Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Ekklesia: Tory manifesto has a ‘God-shaped hole’

According to the Christian think-tank speculation-butt Ekklesia, the Conservative Manifesto has a God-shaped hole.

Jonathan Bartley, the group's co-director, said: "David Cameron has been left facing an embarrassing situation today following the launch of the Conservative manifesto, which makes no reference to religion, faith, faith schools or the contribution of church or other religious groups to society."

Does he not know that 'religion' is not the same shape as God?

David Cameron has already said the he wants to see 'a big growth in faith-based organisations and charities' and that 'we should celebrate them'.

Yet Ekklesia lauds and praises Labour's manifesto, because it states overtly:

“Faith is enormously important to millions of people in Britain, shaping their values and the way they live. We respect the importance of belief and welcome the contribution that people of faith make to our communities and society more widely. We will actively combat extremist groups who promote fear, hatred and violence on the basis of faith or race.”

Has it not occurred to this all-discerning and wise 'think-tank' that there might be just a little disparity between Labour's words and their actions?

Do empty words fill a 'God-shaped hole'?

And yet they condemn David Cameron for spouting 'empty rhetoric' because 'the Tory vision of the Big Society does not seem large enough to take account of the work of religious groups - at least by name'.

The reality is that the Conservative Party's 2010 manifesto is the most Christian in inspiration for a generation.

With its focus on the liberty of the individual and a commitment to subsidiarity, it is building upon Tory-Christian thinking which goes right back to the biblical principles which inspired the 'Father of Conservsatism' Edmund Burke. The notion of ‘liberty’ has a quite distinct theological lineage, not only from sin and the power of evil, but also in the Calvinist understanding of church governance – liberty from oppressive hierarchies.

David Cameron has committed the next Conservative government to such notions as ‘One Nation Toryism' and ‘Compassionate Conservatism'. The former denotes a political stance aspiring towards unity of the citizenry in the nation, as well as harmony between divergent classes and interest groups. The latter offers a new way of thinking about the poor: they know that telling the poor that they are mere passive victims, whether of racism or of vast economic forces, is not only false but also destructive, paralysing the poor with thoughts of their own helplessness and inadequacy. It is about empowerment to a better life.

There is little more that is more Christian in its inspiration than a lucan expression of privilege for the poor, the outcast and the destitute. This builds on the most enduring of Conservative themes, articulated severally by Disraeli, Baldwin, Macmillan and now Cameron.

And Margaret Thatcher observed in 1977: "Our religion teaches us that every human being is unique and must play his part in working out his own salvation. So whereas socialists begin with society, and how people can be fitted in, we start with Man, whose social and economic relationship are just part of his wider existence."

David Cameron does not resile from a word of this.

He is an enthusiast for democracy because of the Protestant instinct within him of the significance of the individual before God: democracy, he believes, most effectively safeguards the value of the individual, and, more than any other system, restrains the abuse of power by the few.

The Christian inspiration of the Tory gospel is manifest in this manifesto for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.

Ekklesia prefers to fellowship with the darkness.

Let him who is without the God-shaped hole offer to fill the hole in others.

104 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mrs Bartley writes:

"Jonathan! This is your mother! Get off that laptop right NOW or you'll be late for signing on in the morning!"

"Yes, mother."

14 April 2010 at 08:51  
Blogger John M Ward said...

Do you believe that Ekklesia is in reality another of those about whom we were warned ("many will come in my name...") aand are Satan-inspired, or are they perhaps just not sufficiently alert to realise that they have been taken in by Labour?

Reading a few of their articles, I am inclined toward the former, but don't wish to draw any conclusions without first seeking better qualified opinion and (if there is any) firm evidence.

Whichever it is, I shall remember the name of this outfit, and know that their views and writings cannot be safely trusted.

14 April 2010 at 09:09  
Blogger dmk said...

I'd rather reserve the word 'gospel' for things to do with Jesus. Lets not confuse the Lord with David Cameron, however well intentioned Mr Cameron is.

If the Conservative manifesto is truly inspired by Christianity, why doesn't it say so? Are they ashamed of it?

14 April 2010 at 09:25  
Anonymous philip walling said...

There is nothing Christian about socialism.
It's a heresy, a false prophet, a work of the devil - and the sooner this truth is grasped by people the sooner we will get out of this mess and create something better from the ruins that a century and a half of the evil that is socialism has created.

14 April 2010 at 09:28  
Blogger Jared Gaites said...

Jon Bartley is a self important prat. He has a massive chip on his back about Christianity and the Tories. I used to follow him on twitter until I made a few observations which he did not like and he stopped following me like a baby spitting the dummy out. After reading much of his bilge, I was glad to be rid.

As far as I can ascertain from other comments, nobody takes this prat seriously.....thank God.

14 April 2010 at 09:34  
OpenID Michael said...

I hope you're right Cranmer, but at the moment I'm afraid I just don't buy it. After all, why are so many voices frantically running around trying to assure us all what 'Cameronism' is about (did you see Montgomerie's fawning guff in the Guardian?), if it wasn't for the fact that most people can't quite work out what Cameron is about. The danger in constructing such myths is that when they inevitably diverge from reality, people feel angry and betrayed, as if what they voted for was mis-sold to them. Take your 'Tory-Christian tradition' claim: it sounds lovely, but let's see how Cameron acts when confronted with the shibboleths of his social liberalism. Thus far, the signs aren't good. And those with eyes to see and ears to hear suspect snake-oil.

14 April 2010 at 09:37  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Your Grace
It is estimated that just over 3m Christians attend Church
http://www.eauk.org/resources/info/statistics/2005englishchurchcensus.cfm

The Muslim population in Britain has grown by more than 500,000 to 2.4 million in just four years
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article5621482.ece

True to historical form, religion will be found at the base of conflict that affects the lives of billions across the planet.

