05 August 2016

Which Religion on the census?


On Tuesday in homes and flats all across Australia, each person is required to fill out the census form. We do this every five years like clockwork. A person who is spending the night, who usually lives elsewhere, has to fill out the census at your house! As a result of the information, which finally we are able to submit online for the first time this year, the government will establish all kinds of programs and reevaluate what they have used in the past.

Everyone is required to be counted, and there are pages and pages of information to submit. Only one question is not mandated to answer. That is, what is your religion? I find this most interesting. They want to gather data on so many topics, including our genealogy, our work, our residence, our interests, but not our religion.

I show my form here so you can be encouraged to fill yours out in a similar way. You will notice that Judaism is not listed as one of the options. If that be so, then Messianic Judaism will certainly not be listed. But we need to be counted. All Jews who believe in Jesus as Messiah are "messianic Jews" and as such, we should call ourselves that. Most in government, and most on Facebook and most around the world haven't sorted out the meaning of this phrase. So we have a lot to teach.

In Israel, when I was there last month, a couple different people told me that "messianic Jews" are those Haredi, the ultra-Orthodox who want to kick the Muslims off the Temple mount and rebuild the Temple. I tried to explain that I was a messianic Jew, but not one of the Haredi. I'm not sure that I clarified it very well to those men. But maybe you will understand it when I say "A Messianic Jew is a Jewish person who believes Jesus is the Messiah." That's as difficult and as simple as I can make it.

Now some messianic Jews attend Anglican, Catholic, Presbyterian or any number of other churches. That's fine for them, but for the census, we should consolidate our name, make that known among the Australian Board of Statistics (ABS).

MESSIANIC JEWISH... write it in this year. OK? It will beg the question and you and I will get a chance to keep answering who is who in 'our religion.'

No comments: