Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Christians for Cuts

The march against ‘Government cuts’ attracted quite a few Christian groups – all peaceful, of course. In prophetic fulfilment of John 17:21, Protestants, Catholics, Evangelicals and those who have recently joined the Ordinariate are united as ‘Christians Against Cuts’ – a sort of coalition liberation theology. One group planned to enter a branch of Barclays bank and offer biscuits to staff and customers while praying, reading the Bible and singing hymns as a witness against ‘the injustices of the banking system’.

These believers profess to be ‘inspired by Jesus' example of protesting against the moneychangers and traders in the Jerusalem Temple, who were exploiting the poor’. They find it unacceptable ‘that rich grow richer while the poorest and most vulnerable are faced with unprecedented welfare cuts as a result’.

Another group is the Student Christian Movement who also appear to be inspired by Jesus and his ‘standing alongside the poor and marginalised of his day’. And so they are called ‘to resist injustice in the here and now’. They carried banners reading ‘Where is good news for the poor?’ and ‘Invest in education, not war’. One of their spokesmen also appealed to Jesus and the moneychangers, saying: “Two thousand years ago, Jesus protested against those who exploited the poor in the Jerusalem Temple. Now Christian students will not stand by when ministers are devastating education and public services while putting aside billions for renewing nuclear weapons."

One student, ‘passionate about faith and justice’, explained: "Communities will have their lives destroyed by the cuts. Opening higher education to a free market system will ruin it and bar millions of people. As a Christian, it's my duty to stand up."

Well, it is also His Grace’s duty to stand up for he, too, is passionate about faith and justice. He also takes his third exhortation very seriously: he disagrees with these Christians on much, but we are obliged to live in the love of Christ.

After Ed(ward) Miliband decided to invoke Nelson Mandela, Emmeline Pankhurst and Martin Luther King to his righteous cause against the Coalition's cuts, it is perhaps understandable that some might appropriate God to their crusade. But it is wholly inappropriate. When Jesus spoke about the good news for the poor, he wasn’t talking about doctors, teachers, nurses or civil servants, and neither was he talking about those who subsist on benefits. If any of these ‘Christians Against Cuts’ bothered to examine what the Lord said about the poor, they would find it rather more nuanced than their myopically anti-Tory view.

The peasants (eg Lk 6:20) who possessed little material wealth were not called ‘poor’ (‘ptochos’) if they possessed what was sufficient (ie subsistence) - they were termed ‘penes’. Jesus was concerned with the literal, physical needs of men (ie not just the spiritual [cf Acts 10:38]). When Luke was addressing the ‘poor’, he meant those who had no money – the oppressed, miserable, dependent, humiliated - and this is translated by ‘ptochos’, indicating ‘poverty-stricken…to cower down or hide oneself for fear’ - the need to beg. The ‘penes’ has to work, but the ‘ptochos’ has to beg. Those addressed by Jesus are the destitute beggars, not ‘penes’ or the general peasant audience of few possessions. This is an important distinction in the modern political discourse and for a society where the threshold of poverty is defined by the non-possession of a television, a DVD player or Nike trainers.

Jesus spoke more about money than he did about heaven and any other subject. Both the Old and New Testaments teach that God is the owner of all (Gen 14:19, 22; Mt 5:45; Acts 17:28), and that we are stewards or trustees and wholly accountable for everything (Lk 16:1-13). The key word in the dealing of believers with Mammon is ‘faithfulness’: a steward must be faithful (1Cor 4:1f). Money is not in itself evil, but the love of it is (1Tim 6:7ff). The first disciple to fall was over money, which he never lived to spend (Jn 12:4ff; 13:7-29); the first sin in the Church concerned the giving of money to the Lord (Acts 5:1-10); and the judgement of God upon the world finance system is symbolised by 666, which bestows the power to buy and sell (Rev 13:16-18).

