NZCN|News – Dec 2019

NZCN|News – Dec 2019

Concert organist Martin Setchell plays the Toccata on Joy to the World from his 3-Piece Suite, on the Rieger organ in the Christchurch Town Hall, New Zealand.

Acoustic Version of ‘Joy To The World‘ (Joyful, Joyful) from Phil Wickham’s new album ‘Christmas’

The Lord is come, the Lord is coming!

Isaac Watt’s famous carol Joy to the World candidly notes that our human existence is full ‘sins and sorrows’. The world has seen plenty of both this past year, not least in the Christchurch terrorist attacks and in the recent volcano tragedy. But the song-writer exultantly declares the joyful reality that ‘the Lord is come’: the Saviour of the world has now entered this world, bringing the priceless wonders of God’s love, grace, and truth. That is indeed cause for joy. For all who on earth who ‘receive her King’, there is reconciliation with God, new birth, peace, and a confident anticipation of eternal life.

Inspired by Psalm 98, Watt also looked ahead to that time when the Saviour shall return, in all glory and power, and there will be no more sin or sorrow, and the whole of creation shall be filled with the glory of God and shall sing the praise of God. So remember the big picture: the Lord is come, and the Lord is coming!

Read the full newsletter with links to articles, resources and events here

NZCN|News – Nov 2019

NZCN|News – Nov 2019

There is a cluster of highly dangerous changes for our society currently being pushed through Parliament: euthanasia, unlimited abortion, and the legalisation of recreational marijuana.

These initiatives will affect us all, and all generations to come. These matters are life and death issues. They transcend mere party politics. It is time the New Zealand public (including the Christian public) arouse themselves from their sleepiness and apathy.

The recent majority (69/51) vote by MPs to legalise euthanasia in New Zealand, subject to a referendum at the next election, is very disappointing. It appears that many MPs (along with much of the media and the general public) simply do not understand the extremely serious implications of legalising euthanasia in this country. For doctors and nurse practitioners to be authorised to actively end patients’ lives, even on request, is to cross a critical threshold. Euthanasia is an entirely different thing than ceasing treatment or turning off an artificial life-support machine when there is zero chance of survival. MPs have no moral right to legislate to allow anyone to kill.

The task of doctors has always been to help heal their patients, not to dispatch them. The inevitable outcomes of allowing “assisted dying” include a lessened societal respect for life, growing pressures to opt for death, and the undermining of doctor-patient trust, of palliative care, and of hospices. All this was very ably pointed out, in the outstanding speeches of some MPs.

The euthanasia debate is not over yet. In 11 months (or less) there will be a Referendum. Given widespread public misunderstanding, excellent anti-euthanasia information will be needed to be vigorously disseminated.

The very liberal abortion bill presently before Parliament is even more unethical. In the so-called Abortion Law Reform Bill none of those unborn babies whose killing is to be freely allowed are recognised as human, none are recognised as having any human rights, and none will be given any choice at all. How liberal and compassionate is that? Again, over 90% of public submissions are opposed to the Bill. But many MPs do not appear to be listening, and the select committee process is shamefully selective.

On a happier note, six of us Kiwis have just come back from the General Assembly of the World Evangelical Alliance, in Indonesia. New Zealand Christian Network is one of national evangelical alliances in 130 countries all over the world, and 92 of those were represented at the Assembly. It was an inspiring time, and great to become better connected to that global community. We met delegates from some very hard places. We all came back determined to see NZCN flourish and grow, and to work for an increasingly effective and united Gospel witness in Aotearoa New Zealand.

NZCN|News – Aug 2019

NZCN|News – Aug 2019

What does it mean to be an ‘evangelical’?

Like many others who grew up in a non-Christian household, I had Bible-believing grandparents. I remember vividly my grandma asking me as a teenager if I fancied the idea of marrying an evangelist. “No way!” To me, evangelists and evangelicals were one and the same. And I didn’t really know what either of them was.

It turns out, I wasn’t alone. In response to recent events, Dr Stuart Lange has written an article that looks into what it means to be ‘evangelical’ and another that looks into probable reasons why a recent survey found that New Zealanders find evangelicals to be the least trusted religious group.

Since the first reading of the abortion bill in Parliament, Alex Penk of MAXIM wrote a piece about removing rage from our public debates that I highly recommend. In addition to the messages NZCN sent to all the sitting MPs before and to those who opposed the bill afterwards, we have produced a guide to help you make your voice heard. Next week, we will send a special email about this issue with key information about how you can help advocate for both mother and child in this battle for health and life.

Another key topic highlighted by events and politics in New Zealand is religious freedom. We are fortunate to have Dr Thomas and Dr Christine Schirrmacher visiting New Zealand for 2 days next week. We will be hosting an evening meeting with them in Auckland on Monday 2 September. See the notice below for more details.

