Friday, June 05, 2009

What sermon might Gordon Brown’s father now preach to his son?

There is a plaque on the altar communion table in the church in which Gordon Brown's father was once the minister. It reads: ‘John Ebenezer Brown MA BD 1954-1967’, but it no longer stands in the centre of the church: it has been shunted under the stairs. And the pulpit from which the Reverend John Brown delivered his sermons has gone completely. In ‘New Labour’s New Britain’ there is no place for the appreciation of such things, and so they are cast aside to be ignored and eventually forgotten – a metaphor for precisely how the Prime Minister has rejected all that his father believed in and all that he stood for.

Cranmer is not into necromancy, but he has been wondering what sermon the Rev John Brown might today preach to his son, the Prime Minister. He has prayed hard and considered this for many weeks, and feels led to share the following:

A Sermon preached by the Rev John Brown at St Bryce Kirk on the occasion of the visit of his son, the Rt Hon Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Do you remember, my son, being born of humble parents in Glasgow? No, you cannot, for what man can recall the day of his birth? Do you remember, my son, your childhood here in Kirkaldy? This you ought, for they were happy times in a warm and friendly town where everyone knew each other and believed in the social values I preached every Lord’s Day, and did my best to live from Monday to Sunday, fifty-two weeks of the year, every year of my walk with the Lord. And that path was not only concerned with compassion or solidarity with the poor and homeless, but loyalty to Raith Rovers Football Club. The strong sense of community I sought was not only concerned with political action and issues of social justice, but play-offs at Stark’s Park. For the humility of Christ demands meeting people where they are at. You saw all sorts coming in to our home – some who needed a good meal, some with desperate financial needs and others who just needed loving. And you saw them leave with full bellies and hearts overflowing with love. We had frequent visitors from down-and outs and hard-up families whose only income, as the pits and factories closed, came from gathering sea-coal from the town's blackened beaches. These people knew that they wouldn't leave empty-handed.

In our home, religion was not confined to the saying of prayers: it was enacted through social action in a world where, as you later acknowledged: “As a minister's son you see every problem coming to your doorstep. You become aware of a whole range of distress and social problems. I suppose it's not a bad training for politics."

How many down-and-outs and hard-up families have you entertained at Downing Street? How many of the lonely and destitute have witnessed your hospitality or generosity?

You say you have a ‘Presbyterian conscience’, yet you seek to impose morality upon people. Have you forgotten that the problem is the human heart, and that these need transforming one by one? You cannot legislate for renewal; you cannot compel revival. I brought you up to see that real religion – real Christianity – is realised in the action; performed in ministering to a world full of problems. And as a minister’s son, Gordon, you saw every problem which came to our doorstep. You became aware of a whole range of loss and distress, of struggle and hardship. You’d see me help people as best I could – dealing with their problems, visiting them when they were ill. That was really what I was most involved in.

This should indeed have been an excellent training for politics.

These people, son, are not your constituents: they are those you grew up with; those who watched you fall and graze your knee; those who prayed for you when you were injured and lying in the darkness of a hospital bed; those who loved you when you were unlovely; who persevered with you when you ran out of patience; and who gave freely of their time and meagre means as the coal mines closed and the factories declined.

I want you to listen to me, to hear of three old themes, and to reflect upon the mind of God on these matters:

Today's Christian Duty

You honourably sought to address the Thatcher legacy of individualism with a new moral crusade. Helping poor families was supposed to be your political vision – which is why you enacted tax credits, brought in a 10p tax band, provided jobs to bring down unemployment, provided support for pensioners and lifted children out of poverty. This was your mission. As Harold Wilson said, the Labour party is either a moral crusade or it is nothing.

But you have made it nothing. You abolished the 10p tax band, unemployment is now rising at a faster rate than at any time in our history, pensioners have seen their pensions taxed and their savings wiped out, and the gap between the rich and the poor is greater now than ever it was under the Tories.

Your politics is vacuous because it is amoral; it is amoral because you have no vision; you have no vision because you have no moral direction; you have no moral direction because you have taken your eyes off the Lord. There is nothing to boast about, no New Jerusalem in England’s (or Scotland’s) green and pleasant land, and you resort to smearing your political opponents to conceal the failure of your mission. You have brought the nation to the abyss, and God weeps with shame at what you have become and what you have done to a once-great party. Labour is corrupted by spin while your own heart is blackened by sin. You have a ‘Stalinist ruthlessness’ about you and treating colleagues with ‘more or less complete contempt’. What you cannot control, you seek to extinguish. Those who will not submit, you seek to destroy.

