By Walid Shoebat
Church of England attendance has slumped dramatically, leading the Archbishop of Canterbury to warn against the rise of “anti-Christian” culture and defend the church’s record as a force for good in society.
The land where protestantism sprouted is now a hotbed of Islam and liberalism. The church’s annual pew count reports only 1.4 percent of the population of England attends Anglican services every Sunday. Mid-week services have also slipped below the one million mark for the first time. Average Sunday attendance has fallen by 22,000 from 764,700 in 2014. That is a third less than the average during the 1960s.
The fall is partly down to the ageing and death of worshipers, with the church losing 1 percent of its attendees per year.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby told a recent crisis meeting of Anglican leaders the church is being affected by an “anti-Christian culture.”
“In this country many talk of the post-Christian society, but the Church of England educates more than a million children in our schools,” he told the gathered Primates.
In Germany, the centre of the reformation, 52 percent of inhabitants said they did not believe in any God, and just 8 percent said they believed in a God.
And if church attendance is any measure, family size, marriage and divorce rates should also play a crucial factor.
For example, Catholic countries in Europe and elsewhere, such as Ireland, Spain, or Mexico, had larger families than did predominantly Protestant countries, like England, Germany, Sweden or Norway.
The US has 53% divorce rates, France 55%, Estonia 58% where only 18% of Estonian citizens responded that “they believe there is a God”. Luxembourg has a 60% divorce rate while 25% of the Luxembourgers said they did not belong to any religion. Belgium is the highest rate of divorce in the world with a whopping 71% divorce rate.
Catholic Mexico has one of the lowest divorce rates in the world. This is a direct result because devout Catholics put much importance on family unity. The brothers in a family are expected to defend there sisters both physically and verbally. The sisters role is to reflect the image or their mother where they view Mary as the ultimate example. Also in the nation of Georgia (divorce is .036 in 10,000), Chile (.42 in 10,000), Italy (.47 in 10,000) including El-Salvador and Macedonia are still doing much better than Europe and the U.S.
Research also shows that Catholics who marry other Catholics are also less likely to divorce than Catholics married to people of other faiths while 49 percent of Church annulment cases introduced globally took place in the United States.
THE SIMPLE RECIPE ON HOW TO FIX THE MARRIAGE PROBLEM
I am happily married to a Mexican American where she does not burn much oil and still runs on 4 cylinders. This is just a joke, okay, so don’t flood the comment section, please.
How could she have put up with my Muslim faith prior to my conversion? “Marriage is a sacrament and divorce is no option” Maria told me on several occasions. Although she made the mistake of being unequally yoked, but as I became Christian, thanks to her witness, and my chauvinism decreased dramatically things just worked out for the better.
When it comes to marriage, the secret is, emulate Jesus, and for women, what is the problem of emulating His mother as well? Mary was not simply an incubator. She was also viewed from the beginning as the mother of the Church. She is “full of grace” and the more the ungodly try to slice and dice this, the more they will fail in their marriage. Mary paid an ultimate sacrifice in her life. Anyone wants to argue this?
When it comes to marriage and divorce, always examine the record. In my wife’s case, she was a member of ten brothers and sisters where only one of her sisters was divorced. But the divorce was initiated by the dud father and not the wife who believed in the sacraments. When I got married I made sure that there are virtually no divorces initiated by any member of Maria’s family or even the relatives.
Many times when I see a divorce I always ask about the divorce rate in the family as a whole. If divorce is an epidemic, do not marry from that litter no matter how in love you are.
I also find that in churches that discusses marriage the whole time, it is there where you will find highest divorce rates and is why they discuss it so much. The focus should be on Christ’s sacrifice and the rest comes naturally. A church is not a social clinic. It is there to observe Christ’s sacrifice.
Such discussions do not need rocket science where husbands are to die for the wife as Christ died for the Church, and wives, love your husbands and obey them as to the Lord.
So how does one die for the wife? It takes ultimate sacrifice. That is to defend her, protect her, provide for her, and not providing is worse than an infidel. As to the wife, respect, yield, authority for the major decisions should be the husband’s and frugality is key when it comes to the hard earned money. Also, it is not shameful for men to help in the chores. I grind my own wheat and I bake the bread including cooking and Theodore is an excellent cook as well. My sons plant the garden and one of them is a carpenter who can build anything from solid hardwood floors to furniture to even building a home for Grandma from scratch.
It doesn’t take rocket science. Such biblical teaching was part of the fabric of the culture and became tradition and is the major fabric of the family which keeps family unity. In everything do things like a unit, like a wolf pack, like a bundled cord which cannot be broken.
We need to shame divorce, shame separation, shame the loss of virginity, and shame the dud who does not provide and cast these out of the congregation. Christianity is not the religion of the lazy. Virginity is also crucial. Today we look down on virgins.
Always teach your children frugality. Savings was not an option where we worked the kids to run chores from the age of six. I had them work doing chores and paid them little and they saved till they became 18 where they did not spend their monies on games, instead, they waited till they spent it all when they went to high-school and purchased their vehicle free and clear to drive back and forth from school. Even the home, to prep for Mrs, right, they save and save, pay the home off free and clear. A good marriage should not have debt and a house built on the rock, is a solid home.
The usual in Bethlehem where I grew up was that the husband prepared the home, built it and when all is done, a lamb is slaughtered and the blood poured on the door, then he brings in the bride. Who wants to live life indebted to a bank for a house, a bank for a car, a bank for furniture … this is ultimate slavery.
Wasn’t it Christ Who said that He goes and prepares a home? While this allegory is of heaven, it still applies on earth as it was in Bethlehem for us.
A house built on solid rock is not just allegory, but is literally true. The Three Little Pigs built three houses, the wolf blows down the first two pigs’ houses, made of straw and sticks, but is unable to destroy the third pig’s house, made of bricks …
Instead of TV, my Christian mother would tell us a bedtime story, but rarely excluded this one of the three little pigs, for it was the most important. She planted the seed of the Gospel at times despite her Muslim husband’s persecution. She too remained married until “death do us part”. A good woman is worth the world and a bad husband destroys everything.
People say that such principles are impossible to follow in today’s fast moving world. But I tell you the truth, if we can do it, so can you. The reason you fail the test is because you are of this world and are not separate from it.
Stop working the Bible like a gymnast, apply it, and make it your tradition. It is only when God’s ways become tradition is when we can heal. The lazy who scorn tradition, is usually a biblical gymnast and nothing more. He says and jots Scripture but fails to carry it out. Christ said “if you love Me, you will obey my commandments”. The ticket is to obey. Obey more and talk less.
Once all this is done, we can dedicate everything we do in the service of God since it is “the meek who inherits the earth.”