Australia’s Fastest Growing Faiths

 

If one were to believe all the spin coming from the Purpose Driven / Emerging Church movement, one would conceivably conclude that an increase in congregants is a sign of Divine favour. For the Emerging Church guru’s this is the benchmark of success and spiritual revival. Well, with that measuring stick in mind, what do the statistics say?

 

The following comes from the Australian Bureau of Statistics  January 25, 2006.

 

 

12.27 RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION

 

 

1996

2001

 

 

Christianity

‘000

%

‘000

%

%  Change

 

 

 

 

 

 

     Anglican

3,903.3

22.0

3,881.2

 

20.7

 

-0.6

 

     Baptist

295.2

1.7

309.2

1.6

4.8

     Catholic

4,799.0

27.0

5,001.6

0.3

4.2

     Churches Of Christ

75.0

0.4

61.3

0.3

-18.2

     Jehovah’s Witnesses

83.4

.05

81.1

0.4

-2.8

     Lutheran

250.0

1.4

250.4

1.3

0.2

     Orthodox

497.0

2.8

529.4

2.8

6.5

     Pentecostal

174.7

1.0

194.6

1.0

11.4

     Presbyterian & Reformed

675.5

3.8

637.5

3.4

-5.6

     Salvation Army

74.1

0.4

71.4

0.4

-3.7

     Uniting Church

1,334.9

7.5

1,248.7

6.7

-6.5

     Other Christian

420.6

2.4

497.9

2.7

18.4

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buddhism

199.8

1.1

357.8

1.9

79.1

Hinduism

67.3

0.4

95.5

0.5

41.9

Islam

200.9

1.1

281.6

1.5

40.2

Judaism

79.8

0.4

84.0

0.4

5.2

Other Religions

68.6

0.4

92.4

0.5

34.6

No Religion

2,948.9

16.6

2,906.0

15.5

-1.5

Not Stated - Nondescript

1,604.7

9.0

2,187.7

11.7

36.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

17,752.8

100.0

18,769.2

100.0

5.7

 

 

So, what can be gleaned from this? We can see that the Churches of Christ are experiencing a drastic decline losing 18.2 percent of its congregants over the 5 year period between 1996 and 2001. The Pentecostal movement, which has long been insisting that thier so-called ‘revival and end time harvest for the Kingdom of God’ is the reason behind their ongoing pew filling; experienced an 11.4% increase for the same period – impressive until one factors in the Numbers = Favour equation as you will soon observe.

 

‘Other Religions’, namely those outside of Christianity, accounted for 0.5% of those surveyed, a 34.6% increase over previous years.

 

Islam’s popularity rose 1.5%: to 40.4% , likewise Hinduism increased one half of a percent to 41.9.

 

But the shocker of all shockers saw Buddhism, WHICH DOES NOT EVEN ACKNOWLEDGE THE EXISTENCE OF GOD, increase in popularity by a massive 79.1%.

 

So, do numbers equal favour? Is the Heavenly Father blessing a faith that does not even believe He exists or even those diametrically opposed to the teachings of Christ?

 

And I can hear the deluded cries of church growth apologists. .  “This is Satan’s rebuttal to the move of God” . .  oblivious to the fact that:

 

1/. Deifying satan (who does NOT share equal power with the Heavenly Father) is sin and

2/. Slewfoot was crushed at Calvary. .  The war is 2,000 years won!

 

The encouraging news however is that atheism / agnosticism (No Religion) is on the decline, and the ‘Not Stated – Nondescript’ category represents quite a mission field obviously accounting for lost souls who are neither ‘seeking,’ or much less care.

 

Again I ask you; are numbers and popularity a sign of God’s blessing? Rick Warren, Brian Houston, Ashley Evans and a sad, misguided gaggle of other blind guides would have you believe so.

 

Folks look ...  the Scriptures clearly teach that the Last Days would be identifiable by a wholesale apostasy – NOT a revival as the above statistics clearly show.

 

A worldly, carnal mind measures success in terms of numerical popularity and financial prosperity – Jesus never did, and seeing He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8) it is a safe bet He never will.

 

Is your church thinking like the world? If so, take some wise counsel . . . GET OUT and be ye separate lest you share in its judgment. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)

 

 

 

Tony Dean

Moriah Ministries Australia

© 2006

 

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