“Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.” (Psalm chapter 82, verse 3) “The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself,...” (Leviticus chapter 19, verse 34)
Dubbo’s Red Royal Visit:
On the thirteenth of October, my family and I were in Dubbo, NSW, Australia to attend a wedding. Upon arrival into the dry west, we heard the exciting news that the Duke and Duchess Harry and Meghan would also be making a visit to the city of Dubbo. Unfortunately for us, time did not permit and we had to miss out on witnessing the royals visiting Australia.
A few days later after returning home to Grafton, I was going through my usual morning scroll on Facebook and an article came to my attention. It was about some people in Dubbo who had taken the liberty at the Princes’ tour in the Dubbo region to publicly remind Australia, our Politicians, and the Royals that asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru are “‘suffering at the hands of the government’ and the blood is on our hands” (newmatilda.com).
I decided after reading this particular article I would do a little digging and found myself constantly seeing the social media hashtag #kidsoffnauru. When reading about the state of Nauru, “lip-stitching, self-immolation, suicide attempts” (www.kidsoffnauru.com) I believe it strikes every soul the same. It is blatantly wrong and we, as a country, are accountable for the wrongdoing. Lately, I’ve noticed in the church scene this push toward accountability become more evident, and so it should. God wants us to take care of the foreigners among us (Leviticus chapter19, verse 34) and stand up for the defenseless (Psalm chapter 82, verse 3).
Justice for Children:
I want to focus the attention here specifically on the children, the defenceless. According to ‘kidsoffnauru.com’ the living conditions for children is inhumane and they are pushing to try and give these children a normal, healthy childhood. The ABC states there are a whopping 112 children between the ages of 10 and 11 with no hope of a life. All of this is done at the hands of humanity, not caring for one another. Where is the justice?
Our own PM Scott Morrison, along with the majority of Australia, is wondering where the justice is in our Commonwealth for children too! In his speech delivered at the national apology day 22/10/2018 for abused children, Morrison's words were:
"Why weren't the children of our nation loved, nurtured and protected? Why was their trust betrayed? Why did those who know cover it up? Why were the cries of children and parents ignored? Why was our system of justice blind to injustice? Why has it taken so long to act? Why were other things more important than this, the care of innocent children? Why didn't we believe?"
Where is the justice?
Voice for the voiceless:
There is a larger epidemic than both of these issues, where defenceless children are suffering and it’s happening inside as well as outside the Commonwealth. Currently, there are up to 125,000 children per day who are exiled from their homes, they’re abused to the point of death, and have no chance of a normal life that we should expect just like the kids on Nauru and those who are abused (worldometers.info). This epidemic too is done at the hands of mankind. It is abortion, the twenty-first-century holocaust.
To borrow words from the PM regarding abortion, “Why was our system of justice blind to injustice? Why has it taken so long to act? Why were other things more important than this, the care of innocent children?”
Where is their justice?
I have noticed that the Church doesn’t appear to advocate the anti-abortion issue very much. I believe this is because it is not met with the same warm hugs and facebook likes you will get for signing a bill like #kidsoffnauru. Do not get me wrong, all these issues are equally important. Our sins against the defenceless have reached so high the floors of heaven are drenched in their blood and the unheard voices of innocent children scream to God from the ground.
“The Lord will judge his people.” (Hebrews chapter 10, verse 30)
I want to leave this article with two thoughts:
Firstly, these wrongdoings are not just an act of utter shame to the country or a group of people. They are a direct violation against God and God demands an account for every drop of blood that is spilled (Genesis chapter 9, verse 5). Politicians may never have to answer to anyone for their blind eye or lack of empathy. Women & men may now be in the position where their conscience is dulled as they are validated by the law of the land which does not condemn them for their choices and actions. But we as a people, who fear God, are accountable when we are quiet in the midst of evil. We also know all people are going to give an account for their actions (2 Corinthians chapter 5, verse 10). The judge to come will take an account of all these abominations in the end.
Secondly, those who have committed grave acts such as harboring children in inhumane places, those who have abused children in any form or those who have killed the defenceless in the womb are all able to receive forgiveness from God for their sins. God is a just God and the sins done against children will not go unpunished. These sins are either punished at the cross upon Jesus or they are punished upon the person who committed them.
Repentance is a gift offered by God that Christian rarely want to speak about because it must confront the guilt of our sin. But this confrontation and subsequent repentance is essential for forgiveness. Once a sinner admits they have sinned against God they are able to receive forgiveness from Him and turn from their sinful life.
This amazing, unbelievable, unmerited grace is a promise for the worst of sinners that despite our actions God will still embrace us and wipe away all our guilt, tears, torment, anguish, shame and sins forever.
Stephen Cole is the pastor at the Grafton Hub (Baptist)with his wife Jessica and two small children. Steve and Jessica are originally from Bourke NSW where he was formally an electrician.