Saturday, October 08, 2011

International Day of Prayer for Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani



Sunday 9th October 2011 is the designated day of prayer and intercession for the life of Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, who is facing execution in Iran after been charged with apostasy. When this became the subject of global protest, the charges against him were changed to rape, extortion and Zionism.

Iran has executed quite a few people over the past year: there is no clemency for those accused of rape or ‘spying for Israel’. Whether you pray on your own, in a small group or with your whole church, we are told that our prayers will be powerful and effective (Jas 5:16). Christian Solidarity Worldwide ask us to pray:

For Pastor Nadarkhani
For God to stay the hand and change the hearts of the Iranian judiciary, that they would reconsider the death sentence handed down.
That the international statements of support for Pastor Nadarkhani would have an impact on the verdict.
That God would uphold Pastor Nadarkhani.
For peace, strength and comfort for Pastor Nadarkhani’s family.
For wisdom and protection for Pastor Nadarkhani’s lawyer who is also facing legal difficulties.
That attempts to charge him with other charges to justify a death sentence will come to nothing.

For Christians in Iran
That God would comfort members of Pastor Nadarkhani’s church and denomination.
That Iranian Christians would not be bound by fear and would keep their eyes fixed firmly on God.
Ask God to grant peace to all families affected by arrests and interrogations by the Iranian authorities in the past year.

For religious freedom in Iran
Please pray that Iran will become a nation where no faith group faces discrimination or persecution. Please continue to pray especially that the seven imprisoned Baha’i leaders would be released, and that government would cease its inflammatory rhetoric against minority religions.

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints (Eph 6:18).

There has been a national and international response to this story. Statements condemning the sentence have been issued by various politicians, including Foreign Secretary William Hague; US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; President Obama’s press secretary; the governments of France, Canada and Uruguay; and EU High Commissioner for Foreign Affairs Baroness Ashton. Prominent national and international media outlets have featured the case, including The Times, The Guardian, The Telegraph, New Statesman, The Washington Post, Voice of America, SkyNews, ITN, Business Week, CNN and (eventually) the BBC.

His Grace would also like to point out that the Archbishop of Canterbury has expressed his ‘deep concern’ on behalf of the Church of England, and Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali has personally written to President Ahmadinejad requesting his ‘urgent intervention’. Dr Indarjit Singh of the Network of Sikh Organisations (NSO) issued a statement a week ago calling for Pastor Nadarkhani’s immediate release ‘on the grounds of common humanity and the good name of Islam’. And the Bahá'í International Community have also issued a plea, saying the imprisonment is ‘a violation of every legal, moral, spiritual and humanitarian standard’.

There is still nothing from the Muslim Council of Britain, the Muslim Public Affairs Committee, or the Holy See. His Grace expects nothing better from the MCB or the MPAC. But, curiously, L’Osservatore Romano has found the time to rail against the BBC, while not one column inch has been dedicated to the appalling plight of Pastor Nadarkhani.

And it’s not as if the Holy See doesn’t have a very local outlet informing them of developments: the Iranian Embassy in Rome has issued a statement ‘denying that the death sentence is definitive’.

Come on, Your Holiness. Why is a faux/inflated BC/AD spat with the BBC worthy of official condemnation, but not the outrageous injustice being meted out upon Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani?

87 Comments:

Blogger G. Tingey said...

Prayer has no effect on third parties.

However, unfortunately, what IS likely to happen, is that, the Iranian so-called "government", learning of this, will invent some other cruel wheeze to torture and/or kill Mr Nadarkhani.
They ARE devout religious believers, after all.....

8 October 2011 at 09:24  
Blogger David Ould said...

your Grace, I sadly beg to differ. The BBC is still not reporting this case. There is only a passing mention on a blogpost http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/ni/2011/09/are_christians_really_being_pe.html

8 October 2011 at 09:28  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr David Ould,

Please see:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-15116650

8 October 2011 at 09:44  
Blogger David Ould said...

aaaah, I am delighted to be corrected. Was confused by the spelling and crave your Grace's pardon.

8 October 2011 at 10:27  
Blogger David Ould said...

and, technically, that's Rev. David Ould... ;)

8 October 2011 at 10:28  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Mr Cranmer

As has been repeatedly pointed out the Vatican may well be using its diplomatic channels to discreetly press the case for Pastor Yousef. That there is no publically released copy of a letter pleading clemancy is not evidence that Rome is inactive. In the past, exchanges of letters between Rome and Iran have remained confidential.

Now onto the BBC. It's surprising you yourself haven't chosen to "rail against the BBC" on this one. To want to change 'Before Christ' in calendar references to 'Before the Common Era', thereby removing any explicit reference to the birth of Jesus Christ,is worth making a fuss over?

The British, a Christian nation, must resist “aggressive secularism” and attempts to eliminate references to God from our society.

Pastor Yousef's situation is appalling and we must pray for him. If he is to be released on grounds of freedom of religious expression this demands the avoidance of grandstanding against a power that has been labelled part of "the axis of evil". Put Iran in a corner and only one outcome will result.

On the other hand, it is surely appropriate to use the media to fight attempts to elimate Christ from our culture?

8 October 2011 at 11:02  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Dodo,

Why don't you pop along to The Telegraph and keep on making the same point to your co-religionists over there? The fact that you repeatedly report what the Vatican *may* be doing is sufficient to perpetuate doubt that they are doing anything at all. Silence in this case is not acceptable: it has the whiff of weakness and appeasement (according to another of your co-religionists). So, before you spout further auto-defences of the Holy See, please rail against your co-religionists first who are making this same point, or it may appear that you have a problem only with Anglicans who raise the issue. And we all know what that might amount to.

And as to the BBC, His Grace rails against whomever and whatever he wishes, whenever he wishes. The BBC have issued no such directive.

8 October 2011 at 11:21  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Mr Cranmer

"Co-religionists" - being a wee bit tribal aren't we?

It is annoying when Rome doesn't tell the world what its doing. And what makes you think I have a problem with Anglicans who want to criticise Rome on this issue?

And do you really believe an international clamour is going to achieve success given the current political circumstances within Iran?

8 October 2011 at 11:56  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Ps

What particular blogger on the Telegraph would you recommend?

8 October 2011 at 11:58  
Blogger Clare@ BattlementsOfRubies said...

"Come on, Your Holiness. Why is a faux/inflated BC/AD spat with the BBC worthy of official condemnation, but not the outrageous injustice being meted out upon Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani?"

I think you should be addressing that to L'Osservatore Romano.
His Holiness presumably doesn't edit that paper himself.

8 October 2011 at 12:33  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Clare said ...

"His Holiness presumably doesn't edit that paper himself."

Good point, although L'Osservatore Romano is seen as the unofficial paper of the Vatican and tends to reflect Vatican policy.

Ps
I enjoyed the GK Cheston quote on your blog.

8 October 2011 at 12:44  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

GK Chesterton ...

8 October 2011 at 12:46  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Dodo flabbergasted against His Grace @8 October 2011 11:56

"Co-religionists" - being a wee bit tribal aren't we? (Ernst thought His Grace was being especially restrained in his wording, my bird).

It is annoying when Rome doesn't tell the world what its doing. (Dear bird, any kind of statement would be nice..along the lines of 'His Holiness Pope Benedict has requested a chat with Ayatollah regarding things they thought they discussed and agreed, between Rome and Iran' see http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2008/04/30/vatican-iranian-dialogue-agrees-on-faith-reason-non-violence/

And what makes you think I have a problem with Anglicans who want to criticise Rome on this issue? (*Choking on his Burger bun*), Irma love, slap Ernst hard between his shoulders, dear. (*Gasping sounds*)

And do you really believe an international clamour is going to achieve success given the current political circumstances within Iran?. Absolutely needed, as Iran only responds to firmness, not weakness..It's a muslim thing, old bird.

The observed problem is Iran constantly commits crimes against humanity. War crimes have been committed, relentless killings of innocent people, torture, and so much more comes directly out of this Shiite dominated state and yet they sit on the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. The Vatican failed in delivering any statement opposing that appointed Iranian UN position.

Instead of fighting for the morale and values bestowed before a loving and peaceful Christian faith, Pope Benedict seems to have embraced Iran, in Ernst's opinion. Oooh dear, dodo.
In 2008, Pope Benedict actually stated that the two entities agreed with one another on faith-based principles. Hilariously, other Popes must be fighting to get out of the Pearly Gates, to grab him by the scruff.

