Thursday, January 28, 2010

Conservatism, Unionism, Protestantism and Orangeism

There is a lot of fuss and bother at the moment about the revelation that the Marquis of Salisbury (who was the most pro-Unionist member of John Major's cabinet) hosted a discreet conference last week at Hatfield House, which brought together Northern Ireland’s Unionist ‘strands’, the Democratic Unionists and the Ulster Unionists, with whom the Conservative Party are already in a formal electoral alliance.

The Guardian says such ‘blatant sectarianism’ will endanger the peace process, and according to Nick Robinson, the Government accused the Conservatives of ‘at best naivety and at worst cynicism’ for jeopardising the Northern Ireland peace process by taking sides in the dispute.

Just who does he think he is, this David Cameron, that he, a Unionist, should be so presumptuous as to attempt to unify Unionism?

It would not be the first time that a Unionist prime minister had dared to dream the dream of ‘Unionist unity’ – co-operation or (dare one really dream?) merger between the UUP and DUP in order to prevent a Sinn Féin victory at the General Election which would see Martin McGuinness become First Minister.

Cranmer has previously spoken of the realities which would face the Conservatives in the event of a hung parliament, and why a parliamentary alliance with the DUP would be of infinitely more worth than one with the UUP.

But the DUP, of course, are deemed to be ‘bigots’.

And Iris Robinson hasn’t helped.

David Cameron has long talked of creating a new ‘non-sectarian’ force in Northern Ireland, hence the alliance with the UUP. And the Conservative Party is now committed to contesting all 18 seats in the Province, potentially splitting the Unionist vote three ways (recalcitrant UUP, Tory/UUP, DUP) which will inevitably result in one or two extra nationalist SDLP/Sinn Féin MPs being returned.

Cameron’s Unionism appears to have irked one or two who are of the opinion that it is the task of the British Prime Minister to remain ‘neutral’ in Northern Ireland; to be a ‘referee’ in the childish squabbles and a grown-up ‘honest broker’ between the warring factions.

Why should one be ‘bipartisan’ with those with whom one shares no political objectives? Why should one seek to placate those with whom one has no philosophical affiliation?

The SDLP and Sinn Féin wish to see an end to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Queen removed as Head of State and a republic established.

Why should David Cameron feel obliged to hold ‘neutral’ or ‘bipartisan’ talks with republican nationalists?

The Daily Telegraph reminds us that David Cameron is, after all, leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party:

‘ seems a stretch to lambast Mr Cameron for doing his job as a unionist politician, which should be to find political ways to ensure Sinn Féin doesn’t end up the winner as the result of the failure of Unionism in Northern Ireland to get its electoral act together’.

‘ me retro but isn’t it refreshing to find at least one politician who hasn’t forgotten that republicanism and communism are bad for the United Kingdom?’

The Spectator talks of ‘moving Ulster politics beyond sectarian interests’ which The Guardian (ever with its eye on the political priorities) says will raise ‘tricky questions over the Orange Order’.

And the Orange Order is, to those on the outside, some sort of weird cult on a par with Opus Dei and the Masons.

Although there is no longer a formal link between the UUP and the Order, it is noted that all the party's leading figures are members. Sir Reg Empey, ‘who will carry the Tory and unionist flag in East Belfast’, is a member.

The Guardian notes: ‘The Orange Order bans Catholics from joining. And this is what it says about the qualifications to be an Orangeman:

‘An Orangeman … should strenuously oppose the fatal errors and doctrines of the Church of Rome, and scrupulously avoid countenancing (by his presence or otherwise) any act or ceremony of Popish Worship; he should, by all lawful means, resist the ascendancy of that Church, its encroachments, and the extension of its power, ever abstaining from all uncharitable words, actions, or sentiments towards his Roman Catholic brethren...’

And then the newspaper helpfully explains:

‘What that means in practice is that members of the Orange Order are banned from attending mass at Catholic funerals. No doubt Cameron will be asked in the general election whether the Orange Order should lift its ban on Catholics and whether members should be allowed to attend the funeral mass of Catholic neighbours.’

