Sunday, October 30, 2011

Cameron moves to disestablish the Church of England


One expects a Conservative prime minister to conserve all that is good in our Constitution. Where reform is necessary, one expects a Conservative prime minister to implement change in accordance with Burkean precepts – evolutionary, not revolutionary; consonant with social mores and sensitive to national customs and traditions. And one expects a Conservative prime minister to be fully informed of the facts of the nation’s political and religious history, and if not informed, certainly well advised.

It is depressing to observe that all those Conservative MPs with any grasp of history and politico-theology are languishing on the back benches: we have a government of constitutionally-illiterate technocrats, more concerned with the politics of economics and ‘modernisation’ à la Cool (if bust) Britannia.

This week, at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Australia, David Cameron went where Tony Blair and Gordon Brown did not dare: he chipped away at the Act of Settlement 1701. He announced the end of male primogeniture in the Royal succession, and of his intention to lift the ban on the Monarch being married to a Roman Catholic. As His Grace has previously pointed out, such a change will require a raft of historic legislation to be amended. The BBC mentions the Bill of Rights (1689) and the Royal Marriages Act (1772). To these, we must add the Coronation Oaths Act (1688), the Crown in Parliament Act (1689), the Accession Declaration Act (1910) and the rather more sensitive Act of Union (1707), Article 2 of which specifies that Roman Catholics may not ascend the Throne of the United Kingdom. The Treaty of Union 1707 is the founding charter of the United Kingdom. Tamper with this, and the whole house of cards comes tumbling down.

Scottish unionist politicians have never wanted this truth out. They have feared the day Scots became aware that the United Kingdom is the creature of a treaty between two equal parliaments: a living, legal document, capable of amendment and adjustment to contemporary needs. These are the unspoken ‘constitutional ripples’ which so haunted Donald Dewar, and the reason successive prime ministers of the United Kingdom and unionist Scottish secretaries of state had no intention of ending the ban on the Monarch either being a Roman Catholic or married to one: they were quite happy to let historically-ignorant politicians continue banging on about the Act of Settlement 1701 when, all along, the hurdle was the Act of Union 1707.

This fact has not escaped Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond who demands ‘equality of faith and gender’. He found it ‘deeply disappointing that the reform has stopped short of removing the unjustifiable barrier on a Catholic becoming Monarch’. He said it was ‘a missed opportunity not to ensure equality of all faiths when it comes to the issue of who can be head of state.’ He added: "It surely would have been possible to find a mechanism which would have protected the status of the Church of England without keeping in place an unjustifiable barrier on the grounds of religion in terms of the monarchy."

Actually, no, it wouldn’t. It is no more unreasonable to expect that the Supreme Governor of the Church of England should not be Roman Catholic than that the Pope should not be Protestant. Of course it is ‘unfair’ and ‘discriminatory’ that the Monarch may not be or marry a Roman Catholic, but the very act of choosing a religion manifestly necessitates discrimination against all the others. It is also ‘discriminatory’ that the Pope may not be Anglican, and even more ‘unfair’ that he may not marry at all (not to mention that he is always a ‘he’). But there are sound theological and historical justifications for the restrictions upon both the King of the Vatican and the Queen of the United Kingdom, and none of these amount to a violation of their ‘human rights’. The firstborn of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would always have been perfectly free to marry a Roman Catholic should he or she have so desired: that would have been his or her human right. But the firstborn would not then have been free to be Monarch and Supreme Governor of the Church of England. But to be King and Supreme Governor is not a human right.

The Prime Minister expounds his profound beliefs: "The idea that a younger son should become monarch instead of an elder daughter simply because he is a man, or that a future monarch can marry someone of any faith except a Catholic – this way of thinking is at odds with the modern countries that we have become."

This way of thinking?

If the Prime Minister actually bothered to think about the anachronistic tensions inherent in the very institution of monarchy, he would instantly profess democratic republicanism. Divine assent? Anointing with oil? The lively oracles of God? Oaths sworn on pain of preternatural wrath? Are these things not also ‘at odds’ with modernity? And if he dared to consider the last vestiges of patriarchy, he would insist that his own children took the maiden name of his wife, and that she remained a Sheffield after their marriage, for is not taking the man’s surname ‘at odds’ with an aggressive assertion of gender equality? The British Monarchy does not only discriminate against women and Roman Catholics: it discriminates against every man, woman and child who is not a member of it. Monarchy is antithetical to ‘equality’. If you wish it to conform to the European Convention on Human Rights, you abolish it.

The Prime Minister further clarified his ignorance. He said: "Let me be clear, the Monarch must be in communion with the Church of England because he or she is the head of that Church. But it is simply wrong they should be denied the chance to marry a Catholic if they wish to do so. After all, they are already quite free to marry someone of any other faith."

Firstly, a quibble. The Monarch is not the Head of the Church of England: he or she is merely the Supreme Governor; Jesus is the Head. But it is quite wrong to state that the Monarch is free to marry someone of any other faith. The Act of Settlement requires the Monarch and his or her consort to be ‘in communion with’ the Church of England. Whilst it would be possible to write more than a few pages on the meaning of koinonia in this context, it must be noted that it is not only Roman Catholics who are prohibited from taking bread and wine in Anglican churches: communion would be problematic (not to say prohibited) to Jews, Muslims and Sikhs. The Roman Catholic Bishop of Motherwell Joseph Devine talks of the Monarch being 'free to marry a Scientologist, Muslim, Buddhist, Moonie or even Satanist but not a Catholic', but this is utter nonsense. The adherents of many faiths are barred from being ‘in communion with’ the state Church, not just Roman Catholics.

And let us remember that it is the Roman Catholic Church which prohibits the communion: a Roman Catholic monarch or spouse would not be barred by the Church of England. So when, at some point in the future, we have a firstborn Anglican queen married to a Roman Catholic consort, while she goes to Westminster Abbey for the Eucharistic symbols, he’ll need to go to Westminster Cathedral to get the transubstantiated real thing. Their children will be caught somewhere in between: while they are carnally at the Abbey with mummy, they will be spiritually in the Cathedral with daddy.

Surprisingly, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, said the elimination of the ‘unjust discrimination’ against Roman Catholics would be widely welcomed. He added: “At the same time I fully recognise the importance of the position of the Established Church in protecting and fostering the role of faith in our society today." As Labour’s Chris Bryant observed, ++Vincent ‘clearly has no understanding of the law on succession’. Mr Bryant’s grasp of the Constitution is better than that of both the Prime Minister and the Archbishop of Westminster.

Roman Catholics are divided on this reform. There are those who, like Cardinal Keith O’Brien, hope the Cameron reform will ultimately lead to the repeal of the Act of Settlement. Responsible Roman Catholics like Ann Widdecombe recognise the true agenda here of the promotion of feminism and the disestablishment of the Church of England. A few years ago, she observed: “If we get rid of the provision that the Heir to the Throne and the Monarch can’t marry a Catholic, we will undermine the link between the Monarchy and the Church of England which will threaten the establishment of the Church taking with it our last figleaf that we are a Christian country.” The Catholic Herald, while lauding Oliver Cromwell as ‘a man of principle, deep faith, and immense vision’, takes the view that David Cameron is the ‘heir to Blair’, addicted to ‘constitutional tinkering’ for nothing other than ‘short term political gain’. Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith opines:
But I do not think the consequences of this action have been considered. Had the patriots of 1715 or 1745 been successful, we would have had a Catholic monarchy, perhaps. Cameron’s reforms will give us a monarchy that is Anglican purely by default, but which might in future generations be Catholic, Hindu or Baptist; but which will most likely be none of the above. In other words, by removing the religious qualification, Cameron is effectively opening the monarchy up to secularisation. And why? Because he wants to abolish the last legal disqualification under which Catholic suffer? There is no evidence of that. Rather it seems to be a largely meaningless piece of political posturing, a desire to look ‘modern’. But this is one piece of political vanity for which future generations may pay a high price.
And that ‘high price’ will be the ultimate disestablishment of the Church of England and the establishment of a secular state. And, when it comes, the mechanism by which it is achieved will be traceable to David Cameron’s 2011 decision to amend the Act of Settlement. Consider, 50 years from now, the ensuing constitutional crisis as the Heir to the Throne is forced to choose between being a faithful Roman Catholic or being crowned King or Queen of the United Kingdom. And worse, this poor individual would be forced to make such a choice while in the profoundest depths of grief at the loss of a mother or father. How could the Government and Parliament of the day be so callous and insensitive as to demand that their Sovereign abandon God and reject the Holy Mother Church at such a moment of great need? In that situation there would be considerable pressure to disestablish the Church of England. And it would all need to be rushed through Parliament in time for the Coronation.

Tha Act of Settlement is formally entitled ‘An Act for the further Limitation of the Crown and better securing the Rights and Liberties of the Subject’. It is because the Crown has historically been limited that our rights and liberties have been preserved. The Act was forged during an era of intolerable foreign interference in the governance of England. Like Magna Carta, it is a foundational treaty between the Monarch and his/her subjects which defines our liberties and asserts our sovereign independence from all foreign princes and potentates. And its provisions are ‘for ever’: our forebears made sure it was watertight.

But David Cameron chips away at this Act as though it were no different from any other. And by so doing, he weakens the contract between the Monarchy and the people, because once the Monarch is Roman Catholic or married to one, 'in all and every such case and cases the people of these realms shall be and are thereby absolved of their allegiance'. Parliament cannot demand a fealty which the Constitution nullifies. The Prime Minister appears to be oblivious to the fact that the Oath of Allegiance is contingent upon the provisions in the Act of Settlement, and so he picks away at a delicate thread by which the whole gilded fabric of the carefully-woven tapestry will unravel, including the establishment of the Church of England.

To quote the words of Hugh Gaitskell at the 1962 Labour Party Conference, as he warned of the inevitability of surrendered sovereignty should the UK become a member of the EEC: "You may say ‘let it end’ but, my goodness, it is a decision that needs a little care and thought.”

Sadly, the Prime Minister doesn’t have much time for ‘care and thought’. He is a thoroughly postmodern politician, not given to the discipline of contemplation demanded by history, theology or philosophy. His priority concern is economic politics, or political economics. Everything else is peripheral and expendable.

The irony is that there are very few Roman Catholics who find any disquiet in the residual anti-Catholicism of the Act of Settlement. The overwhelming majority are far more concerned about the closure of their adoption agencies and attacks upon their schools and their teaching on abortion, contraception, fornication, fidelity, divorce or homosexuality. The wise ones recognise that disestablishing the Church of England would be a further step in the de-Christianisation of Britain. As Gerald Warner prophetically observed back in 2009:
No religious or constitutional change can be entrusted to Labour. Nor can it be entrusted to the "modernised" Tories: if a Cameron administration addressed the Act of Settlement we may be sure it would indulge in trendy feminist abolition of male primogeniture, compromising the title of future monarchs in the same anti-traditional style as the 1688 Whigs.
The Act of Settlement may be anti-Catholic, but our whole political discourse has become profoundly anti-Christian. We must look beneath the surface, discern the true agenda, and unite to contend for the Faith.

145 Comments:

Blogger Albert said...

Although I think most of the arguments contained in this article are pretty dubious, you have half converted me to retaining the status quo. It's this line here:

in future generations be Catholic, Hindu or Baptist; but which will most likely be none of the above

The Church of England is so lacking in content and vigour, that it's hard to find much to object to in an Anglican monarch. It almost preserves the monarch from believing anything so strongly that the majority of Britons would be unable to identify with him/her. Change that to a Baptist, or a Muslim or a Catholic or an atheist and many of us would find it pretty hard to recognise them as our (secular) head.

The Monarch is not the Head of the Church of England: he or she is merely the Supreme Governor; Jesus is the Head.

I'm always correcting people on that very point, you will be pleased to know. But isn't it something of a problem for the CofE, if the title "Head of the Church of England" is so objectionable, that it started off with Henry VIII as the "Supreme Head of the Church of England". Does that indicate it has somewhat doubtful origins?

30 October 2011 at 11:13  
Blogger Anne Palmer said...

The Act of Succession is protected by the Act of Treason 1702. It would of course be treason to try to remove this particular Act for it has no other object except to protect the Succession to the Crown.

