Have you seen the 2002 movie Minority Report? Starring Tom Cruise, it concerns a ‘Pre-Crime’ police force which uses psychics to apprehend people who will commit criminal acts in the future. But soon this idea could leave science fiction and become a strange and dangerous reality in Victoria. They aren’t employing any psychics as far as we know, but the state government is proposing a similar idea, in a bill that has already been voted on by the lower house.
Talking to Neil Johnson on Vision’s 20Twenty, Bill Muehlenberg explained that this new development has alarmed commentators on all sides of politics. “It’s related to Covid once again,” he said. “It gives even more sweeping and draconian powers to the government, when we have already talked so often about all the powers they now have.”
The Covid-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) and Other Acts Amendment Bill 2020 expands the government’s emergency powers, allowing authorised officials to detain anyone they “reasonably believe” might potentially disobey current Covid-19 restrictions, and who might be infected. It also allows the government to give these powers to anyone they choose, regardless of their qualifications or training.
Put simply, you could be arrested by someone who isn’t a police officer for something they believe you might do. Surprisingly, one of the groups who’ve raised the alarm is Julian Burnside’s far left group Liberty Victoria. “Even they put out a public letter, saying this is dangerous, dangerous legislation, we dare not go down this path.”
A group of QCs and judges also signed a letter pointing out how this law, by allowing citizens to arrest one another, could cause all kinds of problems. “When you have leftist media, leftist legal people, those who are not necessarily conservatives, all calling out this legislation, you know it’s got to be pretty bad.”
As Christians, we value the liberty we’ve enjoyed in Australian society, because it was founded on Biblical principles. But when our liberty is threatened, we face a conundrum. “We’re citizens of two Kingdoms,” Muehlenberg said. “We have two passports. We’re citizens of heaven, but we’re citizens on planet Earth.”
But he reminds us that our obligations to our King include “acting as salt and light”, and “seeking righteousness in our land”. That means at the very least, we are called to pray, and to take some practical action. In a recent article on this topic, he provided email addresses for all the upper house MPs. “Please contact these MPs. Let them know that this Bill is totally unacceptable.”
“Sure, we’ve got to pray like mad,” Muehlenberg said, “but without works that may not get far. “We also have to work like mad, but if we don’t keep it covered in spiritual warfare, that can be ineffective. So Christians are best placed to make a difference in these really dark times.”
As Christians the best thing we can do in uncertain times is to prayer for those who are leading our country, both in states and nationally. Please join with us in praying for Premier Daniel Andrews and all those in the Victorian government – and also pray for the well-being of all those that live in Victoria, that during uncertain times they will turn to the One who ultimately holds our eternal future, Jesus Christ.
Tune into 20Twenty and join the conversation with Neil Johnson, weekdays on Vision Christian Radio. Click here for your local times.
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