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Thread: Latest British Social Survey finds 52% of the Country are non Religious

  1. #101

    Re: Latest British Social Survey finds 52% of the Country are non Religious

    Quote Originally Posted by truthpaste View Post
    The british press wouldn't acknowledge this, however an average of 16,000 Muslims convert to Christianity each and every day, and that's not Christian religion, that's Christianity.
    Why would the British press acknowledge this? The vast majority of people donít care about religion and their growth rates in different countries. Weíre no longer a majority Christian or Religious country.
    If your stat is true or not it doesnít change that Islam is the quickest growing in other parts of the world.

  2. #102

    Re: Latest British Social Survey finds 52% of the Country are non Religious

    Quote Originally Posted by Canton Kev View Post
    Why would the British press acknowledge this? The vast majority of people donít care about religion and their growth rates in different countries. Weíre no longer a majority Christian or Religious country.
    If your stat is true or not it doesnít change that Islam is the quickest growing in other parts of the world.
    Because we have moved from being a Christian country to an anti-Christian country during the last 50 years.
    As for your stats, few are converting TO Islam as a choice, many are being born at high rates into Muslim families.

  3. #103

    Re: Latest British Social Survey finds 52% of the Country are non Religious

    Quote Originally Posted by truthpaste View Post
    Because we have moved from being a Christian country to an anti-Christian country during the last 50 years.
    As for your stats, few are converting TO Islam as a choice, many are being born at high rates into Muslim families.
    It's not that we moved to an anti Christian country , it's that people these days think it's all bollocks

    Islam is a more encompassing , cultural religion but that's bollocks as well

  4. #104

    Re: Latest British Social Survey finds 52% of the Country are non Religious

    Quote Originally Posted by truthpaste View Post
    Because we have moved from being a Christian country to an anti-Christian country during the last 50 years.
    As for your stats, few are converting TO Islam as a choice, many are being born at high rates into Muslim families.
    So why would the British press report on it?
    Again, that doesnít change anything I said.

    Iím not quite sure what your point is? Would we be better off as a Christian country in your mind?

  5. #105

    Re: Latest British Social Survey finds 52% of the Country are non Religious

    Interesting topic - I do like the religious ones.

    I don't think we have become anti-Christian. I think Christianity has changed in the sense of it has become more polarised.

    When I grew up and went to church - politics was never discussed, I never heard any anti-gay stuff and the church was welcoming to refugees and other minorities. In a crisis the church used to be the first on the front line... handing out food, helping out, providing support.

    To be clear.... some churches still do that, quietly getting on with things. My brother belongs to a church in Cardiff that get on with those things.

    However, there was a change in the 1990's and 2000's where I saw a lot of churches start to embrace politics... anti-gay, anti-immigration etc. To the point where it become their ONLY issues.

    That sadly remains today... I'll give you an example, I was accidentally left on a CC email where churches are encouraged to write to, lobby and demonstrate AGAINST the Welsh Assemblies plan to criminalize 'conversion therapy'. The practices of forcing children and adults into a dangerous programme to make them 'Un-Gay'. A practice that should be banned and is very dangerous.

    When I looked at the website link in the email it was full of bile nonsense without an ounce of compassion or humanity.

    When I looked at the email list.... old middle class angry daily mail reading white males with nothing better to do. **** em.

    No wonder people are sunning the church. I have... despite being a believer. Jesus was also probably first out of the door.

    So I absolutely do not want the country to be a Christian country if it is anything like these ****ing morons.

  6. #106

    Re: Latest British Social Survey finds 52% of the Country are non Religious

    Quote Originally Posted by AfricanBluebird View Post
    I actually agree. A day where things are a bit more relaxed and people can carve out some time with their families is a great thing.

