Scott Morrison has told a Perth congregation that “the Christian journey is not a linear one” and warned of an “increasingly hostile” world, in a sermon during which he claimed he “stepped down” as prime minister.
The member for Cook was asked to preach at the Encounter City Church on Sunday in a service commemorating its 50th anniversary, resulting in a 20-minute sermon with occasional reflections on his time as prime minister.
In praise of the virtue of “faithfulness”, Morrison said that God has “a way of reminding us … who’s in charge and it’s not us – thank God for that”.
The statement of his belief in humanity’s limited agency over worldly affairs echoes comments he made to Margaret Court’s church in 2022 that “we trust in [God], we don’t trust in governments, we don’t trust in the United Nations, thank goodness”.
Morrison told the congregation that people “have our views and our ideas, and some of them will be great and some of them will be terrible” but God would “sort that out”.
“Sometimes there’s a bit of a temptation at events like this and we look back and judge, ‘wasn’t that all great?’
“It all went so easily, didn’t it? … It was just simple. There were no problems … There were no difficult people, the council always did the right thing. The politicians were great.
“No. The Christian journey is not linear. Ever. I know. It’s up, it’s down, it’s around.”
Morrison served as prime minister from August 2018 until May 2022, winning one election he described as a “miracle” in 2019 before losing the 2022 poll.
Morrison referred to the aftermath of that election defeat as the time “after I stepped down as prime minister” – technically accurate as Morrison resigned within days to allow Anthony Albanese to be sworn in early to attend an international summit as prime minister.
Morrison argued that what God does “is for that time” and warned that to hope “he does that again” is “not how it works”.
“God doesn’t just take what he’s given you in the past and go ‘would you like another helping just of that?’
“God knows what’s needed for those challenges when they come. And they will. Even if you don’t.
“And especially in the world today, which is increasingly hostile and more overt about it. For us as believers, I think it’s important for us to stand and to hold fast.”
Morrison began the sermon spruiking for the re-election of Wanneroo mayor Linda Aitken, the former Liberal candidate for Pearce.
Morrison said: “This isn’t a political message, but new church buildings need building and development approvals. [If] you want to see the favour on that approval, vote one Linda Aitken.”
“I can do that, you can’t do that,” he joked to Aitken.
Despite expectations that Morrison could retire as an MP this year if he obtained a suitable private sector job, colleagues believe that adverse findings in the robodebt royal commission, which he rejects, have caused him to dig in.
Morrison has offered his services on the international speaking circuit, citing his handling of natural disasters, Covid-19 and speaking about the rise of China.
Morrison has declared on his register of interests that he has received a royalties advance for a book that will discuss his faith and how it influenced his prime ministership, to be released in 2024.
The 288-page book, Plans for Your Good – A Prime Minister’s Testimony of God’s Faithfulness – will be published by Thomas Nelson, a division of HarperCollins Christian Publishing.
The publisher’s website blurb for the book says it “offers a unique insider’s account of a Christian who was open about his faith and operated at the top level of politics for more than a decade”.
“During one of the toughest periods since the Second World War, covering drought, wildfires, a global pandemic and recession, he chronicles God’s faithfulness throughout, win or lose, public criticism or public success.
“Less political memoir and more pastoral encouragement, Morrison is passionate about encouraging others to discover how they can access and see the many blessings of God in their own lives, no matter their circumstances, drawing on Jeremiah 29:11, that God’s plans are for our good and not our harm, to give us a future and a hope.”
The former Liberal leader sets out a series of questions such as “Who am I?” and “How should I live?”
“Morrison’s honest, vulnerable and reflective answers offers a unique lens to better understand your relationship with God and the blessing that can flow from such a relationship,” the blurb states.
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