About Me

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The Author Erik’s family emigrated from Britain to the island State of Tasmania then lived in the woods. The family home schooled, helping to pioneer the home education movement in Australia. The Blog …explores ways to create a sustainable and just community. Explores how that community can be best protected at all levels including social policy/economics/ military. The Book Erik’s autobiography is a humorous read about serious things. It concerns living in the bush, wilderness, home education, spirituality, and activism. Finding Home is available from Amazon, Barnes&Noble and all good e-book sellers.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

God, Sex and Making Life Work




Having gone to the trouble of writing a 3500 word post graduate essay in applied theology I thought I may as well share it on my blog so more than three people can read it. With minor changes here 'tis. If this sort if thing isn't your cup of tea there's plenty of other interesting stuff on this blog.


Identify personal elements in your life and critically reflect on how they contribute to the formation of your theology of ministry

 

Graduate Certificate in Ministry

 

Introduction

My three siblings are passionately opposed to aspects of Biblical Christianity. Their criticisms have forced me to develop a theology that works robustly in society not just in church.

 

From 14 to 24 I made it my task to develop a practical theology for the wider world, particularly in the context of the environmental challenge. In this, I succeeded but charismatic puritanism/Gnosticism (Peacock 2016) failed me and I was forced to re-examine the fundamentalist approach to life.

 

In this paper, I argue that the missio Dei is the outworking of God’s will and ways in each and every aspect of society, extending beyond individual soul salvation to the redemption and restoration of human society. In so doing I aim to provide a practical road map that can be used reverse the current catastrophic decline of Christianity in the Western World.

 

Personal Elements

 

Fundamentalism vs Practical Theology

I was born a Seventh Day Adventist and thus come from a legalistic faith tradition– the Bible is true, literal, and should be followed. My grandparents believed that ‘Sunday keepers’ were not saved since the ten commandments require a day of rest on Saturday. As a young person I rejected that kind of fundamentalism because of its patent absurdity and wild inconsistency e.g. tithing is mandatory but its OK to work on weekends. However I continued to believe in pacifism and celibacy before marriage. Two events forced me to reconsider. The first was my time in Ambon province in Indonesia where I lived for two months. Ambon is (or was) the only majority Christian province but was invaded my Jihadists who forced conversions and slaughtered Christians. The official death toll is around ten thousand (Schulze 2002, pp 57-69). In that context, pacifism results in genocide. The second was a relationship failure in which the church’s teaching was particularly unhelpful.

 

Inadequate Sexual Ethic

While the teaching I received in sexual matters was Biblical in a narrow puritan sense it was taught as a matter of geography rather than relationship or consequence, and there was no flexibility – the location of my private parts being the primary issue of concern. The inadequacy of this teaching is the primary reason why my generation rejected Christianity. It did me great harm.

 

Destroyed for lack of knowledge

After three decades of church attendance in traditional, charismatic and Pentecostal churches the only message I have heard that addressed apologetics was preached by me. I have heard no systematic world-view teaching, training in how to interpret the Bible, or systematic theology. For example, I was never told why I should not have sex with my girlfriend or why I should believe the Bible. Yet many Christians send their children to school for 12 years of indoctrination into anti-Biblical world view and expect them to be Christians.

 

Church vs Kingdom

Being in Tasmania the environmental conflict was unavoidable. This forced me to consider what the Bible had to say beyond soul salvation, which in turn expanded my theological horizons beyond church culture. I became an environmental activist (see further Gee 2001, and Peacock 2012), studied environmental thought at post-graduate level which included grappling with a well-developed anti-Christian critique (White, 1974 and Hay, 2002, pp. 100-106), and sought to bring the gospel to that movement. I was the only Christian in my city at that time who did. Many in the church saw my involvement as a distraction from ‘the gospel’. 

 

These inadequacies are writ large in the church. They are a core part of the secular/pagan polemic against Christianity which society and my siblings largely adopted, and are the main reason why we are currently losing the third generation since the 1950’s.