    I once got stuck in a lift with some Orthodox Jews in Israel on the Sabbath. King David Hotel. Lifts on the Sabbath in Israel stop at every floor so orthodox Jews don't have to press the buttons .. that is seen as 'work'. Anyway, the doors wouldn't open. There was an override switch. They weren't allowed to press it. Their previous indifference demeanor towards me soon turned a little more kindly as they looked at me so I would press the ****ing button. I made them wait a few minutes before I did. What utter nonsense.
    I understand that some orthodox Jews turn on slow cookers the day before their Sabbath in order to avoid using electricity on the day itself. For my part, I flew to Tel Aviv on an EasyJet flight whose passengers were predominantly Orthodox Jews - and it was strange to see ladies, both young and old, dispensing with what turned out to be wigs for the duration of the flight and seeing them re-adorn them over their own hair before landing. For some reason, a sizeable proportion of the men spent the flight standing up chatting to their friends and family and dispensing crisps, snacks, cheesy puffs and the like - and when they returned to their seats before landing the carpet of the plane was like the floor of a hamster cage.

    I hope that the screed above doesn't misrepresent any particular branch of orthodoxy or the people as a whole.

    Some of the Orthodox food laws (kashrut) are particularly interesting:

    Land animals must have cloven (split) hooves and must chew the cud, meaning that they must eat grass.
    Seafood must have fins and scales. Eating shellfish is not allowed.
    It is forbidden to eat birds of prey. Only clean birds, meaning birds that do not eat other animals, can be eaten. Poultry is allowed.
    Meat and dairy cannot be eaten together, as it says in the Torah: do not boil a kid in its mother’s milk (Exodus 23:19). So Jews who follow these dietary rules cannot eat cheeseburgers for example. Often this rule is extended further, so that people wait up to six hours after eating meat before they eat dairy.

  7. #107

    Re: Latest British Social Survey finds 52% of the Country are non Religious

    African Bluebird - I agree with your assertion that this country (as a whole) is not anti-Christian but I would add the proviso: “not yet”. I would say that the majority of people in this country are apathetic towards Christianity rather than anti, but remember Jesus himself said that those who followed him would be hated in the world (John 15:18 and 19). Sadly I think the “church” (by which I think most people automatically mean the Church of England btw) is becoming known for what it is against rather than what it is for. Hence like one notable poster on this forum when they talk about Christianity I think they have their own fixed stereotype of Christian in mind, which makes me wonder if they have ever actually met a true Christian? Such folk may be in a minority as not everyone who attends a church is a Christian!

    My “church” now is a house group – a small collection of folk from many different backgrounds who meet in a home, in many ways akin to what the early church was. We have no minister or hierarchy, just an ordinary bunch of people who are followers of Jesus and try to live as he would have us live.

    (John 13, verses 34 & 35): “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

    Moreover we have a strong emphasis on turning our faith into actions, based on James 2:14-18: What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds”

    This is what I believe the church should be. I remember someone once asked the question – would Jesus recognise his church if he came back today? It is split into so many denominations now with so many man-made traditions and customs that I'm pretty sure he would not recognise it!

    Becoming a Christian has changed my life completely and has taken me into so many places and situations that I would never have considered before. I am not perfect, on the contrary like all true Christians I recognise that I am clearly not and couldn't hold a proverbial candle to Jesus, but thankfully he accepts me as I am!

  8. #108
    International jon1959's Avatar
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    Re: Latest British Social Survey finds 52% of the Country are non Religious

    I am an atheist, but I grew up in a family and culture of non-conformist Christianity and I think the distinction made by Gofer is very interesting. Most of my family who continue to think of themselves as Christian (although they are dying out) just follow the customs and conventions put in front of them - and like the comfort of familiar rituals and settings. They just happened to be born in a time and place where that was accepted (often unquestioned) as the norm.

    But my dad, now dead, was a free thinker and described himself as a secular Christian, and he and the like-minded group he was part of as 'the heretics'. He had no time for religion but chose to believe in the values and morals that he took from the life of Jesus as described in the Bible. I don't think he believed in heaven or hell, or God or the devil. He did see the bible as a series of fables and metaphors - some of which (New Testament) offered a guide to living a 'good life'. He definitely saw religions (all religions) as human constructs that evolved over time and had little to do with faith or moral codes. He saw them as organisations (and cultures) that operate like corporations for controlling people with The Pope or the Archbishop Of Canterbury as CEOs of Christianity plc.

