Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Dean of St Paul’s throws Jesus out of the temple

It beggars belief that the Dean and Chapter of St Paul’s Cathedral have surpassed the disruption to Divine Worship which Hitler inflicted with his bombs. Throughout the entire Second World War, St Paul’s was closed for just one day to permit a brave soldier to disarm an unexploded bomb. That was a genuine health and safety issue. Today, we are six days into a closure because of a few dozen tents pitched in Paternoster Square, many of which are aren’t even occupied.

It is perfectly possible, for those who can put one foot in front of another, to navigate your way through this quaint canvas village: there is, in truth, nothing obstructing the determined worshipper’s path to the House of God. But ‘Health & Safety’ has been invoked outside, so the gospel cannot be preached within. It is a bizarre model of Christian leadership which voluntarily abandons the pulpit on the off-chance that someone might trip over a tent peg. Indeed, there is a higher risk of twisting your ankle on a snow-covered Paternoster Square, but the Cathedral does not close every Christmas on ‘Health & Safety’ grounds.

His Grace has sympathy with the protestors: they are concerned about poverty and rail against greed. Good. So did Jesus. Their heart is in the right place, even if their protest isn’t. They are sheep without a shepherd. The Stock Exchange is not the cause of the global economic crisis: it would make far more sense for them to occupy the Bank of England or Parliament Square, for there the decisions are taken to tax, spend, loan, print money and set interest rates. It is politicians and bankers who have sunk us into this morass: those who trade in stocks and shares are not the cause.

It is not every day that His Grace can praise Alan Rusbridger and The Guardian, but on this matter they are spot on. Aside from the quite unnecessary swipe at the marriage of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, the article is lucid and accurate. Mr Rusbridger writes: ‘This rather messy and absurd situation has handed the dean and chapter of St Paul's a truly historic opportunity to discredit Christianity in this country. They seem determined to take it.’ It is a sad and sorry day when Christ’s mission is expounded more accurately in the pages of The Guardian than in London’s foremost Cathedral Church:
A cathedral isn't really there for the tourists, even if it can charge visitors £14.50, as St Paul's does. It is a place for prayer and worship. The congregations who come for these, the real purposes of the building, should remember that Jesus talked to publicans and tax collectors. He might even have talked to merchant bankers. He would certainly have talked to the protesters camped outside.

Aspects of the protest camp are silly and rather squalid. But it still represents a profound and important moral revulsion which the Church of England needs to take seriously. These aren't the usual Spartist suspects. The sense that there is something outrageous, unjust and absurd about the world of modern finance has spread across the whole political and religious spectrum. Even Pope Benedict XVI has reinforced his predecessor's teaching with a demand that the markets of the world be brought under human control. The Church of England needs to be part of this discussion, for its own sake and for the sake of the country. And that is done far more effectively by theatre and by conversation than by lecturing or even preaching. It is no use having clever bishops saying clever things that no one listens to. Here at St Paul's right now, there is a chance to catch the attention of millions of people who would never listen to a bishop or recognise a Dean without a Torvill.

The protesters aren't right about everything. A lot of the time they aren't even coherent enough to be wrong. But the role of the church is to talk with them and to find out how their sense of injustice at the present slump can be refined and educated and brought out into the wider conversation. The cathedral has a chance to take Marx's taunt about religion being "the heart of a heartless world" and try to make it true, and valuable. It must not fumble this.

If the dean and chapter continue their steps towards evicting they will be playing the villains in a national pantomime. There will be legal battles and, eventually, physical force. At every step, the cathedral authorities will be acting in the service of absurdity and injustice. Yet this is where the logic of their position is leading them. They must see this, and stop. Jesus denounced his Pharisaic enemies as whited sepulchres, or shining tombs; and that is what the steam-cleaned marble frontage of St Paul's will become if the protesters are evicted to make room for empty pomp: a whited sepulchre, where morality and truth count for nothing against the convenience of the heritage industry.
God speaks through whomever He wills, whatever the person’s faith or lack of it. The story of Balaam (Num 22-24) suggests that the Lord is prepared to speak truth through a numb-skulled, money-grabbing seer, and even through his ass. Whether Balaam be a sinner or saint, a believer in the One True God or not, there is no doubt he was inspired to speak the mind of God and impart a vision of Israel’s destiny. Alan Rusbridger is more ass than Amos, but today he speaks prophetically to the Church of England. God must have some foreknowledge that The Guardian is required reading for CofE bishops. We must pray that their eyes may see and their ears may hear.


Blogger G. Tingey said...

Horribly correct.

I went down yesterday, to talk to these loonies ....
And that's what they are, harmless loonies, various - christian, socilaist. muslim -all demented.
St Pauls' has not been "forced to close" - looking at it at 13.45 (25/10/2011), it could have easily been opened, and kept open.

The best thing to do is ignore them.
By giving them attention, we are doing the worst possible thing.
Furthermore: In the meantime, it isn't inconveniencing the greedy and incompetent corporations one litte bit.

Which would tend to indicate a practical complete failure on someone's part.

Right protest - possibly.
Completely wrong place.

26 October 2011 at 07:56  
Blogger Windsor Tripehound said...

It's hard to tell who are the more bumbling and incompetent; the protesters, or the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's?

Sadly,I've learned this year through the disgraceful treatment of my own excellent vicar (a matter which I am not currently free to discuss in detail) just what a shambolic, leaderless, bitter, envious, misogynistic, gutless mob the present senior clergy of the Church of England has become.

26 October 2011 at 08:47  
Blogger David said...

Do you think perhaps that health and safety has been invoked mainly to keep the protesters outside, rather than inside, the cathedral, where they could receive warmth and sustenance - and even claim sanctuary?

26 October 2011 at 09:22  
Blogger martin sewell said...

We are not being told about the Gospel being preached to the protesters: it may well be happening but we ought to know about it, if it is.

26 October 2011 at 09:37  
Blogger Belsay Bugle said...

It surprises me that Y G is surprised about the feebleness of the hierarchy of the C of E.

It is now essentially a secular socialist organisation living on past glories, but deeply confused about its role and purpose. An organisation stuffed with people who cannot differentiate between socialism and Christianity; in fact most of them think the two are synonymous.

So it is hardly surprising that the Dean and Chapter applies Health and Safety legislation - it is after all a key text in the canon of secular writ.

The tragedy is that hardly anybody takes the C of E seriously any more, even though most of us would dearly love to hear something we could respect, with every fresh outburst of silliness the Church sinks further into irrelevance.

Talk about whited sepulchres! Surely that is what nearly every parish church in the land has become?

The clergy is now more interested in equality and diversity and their pensions than the cure of souls.
A missed opportunity for Canon Fraser and his colleagues?
They wouldn't see an opportunity to promote Christianity if it were to camp on their lawn!

26 October 2011 at 09:44  
Blogger Hereward said...

Never mind the protesters, given the mauling of scripture by liberal clergy I doubt that the Gospel was being preached to the congregation. Maybe it has pleased Almighty God to besiege St Paul’s because the “glory has departed from Israel”.

