How’s it Going?
The site emerged from its under-resourced predecessor, englishamish.com, about seven months ago. Since then, there have been a number of causes for encouragement. The site has received tens of thousands of visits. Some visitors stay on the site for a good part of an hour. Of those filling in the site questionnaire, half say they are encouraged in their Faith, indicating the site has given encouragement to several thousand people. About fifty people have signed up for the Newsletter, and at least a dozen have decided to read the Bible for themselves. There is also a steady trickle of thoughtful contributions from readers, which are greatly appreciated at this end.
On the down side, the context for the above is that the site has been promoted through Google nearly two million times, focussing on people doing relevant searches. I suspect that only about 5% of the UK population care enough about Christianity to do Google searches related to it, which would be about three million people. This indicates that the site has already been promoted to at least a significant proportion of those likely to be interested. In that context, fifty sign-ups to the Newsletter points to those who like the site not just being on the fringe, but on the fringe of an edge of the fringe! Or putting it another way, they (we) are “statistically invisible.” Also, more than half of all visitors to the site take a brief look, then promptly leave.
On balance, I am far more encouraged than the reverse. The lack of interest in God is not a surprise to me. Many years ago I worked a one-year contract in a High School where I was unknown, and decided to give no hint that I was a Christian, as I wanted to gauge the general level of interest in “things religious.” Although I was a Science Teacher I did a little work in the two-person RE Department. On arrival there I was greeted by the Department Head with the words “Don’t worry about what you’ve got to teach; we’re both atheists.” It never even occurred to her to ask first if I was a Christian. That set the tone for the whole year, so I have had no illusions since then about the level and nature of spiritual interest in the UK. In the context of that, fifty people signing on for the Newsletter comes as a very pleasant surprise. I wasn’t sure at the beginning if I would ever need to write one!
Popular Versus Unpopular Articles.
The only way to estimate the popularity of an article is from statistics that show if people leave the site after reading it. On this basis, two of the most popular articles are “No Man Hath Greater Love – the Bible used as War Propaganda” and “Sins Visited on the Fourth Generation. Is That Justice?” Using these statistics, it would be possible to increase the reading people do on the site by promoting the popular articles and dropping unpopular ones. Newspapers do a lot of that to retain and increase readers. Unfortunately, two of the consistently very unpopular articles are “Hijack of Christianity by Church” and “Christianity is a Relationship with Jesus, Not a Religion.” No amount of editing makes either of those articles any more popular. I’ve tried! And their message is fundamental to what the site is about. Interesting.
A Quick Rant!
One thing that continues to vex me is the amazing strangle-hold that evolution has on the popular imagination. I know countless people who believe in the supposed truckloads of evidence for Darwinism, but nobody who can offer me even one, single piece of evidence. The excuse has almost always been “I’m not a scientist”, though once when I was talking with a physicist he said “I’m not an evolutionary biologist.” Either way, people are admitting to a profound belief in something which they know nothing about. The very same people will quickly criticise Christians if they are unable to explain every detail of how God works! I understand why atheists are committed to Darwinism: it gives them a God-free story of Origins that is essential to their belief system. But why do so many Christians refuse to even look properly at the evidence?
I also do understand how clever the media is here. In days gone by, as an evolutionist, I never noticed the constant media references to it. Now I do. A prime example was just recently on BBC4’s “History of Christianity”, presented by Professor Sir Diarmaid MacCulloch. As TV goes, it was pretty good. But towards the end of his coverage of rationalism/skepticism he said “And then Darwin saw evidence for evolution in the fossils.” In other words, the “rationalists” were finally vindicated by the Great Darwin. But what MacCulloch said is a lie. Darwin was very clear that the absence of intermediate forms in the Fossil Record – we now call them Missing Links – was devastating to his theory. He actually saw, and understood, evidence against his theory in the fossils. But the drip-feed of misinformation such as this in the media bolsters belief in it. And in this particular case, leads to people often saying “the fossils” when asked for evidence of evolution. Thus, one of the most profound pieces of evidence against the theory becomes, in the popular imagination, powerful evidence for it!
Also well worth noting in this case: the Intelligent Design argument, to take one example, destroys atheistic evolution but allows the theistic version. The absence of intermediate fossils destroys both. God could theoretically have used evolution, but the Missing Links prove He didn’t. (And numbers should not be allowed to confuse this issue; there are odd controversial claims of Missing Links having been found, but Darwinism requires trillions.)
Website “Business” Cards.
I’ve had cards printed that introduce the website. I carry them with me and generally hand out several each month as opportunities present. It provides people with a big bunch of information without me needing to say very much.
If you would like some, reply to this email with your address. I’ll send some with a protective wallet so they don’t go dog-eared in your pocket. You might also find them useful if friends and relatives think you’re the only person who thinks like you do; you can show them that you are not alone. (At least, not quite!)
What about a Meet-up?
I’ve had this in mind for a while. The obvious problem is that we are very thin on the ground, so a significant amount of travelling is likely to be involved. If you’re interested just email back with your postcode and how far you feel able to travel. I’ll plot responses on a map, which will show if a meeting is possible or not.
If it happens, I’m thinking of a very informal affair, possibly starting with everyone introducing themselves in a whole-group session, then breaking up into completely informal chats. I’m open to other ideas, or just “going with the flow.” Any meeting will, in any event, be very small. Thoughts welcome!
A lot of people have filled in the little “Quick-click” Questionnaire on the website. It’s been useful in helping to understand how the site is received. For example, virtually everyone who visits the site describes themselves as “Christian”. Very few say “Creationist”. The site is generally not reaching atheists, but does sometimes reach Muslims. The responses are overwhelmingly from the UK and Ireland, where it is targeted. Although about ten per cent of site visits are from the USA, nobody from there has ever answered the questionnaire. I’m planning a new questionnaire that will go a little deeper. If you notice it when on the site, do please fill it in.
What’s New or Coming Next?
A reader introduced us to the book “Harlot Church”, which the site now links to from an article. There’s also now a NEW Page on the Top Menu which makes it easy to find recent Posts. Also on the Top Menu now is a FORUM (Discussion Page). It took months to get it up and running, but it seems to be fine now. About a dozen people are signed up, but no discussions yet! Please dive in and start one if there’s something on your mind!
There’s also an article that links to a YouTube channel for people who prefer to listen rather than read. Only half-a-dozen articles are on YouTube so far, while we try to work out if there’s any real demand. (Update – the latest Newsletter sign-up was from someone who found the YouTube channel first, so the channel will stay, even if not expanded.)
After receiving information that’s new (at least to us) on Romans 13 (Submission to Government) and on the “Lost Tribes” of Israel, we are working towards articles on both. We think the second of the two mentioned is probably of great significance. The “Lost Tribes” might be better referred to as the “Forgotten Tribes”. They almost never get a mention anywhere. Yet they are the majority of the Tribes of Israel, and the Bible always makes a clear distinction between Judah, which generally means Judah and Benjamin, or the Southern Kingdom, and the other Ten Tribes, or Northern Kingdom. Is it likely that the majority of the Tribes that made up God’s Chosen People, Israel, would just disappear into thin air?
Many thanks for reading on the site and the Newsletter,