The Act of Succession is ‘protected’ and is deliberately protected by the Treason Act 1702 so that none may change it. The Treason Act 1702 is an Act of the Parliament of England, passed to enforce the line of Succession to the English throne, previously established by the Bill of Rights 1689 and the Act of Settlement 1701. The Act makes it treason to "endeavour to deprive or hinder any person who shall be the next in succession to the crown ... from succeeding after the decease of her Majesty (whom God long preserve) to the imperial crown of this realm and the dominions and territories thereunto belonging". Originally a capitol offence, the penalty was reduced in 1998 to life imprisonment. Later extended to Scotland by the Treason Act 1708 and Ireland in 1703. We have so many RIGHTS yet not one right to have a say on the future of this Country that HE, as Prime Minister cannot Govern according to its Common Law Constitution as long as we remain in the European Union under laws made by foreigners, which that too is contrary to our common Law Constitution.

30 October 2011 at 11:23  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Okay, okay, I'm convinced. It's all interwoven and tricky to keep some of it. Let's go for the full republic. But can we remove Tony Blair's eligibility for president first?

30 October 2011 at 11:43  
Blogger rodney said...

As a devout Roman Catholic, I am deeply disturbed by this attack on the COE and my brothers and sisters of the Anglican faith. And that the pretext is in part in defence of discrimination against us? If we felt that we were being prejudiced, we would have striven to have this 'injustice' removed. Mr Cameron, we don't need you and your minions to defend us. Thanks, but no thanks we don't need you to 'defend our rights' as you simultaneously violate and seek to undermine every other value we espouse and hold dear. I pray that sanity prevails and that a resolute and uncompromising stand be taken against yet another attack on the community of Christians by the legions of hell. My dear brothers and sisters of the COE, Do not go gentle into that goodnight.

30 October 2011 at 11:47  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Your Grace

We have yet to understand the real reason why this political lightweight is doing all of this, unless of course he's been ‘advised’ by his EU masters that dismantling the UK constitution is all part of the next stage of ‘integration’...

30 October 2011 at 11:47  
Blogger martin sewell said...

On Constitutional matters Cameron is out of his depth.
A real life equivalent of Adrian Mole.

30 October 2011 at 12:35  
Blogger Anoneumouse said...

It is AN OFFENCE at Common Law ("Misprision of Treason" - see Halsbury's Statutes, 4th Edition, Vol. 11, p. 818) for any person who knows that treason is being planned or committed, not to report the same as soon as he can to a Justice of the Peace.

30 October 2011 at 13:06  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

I bow to those of you with vastly superior knowledge of the constitutional can of worms this opens up.

My observation is this: that like Blair before him and his abolition of the post of Lord Chancellor, in order to 'make their mark' they tamper with things that do not need tampering with. "If it aint broke ..." etc. But it is always far easier to be seen as a 'reformer' or 'moderniser' by disestablishing this or abolishing that. It is always easier to knock down than to build up.

Truly great men establish things not disestablish them. True reformers introduce new things not simply abolish ancient things.

Given their impotence in just about every area they seem to seek political legacies by wars or 'reforming' constitutional matters which they figure most people know nothing & care little about. They remove the carefully laid foundations of these great constitutional 'cathedrals' one brick at a time. Eventually the whole things will come crashing catastrophically down.

God forgive them, they know not what they do.

30 October 2011 at 13:18  
Blogger The Justice of the Peace said...

Anoneumouse said... "not to report the same as soon as he can to a Justice of the Peace."

Can`t say I`ve hear of much treason lately.

30 October 2011 at 13:19  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Your Grace,

All this stuff is just upsetting too many people. To prevent a long, torturous, divisive and expensive battle why not just go for the endgame; declare a republic as DanJO suggests, hand the key to Brussels, as the Inspector fears or, what the heck, just set up a caliphate in anticipation of your demographic trends?

Alternately, Ms Palmer's post seems to offer the intriguing possibility of charging this Cameron nightmare of yours with high treason and throwing it into the Tower.

30 October 2011 at 13:32  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Now this is a real can of worms!

I'm sure the complex constitution issues surrounding this can be resolved without Great Britain decending into anarchy. I understand no Act of Parliament can irrecovably bind all future Parliaments. It will be a guddle, no doubt, but a way out of this can be found.

I have no issue with Roman Catholics being excluded from being our Monarch. Or, indeed, from marrying the Monarch, although this particular barrier seems wholly unnecessary.

However, I do have issues with a Monarch who is the Supreme Governor of the established Christian Church in this country not being seen in word and deed to support the Gospel message. And so should Anglicans and all Christians.

What happens if we get a Monarch who in behaviour or actions openly demonstrates s/he is outside the Christian faith as expounded by Anglicans? Would s/he be obliged to abdicate? Could s/he be excommunicated?

Is our next King and Supreme Governor of the Church of England really committed to preserving the Christian faith within the realm?

We know Charles wants to be called the 'Defender of Faiths' - a noble notion supporting the secular, civil right to freedom of religious expression. No reasonable person could argue with this, but is this the role of the Supreme Governor? He can be the 'Defender of the Faith' whilst also acknowledging the supreme truth of Christianity - can't he? Or is he suggesting all religions are equal?

Is Charles himself in "communion" with the Church of England having married a divorcee and, as I understand it, according to church law, is therefore not licitly married? Technically, it seems to me, they are both adulterers. Is it permissible to receive communion, within Anglican terms, in this situation?

30 October 2011 at 14:47  
Blogger musky said...

The sooner the Church of England becomes the Church in England, the better. The Church, in what ever country, should never have been, nor ever should be, contracted into union with the State, since it compromises its prophetic role to the nation and means that the state will ultimately rule over the Church. It also compromises its duty to preach the Gospel and make disciples because of the pressure to not be exclusive in matters of faith. It also leads to nominalism. Christendom is over, time for something true and beautiful to take its place where being a Christian is about a relationship with the Divine, in the context of a community of believers, and not about giving legitimacy to a nation's particular form of government. And this is why I cannot agree with His Grace's antidisestablishmentarianism (who'd have thought the word would come in handy one day).

30 October 2011 at 15:17  
Blogger David B said...

The sooner disestablishment comes the better.

If there is a justification for keeping an established church, I have yet to see one.

In a comment in a different thread a couple of weeks ago I suggested, not entirely with tongue in cheek, that Britain would do well to retain the Crown as Head of State, but not to have anyone wearing it.

This would have an advantage in putting to bed His Grace's concerns about the succession.

David B

30 October 2011 at 15:54  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Incidentally, I like the accompanying images Cranmer. Didn't know you were a dab hand at Photoshop too.

30 October 2011 at 16:21  
Blogger Oswin said...

Cameron, et al, are proving to be the most dangerous of fools. It is so serious an issue, that for once, I cannot bring myself to offer my customary, almost obligatory 'exclamation mark' - for fear of lessening the depth of my concern.

This infernal 'tinkering' must not be allowed.

Perhaps, and only 'perhaps' - a future sovereign might be allowed to marry a Roman Catholic, providing there are cast-iron guarantees, that the 'issue' of such a union, be raised solely within the C-of-E; thus ensuring NO allegiance to any 'foreign prince' - but, to contemplate anything more, is beyond all reason.

I don't have the words to express my revulsion (believe me, 'revulsion' does not nearly come close to the depth of my feelings) of the possibility of
some future 'muslim' monarch.

I would disinter my ancestors, and take them elsewhere. Hell, I'd rather kick their remains into the sea. I would willingly sell my soul to the Devil, to prevent such a thing.

Please God, do not let these evil, meddling fools, have their way.

30 October 2011 at 17:17  
Blogger Alison Bailey Castellina said...

The reason that HM Queen is not called "Head of the Church of England" is that there were male objections to a woman, albeit a Queen (Elizabeth 1st) being called "Head". "Headship" as we know was considered to be an attribute of only men even though William Cecil said his Queen was "more than any man". Your Grace will be pleased to hear that Elizabeth 1st turned out to be brilliant, and aptly opted for "Supreme Governor" which stuck.

30 October 2011 at 17:23  
Blogger Nobody Important. said...

The papacy can't take total control with the C of E in the way can they? And as the C of E, wit hte Community Arch Songster Williams, has decided to create a too plain mystery babylon church (priestesses etc) there's little chance of unity, so kill it and replace with Jesuits.

30 October 2011 at 17:27  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Oswin,

Don't despair. Before that happens, the Monarchy will be wide open enough for me to submit my application as His Royal Highness King Avi. I'll make His Grace the head of the C of E, all you guys here will get peerage or something with a nice pension for doing diddly-doo, and we can all just spend the rest of our lives blogging.

So, do put in a word and nudge-nudge-wink-wink for me. I have many transferable skills such as driving an 18-wheeler through snow storms and I put out quite a commanding presence around children and dogs, which surely makes me natural leader, the real alpha male everyone's been chomping at the bit for. I promise free single malt and shmaltz herring for everyone, jolly Sabbath dinners with gefillte fish, chicken soup and roast beef at the palace, and more single malt again. Did I mention single malt? There'll be plenty of that.

30 October 2011 at 17:37  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Oswin. The Inspector is rather hoping the military will intervene to prevent any nightmare scenario. That includes stopping governments from handing this country over to the EU (...or even the Germans). A popular uprising supported by the people, you know. The guilty put on trial, and {AHEM} suitably dealt with. Well just idea everyone – one should explore every possibility, don’t you agree...

30 October 2011 at 17:38  
Blogger Arden Forester said...

Rodney,

Just to say that there is no "Anglican Faith". There is "the Catholic Faith as the Church of England has received it". May be a tad fussy, but it is important. However, that does not stop certain clerics and laity making up novelty doctrines on the back of an envelope and trying to foist these on the church.

30 October 2011 at 17:41  
Blogger Preacher said...

Avi.
Sorry mate, can't really see you as Monarch. But hopefully there may soon be an opening for a sane P.M. I can't see Dave as as an Ice Road Trucker, Brother, he can't even steer us out of the EU.
Please submit your full CV to the HQ of UKIP & you've got my vote for a start.

Be Blessed.

30 October 2011 at 18:05  
Blogger Atlas shrugged said...

But David Cameron chips away at this Act as though it were no different from any other. And by so doing, he weakens the contract between the Monarchy and the people,

Far too late; David Cameron can not further weaken, that which has long since been permanently smashed into tiny pieces.

We underestimate the power of The Monarchy, The CofE, and The RCC in many ways, and at our peril; for these entities still retain enormous wealth, power and influence in the world, albeit as covertly as necessary.

The perfectly vast, almost incalculable combined wealth of these institutions underwrites much of the worlds central banking system, and is under the management of just one particular European banking family.

Therefore, in many ways, including all of the most important ones, the all of the rich and varied institutions attributed to The British Monarchy, The CofE, and The RCC are already in bed with each other, so to speak, and have been so for some considerable amount of time.

IMO they are seeking to make this union between themselves gradually more official in nature. What Cameron is doing, is simply what he has been advised/told/ordered to do.

After all Your Grace cannot seriously believe that someone as lowly as a still wet behind the ears British Prime Minister decides upon anything notably more important then his own break-fast menu, or do you?

30 October 2011 at 18:15  
Blogger non mouse said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

30 October 2011 at 18:18  
Blogger non mouse said...

Outstanding, Your Grace. Thank you.

This criminal episode elicits and infinity of AAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHs, but while attempting to escape suffocation, we unmistakeably identify the thug behind it.

Perhaps we may also confirm his motives and strategy. As you say:
Sadly, the Prime Minister ... is a thoroughly postmodern politician . . . His priority concern is economic politics, or political economics. This modern incarnation of Ivar the Boneless is clearly no good at ameliorating those concerns, however- at least not for the indigenous inhabitants of his "kingdom." The question then is "Who benefits?", and the answer is "The invader" -- the one floating on the ooze.

As YG also says: Monarchy is antithetical to ‘equality’. If you wish it to conform to the European Convention on Human Rights, you abolish it. Which is indeed the object of the strategy.

The glaring hypocrisy of the exercise is that, like all invaders, our Neu Ivar merely imposes and deploys the power of a different monarchy --- one that is both Absolute and Foreign. Everything he and his neu forces do deprives the British of every right: human or otherwise.

