Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding: the Address of the Bishop of London


"Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire."

So said St Catherine of Siena whose festival day this is. Marriage is intended to be a way in which man and woman help each other to become what God meant each one to be, their deepest and truest selves.

Many people are fearful for the future of today’s world but the message of the celebrations in this country and far beyond its shores is the right one – this is a joyful day! It is good that people in every continent are able to share in these celebrations because this is, as every wedding day should be, a day of hope.

In a sense every wedding is a royal wedding with the bride and groom as king and queen of creation, making a new life together so that life can flow through them into the future.

William and Catherine, you have chosen to be married in the sight of a generous God who so loved the world that he gave himself to us in the person of Jesus Christ.

In the Spirit of this generous God, husband and wife are to give themselves to each other.

The spiritual life grows as love finds its centre beyond ourselves. Faithful and committed relationships offer a door into the mystery of spiritual life in which we discover this: the more we give of self, the richer we become in soul; the more we go beyond ourselves in love, the more we become our true selves and our spiritual beauty is more fully revealed. In marriage we are seeking to bring one another into fuller life.

It is of course very hard to wean ourselves away from self-centredness. People can dream of such a thing but that hope should not be fulfilled without a solemn decision that, whatever the difficulties, we are committed to the way of generous love.

You have both made your decision today – “I will” – and by making this new relationship, you have aligned yourselves with what we believe is the way in which life is spiritually evolving, and which will lead to a creative future for the human race.

We stand looking forward to a century which is full of promise and full of peril. Human beings are confronting the question of how to use wisely the power that has been given to us through the discoveries of the last century. We shall not be converted to the promise of the future by more knowledge, but rather by an increase of loving wisdom and reverence, for life, for the earth and for one another.

Marriage should transform, as husband and wife make one another their work of art. It is possible to transform so long as we do not harbour ambitions to reform our partner. There must be no coercion if the Spirit is to flow; each must give the other space and freedom. Chaucer, the London poet, sums it up in a pithy phrase:
"Whan maistrie [mastery] comth, the God of Love anon,
Beteth his wynges, and farewell, he is gon."
As the reality of God has faded from so many lives in the West, there has been a corresponding inflation of expectations that personal relations alone will supply meaning and happiness in life. This is to load our partner with too great a burden. We are all incomplete: we all need the love which is secure, rather than oppressive. We need mutual forgiveness in order to thrive.

As we move towards our partner in love, following the example of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit is quickened within us and can increasingly fill our lives with light. This leads on to a family life which offers the best conditions in which the next generation can receive and exchange those gifts which can overcome fear and division and incubate the coming world of the Spirit, whose fruits are love and joy and peace.

I pray that all of us present and the many millions watching this ceremony and sharing in your joy today will do everything in their power to support and uphold you in your new life. I pray that God will bless you in the way of life you have chosen. That way which is expressed in the prayer that you have composed together in preparation for this day:
God our Father, we thank you for our families; for the love that we share and for the joy of our marriage.
In the busyness of each day keep our eyes fixed on what is real and important in life and help us to be generous with our time and love and energy.
Strengthened by our union help us to serve and comfort those who suffer.
We ask this in the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Amen.

61 Comments:

Blogger The Gray Monk said...

The Bishop of London has said it very well, identifying the deep crevasse that the Secularists and Atheists have imposed upon modern life.

Let's hope Willima and Catherine remember his words and the nonentities in the seats of power in the land take them to heart.

29 April 2011 at 13:51  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

Gray Monk I personally cannot say whether William and Catherine are the sort of people to take such lessons on board at this time.

Say what you like about Charles. But he is a patron of the Temenos Academy and to take a genuine interest in traditional religion, spirituality, metaphysics and theology, religious philosophy and art. Hopefully he has helped to instill this and the ancient duties and role of the monarch into his sons.

On the other hand William has done certain things that don't bode quite for the best in my eyes. The most glaring is that he appears to have lived with Catherine for a long time before the marriage(which is quite ironic if you listen to the homily and marriage service.).