 

A workable theology of ministry therefore requires that evidence based policy sit alongside theology. This in fact is what the Bible does. Rather than hand down a set of rules God reveals Himself progressively to the cultures of Bible times first as creator (Elohim), as Holy and sovereign (to Job), then as the covenant keeping God (Jehovah), then as a husband to Israel, and on to the establishment of the tabernacle, to the law and the prophets, the establishment of Israel as a testimony and a blessing to ‘all nations’, then to the Messiah and the marriage of Christ to his bride the church.

 

In each context the practical outworking of God’s revelation was culturally specific to the practical situation, be it polygamy (Matt 22:24 TCRB NIV), gleanings (Leviticus 19:9 TCRB NIV), or ‘wives’ captured in war (Deut 21:11-13 TCRB NIV). While God will not change, the application of His character to our problems will change. This approach to ministry and mission does not require that we abandon the creeds, but rather that we navigate a passage between the twin errors of legalism and licence (Tyra, G 2014 pp. 40, 132). As the Bible puts it, ‘whoever fears God will avoid all extremes’ (Eccl 7:18 TCRB NIV) and ‘do not be over-righteous…why destroy yourself?’ (Eccl 7:16 TCRB NIV). For example, if the Sabbath were sexuality, what would Jesus say about it? 

 

Personal Understanding of Mission

My understanding of mission has grown mainly in detail since I was 17. The mission flows out of God’s delight in the world and in the lives of believers and unbelievers. Genesis declares the creation ‘good’, while the book of Jonah reveals that God is as passionately interested in unbelievers as in believers. John 3:16 affirms this in Christs mission to the ‘kosmos’ (Interlinear Greek – English New Testament, Authorised KJF), and Revelation 11:15 confirms it. The Lord’s prayer says: ‘your kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in heaven’. Since war, poverty, structural injustice, disease etc do not exist in heaven the mission Dei encompasses seeking to minimise them on earth. These are the ‘works of the Devil’ which Jesus came to eliminate (1 John 3:8 TCRB NIV) and which forms part of our mission (John 20:21 TCRB NIV). While this allows room for a separation of church and state at an institutional level it leaves no room for a separation of faith, values, and public policy. It is for this reason that Wycliffe’s translation of the Bible into English led to the world’s first documented socialist revolution, the ‘peasant’s revolt’ in 1381 on specifically theological grounds: ‘When Adam delved and Eve span, who then was the gentleman?’ (Alderman 1974). This took place because the notion that ultimate authority lies outside government and the church and places intrinsic and equal value on those at the bottom, was and is revolutionary (see further (Black Jr, G 2014, p.8). As Brown notes (2011 p. 6), when David and his descendants were appointed human kings over God’s people, they were subordinate kings under God and ruled as His “sons” over His kingdom.

So in the mission Dei the salvation of human souls, the transformation of human character, and the building of the church as an organism, works in parallel with the redemption of the public sphere. As theologian John Baille has said, ‘In proportion as a society relaxes its hold upon the eternal, it ensures the corruption of the temporal’. Thus ‘…we live in our temporal setting with a firm grasp of God’s eternal claims while we transform the culture he has entrusted to us’ (Solomon Undated, pp.2-3). In this I favour the fifth view in Richard Neibuhr’s classification being ‘Christ the transformer of culture’ (ibid, pp. 2-4), but in so doing I recognise that all elements of his classification will be relevant in different contexts. There will be times when Christ is against culture, for example ‘raunch culture’ (Levy 2005, p.74). There will be times when Christ will join with culture as the apostle Paul did, becoming ‘all things to all people’ (1 Cor 9:19-22 TCRB NIV). However Christ is ultimately above culture (Daniel 7:27 TCRB NIV) and calls his people to ‘come out and be separate’ (Rev 18:4 TCRB NIV), for example regarding homosexual indoctrination in schools; and there will be times when Christ and culture exist in tension, for example, during war time.

Hesselgrave and others (Shantz 2009, p. 10) have noted that culture is directed by those who influence the ‘seven mountains’ of business, government, media, arts and entertainment, education, the family, and religion. Others add science and technology. I suggest that the environmental challenge presents another mountain. Hesselgrave notes:

‘It takes less than 3-5 per cent of those operating at the tops of a cultural mountain to actually shift the values represented on that mountain. Mountains are controlled by a small percentage of leaders and networks….In sum, between 150 and 3000 people (a tiny fraction of the roughly 23 billion people living between 600 B.C. and A.D. 1900) framed the major contours of all world civilisations. Clearly, the transformations were top-down’, (Hesselgrave 1995, pp. 7-8).