The petty back-biting that passes for the British political scene will fade into insignificance when the religious equality crap really hits the fan. The fall out from this will not simply affect the main protagonists, but everyone including all ‘innocent’ bystanders, religious or not.

Engaging in theo-political point scoring is simply puerile and politically dangerous. In doing so, you are merely shifting the spotlight of attention from the pregnant Trojan horse that is already established in our society and across Europe. Our democratic process is already being be used to work to alter the face of this nation. As you sell your churches to be converted into mosques, they then become magnets of attraction for wholesale community change. Many of our town and cities already have political ‘no-go’ areas; the east end of London, large areas of Bradford, Luton, Oldham, Blackburn and more, are disappearing from the culturally Christian demographic map; yet you squabble in rapturous oblivion amongst yourselves.

Cameron, Brown and Clegg are all from the same multi-cultural, career politician mould and while you persist if clamouring for more faith schools and faith privilege in politics and you may well get them, but so to will the Islamists. And they will not be apathetic in using their vote.

14 April 2010 at 10:00  
Anonymous Graham Davis said...

We live in a secular society which means that anyone is free to express their religious or any other beliefs but all the institutions that comprise the State and most crucially the Law must be free of religious contamination. The alternative is a theocracy where laws are based on the immutable word of God. If you want to know what that is like visit Saudi Arabia or time travel back a few hundred years to Europe in its religious heyday.

Many here see the Christian faith as a bulwark against moral degeneracy and a source of social cohesion. They want (their own) faith brought back into the centre of policymaking. However they consider the virtues of self sacrifice, personal discipline, modesty and honesty that we might all agree are missing from large swathes of society are the sole prerogative of their own religious belief system.

Well society has undergone an enormous social change largely due to working practices and their impact on family life; where once there were stable communities built around particular industries where, despite hardship, neighbourliness abounded, there is now a fractured society of the jobless and dispossessed.

This didn’t happen because of the decline of religion or a lack of Conservatism. In fact your much loved (no such thing as Society) Thatcher was instrumental in the change but with or without her it would have come anyway.

Globalisation, 24 hour markets and the colossal transfer of money from productive activities to financial services has altered society irrevocably. We now tossed around like flotsam and jetsam in a world where we (and our government) have little control and declining influence.

In these turbulent times perhaps hankering after the certainties that faith brings is understandable. But it is not the answer as the vast majority of people in this country do not share your faith, some might say that they believe in “something” or that they are spiritual but the facts speak for themselves.

If we are to “improve” society it will require a rehabilitated political system with leadership that is both open and honest. Government policies can engineer societal change but it can also emerge from the grass roots. No ism will have the answer and I don’t profess to have it either. We probably all agree that the family as the base unit of society needs to be supported if not cherished, how that can be achieved is probably another story.

14 April 2010 at 10:13  
OpenID Michael said...

@Graham - 'We live in a secular society...'

errr, no we don't. We live in a Christian constitutional monarchy. Get over it.

14 April 2010 at 10:24  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

errr, no we don't. We live in a Christian constitutional monarchy. Get over it.

Youv'e nothing to bellyache about then have you.

14 April 2010 at 10:33  
Blogger Gnostic said...

The run-up to this general election will be remarkable only for the way that the main parties and their apparatchiks are vying to out-stupid one another.

I mean, have you seen the Limp Dim manifesto? Good grief!

Verification - ingloxin. Hopefully it's the name of a new wonder drug to treat political insanity.

14 April 2010 at 10:43  
Anonymous Graham Davis said...

Nice one Dreadnought!

14 April 2010 at 10:43  
OpenID michaeltmerrick said...

@Dreanaught - correcting an error by stating a fact isn't the same as longing for an ideal. Obviously.

14 April 2010 at 10:50  
Blogger Preacher said...

Your Grace.
Faith is a general term that covers many different beliefs so the references to embracing faith & God should not be hailed as a breakthrough for the christian faith exclusively, if we have learned anything from the last ten years it's that politicians don't always say what they mean or mean what they say. I would much rather a clear commitment to stop the harrasment of christians in the work place & society when they dare to show their christian affiliations openly.
God has given mankind the freedom to choose his faith, a daring course to take, but I am sure that without the handicap that NuLab have allowed & indeed encouraged, the Judaeo-christian faith will flourish & grow when the PC restrictions are removed & the church embraces her inheritance to fulfill the Great Commission.

14 April 2010 at 11:05  
Blogger The Merry Man said...

Your Grace,

Remember Cambells "we dont do God",I believe Cameron is keeping the Religious element of himself and his party low key.

Why would he not,It worked for the Socialists,many without faith would see a loud clear declaration of Christian faith as at best weird God bothering,at worst dangerous and a threat.

Look now as the Catholic Church convulses after wave upon wave of sins and crimes committed by its priest`s are exposed,see the wretched weak and confused response`s of the Pope,who in their right mind would want to tie themselves to any religion weeks away from an election.

14 April 2010 at 11:08  
Anonymous Graham Davis said...

We live in a Constitutional Monarchy
We have an “established” church
We are a secular society

Ambiguous maybe but all three are correct.

When the Lords are fully reformed the Bishops will have to get elected like everyone else. Doubtless there will be a couple of strong candidates.

Although it’s a bit of a long shot I wouldn’t be surprised if when the Queen dies the prospect of a man who talks to plants becoming our head of State may prompt a rethink about the constitutional Monarchy.

And as Dreadnought has pointed out events may overtake all of this. How does the Caliphate of Europe sound? Maybe you had better start supporting secularism as in the battle of the faiths yours is going the way of Portsmouth FC.

