Thursday, 7 April 2011

UK 2011 Census : Who is a Christian?

Drop down ye heavens , from above , and let the skies pour down righteousness.... " Isaiah 45:8 .

The UK Census 2011 started with each household receiving Census forms to be completed and returned by Monday , 28th March , 2011.
Completing and sending in the forms online is another option which many opted for.
Now in its final stages , the process of nation-wide enumeration is being rounded off by Census Enumerators knocking on doors of homes which had not returned the Census forms by the closing date.
Failure or refusal to fill and return the Census questionnaire would incur a fine of about £1000.
Among the numerous questions and sections in the bulky Census questionnaire ,is the section requiring respondents to state their religious belief , by ticking any of the boxes provided for the various religions in the UK.

Historically a Christian society , the United Kingdom with a population of just under 60 million people, is a nation where everybody has the legal right to practice the religion of their choice.
Based on the 2001 Census, the demography of the UK states that 71.6% of people in the UK are Christian , 2.7% are Muslim, 1% are Hindu , 0.6% are Sikh and the UK Jewish population was registered as 0.5%. Buddhists and "others" were 0.3% each.

During the last Census in the Spring of 2001 , I had the privilege of being selected as one of the thousands of part-time Census Enumerators ,who worked all over the country to visit and persuade members of the public who were dragging their feet about completing and sending in their Census 2001 forms .
Then in 2001, my Census Beat was in a number of streets in Harlesden and Craven Park areas in the London Borough of Brent.
Before and during the 2001 Census these two areas of London were tagged as " Black , dangerous and run-down" because back then, the "Yardie Drug Wars" where at their peak and most of the Yardie gangsters lived and operated in these areas.
There used to be regular gun battles in broad daylight between the various drug lords on one hand and between them and the Drug Squad of Metropolitan Police , with loss of lives on both sides!
Naturally , my family and friends were alarmed and very scared when I told them my Census team was posted to that area of London . They pleaded with me to request for a change of posting but I refused.
Usually, I am not easily intimidated and I do not flee at the sight of any battle.
Just as well, because the Census work gave me a chance to know that evil reports and bad press are rarely the true representation of any place or of any group of people.
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Harlesden and Craven Park communities were not what they were portrayed to be by the evil reports and bad press which the area had been tagged with.
During the Census, I met a lot of lovely, peace-loving and decent people from all races ,colour and social classes; living in beautiful houses , with well-kept gardens in very clean and quiet streets dotted with beautiful parks .
Of course , during the one month we spent there , there were few skirmishes between the Yardie gangs , but such were not a daily occurrence.
We knocked on over 500 doors, nobody attacked us and most of them were friendly and fully cooperative; apart from few people who dodged , argued , were ready to fight and were very hostile by refusing to open their doors , once they saw us coming.
After repeated failed attempts to access them and after they were handed over to the Police , we found out that these hostile persons had something to hide from the Government.
The law , thereafter , took its full course against them.

During my Census experience, majority of the people who filled the Census forms ticked "Christianity " as their religion.
I believe the same percentage or even more , all over the UK would tick the "Christianity " box again during this 2011 Census.
Apart from filling Census questionnaires , most people one meets during door-to door evangelism in London and all over the UK would say they are Christians.
However further chats with people would reveal that though many of them said they believed in God, they attended church only during celebrations like Christmas Day , New Year Eve , weddings , baby-christenings or funerals.
Some would admit that they have not been inside any Christian fellowship in decades and they have no intentions of going to any church in the near future.
The widespread claim of Christianity as their religion by the masses has therefore raised not a few eyebrows; considering the low -level of religious belief and practice amongst the populace .
The situation report about the state of "Christianity" in the UK , have given rise to the argument amongst Christians in recent weeks, that many of those claiming to be "Christian" on the Census forms, on all other forms, on the streets and even in churches; have no right to do so because they are not "Christians " in deed, at all, but they are Christians in words only.
Many practicing Christians have , in recent weeks , spoken in the media against this Christianity claim and have labeled it as either born out of dishonesty or (and) out of ignorance of who is a Christian.
Many hold the view that apart from ignorance of the Bible and refusal to attend church to learn about God and about becoming good Christians, majority of people who say they are Christians are not living the Christian lifestyle of submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?" John 6:46
"Why do you say you are a Christian when you do not live as a Christian ?"