29 April 2011 at 14:12  
Anonymous Paul said...

They make a fine couple and I hope that they have a great, loving marriage that lasts.

29 April 2011 at 14:18  
Blogger The Last Dodo said...

Was Prince Phillip flirting with Kate's sister on the balcony? 90 years old and he's still got an eye for the pretty lasses!

29 April 2011 at 14:27  
Blogger AncientBriton said...

A wonderful service and truly joyous occasion. The best of British.
Well done everyone involved. The only criticism I have heard is of Mrs Cameron's dress - but with all the guest list problems perhaps she didn't know she was going until the last minute!

29 April 2011 at 14:30  
Anonymous Atlas shrugged said...

Many people are fearful for the future of today’s world but the message of the celebrations in this country and far beyond its shores is the right one.

Undoubtedly so.

However we should ask ourselves why many people are at least as fearful for the future of todays world, as they have been at any other time in history. Especially as this is after all the year 2011, not 1811, or indeed 1111, when it could be very well said that the British/English people where in a very bad, and potentially even worse situation they they certainly should be today?

The answer is that our ruling elites love it this way, indeed perfectly thrive on fear and division of all and any kind, and have done so since the dawn of civilization itself.

Which is why we have lived in fear all of our lives, so did our parents, their parents before them, and so on and so forth.

Fear is the ruling classes greatest weapon. Division being in close second place.

This is why it is highly unlikely that this marriage will stay a happy and uniting one for more then a few mouths. It will be used to signify all that is bad in marriage, not what is good. You see if it is not.

However there is hope for them both, however small it may be.

TRUE LOVE has the power to defeat even the greatest of foes. Never in the long history of monarchy has such powerful forces been reigned against a single newly wed couple.

IMO: To say they these two need our prayers, is a massive understatement.

29 April 2011 at 14:48  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

"The most glaring is that he appears to have lived with Catherine for a long time before the marriage(which is quite ironic if you listen to the homily and marriage service.)."

All platonic, I'm sure. Otherwise, there surely would have been an ongoing furore from the religious like gay people get about sexual immorality and I've seem almost none of that.

29 April 2011 at 14:55  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

A wise and moving address, and I liked how the bishop turned to face the newlyweds as he spoke. Very best wishes to our new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

By the way, the pickled shrunken head of St Catherine is on display in the Basilica of San Domenico in Siena. As I remember, she’s wearing a pretty grim expression.

29 April 2011 at 15:10  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Bring it on I say, sod the fear!

If Wills has as much passion as I.

OH WHAT A NIGHT

29 April 2011 at 16:10  
Blogger James Haslam said...

What a wonderful ceremony, a touching and gospel-filled address from the Bishop of London. I found it very moving. Proud to be British.

29 April 2011 at 18:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a beautiful and important speech from the Bishop. I would not describe myself as a Christian, but i felt that his message transcended religious allegiances and that it, as well as the wedding as a whole, spoke to the very best of what it means to be human. I hope it inspires others across the watching world towards greater love.

Finally my heart felt best wishes to the beautiful married couple.

29 April 2011 at 20:46  
Anonymous esilem said...

I thought the speech was MAGNIFICENT, I was greatly moved. It spoke to a transcendent truth for all .....

29 April 2011 at 22:32  
Anonymous Trisha de Borchgrave said...

The address by the Bishop of London was one of the most religiously enlightened pronouncements I have ever heard on marriage.
Trisha de Borchgrave

30 April 2011 at 00:06  
Blogger Alcuin said...

I have thought for some time, particularly from his addresses on Remembrance Sunday, that the Bishop of London cuts a more impressive, authoritative and convincing persona than The Druid, and that he would make an excellent Archbishop of Canterbury. That assumes that the politics of race do not make John Sentamu (who is also an excellent candidate) the front runer.

30 April 2011 at 00:08  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

'All platonic, I'm sure. Otherwise, there surely would have been an ongoing furore from the religious like gay people get about sexual immorality and I've seem almost none of that.'

Alas, with the contemporary Church of England I'm not so sure. The point of course is not what they did in the past, but what they feel, or know, of their union and their duties know. They seem as sincere in this regard as one could wish in this degenerate age.

30 April 2011 at 00:25  
Anonymous non mouse said...

An excellent address indeed - especially as someone above remarks, in this degenerate age.

That makes the Bishop's reference to Catherine of Siena even more apt; though today's link with the woman was not so reassuring. Affective piety and her story don't do a thing for me; but perhaps our bride had not read it too closely. And it's true, nevertheless, that these 'mystical' madwomen (Bridget of Sweden being another) influenced earlier royal ladies to undertake their duties seriously: especially as far as literacy and education were concerned.

Those same ladies knew also the work of the Father of English Poetry - though to hear Chaucer limited as 'the London poet' was strange, if accurate! But I've just re-read "The Franklin's Tale" as a result! Still haven't solved that riddle... except to delight in its demolition of cupiditas; and also in its sublime opposition to the Wife of Bath and her shenanigans!

How wonderful, then, that the day revived some literary links as well as living memories! I noticed, too, that we managed to hold on to our own Holy Ghost, most of the time - instead of the Latinate 'spirit'; though thought it sad the KJV had to give way!

Can't have everything, I guess:). And it was all unexpectedly special.

30 April 2011 at 05:20  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

St.Catherine of Siena was a true saint and sage, she is a model for any women or any man for that matter. The duty of a King in the tradition of Plato and St.Augustine, to name but two of the great traditional figures, is to be a Saint. Indeed to be a Priest-King is the ultimate duty of man, this Shakespeare knew and portrayed so well as can be seen from so many of his plays(Henry IV, Othello, Macbeth, Hamlet and so on.). I think this so exalted and yet so responsible ideal of Kingship that speaks to us from the heart the Christian tradition(and yet is universal.) is just what we need now.

So I thank the bishop for mentioning St.Catherine.

30 April 2011 at 06:34  
Anonymous len said...

"Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire."

Marriage, a Covenant between a man and a woman.God ordained and God blessed.

If we remained true to Gods original intention for Mankind we could indeed set the World on fire.

30 April 2011 at 08:27  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Only God can judge C of S's qualifications for sainthood, so I contest Westcountryman's pronouncements yet again. Presumably she did many good and charitable things; and as I say, such women provided positive models for other in this way.

However, C of S also aggrandised herself by getting involved in politics, and she was a mystic. I wouldn't quote her stuff to anyone -- anyway I threw my copy away. The feminists may love it, but that mystical stuff is seriously sick. Doesn't necessarily 'unsaint' them - especially if anyone vicitimised/abused them at any point. But it is sick.

30 April 2011 at 09:22  
Anonymous len said...

What we, and the World need now is Christ,anything else is a diversion.

In Roman Catholic theology, the saints are in heaven. In the Bible, the saints are on earth.

30 April 2011 at 10:54  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

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30 April 2011 at 13:29  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

'Only God can judge C of S's qualifications for sainthood, so I contest Westcountryman's pronouncements yet again. Presumably she did many good and charitable things; and as I say, such women provided positive models for other in this way.'

Well historiographically we may not have complete proof, but we can certainly judge whether she was close to being a saint.

Being charitable is but an external virtue, unless built on higher, internal virtues and is hardly the core of Sainthood. To be a Saint is to glimpse the divine in its fullness. This is certainly what St.Catherine did.

'However, C of S also aggrandised herself by getting involved in politics, and she was a mystic. I wouldn't quote her stuff to anyone -- anyway I threw my copy away. The feminists may love it, but that mystical stuff is seriously sick. Doesn't necessarily 'unsaint' them - especially if anyone vicitimised/abused them at any point. But it is sick.'

True mysticism is the heart and live blood of Christianity and religion. Christianity began as a mysticism or esotericism. To be a mystic, in one variety or another, is the highest calling of man, though most cannot attain it in this life. It is the core of sanctification.

When Christ came to St.Catherine he said to her that He is he that is and she is she that is not. What he meant was that he is God, he is absolute and eternal, she is but a human being, transient and relative. By becoming like him, through the truest love, faith and knowledge, by treading the path of the mystic finding her home in the divine essence, which St.Thomas tells us is where true happiness, does she become a Saint. It only has marginally to do with her charity work.

It does appear you seem to equate mysticism with mortification. Now your implied reasons for this are far worse than mortification itself but it is far from the essence of mysticism. It essence is the to aim to achieve union or the utmost closeness to God, to see the divine essence in full as St.Thomas Aquinas puts it.

30 April 2011 at 14:24  
Anonymous len said...

Westcountryman,

"True mysticism is the heart and live blood of Christianity "

Shouldn`t that be Christ?

Do you an adherent to an Eastern religion by any chance?

30 April 2011 at 17:57  
Anonymous len said...

Westcountryman,
Are you( typos)

(Or should it be EastCountryman:) )

30 April 2011 at 18:01  
Blogger English Viking said...

Westcountryman,

'...historiographically...'

Oooh, you're clever.

30 April 2011 at 19:47  
Anonymous non mouse said...

It essence is the to aim to achieve union or the utmost closeness to God, to see the divine essence in full

And you're even cleverer if you can do that, Westcountryman! If you think you can, then you're likely to find out just how sick - and dangerous - the mystic method is.

1 May 2011 at 01:11  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

Lens, yes I adhere to Christianity. Christianity started out in the East, and in the Eastern Church it is purest and most balanced(besides perhaps the long lost Celtic Church.).

Christ and the mystical path are ultimately the same thing. The mystical path is in a sense to become Christ-like. In the Eastern Church it is called deification. It is not though limited to the Eastern and Celtic Churches. From St. Augustine to the 20th century Anglican Holy woman Lillian Staveley, the mystical path is that which gives life and balance, through Christ, to Christianity.

Lens I cannot see into your soul but it seems you labour under the usual modern misconceptions. You see Christ as something largely external and historical who has come to save us in a purely historical and external act. Your attachment to him is based largely in sentimental faith and love, though no doubt you have a deep, true attachment as well, but this is often lost amidst the sentimental, the rationalist and the historical.

This is why you so object whenever you do not think I mention Christ's person enough. This is why you have little time for the inner path. But Christ is the intelligible root of all things. Through Christ we share in the Love and the Knowledge of the Father, as does all creation. This love is not just the sentimental Love of much Protestantism but the deepest attachment of being itself, this Knowledge is not reason(which is but it prolongation.) but the objective, infallible knowledge of God which binds knowing and being. Through Christ we already possess these at the heart of our being, through Christ they can come forth and bloom again. Through Christ all creation has them, all creation sings of them and sings of Christ and through Christ can be truly a revelation to us. Not in the sense of the sentimental or pretty but in the truest Intellectual sense. Hence when Shakespeare writes in As You Like It;

'Here feel we but the penalty of Adam,
The seasons' difference, as the icy fang
And churlish chiding of the winter's wind,
Which, when it bites and blows upon my body,
Even till I shrink with cold, I smile and say
'This is no flattery: these are counsellors
That feelingly persuade me what I am.'
Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head;
And this our life exempt from public haunt
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones and good in every thing.
I would not change it.

The great bard means not that he sentimentally appreciates the powers of the creator or acknowledges the irreducible complexity of creation. What he means is truly reads the particular image of Christ in nature. This too is where true art gets it power, beauty is as Keats said truth. This is no sentimental boast, it is the acknowledgement of Christ as the creative principle of all the cosmos, the very image of the Father, who fashions all creation in his image and who we should follow when we too create.

I pity the barren Protestantism that treats nature, beauty, human society and man's interior nature as closed books and does not draw the true sustenance from them. Of course they then become not just alien but hostile as they quickly become the tools of a materialist and atheistic science and philosophy.

Non Mouse: I don't think you could call Lillian Staveley 'sick'.

1 May 2011 at 02:22  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Westcountryman - a glance at Stavely, via Google, suggests that she may not indulge the same fantasies as medieval mystics. She does, however, mention visions, severe illnesses, periods of isolation, and emotional distress. While unqualified to diagnose her experience, I approach her with caution - in light of these contexts.

My attitude to the spiritual/mental interface is wary. Of course the subconscious is valuable - one would not be human or Christian without it. However, overstimulation of the unconscious mind can lead to exclusion and distortion of everyday reality: the practice is as dangerous as use of mind-bending drugs. As wise wives used to say to old soldiers: "Don't fret too much; you'll make yourself ill."

To remain open to spiritual experience is one thing --- and who is to say that even an infection-related hallucination cannot be inspired by God? But who is to say that wilfully induced hallucination is inspired by God?

The last person I met who went in for this sort of thing? Her mystic/spiritual advisor encouraged her to believe she time-space travelled in her dreams. She was 'sent' to help those who were less 'intellectual' than herself. Maybe she did ... But it was "all too much responsibility" in the end - and so she committed suicide, regardless of her RC faith.
**************
And then there was Hamlet (and Ophelia)- and the 'infection' that caused him to give away Denmark. But, there again, interpretations of that text also vary, despite Dover Wilson and your good self.

************
And now, I fear, I have other things to do.

1 May 2011 at 05:15  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

When it comes to Hamlet, of course there are multiple interpretations. There are feminist and Marxist and Freudian and all sorts of interpretations, many(like those mentioned.) almost pure nonsense. To acknowledge that there are many interpretations does not mean there is not one which is better than the others, any more than the existence of many religions does not mean there are no true religions.

It is clear, at least from his mature plays after 1599, that Shakespeare was a deeply spiritual man, someone who was truly interested in the perfection of man according to the traditional, Christian medieval vision. This is why his mature plays visit this topic again and again, this is why close readings of these plays reveals such a perspective again and again. Taking this on board and reading Hamlet closely it is undeniable that the perfection of Hamlet's(and through him Gertrude's and Laertes'.) character, in which his revenge on his uncle figures centrally, is the deepest meaning of the play. It is clear then, as Shakespeare aims to make it, that this revenge with which Hamlet's sanctification is bound up can be nothing but the revenge against the serpent, analogous to the reversal of the fall. Shakespeare is a treasure trove of traditional, Christian spiritual wisdom. His art is truly Sacred art.

1 May 2011 at 06:22  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

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1 May 2011 at 06:26  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

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1 May 2011 at 06:28  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

Non mouse the problem is you labour under a myriad of modernist metaphysical, theological, philosophical and psychological assumptions.For instance your use of the term 'subconscious' reeks of the influence of psychoanalysis and similar modernist notions. Certainly traditional understandings of human psychology, whether Christian, Platonic or whatever appreciate the existence of the sub-rational and sub-corporeal, and this has its role to play in the human psyche and certainly has its dangers. Indeed the delving into this subtle and sub-corporeal realm is the traditional idea of the descent into Hell in order to expend certain negative possibilities of our fallen psyches. This was powerfully portrayed by Dante in the first part of his Divine Comedy, this overall work having its great symbolic, anagogic meaning as the journey of the individual soul from hell, through purgatory to heaven. This indeed is the mystic's journey.

This sub-rational realm must not be conflated with the spiritual. The subconscious, despite Jungian nonsense, is below and not above the individual conscious, as the term suggests. True spiritual vision is not subconscious but in those spiritual realms above the individual, corporeal realm.

In traditional ideas of reality, reality is imagined as multiple levels of being. From the Godhead to the depths of the infernal realms there is this great chain of being. To put it crudely our individualised, corporeal realm is but a reflection and a descent from higher realms which actually lead back to Christ and God himself. For God there is no difference between his Knowing and his Being, there a union of subject and object for him, he has perfect Knowledge and perfect Love and perfect Goodness. To again put it crudely the higher levels of reality partake more fully of this Love, Goodness and Knowledge. Angels for instance do not have to reason discursively as we often do, where we split the knowing subject from the object of knowledge; Angels just see truth and their being is truth(to a degree, they are not God of course.). This too was how man was before the fall, it is what he still has access too(otherwise he'd have no ability for objective knowledge) at the ground of his being if only he would search it out. True mystical vision is to have access to these higher levels of reality, to a lesser or greater degree, and therefore to this Knowledge, Love and Goodness which answers your question why this vision(I use the term vision advisedly, mysticism is not simply about having 'visions') is truly divine for the true mystic.