Regarding the need for protest. Governments will have no hesitation in pushing investors, savers and taxpayers off the platform and under the train in order to save their precious banks. That is what happened in 2008. The billions spent then have not benefited the average person faced with rising rents or living in a home worth less than their mortgage. They will try to pull the same stunt this time around. No wonder “Occupy Wall St” is going global. Given the right conditions in which to breed this virus could spread faster than bird flu to the detriment of political and financial elites. Perhaps international civil disobedience is the only thing that will stop the insanity of tackling debt with more debt financed by printing money. Banks must be forced to take their losses on bad investments even if it tips some into administration.

26 October 2011 at 10:11  
Blogger David B said...

It seems that many people from a wide variety of religious and political perspectives read this blog, but I think I detect some level of cross party and cross religion consensus on a couple of points.

1) The protesters have their hearts, if not their heads, in the right place.

2) The Dean and Chapter of St Paul's are running round like headless chickens.

There is one area of disagreement though.

HG said "Whether Balaam be a sinner or saint, a believer in the One True God or not, there is no doubt he was inspired to speak the mind of God and impart a vision of Israel’s destiny."

That is simply false. To the point of being - I can't resist it - Assinine.

David B

26 October 2011 at 10:17  
Blogger Belsay Bugle said...

Dear David B
Tell us the truth then.

26 October 2011 at 10:33  
Blogger English Pensioner said...

I suspect that the average churchgoer doesn't really care what is happening at St Paul's. My impression is that few have any interest in the Bishops, Deans and the like, or indeed in their diocesan Cathedral. They feel that Bishops are probably as far out of touch with the average member of the Parish Congregation as our PM is with the average voter.

As for the demonstrators, it seems far from clear what they are actually demonstrating about, or what their proposed solutions are to their perceived problems. With most demonstrations there seems to be an objective (like that outside the law courts where a challenge is being mounted against the government's pension policy), but so far I haven't discovered what this lot want.

26 October 2011 at 10:34  
Blogger Windsor Tripehound said...

Belsay Bugle said...

Talk about whited sepulchres! Surely that is what nearly every parish church in the land has become?

The majority of parish priests - and in particular the women - are doing an excellent job in difficult circumstances.

The problem is the male-dominated hierarchy, very few of whom have had significant pastoral experience. Check out the background of just about every bishop and you'll find a brief spell as a curate followed by academic work.

It's the problem that you find in so many walks of life; the people in charge have no idea what the workers actually do.

26 October 2011 at 11:12  
Blogger BrianSJ said...

Where is our Sicilian Briton in our hour of need?

26 October 2011 at 12:30  
Blogger David B said...

@Belsay 10:33

The truth is that many people doubt that Balaam spoke the mind of God, be they from non Christian religious traditions, atheists or agnostics. I suppose that many Christians who doubt doubt biblical literalism regarding such matters as talking animals would doubt it, too.

So to say that there is no doubt is plainly wrong.

David B

26 October 2011 at 12:44  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

I'm not sure about this stuff about the C of E being Socialist. During a brief period of Church attendance a couple of years ago, it all seemed to be about how terribly nice it was to be conservative and upper middle class. Being neither of those things, I was like a square peg in a round hole. Not the place for me.

26 October 2011 at 13:41  
Blogger non mouse said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

26 October 2011 at 14:25  
Blogger non mouse said...

'In my walks, it seems to me' that global reach of the "Occupy" movement is accruing all kinds of "quiet" attention, in spite of the media's downplaying it. I think Your Grace's reference, and remarks, are perspicacious!
"How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy tabernacles,O Israel.
God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows.

He couched, he lay down as a lion, and as a great lion: who shall stir him up? Blessed is he that blesseth thee, and cursed is he that curseth thee." [Num 24: 5, 8-9]

26 October 2011 at 14:34  
Blogger Atlas shrugged said...

The Stock Exchange is not the cause of the global economic crisis: it would make far more sense for them to occupy the Bank of England or Parliament Square, for there the decisions are taken to tax, spend, loan, print money and set interest rates. It is politicians and bankers who have sunk us into this morass: those who trade in stocks and shares are not the cause.

Quite so.

Indeed this would indicate that it is not free market capitalism which is at fault, but SOCIALISM, or socialism as masterminded by those who control the central banking system, as well as our parliamentary system of representative government.

In other words, the proverbial THEY, all seeing eye, or unseen hand, sometimes known as the establishment, better known as The BANKSTERS.

In a genuine FREE market ( which BTW, has never actually existed, at least not for around 200 years ) many of our banks, and all of our banksters would already have lost their shirts, and be cueing up at the local dole office. As it is British, American, and European tax payers are going to pick up ALL of these peoples most deliberate losses, with an eventual and inevitable massive drop in living standards, and the collapse of property, and share prices.

Those who invest in the stock market are not therefore the perpetrators of this 'Crime Of The Century,' they are its primary victims, as per usual.

I personally suspect that this protest has been instigated by certain agents of the secret services to deliberately divert attention to where the real protest should be.

I also contend that pressure to close St Pauls has been deliberately applied by certain people, simply to give this protest more publicity, then it otherwise would have had.

Does the above all sound far to conspiratorial in nature, to make any real sense?

If so, then tough, because the world moves in mysterious ways for often extremely mysterious reasons, the quicker you all understand this, the sooner your owners may stop taking the utter piss out of us all.

26 October 2011 at 15:22  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

This idea that the capitalist system is somehow Socialist is a nonsense. It's the perfect opposite of Socialism

26 October 2011 at 15:32  
Blogger Oswin said...

Martin Sewell @ 09:37 :

You make an interesting point!

Had the the Church authorities instituted regular outdoor services, bible readings, sermons and hymn singing et al, they might have A, converted a few lost sheep, or B, driven-off the remainder through sheer tedium?

Perhaps too, in true ecumenical spirit, the local Salvation Army Band might have been prevailed upon to blast forth, during the intermissions, eh?

How about a few black gospel choirs or, some religio-Rap-music even; hell, that would sure do it for me! :o)

26 October 2011 at 15:48  
Blogger non mouse said...

Some of the most efficient capitalists are marxist. I remember biggest, smartest, most successful bank in Hong Kong was the Communist China Bank.

It's also like the way the Conservative Party and the Church are now... infiltrated, subverted, and run by them.

26 October 2011 at 15:51  
Blogger Pierre_Picaud said...

Can one imagine this happening at the Kaba in Mecca? No, of course not. And no, I'm not trying to be flippant.

I fear, I really genuinely do, that this absurd occupation and resultant closure of St Paul's will be the psychological initiator of another terrorist atrocity in Britain.

I have studied the Islamists for some time, and flatter myself that I know how they think.

"They [meaning us] will not even protect their holy sites," they are saying to themselves.

"Their religion is therefore obviously hollow, and weak like never before.

Now is the time to strike. To strike fear of Islam."

Because fear is the first step to either conversion to Islam, or acknowledging its supremacy.

I do not look forward to being right.