God instituted a financial order which includes tithes (Lev 27:30-33; Mt 5:20) and offerings (Rom 12:8; 1 Cor 13:3). It is noteworthy that tithing was before the Law; it was not of the Law. Offerings were to be abundantly and joyfully from the heart (2Cor 8f). There is nothing little about taxation and nothing about state welfare, with which ‘Christians Against Cuts’ appear to be concerned. But there is an awful lot about blessings and cursings on the use and abuse of money. If one withholds what belongs to the Lord, one can expect to pay the consequences: a curse does not come without a cause (Prov 26:2). The extent to which the nation is in financial difficulty now is in direct proportion to the extent the last Labour government unrighteously administered the nations’ wealth. How much did they put in they invest for the future? How much did they put in the ‘storehouse’ (Mal 3:8-10)? What is the national debt? How much have they purloined unjustly from the people? Is this theft? If so, thieves cannot inherit the kingdom of God (1Cor 6:10). And ignorance is no excuse: whole nations can be cursed when there is no righteous financial order.

No democratic government wants to raise taxes or impose cuts in public services, not least because both hurt the demos and impede the government’s quest to be returned to office at a general election. But in a righteous financial order, debts are repaid and the books are balanced. If they are not, the consequent curse is simply left for future generations. It is baffling that ‘Christians Against Cuts’ would prefer to sustain a situation in which £120million is paid every day in interest than spent on hospitals, schools, welfare... or on justice for the poor. ‘Christians for Cuts’ – of which His Grace is but one – understand that the pursuit of fiscal righteousness is undoubtedly painful, but that's because it demands discipline and we are simply not used to living within our means. And they also understand that these cuts are not deep and by no means fatal: the policy is that public spending will shrink very modestly as a proportion of GDP. This will still permit the state sector to grow but the private sector will grow faster. Since the former is funded by the latter, this makes perfect sense.

The task of the believer in this is to render unto Caesar that which belongs to Caesar, and to minister from the abundance of our hearts to the ‘ptochos’ – the destitute beggar.

It is not to anticipate the tune of the Christian Socialists and ‘march for the alternative’, especially where there is none.


Blogger Rebel Saint said...

A hearty Amen to that YG.

I get fed up to the back teeth of those bleeding heart liberals who talk of "the poor" (... the "rich" being people who are richer than them of coure!)

True story from just a few weeks back: a member of my family - in the course of her work - found herself dealing with a 'poor family'. So poor in fact that it appeared the children were going without some meals. My sister decided to bless the family with a substantial food hamper - a weekly shop. On the next visit to the family a few weeks later the mother was proudly showing off her new tattoo which had only cost her £60 apparently! My sister was surprised and disappointed. I shared her disappointment but not her surprise as - unlike her - I visit the homes of many such parents week-in & week-out.

29 March 2011 at 11:18  
Blogger The Gray Monk said...

Excellent post, Your Grace. The hijacking of the Christian ethic of taking care of the 'poor' by the godless and those who claim a faith, but are patently unfamiliar with the tenets of it, simply brings to the fore the manner in which the Humanists have lost the plot entirely.

I have also had occasion to deal with feckless parents who spend all their "welfare" on their own luxuries and then demand that "the government" provide more money for their numerous offspring. Time the Welfare State was dismantled methinks.

29 March 2011 at 12:06  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Noting also that the validity of Cranmer's remarks does not depend on accepting that the proposals/ actions of the present government, referred to as "cuts", are enough or suitably applied to remedy the mismanagement of predecessors.

29 March 2011 at 13:03  
Blogger MFH said...

Charity begins at home. Jesus never envisaged the state welfare system. Instead the rich were reminded of their direct responsibilities to the poor, and were told in no uncertain terms that they would be judged accordingly.

People were responsible for their immediate and wider family - ie the brother in need, or the widows and fatherless in the family. This help was part of the wider strengthening of the most important part of society - the family unit.

What we have today, for all its excellent benefits, is a system that allows us to escape our responsibilities to our families and local communities, and is unfortuneatley part of the break down of the same.

Jesus said you always have the poor with you, and you may do them good whenever you will" - Mark ch ??

29 March 2011 at 13:23  
Blogger Jonathan Hunt said...

Amen, Amen, Amen.

