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Homophobia Driving Christians from Church, Says Australian Report

Homophobia Driving Christians from Church, Says Australian Report

One key reason why Australians reject Christianity is the Church’s attitude to gay people, new research suggests.

The research was commissioned by Christian media group Olive Tree Media, an organization which has grown from the work of Karl Faase, pastor of a Baptist church in Sydney’s southern suburbs. It found nearly nearly 30 per cent of all respondents said the stance of churches on homosexuality blocked them from engaging with Christianity.

This was a greater ‘blocker’ than ‘hell and damnation,’ the Church’s attitude to science and evolution or even the Bible.

The list of the top ten blockers also includes hypocrisy, judging others, religious wars, suffering, issues around money and exclusivity. The survey found that although Australians could separate the perpetrators of sexual abuse from religion, most felt churches needed to do a lot more to address the problem.

Faase said he was not surprised by the findings and told the West Australian that they showed that the Australian attitude of a ‘fair go for all’ was still strong.

A number of Australian churches, however, denied there is such a marked trend of people turning down Christianity.

Pastor Mike Kwok from the Fellowship Baptist Church in Sydney told The Christian Post he acknowledges the rising support for what he called ‘the homosexual agenda,’ but he does not believe the problem is so widespread nor that it causes a division among churchgoers.

“While I’m unaware of anyone turning away from a church because of that church’s position on homosexuality, it is only natural that someone who practices homosexuality will not come to our church because of our biblical position on the issue,” said Kwok.

The survey asked people to identify who influenced them the most when it came to religious belief with the dominant answers being parents and family, followed by mass media, social media and the internet.

“When we asked what impact high profile atheists such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens had on people’s beliefs, we were surprised to discover that three out of four said they had had no impact at all,” said Mark McCrindle from McCrindle Research which was commissioned by Olive Tree Media.

“The biggest turns-offs were public figures or celebrities discussing their faith. Whilst these methods are used in the United States, Australians are seemingly distrustful of the motives behind public declaration of religious beliefs,” McCrindle said.

“We will use the research to develop an Apologetics Series for television, DVD, web and radio. We plan on a 10 part series that looks at each of the top ten ‘blocker issues’ and gives an accessible response so that the average Australian can engage with the material and make an informed belief and lifestyle choice,” Faase said.

Most Australians do not actively practice any religion.

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Photo: Results from Olive Tree Media report

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9:40AM PST on Feb 14, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

8:05PM PST on Feb 24, 2012

Interesting, thank you.

10:01PM PST on Dec 5, 2011

whatever works...

8:42AM PST on Nov 28, 2011

Christopher M, if you're so worried about being a good christian here's an idea for you, DON'T BE GAY!!

1:38PM PST on Nov 25, 2011

Desparate, I notice..

9:52AM PST on Nov 25, 2011

Your Honor, counsel is being irrelevant.

11:55PM PST on Nov 24, 2011

So which part do you believe? Do you believe the bible commands you to do everything as stated? How about when you are told to do the exact opposite thing?

Matt 5:16 "In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." (NIV)

Matt 6:3-4 "But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." (NIV)

If you say, well, it's a matter of circumstance. Then you are right over in my territory where we actually read the bible and delve in for "what did they really mean" I know you want to wait until someone you like tells you what to think.. They already interpreted things their own way, or worse accepted another party's interpretation that just tumbled down to you, like the Catholic Masturbation fable, just something to keep people freaked out and guilty and most of all, Catholic. But now all the Protestants are just going about with the baggage

10:58PM PST on Nov 24, 2011

Not the most cogent rejoinder.

I hear you guys SAYING that you have read the bible, but you so plainly have not read it thoroughly, nor with any portion of you mind in active use... Well, either that or you were just saying to impress.

Do you also forbid bastards and guys who have had tubal ligation or severe groin injuries from having relationships? They are right up there with "no man on man". This is the problem You accept being told to frown on do not connect the dots to all the other Old Testament requirements that are just ignored. No to mention those that have been perverted to force meaning that were not original to the story. Sodom is all about the hospitality laws of desert peoples. Outside the context of desert living, we have lost sight of how forceful those laws were. There is no commandment against masturbation. The Catholic church just made that one up. The story they point to was about a widow being abused, tormented and disgustingly insulted, whereupon her abuser was struck dead. The story does not include any masturbation "so whenever he lay with his brother's wife, he spilled his semen on the ground" Buddy, that is called practicing the "withdrawal method". This guy is going ahead and having sex with the widow, then withdrawing JUST to show her he will never give her a child. He doesn't even have the decency not to use her for sex.

That brings us to the part where you believe everything means it is inerrant word of God. So which part

12:32AM PST on Nov 24, 2011

Your Honor, counsel is speculating.

10:38PM PST on Nov 23, 2011

I don't think that anyone in the bible said "and then they had sex" There are for the time, blunt references to their sexual activity, Saul excoriated Johnathan for his sexual relationship with David. Which, BTW, Johnathan did Not, fire back any negation to. The act of undressing and being with David was clear enough. Afterwards, David and Johnathan unusually sexual level of PDAs are severally mentioned. They didn't say this because the affectionate acts were those of "Just good friends", which were so normative that they would not have excited such regular special comment. They got comment, BECAUSE they far were more than just friends. When Johnathan died, again David's grief was that of that of a bereft and deeply commited spouse.

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