Is that love? Is that the Christian way?

The Need for Humility

You have forgotten your roots - right from the time you were elected to Parliament in 1983 and you refused to speak at the Scottish Grand Committee as all Scottish MPs traditionally do. You avoided it. You didn’t have time for that. When you were offered your first frontbench position as shadow Scottish Secretary, you turned it down. You didn’t have time for such parochial concerns, preferring instead to await a national brief, which came with Trade and Industry in 1985. And thence to shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, and thence to shadow Chancellor.

It was never about service: it was all about you.

And when you went Africa, you were fêted by finance ministers in a hotel in Cape Town. But then you heard about the fire. A rapid blaze had swept through one of the townships a few minutes from the conference hotel. Some 12,000 people had been made homeless. It would seem callous not to visit. Do you remember what you asked an aid worker whose family lived in two small rooms, who fried and sold sheep's intestines for a living? You met her amid the charred mattresses and scorched furniture, and said: "Tell me, do you find it hard to get micro-credit?"

The woman had lost everything, was bereft, destitute, and your only words of comfort were: ‘Do you find it hard to get micro-credit?’.

Is this the compassion you have for the world's poorest? Is this what you can remember of my example in Kirkcaldy when you were a boy? People’s poverty is not simply addressed by finance, but with empathy, compassion, love. At the age of 82, I was still knocking on doors to raise money for Christian Aid, but it never interfered with my sacrificial love. Your mother once told you that the party you lead must have more than a set of policies – it must have a soul.

You say you went into politics out of faith – faith in people and their potential. Unlike Tony Blair, who converted to Christianity at university and is still converting, you were born into it: it is in your DNA. Tony Blair said he didn’t do God because he didn’t want to appear ‘a nutter’.

Why aren’t you doing God, son?

Or are you attempting to by one throw-away reference to your ‘Presbyterian conscience’? Are you struggling between expressing your Presbyterian Calvinism in the language of the Scottish Enlightenment? Can you not find a ‘third way’ mode of communication?

In truth, you have privatised your faith and are as secular as your predecessor, if not more so. You speak of churches only as important ‘social actors’ for 'community cohesion' and the perpetuation of ‘Britishness’. The Union Flag is more important to you than the cross of Jesus Christ.

You are perceived as being dour and mean and suspicious. The things that shaped your private life should influence not just your political beliefs but your personal dealings with fellow parliamentarians as well. There is no point being clever if you cannot be courteous or kind. Yet my son is a bully, impatient, quick to anger and slow to forgive.

You manifest carelessness; you’re unwilling to admit you’ve made a mistake. You’re stiff, unbending, intransigent, stubborn. You alienate those who caution and give sound counsel, and surround yourself with yea-sayers. People believe my son to be stubborn, cross-grained and defiant, and I am ashamed. These are not qualities you learnt from me or your mother. All we sought to instil was a sense of morality in all three of you: there was nothing dour or Calvinistic about our home life. It was easygoing because it was dedicated to the Lord and based on faith, hope and charity.

But there’s nothing of the father in the son. John Brown does not live on in wee Gordon. When you evangelise about the West’s absolute moral duty to help the poor of the world, you aren’t thinking of the poor but of yourself. I taught you boundless optimism and the belief in things greater than yourself. But your passion is now that of ego: your creed is that of self. That is the sermon to which you return again and again, fuelled by the conviction of your own infallibility, deluded by the perception of your own omnipotence.

Our Need of Vision

Without it, the people perish. Yet you have neither vision nor direction: there is no leadership or inspiration to follow. Instead, you itch to centralise and place your faith in bureaucratic control which speaks of nothing so much as an attachment to power itself. Your debates offer no hope, but simply condemn and attack. Instead of building people up, you demean and denigrate. Instead of introducing a new style of government, you simply perpetuate the politics of division and distortion .

A breakdown in morals inevitably follows a breakdown in religion. When men and women lose sight of God, there follows a deterioration in ethical standards. Back in 1997, faith in the inevitability of progress was held by many, but such facile optimism has given way to despair because they are blind to God and his salvation. There is a close correlation between church-going and what we might call the heavenly vision. When church-going ceases to be practised, people are in danger of losing the vision of the Eternal.