14 April 2010 at 11:22  
OpenID michaeltmerrick said...

@Graham - or rather, perhaps the secularists ought to support Christians if a global caliphate is what you're really worried about, for I assure you that it is only Christians who will preserve what you hold dear. And they outnumber you by many billions to one.

14 April 2010 at 11:30  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

Graham Davis said...
'We live in a Constitutional Monarchy
We have an “established” church
We are a secular society


I almost agree, but would move the quotation marks to say that We have an established "church".

That distinction may not mean a lot to Mr Davis (there's no reason why it should), but it means a lot to me and people (Anabaptists) who think as I do.

The organisation calling itself a the Church of England bears no relation to anything called by the word 'church' in the New Testament. In the Bible the word 'church' applies (very infrequently) to the whole number of Christ's people in all ages and places, or (very frequently) to a local congregation of Christ's people (such as 'the churches in Galatia').

Neither do I accept the idea that there are Christian countries, as if Christianity had anything to do with territory.

Much that goes by the name 'Christian' or 'church' would be unrecognisable from the ways the New Testament uses those words.

The desire to see Christianity somehow supported, defended or promoted in a political party's manifesto seems to me bizarre.

14 April 2010 at 11:35  
Blogger English Viking said...

There is a brain-shaped hole in the head of Cameron.

14 April 2010 at 11:40  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

michaeltmerrick said:-correcting an error by stating a fact isn't the same as longing for an ideal.

When religionists start dealing in facts - that will be time for me to consider believing in a god.

...it is only Christians who will preserve what you hold dear...

Only? don't talk such crap.

14 April 2010 at 11:49  
OpenID michaeltmerrick said...

@Dreadnaught - I did deal in a fact. That we are a Christian constitutional monarchy. Fact. See? Indeed, it was even one of those material facts that even the most ardent of secularists could be expected to assent to. Instead, you thrust about damning religionists for not offering facts, and do it whilst responding to a very basic fact offered to you. *sigh*

14 April 2010 at 12:03  
Blogger Anglichan said...

I think Anabaptist is mistaken in writing dismissively that,'The organisation calling itself a [sic] the Church of England bears no relation to anything called by the word 'church' in the New Testament.'

I'm no Anglican, but to dismiss the whole edifice in one sweeping statement is to shamefully discredit many fine Christians, known and unknown, past and present, who have belonged to the Church of England.

Most churches do not reflect the New Testament ideal but many modern churches do reflect the New Testament reality. Read Paul's first letter to the Corinthian church and see how imperfect that was.

14 April 2010 at 12:07  
Anonymous A Democratic U.K. said...

Where WOULD we be without think tanks?

14 April 2010 at 12:09  
Blogger Gnostic said...

What happens to our christian constitutional monarchy when Brian steps into dead woman's shoes and and gets his wish to become defender of the FAITHS?

And how constitutional is a monarchy that sells its sovereignty and subjects down the river?

14 April 2010 at 12:15  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

Anglichan, your understanding may be helped if you were to read what I actually said.

I dismissed nothing. I said that the organisation calling itself Church of England is not a church in the sense of the word as it is used in the New Testament. If you would like to challenge that assertion, please give a single example from the NT of any occasion when the word 'church' is used to describe a denomination, or an umbrella organisation that presides over a large number of local congregations.

I am puzzled as to how anything I said can be held to have 'discredited many fine Christians'. I would say that their belonging to the 'Church' of England (falsely so-called) has little or no bearing on the fineness of their Christianity.

I was not talking about ideals. I was talking about the way a certain word is used in the NT. I was not talking about perfect organisations. Not only am I fully aware of the Corinthian problems, but would also cite almost every NT epistle as an example of problems in churches, especially those in Revelation 1 and 2, whcih are the seven churches of Asia Minor (note, please, not the chuch of Asia Minor) despite their failings, which were in a couple of cases fatal to their continued existence.

I apologise for the stray indefinite article.

14 April 2010 at 12:18  
Anonymous Stuart said...

Interestingly Ekklesia have recently begun pushing for a hung Parliament:

Not sure what to make of it frankly.

Big 'hung parliament' voter initiative to push parties for real change

14 April 2010 at 12:33  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace

I do hope that in the next Conservative manifesto, due out in autumn 2010 or spring 2011 that a statement is made as to how ‘our man of the Right’ will encourage people to drive out atheists, secularists, humanists and environmentalists from the public square. These ‘ists’ are like cysts on the body politic and need to be removed. Their socially subversive ideas spread from head like lice. They have already demonstrated their destructive capacity in Soviet Russia, Red China and Nazi Germany.

The idea on free academies is excellent. The children of the ‘ists’ can be deposited in the bog standard socialist comprehensive where their parents, I am sure, will be happy for them to be taught that they descended from the apes.

At the new academies we can teach an entire generation about Intelligent Design and a few paragraphs on evolution (just to be fair) for critique.

14 April 2010 at 12:36  
Blogger Anglichan said...

Anabaptist, you wrote, 'please give a single example from the NT of any occasion when the word 'church' is used to describe a denomination, or an umbrella organisation that presides over a large number of local congregations.'

I would say that the New Testament was written at the time of the planting of new churches. As the Holy Spirit, through Paul, founded the individual churches, He also gave instructions regarding their governance. There was no 'umbrella' organisation because Paul and the Apostles were the overseers.

It is my contention that we cannot state, with any degree of certainty, that, as the number of individual churches grew, that it was never the intention of the Lord, to allow a system of government to develop that would involve forming an overarching, connecting 'umbrella' organisation which is now termed a denomination.

Perhaps you could elaborate as to why you think it is so important to distinguish 'the church' as a gathering together of individuals in one particular location, from the overseers of many churches, and then to disqualify said 'umbrella' organisation from calling the whole structure, 'the church'?