29 March 2011 at 13:26  
Blogger Sarah Mount said...

Much of what you say is very true, but I think that for some people this will be the difference between difficult poverty and going without food altogether and the "damage" done by the cute will in many cases will be great.

Those who are "against the cuts" hold a variety of views, from those who think no cuts should take place, to those who think cuts should be better administered or spread over a longer period of time. Many who are "for cuts" are in no way in favour of the specific bills going through our Houses. So these discussions of "for" and "against" cuts are a painful over-simplification on both sides.

Also, many of us who are Christians and "against the cuts" in whatever way, would be happy to be paying more tax to contribute to keeping our public services up and running for those who need them.

29 March 2011 at 14:02  
Blogger Arden Forester said...

I doubt very much if the group has the Rev Stephen Green, late chief of HSBC, amongst its numbers. Lord Green as he is now is a Cameron appointee on government matters. I am eagerly awaiting his views on what to do with the moneychangers!

29 March 2011 at 14:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Sarah Mount
The Treasury accepts donations

29 March 2011 at 14:56  
Blogger English Viking said...

Cut. Cut deeper, longer, harder.

Slash. Butcher. Emasculate.

Leave only the essentials. A safety-net. A temporary hand-up, not a lifelong hand-out.

Get rid of little Hitlers with clip-boards, form-filling, pen-pushing, final-salary-scheme parasites, that serve no purpose but their own.

Halt immigration to supply labour (small 'l', but a big one is probably just as correct) requirements. No Workey - No Money. Dead easy.

You want kids? Fine - you pay for them. NO Council housing for teenage girls who get knocked-up simply as an escape route from their parents. NO right to housing to persons who have not contributed regularly to the taxation system.

It is the Christian duty of the strong to protect the weak. It should not be that the hard-working are systematically robbed, by a parasitical political class of grotesque size, to subsidise the feckless, immoral or just downright lazy.

29 March 2011 at 14:56  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Well, I'm pretty ''ptochos'' myself. Got 50p for a cup of tea anyone?

29 March 2011 at 15:00  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

There have been NO CUTS. Only reductions in the planned rate of increase in spending. Osborne didn't say this in the budget as it runs counter to the 'narrative' but it's clear enough in the budget Red Book.

Get it: there have been NO CUTS.

They are lying to us (again).

29 March 2011 at 15:05  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Cuts or no cuts, what happened to all that toxic debt out there??? Exactly, nothing whatsoever, it's still out there waiting to pounce; and be assured that it will!

We are doing what we did before, nothing has changed, it can and probably will, happen again.

29 March 2011 at 15:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Christianity is an easy mark for marxism because marxists can couch their goals in terms that sound vaguely Christian. The only problem is that their ends are substantially different from those of Christ--as are their means.

29 March 2011 at 15:26  
Anonymous Paul C said...

Well said Your Grace.

Just one thing, you forgot to mention the small matter of investing billions of pounds in more nuclear weapons during a time of "cuts".

Maybe the Christians against cuts would be happier if this wasnt happening...?

29 March 2011 at 15:28  
Blogger killemallletgodsortemout said...

I'm with the English Viking. Get cutting - the sooner the better. Why should I pay for the feckless, the tattooed 'mother' of a "poor" family, as mentioned above? Why should I pay for pensioners to go swimming? Why should I pay for Chardonnay's childcare? NOBODY in this country is truly poor. NOBODY. Thirteen years of lies has made people dependent on the state, to the point where their sense of entitlement should be met with a public flogging.


Pax vobiscum.

29 March 2011 at 16:23  
Anonymous malvoisin said...

I must agree keep cutting, don't use a knife use a chainsaw until it hurts so much people will be forced to open their eyes.
3 billion earmarked to bail out Portugal, was it 7 billion to bail out southern Ireland? How much more earmarked for bailing out Spain? Billions in foreign aid, billions to the EU, hundreds of millions on health tourism and looking after foreigners who come here, billions spent on illegal wars and yet the numpties keep on voting for the Lib/Lab/Con trick, keep cutting I say.

