Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Westminster Faith Debate - religion in public life


There was a debate yesterday in London about the role of religion in public life, featuring Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, Tony Blair and Charles Moore. You can read a few reviews HERE and HERE. The content will not be regurgitated upon this blog, for it was trite, patronising trash: platitudes, evasions, clichés, and a systematic avoidance of the principal contentious issues.

But what do you expect from a liberal Anglican and two converts to Roman Catholicism?

At one point, Charles Moore cracked a joke that New Labour behaved as though nothing had existed prior to 1997. Which is a bit rich, since he spoke as though nothing preceded the Four Gospels. What sort of conference on the role of religion in public life restricts the Christian input to liberal Anglicanism and Tablet-reading convert-Catholicism? Where was the voice of the Free Church dissenters?

Moreover, where were the voices of Judaism?

Not to mention Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism.

There is something unacceptably patronisingly colonial about three white Christian men talking about Indus/(Mid-)Easterm religion and the role it might play in society. And there is something unacceptably offensive about the lack of any female perspective.

It was a congenial chat by men who didn't wish to offend: it was (another) promotional vehicle for Tony Blair, who is slowly but surely being elevated to the status of spiritual counsellor and global guru.

The man is a hypocrite and a charlatan. Shame on Charles More, Rowan Williams and Religion & Society for contributing to the rehabilitation of the man who did more to diminish our religious liberties than any monarch or prime minister in three centuries. His politics is predicated on authoritarian notions of equality: his instincts are wholly repressive.

The Labour Party under Tony Blair's leadership de-legitimised morality and replaced it with abstract moralising, as though the vagaries of human sense were a substitute for millennia of accumulated wisdom. The nation’s Protestant Christian Settlement, which bequeathed to us a tradition of benign social authority, has been subsumed to a malign socialist ultra-liberalism which is inexorably changing our culture beyond recognition and foisting upon everyone a value-free vernacular. Truth is relativised; all belief is valid as long as it coheres with state orthodoxy.

So, please, if you want to debate the role of religion in society, for God's sake invite someone who is prepared to challenge the increasingly prevalent view that we must dispense with the 'forces of conservatism' in the name of progressive enlightenment.

97 Comments:

Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

OUTSTANDING! naturellement.

E S Blofeld

25 July 2012 at 09:45  
Blogger Belsay Bugle said...

Perfect.

I don't know what Charles Moore thinks he's up to. It's obvious what Blair is doing, but why are Moore and Williams helping him?

James Delingpole asked recently if Rowan Williams might be the Anti-Christ. I think it's more likely that he is the Anti-Baptist to the Blair Anti-Christ.

25 July 2012 at 10:08  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Your Grace,

Your quite right about Tony Blair, a disaster at home when he allowed Gordon Brown to spend like a drunken sailor, as well as passing that human rights act and even worse abroad with making Britain in Bush's puppet via his illegal war in Iraq.

As for the panel, this one would have been interesting :


1. Archbishop Vincent Nicols
2. Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
3. Archbishop John Sematu
4. Sir Iqbal Abdul Karim Mussain Sacranie
5. Prof Richard Dawkins
6. Steve Clifford

25 July 2012 at 10:36  
Blogger IanCad said...

Short and sweet YG.

"His politics is predicated on authoritarian notions of equality: his instincts are wholly repressive"

Here you have the measure of the man.
Rome is the natural haven for him.

25 July 2012 at 10:51  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

"Faith"
DEFINED as : Belief without evidence.
Why should we need any of it, at all, aywhere?

Meantime, religion is, or should be a PRIVATE matter ( As, actually, the bible says ) - funny that!

Therefore there should be NO place for any religion (including communism) in "Public" life.

25 July 2012 at 11:02  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

"James Delingpole asked recently if Rowan Williams might be the Anti-Christ. I think it's more likely that he is the Anti-Baptist to the Blair Anti-Christ."

Wrong head of a religion, boogie bugle, I am afraid.

E S Blofeld

25 July 2012 at 11:30  
Blogger Albert said...

The nation’s Protestant Christian Settlement, which bequeathed to us a tradition of benign social authority

No it didn't, it bequeathed generations of persecution of Catholics and others, two Civil Wars, the murder of a legitimate monarch, the exiling of another legitimate monarch in favour of a foreign tyrant and the removal of bishops and even an Archbishop of Canterbury, who pointed out that such revolutions were illegitimate.

The benign stuff came later.

25 July 2012 at 12:05  
Blogger Albert said...

Tingey

"Faith"
DEFINED as : Belief without evidence.


Defined as such, by whom?

Meantime, religion is, or should be a PRIVATE matter ( As, actually, the bible says ) - funny that!

Where does it say that. In the absence of evidence that does appear to be a faith statement by your own standards.

Therefore there should be NO place for any religion (including communism) in "Public" life.