Ernst would like to remind you that from 2001 alone, there have been well over 2,000 innocent Christians brutally murdered by Muslims. None of these people were military members engaged in any of the wars fought in Iraq or Afghanistan. They were from the Roman Catholic faith-based community members or missionaries, some of which were actual clergy. Not once in any of the aforementioned atrocities did the Vatican make a global outcry for the victims. Yes, probably some statements can be found in Vatican records, but they have failed to get this message through via the international media news as they surely should have.

If anyone believes that the Vatican will step up today in safeguarding the life of an evangelical christian whereas it has been shown that in the past they have done nothing for one of their own practitioners who preaches the word of God to fellow Christians, they will likely be let down

Ernsty, as he sees it.

Ernst 'from the hip' Blofeld

8 October 2011 at 13:25  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Ernsty

Let's just agree to differ on the most effective strategy Rome might adopt to influence a sovereign Shiite nation hell-bent on murdering Christians and other faith groups who pose a political threat to the regime.

"Iran constantly commits crimes against humanity. War crimes have been committed, relentless killings of innocent people, torture, and so much more."

I agree. They may also be developing nuclear weapons - God help us all. So what is the UN actually doing or saying? What are the Heads of other States saying about this and about Pastor Yousef?

If anyone believes that the Vatican will step up today in safeguarding the life of an evangelical christian ..."

Would it safeguard his life by joining the chorus of condemnation?

" ... it has been shown that in the past they have done nothing for one of their own practitioners who preaches the word of God to fellow Christians ...

No, it hasn't been shown they have done nothing. They haven't sought to publically denounce Iran, I agree.

"Pope Benedict actually stated (in 2008) that the two entities agreed with one another on faith-based principles."

"Entities"? They agreed that faith and reason are gifts from God; are not incompatible; are intrinsically non-violent; call for mutual respect between faiths; and that religions should not be judged on the basis of single verses or passages in their Holy Books. Quite a lot,I'd say to get a written agreement like this!

The protection of the many other Christians and faith groups in Iran at this tiem, as well as Pastor Yousef, must be promoted with diplomacy and care.

8 October 2011 at 14:08  
Blogger The Gray Monk said...

Sadly the change of the charges gives the regime in Iran the let out that they are now dealing with "crimes" recognised by every civilised state. They can convict and hang him for "criminal" activity and still get away with persecuting Christians.

Little mention is made these days of the million or so christian boys and girls used as unarmed "mine-clearance and machine gun shields during the Iran/Iraq war. Christian families were given a stark choice, if their sons and daughters didn't join up and perform this task, they were shot and the family "fined" for the ammunition expended.

I note too that no outcry ensues whenever Pakistan's Sharia courts condemn a Christian to death for "blasphemy" on the accusation of a local Mullah - usually because someone wants the land the Christian is farming. According to the tenets of this law to recite the Christian creed is "blasphemy ..."

Iran boasts that it is 99% Muslim, but Christians (those left!), Bahai's, Zoroastrians and several ther faiths are present, but strictly controlled, persecuted and members penalised for their faith.

I will keep this prayer call, but I have no doubt Iran will once again prove its intolerance and kill the Pastor and any of his congregation who dare to continue his work. Iran epitomises a religious state where the religion has been abandoned by God.

8 October 2011 at 14:17  
Blogger Oswin said...

G.Tingey @ the onset:

Wow, congratulations, you got it in quick this time.

Thank you for your God-like proclamation re' third-party prayer (are YOU adequately insured?) - is your contention subject to your usual, rigorous scientific methodology; or merely another irritating chip from the old Tingey block?

Your 'ya boo sucks' attitude does for atheism, what Dodo's does for Roman Catholicism : a disservice.

8 October 2011 at 14:35  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Dodo

Would it safeguard his life by joining the chorus of condemnation?

Yes, actually it might. The 'chorus' was sufficient to shame Iran into inventing new charges to justify the sentence of death. Without the chorus, there would have been no counter-weight to Pastor Nadarkhani's execution. He might already be dead. The larger the chorus the better.

No, it hasn't been shown they have done nothing.

It's a fair point, but a weak point because it is an argument from silence. You are simply attaching the best possible interpretation to that silence. There are many other equally credible interpretations. You have a vested interest in the reputation of Rome. The reader wonders if your primary objective is to explain the silence or defend Rome's reputation in the presence of silence.

It's a high-stakes argument that you are making. If a Vatican representative flies Pastor Nadarkhani out of Iran, then you will be vindicated. But you are simply betting on the come that this might even be a possibility. If Pastor Nadarkhani is executed, and Rome hasn't said a word before the fact, it won't look very good to condemn the execution after the fact. Assertion of "We were trying back-channels" will look like transparent attempts to retro-actively justify silence.

carl

8 October 2011 at 14:47  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Carl

I'm not supporting the Vatican's silence, just saying it shouldn't be judged on it and offering a possible explanation. All I'm saying is that silence cannot be equated with a lack of interest or compassion as some imply. And, yes, I do have an interest in defending my faith from ill-informed criticism.

The Vatican is entitled to use whatever methods it sees as best suited to the circumstances. One thing is certain, it will not act simply to gain the approval of its critics.

8 October 2011 at 15:10  
Blogger non mouse said...

Oswin @14:35-well said! Thank you.

I've been wondering what they all think they're playing at, on His Grace's blog!

Incidentally, I bet none of their faces reflects peace, love, and joy as Nadarkhani's does, in all the photos we see here. That's a very special blessing, and I suspect such a personality has power to inspire many against the Enemy! Perhaps that's why they've targetted him; though it's wonderful to see that the more suffering they induce, the more his purity and power increase.

He is in my prayers, Your Grace. And I thank the Lord for him (as, indeed, for you own manifestations)!

8 October 2011 at 15:14  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Dodo

I'm not supporting the Vatican's silence, just saying it shouldn't be judged on it

Leaders are judged on silence all the time. There are times when a leader is expected to speak. Failure to speak on such an occasion is considered a failure of leadership, and people begin seeking after motivations. Some of those possible motivations will be self-interested and less than noble.

The Vatican is entitled to use whatever methods it sees as best suited to the circumstances.

It is also entitled to receive such criticism as is warranted for its choices. You in fact seem to be asserting that Rome is entitled to the benefit of the doubt.

One thing is certain, it will not act simply to gain the approval of its critics.

Then why do you feel the need to defend Rome's reputation from critics who question its silence? If Rome does not care about its critics, then why do you?

carl

8 October 2011 at 15:25  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Oswin and non mouse

It was our host who concluded his commendable support for prayer for Pastor Yousef with an unnecessary swipe at Rome.

His subsequent remarks to me were, in my opinion, divisive and implied an unwarrented motivation on my part.

8 October 2011 at 15:30  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dodo: I was speaking generally.

8 October 2011 at 15:37  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Carl

"Leaders are judged on silence all the time.

So what has the 'Leader of the Free World' said on this so far? The Vatican is not a nation like others. It cannot impose sanctions or go to war. It relies on other means of influence.

"It (Rome) is also entitled to receive such criticism as is warranted for its choices."

Indeed. So long as you know what choices it is making. In the final analysis, it is accountable to one
source alone - not to an 'electorate' or to 'public opinion'.

"If Rome does not care about its critics, then why do you?

Did I say Rome did not care about it critics? I don't think so. I said it will not be pressured to act against what it considers to be the correct course of action.

8 October 2011 at 15:43  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8 October 2011 at 15:55  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Dodo

Indeed. So long as you know what choices it is making.

I do know the choice Rome has made. It has chosen to remain silent. You want me to assume without evidence that Rome is making other hidden choices that would explain Rome's silence in noble and virtuous ways. Why should I do that?

In the final analysis, it is accountable to one source alone - not to an 'electorate' or to 'public opinion'.

Then it shouldn't matter to you that the Host of this Weblog took a 'swipe' at the Vatican. And yet it does.

carl

8 October 2011 at 15:58  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Oswin said ...

"Dodo: I was speaking generally."

That's even worse. Lumping me in with Mr Tingey - thanks a bundle!

You will need to be specific if you want me to pay attention.