29 March 2011 at 17:16  
Anonymous not a machine said...

Thankyou for that your grace , i have to ammend some of my thoughts . The poor I have come to understand as being , spiritually , time and time again I come across those whose complaints are of material poverty even though , they can shop weekly in an upmarket style.

I had always thought the temple overturning of the tables of the money changers, was more to do with running a ponzi scheme and money for doves . I wonder if it wasnt a warning against socialism , could a modern day dove not be securitised derivative that alledged to have ended boom and bust.

The source of poverty is difficult to grasp , for as you have pointed out competant spending is as important as benefits. If mr Dellingpole has stumbled across the Blair rich project workings , then I am not for another basin full of that .

29 March 2011 at 17:21  
Anonymous Steve Mac said...

Prescient as always, Jesus did say that the poor (the 'ptochos' indeed) will always be with us (Mark 14:7), retweeting Moses who said there will always be poor people in the land (Deut 15:11)

Luke observed that among the first Christians in Jerusalem, there were no needy people among them as a form of wealth redistribution was practised. The system was entirely voluntary, not one based on coercion and contributions were laid at the feet of the apostles, not handed over to a bloated and overweening bureaucracy.

29 March 2011 at 17:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the best comments on the subject in months. Well done, Your Grace!


29 March 2011 at 17:40  
Anonymous PJ said...

A more responsible and Christian cause? Rally Against Debt, 14th May, on facebook

29 March 2011 at 17:49  
Anonymous Anguished Soul said...

Excellent post, Your Grace. Keep up the good work.

I blame the churches, myself. They don't preach the Word and haven't done so for years, preferring an apostate gospel of their own making, which 'tickles their ears.' They have rejected the gospel of Christ and so have brought judgement from the Lord Almighty upon us all.

It is only when the Word is preached that the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, leading to repentance. Since when have you heard any modern church leader talk about repentance?

Two things the church is supposed to do: preach the Word and intercede (stand in the breach) for others. They do neither. In recent years, our nation has been given up to uncleanness (abortion, homosexuality etc). It's a very bad sign.

29 March 2011 at 18:04  
Blogger Roger Pearse said...

The Student Christian Movement abandoned Christianity long ago in favour of left-wing politics and the morals that tend to go with it.

Christians who are Students join the Christian Unions.

29 March 2011 at 18:35  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"Money is not in itself evil, but the love of it is (1Tim 6:7ff)."

Would having a £50M self-made fortune, including a villa in Barbados and a vineyard in Portugal, constitute a love of money or merely a just reward? Not me, you understand. One of Blair's mates.

29 March 2011 at 18:44  
Blogger English Viking said...


If you read the list of possessions and bounty of people such as Abraham or Job, you'll see that being filthy rich in itself is not a sin; it's how you got it and what you do with it that matters.

29 March 2011 at 18:49  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Cut, cut, cut, those crying now were all prepared to impose big brother on us, let the collaboraters suffer. I am concerned about the increase in payments to charities also since common purpose poses as a charity.

29 March 2011 at 18:52  
Blogger Theo said...

An excellent post, Your Grace. I am somewhat confused, however, by your last sentence; what on earth is a "Christian Socialist", the term is an oxymoron. Socialism is Satan's own political system - remember he is the great deceiver and will lead good people to believe that they are doing good when, in fact, they are building a system that will ultimately be the destruction of any order that remains here on earth because it is built on covetousness and theft.

There needs to be a redefining of poverty from the relative to the absolute and not until we do this will we be in a position to reinstate a man's labour to a place that will give him back his self respect.

29 March 2011 at 19:11  
Anonymous len said...

The problem with the cuts is they are not cutting in the right places!
The bureaucrats who are given the task of administering the cuts have made Political capital out of cutting 'front line ' troops.
Which leaves us with the Bureaucrats unaffected and a severely weakened front line.
So instead of a problem solved it is a problem worsened!
Cuts have to be administered fairly right 'across the board, fat cats included!.And what about all the big Company 'Tax dodgers'?

There is Christian concern for the poor and Widows ;
God isn't a conservative; he's a revolutionary. He not only takes the side of the poor; he puts himself in their place. In the very alarming parable of the sheep and the goats he speaks of salvation as depending on how we treat the poorest and the most afflicted.
This goes for Societies as well as individuals.

