October / November 2015 - Vol. 82

people holding crosses together in prayer.
 At Last, an Ally on the Horizon…”  A Reflection

by Roger Foley

It is a truth that the more friends we have, the harder it is for the enemy to get at us. It is also a truth that we in Covenant Communities are not ‘the big deal’, ‘not the font of all wisdom’, not the ‘greatest thing since sliced bread’- no, we are simply a part of the overall and mighty work of God. We are a small part, we are certainly not the whole and my belief in these challenging times is we need to do better in one area, ecumenical endeavor, and we need explore a new area, that of seeking cooperative partnerships.

In the ecumenical area we need, individually and corporately, to appreciate what God is doing in streams other than our own denomination. A practice I have had these past thirty or more years is to pray a quiet blessing on churches known to me as I pass them whilst walking or driving. I ask the Lord to bless the leadership and congregation. And I live in a branch of Lamb of God that has been graced of God to be welcomed to use the facilities of the Burwood Christian Centre for over three years now due to our centre being severely damaged in the earthquakes. This hospitality has blessed us and we have grown to appreciate the extensive and generous ministries of the Burwood Christian Centre.

And in partnerships we need to forge alliances and friendships with Christian groups, movements and organisations that hold the values we hold, and/or the objectives we seek to gain. Those close to me know my long held concern regarding what I will term the ‘Tsunami of Confusion’ which is pounding the church and society with a ferocity that seems to be gaining strength day by day. There are two fronts in this tsunami which 2 have dominated my reading, my prayer, and my anxiety these past two years or so. The first is oft termed ‘Gender Confusion’ and the second [related] area is the rapid moving dismantling of what we have understood to be traditional Christian Family and Marriage.

Last month I attended the ‘New Zealand Forum on the Family Conference’ in Auckland, a conference organised by ‘Family First’. I have supported Family First over several years and have appreciated access to some of their research projects and documents. The five main presentations were titled ‘What is Marriage, and the Future of Marriage’, ‘Opposing Euthanasia’, ‘Legalising Marijuana- a Dopey Idea?’, ‘Euthanasia- Always Care, Never Kill’ and ‘Surrogacy and Reproductive Technology’. The presenters were all internationally recognised experts in their fields. I attended mainly because I have had difficulty in finding people, in and out of community, who share my rather intense concerns in the gender/family areas.

I needed to talk, I needed more information, and I am looking for a way forward. I found an ally in Family First and I intend to follow up with them as the challenge of Gender Confusion and the re-definition of ‘Family’ and ‘Marriage’ were prime throughout the conference. Although most all of what was presented was majorly concerning, I departed feeling better equipped, somewhat inspired and certainly more determined in the Lord.

However I was also in for a personal shake-up and surprise - euthanasia. I have often said my mother ‘died twice’, her first death being the onset of dementia, her second being her passing to the Lord. But I have been troubled by my assenting to the withdrawal of certain medications and food in the final couple of days of her life. I have been troubled that in the distress and confusion that I might have been party to her suffering towards the end because to be honest it was not a totally pleasant passing.

The presentations on euthanasia by Dr Peter Saunders [Campaign Director for the Care, not Killing Alliance] helped me a lot in understanding the balance between attentive palliative care and appropriate medication withdrawals, and more. But it has also made me aware of another ‘enemy of Christ’ and therefore my enemy - the move to legalise and mainstream euthanasia. So now I see three major fronts to this tsunami - Gender, Family and Euthanasia [retirement- what’s that?]….… 
Roger Foley is the senior coordinator of the Lamb of God Community. He and his wife Veronica live in Christchurch, New Zealand. 
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