What a bizarre perspective it is which highlights ‘tricky questions’ over personal religious adherence to Protestant Christian soteriological doctrine yet ignores the ‘tricky questions’ about the attempted assassination of Margaret Thatcher and the maiming and murder of members of her Cabinet. Or the murders of Ian Gow, Airey Neave (by the splinter group INLA), Anthony Berry, Robert Bradford and Lord Mountbatten. Or the fact that we are in government with republican terrorists, torturers, traitors and murderers who are now intent on controlling matters of British policing and justice.

Or perhaps these are no longer ‘tricky’ questions, but rather impolite questions which are simply no longer asked.

Should Mr Cameron be asked why he is a member of the Church of England when its (rather sectarian) XXXIX Articles of Religion condemn the ‘Romish Doctrine concerning Purgatory, Pardons, Worshipping, and Adoration, as well of Images as of Reliques, and also invocation of Saints’ as being ‘repugnant to the Word of God’; and dismisses the ‘sacrifices of Masses’ as ‘blasphemous fables, and dangerous deceits’? Should he be asked why he is a Monarchist when the institution is closed (rather sectarian) against anyone who ‘shall hold communion with the see or Church of Rome, or should profess the popish religion, or marry a papist’? Or why he owns a King James Bible when its preface (rather sectarian) talks of being ‘traduced by Popish Persons at home and abroad’?

For anyone with any awareness of history, the Conservative Party was born out of Tory/Whig religious sectarianism and has steered a via media for three centuries. The Party has a strong tradition of social concern and action which is rooted in Protestant Christianity and fused with the establishment of the Church of England. Edmund Burke, the ‘Father of Conservatism’, advocated a Protestant understanding of man’s ‘moral agency in a civil order’. He talked of obligations which ‘arise from the relation of man to man, and the relation of man to God’, and made appeals to the ‘grand chorus of national harmony’ which derived from the Protestant Settlement and has been sustained through the age of Empire, the creation of the British Commonwealth and the assertion of Britain’s ‘continuing role on the world stage’, all of which have been shadowed by the Worldwide Anglican Communion – the universal theological expression of England’s ‘beautiful order’.

The Conservative Party, as it has existed since the beginning of the nineteenth century, is the Unionist Party. Its raison d’être has been defence of the union, and that union has been Protestant since its inception. The nineteenth-century Conservative social reformer Lord Ashley (7th Earl of Shaftesbury) argued that ‘our great force has been Protestantism... every step of our success has been founded upon it’.

The Party now deliberately and rightly eschews denominational links: one does not need to believe in any particular god to be a conservative. But British Conservative traditions have been Protestant; those elsewhere have been Roman Catholic. There is no shame in this history. In fact, it is so obvious that it is almost embarrassing to have to point it out.


Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

Nick Robinson: ’Should the Orange Order lift its ban on Catholics?’

Mr Cameron: ‘That is a matter for their Christian conscience.’

28 January 2010 at 11:38  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Your Grace

None could deny the truths in your final paragraph. But will you go so far as to march in the Parades this year? Or do you agree that this stupidly provocative ritual should stop before somebody gets hurt?

28 January 2010 at 11:42  
Blogger English Pensioner said...

The Tories, Labour and LibDems should stand in Northern Ireland in their own right. The few people that I have known from the country would love to be able to vote for the mainstream parties. I had two colleagues at work, one protestant and the other catholic. The agreed on virtually everything except religion, and I suspect in England they would probably have voted Labour. However, in spite of their views being identical on most major issues, back home they would vote for different parties.
The main parties stand in Scotland and Wales, why not in Northern Ireland?

28 January 2010 at 11:50  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Bluedog,

What may appear to be a 'stupidly provocative ritual' to some is tradition, heritage and culture to another.

Should one ban Christmas decorations or carol singing in Bradford because they are deemed by some to be 'provocative'. Should one change the Coronation Oath because it is deemed by some to be 'offensive' or 'sectarian'?