8 October 2011 at 16:02  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

carl said ...

" ... it shouldn't matter to you that the Host of this Weblog took a 'swipe' at the Vatican. And yet it does."

It matters to me - I doubt the Vatican pays too much attention to this blog.

There are a number of possible explanations for Rome's silence. Some are generous and some are not.

Is Rome being bureacratically inefficent, as some say. Others imply she is showing a disregard for evangelical christians because they are not part of Her fold. Maybe, she's just being circumspect and acting with care and discernment.

Without evidence, one way or another, I quess we all impute motives to the Vatican according to our predispositions towards her.

What I do know is that the Vatican is a seasoned and experienced organisation when it comes to dealing with totalitarian regimes.

8 October 2011 at 16:16  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

The Way of the Dodo said and why Ernst is so fond of the foolish fowl....

"So what is the UN actually doing or saying? What are the Heads of other States saying about this and about Pastor Yousef?"
The UN is a discredited 'Common Nonsense talking shop' that unbelieveably gives platform to monsters and despots. What has this organisation got to do with faith, for which the pastor is being persecuted, but Anglican, Catholic and free churches have got a right and a DUTY to speak out.
If anyone believes that the Vatican will step up today in safeguarding the life of an evangelical christian ..."

"Would it safeguard his life by joining the chorus of condemnation? "
It would show solidarity between itself and 'supposedly others' that maintain the same faith in Christ, unless of course Rome thinks otherwise (the faith is not the same at all, so why should we), so the silence persists.

"Pope Benedict actually stated (in 2008) that the two entities agreed with one another on faith-based principles."

"Entities"? They agreed that faith and reason are gifts from God; are not incompatible; are intrinsically non-violent; call for mutual respect between faiths; and that religions should not be judged on the basis of single verses or passages in their Holy Books. Quite a lot,I'd say to get a written agreement like this! "
Then the agreement it is not worth the effort and paperwork put into it within areas it has stated.
An agreeal between two or more who agree should be binding, should it not? or what on earth is a contract or formal statement worth!

"The protection of the many other Christians and faith groups in Iran at this tiem, as well as Pastor Yousef, must be promoted with diplomacy and care."
Must it be pursued between Rome and Iran only via telepathy ?

"What I do know is that the Vatican is a seasoned and experienced organisation when it comes to dealing with totalitarian regimes." For it's own benefit! *Chortles*

Ernst, my romish faithful fowl.

8 October 2011 at 16:38  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

"It was our host who concluded his commendable support for prayer for Pastor Yousef with an unnecessary swipe at Rome."

Mr Dodo,

A man is about to hang, and your concern is with the standing and reputation of the Roman Catholic Church. Your priority is akin to those who were concerned to defend Rome before considering the feelings of raped and torturted children. Think of the man on death row. And then think of the silence. Put yourself in his shoes, and ask if you'd rather hear nothing from the perceived leader of Christendom, or some very public expression of outrage. Ask yourself if you'd rather go to the gallows knowing beyond dispute that the Holy See had spoken out in your defence, or having to vaguely assume that it is using diplomatic channels to discreetly press the case, but to no avail.

And as for the 'unnecessary swipe' remark, His Grace thought he had pre-empted your predisposition to sectarian indignation by referring you to your co-religionists (two of them) at The Telegraph. Instead, you found something to object about in the phrase 'co-religionist', which is a perfectly neutral expression of corporate allegiance. Yet, to you, it is tribal. Bizare. Please, go and rebuke your fellow Roman Catholics (is that an acceptable term?) for their 'unnecessary swipes' at Rome before you presume to rebuke an Anglican who simply wants to save the life of a man who has done nothing but profess Christ.

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

I think the Pope is sitting on the fence on this one!.
IF the Pope intercedes for Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani and his intercession fails to get the required result then the Pope will be seen to be powerless.
But if Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani is released THEN the Pope can step in and say (as the foolish fowl suggests, rather sneakily)that he (the Pope not the foolish fowl)was'working behind the scenes'.

Christians should pray and ask God
(as HG suggests)'For God to stay the hand and change the hearts of the Iranian judiciary, that they would reconsider the death sentence handed down to Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani.

8 October 2011 at 17:29  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Mr Cranmer

My concern was with what I regarded as a needless rebuke of the Vatican. If others are saying the same and, my goodness, some happen to be Roman Catholics too, does that really make a difference. You made it divisive by suggesting I criticised you because you are an Anglican, adding somewhat ungraciously, "And we all know what that might amount to."

Your point is well made if overstated in comparing my concern with Rome's reputation as being similar to that of the Church's alleged motives for her inactivity over the abuse of children. Unnecessary.

The plain truth is we do not know why Rome is silent. We can speculate and interpret this all we like.

Should Pastor Yusef go to the gallows he will know he is dying for his belief in Christ. Words of solidarity and support from others, be it the Pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury or the Patriarch of Constantinople, will count for little compared to his love for God. How can we truely put ourselves in his shoes? His main concern, apart from facing His saviour, will be the plight of his wife and children.

This is a very delicate situation and I pray for him and his family.

len

Don't be so petty minded and ridiculous! You do have such malign thoughts.

8 October 2011 at 18:08  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dodo : come now, you cannot possibly believe that you are a good advert for Roman Catholicism? I'd never have thought it your particular brief anyway; was I wrong? A barely suppressed 'Jesuit stormtrooper' maybe; but not a 'gentle Jesus' sort of a bloke. A dark cowl and a stiletto suits you better old chap. ;o)

8 October 2011 at 18:23  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Dodo

The plain truth is we do not know why Rome is silent. We can speculate and interpret this all we like.

You were the one who started the speculation. The weblog host merely observed Rome's silence and asked after it's purpose. He did not speculate as to motive. You immediately suggested that Rome's silence should be seen in the context of hypothetical secret efforts attempted through diplomatic channels. Your purpose was transparent. What Rome is doing looks bad. You were trying to mitigate the appearance of Rome's lack of comment by means of speculation. How can you now say speculation is useless when your entire original defense of Rome was based upon speculation?

carl

8 October 2011 at 18:36  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Oswin made old Ernsty chuckle out loud and startle Tiddles

"I'd never have thought it your particular brief anyway; was I wrong? A barely suppressed 'Jesuit stormtrooper' maybe; but not a 'gentle Jesus' sort of a bloke. A dark cowl and a stiletto suits you better old chap. ;o)"

Why Ernst adores your understated humour, my fine fellow.

'Jesuit stormtrooper' *Chuckle* Ernst has a vision of a myriad of Dodos, arrayed in stated attire, awaiting to board a galactic battleship. Some Death Star hovering above the earth?

"A dark cowl and a stiletto suits you better old chap."

Darth Dodo, attending the Emperor's bidding ?

May the force be with us, Indeed!

Ernst 'bowled over' Blofeld

8 October 2011 at 18:52  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Carl

Now you know our good host did more than " ... merely observed Rome's silence and asked after it's purpose>"

He compared it to that of the Muslim Council of Britain and pointed out L’Osservatore Romano was wasting time on trivia " ... while not one column inch has been dedicated to the appalling plight of Pastor Nadarkhani."

As I said to you earlier, without evidence, one way or another, I quess we all impute motives to the Vatican according to our predispositions towards her.

8 October 2011 at 18:59  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Oswin said ...

"A dark cowl and a stiletto suits you better old chap."

Just mind your back in the days ahead, friend. I don't take prisoners.

8 October 2011 at 19:03  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Ernsty

Have you never read the 'Monita Secreta'? Surely you know Jesuits need no space ship - they walk amongst us without uniforms.

Blessed John Paul II and Benedict XVI between them appointed no less than 10 Cardinals from their order and Benedict XVI has also appointed several Jesuits to positions of prominence in his curia.

Beware The Night of the Dodo!

8 October 2011 at 19:17  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Dear Dodo

Can Ernst show that, though of Anglican doctrine His Grace shows concern for all such christians on his blog, as when he challenged regarding the attacks on Copt Christians in Egypt by muslims..Copts are not exactly of the Anglican persuasion, now are they?

Should he have stayed Schtumm for the hope that further attacks would not be incited or inflame muslim sensibilities by using circumspect behaviour.

