4 April 2012
The new President of the NSW Council of Churches has called on all Australians to reconsider the relevance and truth of the Easter story as the new atheist movement continues its destructive attacks on faith but fails to commend a life-affirming alternative.
“With the new atheist movement mounting a sustained and aggressive challenge in Australia to the Christian gospel and the witness of the church, it’s timely for Christians to speak into society and commend the role of faith in the community,” NSW Council of Churches President, the Revd Dr Ross Clifford AM, said.
“The values of Christianity are the central social values of Australia today. An overwhelming majority of Australian charities began as a practical expression of Christian faith. At Easter, it is worth reminding ourselves of the positive role of faith, not only for our personal lives but also for the health and strength of our communities and our nation,” Dr Clifford said.
“In the death and resurrection of Jesus, we find a model of loving our neighbour, servanthood and forgiveness that empowers our personal lives and community. The resurrection of Jesus shows that God is concerned about the whole person, as the grave could not contain him. It is essential that we continue to live out these values in our community, and remind our community of the strength of the Easter message.”
Dr Clifford also said he believed a majority of Australians understood that the Easter message was not just a good story, but was true – it happened in history.
“It is therefore vital at this time that churches and Christians explain the fact that Jesus died and rose from the grave as a historical event, set out in reliable Gospels that challenge and inspire us all,” Dr Clifford said.
“We as a nation do not need a godless society, but one based on the foundation and values of the risen Christ,” he said.
Media contact Rod Benson 0412 421 678 or Ross Clifford 0417 685 201