Should we not simply pass a law which makes it an offense to offend anyone?

28 January 2010 at 11:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


The selective quotation, (which seems milder than the language used to denote the legal status of Prods, viz a viz, under cannon law, and dare I say it milder, than anything that might reference things like smiting others about the neck, a particular doctrine the MG seems to find within tolerable limits..... and not to mention doctrines that speak of strangling people with others intestines, etc.), taken by the MG has compelled me to afford your readers the opportunity of studying the qualifications of a Brother or Sister in full.

If these principles appeal to you consider joining in the great fellowship that is found in the Orange. Where Godly work and genuine, bible revering Christian fellowship awaits you ! (Pitch over..).

When we see charges of virulent sectarianism levelled at this Christian fraternity, on account of the non-admittance of individuals in fellowship with the Vicar in Rome, one feels compelled to point out that this charge being made exclusively at the Orange is simply opportunistic persecution, and would remind others that in all history we have yet to see a Hindoo Pope, a Proddy Imam, A Janist Bishop or a Wiccan Jesuit. Selecting one body of men out of thousands perpetrating identical behaviour and condemning them is a contrived act, arising from an evil policy of active hostility, not a moral principle.

Qualifications of an Orangeman according to the Grand Lodge of Ireland:

An Orangeman should have a sincere love and veneration for his Heavenly Father;

A humble and steadfast faith in Jesus Christ, the Saviour of mankind, believing in Him as the only Mediator between God and man.

He should cultivate truth and justice, brotherly kindness and charity, devotion and piety, concord and unity, and obedience to the laws;

His deportment should be gentle and compassionate, kind and courteous;

He should seek a society of the virtuous, and avoid that of the evil;

He should honour and diligently study the Holy Scriptures, and make them the rule of his faith and practice;

He should love, uphold, and defend the Protestant religion, and sincerely desire and endeavour to propagate its doctrines and precepts;

He should strenuously oppose the fatal errors and doctrines of the Church of Rome, and scrupulously avoid countenancing (by his presence or otherwise) any act of ceremony of Popish worship;

He should by all lawful means, resist the ascendancy of that Church, its encroachments, and the extension of its power, ever abstaining from all uncharitable words, actions or sentiments, towards his Roman Catholic brethren;

He should remember to keep holy the Sabbath day, and attend the public worship of God, and diligently train up his offspring, and all under his control, in the fear of God, and in the Protestant faith;

He should never take the name of God in vain, but abstain from all cursing and profane language, and use every opportunity of discouraging these, and all other sinful practices, in others; his conduct should be guided by wisdom and prudence, and marked by honesty, temperance, and sobriety;

The glory of God and the welfare of man, the honour of his Sovereign, and the good of his country, should be the motive of his actions.

It should be pointed out that the real hardcore extremists are in independent lodges, their qualifications can include even a total ban on consuming alcohol (the 'Total Abstinence' movement, which makes perhaps more sense in the land that brought you the ether craze than it would in Merry England), going to dances and watching films with curses and stuff in them. But then, your always going to get dangerous extremists in every movement, eh ? It in no way justifies the hate crime of stigmatising the entire body of people with selective and frightening caricatures. Behaviour which in other contexts, we will of course remember the Guardian condemns utterly.

28 January 2010 at 12:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The suggestion that the marches are to be frowned upon because individuals find them provocative is an interesting one. We must not let our personal feelings be the criteria of judgement in our treatment of others, if you feel provoked to hostility..go and have a cuppa. Do not EVER suggest that your anger at the reason for a peaceful display, (even if you are dumb enough to buy the hateful caricature offered by the Guardian: that this is an obnoxious celebration of a type of sporting victory. This is no more true than to state that the 4th of July is "we duffed up England" day), should be a legitimate reason to act in anger. And do not EVER suggest that the peaceable must be humiliated to placate the violent. This is the 'creed of slaves' and it's why we don't ban the Notting hill carnival for upsetting members of the National Front.

