Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The 'Non-Gospel' Vision of Mission Australia

The folk at Mission Australia recently replied to the email that I sent them last week, which I had shared here in my previous Blog post. So I thought I would post their reply here as a bit of follow-up for all to see. Also below is my response to what I thought was their rather poor defense of their 'non-Gospel' vision there at Mission Australia.

Hi Tim,

Thanks for your email, for your previous regular support of Mission Australia and the consideration you have given us in your new financial situation.

Mission Australia describes itself as a non-denominational Christian community services organisation. We do not pretend to be a church and are not aligned to any particular denomination.

However our founding purpose remains unchanged: 'Inspired by Jesus Christ, Mission Australia exists to meet human need and to spread the knowledge of the love of God'. It continues to shape our organisational values and motivates us to deliver the best for the people we help. We do not proselytize, but rather show Christ’s love through the way we help people in need. Our chaplains also play a vital role in providing compassion and encouragement to our staff and to people who use our services. We show love not “with words or speech, but with actions and truth” (1 John 3:16-18).

If you feel in your heart that your donations are best spent with Christian organisations that are centred on evangelism then Mission Australia may not be the right organisation for you to support, and I respect your decision.

Thank you on behalf of the Australians in need who have benefitted from your support. I would be happy to discuss if you would like to continue the conversation or have any further queries.

Hi Mr Chapman,

I understand that Mission Australia may well be 'inspired' by Jesus Christ, but all sorts of New Age movements and cults claim to be inspired by Him and also believe in our God in some form or another. But the critical difference is supposed to be that Christians see this God not just as our Creator, but also as our Redeemer. Thus our hope is in God's gift of salvation, not in material wealth and a stable life, which Mission Australia promotes as its vision.

Certainly Jesus' approach was to show acts of kindness first before teaching about the Good News. But Jesus’ vision was never to just eradicate material poverty through giving the lame able bodies and filling the stomachs of the starving. Rather these acts were mere vehicles to deliver medicine to cure the real problem of mankind; spiritual poverty.
I bring this to your attention because Christian organisations that neglect the Gospel will give the world the false impression that the Christian message focuses on material wealth rather than spiritual wealth, and that it is possible to rescue a man from his depressed state simply by restoring his material wealth. But Jesus clearly teaches that no amount of material possessions will ever make a person happy. Only spiritual riches with satisfy man's yearnings.

Why is it that suicides predominantly occur in rich nations? and why is it that statistics show that the professions which have the highest suicide rates are the ones which earn the highest amount money and are the most respected in society?
The reason is because material poverty is not what leads a man to suicidal despair, rather it is spiritual poverty that makes life not worth living.  Even amongst the people which I personally know who have taken their own lives or are in a suicidal state, none have been in material poverty.
Yet Mission Australia broadcasts the message (either consciously or subconsciously) that material sufficiency is the key to a happy life. Most importantly because you claim to be Christian, even though you “may not be a church” as you say, those people who are ignorant of the teachings of Christ will mistakenly attribute to Christianity in general that which Mission Australia teaches; that it is possible to rescue a man from his depressed state simply by restoring his material wealth.

Whether you like it or not you are responsible for the message that you broadcast, whether that message is consciously or subconsciously broadcast. All Christians are.

I would genuinely like to know what lead Mission Australia to have this 'vision'. Has the Gospel always been absent from your vision, or has Government regulation forced you to remove it?

Forgive me if I come across as a little confrontational, I am quite passionate about the revolutionary and uncompromising message of Christ. That is why I felt the need to write to Mission Australia. I understand that you are undoubtedly busy Mr Chapman, so do not feel obligated to reply. I just wanted to register my opinion with Mission Australia.


Timothy Philp


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