Now your use of the terms 'hallucination' and 'everyday reality' is replete with modernist and materialist assumptions. It assumes that our corporeal, everyday realm is somehow closed off from these higher spiritual realms except perhaps through a few, limited outlets, when in fact it is formed, connected and sustained by them and influenced by them at all times. In a real sense the higher levels of being are more a reality than the lower levels because they are closer to the real itself - to God. To try and exclude them is almost to commit the same error as the atheists who exclude God and anything above the corporeal from their view of life and reality. The view that anything outside this 'everyday reality' is an hallucination, ie some misfunctioning of the physical brain, is obviously simply an extension of this error and only a stones throw from the common assumptions that the physical brain fully accounts for mind and consciousness and indeed that the material accounts for everything that exists.

1 May 2011 at 06:32  
Anonymous non mouse said...

You assume. You presume. You patronise. You think you teach Granny to suck eggs.

Recently you suggested that other people read your posts in order to understand you. Truly, you might try some of your own medicine.

I'd even like to suggest that you mosey on down to the nearest mental hospital and try a little reccie/obbo; if they'd let you. Or any hospital for that matter .... but that would be as much a waste of time as this is.

Toodles.

1 May 2011 at 07:44  
Anonymous len said...

Westcountryman,

You also have 'assumed' to know me. Totally wrong of course.

I can only assume that you have wandered from THE path and ended up going 'up the garden path '.

Jesus warned that this would happen to people in the 'last days'.

1 May 2011 at 07:57  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

May Christ go with you always.

1 May 2011 at 08:07  
Blogger English Viking said...

Westcountryman,

You're coming at it all wrong. Christ doesn't follow people around, they are supposed to follow him.

He's not 'on my side' either. He graciously allows me to be on His.

1 May 2011 at 17:01  
Anonymous MrJ said...

English Viking 17:01: Thank you for putting in a few words what has been troubling me on coming here this evening about the way Westcountryman was addressing others, while offering his remarks as a contribution to what has become a continuing discussion among some commenters.

1 May 2011 at 19:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whan maistrie [mastery] comth, the God of Love anon, Beteth his wynges, and farewell, he is gon.’....what does this phrase really mean?

1 May 2011 at 21:12  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Anonymous:
Whan maistrie [mastery] comth, the God of Love anon, Beteth his wynges, and farewell, he is gon.’....what does this phrase really mean? (i.e. "The Franklin's Tale" 765/66, Riverside 3rd ed.) In sum: If one person tries to dominate another, Cupid flies away.

However, Cupid is a pagan cherub at play - so the more I see of Chaucer, the more his ironies fascinate! Chaucer's pilgrims, after all, must journey beyond cupidity and, via Canterbury, to God.

In the Tale that depends from the lines quoted, Cupid plays - but the God of Truth seems to win the day. And Chaucer's Franklin articulates a puzzle ... which I haven't unravelled :)

1 May 2011 at 22:54  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

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2 May 2011 at 00:56  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

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2 May 2011 at 02:14  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

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2 May 2011 at 02:19  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

E.V and MrJ; thank you for proving my point. Christ goes with the Christian wherever he goes, in a sense he goes with all men, there is no where he does not go. It is your misunderstanding of this, your lack of acknowledge of the fact that Christ must be with us always, that the Christian life must be prayer without ceasing and our whole view of cosmos and reality must be built upon Christ, that holds you back.

Of course you are correct we must go with Christ also. We must seek him, we must acknowledge him. The process is two way, we are neither only passive nor only active and neither is Christ. Christ is risen and he raises us up.

May he go with you always and you go with him.

Btw, I'm sure he didn't mean it, but in his attempt to play around with words E.V actually made a statement that could have been interpreted as quite Pelagian in the sense that he left it to humanity to find Christ. I don't disagree with this position, I accept we are both free and predestined, but it seemed quite an usually bold statement of Pelagianism for a radical Protestant. I would have expected the opposite perspective of our utter dependence on Christ.

