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Article by Peter P Stokes -Co Founder & Executive Officer
Salt Shakers Inc

(Mr Rudd SBS news Friday 28 September)

Question – “Mr Rudd, do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God?”
Answer – ” Well, I’m a – I’m a, a person who attends church regularly.”
Mr Rudd has been pursuing the Christians vote with some encouragement from some sections of the church since he saw it’s importance at the last election. He even convened a special meeting of Labor MPs to work out how to do it. He chaired an ALP Caucus Committee on Faith, Politics and Values set up because “of the emergence of Family First”.
Christians need to think very carefully about any politician who sets out, as Mr Rudd has clearly done, to win “the Christian vote”.
In our April Journal article (attached) we pointed out many concerns about Mr Rudd’s version of Christianity – such as calling himself a “Christian Socialist” and stating in a Radio National interview that “the starting point with Christianity is a theology of social justice”.
Of course there is a very broad ‘church’ in Australia – so broad, no doubt, that it has every one of the seven churches mentioned in those ‘letters to the churches’ we find in Revelation 2 & 3.
Sadly, some of them would agree with Mr Rudd’s statement that Jesus of Nazareth never said anything about homosexuality, but how many would be happy with his latest answer to the question asked at a footy ground last Friday, “Mr Rudd, do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God?”
His reply, ” Well, I’m a – I’m a, a person who attends church regularly.” With that he walked away.
Will he go away and think “oops, that was not a good enough answer”? Just as he did when asked about who would be his Treasurer recently. 24 hours later turning up with the ‘right’ answer, obviously after being ‘coached’ by someone wiser and hopefully quicker on their feet.
But unlike politics, in Christianity the answer should come from the heart. So is this his “garden variety Christian faith” he spoke of at the ‘Make it Count’ web cast. Sounds to me rather like the “luke warm” ‘variety’ spoken of in relation to the Church in Laodicea. The sort that Jesus said he would “vomit out of his mouth”. Not the sort of faith that can withstand the pressure of a largely humanist, socialist Labor party made up largely of left wing unionists!!!
Christians must know where those MPs claiming to be Christians stand on such fundamental issues of faith before we trust them to run our nation.
It would have been good to hear Mr Rudd say a simple “YES” or even better, he could have swung into his “Sunday Church” mode and sung the chorus of that wonderful old hymn by Daniel W Whittle “But I know Whom I have believèd, And am persuaded that He is able To keep that which I’ve committed, Unto Him against that day.”
Perhaps we need to remind him of Romans 10:9 “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (NIV)
Watch the video on SBS – the question and answer are towards the end of the video segment
Peter P Stokes
Co Founder & Executive Officer
Salt Shakers Inc
Ph: 03 9800 2855
Mb: 0413 084 145

16 Responses to “Article by Peter Stokes – Salt Shakers”

  1. 1 Philip B (Sydney)

    Excellent Article by Peter Stokes
    You really have to wonder what Kevin Rudd actually does believe.
    I have a serious concern that Kevin Rudd is trying hard to give the best answer he possibly can, simply to maximise the Labor vote.

    This means:- Give an answer that won’t upset non Christians and non Church Go-ers who either know nothing about Jesus Christ (or simply are not interested) but don’t provide an answer that may affect the vote of church Go-ers and christians who may wish to vote Labor. Neither “hot” or “cold”.

    In Australia, there now appears to be a very strong “Climate Change” agenda with Australians (including Christian leaders) deeply concerned about this issue. K Rudd and P Garrett are playing the “Environmental Saviour” role to a tee, as though “ONLY” the Labor party can save the WORLD from climate change, and if you don’t vote labor the world as we know it will collapse.

    This is clearly ridiculous. Australia is a small economy on the world stage and is a small generator of CO2. Howard and Turnbull are now making significant progress in this area on a World scale and their efforts and influence should not be minimised.

    Cardinal George Pell’s recent remarks should also be carefully considered

    Philip B

  2. 2 Stephen J

    Great articles. Articulates perfectly the theological problems that will continue to plague the Christian Left because they are on the left.

  3. 3 Tracey

    Howard et al have had 11 years to address climate change – why do they suddenly make so much noise about it before an election they are sure to lose??

  4. 4 Jenni

    KRUDD has proven that he is against gods word(The Bible) by supporting homosexuality and all christians should put labour last at this election.

    Lets see what Gods word has to say about homosexuality:

    “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination”(Lev. 18:22)

    “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives.” (Lev 20:13)

    “Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”(1 Cor. 6:9-10)

    “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper.” (Rom. 1:26-28)

    “In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.” (Jude 7)

  5. 5 sean

    i’m not sure i totally understand. does the church in general not approve of unions? throughout this website i have noticed quite a few negative and posssibly hostile remarks aimed squarely at unions and the left. i have to admit that it surprises me. would jesus have joined a union? he was a tradesman wasn’t he?