It is by capturing this high ground that we fulfil the great commission to ‘disciple all nations’ per Matt 28:18-20. This transformation of culture is part of the outflowing impetus of God’s grace (Arthur, E 2009 pp.3-5) since, as Linda Cope has observed (ibid p. 20) God is:

  • King of kings – the Lord of justice
  • Jehovah Jireh – Lord of economics
  • Father – Lord of the family
  • Creator God – Lord of science and technology
  • Living Word – Lord of communication
  • Potter – Lord of the arts and beauty
  • Great Teacher – Lord of education

In this way Jesus reconciles all things to himself (Col 1:19-20 TCRB NIV).

It will be the task of practical theologians to do the intellectual work in solving the real problems that confront all seven plus mountains because it is by solving those problems that the high ground will be taken (Johnson 2013, p.33). The change in my understanding of mission is that where I once saw changing culture as an uncompromising stand for righteousness in terms similar to the call of Samuel (Siqueira 2012, pp. 364-365 and 373) I now see that the practical application of the gospel usually requires a middle path between extremes. This has grown out of my professional experience as a policy analyst and my Christian experience.

 

Contribution to effective ministry in lived experience

In my experience the most effective ministry occurred in the developing world where I encountered easy conversation about spiritual things, rapid and sustained church growth, and openness to the gospel. The reason for this is because those cultures are closer to the cultures of Bible times, so the gospel naturally achieves comparable results.

 

In Australia I found effective ministry when it:

  1. focussed on genuine discipleship; and
  2. understood that it was engaged in cross cultural mission.

In the discipleship context this meant singles of the same sex living together in shared rental accommodation, and in YWAM people living on-base. It included daily corporate prayer, and regular group evangelistic activity. This aligned with the practice of the early church and with Jesus’ command and example to make disciples.

 

In the cultural context successful evangelism occurred when people were engaged at a point of connection or commonality, the gospel was contextualised, and then they were trained at the level of core values/worldview in a way that merged evangelism with discipleship. This reflected an intuitive understanding of the meaning of culture as a matrix of shared beliefs, values, assumptions, and patterns of behaviour (Kraft 1999, pp. 1-3) and the contextualisation of the gospel in the context of that matrix (Hesselgrave 1995, pp. 1-3). However, it also included acculturation into a Christian culture, the adoption of a new Christian identity, and a ‘leaving behind’ of parts of the old scene since it is necessary to divorce the world before marrying Christ.

 

This is the anthropological revelation of the Kingdom of God (unpublished lecture notes, 2017), which at an individual level is about forming a church ‘family culture’ where a person’s identity and beliefs will be distinct to varying degrees but within the boundaries of the shared core values and behaviours (Spencer-Oatey 2012, pp. 9-10) since ‘Ultimately beliefs lead to behaviour’ (Hollinger Undated, p. 3).

 

Effective ministry has thus involved three things:

  • contextualisation - evangelism
  • enculturation – discipleship
  • world view formation – growth and sanctification

This cross cultural approach to mission faces all the challenges identified of cross cultural mission but presents the only effective model I know.  It fairly closely resembles Hesselgrave’s three culture model (Hesselgrave 1995, pp. 116-117).

 

Reflection

As “Director of Calling, Discernment and Achievement” (Black Jr, G 2014, p.12) it is the role of ordained ministers to equip the saints for ‘every good work’ (2 Tim 3:17). That necessarily includes a redemptive engagement with every aspect of culture (Wallnau & Johnson, 2013) by finding God’s remaining redemptive analogies within it (Richardson, 1981), and a constructive relationship with the natural world. This builds upon and does not replace the foundation truths of personal salvation and sanctification.