29 March 2011 at 19:43  
Blogger Theo said...

"This goes for Societies as well as individuals."

You slipped this in at the end len - hope you've got some theological justification.

Let the "Company Tax Dodgers" worry about themselves; they, like us all have to justify their position but it is not for us to judge them.

29 March 2011 at 19:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes theological ethics are about taking principles from Jesus, not just applying what he says to the exact specific group which he addresses.

29 March 2011 at 21:22  
Anonymous Voyager said...

I thought the part about the moneylenders in The Temple was to do with the sacrifices....that the wealthy sacrificed lambs and the poor doves with money changers in the outer courtyard selling the required Half-Shekel coinage at a premium.

So it was more to do with Faith being turned into commercial transactions for profit and exploiting pilgrims than the way it is popularly heralded today.

It has more in common with over-elaborate weddings in churches than bankers as such.

These "Christian" groups sound to be Socialists rather than Christians, which term seems to be very confused in our society.

As for "cuts" we are talking about 0.9% public spending being cut annually so that public spending in 2015 exceeds than in 2010 despite another £170 billion being raised in taxation

29 March 2011 at 22:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The careful distinctions made by 'Cranmer' in his definitions of the poor in the NT are not familiar to us. Jesus championed 'the marginalised': socially, spiritually and materially. The weakest poor were the disabled beggars who were not allowed to enter the Temple, due to their perceived lack of wholeness, and elderly widows, without family. Jesus told his disciples to make the most of any loaves and fishes they had - and then He multiplied them. Certainly "Help thyself too", using your talents, is part the Christian ethic. But so is deep generosity if you are blessed with money, and a sense of responsibility. Jesus said more about the dangers of wealth and its eternal consequences when money comes first in someone's life, than about anything else.

The current cuts are biting even the well off. Surely Christians cannot be political or 'material' in their definitions of need, because Jesus taught generosity to those in any kind of need? Need is not just about lack of money or simple destitution. We are aware of middle class disabled elderly spouses of loved ones with devastating dementia, ousted from homes by NHS cuts. Their acute need is not a matter of money. They deserve our full support along with those who are without family support, money for food (see stories of feeding the hungry in West Country towns).

29 March 2011 at 23:14  
Blogger Tomrat said...

One could also posit that "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's" was a clever turn of phrase designed to prevent the Scribes and Pharisees from painting our Lord Jesus Christ as a revolutionary bent on overthrowing roman rule in Israel; taken one way it could mean "give Caesar what you owe him", taken another it could also mean "Caesar may take whatever he is owed for services rendered and received voluntarily, and as there are none he is owed none of this".

Probably a few more in there; clever one our Lord.

29 March 2011 at 23:23  
Anonymous Lady Virginia Droit de Seigneur said...

Perhaps these do-gooders should address the vast wealth of the RC church and the CoE.

The Vatican Bank is one of the leading lights in global money laundering (just google Vatican Bank and money laundering and see how many hits you get) despite being under the spotlight since the Roberto Calvi affair in the late 70s. The Vatican used to invest in arms companies and manufacturers of condoms.

CoE is the biggest landholder in the UK after the government.

Don't see them releasing any of this wealth to help the poor they purportedly care about.

Let's face it - organised religion is as hypocritical as government and finance.

29 March 2011 at 23:34  
Anonymous len said...


Not for us (Christians) to judge people (or financial institutions) is a common misconception.

"Judge righteous judgment" (John 7:24)
"Thou hast rightly judged" (Luke 7:43)
"Why don't you judge for yourselves what is right?
(Luke 12:57)

Here Is Just A Few Things Paul said about judging

"I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say" (I Cor. 10:15)
"He that is spiritual judgeth all things" (I Cor. 2:15)

(Just a few examples there are many more)
References to Societies and individuals being judged by their treatment of the poor;
Ezekiel 22
1 The word of the LORD came to me:
2 “Son of man, will you judge her? Will you judge this city of bloodshed? Then confront her with all her detestable practices 3 and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: You city that brings on herself doom by shedding blood in her midst and defiles herself by making idols, 4 you have become guilty because of the blood you have shed and have become defiled by the idols you have made. You have brought your days to a close, and the end of your years has come. Therefore I will make you an object of scorn to the nations and a laughingstock to all the countries. 5 Those who are near and those who are far away will mock you, you infamous city, full of turmoil.