  6. 6 Jason Barndon

    From both parties courting of the Christian vote we know that the Christian vote in this nation is very strong. If only we would wake up to the power in unity that Jesus spoke of. In reality there is no Christian “right” or Christian “left” factions, there is only Christian right or wrong. In WA the Labour party reduced the age of consent for homosexuality to 16 years of age. Labours Jim McGinty even went so far as to be photographed consecrating ceremonies for Pagan Homosexual festivals (homosexuality and withcraft, what a combination!!!). But the Liberal party before them were the first to legalise abortion. We need to vote for Christians that are unafraid to proclaim Jesus. We have Family first and the Christian democrats. If we vote for these then they can use our votes to leverage increments of power from the major parties. When I voted last election my Christian party handed their preferences to the Liberal party. I was concerned, but having seen the very good job John Howard has done I am happy that they used my vote effectively. I have never been a Howard fan but I believe he has done a very reasonable job compared to Labour which is openly hostile to Bible believing Christians. Whatever the case, pray for our leaders and vote for the TRUE Christians.

  7. 7 Paul

    I find the comments of Peter Stokes about Kevin Rudd’s faith and his expresion of faith divisive and overly critical.What other response would you expect to some anynomyous person in the crowd who sounded like they had their own axe to grind. Would John Howard express himself much differently???

    How he (Stokes) can interpret Mr Rudd’s on the spot response to a question fired at him (before the cameras) at a football match in any negative light is more an expression of bias, rather than a representation of Rudd’s Christian faith. Why can’t he just take the comment, ” Well, I’m, I’m a person who attends church regularly” as a positive comment, his tone was certain. I might point out that regularly church attending for an Anglican means that Kevin Rudd says publicly and regularly the Apostles creed and says at the end, “This is our faith, the faith of the church”. In other words, Yes Jesus is the son of God….”. Anglicans don’t often overtly express their faith in the way Stokes expects. As far as Kevin Rudd’s belief, he has outlined them on interviews on Compass.
    If Stokes has problems with Rudd’s Christian socialist (Bonhoffer) or social justice focus, then he can argue against that on biblical bases (if he can find it?),but why pick on a comment about their faith expression. You will know them by their fruits (actions in obedience to the Father’s will.

  8. 8 Rod

    If Kevin Rudd has set out to win the Christian vote – then what has the Howard government done… even meeting with “cult” members who are not allowed to vote, but try to influence those who do?

    We need to ask larger questions about hypocrisy… but maybe, more importantly about the real issues! Justice, care for the poor, removing discrimination, acceptance of refugees, building life upon values that are not just economic etc. These are even more clear cut in the Bible than the “right-wing” issues of homosexuality and abortion. We cannot have one set of Christian issues without the other.

    I believe it is time for Christians to stop taking political sides and speak out clearly on all the issues that touch the heart of God – and hear the prophetic voice echoed in the whole testimony of Scripture. We may be surprised that those we think are enemies to the faith are actually very close to the heart of the message of Jesus!

    Shalom for all.

  9. 9 Philip

    I believe that “The Four Corners” report on the Exclusive Brethren Community was biased and irrational, and constituted a direct attack on Freedom of Speech. If well endowed Brethren Businessmen want to run an anti-Green campaign, they are totally free and legally entitled to do so. Of course, Bob Brown (a well known practising homosexual) doesn’t like it. If HE was receiving funds from them to support the Green movement, he wouldn’t say a word.

    To persecute a religious group based on unproven allegations is also unethical. Remember the Nazi Party’s treatment of the Jews. Note the ABC has a recent tradition of being anti Liberal, so you have to view any programme they produce within this context. If Federal Police do find any illegal activities have been committed, then it’s correct that action should be taken.

    The Government of Australia has every right to restrict entry of refugees into this country for 2 reasons (1) to ensure funding is available to serve the needs of it’s current citizens including immigrants who have successfully immigrated, long term Aussies and traditional owners, Aborigines.

    (2) to ensure terrorists and criminals do not enter Australia claiming refugee status.

    Economic Prosperity is critical to ensure Justice systems are effectively funded and the social security system (one of the best on the planet) is also well funded. In contrast, Poor Third World Countries cannot support themselves, in many cases are unstable, suffer from corrupt legal systems and police forces, and have major economic problems. Australians who are in the main, prosperous, should be proud of their level of generosity to the Third World, but this is only achievable due to hard work by Australians and excellent management of the Economy by this Liberal Government. Sadly people soon forget the 17% interest rates under an earlier Labor Government. Therefore, the key issue is balance. The Australian Government cannot solve the world’s poverty problem or refugee problem but nevertheless, it certainly does help out.

    Christians have every right and should be encouraged to assess the level of Christianity that exists within each Political Party. It is naive to suggest that merely speaking out on issues changes political directions. The NSW Greens are worried about the killing of pregnant Koalas yet promote the Legalisation of hard drugs,including ICE and marijuana and the removal of the rights of Christian schools and colleges to employ only Christians. Victorian Greens are promoting a new Abortion Bill, Yet Greens as a whole claim to be a socially progressive party interested in justice. My wife and I will never vote for the Greens, on principle.

    Enemies of the true Christian faith may appear to present a message of peace, justice, love, kindness, anti discrimination, etc but once you take off the mask the claim is usually fallacious.


