Don't Mention the... Church

  (02 September 09)
  by Greg Spearritt

It’s September, so be prepared. Over the next 6 weeks, 90% of you – if all goes to plan – will be seeing a prime-time ad or billboard about Jesus at least ten times, courtesy of the Bible Society, local churches (including Catholics, Brethren and Hillsong) and a largely-tax-deductable $1.8 million. You might even be lucky enough to cop the “viral internet component” of the campaign.


One marker of success, as Bible Society chief executive Daniel Willis told The Age, will be a boost to regular church attendance in Australia (currently around 8%).


And yet the campaign (“Jesus. All about life”) was apparently designed to take our minds off church. Willis admitted:


Research showed us that people were not really happy about the church. When we started this research in 2003, all the problems that were associated with the church were being raised, and there was a lot of bad press. The church was anathema but Jesus was fine.


So be prepared to hear about “who Jesus is and what he actually said” and “the truth of the Bible” without, presumably, much mention of church (or of the Jesus Seminar, for that matter).





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