2 May 2011 at 02:20  
Anonymous len said...

I would agree that we must have utter dependence on Christ.
The Apostle Paul found that however hard he tried to be 'good'he could not,in fact the harder he tried the worse things got.
This highlights the futility of religious practices, because if religion doesn`t point one to Christ(and the rebirth) as the 'solution' to humanities problem then it has failed.
Religion( in whatever form) seems more intent on re-forming,re- training ,the 'old Creation ,whereas God``s plan is to destroy the old creation, and rebuild it amongst the ruins of the old.
With a born-again Christian Christ is always with us because he is within us, we are one Spirit with Him.

2 May 2011 at 08:41  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

But surely if one is dependent on Christ then will come to live a more and more fully Christian life?

'Religion( in whatever form) seems more intent on re-forming,re- training ,the 'old Creation ,whereas God``s plan is to destroy the old creation, and rebuild it amongst the ruins of the old.'

Well I agree about the need to reform the old creation. But is this necessarily simply an historical thing? Christ is the Logos or the Second Person of the Trinity is he not and thereby the creative principle and source of all creation? Is not then the historical, incarnate sacrifice prefigured timelessly in his role as the pre-eternal Logos? His historical sacrifice is then an historical symbol of his eternal sacrifice. A sacrifice, a grace and revelation which permeates all of creation and which may we not find in our own hearts, through Christ, and in Scripture and in the sacraments, sacred tradition and Church?

It seems to limit Christ to simply the historical role is to conflate the two natures of the Logos and Jesus of Nazareth's human nature. Hence in some sense St.Thomas Aquinas' startling conclusion that Jesus cannot be said to exhaust the Logos makes sense, because this Logos is the very image of the infinite and absolute Father.

To too greatly treat Jesus and the Christian revelation as historical and external would seem to risk the full balance between God's immanence and his transcendence. It would be to make God too human, too limited and too historical.

2 May 2011 at 09:15  
Blogger English Viking said...

Westcountryman,

I don't care what you 'expect' of me.

Please stop calling me 'Peligian', I'm not. Furthermore you assume I'm Protestant, because I'm not cat-lick, and in the sense you mean, I'm not that either.

You're wrong. About Christ following one around like a lost puppy. And He's not with all men either. He's positively against some. Their choice though, not His.

2 May 2011 at 12:16  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

So Christ is not the creative principle of the cosmos? There are places where he, and the Father, do not go? It seems that you are the Gnostic, as well as the Pelagian and a radical Protestant; your assumptions are all based on radical Protestantism, early modern and moderns developments with little similarities to the early Church, you reek of it.

2 May 2011 at 12:45  
Blogger English Viking said...

Westcountryman,

I can smell something, you're right. Popiness. You reek of it.

Christ is a person, not a principle.

You obviously have no understanding of what Pelagianism is if you think me one of their numbers. Nor Gnosticism. Your (not so) clever attempts at avoiding awkward truths by bandying the names of religious sects and what appears to me to a rather large dollop of new-age philosophy will not deter me from poking you with a big stick over your idolatry with the whore.

Perhaps you just like to use arcane words to appear intellectual? You certainly don't appear spiritual. Unless one counts your mysticism and cat-lick mumbo-jumbo.

2 May 2011 at 13:20  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

Well done, you've shown your utter ignorance. Not only do you not understand the basics of Christian theology but you've shown you have no idea of what constitutes the Anglican, Catholic and Eastern Churches nor any idea of the Early Church, Church Fathers or Councils. You're not just a radical Protestant but an embarrassment to them. No wonder Western Christianity is in such a mess.

Is Christ the Son of God and Second Person of the Trinity?

2 May 2011 at 13:38  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

Oh and btw, well done for not understanding the full usages of the term principle means. Christ is the creative principle, as in the creative agent of the cosmos. And double well done for implying the Church Fathers and basic Christian theology are New Age. What a total embarrassment you are.