  10. 10 Rod

    Well Philip, thanks for sharing your thoughts. They are YOUR thoughts and I would disagree with many of them. When I mentioned the Exclusive Brethren – it was before the 4 Corners program went to air. After seeing it I felt that the program was very well researched and raised some important issues for the Church in Australia (worldwide in fact) to consider. Anyone who knows the history and practice of the Exclusives would be worried about their political influence. To accuse the ABC of left-wing bias is to play into the divisive politics which is typical of our current election campaign.

    The political parties are pushing an either/or position onto the Australian people (wedge politics) whereas I believe that Christians should be always in the forefront of reconciliation and bringing people together. I know that many will suggest that I am misguided here, but I believe that much of God’s agenda for our nation and our planet would be supported by the greens! When the church is seen as standing WITH not AGAINST the poor, the marginalised, the refugee, the environmentalist – and dare I say it – the homosexual, then the truth of the Gospel breaking down all barriers will be demonstrated.

    We may not agree – I have been a Chtristian and involved in churches for too long to expect that to happen automatically, but I do pray that Chritsians will respect the varying viewpoints in their midst.

    Finally, I believe that our Christian response should not be able to be characterised as either left-wing or right-wing – but neither and both. I hope we are aware of the work of people like Jim Wallis of Sojourners in the US who are challenging the hold that the Religious Right have over the public perception of faith-based politics.

  11. 11 Mark

    Good article: May I (a tradesman) leave a thought for consideration regarding UNIONS? [RE: Sean’s comment, 10/10]. Unions – gatherings of persons from similar industries to bargain collectively for fair pay and conditions, and safer workplace environments – were first publicly launched by a group of Christians (Methodists if I remember correctly) and were called the Tolpuddle martyrs as they were imprisoned and I think executed for their actions. Unionism today presents a vastly different persona. Union leadership is significantly populated by men and women of left wing leaning, from overtly Communist (even though no-one would call themselves that today) to mid left Social Activists. The major problem I see is that, in general, they hold to an atheistic humanist world-view, which they impose on policy-making, as you would expect.
    The real challenge today is to CHANGE UNION leadership. Secret vote, voluntary membership and open book financial accountability have begun the process, but I would suggest that men and women who hold Godly, Biblical views ought to be vying for leadership and for a strong opinion in formation of union policy and philosophy.
    I understand that ‘union-bashing’ can be seen as essentially negative, but as Christians, we ought to be promoting the things of the Kingdom of God first, and HE will add to us everything else we need – and that includes appropriate unions, which at present are the exclusive domain of God denying persons. Imagine a front bench populated almost entirely by such as these, irrespective of whether they are also lawyers, economists and academics. Whether or not K.Rudd is a Christian, his government is decidedly NOT.

  12. 12 Liz

    Peter actually denied Jesus three times. Should we therefore doubt his Christian faith as well?

    I do not believe we can doubt a person’s faith, just for answering that question in a different way to how we think they should answer. I am sure there are many true Christians out there who might perhaps water down their response when asked in a similar situation. I’m afraid I’m probably one of them. I wish I wasn’t, but I am human and I am flawed and sometimes I don’t speak about my faith in Jesus as openly as I should. It doesn’t mean that I don’t have it.

    As for the homosexual issue. Yes, it was called an abomination in the bible. So was eating food that was forbidden to Jews. Search for abomination in the bible and most of the references to it are to foods and animals that were considered unclean. In the New Testament, Paul said that those foods are no longer unclean. Perhaps we should doubt his Christian faith too?

  13. 13 Peter Pritchard

    I find the range of views not atypical of Australians at large. I do take exception though that there is an attitude out there in amongst Christians that the Conservative parties are the way to go at elections…that is narrow minded… and also to slam unions or alleged leftist Labourites for non-proven reasons. many unions fought hard to get condiitons for workers today and mostly against conservative governments.
    People in this country are more bowed by family tradiitions and prejudices when voting. Very few think on their feet and consider all the argumnets and examine all the “evidence”…which is usually media driven.
    assessing the Christian quality of a politician is a wee bit judgemental and to pluck the reply by Rudd as the only way he thinks or believes is convenient fodder for the Howard followers. he has provided no Christian witness that sets him apart either…although some actions could make one wonder over the 11 years.
    I’ve voted different ways over the years as I’ve searched my heart for what I felt was best for the nation….The Land of The Holy Spirit….and hope I’ve improved in my decisions.
    The Exclusive Brethren are a cult and therefore dangerous territory and for any party to welcome their money they invite disaster regardless of hiding behind democracy.
    We can only pary that God will rasie up Christain leaders for our land and that many members would have their hearts touched by the Lord to make Godly decisions….all their departments and staff also need our prayers.
    I believe that there will be a change in the leadership of the nation at all levels….state leaders are changing. Churches will be shaken up and God will bless the land with a revival and rain will cover this land.

  14. 14 Marija

    Hey Peter and Jenny.
    How about setting up a Saltshakers in Geelong. It sure needs a shake up!
    God bless you and all that you do for the love of our Lord.

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