2016 Census

July 15, 2017

So recently the results of Australia’s census came in. One point that come ut of it was a rise in people identifying as non religious. To start, we see that people identifying as no-religion has risen to 29.6% in Australia with Catholicism dropping to 25.3%. I wonder how much of this has to do with a large number of Christians have left organised religion from dissatisfaction.

 

We have a long string of incidents that have left a generation of young Australian church-goers disillusioned. A major denomination that seems to keep hiding paedophilia, and the charismatics have their own issues.

 

Planetshakers and Hillsong had their own issue several years ago when this guy had cancer and was open about his faith in God during chemo only to then come out and admit he faked the whole thing. And I wasn’t surprised. He was the first cancer victim I saw to gain weight during chemo. The bad thing about this isn’t just that he lied about it, it’s that his dad, a pastor, came out and blamed his porn addiction for this. So instead of chemo, money was going to porn. On the internet. That is pretty much free.

 

 

On the term “religious”, we have Planetshakers. This is an organisation who went through a period calling themselves Planetshakers, not Christians. And even Christians have started not calling themselves religious. We have groups of people in the church and out of the church using “religion” with two different meanings. I go to a church who from the stage say “we aren’t about religion, we’re about relationship.” They meet every Sunday, have a focus on discipling. How would you label that?

 

“Well that’s religion Phil.”

 

Exactly! And the census actually doesn’t list “Christian” as a religion either. You have Catholic or Protestant.

 

So you’re either this guy,                              or this guy.

 

 

 

And I'm not sure I want to be either of these guys. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                   Well maybe a little of this guy.

 

And if we look at the US for an example, we have mega-church Bethel church. They supply a large amount of worship music to the charismatic movement. They, amongst many other churches, came out saying Donald Trump was God’s choice.

And if you flagged his character supporters in the church make the comparison with David and many other biblical characters. The difference is that the narrative in the bible shows how these people came to God and repentant of their past behaviour. In Trump all we see is repeated behaviour. How do we reconcile the words of church leaders who support Trump when there is no repentance in his behaviour.

 

If we use the US as an example we have this movement occurring with Christians. What we see from this is a sort of exodus from organised religion to deconstruct beliefs, bible, and faith.

 

“So your like a hipster Christian sitting in a café Phil? drinking his deconstructed coffee?”

 

And make the coffee myself. I pay that barista to make my latte for me. What am I, an actor? No, What I am is someone who has felt, along with what I wonder is a lot of others, a mix of hypocrisy, vagueness and a lack of consistency to teaching in the bible. I guess what will be interesting to see in 5 years time is whether the people in this exodus of the church will reconstruct their faith and how the census will reflect this.

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