Most Britons do not believe the Biblical story of the birth of Jesus, a study has found.
By Ben Leach
Last Updated: 10:20PM GMT 20 Dec 2008
Young people were particularly doubtful about the nativity, with 78 per cent of 16-24-year-olds saying they were not convinced of its historical reliability.
Overall, 70 per cent were sceptical of the baby’s birth in a manger to a virgin mother, according to the poll of 1,000 people by the British Marketing Research Bureau.
Almost a quarter of those questioned who described themselves as Christians admitted they did not believe certain aspects of the Bible’s teaching about Jesus.
The survey was commissioned by St Helen’s Church in Bishopsgate, London, which has produced a film of “sound evidence” supporting the Bible’s account. The Rev Charlie Skrine, curate of the church, said the survey showed that “most of the UK believes that the accounts of Jesus’s birth aren’t good history“.
He added: “Combined with a general lack of understanding about the real meaning of Christmas, this leaves people without the hope that Jesus offers.”
Simon Gathercole, a new testament scholar at Cambridge University, said people were sceptical because they were not aware the origins of Christianity were anchored in real history.
He added: “Jesus was born while Augustus was emperor of Rome just before Herod died. We’re talking about events that are anchored in real history not in ancient Greek myths.”
A separate study by Mothers’ Union, a Christian charity, showed that more parents encourage their children to believe in Father Christmas than in the nativity.
A spokeswoman for the charity said the survey “raised concerns that the church needs to do more to support families in the spiritual nurture of their children”.
She added: “The church needs to get across the fact that in times of both adversity and prosperity, it has a universal message which enables people to connect with something outside themselves.”
The study of 1,000 parents found that one in five do not encourage their children to associate Christmas with the nativity. Five per cent do not encourage their children to believe in Father Christmas.
It also found only four per cent plan to attend church services more with their children in 2009.
It comes as the Archbishop of Canterbury said on Saturday that he believed the basic premise of story of the three wise men was true.
Last year, Dr Rowan Williams appeared to cast doubt on it, but speaking on BBC Radio 4, he argued that the idea of astrologers following a bright star to Bethlehem made sense in the historical context.
Asked if he believed the men – who according to the gospel of Matthew, took gold, frankincense and myrrh to baby Jesus – existed, Dr Williams said: “Yes I do. I think I trust the beginning of Matthew’s gospel in broad outline, because the notion that there are astrologers, perhaps of partly Jewish background, just outside the boundaries of the Roman Empire who might be on the watch for this, getting involved in the politics of Herod’s last days in Jerusalem.”
Luke 2 (King James Version)
21And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
Is this baby God in the FLESH????!!!!!
The Holy Prepuce, or Holy Foreskin (Latin præputium or prepucium) is one of several relics attributed to Jesus. At various points in history, a number of churches in Europe have claimed to possess it, sometimes at the same time. Various miraculous powers have been ascribed to it.
Circumcision of Christ [See it here].
How many foreskins did Jesus have?
18, at last count. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_foreskin
[Source] August 29, 2008:
Naperville police are investigating an act of vandalism at a Catholic church near downtown.
Police said a man in his 20s pushed over a 4-foot-tall marble statue of Jesus that stood outside the Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church on Monday night. When the statue tumbled, its head broke off, police said.
The statue was valued at $4,000.
Frank Partipilo, facilities manager at the church, 36 N. Ellsworth St., said the statue has been repaired.
This is the second time the church has been vandalized in three months. In May, someone stole a statue of the Virgin Mary from the lawn of the church. That statue has not been recovered. The 2-foot-tall, white plaster statue was valued at $700.
Holy images have been popping up all over… A grilled cheese sandwich with the image of the Virgin Mary sold for over 17-hundred dollars on Ebay.
– JesusPan is made from durable steel and topped with a non-stick coating.
– JesusPan is perfect for holiday meals
– Jesus Pan has been featured on Tonight Show with Jay Leno!
ELYRIA — Jesus Christ had a homosexual relationship?
Those words, written on a poster above the image of a topless man tenderly kissing Jesus on the neck, angered dozens of students Thursday night at Lorain County Community College.
“We had complaints all day,” said Amanda Lucero, a senior who also works at The Student Connection. “It’s sexually graphic. It’s very suggestive, and it still would be if it were a man and a woman.”