"The Coptic Church belongs to the Oriental Orthodox family of churches, which has been a distinct church body since the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451, when it took a different position over Christological theology from that of the body of churches that would later split into Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches" Not exactly evangelical or Anglican , my dodo.

As His Grace states "Silence in this case is not acceptable:
Dodo states "No, it hasn't been shown they have done nothing. They haven't sought to publically denounce Iran, I agree."
What would St Peter or Paul make of this silence.

Should they have stayed quiet to not receive crucifixion or beheading..
Surely keeping quiet so as not to offend those nice romans would have been the diplomatic thing to do. I mean "Rome" of all empires!

Could they not have established many more churches and written many more epistles. Was it selfich for them to throw their lives away for Christ or was that the correct time to speak?

Matthew 10:26-36

26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.
27 What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.
28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.
30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.

Maybe St Peter and St Paul misunderstood what to do, or should have sought secretive diplomatic channels, to further Christ' cause, perhaps.

Ernst agrees with Ecclesiastes 3
1. To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3. A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5. A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6. A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7. A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, AND A TIME TO SPEAK;
8. A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

It's knowing when, In Christ's name, is the time to Speak! It's called the appropriate time and place!

Ernst

8 October 2011 at 20:03  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Ernsty

A time to keep silence, and a time to speak

And each of us has to decide for ourselves what season it is. Pastor Yousef has taken a stand for his beliefs and is to be admired and respected for this.

Is the purpose of international intervention to save this man's life? Or is there a wider agenda and, if so, what might that be? You seem to have suggested that the time is right for martyrdom in Iran, unless I've misunderstood you.

You really think Rome would stay silent to avoid offending Muslim sensibilities?

8 October 2011 at 21:04  
Blogger bluedog said...

Dodo @ 21.04 said, 'You really think Rome would stay silent to avoid offending Muslim sensibilities?'

Answer, Yes.

After Benedict's admirable Regensburg address in 2005 he was assailed by bitterly complaining Muslim clerics. Instead of standing his ground, Benedict retreated, to the considerable disappointment of this communicant. Now the Papacy and Islam have a difficult relationship, it was after all a Turkish nutter who shot John Paul in 1981. In addition, this communicant suspects that the Vatican's daily mail is a barrage of death threats from crazed Muslims and many others individuals of different faiths including, sadly, Christians.

Could it be that Benedict, who is now a very old man, has decided that it it's all too hard? Has Rome been bullied in to silence?

It's beginning to seem so.

8 October 2011 at 21:36  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Dodo..really!

"Is the purpose of international intervention to save this man's life? (Most obviously) Or is there a wider agenda and, if so, what might that be?(Dear silly bird, now you sound like Atlas Shrugged!) You seem to have suggested that the time is right for martyrdom in Iran, unless I've misunderstood you.(Life is about making sacrifices and suffering for faith in Christ. Ernst has suggested no such thing, unless you have become or are Albert. Does Ernst need to post in Latin, he can if you so wish, to ensure a full comprehension of posts for you, as obvious english just will not do?)".

Ernst stated unequivocally "Maybe St Peter and St Paul misunderstood what to do, or should have sought secretive diplomatic channels, to further Christ' cause, perhaps." and this "It's knowing when, In Christ's name, is the time to Speak! It's called the appropriate time and place!"
Could anything be plainer as to Ernst's inference - the process of deriving the strict logical consequences of assumed premises?

Rome does the exact opposite of both Blessed Apostles (Maybe whispering in Nero's ear might have been more diplomatic or discreet, as leading front men for Christ's church), one they even claim as their first pope!

That Ernst's statement is unfavourable to your earlugs is not Ernst's fault but your own unswerving adherence to Rome, whereas Cranmer has always spoken for and on behalf of all christians for persecuted Christians worldwide, irrespective of their creed. Is that not fair comment.
Then please have a pop at those who hid their light under a bushel!

Ernst 'straight talking' Blofeld

8 October 2011 at 22:30  
Blogger Gavin said...

IF the Vatican is engaging in any sort of diplomatic efforts on behalf of Pastor Yousef (and I emphasise IF), then there is a perfectly obvious reason to my mind why such efforts MUST be carried out in utmost secrecy:

Assuming such efforts were successful, then the very last thing the Iranian authorities would want made public (in the world at large, but especially in Iran) is that they bowed to diplomatic pressure - ESPECIALLY not from the Vatican. That would be almost as embarassing to Iran as admitting that it bowed to pressure from Israel. No, if Pastor Yousef is to have his sentence reduced, then Iran will insist that it should be presented to the world as some sort of Iranian victory, not as a diplomatic defeat. This is what matters more to Iran than the actual fate of Pr. Yousef, and once you understand this, you can see at once why the Vatican would (assuming it is involved) be proceeding in silent mode.

8 October 2011 at 22:48  
Blogger Ian M said...

Of course the vatican will remain silent. The Pastors a Protestant

8 October 2011 at 23:01  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Gavin apologises for rome @8 October 2011 22:48

"ESPECIALLY not from the Vatican." As if the vatican has the power on it's own to make Iran do anything . What preposterous presumption, arrogance as a statement and wrongful inference at what is being suggested it should do.

It is required to speak out and stand firm, shoulder to shoulder, as one of many regarding the release of a man who has declared faith in Christ only and has broken no laws and THAT IS ALL THAT IS REQUESTED OR REQUIRED FROM IT.

You really must be under the illusion that Constantine is still seated in Rome with the world as his footstool. Get a grip man.

Ernst 'I don't believe it' Blofeld

8 October 2011 at 23:05  
Blogger Gavin said...

Mr Extra Sensory, I agree that Vatican City has no actual power on its own to make any country do anything. However, the Vatican has diplomatic ties with many countries, some of which don't (or can't be seen to) talk directly to each other, and so it can sometimes act as a useful diplomatic go-between. That's the sort of possible influence I'm thinking of, not some sort of Roman Empire military invasion.

8 October 2011 at 23:24  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Gavin ignored what Ernst said 8 October 2011 23:24

"Mr Extra Sensory, I agree that Vatican City has no actual power on its own to make any country do anything (Bleedin obvious, lad). However, the Vatican has diplomatic ties with many countries, some of which don't (or can't be seen to) talk directly to each other (Oh, how very Dan Brown), and so it can sometimes act as a useful diplomatic go-between. (Where has it been asked to be useful, 'diplomatically'. Does the vatican view itself as some sort of 'Henry Kissinger' type as an organisation..That would be an outrageous display of overbearing self-importance and over inflated superiority!..hmm)That's the sort of possible influence I'm thinking of, not some sort of Roman Empire military invasion ."
It is required to speak out and stand firm, shoulder to shoulder and THAT IS ALL THAT IS REQUESTED OR REQUIRED FROM IT.

Ernst KNEW you would say that, that's why he is E S Blofeld.

Ernst S Blofeld

8 October 2011 at 23:44  
Blogger Gavin said...

Ernst, the issue on the ground here (as HG has reminded us in a comment above) is that a man's life is at stake.
To elaborate, a Christian man's life is at stake in Iran. Iran is a hardline Islamic theocracy. Any public criticism of Iran's theological stance, especially coming from a Christian state, will only serve to harden Iran's stance, because.... no, I shall not insult your intelligence by explaining why; surely you must understand this.

Therefore, if the object of the exercise is to save the man's life, then I would argue that 'what is required' of the Vatican is indeed for it to be useful diplomatically, rather than to shout from the rooftops a general message of solidarity (which Iran would merely interpret as provocative and hostile, and would not want to be seen as caving in to).

Yes, I agree that in the long run, in the broader picture, it is more important that we all "speak out and stand firm". But in the immediate situation, I think it's more important to save this man's life first, and I think that this is possibly best achieved right now by quiet diplomacy. Whether the Vatican is doing anything, I have no idea, but if it is, then I think it is right to do so quietly.

I did not understand your last paragraph (perhaps that is why I am Gavin?) Knowing that you already know what I am going to say here, I feel a bit silly for bothering to type it out! But oh well...

9 October 2011 at 01:04  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Then whom do we serve and please, God or men.

James 2:14-19
14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
or 'die in persecution but know we prayed for you, for we can speak but we shall say nothing'!

The comments of some communicants have saddened old Ernst.

