Devout English Christians
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20-11-2014, 03:06 PM
Devout English Christians
I have a few friends who describe themselves as 'devout christians', but they don't even know the basics of the religion at all. In fact I'd say that, even with me being an atheist and subscribing to the idea that there were probably multiple people assuming the role of Jesus in the 1st century, I am much more of a christian than they are. xD

Just for an example for the thread; my neighbour Cucumber John (also known as Tomato John in some circles), he describes himself as a christian and is never quick to mention it in any conversation. Also wears a giant cross around his neck and has 'Praise Jesus' painted on the door of every shed and greenhouse he owns. Despite this though he doesn't even own a bible, neither has he read it or can even recall any common verses. He also never attends church at all, and has only been there for the christening of his children, and the wedding of his one grandchild who picked a church instead of a park or manor house for the wedding. He also doesn't seem to be aware of many of the beliefs of mainstream christianity, and he inserts absolutely nothing christian into Easter or Christmas, unless you count insisting on a prayer before meals. But still, any conversation with him involves him telling you to become a christian, or going on about how being a christian is important to him.

In contrast to this though I am averaging one church service a month, own a few copies of the bible, including a very expensive, giant hardback thing I found being sold by some Mormons in Preston for a half reasonable price. I also say the various verses and little bits out of the prayer book I'm expected to at any ceremonies or special services I choose to go to. I know a few of the common songs pretty well too, and I'm on good terms with the local anglican bishop. I think if it weren't for the fact that I don't believe in god, or any of the stories of the bible, I'd be the top christian around here. :L

I'm sure though on top of that that most people here know about how in Britain people will sign the censor as Christian because they think that they have to be christian to be a good person, and it's pretty common to find people who will say things like "I don't believe in god or anything, but I think I'm a christian"

The state of religion in this country is pretty damn bizarre to be honest.

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Leonard Nimoy
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20-11-2014, 03:44 PM
RE: Devout English Christians
Claiming that a "personal relationship with God" is central to your religion tends to lead to that. And by "that", I mean rating what one perceives as that relationship as much more important than any "official" doctrine, scripture, apologetic, etc - interestingly, this has been a huge point of contention as long as there's been a "Christianity"). Same as the ol' "only I know which parts of the Bible are/aren't literal, because my feels the guidance of the Holy Spirit tells me so".

On the other side of things there's a lingering cultural identity to the institutions and rituals of religion(s) even when the beliefs themselves are absent. The meme of "cultural Judaism" has been around for a while, and indeed the treatment of a lot of traditional religion in the far east follows similar lines (ie, it's a thing one does, rather than a thing one believes). I think it's fairly inevitable that Christianity (especially in the cafeteria pick-and-choose sense) go, in part, the same way.

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