Christian Life 

Survey by 3rd-year HTC Student


The following is a brief survey being done by a 3rd-year student with the Highland Theological College. It would be very much appreciated if you could take a couple of minutes in your busy day to tick these questions and click the button to return your responses. 


Thank you!


1. When the "act of the union" was formed over three hundred years ago Scotland’s judicial, religious and educational systems were preserved. With the ever increasing influence of secularism among other things, encroaching and changing these systems, do you think that Christians should have a presence in parliament to at least voice these concerns? 




2. Do you think there is need for a specifically Christian party?
Not sure

3. Do you think a Christian voice is heard through the mainstream political parties, or do you think they are somewhat neutered?
Yes, the Christian voice is heard in the mainstream parties
No, they are somewhat neutered


4. How do Christians get involved in politics when the existing parties sideline Christian principles and Christians who do get involved tend to end up compromising on their principles in toeing the line of the party whips?

5. Do you believe that there are times in history that God's people have had to stand up to speak out for righteousness?

6. With so many changes in our system that seem to be against Christian principles and righteousness, do you think this is such a time?

7. With the ever-increasing loss of influence that the "church" has had on our society, is raising these types of issue going to help or hinder the church's work in our community?

8. If we are going to have Christians standing as a Christian voice in the political arena, how can we ensure that we have the best candidates possible?


9. Did you have the opportunity at the last Scottish parliament/local government elections in May '07 to vote for a specifically Christian candidate standing for a specifically Christian party?

10. If you had the chance to vote for a specifically Christian candidate from a specifically Christian party, would you do that?

11. Are there issues that you feel a Christian party should avoid (such as capital punishment?)

If answering "Yes", please state below what you think these are.

Please now click on the "Send" button below. Thank you!

The Editor, 13/04/2008

Feedback: (Guest) 14/04/2008 16:28
Thank you for your invitation to respond to your survey questionnaire, forwarded by hector Morrison. I have a few queries, and a suggestion, and would appreciate your response before I attempt to repsond to the whole questionnaire.

I don't fully understand question one. You state that "Scotland’s judicial, religious and educational systems were preserved," but don't say what they were preserved from. However, your second sentence implyies that they were preserved from "the ever increasing influence of secularism among other things". If your first statement is true, (that these systems were preserved) then I think you need to show how these systems are now no longer preserved, as you claim they were, so as to avoid a leading question.
You mention secularism as existing "among other things"; can you indicate what these other things are? Since your question ends with a simple binary response, it is important to define your terms precisely so that the response data you gather will have some statistically credible value.
You suggest that, "judicial, religious and educational systems" have been encroached (on). Can you specify which areas of concern are the focus of your question?
You ask whether "Christians should have a prescence in parliament to at least voice these concerns". Which concerns, precisely, are you asking your respondent to reply to?
You use the phrase "to at least voice". Would this question not be more clearly expressed as "at least to voice," thereby avoiding the split infinitive?
Your question implies that Christians do not have a voice in parliament. Yet there are Christians in parliament within the existing parties. How does you survey question allow for this point of view?
With regard to your term "parliament", are you making a statement about Westminster, or Holyrood, (or even the Welsh assembly, as one element within the British governmental system), or all of them?
It appears that you are asking whether the respondent to your interview believes that there should be a Christian political party. Is this what you meant to ask?
The OED gives the spelling of "prescence" as "presence." As a student of HTC, and therefore a representative of its academic standards of excellence, I (respectfully) suggest that it would be sound academic practice to spell-check the material you present to the public.

I hope that these queries have been usesful in the processing of your survey, and look forward to hearing from you.

A fellow HTC undergraduate student.
C.Brian Ross (Rev) (Guest) 14/04/2008 19:34
It is not for me to respond to the specific questions put by the previous correspondent. However, in the spirit of the old adage about pots calling kettles black, I would point out that the word "useful" has only one letter 's'. As one with more academic qualifications than I have hot breakfasts in any month, I would "... (respectfully) suggest that it would be sound academic practice to spell-check the material you present to the public." Blessings.
05011195 (Guest) 14/04/2008 23:15
Neither is it up to me to reply to the questions put by the 'fellow HTC undergraduate student' but I would respectfully suggest that if he/she finds the questions too difficult to answer he/she accepts his/her limitations and lets the rest of us get on with it. Spellchecking is a good idea - has he/she checked the word 'implyies'(line 6) against the OED?
Penny Lee 15/04/2008 08:32
My goodness! Is it any wonder people are turning away from the church in droves when its representatives (as per the first respondent) are more concerned with being patronising and pedantic than trying to help the fellow student who presented the questionnaire?