It appears that Rome believes it can serve two masters or look both ways simultaneously.
It appears Rome can speak of the desires of the Almighty and be silent so as not to offend the political/religious sensibilities of men.
It appears that Rome believes itself to be the sole mediator between all men and God and an earthly intermediatory rather than an advocate of The Faith Once Delivered.

The apostle Paul wrote of the great abuse he had experienced as a gospel preacher. "We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair: persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed." Such opposition from God's enemies would have silenced many professed Christians of Paul's generation and no doubt does silence many in our day. But only death could keep Paul from preaching what he believed. He explains: "But having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore I have spoken; we also believe, and therefore we speak" (2 Cor. 4:8-9, 13). Could St Paul have been any clearer as what to do when called to speak as Christians? What an example the Apostle left for those leaders in doubt as to what to say and do.

Paul was addressing his responsibility to preach Christ Jesus the Lord as the Savior of the world, but his words apply to every phase of our lives, including our obligation to discuss all spiritual and moral issues.
Isaiah wrote: "Woe unto them who call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put sweet for bitter, and bitter for sweet" (Isaiah. 5:20)!
Some Christians and other moral people are possibly silent because they are afraid. When Elijah vigorously condemned the behavior of Ahab and Jezebel, is it possible the great prophet was afraid? We have no way of knowing since the Bible does not tell us. But it would be remarkable if Elijah did not experience some fear. He knew Ahab and Jezebel hated him enough to kill him.
But regardless of any fear he may have had, he did not hesitate to reveal to them God's word. And what about the prophet John the Baptist? He told Herod that he had no right to have his brother Philip's wife (Mt. 14:3-4). His uncompromising preaching cost John his life.
Our own Winston Churchill affirmed: "When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber"
Silence in the face of great evil is cowardice.

Why Ernst loves the roman catholics that come to this blog but wonders why God states this to those who will listen;
14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
Oh that they would hear and see but..

Silence can be sinful, is Ernst's proposition!

E S Blofeld

9 October 2011 at 01:11  
Blogger Oswin said...

bluedog @ 21:36 :

I reckon you have it just about right there. We all had hopes for the 'Panzer Pope' but he proved to be just another pussy.

9 October 2011 at 01:12  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Gavin

Ernst, the issue on the ground here (as HG has reminded us in a comment above) is that a man's life is at stake. (Why His Grace said that rome MUST speak out or have you not read or understood the context in which he referred? It appears not!).
To elaborate, a Christian man's life is at stake in Iran (See above). Iran is a hardline Islamic theocracy. Any public criticism of Iran's theological stance, especially coming from a Christian state (Rome is a tiny religious/temporal [The Temporal power (Papal) of the Popes of the Roman Catholic Church] enclave approx 0.17 square miles within Italy..Enclave-any small, distinct area or group enclosed or isolated within a larger one. Puhleaze), will only serve to harden Iran's stance, because.... no, I shall not insult your intelligence by explaining why (Thanks lad. Well, Ernst is a bit of a numbnuts); surely you must understand this (Why do or say anything then, everything as a christian is futile and speaking out against evil is devoid of any meaning).

Therefore, if the object of the exercise is to save the man's life, then I would argue that 'what is required' of the Vatican is indeed for it to be useful diplomatically, rather than to shout from the rooftops a general message of solidarity (which Iran would merely interpret as provocative and hostile, and would not want to be seen as caving in to) Mighty rome, yes!

Yes, I agree that in the long run, in the broader picture, it is more important that we all "speak out and stand firm". But in the immediate situation, I think it's more important to save this man's life first, and I think that this is possibly best achieved right now by quiet diplomacy. Whether the Vatican is doing anything, I have no idea, but if it is, then I think it is right to do so quietly.

Always the 'bet hedgers' and 'fence sitters', are they not. It's not like they believe they are the Supreme Apostolic Church by Succession, now is it.

Everybody should have such a defender of the faith. * Chortling Ernst*

Ernst Blofeld

9 October 2011 at 01:34  
Blogger Gavin said...

Ah, Ernst, just like you knew what I was going to say above, I too grasped that this was at the heart of your argument: "Then whom do we serve and please, God or men?"

What you're saying boils down to "by remaining silent (even though it might be possibly negotiating in private), the Vatican is committing a worse evil by not publicly condemning Iran, than any possible good it might end up doing by saving a man's life in such a way as not to cause Iran immediate offense".

If a nutjob who could not be reasoned with was holding your family hostage, would you consider it more immediately important to gather a crowd together and shout "you're a sick nutjob and our values are better than yours!" at the nutjob, than for a trained police negotiator to try and talk the nutjob into freeing the hostages? This is essentially what you seem to be arguing.

9 October 2011 at 01:38  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

It's ironic.

A couple of weeks ago in Germany the Pope called for Christian unity and was derided. In particular, some on this blog sneered at him and his message. Most couldn't be bothered to comment.

Now the very same people are calling for Benedict to speak out and 'stand shoulder to shoulder' with Christians.

Funny old world.

Ernsty
You do speak tosh at times, old man.

You happily attribute motives and reasons to Rome without any evidence. Your points are pure speculation and vivid imagination. And, of course, the biblical passages you cite are, in my opinion, more applicable to you and your evangelical brothers and sisters.

As I understand it, some 27,000 signatures have been put to the international petition to Iran. Yes, 27,000! That's it!

Where is the real lack of action? Individuals and the world media are ignoring this man. Regardless of his faith, he is threatened with execution because of his beliefs. To his credit, our host drew attention to this situation. No government has formally protested. Wonder why?

9 October 2011 at 02:04  
Blogger Gavin said...

Rome is a tiny religious/temporal enclave approx 0.17 square miles within Italy..Puhleaze

By this criterium, we should be more outraged by the silence of the prime minister of Andorra on this issue than by the Vatican's. And why has Sealand remained so quiet on the issue, I demand to know!

9 October 2011 at 02:08  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Ernst is now extremely bored and irked with the duplicity of RCC adherents so is off to bed, to avoid saying things he might regret tomorrow.

"the Vatican is committing a worse evil by not publicly condemning Iran, than any possible good it might end up doing by saving a man's life in such a way as not to cause Iran immediate offense".
".
Truly delusional..Iran is ALWAYS offended. However, the Vatican now has some magical power that Iran might hear her plead and be merciful. Utterly pretentious twaddle
"If a nutjob who could not be reasoned with was holding your family hostage, would you consider it more immediately important to gather a crowd together (The crowd has gathered already Gavin and been shouting vigorously but Mccavity, the Roman Catholic mystery cat, is nowhere to be heard or seen, is it, unlike Tiddles) and shout "you're a sick nutjob and our values are better than yours!" at the nutjob, than for a trained police negotiator (Ernst nearly choke on his bedtime toddy..Those clever, cunning jesuits, been doing it for centuries, haven't they! No need to call on Lt. Danny Roman or Lt. Chris Sabian.
Rome really does believe it's own PR and thinks it is supernaturally punching above it's weight) to try and talk the nutjob into freeing the hostages? This is essentially what you seem to be arguing (Ernst is only arguing about Rome's pompous delusions of grandeur *shoulders shaking in laughter*)."

And you wonder why we distrust Rome!

Return back into the arms of the 'one true church' and join Rome's flock?..when hell freezes over first.

Everybody should have such a defender of the faith.

You say and do what you are (ever so silently).

Ernst Blofeld

Ps

Dodo joined the fray 9 October 2011 02:04
"As I understand it, some 27,000 signatures have been put to the international petition to Iran. Yes, 27,000! That's it! !
Not a papal or cardinal signature amongst it though!

"A couple of weeks ago in Germany the Pope called for Christian unity and was derided. In particular, some on this blog sneered at him and his message. Most couldn't be bothered to comment.

"Now the very same people are calling for Benedict to speak out and 'stand shoulder to shoulder' with Christians. "

Here's a clue, my bird..He is supposed to be in RCC Adherents words in 'the direct line of succession from St Peter huimself and head of the church on earth'.

Like a cheap w(h)ine, Popes never cease to disappoint, do they!

Nighty night my poor deluded dickie bird.