The 'Church of England' is a collection of individual churches, and to question their use of the term 'church' based upon a situation in the initial beginnings of New Testament Christianity is, I think, unnecessarily severe.

I realise now that you weren't being critical of individual members and nor were you disqualifying the individual congregations, that are members of the C of E, from identifying themselves as a church. I thank you for clarifying my shortsightedness.

PS, I have to go to work now so I can't respond.

14 April 2010 at 13:01  
Anonymous William Wallace said...

"We are introducing swingeing cuts across the board and tax cuts for Bullingdon club members so the rest of you had better get on with it yourselves"

Conservative Party 2010

14 April 2010 at 13:03  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

...we can teach an entire generation about Intelligent Design...

With you as a prime example of that design I sincerely hope so.

14 April 2010 at 13:07  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

D Singh seems to want liberty for himself and his co-religionists, but not for anybody else. This is at least as bad as Stalinism, and maybe worse, because he should know better.

He writes:
'I do hope that in the next Conservative manifesto, due out in autumn 2010 or spring 2011 that a statement is made as to how ‘our man of the Right’ will encourage people to drive out atheists, secularists, humanists and environmentalists from the public square.'

I can't remember Paul pressing for the Areopagites to be driven from the puiblic square (the Areopagus), but rather making his voice heard alongside theirs, so that people could make up their own minds. Some believed, others mocked, yet others undertook to hear him again.

A claim to exclusive ownership of the public square takes away any right that Christians have to be heard there.

Mr Singh's desire would see the renewal of the Spanish Inquisition, the return of the thumbscrew and the rack.

It contrasts with Mrs Thatcher's assertion that the greatest legacy Christianity has given us is freedom.

14 April 2010 at 13:08  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Anabaptist

Even in Christianity's darkest periods action was about defending reason from subversion. What was being defended, ultiately, was the ability of a man to think for himself.

What the 'modern thinker' is doing, ultimately, is this: questioning his ability to even think.

14 April 2010 at 13:19  
Anonymous len said...

State based Religion or relationship?

www.christinyou.com/pages/anomxnty.html

14 April 2010 at 13:26  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

Mr Singh, you wrote:
'Even in Christianity's darkest periods action was about defending reason from subversion. What was being defended, ultiately, was the ability of a man to think for himself.

What the 'modern thinker' is doing, ultimately, is this: questioning his ability to even think.
'

I'm afraid I have no idea what you mean by any of this. Perhaps you could try explaining yourself more clearly for a bear of very little brain.

14 April 2010 at 13:32  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

Your Grace introduces some particularly mellifluous concepts today: ‘One Nation Toryism’, leading to unity in the nation, and ‘Compassionate Conservatism’, leading to harmony between classes and interest groups.

May I suggest another mellifluous concept? ‘Aided Emigration of British Muslims’. Unless Britain takes steps to reduce her Muslim population, Your Grace’s fine ideals won’t be worth the paper they’re written on.

14 April 2010 at 13:38  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Anabaptist I think Chesterto did a better job than I can:

That peril is that the human intellect is free to destroy itself. Just as one generation could prevent the very existence of the next generation, by all entering a monastery or jumping into the sea, so one set of thinkers can in some degree prevent further thinking by teaching the next generation that there is no validity in any human thought. It is idle to talk always of the alternative of reason and faith. Reason is itself a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all. If you are merely a sceptic, you must sooner or later ask yourself the question, "Why should anything go right; even observation and deduction? Why should not good logic be as misleading as bad logic? They are both movements in the brain of a bewildered ape?" The young sceptic says, "I have a right to think for myself." But the old sceptic, the complete sceptic, says, "I have no right to think for myself. I have no right to think at all."

There is a thought that stops thought. That is the only thought that ought to be stopped. That is the ultimate evil against which all religious authority was aimed. It only appears at the end of decadent ages like our own: and already Mr. H. G. Wells has raised its ruinous banner; he has written a delicate piece of scepticism called "Doubts of the Instrument." In this he questions the brain itself, and endeavours to remove all reality from all his own assertions, past, present, and to come. But it was against this remote ruin that all the military systems in religion were originally ranked and ruled. The creeds and the crusades, the hierarchies and the horrible persecutions were not organized, as is ignorantly said, for the suppression of reason. They were organized for the difficult defence of reason. Man, by a blind instinct, knew that if once things were wildly questioned, reason could be questioned first. The authority of priests to absolve, the authority of popes to define the authority, even of inquisitors to terrify: these were all only dark defences erected round one central authority, more undemonstrable, more supernatural than all -- the authority of a man to think. We know now that this is so; we have no excuse for not knowing it. For we can hear scepticism crashing through the old ring of authorities, and at the same moment we can see reason swaying upon her throne. In so far as religion is gone, reason is going. For they are both of the same primary and authoritative kind. They are both methods of proof which cannot themselves be proved. And in the act of destroying the idea of Divine authority we have largely destroyed the idea of that human authority by which we do a long-division sum. With a long and sustained tug we have attempted to pull the mitre off pontifical man; and his head has come off with it.

14 April 2010 at 13:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

*Private Fraser type voice*

Ekklesia? Satanic, I tell you! Satanic!

14 April 2010 at 14:16  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

*Yawn*

14 April 2010 at 14:32  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Your Grace,

Read through the website and it is not for me, butI think Mr Anabaptist might like it, as it appears to note that its tradition is as thus:

"Ekklesia naturally draws much of its specific inspiration from the dissenting strands within Christianity, not least the ‘historic peace churches’ (Quakers, Mennonites and other Anabaptists), some liberation theologies and non-conformism. "

One point about the article in question, I do not understand why the issue of faith schools should be considered to be that important to these groups, or that the taxpayer should be funding them at all.

