CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Scott Morrison: Australia’s New Prime Minister

Aug 24, 2018

Australia has a new Prime Minister – its 30th. He is 50-year-old Scott Morrison from Sydney. After no small amount of political intrigue over the past few days, he is now our new leader, and Turnbull is out. How long Morrison will last however remains to be seen.

There was a leadership spill with three Liberals putting up their hands for the top job: Peter Dutton, Scott Morrison and Julie Bishop. The initial spill motion was carried 45 to 40. Bishop lost in the first round of votes. The second round of voting went narrowly to Morrison. He received 45 votes while Dutton received 40.

How might a Christian assess this change of leadership? Well, I just returned from a radio station where I did a 45-minute interview with the Christian Vision Radio network. We talked about these very matters. Of course that was before the results of this spill were known.

But what I said there is pretty much what I can now say here, knowing the outcome. I made several broad points. One, politics cannot save. Yes politics is important, and yes getting someone other than Turnbull to lead the conservative party and the nation is welcome. But at the end of the day politics will never be the ultimate panacea.

There is only one person who can make Australia or any other nation great again, and he is not running for office. Yes, God has established government, and yes righteousness exalts a nation. So getting good people into office is an important matter indeed.

But in a fallen world in which the sin problem is far bigger than any political solution, a new leader can only go so far and do so much. Dutton was the most conservative of the four. Turnbull had never been a conservative; Julie Bishop was in the same mould; and Scott Morrison, while an evangelical Christian, has been fairly moderate over the past few years. He did speak against homosexual marriage – but abstained when it came time for a vote.

Dutton’s most conservative credentials of late had been centred on his strong stance on immigration and border protection. He was also opposed to homosexual marriage. However, while immigration minister in 2015 Dutton cancelled the visa of the US anti-abortion activist Troy Newman who was due to give some talks here. So he had been a bit of a mixed conservative bag.

But a more moderate Morrison has got the top job. However, Turnbull has said he will quit, thus meaning a Wentworth byelection could end the Liberal party’s narrow one-seat majority. So Morrison may not long last if a general election is held, and Labor wins. So again, things are up in the air.

A second point I made in my interview is the need to see the big picture and the long term. Australia as a nation – just like all of the West – is in a real bad way. A leadership change will not greatly impact on the major problems this nation is experiencing.

And the main problems are not political – they are spiritual. As long as sin and unrighteousness reign, and our spiritual health continues to spiral downwards, no political leader is going to be able to do much to turn the decline round. At best, there will be a temporary fix, but certainly not a long-term solution.

A Morrison government will thus be simply a reprieve – a much needed reprieve of course, but nothing more. Even if he has a lot of good solid conservative ideals and vision that he wants to promote, the Liberal Party as a whole has so much small-l liberalism infecting it, that it is doubtful that he will be able to achieve very much.

Sure, had someone like Morrison or Abbott or Dutton been around last year as leader instead of Turnbull, perhaps the madcap push for homosexual marriage would have been slowed if not thwarted. So there is certainly a place for more-or-less conservative leadership. But as is so often said, politics flows downstream from culture.

As long as we have a toxic, ungodly, secular-left culture, our political scene will for the most part reflect that. As I said, the bigger fix, including the culture, and more importantly, the spiritual fix, are not on the agenda for most folks, so they will put all their faith in politics – a leaky vessel indeed.

Another point worth making is the fact that while a lot of turmoil and upheaval of late may suggest massive political instability, compared to many other countries, Australia is not doing so bad. I mentioned in my interview that since WWII, Italy has gone through over 60 changes in government.

That is almost one a year. So in comparison we are not doing quite so bad. But when we rightly condemned Labor for its rotating leadership, its knifing of leaders, and its lack of stability, we are now seeing much the same with the Liberals.

All this infighting and instability does not help the nation very much. Again, I am more than pleased to see Turnbull gone, and I am glad another leader has taken over. It remains to be seen of course how he performs. If he simply wants to keep everyone happy and not rock the boat he will not be all that much better than Turnbull.

