The Devil is a “living enemy” says chaplain Christine Burford of ACCESS Ministries. “We’ve seen the enemy’s work in our lives”. Yet whilst God is more powerful “be prayerful [don’t] fall into cockiness”, she advises speaking at Naringal Baptist Church on ACCESS Sunday, last May 15th.
Christine was “a lost sheep”, thinking independently at school and committing acts of wanton sailing by the age of 21. Fortunately, whilst in PNG in a “little thatch church” God “apprehended” Christine and “said will you trust me, now will you let me take over your life”. That was “a major significant experience”, Christine understates with absolute seriousness but now of course sees “many hands of God over my life”.
Apart from having a one way conversation with a deity who wanted to take over her life (she seemingly acquiesced), Christine also opines as to the “small groups with different world views”. Far from being just those who don’t get messages and instructions from God, it appears there’s a perceived attack from those who don’t hallucinate.
“We face the world… secular situations with other world views who have a loud voice and penetrate a swell, to bring unrest and undermine the work of God in schools and of course ACCESS Ministries does represent God, so it’s gunna be attacked”. In fact Christine likens this “opposition” (of having a different world view) to opposition to the rebuilding of the ancient biblical wall of Jerusalem. Strangely, I didn’t see that coming – seriously!
Delusion, arrogance and battle regalia aside, all thinking Australians must by now be asking just what is our government doing handing money to a group that propagates and perpetrates the type of far, far “out there” biblical fundamentalism that has wrought so much division and plunging educational standards in American schools. Whatever “values” our children are receiving it’s coming from people who dismiss any other ontology or interpretation as an attack – as unGodly. As “the enemy’s work (Satan) in our lives”. They alone hold the key to our kids salvation.
Incredibly, free thinking and moderate Christians apparently do not “represent God” in the view of ACCESS Ministries. Never mind the unbelievers from other faiths that make up an ever growing proportion in Australian society or the “secular situations” like those which are designed to protect education from exactly this type of abuse.
One can thank Christine for confirming on ACCESS Sunday that teachers are not always in the room with CRE volunteers, in clear dissonance to Denise Nicholls’ assurances. They may be “nearby, you can call the teachers if you’re having trouble”. Also troubled kids need to be loved “as they are”. Christine says with superb irony, “behaviours are a really a symptom of a deeper cause… something much deeper is going on”. And what does ACCESS recommend? To pray for these children. Ask them to help tell bible stories. This failure to deal with abuse or neglect is exactly what The Australian Psychological Society raised concerns over.
Later, Christine expresses her own concern over possible secular welfare workers and non-Christian interfaith presentation of comparative religions. “What body would deliver comparative religions?”, she asks after seeking prayerful support for ACCESS Ministries to have these roles. Because in Christine’s eyes, the Devil is at work against ACCESS Ministries.