 

However, in reality, the contemporary Western culture, when understood as the ‘shared basic and learned assumptions and values of a people’ (Solomon J, Undated pp. 4, 13) has been more effective at evangelising the church than visa-versa. Consequently Western Christianity is dying a slow demographic death and has been since the 1950’s. According to respected research firm Ipsos Mori approximately 15 per cent of people in Britain hold definitional Christian beliefs

(MORI 2011, see also UK Office of National Statistics 2011). Significantly, many of those who do hold definitional beliefs are old. The next two decades will see a massive die-off of Christians as the ‘greatest generation’ and the ‘baby boomers’ pass and their children are not saved. Church attendance is on schedule to drop off a cliff (Dickerson JS 2013, pp.12 - 20) and with it our influence and our witness in society. Already in the United States for every 1000 churches that open 4000 close and even megachurches are in decline.  In a decades long survey of 1000 churches in the USA Dr Richard J. Krejcir identified a lack of genuine discipleship and Biblical teaching as the core reason for decline and conversely found that discipleship and Biblical teaching were keys to church growth (Dr Krejcir, 2007). This and his other findings correspond to my own experience over three decades but leave substantial gaps since he focuses only on church attendees not the children of church goers who reject the faith, or the unchurched.

In my experience the genuine reasons for rejecting Christianity are:

  • Christianity has nothing useful or helpful to say about sex and sexuality
  • Christianity is good on helping the poor but has nothing useful or helpful to say about the big issues – war, the economy, economic justice, and the environment
  • Christianity makes extraordinary truth claims that are not backed by anything other than tradition
  • Science and secularism provide better explanations about reality and solutions to real world problems than the church does

 

Effective mission cannot occur without effective ministry because without ministry you will not have people to conduct mission. Therefore if our mission is to succeed, our ministry must comprehensively address these objections, first to those who are still attending church, and then to the wider world. This will require a degree of training of both leaders and laity that is unprecedented in church history.

 

While I do not doubt Dr Krejcir’s observations, he does not address these issues, though I have elsewhere (Peacock 2017). Answering secular objections and solving the problems confronting the seven plus mountains is not impossibly difficult (I do it for fun), but it does require that we deal with the evidence then work back to our theology/ideology. In my experience this usually means charting a middle path on contentious issues such as economics, sustainability, immigration, sexual issues etc. (That said, the middle path can appear radical when society leans in a radically ungodly direction). This is, I believe, critically important if we are to engage, foster and promote future opportunities for ministry and mission.

 

Conclusion

Effective mission is founded on effective ministry. In the current context effective ministry builds on the foundational Christian disciplines of prayer, study, praise, discipleship, service, and corporate fellowship. As we connect with who God is, we are caught in the creative outflowing of His grace to rescue and redeem those and that which is lost. In doing so the church is divided between those who feel it imperative to be faithful to the literal word of God as we look forward to heaven, and those who seek a practical theology by applying Biblical principles to real world problems. In that context I note that neither David, Solomon, or any of the Patriarchs before Moses would have met the character requirements for this course, (see for example Genesis 38: 13-26) and many of the secular criticisms of the church (though not of God) are correct.

 

In the Bible, God’s progressive revelation always deals with the world as it is in all its messiness and confusion. God and the Bible are big enough to deal with, for example, war, terrorism, slavery, sexual confusion and environmental collapse. The principles are there, but there is no formula. The effectual application of God’s ways to our circumstances will require intellectual courage, Spirit led guidance and doctrinal flexibility, but it is the only way forward. Jehovah is big enough. Is the church?


 

References

 

Alderman, C L, 1974, Flame of Freedom: the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381, Bailey Bros. & Swinfen Ltd

 

Black Jr, G 2014, Exploring the Life and Calling, Fortress Press, Minneapolis MN

 

Brown, R Spring 2011, The Kingdom of God and the Mission of God Part 1, International Journal of Frontier Missiology, 28:1

 

Dickerson J S, 2013, The Great Evangelical Recession, Baker Books

 

Dr Krejcir, RJ, 2007, Statistics and Reasons for Church Decline, A. Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership Development http://www.churchleadership.org/apps/articles/default.asp?articleid=42346&columnid=4545

[Accessed November 2017]

 

Gee, H 2001, For the Forests: a history of the Tasmanian forest campaigns, The Wilderness Society, Australia

 

Hay, P 2002, Major Currents in Western Environmental Thought, UNSW Press

 