26 October 2011 at 16:04  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

One of the protestors I spoke to was carrying copies of Totalist Wanker, erm, Socialist Worker, open eager, bright-faced, claiming that they weren't "stalinist" and this time should be different ...
I might has well have been trying to convince a young jesuit that the Big Sky Fairy doesn't exist.
No connection to the real world, at all.
There was small stall trying to push supposedly moderate islam there, as well - I asked them about the equality of women, and they lied to me - as if they were Roman Catholics, in fact.
A really deranged woman got up and started spouting something about rape and Jesus, waving a foil-covered card cross, and had to be watched very carefully.

Coherent protest?

Yet, something is wrong - state corporatism, as practiced in China now, and the USA and formerly in the Third Reich is a great danger.
The protestrrs are confusing this with "capitalism".

Needless to say, I agree with David B's points 1 & 2....

26 October 2011 at 16:33  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

The problem from St Paul's point of view may be that some poor pilgrim trips, breaks their leg and then sues them for mega-bucks. It's unlikely their insurance covers them for an impromtu camp on their steps.

We live in a litigious age. It's not money changers today that are the problem today - it's lawyers!

26 October 2011 at 17:07  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

We seem to have entered that surreal world inhabited by many on the right, where Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan are praised for having defeated Socialism, but the world is run by Socialists.

26 October 2011 at 17:13  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Mind you, it might be worth paying the money for some to stumble and incapacitate themselves.

Tingey hope you enjoyed your little visit to At Paul's. Were there any atheists there for you to share your opinions with? If so, I do hope you shared some food and drink with them.

26 October 2011 at 17:15  
Blogger Oswin said...

David B @ 10:33:

''Sausages!'' :o)

G. Tingey @ 16:33:

Believe me, you'd have better luck in persuading the Jesuits!

However, your piece did make me laugh. I've been warming to you since you admitted to cravat-wearing!

26 October 2011 at 17:17  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dodo: yep, you are probably correct; it is most probably an absurd 'arse-covering' exercise, for the sake of maintaining their insurance cover. Far better if they admitted to this up-front.

26 October 2011 at 17:22  
Blogger cosmas and damien said...

When I was at theological college I would generally go to evensong each evening at Salisbury Cathedral. I wouls sit next to a couple of ladies who lived in the close and would lable people as either OCD or NOCD (our class dear or not our class dear ) Of course I couln't possibly comment as to whether they were conservative or upper middle class.

26 October 2011 at 17:31  
Blogger len said...

The Dean of St Paul’s throws Jesus out of the temple.....well no change there!.
I suppose Jesus would find it difficult to gain entrance to many 'temples' today.His message would be too radical and not politically correct enough to be acceptable.
Christianity today in many aspects has become Christ-less and this is one of the main problems with 'organised religion' (that is religion which is united with the State.)
Can religion survive?(churches are closing or having very few members and relying on tourists to keep going)
Only God can breathe Life into the dead and dying bones of Churches and this will only happen when Christ is restored to His true position.

26 October 2011 at 18:00  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Your Grace

The Inspector suggests a two pronged attack. Benefits Officers during the day (…what hidden truths in that yard await discovery ! plus by going a prolonged demonstration, you are effectively not making yourself available for work; those on Job Seekers allowance will find that out quick !). And, if there’s anyone still left at 12:30 am, water canon (…the Met has at least one on it’s books…).

Must say as an RC, the Inspector’s impression of the CofE higher clergy is that as a body they do come across as a complete shower. Looks like The Church IN England is in need of guidance from Rome. Can’t blame individual parishes walking with their feet that way ! Ha Ha ++Canterbury, bet you’re wishing Anglicanism held on to the Christianity part now. What !

It’s all for God, Queen and Country, you know, or at least it should be…

26 October 2011 at 18:02  
Blogger Oswin said...

cosmos and damien: middle to lower middle class surely? As my Grandmama was wont to say when the subject arose: ''those who refer to er, (slight cough at this point) 'class', seldom possess hm, any. Let us not speak further upon this matter''... brushes aside small, disappointingly socially inferior, oik ...:o(

Perhaps the ladies concerned, were speaking in 'denominational' terms?

26 October 2011 at 18:05  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Your Grace If all else fails – all you need is just one guitar and what’s below to clear the square...{INSPECTOR SMILES KNOWINGLY}

Kum bay ya, my Lord, kum bay ya;
Kum bay ya, the Lord, kum bay ya;
Kum bay ya, my Lord, kum bay ya,
O Lord, kum bay ya.
Kum bay ya, my Lord, kum bay ya;
Kum bay ya, my Lord, kum bay ya;
Kum bay ya, my Lord, kum bay ya,
O Lord, kum bay ya.

Someone's laughing, Lord, kum bay ya;
Someone's laughing, Lord, kum bay ya;
Someone's laughing, Lord, kum bay ya,
O Lord, kum bay ya.
Hear me crying, Lord, kum bay ya;
Hear me crying, Lord, kum bay ya;
Hear me crying, Lord, kum bay ya,
O Lord, kum bay ya.

Someone's crying, Lord, kum bay ya;
Someone's crying, Lord, kum bay ya;
Someone's crying, Lord, kum bay ya,
O Lord, kum bay ya.
Hear me singing, Lord, kum bay ya;
Hear me singing, Lord, kum bay ya;
Hear me singing, Lord, kum bay ya,
O Lord, kum bay ya.

Someone's praying, Lord, kum bay ya;
Someone's praying, Lord, kum bay ya;
Someone's praying, Lord, kum bay ya,
O Lord, kum bay ya.
Hear me praying, Lord, kum bay ya;
Hear me praying, Lord, kum bay ya;
Hear me praying, Lord, kum bay ya,
O Lord, kum bay ya.

Someone's singing, Lord, kum bay ya;
Someone's singing, Lord, kum bay ya;
Someone's singing, Lord, kum bay ya,
O Lord, kum bay ya.
Oh, I need you, Lord, kum bay ya;
Oh, I need you, Lord, kum bay ya;
Oh, I need you, Lord, kum bay ya,
O Lord, kum bay ya.

26 October 2011 at 18:06  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

A fan of the Fast Show are we, Inspector?

C & D - I'm not sure if that's funny or sad. Perhaps both!

26 October 2011 at 18:28  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...


I suggest the following. You never know the campers might just take heed and decant to the banks of the Thames. When there man who must not be mocked could then wash them.

"Shall we gather at the river,
Where bright angel feet have trod,
With its crystal tide forever
Flowing by the throne of God?

Yes, we’ll gather at the river,
The beautiful, the beautiful river;
Gather with the saints at the river
That flows by the throne of God.

26 October 2011 at 18:44  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dodo We must never underestimate the power of full on evangelicalism. Can clear a pub, you know !!

26 October 2011 at 18:49  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Inspector, thank you for the Kumbaya lyrics. Never thought I would actually see them. Ever. Now, what's the trick to get the tune out of my head?

26 October 2011 at 21:29  
Blogger Sue Marsh said...

Are you all terribly old?

