Baptists in Australia

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by rlvaughn, Sep 22, 2002.

  1. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
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    Below is a list of Baptist associations that exist in Australia. I think we have some members from there, and I would appreciate them telling us more about Baptists in Australia.

    Australian Baptist Independent Fellowship
    Baptist Union of Australia
    Faith Baptist Churches Fellowship
    Seventh Day Baptists
    Strict and Particular Baptists

    I'm sure there are independent churches that exist apart from these groups, but it seems that the vast majority of Baptists in Australia participate in the Baptist Union. This Page gives info on Baptists in Australia. Will be looking forward to some of you brethren in Australia telling us more about your churches! [​IMG]
     
  2. bb_baptist

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    Thanks!
     
  3. WW2'er

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    I have spoken to a missionary couple living in Australia. They told me that Australia is the most God-less country they have ever been to. Would you agree with that statement?

    They also said that because of the nature of the society, that "the church" in Australia tends to be very conservative. Would you agree with this too?

    I'm interested in your thoughts.

    Thanks!
     
  4. Rev. G

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    I have preached in Australia. The rate of unchurched Australians is beyond astronomical! Our fellow believers there, though, are tremendous folks! I'm priviledged to be able to call quite a few of them "mates."

    God bless Australia!

    Rev. G
     
  5. Ben W

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    Crikey Mate, How yer goin orright?

    The church in Australia is in a poor state. Less than 10% of the people go to any church reguarly. most Aussies consider themselves Agnostics, going to church is often seen as a sign of weakness. Alot of the mainstream church buildings are being knocked down and units/houses built over the top. In Australia the Methodist, Congregational and half of the Presbyterian churches merged to become the Uniting church. These are going out of buisiness the fastest, they also lead the way in embracing Homosexuality amongst the leadership.

    The Pentecostals are growing, The Salvation Army are holding there own, the Baptist and Church of Christ are going allright. The Baptist church is mainly the Baptist Union which you chaps know as Southern Baptist. I belong to Seventh day Baptist who are also growing slowly.

    Bishop Spong and his left wing church are loud in the media but also declining there is alot of pressure being applied to embrace Homosexuality and for the church to provide shooting up rooms so that people can take drugs safely!

    Australia has the highest rate of youth suicide per capita in the world. The answer for the church in Australia is to build communities of friendship within the churches, without comprimising the bible. Surprisingly one of the fastest growing movements in the Australian church is the Home church network. Aussies love the barbecue style church. The number of home churches and home fellowships within churches has increased dramatically in the last ten years. Its funny that when we get back to the early church model we can see some positive things.
     
  6. Rev. G

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    Put another shrimp on the barbie, mate, I'll be there as fast as I can!

    God bless Australia!

    Rev. G
     
  7. Helen

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    A note to clarify something Ben said -- the Church of Christ in Australia is NOT the same as the Church of Christ in the United States (which is often defined as a Christian cult). It is a straight Christian church in doctrine.

    A note also regarding what Baptist means there (any of the Baptists, I think). It is about the same as the idea of Baptist in Eastern Europe -- it means conservative, Bible-believing Christian.

    There is a growing danger in Australia, as well as in Sweden and a number of other places where a U.N. mandate is being followed. In the Australian states of New South Wales and Victoria there is now a law that if some religious statement you make offends another person, you can be either fined or jailed. This means even in church or in your own private home! Not long ago there was a case where some Muslims (I think) listened to a church service in a Christian church and then brought suit against the minister because they felt offended. To make matters worse, this is one case where one is guilty until proven innocent.

    Although it is not directly 'aimed' at Christianity, that is where it is being enforced.

    And yes, very few Australians are Christian by conviction and are born again. VERY few! Many of these are the older folk.

    But I have also noticed, at least in terms of the things Barry and I have seen, that there is a bit of a revival quietly going on among some of the youth. It's been interesting to watch as well as a privilege to minister to some of them. What we have noticed they desperately need is a way to understand the difference between a cult such as Benny Hinn's (which is big there) and basic honest Bible teaching.

    One other thing we have noticed is the response of shopkeepers, taxi drivers, etc., when he or I tell them we are Christian. It is not uncommon now to hear, "Really? I have been wondering about that! Tell me about....." and then a conversation opens up which can be quite remarkable in some instances.

    One has to be quite careful, though, in many respects -- especially if one is NOT Australian! There are times I can't even use the language right! :D

    With all that being said, those who are Christian there -- born again Christian -- are some of the most faithful, giving, loving, and wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ I have ever known or met anywhere. They are serious about their faith and they know why and they know God.
     
  8. Mark Osgatharp

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    Brother Vaughn,

    I spent a whole night a couple of years ago looking at Australian Baptist web-sites. Most of the church web-sites I looked at were either Baptist Union Modernist or Independent Calvinist.

    One web-site I examined had an article by the pastor giving as good of a presentation of the New Testament teaching about baptism and restricted communion as could be made; but after expounding the New Testament teaching about baptism he proceded to give all the reasons why it couldn't be carried out in practice - primarily because it would be a great offence to the Protestant churches!

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  9. Pete

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    Wow, where to start on this thread... [​IMG] I think I better reply to points in each post, might be easier than filling 3 pages with one big one [​IMG]

    G'day rlvaughn, and thanks for remembering us way down here [​IMG]

    I think you'ld be right in observation that most Aussie Baptist Churches are affiliated with Baptist Union, sadly that can mean almost anything these days. From the What do Baptists believe? page: http://baptist.org.au/buabelief.html "...We believe every individual believer is free to access God and serve Him in his or her own way (within biblical lines). For this reason Baptist churches are often very different from each other. Some are very traditional, others very radical, and others are somewhere between..."

