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    Opposition to chaplaincy

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011


    It’s been an interesting week of discussion in political circles in response to the government providing an additional 200 plus million dollars to fund chaplains in schools. Many have responded with significant negativity to this provision by stating that chaplaincy is nothing more than a government-sponsored program of evangelism and proselytising.

    The response of many “ordinary” Australians has been to jump on the bandwagon and decry the government’s investment in Christian ministry and a lot of discussion has taken place about the old maxim of the ‘separation of church and state.’

    One enthusiastic coordinator of chaplaincy in Victoria, speaking at a Christian conference a few years ago, spoke of the schools chaplaincy program being an unprecedented opportunity to evangelise children and the church must not miss this opportunity. This message was publicised far and wide in the media this week contributing to the furore. I was interested to observe the timing of the release of this recorded message by the media, considering it was from a conference back in about 2008. And it was released immediately following the government’s budget last week with the promise of more funds for chaplaincy.

    Who is ultimately behind opposing the spread of the gospel in all its forms? Is it zealous atheists who hate any acknowledgement of God and seek to identify any lapse in the Governments commitment to secularism? There is no doubt that there are groups who surface from time to time and vehemently oppose anything to do with a Christian worldview. This has always been the case but it appears to be increasingly frequent and the strength and passion of opposition appears to be growing.

    Christians must remember that we are living in enemy territory, and as militant as that may sound, it is true. God’s Word verifies the fact that this world is under Satan’s influence and in many ways it is his domain to bring influence and to play his games of deception and destruction (John 12:31; 14:30:16:11). Scripture makes clear that it is ultimately Satan who is at work in this world and his modus operandi is to speak through “the sons of disobedience” (Eph 2:2 NKJV). Scripture emphasizes the point that our battle is ultimately with Satan and the demonic powers not some radical journalist, wayward politician or the myriad of zealous but misguided protestors (Eph 6:12).

    Our response to opposition and the promotion of ungodliness must always be thoughtful and measured which is certainly not always easy. Respect and forthrightness are a balance called for in confronting evil influence in our society, and through the Holy Spirit’s help we can do just that with both courage and conviction (1 Peter 3:15-16). Thankfully we can be totally assured that the victory is ultimately Christ’s and in reality we are called to win people - not arguments!

    “And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” Colossians 2:15

    Brian







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