Obviously the left of politics, and our leftist media, will be opposed to him anyway. They will do all they can to resist him, and the fake-news will simply continue to spin out of control. Things are going to get very rocky indeed, so hold on to your hats.

As to more practical concerns, our new Deputy Leader is 47-year-old Josh Frydenberg from Melbourne. We all knew Julie Bishop would not want to be second in command any longer. So this is our new leadership pair. A few other items remain, including, as mentioned, a possible byelection.

If a byelection is soon to be held in Wentworth, there is already talk about having Tony Abbott’s sister and lesbian activist Christine Forster run for the position. While that electorate may not be the most conservative of places, a lesbian leftist is NOT what the Libs need – now or ever.

As always, we are told to pray for those who rule over us. We must indeed pray for Morrison and Frydenberg. They will need a whole lot of divine protection and direction, especially given all the political hostility they will be facing.

[1078 words]

31 Responses to Scott Morrison: Australia’s New Prime Minister

  • Thanks Bill, another welcomed article. Ever thought of offering your services to the Age, Herald or Guardian haha. Their readers sure need articles such this one to put some well balanced perspectives into their lives!

  • Love the comment.

  • I think Bill is doing well enough here! The Age would never publish such balance and non-biased journalism. Certainly readers need to hear the Truth. Keep up the great work Bill – for Australia’s sake.

  • Great perspective and food for thought, thank you Bill.

  • Spot on Bill. We need revival – then politics will self-correct.

    For about 200 years the church has declined in public influence with increasingly liberal theology that rejects the plain meaning of the Scriptures and substitutes secular ideas. We need to get back to scripture and to take it seriously. Too many Christians say the Bible can not be taken literally re Adam, Eve, Noah, marriage, etc., and the atheists agree whole-heartedly. Is it any wonder then that Christianity, especially in the West, has lost influence.

  • Great Bill, wonderful recap of today’s events, especially from a Christian perspective. This has made my day. I am pleased with these results.
    I am most keen to learn what the leadership with do with the wisdom on the back banch, Rony and Eric, of course. When will they start drawing again from these man’s years of political expediency. Bye Bye Malcom Turncoat.
    Bill Heggers Bridgetown.

  • Are there any signs of a Christian revival in the country? There was a recent report that there are such moves in Europe but the msm refuse to publicise them.

  • The Rise Up Australia Party, not the Apathy Party, appears to be a party, the electorate should be joining.
    http://riseupaustraliaparty.com/

    Moreover, lest we forget, the confidence to declare that Commonwealth countries, including the United States of America are established upon the Bible needs to be taught to each generation. And we not must let the secularists forget it either.

    https://www.murdoch.edu.au/School-of-Law/_document/WA-jurist-documents/2014/Zimmermann—A-Christian-Commonwealth2

    To Australia’s shame, It took two Pakistani asylum seekers, Danny Nallia and Daniel Scott to protect the rights of Australians to freedom of speech, religion and assembly .
    http://concit.org/danny-nalliah-battler-for-free-speech/

    David Skinner UK

  • Thanks David. I of course know the two Dannys and RUA. While Daniel Scot is from Pakistan, Danny Nalliah is originally from Sri Lanka. And I know Augusto as well!

  • II had the privilege of meeting Daniel, his wife and son at Leslie’s house, just north of London, a couple of months ago. Not many there realised who he was or how much we owed him and Danni in 2005/6 , saving the UK from Sharia , blasphemy law.

    David Skinner UK

  • Your last paragraph is the most important one. Needs to be first and last.
    Pray that Mr Morrison will hold firm to his Christian beliefs and morals.

  • Righteousness certainly exalts a nation and sin is a reproach to any people. And the Church surely needs to restore a high view of the Scriptures, which ARE the Word of God, the rule of faith and life and the source of the One Remedy the world needs. But they are exactly what a rebellious world refuses to countenance these days.

    The expository preaching of Scripture is so necessary and so lacking in the West, yet the hard part is connecting the Eternal Word with the problems of the day.

  • Great article Bill it’s SO refreshing to read something wholesome.
    You are a light on the hill Bill in many instances and you articulated this very well.
    Yes, we must continue to pray for our leaders.

