Jump to content

Interesting Article On Religion


Jonathan Levy
 Share

Recommended Posts

Whilst it is only a prediction, I found the below article from The Guardian quite interesting. As someone Jewish, I personally feel Judaism in Britain, or at least North West England is thriving and I would suggest that a proportion of Christians are actually moving away from the religion of Christianity and converting to others. However the main source in the decline of religion is undoubtably the media which on the contrary to religion, is continually increasing in its influence and size.

 

 

In one of the most holy weeks in the Christian calendar, a report says that in just over a generation the number of people attending Church of England Sunday services will fall to less than a tenth of what they are now.

Christian Research, the statistical arm of the Bible Society, claimed that by 2050 Sunday attendance will fall below 88,000, compared with just under a million now.

 

The controversial forecast, based on a "snapshot" census of church attendances, has been seized upon by secular groups as proof that the established church is in decline. But the Church of England has rejected the figures, saying they were incomplete and ignored new ways of worshipping outside the church network.

 

According to Dr Peter Brierley, former executive director of Christian Research, by 2030 just under 419,000 people will attend an Anglican Sunday service. By 2040 the number will be down to 217,200, falling to 153,800 five years later. By 2050, if the trend prediction is correct, only 87,800 will be attending.

 

The figures stand in contrast to the picture of faith described by the prime minister earlier this month. In a preface to a new report, Faith in the Nation, Gordon Brown said: "Faith in Britain today is very much alive and well. At the last census, more than three-quarters of the population said they belonged to a faith ... people's religious identities go right to the heart of their sense of themselves and their place in society and the world."

 

Keith Porteous-Wood of the National Secular Society said: "Church attendance has already been in decline for over 60 years, all over Britain, in all major denominations and across all age groups, except the over-65s. Independent statisticians now have enough data to predict confidently that the decline will continue until Christianity becomes a minority sect of largely elderly people, in little more than a generation."

 

The forecast was made by Christian Research in its annual statistical publication, Religious Trends. Benita Hewitt, the organisation's new executive director, said she accepted that the figures were disputed and stressed she did not believe they showed people were turning away from religion. "As with all forecasting, we are living in rapidly changing times at the moment and it is very difficult to predict what things will look like in the coming years," she said.

 

The Reverend Lynda Barley, head of research and statistics for the Archbishops' Council, said the figures represented only a "partial picture" of religious trends, adding: "Church life has significantly diversified so these traditional statistics are less and less meaningful in isolation."

 

Studies suggest figures for Sunday attendance represent only 58 per cent of the number of people who attend in an average month. Attendance at Church of England cathedral services has been growing , while church groups have attracted new congregations by holding meetings in venues such as pubs or at car boot sales.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let's not forget that secular Iraq was attacked by two extreme Christian fundamentalists, namely Bush and Blair and as a consequence Iraq is now split between many Islamic factions with many leaders jostling for position in the *new* Iraq.

Having been educated in my formal years at a Church of England school has put me off religion for life and from the outset I didn't believe a word of the hocus pocus they were drilling into us. They used to march us down to the church on a regular basis and deliver for what seemed like hours lengthy sermons making some fantastical claims which we had to accept without debate or argument without question. You simply daren't put your hand up and say *Hang on a moment, Are you sure about what you are preaching?* To do so would have inurred the wrath and displeasure of the zealots who were indoctrinating us small boys. Was it the Jesuits who said *Give me the boy at seven and I'll give you the man?* Well they certainly didn't *get* yours truly. I've no time for any religion whatsoever. I thought it a load of superstitious nonsense when I was a child and still do. Unfortunately some unscrupulous people use religion as the basis for the gross mistreatment of others. If you think you know who I mean well the cap fits so wear it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let's not forget that secular Iraq was attacked by two extreme Christian fundamentalists, namely Bush and Blair and as a consequence Iraq is now split between many Islamic factions with many leaders jostling for position in the *new* Iraq.
Well that's twistin the truth isn't it? Iraq was attacked by the US & UK, but it had nothing to do with religion, which is a rarity for wars as it tends to be a common cause of fighting.

 

Having been educated in my formal years at a Church of England school has put me off religion for life and from the outset I didn't believe a word of the hocus pocus they were drilling into us. They used to march us down to the church on a regular basis and deliver for what seemed like hours lengthy sermons making some fantastical claims which we had to accept without debate or argument without question. You simply daren't put your hand up and say *Hang on a moment, Are you sure about what you are preaching?* To do so would have inurred the wrath and displeasure of the zealots who were indoctrinating us small boys. Was it the Jesuits who said *Give me the boy at seven and I'll give you the man?* Well they certainly didn't *get* yours truly. I've no time for any religion whatsoever. I thought it a load of superstitious nonsense when I was a child and still do. Unfortunately some unscrupulous people use religion as the basis for the gross mistreatment of others. If you think you know who I mean well the cap fits so wear it.