14 April 2010 at 14:43  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Look chaps, this is what it says in the Conservative manifesto and I believe it is a step ion the right direction. If we vote for the ‘fringe’ parties we will allow the Socialists in; they’ll sign up to the next EU treaty and bring in proportional representation: ensuring conservatives are locked out of power for another generation.

Here is what Cameron says:

We believe Britain’s interests are best served by membership of a European Union that is an association of its Member States. We will never allow Britain to slide into a federal Europe. Labour’s ratification of the Lisbon Treaty without the consent of the British people has been a betrayal of this country’s democratic traditions. In government, we will put in place a number of measures to make sure this shameful episode can never happen again.

In future, the British people must have their say on any transfer of powers to the European Union. We will amend the 1972 European Communities Act so that any proposed future Treaty that transferred areas of power, or competences, would be subject to a referendum – a ‘referendum lock’. A Conservative government would never take the UK into the Euro. Our amendment to the 1972 Act will prevent any future government from doing so without a referendum.

Unlike other European countries, the UK does not have a written constitution. We will introduce a United Kingdom Sovereignty Bill to make it clear that ultimate authority stays in this country, in our Parliament.

The Lisbon Treaty contains a number of socalled ‘ratchet clauses’, which allow the powers of the EU to expand in the future without a new Treaty. We do not believe that any of these ‘ratchet clauses’ should be used to hand over more powers from Britain to the EU. So a Conservative government will not agree to the UK’s participation in the establishment of a European Public Prosecutor’s Office or permit its jurisdiction over the UK. We will change the 1972 Act so that an Act of Parliament would be required before any ‘ratchet clause’ could be used. Additionally, the use of a major ‘ratchet clause’ which amounted to the transfer of an area of power to the EU would be subject to a referendum.

The steady and unaccountable intrusion of the European Union into almost every aspect of our lives has gone too far. A Conservative government will negotiate for three specific guarantees – on the Charter of Fundamental Rights, on criminal justice, and on social and employment legislation – with our European partners to return powers that we believe should reside with the UK, not the EU. We seek a mandate to negotiate the return of these powers from the EU to the UK.

14 April 2010 at 15:12  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Look chaps, if we manage to elect a Conservative majority then (as Frederick Forsyth says in The Spectator (Letters)) the grass roots of the Tory Party will begin 'the mother of all battles' with Cameron.

Vote Conservative.

Don't commit national suicide.

14 April 2010 at 15:42  
Blogger Ray said...

The idea of any religious, or political party talking about "empty rhetoric" is so profoundly ironic as to make you laugh.

14 April 2010 at 15:50  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

Thanks for the recommendation, Lord L. I like some things there, and dislike others. I used to receive the Ekklesia daily email, but got fed up of its unrelenting left-wingery.

I have met Simon Barrow, one of the main contributors, and found him both erudite and personable.

Nevertheless, there is a fundamental flaw (in my view) in Barrow's opinions and practices: he is an Anglican with a 'high ecclesiology'. Yet he claims to rejoice in the Anabaptist tradition. These two positions are incompatible. The Ekklesia people call on Anabaptist ideas when it suits them.

It was 'established' Christianity that led to the very existence and then the persecution of Anabaptists. The notion of a state church was partly the reason for their thoroughgoing pacifism (they rightly believed that Christians should not take up arms in the name of Christ, and since all states were allegedly Christian -- that is, they all had established 'churches' -- any bearing of arms was inevitably in the name of Christ).

By the way, I agree that the taxpayer should not be funding 'faith' schools. However, I also think the taxpayer (qua taxpayer) should not be funding any schools.

14 April 2010 at 15:52  
Blogger Gnostic said...

"...the grass roots of the Tory Party will begin 'the mother of all battles' with Cameron."

Is this the same grass roots who had the opportunity to NOT vote for Cameron during the last leadership contest?

;0)

14 April 2010 at 16:03  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

B&B COUPLE IN ADMISSION REFUSAL ROW

A devout Christian couple who run a small bed and breakfast have defended their decision to refuse to allow Tories to stay overnight on their premises
Said the couple, “According to our beliefs, being a Conservative is not natural and the things they get up to are frankly immoral.

They could be getting up to anything in that room. Fiddling with each other’s expenses, claiming that our B&B was their second home, or performing unpleasant acts of what we gather consenting Tories call ‘Lobbying’"


(Private Eye No 1260)

14 April 2010 at 16:34  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mrs Gnostic this is so serious that it is no longer about the past. It is about whether Great Britain and Northern Ireland are going to exist tomorrow.

I understand the anger. You know how many times I've railed against the Lisbon Treaty.

I've just been studying the national debt it is mind blowing - the ineterest alone.

It has to be discharged by cutting costs and collecting taxes.

14 April 2010 at 16:38  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

I've just been studying the national debt it is mind blowing

I Suggest you try a larger fuse - 1 milliamp should be enough.

14 April 2010 at 16:54  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Ms Dreadnaught

Not now. We are discussing serious issues.

14 April 2010 at 16:57  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Thou shalt keep thine beliefs seperate from thy faith, as thee believes we will have a new Government but has no faith in the matter.

It is my belief 'One Nation Toryism' may have its faithful followers but we live in a multi-national society thus I reserve the right to stand on my precepts alone in faithful kindred custom.


Woe betide those who presume to know the shape and size of God and try to fill my hole.