Indeed, the amount of ground that needs to be covered in the area of creating awareness of the people about who a Christian is and what is Christianity ; is enormous indeed.
The task of evangelism in the UK and in the world seem enormous and daunting based on what we see and the evil reports we hear of the decay in our communities.
Evil reports abound about the spiritual state of the land and these evil reports are not a true representation of the heart of the nation.
But whose report shall we believe ?
We shall believe the report of the promises in the Word of God.
For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea".
Habakkuk 2:14.

The Church is on course to take the land despite the "giants" in the land.
On our side is power divine which cannot fail.
I believe things can only get better for the spread of the Gospel in the UK.
Thus says the Spirit and the Bride: "Revival is here , it is coming fully and it will be complete in the United Kingdom.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts shall do it" . Amen.

One could dismiss this argument of who is a Christian as unnecessary because people have the right to claim to be Christian ,if they so wish, even when they are not living the "Christian Life".
Most people base their claim of Christianity on the fact that they were born and reared by Christian parents and they have been attending church services all their lives. Others believe they are Christians , even after they have severed all links from the Church , for decades , now.
People do have a right of claim to declare the religion of their choice, but they also need to be informed about how to achieve the desire of their heart to become real Christians by knowing the God who they claim allegiance to but who is unknown by the teeming masses in the UK. Acts 17: 23.
One could say ,concerning this Christianity claim ,"The more people who say they are Christians , the better " and "Be it done to them according to their words of Faith!"
However , be it known that Christian Faith is incomplete if it in words only.
"For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power ".1 Corinthians 4:20.
Words must translate into Belief and then to Confession of Jesus Christ as LORD of a person's life. Romans 10:8-11.

The question is: Who is a Christian?
Is everybody who is called Mary ,Deborah, John or Peter a Christian?
Is the tag "Christian" fit for anyone who has been baptised , confirmed and married in Church? Or for those people who attend church regularly and have been ordained and recognised in the Church by conferment upon them of high sounding, fanciful titles and for those who hold exalted Church positions?
Is it possible to know , accurately , who is and who is not a Christian and does anyone have the right to "judge and condemn" anyone as unworthy to bear the name "Christian"?
Whenever the undiluted word of God is preached, those persons who are struck by the two-edged sword which is the TRUTH in the word ; usually refuse to accept and submit to the Word of God, because it is contrary to their sinful desires .
Such persons would resort to labeling such preaching as " hypocritical judgement of others!". Name -calling would not help those who reject the truth in the word of God
Let God be true but every man a liar! Romans 3:4
"Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son ". I John 2 :22.

Yes it is possible to know who is and who is not a Christian , based on the Word of God .
You, can have the personal assurance that you are saved and you are a Christian.
Christianity is NOT a religion. It is a way of life , lived by Christians through the grace of God; in submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
A Christian is that person who has been forgiven and washed clean of ALL sin , by the blood of Jesus Christ . Matthew 26:28,John 3:16, Romans 5:18.
Also, he is that person who has believed and accepted the grace of God , by Faith in the finished Salvation work of Jesus Christ. John 3:16-18 .
The Christian lifestyle is one that is led by the Spirit of God. Romans 8:12-18.
A Christian has the assurance that he or she is following the Only Right Way to God , is Heaven -bound and has inherited Eternal Life. John 8:7-18,John 14:6.
The world says that nobody can be sure of who is "right" with God and that no one can be sure of where any one would go to ,after death , whether to Heaven or Hell.
Some people , even believe that if their good deeds and bad deeds were placed on a scale by God then , where they would end up in, whether Heaven or Hell would be determined by which side the scales tilt towards!
How sad and scary is their doctrine?
No wonder! Sad and scared persons who are not sure of who they are or of where they are going to always cause confusion, terror and problems everywhere they go.