    We had endless arguments about this stuff and never agreed - except maybe about the historical role of organised religion.

  9. #109

    Re: Latest British Social Survey finds 52% of the Country are non Religious

    Super post Gofer Blue.. and Jon Candy.

    Gofer Blue - Hope you are well.

    I flip flop about 'church' all the time. I see the good, bad and the ugly.

    Having seen, and continue to see, absolute nonsense and damage from the evangelical conservative church (all over the world) - I have long since rejected such institutions. They are ill informed, hateful, poisonous and Theologically wrong on every level. I think Conservative evangelical Christianity is one of the biggest threats to society and the church itself.

    I can see the 'benefit' of more organised forms of Christianity where at least some of the leaders are trained and have a better understanding of the scriptures - CoE and Catholic church... but then again I contend with a Catholic Church who allowed Priests to abuse children.

    I am friends with some Jesuit Priests, who I find inspirational. They do often the shitty work of the Catholic Church. I worked with them and they agreed that ANY abuse by Catholic leaders should be reported to the authorities - whereas the traditional Catholic way was to deal with it internally - which is illegal and a code for 'covering up'. So I do have a lot of respect for Jesuits... far more than these ill informed and theologically wrong 'born again' types.

    Bottom line is I am equally as comfortable and uncomfortable in any church environment.

    In terms of your point... IF indeed the country is becoming 'Anti-Christian' - I would propose that it is not actually Jesus that people have an issue with but the behaviour, attitude and grifting of the 'Church' and religious folk. I don't think many people particularly have a problem with the likes of you and I who would define ourselves as 'Christians'... most people wouldn't care if we believe that Darth Vader is Lord and Saviour.... but people do care that the church is hateful, spiteful, grifting and trying to control peoples own lives and decisions. Which I completely agree with them on.

    As an aside I was at a quiz night in a team with 4 Jesuits Priests. Can you imagine we lost out by winning the quiz by one point - the Priests knew that the 2012 fourth studio album by Taylor Swift was called 'Red', and yet answered wrongly what the middle chapter of the Bible is (Psalm 117).

  10. #110

    Re: Latest British Social Survey finds 52% of the Country are non Religious

    Quote Originally Posted by jon1959 View Post
    I am an atheist, but I grew up in a family and culture of non-conformist Christianity and I think the distinction made by Gofer is very interesting. Most of my family who continue to think of themselves as Christian (although they are dying out) just follow the customs and conventions put in front of them - and like the comfort of familiar rituals and settings. They just happened to be born in a time and place where that was accepted (often unquestioned) as the norm.

    But my dad, now dead, was a free thinker and described himself as a secular Christian, and he and the like-minded group he was part of as 'the heretics'. He had no time for religion but chose to believe in the values and morals that he took from the life of Jesus as described in the Bible. I don't think he believed in heaven or hell, or God or the devil. He did see the bible as a series of fables and metaphors - some of which (New Testament) offered a guide to living a 'good life'. He definitely saw religions (all religions) as human constructs that evolved over time and had little to do with faith or moral codes. He saw them as organisations (and cultures) that operate like corporations for controlling people with The Pope or the Archbishop Of Canterbury as CEOs of Christianity plc.

    We had endless arguments about this stuff and never agreed - except maybe about the historical role of organised religion.
    Jon, I like the way your dad described himself! I would probably call myself a 'Christian who doesn't care much for Christianity'.

    I think that Christianity has become polarised, sadly.

    If you think back to some of the great Christian minds of 100 years ago or so... Tolkien and CS Lewis etc... they used to sit, debate, argue and consider the world, universe, God etc over a pipe and a pint. They never fell out but disagreed a lot - this is a trait much missing from today. They would then use their 'art' to explore these issues - their doubts, concerns, weaknesses and ultimately joy. C S Lewis wrote about the death of his wife is brutally honest terms. Tolkien explored questioning the existence of God and good and evil, in light of the first world war through Lord of the Rings... how can God exist when so many bad things happen to innocent people.