Communism is not a religion. But if there is no place for religion in public life there is no place for religious people in public life.

In short, what you are arguing for is an atheistic confessional state. Arguably, it's being created as we speak - but that does not stop the idea being absurd and intolerant.

25 July 2012 at 12:08  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

25 July 2012 at 12:24  
Blogger Albert said...

IanCad,

Here you have the measure of the man. Rome is the natural haven for him.

It is rather ironic of you to say that, insofar as Blair's opinions are very liberal and un-Catholic. Take his opinions on homosexuality and women priests. Perhaps his faith and spirituality have a Catholic shape to them, but his practice is very definitely Anglican.

It's worth pointing out that his approach to equality resulted in Catholic adoption agencies being closed down. The Anglican ones stayed open. Their ethos and ethics were much more in tune with Blair, after all.

25 July 2012 at 12:31  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

IanCad said...
"His politics is predicated on authoritarian notions of equality: his instincts are wholly repressive"

Here you have the measure of the man.
Rome is the natural haven for him."


Being a professing Catholic does not make him a representative of the Vatican.

Can anyone seriously accuse Rome of promoting authoritarianism via secular Human Rights and moral relativism?

Theological and religious authority is somewhat different and has a different focus.

25 July 2012 at 12:43  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

25 July 2012 at 13:40  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

the increasingly prevalent view that we must dispense with the 'forces of conservatism' in the name of progressive enlightenment.

"Enlightened" is a word progressives frequently use but never define. It is basically a synonym for 'progressive' but it conveys a sense of understanding objectively ascertained, and therefore allows the progressive to claim for himself the mantle of moral authority. He 'sees' what others do not see. His eyes have been 'opened ' to the realization that man is not under moral authority but is his own moral authority, and that man is a fundamentally good creature who by virtue of his nature should be free to pursue the fulfillment of his own desires. You can think of it as a liberal version of election - except the authority of the choice is vested in the wisdom of the individual and not the Sovereignty of God.

Enlightenment is thus best understood as self-enlightenment. A man looks within himself and discovers there is no god looking back but ... himself. And so he chooses to worship that god. Old rules no longer bind. Old understandings no longer matter. There is only the god in the mirror - and he is quite a pleasing god in deed.

carl

25 July 2012 at 13:55  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

"The benign stuff came later." Such a shame the benign stuff (worshiping as you choose, Freedom to read God's Word etc) never came prior to the Protestant settlement under Rome's occupation of said land, else their might not have been the nasty stuff..Hey Ho.

The impossible dream for Rome. It must be obeyed at all times! I have seen kinder, more understanding Borg's. It's like Roman Catholic's don't know what they did that led to the problems ??!! Selective Amnesia?

Ernst S Blofeld

25 July 2012 at 14:51  
Blogger non mouse said...

Your Grace: His politics is predicated on authoritarian notions of equality: his instincts are wholly repressive. As others have indicated... exactly.

What happened? How come he dares to present himself here again? Have the Middle Easterners chased him off- have they also got the "measure of the man?"

It's quite extraordinary that someone so reviled has the audacity to set himself up for a "comeback"-as if with impunity. I gather there was even a protest against his appearance at this event... but hey...

25 July 2012 at 14:54  
Blogger Albert said...

Ernst, I note that your reply confirms and does not disagree with mine!

You must be more vigilant in the future.

25 July 2012 at 15:54  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Tony Blair is a phoney.I do not accept him to be an authentic Catholic,neither do a lot of other Catholics. A priest should hit him over the head with a thurible and knock some sense into him!

25 July 2012 at 16:06  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

carl said ...

"You can think of it as a liberal version of election - except the authority of the choice is vested in the wisdom of the individual and not the Sovereignty of God."

Actually, substitute 'Sovereignty of God' with 'Authority of His Church' and you've summed up Protestantism - the forerunner to the enlightenment, liberalism and moral relativism.

Blowfly the Sluice said ...

" ... the benign stuff (worshiping as you choose, Freedom to read God's Word etc) never came prior to the Protestant settlement under Rome's occupation of said land, else their (sic) might not have been the nasty stuff.."

And that somehow justifies all the malign stuff, does it?

25 July 2012 at 16:10  
Blogger David B said...

Your Grace

Though I have viewed myself as a Liberal with both upper and lower case Ls for several decades now, I remember the high hopes I had at the start of the Blair government.

Hopes long dashed.

I hold Blair in no higher regard than you do yourself.

David B

25 July 2012 at 16:27  
Blogger IanCad said...

Albert @ 12:31,
Dodo @ 12:43,


Your points are well taken, and certainly, it would appear that Blair has different views from what is generally understood as traditional Catholic teaching.
However, Father Murphy was not the priest who counselled him and recommended that he should be accepted into the church.
No less than a Prince of the Church; A cardinal, who doubtless had the ear of the Pope, engineered his reception as a prize recruit to the Church of Rome, while knowing, and thus accepting, his social and political opinions.
End justifying the means?