(I'm a little old, but you all made me feel like a girl again!)

It is not so unusual for people to stand up for what they believe in. Not so unusual for young men with bright eyes to carry around a copy of the socialist worker.

Sometimes these bright eyed young men have gone on to do great things - world changing things.

Or are you all too old to remember ? ;)

It could just be that our system really IS irreparably broken. It could just be that one or two of these young men and women DO have answers to some of the problems.

Stranger things have happened.

That whole Jesus story for a start....

26 October 2011 at 21:34  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Sue Marsh. Clever men go through life, all the time acquiring knowledge, experience and wisdom, and just when they get to their most valuable – they die or go senile ! So be thankful there are clever men here now to put the world to right, or at least in theory. As for ‘Socialist Worker’, what the purveyors don’t have in common with the title is the word ‘Work’. Alas, this ‘work’ business is all a bit of a mystery to them...

26 October 2011 at 21:50  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Avi Try ‘Rule Britannia, Jerusalem, or in extremis, Peaches, by the Stranglers...

26 October 2011 at 21:56  
Blogger David B said...

@Oswin 10:33

Yes, I am old enough to remember Esther Ranzen lol.

I'm not sure that really counts, though.

@ Sue Marsh 21.34

The whole Jesus Story? All of it? The Massacre of the innocents?
The census requiring everyone to go to their birthplace?
The zombies walking all round jerusalem following the putative crucifixion?

I'd have thought that some non biblical sources would have noticed them.

Or do you not mean the whole Jesus story, but a cherry picked Jesus story?

David B

26 October 2011 at 22:49  
Blogger Roy said...

Why doesn't the Dean regard the existence of the camp as a heaven-sent opportunity to proclaim the Gospel to a semi-captive audience?

26 October 2011 at 23:26  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Sue Marsh

Well said, from an oldie.

I've just been reading your blog - 'Diary of a Benefit Scrounger'. I would recommend it to others.

Jesus was not a political revolutionary but His message was revolutionary. How should we love and care for one another? For me, it is about families and our friends and neighbours. When this is insufficient then the State as the safety net.

Whatever happened to good old fashioned Christian charity? Is it really less stigmatising to receive help from our neighbour than from the State? Surely giving and receiving is at the heart of the 'Jesus story'?

26 October 2011 at 23:38  
Blogger David B said...

Jeez, Dodo, haven't you ever read the Bible?

Unless you hate your family, the guy says you are completely fucked.

David B

27 October 2011 at 00:37  
Blogger Oswin said...

David B: are you confusing Jesus with whatever Philip Larkin had to say on the subject? ;o)

27 October 2011 at 00:48  
Blogger David B said...


Credit where credit is due.

It is not often that the expression LOL is really meant literally, but I did laugh out loud.

David B

27 October 2011 at 01:39  
Blogger David B said...

To try and even things up, and give you an equally good laugh, I'm well aware that not all Christians would quite agree with the theology, but I've seen some that do.

Jesus and Mo's take on the sacrifice of Jesus.


27 October 2011 at 01:53  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

David B

Sooo funny .... You must be such good company. An ex-cultist who threw the baby out with the bath water? Ah, what is truth?

Are you sure you're not the service user rather than the carer?

27 October 2011 at 02:03  
Blogger David B said...

I don't think it established that there is a baby in the bathwater.

Logical truth is pretty clear cut, once given axioms, but other than that truth is a fuzzy concept to my mind.

Is someone who is mistaken about something tells you that he something is true, then is he telling an untruth?

I can't disprove solipsism or last Thursdayism, but I am not a solipsist, nor do I take the idea that the whole universe was created last Thursday seriously, any more than I take talking donkeys seriously.
@ Dodo

Looking at things on best evidence is the best we can do, I think.

Don't see any evidence of baby in my bathwater, though I'm always prepared to think about any that people might care to propose.

Sorry I can't help you more.

David B

27 October 2011 at 02:45  
Blogger len said...

See Dodo`s been sharpening his claws(again)
For those interested ; Ducks have little claws on their feet. Especially the perching ducks, the wooduck, muscovy, mandarin, and a few others. I predict it comes from when they were dinosaurs a long time ago. They even have a back claw, a back claw is present in a veloceraptor, a dinosaur that lived in the cretaceous period.
(Not sure I buy into the evolutionist theory though, but I could incorporate it as one of my 'traditions' :)

27 October 2011 at 08:10  
Blogger Ruth Gledhill said...

I have a mother-ship-is-sinking feeling you are right, as I just tweeted @ruthiegledhill. Think about this. The City and St Paul's, synonymous in many respects, want the campers off. Women make up the majority of churchgoers. David Cameron wonders why women are hugely angry with what his government is doing. (I wish my gg aunt Eleanor Rathbone, who introduced child benefit, was alive because she could articulate this anger so much better than I can.) Key groups central to life in the City are still, in this age of equality, closed to women. Well the women who are angry with Cameron will now be angry with the Church as well and I would guess that thousands of these women are middle-of-the-road, naturally conservative with a small c non-radicals like me. But we love people like Giles Fraser, even if we don't agree with them on occasion, because they do truly represent the radical Christ in the modern age. Despite all the attacks on its scientific credibility, the Gospel still has, or had, credibility because of this message. We need people like him at the heart of the establishment where institutions such as St Paul's misguidedy side with the bankers, or seem to do so. I wouldn't be surprised if this is the beginning of the end of establishment, and that's just a beginning. Goodness I have no axe to grind for the campers. But how Richard Dawkins must be laughing. What a 'total, utter disaster.' The fact that it is also quite funny in fact makes it even more of a disaster, I fear.

27 October 2011 at 08:37  
Blogger Harry-ca-Nab said...

" ‘This rather messy and absurd situation has handed the dean and chapter of St Paul's a truly historic opportunity to discredit Christianity in this country. "

A few centuries too late dear boy.

That was done by the man who's name you have taken. The man who smashed the saints, banned the processions, vandalised the churches, imposed an alien creed and broke this nations trust in God.

Now the CofE's principle Cathedral is little more than a tourist attraction - like one of the pyramids, devoid of its true purpose.

At last, I can see a purpose for the OccupyLSX tent city.....

27 October 2011 at 08:45  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...


You do know that the Dodo isn't a member of the duck family don't you? See, yet again you are mistaken at the point at which you start. There is a theme emerging, don't you think?

Do research your topic more carefully.

27 October 2011 at 08:58  
Blogger David B said...

I see from the BBC that Fraser has resigned.

David B

27 October 2011 at 10:18  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

I wonder why? A senior C of E clergyman I had some respect for, sad to see him go.

27 October 2011 at 10:45  
Blogger Ridinghunter said...

Where are the Hospitallers and Templars when you need them? Some Christian Knights, to protect pilgrims and defend the walls, could allow the Cathedral to reopen. The Orders, it may be noted, were able to appreciate and assimilate the nobler elements of Saracen culture whilst restraining infidels. Perhaps this might even encourage the more enlightened elements in the protesters' encampment to muster their arguments and offer a more worthy challenge.

