that Christians will be able to balance grace and truth during this time.