We call neu Ivar a fool ... and so he would have us believe. That's part of his strategy: pretending to be an idiot is the ploy of a 'clever' woman--one who wants people to like her.

There comes a time, though, when people read this as slyness... and they react strongly. Now that they know what Cammerclogs is doing... they have every reason to despise and fear him.

Which is why he should fear the people. All 60 million of 'em.

30 October 2011 at 18:24  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

As fond though I am of the Church of England, her privileged position as the established Church will perforce end this century or early in the next as our demographic changes come home to roost. If Christianity itself survives in a Muslim England, Christians can expect to be treated with all the compassion at Islam’s command. (None, in case there were any doubt.)

30 October 2011 at 18:27  
Blogger non mouse said...

PS: And here I am enjoying another irony; nay... satire. And let us remember that it is the Roman Catholic Church which prohibits the communion. :) :) :)

So now I may view those who bully and patronise Your Grace's communicants here... as disobeying the spirit of RC directives!

As well as turning the rest of us against RC, in a way we never were before... Thank God for Henry and Elizabeth, for Cranmer... and for all those who opposed JamesI/VI and his euro imports. My, how history does repeat itself!

30 October 2011 at 19:00  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Mr Rottenborough. Assuming the Inspector is not hanged for blog sedition well before, he at least won’t be around for ‘Islam Dawn’ in this country. He wouldn’t be able to put up with daily suicide bombings...

non mouse. You continue to disappoint, but then again, that’s what you do so well; the Inspector might at least congratulate you on that.

30 October 2011 at 19:08  
Blogger Atlas shrugged said...

Dear Mr Rottenborough

Let me please allow me to put your obvious concerns at rest somewhat.

I take it that you live in the same country as myself, therefore I fail to see why you believe, in a country that ever more disregards the will of God, that given any amount of time, or large influx of Muslims, that this long standing process of secularization will somehow reverse itself. Indeed if it did to some degree, would this be such a bad thing?

IMO, and with much historical evidence with which to back it up, our Muslim cousins have far more to fear from their young being exposed to western culture then ours do to theirs.

Secularism is the way of the future, not because it is good, but because it is bad. A divided people, most especially one dived from the will of God, is infinitely easier to rule over, and so to most cruelly manipulate and therefore profitably exploit.

The reason why our establishment have sort to import as many Muslims into this country as possible, is not to encourage a respect for the will of our creator, but to further destabilize, undermine, and so ultimately destroy Christianity as we thought we knew it.

May I draw your attention to Revelation 13, 17, and 19?

Therefore you can rest assured that our establishment have as much intention to destroy Islam, as they do Christianity, however first things first. They are not going to allow Islam to replace Christianity, for to do so would simply be to replace one particularly difficult problem to solve, with an even harder one.

If you really wish to see where exactly our establishment want to take future generations, all one has to do is spend some time watching pre-school children's TV.

Mystery Babylon The Great is waiting in the wings, and becoming impatient.

30 October 2011 at 19:28  
Blogger Albert said...

And let us remember that it is the Roman Catholic Church which prohibits the communion

Perhaps someone can clarify this, but I suspect Dr C is confused. The usual language given in the CofE is of being "a communicant member of the CofE." That is something rather different from someone who simply receives communion in the CofE because of the CofE's eucharistic hospitality. I expect the legal position would come down on requiring the Monarch to be a communicant member of the CofE, rather than just (say) a Methodist or Baptist, or even a confused Catholic, who happened to receive communion in the CofE.

30 October 2011 at 19:28  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ Atlas shrugged (19:28)—The will of God may count for little among the nominally Christian British but 80 per cent of Muslims practise their religion, and the perennial hope that exposure to Western culture will dampen Islamic ardour shows little sign of blossoming: an opinion poll found that ‘support for Sharia law, Islamic schools and wearing the veil in public is significantly stronger among young Muslims than their parents.’

30 October 2011 at 19:51  
Blogger bluedog said...

Your Grace, an absolutely superb post and your communicant much enjoyed, 'The Prime Minister further clarified his ignorance'.

It is truly said that there is nothing more expensive than a late education, and the price of educating Dave is beyond measure.

Are Dave's motives really as shallow as they appear, or are we dealing with something deep in Dave's DNA? For many years Clan Cameron, from which Dave descends patrilineally, was a power in north-western Scotland. As Your Grace is aware, Scotland north and west of the Great Glen is Catholic. Come the second Jacobite Rising in 1745 and one finds Clan Cameron at the epicentre, providing the chief of staff for the Jacobite army of Prince Charles Edward Stuart. Indeed, the Prince raised his standard at Glenfinnan on the Scottish mainland supported by a host of 800 Camerons. The Jacobite Rising was in protest of the Act of Union 1707 and related Acts to which Your Grace refers. Of course, the Jacobite rising was swiftly dispatched by the Hanoverian Duke of Cumberland and Dave's ancestors were slaughtered.

Is there some residual bad blood, rancour and bitterness here? Are we witnessing a third Jacobite uprising? There is a great Canadian song, written by those sent away from Scotland in the Highland Clearances that followed the Jacobite defeat which includes the words, 'But still the blood is strong, the heart is Highland and we in dreams behold the Hebrides'. Does Dave know the words and share the sentiment?

Dave's ancestors seem to have come South to find fotune and success. Despite this, can it be that Dave is a secret Jacobite, out to avenge the defeat at Culloden?

Your communicant is wondering.

30 October 2011 at 20:45  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Bluedog. Doubt that Cameron knows what a Jacobite is – he doesn’t seem to know what World Wars I and II were about...

30 October 2011 at 21:15  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Let's be clear the foundation of our Monarchy and Established Church are very shoddy.

The Rebellion of 1688 involved the overthrow of our rightful Roman Catholic King James II of England (James VII of Scotland and James II of Ireland). It was instigated by a union of Tory and Whig Parliamentarians who "invited" the Dutch Protestant William III of Orange-Nassau to invade England.

It was a scandalous act of treason leading to a pretender ascending the English throne as William III of England jointly with his wife Mary II of England, neither of whom had a legitimate claim to it.

An inglorious beginning to our constitutional Monarchy and Established Church - high treason, invasion and an unlawful King and Queen!

Maybe it is time to sweep both away and make a fresh start.

30 October 2011 at 21:41  
Blogger Will said...

So when, at some point in the future, we have a firstborn Anglican queen married to a Roman Catholic consort, while she goes to Westminster Abbey for the Eucharistic symbols.

The use of the word when here is bad blog etiquette. It is not the place of the blogger to predict what might possible happen at some point in a hypothetical future.

There is no evidence that following a change in the law any future Kings or Queens will be lining up to marry Roman Catholics.

The word if would have been perfectly acceptable

30 October 2011 at 22:30  
Blogger David B said...

I wonder what would happen if a future heir to the the throne were an out atheist.

Any ideas?

David B

30 October 2011 at 23:06  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Oswin said ...

"I would willingly sell my soul to the Devil, to prevent such a thing."

Careful, careful now. The Order may not be able to get to you in time to prevent this calamity. History is in God's hands, not Satan's and this could well be the 'sin that cannot be forgiven'.

30 October 2011 at 23:22  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

David B

Errrr, how do you know he isn't?

30 October 2011 at 23:23  
Blogger David B said...

@Dodo

I did specify an out atheist.

I don't know what his position is precisely, but he seems to be at least a fideist, insofar that he claims to want to be defender of faith.

He also seems to believe all sorts of supernaturally tinged bilge about homeopathy and stuff like that.

Is that inconsistent with being in communion with the CoE? Is being an out atheist inconsistent with it come to that?

The exbish of Durham seemed to come close to atheism, and was a Bishop. But he managed, it seems to take a rather odd description of theism, which I don't think most believers would consider belief, IIRC.

The sort of person who comes in to muddy the waters when people like Dawkins criticise Christianity, by claiming that if he (Dawkins) knew anything of theology then he would realise that some sophisticated Christians escape his criticisms.

But I digress. What would happen if the heir was as explicitly an atheist as, say, I am?

David B

30 October 2011 at 23:41  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Can we not just disestablish the State instead?

It would have an advantage in putting to bed David B's worries about having a secular parliament :P

30 October 2011 at 23:45  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

30 October 2011 at 23:54  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Mr Cranmer said ...

"The Act of Settlement requires the Monarch and his or her consort to be ‘in communion with’ the Church of England. Whilst it would be possible to write more than a few pages on the meaning of koinonia in this context ..."

Maybe you should attempt to enlighten us. It does seem to be the crux of the debate.

Albert said ...

"The usual language given in the CofE is of being "a communicant member of the CofE." That is something rather different from someone who simply receives communion in the CofE because of the CofE's eucharistic hospitality."

I take it that a "communicant member" is a person baptised and confirmed in the Church of England and free to receive the communion? Or is anyone free to receive communion?

Apart from self-imposed restrictions on Catholics, Jews and Hidus from receiving communion, are their any prohibitions on Anglicans barring them from partaking in communion e.g living in a state of unrepentant sin?

30 October 2011 at 23:57  
Blogger Oswin said...

Avi @ 17:37 :

Sorry mate, we have the 'wrong type of of snow' over here; you'd never get out of the lorry park. Ice-road trucking is all well and good, but a British road with a wee bit of slush would bugger your chances of success-ion. :o)

31 October 2011 at 00:12  
Blogger non mouse said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

31 October 2011 at 00:17  
Blogger non mouse said...

Sorry to post again, but it's the picture, Your Grace. That and a renewed interest in the genius of Simon and Garfunkel.

Today, you provide relevance to "The Boxer," which begins:
I am just a poor boy.
Though my story's seldom told,
I have squandered my resistance
For a pocketful of mumbles,
Such are promises
All lies and jest
Still, a man hears what he wants to hear
And disregards the rest.

Chorus: Lie la lie...

When I left my home
And my family,
I was no more than a boy
In the company of strangers
In the quiet of the railway station,
Running scared,
Laying low,
Seeking out the poorer quarters
Where the ragged people go,
Looking for the places
Only they would know.


The boy struggles on alone, an unsuccessful job-seeker (etc)... until eventually, on his way home in an attempt to escape the winter's cold he sees:

In the clearing stands a boxer,
And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of ev'ry glove that laid him down
Or cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame,
"I am leaving, I am leaving."
But the fighter still remains

Lie la lie


That chorus is so telling, is it not... punctuating the stanzas: "Lie la lie/ Lie la lie, lie lie lie lie lie la la lie lie lie " ... where intermittent explosions punctuate the background.

Of course, with this duo, who can ever forget the even greater song in which:
And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said "The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls
And whispered in the sound of silence..."


...

...
Oh, yes. In the face of Prince and Pauper alike, Cammerclogs

31 October 2011 at 00:28  
Blogger David B said...

@Belfast.

A literal LOL.:)

However, while I don't see any dire consequences should the CoE be disestablished, I don't find anarchy, theocracy, aristocracy.... more attractive options than a democratic state, for all its manifest and manifold downsides.

David B

31 October 2011 at 00:30  
Blogger Oswin said...

Best let sleeping dogs lie...or, in the case of Cameron: best to kick the lying dog up the arse!

31 October 2011 at 00:58  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

@David B

I grow fonder of anarchy by the day, but I know what you mean.

Ah beloved CofE, the bastard child of international politics and theology. Never fated to have a happy existence I fear. Oh well, as one far wiser Christian told me regarding the possibility of the break up of the CofE: "You can't worry about these things, the Holy Spirit will move regardless of statutes of Parliament".

Cue Inspector's outrage at my failure to appreciate heritage.

Cue len on why this is a sign of the second coming?

31 October 2011 at 01:05  
Blogger Man With A Pen said...

Do you ever get the feeling that what we are seeing being done to our country is Scotland revenge for English past misdeeds? Look at the ministers and prime ministers that have presided over bankrupting us, destroying our natural families, ruining our social cohesion and giving away our sovereignty to foriegners abroad piece by piece for decades.