Albert, your prior post (@ 12:05) has merit in that there is blame to go around. We hang our heads in shame at what injustices we, as Protestants, have done.
But, as a Roman Catholic, you should be aware that, when it comes to the sheer numbers of those souls burnt, hung and tortured to death in the name of religion, you are in no position to cast stones.

25 July 2012 at 16:52  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

If faith relates to the fides within an Oath, that makes man a political animal to be trusted, then which one of these animals can be considered Oathworthy

Obviously this corporate event has no bearing on relations between the regular commonalty and their Queen

25 July 2012 at 16:56  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

IanCad said ...

"A cardinal, who doubtless had the ear of the Pope, engineered his reception as a prize recruit to the Church of Rome, while knowing, and thus accepting, his social and political opinions."

Something of a sweeping statement.

Rome doesn't go skulking around looking for "prize recruits". And his reception into Catholicism was hardly "engineered". You make it all sound so sinister!

The Vatican expects certain things from its politicians, particularly adhering to authoritative Church teachings, true. Imagine the furor if Blair had! When he became a Catholic he was no longer Prime Minister.

25 July 2012 at 17:07  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Dodo and Cressida,

Should Blair be ex-communicated then?

And so what will be the grounds for doing so?

Kind regards Hannah

25 July 2012 at 17:14  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Your Grace. Blair the Labour politician is rightly to be deprecated. So, the Inspector has no problem with you there. But Blair the man is involved here too. He did not convert to Catholicism until 2007, a most splendid situation though of course you will not approve. It is understood his mentors since then are high profile priests, as would befit the tuition of such an important statesman.

Of course, it is regrettable that such a conversion did not take place at least ten years earlier. Who knows how his tenure would have panned out had he sensibly given his atheist Marxist advisers the boot…

It is important to note the man did not convert to Christianity, though one must admit after his performance as PM, it did seem like it ! He merely left behind him his previous Christian-lite adherence. For some, there comes a time when Anglicanism just doesn’t cut it anymore. The strength and flavour is missing, don’t you find, maybe personally, on the quiet, what ! The beer drinkers amongst us will know what it’s like to abandon that pressurised keg slop and taste the hand pulled variety.

Good show, Blair the man ! One hopes you can go forward with the spirit of Christ and hopefully redeem past failings…

Carry on…

25 July 2012 at 17:47  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Hannah

Why on earth should Blair be excommunicated?

25 July 2012 at 17:52  
Blogger Atlas Shrugged said...

His politics is predicated on authoritarian notions of equality: his instincts are wholly repressive.

Please read

His religion ( Roman Catholic )is predicated on authoritarian notions of equality; his instincts are wholly repressive.

I hope that the above correction helps to clear this matter up some what.

It is worth noting that Karl Marx was a Roman Catholic until the day he died, a devoutly dishonest and highly dangerous one I may grant you, ( Jesuit ) but a Roman Catholic all the same.

Beware the wolf ( beast ) in sheep's clothing, and try to know the tree by the quality of its fruit. For know as sure as eggs is eggs, that what the RCC preaches and what it actually conspires to achieve are as far apart from each other as this type of long standing genocide creating hypocrisy can possibly get.

25 July 2012 at 18:09  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Ernst, I note that your reply confirms and does not disagree with mine!

You must be more vigilant in the future.

and

And that somehow justifies all the malign stuff, does it?

SELECTIVE AMNESIA...Basil Fawlty might say..You started it first..You Hung/Drew/Quartered/Burn to a crisp those that disagreed...YOUR VERY OWN, who then became protesters!!!!!

Thick skin or what?!

Blofeld

25 July 2012 at 18:26  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Karl Marx was an atheist and Jew !

You're getting him mixed up with the pope...

25 July 2012 at 18:29  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

[AHEM} Saying that Mr Shrugged had mixed up Marx with the pope was not the best reply, after the man also put...

a Roman Catholic until the day he died, a devoutly dishonest and highly dangerous one I may grant you

Inspector now limps away to comfort his foot, which he has unfortunately shot...

25 July 2012 at 19:07  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Dodo,

I was asking that same question! If none of us know...

25 July 2012 at 19:09  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Atlas

Welcome back. In your absence we've been treated to another entertaining blogger. Nowhere near your standards.

Karl Marx's ancestry was Ashkenazi Jewish from a family that had supplied Rabbis 1723. Was he and they under deepcover all this time?

Hannah

I would say "No" but do drop the Pope a line and ask him - he's on the internet now, I believe. Who knows, he may drop by your blog.

Bowfly the Sluice

This theme actually started because Albert corrected the assertion:

"The nation’s Protestant Christian Settlement, which bequeathed to us a tradition of benign social authority."