There may be political theories that appeal more than Christ's Gospel, but it must be asked of them: What value are they? Will they work? Will they stand the test of time?

At one Labour Party conference, you quoted from one of my favourite stories: the Parable of the Talents and its lesson ‘to find goodness in everyone’. You have become incapable of doing so because you have ceased to find the goodness in yourself. If it’s there, people can no longer see it. You have dragged the once-great Labour Party into the gutter. You have undermined its moral foundation and replaced it with blatant lies. You bear false witness, and perpetuate hypocrisy.

So this is the way New Labour ends - in a shower of immorality. The heart is now rotten, and body is corrupt. The only solution is surgery. If the hand offend you, cut it off.

You’re not the ‘son of the manse’; you’re a liar and bully, dedicated to gangsterism and deceit, surrounded by an inner circle of bruisers and opportunists. While you portray yourself as a man of principle, it has been said that your actions are those of a Scottish clan chief, demanding of your followers nothing more than blind loyalty and an appetite for bloodshed.

You can no longer lambast the Tories for ‘not caring’ about the unemployed and the dispossessed. You can no longer pour scorn upon them for lacking a ‘moral dimension’. Politics is the means by which a country is run and good politics means a country is run well. You have no good politics, and the country is not run well.

Son, you are now damaged beyond repair. You have chosen as friends the nasty, unscrupulous people whose unquestioning devotion to you takes precedence over truth, justice or any civilised ethical standard.

I’ve never before from this pulpit declared how I might vote. But I’d rather vote Tory than for your brand of Labour.

Let us now sing from the Church Hymnal number 537, 'O God our help in ages past'.


Blogger Gnostic said...

Gleaned from a news report:

Labour MP for Bristol South Dawn Primarolo remained defiant, but said the result was "clearly disappointing". (NuLab lost 8 of it's 10 seats)

"Lots of good Labour councillors have lost their seats tonight. It's undeniable that the voters are angry and it focused around the issues at Westminster and MPs expenses," she said.

"But from speaking to people on the doorstep, as I have, it's quite clear that people are saying we've got a Prime Minister who's got strength, determination and intelligence and Gordon Brown will lead us out of this recession".

Does this woman have her head thrust up her own sphincter? In one breath she acknowledges her disappointment in the loss and puts it down to "expenses" even though the Cons and the LibDims made gains. In the next breath says that (presumably)the same people who voted Labour off Bristol council think that Brown is doing a great job.

Is she delusional or simply incapable of telling/accepting the truth? But then, what can you expect from "Red" Dawn, the moron who sold the Inland Revenue offices to a company, Mapeley STEPS, based in an offshore Tax Haven and informed the public the deal would save the exchequer lots of money.

That claim turned out to be appallingly inaccurate. Just like her claim that beneath it all, we all love Gordon Brown. No, really...

5 June 2009 at 09:17  
Blogger john in cheshire said...

And if in future, socialists refer to the Conservatives as the 'nasty party', it can legitimately be said that the labour party is the 'wicked party' or perhaps the 'evil party'. And blair and brown have been and are the leaders of that wicked party.

5 June 2009 at 09:24  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Your Grace has exceeded himself. That is one of the most thought provoking deconstructions of Brown I've ever read.

5 June 2009 at 09:34  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

That is a strong message.

‘It is one thing to show a man that he is in error, and another to put him in possession of the truth.’

John Locke (1632-1704), An Essay concerning Human Understanding (1690) Bk 4, Ch 7, Sec. 11.

5 June 2009 at 09:35  
Anonymous Queen John II said...

Great post YG. I am becoming increasingly concerned with developments. Milliband has just given an interview on the BBC saying that Labour needs to listen to the voices. I do not know what voices they are hearing but it is none from real physical dimension of planet Earth.

Hearing strange voices is indeed the main symptom of psychosis. I beseech all YG's communicants to join me in prayer in the hope that these voices do not continue to run the country for much longer.

5 June 2009 at 09:59  
Blogger Graham said...

Your Grace,

An excellent and devastating Sermon that Mr Brown would do well to heed.

Of the main content I have nothing to add or detract. However as a Presbyterian Son of the Manse myself, I feel duty bound to point out that the "altar table" you mention, will actually be nothing of the sort.

Being low in our order and worship, it would be a wooden "Communion Table". Relatively simple and usually bare on the top.

