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ACCESS ministries (2008 – 2011)
This March 1st, ACCESS ministries will be in VCAT fighting charges of religious discrimination against non Christian children.
Through their evangelical proselytising to the Victorian “mission field” – the “God given open door” – as CEO Evonne Paddison boasted, ACCESS aimed to convert students to Christianity and “have a full time chaplain in every school”. For years, until parents acted against this obscene monopoly ACCESS openly boasted that it “leads the church in it’s mission to reach students and school communities in Victoria and beyond with the transforming love of God and His son, Jesus Christ”.
ACCESS will “model Christ’s love without discrimination”
The disturbing fundamental theology in the Statement of Belief that controlled ACCESS ministries’ thinking also included the extraordinary claim that ACCESS personnel “form part of God’s presence in the school”. Committed to the Apostle’s creed, Nicene creed and Athanasian creed and the Old and New Testament documents, ACCESS affirmed it’s faith in the Trinity and “recognised the pastoral needs of people and that these needs are to be… addressed”.
Paddison, who believes primary school children in public schools should be taught that their life in eternity has already begun, seeks to:
…promote the same marks of discipleship for young people as those that the Bible presents to us. But of course, in a way that is appropriate and contextual to them. The first step in becoming a disciple is clearly believing, but so many of our young people have never heard the gospel.
Her vision of a brave new Christian world is repugnant in it’s open plot to exploit the emotions of in-need children:
We have to reflect the relationships of the persons of the Trinity in our relationships in Christ’s new society. As we develop this perspective in our encounter with students we will tap into their longing for belonging and acceptance that has grown out of a world of divorce and division. What really matters is seizing the God-given opportunity we have to reach kids in schools. Without Jesus, our students are lost….
Initially blaming those nasty atheists and Fairfax for negative press and criticism from mainstream Christians, the supernaturally guided leaders of ACCESS viciously hit back. Evonne Paddison, Bishop Stephen Hale and the only woman I’ve seen smirk at a parent’s distress – Rev. Denise Nicholls – took to basically telling Victoria to shove it. Legislation gave them the right and fundamental zealotry was on the menu. The problem was, according to Paddison:
…a deliberate attempt by the media to start a faith war – to divide Christians against other Christians; faiths against faiths; congregations against congregations…
It’s sensationalist journalism – find a schism in the foundation, a rat in the ranks, report the division and watch the Letters to the Editor or the news blog implode with atheistic comment. [….]
As chaplain Christine Burford gladly shared once with listeners:
No matter what it takes, God’s got a plan and he’s gunna bring it to pass, he’s Sovereign. The devil is “a living enemy” who (apart from tormenting Christine with temptations of “flesh”) “would want to undermine us as people”. People are “the helpless sheep”, saved by God.
No matter what it takes… Paddison herself at the Forward Together rally, 2011, said:
We know with absolute certainty that our message and the centre of our faith remains the same. It remains firm because the one we serve is the same yesterday, today… forever. And his purposes will not be thwarted.
True to form the plan rolls on. But ACCESS seek to deceive Victorians with a shuffle and edit of their website. Once front and centre, the creepy statement of belief is off side. The “transforming love of God…” mission, which is simply believer code for “convert”, has been slashed down to, “Transforming the lives of young people and their communities”.
This video features Elizabeth Stuart, a mum who is not fooled by ACCESS’ moving of chairs. Looking at changes over time, as usual the truth to ACCESS ministries’ intent comes from their own mouths. Having already made the preemptive move to make classes opt-in rather than compulsory and opt-out, ACCESS and the Victorian Education Department are seeking to convey the impression they are not discriminatory.
One hopes for a good outcome this March.