He pointed out it bequeathed generations of persecution of Catholics and others, two Civil Wars, the murder of a legitimate monarch, the exiling of another legitimate monarch in favour of a foreign tyrant and the removal of bishops and even an Archbishop of Canterbury.

Ever ready, sluicing away, you jumped in against the Catholic (Christian) Church's past.

25 July 2012 at 21:23  
Blogger bluedog said...

"The nation’s Protestant Christian Settlement, which bequeathed to us a tradition of benign social authority."

And what of the influence of France, Messrs Albert & Dodo? It is frankly bizarre that Catholic convert Albert can now spout a re-written version of history.

The Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 forced up to 900,000 French protestants (Huguenots) to flee for their lives as the French Catholics turned on them. A year later only 1500 remained.

So much for freedom of conscience in pre-Revolutionary France.

This mass expulsion was a precedent directly related to the Glorous Revolution of 1688. The expulsion of the Huguenots was comparable in size to the mass expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492 following the Alhambra Decree by Ferdinand and Isabella, Los Reyes Catolicos.

James II was a first cousin of Louis XIV, the revoking king, and had served in the French army where he converted to Catholicism. As England was majority Protestant at the time, there were entirely legitimate concerns that James and his cousin Louis would unite to forcibly re-convert England. Deposing James was an act of self-preservation by the English state on behalf of its people.

To claim otherwise is a lie.

Declaration of Interest: this communicant's grandmothers both had French maiden names, being of Huguenot descent.

25 July 2012 at 22:46  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

bluedog

That's as may be. It does not legitimise the comment under discussion:

"The nation’s Protestant Christian Settlement, which bequeathed to us a tradition of benign social authority."

Initially, the Reformation resulted in generations of persecution of Catholics and others, two Civil Wars, the murder of a legitimate monarch, the exiling of another legitimate monarch in favour of a foreign tyrant and the removal of bishops and even an Archbishop of Canterbury.

England was not majority Protestant at the time of King James II overthrow. Vested interests were concerned by the birth of a male heir and the propect of Catholicism. James II's record was one of toleration of religious liberty and many were choosing Catholicism.

Let's be honest, this period of history is all rather sordid with self interest and international rivalry to the fore and both Protestants and Catholics shamed the Christian faith.

My own family, on my mother's side, experienced the wrath of Cromwell, the self styled Puritan Moses guided by God. No religious freedom in Ireland, where the population was Catholic - well, those left after his 'Divine' brutality.

25 July 2012 at 23:14  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr Dodo @ 23.14, the Reformation took place because the German Catholic priest Martin Luther said what many had been thinking, that the Catholic church had become corrupt and self-serving. Protestantism did not emerge in a vacuum, it developed to reflect a popular need and was a manifestation of Catholic failure.

To call William of Orange a foreign tyrant is curious, he was the son in law of James II. Perhaps you did not know.

If England had been majority Catholic in 1688, James II could not have been deposed with popular support, as he was.

Cromwell's treatment of the Irish was both brutal and foolish. His miserable legacy is with us today.

25 July 2012 at 23:45  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Dodo

substitute 'Sovereignty of God' with 'Authority of His Church' and you've summed up Protestantism

The fact that you would parallel the sovereignty of God with the (alleged) authority of the RCC reveals in one sentence everything that is wrong with the RCC.

carl
who is finally back home.

By the way, did I mention today that I hate O'Hare Int'l Airport?

26 July 2012 at 00:01  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

carl

It's unlike you to so badly misrepresent what I post.

What I said was:

"Actually, substitute 'Sovereignty of God' with 'Authority of His Church' and you've summed up Protestantism - the forerunner to the enlightenment, liberalism and moral relativism."

It followed your reference to the modern day elevation of individualism above God. My point was that individualism in interpreting scripture and determining ones own understanding of morality was initiated by the Protestant reformers. This undermined the authority of organished Churches which some see as a good thing.

However you might interpret Mathew 16:18, with all its denominational disagreement, it is clear Christ established a Church, promised to protect it and gave it authority until His return.

It is the challenge to the authority of any Church leadership, inherent in Protestantism, I was referencing. I was not equating Church authority to the incomparable Sovereignty of God.

Anyway, you must know that as a Catholic I believe the Church is under the ultimate guidance and leadership of the Holy Spirit - not flawed and fallen men. Some things it gets wrong because it is human; other things it always gets right because it is directed by God through the Holy Spirit.

26 July 2012 at 00:39  
Blogger len said...

It would seem that the unholy trinity(Williams Blair and Moore) are more concerned with self promotion than advancing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and in the light of that why should anyone listen to what they have to say?

These men must be challenged and their tawdry 'faith' exposed for exactly what it is.

26 July 2012 at 08:26  
Blogger Albert said...

IanCad,

But, as a Roman Catholic, you should be aware that, when it comes to the sheer numbers of those souls burnt, hung and tortured to death in the name of religion, you are in no position to cast stones.

