A new poll reveals that less than half (46 percent) of the Christians in the United Kingdom believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the world’s sins.
Results from a BBC poll conducted last month on more than 2,000 British adults were announced by a BBC radio program Sunday, spurring the host to ask, “How much of the traditional Easter story is actually optional for Christians?”
Church doubting foundation of their faith?
The preceding question appeared to be indirectly answered by commentary the show aired from Anglican priest and author of How to Be a Bad Christian … and a Better Human Being, Dave Tomlinson, who rationalized why he believes less Britons embrace the biblical Easter account.
"It just doesn't make sense," Tomlinson insisted, noting that he observes many evangelicals also doubting the Easter story and Jesus’ atonement for the sin of man. "I think it makes God out to be some kind of weird monster, really."
However, more than eight of 10 regular churchgoing Christians believe that Jesus Christ died and rose again to provide forgiveness of sins.
“The program added that – according to the poll – 82 percent of Christians who attend worship services at least once a month overwhelmingly agree that the Easter story is true,” Breitbart News recounted from the BBC show. “So it would seem the numbers depend greatly on how individuals define themselves: Respondents can say they identify as Christians, insist they don't believe Christ died and rose from the dead for the forgiveness of their sins – but it appears most of them don't identify as Christians enough to attend church at least once a month.”
There were a number of pointed responses to BBC’s tweet unleashing the poll’s results – that a majority of U.K. Christians do not believe in Christ’s death and resurrection for their sins.
"Um.... then they are not Christians," one Twitter follower asserted, while another asked, "How can they say they're Christian if they don't believe in the main part of the story?"
Another bluntly made the following conclusion:
"This makes them not Christians," a straightforward Twitter user posted.
One skeptic tweeted a question implying that is it not fair for people who do good – according to man – are not going to heaven.
"What do you call someone who lives their life in the way Jesus did – loving everyone, fighting injustice, following the Sermon on the Mount – but who doesn't think Jesus was/is God and didn't rise again after his death?" the tweet posed.
But a wise answer based in Scripture was soon provided.
"Tragic. Because if you're living the way Jesus did, it's impossible that He wouldn't have inspired your soul to search for Him and understand that being holy is infinitely more than just being nice and good,” a Twitter user replied. “That means you've turned down His invite for you to really follow Him."
Unfaithful then and now
Before Easter in 2017, somewhat different results were generated from a similar poll that asked Britons numerous questions about their belief – or unbelief – with more than four out of five Britons believing at the time that Easter celebrates a fictitious story.
“Just 17 percent of the general public believe word-for-word the Bible account of the Resurrection, [while] a quarter of people who describe themselves as Christians in Great Britain do not believe in the resurrection of Jesus – a survey commissioned by the BBC suggests,” the BBC poll of 2,010 British adults conducted by ComRes divulged in April 2017. “However, almost one in 10 people of no religion say they do believe the Easter story, but it has ‘some content that should not be taken literally.’"
Shockingly, less that a third of self-proclaimed Christians on the island nation accepted a literal interpretation of Scripture, while just over half of regular churchgoing believers took the Bible at its Word.
“Thirty-one (31) percent of Christians believe word-for-word the Bible version, rising to 57 percent among ‘active’ Christians – those who go to a religious service at least once a month,” BBC relayed from the poll at the time. “Exactly half of all people surveyed did not believe in the resurrection at all.”
Britons were closely divided about their belief in eternity.
“Forty-six (46) percent of people say they believe in some form of life after death, and 46 percent do not, [while] 20 percent of non-religious people say they believe in some form of life after death,” the poll report added. “Nine percent of non-religious people believe in the Resurrection – 1 percent of whom say they believe it literally.”