Hesselgrave, D 1995,  ‘Contextualisation that is Authentic and Relevant’, International Journal of Frontier Missions  Vol 12:3 Jul-Sep 1995

 

Hollinger, TD (undated) ‘Placing Christ at the Center of Christian Leadership Values’, Inner Resources of Leaders, School of Global Leadership and Entrepreneurship, Regent University, Virginia Beach, VA

 

Interlinear Greek – English New Testament, Authorised KJF

 

Ipsos MORI, 2011, Religious and Social Attitudes of UK Christians in 2011 https://www.ipsos.com/ipsos-mori/en-uk/religious-and-social-attitudes-uk-christians-2011 [Accessed November 2017]

 

Kraft, C. H., 1999. Culture, Worldview and Contextualisation. In: Perspectives on the World Christian Movement: A Reader. Pasadena (CA): William Carey Library, pp. 384 – 391.

 

Levy, A 2005, Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture, Free Press

 

Office of National Statistics UK 2011, Religion in England and Wales 2011


[Accessed November 2017]

 

 

Peacock, E 2012, Finding Home Authorhouse UK

 

Peacock, E 2017, Reversing Christianity’s Death Spiral


 

 

Peacock, E 2016, Pell, Paedophiles and the new Gnosticism

http://findinghomebookspace.blogspot.com.au/2016/03/pell-pedophiles-and-new-gnosticism.html

[Accessed November 2017]

 

Richardson D, 1981 Eternity in Their Hearts, Baker Publishing Group

 

Shantz, DH, 2009, ‘Historical Distinctive of the Christian University’, in Christian Worldview and the Academic Disciplines, Crossing the Academy, General Series, ed. ED Deane, D Stanley  and E Porter, Pickwick Publications Oregon

 

Schulze, K E Spring 2002, ‘Laskar Jihad and the Conflict in Ambon’, Brown Journal of World Affairs, 9(1) Volume IX, Issue 1 pp 57-69

 

Siqueira, TM 2-13, ‘The Vocation of Samuel’, Curitiba, Vol. 5, n. 1, p. 363-378

 

Solomon J, Christianity and Culture, http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/probe/docs/culture.html

 

Spencer-Oatey, H 2012, What is culture? A compilation of quotations http://www.warwick.ac.uk/globalpadintercultural [material for JB105 Theology of Ministry, Christian Heritage College, 2017]

 

The Holy Bible: Thompson Chain Reference Bible New International Version 1994, B.B. Kirkbride Bible Co., Inc, Indianapolis, Indiana 1994

 

Unpublished lecture notes, 2017, ‘Theology of Ministry, Ministry Identity Formation – Revelation’

 

Wallnau, L 2010, ‘The Seven Mountain Mandate’, In The Reformer’s Pledge. Kindle ed. Shippensburg (PA): Destiny Image Publishers

 

Wallnau, L. & Johnson, B., 2013. Invading Babylon: The 7 Mountain Mandate. Kindle ed. Shippensburg (PA): Destiny Image Publishers

 

White, L 1974, ‘The historical roots of our ecologic crisis’, in Ecology and Religion in History, New York: Harper and Row

 

Monday, 2 October 2017

How I left the Left



It’s a funny thing divorce. One the one hand it is sudden and traumatic. The door clicks, a part of your life has gone, you hear feet running in the hallway, nothing will ever be the same again. On the other hand, it happens slowly as the cords of love and attachment break one by one and you realise one day, perhaps years before you leave, that the relationship is over. I always thought I was a Lefty because I saw a role for Government in the provision of non-market goods: libraries, museums, national parks, basic research, the ABC. I believed that monopolies like water and airports should be publicly owned. I railed against economic rationalism and junk ‘trickle down’ economic philosophy. I was and am happy to pay high taxes to fund public health care despite the fact that I have and can afford insurance. After all, wasn’t it Jesus who told us to go heal the sick? I don’t have a miracle healing ministry but I can support a national health care plan. But over the last 20 years I have watched  the Marxist left infiltrate and subvert every progressive movement. Its not just that they are pushing a failed discredited ideology; they bring with them a pathological hatred of the foundational values of our culture – family, faith, and nationhood. The tipping point came in 2016. I was watching a youtube video of Roz Ward at a training seminar telling attendees that the Safe Schools Program “is not about bullying”. OK, so what is it about?