This list goes on to;

29 The people of the land practice extortion and commit robbery; they oppress the poor and needy and mistreat the foreigner, denying them justice.

29 March 2011 at 23:39  
Anonymous len said...

Matthew 25
41“Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 42for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ 44“Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ 45“Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46“These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

29 March 2011 at 23:46  
Anonymous not a machine said...

mmm having watched tonights bibles buried secrets ,i would have thought any chance of credibility would have been to base the program about where the bible says the garden of eden is situated. I might have gone along with the idea of garden of oppulence in the desert , but the program seemed to jump on totally spurious ideas , i nearly threw my cup of tea at the telly ,when the line "most of the bible was written about 1BC" really, what about the torah ?
I perhaps may say the quiet sceptiscism of the style , looking on as though everyone else was in la la land , is one aspect , powerfully suggesting that if the origional sin isnt true , then the rest is fools soup . But then I waited for the shred of evidence (never mind the presenters own view) that adam ,was itimised as being head gardener of some kings garden , rather than linking it to some stone engraving that may be from somewhere else .
The garden of eden may not suffice for some to explain the world we have , I am saddend though that this sort of bulldozer program has been wrongly titled , for from being buried secrets of the bible , its intent seems to be bury christianity with little thoughts for the consequences or even much of an enquiry into , if it is beyond belief or mere indoctrination .
when capitalism got introduced to the dialogue , I just thought, what has that got to do with this subject.
Piss poor , well at least a bishop has seen it .

Solar panel farms ?? when did that happen ? I was given a leaflet on these by a company and corrected him by saying surely you mean retro fitted roofing , he said no , rows of panels in a field ,I thought he was having a laugh,in the deserts maybe . i just despair sometimes although not sure if mr clegg has quietly told us nuclear is no longer cheap, at £60mn for the last one to be decomissioned ,I wouldnt have thought it was a difficult piece of maths on tax payer liabilities.

30 March 2011 at 01:22  
Anonymous Atlas shrugged said...

Your Grace; this is without doubt one of your finest pieces of work to date.

There can not be a Christian Socialist, for the one is the antithesis of the other, and for the reasons that you so well explain.

I could add much, however you have given so much enlightened food for thought, I believe it best to leave my own 2 cents worth, for another time.

30 March 2011 at 01:24  
Blogger The Last Dodo said...

Ummm, didn't the first organised christian community share all their goods in common? Surely as Christians we should demonstrate a love of neighbour beyond mere self interest and strive for a more equal society.

I don't recall Jesus recommending a financial assessment before giving ones coat when someone asks for it. Nor do I understand his message of love to be restricted to 'ptochos' and withheld from 'penes'.

The Christian Gospel is radical and I say well done to those who draw our attention to the burden placed on the poor by our capitalist system and governments who have to follow the logic of its dynamic.

In a fallen world "from each according to his means, to each according to his needs" is, maybe, unachievable. We can aim for a more equal society though and a greater sharing of wealth.

Lets face it, capitalism marginalises, divides, and is based on winners and losers. It is motivated by acquisition and greed. Sadly, history tells us that its probably the best system in a world where mammon takes precedence over love.

Afterall, Satan is the prince of this world. Our liberal-democratic-capitalist system serves him well.

30 March 2011 at 01:48  
Anonymous not a machine said...

Disagree last dodo , capitalism is based on markets , which is supposed to stop slavery .gambling is based on winners and losers ,perhaps you are refering to the way labour ran capitalism .

besides what does anything not capitalist do with those not wanting to follow the law .I mean how can you run moral system without capitalism , mmmm thats right a police state .

30 March 2011 at 03:09  
Anonymous Atlas shugged said...

not a machine said...

Labour did indeed run capitalism just about as badly as it could be.