Also coming up is the inaugural Hamilton Prayer Breakfast next week and the 4th annual Auckland Prayer Breakfast on the 3rd of October. Next week begins our 3-week campaign to fill Eden Park’s North Lounge. There are just over 2 weeks of Earlybird prices left before the price goes up to $40 each for the final week – which makes this the perfect time to book a table for your church, group or organisation or get any number of tickets at non-allocated tables so you can meet other people!

NZCN|News – July 2019

NZCN|News – July 2019

In recent months there has been quite a ferment in both New Zealand and Australia around issues of freedom of belief and expression, reflecting both the tragic events in Christchurch and the various public responses to Israel Folau’s post on social media and the subsequent actions of the Australian Rugby Union. Those issues are discussed in a new opinion piece by Dr Stuart Lange, our National Director (interim), posted today on our website.

Gavan O’Farrell continues his series of articles on atheism and we also include stories of progress on the Bible Society’s translation of the Tokelauan Bible and development of their written language, a book review of A Skylark Flies and advice from WEA’s Helen Calder on dealing with changes in life.

We are also in full swing planning the fourth annual Auckland Prayer Breakfast. Tickets are on sale now so, if you live in Auckland or, if you want to see how a large scale prayer breakfast works before setting up one in your area, come along! Hamilton is also planning to have their inaugural breakfast on Wednesday 4 September 2019. Details will be released on our website as they become available!

Other events are highlighted from our calendar. Although most are in the Auckland region this time, there are others from around the country. Please contact me if you are interested in listing your event with us.

We encourage you to share items on our website with friends and family.

Also of note, Family First ran their 12th annual FORUM ON THE FAMILY event earlier this month. The topics covered included euthanasia, media, freedom of speech, marijuana debate, political activism and abortion. Information and videos of the speakers can be found here and are well worth your time.

NZCN|News – June 2019

NZCN|News – June 2019


Wednesday 26 June will be the critical second reading of the ‘End of Life Choice Bill’ in Parliament. This is a very important decision for New Zealand. Well over 90% of those making submissions to Parliament’s Justice Committee on this matter expressed opposition to the bill, on such grounds as the risks to vulnerable groups such as elderly and disabled people, the implications for suicide prevention, the compromise of the medical profession, and the lack of truly adequate safeguards. There are, of course, also major spiritual and cultural reasons why the State should not be legislating for euthanasia and assisted suicide.

What can we do?

(1) We can pray, that the Spirit of God will move in the hearts and consciences of many MP’s, and make them alert to the dangers of this proposal.

(2) We can still (if we act very quickly) speak to or email our MP, and perhaps some other MPs, briefly and respectfully stating our concern and urging MPs to vote according to their conscience (rather than on any party lines). For many MPs, “religious” arguments are less likely to be persuasive, and can even be counter-productive. You’ll find the details to contact your MP here:


Every day, in various media, there are opinions publicly expressed on the ongoing Israel Folau story, which from many angles is unfortunate. We have published on this earlier.

We believe some issues remain foremost…

  1. How can Christians faithfully hold to God’s truth as revealed in Christ and the Word of God, while also making sure we are wise, respectful, and compassionate in how we express God’s truth, especially in a society which shows increasingly less tolerance for Christian perspectives?
  2. How can our society carefully and fairly protect the freedoms and belief and expression (and freedoms from discrimination) of all faith communities, and of those of no faith?


While summer is often seen as a time to get out and explore, winter is a good time to come together and share our resources and prepare for the seasons ahead. This is especially true the further away you live to the equator, where seasons are distinct – both physically, and spiritually.

This newsletter contains links to stories and event listings on our website that will encourage and help you winter well. Keep reading to the end. There is a special entry to a draw to receive a free copy of Aurora Wonder, by David Lyle Morris to help you through the season.

NZCN|News – May 2019

NZCN|News – May 2019

Please Spread the Word

Do you believe the church in New Zealand needs to be built up, to work together better, and to have greater influence?  Do you believe the Christian community needs to speak better into society, with both grace and truth? Do you believe we all need to guard and nurture the spiritual unity we have in Jesus?

If so, please help us get the NEW ZEALAND CHRISTIAN NETWORK to be better known. Help us get many more Christian people and churches connected with us, receiving our newsletter, following on FB, using the website, making contact, partnering with us.

The NZCN exists to gather (to help bring evangelical/charismatic/Pentecostal NZ Christians together in closer fellowship and a common Gospel cause), to build (to help resource, strengthen and build up the church in New Zealand and increase its constructive influence on society), and to speak (to speak into both church and society, with grace and truth).

We appreciate you doing whatever you can to strengthen NZCN’s connections with your church, friends and family.

Click here to read about 4 issues currently facing us in Aotearoa New Zealand