They’re at it again. The nameless, faceless pseudonyms at churchwatchcentral have contrived an article based on the misrepresentation of a word to lay false accusations against the Church using another article from a secular magazine.

I pointed out that most C3 adherents who knew anything about churchwatchcentral’s ongoing, constant, repetitive criticism (which would be very, very few), ‘ignored or yawned at the misinformation’ put out by them.

See that? They ‘ignored or yawned at the misinformation’. ‘Misinformation’. Nothing else. No person. Just ‘misinformation’.

So churchwatchcentral, as they do, convert this to C3 pastors everywhere ‘yawned and moved on’ at the plight of upset former parishioners. This is a blatant mistruth and misrepresentation of what was said. Shameless.

They compound their false accusation with another false assumption.

When C3 members and former C3 pastors express great sadness at the thought that ‘nothing will change’, we know we are truly are dealing with a cult – a cult defended by those who perhaps seek to rise up through the ranks…

churchwatchcentral

Do you see how their minds work? Take a word, a phrase, a sentence, and reconstruct it to fit their narrative. Add the term ‘cult’ and you have an additional false narrative.

No one is saying ‘nothing will change’. The article was saying that it is wisdom to ignore misinformation.

So. Has anything changed in the 40 years of C3 and Hillsong existence?

Everything changes but the gospel

The truth is that over the years, much has changed. The way Australian ministries do church has changed radically. The very laws that govern churches under the not-for-profits act ensure that churches, as with other associations, come under strict governance rules, are audited and are overseen by government bodies that have to be complied with.

Which was entirely the thrust of the statement made by C3 in response to the programs put out by ACA which made some claims that were clearly uninformed.

The reality is that everything has changed in the Australian church landscape over the course of the last twenty years or so. There were mistakes made in the past that cannot be made today without the highest of scrutiny.

Errors of judgment and wrong moves or motives are bad and should be avoided, but where they have taken place we have to deal with them, learn from them and be repentant. The not-for-profit sector in general, including churches, whilst mostly dependable and good, is not immune from mistakes.

There are more stringent protections for churches, church members and church leaders than ever before. It is for the better.

Hopefully, this is not the end of the change. There will be other issues addressed as we go forward. The prayer should be that these changes will be fair and equitable for all parties and that they will not overhaul Christians’ dependency on the Word of God in all things.

Secular pressure

Churches are under pressure from many angles, and this will be the case until Jesus returns. The media is interested especially in those churches that are successful and prospering. That is why churches have had to be far more circumspect in the age of media instancy. The media has an issue with money.

Prosperity is a major issue. Many in the secular world, despite their atheism or agnosticism, seem to be under the impression that churches should be joyless, financially poor institutions where only the superstitious find solace.

Some hate the fact that churches are tax-exempt. They are sadly ignorant of the fact that churches are financially supported by the freewill offerings of members who have already paid their taxes to the government and are now free to contribute to whomever they choose, including giving any amount they desire to their local church to support its enterprise and facilitation.

The members own the association. Through the 2000s the government increasingly saw to this in the various constitutions of churches. To tax the church would be to double tax the adherents.

All churches come under these financial requirements and are audited annually. C3 is no different.

C3 Church has robust governance policies in place regarding remuneration of Pastors which extends to the remuneration of Ps Phil Pringle. All remuneration is set by an independent board of Directors and the quantum is benchmarked to organisations of a comparable size in the Education sector and he is paid the equivalent of a Headmaster’s salary.

C3 Church complies with the disclosure guidelines articulated by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC).

C3 has a regular program of giving to important causes which over the past 7 years has seen more than $3.6 million donated to external causes.

C3 Media Response

Will you ever find details of financial requirements for not-for-profits outlined in the blogs of the critics? Who knows? Do they bypass these essential laws for not-for-profits because they are inconvenient to their narrative? Did they even understand how the not-for-profit sector is governed by the state?

Safeguarding

There is a major move towards safeguarding in all Australian churches. Indeed the government is setting up an avenue for all not-for-profits to sign up to. Whether they do or don’t sign up to this is down to each individual C3 church, by the way.

They are autonomously run, not governed by a central body, although they sign up to common goals and oversight. All Australian churches, however, have embraced safeguarding as a priority, whether it is government inspired or not. Some may find that the government device doesn’t go far enough.

C3 Church takes the safety of Children as of paramount importance and has robust policies and procedures in place regarding the protection of Children.

The deadline to ‘opt in’ to the National Redress Scheme is June 2020.

The C3 Church movement comprises a number of autonomous churches operating under the C3 umbrella: each church operates as an independent entity with its own pastor and governance arrangements including a board.

Each church has been encouraged to consider its response to the National Redress Scheme.

C3 Church is evaluating the best way for churches within the C3 Church movement to meet best practice guidelines with respect to child protection, including but not limited to whether to ‘opt in’ to the National Redress Scheme.

C3 Church is in advanced discussions with its insurer, ACS Mutual, about a mechanism for individual C3 Churches to ‘opt in’ to the National Redress Scheme via ACS.

C3 Media Response

So, beware of misinformation. Change is happening as we speak. Everything is changing but the gospel message.

Change is good. Change is necessary. Change is constant.

What doesn’t change is the churchwatchcentral barrage of discontent and inability to understand context or content.

Sela.