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“Apathy to the Gospel increasingly common”

22 July 2004

“Apathy to the Gospel increasingly common” – Cardinal

“Apathy to the Christian Gospel, or even outright rejection is increasingly common in many western countries, including New Zealand,” said Cardinal Thomas Williams addressing an interdenominational congregation in Upper Hutt on National Bible Sunday

Referring to his recent widely-publicised statement which challenged a culture in New Zealand in which morality is reduced to purely subjective preference, he said his stance was nothing new.

“But somehow I must have touched a raw nerve,” he said. “The many and varied responses I received did not cause me to worry and even if all the responses had been negative, I would say exactly the same thing again.

“My statement concerned the relevance of the Gospel message for today’s society. It was solidly based on our conviction that the fullness and depth of humanity and community can only be found with the help of biblical revelation.”

The Cardinal, who is President of The Bible Society in New Zealand, said that the message of the Bible is neither neutral nor is it value-free.

“The Bible is a double-edged sword. While it contains the message of our salvation in Christ Jesus and the promise for the Kingdom of God, it also asks for a change of heart, a turn-around, a conversion.

“That’s discipleship, and it’s costly.

“It is costly in calling us to change and it is costly in our calling others to change,” said Cardinal Williams.


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