A New Kind of Australian Prime Minister
On the 24th August last month the new Prime Minister of Australia the Hon Scott Morrison was sworn in as the 30th Prime Minister of Australia. This appointment made international headlines. In the New York Times Online a headline read; “Scott Morrison Is a New Kind of Australian Prime Minister: An Evangelical Christian.” The article went on to say; “Sydney, Australia — At a regular Sunday morning service, before the praise songs and a sermon on resilience, a pastor at one of Sydney’s largest Pentecostal churches mentioned a congregant who was usually among those worshiping there. Church had always been a part of his life and for the past decade, his spiritual home has been this bustling sanctuary with a cross formed from bright lights. But he was not with them this past Sunday.
On Friday, he became Australia’s newest prime minister. “I’m incredibly hopeful — hopeful for the future of our generation,” said Alison Bonhomme, a senior pastor at Horizon Church, reflecting on the political tumult that led Scott Morrison to become the country’s leader. A burst of applause followed. Mr. Morrison and his faith represent a break with tradition in Australia, where politics has long been ardently secular. He is the first prime minister to come from one of the country’s growing evangelical Christian movements, leading many experts and voters to wonder how his Christianity might affect various issues, from foreign policy to social policy…
“For me faith is personal”
…In his maiden speech to Parliament in 2008, Scott Morrison described Christianity as one of his main motivations for service. “For me, faith is personal, but the implications are social — as personal and social responsibility are at the heart of the Christian message,” Mr. Morrison said in the speech, where he also cited a verse from the Book of Jeremiah as the encapsulation of the core of his beliefs: “I am the Lord who exercises loving kindness, justice and righteousness on Earth; for I delight in these things, declares the Lord.”
There is no doubt that there are challenges ahead for Australia’s new Prime Minister and we must always keep in mind that he is not perfect and will not please all sundry within Australia’s political arena or please all of the people in Australia. Hopefully he will seek to turn the tide against the unbiblical and ungodly trends and policies that have been introduced into parliament by unprincipled and ungodly men. Just like the people in Nineveh in the time of Jonah the average Australian does not know God or His laws and commandments and just like the people of Nineveh in the Bible who could not tell their right hand from their left, so are most Australians today.
Turning the tide
Hopefully Mr Morrison will be able to turn the tide in the Australian Political Arena against those policies and legislation that promote Euthanasia, vilification, legalized abortion, exclusion zones around abortion clinics, safe schools programmes and same-sex marriages. He has a very tough road ahead and needs the prayers of God’s people. Added to this there are even now Bible believing Christians in Australia who are praying for the spiritual restoration of this nation and for the salvation and sanctification of average Australians who are now living in a post Christian country and culture.
“The Great Southland of the Holy Spirit”
However, centuries ago in the year 1606 Captain Pedro Fernandez de Quiros gave this continent the name “Australia del Espiritu Santo” or literally “Southland of the Holy Spirit”. In the Bible Hebrew names not only indicate character but also happenings and events and even the destiny of those granted that name. What does this suggest for the destiny of Australia? No other nation on earth has been blessed with the title “South Land of the Holy Spirit”! Australia has never had a national Biblical revival. There have been localised revivals in the past but never one that has had nationwide implications. Many would point to the Billy Graham crusade in 1959 and many were saved at his meetings but what has happened since then? Where is Australia at today spiritually speaking?
The Gospel of the Kingdom
History has shown that only the preaching of the uncompromised Biblical Gospel of the Kingdom has been the catalyst that has turned around the downward spiritual landslide of any country such as we saw under the Wesleys in 18th Century England. Biblical Christianity spread like wildfire through the population transforming people’s lives from every walk of life. English society was ultimately saved from “a French revolution!” For there to be genuine Biblical revival men must first have the law of God preached to them before they have grace preached to them. Seeker friendly, seeker sensitive programmes will not ‘cut the ice’ where man’s sin and rebellion is concerned. Repentance always comes before renewal. (Acts 3:19) It has been that way in the past and will always be that way in the future.
He needs our prayers
We must pray for Prime Minister Scott Morrison as we are commanded to pray for our national leaders in the New Testament. (1Timothy 2:1-3) While we do not look to any human agency to spiritual revive any country God can and does use men in leadership to clear the way for the gospel to be preached. According to the scriptures God has appointed this man and with that appointment always requires him to be responsible for the decisions and policies he makes.
Daniel was right on the mark!
Daniel the prophet wrote; “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are His. He changes times and seasons; He sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things; He knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with Him.”(Daniel 2:20-22)
Man proposes but God disposes!
There are principles God Himself has set out that are clearly enunciated in God’s unchanging Word concerning the appointment of any leader of a nation and this includes Scott Morrison. Let’s look at these very briefly as God revealed them to His servant Daniel. “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are His. He changes times and seasons;” It has been said that “man proposes but God disposes” and this is true and God holds all of creation in His hand and does so through the Lord Jesus “who upholds all things by His powerful word!” (Hebrews 1:3) God can change anything and this includes the political climate of a nation if He so desires. This is His prerogative as creator. As it is written; “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.” (Proverbs 16:33)
Promotion or demotion?
Then we read; “He sets up kings and deposes them.” God establishes political leaders. He raises them up and deposes them. But does He do this arbitrarily or does He do it with a prerequisite of those He appoints as leaders? Well next we read; “He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.” God will impart His wisdom and knowledge to those who ask for it and seek it by faith in Him. (James 1:5-8) (Proverbs 2:1-11) To those who diligently and continuously seek the wisdom and knowledge of God to govern wisely He increases that wisdom and knowledge to them but expects them to keep acting on that wisdom they have received. However, if they do not act on His wisdom then He will depose them as quickly as He enthroned them. This is clearly revealed in the Bible from Genesis to revelation.
The LORD looks upon the heart
God’s wisdom is far wiser and infinite than any wisdom of man because Daniel also tells us about God that “He reveals deep and hidden things; He knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with Him.” He knows all things as He inhabits eternity. All things are foreknown to Him and this includes the decisions that men will make but He still gives them the freedom to choose. He discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart “for the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
Wisdom from God
Let us pray that the newly appointed Prime Minister the Hon Scott Morrison will seek God’s wisdom to govern this nation and be used by God to facilitate and perpetuate the freedoms we have in this country to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom freely and that without being vilified. May the Prime Minister be always guided by this great Biblical principal enunciated by King Solomon who wrote; “Wisdom rests in the heart of the discerning…Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.” (Proverbs 14:33-34) Let’s pray that Prime Minister Scott Morrison will prove to be a credit to this great nation of ours called “The Great Southland of the HolySpirit!” May this prove to be true in this generation. At the end of the day God still has everything under control including the leaders of nations, as Daniel writes; “He sets up kings and deposes them!”