One hopes, when we consider the agenda and disposition of the Guardian, and the articles regarding Orangemen above, that the reason for their hostility and their need to revile the organisation would perhaps be a understood for it's cynicism a little better.

28 January 2010 at 12:10  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

I have been to watch parades at Coleraine and other places. I talked to a man who was playing in the Lambeg drum competition. I have talked to Ulster RCs about this. All are agreed that these events should be a wonderful cultural celebration, and should be a real draw for tourists. They are certainly great spectacles, as band after band marches along the street in colourful uniforms, with terrific bands -- some crude, some sophisticated.

I can't help suspecting that they do no harm to anyone, and that their alleged offensiveness is a cooked-up political device used by trouble-makers.

People are being provoked because they choose to be. Unionists never fail to take the bait, insisting they should be able to march along their traditional routes because, after all, this is the UK, and it is a free country. And so the situation escalates, quite unnecessarily.

Mr Bluedog, you should read The Faithful Tribe by Ruth Dudley Edwards.

28 January 2010 at 12:14  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pathalogically Conservative as usual YG. I can feel the hatred oozing out of my LCD screen.

28 January 2010 at 12:23  
Blogger Frugal Dougal said...

Your Grace is of course right in saying that Iris Robinson hasn't helped. But, giving the situation Gerry Adams is facing - about helping a paedophile (his brother) gain access to children - I wouoldn't be surprised if senior members of Sinn Féin are keeping this in the public eye? I wonder what rank and file members of the party think of that...?

28 January 2010 at 12:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

28 January 2010 at 12:37  
Anonymous TradCath said...

Anonymous 12.07

"in all history we have yet to see a ... a Wiccan Jesuit"

Not so sure about that one.

28 January 2010 at 12:52  
Anonymous Tony B said...

It's an interesting idea that you take over another country, and then call any of its inhabitants who oppose that situation "traitors" - that would have made the French resistance "traitors" - it's also interesting that you talk with such outrage of murders and attempted assassinations of people who were certainly not averse to their own alliances with murderers and assassins - General Pinochet, for example. Perhaps he was the "right sort" of murderer?

28 January 2010 at 13:07  
Anonymous iain said...

Excellent commentary.
According to sdlp, Cameron is playing 'the Orange Card'...bollocks to sdlp, its splendid to see Cameron prepared to stand up and make it clear that he supports the Union, just as the majority in Northern Ireland have clearly demonstrated they do, time after time.
Northern Ireland politics cannot be allowed to continue on in a state where nationalists/republicans are allowed to pay lip service to the principle of consent' that they signed up to. Until such times as the majority state otherwise, NI should be governed as British, not as some neutral halfway house where we've all to wait around until the majority change their minds.

Stormont as it currently is consituted will never work. How on Earth can Republicans and Nationalists be expected to work for the betterment of Northern Ireland in Government positions when they know that if they do a great job and improve the lot of the people, the people are less and less likley to vote to leave the UK and join the basket case Republic of Ireland?

28 January 2010 at 13:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TonyB, yes and the socialists also supported the likes of Stalin and Mao.Plank in the socialist eye or what?

28 January 2010 at 13:19  
Anonymous F E Smith said...

We've been here before ...

28 January 2010 at 14:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

O/T, Your Grace, but perhaps of interest.

A German couple who fled to Tennessee so they could homeschool their children have been granted political asylum by a U.S. immigration judge.
Romeike, an evangelical Christian, said he believes German curriculum is "against Christian values."

28 January 2010 at 15:10  
Anonymous RobertTheDevil said...

A plague on all your ism's and the union flag.

Comrade Gordon sticks his Celtic nose into giving rights of self determination, religion, and governance to everyone on this fair isle except England.

A Pox on him and his henchmen. that goes for the Con's as well.

