Saturday, March 14, 2009

'Debaptism' and the BBC’s anti-Anglicanism (again)

Maybe the Anabaptists had a point after all, and perhaps the Baptists are more in tune with the UN and EU notions of ‘freedom of religion’. The BBC is reporting of the growing demand for ‘debaptism’ – the ‘cancellation’ of one’s baptism on the grounds that it is imposed upon babies without consent. There are even Debaptism certificates to record the ceremony (whatever form that takes). Setting aside the more trivial debate to which some of His Grace’s more pedantic communicants shall immediately turn their attention – that of whether this should be ‘unchristen’ or ‘de-baptise’ – this is quite a credible campaign in the context of religious liberty and the EU’s Convention on Human Rights.

There is no doubting that some Christian denominations view baptism as nothing more than a symbol, while for others it constitutes a formal initiation into the Christian religion. This being the case, in an era of ever-increasing rights, there ought to be provision if one later changes one’s mind: some announcement in the London Gazette or a certificate declaring: ‘I, (insert name), having been subjected to the rite of Christian baptism in infancy... hereby publicly revoke any implications of that rite. I reject all its creeds and other such superstitions in particular the perfidious belief that any baby needs to be cleansed of original sin...

As ever, a Church of England bishop has proposed an accommodating via media. The Rt Rev Nick Bains, Bishop of Croydon, is willing to see such notices inserted into the baptismal roll to record such a repudiation, though the Church of England has no official policy (Cranmer is tempted to say ‘on much at all’, but he shall resist) to formalise this.

Yet it is curious to read that the Archbishops' Council is of the opinion that the Church of England does not regard baptism as a sign of Church membership.

Here Cranmer revokes his aforementioned resistance, and would like to humbly remind the Archbishops’ Council that baptism is a sacrament initiated by Christ. It is not only a literal cleansing, but a symbolic dying and rising again with Christ. It is the orthodox belief of the Church of England that baptism is necessary for the cleansing of the taint of original sin, and it is for this reason that the Church of England baptises infants. This is consistent with the Catholic Faith of the ancient Catholic Church, as preserved in the Catholic Creeds and maintained in the Catholic and Apostolic constitution of Christ's Church from the beginning.

The position of the Church of England is clearly set out in Article XXVII of the XXXIX Articles of Religion:

Baptism is not only a sign of profession, and mark of difference, whereby Christian men are discerned from others that be not christened, but it is also a sign of regeneration or new birth, whereby, as by an instrument, they that receive baptism rightly are grafted into the Church; the promises of the forgiveness of sin, and of our adoption to be the sons of God by the Holy Ghost, are visibly signed and sealed, faith is confirmed, and grace increased by virtue of prayer unto God.

The baptism of young children is in any wise to be retained in the Church, as most agreeable with the institution of Christ.

The Article was framed to confront the errors of the Anabaptists who maintained an unspiritual view of the sacrament and denied that baptism ought to be administered to infants and young children. Just as circumcision was a mark distinguishing Jews from all others, so baptism was the initial rite for distinguishing Christians from non-Christians. And on the silence of Scripture on infant baptism, the Apostles and all Jews were perfectly familiar with the idea of infants and children being brought into covenant with God by means of (imposed) circumcision. But baptism is not only a badge or mark, but an effectual sign through which grace is conveyed. According to His Grace’s Book of Common Prayer, admission to the Church is one of the blessings of baptism: ‘Seeing now, dearly beloved brethren, that this child is regenerate and grafted into the body of Christ’s Church...’ (cf Jn 3:5; Mk 10:13-16).

But, with its usual anti-Anglican slant, the BBC gives a misleading account of the teaching of the Church of England, and states unequivocally that only the Roman Catholic Church views baptism as incorporation into the Church, noting that ‘membership is later important to the Church if, for example, the same person wants to get married in a Catholic church’.

And so, once again, the BBC portrays the Roman Catholic Church as the guardian of Christian orthodoxy.

Well, with Anglican clerics all doing the trendy bishops’ dance to the tune of the archbishops’ jig, who can blame the corporation for that?

Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society, informs us that 60,000 former Anglicans and Catholics have downloaded their Debaptism certificate, noting (cryptically) that ‘Evangelical noises are getting louder and louder’.

Cranmer is not quite sure what Mr Sanderson means by this, and even less does His Grace understand Mr Sanderson’s assertion that ‘the recent change in European legislation has led to religious beliefs not being challenged at all, and there's no limit at all on what anybody can claim as a valid religious belief’.

Try telling that to Rocco Buttiglione.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I beleive it is written 'repent and be baptised..'

