Survey Results on Belief

 Lots of people qualified their answers and interpreted the questions in different ways. “I suspect my image of God is hugely different to other people’s” . Though not part of the questionnaire but several people said the church community was very important to them.

 

I believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.

  • ­I agree God made heaven and earth but as an overall guiding force. Not in the way creationists believe…ie literally in six days

 

  • …I am ashamed that the church opposed Galileo and Darwin, and that creationists hold great sway in the southern states of America and even in the UK.

 

  • The earth wasn’t made in 6 days. I see no contradiction between what we learn through science about the creation of the universe and evolution and a belief in an Almighty God who somehow is behind it all. The creation story in Genesis is a wonderful portrayal of how people at the time saw things.

 

  • I believer there is something more than this physical life or world and that there is a spirituality that binds us all together. You could call this God, although I don’t think of it as a ‘person’.

 

 I believe Jesus was the Son of God.

  • in a special way – but we can all be sons and daughters of God.

 

  • Jesus is God. God chose to enter this world as one of us and this is how he chose to do it. ‘Son of God’ is a way of expressing this. Part of the Trinity……wholly God and wholly human – I don’t know how.

 

  • I am very unsure about my faith and cautious about the exact relationship between Jesus and God. Being able to be accepted at a church whilst feeling doubtful and unsure is a real example of true Christianity. Fixed, rigid and dogmatic religions are dangerous.

 

  • …in a special way – but we can all be sons and daughters of God.

 

  • I see Jesus as the most perfect example of humanity I know of and someone whose example and way of love I want to follow.

 

  • Sometimes!

I believe Jesus rose from the dead.

  • I can’t believe in a bodily resurrection – but I believe his spirit can be with us

 

  • To me it isn’t important whether or how Jesus rose from the dead, although I can still think of him as with me in some way.

 

  • I’ve had some uncertainty about this but I think something amazing happened and if Jesus is God as well as human, then why not come to life for a second time? He didn’t just come back to life, he was different. I think he was symbolising his presence with us for all time, rather that just performing an amazing miracle.

 

  • I can’t believe in a bodily resurrection but I believe his spirit can be with us

 

  • The resurrection of Jesus is one of the most difficult aspects of belief. This is where faith come in. I am sure there was a spiritual resurrection of Jesus as it became a driving force as described in the Acts of the Apostles and in the writings of St Paul.

 

  • If he didn’t rise from the dead but his body was stolen by the disciples for instance, why would they suffer all the persecution they did for saying so?

 

  • Sometimes!

 I believe in heaven.

  • God’s kingdom on earth – where love is

 

  • Unsure what Heaven means or is

 

  • I would like to believe in heaven but I am not sure the description of it in the Bible is something I can identify with…

 

  • But my vision of heaven…definitely not ‘fire and brimstone’ heaven and hell.

 

  • Afterlife – I believe there are things beyond in time and space that I don’t know about nor can understand. I don’t know what happens after we die but I think something does and it will be good.

Faith comments:

Faith is something that influences my life constantly

  • When I first became a Christian at 18 everything was black and white. Now, nearly 40 years on, most things seem grey. If you ever wanted someone to talk on certainty I am not your person! I still question and hope I will till I die. But Hebrews 11 v1 says: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

 

  • God has been very present to me in difficult situations and given me a strength to go on.

 

  • When my father died three years ago, my faith helped me cope. Even though he was a non-believer I felt he was in a good place being with God.

 

  • I ask for guidance from the Holy Spirit before making important decisions…never underestimate how a strong faith can help in your life.

 

  • Faith became important to me when I read St. Mark’s Gospel as a teenager. I realised that Jesus was the person on whom I wanted to model my life. He was the one I wanted to follow. This gave me a real purpose to life that I did not have before.

 

  • My faith helped me when both my parents became seriously ill. In particular it was hard to see my mother’s suffering – she died of bowel cancer. Although I do not understand why this happened, I know that she is at peace and I know that God helped her and me…

 

  • My faith encourages me to make a difference in the world … it helps me to see good in people and in the world around me.

 

  • To me, having faith is like living life in colour rather than in black and white

 

  • My faith helps me to follow the example of Jesus as best I can.

 

  • When I was at school I was bullied and it helped to have Christian friends who were able to help me apply what Jesus taught to the way I responded, also reminding me during difficult times that God loves me.

 

  • My faith teaches me to have hope and to choose LIFE rather than fear in the way I act in the world.

 

  • Through prayer there always seems to have been an answer to my problems I have experienced.

 

  • Faith is the backdrop against which I live my life. I am not the sort of person who prays for a miracle when a child is seriously ill but I do thank God for the advances in medical knowledge and in medication and the God-given skill and compassion of all medical staff, praying that they will bring all that to bear to treat and heal the person in question.

 

  • I was ‘born a Christian’. I have never known anything else. I tried, in my 20s to stop believing but I couldn’t. I have a ‘God shaped space’ inside me that needs filling and I think God put it there. I have had no dramatic moments of revelation, just lots of little things (and big things) to do with the beauty of the world and all the people in it remind me of God. All the awful things that happen make me question God but not seriously question God’s existence. It’s just that everything makes more sense with God there – not total sense but more sense, than a world without God. [from Connie]

 

  • Faith to me is taking the love of God, in Jesus, on trust and then living with doubts and questions without fear

 

  • Anne Wragg: I can only see life as a pilgrimage or journey and Jesus Christ is a good leader and exemplar and an ever present help – the best. ‘What would Jesus do?’ is a good guide to every day living. I was evacuated from Biafra at the beginning of the Nigerian civil war with Jonathan (nearly 4) and with Helen (nearly 2). Soon after I arrived in the UK I was diagnosed with hepatitis and had to be put into an isolation ward in Leicester General. In the middle of this I gave birth to Timothy but I couldn’t tell Ian because he had stayed in Biafra – blockaded in and no means of communication – no telephone, letter, telegram. But immediately after Tim’s birth there was a rainbow visible from my ward window and for three evenings after that first one there was a rainbow. And I saw the rainbows as signs of hope.