Christian Persecution in Australia

We expect the secularists and God-haters to persecute Christians – and they do. But we don’t expect Christian organisations to persecute Christians – but it seems that they do as well. It seems we have another tragic example of this very thing happening right here in Australia.

I have already discussed the sad story of Troy Williams, the Tassie chaplain and Scripture Union worker who was raked over the coals for daring to tell the truth about homosexuality:

Of course the homosexual militants and PC politicians foamed at the mouth about this, demanding his head on a platter. But we didn’t expect the Christian group he works for to end up doing much the same. I have been communicating with Troy and his wife, and praying for them. This has just come in from Troy:

Fired by Scripture Union for “Breach of conduct”romans 10
Sad day

What? Fired? Breach of conduct? What in the world does that mean? Is it now unacceptable for Christians to tell the truth about homosexuality? And in this case, he simply quoted from a lesbian activist. So was she being homophobic in her remarks? This is lunacy.

Actually all this may not be surprising. Earlier this year an article about the Tasmanian SU sent alarm signals to many of us. It began: “Scripture Union has emphasised its support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community in the wake of concerns from an advocacy group.”

And it concludes:

Scripture Union Tasmania chief executive Ruth Pinkerton said Tasmanian school chaplains were specially trained in working with LGBTI students. “We are aware of the statistics, they’re a minority group that have a lot of issues and are really susceptible to suicide, so we are seeing them needing more care,” she said. “There is no sense of wanting to exclude these students.” Ms Pinkerton said chaplains were not in schools to make judgments. “They are there to support all members of the school with personal and spiritual work.”

The real question here is, what exactly do they mean by “support”? Does that mean affirming the lifestyle and lying to students about what the Bible says concerning homosexuality? Or does it mean telling them the truth about the issue as Troy tried to do? It seems that for SU, support means just being nice, affirming, and having a listening ear.

That is fine, but of course any pagan counsellor can do that. If they – for whatever reason – cannot or will not tell biblical truth to these and all other students, including sharing the gospel that can transform people’s lives, then what is the point of being there?

Some defenders of SU argue that they can just find other ways to be a Christian witness, even if they cannot really verbalise the gospel. But again, what is the point of being there in that case? If they cannot provide the most important thing students need – the life-changing truth of the biblical gospel – then they may have passed their use-by date.

As Romans 10:14-15 makes perfectly clear, the gospel must involve words, speaking and listening. Just being “nice” or having “a presence” is not enough for the biblical Christian. We must be able to share truth, and that means sharing it verbally as well. When we lose the right to speak truth, then we might as well pull out, and let others show “support”.

Also, this case again shows the very real problems of any Christian group relying on government funding or even approval. I spoke about this broader issue earlier, including funding issues and compliance with state directives. See here:

We may have come to the point where we have to think long and hard about how effective and how strategic various parachurch groups are that work in the public arena, and receive government funding, and/or permission to do so. It is great that groups like SU are there, and they have done great work in the past.

But if they are now effectively being curtailed or stymied in presenting biblical truth, and if they in fact fire their own workers for doing so, then it is time to reassess things, big time.

In the meantime we must keep praying for Troy and his family. They are going through the wringer right now, being hated by homosexuals and the state alike, and seemingly abandoned by their own Christian organisation.

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29 Replies to “Christian Persecution in Australia”

  1. I am afraid that the chaplaincy system is set up for this very thing. The government sees itself as the employer, and the Christian body thinks that offering platitudes is what counselling is all about. This was bound to happen.

  2. Disappointing response from SU.
    This is a missed opportunity.

    Here was an opportunity to:

    (1) defend their employee as a Chaplain with integrity
    (2) conduct a respectful, intelligent conversation regarding the validity of his biblical views in this matter.
    (3) acknowledge that while the wider community may not see it his way, but that kind support for students will be given by Chaplains, when views differ.
    (4) ask the community to recognise that in this particular matter of ‘choice’, or not, those in the GLBT community often agree with Christians.

  3. Bill, Please convey to Chaplain Troy a message from me. I’m praying for him too, and he has my support and love. If he’s in Melbourne, please let him know that I would be honoured to have him over for a meal anytime. If you remember a friend, Grahame Mitcheal, who shared a meal with us some time back, he went through the same experience with Scripture Union. Grahame was trained to be a mentor by me and for years he was a volunteer with SU, spending his own money and time to mentor troubled kids at a local school. For years he was the best mentor they had. He was asked to leave for almost the same reason as Troy. Grahame came to me in tears and spend many hours with me for counselling over many days

  4. Thank you Bill, Eddie and all
    Maybe one person will ask “what is this gospel he talks about and would sacrifice things for”
    Would make the whole thing worth while

  5. I see the ABC news article: “School chaplain sacked over Facebook post calling homosexuality ‘not normal'” (above link), was careful not to divulge your name Bill or the name of this site, as they are obviously concerned about providing you with publicity. As we can see, like the militant Islamists, homosexual militants and their bulldogs operate now largely using fear and intimidation tactics.

