England and Wales Now Minority Christian Nations

Discussion in 'The Commons' started by Carolinian, Nov 29, 2022.

  1. Carolinian

    Carolinian Active Member Anglican

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  2. Br. Thomas

    Br. Thomas Active Member

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  3. youngfogey

    youngfogey Member

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    Not too surprising.
    My guess is at this point the "nones," "no religion," are mostly still just a fancy way of saying "people who don't go to church anymore."

    This will be serious if you have a majority born and raised in another religion or no religion, true "nones."

    My feeling is Humanists UK want to eradicate religion, not just defending the freedom not to worship and live-and-let-live.
     
  4. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    This should be a "wake up" call to all UK Christians. Get out there and share your faith with the people you meet. Distribute Gospel tracts. Do something for the Kingdom of God.
     
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  5. youngfogey

    youngfogey Member

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    @Rexlion, of course the British here can answer this better than I can, as I'm a foreigner who lived in the mother country long ago, but after the Reformation and the Civil War, plus unbelief since the Enlightenment for the upper classes and the Industrial Revolution disrupting village life, British people don't talk about religion in public in order to keep the peace. At its best, politeness, a form of that famous English reserve, respecting your freedom. A hard habit to break.
     
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  6. AnglicanAgnostic

    AnglicanAgnostic Well-Known Member

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    My guess would be the other way round, no religion means just that- no religion. I suspect a significant number say Christian when in effect they aren't and just equate being Christian to being a good person.
    Again I suspect this is wrong. If I was a humanist( not the Erasmus variety :) ) and perhaps I am one, and joined a Humanist society, I wouldn't try to stop you having your views.
    I usually put no religion on my census form, and I have no problem with people here having their views. I say usually because I ticked Anglican and Catholic last time after the census people ignored my written request to change Catholic to the more correct Roman catholic.

    Perhaps the nearest we have in NZ to a humanist society is the Skeptics Society and they are broad minded enough to invite a well known tele psychic to be the guest speaker at their general meeting.
    The skeptics seem quite understanding, They said how does this sound--If you want your crops to grow later, plant them at night during the new moon when the harmonics are at their lowest.
    Sounds like B.S. doesn't it.
    But then they said how does this sound ?--If you want your crops to grow earlier plant them in the full sunlight, when the flash of sunlight on the seeds will cause them to germinate earlier.
    This is correct there is an unwritten convention that you don't talk about politics and religion at dinner parties etc. sometimes it is even overtly stated.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2022
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  7. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    In the U.S., it used to be commonly said that one didn't talk about religion, politics, or money, in social settings. I can think of one or two things that could probably be added to that list today. One thing I don't want to see is more people doing door-to-door evangelism. That tactic is beyond annoying.
     
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  8. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I would be willing to annoy people to eternal life. Jesus never said, "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel only to those whose societal norms don't look down on talking about religion." Frankly, if one person asks another if he believes in God or if he knows where he'll be spending eternity, the other person is always able to say, "I don't want to talk about that," and that's the end of it; but if the Holy Spirit has been preparing that other person's heart to hear and the first person is too "sensitive" to bring up the most important topic on earth for the benefit of the other person, we should ask whether the first person is indeed committing a serious sin of omission. Which is more important, to avoid sin or to avoid offending someone's sensibilities?

    Anyway, if people are that touchy about "religion," the obvious solution is printed material. The person who sees it is free to indulge his curiosity or not. There can't be anything "impolite" about leaving Gospel tracts. Timid, closet Christians can at least use the "silent preachers" to do what they should be doing themselves.

    BTW, no one has suggested "door to door evangelism." Why must some people always zero in on the most extreme example they can think up?
     
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  9. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    None of us ‘knows’ where we will ‘spend eternity’. (The doctrine of assurance is a Baptist doctrine, not an Anglican one.) The most efficient way to hand out physical tracts is to go door-to-door, though obviously there are other methods. The guys holding up signs at street corners just look like nuts. Nobody takes them seriously, and they don’t have a meaningful impact on anyone. If one is looking to have a positive impact on people in a way that attracts them to one’s message, employing methods that are either irritating or just ineffective at best doesn’t sound like a winning solution. That’s all I’m saying. My earlier comments weren’t directed at you specifically.

    More broadly, I’m not sure there’s that much evidence that the English people in general have been terribly religious since the Reformation. These census data are just bringing to light realities that have been present for far longer than previous censuses would have led us to believe.