I feel a bit of a pedant pointing this out but I felt that Your Grace would expect nothing less than accuracy in his posts.

5 June 2009 at 10:02  
Blogger idle said...

Excellent, bish. Reads very well to a cheerful atheist.

Would that this post could be brought to Brown's attention.

5 June 2009 at 10:16  
Anonymous Preacher said...

Indeed Your Grace, a prodigal son, but one I fancy will not repent. It is truly said that God has children, but no grandchildren. We will continue to stagger as a once proud nation across the deserts of economic collapse, led by a chartless deluded figure who sees himself as Moses but is really more like Nero, blaming the christians for the inferno while Westminster fiddles.
Sic transit gloria mundi.

5 June 2009 at 10:41  
Blogger Sam Steel's White Angel said...

Excellent. But where is the hope? We are in desperate need of a new government and a new leader.

What this town needs is the fire of faith...not words from a prayer card.

5 June 2009 at 10:47  
Anonymous Chris said...

Very good blogpost. All the more stinging because of its sympathetic tone. It is actually quite moving somehow.

I am, however, going to insist again that you remove (or edit) your last sentence of your les sympathetic post on Mr Obama's speech, which contains an error of fact. As I showed on the comments, he did mention Jesus.

I, like many of your communicants, admire your precision and clarity. Amending the blogpost would be the fair thing to do.

5 June 2009 at 11:17  
Blogger Young Mr. Brown said...

Aye, Preacher. A prodigal son, indeed. Prodigal with our money, though. And just as there is nothing less Scottish than being prodigal, there is nothing less Presbyterian than being prodigal with other people's money.

By the way, Your Grace, it is pretty obvious that the words that appear on this post are a forgery, and were not preached at St. Bryce Kirk by the Rev John Brown. The forger gave himself away by one careless slip. The number 134. No Church of Scotland hymnary locates 'O God our help in ages past' at that number.

5 June 2009 at 11:25  
Anonymous Old Ironsides said...

O Gordy McBroon, Gordy McBroon, the Lord deliver me from Gordy McBroon.
'twas a loyal holder of thy noble Office that defied the Nazi beast and the Soviet bully, but thou – Quisling - hast dropped the drawbridge of our fortress to all the hordes and legions under heaven!
Thou enemy of democracy, whose infernal scheming has enmeshed the populace in a web of Political Correctness.
Apostate of thy referendum pledge, whose treachery hast mired the people in despair.
Thou son of the manse, with thy Presbyterian conscience and the values of Beelzebub!
Thou hast sold thy nation for a couch at the European orgy and betrayed thy God for a fistful of Euros.
Get -you - out!
Make haste, be gone – lest vengeance of the mob or brimstone from above consume thee.

5 June 2009 at 11:31  
Anonymous Laughing at Gordon said...

Needle sharp, Your Grace.

5 June 2009 at 11:36  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Young Mr Brown,

His Grace has corrected the hymn number.

As if he has nothing better to do.

Mr Graham,

His Grace has corrected 'altar' to 'communion'. He occasionally forgets the customs of the 'low'.

Mr Chris,

His Grace has amended his post as requested.

5 June 2009 at 12:16  
Blogger John Woolman said...

i had the pleasure of being a contemporary of Gordon Brown's at the University of Edinburgh. I met him on a couple of occasions. I would describe him as being driven. Whatever drove him then, it certainly wasn't the introjection of the parental vetoes.

5 June 2009 at 12:41  
Blogger David Vance said...

Very good.

5 June 2009 at 12:54  
Blogger Get Stuffed Gordon You Prick said...

Slightly off topic, but my blog has been closed down because it is deemed a spam blog? Check it out HERE

Form your own conclusions.

5 June 2009 at 13:40  
Anonymous oiznop said...

Excellent post - one of your best.

5 June 2009 at 13:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"His Grace has corrected 'altar' to 'communion'. He occasionally forgets the customs of the 'low'."

A senior moment to forget one's own "customs", perhaps? His Grace expunged all reference to "altars" from his BCP, designating them 'Holy tables".

5 June 2009 at 14:19  
Anonymous Chris said...

Thank you, your Grace. One cannot help but feel that the Quranic story Mr Obama referred to was made for this very speech... If it didn't exist, he probably would have invented it.

5 June 2009 at 14:26  
Blogger Belsay Bugle said...

Marvellous stuff! Your Grace has exceeded himself.
If only GB would read it and take note and act accordingly. Let him never speak again from his piece of moral high ground.