    Really meaty stuff.

    We have lost that, sadly.

  11. #111
    International jon1959's Avatar
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    Re: Latest British Social Survey finds 52% of the Country are non Religious

    Quote Originally Posted by AfricanBluebird View Post
    Jon, I like the way your dad described himself! I would probably call myself a 'Christian who doesn't care much for Christianity'.

    I think that Christianity has become polarised, sadly.

    If you think back to some of the great Christian minds of 100 years ago or so... Tolkien and CS Lewis etc... they used to sit, debate, argue and consider the world, universe, God etc over a pipe and a pint. They never fell out but disagreed a lot - this is a trait much missing from today. They would then use their 'art' to explore these issues - their doubts, concerns, weaknesses and ultimately joy. C S Lewis wrote about the death of his wife is brutally honest terms. Tolkien explored questioning the existence of God and good and evil, in light of the first world war through Lord of the Rings... how can God exist when so many bad things happen to innocent people.

    Really meaty stuff.

    We have lost that, sadly.
    It is meaty stuff. I should have said that my dad continued to attend church services and church discussion groups all his life - despite his opinion about organised religion. His interest in theology led to him studying philosophy in later life and he would jump around from Christian thinkers, some Islamic writers, the ancient Greeks, John Locke to modern philosophers and treat them all the same.

    I rejected religion and faith very young. I then tried to work out what is the 'meaning of life' (Monty Python's take is as good as any) and concluded there is no meaning. We are just here and need to work things out for ourselves. That then led me to a social and political framework for changing the world (power structures and belief systems) so it gives as many people as possible a quality and purpose to life. Teenage idealism that has stuck for a lifetime.

    (PS - I'm not Jon Candy. My photos aren't that good!)

  12. #112

    Re: Latest British Social Survey finds 52% of the Country are non Religious

    Quote Originally Posted by AfricanBluebird View Post
    Jon, I like the way your dad described himself! I would probably call myself a 'Christian who doesn't care much for Christianity'.

    I think that Christianity has become polarised, sadly.

    If you think back to some of the great Christian minds of 100 years ago or so... Tolkien and CS Lewis etc... they used to sit, debate, argue and consider the world, universe, God etc over a pipe and a pint. They never fell out but disagreed a lot - this is a trait much missing from today. They would then use their 'art' to explore these issues - their doubts, concerns, weaknesses and ultimately joy. C S Lewis wrote about the death of his wife is brutally honest terms. Tolkien explored questioning the existence of God and good and evil, in light of the first world war through Lord of the Rings... how can God exist when so many bad things happen to innocent people.

    Really meaty stuff.

    We have lost that, sadly.
    Yes I agree with much of what you say. However do you think it's possible that people still want answers to the big questions of life but:-

    1. Organised religion puts them off from connecting with those they could chat with concerning these things?
    2. People these days are too quick to pigeonhole and dismiss everyone which means they end up missing the opportunities for dialogue that you mentioned above re Tolkien and CS Lewis?
    3. We've now been conditioned via the media, entertainment and the culture in general to snap at anyone who mentions the Bible but buy a coffee or lunch for anyone who studies philosophy?

  13. #113

    Re: Latest British Social Survey finds 52% of the Country are non Religious

    Quote Originally Posted by jon1959 View Post
    It is meaty stuff. I should have said that my dad continued to attend church services and church discussion groups all his life - despite his opinion about organised religion. His interest in theology led to him studying philosophy in later life and he would jump around from Christian thinkers, some Islamic writers, the ancient Greeks, John Locke to modern philosophers and treat them all the same.

    I rejected religion and faith very young. I then tried to work out what is the 'meaning of life' (Monty Python's take is as good as any) and concluded there is no meaning. We are just here and need to work things out for ourselves. That then led me to a social and political framework for changing the world (power structures and belief systems) so it gives as many people as possible a quality and purpose to life. Teenage idealism that has stuck for a lifetime.