As a convert, I am perfectly aware of that. But I wasn't casting stones - I was simply saying pointing out that those in glass houses ought not to do the same. In any case, in terms of sheer numbers, I think they work out tilted in favour of Protestants committing the larger atrocities - especially when you consider that they had smaller numbers. Also Protestants have had an odd practice of systematically persecuting other Protestants.

26 July 2012 at 08:37  
Blogger Albert said...

Bluedog,

And what of the influence of France, Messrs Albert & Dodo? It is frankly bizarre that Catholic convert Albert can now spout a re-written version of history.

This is the amazing thing about Protestants. Cranmer said the Anglican settlement bequeathed to us a tradition of benign social authority. I merely pointed out that this is historically false. And suddenly, I'm assailed on all sides by Protestants accusing me of not knowing the violence of my own side.

26 July 2012 at 08:41  
Blogger bluedog said...

'And suddenly, I'm assailed on all sides by Protestants accusing me of not knowing the violence of my own side.'

In passing, are you an expulsion denier in the matter of the Huguenots?

More importantly, Mr Albert, this communicant finds it profoundly concerning that an individual brought up in one tradition can change sides and not only fully accept an opposing view but also aggressively promote that view to the extent of apparently exhibiting total amnesia about previously held positions.

There is probably a psychological term for your condition and possibly a communicant versed in those arts can enlighten us.

In any event, as a matter of interest, do you feel any guilt? Or is there some plausible spiritual balm that relieves you of torment?

This communicant is genuinely interest in your reply. But rest assured, he has no plans to swim the Tiber.

26 July 2012 at 10:51  
Blogger Albert said...

What on earth are you talking about Bluedog? I did nothing more than observe the historically undeniable fact that the Protestant settlement was not itself benign and peaceful. How can you make inferences about what I may or may not deny in regard to Catholic violence from that? How can you make inferences about my psychological or spiritual health? Where have I denied anything? Please cite it.

For the record: I boarder on being a pacifist. I am appalled by the violence committed or even celebrated by members of the my own Church. I deny none of it.

But I am equally appalled by those who use the past suffering of others to score contemporary political points. This happens with Catholicism all the time: child abuse, religious violence. All sides have done these things, it is is sickened and hypocritical to try to score from it.

As for amnesia: you seem to be unaware that English history really was re-written in Tudor times. To take one example: Foxes Booke of Martyrs actually includes as evidence against Catholicism the execution of groups Protestants themselves executed. In this country it became illiegal simply to be a Catholic priest. Have you forgotten all that?

Have you forgotten the Civil Wars fought in this country between Protestants?

As for William of Orange: do you not know the history of the so-called "Glorious Revolution"? Do you know nothing of the "Non-jurers"? Of bishops and even Canterbury removed from office? Do you know all that, and seriously stand by Cranmer's comment:

The nation’s Protestant Christian Settlement, which bequeathed to us a tradition of benign social authority

Because if you don't you will do nothing more than agree with what I have said.

26 July 2012 at 11:06  
Blogger bananabrain said...

i'm jewish, traditionally observant and voted for blair twice (and cameron, too) so i suppose you might regard me as a floating voter, although i detest political parties and vote according to pragmatic considerations of various sorts.

i'm also an interfaith activist of some years and so i have inevitably come into contact with the blair "faith foundation". generally speaking, blair is regarded with some scepticism in informed circles on this subject, although i am not as cynical about his motives as some. in fact, i still rather like him, although i think he was considerably wrong about a number of things, but rather more than i like the rest of the labour party, which has contributed to a dreadful deterioration in interfaith relationships through its misguided sponsorship of many islamist groups engaged in obfuscation of their real aims in pursuit of public money. now, it is entirely possible that he's a hypocrite, but frankly i don't know of many people who aren't on some level. however, he appears to have learned his lesson on the islamism front and the people i have worked with through the foundation appear to be intelligent, sensible and suitably circumspect.

however, i simply cannot "revile" blair. he was right on afghanistan and, although i frankly despair of the execution of the aftermath of the iraq war and the subsequent political and societal disaster, for which he must take his fair share of the blame, i am in total sympathy with having removed saddam - although for my money it should have been done in 1990, as the geopolitical costs have been dreadful.