    Good though that the ABC news article put up the quote from Lesbian activist Camille Paglia: “HOMOSEXUALITY IS NOT NORMAL. … NO ONE IS BORN GAY. THE IDEA IS RIDICULOUS.”

  6. Troy, even if nobody asks “What is this gospel?” it’ll still be worthwhile, because standing for truth is always worthwhile.

    God will bless you! (cf. Matthew 5)

  7. A very sad day indeed. Scripture Union’s action in sacking Troy is deplorable. I support Troy and praying for he and his family.

  8. I presume the Camille Paglia piece behind the “hot water” into which our brother, Troy has unflinchingly stepped is the Salon article of Thursday, May 24, 2001,
    “The energy mess and fascist gays” [Accessed online today at: ], where Paglia discusses the controversy aroused by research from Columbia University psychiatrist, Robert Spitzer which strongly suggests that sexual orientation may not be fixed from birth, but may be subject to fluidity throughout an individual’s lifespan.

    Paglia reminds her readers that Spitzer was the very scholar who persuaded the APA in 1973 to drop homosexuality from the DSM’s official list of behavioural disorders. Switzer, therefore, cannot be seriously described as a “diehard homophobe”.

    Bill, I expect your wider reading on the relevant pyschological studies would be able to fill us in on Switzer’s work and possible links to theories earlier offered by Alfred Kinsey as to the mutable nature of sexual orientation during an individual’s lifetime. [I’m only going on past memories of reading about Kinsey’s controversial theories and unorthodox research methods.].

    Camille Paglia’s evident iconoclasm and erudition I did find refreshing as I read her above-mentioned article.

    The “received wisdom” of GLBTIQ orthodoxy is that sexual orientation is fixed – “born that way”. Such rank determinism suggests that all forms of “liberty” are nothing but cruel delusions in a world where all life is actually determined by the “blind, pitiless indifference” [pace Dawkins] of “natural” evolutionary processes!

    I find Paglia’s application of the terms “fascist” and “Spanish Inquisition” in her discussion of Spitzer’s fate at the hands of irate gay ideologues unusually perceptive for a scholar who has a libertarian approach to issues of personal sexuality.

    For me, the GLBTIQ debate is about something more than what constitutes “natural” impulses and behaviour: As celebrated sexual experimenter and Neo-Pagan master, Aleister Crowley well understood, there is a “supernatural” dimension to human sexual practices. We must ask of any behaviour, “Is it spiritual, or is it carnal?” before we ask if the behaviour is “natural” or “unnatural” [Galatians chapter 5; 1 Corinthians 2:14].

  9. Hi Bill

    It is a sad sign that the churches time might almost be up. The church needs to be united against evil. On one hand we aren’t against evil on the other we aren’t united.

    The Maroi’s have an agreement with the New Zealand government but the Australian aboriginals don’t. Part of the problem is that Aboriginals identify themselves as part of their tribe rather than as a whole community. We have 6 different Christian parties all of which have small voice each of them vie with the other’s in order to get their seat.

    I believe the church needs to pull together with a common creed to both unite us and confirm who we are and what we stand for. We need to be able to defend our faith and our values with simple easy to remember points. We need to sell our position well and our side needs to be prepared to fight 4 on 1 in a hostile field.

    Three points we need to get across.

    1. Homosexuality is dangerous and I don’t want them to die.
    2. Homosexual lobby groups are pushing for rights over kids, I know people who have been abused in this way and I don’t this to happen.
    3. We want the freedom for Homosexuals to quit.

    I loved your first book by the way and I’m looking to get the second. Can I ask that the third book you write be about how to win the war. We may only have 10 words in order to win the arguement. What’s our game plan?

