by Greg Spearritt
Christian organisation Olive Tree Media has recently released the results of a study into Australian attitudes to religion and to Christianity in particular. It intends to use the data for apologetics purposes. The results are indeed interesting; they include the following titbits:
· Overall, 1 in 2 Australians do not identify with a religion
· Over 30% of respondents did not identify with any religion or spiritual belief
· Almost 20% considered themselves ‘spiritual’ but had no main religion
· 34% of people who identify as ‘religious’ are significantly involved in group religious practice
· The top ten reasons “blocking” people from belief in Christianity were:
1. Church abuse
3. Judging others
4. Religious views
6. Issues around money
8. Hell & condemnation
A summary of the study can be found here.
I've just become the founding minister of the Interfaith Church of Australia, what I believe is the first wholly inclusive church in Oz.
Reading through the list of top ten reasons people turn away from religion, I'm happy to say none of them are an issue for us, but then we're very new. Still, I do hope this will remain the case.
Posted by Rev. Peter Brabyn
Points 1, 2 and 3 and 8, 9, and 10 seem to me to be very good reasons for being put off joining Christian churches. Point 6 would depend upon why the money was needed.
It is interesting that these reasons are said here to 'block' people from belief in Christianity, as if Christianity were the direction people should otherwise be heading. Instead there should be reasons and the example of others which attract people to Christianity.
Posted by Helen Mason
In my personal usage of the term 'spiritual', it equates with the 'human spirit'. Or, in other words, 'human nature'. Therefore, we are all spiritual whether we like it or not.
Posted by David Miller