In just under one month I turned 69. I am a Christian. I am a Baptist Minister of 43 years. In my life Australia was clearly a Christian nation. But the The New Daily claims that by 2050 fifty percent of Australians will be Muslim - quoting the Pew Research Centre – says writer Christina Jones.
The basis of the statement is that Christians allow themselves to be overrun in society wanting the politicians to get tough where so many new laws prevent any such thing, contrasted with groups of violent and misguided men practising a perverted form of Islam.
In other words, in soccer terms, the score line will be Christians 0 – Islamisation 10.
Professor James Haire from the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture said: “In Australia, Christianity isn’t well represented in public discourse. The media tend to trivialise the faith and only associate it with the strange, weird or serious issues of abuse.”
It was noted that Christians are uncomfortable speaking about their faith in the public space where Muslims thrive in this arena and unafraid and relish the opportunity.
Meanwhile the Daily Telegraph reported one young radical Muslim committed to violent jihad in Australia and chillingly admitted:
”Everyone wants to die for Allah. Australian society is a den of immorality. Look at it, there’s brothels, every corner you go there’s a brothel. There’s strip clubs, there’s people drinking, people committing fornication in front of other people, like, they have no shame.”
Christians once spoke with such passion
In Australia we have this small but determined and focused group of Muslims who have a single goal. They dream it. They think it. They speak it. They study it. They commit to it. Indeed, they are willing to due for it.
Their interpretation of the Koran is such that lying about anything and everything is permissible against the infidel. Telling the truth in a court of law has no legitimacy in such thinking.
Where are the Christians with such evangelistic fervour ?
Baptists today have more people attending their churches across Australia than there are Muslims in Australia.
Yet, not a peep that the media is willing to make demonstrative display of in their newscasts. The media themselves deserve to be overrun.
But where are the Baptist outrageous street marches. Where are their messaged banners and sandwich boards.
My era at seminary (Morling) 1977-1980 there was still memory with much documentation of the great Baptist era between WWI and WWII where churches expanded and grew and planted new churches …...
Then the Sunday School era came with the baby boomers. The post WWII diggers on the most part fell away from formal Christian observances. Forget the parent, get the kids. What a disaster.
By the eighties the Pentecostal movement was capturing the market place while the Baptists were signalling their success in the bible belt suburbs. Here programs for all ages was trumpeted and these large congregations had the wealth, the experience, the people, the expertise (qualifications) for a lovely safe environment. No better Baptist examples are Crossways in Melbourne and Goodlife on the Sunshine Coast.
But what of 2050
2050 is only 30 years away. I'll be long gone, My kids will be in their 60's and '70s and my grand children will be having families of their own and albeit by the expectations, under severe persecution should they be Christians.
Why, because this generation of Baptists and other evangelicals didn't get off their buts and make a sing song and dance for their Christian faith with a mixture of physical presence, loud media attention, strong evangelicalism, solid theology and a proper philosophical understanding of what their up against.
My generation was perhaps the most industrious of Australia's Christian history.
I recall Churches of Christ 'Head of Church', Bob Smith, in 2005 addressed the NSW Council of Churches, published in 'Summa Supremo' where he spoke of my visit in 1982 regarding establishing the Sports Chaplaincy. Bob Smith said Mark Tronson had the most 'painful stutter'. Yet he sensed the Spirit of the Lord and said that the Sports Ministry released a breadth of other community ministries.
Placing chaplains in Australia's most high profile sports from the Australian cricket team, AFL and NRL teams, Motor Racing, PGA, Tennis and the like gave the wider church a brief to a focus of community based ministries. These spread across the nation like wild fire. They re-introduced Jesus to a lost generation.
The question is what will our current evangelicals, this generation coming through and the next and the next, what will they be engaged in to prove the Pew Research Centre squarely wrong and big time – and Australia a beacon of evangelicalism, a nation passionate for the Lord.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 25 books, and enjoys writing. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand. Dr Mark Tronson’s Press Service International in 2019 was awarded ‘The Gutenberg’ - the Australasian Religious Press Association’s premier award. In September 2020 Summer Moore presented her commission portrait of Dr Mark Tronson holding the Gutenberg plaque. He and David Chang editor of Christian Today together bought the young writer ministry into fruition in 2009. In 2011 Mark established Laguna Quays Respite (Whitsundays) for missionary respite and replicated at Aldinga Beach 2016 (Adelaide) and Greens Beach Bass Straight (TAS). His ministry is honoured all these years by Christian philanthropist Mr Basil Sellers AM. He is married to Delma (44 years), with four adult married children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/dr-mark-t.html