    John McAllister

  10. Bill, the chaplaincy programs in the states where they are still permitted are hanging on by the skin of their teeth. I know because I have friends who are chaplains. The organisations – SU, Access, etc – have to agree to certain things, otherwise they would be shut down.
    In my view it is AMAZING that the chappies and the CRE teachers are still allowed to continue doing their thing. In the USA you can’t even have a Christian gathering inside you car in the school car park! You can’t have 2 or 3 Christians praying together on school grounds. So let’s be thankful that the chappies can do what they can here.
    They do a great job ministering to thousands of students teachers and headmasters, most of whom would have no other contact with Christians.
    In this case I’m afraid that if this chappy spoke about a topic that he and his org agreed not to touch, then I don’t see what else could the organisation do but to stand him down. Otherwise the org would be in danger of being shut down. Put yourself in the position of the CEO. WWYD.
    So this is a rare occasion where I would have to disagree with you. (Caveat: I have not read the article in question , just your response). Rodney Gynther, Melbourne

  11. May I make a comment to clarify points raised by John Wigg re: Spitzer and Kinsey.

    According to Charles Socarides in his ‘Homosexuality: A Freedom Too Far, p.166, (1995) Spitzer was the front man for Kinsey Institute members Wardell Pomeroy & Alan Bell who were selling Kinsey’s line of homosexuality being ‘normal.’ Only much later did he do any research of his own. Then he discovered homosexuality wasn’t genetic.

    Kinsey wasn’t simply unorthodox he was a complete fraud. Please see Kinsey, Sex & Fraud by Judith Reisman et al 1990.

  12. Thanks Rodney. But you are speculating that he was sacked for speaking about “a topic that he and his org agreed not to touch”. And even if that was the case, then what is the point of a Christian organisation being out there in the first place, if they cannot talk about vitally important biblical truths? If there is to be that much restriction, then any secular humanist can do the job, holding a person’s hand or emoting sufficiently.

    This is about a Christian organisation which should be able to freely and fully proclaim biblical truth. And if they cannot because of government funding – even in part – then any such Christian organisation should deeply reconsider being in bed with the secular state. And I already said in my articles that SU and other groups have done a terrific job in the past. But they all may need to think carefully about relying on government funding.

    And if it takes being shut down for a Christian organisation to free itself to properly minister in a fully biblical fashion, then I for one see no problem in that at all. I would rather have a full-on Christian organisation operating biblically with its own funding, than a compromised and half-hearted one depending on state monies.

  13. Isaiah 54:17 (NKJV) No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, And their righteousness is from Me,” Says the Lord.
    “Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it.” (1 Peter 3:9 NLT)

    Romans 8:31-39 (NKJV)31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” 37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  14. Bill, Good point but its not about funding. There are many out there who want it shut down funding or no funding. And probably funding is the least of the problems. They DO get to share Biblical truths such as the 10 Commandments, the Christmas account, the Creator God, the Crucifixion and resurrection, Many of the OT stories, the teacher’s personal testimony, etc etc. Its just that they are not permitted to say things like “evolution is wrong” and they are to stay away from politically charged topics such as Homosexuality. And some parents have sent their kids into the class to ensnare the teacher by asking “is evolution wrong”> The teachers are instructed to respond by saying something like, “The Bible says such and such and most Christians believe such and such…” but if they say “Evolution is wrong.” there can be real trouble.
    I don’t agree with your all or nothing approach, these teachers and chaplains are having a great impact by being “wise as serpents and innocent as doves”
    OK I was wrong not to read the article first. Frankly, if you are a committed chappy you may as well not use Facebook because sooner or later they will get you saying something that will incriminate you. Its a price that these missionaries have to pay.
    No, money has little to do with it from the organisations’ standpoint, it is permission to continue sharing Biblical truths – even if they can’t share ALL Biblical truths.

  15. Rodney, if you want to teach the ten commandments and teach the seventh commandment faithfully, you will have to insist that sex stays where God put it, in committed life-long heterosexual marriage, fullstop, end of story, every variation from that is to break that commandment.
    Many blessings
    Ursula Bennett

  16. I’ve experienced this before.
    It was when I sent an article about homosexuality to a Christian that she implied to me that I was being unloving.
    She had a false humility about her in showing grace.


  17. Rodney Gynther’s claim that chaplains are still able to do much good despite not being able to address certain subjects, forgets that those particular subjects determined by their state masters as verboten are the very subjects where the heat of the battle is raging. To be mute on those issues is to concede the major battles of our time.