As a young Christian I adhered to the crazy Jewish notion that since we are all created in God’s image we are all inherently valuable. This is the real cultural and moral foundation for human rights in the West, and was the motive force behind the early progressive movements. As a young left wing activist, I felt that I stood proudly in the tradition of Wilberforce, the chartists and the suffragettes. Living in Tasmania, the environmental issue was unavoidable, and it made sense to me to care for the planet out of sheer gratitude.

At 17, I became a Wilderness Society activist and met the founders of the movement. They were not Marxists. They were a country doctor who once famously attempted to join the Liberal party, a scientist, a nurse, a farmer; two had strong Presbyterian upbringings. Bob was gay but pretty quiet about it. They were broadly libertarian and eschewed big technocratic government, which in their day was represented by the Hydro Electric Commission. Now it was 1991 and the mood was nationalistic – this was our country and we wanted it looked after, not chipped-up and sent to Japan. The local communist group rebranded as the ‘Green Left’ and tried to take over our meetings but we gave them short shrift. The forest campaign was tough, and we had little time for lefty theorists.

Ben Oquist came down to help with the campaign and flatted with me before going to work for Bob. I was on first name terms with Bob Brown, Christine Milne, Geoff Law, et al and worked closely with Cath Hughes. I completed Pete Hay’s post graduate course in environmental thought with distinction. The Greens introduced freedom of information legislation, and when not in jail, the leaders remained libertarian. They were good times. ‘Form One Lane’ road signs were sometimes altered to say ‘Form One Planet’, but no one seriously thought that one world government was a good idea, despite Agenda 21.

In later years though, the cognitive dissonance between the causes we campaigned on and the deeper social agenda became untenable. Feminism become a repudiation of motherhood. As mammals we reproduce. This requires on average each woman to have three children. Those children need to be held, nurtured and breastfed for the first three years of their life. Their neurological and emotional development depends on it. That means that on average each woman needs to take 10 years out of the workforce (wholly or partly) for society to be OK. If women were allowed to be in touch with their real desires and supported in them, that would happen. That means that women cannot realistically over their lifetime, earn on average the same as men. That is why marriage is so important as a stable social and economic structure to support women and children. Thanks to women’s liberation women are now sexually vulnerable, relationally vulnerable, and financially forced to work. Feminism has no intention of allowing women choice and it is clear that the true goals of contemporary feminism are the destruction of the family and the alienation of men, women and children aka destroying ‘patriarchy’. Women are now told that they not only have to abort their children for economic convenience but they are not allowed to admit to the deep shame, guilt and grief that naturally follows. In this, feminism has become violently abusive of women and indeed of the whole society. According to one NGO one seventh of the population of Britain has been killed through abortion since decriminalisation. The cultural revolution has been a very bloody revolution but the tiny dismembered corpses are not allowed to be shown in public and their silent scream is drowned in the onward tramp of liberation. This cannot be spoken.

Concern for the rights of refugees morphed into an open borders campaign. There are a quarter of a billion Indonesians to our north, mostly Muslim and 1.3 billion Chinese. How open to we want our borders to be? Third world birth rates mean that it will make no difference how many migrants we accept. The countries of origin will still be poor and dysfunctional. There are things we can do to help but dissolving our own nations and cultures will help no one. Furthermore one of the reasons we are successful and they are not is because of our cultural mores. If our country is flooded with people whose cultural mores are the reason their country sucks, what will happen to our country? There comes a point where ‘open borders’ ceases to be compassion and becomes treason. That point has been crossed in Europe and the United States but not in China, India, Russia, or South East Asia. This cannot be spoken.

Apart from being asked out a lot by queers (who were mostly nice people) I knew little about homosexuality at University but I did have on acquaintance who killed himself after graduation. He had been raped as a young person, was gay, and couldn’t deal with it all. De-criminalisation and acceptance was so important for people like him….but what about celebration? The fact is, the number of cases of genuine biological non-heterosexuality are vanishingly rare. Homosexuality and transgenderism are psychiatric/psychological conditions that respond well to treatment for a great many people but not for everyone. Why is it then, that the GLBTI movement is so vicious in seeking to criminalise and shut down proven treatments for those people who, for whatever reason, wish to change? Why do they bully ex-gays, or active gays who dissent from the GLBTI script? Yet at the same time, they openly recruit. This cannot be spoken.