Do infants feel the need to repent?

14 March 2009 at 10:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How would this affecdt the Jewish practice of circumcision?

Ray Griffin, Coventry

14 March 2009 at 11:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Surely the declaration should be:
I turn from Christ.
I do not repent of the sins which separate me from God and neighbours.
I accpet the Devil and all his works

14 March 2009 at 11:35  
Anonymous mckenzie said...

Infant baptism, I think, can seem absurd. It begs the question, what can be achieved by sprinkling water on a baby's head? I remember reading Tess of The Durbervilles (most certainly spelt wrong, but cant be bothered), and when Tess's baby died, the local priest would not allow it to be buried in the church grave yard because the child was un-baptised. Not exactly an historical document, and I can hear the fits of laughter, but did this sort of thing actually take place?

To think that God created the universe, and that some bloke in a black suit and a white collar dictates where your dead flesh can be shoved when your soul has departed for the other world, is sad to say the least. The idea that a tiny plot of land can somehow be any different in this respect to the rest of the planet is pathetic and primitive.

Sprinkling water on babies heads is, as has been pointed out, not really the baptism mentioned in the Gospels. However, what it came to represent was a kind of symbolic beginning for the family, to serve as a reminder about the importance of bring up a child into the Christian church, and to imbue Christian morality, not only into the child, but also to reinforce the Gospel message within the family as a whole.

The birth of a child will, if only momentarily for some, be a very significant event which will stimulate a variety of thoughts and questions for the new parents. This is where the symbolism of infant baptism can cement values and strengthen a family with purpose and mission. If when you get into adulthood, you find that you no longer share any belief, what harm is there done? I find it quite childish that someone would go to such lengths, almost religious like, to undergo a ceremony which would attempt to undo something that by their definition, wasn't done in the first place. Maybe such people should look at the family life they had as children, and ask what would have been different?

14 March 2009 at 11:35  
Anonymous len said...

I believe that faith rather than baptism ,is require for salvation, although the dutiful christian will be baptised in obedience to Jesus.

Water baptism for adults, is an outward sign (to the world) of the re-birth that has already taken place.

The sins of infants are not laid to their account until they reach an age of accountability which makes infant baptism unnecessary.

14 March 2009 at 11:40  
Anonymous the recusant said...

In your 'Cranmer's honours and citations:' section for Pres. Obama, do you mean CCHQ or GCHQ?

14 March 2009 at 12:00  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Recusasnt,

His Grace means precisely as he has written.

14 March 2009 at 12:03  
Blogger haddock said...

taking the water of baptism from Christians does make a refreshing change from the usual taking the p*** out of them.

I thought that 'Confirmation' figured somewhere in the process.

14 March 2009 at 12:05  
Anonymous mckenzie said...

I think we are undergoing a Renaissance. What will be will be though. Maybe mankind suffered infant baptism, and now has to repent and wake up to the truth, the reality. No more dogma based on fragile superstition used for social control. Maybe the future is going to be about honesty and truth, not much to indicate this at the moment, but only we can make the changes. There is a lot of crap that needs to be changed, let's be fair, and until it happens real progress will be stunted.

Until we accept the spiritual side of ourselves without being silly, we will forever be tripping over goblins. Science has been the engine of our advancement, but also it is becoming the reality of our possible destruction. Until we stop demanding a choice between science and spirit, the two real and natural qualities of our human existence will always be unnecessarily at war with each other.

14 March 2009 at 12:07  
Blogger the ink slinger said...

Your Grace, respectfully....

"It is not only a literal cleansing, but a symbolic dying and rising again with Christ"

Says Your Grace.

You have a perfect right to your beliefs, but isn't faith just another word for opinion?

We see baptism and the burdening of the innocent with original sin as somewhere around the same point of the moral compass as the mutilation of an unsuspecting infant's wedding tackle, in other words, little better than child abuse.

Faith and embryo research (and, no doubt, by extension, abortion), two areas where we fear we may cross swords with Your Grace on a fairly regular basis.

14 March 2009 at 13:01  
Blogger the ink slinger said...

Oh, and we forgot to mention....

We agree wholeheartedly with Sr. Buttiglione's contention that he 'may think that homosexuality is a sin,' but that 'this has no effect on politics, unless I say that homosexuality is a crime.'

The difference between him and the Euro left who ambushed him is that they would want to see him punished for so much as thinking it, much less saying it out loud.

14 March 2009 at 13:16  
Blogger Theo said...

Sorry, I really don't get it. How can you renounce allegiance to a god who you do not think exists anyway.