27 October 2011 at 11:23  
Blogger Andy and EmmaTrenier said...

I hope when the police come you will all join in descending upon st. Pauls to oppose this debacle with bodies. The top brass nay have lost their ;ahem; brass but the rest of the church must find and share its voice.

27 October 2011 at 12:24  
Blogger Preacher said...

IMO, Jesus would be outside the Cathedral with the people He loves.
I can almost visualise Him laughing & joking, eating & debating with them. Let the religous be religous. My God lives & is the same today as He was yesterday & will be the same tomorrow.

27 October 2011 at 15:32  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...


Jesus didn't do political protest. Besides, if He were in London, He would be visiting Westminster Cathedral not St Pauls.

27 October 2011 at 16:03  
Blogger lester said...

Mr Cranmer
You are poorly placed to judge this matter at all. It may well be that the protestors are in exactly the right place. Should they decamp to Westminster or to the Bank of England then they become no more than sundry other econo-politico commentators, all of whom are gripped by the same primary terms; snared by the same basic error: economy as transcendent.

Your error:

"The moment you rail against capitalism and economic liberty, you usher in tyranny, despotism, absolutism, totalitarianism and dictatorship."

That is absurd. You propose to defeat absolutism by virtue of capitalism: Capitalism, against which it is "useless to rail" for then you lose your freedom. You simply square one absolute against another.

Capitalism has become your upper limit to creativity - a divine absolute. It transcends all opposition by situating it (opposition) as the slide into tyranny. The question becomes: what transcends us? You say capitalism, the protestors say otherwise. They are in the right place (perhaps even despite themselves.)

27 October 2011 at 16:26  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...


"Capitalism," as you pseudo-Marxists call it is, simply, free enterprise. Free enterprise is the natural and default economic means of production and trade. It occurs in societies whose people are free and responsible. The only way to get rid of free enterprise once it has established itself is by forcefully replacing liberal democracies with the pitchfork crowd, tyrants and obedient apartchiks. In other words, with people like you and those you admire. That is unlikely to happen without a nasty scrap for which your ilk are unequipped. Otherwise, enjoy your rather seedy carnival and mind that you don't pick up any lice or bed bugs...or something much worse.

27 October 2011 at 17:41  
Blogger lester said...

Since I oppose capitalism I become a Marxist. What a narrow cage of abstraction you must inhabit.
Cranmer's words amount to: Capitalism, all else is bondage. He makes a god of capitalism, and dances around the golden calf. Capitalism is a manmade structure.
That you can't think beyond "if not capitalist" then "marxist" simply exposes your own lack of any creative instinct. You just blandly accept the political norms served up to you on a plate. You become Eichmann-like - totally unable to conceive of alternatives, you can only administer what already prevails (whatever that may be). Pathetic.
I don't need to fight. Your uncharacteristic agression shows that I have already won. A real pity.

27 October 2011 at 18:21  
Blogger Preacher said...

I don't remember saying anything about Him protesting or waving a banner. Only that He loved being where the real people were. mixing in & enjoying their company.
Regarding your tongue in cheek suggestion about His choice of venue, I believe that neither Westminster Cathedral nor St Pauls would be His Choice. More like a nice B&B where wise men could seek His counsel by night over fish & chips & a cup of tea. If they dared to lower their dignity & leave their robes in the vestry that is!.
Enjoy & be Blessed old Bird.

27 October 2011 at 18:52  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

27 October 2011 at 19:03  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...


So sorry, didn't mean to upset you, but I didn't call you a "Marxist," but a pseudo-Marxist. Big difference. Speak to your mom about flipping for some basic reading comprehension tutorials.

Anyway, real Marxists are actually over-educated, well-read and quite intelligent; they have to be, to understand old Karl's complex therories, not to mention his now-antiquated, turgid and convoluted prose (even worse the mine). You, however, seem like a garden variety hanger-on, a useful little cog at rallies who can shout slogans and bang drums with the best of them. And, ok, I'll bite, do tell: What genius and paragon of ethics told you that to get under a Jew's skin, all you have to do is equate him with a Nazi? I mean really, you wouldn't know of an Eichmann from the cheese between your toes.

Anyway, enough of these pleasantries. Scanning through your entertaining drivel and bombastic declarations of victory, I was actually able to pick up, with a handkerchief, one point you made which evokes mild interest. You say "capitalism is a manmade structure." First, don't show this line to your mom, because she'll kick you out of her basement for being so gender-biased, but apart from that, what do you mean? Do I detect an emergent intelligence grappling with the possibility of a...a...a "Superior Being"? Go on, do try to ignore my barbs and see if you can articulate your thoughts on this further.

27 October 2011 at 19:07  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Ah, Ispector, good to see you here. I was wondering if you can consult me on cultural linguistic matter.

When fencing with young sops, I sometimes accuse them of living in their mom's basement. This is cultually very biased, I realize now, a charge stemming from the custom of young self-identifying activists to seek refuge from poverty by securing a nook in their mommie's divorce settlement house, which in North America usually means a finished and furnished basement or cellar, as you might say. Perhaps the residential construction is different in Britain and such characters reside in attics or hallway closets. Attics would be better, I think, as smells tend to waft upwards. Thank you in advance.

27 October 2011 at 19:22  
Blogger Ridinghunter said...

I am inclined to agree with Avi Barzel's definition of the free market (which is being called Capitalism) and, although his gentle swipe may sound sneering to some, his acceptance of protest ("enjoy your rather seedy carnival") is surely perfectly adequate. The Socialist Worker vendors at the protest are promoting a far less tolerant society (as the failed experiment in eastern Europe has proven).

Lefter Lester is topsy turvey in his portrayal of freedom as a structure of bondage, and his rant about worshipping a Golden Calf is nonsense. However, behind the rage may be a concern that the absense of regulation or safety nets can leave the vulnerable unloved. The degree to which we intervene (in Law and Welfare) will always be the subject of debate: neglect versus nanny-state.

Reliance on a welfare state to care for the weak does not absolve Christians (or any responsible humans) from being part of God's creation. Former MP, ex-RC, and Dean of St Paul's - John Donne - offers a more enlightened approach: "No man is an Iland". We can no more rely on market forces or state intervention to love the loveless on our behalf. Each of us must strive to assist and work with our fellow pilgrims in the building of the Temple not made with hands, and sometimes that will require shared effort - without denying freedom and self respect.

In claiming Jesus as belonging to one camp or another is very childish. Jesus the man, when handed a coin, was clear in his approach (neither revolutionary nor neglectful). The wider creation causes many to marvel and wonder at beauty but also to ponder evil and pain. Surely the example of free-will, under which dispensation we exist, reminds us to try to align our ideas with the mind of God (insofar as we can glimpse it).

Oh, for more of the spirit of Donne both inside and outside great St Paul's.

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

Mr Ridinghunter,

I like people who (at least partially) agree with me!

Without meaning to usurp His Grace's authority, allow me to be the first to welcome you aboard his blog. Active in your church and an admirer of CS Lewis? And such intersting thoughts for us to explore, too. Seems like this is your home, Sir!

