Are Australian Churches Afraid to Share the Gospel?
As Christians we have been entrusted with a message called the Gospel – eternal salvation.
If sin is like poison and leads to death, we have the antidote. Imagine having the cure to cancer but not telling anyone.
If we truly believe that having a message of salvation for people heading towards a lost eternity is Good News, how can we give-up on telling people or making a case for our beliefs.
Some suggest Australian Christians in the 21st century are having a crisis of confidence in the message.
Karl Faase, a well known Australian Christian leader and social commentator, joined Neil Johnson on Vision Christian Radio’s 20Twenty program to discuss how many churches are failing to gain traction in their communities and slowly declining.
The crisis of confidence churches are currently facing “comes from a couple of different areas,” shares Karl. “If you went back a generation, when I was a young man starting in ministry, there was a general sense within the community that the church had a place and religion was basically good.”
Even if people weren’t interested in religion for themselves, they had a sense that it was good to have the local church part of the local community.
“If you think about the situation now, we’ve moved remarkably from that place. Today there’s plenty of times where Christian leaders aren’t treated with being differential, they’re attacked fairly regularly.”
“There’s a sense that Christian faith is actually bad for our community, and Christians and people who are religious in general are actually a negative influence on our community.”
“I think that creates a crisis of confidence. I think people are seeing their faith attacked for numbers of different reasons very regularly. That causes you to go, ‘I’m still sure of my own faith, but I have a crisis of confidence in trying to talk about that faith more generally within the community.’”
“If you talk about Jesus making a difference in our world and you talk about the place of the church, you know that people are going to instantly respond with, ‘Well we just had a Royal Commission into the Institutional abuse of children and in the middle of that, church and church leaders have been front and centre.’”
“Secondly, [Christians] have stood against this concept that ‘love is love’ and all love is equal and all relationships are equal. And now you guys are homophobes and bigots for standing against what is supposedly a good thing in our community.”
“You put those together in the public sphere, and unless you really know your material, you feel very uneasy talking about [the Gospel].”
“I think leaders within the church don’t want to court controversy, they don’t want to court difficulty – they want to be accepted in their wider communities. So they talk about the things that are popular, and they down play the things that are not popular.”
Is it too late for the Australian church to make a comeback in our culture with the truth of the Gospel? Continue listening to Neil and Karl’s conversation in the podcast below.