@"dodo the dude":

are you even vaguely familiar with the disgusting, ignorant things that karl marx believed and wrote about judaism? his ethnic background is hardly at issue - although i dare say if he'd been around today, he would have been signing letters to the guardian with the rest of the perennially indignant, overindulged and narcissistic "asajew" crowd.

i don't think either protestantism or catholicism are going to win many points in the "who's been least horrible to the jews" competition. i bear no rancour to either for the historical stuff; the world has changed and developed. what makes a difference is what christians do now - take the archbish for example; i used to rather like him, but unfortunately his recent remarks equating israeli checkpoints with auschwitz frankly beggared belief and stretched his credibility beyond repair in my view; clearly, i would also share his grace's views on eappi, the synod and the likes of stephen sizer - although i could not be justly described as a fan of the israeli occupation, but that's a conversation for another time.

b'shalom

bananabrain

26 July 2012 at 11:15  
Blogger IanCad said...

Albert @ 08:37,

You wrote regarding the number of victims of Catholic and Protestant religious intolerance:

"--I think they work out tilted in favour of Protestants committing the larger atrocities--"

This quote puts in mind of another gem written by a certain Shacklefree in September of last year:

"Oliver Cromwell killed more Catholics at the siege of Drogheda than the Inquisition killed in 500 years"

To which I replied:

This is just about the most absurd statement I have ever seen on this blog.

Albigenses, Waldenses, Huguenots, the Dutch, the Jews: Many, many thousands, perhaps millions, slain by the noose, the flames, the rack, the sword.
Please check your facts.

What is it about you articulate and intelligent Roman Catholics that causes you to deny the facts of history?

Do you believe the Joseph Goebbels "Big Lie" technique will work here?

Delude yourself if you wish but, for goodness sake, don't expect it to work here.

26 July 2012 at 11:15  
Blogger John Knox's lovechild said...

What do I expect from a liberal Anglican and two converts to Catholicism in debate?

Three Catholics.

26 July 2012 at 11:28  
Blogger John Knox's lovechild said...

Albert is wrong when he says the Protestant heritage bequethed, inter alia, the murder of a legitimate monarch.

It bequethed the murder of two legitimate monarchs, one a Renaissance queen who had politely to endure the bigotted harangues of my demented father

26 July 2012 at 11:31  
Blogger Albert said...

IanCad,

I note with interest three things:

(i) You did not quote me properly. I said: "In any case, in terms of sheer numbers, I think they work out tilted in favour of Protestants committing the larger atrocities - especially when you consider that they had smaller numbers.
(ii) You provide no evidence to defend your position.
(iii) Shacklefree's comment about the Inquisition is not going to be refuted by your response:

Albigenses, Waldenses, Huguenots, the Dutch, the Jews: Many, many thousands, perhaps millions, slain by the noose, the flames, the rack, the sword.

You are confusing the total numbers of dead with the numbers put to death by the Inquisition - which is actually much smaller than people realise.

So to summarise: you have misquoted me, you have failed to provide any evidence, and you have likened your position to another one in which you seem to have got rather badly wrong.

26 July 2012 at 11:32  
Blogger Albert said...

You're quite right Knox. Being English - I had forgotten about Mary Queen of Scots.

26 July 2012 at 11:43  
Blogger bluedog said...

Thank you for your reply, Mr Albert, we clearly have very different perspectives.

My question was simply designed to establish how you came to change your beliefs, but you are clearly uncomfortable sharing that process with us. At least, that is one possible interpretation of your highly defensive reaction.

As an Anglican, and not being seized with any particular view that I am either one of God's Chosen People or a member of the One True Church there is little incentive to claim exceptionalism. This in itself is attractive to me and I enjoy the implied humility of Anglican worship for that reason. Now it seems you have rejected this approach and chosen the exceptionalist position of the Roman Church, for what reason we cannot tell. You are not saying.

As the numbers of Catholics have inevitably been far higher than the numbers of Protestants, from the very start of the Reformation, there is a tendency for Protestants to adopt a siege mentality. If one lives in a Protestant majority nation that siege mentality becomes redundant for Protestants, although it may of course exist within minority faith communities such as the Catholics. This has been one of the strengths of the United Kingdom, a Protestant nation has arisen and appled Protestant thought with remarkable success. The acceptance of Protestantism in England would only have been possible if the Catholic Church was somehow discredited. It is axiomatic that if a new idea is to take root, the previous idea is in the first instance either already discredited or is actively subject to discrediting in the sales process. There do not seem to have been forced conversions in England as there were when Christianity was introduced in late Antiquity. The rites of the Anglican Church were designed from the outset by His Grace to be easily acceptable to Catholics.

At any time when the Protestant state of England was insecure, such as during the period of the war with Spain in the reign of Elizabeth I, there was undoubtedly persecution of Catholics. But was the situation in England worse than elsewhere? Almost certainly not. There was never a St Bartholomew's Day massacre in England as there was in France in 1572. Both England and France had Protestant monarchs contemporaneously, but only England continued as a Protestant state. It would be interesting to explore the dynamics of this divergence.

Your honesty about the failings of the Catholic Church is commendable, it certainly makes one wonder why you made your decision. However, from my Anglican perspective, the lack of doubt in the attitudes of some Catholic posters in this blog is quite chilling.

Automata is the word that springs to mind.