  18. Ewan, your logic seems to be like this: Because we can’t teach everything we want to teach, then let’s not teach anything at all, and let’s abandon the whole idea of CRE and chaplaincy, as being a waste of God’s money.
    Let me put the challenge right back at you: What are you personally doing to reach the children and teachers of Victoria. Are you doing anything? If not…..I rest my case.
    Rodney Gynther

  19. Thanks Rodney. But we have a few problems here:
    -you are already on thin ice for sending in a rather unedifying comment which I have had to delete. Not exactly my idea of WWJD.
    -you keep rehashing the same points, even though I keep dealing with them.
    -Absolutely no one has said it is all or nothing. The only one saying this is you, over and over again unfortunately. You simply commit the logical fallacy of the false dilemma. If you would actually read carefully what I have said here and elsewhere, you will see that this is all I have been saying: “Many groups are doing a great job; the pressure is mounting for compromise; some groups sadly are compromising; all such groups may need to think about this more carefully, if this government pressure continues to get worse in the future.” All that is fully true, and nothing that any Christian should get bent out of shape about.
    -And you create another logical fallacy of the same sort when you claim that unless one is fully involved in such work, one can say nothing about it. That is as helpful as saying that unless one is a Nazi, one cannot offer any criticism of them, or unless one is a woman, one cannot say anything about abortion.

  20. Bill, thank you. I concede that I went too far. I’m just trying to show you how this looks to people involved in para-church groups. Because the people I know – including my wife, and I suppose me to some extent – work tirelessly to reach people and especially children, for Christ. We get a lot of criticism from the media. To me it looked like your article was critical of us, and I had to wonder what you and each of the bloggers were actually doing yourselves to help us reach these children.
    Access Ministries – the director of which I know personally – were featured on A Current Affair recently where that program told a total of 21 lies regarding the ministry. That made your article very poignant to me. ACA were scathing and I think it was an outrageously demonic attempt to sensationalise this issue for the sake of a good story.
    Not everybody can do this ministry – in fact it is very difficult and challenging. But every Christian can be supportive by prayer and donations – that’s what I mean by DOING SOMETHING to reach these children. I hold a prayer meeting every month in my office for Access which includes members from a local church. The chaplain from the local school attends and is our major focus.
    If I might be so bold can I ask that others consider doing something similar.
    And, yes, I DO agree that some para-groups have completed their ministry and should consider shutting down. But we should remember that we live in the real world and groups like Access will probably never be allowed to teach the full gamut of what we would like them to teach. But they still have ACCESS!
    Blessings, Rodney Gynther, Kangaroo Ground

  21. I believe two things are happening here. First, there is the gay mentality of victimhood. The self – righteous anger, self- pity, hissies and tantrums of gays, who feel they are being denied their absolute rights by the rest of society. This deep, inner rage may well stem from abuse when they were children. Often these inner wounds are too deep to even talk about. But many of them, like the rest of humanity, for men they are, refuse to recognise that human nature is desperately wicked. Sin, guilt and the need to repent only send them into even more rage.
    In the “long Silence”, a picture is given of all of humanity demanding justice, [1] but then, like the good thief , hanging on the cross next to Jesus Christ, being rendered silent when it realises that God has come to Earth and paid the price. However, like the bad thief, hanging on the other side of Christ, the self- righteous gay would curse Jesus Christ.

    The trick is to make us all feel that we to are victims in some way of all authority . We are all made to feel self- pity,grievance and demand justice. Everyone is now made to feel part of minority group that has been hard done by and oppressed by our parents, teachers, and especially God. . This is what the Equality and Human Rights Commission have done by dividing us up into competing groups – based upon age, disability, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, transsexual orientation or even whether one is pregnant – all needing special protection . It is a call to mutiny, rebellion, to subversion and a shaking of the fist against any kind of authority.

    Secondly, there is a rejection by Christians of the idea of God sacrificing His own Son, Jesus Christ. Steve Chalk calls this Cosmic child abuse. [2]

    Michael D. O’Brien, Catholic commentator, says ‘How long will it take for our people to understand that when humanist sentiments replace moral absolutes, it is not long before very idealistic people begin to invade human families in the name of the family, and destroy human lives in the name of humanity (and tolerance)? This is the idealist’s greatest temptation, the temptation by which nations and cultures so often fall. The wielder of power is deluded into thinking he can remould reality into a less unkind condition. If he succeeds in convincing his people of the delusion and posits for them an enemy of the collective good, then unspeakable evils can be released in society. Those who share a mass-delusion rarely recognise it as such, and can pursue the most heinous acts in a spirit of self-righteousness.’
    The public are not interested in big ideas or the big picture; they think only in terms of the personal story, of hates, of hurts, of shallow sentimentality whereby, like the emperor Nero who used to collect his tears in phial for the death of Petronius and yet send thousands of Christians to the arena or be crucified in the most cruel manner, they can weep for the death of a fox or seal and yet be indifferent to the cries of millions of babies in the womb being dismembered

    [1] alive.