Homosexual relationships were now recognised in law and all financial discriminations removed. This was a remarkable achievement given its relevance to only a small number of people within a minority group of less than three per cent of the population; but this was not enough. They wanted marriage and adoption too. For some this was a logical extension of the campaign. For many sober, thoughtful and compassionate people this was a red line, since in order to justify gay marriage and adoption, society must conclude that children have no need for a mother and a father but only a ‘significant other’. A societal shift so profound demands the kind of mature and respectful discussion, even plebiscite, the Left are determined not to have. Meanwhile ‘gay rights’ became an excuse to impose transgender ideology – a form of mental illness - on young children. Nevertheless, according to the emails I kept getting for a year and a half from Penny Wong, any attempt at reasonable discourse or plebiscite is a “referendum on hate”, yet the hate from the Left is palpable.  As a 15/16 year old in year 11 high school, I joined the Amnesty International Club and wrote letters on behalf of political prisoners in nasty regimes. Now even Amnesty has jumped on the GLBTI and anti-Russian band wagon. What has fundamental political freedom got to do with sodomy?

Climate change meanwhile had come to the fore. It had taken a long time and a lot of energy, but here again the agenda shifted.  Climate change became a reason to impose a kind of global Centrelink that takes from prosperous successful nations and gives to poor unsuccessful ones. Faith in big government was boundless.

Hostility to Christianity was now overt but Islam was embraced. Peter Singer said that the starting point for moral consideration was somewhere near a mollusc yet the movement militantly promoted abortion. The Greens tabled a bill in NSW to make abortion-to-term legal on demand. I had knelt in the mud in front of a bulldozer to defend the inherent sanctity of all life. How could I now be part of a movement that thinks killing a nine month old baby is OK? How could Bob Brown, a medical doctor, and Christine Milne, a Catholic, be silent? In Tasmania, the ‘Gunns 20’ had suffered much and strongly promoted the right to protest. Yet the Green’s pro-abortion bill would make it a crime to pray, protest, or offer counselling within 150 metres of an abortion clinic. Obstructing logging was OK but offering alternative abortion counselling was not. Fungi matters, the unborn do not. The right to protest or speak stops where social Marxism starts, even if you are Green. Meanwhile the real environmental issues are ongoing and urgent. The Great Barrier Reef is in trouble. The oceans are full of plastic. The Murray Darling is dying. The Koala is being pushed closer to extinction. But, how can anyone be expected to talk about that when they are triggered over a lack of transgender toilets? 

Oh, and along the way Trump inadvertently saved the Australian economy by scrapping the Trans Pacific Partnership free (sic) trade agreement. This would have handed over what little remains of the Australian economy to US multinational companies and handed Australia’s sovereignty, and our ability to protect the environment, over to transnational courts run by the same companies. The ALP had already agreed to the deal. Instead of celebrating from the roof tops the Left accused Trump of racism. Speaking of racism, the Left jumped on the anti-Russian band wagon which is scripted by the CIA, has no basis in fact, and is racist to the core.

By now, there had been 16 years of continuous war in the Middle East but Greenpeace said nothing. The slaughter of whales elicited great concern. The slaughter of Christians did not. Obama was granted a Nobel Peace Prize as being the only US President in history to be at war for every day of both his terms in office. When Hillary Clinton ran for President on a platform of “punishing Russia” for upholding international law and fighting terrorism in Syria, the Left supported her. When Trump suggested normalising relations with Russia he was viciously attacked. The Left now stood for war not peace. It got worse. Hillary was the policy architect and advocate for the destruction of Libya as a modern nation State, and for using ISIS to destroy Syria as a modern nation state. She laughed when Gaddafi was sodomised with a bayonet and had no problem with ISIS operating a market in sex slavery, throwing homosexuals off buildings, and torturing children to death. A million people died under her watch. Left wing feminists supported her Presidential bid merely because she has a vulva, this being more important than the lives of a million men women and children. Then it got worse. The Democrats and associated media, having rejected the outcome of the election and having called for the assassination of Julian Assange, allied with the CIA to undermine the peace initiatives of the newly elected President, and succeeded.

