The Gold Coast mayor’s new ratepayer-funded ‘spiritual advisor’ is an adherent of the Christian fundamentalist Seven Mountains Mandate, which seeks to achieve Christian control of the major institutions of society.
In media articles this month, Gold Coast ratepayers have questioned the appropriateness of Mayor Tom Tate, a Christian, using council funds to appoint Pastor Sue Baynes as his ‘spiritual advisor’.
The Rationalist Society of Australia (RSA) has discovered a video of Pastor Baynes, published on YouTube in 2019, talking about her then informal and close role of advising Mayor Tate over a number of years.
In the video, in which Pastor Baynes gives an address to an Apostolic Reformation Australia event, she reveals that she is a “passionate” supporter of the Seven Mountains Mandate and says she is fulfilling a “kingdom assignment” by working to change the society of the Gold Coast.
The Seven Mountain Mandate is a fundamentalist Christian movement seeking to gain control of seven key sectors of society – education, religion, family, business, government, entertainment and the media.
Supporters of this American ideology believe they need to gain influence over society and shape the world ahead of “the end times”. Its rise has been noted in parallel with the increase of Pentecostalism in Australian politics.
In the video, Pastor Baynes claims that then candidate Tate declared his support for the Seven Mountains Mandate in a meeting prior to his election as mayor of the Gold Coast in 2012.
“And I said to him, ‘You know what, Tom?’ I said, ‘If that is true – if that is your heart as a Christian to come into this position as mayor – I want to talk to you about something’. And for the next hour I outlined for him, on a piece of A4 paper, the Seven Mountain Mandate,” she says.
“And I said, ‘This can be a template for how we can see our city transformed by the power of God to look like the Kingdom of God.’
“His chin dropped – it hit the desk – and he said, ‘I want this. I want you to help me to do this’.”
In the video, Pastor Baynes says more Christians with Biblical worldviews need to replace the “ungodly” people in Australian parliaments and local governments.
“What I believe we need is more Christian thinking in government – more Christian mindsets in government, much more of a biblical worldview in government,” she said.
Mayor Tate (pictured) told the Gold Coast Bulletin this month that he was within his rights to appoint a spiritual advisor. “State legislation allows mayors to appoint councillor advisers to their office and that is what I have done,” he said.
RSA president Meredith Doig said Mayor Tate should clarify for the people of the Gold Coast whether he supports the Seven Mountains Mandate.
“Mayor Tate has the right, of course, like any other public officeholder, to hold his personal religious beliefs. But the people of the Gold Coast have raised legitimate concerns about the appropriateness of this new advisor position,” she said.
“With the discovery of this video, it appears there are questions about the ideology of the person he has appointed to the role and whether he shares her views.
“This fundamentalist religious ideology is completely at odds with modern Australian society. Most mainstream Christians would not accept the Seven Mountains Mandate and it has no place in a secular government. The ratepayers of the Gold Coast certainly have a right to know if their rates are funding this new ‘spiritual advisor’ role created by Mayor Tate.”
Si Gladman is Campaigns & Communications Coordinator at the Rationalist Society of Australia. You can contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @si_gladman
Images: City of Gold Coast