Signed: Ben Doon

14 April 2010 at 16:59  
Anonymous Graham Davis said...

Christian Conservatives your boat is sinking and you are arguing about whether the dessert should come before the cheese. We are heading for a well hung, finely balanced parliament of all the “talents”. The boy Dave can swing his sling but he will not hit the target. Vince will be the Chancellor, Alex Salmond /Home Office, Nigel Farage/Foreign Office, Caroline Lucas/Transport, Nick Griffin/Communities, etc etc. So sit back and enjoy.

14 April 2010 at 17:04  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Davis

The international financiers will not brook a hung parliament. They know it wil tear itself apart within a matter of months.

They will hit us on the 7 May. Let's set aside our differences and put our country first.

14 April 2010 at 17:07  
Anonymous Truthseeker said...

From experience, I can say that Catholic Schools are far from Catholic. Yes there is cumpulsory RE and a mass every now and then but I would say about 10% actually went to church, the pupils are just like any other pupil (sometimes worse) and the rest of the education is pretty much the same. So all this talk of the importance of faith schools is rubbish.

Also, don't you people have better things to do? You seem to be on here all day.

14 April 2010 at 17:40  
Anonymous len said...

Not me I work full time!

14 April 2010 at 17:45  
Anonymous not a machine said...

I felt Grham Davies had almost considered repentence recently on some of his posts , alas he has found his trusty swaord once more "we live in a secular society". I keep trying to think of a secular society that really allows freedom and I cant think of one . It perhaps would be too longer a post to explain how the christian faith and the church have served our country well .
But Graham davies is convinced it is both better and progress if religion is and more importantly ,the christian faith is put into a goverment run department , as it couldnt possibly be better than christianity !!

Dont you see , I wish I could find of way of explaining it isnt a fairy story and that the secualrists moment of triumph of getting religion confirmed as a mental health delusion , would take mankind further into darkness , I really wish I could .

Imagine just for a moment a society where you never did anything wrong and your emotional attachments were to material things only , the spiritual dimension lost or banned , evrything would be meaningless , formless as there would be nothing beyond the individual to answer to, society would be stuck in the law and unable to find beyond it .

I can only add that sometimes my prayers have been answered in a way that is beyond coincidence , god exists and I do not think you can legisalte against it. I cannot work out why the existence of god terrifies you into thinking a secular state is supreme.

14 April 2010 at 18:44  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Mr Singh, I heartily agree with you on the national debt horror. The way the interest is piling up by the second is truly mind boggling. Unfortunately, the Tories seem to think that issues such as a Youth Citizens charter and a married couple's tax allowance are more important than doing what is necessary to cut our borrowing/spending rate. So I'll be voting for the party who is willing to make swingeing cuts, starting with getting the hell out of the EU. UKIP is getting my vote. If this means that we get a LibLab government then it'll give the Tories time to dump the Cameroon clowns and regroup with something approaching common sense, Eurosceptic and AGW-sceptic policies.

14 April 2010 at 19:01  
Anonymous len said...

I believe the secular world will get its wish when when the Body Of Christ is liberated from this World.
When the Church and the Holy Spirit (Who restrains evil) withdraw this World will be plunged into an era of darkness without precedence since the beginning of time.
Far from being an era of enlightenment with the Christians removed satanic forces will have unrestricted access to work their will upon mankind.
It is unfortunate but this will be what it will take to awaken man to spiritual realities.

14 April 2010 at 19:11  
Anonymous len said...

Britain is tottering on the edge of bankruptcy.
Labour want to borrow more money.
Tories are re-arranging the deckchairs.
I agree with Gnostic.

14 April 2010 at 19:16  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mrs Gnostic

I respect you.

14 April 2010 at 19:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>"Far from being an era of enlightenment with the Christians removed satanic forces will have unrestricted access to work their will upon mankind."

surely you can't genuinely believe this guff?

14 April 2010 at 19:36  
Anonymous Graham Davis said...

not a machine said...

I wish I could find of way of explaining it isnt a fairy story and that the secualrists moment of triumph of getting religion confirmed as a mental health delusion , would take mankind further into darkness , I really wish I could .
For the record I oppose all religion because I do not believe in God but I regard the CofE as by far the most benign with Catholicism and then Islam at the extremes of bigoted nastiness. Also I don’t see secularism as a cure for all life’s ills but it is a necessary stage in our social and political development and at present it is under threat from Islam.

Imagine just for a moment a society where you never did anything wrong and your emotional attachments were to material things only , the spiritual dimension lost or banned , evrything would be meaningless , formless as there would be nothing beyond the individual to answer to, society would be stuck in the law and unable to find beyond it
What you describe is not my life. I have a family that is most important to me, I pay scant attention to material things, I am strongly emotional but this should not be confused with spiritual which I am certainly not. Nothing is formless or meaningless, I have a family and friends, work that I enjoy and a wide range of interests. I answer to all those with whom I have contact and to my own conscience.

I can only add that sometimes my prayers have been answered in a way that is beyond coincidence , god exists and I do not think you can legisalte against it. I cannot work out why the existence of god terrifies you into thinking a secular state is supreme.
Prayers answered; simply coincidence. What kind of a God would answer one prayer in a million whilst leaving Madeline McCann to disappear without trace and break her parent’s heart? What about the “miracle” of one man pulled from the rubble of an earthquake whilst 300,000 die? Your God is indeed a heartless tyrant. It is not God that terrifies me but religion does and that is why I oppose it whenever I can.

14 April 2010 at 19:36  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Anon

After the 'Christians' are removed - men will do what they like.

Nothing will restrain them.

'Hell is other people.'

Sartre

14 April 2010 at 19:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

while millions die of cancer and other diseases, some Christians will tell you that God paid all their bills for them, or intervened to cure a simple wart.

that's not the sort of God anyone should be worshipping, were it true.

14 April 2010 at 19:43  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Anon

If there is no God - you still have death.

14 April 2010 at 19:45  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Anon

If you have God - there is still death.