5 June 2009 at 15:57  
Anonymous Alexandrian said...

Masterful, Your Grace.

You have brilliantly caught the essence of a true Church of Scotland preaching.

There is not a single reference in the whole address to the Bible.

Not even to the Good Samaritan. ;-)

5 June 2009 at 16:44  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

"You have brilliantly caught the essence of a true Church of Scotland preaching. There is not a single reference in the whole address to the Bible." - Alexandrian.

LOL. :o)

An exquisite and penetrating essay Your Grace.

5 June 2009 at 17:05  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Unbelievable! Brown is promoting La Kinnock to the Lords so that she can be Minister for Europe!!

And he thinks that the expenses scandal is to blame for the massive Labour losses. Maybe he should explain why none of the fringe parties are making much headway and the political map is rapidly turning blue.

And he's desperately trying to convince himself that he still "the man for the job" even as his ministers jump ship. He's just signed the death warrant of God knows how many Post Offices and yet he insists that he is protecting public services. This is a scorched earth policy. I've just spent the last twenty minutes swearing at the screen and demanding he go forth and multiply.

The bloke is completely effing bonkers.

Sorry for the rant, Your Grace, but this goes beyond the pale. The man has no shame and even less honour.

5 June 2009 at 17:28  
Anonymous not a mouse said...

Lord, Gnostic -
I hope he doesn't multiply!!!

Still nothing on NPR or US computer news. Last night the BBC World Service gave Brown top billing - skeletal description: sympathetic to an embattled, what is he?

How he can get away with a Press Conference like the one he just gave defies belief. How come they don't turn riotous then and there?

5 June 2009 at 17:52  
Anonymous Got the Guts to wear God said...

“When men and women lose sight of God, there follows a deterioration in ethical standards.”

Absolutely! This is one of the biggest problems facing Western society today. But let us not forget some parts of the world where ‘religion’ is used to control and abuse? Now, in my opinion (and I don’t expect others to agree with me), there is a distinct difference in God and ‘some’ religions. God being inclusive, omnipotent, and all loving.

Tony Blair said, he didn’t do God because he didn’t want to appear a nutter! Now this doesn’t surprise me one little bit because it takes guts to do God.

Most of us worry about what other people think! God knows why but we do! I’m fed up of this kind of prejudice against anyone who has any remote belief in elevated consciousness. Of course there is an energy, an unseen, an intangible, a spiritual essence. How limiting to think that only life on Earth exists? This kind of teaching should at least be a choice in Western classrooms. Brown was given this choice…it hasn’t gone to waste. Somewhere inside him, he can hear his father’s voice.

5 June 2009 at 17:53  
Anonymous mckenzie said...

Just watched Browns press conference. There is nothing worse in my mind when someone says they do not believe in lying, and then lie through their teeth all in the name of God. And especially when they know that everybody knows they are lying...he must realsie surely?

This makes me wonder about what such a man has been up to, and makes me suspicious about this rabid intent to stay in power in the face of total humiliation. What is it that could be so bad to keep someone going on like this?

I suspect we are in for the mother of all political scandals. And possibly, suicide watch might be a good idea.

5 June 2009 at 18:28  
Blogger Get Stuffed Gordon You Prick said...

I have taken down my blog voluntarily. Not through fear of repercussions, but because there is something very wrong with this man, and i think it is coming to a head fast. It has entered a new dimension today, one which I feel such a blog is now inappropriate.

No more comments in this name either. I usually enjoy a good fight to the death, but not this.

God help us.

5 June 2009 at 18:37  
Blogger ZZMike said...

"Your politics is vacuous because it is amoral; it is amoral because you have no vision; you have no vision because you have no moral direction; you have no moral direction because you have taken your eyes off the Lord."

I suggest that that is true of more people than Mr Brown.

I do not wish to descend into idle gossip, but I read a brief statement (unsupported by evidence) in one of the UK newspapers that Mr Brown had a sort of activist youth. If true, that might explain his recent philosophy.

Our gracious host's sermon in the style of Rev. Brown is most admirable. If it were in my power, I would put him forward for MEP. Mr Hannan might enjoy the comany of a kindred soul - which seem to be lacking there.

