Friday, May 04, 2012

Peter Gowlland: the Diocese of Southwark responds

Following His Grace's reporting of the plight of Lay Reader Mr Peter Gowlland, who was suspended from ministry following differences of opinion on the Coalition for Marriage petition, the story has spread far and wide and the Diocese of Southwark has seen fit to put out an official statement. It has being inferred from this (notably by the ecclesial vermin) this His Grace was wrong in certain key facts, and even drew on a warped source for the story. Neither, in fact, is true: the statement by the Diocese ( and reporting in the Church Times) does not actually contradict anything His Grace wrote:

Statement from Southwark diocese on the claim a reader was "sacked" for opposing gay marriage:

A spokesperson for the Diocese of Southwark said:

The Reader in question has not been suspended. Some members of the congregation had raised some pastoral concerns with the Archdeacon and he discussed these with the Reader. During the meeting it became clear that there are disagreements within the parish concerning how some matters are handled. The Archdeacon asked the Reader to refrain from ministry in the particular parish for two months in order for there to be time for these pastoral matters to be resolved. The Bishop of Southwark has put measures in place to try to resolve the difficulties within the parish.

The issue is not about the traditional view of marriage but related to matters of church order and authority during an interregnum.

Ends
Fisking:

Statement from Southwark diocese on the claim a reader was "sacked" for opposing gay marriage:

His Grace never used the word 'sacked'. If others have done so, then they must answer for their misinformation.

The Reader in question has not been suspended.

Mr Gowlland was 'invited to withdraw' from preaching and leading worship for a period of two months. Since the kind invitation was clearly extended with more than an inference of obligatory acceptance, it is not unreasonable to infer that it amounts to suspension. We can quibble over terms, but Mr Gowlland is in no doubt that his ministry has been suspended, and the OED concurs. Certainly, he is not permitted to minister. If that is not suspension, His Grace does not know what is.

Some members of the congregation had raised some pastoral concerns with the Archdeacon and he discussed these with the Reader.

These members of the congregation ought to have been exhorted to follow Scripture and take their concerns directly to Mr Gowlland. The (acting) Archdeacon should have rebuked them for gossiping and slandering Mr Gowlland behind his back. Certainly, the Archdeacon ought to have given Mr Gowlland proper warning of the allegations made against him and time to respond properly to them. To ambush him with no warning (which is, ironically, what Mr Gowlland is accused of doing to his fellow believers) is not only discourteous but contrary to natural justice. In particular, one would expect better behaviour from the retired Bishop David Atkinson, who was one of those who complained directly to the Archdeacon.

During the meeting it became clear that there are disagreements within the parish concerning how some matters are handled.

Surely these disagreements had been made known prior to the meeting? Why otherwise did some members of the congregation see fit to escalate the matter to the Archdeacon if it was not to communicate certain disagreements? The Archdeacon was clearly aware of differences of opinion and appears to have made up his mind on a course of action before his meeting with Mr Gowlland.

The Archdeacon asked the Reader to refrain from ministry in the particular parish for two months in order for there to be time for these pastoral matters to be resolved.

This asking was not a request: it was mandatory. Ergo, Mr Gowlland is suspended. Differences of opinion must involve (at least) two disputing parties (schizophrenia excepting), but Mr Gowlland is the only Lay Reader to have been disciplined.

The Bishop of Southwark has put measures in place to try to resolve the difficulties within the parish.

The resolution requires no special measures. The Archdeacon failed to follow Scripture, and set aside principles of natural justice. This whole matter need never have escalated to episcopal level if those believers who had concerns had bothered to have a quiet word with Mr Gowlland in the vestry. Instead, they chose to go behind his back and present their views to the Archdeacon. The Archdeacon chose to believe their account and summarily suspended Mr Gowlland. The more they deny this, the more foolish they appear.

The issue is not about the traditional view of marriage but related to matters of church order and authority during an interregnum.

It would be nice to believe this particular bit of spin, but it must be observed that Mr Gowlland was 'invited to withdraw' from ministry following his support for the Coalition for Marriage petition. The other Lay Readers who take a different view on marriage have not been suspended (or 'invited to withdraw') from their ministries, despite their manifest contribution to the disharmony and trasgression of church order. It beggars belief that an experienced Lay Reader of 50 years standing should require some sort of special permission or submit to some sort of corporate vetting before he may mention from the pulpit a petition designed to uphold the traditional and biblical view of marriage. Why have Lay Readers Mary Duncan and Penny Bird not also been 'invited to withdraw' from their ministries after exhorting the congregation not to sign the petition, since this exhortation was also made without prior discussion and consensual agreement?   

Ends

That's what you think.

220 Comments:

Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Your Grace,
The church rodent needs his tail chopped off with a carving knife.

4 May 2012 at 12:39  
Blogger David B said...

My sympathies are with freedom of speech unless there are very strong reasons to the contrary.

In neither this case, nor the recent cases within the Irish Catholic Church is anyone advocating violence or terrorism, so I view both as unreasonable infringements on debate.

Personally I am more sympathetic to the views of the muzzled Catholic priests than I am to those of Mr Gowland, but I am persuaded that he has been treated badly.

In both cases, though, I think it likely that the many people will see the churches as thrown into disrepute, but in contrast to many of the commenters here I do not see that as a bad thing.

David B

4 May 2012 at 12:51  
Blogger Gareth said...

"That's what you think."

Well done your Grace. I'm sure the Diocese of Southwark are quivering in their boots.

4 May 2012 at 12:52  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

"Why have Lay Readers Mary Duncan and Penny Bird not also been 'invited to withdraw' from their ministries ...?"

Indeed. Ms Bird and Ms Duncan appear to have been the ones who caused the public squabble in the first place.

David B
Catholic priests do not have freedom on speech on matters of Church doctrine or dogma. Neither are they are employees with protected rights.

Put simply, they either follow the teachings of the Church or they go. And that is how it should be. We can see the results of alternative approaches - doctrinal anarchy and confusion.

4 May 2012 at 13:19  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Begin forwarded message:

From: Naomi King
Subject: Proposed sanctification of homosexuality and the "Witney-Tatton Question"
Date: 4 May 2012 13:14:18 GMT+01:00
To: dcameron@no10.x.gsi.gov.uk

The Prime Minister

Mr Cameron

This letter is from a Conservative who voted for you at the last election, well I won't be again.

The issue of hypocrisy and the issue of the proposed sanctification of homosexuality (which by the way God abhors) will be the testing in the refiners fire for all the Church, in each and every flavour, because you cannot serve God and the flesh together. Whether the Church of England can hold together time will tell. As the Church of England is damaged so is the Monarchy but then you don't seem to care too much about that either. In fact it is proving very difficult to see what you do care about after all. Maybe we just go back to the point discussed at length in the Archbishop Cranmer "Witney-Tatton Question" Blog on the 26th April, http://archbishop-cranmer.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/witney-tatton-question.html that you don't appear to have good judgement or maybe it is that you are such a fallen secularist that you are a frightening danger to us all.

Your proposed sanctification of homosexuality will divide the sheep from the goats because no-one can be equivocal. The battle lines are drawn and individuals will be on one side or the other. I thank God for Lord Carey and the brave members of the Coalition for Marriage. I thank God for Archbishop Sentanu, Cardinal Keith Michael Patrick O'Brien and other members of the Catholic Church. I thank God for David Burrowes MP and Peter Bone MP and others, and for Rowan Williams who have all publicly declared from their position from Public Office that this proposal is truly wrong, UnGodly and disastrous for the moral, spiritual and social health of this Land. They are now being persecuted for their faith in the Lord God Almighty and his Holy Scripture but what would you expect we are in the midst of a battle for the very heart and soul of this Nation.

Where does this leave the Church of England ? She will have to make her mind up. Thank God Rowan Williams has made his stand, in a very low key Rowan Williams sort of a way but there it is. Sadly the CofE is infiltrated by Fifth Columnists but there it is also, it is not a perfect world and never will be this side of Heaven. The future is in God's hands. This is his battle not ours although we all have our parts to play in it as his loving servants.

There are dangerous schismatics on the Church of England, such as the newly appointed Bishop of Salisbury Nicholas Holtam (see my post on http://archbishop-cranmer.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/anglican-lay-reader-suspended-for.html on the Southwark Diocese Homosexual crisis @17.58) and I have written to him personally in strong terms on this point.

I am most unhappy about both your and Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury's UnGodly approach to this issue. Both of your views are totally unbiblical and show minds turned away from Biblical truth. The propagation of this schismatic doctrine through the office of State and Church, and through the Front pages of The Times and Sunday Times, is wholly unacceptable. No doubt Bishop Nicholas is also a close friend of Danny Finkelstein, executive editor of these two newspapers, a self proclaimed ex SDP turned Tory party "moderniser".

Danny Finkelstein is I believe is also a close friend of yours. Mr Cameron you are a fool and as we all know, pride goes before a fall.


Yours sincerely
Naomi King

4 May 2012 at 13:23  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Rt Revd David Atkinson, the retired Bishop of Thetford, who was leading the worship, stepped in to advise that the service was “not the correct time and place” to discuss the bitterly contentious issue, according to Mr Gowlland.

That's right. It might be the correct time and place to support "Occupy St Paul's Cathedral" but it's certainly not the correct time and place to support the traditional definition of marriage. After all people have a fundamental right to urinate on the grass.

This 'time out' (which is absolutely not, Not, NOT a suspension) has two purposes. It allows the hierarchy to publicly discipline Mr Gowlland without actually disciplining him. The whole parish will see that he has been sat down, and draw the appropriate conclusions. It is presumed that Mr Gowlland will take the time to reflect on his behavior and change it in the future. It also allows the hierarchy to show public support to the other lay readers without actually taking a position. Said readers are given two months to work without hindrance in Mr Gowlland's absence. The parish will draw the appropriate conclusion. And all this is accomplished without addressing the fact that Mr Gowlland did nothing but encourage people to act on the official teaching of the CoE.

Hypocrites. This is the Diocese where conservative churches are setting money into an alternate account, correct? I wonder why that would be?

carl

4 May 2012 at 13:37  
Blogger SouthwarkVicar said...

"oh what a tangled web we weave
when we first practice to respin"

Oh, that doesn't rhyme.

Can anyone help me?

4 May 2012 at 13:39  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

"oh what a tangled web we begin
when we first practice to respin"

4 May 2012 at 13:44  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

btw ..

The appropriate response would be for Mr Gowlland to politely decline the 'invitation to withdraw.' Let them formally punish him, if they dare. We would soon see the truth in this matter.

carl

4 May 2012 at 13:46  
Blogger Jon said...

Did you get a reply, Naomi?

4 May 2012 at 13:48  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

And when it all in their faces unravells
Parishioners will have said their farewells.

4 May 2012 at 13:50  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

For who were they really serving?
Their own adventures and strivings.

4 May 2012 at 14:18  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

'...These members of the congregation ought to have been exhorted to follow Scripture...'

Particularly those passages that talk about Archdeacons and Lay Readers. You can find all that stuff in the third epistle of Peter, Chapter 13.

4 May 2012 at 14:23  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

@Carl:

I wonder. To my mind, the appropriate response to an injustice brought about because of faithfulness to the Gospel is to bear the wrong and allow the world to see it for what it is. 'Better to allow yourselves to be wrong. Better to allow yourselves to be cheated.'

If Peter has indeed been the subject of such a clear injustice there is a heavenly economy that will meet the defecit of justice in this world - and it's not on any austerity drive.

It's also worth bearing in mind too, that this cuts both ways. Who but God knows the inner thoughts of men? We don't know whether David Atkinson was acting from a position of illiberal liberalism or if he was in fact being truthful when he identified his actions as being motivated by an uneasiness not with the aims of C4M but an un-Christian presentation of them. It's not impossible that the subject was raised more for its value to condemn than to support marriage (which seems to be the inference of his statement). It's equally possible that the model of marriage Atkinson has in mind is un-Scriptural anyway - but do we really know that?

I notice that he has written and contributed to several tomes on homosexuality over the years. Perhaps if anyone has access to them, we might get a better reflection of Atkinson's position.

That doesn't mean we have to rein in our defence of Scriptural teaching on marriage and sexuality. That one may be exhorted to sign C4M for the wrong, and even un-Christian reasons, does not mean that the Bible's (and Christ's) clear position on sexual purity can be disregarded or negotiated. That's why, personally, I'd encourage Christians to respond to the government consultation and write to the government as a means of expressing Biblical teaching, as Naomi King does. The C4M petition is a useful device for gauging opposition to same-sex marriage, but far less useful in gauging support for Biblical marriage. Is everyone here absolutely satisfied that every signatory would share the Bible's views on adultery, on pre-marital sex, and on lust?

At least in that sense we do know that Peter got the proportion right: he mentioned it as an announcement, rather than as a sermon. By all means, sign the C4M petition. But we should make sure we're looking only to Scripture for what marriage means.

4 May 2012 at 14:38  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Jon said...
Did you get a reply, Naomi?

Not yet but I only sent it an hour or so ago.

4 May 2012 at 14:50  
Blogger Naomi King said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4 May 2012 at 14:54  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

AnonymousInBelfast

To my mind, the appropriate response to an injustice brought about because of faithfulness to the Gospel is to bear the wrong and allow the world to see it for what it is.

This strikes me as equivalent to Paul being told not to preach. You don't obey that kind of command. The wrong thus born would be the unjust punishment inflicted for refusing to obey the command. By acquiescing he would actually make it easier for the hierarchy.

carl

4 May 2012 at 15:15  
Blogger Naomi King said...

I didn't get a reply from the Bishop of Salisbury either.