    David Skinner UK

  22. Hi Bill, have you read this page on SU’s site? It made me sick.

    I don’t know where to start to articulate my serious concerns with this page.

    “Chaplains are required to be non-judgmental, non-coercive and support all students regardless of the student’s issues or worldview. If they fail in this, they answer to the school, the relevant state/territory education department, the federal government and their employer.
    Every school chaplain signs a binding national code of conduct, with serious disciplinary consequences if it is contravened. If there is a problem, it is dealt with swiftly and decisively.
    The national rate is 13 complaints of proselytising per annum (three year average). With 2,900 schools having chaplains, the rate of proselytising complaints is 0.4 per cent per annum, and has been declining year on year. In 2013, there was one complaint nationally.”

    “Chaplaincy is non-coercive, but it recognises the importance of spirituality for young people. Promoting positive spirituality for children and young people is important for their overall development. This is recognised in state education department wellbeing frameworks.”

    “Spirituality is not meant to be something strange or foreign to us, but something vital that pulls together the various facets of our lives in meaningful ways. Spirituality is about a way of seeing the world and, even more importantly, being in the world. Positive spirituality has been shown to contribute to positive health and wellbeing, recovery from illness, and long life.”

    If I am reading this correctly, then apparently according to SU, you can give spiritual counselling without speaking about Christianity. They are no longer synonymous. They are actually proud about the decline in proselytising. Obviously, their concern for the lost is less than their desire for government funding.

    To the churches they portray themselves as speaking out Truth and giving hope – but they are failing to see that this comes from Christ alone and the gospel message. To the public, they portray themselves as not teaching Christianity so as to not offend anyone else’s belief system.

    We will no longer be supporting SU by any means, thereby ending a 25 year relationship.

  23. Here is another organisation agreeing to not share the gospel of Jesus – this time in Victoria.
    How did we get to the point that we have kidded ourselves into thinking that we can teach religion without teaching about sin, without teaching about Jesus and the saving work of the cross and THEN, encouraging people to follow. It’s useless if we don’t encourage people to follow christ. That’s what proselytisation is.
    The really bizarre thing is that we cheer on those Christians in places like China and the Middle East for still sharing the gospel even though it hurts. Yet here…. ah the hypocrisy.

    I have written more on this here.

  24. From
    Standing Alone

    IT IS HUMAN to stand with the crowd; it is divine to stand alone. It is man-like to follow the people, to drift with the tide; it is God-like to follow a principle, to stem the tide.

    It is natural to compromise conscience and follow the social and religious fashion for the sake of gain or pleasure; it is divine to sacrifice both on the altar of truth and duty.

    “No man stood with me, but all men forsook me” (2 Timothy 4:16) wrote the battle-scarred apostle in describing his appearance before a civil court to answer for his life of believing and teaching contrary to the Roman world.

    God’s absolute, revealed Truth has been out of fashion since man changed his robe of fadeless light for a garment of faded leaves.

    Noah built and voyaged alone. His neighbors laughed at his strangeness and perished in style.

    Abraham wandered and worshipped alone. Sodomites smiled at the simple shepherd, followed the world’s fashion, and fed the flames.

    Daniel dined and prayed alone. Elijah sacrificed and witnessed alone. Jeremiah prophesied and wept alone. Jesus loved and died alone.

    And of the lonely way His disciples should walk, He said, “Straight is the gate, and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Matthew 7:14.

    Of their treatment by the many who walk in the broad way, He said, “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, . . . therefore the world hateth you.” John 15:19.

    The redeemed children of Israel in the wilderness praised Abraham and persecuted Moses. The people of God in the days of the kings praised Moses and persecuted the prophets. The court of Caiphas, the high priest, praised the prophets and persecuted Jesus. The church of the popes praised the Saviour and persecuted the saints.

    And multitudes now, both in the church and the world, applaud the courage and fortitude of the patriarchs and prophets, the apostles and martyrs, but condemn as stubbornness or foolishness the same faithfulness in standing for truth today.

    Wanted, today, men and women, young and old, who will obey their convictions of truth and duty at the cost of fortune and friends and life itself.

    Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach. Hebrews 13,:12,13.

  25. The homosexuals and their supporters did not make this Universe and they will not make this world. The Lord is laughing at them before he salts the world with fire. I am for Troy and his family. May they be lead to find genuine Christians. Thanks be to God.

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