Census night is upon us, and there’s been some confusion as to what to put for those of us who are non-denominational. Our church, SLE Church, doesn’t have a particular denomination and a few of our members have been wondering how to mark the census form appropriately.
Here’s my simple take: Fill in the ‘Other’ category and simply put ‘Christian’.
Part of the reason for this is that this is simply the truth. Our church is neither Baptist, nor Anglican nor any of the other options available. And while many of us (including your pastors) have a particular theological position within Christendom (ie Reformed Evangelical) it’s not overly helpful to place this down. Here’s why: the purposes for which the data is used.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics most of the date is often used by governments to sort out planning and administration. The more that people simply put down ‘Christian’ the larger that population becomes. If you put down ‘Reformed Evangelical’ in the eyes of the ABS the population of ‘Christian’ decreases. If you’ve already done that, no sweat. Next time around we’ll know what to do :)
On what you should put down for your children, well Michael Jensen has a nice op-ed piece in the Sydney Morning Herald. That’s really up to you what you put down, and I think the aim is to be honest.
What are your thoughts on what to put down and why? Put them in the comments below.