4 May 2012 at 15:33  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

@Carl:

You'll see that I didn't say we should stop supporting (or preaching) marriage, just that Peter Gowlland would be following Paul's exhortation to suffer even wrongdoing rather than to take actions which further prolong conflict.

I agree with you that this issue is Scripturally clean-cut, and not particularly open to debate. Thus, whilst it is possible to acquiesce to the hierarchy's fudge on calming the situation down, there is nothing that should stop the sharing of Scripture. That was kind of my point about not conflating C4M with the Bible. Ok - he's supposed to keep schtum about C4M - but why keep schtum about Biblical exhortations to keep sexually pure?

4 May 2012 at 15:45  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

AnonymousInBelfast,
I don't think that C4M is looking for support only from those who believe in the Biblical view of marriage (whatever that may be), they are looking for support from anyone, including gays, who belive the status of 'marriage' should remain as being between one woman and one man and to no other.

4 May 2012 at 15:48  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Begin forwarded message:

From: Naomi King
Subject: Homosexual "marriage"
Date: 24 April 2012 12:35:09 GMT+01:00
To: Bishop Salisbury
Cc: Andrew Cullis
Bcc: Robert Shuler, contact@lambethpalace.org.uk, Elizabeth Addy, John Holme, Mary Douglas, John GLEN

Dear Bishop Nicholas

You said specifically in your letter of the 10th March to me "I am trying to create the space for an honest conversation". Why do you not want to have this conversation with me then ? Maybe it would be better for us to meet face to face. As a member of your communion in this diocese I would have thought I was entitled to a considered reply to my concerns about the non-biblical basis of your teaching.

Warmest regards in Christ
Naomi King (Mrs)

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Bishop Salisbury"
Subject: RE: Fight the Good Fight [Scanned]
Date: 11 April 2012 12:31:10 GMT+01:00
To: "Naomi King"

Dear Mrs King
Thank you for your email which the Bishop has seen.
However he feels that he has nothing further to add.

Yours sincerely

Diana Brisbane


Diana Brisbane
Secretary to the Bishop of Salisbury
e-mail: bishop.salisbury@salisbury.anglican.org Web: www.salisbury.anglican.org
Tel: 01722 334031 Fax: 01722 413112
South Canonry, 71 The Close, Salisbury SP1 2ER


From: Naomi King
Sent: 08 April 2012 13:37
To: Bishop Salisbury
Cc: bonep@parliament.uk
Subject: Fight the Good Fight [Scanned]

Bishop Nicholas of Salisbury


Dear Bishop

May I remind you that it is a month since I wrote to you with the following letter to which I would be grateful to receive your considered reply.

Warmest regards in Christ and in His service
Naomi

4 May 2012 at 15:52  
Blogger Naomi King said...

On 23 Feb 2012, at 09:51, Bishop Salisbury wrote:


23 February 2012


Dear Ms King

Thank you for your email of 12 February.

I am sorry my comments about same sex relationships got such elevated treatment by The Times, when reporting a small part of a wider interview. I hope I got the tone and content clearer in the subsequent interview for BBC Radio 4’s Sunday Programme. When Civil Partnerships were introduced in 2005, I thought their distinction from heterosexual marriage was helpful. They are an important support to faithful love, and faithful love is a distinctive mark of Christianity because it reflects God’s love of us.

Because the quality and nature of some Civil Partnerships is similar, possibly the same, as for married couples, I have come to see that the rapidly adopted name “gay marriage” may be appropriate. As we know, the Government begins its consultation about this next month and that they have already explicitly exempted religious communities from being forced to accept the conduct of homosexual marriage in addition to heterosexual marriage.

I realise this raises difficulties for some Christians in relation to the traditional Biblical understandings of homosexuality and of marriage. The six passages referring to homosexuality do not address the reality of that minority of people who are homosexual not by deviance from their heterosexual nature, nor by preference or choice, but because of their given identity. Heterosexual marriages and same sex partnerships share an identity in the mutual commitment inspired and powered by sexual attraction. This relationship is exclusive for the good it empowers both for the couple’s growth in holiness in their life together and for the good they may do to and for others.

The Bible is unchanging but the use to which it has been put is not. 230 years ago in this country many Christians argued in favour of slavery by claiming it was part of the natural order and had the support of Biblical texts. I realise you will disagree with me but that example should at least give us pause for thought.

In saying what I did, I am trying to create the space for an honest conversation. We have no option but to recognise our context is changing and that we are talking about people, some of whom are within the life of the Church; that we are talking about ‘us’, not ‘them’.

For the avoidance of doubt, the position of the Church of England, House of Bishops and Diocese of Salisbury has not changed. There are no authorised services of blessing for same sex partnerships and it is not possible for Civil Partnerships to take place in Church of England churches. I will, of course, keep to the Church’s discipline whilst hoping that we find opportunity to explore the issues which divide us. I am glad that what unites us beyond doubt is our support for and commitment to heterosexual marriage.

Yours sincerely


The Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam
The Bishop of Salisbury

4 May 2012 at 16:02  
Blogger Naomi King said...

From: Naomi King
Subject: Re: Christianity, Family and Moral and Social Collapse
Date: 10 March 2012 08:21:08 GMT
To: Bishop Salisbury

Bishop of Salisbury

Dear Bishop Nicholas

Thank you for your reply to my letter but what do you stand for, as a Bishop in the Church of England, if you do not stand for biblical truth ?

It is such a tragedy that intelligent men and women are behaving so unintelligently when it comes to homosexuality. What would happen to the human race if we all became homosexual? Previous civilisations that embraced this horror in the past have gone off the scene despite their technological prowess. Western civilization is a vanishing phenomenon and it will take a complete U-turn to save it and this will need leadership from our spiritual leaders such as you. Unless the church and particularly the silent majority and the indifferent minority amongst Christians rise up to challenge and wield all their political, social and spiritual muscle this acute moral and social decline, which the Prime Minster spoke about so clearly in this address on the King James Bible on the 16th Decemeber 2011, will continue to esculate.

It is of course politically expedient to support the Homosexual lobby in a secular and largely athiest country if Christians in the UK continue to treat this as a non-issue. But if Christians were to truly rise and wield their socio-political power on this matter of homosexual "marriage", it will die a natural death. However, Britain would then be out of sync with Europe and the Americas. The Church may not be able to live with that socially and economically unless she were able to gain inner spiritual strength. That will enable our Church Leaders to weather the storm that will be generated by her stand against homosexuality. The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ would then have the courage to take what is none other than a common-sense approach.

The law is not about the rights of individuals to live with whoever they choose, would you marry someone to their dog because they 'love' their pet ? Marriage institutions should not be obligated to wed them because a homosexual union is not and can never be a marriage. They can live in their sin but not drag all of us into it.

May the LORD be with you, as you struggle with righeousness and God's Holy Word and remember that one day you will have to account to the LORD for your leadership of his flock.

Warmest regards in Christ
Naomi King (Mrs)

4 May 2012 at 16:08  
Blogger Naomi King said...

It is my letter of the 10th March which Bishop Nicholas is unwilling to answer.

4 May 2012 at 16:10  
Blogger Et Expecto said...

A strong case for a Sanderstead Ordinariate Group.

4 May 2012 at 16:35  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Oh grief, the slavery thing.

That annoys me:

Firstly because the most prominent Christian involvement in the abolition of the Slave Trade was motivated by an uncompromising stance on Biblical morality. Anyone who has read Wilberforce would know that his views on slavery were part of a more comprehensive assault on ungodly values, and that he wanted, amongst other things, to see a resurgence of Christian purity, chastity, and sober behaviour.

Secondly, there are no passages telling us that slaves will not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven, or blessed are the slavers - in fact, the most prominent slave, Onesimus, appears to have been a leader in the early church. By contrast, sexual impurity is a central component of a number of prerequisite characteristics of Christian behaviour, but especially of Church leaders.

To suggest that because there have been heretical and unChristian arguments that call on Scripture, that Scripture itself should then be directly contradicted and disobeyed is simply absurd.

4 May 2012 at 17:04  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Has the Bishop and his secretary given permission to publish their email correspondence?

4 May 2012 at 17:30  
Blogger Jon said...

Naomi said "What would happen to the human race if we all became homosexual?" Well, presumably you'd believe that God would have pre-ordained it, so the dying out of our race would be according to his plan?

Of course, it's not impossible for gay people to have kids, just more complicated - but I supposed this is a little nuanced for your argument.

"Previous civilisations that embraced this horror in the past have gone off the scene despite their technological prowess" - causality or correlation?

Naomi, I have repeatedly on this blog and elsewhere offered to assist Christians in setting up a political party to represent their anti-gay marriage view. I have even offered to help you raise your deposit, but not to vote for you.

I have been ignored repeatedly, perhaps because you all realise that this is a lost cause? There was a Christian candidate in my local elections in London. I await their investiture with interest after all the residents flexed their Christian electoral muscles!

4 May 2012 at 17:33  
Blogger LondonVicar said...

The Bishop will have sent a pretty standard letter on the issue.

I think it is important for people to see the falacious arguments he is using.

4 May 2012 at 17:47  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Capital news Your Grace. You certainly possess the potential to bring their house of cards down…

Fight the good fight, what ! In the midst of the gay uprising, we also have a couple of women who don’t know their place, an ‘all things to every man’ retired bishop, and a damn fool of an acting Archdeacon who clearly isn’t onside with Anglicanism. Might help if the Catholic church loans the CoE a few vicar generals to help restore some ecclesiastical discipline, don’t you think ?

4 May 2012 at 17:48  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Jon. On the question of a Christian party, the Inspector has prepared a reply to a post from an earlier thread...

Anna. A Christian political party would be disastrous ! Can you hear the shouts of intolerance, racism, divisiveness and God knows what else from secularists, muslims, homosexuals, atheists, homosexual atheists, satanists, dog breeders, bird watchers, and anybody else so inclined to put the boot in. And you’d have the likes of Len claiming they are not Christians at all and only he has to right to be called a Christian ! Besides, one’s faith should be well above party politics and the filth politicians mire themselves in. {INSPECTOR FROWNS}

4 May 2012 at 17:52  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

DanJO

So when all else fails use the threat of law to stifle free speech.

When I make a good point in the media, (which I don't do very often!) it seems that often as not my comments are soon removed after pressure is applied.

Apparently I upset people... me?

Anyway....

Well done Naomi.

Keep up the good work.

Phil

4 May 2012 at 17:56  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Should have been ‘Vicars General’ of course {YEARS OF EXPENSIVE SCHOOLING WASTED...}

4 May 2012 at 17:58  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Phil Roberts: "So when all else fails use the threat of law to stifle free speech."

I've made no such threat, you're away with the faeries [1] there. It is commonly a matter of [n]etiquette or ethics though. Valuing free speech doesn't give one carte blanche, you know. Perhaps Naomi will let us know whether she actually asked since she was very keen to let us know about those absent replies.

[1] Given the topic, note the deliberate spelling. I'd hate there to be further unfortunate misunderstandings on your part.

4 May 2012 at 18:12  
Blogger Naomi King said...

No Dan the Bishop hasn't given permission but considering how publicly he has made his views know in The Times, The Sunday Times and Pink News I doubt that he could complain.

This is the piece from Pink News dated 3rd February which started the cycle of correspondence. The article comes nicely round to the Diocese of Southwark and the late Dean of Southwark.


Pink News

covers religion, politics, entertainment, finance, and community news for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community in the UK and worldwide. Founded to produce broadsheet quality journalism for the LGBT community, we cover politics to theology in an intelligent manner.

RELIGION · UK
Bishop of Salisbury backs gay marriage

by Stephen Gray
3 February 2012, 9:51am


Bishop Holtam was installed in Salisbury last year


The new Bishop of Salisbury, The Rt Revd Nick Holtam, has spoken out in support of gay marriage.

Bishop Holtam made the comments in an interview with the Times today ahead of the meeting of the General Synod next week, where civil partnerships in churches and equal marriage are to be discussed.

He said: “We are living in a different society. If there’s a gay couple in The Archers, if there’s that form of public recognition in popular soaps, we are dealing with something which has got common currency. All of us have friends, families, relatives, neighbours who are, or who know someone, in same-sex partnerships.”

He said he was “no longer convinced” marriage should be between a man and a woman.

Bishop Holtam, who is married with four children, was installed in Salisbury in October last year, after having been the vicar of St Martin in the Fields in central London.

He continued: “I think same-sex couples that I know who have formed a partnership have in many respects a relationship which is similar to a marriage and which I now think of as marriage.

“And of course now you can’t really say that a marriage is defined by the possibility of having children. Contraception created a barrier in that line of argument. Would you say that an infertile couple who were knowingly infertile when they got married, weren’t in a proper marriage? No you wouldn’t.”

Bishop Holtam acknowledged the importance the Church has given to marriage producing children, but said he saw perception changing, and argued that children could not be “the single defining criteria” of marriage.

Earlier this month, the Very Rev Jeffrey John, Dean of St Albans, said he would consider suing the Church over its decisions not to promote him to bishop.

The 58-year-old, was forced to give up his appointment as Bishop of Reading in 2003 due to his relationship with another priest and was blocked from the post Bishop of Southwark in 2010, a position Bishop Holtam was also considered for. It is now held by The Rt Revd Christopher Chessun.

