NZCN|News – March 2020

NZCN|News – March 2020

Life and death

The next week or so is a very critical time for our nation, with major life and death implications for generations to come. The New Zealand Parliament is in the final stages of voting on the Abortion Law Reform Bill, a bill which further liberalises New Zealand’s laws on abortion. The aim of the Bill is to make abortion simply a medical procedure for the mother.

The Bill gives no consideration at all to valuing the life of unborn babies, or to protecting them. The protections in the current legislation (which have proved weak) are swept away. The Bill assumes that unborn babies have no inherent human worth, and no human rights. The Bill would establish abortion on demand up to 20 weeks gestation. From 21 weeks through to birth, all that is required is the agreement of the medical practitioner (the one about to conduct an abortion) that an abortion is “reasonable” with regards to the health of the mother – but with no regard to the life of the baby. Presumably “health” will include her emotional wellbeing. Will this apply to cases of Downs Syndrome, or the wrong sex? Even a baby born alive after a failed abortion will not be safe: MPs have voted down an amendment that would have required the baby to be given medical care, rather than left to die.

Most Christian people do not oppose abortion under all circumstances, and feel compassion towards those women who have been in a very difficult situation and have agonisingly decided to have their baby aborted.

The New Zealand public needs to understand, however, that this Bill is very unbalanced: it entirely takes the side of the pro-abortion lobby, and completely disregards the intrinsic value of unborn human life. Regardless of whether or not unborn human babies are currently recognised in our society’s laws as fully-fledged “human beings”, they are still unquestionably human babies. Respect for the value of all human life is a basic building block of a safe society. Justice and compassion call out for the protection of the powerless and the voiceless. Christians – and many others – see every human life as a sacred gift of God, and the destruction of innocent lives as a terrible stain upon our nation.

We strongly encourage all Christian people to shake off apathy, to be constant in prayer, and to urgently contact members of Parliament and make known their deep concerns (be courteous, clear, well-informed, and brief).

  1. MPs names and email addresses can be found here
  2. Church leaders also need to speak out
  3. Listen to a good sermon on abortion from last Sunday

15 March anniversary

Our nation recalls with sadness the appalling 2019 terrorist attacks on Muslim people gathered to worship. Christians continue to extend their love and sympathy, and utterly reject all hatred, racism, and violence. We believe that all faith communities should be able to gather freely, and without fear. We thank God that these horrible events generally helped strengthen our society’s commitment to living in peace.

A letter from National Church Leaders to the sitting MPs concerning the Abortion Law “Reform” Bill

A letter from National Church Leaders to the sitting MPs concerning the Abortion Law “Reform” Bill

To every MP, from the undersigned National Church Leaders gathered today in Wellington


Tēnā koutou. Today, 17 March 2020, the national leaders of most New Zealand church denominations gathered together in Wellington, within sight of Parliament. We want to say to every MP: we urge you to look deep into your own moral conscience, and to vote against the Abortion Law “Reform” Bill at its final reading.

We acknowledge that a decision to seek an abortion is often a lonely and agonising choice for a woman, and that the aim of this Bill is to streamline access to abortion and reduce its stigma. We recognise there are complexities in the abortion issue. We do, however, see any abortion as a tragedy for all concerned.

The profound and pervasive flaw of this Bill is that it erases all consideration for the human worth of the unborn child, and (unlike the current legislation) makes no attempt to balance the needs of mother and child and to give at least some protection to the unborn. The Bill defies the obvious, scientifically incontestable reality that the unborn are living, beating-heart, human babies. Societies which practice great oppression often first dehumanise those they mistreat, asserting they are not really human, so killing them is therefore acceptable. Unwittingly, the Bill echoes that same chilling pattern: it assumes that unwanted unborn are neither human nor valuable and that their death is therefore of no consequence; their death is minimalised as just a “health” procedure for the mother, in which the real victim is determinedly overlooked.

The intent of the Bill may well be to advance women’s autonomy or health. But we believe its primary effect will be to further normalise unspeakable abuse and death against society’s most innocent, vulnerable and voiceless members, the unborn. We believe all human life is a sacred taonga, a priceless gift from God. Justice and compassion requires that we should allow the unborn to be safely born and to live the life they have been given. Those in great authority have a God-given responsibility to help protect everyone, especially those most vulnerable; to legislate instead to facilitate their death is culpably wrong.

And so, in the name of God, and of justice and compassion, and for the sake of future generations, we the undersigned national church leaders join with a vast number of other caring New Zealanders and implore you to exercise true conscience and to vote against this highly unbalanced and unjust Bill.