2 May 2011 at 14:26  
Blogger English Viking said...

WCM,

Your 'argument' appears to be descending into mere mud-slinging.

Yes, Christ is the Son of God, fully man, fully God, and the second person of the Trinity. Whatever gave you the impression that I thought otherwise?

He is not a principle, nor an agent. He is a person. Don't try your condescending arrogance with me, it doesn't work.

I have never professed an encyclopædic knowledge on every cult and sect, doctrine and denomination that has appeared over the centuries...

But I do know that the Bible teaches that salvation is found in Christ alone. No works, no sacraments, no popes, no Mary, nor any of the other piles of poo the whore has spewed over the centuries.

BTW I don't think you clever; I just think that you think you are.

Typical cat-lick, really.

2 May 2011 at 15:32  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

So Christ is not the creator of the cosmos? So Christ is not infinite and absolute as the Father is?

3 May 2011 at 00:17  
Blogger Dylan Malloch said...

I'd much prefer if His Grace had given his thoughts on the Bishop's sermon.

"We shall not be converted to the promise of the future by more knowledge, but rather by an increase of loving wisdom and reverence, for life, for the earth and for one another"

Seems a bit wishy washy to me.

3 May 2011 at 06:41  
Blogger English Viking said...

WCM,

More (boring) straw men.

Repent.

3 May 2011 at 12:24  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

So Christ is not the creator of the cosmos? So Christ is not infinite and absolute as the Father is?

3 May 2011 at 12:54  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

By the way, you misunderstand what a strawman is.

3 May 2011 at 13:01  
Blogger English Viking said...

WCM,

No, I don't, and you consistently raise them.

You can persist in attempts at painting me unitarian if you choose. I have answered you fully and completely.

I hold to the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity.


Repent of your dirty popiness.

3 May 2011 at 13:05  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

I wasn't actually trying to paint you as a unitarian, simply to explore the some of these doctrines deeper to get you realise their true consequences. But whatever, you seem unwilling to engage in the slightest or answer questions properly.

3 May 2011 at 13:30  
Anonymous len said...

Westcountryman,
I am starting to think that you are attempting to draw people away from the True path with your 'siren call ' to strange doctrines.

Jesus warned us that this would happen in the last days ,THAT is one of the reasons that we were given the Scripture( the Living Word of God)so that each one of us would KNOW THE TRUTH for ourselves!

Jesus said we would know the Truth and the Truth would set us free.
Catholic authorities did all in their power to stop the Written Word getting into the hands of the 'common man'because they knew this would expose their un -scriptural practices and traditions of men.
Now they try 'fudging 'and misinterpreting the Word.

If what you (or anyone else) promotes doesn`t line up with the Word of God, then it comes from a source other than God and is NOT worthy of acceptance or even debate.

5 May 2011 at 08:04  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

'I am starting to think that you are attempting to draw people away from the True path with your 'siren call ' to strange doctrines.'

I'm starting to think that the ignorance of Christian doctrine and history of radical Protestants, who call the declarations of the Church Councils and Fathers strange, is an embarrassment to Christianity and one of the reasons why Western Christianity is in such dire straits.

You keep avoiding any sort of rational dialogue. I have refuted your bibolatry and you haven't really even tried to engage.

How do you know Scripture is the Word of God? How do you know what is true Scripture? Why can't I say quote the gospel of St.Thomas and claim it as Scripture?

5 May 2011 at 09:53  
Anonymous len said...

Westcountryman, It is become more apparent as we progress with this 'discussion' that your 'traditions' are more important to you than Scripture, or the Truth.

The reason Christianity is in so much trouble is because part of the church went up to Nicea and sold herself as a common prostitute.Catholicism was born, a compromise between Christianity and Paganism.
The True Church went underground and has been hunted and persecuted by the false Church since then!

Your arguments are failing because they are not based on Truth.They will be burnt up as so much hay and stubble.

The division between the True Church and the false one is a Spiritual one and unless God opens your eyes to this you will remain blinded to the Truth!.

5 May 2011 at 18:55  

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