A memo leaked by Colin Slee, the late Dean of Southwark Cathedral made the claim that there were already several gay bishops who had “been less than candid about their domestic arrangements and who, in a conspiracy of silence, have been appointed to senior positions”.

It added: “This situation cannot endure. Exposure of the reality would be nuclear.”

4 May 2012 at 18:16  
Blogger Roy said...

Who actually drew up the statement delivered by the spokesman/spokesperson? Was it the archdeacon? Was it the bishop? Whoever it was why didn't he nail his colours to the mast and put his name to the statement?

If the statement was drawn up by a single individual then that person is obviously a coward for refusing to put his name to it. Perhaps the statement was drawn up by a committee. That would also provide a shield for a coward.

Finally, is it considered acceptable in the CoE to be "economical with the truth"? What is the difference between that and lying?

4 May 2012 at 18:27  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

I'd agree with him that procreation cannot be the sole criterion for marriage - but he's partly missed the point, because it isn't the sole criterion in New Testament sexuality.

Going through the NT, there's actually very little space devoted to procreation at all. Sexuality is presented as a moral issue that arises from the fact that there is an objective spiritual union that occurs between sexual partners - and one which God intended solely for marriage.

Given that a great many people don't accept this spiritual union, it's hardly surprising that they don't understand the insistence on sexual purity. "No-one is being hurt" is usually the quite reasonable response. Materially no, but if you believe what Scripture teaches, there is profound spiritual harm in sexual immorality, and its part of a comprehensive and coherent view of the body as the temple of the Holy Spirit. There's also profound spiritual harm in a great many other things too - including wrath.

It seems to me quite apparent that a same-sex couple could live perfectly harmoniously with one another, and successfully pull off paying a mortgage etc., and at least be no worse than heterosexual parents if they adopt. Actually, the gay couples I know all tend to be quite socially conservative and big on civic responsibility. If the debate was framed by utilitarian logic, there wouldn't really be much of a debate - but it isn't. The contention in Scripture is, as on so many other issues, not that people can't make a good go of life in their sin, but that assuming that this life is all there is may cost you eternally. Scripture is clear: if you value your soul, you seek Christ's forgiveness, and no longer practice sin - even if nobody else was ever hurt by it.

4 May 2012 at 18:43  
Blogger Preacher said...

Well we can't say we weren't warned:
Acts; 20, v 29-31.

4 May 2012 at 18:45  
Blogger Naomi King said...

ACTS 20:29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

ACTS 20:30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

ACTS 20:31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

4 May 2012 at 19:21  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

DanJO

Etiquette? I thought you "guys" had abolished this a long time ago.

What etiquette is observed when grown "lads" parade in the high street in their underwear, championing their "rights" and now hoping to be married because they are just like other married couples, the same really, ....just behave a bit different.

I am sure it will all work out in the end and we will be fine....not!

I wonder what etiquette will be observed when these "married couples" come into schools to teach us ......................

Oh dear I am at it again..

4 May 2012 at 19:53  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Thank you Phil for making the point about schools. What follows is taken from the C4M resources section, see the toolbar on their website

LocaL authorities and
redefining marriage guidance for EngLand and Wales

At least one political party has claimed that redefining marriage is nothing to do with local councillors.

1 Of course it’s true that the decision to redefine marriage will be taken at Westminster. But any change in the law will have to be implemented locally and will inevitably involve major functions of local councils.

SchooLs

We are deeply concerned about what will be taught in schools if marriage is redefined.
The law says that children must be taught about the nature and importance of marriage.

2 But if marriage is redefined, the nature of marriage in law will be completely changed. Schools, most of which are under the remit of local authorities, will have to teach this new definition.
Parents should not be criticised by schools for refusing to allow their children to take part in lessons that promote same-sex marriage.
Parents only have the right to withdraw their children from sex and relationships education. That does not apply to teaching in other subjects in the curriculum.

3 In the US, after the redefinition of marriage in some states, parents seeking to ensure their children were educated in accordance with their beliefs have been undermined by teachers and blocked by the courts.

4

Employees
Teachers and other council workers should not face discrimination at work because they support traditional marriage.

Councils employ local people across a range of professions, including teachers. If a teacher objected to teaching the new definition of marriage, how would they be treated? Would they be compelled to do such teaching, following the precedent set in the Ladele case?5 What if any other council employee expressed reservations about the redefinition of marriage? There are already examples of people being penalised in their careers for their views on similar issues. Trafford Housing Trust demoted one of its employees, cutting his salary by 40%, for saying on his Facebook page that civil partnerships in churches were “an equality too far”.


CounciL services

Churches and those of other faiths must retain their freedom to speak and act according to their religious beliefs. those that refuse to support same-sex marriage should not be punished by local authorities through denying them access to its services. neither should local authorities withhold the right for religious bodies to hold services of traditional marriage.

Local councils are responsible for allocating funding and controlling the use of public facilities and services. The Public Sector Equality Duty under the Equality Act 2010 requires them to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination when exercising their functions.

10 This could mean that if a body or group like a church expressed its disagreement with same-sex marriage, a council could refuse funding or the hire of
public premises to that group, using the duty as its justification. An analogous situation arose with a care home in 2007, which was not deemed to be LGBT-friendly enough for Brighton Council’s liking – the Council pulled a £13,000 grant that was being used to fund a warden.

4 May 2012 at 20:12  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Phil: "Etiquette? I thought you "guys" had abolished this a long time ago."

No, [n]etiquette is about things like not publishing private correspondence and the like without permission. Do you disagree?

4 May 2012 at 20:13  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Queer types

It’s oft been asked by yourselves why others are interested in your sex lives. Well, to put it plainly, we’re not. However, we see you as a danger to our young. It was no trouble for a testosterone packed Inspector to reach majority unsullied by the temptations of same sex flesh, but others, the ‘waverers’ are not so fortunate. You see, we want to help these gals and chaps along to find their correct place in society – as fathers and mothers.

You can now appreciate why we in British Intelligence take such a dim view to your campaigns. So desist now, why you still can. Friendly advice, good grief, almost said warning then. That would never do, don’t you agree.

It all comes down to this. You can be well down the road of sexual degeneration, but the best of us are not. And we don’t want you taking any more than can be helped with you. Now, carry on, and as you were...

4 May 2012 at 20:32  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Inspector

I agree with you apart from "Now, carry on, and as you were..."!

4 May 2012 at 20:41  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Inspector: "However, we see you as a danger to our young."

You're extrapolating from your priests, I reckon, in both sexual terms and in polluting young minds. Still, at least this Catholic has finally sorted that thing out. Some people seem to attract bad luck, what with that unfortunate incident and now the misfortune of having a laptop stolen like that. The poor man! Ahem.

4 May 2012 at 20:52  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Still, it must be very reassuring that Cardinal Brady is making statements about the situation and trying to get to the bottom of it all.

4 May 2012 at 20:57  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

DanJ0. What to do with homosexual Catholic priests who preyed on the young, or more accurately used to, as they will all need to be watched as hawk does now. You’re a homosexual, and therefore a potential preyer on the young, any ideas ?

4 May 2012 at 21:03  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

DanJ0

There are homosexuals and perverts in all walks of life, including the Church and not just the Catholic Church. I'm sure you know some too.

As a Catholic, I'm grateful the Church now excludes anyone with a homosexual tendency from ordination. Not teribbly PC or equal but that's the price one has to pay for an objective disorder that time and time again many have shown to be uncontrollable.

4 May 2012 at 21:15  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

No idea, Inspector. Perhaps the combination of your religious beliefs, the smell of incense, and the communal power triggers it in men who are denied a normal sexual outlet. You'd know better than me about all that stuff. Is that how you ended up as you appear to be: a sexually repressed gay man in denial, trying to make the best of it by imagining up a 'beard' for cover on the forum here when people started noticing your rather vehement obsession about the topic?

4 May 2012 at 21:21  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

DanJ0. Is that how you ended up as you appear to be: a sexually repressed gay man in denial,

Not your standard chat up line, one hopes. Could get your arse kicked with that one, and worse....

heh heh

4 May 2012 at 21:33  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Gentlemen, From this evening's Telegraph webpage leader...

Local elections 2012: David Cameron warned to return to Tory values after heavy election defeat

By Rowena Mason, Political Correspondent
9:26AM BST 04 May 2012
939 Comments

Senior Conservatives blamed the “Jeremy Hunt fiasco”, support for gay marriage and a series of national rows over the budget, as the party looked set to lose more than 400 local seats.

Initial estimates from the BBC show Labour with 39 per cent of the vote, the Tories with 31 per cent and the Lib Dems on 16 per cent, with a low turn-out of 32 per cent.

David Cameron was warned today that he must return to “traditional policies” after bruising defeats in the local elections and his dream of elected mayors left in tatters.

However, the Prime Minister is likely to come under pressure to change tack from the right of his party, as UKIP made gains in Conservative heartlands.

Gerald Howarth, a defence minister who served in Margaret Thatcher's government, said the leadership must “listen to some of the concerns” that the party is not being Conservative enough on traditional issues.

"There are issues, for example, like the proposals for gay marriage," he told the BBC. "A lot of Conservatives have written to me saying 'I am a lifelong Conservative, there is no mandate for this, why is this being proceeded with?'.

4 May 2012 at 21:49  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Inspector, you have to admit that conjuring up a woman not long after questions were being asked about your unusual relationship status looks a bit odd. The claim that she's a nurse sounds even more suspect as though you're trying too hard to make it plausible and end up creating a caricature instead. It's the stuff of socially awkward young men in their early 20s trying to fit in. That you appear to have resorted to it at your age speaks volumes, especially given your almost compulsive obsession with linking child abuse and homosexuality.

4 May 2012 at 21:54  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

DanJ0. your almost compulsive obsession with linking child abuse and homosexuality

Er, isn’t that what you do. Your numerous references to gay Catholic priests, this august site, passim.

Do you play chess ? The Inspector represented his school, and a damn good run we had too. Last year, he was invited to meet and play county players. Had five games with those fanatics, but did win one, so skill still there. If you don’t play, then this is a bit like chess. Your rated performance by this man coming soon...

4 May 2012 at 22:01  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I hold the Catholic Church to account based on its claim to be a moral arbiter and a leading light and the bride of Christ. The content is almost irrelevant, really. It's the fact that it has turned out to be a den of iniquity, already setting aside its terrible history, that's the real talking point.

4 May 2012 at 22:07  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Also from the Telegraph ...

Local elections:

Ukip and Respect gain ground
The UK Independence Party has enjoyed its best ever local election results, piling pressure on David Cameron to distance himself from his Coalition partners.

By Murray Wardrop
7:41AM BST 04 May 2012
271 Comments

The Eurosceptic party averaged about 14 per cent of the vote where its candidates were standing, mainly at the expense of the Conservatives.

The result is likely to be seen as an ultimatum to the Prime Minister that his party is alienating right wing voters and will increase calls for the Coalition to hold an EU referendum.

Conservative MP Gary Streeter blamed defections to Ukip for his party losing control of Plymouth to Labour.

"We need to work out a strategy, certainly in the west country, for dealing with the issue of traditional voters shuffling off and voting Ukip because they don't think our leadership is Conservative enough," he said.

"The Ukip vote is not just about Europe," he added.
"It's also about a hardcore of traditional Conservative voters saying, 'actually we don't like the kind of small 'l' liberal decisions this government is beginning to take – it offends our values and we're going to protest and vote Ukip"

4 May 2012 at 22:18  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

DanJ0. The Catholic church is here. It’s a part of life, like gay liberation, like Stonewall, and that Higgins trust, named after that poor bastard who couldn’t keep it in his pants. Let’s forget about the RCC ’terrible history’ and see it as the force for good it is now. You can take or leave it, but if you dare try to change society for your benefit, it will square up to you...

4 May 2012 at 22:20  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Mr Integrity. Just seen your opening reply on this thread. It was of course the farmers wife that did the deed...

4 May 2012 at 22:27  
Blogger Naomi King said...

"it [the Catholic Church] has turned out to be a den of iniquity". How insulting is that coming from a homosexual ?

The Catholic Church has stood almost alone against the abortion (aka murder) of 6 million children in the UK since 1967. I would not like to be David Steel, aka Lord Steel, when he has to meet his Maker.

Even us of a protestant persuasion acknowledge the great debt we owe to Catholics and Catholicism.

4 May 2012 at 22:43  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Naomi: ""it [the Catholic Church] has turned out to be a den of iniquity". How insulting is that coming from a homosexual ?"

Oh the irony.

4 May 2012 at 22:48  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

But on the positive side, I knew I had you sussed correctly. Damn I'm good. :)

4 May 2012 at 22:49  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Inspector,
You may not have been able to follow the twitter discusion between His Grace and the argumentative Church mouse over this topic. Ofcourse I know it was the farmers wife, not the butler in the library or anybody else. Just thought is was amusing.

4 May 2012 at 23:07  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Your Grace and others,
The Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam wrote to Mrs King,
The six passages referring to homosexuality do not address the reality of that minority of people who are homosexual not by deviance from their heterosexual nature, nor by preference or choice, but because of their given identity.
Let's all have compassion on the criminal types because the poor people can't help it, it's their given nature. We won't send them to prison, we will send them to Southwark Cathedral for counselling and conversion to gays.
Psalm 3 v7
'Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly.'
I trust that this is prophetic as I shall pray this prayer and trust that Lord will hear my prayer and that we might see Cameron and a few others enter the Commons with red cheeks and gaping teeth. Then we will know that the Lord is Good.