9 October 2011 at 02:13  
Blogger Gavin said...

Ernst is all mixed up in his arguments here. First, he asserts most earnestly that the Vatican has no possible degree of power or influence in the first place, in determining the outcome of this sad situation....but still he bemoans the Vatican's silence! Why should one question the apparent silence of an organisation which has absolutely no influence in a situation? You may as well retort 'why has the Newport Pagnell & District Model Railway Society remained so silent on this issue?' Why not, if it is so uninfluential and irrelevant? You can't have it both ways. Ernst demands that the Vatican should 'speak out', even though it is apparently a tiny geographical state without power or influence. OK then, why hasn't the prime minister of Andorra spoken out? Andorra is larger than Vatican City, why pick on the small guy?

9 October 2011 at 02:26  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Gavin got all confused, like. about what rome declares about herself 9 October 2011 02:08.

"By this criterium, we should be more outraged by the silence of the prime minister of Andorra on this issue than by the Vatican's. And why has Sealand remained so quiet on the issue, I demand to know!"
Since when has the prime minister of Andorra been the head of the 'supposed' persecuted church on earth.
It's not his remit lad, do look at the small print of Rome's encyclicals (authorative but not infallible), bulls (legalistic and solemn) and canon law (The actual subject material of the canons is not just doctrinal or moral in nature, but indeed all-encompassing of the human condition).
Supposedly Christ conferred upon St. Peter the office of chief pastor, and that the permanence of that office is essential to the very being of the Church. It must now be established that it belongs of right to the Roman See, as you argue.
The proof supposedly falls into two parts:

* that St. Peter was Bishop of Rome, and
* that those who succeed him in that see succeed him also in the supreme headship.
Go and read up on what your church claims, there's a nice RC boy!

Dodo reckons they are all available online, for good catholic boys and girls.

Ernst

9 October 2011 at 02:30  
Blogger Gavin said...

Now what are you saying, Ernst?

You seem to have ditched the "Rome is a geographically tiny, irrelevant, uninfluential state" line on the basis of some theological claims it makes. But without a huge army and secret police, it cannot force you to accept those claims, and indeed you don't. You're a free man, as are we all. Hooray!

Doesn't Kim Yung Sun whatever of North Korea also set himself up as almost a god-figure? He uses a vast army and security service to force his citizens to accept his rule, but outside of that country, we are free to disagree with him, just as you are free to reject the Vatican's claims. So what's the problem? You're free to reject Rome, but isn't that enough? Is its mere existence anathema to you, just as Israel's existence is anathema to certain M.E. states?

9 October 2011 at 02:52  
Blogger Gavin said...

PS, apologies - upon re-reading that, I realise that I may have inadvertantly used an exceptionally strong analogy, perhaps an uncalled-for one.

It's just that, you come across certain people for whom the RC can do and be no right, under any circumstances! They give one argument (Vatican City is a tiny, irrelevant state) and you point out the illogicality of that statement by means of analogy to, say, Andorra, and so they ditch that argument and try another tack, and on and on it goes... it just gets to the stage where I'm reminded of certain Middle Eastern states, for whom no Israeli concession can ever be enough, and you just have to conclude that it's Israel's very existence per se that they really object to. Strewth.

9 October 2011 at 03:03  
Blogger C.Law said...

Let us, in a spirit of goodwill, suppose that the Vatican is indeed working behind the scenes in quiet diplomacy to avert the execution of the pastor. In that case as Dodo and Gavin have pointed out, harsh public condemnation of the Iranian actions and public pressure would be counterproductive.

On the other hand, the Christian world, and much of the rest - including those who oppose Christianity, expect the Vatican as the head of a significant proportion of Christians to show public support for the pastor, as indicated by the many responses on this blog.

Further, in diplomacy it is seen as a weakness if a body refrains from making public statements of its well-known and strongly held position when the situation appears to require them.

In diplomacy it is common for certain public statements to be made which may differ from what is being said behind the scenes and this is accepted by both parties.

All in all, it would seem that a straightforward, unaggressive statement of regret at the Iranian attitude and plea for the life of the pastor to be spared would be appropriate. This would fulfil the requirement for the Vatican to be seen to be doing the right thing, without unduly antagonising the Iranians and jepardising any negotiations which may be taking place behind the scenes.

9 October 2011 at 04:36  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

For any fellow Red Sea Pedestrians out there who are uncertain about how to pray for an individual ben Noah, such as our brave and righteous cousin of another faith, Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, there is no established minhag, so asking your rebbe should be your first step.

I won't presume to pasken, so the following is my own opinion. An informally worded prayer, in Hebrew or English, on its own or as part of one's personal prayers at shul, and directed on behalf of a non-Jew is evidently acceptable by all traditions, and where I'm personally concerned, preferable, as it by-passes complexities regarding varying customs. I like to follow with a short reading of tehillim as well. I'm not aware of any minhagim when at services with a minyan, but a Chabad practice established by The Rebbe, I'm told, is to use a different nusakh in the case of a Gentile, and to use the subject's name and the name of his father (if known), rather than his mother's name, as is required when praying for a Yisrael. A mishaberach for a non-Jew may also be said on Shabbat, again using the subject's own and father's name. Otherwise on this topic, general prayers for Christians, Muslims and others in the Abrahamic tradition are offered on Rosh Hashanah, and the Midrash quotes Rabbi bar Hanina who refers to Avraham Avinu, praying for all of his children, Jews and Gentiles (see Gen.R. 61:6). Again, I won't presume to pasken, so please ask your reb. Where others, of non-Abrahamic, or non-monotheistic traditions are concerned, our siddurim include them as well at the conclusion of every service with: "We hope in You, O Lord our G-d...May they all accept the burden of Your Kingdom."

9 October 2011 at 04:59  
Blogger Harry-ca-Nab said...

More anti-Catholic ranting. You really are a bigot Cranmer.

Has it occurred to you that the Vatican may be using some quiet diplomacy rather than public grandstanding that may only cause the Iranians to dig their heels in?

On the subject of silences - what about Williams continued silence about the persecution of Christians in muslim countries, why is Camoron cutting aid to countries that persecute gays but increasing aid to countries that persecute Christians?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2046965/Well-cut-aid-persecute-gays-Britain-warns-African-nations.html

9 October 2011 at 07:10  
Blogger len said...

Catholics;
I am no longer surprised at your resistance to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.What the Catholic Church initiated was NOT the Gospel of Jesus Christ but 'another Gospel' as referred to by the Apostle Paul.
The Romans carried out the execution of Jesus Christ but those behind the execution were the High Priests of 'organised religion'.
The High Priests hatred of Christ was fuelled by His overturning of their'works based religion and the authority of the Priests.(Incidentally the High Priests were the ONLY people Jesus condemned!.)
So Catholics , your 'outrage' when the True gospel is preached no longer ceases to surprise me, in fact I expect it because the True Gospel is as much an offence to you now was it was to the High Priests then.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a total work of God from start to finish and of course this negates the 'High Priests of religion'.

So Catholics go ahead with your ridicules, your accusations, your threats, even but please be aware of what you are doing (which is exactly what the High Priests and their minions did )

Jesus said that all who preached HIS Gospel would come under persecution and times do not change.

We(Christians) should pray for the persecuted Church of Jesus Christ and for the persecuting Church that the truth may be realised.

9 October 2011 at 08:22  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Oswin
Simple
Prayer will affect first parties.
Because your own actions affect YOU
Prayer may affect second parties, because it's being "done to you"
Communist example is the denunciation for formalism of Shostakovitch. Likely reaction is to be to tell "pray-ers" to piss of, out of sheer exasperation, but it will have an effect.
Prayer cannot have an effect on third parties, because this is "action-at-a-distance" with no medium or practical method for transmission.
Simples.

As for the empty debate on Rome...
I would have thought the RC's most likely action would be crawling appeasement, same as they did 1933-45

9 October 2011 at 09:23  
Blogger bluedog said...

Dear Mr Avi @ 04.59, your thoughtful and carefully worded advice to other Jews should not go unrecognised by us Christians. Thank you so much.

9 October 2011 at 10:03  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr Oswin @ 01.12, when one recalls the near-suicidal courage displayed by Benedict in his Anglicanorum Coelibus initiative, the current inertia does seem out of character.

9 October 2011 at 10:23  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

And so we have it - finally.