This is a little bit of grandstanding of some quite sad individuals.

Perhaps what they are really saying (as Dawkins is) "Will someone please, please give me some evidence that a Creator God exists because I really want to believe in him"

14 March 2009 at 13:27  
Anonymous Philip Walker said...

The idea that baptism produces regeneration, or is a sign of regeneration of a baby - we cannot know if that baby has repented - , is a serious error, even if it is the Book of Common Prayer! One cannot conjure up regeneration through the actions of man! It is an act of God’s grace, evidenced by repentance and faith, and wanting to get baptised. Baptism is a sign of what God has done in the regenerate, marks them out as belonging to Christ, and evokes faith in the truths it portrays.

While children of believers can be regarded as part of the church until they decide otherwise, and while infant “baptism” may be an aid to faith for Christian parents that their child will one day repent and believe, it is not baptism and shouldn’t preclude the child being baptised when he/she believes later… That people are wanting ‘de-baptism’ when they realise they are not Christians seems to me a natural result of the erroneous idea that baptism produces regeneration, particularly so when applied to babies!

14 March 2009 at 13:30  
Blogger Gnostic said...

I wonder what politically correct f***wit thought this one up? Sorry for the language, Your Grace.

Do you really need a piece of paper to renounce baptism? Most sensible people simply quit doing the church thing and write N/A on forms that ask about your religion. Christianity in not enforceable nor is it legally binding. Baptism is not a marriage so you don't need a divorce.

Baptism is NOT child abuse. No baby was ever traumatised by being baptised and I have never met anyone who became traumatised as an adult. The real choice comes later, during confirmation, when a child is old enough to appreciate the choice being made. And even then it isn't binding, only by choice and conscience.

This situation feels more like a fad. It's an attention getter, nothing more because ultimately it's absurd and pointless. In fact it reminds me of Benjamin Zephaniah rejecting his OBE because it reminded him of "how my foremothers were raped and my forefathers brutalised." This prompted Yasmin Alibhai Brown to send back her MBE which she had apparently only accepted in order to prevent her mother's deportation. It took her three years and Zephaniah's face plastered all over the tabloids to return her honour. She ranted on about brutalised asylum seekers, colonialism, yadda,yadda. She wasn't above cynically using the honours system to get what she wanted though.

Although I'm no longer a practising Christian I won't be applying for an unbaptism certificate because I'm not one of these ridiculous sheeple who crave such attention. Had my grandad still been alive he'd have quite cheerfully called them silly buggers. And that's exactly what they are.

14 March 2009 at 13:38  
Blogger BIGDAN said...

Infant baptism: why BIGDAN does not like to call himself an anglican. It is quite a disgusting concept.

14 March 2009 at 13:52  
Anonymous the recusant said...

CCHQ it is then Your Grace (though I thing GCHQ fits better).

The BBC is only anti Anglican in the sense that it is anti Evangelical, anti Catholic, or anti Orthodox, these are only symptoms of the larger bias that the BBC is anti Christian. I would caution Your Grace not to give too much emphasis to this divide and conquer approach; it only gives comfort to the meeja luvvies at Sheppard’s bush.

From the Roman Catholic perspective one cannot de-baptise, not matter how many bits of paper you sign or affirmations you make. The mark of Christian Baptism is said to impress an ineffaceable character on the soul, which the Tridentine Fathers call a spiritual and indelible mark. That baptism (as well as Confirmation and Holy orders) really does imprint such a character is defined explicitly by the Council of Trent (Sess. VII, can. ix).

14 March 2009 at 13:57  
Anonymous mckenzie said...

Slinging ink and sword fighting is the way to go.

14 March 2009 at 14:03  
Blogger the ink slinger said...

Have at thee, Your Grace!

14 March 2009 at 14:12  
Blogger the ink slinger said...

Oh dear, we see our trusty blade must remain unsheathed.

Glad you included the qualifier, "from a Catholic perspective" there, Recusant.

14 March 2009 at 14:16  
Anonymous len said...

I was baptised as an infant, went on to being confirmed and I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt I wasn`t born again.
I was only born again when I understood That Jesus Christ had suffered for my sins,and his blood had washed me clean ,being born again is through the Grace of God( a supernatural act by the Holy Spirit not by the hands of men)

14 March 2009 at 16:10  
Anonymous Penny said...

I'm with your granddad, Gnostic!

14 March 2009 at 16:35  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Terry Sanderson is a gay lobbyist and author of tomes on the subject - that he hides behind the Secular Society is simply a disguise for his main agenda.