(This turned up in a search for Mr Hannan:

Tory MEP Faces Expulsion

Feb 2008

"The right-wing Tory MEP and leader writer for the Daily Telegraph Daniel Hannan faces expulsion from the conservative group in the European Parliament (EPP-ED). He unbelievably compared the introduction of new powers for the EP President (the German Hans-Gert Pöttering - himself a conservative) to prevent the misuse of procedural devices with the 1933 Enabling Act (Ermächtigungsgesetz) that gave Hitler unlimited power."

His remarks were not well received.

5 June 2009 at 19:08  
Blogger Sam Steel's White Angel said...

If ever there was a time for idle gossip it's now, because something needs to be done bloody sharpish lad!

If you cannot appreciate the gravity of today then you are nothing to be taken seriously.

5 June 2009 at 19:20  
Anonymous len said...

O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!

From" To a louse" by Robert Burns

5 June 2009 at 19:36  
OpenID jamestheless said...

So there will not be dancing in the streets of Raith tonight, Your Grace? (to quote a spectacularly ignorant English football commentator).

Having seen a brief extract of Brown's press conference, I am seriously concerned. Not just as one of Her Majesty's subjects, but as a Christian. He seems to be on the verge of a breakdown and I genuinely hope he gets the treatment he needs, for his own sake and his family's sake, as well as the nation's sake.

5 June 2009 at 19:55  
OpenID jamestheless said...


"Does [Dawn Primarolo] have her head thrust up her own sphincter?"

Anyone who was an IT contractor in Britain during the nine long years she was Paymaster General will readily give you a full and frank assessment of her abilities. However, the language required would make His Grace's ashes blush.

5 June 2009 at 20:14  
Anonymous chris r said...

"Cranmer is not into necromancy"

Your Grace, considering your non-corporeal state, I feel condemned by this remark as I write.

Is there an equivalent sin for those in your state communicating with the living?

5 June 2009 at 21:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5 June 2009 at 21:35  
Anonymous not a mouse said...

Well - yes to several comments above. I think it's well-known that one commie/mafia tactic is to manipulate a victim to madness, suicide, or both. The method involves using scandal and 'whisper' campaigns against him, economic leverage, plots, etc.

So sometimes, now, I wonder if the hapless Gordo-victim hasn't served as a dupe in the eu-plan to eliminate the British system of government. He is an euSSR agent-oppressor, and thus is a pattern of his masters in being a tyrant. So they understood his personality well enough to know how he would react under the present circumstances.

Meanwhile, the People - to whom neither the Oppressors nor their agents give credence, a voice, or any power (though they pretend to) - the People become increasingly convinced of their own inferiority, and further divorced from their own culture (Parliament) and themselves. Having thus rendered us inauthentic in our own eyes, they now have us ready to accept foreign models, goals, values, and standards. In short, by now, we are sufficiently softened up to 'internalize' the eu myth, and we are ready to accept their economic and cultural domination. That's the goal of the technique.

Many thanks to HG for subverting the dynamics by pointing out that Brown betrayed our culture - he DOES NOT REPRESENT IT.

So no, ZZ, I don't think HG should be a euro MP. I don't think any Briton should. We need to liberate ourselves from their economic and cultural domination. [And all that makes Hannan a hero- once more!!!]

5 June 2009 at 21:53  
Anonymous not a mouse said...

Sorry to go on - but in case anyone is interested in US reports on today's events: NPR included a slot at mid-day. It was brief, and respectful of the beleaguered Prime----. He has re-shuffled his cabinet in response to 6 resignations in 4 days; and he has gained respect globally for his economic policies.

Oh my.

5 June 2009 at 22:00  
Blogger Theresa said...

Your Grace,

Your assessment of Gordon Brown may or may not be accurate, but the sad truth is, is that there is barely a fag paper's width between the policies of the Labour party and the policies of the Tory party. Both are in favour of a private health market in Britain and Europe wide, both favoured PFI, both ignore the plight of the poor and the needy, both have lost touch with people and grassroots politics. There are no big ideas, no command and no vision. We need to begin again and we need people like Kier Hardie to breathe some new life into politics. Cometh the hour, cometh the man/woman hopefully..

5 June 2009 at 23:07  
Blogger Dominic Marchmain, said...

"You say you have a ‘Presbyterian conscience’, yet you seek to impose morality upon people."

This is surely one of the marks of true Presbyterianism? The religion which, in Scotland, abandoned the seven sacraments and made the acts of discipline and penance the central ritual ceremonies in Scottish religious, can hardly be said to be tolerant of difference or the misdemeanours of others. . .

