Our Activities

A letter from Warwick Marsh, Team Member, Advisor and Researcher

Dear friend,

Our heart, and the heart of our board and supporters, is to renew Australia’s Christian values for the common good.

here was once a time when those who opposed Christian values were the revolutionaries. Now those who seek to preserve them or restore them are challenging the status quo. Yet we believe with all our heart, with the absolute assurance of scripture, with our awareness of God’s love, and increasingly with the backing of respected and secular research, that Christian values are the foundations of a healthy and safe society. We also believe God calls Christians to be active stewards of the freedoms we have and be responsive to his direction in protecting the vulnerable and being salt and light in our world. We do not believe Christians are called to be passive bystanders.

The Australian Christian Values Institute is an outreach function of Australian Heart Ministries which has been operating as a non-profit charity since the Year 2000, though the members of the board and its supporters had been active in various ministries long before this.

When the Christian Values Checklist was initiated in 2001 we were surprised at the level of criticism it drew from all sides. Some criticism was directed along the lines of, “How dare you suggest that Christian values should have any role in the political discourse.” Others branded it as part of the religious right who were part of some grand conspiracy. Truth is always stranger than fiction and eventually the truth prevails.

The debate has moved on in Australia and people are now asking the question, “Christian values – What are they and how should they be applied?” This is a good thing.  Unfortunately some critical commentators persist in labelling us as members of the ‘religious right’. Perhaps because there is no alliteration if they use the term ‘religious left’.

It is interesting to note that three of the ten on the Australian Christian Values Check list team were members of the radical left in their youth and another was a union official in his earlier years. In fact John Comino’s grandfather was a devout communist. The simple fact of the matter is our Christian Values Check list team has a broad range of political view points that cover the whole political spectrum.  The commentators who are critical of our check list on the ground that we are part of the religious right obviously live by the maxim, ‘never let the truth get in the way of a good story’.

The reality of current political debate is that the term ‘left’ or ‘right’ is an anachronism. Marxism in the form of communism proved to be a spectacular failure. The idea was great, but the reality of the practice of it was a nightmare. The new radicals are those who are pro-family and have pro-Christian values. The ruling elite within the media, the academic world, the government power brokers and the political parties tend to be the reverse. It is interesting to note just how many of the pro-family activists I have worked with who have a working class left wing background.

The new elites were the old revolutionaries which shows the truth of the old maxim “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. This is one of the reasons that democracy is the best form of government because when used wisely it is a great leveller. Winston Churchill said it this way “Democracy is the worst form of government, but it is better than all the rest.” The key to our functioning democracy is the free exercise of Christian values which our democracy is built on in the first place. Our Christian values, which are largely values of the heart as opposed to the law, act like a breaking system on the process of corruption that power produces. That’s why the current values debate in Australia is so important. The question is no longer do we need values but whose values do we really need.

The Australian Christian Values Institute believes that we need to return to the values that are tried and true. The values that our founding fathers used to build our nation. The values that our soldiers fought for at Gallipoli. Even our Australian flag that our Australian soldiers fought for is built out of four crosses. All of these crosses are emblems of our Christian faith in one way or another, the southern cross being the most predominant. It is our proposition that these values, Christian values are the only way to build a better Australia for the common good of all.  These are the values that made Australia great.

In pursuit of these values:

  1. We supported The Canberra Declaration, and continue to support its call to Christian conscience in this great nation. If you have not yet signed and joined this community may I encourage you to do so.
  2. We have instituted the Christian Values Awards that recognise political leaders who have taken a stand for Christian values, as well as the William Wilberforce Awards. Many of these winners have not actually been professing Christians themselves, however we wish to acknowledge and encourage actions of high value, nobility, wisdom or integrity where they occur.
  3. We have fought to ensure the Christian Values Checklist has remained accurate and bipartisan in its application. As a result it has become a much respected and sought after tool when State and Federal elections occur

Also in pursuit of these values, for the sake of transparency, we felt it proper to include short bios of the advisory team who have the task of assembling the Australian Christian Values Checklist. The public can make an assessment of the variety of political backgrounds which provide a great sounding board for the truth. True and accurate assessments of party policy on the basis of Christian values are difficult to assess at the best of times. We offer our research and qualitative opinion on these matters, knowing our imperfections but confident that we have done the best that we can.

Thanking you for your interest and we hope you enjoy using these resources for the good of all concerned.

Humbly in the service of Jesus Christ and the Australian people whom He loves,

Warwick Marsh