Signed…

Rev Charles Hewlett
Acting Chair

Bishop Mark Whitford
Secretary

On behalf of the following National Church Leaders…

Pastor Adam White, Leader, New Life Churches
Pastor Boyd Ratnajara, National Leader, Elim Church of New Zealand
Pastor Peter Mortlock, Senior Pastor, City Impact Church
Rev Setaita Taumoepeau Veikune, President, Methodist Church of New Zealand
Pastor Steve Burgess, Regional Overseer / Senior Leader, C3 Churches
Cardinal John Dew, Archbishop of Wellington, Roman Catholic Church
Rev Andrew Marshall, National Director, Alliance Churches of New Zealand
Brent Liebezeit, President, Christian Churches New Zealand
Right Rev Fakaofo Kaio, Moderator, Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand (personal support)
Pastor David Macgregor, National Director, Vineyard Churches
Bishop Jay Behan, Church of Confessing Anglicans Aotearoa New Zealand
Charles Hewlett, National Leader, Baptist Churches of New Zealand
Rev Tale Hakeagaiki, Chairman, Congregational Union of New Zealand
Pastor Eddie Tupa’i, President, New Zealand Pacific Union Conference of the Seventh Day Adventist Church
Pastor Iliafi Esera, Senior Pastor, Assemblies of God New Zealand
Rev Brett Jones, National Superintendent, Wesleyan Methodist Church of New Zealand
Rev Dr Stuart Lange, National Director, New Zealand Christian Network
Rev Dr Jaron Graham, National Superintendent, Church of the Nazarene
Bishop Mark Whitfield, Lutheran Church of New Zealand

Prayer Amid Covid-19 Crisis

Prayer Amid Covid-19 Crisis

World Evangelical Alliance
Deerfield, IL – March 15, 2020

On behalf of the World Evangelical Alliance, Secretary-General Bp Efraim Tendero offered the following prayer amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Our Almighty Father God, Creator of Heaven and Earth, as Your children living in every corner of the world we come before You today to intercede for our nations, almost all of which are currently affected or under threat of the COVID-19. We praise You that You neither slumber nor sleep and You are watching over our lands and our peoples, especially in perilous times such as these.

Our help comes from You. We cry out for Your mercy and protection against this virus. We declare that You alone are our refuge—our place of safety. We pray that You protect our peoples from this deadly disease and rescue our lands from this dangerous trap.

Grant our governments and the various national and local leaders wisdom and understanding as they establish and implement guidelines, measures, and strategies in fighting against COVID-19.

Enable our health officials and medical personnel with Your strength and power as they attend to the sick and vulnerable, and allow this pandemic to pass quickly. Lead the medical scientists around the world who are working double-time to find the antidote to COVID-19.

In these dangerous times, grant us Your grace and peace to stay calm and to overcome fear, because the spirit of fear does not come from You. Instead, You have given us faith, hope, and love. You have given us power and a sound mind. Your Word says that You will keep in perfect peace those whose eyes are fixed on You.

You have given us faith, hope, and love.
You have given us power and a sound mind.
Your Word says that You will keep in perfect peace those whose eyes are fixed on You.

Help us to reflect the image of Jesus Christ in caring for the less affluent who could hardly afford to buy for their daily need and are left vulnerable as more affluent people buy stores empty. Move us to selflessly extend comfort and help to the isolated and lonely, just as we receive comfort from You in times of difficulty.

Finally, we pray that in the midst of this pandemic, You would unite us in love, bind our nations in peace, and bring hope and healing to our lands with Your grace and Your power. In the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we pray, AMEN.

Bishop Efraim Tendero
Secretary-General
World Evangelical Alliance

NZCN|News – Feb 2020

NZCN|News – Feb 2020

As 2020 gathers momentum, warm greetings from the NZCN leadership team.

The Lord alone knows what a year may bring: what calamities, what challenges, and what encouragements and breakthroughs.

Our world continues to be troubled by conflict, oppression, tyranny, greed, corruption, poverty, and a deepening climate crisis. And now a possible pandemic. In many countries, there is active persecution and violence against Christian minorities.

In Aotearoa, secularism has contributed to a diminished societal awareness of the true and living God, and a growing indifference towards Christianity. Many New Zealand Christians appear to lack full confidence in Christ and the Gospel, have privatised their faith, and seem preoccupied with less important things. Deep prayerfulness appears not as prevalent as it should be. Some churches are doing fairly well, but many are not.  The whole New Zealand church appears to need a fresh spiritual renewing and reinvigoration.

In September New Zealanders will vote on referendums about legalising marijuana and allowing voluntary euthanasia. Parliament will shortly be voting on significantly liberalised abortion legislation which contains no regard for protecting the life of an unborn child.

So, all in all, is this a year in which Christians should plan to be complacent, and live and act just the same as before? Would a better starting point be to ask: what can we each do differently – individually and together – to make a real difference?