Here is a by no means exhaustive list:

Brown
Robinson
Cook
Darling
Ervin
Dewer
Blair
Cameron

31 October 2011 at 05:10  
Blogger bluedog said...

His Grace mentions Alec Salmond. Could it be that Dave has been duchessed by Wee Eck and persuaded to trade the Act of Settlement et al. against an indefinitely deferred referundum on Scottish independence? The eurozone crisis seems to have silenced Scottish separatism apart from a few slow learners. It follows that Wee Eck is giving away very little, but Dave has been done like a dinner. Hardly surprising as Wee Eck has a genuine brain, unlke the flim-flam man.

31 October 2011 at 09:19  
Blogger ENGLISHMAN said...

Is it not peculiar,that when we wish to use the bill of rights for redress of grievances,oh no peasant these no longer apply,and yet it is now mooted that any tampering will cause a major constitutional crisis,so if 1689 is live why are we being denied its provisions?It is also significant that rothschilds placeman made this announcement in australia,rather than in the country it most affects,our marginalisation proceeds apace,we seem to be animals ,only here for the amusement of the elite,with no rights,no say and no future,just something that one steps over on the way to the opera,but no doubt you will all vote them back in for more of the same,we are not all in this together,we are in it,the elite are well insulated.When will you vote in your self interest?

31 October 2011 at 09:56  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Preacher and Oswin,

I must admit that I'm a little stung by your implied lack of confidence in my ability to serve as your monarch. Would've raided some Spanish shipping, planted a few heads on pikes in Brussels and flown the Union Jack over Calais to sharpen up everyone's attitudes and to set the right tone for my reign, too. Endgame: Nationalization of all Scottish distilleries and the construction of a pipeline network for efficient single malt distribution throughout the realm. Beats your Prince Charles' plans for more kitchy architecture and "organic" farming, I'd say. In any case, even with a crown on my head, Mom would've still introduced me with, "Avi's the brother of my son the endodontist, the one who visits all the time and has his own office and a house in Palm Beach." But I'm not bitter.

31 October 2011 at 10:46  
Blogger Harry-ca-Nab said...

A few days late but I guess your Grace had to have a little time to recover from his seizure.

Discrimination against Catholics is unlawful - Cameron is simply doing the decent thing. The Queen happens to agree as does the Commonwealth.

The work of the militant protestant minority in stripping the altars, robbing the churches and monasteries followed by enforced conversion, fines, confiscations, torture and murder visited upon an almost entirely Catholic nation was nothing short of a Jihad.

Over the ensuing centuries you had to keep your flock together by fines for non-attendance and fomenting anti-Catholic bigotry - a denial of our ancestors history.

The results of that are that now most people in the UK are NOT practicing Christians. Your churches empty or sold off as mosques, houses and creches.

Protestantism killed off belief for most people. Fact. It is empty - form without substance.

The only hope for Christianity in the UK is the Catholic Church and any other truly spiritual Christian sects.

The CofE is just a fake, a pantomime. It stands for nothing and will not even defend itself, Christianity and our near 2000 yr Christian history and culture.

Irrelevant.

It should be disestablished - and fast.

31 October 2011 at 10:49  
Blogger Man With A Pen said...

Harry-ca-Nab said...

A lot of nasty things. What he/she forgot to mention of course was the stunning brutality that cost the lives of millions; the outright corruption; the changing of the Word of God; The denial of that Word to the people; the selling of salvation and forgiveness; the terrorising and robbing of simple people with the use of fake relics; the false accusations against the innocent in horrifying inquisitions; the outrageous claims about false miracles and the debauchery that took place in the Vatican,but let's not look to closely at the cult of Catholicism shall we?

31 October 2011 at 11:02  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

"let's not look to [sic] closely at the cult of Catholicism shall we?"

Well you clearly haven't...

31 October 2011 at 11:12  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

@Harry ca-Nab:

Likewise.

31 October 2011 at 11:13  
Blogger Preacher said...

Avi.
ROFL. O.K Brother, you've convinced me. If you can get the job, it's yours!.

31 October 2011 at 11:41  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Man with a Pen

Where is it exactly you keep that pen of yours?

Your stated mission in life is to discover the truth and write about it. Your partisan understanding of history suggests you've failed - miserably.

So you're "sick and tired", (really?) being "neither hard right or hard left", (soft in the middle, then?) not a "traditional middle of the road UK Liberal", (but aren't all liberals?) No, you say, "my politics are my own and not those dictated to me by any one party. I loath and detest extremist politics", (except when writing about Catholic history, perhaps?) and you "loath Marxist-Feminism". (well, good for you.)

Carry on then, but do find out a little bit more before publishing out-dated, one-sided nonsense about the faith of millions.

31 October 2011 at 13:52  
Blogger Jon said...

Why should a Catholic heir to the throne only be forced to make the decision about whether to recant or become Head of State after the death of their parent? Assuming that they're old enough to have consciously opted into a faith, presumably they would be capable of opting out of it or their future vocation before their monarch dies?

31 October 2011 at 14:07  
Blogger Albert said...

Dodo,

I take it that a "communicant member" is a person baptised and confirmed in the Church of England and free to receive the communion? Or is anyone free to receive communion?

I think probably it is both and they refer to different things. "Communicant member of the CofE" I suspect indicates that someone really is a member of the CofE (there are rites for receiving people, as I recall). However, the CofE also offers Eucharistic hospitality to other Christians provided they are (i) Baptized (ii) In communion with their own Christian community (e.g. a Methodist).

My guess is that the Monarch is required to be "Communicant member of the CofE" (recall a couple of years back someone marrying into the Royal family having to actually be received into the CofE in order for their husband not to have to renounce his position in relation to the throne). If I'm right, Cranmer is wrong: the law excludes Catholics regardless of whether we exclude ourselves.

are their any prohibitions on Anglicans barring them from partaking in communion e.g living in a state of unrepentant sin?

Yes, for example in the 39 Articles:

XXXIII. Of excommunicate Persons, how they are to be avoided.
That person which by open denunciation of the Church is rightly cut off from the unity of the Church, and excommunicated, ought to be taken of the whole multitude of the faithful, as an Heathen and Publican, until he be openly reconciled by penance, and received into the Church by a Judge that hath authority thereunto.


The BCP directs the minister to read out who is excommunicate, during the notices! I don't know what you have to do to be excommunicated these days - perhaps someone else knows an example.

31 October 2011 at 14:12  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Albert

Thank you for this. I'm sure if you are incorrect someone will set us right.

The Coronation Oath places some specific responsibilities on our Monarch too - unless Charles has it amended.

In 1953 Queen Elizabeth swore the following:

Archbishop.
Will you to the utmost of your power maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel? Will you to the utmost of your power maintain in the United Kingdom the Protestant Reformed Religion established by law? Will you maintain and preserve inviolably the settlement of the Church of England, and the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government thereof, as by law established in England? And will you preserve unto the Bishops and Clergy of England, and to the Churches there committed to their charge, all such rights and privileges, as by law do or shall appertain to them or any of them?

Queen.
All this I promise to do.

I think the problem with the succession runs considerably deeper that whether Roman Catholics are prohibited from ascending the Throne.

31 October 2011 at 14:22  
Blogger Albert said...

Dodo,

I think you are on to something very important. How fair is it of the state to expect a Monarch to make an oath to "maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel" when it is clear that state will increasingly require the Monarch to sign into law legislation which is gravely contrary to the Laws of God?

Indeed, you could argue that some of the liberalising elements of the CofE have similarly contradicted "the settlement of the Church of England, and the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government thereof, as by law established in England". As I understand it, this was the argument, in court, over the ordination of women, but the case was lost (I am led to believe) because the Court said, Parliament had the right to alter the doctrine etc. of the CofE. Again it would be good to hear if anyone knows the truth of this. But clearly, questions need to be asked as to whether it is really fair for anyone (Monarch or the CofE) to be put in such a situation.

31 October 2011 at 17:57  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Your Grace. Rather goes to show how well behaved us RCs are on your blog (cf Harry-ca-Nab said... blisteringly at…31 October 2011 10:49).

Do like the bit about the CofE not defending itself – might upset or impinge on the human rights of the accusers you see, can’t have that, what !

Perhaps individual Anglican clerics will go the same way as that Dutch protestant cleric who’s an atheist. Can’t get him out either, so the Inspector last heard. Presumingly, a belief in God wasn’t in the man’s contract of employment. You couldn’t make it up, what a howler !

Now for a real man’s Christian religion, you can’t beat the Roman Catholics. No nonsense (…well not as much as ‘reformed’ churches..), and you’re instantly recognised for the sinner you are – no more and no less. And if you’re lucky, you can have a pint with the priest in the social club afterwards.

AND – Mary, Queen of Heaven features prominently. Altogether, a jolly good show !

31 October 2011 at 18:04  
Blogger Oswin said...

Avi @ 10:46 :

You won me over with ''raiding some Spanish shipping'' - when can you start??? Naturally, you'll be required to choose an alternative name for your coronation, but there's a fair few to choose from. You might even opt for 'David' - eases your own ancestral ties and, might help too, to placate the Scots ... although, you'd think they'd have had enough of meddling, after the largely disastrous Stuarts.

Yep, 'David' would do nicely for the Welsh too. I'm sure we English might easily accommodate some minor addition beyond the usual choices. Your Majesty! :o)

Ah, one fly in the ointment though - Cameron! I fear, after him, no one will ever wish to see a 'Dave' ever again! Damn, back to the drawing board...

31 October 2011 at 18:54  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Albert

The oath requires the Monarch to do the utmost of their power. The present Queen has, I'm sure, honoured this promise. Her MP's have failed in their oath of allegiance to her in passing so much anti-Chrisitian legislation during the course of the past 60 years of her reign.

Mind you, do the Church of England actually have any clearly understood and commonly accepted "Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel"

Let's be honest, establishment is effectively dead. All that remains is a bit of legislative tidying up to do.

Should Charles become King the final nail in the coffin will be driven home. His behaviour and statements, whilst not meeting the criteria for formal excommunication, i.e open denunciation of the Church, strongly suggestS he could not in good faith take this oath.

31 October 2011 at 19:11  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dodo. The Inspector suspects HM our Queen knows this and is doing her best to outlive her son. God save her....

(...of course there is also the Jewish pretender to the throne she could abdicate too, our Avi...)

31 October 2011 at 19:18  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Inspector

I would much prefer Avi to Charlie. At least he believes in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

31 October 2011 at 19:29  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dodo. The Inspector quite fancies the soon to be newly created cabinet post of ‘Inspector General of Scottish Distilleries’

What we don’t want is a republic with some damn career politician as head of state. Mandelson anyone ?

31 October 2011 at 19:35  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

I still think it incongrous for a Monarch to be the Supreme Governor or head or whatever of a Church. However, althought I am a Catholic, the thought of a Muslim attaining the position of monarch is so repulsive I think that I'll stick with the status quo.

31 October 2011 at 20:05  
Blogger Albert said...

Dodo,

The oath requires the Monarch to do the utmost of their power. The present Queen has, I'm sure, honoured this promise.

I agree. However, I still think the present oath is unfair. It seems pretty cruel to make a religious person make an oath to "do the utmost of your power", knowing full-well that you will totally disallow any such power.

And what would be the point of making them take such an oath? The best that can be said for it is that the oath becomes completely without content - and that would be damaging in itself.

31 October 2011 at 20:30  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Shacklefree. Agreed. Our dear departed princess Diana was rumoured to be getting her final jollies via a Saracen. Closer than you think , old chap...

31 October 2011 at 20:54  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Albert

I totally agree.

This really confirms it is time for disestablishment - or a return to Christianity in our Monarchy and Paliament. Which do you suppose will win?

A meaningless oath at the Coronation, followed by an equally hollow oath of allegiance by MP's, is an insult to God.

31 October 2011 at 21:31  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Well now, We see some of you are warming to Our idea. All it took is hints of buccaneering, mayhem in Brussels, saddling the Dover straights and the winner, We suspect, a shiny spigot for smooth, golden and lightly peaty scotch in every kitchen.

As for feasibility, things are looking up for Us if you follow the logical trajectory of the "reforms" your nation has been slipping along. If it's sexist to exclude a woman from the succession line, and discriminatory to penalize royal marriages to Catholics, the next logical step would be to question the whole silly old idea of dynastic successions, no? I mean, really, how passé. So, empowered by this precedent, encouraged by the new culture of iconoclasm in Cool Britannia, and enabled by a slew of equity acts, affirmative action policies and non-discriminatory clauses, not to mention EU's readiness to assist progress in overly conservative, curmudgeony sticks in the mud such as the UK, We find ourselves increasingly hopeful. Look at it this way, dear subj...I mean, people; if your august courts and parliament can marry two dudes, what stands in their way from making a king out of an Avi? Or a Mustafa, for that matter?

