One of these images was taken in an African Village and one was taken in an Australian Public School
Can you spot the differences?
There shouldn’t be any confusion, not even any need for discussion about what “Special Religious Instruction” is.
It is a missionary project, not an educational project … it is funded by the state, legislated by the state, and administered by the Department of Education as a “default” opt out only program. It is completely set up to convey belief in one set of religious ideas and to compel children to believe in the truth of these ideas.
The law could not be clearer, it says, SRI is “Instruction in the beliefs and tenets” of a particular faith.
A tenet is another word for dogma. SRI is, therefore, by law, “Dogmatic Religious Instruction”.
When asked about this in the press and radio and talkback 774, Stephen Hale, one of Australia’s leading evangelical activists, who is the Chairman of ACCESS Ministry (ACCESS is a parachurch) swears that they are not in the schools to perform missionary work.
This is simply not true.
Here is the advertisement that Access runs in The Melbourne Anglican magazine.
This advertisement says:
‘We need the church around the corner, the one meeting in the function centre, the one with the steeple. We are all called to minister to our community and this is a great opportunity for churches to explore mission beyond their walls.’
This group uses the term “ministry”, “mission”, and “transform” constantly. Transform is just a politically correct way of saying “convert” or “evangelize”.
My prayer is that each child in Victoria, with yourhelp will experience the transforming love of God and his son Jesus. So get on board.’ – Evonne Paddison, CEO ACCESS Ministry
So we have a group that is led by Evangelicals , running advertisements to recruit people from churches to perform “mission” and “ministry” in our classrooms, lesson plans that clearly set out the purpose and presenting religious beliefs in a completely proselytizing manner (to 5 year olds), yet, when asked about this, the leaders of ACCESS Ministry, deny that this is what they are doing, and proclaim that they are just “offering the chance for children to make up their own minds”.
This is EXACTLY what Missionaries in Africa do … they offer the people in the village the chance to make up their own minds. That is what a “mission” is – to go into a place where people who are not part of a church live, and proclaim the gospel and encourage them to “follow Jesus” and believe in the things set out in the various creeds.
This activity has no place in a public school. This is “promoting religion”.
Read the year one lesson plan:
In my view we need to be sure we keep a clear focus on the Gospel and evangelism as the controlling agent and motivating force. If we don’t we will have a tendency to get side tracked into self indulgence, as many of our churches are; or become so caught up in fighting causes that we forget the biggest cause which is Jesus Christ and his gospel. If we have an overriding Gospel commitment then it keeps these other focuses in perspective. We are not being God’s people unless we are mission minded. Our God has a mission heart.