There should be no confusion or uncertainty for Christians: and that is the beauty and the clear difference between Christians and others.
If God considered the weight of our Sin , who would stand guiltless?
Christians are saved and live by Grace and not by their works. Ephesians 2: 8-10.
"Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign Lord comes escape from death ".Psalm 68:20.( NIV )
All other opinions of our status with God pale into insignificance before the Light of the Word of God.
Study the Holy Bible. Therein lies our confirmation and assurance as Christians.
“England has two books; the Bible and Shakespeare. England made Shakespeare, but the Bible made England.” ~ Victor Hugo, French writer. 1802-1885
Today, the level of Bible Knowledge in the UK and in the whole of Europe is abysmal.
People , actually think it is funny and "cool" to be Bible-Illiterates!
Watching or listening to TV and Radio quiz programmes which feature questions on the Bible, would convince anybody of the the very low level of its knowledge today ,in the UK.
“Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.”
~ St. Jerome .

Recently , someone, actually , LOST £32,000 in a popular TV quiz programme because he did not know that the name of Jacob's father is Isaac!
Even inside the Church , it is amazing and alarming that many Christian church workers and even ministers do not study the Holy Bible regularly, they do not know and do not believe what the Holy Bible says !
Some Church ministers have sent me emails to comment on my blogs and to dispute my writings on the Trinity, on who the Holy Spirit is and to argue with me that the Bible records of the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ are "figurative" events which did not actually take place!
Of course , I replied them and they got more than what they bargained for.
Just to think that these are people who draw salaries and allowances from the Church and they parade themselves as Church board members and as "Shepherds" leading the flock!
Leading their flock to where?!
When they filled their Census forms ; your guess is as good as mine that they would tick "Christianity" as their religion.

A Christian without an arsenal of the Word is like a soldier without arms, weapons and body armour , heading for the battle front!
Some Christians even argue , due to their ignorance of the Bible and their desire to PACIFY non -Christians; that "it is WRONG for Christians to believe and say that Christians are NOT serving the same God with unbelievers !"
"We are all serving the same God !", some Christians would say.
No we are not all serving the same God!
There are millions of "gods" on earth, jostling for worship from human beings!
Each of these "gods" are deceiving millions by claiming they are the " One True God"!
What does the Holy Bible say about unbelievers of the Word of God ?( John 8:42-47, I John 2:22-25 , Matthew 3:16,17 17:5)

The Word of God in the Holy Bible is powerful and it will abide forever , even when Heaven and Earth have ceased to exist . Matthew 24:35.
God's word CANNOT be changed, modernised and rewritten to conform to any one's sinful lifestyle.
The world has no power or authority to "change and modernise" God and His Word.
It must be the other way round , by power and by force.
Peoples'lives and the world must change when they are impacted by the God's Word!
As you read and hear the Word of God today may you be delivered from REBELLION against God and may your life-story be changed by Jesus Christ the Life-Changer; for your life to become beautified and rewritten to conform to the Word of God which is the will of God for your life.
The Holy Bible tells how to recognise persons who are not Christians.John 3:18.
"Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: but he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also". 1 John 2:23.

We will know , soon, what percentage of population have ticked the "Christianity " box this time around during the 2011 Census.
Whether these persons are "real" or "fake" Christians, I wouldn't know.
One thing I know is, fake or real ,there is Hope because the heart of this nation is ready and it is fallow ground for Christian Revival in the UK.
God sees the hearts of men and contrite and humble hearts , God would not despise.
The United Kingdom was built on Christian principles .
Majority of the population in the UK would stand up for Christ and for the Church, if push comes to shove; they would hold up the "No Vacancy" sign against every evil mandate in the land.
The counsel of the enemies of the Gospel in the United Kingdom shall not prosper.
Isaiah 37: 28- 36. Amen!

No comments:

Post a Comment