4 May 2012 at 23:20  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

Naomi, it is worth remembering that these results for UKIP are in spite on some idiot rebranding UKIP candidates (don't know whether it was the election bods or UKIP themselves).

4 May 2012 at 23:42  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

DanJo

Bigging yourself up again, I see. Such an ego for a wee camp man. No wonder you are unattached. We all know you want to dress up, wear make-up and flounce down the Isle. You do know that homosexual marriage wont necessarily increase your prospects, don't you?

4 May 2012 at 23:48  
Blogger David B said...

@ Dodo

Isle?

David B

5 May 2012 at 00:02  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Aisle!

5 May 2012 at 00:10  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Naomi King

Even us of a protestant persuasion acknowledge the great debt we owe to Catholics and Catholicism.

We do? Did I miss a memo or something?

carl

5 May 2012 at 00:25  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

In fairness, Carl, the Pope did send a few missionaries to the British Isles, which in turn led to the creation of the Church of England, Methodism, Baptists and the United States of America. Sure, they've made some pretty huge gaffs down the years, but they have had a hand in some pretty decent results.

5 May 2012 at 00:38  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Well, OK. I guess we can credit the RCC with inspiring the Reformation.

carl

5 May 2012 at 00:43  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

carl asked ...

"Did I miss a memo or something?

Yep, but that would have been predestined.

You most certainly have missed something - correct teaching through the odd Encyclical, perhaps.

5 May 2012 at 00:45  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

carl

Now that last comment will land you in a whole heap of trouble on Judgement Day!

5 May 2012 at 00:48  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Naomi King's e-mail exchange with the Good Bishop simply demonstrates the futility of such exchanges. If you want to get the Bishop's attention, then say this: "My parish will no longer send any money to support the diocese until this problem is resolved to our satisfaction." THEN he will engage in a conversation with you, because then you will be speaking a language he understands.

Personally, I have long thought that conservatives should 'starve the beast.' Liberal bishops can't pursue liberal agendas, or appoint liberal hacks without money. Drive them into bankruptcy. When you see them standing on street corners with signs that say "Will Live into your context for food" then you will know you have achieved your objective.

carl

5 May 2012 at 00:51  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

@ Danjo
To you
from
you
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

It would be appreciated if you keep your comments witty,irreverent scintillating,informative and interesting at all times. Let this be our(you and your) new branding as there are a few communicants on this blog who think I am actually you having a larf at their expense. .

5 May 2012 at 02:28  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Danjo criticises the posting of the letter from the Bishop to a member of his flock on an issue he himself made highly public through the front page of The Sunday Times, which does no more than repeat what he has already said in public.

So does Dan similarly criticise the Late Dean of Southwark for publishing to Pink News an internal memo; an action specifically intended to embarrass and put political pressure on his two most senior bosses, Archbishop Rowan Williams and Archbishop Sentamu ?

"A leaked memo by Colin Slee, the late Dean of Southwark Cathedral could prove critical in the case. (Gay dean to sue Church of England after twice being rejected as bishop due to his sexuality.)

It claims that Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, originally supported Dr John’s nomination for Bishop of Reading in 2003 but then personally blocked it. It is claimed that Dr Williams also supported Dr John’s promotion to bishop last year but then again blocked his appointment,

“We had two very horrible days in which I would say both archbishops behaved very badly,” wrote Mr Slee after the vote to appoint the Bishop of Southwark.

“The meeting was not a fair consideration at all; they were intent on wrecking both Jeffrey John and Nick Holtam [the Bishop of Salisbury] equally, despite the fact that their CVs were startlingly in an entirely different and better league than the other two candidates.

“The Archbishop of Canterbury was bad-tempered throughout. When it came to voting, certainly two — possibly three — members were in tears and [Dr Williams] made no
acknowledgment but carried on regardless.”

The leaked memo also makes the startling claim there are currently several gay bishops “who have been less than candid about their domestic arrangements and who, in a conspiracy of silence, have been appointed to senior positions”.

It added: “This situation cannot endure. Exposure of the reality would be nuclear.”

In 1994, the human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell and the group Outrage! Outed 10 bishops who were believed to be gay but publicly supported the discrimination of gay people.

An unnamed friend of Dr John told The Sunday Times: “When he was given and relinquished the position as Bishop of Reading, that was very hard for him to do. When he was shortlisted but didn’t receive the position of Bishop of Southwark, that was a very bitter blow for him. It doesn’t surprise me that he is considering taking action like this and I think he stands a very good chance.

Another friend of Dr John said: “This is not a case of demanding something he is not entitled to but a way of resolving the flawed voting process that prevented him being made the Bishop of Southwark.”"

"Britain’s most senior openly gay cleric has threatened to sue the Church of England unless it promotes him to Bishop."

by James Park
15 January 2012, 12:47pm

Pink News

full report http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2012/01/15/gay-dean-to-sue-church-of-england-after-twice-being-rejected-as-bishop-due-to-his-sexuality/

5 May 2012 at 06:49  
Blogger Naomi King said...

This is the original story from back in 2006

Gay Dean has secret civil partnership

by Staff Writer, PinkNews.co.uk
1 August 2006, 12:00am


Under House of Bishops guidelines, the clerics are allowed to enter into a civil partnership because they claim they are not engaging in sexual relations


The Church of England’s first openly gay Dean, the Very Rev Jeffrey John, has had a secret civil partnership with another Anglican clergyman, according to reports.

Dr John, currently Dean of St Albans, is rumoured to have had a civil partnership with Reverend Grant Holmes last week.

The Daily Telegraph reports that the couple held a low key ceremony wearing their clerical collars, with a small number of witnesses in the audience.

Under House of Bishops guidelines, the clerics are allowed to enter into a civil partnership because they claim they are not engaging in sexual relations.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams, commenting recently on the row over gay clergy, said: “I can envisage, though I don’t in the least want to see, a situation in which there may be more divisions than at present.”

5 May 2012 at 06:56  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Not only do these people not respect the rules of God they don't respect the rules of their Employer either !

5 May 2012 at 06:58  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Naomi: "Danjo criticises the posting of the letter [...]"

It's not a particularly big thing but it does seem a bit unethical and a breach of etiquette. It feels worse because you wrote the emails in the style of a letter with "Yours sincerely" at the end.

I don't suppose the bishop or his secretary care too much about the content being disclosed, I'd expect people like that to be naturally careful what they write when in role. But hey, it's up to you. If you feel comfortable doing it then so be it.

5 May 2012 at 07:03  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Thank you Danjo, that was courteous of you to say so.

5 May 2012 at 07:17  
Blogger Naomi King said...

It would also be ethical and etiquette for Nicholas Holham the Bishop of Salisbury to answer my letters in this "space for honest conversation" that he has declared. Which apparently does not include a conversation with anyone who reads the Holy Bible as opposed to listening to The Archers.

5 May 2012 at 07:24  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Naomi: "It would also be ethical and etiquette for Nicholas Holham the Bishop of Salisbury to answer my letters in this "space for honest conversation" that he has declared."

Perhaps he now prefers to publish statements from his one-to-one letters himself? Can't say I'd blame him if so.

5 May 2012 at 07:40  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Actually, it'd be interesting if he suddenly decided to publish selected personal letters from various people who have written to him recently, including their identities, without seeking permission. I bet he's had some corkers.

5 May 2012 at 07:43  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Well as it says in Romans

ROM 1:29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

ROM 1:30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

ROM 1:31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

ROM 1:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

What else would you expect from "Liberals"

Oh and by the way you haven't answered my question

"So does Dan similarly criticise the Late Dean of Southwark for publishing to Pink News an internal memo; an action specifically intended to embarrass and put political pressure on his two most senior bosses, Archbishop Rowan Williams and Archbishop Sentamu ?"

5 May 2012 at 07:48  
Blogger len said...

This controversy surrounding Peter Gowlland and the Diocese of Southwark merely highlights one of the problems within 'organised religion.'

Who should we obey the Word of God..... or the word of man?. Of course this applies to every religion and every Christian denomination.

God has given us His Word to be the final judge in this matter.

5 May 2012 at 08:16  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Absolutely Len

2TIM 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

2TIM 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

5 May 2012 at 08:32  
Blogger Naomi King said...

And also



1TIM 1:8 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;

1TIM 1:9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,

1TIM 1:10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

1TIM 1:11 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.

5 May 2012 at 08:41  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Naomi: "What else would you expect from "Liberals""

More than the sort of religious person who tries to use scripture as a judgemental weapon, that's for sure. Especially the Romans reference, much loved by homophobes and the self-righteous.

As for the question about the memo, I don't know without looking into what happened and I'm not that bothered. There's an argument of being in the public interest for publishing stuff but it's a breach of etiquete and it's unethical nonetheless.

Like most self-righteous and judgemental people, you really don't like being pulled up on things like hypocrisy, or being judged on your own behaviour, do you?

5 May 2012 at 09:38  
Blogger graham wood said...

Naomi. I fully agree with all your posts and principled stand against the liberal/modernists within the C of E, including Bishop of Salisbury.
But, as one of the posters pointed out above, these liberals are not open to persuasion, and least of all to Scripture. I am not surprised therefore that you have not heard from him. BTW what is your E mail address (so that I can contact you off list?) Thanks
grahamwood32@yahoo.co.uk

5 May 2012 at 09:56  
Blogger len said...

The Word of God is above all else I would remind secularists that we (Christians ) are not are not above the Word but also are judged by it!.

In fact' the Word' judges us whenever we read it.

The Word of God judges all things and all that would wish to remain concealed is brought into the Light by the Word and Judged.

5 May 2012 at 10:51  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Naomi King, Len and anyone,
It would help to understand where you are coming from if we knew a little about your background from your profile page.
AnonymousInBelfast said.@18:43
Materially no, but if you believe what Scripture teaches, there is profound spiritual harm in sexual immorality,
I don't want to contradict you but there is very serious material and emotional damage caused from sexual immorality, even amongst the unsaved. Ladies in particular are emotional scared when the trust in a marriage is broken and the damage to children is immeasurable.

5 May 2012 at 11:33  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Carl

have long thought that conservatives should 'starve the beast.' Liberal bishops can't pursue liberal agendas, or appoint liberal hacks without money.


_____



You are so right. I think we have been too soft kept the money flowing whilst all the while been kicked in the teeth.

Need to try your approach!, it cannot be any less effective

Phil

5 May 2012 at 11:59  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Phil,
You can try but you may have a problem. It's Judas who carries the bag.

5 May 2012 at 12:08  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Dear All

I agree that removal of the tithe is an important answer and I have asked my Parish Rector about it. Since the Bishop of Salisbury's article in The Sunday Times last February I am no longer willing to support him financially. This is what I have said. I am also engaged with the Bishop of Sherborne on the matter, who is also in the Salisbury Diocese.

Dear Andrew

I understand that in the Diocese of Southwick conservative churches are setting money into an alternate account so as not to support homosexuality, is this correct?
Maybe this could be a solution in Salsibury ? I certainly no longer wish to financially support Bishop Holham and his views.

Warmest regards in Christ
Naomi

5 May 2012 at 12:16  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Yes I do believe we ow a great debt to our Catholic brothers and sisters. Inter alia they, by and large, have better moral principles than many of today's protestants and they also set a great example on good works. I know this is not everything and that Holy Scripture supersedes all but they deserve our respect and credit for the fine things that they do do.

For example when His Holiness Pope Benedict came to Britain last year he said some very strong words about the moral and spiritual decay in this Nation and we would be wise to listen to them (not because I believe he is infallible) but because I do believe he is a holy and wise man.

5 May 2012 at 12:43  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Mr Integrity said...

" Phil,
You can try but you may have a problem. It's Judas who carries the bag."

What a brilliant pithy insight, my good man.

Ernst

5 May 2012 at 13:26  
Blogger William said...

Naomi King @ 12:43

Wise words Naomi and well put.

5 May 2012 at 13:32  
Blogger Naomi King said...

William, thank you.

Bless you.

5 May 2012 at 13:55  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

DanJ0 wrote:

More than the sort of religious person who tries to use scripture as a judgemental weapon, that's for sure. Especially the Romans reference, much loved by homophobes and the self-righteous.

The self-righteous man says "I am good. You are evil." That is not the same thing as saying "This is good. That is evil." The issue is one of standards. By what standard does a man judge? You yourself judged others in this very comment. 'Self righteous.' 'Homophobe.' 'Hypocrisy.' Your post is full of judgment. You would defend your judgment simply by saying you have faithfully applied the standard.

That is what we do. We apply the standard. The Scripture is indeed a weapon. It is a sharp two-edged sword that is able to divide truth from falsehood. It is a standard of judgment and those who use it to judge homosexual behavior as evil judge rightly. You may not like the standard because it condemns your behavior. That is not the fault of the standard or those who apply it faithfully.

carl

5 May 2012 at 14:05  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Carl,
I really enjoy your comments on this site which are usually balanced and deep in insight.
However, unless you enjoy the sport of Bear Baiting, I suggest that you limit your throwing 'pearls before swine'.
Your comments with DanJo are typical of responses made to him over a long time and I have noticed no change. OK, one might say that you should never give up on anyone but with some, let’s just wait and see and not waste our time. He really does enjoy bating the Christians.

5 May 2012 at 14:48  
Blogger len said...

Mr Integrity,

I also feel that we are' casting pearls' which are going to get trampled underfoot.
But....there may be a few enlightened souls (who read our comments) who will respond to our 'pearls' although those to whom our replies are addressed will reject them.

