Am I the only one lamenting
the recent announcement that Holden Commodores and Ford Falcons will cease
production in Australia in 2016? Actually I am not really lamenting the demise of Falcons. My
father drove Holden’s (except for one Ford that would never start in the rain)
and for most of my driving life I have followed the family tradition. The
statistics explain the demise of these once loved cars. In 2000, actually the
production year of my current Commodore, over 90000 were sold. That year about
70,000 Falcons tried hard to compete with Holden superiority. (To be fair Ford
did have a rare win at Bathurst that year). In 2012 Commodore sales dropped to
30,000 and Falcons below 15,000. Logic would suggests that more economical
smaller four cylinder cars replaced big Australian six cylinder cars .
Statistics suggest that even bigger 4 wheel drives are the real reason behind
the demise of an Australian motoring institution.
In business you don’t want
to be a sunset industry, one that has seen the peak and boom and is now facing
terminal decline. Running a video shop is obviously tenuous. Some even fear that retail in general is
facing an uncertain future in an online world. With a recent 30% drop in its
share price some are even suggesting the mighty Apple Computer Company, post
Steve Jobs, is looking shaky.
A question many also ponder
is whether the Christian Church is a sunset industry in an era when faith is in
terminal decline. Certainly the stats are not encouraging. One commentator
recently claimed that not only do the majority of Australians not attend church
but now the majority of Australians don’t even know anyone who attends church.
A little understanding of
history might give a little more hope. The church’s history is longer than any
product and most industries. Since its founding over 2000 years ago the
gathering of Christians into groups called churches has waxed and waned. Repeatedly,
the external threat of many kinds aided by self-inflicted wounds of corruption
and abuse threatened the church with extinction. Renewal however has often
sprung from the most remote of places, working at times through the most
unlikely of people as the side effects of godlessness and the despair of
atheism are painfully discovered.
Faith is not a fad but a
The church is not an
industry but a gathering of a remnant who dare to stand against the predominate
culture of unbelief.
The sun will set, but the
God who created it neither sleeps nor slumbers.
“He will not let your foot slip — he who watches over you will not
slumber; indeed, he who watches over God’s people will neither slumber nor
sleep.” Psa. 121:3-4.