Couldn't agree more with every word. The church is dying and has been for a long time. It is out of touch, irrelevant and has far too much say in a modern society where the majoprity of people have nothing to do with it.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whilst it is only a prediction, I found the below article from The Guardian quite interesting. As someone Jewish, I personally feel Judaism in Britain, or at least North West England is thriving and I would suggest that a proportion of Christians are actually moving away from the religion of Christianity and converting to others. However the main source in the decline of religion is undoubtably the media which on the contrary to religion, is continually increasing in its influence and size.

Also can't agree with that at all. The main reason for the decline of religion, is religion. Most of us see very little use or value in it, and therefore have nothing to do with it. Summed up nicely by safeway above.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

TBH i don't believe that going to church ,temple,synagogue,mosque or wherever are indicators of the strength of anyone's religious beliefs.Religion has been the cause of wars & atrocities throughout time immemorial usually brought about by the pious trying to be seen to impose their religion on people who had different views.In an age of free thought there is no need to attend church ,synagogue or mosque because if God exists he will automatically know a good christian,jew or muslim & He will know that only the sanctimonious waged wars in His name.

By the way didn't Jesus enter the temple only to throw out the money lenders...corruption even then in the religious institution of the day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jonathan, do you think Judaism is thriving as a faith or as a tradition? I have Jewish friends who observe many religious rituals but, on their own admission, are not great believers. Their observance is more a way of life than a testament to the Allmighty. What's your view?

 

Well with regards to your friends, I feel each religion has many followers like that and Judaism is no exception. I would suggest that many people are becoming more interested in their Jewish roots and so whilst in terms of faith the religion is doing fine, I'd say that actually it is thriving more as a tradition.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bush always concludes his speeches with *God Bless America* seemingly under the impression God singles out countries for his blessing. Blair since retirement has converted to catholicism. Only the efforts of Alastair Campbell stopped Blair from bringing God into his crusade.(we don't do religion) Both men are fundamentalists without doubt. To confirm: I have no qualifications whatsoever...no GCE's no university degree but I can still run rings around most who have.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I take note that it is purely based on a study of Church of England attendance. When it comes to evangelicalism, there are actually many big, strong churches around even in England, there is still a strong hard core within Evangelicals of all denominations in London, there are strong bases like Leeds, and there was a revival in Birmingham. I tak note again, of the unsubstantiated myth that religion causes most of the wars. This is tripe. It is true, there are religious conflicts, like the causes of the English Civil War, Northern Ireland does not count as the Protestants and Catholics are split over Nationality, not their religious doctrine, indeed, many Catholic kids have said to me and my friends that we are neither Protestant nor Catholic but are Christians, because we aren't sectarian and have no hate and when sharing what we believe we show no interest in dragging Union Jacks and Irish tricolours into the mix of conversation.

 

The reason for the decline in CoE is that in the 1920s it started having statements by bishops and synods indicating they no longer believed the Bible, then the rot set in when lossening over marriage and divorce, thus losing authority and respect, then consequently relevance. The majority of Bishops are fiercely liberal, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, and by Biblical sstandards are not believers. Therefore it is natural for outsiders to feel little respect when a church does not believe in substantial sections and wrings its hands apologising instead of engaging in apologia, in the proper sense of giving a word for in defence.

 

As for this bit about believing without question, I came to faith in Christ/Messiah Jesus through inquiry, scientific, historical and rational, recognising the need to investigate, and fascinated by Christianity's unique conditions for being either falsifiable or confirmable. And comfortably read books by my opponents.

 

True, Christianity is a minority religion, and less influential than Islam or Secularism. But it is not going to die any time soon. There ARE many evangelical churches full of strong, young, thriving congregations, sending out various missionaries, though I myself go to a small, struggling, elderly congregation, and am a mere pup at 35, there are still many missionaries sent out, or working in the UK, and indeed Black Africa by contrast on the other hand is sending missionaries, especially from Nigeria and Kenya, into Britain to evangelise the whites!