6 June 2009 at 01:27  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Brown is a Marxist like so many in politics in all parties...they reject Christianity as a guide to action preferring socio-economic theories distilled from an exiled German journalist polished up by an Italian Communist.

That's how they created this utter disaster and how much of Western Europe has been perverted and subverted into Putinesque oligarchy

6 June 2009 at 06:02  
Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...

Excellent post, Your Grace - on a par with Daniel Hannan in Brussels a few weeks ago.

God forgive me, I am so blinded with anger at this poxy government, it's hard for me to see a spark of humanity in them.

Look at the picture of Mr Edward Balls in the Telegraph this morning. It shows a vicious personality that would not be out of place, standing on Lenin's tomb at a Moscow May Day parade.

God help this country over the next 12 months.

6 June 2009 at 09:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From David Lonsdale
Your Grace,
Forgive me for repeating myself but the people have the government they deserve. Led by an apostate church leadership to abandon the risen Lord they have elected a Godless government. Unfortunately I do not see national renewal in Cameron, although under his government I would expect less outright opposition to Christianity.
Much as I enjoyed your letter from the Rev Brown to his son, I doubt that he would have penned it. I suspect that Brown jnr sat at the feet of a liberal clergyman whose beliefs were closer to those of Marx than Jesus. In fact, his father may have been part of the problem. Brown was not raised believing in salvation through the atoning blood of Jesus, rather he was schooled in Scottish socialism as embraced by his father.

6 June 2009 at 09:37  
Anonymous Anabaptist said...

Alexandrian wrote:
Masterful, Your Grace.

'You have brilliantly caught the essence of a true Church of Scotland preaching.

There is not a single reference in the whole address to the Bible...'

Actually, Alexandrian, there is a reference to the Bible, but it is wrong. This is what Cranny put into John Brown's mouth:

'Our Need of Vision

Without it, the people perish. Yet you have neither vision nor direction: there is no leadership or inspiration to follow...'

This is a reference to Proverbs 29:18 -- 'Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.'

Brown Snr's (or Cranny's) reference to this text is typical of liberal/modernist/populist exegesis, taking the word 'vision' in its 20th century Western sense, as meaning some sort of vague hope for the future; and ‘the people’ to be the British, or the employees of our company, or the members of our club. But the scriptural reference is to prophetic revelation: a word from God to the prophets, to be conveyed to the people of Israel. These 'words' were given to the prophets in supernatural visions.

It is the absence of God speaking to Israel in prophetic visions which will, according to the Proverb, bring about their demise.

It has nothing to do with vague, optimistic ideas about the glorious sunlit uplands to which we should all be travelling, or whatever other sort of neo-Marxist mumbo-jumbo Old Mr Brown is supposed to have thought.

I can only hope that this is not Cranny's own idea of 'where there is no vision, the people perish,' because if it is, I despair even more of his ignorance of the scriptures.

6 June 2009 at 13:18  
Anonymous Alexandrian said...

Quite so, Anabaptist. My attention wandered for a second, probably because the Rev John Brown didn't identify it as scripture.

I am sure that His Grace intentionally and accurately depicted the level of exegesis typical of Church of Scotland sermons.

6 June 2009 at 19:29  
Anonymous len said...

C S Lewis was writing in his book the 'Problem of Pain'and he wrote this"The lost enjoy the freedom they have demanded and are therefore self enslaved" God will abandon sinners to their own choices and the consequences of those choices.And just what is this abandoning act on Gods part?, it is the removal of his restraining grace. It is when God lets go and turns society over to its own sinful freedoms and the results of those freedoms.No scripture more directly confronts this abandonment and its consequences than Romans 1 .Here is the most graphic and the most comprehensive discussion of what it means to be abandoned by God and it is the best passage to explain the moral chaos and the confusion that we are experiencing in our country at this very time.Gods wrath is already at work in our culture.We`re not waiting for it, we are currently experiencing it.
( From When God abandons a Nation ,J MacArthur)

7 June 2009 at 22:17  
Blogger Red Squirrel said...

A fantastic post your Grace!
I have taken the liberty of linking to it on one of my sites.

11 June 2009 at 23:21  
Blogger G.O.T. said...

An excellent, thought provoking post.

I hope you don't mind but I have linked to it here.

30 June 2009 at 07:50  

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