Christianity has not had a good year. Nor have some of its Churches.
Quite clearly, its time for all genuine believers to do something positive to reverse the negative trend that is diminishing an important cornerstone of our society.
Let me outline a few of the high profile religious negatives that have occurred and note that every one of them was avoidable.
*Just a few days ago, 3 demented people who convinced themselves that they were carrying out God’s will, murdered two police officers and a neighbour at a rural property in Queensland in a cold blooded manner that chilled us to the depth of our souls and shook Australia to the core.
*A few months earlier, several irresponsible members of an ultra religious family in Toowoomba were charged with murder for failing to give medication to a very ill child who ultimately died. They declared that their reading of the Bible assured them that the use of such medication was against the will of God.
*Recently, a leading Churchman was reported by Murdoch media as saying that it was very difficult for a priest to give the last rites to anyone who chose Voluntary Assisted Dying. Hard to understand why it was worth a comment as the fact is that believers who pray regularly know that God hears our prayers with or without a priest being present.
*The Russian Orthodox Church has formally approved the invasion of Ukraine and blessed Putin. Their aim is to regain control the Ukraine Orthodox Church which broke away from them when the Soviet Union broke up. The fact that many people will die while they make their takeover bid is apparently God’s will.
*More paedophile priests have been discovered throughout 2022 & more will be discovered in 2023. The recent Royal Commission on Child Abuse has had little effect.
*The so called Christian Right has been highly active in demeaning the faith within the Parliaments of Australia, making appalling decisions at prayer meetings where they said they acted on God’s will. They have crippled the once great Party founded by Robert Menzies, a committed Presbyterian who did not ever use his faith to gain political advantage.
*A powerful Christian Lobby will have a leadership role in a campaign to defeat the Voice Referendum for reasons that appear to be racist. They are entitled to vote in whatever way they want to, but it is difficult to understand why they need to publicise it as a Christian act when many traditional Christians may quietly vote Yes,
*Some Churches have gained government grants with the stated aim of helping the poor, but have used the grants solely to promote their brand of Christianity. Law breaking is not a Christian vocation.
I could list more but those are enough to highlight the fact that the stature and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth is being demeaned for no valid reasons.
May I just say this?
From the day when my mother first took me to Church 90 years ago, I have been a committed working partner of Jesus of Nazareth, a great person who is worth following.
At no point in my life have I ever experienced a conversion event. I simply grew in the faith year by year and have never regretted it.
My faith journey reminds me there is not much that you and I can do to fix any of the religious outrages I have listed above. Hopefully, we can safely leave most of it to be handled by the lawmakers of our nation.
However, I know I have one clear calling and that is to walk daily with my role model, Jesus of Nazareth, to help Him create a better and more compassionate world.
In doing so, a clear challenge of my calling is to invite others to join me on my walk and share in the privilege of serving humanity as an article of faith.
In this way, it may well be that distortions of the faith made in the Name of the Father will steadily fade away.
Grace and Peace
Pictured below is the Aspley Uniting Church at which I have been a long time Member and Elder. Like Churches everywhere we face the challenge of reaching out to the community in new ways to share the many difficult issues we all face daily.