He is somewhat puerile in his activities but ridicule is the best defence

14 March 2009 at 17:15  
Anonymous mckenzie said...

Ink Slinger

You are burdened with original sin, bits of paper will not save you now, anymore than crawling up your mother's vagina could somehow make you un-born.

Your suffering is my suffering.

14 March 2009 at 17:18  
Blogger the ink slinger said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

14 March 2009 at 17:32  
Anonymous the recusant said...

Ahh yes ink slinger, I have to declare an interest, I am, how did you phrase it, Oh yes I have one of those “fevered imaginations of 1.1 billion devoted fantasists.” [papal bull] What can you do, I’ve tried to deny it, hide from it, but every time I think I’m clean, my dealer keeps dragging me back in. Hope you don’t hold it against me, (If you don’t know you might want to research the word recusant).

I note you make an interesting comment regarding Damian Thompson and his contributors (Cranmer and DT don’t get on, but we don’t speak of it [elephant in the room]), you say “but what staggers us is the sheer effort and intellectual rigour that many of the Holy Smoke bloggers put into their arguments”. Well you will find that here too but with not quite so much emphasis on the RCC. Mr Voyager is always worth a read, I’m verbose, but it does tend to clear out the cobwebs, mckenzie always has something interesting to say and ultramontane grumpy old catholic is orthodox and he and I gang up on His Grace sometimes, but we like it here, welcome to the club.

14 March 2009 at 17:38  
Anonymous mckenzie said...

I'm foolin with you. There is an air of desperation in your need to reverse your infant baptism. It really is insignificant to me except a mild curiosity. I don't understand why it is so important to you that other people SHOULD accept your opinion. Well actually I do understand, and I am enjoying it.

You know the saying that the pen is mightier than the sword? You conjure up a new meaning for me. I see this vision of someone proving that he can overcome the sword-wielding gladiator by slinging ink in his eyes and stabbing him in the testicles with a biro.

14 March 2009 at 17:42  
Anonymous mckenzie said...

You deleted his comment? Shocking!

14 March 2009 at 17:46  
Blogger the ink slinger said...

You have our cast iron assurance, McKenzie, that we are not.

We are in complete agreement, though, that we don't need a certificate to confirm it.

Please, we implore you, don't feel you must suffer on our part.

14 March 2009 at 17:48  
Blogger the ink slinger said...

We are sticklers for typographic accuracy, McKenzie, and His Grace has seen fit not to allow an edit function.

14 March 2009 at 17:52  
Blogger the ink slinger said...

The idea of being stabbed in the testicles with a biro has us entertaining thoughts of recanting our recantation (the allseeing, all knowing interweb assures us this is a word).

14 March 2009 at 17:59  
Anonymous not a machine said...

i dont know wether to laugh or cry your grace , this position of the devout humanists is a trip back in time to prop up those that see god as delusional.

a christening or child baptism was always a public event to remind parents of bringing up a child in a christian home , the C of E service is quite lovely in its asking of the parents to do the right thing by god .

some may think its a bit of show for the parents and the roman catholics take it far more seriously in a sign of the commitment of the family to god.

Its a headline that isnt one , if one wishes to renounce ones faith and back track to the actions of a well intentioned parent , then why not renouce your parents choice of food , when you did not have a choice , or the clothes they made you ware . all of these things can and are changed when you are an adult and in more rollercoaster way when you are a teen.

i am sad that humanists see this as fight to some sort of bitter determined logic "if god doesnt exist then i must expunge my commitments to it going back" this unfortunately include the good lessons .

do you notice they never say there are any good lessons in christianity, they see it as a false position based on personal indulgances/denial , and often use the idea that nothing bad has happened to them despite there turning away , so its more grown up to talk about free choice.

it seems there is little one can do about free choice that is not the will of god , but the next step of assuming that QED god doesnt exist is foolish.

I have been through many dark personal times in my faith , as paul did wrestling , failing suffering even , but as anyone who knows who has found god , there is light , ive sat in the off topic meetings and sermons and felt little , but equally i have sat in sermons that have built my faith within , not just by clever wordsmithing but by and energy , a love that makes one holy . not holier than thou, but more holy within in that you submitt not to your own desires but those which bring life .

i wonder where dawkins will go next , we have already seen the stupid attempts to show where god is in the brain (as if he only abided there) , i presume he will now attempt to show , that this certain area of the brain leads to people feeling the same sensation , he will re label it as some sort of tissue hemisphere wiring nexus , and then cite those who have more or less of this spot to back up why some do and some dont .

i dont fear this , it is still logic , crude at that , but it wont stop the ignorant believeing it nor others converting them.

what ifear is these people getting airtime in a way that adept christian scholar could not , which i presume is how the legislation works , in that it is incitefull to promote one religion , but not in any subject to law to be humanist.

