The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ died and was buried on a certain day in Bethlehem, but some Christians think it’s not accurate.
They’re suggesting the story is actually fictional and not the real deal.
Read moreThe story was first put forward by Reverend Daniel Sargent in a sermon last year, but it has gained momentum since then, prompting a backlash from Christian groups.
A church in Victoria’s south-east, the Gospel Church, has launched an investigation and will be reviewing its policies for “the safety of all of our members”.
It is a “fraught issue for the church and the wider community”, the Gospel church said.
“This is an issue that concerns us, not just as a church but also as a community,” it said in a statement.
“We feel that there is a very serious possibility that this story is fiction, and that it has no basis in reality.”
It comes amid a wave of controversy about Christianity in Australia, which is widely viewed as a Protestant Christian religion.
Its adherents are often called “Christian fascists”, but the term has been misconstrued to mean anyone who follows the teachings of the Christian church.
The Gospel Church has not responded to requests for comment.
Mr Sargend said his “belief is that Jesus did indeed die and was laid to rest” in Bethlehem on July 15, AD 541.
But it was not a conventional burial.
“That is the only burial we’ve seen,” he said.
It was believed that Jesus was buried in a large tomb, with a large crucifix in his left hand and a wooden cross in his right.
Mr Russell, a former churchgoer and current associate pastor at the church, said the story was a “piece of fiction” created to “demonise Christianity”.
“This church does not believe in any other religions,” he told ABC Radio Melbourne.
“We have never believed in any religions.”
It is just a piece of fiction to be believed by those who would use it as a tool to discredit Christianity.
“He said the church had no way of checking the authenticity of the story because it was “not part of our doctrine”.”
We’re not in a position to investigate, so the only way we can know is if it’s true or not is to look at what the bible says about it,” he added.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation said it was unaware of any church investigation into the matter.
An investigation into claims that Jesus died in Bethlehem is underway by the ABC’s Christianity program.