And as for the name, Dodo, no impediment there; Avi is just the diminutive for Avraham...that's regal enough, We'd say. Clink, le chaim!

31 October 2011 at 21:59  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Avi

Your Regalness, count on the Inspector and myself for support.

Chancellor Dodo has a nice ring to it. The other reserved position is, of course, ‘Inspector General of Scottish Distilleries’, though this will mean the industry will be run on a 'not-for-profit' basis. Len Minister of Religion is another suggestion. Viking Warlord of Armed Services and Ernsty Minister of Entertainment and, finally, DanJO Minister of Hopeless Causes .

Bring on the revolution!

31 October 2011 at 22:41  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dodo: and ME as Archbishop of Canterbury, naturally. Be sure I will anoint you with my rod and cross!

31 October 2011 at 23:02  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Oswin

Okay, I'll pass on the recommendation to King Avraham I.

By the way, it's the Monarch you annoint - not his servants. Do pop down to Smiths and get a copy of 'The Dummies Guide to the Archbishop of Canterbury'. It's all explained in there.

31 October 2011 at 23:08  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Your future sovereign has examined your selections, Chancellor, and provisionally approves. I note with a slightly upraised eyebrow that the Inspector did not lose a beat in staking claims on the very lifeblood of the nation, so to speak. Ernsty will have to have his connection reinstalled finally, as his absence is beginning to alarm Us, and his Tiddles will need at least a coastal Duchy, naturally one with a fishmen's wharf. You must have a quiet word with Viking about absenteeism, in the shadow of the Tower, for effect. With his current record he could sleep through a world war.

There's also Sir Oswin to consider as well, eventhough We are displeased at his initial reluctance to support Us in our present quest, and we'll need to create a whole new slew of nobles, dukes, lords, margraves, earls, barons and baronets, counts, viscounts and count-palatines.

We must retire now. Coronation robes to slip on and a new crown and orb, topped with with gem-encrusted Stars of David to design.

31 October 2011 at 23:32  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Yes, yes, very well, Canterbury it is for Sir Oswin. We had His Grace in mind initially, but he'll need to keep up this blog running.

Erratum: "I note with a slightly upraised..." should read We note..." Still learnin.'

31 October 2011 at 23:39  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

King Avraham

A confidential word of advice, if I may.

For now, it's best to play down the Star of David dimension as it might alienate the established centres of power. In time, we can organise a quiet shift towards towards Jerusalem and Rome.

The damnable forgery 'The Protocols of Zion' and the paranoia about an alliance with the Vatican, promoted by 'The Order', will only give credence to the Freemasons and other sources of rebellion.

We need to identify a suitable Minister of Internal Affairs to keep an eye on these matters. Albert has the subtlty of thought and intelligence for such a position but I'm not sure he would be willing to participate in our adventure. Another possible candidate is Shacklefree.

1 November 2011 at 00:00  
Blogger Harry-ca-Nab said...

Man with a pen @ 31 October 2011 11:02

You make my point for me rather well, if I may so.

1 November 2011 at 07:10  
Blogger len said...

'Len Minister of religion'.

Perish the thought!.I hate religion, religion is not that popular with God either!

' “I hate, I despise your religious festivals;
your assemblies are a stench to me.
Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them.
Though you bring choice fellowship offerings,
I will have no regard for them.
Away with the noise of your songs!
I will not listen to the music of your harps.
But let justice roll on like a river,
righteousness like a never-failing stream!

“Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings
forty years in the wilderness, people of Israel?
You have lifted up the shrine of your king,
the pedestal of your idols,
the star of your god
which you made for yourselves.
Therefore I will send you into exile beyond Damascus,”
says the LORD, whose name is God Almighty.'

(This is as relevant today as when the Prophet Amos recorded Gods Words)

1 November 2011 at 07:38  
Blogger len said...

I think a short explanation is needed for why the' religious' are always opposed to the' born again Spirit' filled Christians. This will explain the antics of Dodo and the Inspector.)
(Apologies to those' blog etiquette followers' I imagine them drinking' ones tea 'with one`s little finger raised)

Those who choose religion are going the path of self-righteousness(puffs them up and makes them self important , self righteous)'Sons of Adam.'

Those who reject self righteousness and accept the imputed righteousness from Christ a gift from God.Born from above 'Sons of God'.

The 'one true Church of God' is interwoven in all Christian denominations. I have noticed in my own experiences that there is at least a small core of believers in just about every church in every denomination (except the Orthodox Catholics).

Religion is basically satanic.

All religion contains methods, rituals and practices for man to become righteous enough to ascend or evolve to God. All religion thus believes in the need for one to become self righteous. True Christianity is the complete opposite. True Christianity believes in God's righteousness. Because of His righteousness, Jesus the creator, died for our sins and breached the gap between God and man. True Christianity believes God provides a free gift of eternal life to anyone who trusts in Him (has faith) that God is graceful and sent His Son to save those who believe in His righteousness.

Apostate Christianity (departure from true biblical Christianity) in its final analysis cannot be distinguished from any other religion in the world in its quest for God. No wonder apostate Christianity will be willing to join with all the other religions of the world. These nominal Christians think they are Christian just because it is part of their culture and because they believe in a higher power. Even demons believe in a higher power. Apostate Christianity has nothing to do with a born again experience with the evidence of a Holy Spirit changed life.

1 November 2011 at 08:32  
Blogger Albert said...

Dodo,

I'm not sure he [Albert] would be willing to participate in our adventure.

Too true. I leave uniting with a foreign, European power in an act of treachery against a lawful sovereign to members of the Church of England. It seems their loyalty to the monarch, even one they believe to have been anointed by God, is somewhat limited. Hard to see why they make so much fuss now really.

1 November 2011 at 09:39  
Blogger Albert said...

Len,

At the risk of starting something which I haven't got time for, can't you see that I can simply flip your argument and accuse you of "religion"?

1 November 2011 at 09:41  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Alnert
"I leave uniting with a foreign, European power in an act of treachery against a lawful sovereign"
The lawful sovereigns were for so msny years Germans.

1 November 2011 at 11:05  
Blogger Albert said...

Manfarang,

The lawful sovereigns were for so msny years Germans

True, but supporting them as lawful sovereigns, does not in anyway justify supporting foreigners against the lawful sovereign - as the CofE has done (despite believing the lawful sovereign to be the Supreme Governor of the CofE and being so terribly loyal to the crown as Supreme Governor - all very confusing!).

1 November 2011 at 14:11  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Not to worry, Dodo, the scotch spigot in every kitchen will spread peace and goodwill throughout Our jolly, red-nosed realm. That's if you ably monitor the Inspector. For anyone who still doubts, in the words of His Grace, "And we await the man of sufficient stature to hold the allegiance of all people; the one who will lift us out of the economic morass in which we are sinking." I like that line. We even have a couple of empirically tested slogans too: "He's the One," and "Hope and Change." Guaranteed to work as well.

Go ahead and appoint anyone you deem fit for duty. When I re-emerge, we'll review them and get Viking to lop off a head or two to cut down on severance packages. I'll be busy doing field studies on the spigots in the meantime.

1 November 2011 at 14:33  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Albert said ...

I leave uniting with a foreign, European power in an act of treachery against a lawful sovereign to members of the Church of England.

Harsh words, but true.

The treacherous rebellion of 1688 involved the overthrow of our rightful King James II of England (James VII of Scotland and James II of Ireland). It was instigated by a small union of Tory and Whig Parliamentarians, most with vested financial and property interests. They "invited" the European foreigner, William III of Orange-Nassau, to invade England and lenthim aid.

A scandalous act of treason leD to a pretender ascending the English throne, calling himself William III of England, jointly with his wife, the so called Mary II of England. Neither had a legitimate claim to the Crown.

An inglorious beginning to our constitutional Monarchy and Established Church - high treason, invasion and an unlawful King and Queen!

1 November 2011 at 17:30  
Blogger Albert said...

A terrible crime Dodo. The treachery of those who stayed within the CofE and supported the Establishment of that time is further illustrated by the plight of the Non-Jurors. These Bishops and clergy who, in conscience knew that they could not go back on their oath to James II. The Archbishop of Canterbury himself was among them - as well as Thomas Ken of "Glory to thee my God this night" fame.

Some of these Non-Jurors had even been put in the Tower by James II, but they still knew it would be wrong to break their oath to him. Deprived of their livings and sometimes persecuted, the Non-Jurors are a testament to treachery of what might be called the "continuing Church of England".

As a result, the CofE was left in the hand of the Latitudinarians - the liberals of the day who didn't care too much for matters of truth and honesty, and were therefore perfectly capable of just going with the flow. The death of the CofE was certainly hastened by all this.

But it does make you wonder how seriously Anglicans can really take themselves when they bang on about the importance of maintaining the establishment. In the end, the will of the state has won out time and again - and they have followed it, when better men went to their deaths or lost their positions. So if the state wishes to change, how can they resist the state with any consistency?

Come on Cranmer - come back to the Church! (You know you want to.)

1 November 2011 at 18:30  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

You guys have forced me into the position of having to do a bit of research into non-jurors etc. for which I thank you. Once again guys - very clear and stated simply.

1 November 2011 at 18:43  
Blogger len said...

Albert,(09:41)
A careful distinction must be made between religion and Christianity.

There are three features which seem to be basic to all forms of man-made religion. Religion involves absolutism, authoritarianism and activism. Now there is nothing wrong with absolutes, authority or activity. God is absolute, authoritative and active. But when any man or group of men attempts to establish themselves as the arbiters or regulators of God's absoluteness, authority or activity, they then begin to "play god," and religion is the result as they impose their perspective of absolute, authority and activity on others.

1 November 2011 at 18:50  
Blogger Albert said...

Len,

But when any man or group of men attempts to establish themselves as the arbiters or regulators of God's absoluteness, authority or activity, they then begin to "play god," and religion is the result as they impose their perspective of absolute, authority and activity on others

Too true, but as I have said before, we claim nothing less for the Pope than you claim for yourself - so I'm still able to say you have dug a pit and fallen into it yourself.

Certainly, no one can establish themselves "as the arbiters or regulators etc.", but that does not mean that no one can be so established. As our Lord makes clear:

"The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat; so practice and observe whatever they tell you

A point that seems all the more striking precisely because our Lord did not in fact approve of them - as his very next words make clear.

1 November 2011 at 19:03  
Blogger Albert said...

Shacklefree - a pleasure. As in so many matters, in this instance, Protestants do not in fact measure up to the standards by which they mean to judge us. I personally think the Non-Jurors were hugely impressive men - some of them were clearly Catholic minded, but even those that weren't were men of huge principle.

As I understand it, the failure to follow them, and instead impose an illegitimate foreign power on these islands, led not only to the CofE losing its guts, but also to the loss of the Anglican establishment in Scotland. The political effects of course are still with us in Northern Ireland and elsewhere.

Quite why all this is a matter of pride to the CofE I really cannot imagine.

1 November 2011 at 19:09  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

Albert, I have to say that sometimes when I am thinking about making a reply, I decide instead to wait for you because you have a way of expressing these ideas very well. I take my hat off to you.

1 November 2011 at 19:18  
Blogger Albert said...

That's very kind of you Shacklefree, thank you. I put it down to being a convert. I therefore know Protestantism from the inside and have had to think very hard about it all.

1 November 2011 at 20:21  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

The Bishops of England who could not in good conscience swear allegiance to the pretenders William and Mary having already made an oath of loyalty to James II:

William Sancroft (Archbishop of Canterbury)
Thomas Ken (Bishop of Bath and Wells)
John Lake (Bishop of Chichester)
Francis Turner (Bishop of Ely)
Thomas White (Bishop of Peterborough)
Thomas Cartwright (Bishop of Chester)
robert Frampton (Bishop of Gloucester)
William Lloyd (Bishop of Norwich)
William Thomas (Bishop of Worcester)

As a result, the Church of England came under the control of Bishops who were 'latitudinarian' in outlook. A group who believed in conforming to official Church of England practices but who felt that matters of doctrine, liturgical practice, and ecclesiastical organization were of little importance. Church leadership, doctrine and sacramental liturgical practices were seen as "things indifferent".

