Few things in life are more reliable than that the BBC will celebrate Holy Week by running a story which causes controversy about Christianity; the only thing more reliable is that it won’t do the same about Islam during Ramadan. The latest, to be found here reveals that nearly a quarter of ‘Christians’ do not believe in the Resurrection. However, 1 in to people with no religion said they sort of believed in some way int e Resurrection, prompting this: ‘The Church of England said it showed many people held religious beliefs.’ I fear what it really shows is the failure of the Established Church in this country to do much in the way of religious education. One of the more remarkable bit of the piece was a vicar saying that: ‘”I think [people answering the survey] are being asked to believe in the way they might have been asked to believe when they were at Sunday school.’ Quite apart from the fact that it is doubtful that many people even go to Sunday School, one wonders quite what she thought was being taught at Anglican Sunday Schools? Then, with all the confidence of a modernist who doesn’t know better, she pronounced: ‘”So to ask an adult to believe in the resurrection the way they did when they were at Sunday school simply won’t do and that’s true of much of the key elements of the Christian faith.” She tells us that” And an adult faith requires that it be constantly questioned, constantly re-interpreted, which incidentally is very much what modern church is actually about.’ Indeed, and in that apercu lies much of what has gone wrong with the Church of England.
All of this reinterpreting, has it served the Gospel, has it brought more people into Church and to Christ? It would not only be hard to evidence that, it would, given Church attendance and membership, be easy to show that it has had the opposite effect. A watered down Faith is not one anyone would doe for, so why should anyone live for it, or by its precepts? Either Jesus Christ was the Son of God and He died on the Cross for our sins, and was resurrected on the third day or, as St Paul says, our faith is in vain. If Christ has not risen then ‘your faith is futile’. Presumably those 31% of Christians who do not believe in life after death agree that their faith is futile, and one presumes they are a large part of the 37% who never go to Church but claim to be Christians?
The Bishop of Manchester, the Right Reverend David Walker, said:
“This important and welcome survey proves that many British people, despite not being regular churchgoers, hold core Christian beliefs.
“Alongside them it finds surprisingly high levels of religious belief among those who follow no specific religion, often erroneously referred to as secularists or atheists.
“This demonstrates how important beliefs remain across our society and hence the importance both of religious literacy and of religion having a prominent place in public discourse.”
Alternatively, it proves that despite having an Established Church, the country has very little idea about Christianity, which shows the utter failure of Anglican schools to pass on the faith. You pays your money and you takes your choice.