    (PS - I'm not Jon Candy. My photos aren't that good!)
    Ah apologies to you and Mr Candy.

    I hang out with such a wide range of people.. atheists, nominal Christians, Catholics, born agains, Muslims, Seiks, Hindus and Jewish people.

    Because I have a relationship with them its easy challenge each other and learn from each other.

    The problem, as I see it, is that everyone has strong opinions and want to force everyone to believe the same as them... but without respect and relationship, that is quite impossible.

    Look at Dawkins... brilliant scientist (especially with anything to do with the eyes) but has become completely toxic and boring. Likewise many religious people are stuck in the dark ages and lost the ability to self doubt, consider and talk through issues without getting judgemental and upset.

    I have no problem people thinking my belief in God is nonsense... it is nuts really - the idea of a world outside of ours... something universal and intelligent and spiritual - it goes against the logic and reason we see in front of us... and I will never ever try and convince people there is a God but I do enjoy debating it.

    That's why I like this board - mostly respectful and some really intelligent discussions.

  14. #114

    Re: Latest British Social Survey finds 52% of the Country are non Religious

    I actually still think a lot of religious privilege still exists in the UK. In politics, education, public ceremonial events, marriage/pastoral support and some areas of public broadcasting. And it fosters the perception of detachment, formality and a privileged position for some which simply doesn't reflect the beliefs of the majority of the UK population today. I think increasingly people either just can't relate to it, or think it's just wrong and it may need to ditched if organised religion is to find a way to present itself as authentic and interesting to a population increasingly aware of other potential sources of answers to the so-called big questions.

  15. #115

    Re: Latest British Social Survey finds 52% of the Country are non Religious

    Quote Originally Posted by Baloo View Post
    I actually still think a lot of religious privilege still exists in the UK. In politics, education, public ceremonial events, marriage/pastoral support and some areas of public broadcasting. And it fosters the perception of detachment, formality and a privileged position for some which simply doesn't reflect the beliefs of the majority of the UK population today. I think increasingly people either just can't relate to it, or think it's just wrong and it may need to ditched if organised religion is to find a way to present itself as authentic and interesting to a population increasingly aware of other potential sources of answers to the so-called big questions.
    As someone who has known Christ since Jimmy Scholar was managing the City, I can tell you that organised religion is NOT the answer and forms the biggest barrier to individuals finding Almighty God at a personal level.
    Religion = conflict, control, anger and confusion.
    Christ provides true peace, true freedom, a real purpose in this life a real hope for the future.
    Jesus declared - "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, nobody comes to the Father, except through me"

    The retirement benefits aren't too shabby either

  16. #116

    Re: Latest British Social Survey finds 52% of the Country are non Religious

    Quote Originally Posted by truthpaste View Post
    As someone who has known Christ since Jimmy Scholar was managing the City, I can tell you that organised religion is NOT the answer and forms the biggest barrier to individuals finding Almighty God at a personal level.
    Religion = conflict, control, anger and confusion.
    Christ provides true peace, true freedom, a real purpose in this life a real hope for the future.
    Jesus declared - "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, nobody comes to the Father, except through me"

    The retirement benefits aren't too shabby either
    Had you been born in another geographical location and/or in another point in time you would be lauding the concepts of Valhalla, Elysium, The Happy Hunting Grounds or a myriad of other possibilities.

    White people raised in the UK in recent centuries are, statistically speaking, overwhelmingly likely to become Christian if they adopt any religion whatsoever. It has been the state religion, we were all exposed to it at school, at home, in youth organisations, in cermonies such as weddings and funerals etc etc.

    It's all about which religion we are exposed to and indoctrinated with at an early age, which explains the low level of sikhism in Iceland and the dearth of believers in Valhalla in the Punjab.