5 May 2012 at 14:55  
Blogger William said...

Carl,

I really enjoy your comments on this site which are usually balanced and deep in insight.

Keep it up.

I think that DanJ0's credo is that Christians don't really believe what they preach and that they use their standard to indulge in homophobia etc. The point of the bating is to get Christians to demonstrate un-christ-like behaviour thus reinforcing his hypothesis. Also he just likes to stick two metaphorical fingers up at religious busy bodies. And why not? If all you are is worm food in a few decades, why not have a bit of fun along the way?

5 May 2012 at 15:06  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Mr Integrity

Thank you for your kind words about my posts. I appreciate the expression of value in my efforts.

Oftentimes my posts are not directed at the another commenter so much as the silent reader. When I read through a thread, I sometimes encounter certain arguments that are central to my opponent's position. It is important to be able to recognize and defeat them. I respond to those arguments so that I might offer some assistance to the silent reader. In this way he may learn from and build upon my experience.

I'm not interested in baiting DanJ0. He doesn't much care what I think on the matter. I neither require nor seek after his affirmation. But the accusation of "self-righteousness" is a common ad hominem attack that needs to be defeated. I simply wanted a response on the record.

carl

5 May 2012 at 15:10  
Blogger Naomi King said...

PROV 14:7 Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge.



PROV 14:9 Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour.

5 May 2012 at 15:12  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

William

The point of the bating is to get Christians to demonstrate un-christ-like behaviour thus reinforcing his hypothesis.

I don't think DanJ0 does that. I think he comes here to 1) prove to himself that his world view can withstand the arguments presented against it and 2) to test his arguments in real conflict. I think he also enjoys the intellectual simulation.

carl

5 May 2012 at 15:21  
Blogger Naomi King said...

I think Boris needs to think very hard about his banning of the bus adverts of Anglian Mainstream, during the pre election month of April, which answering the Gay Pride declaration on 1000 buses throughout the month which said ‘Some People Are Gay. Get Over It!’ with a link to Stonewall’s equal marriage campaign website.

Boris Johnson came very close to losing his post as Mayor of London because of this politically bad judgement.

The only major UK political party which objects to the Prime Minister's sexual liberalisation programme is UKIP. Nationally UKIP polled 14% of the vote, 3% more than the Liberal Democrats got on 11%). This is a very significant factor in undermining the Tory's ability to win next time round at the General Election.

However in the London Capital, because of an as yet an unexplained mislabelling of the UKIP candidate as "Fresh Choice For London" instead of UKIP he only received 2% of the vote (compared to 14% nationally).

How different things could have been for Boris Johnson if UKIP candidate had been correctly labelled...

5 May 2012 at 15:43  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

@Mr Integrity (11:13):

I wouldn't dispute that there can be, and often is, material damage in addition to spiritual damage - and in fact, I'd see material harm in general as stemming from spiritual disorder (in general or specifically, and not solely from sexual immorality).

The damage caused by adultery is, as you suggest, often extensive. It is though possible to find rare examples where adulterous behaviour presents no outward difficulty to those involved or where adultery occurs "amicably". Even in those cases, though, Christ's rigorous teaching on adultery applies - and it is still sexual immorality. I only stress this because (and I'm not accusing anyone here of doing this) if we end up chasing only the material side of sexual immorality we run into two arguments: the first being that apparently "healthy" relationships are not covered by Scriptural teaching on sexual morality (the bastion of Liberals, and, seemingly, CofE Bishops), the second being that even apparently "healthy" relationships must be secretly causing gross material harm.

The former misses the point of the spirituality of sex, the latter runs the risk of appearing obsessive or nonsensical when individuals who are living in sexual immorality but nevertheless not causing any material harm present themselves.

5 May 2012 at 16:10  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

Naomi, the advert was ill-advised and I think it was good that it didn't see the light of day. However, I DO think that the advert that sparked it should have been banned. After all, where is the Church saying that gays are evil? The Church says such about actions, but not people. The initial advert was all about poking for a reaction, which it got. The gay lobby then got the response from government that it wanted and thus a barrier has been brought between government and the Church.

The gay lobby got what they wanted all because government allowed their advert to get put up on the side of a bus in the name of equality. Far better would have been to either ignore it, respond with "Yeah, and...?" or to report it as hate speech clearly created to incite a reaction from particular religious groups.

5 May 2012 at 16:37  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

I'm sorry Belfast but I'm sink. I mean sunk by your reply. It must be the Belfast Accent because I didn't understand a word.
If you could translate it into English then I might have another go.

5 May 2012 at 16:46  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

graham wood said...

Dear fellow

Are you the writer of the piece in this months Evangelicals Now. http://www.e-n.org.uk/5867-Same-sex-marriage.htm

If so, congratulations, most excellent work, my boy.

Ernst

5 May 2012 at 16:49  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "The self-righteous man says "I am good. You are evil." That is not the same thing as saying "This is good. That is evil." The issue is one of standards."

No, it's a lot more than that. I think it's primarily about the accompanying feelings in the relationship. You're actually missing a whole section of what goes on. You know, we have a TV progamme over here hosted by a man called Jeremy Kyle. The programme's schtick is based entirely on that missing section to generate an audience.

"I don't think DanJ0 does that. I think he comes here to [...]"

They're the main reasons. However, William is also right in some circumstances. There's some use in showing the silent reader that Christians, at least those who think the Holy Spirit is transformative, are actually just like everyone else. In regard to homophobia, I think those who experience it get some sense of undue justification through religion. I'd like homophobes to embrace their raw feelings just as they are. When they do, I'm actually happy to just nod in recognition because I understand it.

5 May 2012 at 17:23  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Mr I: "However, unless you enjoy the sport of Bear Baiting, I suggest that you limit your throwing 'pearls before swine'."

I quite like Matthew 7:6 because people usually quote it as protection when they're on the back foot. It attempts to create a sniffy 'moral' high ground to retreat towards. I also think the people who use it actually realise that it's a self-delusory patchup at some level.

5 May 2012 at 17:34  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Beloved Friends, this may help you with Danjo

"When poor souls are coming to Jesus they are generally, themselves, their own worst enemies. They have a singular ingenuity in finding out reasons why they should not be saved. A strange infatuation seems to possess them so that they ransack Heaven, earth and Hell to find discouragements. They become inventive of difficulties where difficulties are not and often the pastor, whose business it is to look after the little ones, finds himself, notwithstanding his former experience with persons of like character, utterly bewildered. He is often put to a nonplus with the strange and novel difficulties which awakened sinners will imagine and the reasons which they invent why they should not believe in Jesus Christ.
One would hardly think that the human mind could twist itself into such knots. So many sinners, so many new arguments—for each one has a logic of his own by which he labors to prove the impossibility of his own salvation. Upon consideration, this will not appear very remarkable, for they have long been living in sin and it is no wonder that when they begin to see aright they should be bewildered with fear."

Spurgeon 1873 (Sermon 1131 Clearing the Road to Heaven on Isaiah 62 : 10)

5 May 2012 at 18:19  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

DanJ0

No, it's a lot more than that. I think it's primarily about the accompanying feelings in the relationship.

Righteousness is never about feelings. A man may feel attracted or repulsed by different actions or behaviors. His feelings of attraction or repulsion do not necessarily affect his judgment of the righteousness of those actions. A man may feel attracted to the idea of having sex with his neighbor's wife. That doesn't mean he will justify adultery. Indeed the whole basis of temptation is the enticement to indulge a behavior we know to be wrong. There isn't much point in trying to tempt someone into doing something he finds repulsive.

Self-righteousness on the other hand is always a matter of establishing oneself as the standard of judgment. The accompanying feelings to which you refer proceed from that fact. "I am good and therefore you are evil." "I am superior and therefore you are inferior." Men by nature judge in the horizontal plane. They compare themselves with that man over there and look for ways to place themselves in a favorable light. The proper arena for judgment is in the vertical plane against the perfect standard of God. It is against that standard that all men find themselves wanting. It is the one standard that protects against self-righteousness because it is the only standard not intrinsic to man himself.

DanJ0, I am 52 years old. The strongest realization I have made in my Christian life is the progressing downward spiral of my own estimation of myself. I have fewer illusions about myself today than I did 20 years ago. I expect that the future will not alter this trajectory. The person I am most capable of naming a hypocrite is myself. I know my weaknesses and flaws and sins both secret and public. That's why I need Redeemer and not a Life Coach. But if I judge myself, it is according to the same standard. That standard is as merciless and pitiless in its estimation of me as it is towards anyone else.

You say that Christians are just like everyone else, and who are we to deny it? Sin is the common trait of every man. It is a foundational fact of the Christian faith that God did not choose a people on the basis of any intrinsic goodness in men. There is no goodness in man. But I think you mistake the easy nominalism of the West with the harsh reality of the Christian walk in other parts of the world. The days are coming when that nominalism will pass from the scene; when sheep will be separated from goat at the point of a sword. Then you will see the difference.

carl

5 May 2012 at 18:23  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Naomi: "Beloved Friends, this may help you with Danjo"

Lol. You see?

5 May 2012 at 18:39  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

DanJ0

btw ...

I quite like Matthew 7:6 because people usually quote it as protection when they're on the back foot. It attempts to create a sniffy 'moral' high ground to retreat towards. I also think the people who use it actually realise that it's a self-delusory patchup at some level.

You are quite wrong about this. This verse is typically applied as triage before the fact. It is inevitably referenced to the opponent and not his argument. Let me give you an example. There is a commenter on this site with the nick 'Alpha Draconis.' My initial judgment of Alpha was that he was a mocking troll, and I wouldn't give him the time of day. I won't waste time on mocking trolls precisely because of exhortations about not throwing pearls before swine. I eventually came to the conclusion that I was wrong about Alpha; that he was making serious comments wrapped in a rather unusual ... ummm ... format. That changes how I interact with him.

The application of the verse in question derives from the nature of the opponent's motivation and not the nature of the argument. I will contend indefinitely with someone who is respectful and serious, but I will not suffer one who reveals himself to be a mocking fool.

carl

5 May 2012 at 18:52  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "Righteousness is never about feelings."

We're talking at slightly crossed purposes there. I'm just talking about self-righteousness there, and I stand by my original comment which I think is accurate for the context.

I'll ignore the rest if the stuff about standards because it's mostly a vehicle to make your point yet again about the external standard you imagine exists.

5 May 2012 at 19:13  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "You are quite wrong about this."

I disagree. The public delivery of the line is very important. By observation, it seems that the swine bit is often quite satisfying too. Indeed, I've seen some people draw that out explicitly elsewhere.

As far as Alpha is concerned, I simply ignored his comments for a while as I didn't think they were worth engaging. No need for chippy quotes there. I now find he's harmless and sometimes interesting.

5 May 2012 at 19:18  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Mr Integrity. The Inspector has a very soft spot for mice. He used to keep them, outside, much to the disgust of his then neighbours and the amazement of the local cat population. Fancy ones they were. To those not in the know, all mice are born blind, their eyes not having developed fully due to their mother knocking them out at a prestigious rate. 18 in a litter not uncommon. Any that died were eaten by mum. nothing wasted...

5 May 2012 at 19:34  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Carl

I think you need to put your answers to DanJo in a book..

I have kept a number of your answers as I find it helps me enormously to clarify my mind when I need to argue for a particular Biblical principle.

Unfortunately most of us do not have your knowledge or eloquence. I find you say what we want to articulate, but you have the gift of getting to the root of the issue, with a solid Christian perspective, in just a few words.

I find that I am overwhelmed by conflicting opinions and so I do not know what to think, (Like our story from Southwark). My head wants to explode from info overload and I find I need to go back to the Bible otherwise I would be dragged along by the liberal rubbish and I would not know what to believe.

Anyway personally I find your comments immensely useful

Thank you for taking the time to write them

Phil

5 May 2012 at 21:52  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Carl, to echo Phil Roberts, do seriously consider ‘the book’. The format that would be best in this man’s opinion is as it happened. The post, your response, the counter, your completion. Let us know your considered thoughts on this. Do take your time...

5 May 2012 at 22:12  
Blogger Alpha Draconis said...

@Carl and Danjo,

Me a "mocking troll?". Never!

I shall say this only once.

The author of my persona prefers to view this character as akin to the Shakespearean fool -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shakespearean_fool

5 May 2012 at 23:29  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

@Mr Integrity: Sorry about that.

The issue with sexual immorality cannot solely be understood from a Christian perspective as being about material harm.

We can all recognise when sexual immorality is clearly harmful - and in fact, most non-Christians would also recognise those situations. Relationship breakdown in adultery; sexually-transmitted diseases etc.

If sexual immorality is viewed solely in these material terms, the Liberal view appears to be stronger: that the prohibitions against sexual immorality are actually only about materially harmful forms. So the prohibition against homosexuality is "in fact" only a prohibition against male prostitution, or against non-monogamous same-sex partners.

Quite clearly the language in Scripture does not support this - the action itself is identified as immoral (offensive to God), in the case of M/M partnerings, describing both the "active" and "passive" as being wrong (which contrasts with other cultural ideas in 1stC Greece where M/M "passivity" was often caricatured more negatively). So the issue of whether or not that action may be materially harmful is ultimately irrelevant (or at least less significant) - it is prohibited to Christians, even where it causes "no [material] harm". A huge sticking point for many Christians is precisely the line of thought: "X and Y seem happy - why should we call them out if they're not having any troubles", ignoring, of course, the consistent warnings in Scripture that material happiness is not a reliable indicator of one's spiritual health.