Should you be planning to eventually lead a church, how can you expect to lead anyone to Christ when you are concentrating more on their grammatical expertise?

My friend, you have an awful lot to learn. I hope you learn it before you are let loose on the public.
David McCaig (HTC student) (Guest) 15/04/2008 11:03
Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to your study. Interesting and thought-provoking questions. I hope you get what you need from the answers.
John Parker (Guest) 15/04/2008 20:59
And in that day many will say "Lord, Lord ..." etc.

If ever there was any doubt that the pharisees are alive and well, it can be found in some of the infantile responses to a student doing his or her best.

I have no doubt there will be many in glory who will have made spelling mistakes in their lives, but of some others I less sure.

And perhaps it is not so much spelling that needs to be checked before it is "presented to the public", but hearts that need to be examined.
C.Brian Ross (Rev) (Guest) 17/04/2008 23:26
Oh dear! One of the difficulties about the written word is its inability to convey a tone of voice, or even a twinkle of an eye! We have the same difficulty in the record of Jesus' dealings with a certain Syro-Phoenician woman. Taking the "cold" word, exactly as it stands, makes his response to her that "It isn't right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs" (Mt.15:26, NLT) sound very rude,if not down-right insulting! But I believe that, as He spoke, there was a twinkle in the eye of the Master that encouraged the woman to reply in the way that she did.
My own comment was made, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, in response to the first "critical" comment - in which I believed (and still believe) the correspondent "shot himself in the foot". I don't believe that I was being, in any way, Pharisaic (btw, proper names deserve a capital letter!!), and that was certainly not my intention.
Seeking the very best in the service of the Lord is not being pedantic - it's just seeking the very best!!
I should add that I did complete the questionnaire and, as one who was a List Candidate for The Scottish Christian Party in last May's (farcical) elections to the Scottish Parliament, I wish the compiler of the questionnaire well in his/her endeavours.
Editor 18/04/2008 08:04
Brian has made a very good and valid point. In normal face-to-face encounters 80% of what we say is communicated not by our words but by "body language" (posture, tone of voice, expression etc.)
And we all know that the lack of these nuances in an on-line written (and public) environment is very often the cause of "flame wars" (as they used to be called in the early days of on-line debates).

And the "default" in on-line dialogue is that the medium tends invariably to "harden" comments.
For this reasons various methods have evolved (e.g. the icon which Brian has used (and another one which attaches to this message).
Alternatives are :-) or (smiling) etc.

Thanks Brian for your illustration of the pitfalls.

And I won't start a discussion on the use of Capital Letters at the moment . (wink, duck and run).
Penny Lee 18/04/2008 09:36

Please be assured that my comments were in response to the first HTC respondent alone and I consider all the replies to it quite legitimate.

I do agree with you that it is almost impossible to make certain comments with humour as tone of voice or facial expression can completely change its impact. I don't honestly think the HTC student meant to be offensive but rather over-enthusiastically tried to correct what they saw as flaws in the grammar and content of the article.

That may be appropriate in the context of the classroom but not in a public forum where we can expect to see all levels of literacy.
Editor 20/04/2008 22:22
The student who posted the quesstionnaire about Christian involvement with politics would like to say a grateful "Thank you" to all those who responded. As - with 2 exceptions - the responses were made by "guests" it is impossible to send a personal thanks to each respondent.
The returns are in the process of being collated and analysed. In due course the results will be made available on the Christians Together web site; and may form the basis for a further discussion on the manner and extent of involvement by Christians in the political process.

Site visitors might like to listen to 2 short interviews which Christians Together conducted last year with Anne McIntyre who heads up the Parliamentary Prayer Scotland team. And it is well worth re-reading Anne's comments which are appended to the article.
Link -

NOTICE: - The 'Response' facility on some articles may be restricted to CT site members. In these circumstances comments/questions from non-site members should be sent to the Editor by e-mail: editor<atsign>

Christians Together in the Highlands and Islands > Christian Life > Christians and Politics > Survey by 3rd-year HTC Student