 

I myself am unfazed by loss in church attendance. Flush out the deadweights, I say, and keep the genuine! As for the modern individualistic view of no need for church, well, since the Bible is from a collective society and a collective God who values corporate worship, Church is needed. It is a body of people, and while it may be fashionable, though understandable, to like Jesus but knock institutionalised Churchy Christianity, the fact is that Jesus instituted the Church as a body of people, the Ekklesia, based on the Assembly of the Jewish Nation, of Ancient Israel.

 

Maybe people think it is irrelevant. Well, tough, it is relevant. So long as the Church truly believes the Scriptures, which have enough to say on all topics, of relevance, then we have within this democracy a right to have our say.

 

In the past indeed there was enforcement of religion by politicians who believed in conformity, even within their own religion, and it was the pious who got it in the neck, look at how both Protestants and Catholics alike suffered under a Church which reformed for political reasons, under a cruel, tyrannical King like Henry VIII who tried to reshape Christianity to suit his own whims as Absolute Monarch.

 

As for the claims about Iraq, the government of Saddam Hussein may have been secular, but he was keeping a tyrannical tin lid on matters, and the Sunni-Shia dispute has been there in Iraq for over a thousand years. What's more, Saddam, on 'ethnic' grounds at least, always sided with his fellow Sunnis against the Shias. (Remember the failed Shi-ite rebellion in 1991?)

 

Also, to talk of Tony Blair being a fundamentalist is bizarre. He was an Anglo-Catholic who converted from the Catholic wing of Anglicanism to Roman Catholicism, under the Pope. Hardly fundamentalist material, while Bush is a band-waggoner who is adopting his position to pander to the Christian Right and get their vote.

 

But then I find many people who say it is all irrelevant then tall us in the same breath how much a big threat it all is! :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And where, tell me, Safeway56, is your evidence for that little slander? After all, the phrase "As far as it depends on you", is the really important clause, it means the onus is on the Christian to keep the peace, but cannot legislate for the people around, if they react otherwise. Oh, and try to read things in context. I wonder how many people Christians have murdered in Warrington and Newton Le Willows this week, eh? :wink:

 

As for turning people off religion, well, that's actually a good thing. :wink:

 

So if you folks think killing and violence is all Christians do, all the time, shouldn't you be reporting us to the police? :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well let me tell you about Newton le Willows. I am old enough to remember first and second generation of the Irish(this town like many others in the area was built by the Irish) who lived in abject fear of the local(Irish) priests or what most of them called the holy men. These priests demanded the right to enter any houses they wished in order to collect monies or admonish the occupants for supposed wrong-doings in the eyes of the church. They terrorised much of this town and I'm not talking about centuries ago, this is in living memory. Thankfully in these more enlightened times the fear of the church is no more though I don't suppose the church welcome the loss of control they had over the lives of others. Each generation is less fearful of the church than the previous one and that's the reason religion will soon be dead in this country and the sooner the better.

If you want an earlier example of the oppression of the people I suggest you study the hounding of women(and some men) who the holy men announced were possessed by the Devil or demons. They hung most of them and burned others. All in the name of god of course. At that time they were absolutely convinced they were right and simply carrying out god's wishes.

 

As for heretics such as myself, they devised all manner and means of putting to death for refusing to believe. The church has a long and bloody history and that's one of the reasons I never wanted any part of it.

In an earlier post you criticised Henry V111 who in my view freed the English from the tyranny of Rome which in my view makes him an English hero. His actions perhaps could be viewed as purely selfish but the end result was we were freed from Rome.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well let me tell you about Newton le Willows. I am old enough to remember first and second generation of the Irish(this town like many others in the area was built by the Irish) who lived in abject fear of the local(Irish) priests or what most of them called the holy men. These priests demanded the right to enter any houses they wished in order to collect monies or admonish the occupants for supposed wrong-doings in the eyes of the church. They terrorised much of this town and I'm not talking about centuries ago, this is in living memory. Thankfully in these more enlightened times the fear of the church is no more though I don't suppose the church welcome the loss of control they had over the lives of others. Each generation is less fearful of the church than the previous one and that's the reason religion will soon be dead in this country and the sooner the better.

If you want an earlier example of the oppression of the people I suggest you study the hounding of women(and some men) who the holy men

announced were possessed by the Devil or demons. They hung most of them and burned others. All in the name of god of course. At that time they were absolutely convinced they were right and simply carrying out god's wishes.

 

As for heretics such as myself, they devised all manner and means of putting to death for refusing to believe. The church has a long and bloody history and that's one of the reasons I never wanted any part of it.