Also included in this newsletter are:

Resources about Waitangi, which reflected significant Christian influences 

Waitangi Day isn’t just a national holiday. It marks the birth of our nation. Although the Treaty remains a mystery to many, it appears that people are starting to realise that knowing about the history of Aotearoa-New Zealand is fundamental to calling ourselves New Zealanders. Last September, the government announced that NZ history will be taught in all schools by 2022 and will be compulsory from years 1-10, and from year 11, schools will choose which subjects their students are required to take.

How much of NZ’s history are we acquainted with? Particularly our Christian heritage and the role the church and early missionaries played in helping form this nation. See our special Waitangi section below, with links to some articles and resources you may wish to peruse.

Mōhau – a visual album

Top musical Māori artists joined forces to produce a visual album showcasing the live recording of eight moving and uplifting waiata whakamoemiti (gospel songs).

Information on many opportunities, invitations and events coming up soon

Rounding out the newsletter is an extensive list of opportunities, invitations and events coming up soon. Please take the time to check them out. There is something for everyone, including those in ministry, and information about some critical matters currently before Parliament.

It’s a matter of Life and Death

It’s a matter of Life and Death

Updates on the road to the 3rd reading of the proposed Abortion Legislation Bill

The next week or so is a very critical time for our nation, with major life and death implications for generations to come. The New Zealand Parliament is in the final stages of voting on the Abortion Law Reform Bill, a bill which further liberalises New Zealand’s laws on abortion. The aim of the Bill is to make abortion simply a medical procedure for the mother.

The Bill gives no consideration at all to valuing the life of unborn babies, or to protecting them. The protections in the current legislation (which have proved weak) are swept away. The Bill assumes that unborn babies have no inherent human worth, and no human rights. The Bill would establish abortion on demand up to 20 weeks gestation. From 21 weeks through to birth, all that is required is the agreement of the medical practitioner (the one about to conduct an abortion) that an abortion is “reasonable” with regards to the health of the mother – but with no regard to the life of the baby. Presumably “health” will include her emotional wellbeing. Will this apply to cases of Downs Syndrome, or the wrong sex? Even a baby born alive after a failed abortion will not be safe: MPs have voted down an amendment that would have required the baby to be given medical care, rather than left to die.

Most Christian people do not oppose abortion under all circumstances, and feel compassion towards those women who have been in a very difficult situation and have agonisingly decided to have their baby aborted.

The New Zealand public needs to understand, however, that this Bill is very unbalanced: it entirely takes the side of the pro-abortion lobby, and completely disregards the intrinsic value of unborn human life. Regardless of whether or not unborn human babies are currently recognised in our society’s laws as fully-fledged “human beings”, they are still unquestionably human babies. Respect for the value of all human life is a basic building block of a safe society. Justice and compassion call out for the protection of the powerless and the voiceless. Christians – and many others – see every human life as a sacred gift of God, and the destruction of innocent lives as a terrible stain upon our nation.

We strongly encourage all Christian people to shake off apathy, to be constant in prayer, and to urgently contact members of Parliament and make known their deep concerns (be courteous, clear, well-informed, and brief). MPs names and contact details are linked below. Church leaders also need to speak out (see here a plea for that), and here is a good sermon on abortion from last Sunday.

Mark Maney speaking at Massey Presbyterian Church, Auckland – 8 March 2020

Dr Stuart Lange, National Director
New Zealand Christian Network

Abortion Legislation Bill — Second Reading
3 March 2020

How MPs voted

81 AYES


Amy Adams – National, Selwyn
Kiritapu Allan – Labour, List *
Ginny Andersen – Labour, List
Jacinda Ardern – Labour, Mt Albert
Darroch Ball – NZ First, List +
Andrew Bayly – National, Hunua *
David Bennett – National, Hamilton East *
Paula Bennett – National Upper Harbour *
Dan Bidois – National, Northcote *
Chris Bishop – National, Hutt South
David Carter – National, List *
David Clark – Labour, Dunedin North *
Tamati Coffey – Labour, Waiariki
Judith Collins – National, Papakura *
Liz Craig – Labour, List
Clare Curran – Labour, Dunedin South
Marama Davidson – Green, List
Kelvin Davis – Labour, Te Tai Tokerau *
Matt Doocey – National, Waimakariri *
Ruth Dyson – Labour, Port Hills
Paul Eagle – Labour, Rongotai *
Kris Faafoi – Labour, Mana *
Andrew Falloon – National, Rangitata *
Julie Anne Genter – Green, List
Golriz Ghahraman – Green, List
Peeni Henare – Labour, Tāmaki Makaurau *
Chris Hipkins – Labour, Rimutaka
Brett Hudson – National, List *
Gareth Hughes – Green, List
Raymond Huo – Labour, List
Willie Jackson – Labour, List *
Shane Jones – NZ First, List +
Nikki Kaye – National, Auckland Central
Matt King – National, Northland *
Barbara Kuriger – National, Taranaki-King Country
Iain Lees-Galloway – Labour, Palmerston North
Andrew Little – Labour, List
Jan Logie – Green, List
Marja Lubeck – Labour, List
Jo Luxton – Labour, List *
Trevor Mallard – Labour, List

