The 2021 census has for the primary time recorded a drop in individuals figuring out as Christian in England and Wales – down from 59.3% in 2011, to 46.2% final 12 months. An additional 37.2% have been recorded as saying that they had no faith, whereas individuals figuring out as Muslim rose from 4.9% in 2011 to six.5%.
It is a tragic indisputable fact that in our multicultural, multiethnic society, each main faith represented within the nation except for Christianity, has during the last decade reported an increase in spiritual affiliation.
Nevertheless, the Most Rev Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of Canterbury, seems to stay upbeat – cheerily optimistic even. He is reported as saying that the nation has “left behind the period when many individuals nearly robotically recognized as Christian”, however that Christianity nonetheless has a significant function to play in secular society … which, confronted with the price of dwelling disaster and struggle in Europe, would seem in his view to be primarily that of offering meals and heat.
Around 2,500 years in the past, possibly extra, the writer(s) of the ebook of Proverbs, wrote, ‘Without a imaginative and prescient the individuals perish’ (Proverbs 29:18). The Archbishop would maybe do properly to take heed. Yes, individuals do need assistance and help in these tough instances, and all through historical past the Church has provided help and help to these in want. But the function of the Church, at the start, is to not be an company for social work, however to protect the reality of the Gospel and supply religious management in and to a society that has incontrovertibly misplaced its method, and that sadly now feels to be in terminal decline.
As in World War II, when King George VI known as the nation to hope and people prayers have been so miraculously answered, it’s to supply imaginative and prescient and some extent of connection between the individuals and God, whereby at instances of hazard God’s energy is known as in help.
Increasingly now, nevertheless, we stay 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 have a brand new faith – that of Self, and ‘It’s my proper’ has develop into the oft repeated and dominant cry.
But in actuality it is a doctrine of despair, that forestalls individuals 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 are eternally doomed to disablement, and to being lower than God created and needs them to be.
This is the beguilement of Satan, 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 Satan in a battle that solely He may combat, and that might restore us to relationship with God.
The last and decisive battle that led to that victory was fought on the Cross. But although Satan’s maintain was damaged, the victory just isn’t but full and for now we stay in a interval of dispensation, so that each man, girl and little one on the planet is perhaps 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 will – will Satan and his hordes be as soon as and eternally handled, and forged into the lake of fireside.
It is the sacred activity of the Church, throughout this time, to proclaim the excellent news and guard the reality: to hunt after the misplaced; to defend believers from fallacious educating and assault; to be a light-weight within the darkness; and to make sure that we’re all conscious and prepared for what’s to return.
Yes, the character of Britain is altering. But not for the higher. As the Archbishop of York has already identified, it may be no shock that persons are ceasing to establish as Christian. But maybe the query to ask just 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, nevertheless, He has not given up on His church … the bride of His Son … and even now there are indicators of latest life. But as each good gardener will inform you, to permit for and promote new life, the dead wooden has first to be pruned away.
Christianity is not going to die on this nation, nor certainly on this planet, however God is not going to permit that which dishonours Him to stay. As the Archbishop of York has identified, albeit by implication, God just isn’t concerned about nominal or social believers. Now is 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.