28 January 2010 at 17:28  
Blogger Theresa said...

Oh come on, your Grace,

These talks, just when Northern Ireland are trying to sort out policing issues, were ill judged and badly timed. And it did smack of 'Playing at Prime Minister with Teddies' from Cameron. Why couldn't he have waited until they'd done that? I'm no fan of Gordon Brown, but as a Scot he has far more understanding of the sensitivities of the situation there and Cameron deserved the slap he got for it. I can see the logic of him joining up with the DUP and UUP for voting, but he really should have had better timing than this.

28 January 2010 at 18:01  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

[The Conservative Party’s] raison d’être has been defence of the union...

If only His Grace had felt able to write ‘is defence of the union’. The only Union the party defends today has Brussels as its capital.

@ bluedog (11:42)—...this stupidly provocative ritual...

The Orange Lodges of Liverpool march through my home town, Southport, on the 12th July. To see young and old making a public declaration of their faith and demonstrating their loyalty to the Crown is inspiring beyond belief.

28 January 2010 at 18:39  
Anonymous not a machine said...

Your grace poses a question to both sides of the argument let us that the debate in Northern Ireland can be mature ,knowing full well that sectarian legacy does nothing for the country , whose economy will be sorely in need of tourism .
The union has benefits for Ireland as a whole , we are its closest trading partners , conflict will only return the poverty which so many of Irelands new economy and peace that has been progress .

The old war horses should reflect , not only on the lives lost , but those lives who lived in a society frozen in security presences and suspicion and its unwritten degrading side effects .

The conflict is a matter of healing the past and new purpose , lest more innocents become blighted by both sides lack of faith . Despite the divison of protestant and roman catholic , there is no section of the bible that says christians must kill each other , they both fall foul .

The conflict has been an unfortuate era/cycle of retribution , once upon that idea again they will face the same problem of trying to get off it , when yet again it can only conclude in living together in a better way .

The union can serve peace well , it has no wish to repeat the mistakes , but undoing the union will disable its collective ability and freedom to give a better level of prosperity .

I would ask that politicians from both sides do not revert back to stances that have provenly failed and never will deliver, I would ask that they give the union its chance to show how it can work in and for peace.

How is it that I as protestant can visit a roman catholic church and pray for the similar things of life and family that others in the church are , without any thought of violence to a roman catholic ,ever crossing my mind , why is this such a big problem .

As far as I know the law is applicable to all professing the christian faith at its best understanding we can all see the apsotles relationship to christ and the christ story.

I am all for erroneous heretical teachings being questioned that are obviously anti christian , what I fail to see is the same scripture being read in differnet churches and the churches then falling out to the lengths and destruction that the troubles managed to achieve .

god must weep for each dark meeting where men plan murder to another man who both try to love his son and live by his tecahings.

28 January 2010 at 18:43  
Blogger Bavarian Orange Order said...

Its a pity that Labour and Conservatives didn´t make the effort to establish themselves in Ulster decades ago. Voting Green/Orange is not something to relish when the existence of the border is not really an issue in your daily life.

28 January 2010 at 18:52  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Your Grace and my other critics, I do believe it is important to compare apples with apples, rather than apples with oranges, so to speak.

So let me ask some further questions. How would Christ Our Redeemer view the Orange Parades? Are they really pious displays of faith, or are they sinful pride on the basis that if you have got it (political power in this case) flaunt it? There is a world of difference between the Orange Parades and the simple devotion of singing Christmas carols and letting children act in nativity plays, even in Bradford. The Muslims came to the UK of their own free will, and if they don't like what they find they are equally free to go home. In Ireland there was a civil war which was won by the Protestants who should by now be able to behave with greater maturity and slightly less insecurity. I do concede that demographic trends do not favour the latter. In short, the Orange Parades are designed to show the Catholics who's boss. Dumb.

Your Grace, your communicant has great admiration for the life and works of WE Gladstone. You will recall that Gladstone was an early proponent of devolution in the UK through the mechanism of the first Irish Home Rule Bill. Your communicant believes that the rejection of this Bill by the House of Lords was the greatest disaster to befall the UK until accession to the Treaty of Rome (that word again) in 1973. Indeed, if it had been possible to retain Ireland within the UK under a more flexible constitutional structure we might not be facing many of the current problems. For example, British power may not have collapsed as quickly as it did after two world wars leading to the European calamity.

