Progressive Christian group formed to fight for equality
A new national cross-denominational Christian advocacy group has been formed by a senior Queensland Anglican leader to ensure progressive Christian voices are heard during debates of social, cultural and religious importance.
The new group, A Progressive Christian Voice Australia (APCV), was launched earlier this month by the Very Reverend Peter Catt, who is the Dean of St John’s Cathedral in Brisbane.
Catt (pictured) told SX while the group hasn’t been set up to be purely in opposition to the conservative Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) it would seek to broaden the wider community’s understanding of what it means to be a Christian in the 21st century.
“The real concern I have is that the ACL position is being seen as the ‘Christian’ position, when there is evidence to suggest that it is, in fact, represents a minority Christian view. For example, a recent Galaxy Poll showed that a majority of church-goers support same-sex marriage,” Catt said.
“The challenge before us, in my view, is for us to become more future-focused. 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.”
Catt said though APCV had only been newly formed he believed its members would support equality for the LGBTI community.
“My sense is that those who are members of APCV would be very much in favour of marriage equality and would advocate for the ordination of LGBTI people,” Catt told SX.
Catt said the main difference with other Christian lobby groups was that APCV would be committed to providing commentary on issues of today from a forward-looking perspective.
“It seems to us that some Christian groups assume that the best days of the faith and society are in the past.
“We see the Jesus movement as an ongoing thing. And feel that sometimes we need to recognise that the ways of living we have normalised are, in fact, unjust. Good Christian people in the past defended slavery and the subjugation of women,” Catt told SX.
“We now know that they were defending the way things just happened to be. And in so doing were defending unjust ways of living. We think it would be helpful to seek to look at our current ways of living by looking at our lives as if from the future.”