2, 4, 6, 8 - what now?

14 April 2010 at 19:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>"After the 'Christians' are removed - men will do what they like.

Nothing will restrain them."

It's odd you should say that. I've done all sorts of things in my life, but never once did I meet a Christian trying to restrain me while I did them.

who restrains the Christians when they decide to start killing one another? the great green arkleseizure?

14 April 2010 at 19:47  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Anon

We too can't be restrained (on the whole).

We have free will, unlike the Marxists (from their perspective).

14 April 2010 at 19:50  
Blogger Anglichan said...

Len, you do know, don't you, that not all Christians subscribe to the Dispensational view of Eschatology?

I say that only to take the opportunity to state that I believe the Bodily return of Jesus Christ will mark the end of the world, and its final judgement and that His people will still be here to witness that, not having been 'whisked away' beforehand.

I believe the mistake is to regard 'he who restrains' from 2 Thessalonians 2 v 6, to be The Holy Spirit. The Reformed view takes a different, though not uniformly agreed, position regarding who, or indeed 'what' it is that restrains the emergence of the Man of Sin.

Finally, I write this not to engage in criticizing your view just for the sake of criticising, but only to state that the Eschatological statement you posited in your previous posting is not only one in the church.

I suppose what I'm saying is, let's not 'fall out' over this and, if we're going to 'fight', then let's make it a 'clean' one. OK?

14 April 2010 at 19:52  
Blogger Preacher said...

"It is given unto men once to die & then the judgement".
So there you have it, All will die, The guy pulled from the rubble will still die, the thief & the paedophile, the murderer & the saint. You & Me. Whatever you believe or not, ignorance is no plea, so make sure that you are not like the three blind men who tried to describe an elephant. All Means All, many will never be around to vote on May 6th, I may be one of them, but I'm ready, I hope that you 'unbelievers' can say the same.

14 April 2010 at 20:02  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

NAM said:-
...the secualrists moment of triumph of getting religion confirmed as a mental health delusion...

This is simply not true of the majority of secularists of my experience or in my own view.

What angers secularists most is the undue credit and preferential treatment claimed by religionists that their way is the only way, and the only truth.

Even Secularists can hold to a faith or to none. It's more that they simply regard it as a private matter for the individual and prefer that it is kept separate from affairs of state and away from the education of young children. This after all was the foundation of the American DoI.

Hasn't the violence foisted on generations of humanity through religious differences, taught anything that makes you as a believer of whatever religion or sect, just a wee-bit uneasy?

14 April 2010 at 20:03  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Och! Mr Preacher

You go the way of prime ministers, presidents and kings.

How I envy you.

14 April 2010 at 20:04  
Blogger D. Singh said...

That wretch Ms Dreadnaught stated:

'It's more that they [people like her] simply regard it as a private matter for the individual...'

Then please explain why you post here in public.

14 April 2010 at 20:07  
Anonymous len said...

Anons, at whatever time
You illustrate my point.

You Atheists will get your wish.
Interesting that Atheists blame the God they don`t believe in for the ills of the World.
You never hear them say why did Satan cause this to happen? Satan after all is the god of this world.
Jesus said My Kingdom is not of this World.
Man introduced sin into this world so instead of blaming God we should be blaming ourselves.

14 April 2010 at 20:11  
Blogger Preacher said...

Of course Mr Singh.I believe Like yourself, it's no good having a lukewarm, half hearted, I hope I'm right kind of faith. No good trying to cross the ocean in a paper boat eh?

14 April 2010 at 20:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Len -

"You Atheists will get your wish.
Interesting that Atheists blame the God they don`t believe in for the ills of the World.
You never hear them say why did Satan cause this to happen? Satan after all is the god of this world."

This is profoundly muddle-headed, even for you.

Firstly, let's clarify one thing, I'm not an atheist.

Secondly, atheists by definition don't believe in God, or Satan, and thus never blame either for anything. Sometimes they will argue "If there is a God, why does he allow such and such" - but the point is a rhetorical one - what they are saying is "it is absurd to believe that a God such as you describe would behave in this way, therefore such a God cannot exist".

14 April 2010 at 20:17  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Preacher and Mr Len

Your writings encourage me much.

Both of you preach to thousands across the Internet.

When he Angel of Death arrives; I know that thou wilt smile back.

I hope to see you on the other side. Now we see each other through a glass darkly...

14 April 2010 at 20:17  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Always open to be convinced by a good argument Singh, a talent which seems to be something that miraculously eludes you, judging by your record which consists of manic street-preaching and recourse to biblical texting.

14 April 2010 at 20:19  
Anonymous len said...

I think you atheists betray your true feelings when you deny God but blame him for every evil under the sun.
Its not because you don`t believe in God,its because you don`t like Him!
You don`t like Him because you don`t want to be accountable to a higher being, pride I suppose.
Also you don`t like him because you don`t know Him.
Jesus Christ is the perfect representation of God ,He healed the sick ,raised the dead, preached the gospel of peace,but people ( the Majority)hated Him............why?

14 April 2010 at 20:21  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Och! '"it is absurd to believe that a God such as you describe would behave in this way, therefore such a God cannot exist".'

Praise the Lord for free will - even though at times it leads to mass murder.

Boy can you imagine it, if we had been programed to say:


I love you.

I love you.

I love you.

I love you.

14 April 2010 at 20:21  
Blogger Preacher said...

Smile Brother? I'll burst out laughing, when I'm about to see my saviour & you & Len face to face. Death is but a minor inconvenience.

14 April 2010 at 20:23  
Blogger Preacher said...

Smile Brother? I'll burst out laughing, when I'm about to see my saviour & you & Len face to face. Death is but a minor inconvenience.