    The "within biblical lines" part of the above seems to be disappearing from more and more Churches out this way :(

    Pete [​IMG]

    To be continued...
     
  10. Pete

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    G'day WW2'er & Rev. G [​IMG]

    Thanks for comments, have got me thinking (*OW*) ;)

    Aussie culture is a psychiatrist's dream. While I'ld say the image of us being an optimistic, laid back, easy going, not taking ourselves too seriously, help yer mates out sort of people is true, on the other side of that we are cynical and have a disregard for authority. I am sure I forgot a few traits here...oh well, it's late [​IMG] Some of my Aussie mates on board can add or subtract as needed.

    One of the biggest crimes in Oz is to be not fair dinkum (true, genuine). In other words the old "practice what you preach"/"walk the talk" sayings are very important. That being the problem for many parts of the Church down under, they are "acting so loud no one can hear what they are saying".

    Hey Rev. G, thanks mate, God bless the great nation of Texas too ;)

    Pete [​IMG]
     
  11. Ernie Brazee

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    From my observations of Oz Land is not just a physciatrists dream it is their greatest nightmare. Even they can't understand the Aussy mind. Not an insult, but to say you in down under land are unique.....or maybe u r normal and we are dirfferent. ;)

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Circuitrider

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    I was in Australia two years ago and met with about 18 pastors from the greater Sydney area. Some were Aussies, some were American missionaries, but all were independent Baptists. There is small Bible College in Sydney in one of the churches there. ;)

    Right now several churches in Australia are getting excited about church planting and there were two new independent Baptist churches planted in the last year and a half, one in Sydney and one in Wollongong about 100 ks south of Sydney, so the story is not all bad. [​IMG] The mission church in Noura was the mother church for the church in Wollongong, and the church in Wollongong about a year old was the mother church for the one in Sydney. [​IMG]
     
  13. Pete

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    re: Ben's post

    Goin ok mate, owsyerself? [​IMG]

    The low Church attendance in Oz is more than just the unsaved staying away. There are also Christians not going due to unbiblical teachings/practices etc (my parents and self in that category). As I mentioned in a post above, in Oz you have to be fair dinkum. More importantly, God says we have to be fair dinkum. A book a mate gave me makes a great point to remember about the numbers game though, something along the lines of "The difference between a cemetery with 100 graves and one with 1000 graves is just the space it takes up"

    Spong and the like get the publicity out-side the Church, I think there are few Baptist Churches that have gone silly enough to take notice of that bloke though...Although thinking about some of the ratbags they do follow...I'll let my train of thought on that one get derailed, if I think about it I won't sleep tonight ;)

    The way politics in NSW is at the moment I doubt it will be long (5 yrs max) before homosexual "weddings" are legalised in the state. Maybe 10 yrs from now for some Churches. There is a trail of a drug shooting gallery in Sydney now.

    I think the home Church idea is the way to go, and every time I look at the back room here I wonder how many people we could fit in it if had to... [​IMG] God bless [​IMG]

    Pete [​IMG]
     
  14. Pete

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    I think that law in NSW excludes "religious instruction" (for now)..however that may just be in Church service context. I had a copy of the bill around here somewhere, just no idea where I put it. If it's against the law to call sin sin, then lock me up, because I ain't stopping for no man (typical cab driver huh? ;) )

    The cynical Aussie/cabbie side of me wonders about what is going on with youth (teenagers-early 20s). As well as needing to avoid the likes of Hinn and Co, they also have to work out that swearing like Eddie Murphy isn't exactly Philippians 4:8 material...However the kids (10-14s) are another story. I was born 20 years too early by the looks of it, what a generation. I thank God for the privilege I have had in teaching Sunday school at last couple of Churches and working with these guys.

    I'ld recommend driving the cab instead of being the passenger. Can get all the discussions, and sometimes even get paid ;)

    Yeah, learn the language! *mutterssomethingaboutforeigners..* ;) ;)

    Right back at you mate. I visited some friends in US of A a few years ago and was surprised to find out that US of A wasn't all Clinton, Springer, Days Of Our Lives, Hinn, Copeland, Meyer, Hickey, etc. Now I do say "God bless America". Goodonya mate [​IMG]

    Pete
     
  15. Mrs Pauline Smith

    Mrs Pauline Smith
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    Well Hi there from a country Aussie, I'm not
    sure what to say after the Previous comments,
    I'm not offended,just we really are a nice bunch,
    out here, Speaking for myself, the Baptist Church
    I'm a member of had been in a slow decline, but
    over the last few years with a young Pastor and
    wife, a lot of prayer, slowly we are getting new
    and younger Aussies in the Church and it is finally turning around after a lot of resistance. Because we are
    a Country town we do have a lot of combined events
    with other churchs in our Town and neigbouring
    Towns, our Youth Group, which I'm a leader of is
    combined with the Unitng Church, which attracts
    unchurched teenagers with a lot of problems, but
    it is wonderful to see the changes taking place in these kids and to see God moving in them, there are a lot of positive things happening down under, I guess you guys just don't hear about it.
     
  16. Robert J Hutton

    Robert J Hutton
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    Warm Christian greetings!

    In the late 1960s a man was the Pastor of the church which I attend in Broadstairs, Kent, England by the name of Ron Stevens. He emigrated to Australia about 1969 and became involved in the Baptist Union of Australia. Has anyone on the BB heard of him and where he is now. I guess he would probably be past retirement age by now.

    Kind regards

    Robert J Hutton
     
  17. Ben W

    Ben W
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    Any idea of which state of Australia He went to?
     

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