  • “These are interesting times, pity the man who lives in interesting times.” Unknown source
    Perhaps now more than ever we need to heed the Scriptural instruction:
    “I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. 2 Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. 3 This is good and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.” 1 Tim. 2:1-4 New Living Translation
    Thanks for your insights. Ken Glasgow, Darwin

  • Great article.
    Celebrating the removal of Turnbull.
    The Bible says He that lives by the sword dies by the sword. Turnbull branchstacked against Peter king, undermined Brendan Neilson and knifed Tony Abbott. Dutton had the guts to stand up against Turnbull and has done a great job for the Nation. The Libs now have some chance against the Godless Labor Party, so that’s a blessing.
    Prayer is necessary. Also Cory Bernardi’s conservatives also need our serious prayers
    Thanks Bill again.
    Phil

  • Perhaps the difficulty of connecting the Eternal Word with the problems of the day lies not with the Word, but with us. Not wanting to be seen as religious extremists we have become embarrassed by it.
    There then grows the terrible conceit that Bible is relevant only to a small spectrum of life, whereas the truth is that there is nothing in all of creation that is not addressed by the Word and we use it or lose it.

    But then we have to contend with the deep hypocrisy of UK’s previous Prime Minister, David Cameron, who in 2011, in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible said,
    ‘It’s great to be here and to have this opportunity to come together today to mark the end of this very special 400th anniversary year for the King James Bible. …….as Prime Minister, it is right to recognise the impact of a translation that is, I believe, one of this country’s greatest achievements.
    The Bible is a book that has not just shaped our country, but shaped the world…..
    The King James Bible is as relevant today as at any point in its 400 year history.
    And none of us should be frightened of recognising this…….we are a Christian country.
    And we should not be afraid to say so…….what I am saying is that the Bible has helped to give Britain a set of values and morals which make Britain what it is today……..
    Values and morals we should actively stand up and defend. The alternative of moral neutrality should not be an option…….. Indeed, as Margaret Thatcher once said, “we are a nation whose ideals are founded on the Bible.” ……. Yes, they are Christian values. And we should not be afraid to acknowledge that….
    Shying away from speaking the truth about b_ehaviour, about morality…has actually helped to cause some of the social problems that lie at the heart of the lawlessness we saw with the riots…Put simply, for too long we have been unwilling to distinguish right from wrong.“Live and let live” has too often become “do what you please”.Bad choices have too often been defended as just different lifestyles. To be confident in saying something is wrong…is not a sign of weakness, it’s a strength….. we’ve got stand up for our values if we are to confront the slow-motion moral collapse that has taken place in parts of our country these past few generations.
    We need to stand up for these values.To have the confidence to say to people – this is what defines us as a society….…and that to belong here is to believe in these things….
    To me, Christianity, faith, religion, the Church and the Bible are all inherently involved in politics because so many political questions are moral questions. So I don’t think we should be shy or frightened of this……The values we draw from the Bible go to the heart of what it means to belong in this country…
    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/prime-ministers-king-james-bible-speech

    Then there is the hypocrisy of Teresa May , the UK Prime Minister, who has on at least two occasions made a profession of defending the right for Christians to express publicly their values and morality
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1s-Vq_QGCQc

  • Any one listening either to David Cameron or Teresa May would think that Britain was a Christian country, yet, along with the previous Labour government from 1997 to 2010, they have gone into overdrive to repeal our biblically based laws and replace them with Pink Law and Sharia.
    Christian”, to our politicians, means love, tolerance, inclusion, equality, diversity, non- judgementalism and all the other brain dead mantras like “progress”, “21st century” and “forward thinking.” On top of this Queen Elizabeth is proud to have has given her royal assent to all this. God have mercy on us all.
    https://youtu.be/RM9Jj7_UsrE?t=83

    David Skinner UK

  • My wife and I were talking about the leadership change as it was unfolding and it occurred to us that just maybe Turnbull had to go because he exalted himself above God in sanctioning same-sex marriage and promoting it.

