One of Australia’s most important prophets is not from the Christian church, he is from a secular newspaper.

I have been reading The Australian’s Paul Kelly since I was a teenager.

No-one seems able to articulate the times we live in better.

Importantly, he prophesies the sort of economic and social future our children face if we do not act.

Kelly is no extremist. He is not a redneck. I don’t know if he is a Christian but he gets, like few other commentators, that Christian values have shaped western culture and that their erosion is having consequences that need to be discussed.

He has been a fixture of Australian political reporting and commentary since the 1970s.

His Easter feature article was one of his most important (it is worth paying the subscription to get behind The Australian’s paywall – or go to the ACL’s Facebook page).

Kelly asks whether the new secular morality is taking over from Christianity.

When a secular newspaper runs a headline: “Christian values under attack”, Christians should take notice.

This is not an ACL newsletter but quite frankly, we could not have expressed the problem better.

Kelly rightly points out that the church has failed to address the challenges of secularism.

Child sex abuse scandals and our own timidity in confronting the ideas of this new secular religion have weakened us.

Now society is locked in a confused conflict over what virtues should be the basis of our society.

He calls out the totalitarian and academically compromised modus operandi of those pushing the new religion.

Highly paid bureaucrats in the human rights industry enforce the new morality – one which has no place for the Christian vision of human flourishing as it relates to sexual morality, family life or the dignity of the human creature from the earliest stages of life to natural death.

Unlike many who populate elite positions, Kelly does not assume the new morality is best for our nation and calls for a debate about where it is taking us.

This is a new morality that will not tolerate Christian schools positively discriminating to uphold their ethos on sexual morals, that will not allow freedom of conscience for doctors when referring for abortions and will not rest (according to Kelly) until churches are forced to perform same-sex weddings.

Now this is not coming from groups like ACL yelling “wolf”, this is one of the most respected journalists in the nation.

The silver lining to the overreach the new secular elites have waged against Bill Leak, Archbishop Julian Porteous, Coopers Beer, a Christian IBM executive and a Macquarie University academic is that we are now having a mainstream discussion about the real nature of tolerance.

ACL has been privileged to be a catalyst for this debate. There is still much more work to do.

I believe that if ordinary people can see what is at stake, just as Kelly can, good sense can prevail.

Our failures as a church in this nation must be acknowledged and repented of. But this should not keep us from participating in shaping our nation’s future.

If someone like Kelly can see the value of the Christian ethos, we should too.