27 October 2011 at 19:46  
Blogger len said...

Dodo, I took your advice(8:58) and did a bit of research on Dodo`s.

Here`s what I came up with,

'The dodo bird had short, stubby legs that were yellow in color. The dodo had four toes, three in the front and one that acted like a thumb in the back. They all had thick, black claws. The head of the dodo was a lighter color grey than the rest of the body and it had small, yellow eyes. One of the most distinguishing characteristics of the dodo bird was its long, hooked and crooked beak. It was a pale yellow or light green in color. Those who saw this bird marveled at its unique size and shape. One witness who saw the dodo described it as being grotesque.'.

(I still thing being described as a 'Duck' was preferable?)

27 October 2011 at 19:56  
Blogger Ridinghunter said...

Thank you, Mr Barzel, and Tally Ho! :D

27 October 2011 at 20:07  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...


Maybe, but that's not the real point. Now take a fresh look at your many other misconceptions.

27 October 2011 at 21:20  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Avi The Inspector had to remove his last posting. Misread ‘become’ for ‘became’. Eyesight not getting any better, sadly. And Bolsheviks do send him into a rage – the knee jerk old reactionary he knew he would one day become.

The equivalent statements here in the UK would be “holding onto mummy’s skirt” “still wet behind the ears” “don’t know they’re born” “a stranger to work” . There must be many more, but now that you put they idea in the Inspector’s head, he’ll probably wake up at 3am and post. Then of course, there’s the archbishop’s learned following, who might give you the benefit of their knowledge. Some of the English dialect sayings are quite fascinating, with hundreds of years behind them. Pip pip for now, old chap.

27 October 2011 at 21:27  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...


Of course you're right. In the East End, with some good pals, a trip to Upton Park and a pint afterwards!

27 October 2011 at 21:32  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

And they came before Christ. And as they approached, a talking weasel whose name was Weatsop squeaked, “Stay back, for the Lord is mine. He is for me and other weasels, He shall not be shared with you, for you are unworthy.” And at that, the weasel bared it’s teeth, and there was much confusion. And a brave bird, the last of his kind said, “foul creature, what is it of us you want, so we too may share in the Lord”. And Weatsop said, “I have several hoops for you to jump through, each higher and smaller than the last”. And the brave bird picked Weatsop up by the scruff of the neck, and threw him to the ground. Then he booted him, and lo, the creature landed 40 yards away in the middle of a burning bush, and was cooked to perfection !

27 October 2011 at 21:43  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Thank you, Inspector. “Holding onto mummy’s skirt” and “don’t know they’re born” are my favourites. The first implies timidity along with dependence, the second is exotic enough to make me sound above my station.

Yes, I see now what you misread. Never mind the eye-sight bit, what a crazy language this is, where a single letter can make so much difference. Imagine what learning it was/is like; took the stuffing out of me. Nevertheless, I managed to read your comment before you blew it away and I agree wholeheartedly with a lot of nods as someone who's witnessed Communism in its full gory glory. If I remember right, you suggested Lester experience North Korea. That's a bit harsh; Cuba would suffice and even Venezuela might give him a pause.

27 October 2011 at 23:17  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...



Remember the tired and weary bird was assisted by a stout hearted if, at times, rather 'liberal' man with spade in hand and a keen eye.

And Heaven rejoiced!

27 October 2011 at 23:22  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

@David B (22:49)

Jumping in a bit late here, but I've always loved the "zombies" in the New Testament (and yes, I "go with" those accounts).

Besides, as the BBC has been saying all week, zombies are in vogue right now - so they're even topical. The Bible's like that you see, relevant to every generation - even with zombies ;)

28 October 2011 at 01:07  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

"I resigned because I believe that the chapter has set on a course of action that could mean there will be violence in the name of the church." Said Giles Fraser.

He could have waited until there was violence in the name of the church. It would have had more impact then.

28 October 2011 at 07:10  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Giles Fraser is a conscience for St Paul's | Marina Warner

28 October 2011 at 07:34  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

Variety of Christian Theology books for sale, may be annotated. No longer wanted.

28 October 2011 at 08:39  
Blogger Ridinghunter said...

Booksale? Where? At St Paul's Bookshop and Tent display area?

28 October 2011 at 08:49  
Blogger lester said...

Mr Rigidhunter,
"Lester is topsy turvey in his portrayal of freedom as a structure of bondage, and his rant about worshipping a Golden Calf is nonsense. However, behind the rage may be a concern that the absense of regulation or safety nets can leave the vulnerable unloved. The degree to which we intervene (in Law and Welfare) will always be the subject of debate: neglect versus nanny-state."

I think you'll find that the rant and rage belonged to Avi. The most I said of HG was that I felt he'd made an error. For that I got Avis nasty little diatribe about "squalor, lice...or much worse." When political discourse descends to the question of who is 'clean' or 'unclean', I know exactly who I'm dealing with.

Once and for all: I abhor Socialism, Marxism, Pseudo-Marxism or whatever else. Ihave nothing to do with it. That you are all so quick to put me in that camp speaks volumes of you. My how you have to crowd together in agreement.

So, to Avi's point - "the manmade structure" - The Golden Calf. These are HG's words about the Stock Exchange: "The Stock Exchange instinctively eschews constraint and coercion, and seeks to create the wealth to improve standards of living and alleviate poverty."
This is the capitalism I oppose, non other.

Can you really not see what HG implies here? The SE is a building in central london - a place of work and trade, no more no less. It does not have "instincts" or the "desire to alleviate poverty". These are the instincts of an altruistic God, not the SE. And that is an important distinction. It is the difference between pragmatism and idolatry. Should we worship the SE for its altruism?
Commerce, trade and industry, stocks and bonds are all EXCELLENT things (you really don't know me at all). But commerce is a tool of our own making, it does not rise above us to define freedom. Let us not make that confusion: God is freedom. Capitalism is simply an economic tool in the hands of man. It will not set us free, but it will create favourable conditions (if handled well).

We must be clear about this because there are people such as Prof Dawkins who would impose his own, not disimilar, false idols upon us. Science too is mankind's tool, and we are not to be its subjects.

So these protestors. If what they truly seek is freedom. IF they do. Then St Pauls might be the right place for them to be. If just one of them has spent their time there with any degree of relection, then someone has profited from the experience of a church in a way the SE coud never manage.
If freedom is to be Ultimate, then we should situate it in religion, not economics, and not science.

It really is a pity you all jumped to so many conclusions about me. I have little or no regard for any of your 'isms' or the protestors 'isms'. I just want freedom to be known in religion, not in the creation of wealth or science. The stakes of our time are too high to allow that mistake.

Anyway, I've had quite enough of this blog. I wish you all well, but I've got a revolution to plan ;-)

28 October 2011 at 16:47  
Blogger len said...

Careful Inspector(21:42) ,You will have the animal rights people after you, advocating cruelty to animals might be Catholic(dungeons, stakes,the rack etc) but it certainly `aint Christian........