A big topic, forgive my indulgence, Your Grace.

28 January 2010 at 20:14  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

I agree with your analysis. I have found your article difficult to comment upon: because it breaks my heart to have witnessed what Catholic and Protestant brothers did to each other (however, I regard the IRA as the moral equivalent of a fascist nationalist group).

In the USA Catholics and Protestants maintain their doctrinal differences. They are, to borrow a phrase from the greatest Judaeo-Christian philosopher-king of the 20th century, Francis A. Schaeffer: co-belligerents on many issues (for example, the document that will light the fuse or the Second American Revolution: The Manhattan Declaration).

The Judaeo-Christian faith in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland is under intense and severe attack. Our Lord said: ‘That a house divided cannot stand.’

As a Protestant let me make it unequivocally clear: I will defend a Catholic who is subjected to injustice; and, I expect a Catholic to speak out for me - for if he does not do so - there may, one day, be nobody left to speak out for him.

Let us be in alliance; our backs are against the wall; let us, together, not flinch in the face of adversity.

We will forgive.

We will, as that old negro song said: overcome.

28 January 2010 at 21:29  
Anonymous Jewish Bag Lady said...

"as a Scot he has far more understanding of the sensitivities of the situation there and Cameron deserved the slap he got for it"

Theresa, sod that, what about someone from a bit further, e.g. the Falkand Islands??

Anything is better than the one eyed son of the socialist manse, James G. Brown.

28 January 2010 at 21:40  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

I could not say it better than D.Singh. Outstanding Sir!

28 January 2010 at 22:00  
Anonymous Nan Bread said...

" Or the fact that we are in government with republican terrorists, torturers, traitors and murderers who are now intent on controlling matters of British policing and justice."

Too right and what happens when the british and the americans do the same with the current islamic terrorists and bin laden becomes deputy first minister of afghanistan???

Same principal really.

28 January 2010 at 22:10  
Blogger Christian said...

I am afraid that you are quite mistaken Dr Cranmer. The Conservative Party has long supported the maintenance of the Established Church NOT the Nonconformist sects which most Ulster protestants belong too.

Besides, what of the strong and ancient Roman Catholic element in Toryism? The Conservative Party is NOT the Whig Party. It may have many Whigs within it but it also has also always had many Tories and they have long included many Romans.

The Prime Minister should not take sides in Northern Ireland because many (if not most) unionists there are bigots who's main reason for supporting the union has been to maintain their ascendancy and prevent themselves becoming a minority within a united Ireland. I hate it when they are referred to as "Loyalists" for they are not loyal to any Britain I, for one, believe in.

I, as an *English* Tory have very little interest in these squabbles other than it has horrified me that so many English lives have been sacrificed in Ulster.

We are in Ulster for one reason and one reason alone, that is that the people of Ulster do not want to become part of the Republic and we must support their democratic right to this choice.

29 January 2010 at 01:38  
Blogger Manfarang said...

There is no Established Church In Northern Ireland.

29 January 2010 at 04:08  
Blogger Christian said...


29 January 2010 at 11:27  
Blogger Manfarang said...

If I were a betting man(which I am not)my money would be on the pact between the Ulster Unionists and NI Conservatives ending next week.

29 January 2010 at 15:02  
Anonymous jeremy hyatt said...

The proprietor asks 'Should one change the Coronation Oath because it is deemed by some to be 'offensive' or 'sectarian'?'

I take this to be a reference to...

'Will you to the utmost of your power maintain in the United Kingdom the Protestant Reformed Religion established by law?'

As a republican, I can only file the coronation oath away as somewhere between drivel and blasphemy but, if we must have a monarch and a coronation oath, the answer is 'yes'.

In passing, I have never understood the reference to 'established by law' as it reads as if faith somehow needs law for its authenticity.

Jus sayin as the Americans say.

29 January 2010 at 16:16  
Blogger Mark Blades said...

Mr. Singh wrote today about, 'Catholic and Protestant brothers'.