However, the then opposition, cannot escape their own at best incompetence, in their allotted, and very important role.

I am genuinely afraid to say that these types of things are done quite deliberately and have little or nothing to do with party politics, other then that party politics is used as a method by which deliberately created booms and bust are implemented, and largely got away with.

A well tied and tested method by which individual members of the public as well as a peoples respective government, are put into seemingly permanent debt. Wars are of course, the more traditional method. Although this exact type of thing can be traced back as periodically happening over at least the last 200 years or more.

Therefore in my opinion any politician who claims that they have single handed ended boom and bust, or caused such a cruel lie to be believed by others, is a serious crook.

A crook of the highest possible order, that should be whipped from pillar to post, and then publicly executed. This in spite of the fact that for any other type of crime, I am passionately against the death penalty.

How this creature sleeps at night knowing that he has been so personally responsible for directly causing so much long term pain and misery to so very many that put their trust in him, amasses me.

However it should not, for Gordon Brown is a self confessed, and unrepentant Marxist, therefore it could be argued that we are all to blame for not expecting exactly what we all got.

30 March 2011 at 03:41  
Anonymous Fran said...

A splendid post, Your Grace.

Socialism, the politics of envy, has for too long cloaked itself in Christian language.

The main job of government in the Bible is to act in loco Deo to protect citizens from human evil, both from within and without the nation state. In this way the gospel of redemption from our own inbuilt evil has the best chance of flourishing.

We are then to be generous in assisting those in financial difficulties to get back on their feet.

Redistribution of wealth by government to create the fashionable Utopia of the day has no place in Christian thought.

I've been very impressed with the Charity Christians against Poverty http://www.capuk.org/home/index.php
(who receive no government funding because of the word 'Christian' in their name) who help people in debt by creating a budget to live by whilst at the same time speaking to their creditors so that they are relieved from the immediate stress of being hounded by debt collection agencies.

A happy balance I think.

30 March 2011 at 04:33  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"Lady Virginia Droit de Seigneur"


30 March 2011 at 06:31  
Anonymous Voyager said...

didn't the first organised christian community share all their goods in common? Surely as Christians we should demonstrate a love of neighbour beyond mere self interest and strive for a more equal society.

You believe like Cameron in The Big Society rather than The BIG State.

30 March 2011 at 07:32  
Anonymous Voyager said...

The Vatican Bank is one of the leading lights in global money laundering

You are 30 years out of date. Most money-laundering flows via The City of London, Hong Kong and Zurich.

Wealth is a Stock Concept, Flow is an Income Concept. Like Gordon Brown you are confused. He mortgaged Assets to provide Income for consumption which is the problem.

As for the Churches you will find their land is mortgaged to pay pensions. Napoleon seized German Church lands and the German taxpayer pays compensation for expropriated assets annually.

The biggest source of wealth is actually the houses standing on much of this leasehold land. The idea that you favour has been tried, you find a definable group and expropriate them - say Jews - encash their life insurances and seize their assets "for the common good"

You keep strange company "Lady Virginia Droit de Seigneur as you moniker suggests

30 March 2011 at 07:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The whole Fiat money system lurches from crisis to crisis. Liberal left “no cuts” Christians demand that the conjurer produces more money out of thin air to give them the quick fix they desire today so they can avoid Cold Turkey tomorrow. It doesn’t work like that. Sooner or later the whole rotten house of cards will come crashing down.

30 March 2011 at 09:11  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace

What I find fascinating is the Left’s complete silence on the Government finding billions to bailout Greece, Ireland and now Portugal – and soon Spain.

30 March 2011 at 09:12  
Anonymous MrJ said...

All has not yet been said and done, but meanwhile:

Recalling that after Paradise Lost blind Milton dictated Paradise Regained (on the proposal of Thomas Ellwood):

In those terms, would the first disobedience be the source of the woes of any -ism you choose to mention: of tribe; of kings, barons and kinights; of merchants; of capital; of science; of social politics; of community; of big tent?