Look at the Church of England today and draw your own conclusions about the influences of its early, earthly origins.

1 November 2011 at 20:26  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Ps

And I forgot to mention that James II of England and VII of Scotland in 1687, issued The Declaration for the Liberty of Conscience.

The Indulgence was a first step at establishing freedom of religion in the British Isles and was widely resisted by the Church of England.

The Declaration granted broad religious freedom. allowing persons to worship in their homes or chapels as they saw fit and it ended the requirement of affirming religious oaths before gaining employment in government office.

The Indulgences was voided when James II was deposed and replaced by William III and Mary II.

1 November 2011 at 20:37  
Blogger len said...

Albert,
The Law of Moses was a 'schoolmaster'that led to Christ that is why Jesus said "The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat; so practice and observe whatever they tell you"

The Pope claims infallibility(for himself) how that relates to me I do not know as I have given you scriptural references, I consider the Word of God infallible certainly not Popes( even when they sit in the 'magic chair'.)

The pit that you are in is admittedly not of your making, the Catholic Church excavated it for you.

1 November 2011 at 21:08  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

len

Sriptural passages that you take it upon yourself to interpret infallibly. The Pope's authority comes with his ofice and was instituted by Christ. On what do you base yours? Why should anyone pay any more attention to it than to all the other individual interpretations around?

1 November 2011 at 22:02  
Blogger Albert said...

Len,

Of course, the Law of Moses was provisional. But I don't see that that makes any difference. This is what I said:

Certainly, no one can establish themselves "as the arbiters or regulators etc.", but that does not mean that no one can be so established.

I cannot see how you have shown that to be untrue, unless you mean the authority to interpret scripture with sufficient authority that our Lord tells us we must follow it was provisional too (in which case we as Christians are left with less authority in interpreting Holy Writ than were the Jews - how is that Good News or the fullness of grace and truth?).

1 November 2011 at 22:37  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

I'm personally unsure what Roman Catholics gain from changing the succession. It is a barrier against a full secular state; that will be the outcome of any disestablishment. As long as we keep the current status quo we can at least protest that England isn't actually a secular state.

2 November 2011 at 02:07  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

The revolution of 1688 was quite complex. It is quite right to see it as the work of a few politicians and William of Orange himself(he wasn't simply sent for, he already had decided to invade.). It was also though partly due to the folly of James II and, though it is often overstated, he was making some dangerous noises when it comes to the position of Anglicanism in England. The idea of passive obedience was not a traditional English or Christian one. It would have to be an extraordinary act under extraordinary circumstances, but a King who was manifestly unfit for the throne may be put aside, though it questionable whether James II yet deserved that and it is of course important what was put in his place; in this instance an even worse substitute. It was a regrettable incident which led to the baleful domination of the Whig oligarchs.

I have no idea what Len is talking about. I still attend a high church Anglican church but I'm basically Orthodox and will sooner or later convert. I can understand the power claimed by the Pope. He is the vehicle for the Christian tradition and truth in the Roman Church and this truth and tradition is infallible in all major branches of Christianity. He doesn't have the power to contradict that tradition; if he were for instance to start making ex cathedra pronouncements which 'divided the substance and confused the persons' then he would be a heretic and would no longer be Pope. What I don't accept is that the Pope occupying this role is necessary for all the branches of the Church Catholic. It was a role he didn't have until around the end of the first millennium and the Orthodox are correct to see the Scriptures, Fathers, tradition and Seven Ecumenical Councils as laying the groundwork for the faith so that though such a central figure as a Pope maybe useful him having such authority is not a necessary part of Christianity. That said I struggle to see how traditional Christianity is not a 'religion' and that 'religious' elements are not an important part of it and a good and useful part.

2 November 2011 at 02:24  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

Can someone please tell me why Cranmer uses the term Eucharistic symbols as if he had abandoned the doctrine of the real presence, a central tenet of all traditional branches of the Christian faith, completely? One can argue about the exact formula of transubstantiation, I don't think the Roman Catholic view is necessarily correct, but the real presence is a very important part of Christianity. Some of those churches who reject it may still have something of Christianity present in them, I would go quite so far as to say all such establishments are absolutely beyond the pale, but they are entering the borderline territory and should be rebuked as much as possible. I believe the official doctrine and articles of the Anglican Church still assents to this key doctrine.

2 November 2011 at 02:35  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

Westcountryman, Good points. Let's meet up and go to mass ubder the new ordinariate rite established recently.

2 November 2011 at 03:07  
Blogger len said...

Religion is opposed to true Christianity (which is a Spiritual union with Christ formed from love)
The analogy of a marriage is often used in true Christianity.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “The one who is joined to the Lord is one spirit (with Him)” (I Cor. 6:17). This “one spirit” union of the Christian with Christ is contextualized by the distinction of “the one” being joined to “the Lord.” In the preceding verse, I Cor. 6:16, which quotes from Genesis 2:24, the oneness of the “one flesh” marital union of husband and wife establishes the basis of contrast with the “one spirit” union of Christ and the Christian.It is from this union that the Christian life flows.We partake of Christ`s death and rebirth being born again and this union proceeds from that.(of course infant Baptism does nothing because we have to go into this situation aware of what we are doing!)

But imagine that instead of this being a spiritual union this marriage is a form of a contract with rewards for good behaviour and punishments for bad behaviour.
And also there would be certain procedures to go through to placate the wrath of your partner.
Would there be any love in that relationship....No only fear..and that is religion.
The partner who demands a performance based relationship would be a tyrant.

Thank God for Christ who did away with this tyrannical system and gave us His righteousness so we can move out of the bondage of religion.

2 November 2011 at 07:45  
Blogger len said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2 November 2011 at 08:09  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

'The fear of the lord is the beginning of wisdom.'

Proverbs 9:10

Infant rebirth has the unanimous authority of the Fathers, Councils and Sacred Tradition.

2 November 2011 at 09:48  
Blogger len said...

Westcountryman,
Infant Baptism.
We`ve already done this once(or twice)
but, the Bible reveals that a person must do certain things before he can be baptized. If these things are not done, then the baptism would not be Scriptural. So we ask whether or not a baby can fulfill the Scriptural prerequisites of baptism.
Note that God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34,35; Rom. 2:11), so there are not two sets of prerequisites for baptism - one for babies and one for adults. Whatever the Bible requires of some people to be baptized, it requires the same of all people.
Mark 16:15,16 - All who are baptized, must first have the gospel preached to them. But what good would be done by preaching to a baby?
John 6:44,45 - No one can come to Jesus without being taught from the Father. This does not just mean simply hearing sounds. One must "learn"; he must understand the meaning of what is being taught. Can babies do this? (cf. 1 Cor. 14:20)?
Acts 2:36,41 - This example shows what it means for people to learn the gospel before they are baptized. The people were given evidence that Jesus is God's Son (v14-36). They were told that, on the basis of this evidence, they must "know assuredly" that Jesus is Lord and Christ (v36). Those who were baptized were those who gladly received this message (v41). Can babies hear and learn in this way?
Romans 10:9,10 - To be saved, one must believe in his heart and confess Christ with his mouth. How can a baby confess Christ when it cannot even speak?

So(even Catholic theologians confess this) Infant Baptism cannot be found in Scripture.If you feel this'is a nice thing to do' then by all means go ahead but do not claim this as being 'salvation 'because it quite clearly is not.

2 November 2011 at 10:39  
Blogger Albert said...

Len,

But imagine that instead of this being a spiritual union this marriage is a form of a contract with rewards for good behaviour and punishments for bad behaviour

And yet, that is how St Paul behaves towards his people, he gives commands and he threatens punishments. In Hebrews we are told to remember the leaders so as to enjoy the outcome of their life i.e. some kind of reward. Clearly Jesus himself speaks of rewards and punishments.

The problem, it seems to me - as so often, Len, is that you take such a partial view of scripture. This is why I find myself so often in agreement with you and yet disagreeing with the application.

Clearly, we can see ourselves as in some kind of marital union with Christ. But the main emphasis in scripture (e.g. in Eph) is that the marital union is betwixt Christ and his Church. If there is any sense in which we have a marital relationship with Christ, it is only in that context (otherwise Christ would be polygamous and prostitution would be marriage). As we only become sons in the Son, so we only become (as it were) brides in the Bride.

Yet, as members of the Church we are clearly, from a NT point of view, under hierarchical authority. Hence the apostles and other ministers command and they rule. All my points here are so ubiquitous in the NT, that I hope you forgive me not going through and sourcing them.

I'm not going to get into Infant Baptism - it will just be a case of scripture ping pong. What I would say is that Catholics admit there is no passage which singles out an individual case of infant baptism. There are cases of family baptisms, in which the children are included by implication (Households etc. includes children).

It is your prior theological commitments which prevents these passages being read in their natural sense. Yet, your prior commitments are not even agreed by most Protestants. So, as usual, you cannot claim both your doctrine on baptism and the perspicacity of scripture.

2 November 2011 at 11:03  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

The Bible mentions families and households being baptised;

Acts 11:13–14: “Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon whose surname is Peter, who will tell you words by which you and all your household will be saved.”

16:15: “And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, ‘If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.’ So she persuaded us.”

Household, Acts 16:33: “And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized.”

Acts 18:8: “Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized.”

1 Corinthians 1:16: “Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas.”.

Hard to imagine not one of these families had children. The bible often uses the term household or house when it clearly includes children, such as the house of Israel. Regardless it is the near unanimous declaration of Christ's revelation through Sacred Tradition, the Fathers and the Councils of the Church.

Irenaeus: For he came to save all by means of himself -- all, I say, who by him are born again to God -- infants, children, adolescents, young men, and old men. (Against Heresies II.22.4)

Origen;

[After quoting Psalm 51:5 and Job 14:4] These verses may be adduced when it is asked why, since the baptism of the church is given for the remission of sins, baptism according to the practice of the church is given even to infants; since indeed if there is in infants nothing which ought to pertain to forgiveness and mercy, the grace of baptism would be superfluous. (Homily on Leviticus 8:3).

Augustine: For from the infant newly born to the old man bent with age, as there is none shut out from baptism, so there is none who in baptism does not die to sin. (Enchiridion; ch. 43)

To reject infant baptism is heretical.

2 November 2011 at 11:22  
Blogger Albert said...

Westcountryman,

Hard to imagine not one of these families had children. The bible often uses the term household or house when it clearly includes children, such as the house of Israel.

Quite. I think therefore, a fairly heavy burden of proof rests on the person who wants to say these passages do not speak of infant baptism.

2 November 2011 at 13:44  
Blogger len said...

WestCountryman, You refer to Bible examples where whole households were baptised.You claim that these households must have included babies, so infant baptism is authorized. But notice:
None of these examples actually say that babies were included.
Many households do not include babies or even small children. If the Bible does not mention babies, then to claim there were babies in the household would simply be an unproved assumption. The simple fact that households were converted proves nothing by itself. Unless these passages themselves show us that babies were included, then we must settle the issue on the basis of other passages on the subject.
I have cited clear, specific evidence that people who were baptized must always first hear, believe, repent, and confess, and that they must be baptized for the right reason, and that they must be able to accept the responsibilities of church membership. Babies can do none of these things. It is a misuse of Scripture to assume without proof that babies were included in the household conversions, in contradiction to this evidence.
The contexts of the household conversions actually imply those who were baptized included no babies.

To base ones salvation on an assumption is surely the height of foolishness?.

2 November 2011 at 15:48  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dodo @ 23:08 :

Ta, but I've seen the 'dummy' in action. I intend some reformation as to 'rod & crossing' and, to the 'anointing' thereof!

Len @ 07:38 : that's why you would be the ideal candidate! Just leave the details to me; trust me, we'll be fine old chap, just fine. 'Religion' under the auspices of my office, will know its place.

Sire @ 23:39: you will be pleased to note that plans are ahead for the conversion of all 'mosque domes' to useful 'dovecotes' - ensuring a ready supply of delicious 'squabs' for the Royal Table. (pigeons ARE kosher!)

