Vol.VIII No.V Pg.2
July 1971

American Influence

Robert F. Turner

Americans have a tendency to judge everything by American standards, so that it is right only if done the way we do it. We are less cosmopolitan than Europeans, because we have not been forced, by geography, to rub shoulders with a multitude of different customs. To some extent the vastness and separateness of Australia has thus affected her people, especially in those areas more cut off from world -trade centers.

So, basic British customs of worship, attitudes toward money, etc., have taken on distinctive Australian dress, and resist change. When a colloquially tuned American tries to Americanize an Australian church, the sparks may fly. Exactly the same thing would take place here, if their preachers tried to Australianize an American church.

Now, to this mixture add liberal U.S. preachers, seeking to impose the current churchhood projects, social activities, Campaign ballyhoo and worship program techniques upon a people who have but recently come out of the Associated church (Christian Church) because of these very things, and you get the Australian picture.

Todays Australia is a challenging field for conservative preachers who are capable of distinguishing between inconsequential customs and scriptural principles — and who have patience to teach this difference to others. A few spiritually mature men could help faithful Australian saints shape the course of history there. Money to support conservative Australian men will help, but this is not enough.

Self-sacrificing examples are needed; the Australian saints need to see that not all American churches have bowed the knee to Abilene or Nashville — that conservative churches do indeed seek to spread the gospel afar and do not need Associated tactics to do it. The American Influence must become Christ at work in us.

This months Quote page concerns American Influence of a past age. I was surprised to learn that Americans had checked early efforts to make the Conference decisions binding on the churches of Australia, I was NOT surprised to see that so long as the Association meetings continued, and the principle of collective action was generally accepted, the move toward denominationalism continued.

One reader thought my printing of quotes meant endorsement of all the article taught. Not so! Specifically, I do not believe a church may operate a secular school. (May—June Quote.)