This attention to the spiritual harm of sexual immorality is most comprehensively expressed by Paul, but is unquestionably rooted in Christ's own teaching that even sinful thoughts carry the spiritual penalty as if they had been acted upon. If you look lustfully at another woman, you have committed adultery - not "materially", but "spiritually". If you hold hatred in your heart for your brother, you have committed murder "spiritually".

To the modern eye, "spiritually" can almost seem spurious: after all, we live in an age where for many people the "material" is quite literally all there is. To the unsaved, "spiritually" is just code for "less real" and therefore "less important" - to be ignored or rejected if it contradicts what is materially self-evident. Scripture reveals that the "spiritual" is more real than "material reality. Which is why Christians should be alert to being sidetracked into a philosophical system which will ultimately lead them away from God's Word.

Or I guess, for the clearer minded, you can just obey Scripture and keep God's commandments.

6 May 2012 at 00:04  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Some of you are kind to me - far kinder than I deserve ... well, maybe not because, after all, I am an American ... but I don't think you have thought through the implications of this proposal. If I should write down my interactions with DanJ0, then there would be a permanent record of the pummeling I have inflicted upon him these past several months. It might be better to offer kindness instead, and let him forget.

[whistles innocently]

carl

6 May 2012 at 02:39  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Anonymous in Belfast.00:04

Or, I guess for the clearer minded,
you can just obey scripture (according to me)and keep God's commandments.

Or, I guess, the clearer minded ones, being so clear they are actually transparent beings made of air, celestial beings with no human traits, neither blood nor viscera.

The purpose of the ten commandments and scripture
was not to transform human beings into alien celestial beings.

Spirituality is very important, but you are confusing it with your unhealthy mind control, thought- policing views of spirituality. Sounds very bog Catholic a moi.

I am now committing the spirtual sin of thinking you are an intractable obdurate nong, and also enjoying it, which makes two sins.

Every human has involuntary impulses but does not necessarily have to act on any of them. This is not a sin, you unnatural creeeture!

If salvation might mean contact with someone of your ilk, I will reject it, if proffered.

6 May 2012 at 04:50  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Cressida de Nova

Every human has involuntary impulses but does not necessarily have to act on any of them. This is not a sin, you unnatural creeeture!

This statement has nothing to do with what AinB was talking about. He was developing an idea that comes right out of the Sermon on the Mount. He literally paraphrased parts of it. It is black letter law. The anger that leads to murder is the same as murder. To look at a woman with lust is to be guilty of adultery. (Which is why every male between the ages of puberty and dead is guilty of violating the commandment.) The basic principle is that the desire reveals the nature of the heart. This has nothing to do with involuntary impulses. It has to do with voluntary indulgence of immoral desires. Why would you react with such anger to a post that is both well-reasoned, and founded upon such a pedigree as the words of Christ Himself?

carl

6 May 2012 at 05:13  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Cressida: "I am now committing the spirtual sin of thinking you are an intractable obdurate nong, and also enjoying it, which makes two sins."

:O

Of all the Christians here, he fits my idea of what a Christian ought to be like!

6 May 2012 at 05:56  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "Some of you are kind to me - far kinder than I deserve [...]"

I've said in that past that your arguments are usually pretty interesting and require a bit of thinking about. When I look at most arguments made here, the flaws are immediately obvious and are often all over the place.

With yours, the argument is usually quite precise and I get right to the end before I realise I shouldn't be there with those two stark and usually very bleak choices. I then have to work back looking for the unstated or hidden assumptions, which I think is the sign of a decent argument.

There's something similar with the Catholic construction of reality, which is hardly surprising given the time and effort used in building it over the last 1300 years.

The internal logic there is pretty damned good, one has to look hard at the edges to undermine it ie. at the core cosmological assumptions and at the bits arguing for the nature of god. Of course, they know where the weaknesses are which why they try to shore it up with a Christian version of the notion of Natural Law.

6 May 2012 at 06:10  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Just for completeness I thought I would post my original letter to the Bishop of Salisbury.



Begin forwarded message:

From: Naomi King
Subject: Christianity and Family Life
Date: 12 February 2012 21:44:03 GMT
To: bishop.salisbury

Dear Bishop

I have read your views on homosexuality in Pink News and frankly I am hugely disappointed. The values we draw as Christians from the Holy Bible go to the very heart of family life and the health of our society. The future of our country is now at a pivotal moment. A further move to licentiousness is not Biblically sound, Godly or righteous.

Christianity, belief, religion, the Church and the Holy Bible are all inherently involved in politics because so many political questions are moral questions. We've got to stand up for our values if we are to confront the slow motion moral collapse that has taken place in parts of our country these past few generations. To be confident in saying something is wrong is not a sign of weakness, its a strength. Put simply, for too long we have been unwilling to distinguish right from wrong.

The absence of any real accountability, or moral code, the almost fearful passive tolerance, has allowed behaviour in ways that run completely counter to our values. Shying away from speaking the truth about behaviour, about morality, has actually helped to cause some of the social problems that lie at the heart of lawlessness and a broken society. Moral neutrality or passive tolerance just isn't going to cut it anymore. And we should not be afraid to acknowledge that. There are values which speak to us all and I believe we should stand up and defend them.

Yes they are Christian values. They are values we treasure. Responsibility, hard work, charity, compassion, humility, self sacrifice, love, working for the common good and honouring the social obligations we have one to another, to our families and communities. Indeed, as Mrs Thatcher once said, "we are a nation whose ideals are founded on the Holy Bible". The Holy Bible has helped to shape the values which define our country.

Christianity is alive and well in our country. In the non Jewish/Christian world equality of persons is inconceivable. But by faith in the one true God, through Jesus Christ, each and every individual is related to a power above all of us and every human being is of equal and infinite importance, being created in the very image of God. The knowledge that God created mankind in his own image is a game changer for human dignity and equality. The history and existence of a constitutional monarchy owes much to a Holy Bible in which Kings are anointed and sanctified with the authority of God.

Knowledge of this book is still absolutely pivotal.

As I have said moral neutrality should not be an option, if we don't stand for something, we can't stand against anything. What I am saying is that the Holy Bible has helped to give Britain a set of values and morals which make Britain what it is today at its best; values and morals we should actively stand up and defend. And we should not be afraid to say so as we are a Christian Country. The Holy Bible is as relevant today as at any period in history. I do believe this. None of us should be frightened of recognising this.

I am a committed Church of England Christian who will stand up for the values and principles of my faith. The Holy Bible will continual to profoundly impact our collective future. We should celebrate it and live by it. One of this country's greatest achievements is having taken this greatest of books to all four corners of the world. I would ask you to reconsider your position as the spiritual leader of a flock of believers of which I am a part.

Yours sincerely

Naomi King

6 May 2012 at 09:08  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

You see 20 years ago they predicted the leadership in southwark (3 min) Quite amusing but have you not met priests just like him!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbCzquk9h5k

20 years ago this was completly off the wall

Now.. mainsteam liberal CofE?

Phil

6 May 2012 at 09:30  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Phil

Brilliant link. "Devil worship from within the Church"

You do know that Cornwall County Council has now added paganism on to the list of "religions" schools in Cornwall must now teach to state educated children !

There is clearly already devil worship within the State.

6 May 2012 at 09:42  
Blogger Paul Twigg said...

It seems to me that the Church of England is falling apart on this issue, I think a split is all but here.

@Dodo,

Just wanted to pick this one up with you:

How could I possibly be Anna Anglican's uncle, given that we appear to be about the same age (give or take a few years) ?

Now if you had said cousins that would have made more sense!

6 May 2012 at 10:31  
Blogger Paul Twigg said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6 May 2012 at 10:37  
Blogger Paul Twigg said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6 May 2012 at 10:37  
Blogger Paul Twigg said...

@Naomi King. You write about UKIP getting 14% of the national vote. But that still leaves the other 86%of voters who supported 'gay marraige' and all the other liberal/PC ills of our currently being inflicted on society? Or have I missed a trick in the maths here? Is that why no-one here is advocating a Christian Union party?

6 May 2012 at 10:42  
Blogger graham wood said...

Ernst. You ask, 'Am I the author of the piece published in the EN about SSM? The answer is yes.

IMHO This is a battle which (we), that is all Christians from whatever traadition, must win as the alternatives would be so devastating, and particularly as I tried to show, for future generations of children - the unseen victims of Cameron's proposals for SSM.
I think you will agree this is perhaps the central issue of our time - and not to over simplify, is the defining one for Christians (like abortion).
It is through these issues that we are being presented with a choice and challenge, as to whether we will stand for and with God's cause, or that of the secular neo Marxist majority reflected in the "gay" ideology and endorsed by Cameron.
The old question then, is reasserted:
"Choose you this day whom you will serve"
Graham

6 May 2012 at 10:46  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Naomi: "You do know that Cornwall County Council has now added paganism on to the list of "religions" schools in Cornwall must now teach to state educated children ! There is clearly already devil worship within the State."

What's the problem with teaching about paganism? It's quite interesting in its own way and nothing to do with devil worship unless on assumes a Christian view in the first place. You'd better get used to it too as the notion of State-funded faith schools pretty much opens up the way for a Pagan faith school at some point.

6 May 2012 at 10:52  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Carl I don't know what American religious sect you hail from but your notion of sin is skewed.

This notion of yours that mankind is so utterly evil verges on the Salem kind of gothic horror Christianity (branding sinners with hot irons and hanging witches)

The natural desire for a man for a woman is an involuntary primal response in healthy heterosexual males. This is not a sin. I am tired of this twisted unwholesome notion of sex from religious cults that you and your ilk attribute to the teachings of Christ eg all males from puberty to death commit a sin if he fancies(lusts after) a woman other than one he is married to.Don't be so ridiculous.

Your response shows you are not pure of heart and that you convolute and misunderstand the teachings of Christ to bolster your puritanical interpretation of Christianity.

Sin only occurs if you continually harbour lustful thoughts beyond the initial
involuntary but very normal response for a woman by a man.

In other countries (apart from America)your infantile puritanical approach to Christianity is not prevalent. You can be married and feel attraction to other women apart from your wife without feeling the need to wear a hair shirt for the rest of your sad masochistic and miserable life.

Christianity was not intended to be sick weird cult.There is such a thing as
a normal wholesome happy Christian with a balanced and normal approach to life.Although sadly there appear to be only a few on this site ... misrepresenting what Christianity is about to non believers.

Danjo thinks all Christians ought to be like you Carl. I don't think he meant this as a compliment.

6 May 2012 at 11:33  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Cressida: "Danjo thinks all Christians ought to be like you Carl. I don't think he meant this as a compliment."

No! It was Anonymous In Belfast I was talking about, and it was a compliment, at least within the confines of my atheism anyway.

6 May 2012 at 11:36  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Oh, my mistake Danjo.

Well at least this should clear up the quandry of you adopting my identity because I do not share in your compliment for either A in B or C in A . Why do you think Dodo and the Inspector think I am a male homosexual?:)

6 May 2012 at 12:07  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Cressida. The Inspector is behind you, though obviously not with an intention to mount you, attractive woman you may be. (Hmmm, sinning points mounting up for today already...). Too much of this ‘guilt trip’ Christianity for the Inspector’s taste. We are as God intended us. If He wanted a bit better, He could have upped our IQ by several points or given us a greater reaction to shame.

Carl is a Calvinist, and from what the Inspector has researched into Calvinism, he fly's the flag as Calvinism would have it. His points are interesting, but what appears as Calvinist humour to this man is apparently Calvinist doctrine. God help us all – To these extreme protestant sects, to merely be alive is a sin, or so it would seem...

6 May 2012 at 12:10  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Well it's not as good as Fairy Moans or Courtney Act!

I promised myself I would never communicate with you again for your rudeness towards me and all those terrible chauvinistic remarks you make about women.This is definitely the last time.Here is your entree into the silly woman rant!

6 May 2012 at 12:23  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Cressida. A woman scorned, what ! How could the Inspector ever have doubted you were merely a silly and slightly unstable woman with a bee in her bonnet. One hopes you have a patient man with you who you can take charge in your less lucid moments and save you from yourself. Toodle pip, old thing...

6 May 2012 at 12:28  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

The above reply was to the Inspector who though Cressida de Nova was a great name for a drag Queen. The comment seems to have disappeared.

6 May 2012 at 12:28  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Indeed, it’s not just you who’s silly. The software definitely has female attributes...

6 May 2012 at 12:33  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Well now. Wasn't that fun. Perhaps next time I will just stick a fork into a light socket. The experience would be just as enjoyable and twice as enlightening.

carl

6 May 2012 at 12:44  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Silliness and beauty have close connections.

6 May 2012 at 12:46  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Carl I'm not surprised that you are intending to stick your fork into a light socket.Electrocution is at least some form of sensation
that you may not find sinful..a win/win

6 May 2012 at 12:56  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Carl. Remember now, don’t enjoy it...

heh heh

6 May 2012 at 13:12  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Ah Cressida, thank you for making me laugh. I rather like "obdurate nong". My wife suspects you may be onto something...

I think there's rather a big difference between acknowledging attraction towards somebody and lust. The former isn't what Christ is talking about - and indeed, if we take things to the position that you so eloquently caricature we would never succeed in wooing a spouse, so fearful would we be of being in sin.