Jenny Marcroft – NZ First, List +
Ron Mark – NZ First, List +
Tracey Martin – NZ First, List +
Kieran McAnulty – Labour, List
Ian McKelvie – National, Rangitīkei *
Clayton Mitchell – NZ First, List +
Mark Mitchell – National, Rodney *
Stuart Nash – Labour, Napier *
David Parker – Labour, List
Mark Patterson – NZ First, List +
Winston Peters – NZ First, List +
Willow-Jean Prime – Labour, List *
Priyanca Radhakrishnan – Labour, List *
Grant Robertson – Labour, Wellington Central
Jami-Lee Ross – Independent, Botany
Deborah Russell – Labour, New Lynn
Eugenie Sage – Green, List
Carmel Sepuloni – Labour, Kelston *
David Seymour – ACT, Epsom
James Shaw – Green, List
Scott Simpson – National, Coromandel
Aupito William Sio – Labour, Māngere *
Stuart Smith – National, Kaikōura *
Erica Stanford – National, East Coast Bays
Chlöe Swarbrick – Green, List
Fletcher Tabuteau – NZ First, List +
Jan Tinetti – Labour, List
Anne Tolley – National, East Coast
Phil Twyford – Labour, Te Atatū *
Tim van de Molen – National, Waikato *
Nicky Wagner – National, List *
Hamish Walker – National, Clutha-Southland
Louisa Wall – Labour, Manurewa
Angie Warren-Clark – Labour, List
Duncan Webb – Labour, Christchurch Central
Poto Williams – Labour, Christchurch East *
Nicola Willis – National, List
Michael Wood – Labour, Mt Roskill *
Megan Woods – Labour, Wigram
Jian Yang – National, List

39 NOES


Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi – National, List
Maggie Barry – National North Shore
Simon Bridges – National, Tauranga
Simeon Brown – National, Pakuranga
Gerry Brownlee – National, Ilam
Jacqui Dean – National, Waitaki
Sarah Dowie – National, Invercargille
Paulo Garcia – National, List
Paul Goldsmith – National, List
Nathan Guy – National, Ōtaki
Joanne Hayes – National, List
Harete Hipango – National, Whanganui
Anahila Kanongata’a-Suisuiki – Labour, List
Denise Lee – National, Maungakiekie
Melissa Lee – National, List
Agnes Loheni – National, List
Tim Macindoe – National, Hamilton West
Nanaia Mahuta – Laboaur, Hauraki-Waikato
Todd McClay – National, Rotorua
Todd Muller – National, Bay of Plenty
Alfred Ngaro – National, List
Damien O’Connor – Labour, West Coast-Tasman
Greg O’Connor – Labour, Ōhāriu
Simon O’Connor – National, Tāmaki
Parmjeet Parmar – National, List
Chris Penk – National, Hellensville
Mauareen Pugh – National, List
Shane Reti – National, Whangarei
Adrian Rurawhe – Labour, Te Tai Hauāuru
Jenny Salesa – Labour, Manukau East
Alastair Scott – National, Wairarapa
Nick Smith – National, Nelson
Jamie Strange – Labour, List
Rino Tirikatene – Labour, Te Tai Tonga
Louise Upston – National, Taupō
Meka Whaitiri – Labour, Ikaroa-Rāwhiti
Michael Woodhouse – National, List
Jonathan Young – National, New Plymouth
Lawrence Yule – National Tukituki

One organisation has observed that it is still possible to swing the decision in the final reading. How?

  1. 21 MPs need to be change their vote at the final reading. This would produce a tie.
  2. Of those, if the amendment for a referendum on the issue is not passed, all 9 NZ First MPs will apparantly vote against the bill. +
  3. Therefore, only 12 MPs from National / Labour would need to change their votes to ‘No’.
    The MPs listed above with an asterisk * are ones they particularly recommend be challenged on their position.

3 Things

YOU can do

to change the tide

  1. Pray for our MPs… Thank the lord for their service and ask that He give them wisdom making decisions that affect the inhabitants of Aotearoa New Zealand. And pray for yourself. Pray for wisdom and courage to contact your local sitting and list MPs and seek guidance as to other MPs you should approach.
  2. Explain your connection: do you live in their electorate, go to the same church, are part of the same denomination, are members of the same club or ethnic group? RESPECTFULLY challenge their position – they also have a right to their opinion.
  3. SPREAD THE WORD. Talk with your peers and encourage them to make a stand. Abortion isn’t a silent issue.