The BBC News Page this morning has an interesting article about the forthcoming census. As a Christian, I have to say that I support the basic principle of the British Humanist Association’s Census Campaign (even if I disagree with some of the underlying motives).
It’s about time that we got people to think honestly about their faith. The Church of England suggested to the BBC that “Christianity is a religion that people identify with, regardless of their level of church-going,” but I am left wondering exactly what this form of Christianity is.
My gut feel is that the religion a lot of people identify with is one which vaguely hopes in a God and an afterlife, and has something to do with ‘being good.’ Identifying oneself as a ‘Christian’ in this case is a way of affirming oneself as a ‘good person.’ I think that most people feel that they are ‘good,’ and for some, ticking the Christian box on the census adds a sense of authenticity.
Personally, I am reminded of one of Jesus’ parables, as recorded by Luke…
In my experience, a lot of people are ignorant of what it really means to be a Christian. It’s a shame that the Church has not always stood up for itself, and it should be encouraged to do so. In the meantime, although I support many of the policies the BHA appears to stand against, I remain hopeful that the poster campaign will encourage people to think about faith for themselves, and make an effort to understand what being a Christian is all about.