But rather like the spirituality issue, it seems that the issue is about what is understood to be "good". Even as an atheist adolescent, I instinctively understood that there was something not quite right about lusting over other people - well, let's be quite honest here: mentally imagining them in sexual fantasies for the purposes of masturbation, or at the very least mental satisfaction. It always seemed to be a violation - even if the object of lust had no clue that the violation had occurred. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I've always found it hard to disassociate from a form of mental rape. I'm afraid that since becoming a Christian I've not found much cause to question that instinct. It's taken me longer to learn Christ's teaching about anger, as I didn't have much of an instinct regarding that one, but I'd equally stand by it.

If you hold that lust, that sexual gratification without much recourse to God's Will is inherently "good" - "natural" is usually the term used - then I guess Christ seems like a nutter. But it rather ignores the bounty of genuine good that God provides, including, though we rarely seem content with it, sexual fulfilment in the spiritual union of marriage. I can't speak universally, but the oft-quoted verse in Romans about unnatural lusts for same-sex attraction, hardly seems to be exclusive to it in my experience: I know all about having desires to exceed and go beyond what God has deemed good - to follow my appetite rather than my Saviour. I spent a long time attempting to marshall guilt to defeat my own sinful nature, but in the end the passages that have proved most helpful have not been those which dissect my sin, but ones like this:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Phillipians 4:8.

Because when I think about God's works, when I think about His blessings, the issue doesn't become one of combating appetites, so much as being incredulous that I could have settled for so little in the first place.

6 May 2012 at 13:13  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

OiG

I didn't enjoy it the first time. But, really, I should have known better. What was I thinking? If she treated AiB that badly, why should she treat me any different? But it was late. AiB is a good commenter. I thought "Let's show the guy some support here."

BZZZKZZZZAAP!

Like I said. Light socket. Fork. Perfect analogy.

carl

6 May 2012 at 13:22  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Carl. If you are fortunate she might put you on her proscribed list. Inspector’s on it you know. Marvellous feeling, just the ticket...

6 May 2012 at 13:28  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Is there a word for someone who "collects" being on black lists?

6 May 2012 at 13:49  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Belfast. A chap must persevere with what he knows is right. For example Cressida may have had no idea she is silly. She knows now. It’s a public service thing you know...

6 May 2012 at 13:53  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

If you're ever in the business of doing this public service in person let me know and I'll book flights to come and watch :D

6 May 2012 at 14:04  
Blogger anna anglican said...

@Inspector,

I've always thought that Credessia flirted with you and Dodo (or Doodles as she called him). Seems like another flirt's tiff if you ask me!

6 May 2012 at 14:06  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

I do not think Christ is a nutter I think a lot of Christians are nutters which is very embarrasing for the ones who are not.

Of course there is an element of lust in attraction to the opposite sex and hopefully everyone has it
especially in courtship.It is not a sin and there is nothing to be ashamed of.Only twisted repressed people think like this.It's all pure lovely and right.

I use the term ' lust'as sensual desire rather than the degraded lust you are describing which is sinful and which Christ was referring to and as you say, most have a disinclination of succumbing to type kind of thing because it does not feel right.It's for the creepy.

Just because you have been a terrible sinner and found God through Christianity does not mean you have a monopoly on insight into Christianity through an exhaustive study of the scriptures.
There is more to it than that.

And as for your comments on anger. Christ was not always gentle. He tossed over a few tables and showed leadership. Anger is often mistaken for being assertive and forceful.Real anger is dangerously quiet ruthless and cold.

I like your Phillipians quote.
But that quote should not be confused with a lot of wimpy hypocritical 'gentleness' that is cultivated by Christians.

It is not genuine or a good substitute for kindness or empathy. It is an artifice practised by a lot of Christians whose actions and lives do not reflect the true message of Christianity .

6 May 2012 at 14:08  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

@ A in B Above quote.

6 May 2012 at 14:10  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Anna. You are so right, Cressida De Nova, the shameless flirt would be a more descriptive name for her. One wonders if the software would allow a title that long...

6 May 2012 at 14:10  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Just because you have been a terrible sinner and found God through Christianity does not mean you have a monopoly on insight into Christianity through an exhaustive study of the scriptures.
There is more to it than that.


I'll happily acknowledge the truth of that - but could you give an example of the "more to it" in this specific context?

I'm slightly confused as to whether your objecting to me as being mentally totalitarian or a wimpy hypocrite. I've always understood Christ to be at His most assertive in combating sin, and in expressing His hatred of sin, when He was on the Cross. Maybe that helps place where I'm coming from.

Incidentally, I am unquestionably hypocritical on many issues, but this is something I'm trying to rectify through my relationship with God. I'd welcome any insights you might have as to where I'm going wrong here.

6 May 2012 at 14:23  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Anna it is difficult for a straight girl to flirt with a guy (the inspector)she does not normally communicate with.
Even an experienced lesbian cannot accomplish this.

I have never and will never flirt with the Inspector.

6 May 2012 at 14:32  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

A in B ..you communicate very much like Albert the convert. There is an oily strain in your communication.

I was not singling you out in particular when I mentioned wimpy hypocrisy. It was a generalisation.

The image of Christ on the Cross as an example of assertion in combating sin does explain to me that we have very different perceptions and understanding of things. So because of this I am not the right person to help you.
Carl however who is probably now dangling from a ceiling with a huge smile on his face ,having experienced sensation for the first time in his life...may be more your sort of Christian.

About the hypocrisy thing.That is not going to be easy for you because you have not been trained in the pursuit of truth. You should ask Dodo to pray for you. He is good at this, I believe.

6 May 2012 at 15:21  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

I'd better make it clear that while I value the insights brought by other theological views of the Cross, I primarily subscribe to substitutionary atonement (broadly of the Aquinas variety rather than the Calvin variety). My description of the Cross above was close to Christus Victor, but only because I view the Cross as the meeting place of God's perfect love and God's perfect justice. I still see the act as primarily one of atonement for the sins of mankind.

I remain a little mystified though - perhaps because I'm unfamiliar with "bog Catholic". I assumed you were criticising me for being too Catholic, but am I right in understanding, from your suggestion to ask Dodo for prayer, that my problem is that I'm not Catholic enough?

Dodo, I'd welcome any prayer to aid in becoming 'perfect [...] as the Heavenly Father is perfect' (Mat 5:48).

6 May 2012 at 15:38  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

A in B you sound like Albert's twin.I cannot communicate with you because you do not understand anything I say .

We are incompatible as communicants
with each other.We are not on the same page or even in the same book.We may as well be speaking different languages.Besides you are not really interested in what I think ,you just want to score points with a team of fans cheering you on.

. Carl Dodo and Danjo are more suited to your discussions.You can bask in each other's all male cleverness.

6 May 2012 at 17:13  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

I say Cressida, excellent ‘little woman’ sentiment from you. Validates the Inspectors opinion of you, don't you know. Do flounce back in, we all want a repeat performance !!!

6 May 2012 at 17:41  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

I get that you disagree with me, I'm just asking for a blunt explanation as to why (beyond an objection to my writing style). What is it exactly that you feel I'm misrepresenting?

Here's what I have understood. Feel free to correct me if I've got it wrong:

---

(04:50) The purpose of the ten commandments and scripture
was not to transform human beings into alien celestial beings.


You object to my obsession with spirituality, on the grounds that it a) ignores the 'blood and viscera' of the body in a repressive manner, and b) because it misrepresents Scripture by creating an false emphasis on the spiritual.

How do you read Matthew 5? Specifically 5:21-22, and 5:27-30. Christ sums up what He is exhorting us to do in the final verse: Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Mat 5:30).

---

(14:08) Your objection seems to be that you've understood me as rejecting all desire. You use the word lust to describe natural 'sensual desire' - well as far as that goes, I'd agree that it is part of God's intention (Song of Solomon passim). But the technical, and I believe standard Catholic, use of "lust" is solely negative - the stuff you refer to as being the domain of the creepy. This is what I meant by "lust" - not sexual desire in general. Indeed, I'd include sexual desire and sex within marriage as one of God's blessings.

Certainly though, on this point, having a shared language is essential.

Your second objection is about Christ getting angry, but judging from your subsequent comment (15:21) this was more to combat a general error rather than a specific accusation. I'm happy to go with you on this one.

---

Going on this one part of our disagreement seems to be purely a problem of language, the other part may or may not be linguistic depending on whether I've come across as being repressive about sexuality.

Contrary to what you may think, I am really interested in what you think. You have responded to my posts honestly, and made clear your disagreement with them. I am no more interested in playing to the crowd than you are - and if there was a private message function on Blogger, I would already have used it. I've also made it quite clear on other threads on Cranmer's blog that I understand leadership and teaching to be ministries given to women from the foundation of the Church as evinced in Acts and the Epistles - so I have no intention of dismissing you on the grounds of your gender, as your last post seems to imply.

I pursue this precisely because I believe that God calls Christians towards unity and not disunity, and if I have been responsible for causing that, I want to know so that I can begin making amends and seeking forgiveness both from you and God.

6 May 2012 at 18:01  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6 May 2012 at 19:37  
Blogger len said...

Well not much Christianity going on in this thread seems more like a hate- fest (Led by the' Pharisees' as usual)

Perhaps there are some Christians on another thread...bye.

6 May 2012 at 19:39  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

In case anybody missed that, Cressida admits she has been extremely rude to Belfast. And not just to him, eh ?

6 May 2012 at 19:43  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Paul,

Nationally the figures wer 39% Labour, 31% Tory, 14% UKIP, 11% Liberals, 5% Odds and Ends.

You are right 86% did not vote for traditional marriage, marriage classic shall we call it.

However this is a huge increase for UKIP which should be frightening the Conservative establishment. For every 2 people who voted Conservative, 1 person voted UKIP. The Conservatives can't afford that type of haemorrhaging if they want to win the next election. Cameron has got to do something different and that has to be something completely different from what he is doing now, because homosexual "marriage" is not giving him the results he wants and needs to retain or win back the confidence of his Party.

6 May 2012 at 19:57  
Blogger Paul Twigg said...

Hi Naomi,

I have to admit I am one of those who voted UKIP... And I did watch a BBC interview with Peter Bone, MP for Wellingborough. If he was one of the Tory leadership I would glady vote Conservative again, but the Conservative party leadership is full of left-liberals, who endorse gay marriage, the EU and benefit dossers from Turkey (it was in today's sunday times- the EU is going to make us pay for Turkish welfare!). I cannot vote Conservative under these conditions.

6 May 2012 at 20:08  
Blogger Paul Twigg said...

@Len

Which bit of this post is a 'hate fest'? You yourself are against gay marriage and have quoted Bible verses to prove your point.

6 May 2012 at 20:11  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

Just to point out that 86% did not vote in favour of gay marriage or anything like that as this was not an option in the election.

6 May 2012 at 20:31  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

@Youth Pasta,

Point to anything you like, but YOU are in the Church which is most open to gay marriage and allows gay vicars in civil partnerships; this from a man who believes that the OT laws still apply (who did your theology training??!) as a Christian. Plus you were nasty to my neice a few posts ago, so go hang !

6 May 2012 at 20:43  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Chaps,

I think I understand Credessia de nova- she must be french, which is why we can't understand a bloody word she is on about!

6 May 2012 at 21:01  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Good man, Lavendon. Inspector suspected it was way beyond ‘silly’...

6 May 2012 at 21:14  
Blogger len said...

Paul Twigg... the hate seem to be coming almost entirely from those proponents of religion.Who seem to be mostly Catholic.

Christians are supposed to tell the truth(certainly)...in love.

So many people must have been' turned off' by the sarcastic, hateful, vitriol poured out against them by the religious hypocrites on this blog.

A loveless' Gospel' quite frankly is no Gospel at all.The Gospel is the 'good news'.
'God so loved the World that He gave His Son.This is the Gospel.The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the Power of God.
Those who call themselves 'Christian' and then ridicule and try to make others' look small' bring Christianity into disrepute( we will all know who this is!)



A loveless Condemnation of sinners (which is the pattern whenever the 'gay word' is mentioned) is merely doing the work of the enemy and further entrenches them!.

The whole message of Jesus Christ(accept to the Pharisees) was one of God`s love for people but never the condoning of sin.A fine balance I agree but one which should not be neglected.

6 May 2012 at 21:32  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Len. It’s cold out there, come inside and warm yourself in front of the fire. {LORD, FORGIVE THIS KICK TO HIS PANTS}

6 May 2012 at 22:15  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Well, well. I have missed out today! Been to IKEA, you see. Mrs Dodo wanted a new table for the nest. I do hate such trips.

Actually, I have a great deal of empathy for cressida de nova's position.

And whilst I'm at it let me just say I don't mind if she does flirt with me Anna. For all I know she might be toothless, weight 24 stone and have no hair but I enjoy her passion, her humour and her insightful comments. Besides, I enjoy a good flirt and harmless banter with a woman - I have faith she is a female though I recall accussing her of being a male homosexual some time ago.

Inspector, you are incorrigable! Funny but outrageous. That's why the ladies are drawn to you, old boy. They like the bad boys, you know.

So onto the issue.

Most protestants see man as totally degenerate and hopelessly given over to sin. Its a depressing and bleak view of human nature. Its what freked Martin Luther out most. The only way out for them is their sinful nature being covered, not changed, by Christ. Carl, as a Calvinist, gives this starkest expression in his constant statements that "there is no good in man". For protestants the thought, the very temptation, is sinful. Christ covers their degenerate sinful nature but does not transform it.