In an earlier post you criticised Henry V111 who in my view freed the English from the tyranny of Rome which in my view makes him an English hero. His actions perhaps could be viewed as purely selfish but the end result was we were freed from Rome.

 

Just one of the ways that Rome gathered it's obscene wealth. :roll::roll:

Spot on safe

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Like as if the tyranny and heresy of Rome has anything to do with real Christianity. Straw man, Safeway56, excuses, excuses. You even admit Rome is a false system. So you are deliberately putting up something you know is counterfeit to justify ignoring the reality.

 

Henry VIII a hero? A cruel, bloodthirsty tyrant who bled England dry. All he did was replace the terror of Rome with the terror of Henryianity. :roll: Even being loyal to him did not pay, as he would execute those who did his bidding, once he had changed his arbitrary mind.

 

It sounds like to me like you would like to do the same kind of tyrannical things the priests and all did- on your side.

 

Excuses, excuses.

 

To give you the true context of my little quote, it is this:

 

Romans 12:14-21

 

"Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge, I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary:

 

"If your enemy is hungry, feed him, if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." The Apostle Paul, AD 57, funny enough, written to the original, true Church in Rome, long before there were any Popes, or any heresy, or terror.

 

Further on Paul writes,

 

"Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification." Romans 14:19.

 

You'll not rung rings round me, Safeway56, and I will not allow you to misuse evil Catholic priests to tar true Christianity with the same brush. The Catholic Church may be steeped in blood, but the true Church is full of the blood of its own members victimised and persecuted round the world by people who use the Catholic Church as an excuse. Henry VIII was no better than the Catholic Church he removed. And it seems, neither are you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You seem to think it impossible that non-believers can ever attain the decency which zealots such as yourself attain. Of course if a man is hungry I'd feed him and if thirsty give him a drink. Being a decent human being is nothing whatsoever to do with religion. It's simply common decency to help people, I don't qualify this with asking the poor unfortunate if he believes in something call God. I notice in your long diatribe you don't defend the church for the many years of persecution of people whom they believed were possessed with devils or demons or unpleasant ways they put non-believers to death. Until modern times the church was a thoroughly evil organisation, only now do they claim the moral high ground, before that they were in the sewers of humanity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If there was a god; any god, he/she/it would not let good people die while allowing those who carry out evil acts live.

 

End of story and you will not convince me otherwise.... religion is all a lie created to exploit the vulnerable and easily led such as gods sheep and lambs!

 

Merry Christmas :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looks like Tony Blair has got his work cut out with his bringing all the 'Faiths' together in his latest iniyiative. Aparently je has a TEN point plan - can anyone see it succeeding? Anyway given that you are all at each others throats Religious and athist here's Tone's Christmas message.

 

To everyone celebrating Christmas, I send my very best wishes.

 

On this most joyful of Christian festivals, we celebrate new light coming into the world. We rejoice in the chance of a new relationship between God and humankind and the hope which that inspires. We commemorate the birth of the Christ child, and the willingness of God to humble himself for our sake in the shape of a helpless baby.

 

Christmas subverts so much of the world's wisdom. God the all powerful becomes vulnerable; the king of glory whose first shelter in this world was a stable; the infinite reduced to the smallest human form. Usual expectations are confounded by the Christmas story, which challenges us to look beyond the world's order and priorities.

 

So, in the midst of all the celebration, let us not lose sight of the radical challenge which Christmas poses us. And above all let us remember the divine care for the world which Christ's birth represents. Let us do whatever we can to show our care for the word and for all our fellow humans, so that the world becomes a better place in which everyone may find and fulfil their God-given potential.

 

Happy Christmas.

 

--Tony Blair

 

Read more from the Tony Blair Faith Foundation

 

http://tonyblairfaithfoundation.org/

 

Before you ask I gave up religion when I was confirmed but I believe that faith does have a place for many people but that they should practice what is preached and not their own interpretation to suit their ends.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is Blair's God the same God who made a *covenant* with a bloke called Abraham and promised a group of people all the land from the The Nile to the Jordan River? This would include the whole of Palestine plus Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt and large chunks of Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. If so this *God* was a muck raker extraordinaire. So far they've only managed to steal Palestine but give them time...............

Incidentally did this geezer Abraham ever reveal what form this *God* bloke took, was he in human form or was it just a great big booming voice? Imagine the furore it would cause if one morning I'd arrive from atop a mountain and announced that somebody called *God* had been talking with me and promised me the whole of Wales and Scotland. I would be locked up for my own safety on account of losing my mind, and quite right too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...