Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”Joshua 1:9
Australian Peacemakers held a Christians Unite conference on Saturday 25th February. It was a wonderful time of fellowship and encouragement, with the focus on how we as Christians, are to stand up and be brave in this world, regardless of consequences. There were a number of keynote speakers who all shared some form of encouragement based on their personal experiences. It is likely you will have never heard their stories in the mainstream news. These are the stories of the silent majority, those who wield little influence in a world that values power and financial control.
Nick Patterson, former gym owner, founder, and head of Australian Peacemakers is currently in the middle of a legal dispute for an alleged altercation provoked by Victoria Police. He is one of the few who actually put his money where his mouth is at a time when people were kowtowing to the system, at the snap of its fingers on the long arm of the law. As a result, he lost his livelihood due to draconian lockdowns and constant government harassment. Keep an eye out for his court case beginning in June. He will need our prayers and support.
Among the many inspirational speakers, two stood out. Topher Field gave an impassioned sermon about standing strong as Christians in the political space. We may not have a political solution, but we have a spiritual solution, in Christ. Repentance and revival are our only hope in this fight. Whilst the people continue to reject God and look to Government, it cannot or will not save us. Just like the people of old in the book of Samuel, they cry out for a king to rule over us, and for a Government to fix us, to fix Covid, the climate, the poverty, inequality, and the mentally ill. Even after God warned them that these very things would be the consequences of rejecting God and relying on man.
“And he said, “This will be the behavior of the king who will reign over you: He will take your sons and appoint them for his own chariots and to be his horsemen, and some will run before his chariots. He will appoint captains over his thousands and captains over his fifties, will set some to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and some to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers. He will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and give them to his servants. He will take a tenth of your grain and your vintage, and give it to his officers and servants. And he will take your male servants, your female servants, your finest young men, and your donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take a tenth of your sheep. And you will be his servants. And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the Lord will not hear you in that day”1 Samuel 8:11-18
We will own nothing, but we won’t be happy or content. Unless there is repentance, there is no going back and God does not hear. Sadly, the people continue to insist on their way.
The last speaker but not least of all was Damien Richardson. His testimony (which I urge all to listen to at 2.54) was one of heartfelt honesty and unfiltered truths. Seemingly invested in his journey with Christ he spoke with passion, style and humour. His courage and determination to live a transformed life come what may was inspiring. It was personally encouraging to hear about Damien’s gratitude for his own father’s faith. Clearly, he is no stranger to his own and others’ brokenness. Knowing all too well that sinful people are fallible in need of a saviour, he draws on Jesus’ example at Gethsemane, stressing the importance of overcoming fear, regardless of consequences. Pushing back and speaking up against the entertainment industry and its attack on Christian men, he went from famous celebrity actor to lowly Christian radio host, his infamy will long be celebrated in the kingdom yet to come if he stays the course and finds a good Christian Church. Find him on Today’s News Talk (TNT) where he covers news and propaganda with a variety of guests.
“The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”Oliver Wendell Holmes
Whilst these men speak truth and bravado from the podium, actions always speak louder than words. Let that be the take-home message for us all in how we navigate through this hostile, anti-Christian world. Live Christ, love like Christ and be all things to all men in Christ, without compromising His truths.
“….to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”1 Corinthians 9:22
Australian Peacemakers is hosting another Christians Unite conference on Thursday 30th March in NSW.