Catholics see man as damaged but not completely degenerate. Made in the image of God, man has good in him as well as evil. A relationship with Christ, following the spiritual rebirth of Baptism, transforms and can perfect a person in this life. Temptation is not seen as sinful in itself. As cressida has said, dwelling on the temptation, cultivating it and seeking to give it effect, is what is sinful.

As an example I regularly feel like strangling a certain blogger (no names but he thinks himself a pope). This is a perfectly natural and understandable reaction. However, I let the feeling pass, tell him what I think of him and move on - no grudges. For a Catholic this is not a serious sin. It is falling short of the mark of perfection but is just being human. For someone like little pope len it is probably seen as a big sin. And that's the other thing about protestants. They do not distinguish between degrees of moral evil.

AIB is not over the top to me and I think him sometimes more Catholic than protestant in his view of people.


Goodbye ... oh, you're back!

Do go away if you don't like it here.

Lord Lavedon
Try to control that wayward neice of yours, there's a good man.

7 May 2012 at 00:37  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

The "Goodbye ... oh, you're back" was directed at little pope len who left and then returned - shame.

7 May 2012 at 00:41  
Blogger Oswin said...

blether.

7 May 2012 at 00:56  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dodo. Much to be admired in your missal. The RCC is a ‘warm’ church, acknowledging man’s less than perfect existence on this planet. We do what we can in spite of it...

7 May 2012 at 01:41  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Inspector

Indeed and Catholics know how to laught too.

7 May 2012 at 02:06  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

*laugh*

7 May 2012 at 02:06  
Blogger Naomi King said...

We ask—what could more tend to make men holy than the Truths of God we preach? Do we not teach you that God has chosen to Himself a people who must be holy? Is that an unholy Doctrine? Do we not tell you that God has chosen to Himself a people who in this world shall show forth His praise by holy living? Is that an unholy Doctrine? And we have told you that the Holy Spirit gives a new heart and a right spirit and that there is something more required than you can do yourselves—that you are unable to perform such good things as God expects from you—therefore God the Spirit must renovate you! Do you call that an unholy Doctrine? Is the Doctrine, that men by nature are vile and need renewing Grace, unholy? And the Doctrine that the true saints will certainly hold onto the end, is that unholy? I think the contrary to these Doctrines are the most unholy in the world! Is the Doctrine that only those who believe, have an interest in the blood of Christ, an unholy thing? Is the Doctrine that I preach, that Christ has redeemed only such as live in holiness, having been brought thereto by the Holy Spirit, an unholy thing? I think not! We challenge all those who love to speak against our Doctrines to prove that there is a single one of them which has an unholy tendency! Charge us with not holding good works? Come and try to get into our Church and you will soon have a proof that you are wrong—why, we would not have you, Sir, if you would give us a thousand pounds—unless we considered you were a holy man! If you have not good works, it will be a long time before we will receive you. And if you were to steal into our Church, you would be turned out in a week if you lived in sin and unrighteousness. For it would soon be reported to the pastor and deacons and you would see whether we did not hold the necessity of good works! If you did not exhibit them every day, we would cast you out from among us and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them! Our church order is the best refutation of the calumny. What more can we say, then? We hope we have proved our points to all honest and consistent men. We only send you away, you hypocrites, with this ringing in your ears, “Except you have the Spirit of Christ, you are none of His.” Except you live like Christ, you shall not be with Christ at the last! If your spirit is not sanctified in this world, you will not find that God will sanctify you when you come before His Throne!

Charles Spurgeon - sermon 70 - “Zealous of good works.” Titus 2:14.

7 May 2012 at 07:44  
Blogger len said...

Those two' Christian' frauds inspector and dodo pontificating on their loveless doctrines are beyond belief(literally)

Making up their doctrines on the hoof(so to speak) trying to justify their degenerate behaviours is quite a revelation to onlookers.

All they(ever) do is reveal the complete inadequacy of Catholicism to do anything but make a hypocrite of a person.

“Except you have the Spirit of Christ, you are none of His.” Except you live like Christ, you shall not be with Christ at the last! If your spirit is not sanctified in this world, you will not find that God will sanctify you when you come before His Throne!

(Thanks for that Naomi... we need more men (and Women) who will speak spiritual truths fearlessly like Spurgeon.

7 May 2012 at 08:16  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Inspector: "The RCC is a ‘warm’ church, acknowledging man’s less than perfect existence on this planet."

It may well get a whole lot warmer for you guys at some point, at least in some interpretations of reality. ;)

7 May 2012 at 08:20  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

little pope len

Do point out where either the Inspector or I have ever sought to justify our "degenerate behaviours"?

Show me in the bible where it says man is utterly degenerate. I have presented the Catholic teaching on original sin. Answer it, if you can.

And the purpose of your quote? No Catholic would dispute it! We just believe we have to participate with saving Grace and believe once given it can still be lost without observance of God's law on our part.

Just because you believe you are hoplessly denerate and corrupt and this is covered by Christ with no effort on your part, does not mean I or others have to have the same image of ourselves.

7 May 2012 at 11:15  
Blogger len said...

Dodo'.Show me in the bible where it says man is utterly degenerate?'

'Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.'(Psalm 51:5)

will one scripture do or will you need more?.

7 May 2012 at 13:02  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Len. Your religious nuttery appears all too frequently on this site these days. You used to don your sandwich board and head for town, at least giving this site a break albeit while irritating the good folk of Barchester...

7 May 2012 at 13:14  
Blogger len said...

Jeremiah put it this way:

"The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" (Jeremiah 17:9) Key words' BEYOND CURE'.

If God`s Law could have changed a person then that`s all we would ever have needed.Jesus would never have needed to come to this Earth and suffered the agonies of crucifixion.

God`s remedy for the sinful nature of man is far more radical than just telling him to follow the law(because although he law is good man isn`t and cannot follow it!.)


Fortunately, there is a cure for the sin nature and a way to escape the judgment of God. The cure is the new birth, which is described by the Apostle John in Jesus’ encounter with Nicodemus: “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ Nicodemus said to Him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb and be born?’ Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, You must be born again. The Spirit breathes where He desires, and you hear His voice, but you do not know from where He comes, and where He goes; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit’” (John 3:3–8).

7 May 2012 at 13:22  
Blogger len said...

Inspector

The 'religious nuttery' seem to be coming from your direction?.

Pipe down there`s a good chap.

7 May 2012 at 13:24  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

little pope len

Sinful yes, but not utterly degenerate and incapable of choosing good as you would have it.

Man was damaged by the Fall and predisposed towards sin. Catholics do not believe uman nature has been entirely corrupted. It has been harmed and is subject to ignorance, suffering and the power of death, and has a tendency to sin. We have been deprived of original holiness and justice.

We are joined to Christ's Body through Baptism, reborn through water and the Spirit just as Jesus said and through cooperation with Him and strengthened by His Grace and the sacraments of the Church we hope for salvation and have faith in His words.

Your solution is novel and rather confused. On an earlier thread you posted:

"Salvation is in three stages.

A new infallible statement revealed by your reading of scripture and guided by the Holy Spirit?

Our Spirit is instantly transformed exactly as it will be for all Eternity.'Born again'.... reborn from above."

Okay, I understand what your saying. I disagree but it is comprehensible.

You go on:

"Our Soul,( Mind will emotions)is BEING saved. renewal of the mind by the Spirit within and the Word without."

As distinct from the Spirit? So it appears you believe the Soul is not quite saved although our Spirit is! Can evil exist in the Soul and not in the Spirit? Is the Soul distinct and seperate and can be damned whilst the Spirit is saved?

A very peculiar theology. Looks to me like you want your protestant "cake" whilst eating your Catholic one!

7 May 2012 at 14:17  
Blogger Oswin said...

piffle.

7 May 2012 at 14:32  
Blogger len said...

Dodo,

A' Catholic cake' is IMO far to risky to try and consume. Too many ingredients from too many dubious sources!

IF you believe the corrupt human nature is' salvageable'..Then you believe 'the Church' can do what God cannot ( make good what God has condemned.)God`s standard of righteousness is Jesus Christ, if you feel you can match that in all respects then you are a much better man than I am dodo.
I need a Saviour, I KNOW I cannot save myself therefore I rely on Jesus Christ not my own 'righteousness'which Paul referred to as 'dung'( polite interpretation)and I agree with Paul!.
So I take my hat off to you Dodo you do not need Christ you do not need to be' born again'because you are perfect already!.

7 May 2012 at 14:47  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Being born again in the quote means embracing the teachings of Christ and the sprit of God will be present with you while you are on this earth.

The last sentence explains that God is with you and you hear his voice in the form of
your conscience and your communication with him which is mysterious cannot be fully rationalised or explained, but you feel his presence.It is a form of internalised prayer.

7 May 2012 at 14:55  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

@ Len 13:22 as above

7 May 2012 at 14:59  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Genesis 2:17

17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

The Hebrew states as follows:
מות תמות moth tamuth - Thou shalt surely die; Literally, a death thou shalt die; or, dying thou shalt die.
Thou shalt not only die spiritually, by losing the life of God, but from that moment thou shalt become mortal, and shalt continue in a dying state 'till thou die'. Everyone finds this literally accomplished to us even before birth; every moment of a man's/woman's life may be considered as an act of dying, until soul and body are separated.
Can evil exist in the Soul and not in the Spirit? Its called the old sin nature! WE DO NOT HAVE TO SIN, the Holy Spirit empowers us to live godly lives 'IF'...the Koine 'if' is : perhaps you will, perhaps you won't..choose!

"Salvation is in three stages." TRUTH!

1. What He HAS done for us. (Justified)
2.What He is DOING for us. (Sanctified)
3. What He WILL do for us. (Redeemed)

OSWIN says in just one word the whole of your statement.

Ernst

7 May 2012 at 15:59  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

little pope len
So when I have ever claimed to be perfect or "saved"? A mere distraction on your part to avoid clarifying your own position.

Catholics believe justification and sanctification can be lost - you don't!

Ernsty
I have no issue with what you've said. Indeed, I'm glad you've finally accepted there is a process of sanctification alongside following justification.

Justification includes the remission of sin, sanctification and the renewal of the inner man.

Sanctification is an ever closer union with God and the resulting moral perfection - a divine gift.

Sanctifying grace stays in the soul. It’s what makes the soul holy; it gives the soul supernatural life - it is supernatural life.

Actual grace, by contrast, is a supernatural push or encouragement. It’s transient. It doesn’t live in the soul, but acts on the soul from the outside, so to speak. It gets the will and intellect moving so we can seek out and keep sanctifying grace.

In its natural state our soul isn’t fit for heaven. What we need is supernatural life - sanctifying grace. We need to be in perfect to live in absolute union with God.

If sanctifying grace dwells in your soul when you die, you can live in heaven. If not your soul is spiritually dead and you cannot live in heaven. We then have to face an eternity of spiritual death: the utter separation of
your spirit from God.

Your misunderstanding of justification lies in the claim that justification is merely a forensic, legal declaration by God that the sinner is now "justified." If you "accept Christ as your personal Lord and Savior" you are justified, though he doesn’t really make you justified or sanctified; your soul is in the same state as it was before; but you’re eligible for Heaven!

Wait, I hear you say, a person is expected to undergo sanctification after justification but the degree of sanctification achieved is, ultimately, immaterial to the question of whether you’ll get to Heaven. You will, since you’re justified; and justification as a purely legal declaration is what counts.

This scheme is a fiction. It amounts to God telling an untruth by saying the sinner has been justified, while all along he knows that the sinner is not really justified, but is only covered under the "cloak" of Christ’s righteousness.

The Bible’s teaching on justification is much more nuanced. Paul indicates that there is a real transformation which occurs in justification, that it is not just a change in legal status.

Justification involves a real transformation, a real, experiential freeing from sin, not just a change of legal status. There is not the rigid wall between justification and sanctification that you imagine.

According to Scripture, sanctification and justification aren’t just one-time events, but are ongoing processes in the life of the believer.

You don't accept losing ground in the sanctification battle jeopardizes your justification. You might sin worse than you did before "getting saved," but you’ll enter heaven anyway, because you can’t undo your justification, which has nothing to do with whether you have supernatural life in your soul.

Calvin taught the absolute impossibility of losing justification. Luther said it could be lost only through the sin of unbelief; that is, by undoing the act of faith and rejecting Christ; but not by what Catholics call grevious sin.

Catholics see it differently. If you sin grievously, the supernatural life in your soul disappears, since it can’t co-exist with serious sin. You then cease to be justified. If you were to die while unjustified, you’d go to hell. But you can become re-justified by having the supernatural life renewed in your soul, and you can do that by responding to the actual graces God sends you.

7 May 2012 at 22:06  
Blogger Alpha Draconis said...

Len is a Pope?

But how does Dodo know he is "little"- by which i presume he means 'short'. How does Dodo know? And why can't I find a good bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape-Len, in my local Mal Martt?

7 May 2012 at 22:32  
Blogger anna anglican said...

@dodo,

I just cannot argue with you because of that avatar- reminds me of my-now departed- family pet dog Jack -too much-I just want to go over to that picture and stroke you! Couldn't you consider changing your picture to some-one more appropriate for a Catholic Dodo- then we could have proper debates!

7 May 2012 at 22:49  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Anna
Why argue?

You must resist the temptation to stroke me! I had the same problem with Oswin recently who had an urge to squeeze me.

You must learn to see past the avatar as I like being a Dodo in wolf's clothing.

Alternatively, let me have your phone number and we can meet up and address this need of yours ;o)

Ps
Do not tell your uncle or cousin.

8 May 2012 at 00:01  

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