The sign went up about 4 p.m. in College Center student commons as part of Club Awareness Week, along with many other displays advertising student-run extracurricular organizations.
Students stopped to gawk, then grew angry and very vocal about the statement made by the poster.
Campus security guards said offended undergrads voiced complaints for about three straight hours, but the sign remained up because it didn’t present a security issue.
“You can’t portray Jesus like that. He believes in matrimony, that relationships like that should be done inside matrimony,” sophomore Brianna Holland said.
She said she believes homosexuality is wrong because she is a Christian, but she also said she is proud that her religion teaches tolerance and acceptance.
“I have a lot of homosexual friends. I’m not going to tell them they’re going to hell. That’s something they have to take care of between them and God,” Holland said.
Student aide Jessica Hodge said she felt the poster would “pollute the minds” of her children, ages 2 and 5, if they saw it.
“It looks like soft-core pornography,” she said. “I don’t think they’re making a statement at all. They just want to shock everyone.”
A Christian, Hodge said she doesn’t try to force her opinions on others. Questioning religion is fine, but mocking it isn’t, she said.
Lucero said the LCCC student handbook agrees, and pointed out a part of the school code that says, “Harassing any person(s) verbally, in writing, by graphic illustration, or physically, including any abuse, defamatory comments, signs or signals intended to mock or ridicule race, religion, age, sex, color, disability, sexual orientation, or national or ethnic origin” is not allowed.
“In higher education, we certainly respect all viewpoints. There is debate, and there are different perspectives,” Marcia Ballinger, LCCC’s vice president, said. “Controversy on a college campus from students is something that is inherent to free speech.”
That doesn’t necessarily mean she agrees with the message of the poster.
Christopher Burns is the secretary and treasurer of the campus Activists for Atheism club, which put up the poster.
He said it wasn’t intended to mock religion. Instead, the poster was meant to stir debate about Christianity by referencing a passage of the Bible that was allegedly cut out by early Christians.
Burns said most Christians have never heard of the Secret Gospel of Mark, which was found inscribed in a letter by Greek historian Clement of Alexandria. The letter has been disputed for decades and is now lost, with only photographs of the passages remaining for study.
One text from the letter hints that the Bible’s account of Mark’s gospel originally told the tale of Jesus raising a man from the dead and then having an intimate relationship with him, said Aaron Weaver, a senior at LCCC and president of the college atheist club.
“The purpose of the poster is to get students to see something they haven’t seen before,” he said. “The chances are it challenges them to challenge something they thought they knew.”
Sure, the poster was attention-seeking, but ultimately Weaver said he just wanted to create enough buzz to get people debating and thinking about why they believe what they believe.
“I understand that people will be offended. People will sometimes be offended for the most ridiculous of reasons,” he said.
He said his fellow students have the right to practice their religions and to express themselves in any way they choose.
He said he was shocked to learn the college had a policy that bans students from mocking religion, or any idea, for that matter. The policy is a clear violation of the First Amendment, Weaver said.
Sophomore Dejoune Grantham said the poster is libelous and blasphemous, and in her opinion it isn’t protected by the First Amendment.
“I don’t want my children walking through here and seeing that. It’s filthy,” she said.
Another sophomore, Amber Cales, said the poster was in a public place, and it was easily seen by anyone who passed. She said that took away her right as a parent to shield her children from controversial ideas.
She said she also felt the poster was just taking a pot-shot at Christianity instead of protesting all religious expression.
“You know if it was something about Judaism or Islam, it wouldn’t be tolerated,” she said.
A student named Zach Jefferson, who Weaver said is not a member of the atheist group, decided about 7:30 p.m. to take down the poster, but he wouldn’t say why.
Laura Nash, president of the Student Senate, said she wasn’t surprised at the outrage so many students voiced.
She said anyone offended should write a complaint and submit it to the Campus Life Division or campus security.
Weaver said anyone offended by the poster has never read the Bible.
“The Bible is full of gross sexuality, rape, murder. If you’ve read through the Old Testament, you’d be disgusted,” he said.
He said he received permission from Student Life officers to put up the poster but was denied permission to place smaller versions on bulletin boards.