    If Scomo voted against it, I can believe that God will honour that and not only help him to get through to the election due but become the leader of the next government and prevent Dollar Bill from taking the reigns of power as he is implacably opposed to anything Christian that will stop the homosexuals from gaining the upper hand.

  • Thanks Roger. Sadly he like most ‘no’ MPs did not vote but just abstained.

  • Bill, didn’t Dutton vote FOR fake marriage when the SSM bill passed the lower house? Words are one thing but actions count. Morrison at least on this count has the advantage over Dutton.

    David, Australia needs the Australian Conservatives. Rise Up might appeal to good Christians but it has NO hope of winning a Seat. Also, the USA isn’t a Commonwealth country but maybe it should be?

  • Thanks Ty. Yes, although Dutton opposed it throughout, he said at the end that he would ‘respect the will of the people’ and he ended up voting yes on it:

    https://www.buzzfeed.com/aliceworkman/dutton-says-yes?utm_term=.oxBMQxw4W#.cgOv7q0Wz

    As to the others in the ‘no’ camp, very few stood strong. Only four actually voted against the bill:

    Bob Katter
    Keith Pitt
    David Littleproud
    Russell Broadbent

    And ten others abstained from the vote:

    Scott Morrison
    Barnaby Joyce
    Tony Abbott
    Andrew Hastie
    Michael Sukkar
    Kevin Andrews
    George Christensen
    Rick Wilson
    Stuart Robert
    Bert van Manen

  • The litmus test of Scott Morrison will be when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle arrive in Australia in late October. They are the Commonwealth youth ambassadors whose remit is to promote transgender, gay, lesbian and feminists rights.
    https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2018/03/13/prince-william-pledges-his-support-for-lgbt-rights-on-commonwealth-day/

    In 2013, Queen Elizabeth made a great show of signing the Commonwealth Charter which is to promote LGBT rights throughout the Commonwealth.
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/9920238/Queen-to-sign-new-charter-backing-gay-rights.html

    She has also been called the Kaleidoscope queen by John Bercow, leader of the House of Commons.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HotafToOhqY
    Bercow is also the President of the Kaleidoscope Trust whose remit is to to subvert and corrupt Commonwealth countries with queer ideology.
    https://kaleidoscopetrust.com/usr/library/documents/main/2015_speakingout_241115_web.pdf

    You can bet your bottom dollar that the LGBTs will be out in force with their rainbow flags to welcome the “royals” at the airport.

    Perhaps now is the time for Australia to have its own Brexit or exit from Britain.

    David Skinner UK

  • It will take a lot more than a Christian Prime Minister to sort out this country. If you look at the politicians we have elected overwhelmingly they are perverse and either willingly or unwittingly promoting complete lies. There is a huge amount to be done in just the damage Malcolm Turnbull did firstly as Communications Minister and then as Prime Minister. I don’t expect a huge turn around but then I didn’t expect anything from Donald Trump in the U.S. either and he has actually surprised me by doing some good things. I think it is more a matter of what prayer can do than any one individual so I really think we need some fervent prayer for Scott Morrison. The task ahead is by no means an easy one. There is a huge amount of evil and corruption to overcome before we can get this country anywhere near back on track. The U.S. was given a small and very tenuous respite and maybe we have too. At least there will be some chance of Jesus finding faith on Earth if we can just keep fighting for truth. I’m sure there is a way through but this country has a long way to go after the way people like Malcolm Turnbull have allowed it to be so defiled.

  • For more on Morrison, and how we might think about Christians in politics, see my brand-new piece: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2018/08/25/morrison-and-christian-politicians/

  • Oh well, back to the big game of musical PMs!
    I remember a quote from the Whitlam years: “Of course, everyone is behind the Prime Minister. But some are carrying stilettos.”

  • It really annoys me how in Malcolm Turncoat’s short time as PM he mananged to help destroy the Liberal party and enable SSM. I wonder if there would have even been a plebiscite at all if Morrison was PM a year ago. I think not if Tony Abbot was still PM.