26 July 2012 at 12:25  
Blogger Albert said...

Bluedog,

My question was simply designed to establish how you came to change your beliefs, but you are clearly uncomfortable sharing that process with us. At least, that is one possible interpretation of your highly defensive reaction.

That is an outrageous thing to say. Your previous comment made all sorts of bizarre, prejudiced and unsubstantiated comments about my psychology and spiritual state. It did not clearly ask about why I converted. Had you done so, I would have answered:

Broadly speaking the issue for me has always been God's revelation. Protestantism does not seem to work - as its divisions and difficulties in establishing what scripture says (and whether scripture actually says what Protestants say it says). Anglicanism has a tradition of being alert to these difficulties and responding with tradition. But a study of tradition reveals harder difficulties than are found with the Bible. In the end, I read Newman and it all fell into place.

My "highly defensive reaction" arose therefore from (i) the lack of clarity in your question (if this was the question you were asking) (ii) the assertions about my psychological and spiritual state (iii) the fact that you were continually missing the point. Protestants are victims of prejudice - their own. I know this, having been victim of the same prejudice myself. In this thread we have had selective history and with that kind of selectivity usually goes point scoring. When it comes to violence, no one has anything to boast about except shame.

to claim exceptionalism. This in itself is attractive to me and I enjoy the implied humility of Anglican worship for that reason

It's tempting to play your psychological card in relation to the humility here. But is Protestantism humble? It implies each of us is able to judge in matters that reason itself would show are beyond us. It implies we can judge the Church - is that humble. As for exceptionalism - that is the position of the NT.

The acceptance of Protestantism in England would only have been possible if the Catholic Church was somehow discredited.

Exactly. Anglicanism does not represent Englishness as such - except in the light of a re-packaged and re-spun history, together with a number of state sponsored massacres.

The rites of the Anglican Church were designed from the outset by His Grace to be easily acceptable to Catholics.

Do you not know of the rebellions against the BCP?

There was never a St Bartholomew's Day massacre in England as there was in France in 1572.

Protestant England had two Civil Wars - fought between Protestants! They took more manhood from this country proportionately than WWI! And that's without getting into the Protestantist imperial behaviour in Ireland.

the lack of doubt in the attitudes of some Catholic posters in this blog is quite chilling

As is the Protestant difficulty of looking over the boundaries of the entirely state synthetic victor's history.

Automata is the word that springs to mind.

An insult without any evidence. I'm not even sure what it is referring to. History, doctrine or what?

26 July 2012 at 12:59  
Blogger bluedog said...

An excellent reply, Mr Albert @ 12.59.

'In the end, I read Newman and it all fell into place.' This pinpoints the trigger event in your change of allegiance. Not having read Newman, I have no understanding of the significance of the statement.

'Protestants are victims of prejudice - their own.' And Catholics are not prejudiced? Both in this blog and in face to face conversation with Catholics an Anglican is frequently reminded that the Catholic Church is supreme and that Anglican orders are null and void. The Orthodox share Anglican distaste for this caesaro-papism.

'But is Protestantism humble?' See above. A matter of judgement, but historically Protestantism has eschewed any form of ostentation. Certainly the early, more Calvinistic, forms of Protestantism were almost Maoist in some aspects. A 'leveller' moment seems to be a characteristic of all revolutions.

'It implies we can judge the Church - is that humble' I have no difficulty with being judgemental about my church. After all the Anglican Church with its synods is semi-congregational or even democratic. Catholicism demands obedience to the Magisterium, see above on caesaro-papism - the antithesis of Anglicanism.

'except in the light of a re-packaged and re-spun history, together with a number of state sponsored massacres.' All nations create a national myth. The essence of nationality is in fact a moral position, that the nation in its most abstract sense is of a value that can be shared amongst its people. The English national myth is very much based on a desire not to be French.

'Do you not know of the rebellions against the BCP?' No. But the use of the vernacular would inevitably have shocked those more familiar with Latin. In this regard the Anglican church was c480 years ahead of Rome.

'And that's without getting into the Protestantist imperial behaviour in Ireland.' Isn't this an anachronistic statement? Catholic Anglo-Norman behaviour in Ireland was equally imperial.

'As is the Protestant difficulty of looking over the boundaries of the entirely state synthetic victor's history.' I don't understand. Is the word order correct?

'Automata is the word that springs to mind.

'An insult without any evidence. I'm not even sure what it is referring to. History, doctrine or what?'

Not an insult, just an Anglican view of the Magisterium being applied within His Grace's cyber-cathedral. You will, of course, regard that sentence as an insult!

26 July 2012 at 13:43  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

asked ...

" ... are you even vaguely familiar with the disgusting, ignorant things that karl marx believed and wrote about judaism? his ethnic background is hardly at issue."

