Making a Christian nation?


What makes a nation Christian? Many leaders are anxious about the significance of recent ABS figures that show are marked decline in the number of people self-identifying as Christian, reaching a record low of 52%. Among adults under 35 its below 40%.

In an effort to make Australia Christian again, leaders have responded to such information in two ways. Either they want to circle the wagons by focusing on their own doctrinal purity and moral capacity. Or they want to jazz up their worship to get more people through the door.

Reading Amos (5.18-24) I’m not sure that either approach is a good idea. Faithful people can’t simply live in a bubble or think the job is done because their services are perfect or full. What matters to God is that justice and living well rolls like a mighty and unstoppable river. Perhaps Australia has become less Christian because the church’s vision for fairness and caring about others has all silted up. If you want to find out how to get the river roaring again, why not stop past Basement this Sunday from 10am?





loveyourenemies1Jesus was an extremist. No wonder the authorities had him killed. What kind of guy promotes love rather than fear? Who bothers doing good when plotting harm gets you further? Who feeds the hungry when the rich pay better? Throwing stones at your enemies is way more fun than praying for them.

Jesus didn’t cook this up by himself. It grows up from the Old Testament especially from stories like Jonah. Sadly, most of us think only of Jonah as the guy who so lacked faith and courage that he ran away, got swallowed by a whale and then spewed up on a beach. In fact, Jonah was an ugly, vengeful and nasty patriot who did his darnest to see Israel’s enemies suffer, rot and perish. Only God has other plans. So why not come along to Basement this Sunday from 10am and explore how God wants to make the world better.


Kids church

tug-of-war-gameWho am I in God’s world?  The world is a big place and kids sometimes wonder about where they fit and how much they matter.

Basement seeks to be a church where kids are integral to who we are. So come along Kids’ Church this Sunday at Basement from 10am. It is an opportunity for us to get down, have fun and grow in faith together.


justicelandAustralians struggle to read the Old Testament. For generations, we’ve been told that it is only about creation vs science, order vs permissiveness, tradition vs the individual, judgement vs grace. Like a mad doctor, we’ve used everything to make it’s beating heart stop.

The reality is that justice is the Old Testament’s heartbeat. The rhythm is simply love in action. It is a story about grace and how God frees a bunch of good-for-nothing slaves to plant a different kind of vineyard in the world. But rather than grow justice, they preferred privilege and used old time religion to obfuscate and justify their kleptocracy (Isaiah 5). Jesus replanted the vineyard and when people can see that this place is for everyone, justice can’t help but flourish (Matt 20.1-16).

So why not unpack the defibulator, clean out the cholesterol and get a glimpse of the better story this Sunday at Basement from 10am?


faithfulnessHow healthy is your church? Is it full and flourishing? Or is it half empty and dry around the edges? What would turn it around?

Like Israel, it’s tempting to think that the church would do better if it only it worshipped rightly, sang louder or prayed harder.

Isaiah saw the problem differently (Isa 1.1-20). Israel’s task was to resemble God and be a blessing to the world. Yet the people preferred privilege and prancing to providing for those whom no one else cared about. Although their worship was right, their faithfulness reflected the wrong things. Why not come along to Basement from 10am and get a fresh glimpse of faithfulness for our world today.


newheaven What is the Australian dream? Many say the house on the quarter acre. For others, it is  bushside property or a job without knobs. I think our dreams are for something more and less. More peace. Less noise. More friendship. Less squabbling.

God has a dream too (Isaiah 65.17-25). God’s dream sounds like laughter. Everyone gets to live to a ripe old age. There is prosperity and security. There is action, reconciliation and justice too.

While our dreams are often characterised by withdrawal from a troublesome world, God has jumped in to show us a way through. Jesus builds a new heaven and a new earth from the inside out. And it all starts with us. Why not join us for some dreaming at Basement this Sunday from 10am?