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Then, further than that, as the name implies, you must have some kind of belief about Christ.
As I said before, in olden days it had a much more full-blooded sense. Belief in eternal hell fire was an essential item of Christian belief until pretty recent times.
In this country, as you know, it ceased to be an essential item because of a decision of the Privy Council, and from that decision the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of York dissented; but in this country our religion is settled by Act of Parliament, and therefore the Privy Council was able to override Their Graces and hell was no longer necessary to a Christian.
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Officers and Organization Contact Us The Lecture that is here reproduced was delivered at the Battersea Town Hall on Sunday March 6, 1927, under the auspices of the South London Branch of the National Secular Society.
Consequently I shall not insist that a Christian must believe in hell.
THE EXISTENCE OF GOD To come to this question of the existence of God, it is a large and serious question, and if I were to attempt to deal with it in any adequate manner I should have to keep you here until Kingdom Come, so that you will have to excuse me if I deal with it in a somewhat summary fashion.
In that sense I suppose there would be Christians in all sects and creeds; but I do not think that that is the proper sense of the word, if only because it would imply that all the people who are not Christians—all the Buddhists, Confucians, Mohammedans, and so on—are not trying to live a good life.
I do not mean by a Christian any person who tries to live decently according to his lights.
They had to introduce it because at one time the Freethinkers adopted the habit of saying that there were such and such arguments which mere reason might urge against the existence of God, but of course they knew as a matter of faith that God did exist.
The arguments and the reasons were set out at great length, and the Catholic Church felt that they must stop it.