    The full quotation of the final verses of Matthew gives us a clue as to what spreading the Gospel was actually meant to look like:

    And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”
    There’s nothing there about having ‘right beliefs’, and no nonsense about “asking Jesus into your heart” (a phrase and concept that never occurs anywhere in the NT). The mission is to obey commandments and to teach others to do so, after baptizing them. Identifying the specific commandments he was referring to should go a long toward finding the answer to the evangelism question.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2022
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  10. AnglicanAgnostic

    AnglicanAgnostic Well-Known Member

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    I know the 1851 religious census held in conjunction with the general census, suggested that less than 50% of British people went to church. I suspect most people would have thought it would have been higher.
     
  11. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    Not too surprising. I suspect the numbers in America at that time were even lower than that.
     
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  12. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    We need boldness like this:

     
  13. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Rom 8:1-2 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
    Rom 8:14-17 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

    I'm not sure why you brought up "assurance" since no one else mentioned it. No one here has said that we can have absolute assurance of our destiny; after all, we cannot know for certain if we will apostasize in our lifetimes. However, Scripture does tell us that the Holy Spirit testifies to our reborn, renewed spirits that we are His children, and so long as we persevere in the faith we truly can have confidence that God will in no wise cast us out. By this inner witness, a Christian can and should know that, were he to die today, he will surely enter into the presence of His heavenly Lord.

    Paul penned this to all the faithful in Christ Jesus:
    Eph 1:3-14 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

    2Co 1:21-22 And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

    You see, the "doctrine of assurance" is not a Baptist doctrine, it is a Bible doctrine. Any person who calls himself a Christian but lacks this inner witness of guarantee and assurance (the Holy Spirit assuring him that he belongs to God) should examine whether he is truly trusting in Christ's redemption.
     
  14. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    It's really more efficient to stand in a public area and offer tracts to passers-by. Leaving tracts where they may be found and read is also reasonably practical, though not exactly efficient. But any tract distribution is more effective than no distribution.
     
  15. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    What's really remarkable is the number of straw men you threw up in a single comment! :laugh: Allergic reaction, perhaps? :rolleyes:
     
  16. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    More remarkable still, is that they aren’t straw men. :cool:
     
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  17. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    You said above that you thought it was worth annoying people in order to ask them if they knew “where they would spend eternity”. What else is that supposed to mean, other than an allusion to the doctrine of assurance? Regardless of what you think the Bible means, Christians have not historically understood it the way you are describing. One is to have confidence that the grace communicated in the sacraments is real and effective when it is received, but this does not mean that grace cannot be lost in the future. To have “assurance” in that sense is to have absolute faith in one’s own contingent future acts. You make it sound as though belief in the doctrine of assurance is the evidence of assurance to everyone else. That is not Anglican teaching.
     
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  18. PDL

    PDL Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I think a good way to proselytise is to set a good example.

    I know someone who went to church twice per week and was quite involved in things. The only person from church who visits this person now is the rector. People this person considered friends do not go near and they have not been asked to stay away. This person's non-church going friends have noted and commented on this. It gives people the idea that those who say they are Christians are hypocrites.

    People could defend this with words anyway they want. The absence of those visitors is very stark. Actions speak much louder than words. It is not enough to give out tracts or try to engage with people by talking to them about our faith. We need to do things that demonstrate good examples.
     
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  19. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    You misquote me. I never said "it was worth annoying people in order to ask them if they knew “where they would spend eternity”." You managed to string together two separate things. But admittedly, asking that question is one way which might (or might not) annoy any given person. There are others, such as:
    Do you believe in a Creator of all that we see?
    What do you think happens to us when we die?
    Do you think we're all here in this life by accident?
    etc.

    What you've missed is the fact that many (perhaps most) people think they will spend eternity covered with grass, forever unconscious to the world. (Yet you make an unnecessary leap to "doctrine of assurance.") Another sizable portion think they will spend eternity with God, but for the wrong reasons: they believe all roads lead to God, or they believe they're earning their way in to God because their good deeds in life outweigh their bad deeds. The question is a good one for locating what the person's beliefs are and where he is spiritually. (If the person answers, "Yes, I'm sure I will be in heaven with Jesus," maybe we've come across a Baptist!)
     
  20. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    This is the portion of your posts above that I was primarily responding to:
    Given your own linking of the issues, I think it's a bit of a stretch (at best) to say that I "misquoted" you. But I do take your point, viz., that such questions can act as an 'icebreaker' by locating where they stand on the issue of the afterlife.