You seem to KEEP proving my point which is a person cannot change unless born again.Even for you to repress your' natural' instincts even for a few days seems to be impossible.

I find encounters with you and Dodo enables me to practice forgiveness and you have given me plenty of opportunities to exercise this.Bring it on!.

Bless you (and Dodo)

28 October 2011 at 19:43  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

len said ...

"Bring it on!"

Happy to oblige and so pleased we brighten your day.

Goodness me though you do take yourself and life so seriously!

Martydom is such a wonderful calling.


I trust you have taken note of the above comments and invitation. Should others complain in the future, maybe this could be brought to their attention.

28 October 2011 at 20:20  
Blogger len said...

Dodo, Let us see how true Catholics react?

The World watches and waits.

I believe you will not disappoint me and you will prove that Catholicism hasn`t the power to change a person.

Your Inspector cannot even last a day!

28 October 2011 at 20:32  
Blogger Ridinghunter said...

Right glad am I to learn that Lester is less left than Leicester (3 Labour MPs). And, yes, I accept that since my scribble there have been squabbles a-plenty all round. From where I'm standing (in Bournemouth rather than the steps of St Paul's) I do not feel crowded together but, as a newbie here, I'm not au fait with the politics of other members. My maternal grandfather was both a member of the Stock Exchange and the main benefactor of the chief Methodist Church in Bournemouth. But, even as a High Anglican, I do not feel sufficiently high to perceive the instincts of the Deity. I will venture to ascribe his attributes (as omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent and eternal) but leave the rest to the unspoken Qabalah.

Is it not common experience that, when the Divines of all the great world religions describe their mysticism, there is a commonality of language and ideas; but, when we descend to denominationalism and the human (and therefore fallible) aspects of organised religion, we are bound to find irreconcilable differences. The mark of a mature religion is tolerance. If I have jumped to conclusions about anyone, I apologise (I, too, have human and fallible elements!).

28 October 2011 at 20:38  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

len the stumbling block

You really are a pompous twerp. Is this how you 'evangelise'? Self rightousness and self justification are unattractive characturistics.

And for the record, in case you've forgotten, it's Christ and membership of His Body that changes people - in His own way and in His own time. The perfection of saintly behaviour takes longer for us more lowly sinners, Catholics included. Clearly you 'born again-ers' are a cut above, English Viking included.

You would do well to examine your own behaviour. Now scurry off and bother someone else.

"Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother."
(Romans 14:13)

28 October 2011 at 21:47  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

len said ...

"The World watches and waits."

Economic meltdown, wars, famine, floods, earthquakes, persecution of christians - but the world watches and waits to see if a weasle is teased!

Is there to be a special motion put before the UN Security Council calling for sanctions and intervention?

Ego mania?

28 October 2011 at 21:54  
Blogger len said...

Dodo, this could be your big chance!.
You could validate Catholicism!.
Perhaps the Protestant World would turn Catholic on the evidence presented by you?.
This may be unimportant to you but this has been the desire of Popes(and Jesuits) for Centuries.
All you have to do is display the 'fruits of the Spirit' (consistently)
But if you are unable to do this you will merely make yourself look foolish for following' counterfeit Christianity'rather like the fig tree Jesus cursed.

Are you up for it?

29 October 2011 at 08:02  
Blogger len said...

Dodo, Should Christians Judge?.

(This accusation normally comes from someone who has something to hide and doesn`t want it brought to the Light.)

Not only is judging permissible, it is our responsibility. Nobody’s teachings are above sound judgment—especially those of influential leaders! Biblically, authority and accountability go hand in hand (cf. Luke 12:48). The greater the responsibility one holds, the greater the accountability (cf. James 3:1).

First, the precedent for making right judgments comes from Scripture itself. In the Old Testament the Israelites were commanded to practice sound judgment by thoroughly testing the teachings of their leaders (Deuteronomy 13). Similarly, in the New Testament, the apostle Paul commands the Thessalonians to test all things and to hold fast to that which is good (1 Thessalonians 5:21–22). Moreover, Paul lauds the Bereans for testing his teachings (Acts 17:11).

29 October 2011 at 08:11  
Blogger len said...

Stumbling blocks,

Well Dodo, the greatest stumbling block is Christ Himself and you have stumbled over quite a few of His Teachings(with the help of the Catholic Church)

'but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles'(I Corinthians 1:23)

29 October 2011 at 08:14  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

The Catholic church has plenty to hide and is expending plenty of energy, still, trying to hide it, although the cat is well and truly out of the bag. This is a Church more thoroughly discredited that the C of E is ever likely to be.

29 October 2011 at 08:15  
Blogger len said...



29 October 2011 at 08:30  
Blogger len said...

I think much damage has been done to the Gospel of Jesus Christ by professing 'Christians'.This is evidenced on this blog alone let alone in the World.
Jesus warns us that many will come 'in His Name' but will be 'wolves in sheep`s clothing'.
It is not just a Christian profession of faith that counts, it is
not their good works, but whether or not they know Jesus Christ as Savior! Is there a personal relationship? Have they trusted Him in faith for their
salvation? Knowing Him?

There are serious people, preachers, very religious people that know who Jesus Christ is, they recognize that He is the Lord, but they never knew Him. No relationship, they never received Him as Savior. They are not family. They had made a profession of faith, but there is no relationship. Read what Paul told Timothy:

2 Timothy 3:1-9 NIV

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be
lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-- having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.

Paul is saying they are counterfeit Christians. They have a form of godliness. They may look good on the surface, but that is it. On the outside you can barely tell them apart. But on the inside they don’t know Jesus Christ. They have a divided heart. They have not come to know Jesus Christ, but religion.

Matthew 7:16

By their fruit you will know them.

(I ask all those seeking the truth about Christ not to be put off by these' wolves in sheep`s clothing'.

29 October 2011 at 08:38  
Blogger niconoclast said...

Can I humbly submit that all religion is voodoo.This explains why all the world's religions promote voodoo economics ie Communism Socialism.St Paul's moral contortions and siding with the anti Capitalists merely illustrates this point.Self imolation,human sacrifice,altruism this is all the red meat of religion and of course SocialismCommunism.

29 October 2011 at 08:50  
Blogger Ridinghunter said...

"Humbly submit"? - Sorry, I missed the humility there!

29 October 2011 at 09:09  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...


Do stop spouting all this 'holier than thou' nonsense. According to you and your perverted understanding of the bible most people reading this blog are damned. You focus on the Catholic Church in an attempt to win favour with others but your essential points apply to all organised relgions.

Here are some of your beliefs:

- Anyone who is a member of a church and attends organised religious services is not a Christian.

- Anyone who accepts a priesthood is not a Christian.

- Anyone who has not been baptised through immersion as an adult without first encountering Christ is not a Christian.

Do you deny any of the above? And you dare talk about wolves in sheep clothing? You are self promoting and full of self rightousness and self justification.

Are you an ex-Catholic by any chance? Or ex-Anglican?