(For Ellwood see: http://berksandbucks.greatbritishlife.co.uk/article/john-milton--paradise-regained-7474/ )

30 March 2011 at 09:17  
Blogger Tomrat said...

The Last Dodo,

Yes, Christ's earliest followers did share things in commune with one another and divied up and sold their possessions for the good of His church (I believe this is originally what "church" was referring to? A grouping of Christ's followers?)

But no one is compelled at the point of a gun to accept this situation, and the only people ever punished were done so because they committed fraud against a covenant they made with God, and withheld a portion of their property they promised to give to Him.

The above, actually being an exposition of God's belief in contract law and charity, thus makes your other point redundant; yes you shouldn't differentiate in your charitable giving between deserving and undeserving poor but nor should you accept the authority imposed to compel you to do so when you know it is spiritually damaging to the undeserving ones; state aggrandisement is a poor substitute for God's grace, it makes fools of us all.

30 March 2011 at 10:00  
Anonymous Steve Mac said...

The Last Dodo said...
"didn't the first organised christian community share all their goods in common? Surely as Christians we should demonstrate a love of neighbour beyond mere self interest and strive for a more equal society."

My goodness, that's some leap of logic! From the voluntary redistribution of wealth administered by church leaders for the welfare of the needy within their own number, to striving for a more equal society! Woolly headed thinking, my friend.

It's one thing for people of faith, out of the blessing of their abundance and prompted by love and mercy, to allieviate the suffering of others in dire need - even this, it could be argued, is an act of self-interest ('A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.' Prov 11:25).

It is quite another (and sinister) matter for a secular state, with the threat of coercion, to demand from a wealthy person, half of one's earnings and a fifth of one's expenditure, to engineer equality of outcomes for everyone in society based on some very dubious interpretations of need.

Where will this lead us? Look no further than the bottom of this page where the words of Pitt Jr. call out, "Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."

30 March 2011 at 10:04  
Anonymous Voyager said...

The whole Fiat money system

You would expect that since "Fiat" requires FAITH and once that is lost it is simply paper

30 March 2011 at 11:27  
Blogger Elwin Daniels said...

Well said your Grace, 'compassion' has been hijacked. It is no compassion to create a client state of welfare dependents using borrowed money to purhcase votes.

30 March 2011 at 14:18  
Blogger The Last Dodo said...

Steve Mac said
Sadly, I don't entirely disagree with you.

I repeat:
"In a fallen world "from each according to his means, to each according to his needs" is, maybe, unachievable. We can aim for a more equal society though and a greater sharing of wealth.

"Lets face it, capitalism marginalises, divides, and is based on winners and losers. It is motivated by acquisition and greed.

"Sadly, history tells us that its probably the best system in a world where mammon takes precedence over love.

"Afterall, Satan is the prince of this world. Our liberal-democratic-capitalist system serves him well."

We don't have to embrace the economic system mand leave it be to follow its course unchecked.

30 March 2011 at 18:58  
Blogger LobotomySpoon82 said...

I think the Christians on this blog would do well to read this talk given by the historian Paul Johnson:

A historian looks at Jesus

31 March 2011 at 10:52  
Anonymous John Thomas said...

It may well be that I am on my old hobby horse again, but I wonder how many of those Christian students, who are so concerned about people whose lives are (supposedly) "destroyed" by the cuts, are at all worried (let alone taking to the streets) about those millions whose lives are destroyed before they start, by the abortionists? The truth is that a lot of people found up on the moral high ground are seen to gross hypocrites, when we look a little closer. Better poor than no life at all.

31 March 2011 at 11:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace,

the same malaise also is rampant in other countries.

Behold the situation in Germany: http://translate.google.com/translate?js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&sl=de&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jungefreiheit.de%2FSingle-News-Display-mit-Komm.154%2BM56e4e3367b3.0.html

Note the headline did not translate correctly(but ahem, honestly). 'Anti-law'
actually means 'Gegen Rechts' ('against the right') which is the state financed 'Anti Nazi' programme that spends a lot of money on the extreme left in order to 'fight' against 'the right' (which includes conservatives along with imaginary nazis in their eyes)

31 March 2011 at 13:15  

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