And Weaver said he didn’t just take a shot at Christianity. On Wednesday, he put up a picture of the prophet Mohammed — an act strictly forbidden in the Islamic faith.
He said that about 2:20 p.m. Wednesday, he received a death threat in response to the picture, which read, “With love and missiles.” He took the picture down, turned over the note to campus security officers and went home.
“I put myself at risk, but I do so freely. I don’t let fear or the threat of death stop me from speaking my mind freely,” he said.
Truro Daily News
MIDDLE STEWIACKE, N.S. – Jesus has been found – and Rees Rockey couldn’t be happier.
Thieves stole the metre-high concrete statue of Jesus from the grave of Rockey’ brother’s nearly two weeks ago. But when the local RCMP issued a news release on the theft, the stolen statue miraculously turned up this week on a back road in Upper Stewiacke, near Truro.
Const. Brad Wood, of Colchester County RCMP, said a passerby spotted the statue about five minutes after hearing a radio news report on the theft.
The stature wasn’t damaged, he said. “It appears someone had a guilty conscience and brought it back.”
“I was really surprised,” Rockey said. “I didn’t think we would get it back.”
The one-of-a-kind statue, made in Prince Edward Island, has been in a dome at the gravesite of Jim Rees for seven years.
“They must have had a little change of heart,” said Rockey. “I think it’s very nice of them to do that, really.”
Wood said they have no leads on the thieves and the police investigation has ended [source link].
This is clipped from PR-inside.com:
Notice this line:
Jesus is the only Son that God created by himself.
The Holy Quran revealed this fact 1400 yrs ago:
This similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam: He created him from dust, then said to him: “Be” and he was.
Holy Quran 3:59
If you really need to see Jesus in a different light, then read this book instead: Chirst in Islam by Ahmed Deedat.
Watch the content of this book: download vidoe [RM] here 35 MB
Listen to the content of the book [mp3]:
Faith Can Mean Big Business With Items Like T-Shirts, Dolls and Mints
By JUJU CHANG and WENDY BRUNDIGE
Aug. 10, 2008
Worship has a new look now that the Bible, God and church have become commodities. From the Bible Bar to Holy bottled water, to quench your spiritual hunger and thrust, some marketers are selling religious merchandise in the hopes of spreading their faith.
But this 21st century way of approaching the relationship between God and man is not what some are used to. The thought that consumers can buy a bobblehead Jesus to act as a co-pilot, or attend Florida’s Holy Land theme park when they’re looking to blend faith and vacation, troubles critics.
Christian commodities are big business.
“Turning everything religious into a little plastic toy can cheapen religion, trivialize it,” said Beliefnet.com editor in chief, Steve Waldman. “The other danger is that people will think that by wearing a “Jesus is my homeboy” t-shirt, that that by itself makes them a good Christian.”
Critics question if the commercialization of religion is really what Jesus would do, but even Waldman said he sees a way the God-related products could help spread the faith.
“One of the purposes of Evangelicalism is to spread the word. So, wearing a t-shirt or a bracelet that brings Jesus’ messages to other people is actually part of the faith,” Waldman said.
The people behind the products believe they are what Jesus would buy.
“All of our products are based on the scriptures, on the Bible. We believe that the core to everything that we’re doing is the Bible,” said president and CEO Bill Anderson, of the Association for Christian Retail.
And it all equals big business. At the International Christian Retail Show last month in Orlando, Fla., the product displays stretched so far, they would have filled eight football fields.
The sale of Christian books, bibles, music, and items falling into that more dubious category of “other” is a $4.6 billion a year business. But not everyone agrees that the best way to spread the word of God is with a shoe insole or a Testamint.
“We’re a candy company, but we’re really a message company. We use the candy as a vehicle to get the message out,” said a woman selling Scripture Candy.
“Oftentimes, religion is viewed as judgmental, and it’s all about what a bad person you are, and it’s very forbidding. And so, things like this that have a sense of humor simply are making religion more accessible,” Waldman said.
Accountrements is another company with a variety of different Jesus products. They make this Jesus figure you can attach to your dashboard. Again, this might offend some people, so have a careful look at it if you are thinking of giving this as a gift.
Is this the “Lord” and “God” of the Christians?!