14 April 2010 at 20:23  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Preacher

Ye fear not.

Outstanding!

14 April 2010 at 20:24  
Anonymous len said...

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,( 2 Timothy 3;16)

Keep it up Mr Singh,


"Take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."—Ephesians 6:17

14 April 2010 at 20:25  
Blogger Preacher said...

Sorry for the double click, but then again some things need saying twice.

14 April 2010 at 20:26  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Aye!

Till we meet again and have faces.

14 April 2010 at 20:42  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

...but people ( the Majority)hated Him............why?

because he was a Jew?

14 April 2010 at 20:44  
Blogger D. Singh said...

No poor Dreadnaught, not because he was Jewish.

14 April 2010 at 20:48  
Blogger D. Singh said...

No poor Dreadnaught not because he was 'Christian'.

14 April 2010 at 20:50  
Blogger D. Singh said...

No Dreadnaught, not because he was weak, poor and defenceless.

14 April 2010 at 21:16  
Blogger D. Singh said...

No.

Dreadnaught, madmen are no threat to a governing authority.

Neither, are good men.

14 April 2010 at 21:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace,

The best quote about Ekklesia I've heard comes from Rev Peter Ould in his post "Now Ekklesia attack Christian Marriage":

'One Bishop once told me that a general guide to orthodoxy is “whatever Ekklesia opposes”'

http://www.peter-ould.net/2010/03/15/now-ekklesia-attack-christian-marriage

14 April 2010 at 21:36  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Dreadnaught

If God is so loving and all powerful: why did he let his son be executed?

Why Dreadnaught?

Why?

Isn’t he supposed to be a loving God?

14 April 2010 at 21:38  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Dreadnaught

Your name in the English language means: fear nothing.

Dreadnaught when this 'man' Jesus was dying, nailed to the cross, and cried out to his father.

Why did his father look away?

Which loving parent could ever look away from the agony of his child?


Is it not true that when a child falls to the floor a good parent would come running and comfort his child?

14 April 2010 at 21:50  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Dreadnaught

Why don't you do as I did once.

Spit in his face.

14 April 2010 at 22:15  
Anonymous Truthseeker said...

Mr Singh@ 13:41, if I have understood correctly, G. K. Chesterton (I assume you are talking about him and not "Chesterto" as you wrote) is saying that the horrific crusuades and other Christian wars were fought in the name of reason? War doesn't seem very reasonable to me. Also would this passage also be a defence of Papal authority and Apastolic succesion? As wasn't G. K. Chesterton a convert to Catholicism from your own denomination. I would appreciate you reply Mr Singh, I am intruiged.

14 April 2010 at 23:00  
Anonymous no nonny said...

Truthseeker: People who live in grass houses shouldn't stow thrones.

14 April 2010 at 23:27  
Anonymous Truthseeker said...

No Nonny...explain?

14 April 2010 at 23:33  
Anonymous Truthseeker said...

Was that a deliberate switch of the thr and s that is meant to mean something?

14 April 2010 at 23:37  
Anonymous Truthseeker said...

Thanks for the explanation...

14 April 2010 at 23:58  
Anonymous no nonny said...

Part of an old joke that involves Spoonerism, Truthseeker. Enough to add - we all make typos and produce rough drafts in this medium, and you're no exception.

et al. Other people betray themselves - like the er ... one ... who fears nothing, damns the torpedoes: and doesn't know the difference between Monty Python and Blackadder. (A touch of the Arthur/Martha syndrome, perhaps?). She then cuts and pastes some commentary off the internet and expects us to take it as authoritative; but fails either to credit the purpose of the 'criticism' about the mis-idetified text, let alone to engage with or arrive at any cogent interpretation about the original. And we're wasting our time reading her guff? Not any more, I'm not.

Its presence here may warn us, though, of what happens when socialists and secularists smash education to smithereens, and then decide to turn on the educated. So maybe the Conservative plan offers something to think about - I hope they can implement it.

15 April 2010 at 00:35  
Anonymous Truthseeker said...

Mr Singh just re-read it, and realised my mis-interpretation of it. Please ignore my previous post. Thankyou no nonny for pointing this out.

15 April 2010 at 00:39  
Anonymous no nonny said...

Just wanted to add, too - at 21,967 tonight it looks as if we're racking up a couple of thousand signatures a day! I hope we can keep on networking and letting people know this is out there.

******

Oh - and as indicated by someone above it's fairly gob-smacking to think that anyone claims to know the "shape of God"! Maybe they ought to consider His exchange with Job:
1 Then the Lord answered Job out of a whirlwind and said:
2 "Who is this that wrappeth up sentences in unskilful words? [...]
4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?
Tell me if thou hast understanding.” (Job 38.1, 2, 4)

15 April 2010 at 00:45  
Blogger William said...

no nonny

Dread naught but the Dreadnaught!

She is rather confused. She has, in previous posts, admitted to being a "spiritual atheist" (whatever that is - Pagan is the nearest I can come up with) and to the possibility of there being "higher powers". I think she rather relishes the role of heretic and fits quite neatly into Mr. Singh's quotation (in another thread I believe) of modern man assigning truth to heresy and falsehood to orthodoxy. Very postmodern!

btw 21,974 signatures! Can we break 22,000 afore the morrow?

15 April 2010 at 02:08  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Chaps

It's important to follow no nonny's and William's advice. Keep passing the link of the Declaration around the Internet.

Our people's voice needs to be heard loud and clear.

We believe!

We stand!

We fight!

15 April 2010 at 07:53  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Men, do you recall St Paul’s battle order that comes from Roman army commanders?

Stand firm!

But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter. {2 Th 2:13-15 RSV}

15 April 2010 at 08:26  

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