And the ultimate irony? The Southern Povery Law Centre is seeking to impoverish and shut down Christian organisations who refuse to promote the LGBTI agenda by listing them along with bona fide neo Nazi groups as hate organisations. 'Tolerance' it seems, means destroying anyone and anything that gets in your way.

Finally, in 2016 I asked the obvious question: ‘what would have to happen for all the feminists, leftists, and homosexual activists etc to be happy and stop making demands?’ In other words: ‘what is the end point of the campaign?’ The only answer seemed to be the complete dissolution of society and its replacement by a totalitarian state, so obviously that wasn’t it….but eventually (thanks in large part of a friend whose pastor is being sued for stating the traditional Christian view on sexuality) I found my way to Antonia Gramsci and the Marxist theorists of the 1930s. They realised that the working class had rejected Communism because of traditional moral values: the role of fathers and family, the sanctity of marriage, the church, faith, and patriotism. They reasoned that capitalism would fall if these things could be torn down and society reduced to a state of moral and social anarchy. Then would arise the Marxist State; but first a long march through the institutions was necessary.

Gramsci died in jail but his followers set up shop in the University of Frankfurt where they developed ‘critical theory’ aka ‘cultural Marxism’, before fleeing to the United States. The long march began in California in the 1950’s, energised the counter culture of the 1960s, thoroughly infiltrated the education system and the unions, and became influential in the church. The KGB referred to this process as ‘demoralisation’ but it got scant attention outside conservative religious circles even after KGB defector Yuri Bezmenov blew the whistle. After the USSR dissolved, the Communist movement continued unabashed. This time they focussed on subverting feminism and environmentalism. Key among their objectives were the abolition of independent schools, removing mothers from the home, promoting promiscuity and abortion, dissolving national borders, and indoctrinating youth against Christianity. It was all sounding familiar, but surely I was jumping at shadows?

Then I found Herbert Mercuse’ essay ‘Repressive Tolerance’ in which he argued that real tolerance meant tolerance for leftist ideas and repression of conservative ideas, even if that included violence. I guess that explains whatis happening at Evergreen College and why the Left have no problem with hooded thugs blockading public meetings organised by the Australian Christian Lobby. Then in the online Marxist archive I found a book published in 1932 Towards a Soviet America, which stepped out the planned destruction of the family, church, nation state, independent schools, and civil society. ‘Reactionary classes’ it said ‘will be eliminated’. “Once the power of the bourgeoisie is broken internationally and its States destroyed…There will be no place for the present narrow patriotism, the bigoted nationalist chauvinism…” I guess that is why the Democratic Party believes ‘no one is illegal’, and what better reason to remove national sovereignty than a truly international crisis like climate change? “Religious schools will be abolished and organised religious training for minors prohibited. Freedom will be established for anti-religious propaganda.” If traditional views on sexual morality and deviance are made illegal in the class room and replaced with promotional lessons for sexual degeneracy, that objective will largely have been achieved. This is the direction of State education in Canada, Sweden, and the United States under Obama.

As I perused the now mainstream anti-conservative hate sphere, which includes my once beloved ABC, it was obvious that the happy smiling face of progressivism had slipped and I was staring directly at the face of communism or some mutant variant thereof, and it was horrifying.

The Greens still have a chance to save themselves, shake up their party and move back to the centre, away from the security of the inner city cultural ghetto and values echo chamber. It won’t be easy and Bob may have to get off his laurels, but they are a side show anyway. The real action is the Communist take-over of the Labor Party, the education system, and the media.

Of course, the right have their contradictions and penchant of magical thinking on specific issues too, but that's another essay.

As I watch my children delight in their parents and in being boys and girl I reflect on the psychosexual abuse that passes for progressive ‘safe schools’ and am glad we home educate. Our kids will need to be resilient. There are no easy answers.

Divorce is never easy – I am still angry but in a way I have found myself again, and I’m not the one who moved.