The 2021 census has for the primary time recorded a drop in folks figuring out as Christian in England and Wales – down from 59.3% in 2011, to 46.2% final 12 months. An extra 37.2% had been recorded as saying they’d no faith, whereas folks figuring out as Muslim rose from 4.9% in 2011 to six.5%.
It’s a unhappy indisputable fact that in our multicultural, multiethnic society, each main faith represented within the nation except for Christianity, has over the past decade reported an increase in spiritual affiliation.
Nonetheless, the Most Rev Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of Canterbury, seems to stay upbeat – cheerily optimistic even. He’s reported as saying that the nation has “left behind the period when many individuals virtually robotically recognized as Christian”, however that Christianity nonetheless has a significant position to play in secular society … which, confronted with the price of dwelling disaster and warfare in Europe, would seem in his view to be primarily that of offering meals and heat.
Round 2,500 years in the past, perhaps extra, the writer(s) of the guide of Proverbs, wrote, ‘With no imaginative and prescient the folks perish’ (Proverbs 29:18). The Archbishop would maybe do properly to take heed. Sure, folks do need assistance and assist in these troublesome instances, and all through historical past the Church has supplied assist and help to these in want. However the position of the Church, before everything, is to not be an company for social work, however to protect the reality of the Gospel and supply non secular management in and to a society that has incontrovertibly misplaced its manner, and that sadly now feels to be in terminal decline.
As in World Conflict II, when King George VI referred to as the nation to wish and people prayers had been so miraculously answered, it’s to supply imaginative and prescient and some extent of connection between the folks and God, whereby at instances of hazard God’s energy is known as in assist.
More and more now, nonetheless, we dwell in a God-less age, the place the one imaginative and prescient that almost all women and men seem to have is of a world free of restraint. We now have a brand new faith – that of Self, and ‘It is my proper’ has turn out to be the oft repeated and dominant cry.
However in actuality it is a doctrine of despair, that forestalls folks from seeing something past – from seeing that which is pure, noble, and righteous, and that provides which means to life, providing real deliverance from the ache, struggling, loneliness and despair that so typically accompanies society’s godless veneration of the fabric.
This, at coronary heart, is the true tragedy, as a result of it signifies that disciples of this new ideology haven’t any hope of deliverance and salvation. They’re eternally doomed to disablement, and to being lower than God created and needs them to be.
That is the beguilement of Devil, and it was exactly to interrupt this maintain that, 2,000 years in the past, God despatched His solely Son into the world – to go face to face with Devil in a battle that solely He may combat, and that will restore us to relationship with God.
The ultimate and decisive battle that caused that victory was fought on the Cross. However although Devil’s maintain was damaged, the victory isn’t but full and for now we dwell in a interval of dispensation, so that each man, lady and baby on the planet may be given an opportunity to listen to the excellent news and repent. So for now evil stays free to unfold its poison, and solely when Christ returns in glory to say His personal – as Scripture guarantees He’ll – will Devil and his hordes be as soon as and ceaselessly handled, and forged into the lake of fireside.
It’s the sacred job of the Church, throughout this time, to proclaim the excellent news and guard the reality: to hunt after the misplaced; to defend believers from improper instructing and assault; to be a lightweight within the darkness; and to make sure that we’re all conscious and prepared for what’s to come back.
Sure, the character of Britain is altering. However not for the higher. Because the Archbishop of York has already identified, it may be no shock that persons are ceasing to establish as Christian. However maybe the query to ask isn’t why that is occurring, however why, given the gospel of compromise with our decadent and immoral world that denies at root the teachings of Christ, they need to hassle to imagine within the first place?
God is not going to bless a Church that’s apostate. Equally, nonetheless, He has not given up on His church … the bride of His Son … and even now there are indicators of recent life. However as each good gardener will let you know, to permit for and promote new life, the useless wooden has first to be pruned away.
Christianity is not going to die on this nation, nor certainly on the earth, however God is not going to enable that which dishonours Him to stay. Because the Archbishop of York has identified, albeit by implication, God isn’t eager about nominal or social believers. Now could be the time for women and men to decide on.
Rev Lynda Rose is founding father of Voice for Justice UK, a gaggle which works to uphold the ethical values of the Bible in society.