2 November 2011 at 16:32  
Blogger Albert said...

Len,

Since Protestants are so divided on the matter, I suggested you would have to prove between your belief in the perspicacity of scripture and your belief against infant baptism. It seems you have chosen to defend the latter against the former. But as such, scripture has now become somewhat obscure.

Similarly, you don't appear to have responded to my comments of 1 November 2011 22:37 & 2 November 2011 11:03. (Fair enough of course - there are other things to do, but you do seem not to follow through on positions you were defending.)

2 November 2011 at 18:55  
Blogger len said...

Albert, Scripture is absolutely clear about Baptism and I have given these scriptures to you.

The Onus is on you(or anyone who practices it) to prove that 'infant' Baptism is Scriptural otherwise why do it?.

2 November 2011 at 19:50  
Blogger Albert said...

Len,

Scripture is absolutely clear about Baptism

Why then do you find yourself disagreeing with Luther and Calvin?

2 November 2011 at 20:43  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Albert

There's an easy answer to that question.

2 November 2011 at 22:08  
Blogger len said...

Albert ,
You seem to be clutching at straws!.(20:43)

Your other question was about the interpreter of Scripture?. Scripture tells us that we are to rely on the Holy Spirit's illumination to gain insights into the meaning and application of Scripture (John 16:12-15, 1 Corinthians 2:9-11). It is the Holy Spirit's work to throw light upon the Word of God so that the believer can assent to the meaning intended and act on it. The Holy Spirit, as the "Spirit of truth" (John 16:13), guides us so that "we may understand what God has freely given us" (1 Corinthians 2:12). This is quite logical: full comprehension of the Word of God is impossible without prayerful dependence on the Spirit of God, for He who inspired the Word (2
Peter 1:21) is also its supreme interpreter.

2 November 2011 at 22:22  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Albert

See, I told you. Obvious, len has fuller access to the Holy Spirit than all who have gone before.

2 November 2011 at 22:32  
Blogger len said...

Want a straw Dodo? you can help Albert.

2 November 2011 at 22:42  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Albert

Does the Holy Spirit say different things to different people? Impossible.

Alternatively, because of human weakness, not everyone is capable of discerning Truth. I think Saint Paul had something to say about the distribution of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

2 November 2011 at 23:34  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

I have quoted the Fathers len. You individual and dubious interpretation of Scripture is irrelevant.

Not that it is needed but one could point out that baptism is our initiation into the sacramental and mystical brotherhood of the Christ in the Church. Infant Baptism fits perfectly with this ancient view of the Church as without it the young are left sacramentally and spiritually outside Christ's church.

Anyway to reject infant Baptism is heretical, it is to cast aside Christ's Church, the Church and Tradition which gave the Scripture whose position you raise idolatrously high, and to pick and mix your own 'path' out of the scraps that are left behind. There is no Christianity outside the Fathers, the Seven Ecumenical Councils and the Sacred Tradition of the Church.

3 November 2011 at 00:35  
Blogger len said...

WestCountryman,

I gave you the scriptures and in return you gave me the word of men.
Now which do you consider more important?.
As God is the provider of Salvation(from start to finish) I will go with what His Word says.
If we put our traditions over the Word of God we are then making a 'god' on our own image.

'Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that."(Mark 7:13)

3 November 2011 at 10:12  
Blogger len said...

In the very last commandment in the Bible God resolutely tells us not to add to nor take away from His Word.

“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book: If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the Book of Life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book”
—Revelation 22:18-19

His Word is absolutely sufficient in itself (Psalm 119:160).

The Biblical message breathed out by God is revelation in written form. (2 Timothy 3:15-16). The Biblical claim is that what God has inspired was His written word (2 Peter 1:20-21). When the Lord Jesus Christ said, “the Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35), He was speaking of God’s written word. The events, actions, commandments, and truths from God are given to us in propositional form, i.e. logical, written sentences. God’s declaration in Scripture is that it and it alone, is this final authority in all matters of faith and morals.

3 November 2011 at 10:23  
Blogger Albert said...

Len,

You seem to be clutching at straws!

Not in the slightest Len. Your position on Infant Baptism rest on an application of your theology to the question. You claim that this theology is clearly the message of the Bible. But that means that when front rank Protestants like Luther and Calvin disagree with you over infant baptism, they are also disagreeing with you over the fundamentals of your theology. How can this be if the Bible is so clear? Or is it your position that even folks like Luther and Calvin were not proper Christians?

Scripture tells us that we are to rely on the Holy Spirit's illumination to gain insights into the meaning and application of Scripture (John 16:12-15, 1 Corinthians 2:9-11). It is the Holy Spirit's work to throw light upon the Word of God

Surely, but the problem is that you apply those passages to the individual in an exhaustive sense. But that is not at all what they require - indeed, we saw last time that that cannot be the meaning of scripture, for the Bible makes it clear that some Christians are not able so to interpret the text, even though they have the gift of the Spirit. These passages apply to the Church as a whole - the individual may be twisting the scripture to his own destruction as both scripture and experience of scripture warn

But there's another problem here, you speak of "the Holy Spirit's illumination". It seems then that the final criterion of true interpretation of the Gospel is not the authority given to Christ's apostles, but some kind of religious experience. What's your argument for that?!

I gave you the scriptures and in return you gave me the word of men.

Westcountryman appealed to the tradition of the Church - the very same tradition which canonised the Bible. You're in danger of cutting off the branch you are sitting on.

3 November 2011 at 13:14  
Blogger len said...

Albert,
Are you saying that the Holy Spirit is unreliable as a source to interpret Scripture, that he cannot function as a Teacher as Christ promised?. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” John 14:26

Or could the real reason for your distrust of instruction by the Holy Spirit(who is God after all) be that He would contradict Catholic theology?

Once again you contradict the word of God for your' traditions'for God said(Hebrews 8:11)No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest'.

(I notice you are no longer giving me scriptures but opinions?.)

3 November 2011 at 13:53  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

len

I think what's being said and has been repeatedly said, is that the Holy Spirit is not unreliable - men are!

3 November 2011 at 14:15  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Ps

It's not just 'Catholic theology' you're special insight from the Holy Spirit contadicts. It also contradicts a substantial body of accepted 'Protestant theology' too.

One Holy Spirit, one Truth and yet so many different 'inspired' interpretations.

How can this be? Somebody must be wrong!

3 November 2011 at 14:21  
Blogger Albert said...

Len,

Are you saying that the Holy Spirit is unreliable as a source to interpret Scripture

I cannot for the life of me see how you have drawn that conclusion. I am saying that an individual's claim and interpretation of the experience of the Holy Spirit may be unreliable.

Or could the real reason for your distrust of instruction by the Holy Spirit(who is God after all) be that He would contradict Catholic theology?

As usual, can't I just turn that on its head and apply it to you?

Your reference to Heb 8 is interesting. For surely you do not mean to rule out a teaching authority do you? The revelation is not distant from us, as it was in the days when Moses alone listened to God on Mount Sinai. In this sense, we all know the Lord. But that does not mean there is no room for a teaching authority. This is easy to prove, even by just sticking with the book you cite:

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need some one to teach you again the first principles of God's word. You need milk, not solid food; for every one who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a child.

You say

I notice you are no longer giving me scriptures but opinions?

That's rather odd - I thought the clear reference to the Bible was, well, clear in my last post. But no, I'm not going to dig out all the passages (e.g. from 1 Cor) that I have already used to show that (as you put it) you contradict the word of God for your' traditions'. The passages I have used against your position stand until such time as you answer them - which you haven't yet.

What's your view on Luther and Calvin BTW?

3 November 2011 at 14:40  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4 November 2011 at 07:03  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

Infant Baptism doesn't contradict Scripture. In fact it is implied by Scripture. What you are suggesting it is Scripture is ambiguous, but the Fathers and Traditions of the Church are not. You try and solve this supposed dilemma by replacing your own individual interpretation of Scripture with that of the Tradition and Fathers of the Church.

This is absurd, as has been pointed. Scripture doesn't exist outside of the Traditions of the Church. Nor do most of the doctrines and practices of Christianity come fully sprung from Scripture, though they usually have some basis there. If you were a real 'Protestant' you'd completely individually reinterpret the Christian tradition and not necessarily accept the Trinity, the divinity of Jesus or any number of basic doctrines that are prefigured, but not explicitly given(certainly not to the rationalist satisfaction Protestants usually demand) in Scripture.

Sola Scriptura is nonsense and always has been. Hence it only came about with the dominance of rationalism and other modernist errors in the renaissance.

4 November 2011 at 07:09  
Blogger len said...

WestCountryman


Infant Baptism is a meaningless ritual and has no validity in the Christian Church .Infant Baptism hasn`t the ability to change anyone!
Neither has religion!
Case in point.
1, Hitler was baptized as Roman Catholic during infancy in Austria.
2, Hitler was a communicant and an altar boy in the Catholic Church.

3,) As a young man he was confirmed as a “soldier of Christ.” His most ardent goal at the time was to become a priest. Hitler writes of his love for the church and clergy: “I had excellent opportunity to intoxicate myself with the solemn splendor of the brilliant church festivals. As was only natural, the abbot seemed to me, as the village priest had once seemed to my father, the highest and most desirable ideal.” -Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf)

4,) Hitler was NEVER excommunicated nor condemned by his church. Matter of fact the Church felt he was JUST and “avenging for God” in attacking the Jews for they deemed the Semites the killers of Jesus.

(If you need more evidence of the futility of infant Baptism I will gladly supply it.For infant Baptism is a curse which convinces people that they are 'Christian' when they are not and will send many to Hell.

Also; Hitler worked CLOSELY with Pope Pius in converting Germanic society and supporting the Catholic church. The Catholic Church absorbed Nazi ideals and preached them as part of their sermons in turn Hitler placed Catholic teachings in public education. There are photo`s depicting Hitler with Archbishop Cesare Orsenigo, the papal nuncio in Berlin. It was taken On April 20, 1939, when Orsenigo celebrated Hitler’s birthday. The celebrations were initiated by Pacelli (Pope Pius XII) and became a tradition.

Infant baptism as you see is a very dangerous and futile and anyone who defends it is an accomplice in sending those who believe in into Hell.

4 November 2011 at 08:07  
Blogger len said...

Westcountryman,

If you look into the origins of infant Baptism you will come up with some very interesting facts!

In the mysterious Babylonian Religious System, Nimrod and Semiramus, along with their priests, were the only ones who claimed to “understand” 'The great mysteries of God' and since according to them, it was the only true religion... all others were false... therefore, only the Babylonian priests could forgive and absolve sins...and administer salvation. Salvation could be achieved thru various Sacraments performed during the person's life time. These Sacraments were so-called “Channels of grace” whereby salvation could be achieved. These Sacraments, necessary to salvation began at birth with Infant Baptism through sprinkling water on the forehead of the child. The final sacrament was administered at the end of life - a final anointing with oil at death to prepare one for the hereafter.(sound familiar)

Now Since the Babylonian Priest was the only one who could administer these 'sacraments', the person was 'bound' to the Babylonian system helplessly for life! The first essential sacrament, Semiramus taught, was baptism by water. The fact that such "baptism" was practiced 2000 years before it was even mentioned and practiced in Christianity is an established fact, and it can be traced right back to Babylon and Semiramus herself! The ancient historian Bryant (vol.3 p2l, 84) traces this pagan baptism back to the practice of commemorating Noah and his 3 son’s deliverance thru the waters of the flood, emerging from the ark and entering a New life. To commemorate this event, the Priests of Nimrod would 'baptize' new-born infants the fathers chose to keep, and they would become 'born-again' and become members of the Babylonian Mystery Religion. (Hislop,Two Babylons, p134) The fact that this was practiced in a ritual of baptism over 2000 years before it was even used in Christianity has truly amazed historians!

(More to follow if you need more!)

4 November 2011 at 08:23  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

I'm not sure what you are trying to prove here. The story of the flood and its survivor, an individual with one epithet that probably it related to the name Noah, was a story known for at least a millenia before the bible account was written. What we make of this exactly, whether we see these tales as historical derivations of the biblical tale or tales that somehow partake of the symbolic and intellectual truths of the biblical story is open to question. I for one though do not find it a refutation of Christianity or a part thereof.

