The Census and what really counts.

August 4, 2016


What’s with christian campaigns like this one to try and convince people who ‘hold christian values’ to tick the christian box on the Census instead of ‘no religion’? I know they are a counter to the campaign that is promoting ‘tick no religion’ – but there we go again, with the christian reaction to threat to power, rather than confidence in a whole other kingdom.

Surely the call of this campaign to boost affiliation is something that christians should abhor? Aren’t we asked to carefully consider the cost of following Jesus, to reject coercion, and refrain from surface affiliation “holding to the outward form of godliness but denying its power”. Don’t we reject the diminishing interpretation of christianity as simply moral therapeutic deism?

The ‘why is it important?’ spiel on the OliveTree Media campaign blatantly advocates boosting census data on the rationale that this will ensure there are federal $$$ for ‘christian’ interests. Where is the moral credibility in that?
I’m frankly pretty embarrassed by this.

I’m a life-long follower of Jesus, I believe, like Bill Hybels, that the local church (the vulnerable, cruciform, servant body of Christ) is the hope of the world. I don’t think that protected public funding and political power and cultural majorities are the hope of the world.
Government $$$ are not what we need.
Stacking the numbers to appear more christian isn’t what we need.

Doesn’t this cause confusion about what the gospel actually is and says and calls us to?

Truth-telling. Integrity. Humility. Giving up our power.
Is this not the way of Jesus? Or am I in the wrong religion?


  1. Amen.

  2. You are simply brilliant Beth

  3. “Thou shalt not bear false witness” is always the first one to get thrown into the bin when it becomes inconvenient.

  4. oh yes!! you’ve hit the nail on the head. thank you

    • Thanks, Karen. The resource that we need most is disciples of Jesus who are equipped and bold and wise and consistent in actually proclaiming the gospel in word and deed. Although I’m bewildered at this census campaign I’m encouraged by God’s gracious provision of intelligent, steady, worded-up champions like yourself!

  5. I couldn’t agree more. All the campaign to “tick the Christian box” does, is encourage people to lie. That’s not Godly, not Christian, and gives more glorified power to to those in authority.

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