A “postal plebiscite” is Australian for “a democratic initiative.” In the United States, certain matters may be decided by a direct democratic vote of the citizenry rather than by representation in the legislature (although only on the state level, and only in certain states). Similarly, in Australia, a “plebiscite” is the practice of letting people vote directly on a particular matter (but is done on the national level). The term “postal” refers to the means of voting, which will be through the mail. A postal plebiscite is non-binding in Australia, meaning that it is more of a consensus-making resolution than binding legislation.
Australia has been – like the rest of the Western world – fighting an internal cultural battle over the nature of marriage. Chiefly, Australian leftists want the politicians to legalize sodomy-based marriage without polling the people. The more conservative Turnbull government wants the Australian people to give their opinion through a plebiscite first, confident that the population as a whole is more conservative than the elected politicians. The Australian Senate declined to approve the Prime Minister’s request for the plebiscite and causing much controversy, the Prime Minister has proceeded with a “voluntary plebiscite” which would cost less money to perform, but liberals claim that the results will not reflect a wide enough representation of Australia because young people (this is their actual argument) don’t know how to use the postal system. So, in the Land Down Under, this controversy has been all the rage.
If Australia would just model itself after United States government corruption, sodomy-based marriage could be in the hands of five judges and the liberals could bypass the legislature and the People altogether. Anyway…
Hillsong pastor, Brian Houston, has made a statement in relation to the upcoming postal plebiscite. Houston’s waffling on the topic of sodomy-based marriage has many conservative Christians on edge, knowing that it will be tough for Houston to hold the line on sodomy-based marriage while maintaining the inclusive sin-affirming mission of his church. Pulpit & Pen exposed Hillsong New York’s gay choir directors several years ago, and produced the famous “Smoking Gun” footage of Brian Houston speaking of the gay choir directors the year before Carl Lentz (Hillsong New York’s local pastor) claims to have discovered it and “dealt with it.” In spite of the evidence that Hillsong knew about their gay choir directors and just didn’t care, Dr. Michael Brown claimed that it all amounted to “Internet rumor.” Even after the Smoking Gun footage was released, Brown hasn’t made a retraction. Needless to say, Houston’s vacillating on the topic sodomy has made many Australians nervous about where the megachurch leader would be in the debate over sodomy based marriage in Australia.
Worry no more, because Houston has released a statement.
To be very clear, Houston writes that “God’s word is clear that marriage is between a man and a woman.” He also writes that “Paul’s writings on homosexuality are also clear.”
However, there are some problematic statements from Houston as well. He writes…
Sadly some also use Christianity to alienate and even condemn those who are gay and dismiss their desire to pursue happiness. As a Christian pastor, I will always teach and preach according to Scripture and my personal convictions, but I cannot make other people’s choices for them. God created humanity with a free will, and I care about all people including those who believe differently to me.
Of course, the same Scriptures that – according to Houston – are “clear” that marriage is between a man and a woman are also clear that homosexuals are condemned, should they not repent of their sin. Likewise, when Christians speak plainly and truthfully about how much God hates sodomy, it is bound to “alienate” those who have embraced their sexual deviancy.
Also odd is Houston’s statement regarding Christians “[dismissing] their desire to pursue happiness.” It is unclear of whom Houston is speaking, or what Christians dismiss the pursuit of happiness. What Christians “dismiss” is the pursuit of sin. Certainly, Christians have no business dismissing the pursuit of happiness, unless what makes one happy, is a sin against God.
By claiming “I cannot make other people’s choices for them” and appealing to “free will” and “those who believe differently [from] me,” Houston seems to indicate that he may vote in the postal plebiscite in way that is contrary to his “personal opinions.”
There is absolutely no indication in Houston’s statement as to which way he will vote, and neither did he encourage people to vote one way or the other. While affirming the Scripture’s view of marriage, Houston did not indicate that Australia’s laws should reflect the Bible’s views, and as a consequence, his statement said virtually nothing of substance at all.