29 October 2011 at 09:58  
Blogger len said...

Dodo (poised ready for attack at what he perceives as being the slightest opening, lunges forward tails feathers a quiver and hisses venomously'
'Here are some of your beliefs:'

- Anyone who is a member of a church and attends organised religious services is not a Christian.

- Anyone who accepts a priesthood is not a Christian.

- Anyone who has not been baptised through immersion as an adult without first encountering Christ is not a Christian.(end of quote)

Dodo, firstly
Motes and beams? Just accused me of judging others on another thread???.

None of the things you mention disqualify one from being a Christian providing you DO NOT rely on them for salvation.

The thing that seems impossible for you to grasp is that a true Christian has rejected self righteousness(I may have said this at least a few hundred times)and has replaced this with the righteousness of Christ Jesus, Christ is our righteousness (1Corinthians 1:30). We do not and cannot attain a right relationship with God in our own righteousness because our self-righteousness is as filthy rags. We are guilty sinners in the need of a perfect righteousness (Rom. 3:23; Jer. 17:9; Mark 7:20-23)
This righteousness, like justification, is always forensic. God is Judge, and we must stand before Him. We can only plead guilty because we are guilty. God treated Jesus Christ as if He were the guilty sinner, and deals with the believing sinner as though he or she were righteous. Christ did not deserve the curse; we did. The imputed righteousness of Christ to the sinner is a demonstration of the wisdom of God. It is a display of His justice, mercy, grace, love, and power as would never enter into the mind of men. It is a manifestation, “The foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (I Cor. 1:25).

Because our right standing with God is His work, He alone can get all the glory. God pronounces the verdict based upon whether we have accepted or denied Jesus Christ as our Savior. Man cannot satisfy the Judge unless he is righteous. There is no denying of the fact that no man is righteous before God. No man can produce the righteousness God requires. It has to be given to him if the sinner gets it. Under these circumstances, his faith is counted to him as righteousness (Rom. 3:23; Gal. 3:26). Christ Himself becomes the righteousness we need (2 Cor. 5:21). God the Righteous Judge views us not as we are in our sinfulness, but in Christ. He is our perfect standing before God. It is only the righteousness of Christ that can possibly satisfy the perfect demand of the law of God.

Christ is our righteousness; none other will satisfy God.
This is why I oppose legalism as a means of establishing 'righteousness'it failed with the Pharisees as it fails with those who follow' dogmas and traditions '(basically a rule book) today.

29 October 2011 at 11:16  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

len the weasel

Straight answer please!

Do you believe these things or not? Never mind reams of scripture.

Can one be baptised as a child, be a practicing member of an organised church, follow their teachings and doctrines and be saved?

The world awaits you infallible pronouncement.

29 October 2011 at 13:18  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Ridinghunter. Welcome to the melee. You seem to have your head screwed on properly, which is more that can be said for some of the odd balls posting here. Best we can do is the point out to them the error of the ways, what !

29 October 2011 at 19:06  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Len. Showing paranoia again are you. We are actually brothers in Christ – but for some reason, you would take that away from the Inspector and Dodo. Apparently, we haven’t ‘ticked the right boxes’ somewhere, probably because we adhere to an established church. And what is wrong with that ? It’s kept Christ's word alive for two thousand years, so that born agains like you could pick it up. Where do you think Christianity would be if it hid in peoples homes – Nowhere, of course, quite extinct. Perhaps the 'History’ channel might have run an hour long documentary on it one day, and then be instantly forgotten.

The Inspector suspects you may be American – do confirm or deny, there’s a good chap...

29 October 2011 at 19:25  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Ridinghunter said ...

"Is it not common experience that, when the Divines of all the great world religions describe their mysticism, there is a commonality of language and ideas;"

Who are the 'Divines' of the world religions? The term is an interesting one.

29 October 2011 at 23:21  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Who are the 'Divines' of the world religions? The term is an interesting one. Dodo

Perhaps Ridinghunter will clarify, in the meantime, as I seem to be stricken with insomnia lately, I will comment.

The idea that individuals from any religion and background can attain equal or similar heights of spiritual elevation and draw similar conclusions appear in many religions, most prominently in Hinduism, Buddhism and Judaism. I'll of course address Judaism, because I know even less about the others.

The concept that learned or saintly ethical monotheists of any religion, the talmudic "Righteous among the Nations (i.e., Gentiles)" are on par with the Jewish Sages appears again and again in post-biblical Jewish writings, including commentaries by the rationalists and the mystics/kabbalists. The two main explanations I'm aware of are, first, that the Torah and Jewish tradition make it repeatedly and abundantly clear that G-d is accessible equally to all humankind and the wise and good among the nations can experience the same connection to the Divine as the greatest of Jewish Sages and secondly, that the mystical understanding of the term "Jew" means any elevated soul of any religious background. Both approaches conclude the same thing, namely, that while Jews have a different and specific mission, one centred on the physical observance of the Commandments only they are bound by, a non-Jew is not required to observe beyond the Noahide Laws, to join Judaism, or to believe in the same things in order to be, as you might say, saved.

30 October 2011 at 05:07  
Blogger len said...

The Way out Dodo.
'Who are the 'Divines' of the world religions? The term is an interesting one.'

Can help you out here!.

'Papal infallibility is a dogma of the Catholic Church which states that, by action of the Holy Spirit, the Pope is preserved from even the possibility of error[1] when he solemnly declares or promulgates to the universal Church a dogmatic teaching on faith as being contained in divine revelation, or at least being intimately connected to divine revelation'.
(From good `ole Wickipedia I know you like using it)

(Not true of course The Catholic Church just made it up!)

30 October 2011 at 08:10  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

RT @GdnBelief How the church lost a fine chance to redeem itself | Peter Stanford

30 October 2011 at 08:19  
Blogger len said...

Whitespacebug, If the Church merely becomes an extension of the State then it has become a 'vassal' of the State and will be unable to function as God wishes.

This is the story of' organised religion' and the reason it is unable to function properly. The early Church was the' persecuted Church' but this all changed when it became the' compromising Church'and became acceptable to the ruling elite.
(No prizes for guessing when this happened!.)

30 October 2011 at 08:29  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

If a senior clergyman really said "there's no place for someone like him at St Paul's " then that clergyman and the entire C of E need to take a long, hard look at themselves IMHO.

And it's to Giles Fraser's great credit that he has refused to stoop to such depths.

30 October 2011 at 08:52  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

I might add that it confirms almost everything I suspected about the Church of England.

30 October 2011 at 08:54  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...


Do please try to stop being a numpty!

I was trying to learn a bit more about Ridinghunter's Kabalistic views.

It's not all about you and your agenda against Rome!

30 October 2011 at 13:09  
Blogger len said...

Dodo, Are you thinking of adding Kabalistic doctrines into your pick and mix?.

2 November 2011 at 19:18  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...


Not at all.

I think it is one of the more dangerous developments in the searchs for the divine. One shouldn't mess with mysticism and this particular school has an ancient past that has recently been resurfacing.

2 November 2011 at 22:46  

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