Ernsty objects to the Pope's silence because Benedict claims to be St Peter's successor as the Head of the Church. Not that he is you understand. but if he claims this he should act the leader of all christians and defend Pastor Yousef.

len using inaccurate history and a poor understanding of Judaism at the time of Jesus, takes this one step further. There was only one High Priest. Jesus did not condemn Judaism, indeed he was behaved as a devoted Jew. He criticised certain sects within Judaism for their misunderstanding of the law of Moses and how they used this to take advantage of the common people, ignoring the underlying intention of ritual and religious practice.

len in his morbidity and delusion would have us believe the Pope and Catholics are staying quiet because we hate the Gospel of Christ being preached by Pastor Yousef. What he has overlooked that Catholics have individually protested and petitioned. It is the Vatican who appears not to have acted for undisclosed and unknown reasons.

C Law makes some very good points about public perception and about the potential effectiveness of a quiet statement in support of freedom of religious belief and Pastor Yousef. However, the argument in favour of this seems to be a public relations exercise - the Vatican would be seen to be doing the right thing. This tends not to be the way the Vatican acts.

9 October 2011 at 11:17  
Blogger Serpents and Doves said...

Pope Benedict XVI last Sunday did call for prayer for persecuted evangelists.

God’s “concern” for every human being, shown especially by the protection of guardian angels, was one of the focal points of Pope Benedict XVI’s remarks to the faithful gathered for the Sunday Angelus prayer in St. Peter’s Square.

The Pope also discussed the Sunday Gospel, noting that the reading from the 21st chapter of the Gospel according to St. Matthew, “closes with a particularly severe warning from Jesus, addressed to the chief priests and elders of the people: "Therefore, I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit. (Matt. 21.43).”

“These words,” said Pope Benedict, “make us think of the great responsibility of those who in every age, are called to work in the vineyard of the Lord, especially in a role of authority.”

He said these words urgently call the pastors of the Church to renew their full fidelity to Christ, who, recalled Pope Benedict, is the stone which the builders rejected (cf. Mt 21:42), because they considered Christ an enemy of the law and a danger to public order. “Rejected and crucified,” said Pope Benedict, “Christ rose again, becoming the ‘cornerstone’ on which the foundation of all human existence and the whole world may rest with absolute certainty.”

“Firmly anchored in faith in the cornerstone who is Christ, abiding in Him like the branch that can not bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine. Only in Him, through Him and with Him is the Church, the people of the New Covenant, built.”

Not an overt message of support for the Pastor, but a message nonetheless to those willing to listen.

9 October 2011 at 11:55  
Blogger Serpents and Doves said...

Christ urged His followers to be cautious.

"Behold I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves. Be therefore wise as serpents and simple as doves. But beware of men. For they will deliver you up in councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues."

How should this be interpreted?

Iran is the second ranked country, according to Open Door, for christian persecution today.They write:

"There was a sharp increase in the number of Christians arrested at the start of 2010. Although some were later released, pressure on the church remains high. Many of the approximately 350,000 believers from a Muslim background live in fear of harassment by the government.

The regime lost credibility following the turmoil of the 2009 elections, and in an effort to distract attention from continuing protests against it, it is increasingly lashing out against Christians."

In North Korea, the top ranked country for persecution, they write:

"Nowhere in the world is Christian persecution so fierce. Christians have to hide their faith; Christian parents can’t even share their beliefs with their children until they are old enough to understand the dangers. Owning a Bible could get you killed, or sent to a harsh labor camp.

In 2010 hundreds of Christians were arrested. Some were murdered, others sentenced to labor camps. Despite the risks, the church is growing: there are an estimated 400,000 believers."

9 October 2011 at 12:13  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Gavin changed the argument

Your choice of equal comparisons is, well, lacking in substance and office. Take it Vatican has been elected by it's own people has it, democratically, with the pope it's prime minister?
It's only fair comparison seems it's reliance on Tourism as the mainstay of Andorra's tiny, but well-to-do economy.

"Now what are you saying, Ernst?"

Ernst has told you, lad!

"Supposedly Christ conferred upon St. Peter the office of chief pastor, and that the permanence of that office is essential to the very being of the Church. It must now be established that it belongs of right to the Roman See, as you argue.
The proof supposedly falls into two parts:

* that St. Peter was Bishop of Rome, and
* that those who succeed him in that see succeed him also in the supreme headship."

A correlation perhaps will assist to enlighten, lad.

"When Elisha saw it, he ripped off his own clothes, tore them into pieces and placed Elijah's mantle on his back. Then he returned to the Jordan and did just as his master had done: He took off the mantle and struck the water with it. Immediately the waters parted, and Elisha walked over on dry ground. Thus began the young prophet's own remarkable ministry."

Dodo charged Ernst "
Ernsty objects to the Pope's silence because Benedict claims to be St Peter's successor as the Head of the Church. Not that he is you understand. but if he claims this he should act the leader of all christians and defend Pastor Yousef."
Why, you show what you are by what you say and do.

How 'ever so lightly' rests the mantle (God's authority) on others who 'supposedly' have stooped by 'succession' to pick it up?

Ooh, if only you had such devotion for the Lamb who is worthy and merits it, what a church you might be!

Ernst, my fine, come hell or high water, devoted tiberians.

ps
Serpents and Doves said

"Not an overt message of support for the Pastor," Yes, mere platitudes, are they not. What a discerning chap you are!
and

"“These words,” said Pope Benedict, “make us think of the great responsibility of those who in every age, are called to work in the vineyard of the Lord, especially in a role of authority.” " Think on, benny my lad, but say nowt, there's a fine pontiff!

""Behold I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves. Be therefore wise as serpents and simple as doves. But beware of men. For they will deliver you up in councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues." What on earth where those foolish apostles thinking, running quickly to martyrdom, by blabbing to Roman governors and Emperors.
"18 and you will even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.
19 But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say. (are you understanding, tiberians)
20 For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you. "
Do quote Christ in full lad, I think He deserves it, don't you?
The Apostles were really NOT paying attention to what Christ said or the Holy Spirit, were they. Bah!

9 October 2011 at 12:22  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

"In 2010 hundreds of Christians were arrested. Some were murdered, others sentenced to labor camps. Despite the risks, the church is growing: there are an estimated 400,000 believers.""
Apologies lad, it appears that silence is not only golden but actually a virtue that increases the churches.
Let them show their faith by death whilst we watch on, in virtuous silence,yes? It's the new marketing strategy from the 'Church'
What was Ernst thinking?

A very down in the mouth Ernst.

9 October 2011 at 12:30  
Blogger Serpents and Doves said...

ESBT said ...
"What on earth where those foolish apostles thinking, running quickly to martyrdom, by blabbing to Roman governors and Emperors."

The point has clearly eluded you. Christ was not advocating mass martydom but assurring His followers if it came He would strengthen them. He advised discernment and caution.

The world today is not as it was at the time of the early church. Wisdom requires adopting one's approach to present times and to particular circumstances.

Are you seriously asking your fellow Christians in North Korea and Iran to ignore the risks and publically proclaim the Gospel, thereby inviting martydom?

9 October 2011 at 14:29  
Blogger Serpents and Doves said...

ESBT

What I said regarding the Pope's message was:

"Not an overt message of support for the Pastor, but a message nonetheless to those willing to listen."

Clearly you cannot or will not hear what was said.

9 October 2011 at 14:32  
Blogger Oswin said...

G. Tingey : 09:33

''Prayer cannot have an effect on third parties, because this is 'action-at-a-distance' with no medium or practical method of transmission. Simples''

Prayer, as with psychokinesis, 'remote viewing' et al, purports to just that: a medium for transmission.

Whether that 'medium' supersedes the laws of physics, as we currently understand them, I know not. However, the US. Government
'Stargate Project' and the Princetown Engineering Anomalies Research Laboratory, threw up some interesting findings, regardless of their critics, and of their own, eventual closer. Some small, but recordable differences were indeed noted by their eminent scientists.

On a more human level, how many of us have experienced those seemingly inexplicable 'intuitive' moments of, for want of a better word, 'awareness' of something beyond our usual understanding? Perhaps most of us, to some degree or another, have experienced some such 'transmission' - ask any 'twin' for their opinion, the annecdotal evidence is massive, although not 'scientifically proven' as yet.

I grew up alongside twins; played with them both jointly, and separately. I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever, as to their ESP-like communications, when apart from each other.

Don't worry Greg, I'm sure science will eventually catch-up with the rest of us lesser mortals. Yet awhile, it just ain't that ''simples'' ...

