A new progressive Christian voice

  (19 August 12)
  by Greg Spearritt

The influence of conservative Christianity in Australian politics (especially through the Australian Christian Lobby) has been considerable in recent years. Some in society and in the media assume the ACL represents Christians generally, but in truth they speak for a small slice of Australian Christians.

A lobby group aiming to represent progressive Christian voices has just been formed, titled A Progressive Christian Voice (Australia). President Peter Catt (in the press release, below) outlines their aim:

‘We want to be an additional Christian voice in public discourse. We want to represent the voice of the Christians who are trying to view life from the future… In every age we are challenged to see which aspects of our living, which we assume to be foundational to society, are in fact unjust and rob people of the liberty to flourish.

The new body is seeking members: Ray Barraclough, Secretary of APCV can be contacted at dorray@westnet.com.au.



Launch of A Progressive Christian Voice in Australia

A new cross-denomination Christian group has been formed to add to public discourse in Australia.

President of A Progressive Christian Voice (Australia), The Very Rev’d Dr Peter Catt, of Brisbane, said  ‘We want to be an additional Christian voice in public discourse.

 ‘We want to represent the voice of the Christians who are trying to view life from the future.’

 ‘We want the Australian public to understand that conservative lobby groups might be one expression of the Christian faith, but they are by no means the only expression’, Dr Catt said.

 ‘The application of faith to life requires us to endeavour to look back from the future. To have an eye for how future generations will view our current actions.

 ‘It seems to me that the conservatism that is born of our tendency to be backward-glancing leaves the church playing catch up.  For example, we find ourselves having to apologise to the women whose children were taken for forced adoption.'

'We also owe apologies to the woman who grew too old while waiting for the day when women could be ordained. We owe apologies to the divorced people who wanted to remarry in the days when the church held that marrying the wrong person was a mistake one had to live with.'

'And we owe apologies for counselling women to stay in abusive relationships to protect the ‘integrity and sanctity of marriage’.

 ‘The challenge before us, in my view, is for us to become more future-focused. We need to challenge ourselves to look for the next obstacle to overcome. In every age we are challenged to see which aspects of our living, which we assume to be foundational to society, are in fact unjust and rob people of the liberty to flourish. ‘

APCV  hopes to be a positive contributor to the life of the churches and to the wider community.

The Very Rev’d Dr Peter Catt is President of the A Progressive Christian Voice (Australia) Inc

Contact: pcatt@anglicanbrisbane.org.au

Monday, 13 August, 2012


Grant has a point. It would be good to see from the APCV some specifics about issues they think are worth lobbying government about. Oh, and the name... the initialisation is honest but not exactly memorable...

Posted by Greg

Great news! The voice and message of Christ cannot be heard in the most of conservative movement. Also keen to find out more. Is there a website for more info?

Posted by Jan

Thank God (pun intended). A more representative voice

Posted by Wav

Every English translation of the Bible states, "Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and for ever'. But now the Rev Dr thinks he knows better!! Jesus reinforced every principle/value God had ever spoken about in the old Testament - including divorce! Was He simply looking back? NO He was being consistent. When we decide we can ‚Äėchange the rules‚Äô to suit the today‚Äôs postmodern thinking - we destroy truth itself. Jesus said He came ‚Äúthat I should bear witness to the truth‚ÄĚ Yet one ‚ÄėChristian‚Äô recently suggested Jesus ‚Äėgot it wrong‚Äô about the flood. So called ‚Äėprogressive thinking‚Äô is simply a way to appease a fallen world, instead of giving them the only TRUTH that can actually set them free from it.

Posted by Peter

I think I can see what the agenda of this group is and the lobbying it will do is much needed. For too long groups claiming to be Christian have abused scripture to try to control people with guilt trips, rather than promote the second commandment to love one another.Now there will be another authentic Christian voice to tell the Bible stories that affirm and include all in God's Kingdom. For too long the story has been told by Good Friday Christians. Now we will hear from Christians of the Resurrection .

Posted by Hans Paas

This is really 'Good News'! Hallmarks of Jesus' life were his great love for all and his great compassion, especially for the social 'lepers'. We might now see better Christian lobbying for a fairer distribution of the world's resources, a huge increase in the refugee intake, and a stronger commitment to reducing the impact of climate change, the reality of which will devastate the lives of future generations if we conntinue as we are!

Posted by George G

Go APVC!!! I've been long frustrated that the public Christian voice has been at odds with what I and many other Christians believe on contemporary issues. Tell me how/where I can get involved.

Posted by Deb

Lots of words, but what are they really lobbying for? Anything? Lobby groups aim to influence government to do what they want. Is that Sofia wants?

Posted by Grant

SoFiA wants openness. The Australian Christian Lobby by its very choice of name dishonestly pretends to speak for all Christians, and that it most certainly does not do. The APCV is explicit about where it's coming from. There's an openness and honesty that's well worth supporting, in my view.

Posted by Greg


Posted by Nat

bring it on APCV it is about time for a more rational balanced voice out there as the rent-a-thug company ACL is by no means indicative of many Christians and are more like a cult than a religion.

Posted by Gort

"The Very Rev'd Dr..."???? come on.... let's have some content before we resort to impressing through mere form. That's Scientology.

Posted by Christian

Great news. Are you aware of this media release by Victorian Council of Churches in which they say ACL is non-representative? http://vcc.org.au/Media%20Release%20ACL.pdf

Posted by Phil Browne

Can I just say, I'm still not sure what they are lobbying for. Even the Brisbane Times article fails to say where they are coming from really. Forget the ACL... what is the APCV on about? Anything?

Posted by Grant

My studies in a Catholic monastery in the 1960's led me to become an atheist and I was helped and hindered by my priestly tutors on the way, many with a great deal of sympathy.They knew I questioned sincerely. I am thrilled to witness this launching of a Christian Voice which unlike some presently vocal Christian lobbyists will not justify and promote non-Christian views with which they persecute fellow Christians as well as outsiders.A bit more of loving your enemies as well as your neighbours could see the embracing of asylum seekers,aborigines and even an atheist!!!

Posted by wayne bradley

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