Whilst a Roman Catholic can be my 'fellow man' he shouldn't be publicly accepted as a Christian brother for as long as he remains in the Roman Catholic 'church'.

The Roman Catholic system of salvation is 'another gospel' as it teaches that a man is justified before God, not by faith alone, but also according to the prescribed adherence to sacramental 'good works'.

However, Paul pronounced a curse upon anyone who preaches this 'other gospel', in Galatians 1 v 9, so how can the Roman Catholic, while he continues to belong to this accursed system, be acknowledged as 'brother'? Rather, he is to be separated from, in accordance with 2 Corinthians 6 v 14 to 18.

That's not to say a believer should have no contact with a Roman Catholic, or should not behave in a Christian manner towards Catholics-or towards anybody, for that matter- but, there should not be any sort of co-joining in fellowship, or any kind of public unity under the Name of Christ, until such time as the Roman Catholic comes out of that system. [ Revelation 18 v 4 ]

29 January 2010 at 17:26  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Mark Blades

I plead for co-belligerence. I am sure that you know the works of Francis A. Schaeffer.

29 January 2010 at 18:56  
Blogger Mark Blades said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

29 January 2010 at 19:50  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Mark Blades

I shall answer you by 3 pm tomorrow afternoon.

I have made a study of the books of Daniel and Revelation and Sir Isaac Newton's study.

For the time being: I am convinced, that on the balance of probabilities, the Turks will lead a coalition of Islamic armies against Israel.

The nations in Psalm 83 have never come against Israel before, according to my historical studies.

29 January 2010 at 21:14  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Mark Blades

I have read the references that you have given and I understand that the Catholic cannot be my 'brother'. However, he and I can still be co-belligerents on many issues. And I'm sure, as a friend, I would have enjoyed the comapany of a great writer like the Catholic G.K. Chesterton and I seem to have a kind of fellowship with him when I read his books (I am sure C.S.Lewis would have).

And I think it was the philosopher Rene Descartes who once said that reading fine books is like having conversations with great men.

I am reminded this morning of a goodly saying, that a friend near is better than a brother far away.

30 January 2010 at 11:15  
Anonymous len said...

Just a thought, As Christians, we are not to present ourselves as having common ground with other religions, we are supposed to avoid this confusion. We can respect their decisions as to what they have chosen to believe, but we are not to give any impression of our acceptance. We are to preach the gospel to them and contend for the faith with others who openly OPPOSE what we believe. This does not mean we become antagonistic or rude and argumentative. But we have every right, even an obligation by the commands in Scripture, to challenge their belief system of God by God’s word.,

30 January 2010 at 17:07  
Blogger Mark Blades said...

Mr Singh,

I hope Mr. Cranmer doesn't object to this somewhat personal discussion.

I thank you for taking the time to read the Bible references.

I also looked at the website address that you posted but am afraid my response to the content therein is not as positive as yours was to my Bible references, though I hope I can be as gracious as you were.

Mr. Singh, I don't feel the people involved in that site are very good examples of how a Christian should deal with those with whom one disagrees.

I looked at the correspondence between said group and Jacob Prasch on another page of the site, and thought the language intemperate, not to say, insulting, from both sides.

However, I agreed with the conclusions from Prasch about the group and thought they exhibit the characteristics of a cult. Because of this, I would be extremely cautious in accepting any of their eschatological conclusions.

You may disagree with me on this, as is your right. However, I think we've both indulged Mr. Cranmer's hospitality a little too much on this diversion from his essay topic and so I'm not going to add any further to this discussion.

Thank you, and may the Lord bless you and keep you.

30 January 2010 at 17:50  
Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

Your grace,

In your post you stated the following:

"And the Orange Order is, to those on the outside, some sort of weird cult on a par with Opus Dei and the Masons."

I think that's not quite right. The proper analogy for the Orange Order is the Klu Klux Klan.

Right down to the bonfires.

30 January 2010 at 20:03  

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