9 October 2011 at 17:43  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Serpents and Doves said

The point has clearly eluded you. Christ was not advocating mass martydom (The disciple is not above his Master, nor the servant above his Lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his Master, and the servant as his Lord except, naturally, in rome's case) but assurring His followers if it came (And tell them what they needed to SAY for Him when that time arrived. Courage is the exact opposite of cowardice attached with circumspection and polite behaviour, when used for it's own benefit!) He would strengthen them. He advised discernment and caution".
Taken on its own, the wisdom of the serpent is mere cunning, and the harmlessness of the dove little better than stupid weakness but in combination, the wisdom of the serpent would save them from UNNECESSARY exposure to danger; the harmlessness of the dove, from SINFUL EXPEDIENTS to escape it. The apostolic age of the early fledgling church showed how harmoniously were those qualities displayed! Instead a manly combination of unflinching zeal and calm discretion, before which nothing was able to stand was shown.)

Rome runs and hides behind the protestation of it's laity 'Does rome not do that which is right'?

Please read matthew 10 again, its not comprehending is it?

26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.
27 What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.
28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.
30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

The world today is not as it was at the time of the early church (tell that to the persecuted church that are watched in silence today).. Wisdom requires adopting one's approach to present times and to particular circumstances. (Who's wisdom exactly, The Lord's reached through prayer or mere Jesuit intrigue)

Are you seriously asking your fellow Christians in North Korea and Iran to ignore the risks and publically proclaim the Gospel, thereby inviting martydom?

Should they then declare themselves athiest or muslim, to avoid persecution, seeing as that nice fella Benedict had agreed a declaration with Iran which is worthless. Some diplomacy skills that is!
Lord, give someone their P45!

You probably also have'nt got a clue about what St Paul was discussing in Hebrews Epistle because it's explanation is not found in the catechism.

Again, for the perennially deaf, Rome and it's pope is required to speak out and stand firm, shoulder to shoulder and THAT IS ALL THAT IS REQUESTED OR REQUIRED FROM IT.

Trifling excuses and waffle from RCC laity as to the vaticans approach are charming devices in themselves to us here but it is Rome itself that is required to speak but remains silent.

Ernst 'they just don't get it' Blofeld

Clearly it is you that cannot or will not hear what was said.

"Luke 12:8 "I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God."

"Revelation 3:5 He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels."

9 October 2011 at 17:52  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

Ernsty

Sorry but you are all over the place. I found the posts by Serpents and Doves illuminating and helpful.

Nobody is saying stop spreading the Good News, just use a little common sense and precaution according to the country you find yourself in. Be pure and be wise. Nobody is saying deny Christ. Just don't put yourself unnecessarily in harms way. Should persecution and arrest come then speak in front of your accusers. Who has said recant and declare yourself a Muslim?

The Pope was, I think, giving a message to all Christians. Perhaps he was suggesting more united action from Christians in evangelising in situations such as Iran.

Now for a more controversial observation which will no doubt result in wrathful replies.

To preach the standard 'evangelical' Gospel in Iran is to preach a 'Zionism' that is regarded by the regime as seditous given the interpretations most evangelical Christians place on Revelation and the coming 'end times'. To preach this openly is to invite repression. God may require this, I do not know, but I do not accept the view placed on scripture by evangelical Christians and I think they are taking unnecessary risks in preaching it.

They have a right to believe as they choose. They should be able to speak freely about these beliefs. That what the Pope has been attempting to get Muslim regimes such as Iran to accept. However, the political insytability in that country is such that this message is unlikely to be received at this time.

And please, no one accuse me of agreeing with Iran or being unsypathetic towards Pastor Yousef or of thinking he has brought this upon himself.

9 October 2011 at 19:59  
Blogger bluedog said...

Well said, Mr Oswin @ 17.43, there are indeed many, many things that cannot currently be explained by our scientific knowledge.

9 October 2011 at 20:39  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

oswin & bludog
Agree in ONE respect
Many things are currently unexplained.
However.
RELIGION has NEVER, so far produced any valid answers.
Science has.
I'll stick with the so-far-proven method.
You can waffle, delude yourselves and lie as much as you like.
That is your problem.

In the meantime, batween, to pick an arbitrary date (1500/ 1600/1900?) how many unexplained problems have been solved by religion, and over the same period, have been explained by science.
Please now explain why your method has ANY virtue whatsoever?

9 October 2011 at 22:57  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

His Grace might want to look at this

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/egypt/8817023/Dozens-killed-as-thousands-riot-in-Cairos-Tahrir-Square.html

on a related topic. :(

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

Mr Tingey;

1. The Bible said the earth is round and is suspended in space:

The earth is round!

You may be surprised to learn that the Bible revealed that the earth is round. Job 26:10, Prov 8:27, Isaiah 40:22, Amos 9:6. Today, we chuckle at the people of the fifteenth century who feared sailing because they thought they would fall over the edge of the flat earth. Yet the Bible revealed the truth in 1000 B.C. 2500 years before man discovered it for himself!

In various verses, the Bible says the earth is round and hangs in space. It took a long time for science to catch up and reach the same conclusions. Copernicus made the discovery in 1475. But the Bible always knew. Here are two related Bible verses that were written more than 2500 years ago, and more than 1000 years before Copernicus:

"He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth..." (Isaiah 40:22,NIV). (By the way, the Hebrew language at that time did not have a word for "sphere," only for "circle.")

"He spreads out the northern [skies] over empty space; he suspends the earth over nothing" (Job 26:7, NIV).

"Paths of the sea" Matthew Maury (1806-1873) is considered the father of oceanography. He was bed-ridden during a serious illness and asked his son to read a portion of the Bible to him. While listening, he noticed the expression "paths of the sea" in Psalms 8:8. Upon his recovery, Maury took God at his word and went looking for these paths. We are indebted to his discovery of the warm and cold continental currents.
(This is just a very small example of Scientific truth revealed in the Bible)

One day science will catch up with the Bible and God will be revealed (no surprise for Christians because they know the facts already.)

10 October 2011 at 07:44  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr G Tingey @ 22.57 said, 'You can waffle, delude yourselves and lie as much as you like.'

Not much point in replying, is there? Your remarks have already pre-empted any reasoned response.

One observation. Atheists seem invariably egotistical, which is understandable. After all, if there is no God, there is no need for humility.

That may be your problem.

10 October 2011 at 08:54  
Blogger Oswin said...

G.Tingey @ 22:57:

''You can waffle, delude yourself and lie as much as you want'' -

''lie'' ??? I assure you, that should we ever meet face-to-face, you'd need more than an MSc, and a pair of long socks, to survive that foul calumny. You are beyond all forbearance, a 'nithing'!

10 October 2011 at 16:19  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Ugh, brrr! Ghastly visuals, Oswin! If I were to meet Tingey in a dark alley, him with nothing but an MSc and a pair of long socks ... I honestly think I'd drop everything and run.

10 October 2011 at 23:12  
Blogger Oswin said...

Avi: relax a tad, Tingey is wearing breeches, long socks AND short boots ... to my mind, a worse image than your own! We can only speculate as to the positioning of his MSc (answers on a postcard only!)

11 October 2011 at 18:10  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

AAAAAAAAaaaaaaaa!!!!!

12 October 2011 at 02:33  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Never mind thsi hypocrisy, the supposed tories under Camoron are worse.

Cameron is on record
[ See here:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/eureferendum/8835447/Conservatives-ordered-to-vote-against-EU-referendum.html
]

Our current PM has just commited treason

As for the above posters, being personally rude...
My "dress" is normally a tweed jacket, nice cotton shirt, cravat, comfy tousers and good shoes.
As for arguments - I repeat, AGAIN:
Please produce some objective evidence.
No evidence, no argument.

19 October 2011 at 09:13  
Blogger Oswin said...

G.Tingey:

''As for the above posters, being personally rude...''

Ah, I take it that calling me a liar, was not then rude?

19 October 2011 at 13:57  
Blogger The Way of the Dodo said...

G Tingey said ...

"My "dress" is normally a tweed jacket, nice cotton shirt, cravat, comfy tousers and good shoes."

Very dapper, if a bit dated.

Do you drive Model T, smoke a pipe and have a monocle too?

19 October 2011 at 19:47  

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