4 legs good 2 legs bad rule book if you ask me , napoleon seems to have a marketing wing untouchable by law !!

14 March 2009 at 19:20  
Blogger the ink slinger said...

"i dont fear this"

Of course you don't, not a machine, in much the same way that the jihadist doesn't fear the C4 and ball bearings strapped to his chest or the detonator in his hand.

14 March 2009 at 19:32  
Anonymous Preacher said...

Gentlemen & others, I think that we have wandered of the subject somewhat, although I must admit that it's very entertaining.
My own view is that infant BAPTISM does not exist in the Anglican communion, it is actually refered to as Christening, which is parents & Godparents making promises on behalf of the baby until at confirmation the young person confirms the promises made on their behalf at the Christening.
I'm afraid that I have witnessed many people who've made promises to oversee & pray for the baby as Godparents who quite honestly have not prayed ever, unless when flying through extreme turbulence so one would doubt the effectiveness of their input on the baby.
Baptism is undertaken if & when the subject has accepted Christ as Lord & Saviour & wishes to make a public profession of the same, this is usually by total immersion. Although this is not absolutely neccesary for salvation, it does show obedience to Jesus's words in scripture, it also negates the need for "debaptising" which is probably either in the interests of either commercialism or sensationalism or both.

14 March 2009 at 19:42  
Blogger the ink slinger said...

We don't want to monopolise the place but....

"Perhaps what they are really saying (as Dawkins is) "Will someone please, please give me some evidence that a Creator God exists because I really want to believe in him""

Or perhaps what Dawkins is saying is "I would welcome proof of the existence of the Creator because, as a scientist, I must accept that there are no absolutes, only what we know based on current evidence."

14 March 2009 at 19:43  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

Thank heavens for Recusant (and Your Grace as well, of course) for saying what Baptism really is. Otherwise there are some very queer interpretations floating about on this blog.

14 March 2009 at 19:46  
Blogger Catholic Observer said...

Sprinkling water on a baby's head might seem like a bizarre ritual, especially for those incapable of understanding it, but in the Old Covenant Jewish baby boys were required to be circumcised in anticipation of the faith they would receive. Baptism is the salvific equivalent to circumcision in the New Covenant(Col. 2:11–12). Infant baptism has been practiced from the very earliest days of the Church. After the Philipian prisoner converted St Paul baptized him and "all his family" (Acts 16:33); Lydia was likewise baptized "with her household" (Acts 16:15); and St Paul's declared to the Corinthians that: "I did baptize also the household of Stephanas" (1 Cor. 1:16). Notice some other passages: "Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16); "baptism now saves you" (1 Peter 3:21); "He saved us not by works of righteousness that we have done but on the basis of his mercy, through the washing of the new birth and the renewing of the Holy Spirit" (Titus 3:5); "Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for* the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38).

*for=eis in the Greek original. BAGD, the most authoritative Greek lexicon in English says, "to denote purpose / in order to, to . . . for forgiveness of sins, so that sins might be forgiven Mt 26:28; cf. Mk 1:4; Lk 3:3; Ac 2:38."

This has been practiced and affirmed from the earliest days of the Church. Origen records in 244AD that "according to the usage of the Church, baptism is given even to infants". The Council of Carthage, in 253AD condemned the proposition that baptism be delayed from infants. In the Nicene Creed: "We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins". Even Martin Luther concurred: "Baptism is no human plaything but is instituted by God himself. Moreover, it is solemnly and strictly commanded that we must be baptized or we shall not be saved. We are not to regard it as an indifferent matter, then, like putting on a new red coat. It is of the greatest importance that we regard baptism as excellent, glorious, and exalted" (Large Catechism 4:6).

14 March 2009 at 19:47  
Anonymous mckenzie said...

Baptism with ink!

14 March 2009 at 20:35  
Anonymous mckenzie said...

Apologies. It is a serious debate. I just can't get my head around it thats all. If I suddenly declared to one of these people that I have performed a secret ritual, and they are now members of my alien religion from the planet zod, would they feel it necessary to un baptise themselves?

What about Mormons? they baptise by proxy, get out of that one if you can.

