I decided to explore a bit more.
Exploration 1, there is a TV at work that has “cable” (actually I think it’s satellite). Foxtel. Even before the rise of streaming most Australians didn’t bother with cable, and, if they did, it was mostly for sports.
Actually, Rupert (speaking of unfortunate exports… sorry…) has seen the writing on the wall and repackaged the Foxtel sports channels as a much cheaper streaming service.
Anyway, I had a look. There are about five Christian channels there. Of the three that weren’t playing ads at the time I checked, one was playing a local Catholic mass, and two were playing really worrying “prosperity gospel” type stuff. One dude (American) ending every phrase with “ah chahchahchah”, like one of those street racer cars with the tweaked turbo gate/dump valves, as if he was just so filled with the Spirit that his mortal anatomy can barely contain it, and yet, what he’s actually saying doesn’t all seem to coincide with Scripture, so what am I to make of it? Which spirit actually fills him?
What actually challenged me most about this was how ok I was with the Catholic service. I have no recent history of liturgy, and, there is an extremely wide and deep social scar in Australia around historical clergy child sex abuse.
But although I found his purple gown unusual, the guy read out and affirmed what I guess is a named Creed, which I found genuinely consistent with the core of Christianity as I understand it from Scripture.
Exploration 2, I checked out the Australian Christian Lobby. Possibly the main front of that political/cultural weaponisation of Christianity in Australia.
This is possibly the best I saw from the current managing director: https://youtu.be/tz_YdLf2BkU
(Moderators might not like it due to the sexuality angle, edit if so, but, actually he swiftly diverts to a more general message.)
Looking at this guy, he makes many good points (not just in this video). I think the Lord is working through him. I don’t remember ever seeing the gospel message articulated on prime time Australian TV as he did here.
And yet, sorry, looking at his other stuff I cannot shake con-man / Pharisee vibes. I suspect discipleship is but a vehicle to political and cultural power for him and his ilk, which is absolutely counter to the gospel message as I understand it.
I could elaborate but I have crapped on enough for now.