    Religion is merely a cultural conduit spread across the globe by missionaries, empires and even commercial entities. Such is this connection that Spanish speakers, whether they live in Mallorca or Manila, are likely to be Christians etc. Hebrew speakers are likely to be Jewish and over 90% of Arabic speakers are Muslims.

    Believing in the first religion we are exposed to (if we are to be religious at at all) and rejecting all others is entirely predictable.

    BY the way, you never answered my question about Moses i.e. what evidence is there regarding his reports about God's statements? Can you direct us to a credible audit trail of any description?

  17. #117

    Re: Latest British Social Survey finds 52% of the Country are non Religious

    Quote Originally Posted by truthpaste View Post
    As someone who has known Christ since Jimmy Scholar was managing the City, I can tell you that organised religion is NOT the answer and forms the biggest barrier to individuals finding Almighty God at a personal level.
    Religion = conflict, control, anger and confusion.
    Christ provides true peace, true freedom, a real purpose in this life a real hope for the future.
    Jesus declared - "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, nobody comes to the Father, except through me"

    The retirement benefits aren't too shabby either
    For some I'm sure. However, for others all of these are potentially available in living the one life we have.

  18. #118

    Re: Latest British Social Survey finds 52% of the Country are non Religious

    Quote Originally Posted by truthpaste View Post
    As someone who has known Christ since Jimmy Scholar was managing the City, I can tell you that organised religion is NOT the answer and forms the biggest barrier to individuals finding Almighty God at a personal level.
    Religion = conflict, control, anger and confusion.
    Christ provides true peace, true freedom, a real purpose in this life a real hope for the future.
    Jesus declared - "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, nobody comes to the Father, except through me"

    The retirement benefits aren't too shabby either
    Our cleverest manager gets a mention

  19. #119

    Re: Latest British Social Survey finds 52% of the Country are non Religious

    Only 52%? If you'd said 82% I'd have probably agreed with you.

  20. #120

    Re: Latest British Social Survey finds 52% of the Country are non Religious

    Quote Originally Posted by Gofer Blue View Post
    African Bluebird - I agree with your assertion that this country (as a whole) is not anti-Christian but I would add the proviso: “not yet”. I would say that the majority of people in this country are apathetic towards Christianity rather than anti, but remember Jesus himself said that those who followed him would be hated in the world (John 15:18 and 19). Sadly I think the “church” (by which I think most people automatically mean the Church of England btw) is becoming known for what it is against rather than what it is for. Hence like one notable poster on this forum when they talk about Christianity I think they have their own fixed stereotype of Christian in mind, which makes me wonder if they have ever actually met a true Christian? Such folk may be in a minority as not everyone who attends a church is a Christian!

    My “church” now is a house group – a small collection of folk from many different backgrounds who meet in a home, in many ways akin to what the early church was. We have no minister or hierarchy, just an ordinary bunch of people who are followers of Jesus and try to live as he would have us live.

    (John 13, verses 34 & 35): “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

    Moreover we have a strong emphasis on turning our faith into actions, based on James 2:14-18: What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds”

    This is what I believe the church should be. I remember someone once asked the question – would Jesus recognise his church if he came back today? It is split into so many denominations now with so many man-made traditions and customs that I'm pretty sure he would not recognise it!

    Becoming a Christian has changed my life completely and has taken me into so many places and situations that I would never have considered before. I am not perfect, on the contrary like all true Christians I recognise that I am clearly not and couldn't hold a proverbial candle to Jesus, but thankfully he accepts me as I am!
    You are quoting stuff from the bible that Jesus said ?

    Given that a lot of the Bible was written after this person died how do you know he said it?

    Not being a Christian has taken me to many places and has led me to meet many people

    Some good , some bad

    Why do you have to be a follower of Jesus to experience enlightenment ?

    2000 years ago medicine was in its infancy

    Today things are done very differently

    But Christians still follow the teachings of Jesus and refer to the bible

    If a medical student at university told everyone on his course that heart disease should be treated by physicians who wrote books 2000 years ago they would think he was a bit odd

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