14 March 2009 at 20:46  
Anonymous len said...

John answered saying unto them: I indeed baptise you with water, but there shall come one mightier than I,the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to loose,
He shall baptise you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire. Luke 3 10-18

14 March 2009 at 20:52  
Anonymous len said...

Ray Steadman said, Christian activity never stems from the imperative of a divine command, but from the impulse of a Divine presence

14 March 2009 at 20:57  
Blogger Catholic Observer said...

John the Baptist was speaking under the Old Covenant and before Christ's baptism. Immersion in water was already an old Jewish ritual signifying repentence from sin. By going under this Jewish ritual Christ sanctified and showed His approval of it. He appropriated it as the means by which we enter into the Body of Christ; "by going to John to be baptized by him, Christ sanctified baptism" (St Gregory of Nazianzen). The river Jordon itself had a very spritual significance; it was through the River Jordon that the Children of Israel entered into the Promised Land. In like manner, it is with the means of baptism that the Christian enters the Promised Land, signifying his liberty from the slavery of sin.

14 March 2009 at 22:29  
Blogger Catholic Observer said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

14 March 2009 at 22:40  
Blogger Catholic Observer said...

McKensie, the orthodox conception of baptism precludes baptism by proxy. It is likewise an indispensible requisite, prescribed by Christ Himself (Matthew 28:19), that the sacrament be conferred on the candidate with the Trinitarian formula. Mormons abjure the Triunity of God, and their 'baptisms' are utterly invalid.

14 March 2009 at 22:48  
Anonymous mckenzie said...

Phew! That's a relief.

14 March 2009 at 23:01  
Anonymous mckenzie said...

Katholic Obcerver

That reads like an algebraic puzzle

14 March 2009 at 23:06  
Anonymous not a machine said...

preacher i take "seek and ye shall find " is too much work ???

the substantiation of god is i think different from loving , you wish for exhibit A in the grand trial , yet it is your motives that preclude your discovery .

this is not the business of capture for a trophy , this is about realtionship for fullness , the proof is in the fruits you bear towards the creation , not that you posess all knowledge about how it works.

14 March 2009 at 23:42  
Blogger Microcosm said...

Excellent post again your Grace, let us make use of our rights by all means, only the EU and UN can change their minds at a flip of a coin, so don't assume they should have any say on what our rights are.

Like the first Christians go about your way and let the beast be damned. The marsh dippers of Iraq were some of the earliest baptists.

15 March 2009 at 00:47  
Blogger the ink slinger said...

We are grateful for the words of welcome, Recusant and, yes, we are familiar with the provenance of your name.

15 March 2009 at 00:52  
Blogger ZZMike said...

If one really thought that baptism was a load of rubbish, one wouldn't feel the need to publicly repudiate it.

"I reject all its creeds and other such superstitions in particular the perfidious belief that any baby needs to be cleansed of original sin...’

Let's see what Calvin has to say about that.....

"Baptism is ... a ... mark of difference, whereby Christian men are discerned from others that be not christened ..."

Let's not let the ladies hear about that.

I believe that I read some time ago that the practice of infant baptism came about early on in the church, when infant mortality was quite high. It was seen as a way to keep the little tykes from roasting in Hell.

Perhaps Mr Sanderson will now start a movement against "second-hand religion", much like "second-hand smoke", and insist that prayer shawls, phylacteries, rosaries, and other implements of religious practice be banned from the public sphere.

15 March 2009 at 05:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why not!

15 March 2009 at 09:03  
Anonymous len said...

Catholic observer,
You seem to be performing religious contortions!

15 March 2009 at 09:06  
Anonymous Yokel said...

A long way up the comments, the recusant claimed that the BBC was "anti-Catholic". Sorry for the delay in this response. By his use of a capital C, I assume that he means "anti-Roman Catholic". From his point of view it must be possible to think that, for otherwise he would not have written it. Whilst the BBC are very clearly anti-Christian, they acknowledge that they are in the lead of public opinion on this matter, so they cannot yet write Christianity off altogether. It seems therefore that they have chosen one group as representative of all. Why did they choose the Roman Catholics to represent all Christians? Leaving aside the fact that one has to be a Roman Catholic to get on in the nation of Europe these days (see Mr Bliar's miraculous conversion on the road to Brussels), I suspect that the answer has to be in extra-biblical matters. These are the very matters (limbo, purgatory, penance, elite priesthood, amongst many) that caused the split from Rome in the first place. The BBC can at least empathise with another religion that has so many man made elements in it, even if they really wish to adopt no religion except Allah's.

Once again, it just shows the raw power of the pure, unadulterated Word of God, and shows how the deceivers of men remain petrified of It to this very day.

All in all, it must be clear to those outside the Roman Catholic fold (and possibly to some within) that the BBC favours the Romans over other Christians, even if they favour antireligionists even more.

