Friday, May 23, 2008

A Private Faith

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was on the hot seat last night, on ABC1's new show 'Q and A'. He was asked about his religious beliefs and he said that he keeps his religious beliefs private. Someone else said that to me recently; they said, 'I like to keep my faith to myself...'

I believe that a private faith, is not a biblical faith. The Bible calls us to go. Isaiah records God saying, 'Who will go for me?' Matthew writes of Jesus, 'GO into all the World...' We are told in the New Testament to be ready to give a testimony about our Lord. We should have such a close relationship with Jesus, that others need to hear the good news.

By keeping our faith to ourselves:
(1) Christianity will be dead within a generation. How does anyone ever hear about Jesus??! (It's kinda like every couple choosing never to have Children! The Human Race goes extinct)
(2) We are really showing our own selfishness. We have a message of hope, of redemption, of full salvation, and we want to keep it to ourselves!
(3) We highlight a fear/decision of not wanting to share the message of Jesus.
(a) because the message of Jesus hasn't really impacted us much in the first place...
(b) We are afraid of the consequences of sharing the faith we have
(c) We've never really thought of what our testimony about God actually is, and so we are unsure what message we are sharing.

A public faith, is a passionate faith. It makes us vulnerable. It relies on God for protection, and personal self-esteem. It does not let fear hold it back.

Do you know one of the greatest things The Salvation Army in the Australia Southern Territory struggles with? Is sharing its faith with other people (NCD results 2006/7).

The tide is turning though. Go from private to public (and I'm not talking about healthcare!)


  1. Thanks for your blog Pete!
    If you look at the PM's answer it's clear that he doesn't keep his religious beliefs private. In fact in this answer he goes on to say that he is a Christian.

    Yet your points about sharing our faith are spot on. It's great to have passionate Christians like yourself in the Army!

  2. Correction, he says he is a regular garden variety Christian who wont let his Christianity influence his decisions. He didnt mind publicly posing for photos before the election when John Howard and a number of his ministers were very open about their Christian faith. Mr Rudd, when asked if he believed Jesus Christ is the Son of God, answered that he is a regular Church attender.

  3. Yet Mr. Rudd gets uptight and defensive when asked about his faith, and generally keeps the discussion of his faith to church-going and talking of a faith which doesn't affect his public or working life. God is rarely mentioned, even less mentioned is Jesus...

    I hope our PM might one day expand his public 'Christian image' to share another facet of his faith, whether that is love, compassion, joy or passion for his God....
    Perhaps then, the public might see that being a Christian is ok, not something to be defended, but celebrated...

  4. Do you think our PM knows what a Christian is? If so, how do you think he can claim "closet Christian status"? After an encounter with the risen Jesus Christ, nobody could remain mute, or "private" about Him.

  5. It's an interesting discussion. I think Kevin Rudd is Prime Minister of Australia, a culturally and religously diverse nation. He has to balance the interests and beliefs of 20 million people which must be pretty tough. More imporatnly, do we live out our faith by words or by actions? This should be how we hold our leaders and politicians accountable.

  6. A number of well respected, egalitarian, excellent politicians in the past have had no trouble publicly owning their Savior Jesus Christ, whilst serving 20 million Australians of all faiths, in a fair and balanced way - just as Jesus did/does. Just as faith and works are both important, words AND deeds matter.


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