  • We are having the same problem with the church in the states we get a reprieve with trump but we do nothing to change society. we got in bed with the politicians in the early 80’s and think that political power is what we need to transform society. We can’t legislate morality. We must write it on the hearts of men though the bible only then will morality be something people will aspire to. We can’t elect morality either. Too many fight against men when it is written our fight is not against flesh and blood. We are fighting satan and his hoards that requires spiritual warfare. Physical warfare against his representatives won’t change anything. The church in the west is TOO soft. Christianity is at it’s best under TRUE persecution. In Asia especially China the church is going and is having a huge impact on people AND is under tremendous persecution. The early church changed the world while facing the real threat of being put to death. In the west for the most part being unfriended is our biggest problem. Not having the world love us is what we face. This is slowly changing but we don’t know persecution we got fat and lazy in our comfort and now we compromise and sell out just so we don’t have bad words said about us. Can you imagine the apostles groveling before the jews after being called some bad names??? Or changing their mind because a friends didn’t want to be their friend anymore??? Can you image their position on a sin ‘evolving’ because a family member came out as being involved in that sin??

    I hope you have better christians down under – ones with fire in the belly and spines in the back. If your christians believe they can vote their way back to morality like ours then you are going to have a hard time mate.

  • Paul, though I agree with most of what you say, governments do legislate morality. Our laws based upon the Ten Commandments drawn up by King Alfred legislated against immorality. The role of government and the law is to protect people from themselves and their own passions.
    When Gordon Brown, the last Labour Prime Minister of the UK, before David Cameron came to power in 2010 said to the gay lobby,
    “We won’t ever give up on the fight for equality – we are marching with you every step of the way. The Labour government has one simple guiding ideal when it comes to LGBT rights: you can’t legislate love.”
    In other words you can discriminate between different expressions of love.

    But Mr Brown, with a “clunking fist,” did not hesitate to legislate freedom of thought, freedom of conscience and freedom to debate, where dissent from “another kind of love” would now apparently carry a seven year prison sentence. Neither did we see any salvation coming from David Cameron who publicly declared that he would ignore the views of the silent majority and carry on the LGBT programme of oppression against any who oppose them.
    The most iniquitous thing about UK governments is that it has said that there should be a clear distinction between public and private morality; or the real world of secularism and religion. Whilst the government wants to compartmentalise private and public, and secular and religious it does not hesitate to intrude into every area of our lives; it legislates for every thought, emotion and sneeze. It has blatantly assumed the role of social engineer and reduced parents to becoming mere operatives. In addition, Dr, Katherine Rake of the government funded Family and Parenting Institute has said,” We want to transform the most intimate and private relations between women and men.”
    Never before have we had laws where adultery, fornication, and sodomy are enforced by legislation without a conscience clause.

    David Skinner UK

  • Yes David, it is true that we need to think more carefully and more biblically about things like “you can’t legislate morality” and the like. I discuss all this is some detail here:

    https://billmuehlenberg.com/2010/08/23/on-legislating-morality/

  • Good article. I wouldn’t put too much expectations on Scott. Not saying he doesn’t mean well but the forces that we are against are strong and only God can break them and not individuals. The political space has been rigged by the left that whatever he may say from a christian perspective will be thwarted. In this climate our hope of changes lies in our prayers than what we can do ourselves.

  • Great article. God bless you. Yes I also believe it’s only a grace period God is giving Aussies. I am a permanent resident and have seen how far to the left Australia is slipping down a dark slippery slope, there is no more moderate – its left or right. Left is the Goats and right are the Righteous that know God is our only hope. I am also praying for Mr Morrison for wisdom to be bold and not compromise with the evil. Right before this abortion bill is trying to be legalised I do believe God is trying to get people’s attention if you take and legalise abortion along with the same sex acceptance law we are looking at the days of Lot and Gods judgment will fall on this land. You think we got drought and issues now just wait. They scream about global warming they have no idea what kind of warming God will send first time it was a flood the next time Fire and Judgment. Pray for our few brave men and women that stand for Gods Truth, traditional marriage, and the right to life. Jesus is coming very very soon.

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