15 March 2009 at 09:08  
Anonymous Yokel said...

Anonymous (2) wrote: "How would this affect the Jewish practice of circumcision?"

The way we are going at present, Jewish circumcision will be outlawed, Muslim circumcision made mandatory.

These antireligionists are another of Lenin's "Useful Idiots" in the grand scheme of things; the grand scheme to get as many as possible marching down the path that is broad. They will of course get short shrift when the British government duly acknowledges that it is a full member of the Ummah, and introduces full Sharia.

15 March 2009 at 09:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From David Lonsdale

Old Catholic articulates closely the biblical case for baptism, until he applies it to infants. There is never a suggestion that any other than the believers in the Philipian gaolers family were baptised.

If baptism were to be applied to infants, Paul would have said so. He would then have affirmed the need for confirmation. By going beyond the scriptures one error has led to another.

There is no salvation without faith. (John 3, v 16). Baptism is our response to to the grace of God. I am a Christian because I believed for myself, not because my parents believed for me.

15 March 2009 at 10:14  
Blogger Theo said...

So much of Christianity seems to have been a replacement for Jewish Law. Christening has replaced circumsision and confirmation has replaced bar mitzvah.

Why else does Christianity have feasts and festivals and priestly garments. Look in Catholic and Anglican churches and you will find a recreation of the temple with its different areas. Why do we have altars?

Christianity has never escaped the religiosity of its
Jewish roots and infant baptism is merely one aspect of this history.

15 March 2009 at 11:04  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr McKenzie,

His Grace has deleted absolutely nothing from this thread. Any eradication has been performed by the authors. Unfortunately. blogger does not appear to distinuguish.

His Grace has no idea of how to permit retrospective edits. There does not appear to be the facility.

Mr Recusant,

His Grace has no idea of the source of your information for His Grace's relationship with anyone. And he is also not sure of the source of your quotation of Mr Ink Slinger. Since His Grace is rational, reasonable and Christian, the antipathy to which you refer is not mutual: you will find nothing in His Grace's writing to support your assertion - quite the contrary.

15 March 2009 at 11:25  
Blogger Theo said...


"Or perhaps what Dawkins is saying is "I would welcome proof of the existence of the Creator because, as a scientist, I must accept that there are no absolutes, only what we know based on current evidence.""

As there is nothing to be gained for anyone from evangelical atheism except the satisfaction of destroying someone's faith; making it a particularly aggressive and destructive pastime, we have to look further at the behaviour of evangelical atheists. Debaptisers are of that order; there is no real need for them to make such a public fuss unless they are claiming they have been abused as children and will at some time in the future be suing the church into which they were baptized or they are seeking a dialogue with those to whom baptism seems a legitimate access into the Kingdom of God.

I do not think that Dawkins speaks as a scientist when he becomes evangelical but as an emotional human being who wants answers to questions in his troubled mind. I believe he, and others, are in the emotive rather than the cognitive realm in their polemic.

15 March 2009 at 11:54  
Anonymous len said...


Christianity is firm in its jewish roots.
Jesus Christ said "Do not think I come to destroy the law or the Prophets. I didn`t come to destroy them, but to fufill them.( Matthew 5:17.
However Jesus fulfilled the law, we cannot, so He reconciled us to God( When we rely entirely on Jesus not adding our own good works to Christ atonement!.
Jesus Christ stands forever reconciling man to God.
Most of organised religion is rubbish dumped on this simple truth!.

15 March 2009 at 14:10  
Blogger Theo said...


Thank you for your comments. I am still dumbfounded as to why many highly intelligent, learned and respected theologians insist on clinging on to Old Covenant rituals and iconography when all the requirements of the law have been fulfilled in Jesus. I suspect that the priesthood think they hold the keys to the kingdom of heaven (Matt 16:19) and are enjoying the buzz that it gives them. Infant baptism should be seen for what it is: a substitute for the Abrahamic covenant - but it make the clergy feel powerful!

15 March 2009 at 14:43  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Christianity has never escaped the religiosity of its
Jewish roots

Why should it ? though it has departed in many ways through the Roman Empire shifting the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday for example and making Christianity a State Religion.

Christianity only makes sense with its Jewish root and the Old Testament - adding 6 Gospels and using that alone as the basis of Faith is to ignore the cultural depth of Christ himself and make him no more significant than Mohammed or L Ron Hubbard.