The Church is a Sacramental union with Christ, which raises up or deifies the flesh, including man and all of creation through Christ and the Holy Spirit. Infant Baptism fits perfectly into the Church. It is the beginning of that union, but not the end or fulfillment. Traditional Christianity recognises this obvious fact, hence all its branches maintain the importance of ongoing faith, love and sharing in the sacraments of the Eucharist. To repudiate infant Baptism is to put the young outside the Church, to suggest that such formative years are outside the Sacramental bond of Christ's Church.

In essence it is a denial of the Sacramental nature of the Church. It is the affirmation that the only real bond with Christ is sentimental love and blind faith. All you are offering is the modernist fallacies of nominalism, humanism and rationalism, deeply opposed to the Early Church by the way. I never cease to be surprised how much early modern and modern thought shapes the views of radical Protestants who pretend to want to return to early Christianity.

4 November 2011 at 09:24  
Blogger len said...

WestCountryman,
How do we receive salvation? We are saved by faith. First, we must hear the gospel—the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection (Ephesians 1:13). Then, we must believe—fully trust the Lord Jesus (Romans 1:16). This involves repentance, a changing of mind about sin and Christ (Acts 3:19), and calling on the name of the Lord (Romans 10:9-10, 13).
(As you can no doubt see an infant can do none of the above)

The union with Christ(which you mention) is a spiritual one obtained through the re-birth. 'But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.'(1Corinthians 6:17)

Christ saves us from performance-based acceptance by God.

True Christianity is not a religion. Religions generally require that one live according to a set of standards. If one's performance is good enough, one will go to heaven or another desirable place after the earthly life. If performance is substandard, the person will be rejected by the higher being and go to hell or some other unpleasant place. Christianity, by contrast, is based on the work and life of Christ imparted to us, not on our performance. Christianity teaches that no person is good enough to be accepted into God’s kingdom and, therefore, we can be accepted by God only by God’s grace and mercy, which are possible through Jesus Christ:

Eph 2:8,9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Titus 3:5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy

Put differently, our favor and acceptance before God is based on Christ, not us. We do not have to earn favor with God; indeed we can't. Christ saves from self effort by paying the penalty for our sin. We merely receive forgiveness of sin as a gift .

4 November 2011 at 15:21  
Blogger Albert said...

Len,

Two things about Hitler. Firstly, be careful: Jewish historians like Rabbi David Dalin regard the kind of defamation of Pius XII as a kind of holocaust denial, because (like holocaust denial) it denies the eye-witness evidence of those who were victims of the holocaust.

Secondly, to argue that infant baptism is futile because of people like Hitler is truly bizarre. Judas went around with Jesus, was almost certainly baptized as an adult by John the Baptist (Acts 1.21,22). Was that baptism futile? Or the ministry of Jesus, was that futile?

For infant Baptism is a curse which convinces people that they are 'Christian' when they are not

This is just confused. Just because someone is baptized doesn't mean they think they are saved. I would have thought that would be obvious given that you think we believe we are justified by works. If there is a doctrine that leads to complacency - it's your doctrine which is not taught in scripture, but is condemned in scripture.

But if infant baptism leads people to hell, I can only assume (and I can only assume, as you keep refusing to answer the question) that you have a pretty dim view of Luther and Calvin ("who defends it is an accomplice in sending those who believe in into Hell") and thus you reject the doctrine of the perspicacity of scripture.

You have also failed to show how your doctrine of the inward illumination of the Holy Spirit is consistent with the passage I quoted from Hebrews (or the passages I quoted from 1 Cor.). As such you have given us no reason to believe it, and I have supplied biblical reason not to believe it.

4 November 2011 at 18:03  
Blogger len said...

Albert , you seem to be answering for Westcountryman,I hope you are not one of Dodo`s multiple personalities as you seem to have the same dogged refusal to accept my answers,and use the same ploy of 'circular arguments'(which become a bit tedious for all concerned)
I will answer your questions when you start answering mine.

Which was give me the scriptures for infant baptism(I asked this some time ago)

4 November 2011 at 23:27  
Blogger len said...

Albert , Johns Baptism was one of repentance(can infants repent?)

Also John said:"Matthew 3:11-12) "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire".
In the baptism of Jesus is hidden the mystery of the remission of sin, the mystery of being born of water and the Spirit.hen the Bible tells us that we must be born again of water and the Spirit, it means that "sinners must repent, believe in the baptism of Jesus and the blood of the Cross, and thereby receive the remission of sin into their hearts and become righteous." In other words, it means being born from above. This is not a change that comes from human beings, but it is a transformation that comes from God.

You say that Judas was Baptised but this only illustrates my point that Judas was not born again ,born from above, because why would God give the gift of the Spirit to the one who would betray His Son?.
So(this illustrates my point again) Judas was not changed by water baptism otherwise he would never have betrayed Jesus.

(Excuse me if I do not follow the 'red herrings' Luther and Calvin which are a mere distraction to the very important issues we are discussing!)

5 November 2011 at 08:32  
Blogger len said...

Albert,
You(whether you realise it or not) are bound within the Catholic Religious System.If you challenge or even question some of the dogmas and traditions that you have been taught then immediately you come under a Catholic curse.I realise this.I see why you feel compelled to pursue issues even when they challenge the Word of God.Once one is within the Catholic system one must put on 'Catholic spectacles 'and see everything from a Catholic World view.Every Scripture must be made to fit within the 'Catholic puzzle.'

Until you can step outside the 'Catholic box' so to speak you will never see the reality of scripture as revealed by the Holy Spirit.

5 November 2011 at 08:40  
Blogger Albert said...

Len,

I will answer your questions when you start answering mine. Which was give me the scriptures for infant baptism(I asked this some time ago

But I have answered it:

What I would say is that Catholics admit there is no passage which singles out an individual case of infant baptism. There are cases of family baptisms, in which the children are included by implication (Households etc. includes children). It is your prior theological commitments which prevents these passages being read in their natural sense. Yet, your prior commitments are not even agreed by most Protestants.

So, far from my references to Luther and Calvin being "red herrings" they are central to the discussion. If the doctrine by which you deprive of their natural meaning the numerous passages Westcountryman has cited, cannot even be agreed by Luther and Calvin, then you cannot really claim your doctrine is properly biblical, even by Protestant standards. Either that or you must apply the following to them (your words):

"who defends it is an accomplice in sending those who believe in into Hell"

Regarding the futility and Judas, you have only replied to half my argument. You said that Hitler shows infant baptism is futile. I said that, on that logic, John's baptism and Jesus' ministry is futile because of the behaviour of Judas. You haven't addressed the whole argument. Besides, I think it pretty odd of you, and arguably blasphemous to say John's baptism was futile. Insufficient it is true (Acts 19) but hardly futile - just think of who received baptism from him!

Until you can step outside the 'Catholic box' so to speak you will never see the reality of scripture as revealed by the Holy Spirit

A point which would seem to apply to Luther and Calvin. Besides, I spent most of my life outside of the Catholic Church.

One of the things I learnt as a Protestant is: that it is wrong to "so expound one place of Scripture, that it be repugnant to another". Now just notice how I reply to you. You quote scripture at me. I do not reply by quoting Popes or Councils, I reply by quoting scripture and showing that you expound scripture in one place in such a way as it is repugnant to another. If I appeal to authorities to support that view, it is not my own doctors, but yours!

the reality of scripture as revealed by the Holy Spirit

Actually, I think it is the other way around: until you stop trying to read into scripture the doctrines your teachers have taught you, you will never stop expounding scripture in one place in such a way as it is repugnant to another. Since the Holy Spirit does not contradict himself...well, you work it out.

5 November 2011 at 09:51  
Blogger len said...

Albert,
What if I merely return your reply to you?

'until you stop trying to read into scripture the doctrines your teachers have taught you, you will never stop expounding scripture in one place in such a way as it is repugnant to another. Since the Holy Spirit does not contradict himself...well, you work it out'

6 November 2011 at 11:10  
Blogger Albert said...

Len,

What if I merely return your reply to you?

Well given that in my comment, I was already flipping your own comment, if you do just return the reply, we could get caught on an infinite regress!

6 November 2011 at 12:06  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

And again ....

Infant Baptism

Col 2:11-12 - baptism is the new "circumcision" for all people of the New Covenant. Therefore, baptism is for babies as well as adults.

Psalm 51:5 - we are conceived in the iniquity of sin. This shows the necessity of baptism from conception.

Matt. 18:2-5 - Jesus says unless we become like children, we cannot enter into heaven. So why would children be excluded from baptism?

Matt 19:14 - Jesus clearly says the kingdom of heaven also belongs to children.

Mark 10:14 - Jesus says to let the children come to Him for the kingdom of God also belongs to them. Jesus says nothing about being too young to come into the kingdom of God.

Mark 16:16 - Jesus says to the crowd, "He who believes and is baptized will be saved." But in reference to the same people, Jesus immediately follows with "He who does not believe will be condemned." This demonstrates that one can be baptized and still not be a believer.

Acts 2:38 - Peter says to the multitude, "Repent and be baptized.." The Greek translation literally says, "If you repent, then each one who is a part of you and yours must each be baptized” (“Metanoesate kai bapistheto hekastos hymon.”) This actually proves that babies are baptized based on their parents’ faith.

Acts 2:39 - Peter then says baptism is specifically given to children as well as adults. “Those far off” refers to those who were at their “homes” (primarily infants and children).

Acts 10:47-48 - Peter baptized the entire house of Cornelius, which generally included infants and young children.

Acts 16:15 - Paul baptized Lydia and her entire household. Paul baptizes the household based on Lydia's faith, not the faith of the members of the household.

Acts 16:33 - Paul baptized the jailer (an adult) and his entire household (which had to include children).

Rom. 5:12 - sin came through Adam and death through sin. Babies' souls are affected by Adam's sin and need baptism just like adult souls.

1 Cor. 1:16 - Paul baptized the household of Stephanus.

Eph. 2:3 - we are all by nature children of wrath, in sin, like all mankind. Babies should not be denied baptism because they are unable to make a declaration of faith.

Matt. 8:5-13 - the servant is healed based upon the centurion's faith. This is an example of healing based on another's faith.

Mark 9:22-25 - Jesus exercises the child's unclean spirit based on the father's faith.

1 Cor. 7:14 – Paul says that children are sanctified by God through the belief of only one of their parents.

7 November 2011 at 00:52  
Blogger len said...

Dodo,

Your verses do not prove infant Baptism.Rather they prove my case.

The fact that there is no trace of infant baptism in the New Testament is recognized today almost unanimously by theologians. Even Schleiermacher (p. 1) said openly, "All traces of infant baptism presumably found in the New Testament must first be put into it."

Paul always saw faith and baptism together. "Naturally Paul and with him the original church could not conceive of baptism without faith. The question of the effect of baptism on an unbeliever did not enter his field of vision" (Stromberg, 27). If it is a fact that faith is a prerequisite for baptism, then infant baptism has no meaning.

7 November 2011 at 08:15  
Blogger Albert said...

Len,

The trouble is, as we've seen, there are good grounds for thinking that infants were baptized in NT times, and we've seen that there are good Protestant grounds for doubting the case you have put against infant baptism.

Let's consider some of the things you've said:

To be saved, one must believe in his heart and confess Christ with his mouth. How can a baby confess Christ when it cannot even speak?

If that applies to infants too, the immediate logical conclusion of that is not that babies cannot be baptized, but that they cannot be saved. Is that your view? Any child who dies, free from actual sin (let's say they are tortured and murdered), but too young to confess the faith, necessarily cannot be saved?

Whatever the Bible requires of some people to be baptized, it requires the same of all people.

Well if you are so convinced that the Bible does not speak of infant baptism, how do you know that? What's the evidence? It could be that all we have are the rules for adult baptism (and no one is challenging those rules here) not infant baptism. So your argument is again shown to be impotent against the evidence that infants were baptized.

7 November 2011 at 14:31  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

len

If you accept the validity of infant baptism, parents and God parents representing them, what impact would this have on your theology of the need to be 'born from above'? Can the two be reconciled in any way?

9 November 2011 at 01:02  

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