Australia

Scott Morrison urges churchgoers to put faith in God ‘not governments’ during church sermon

Scott Morrison addressed fellow worshippers at a Perth Pentecostal church at the weekend and told them to keep their faith in God, not the government, speaking as someone who has “been in it”.
“We trust in Him. We don’t trust in governments. We don’t trust in United Nations, thank goodness,” Mr Morrison said in the Sunday sermon.
“We don’t trust in all of these things, fine as they might be and as important as the role that they play. Believe me, I’ve worked in it, and they are important.
“But as someone who’s been in it, if you are putting your faith in those things, like I put my faith in the Lord, you are making a mistake. Firstly, they are fallible. I’m so glad we have a bigger hope.”
The former prime minister travelled to Perth on Sunday to celebrate the 27th birthday of the Pentecostal Victory Life Centre church, founded by controversial tennis star Margaret Court.
He asked the congregation how much faith they had, even through tests and hardship. Then, he applied it to himself and his May election loss. Mr Morrison remains the member for Cook and has been in federal parliament since 2007.
“Do you believe that if you lose an election that God still loves you and has a plan for you?” he asked to applause and laughter.
“I do. I still believe in miracles. God has secured your future, all of it. Yeah, even that bit.”

The moment appeared to reference his 2019 election victory speech, when he said: “I have always believed in miracles”.

In the 50-minute sermon, where he said he appeared “not as the member for Cook” or “the prime minister”, Mr Morrison shared a joke he had with former treasurer Josh Frydenberg, who is Jewish.
Citing the droughts, floods, fires and mice plague in New South Wales, he recalled a similar series of events referenced in Christianity and Judaism where Moses frees the Jewish people from persecution in Egypt after a sequence of plagues and disasters.
“…one day I was at the National Security Committee meeting of Cabinet and Josh Frydenberg — great friend — I turned to him I said: ‘Josh, I think it’s time we let your people go,’” he told the congregation.

“How God seeks to engage with us, it’s funny how that happens, isn’t it? That people in a secular sphere discover what we already know,” Mr Morrison later added.

Margaret Court and her church surrounded by controversy

Mr Morrison was hosted by fellow Pentecostal adherent and former world tennis number one, Margaret Court.
The 80-year-old was ordained into full-time ministry in 1991 and is now the Senior Pastor at the Victory Life Church which she founded in 1995. She won 24 singles grand slam titles during a stand-out career.
Court’s Victory Life Church was criticised in 2020 for telling its congregants they would not contract the coronavirus because they are protected by “the Blood of Jesus”.

“We are in agreement that this Convid-19 (sic) will not come near our dwelling or our church family,” a statement from the church said.

Margaret Court founded the Victory Life Church in 1995. Source: AAP / AAP/PA Wire

“We are praying daily for you, knowing that we are all protected by the Blood of Jesus.”

Court has long been a vocal critic of LGBTIQ+ rights and same-sex marriage in Australia, openly opposing same-sex marriage reforms in 2012.
She attracted further criticism in 2017 when she called for a boycott of Qantas, which was a corporate supporter of same-sex marriage. Her views have seen multiple calls for the Margaret Court Arena — part the of Melbourne Park complex which hosts the annual Australian Open tournament — to be renamed.
At the 2020 Australian Open, former players John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova unfurled a banner calling for the Margaret Court Arena to be renamed after fellow Australian tennis great Evonne Goolagong.

It came a day after Court was honoured on the 50th anniversary of her winning all four grand slams in one tennis calendar.

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