Jesus is significant in terms of Isaiah and Ruth and Boaz and in his use of Jewish parables which have been stripped to one-dimensional homilies by later churchmen. Indeed so much of the New Testament seems flat without the Jewish context that Jesus The Jew intended.....this is probably why authors like Brad Young are interesting

15 March 2009 at 16:40  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

David Lonsdale said, "If baptism were to be applied to infants, Paul would have said so." Why should he have said so? You can't draw a conclusion from silence. The baptism by the Apostles of "houses" or families suggests that children were included, and in any case, according to Origen and Tertullian, children were certainly being baptized in the 2nd century, by the end of which century infant baptism was the normal practice in Christian society. The baptism of grownups seems to have been for people converted in later life from paganism.
As for Confirmation, that was not seen in separation from Baptism, but was part 2 of the initiation, leading into part 3, Holy Communion - both of these latter also administered to infants.

15 March 2009 at 17:05  
Anonymous len said...

Baptism does not save a person.It does not matter if you were baptized by immersion, pouring or sprinkling-if you have not first trusted in Christ for salvation, baptism(no matter what the method) is meaningless and useless.Water baptism by immersion is a step of obedience to be done after salvation as a public profession of faith in Christ and identification with Him.
Infant baptism does not fit the Biblical definition of baptism or the Biblical method of baptism.
If christian parents wish to dedicate their baby to Christ, then a baby dedication service is entirely appropriate.However even if infants are dedicated to the Lord, when they grow up they will still have to make a personal decision to believe in Jesus Christ in order to be saved!

15 March 2009 at 17:22  
Blogger Theo said...


Please feel free to make sense of your Christianity with its Jewish roots. I would hate to be instrumental in making your religion fall flat.

15 March 2009 at 18:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The article refers to "the EU’s Convention on Human Rights."

The EU has nothing to do with the European Convention on Human Rights.

15 March 2009 at 19:06  
Anonymous the recusant said...

To date Your Grace has remained above Mr Damian Thompson’s uncharitable remarks and abiding hostility; however in the distant past you have ventured your erudite and intelligent opinions on Mr Thompson’s blog, in response my coreligionist has been quite unnecessarily rude. Indeed recently too [Jade Goody], where he was also quite derogatory to we ‘conservative Catholics’ who ‘suck up’ to Your Grace ‘out of fogeyish solidarity’, I’ll admit to the first, I don’t recognise the last two.

Perhaps being of the Roman persuasion I should be more sensitive in this area but for the life of me I can’t see why Mr Thompson should be so vitriolic about ones identity or blog nom-de-plume, it’s just not that important. Your Grace has his opinions on Europe and the social teaching of the RCC, I’m sure there are things you would have done or said differently had you the benefit of 20/20 hindsight (wouldn’t we all), but its water under the bridge now. Mr Thompson reads Your Graces blog, of that we can be sure but perhaps I mistook the elephant for a stylised journalistic hatchet job, however as you say the antipathy is not mutual, the elephant has moved on.

The source of Mr Ink Slingers remarks are on his blog, entry Papal Bull, which I referred in context to my comments.

Out of fogeyish solidarity, then until next time.

15 March 2009 at 20:24  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Recusant,

His Grace thanks you for your comments. You are the sort of man who makes everything for which you stand acquire a certain theological integrity and spiritual attraction.

15 March 2009 at 20:36  
Anonymous len said...

Your Grace,
You seem to be teetering on the edge of catholicism, pull back before it is too late!
Catholicism( as Spurgeon )said is a load of rubbish deposited on the truth.
Forgive his/my bluntness.

16 March 2009 at 07:45  
Anonymous G Eagle Esq said...

Your Grace

I greatly enjoy your Portraits & Quotations of Conservative Political Leaders

I quite understand your excluding Grocer Heath from this Queue most distinguished

* Mr Heath lied about everything - no betrayal of the Beloved Country and no lie was too much, if furthering his strange obsession with rendering Britain into an irrelevant & minor Colony of the German/Frankish Reich

* Mr Heath must rank as the worst Prime Minister ever - worser even than Mr Wislon & Mr Callaghan

However, should your Grace not be removing the late Earl of Stockton's Portrait

In 1963, Mr Macmillan (as he then was) had to resign, but he was so determined to ensure that the Conservatives would be unElectable in the approaching 1964 Election

He ensured that the Replacement Tory Leader was the amiable but "boring" & unelectable Lord Home

He sabotaged the prospects of Quintin Hogg or Mr Butler ... or the bridge Genius Iain MacLeod -competent Leaders who might have been able to win the 1964 Election

Isn't the late Earl of S responsible for the so-many divers & manifold ills, consequent upon the Earl's helping Mr Wilson to win the 1964 Election

Yr Grace's obedient servant etc


wv = pantion .... is this some sort of Greek

16 March 2009 at 08:48  

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