Do you read posts? I was replying to this nonsensical statement by another and frequent visitor:

"It is worth noting that Karl Marx was a Roman Catholic until the day he died, a devoutly dishonest and highly dangerous one I may grant you, ( Jesuit ) but a Roman Catholic all the same."

I merely corrected this historical inaccuracy and pointed out he was Jewish from a family of Rabbis.

bluedog

I think our guffawing sluice started all this "your lot killed more than our lot" and then crept off chuckling to himself.

The issue was whether the Protestant Christian Settlement bequeathed to us a tradition of benign social authority. It did nothing of the sort and led to brutality and slaughter. Is one arguing that without Proestantism the alternative, a Catholic Settlement, would have resulted in a malign social authority?

I agree Protestantism was preceeded by behaviours no less heinous by the Catholics of the time.

26 July 2012 at 14:10  
Blogger Albert said...

Bluedog,

Thank you - I was beginning to lose the will to live.

Not having read Newman, I have no understanding of the significance of the statement.

Newman offers one of the most important modern critiques of Anglicanism. Newman doesn't convert every reader, but he challenges all.

'Protestants are victims of prejudice - their own.' And Catholics are not prejudiced?

This is what I am finding frustrating with you. You keep reading my comment "Protestants are X" to mean "Catholics are not X". Which just doesn't follow - but it does perhaps explain why you keep thinking I have denied Catholic violence. But you might as well infer "the Welsh are not British" from the statement "the English are British.

an Anglican is frequently reminded that the Catholic Church is supreme

That's not prejudice. You might call it chauvinism I suppose. We believe Christ founded the Church, the Church was and ever will be one. Protestants broke away from that Church. It is the height of arrogance to think that by breaking away, you can undo what Christ has given. But of course, you do not think Protestantism is the undoing of what Christ has done - therefore it would be wrong for me to call it arrogance. But that just means we have a different ecclesiology, and therefore the Catholic is not prejudice.

and that Anglican orders are null and void.

When the declaration was made, there was very little outrage in the CofE, precisely because they understood that the declaration was saying Anglican priests are not priests in the sense that Catholic priests are. That position is still maintained by the majority of the CofE.

26 July 2012 at 14:41  
Blogger Albert said...

But is Protestantism humble?' See above. A matter of judgement, but historically Protestantism has eschewed any form of ostentation. Certainly the early, more Calvinistic, forms of Protestantism were almost Maoist in some aspects. A 'leveller' moment seems to be a characteristic of all revolutions.

No, no, no. In the beginning, each Protestant community believed it and only it was the real Church - complete with the only real Gospel. Look at Luther's vitriol toward Zwingli or the general burning of Anabaptists by Magisterial Protestants. Protestants need to know these things before they can fairly judge Catholics.

I have no difficulty with being judgemental about my church

I did not say your church, I said the Church. The Church that scripture calls "the pillar and bulwark of the truth." The Church Christ promised to lead into all truth. You have to judge the Church as a Protestant in order to find it. But by what standard can one judge the truth?

Catholicism demands obedience to the Magisterium

As did the apostles. Have you never heard that Anglicanism provides a "pope in every parish" (i.e. the vicar), except that these days, Anglicanism demands obedience to the individual himself. How is that the NT Church? Christ gave us the Church to teach us. This paradoxical idea that you can "humbly" know better than that Church is nowhere to be found in the NT.

All nations create a national myth.

Of course, but your religion rests on a deliberately created myth.

But the use of the vernacular would inevitably have shocked those more familiar with Latin.

Not just the Latin, but the rite itself - they described it as a "Christmas game" on account of the way in which they were expected to come forward for communion.

Isn't this an anachronistic statement? Catholic Anglo-Norman behaviour in Ireland was equally imperial.

It is imperial in the most accurate sense. The Irish were their own people, butchered by a foreign power, on account of Protestantism.

'As is the Protestant difficulty of looking over the boundaries of the entirely state synthetic victor's history.' I don't understand. Is the word order correct?

No, it is quite correct: I was responding your worries about the lack of doubt among Catholics.

Not an insult, just an Anglican view of the Magisterium being applied within His Grace's cyber-cathedral. You will, of course, regard that sentence as an insult!

So, I'm expected to believe that calling us automata is not insulting. Look at tour own position: you don't know your own history, and you don't know some of the principles objections against you, and yet (i) You still believe it and (ii) have the audacity to criticise other - even to the point of trying to psychobabble me. Is this Protestant humility?

26 July 2012 at 14:44  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

26 July 2012 at 15:28  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

bluedog said ...

"After all the Anglican Church with its synods is semi-congregational or even democratic. Catholicism demands obedience to the Magisterium ..."

This is a strength of Anglicanism? Currently it is tearing the world wide Anglican communion apart and, in my opinion, in the process, discrediting Christianity.

And just why is the Catholic Church's demand for obedience in matters of faith, doctrine and moral teachings a bad thing? Is the correct understanding of God's word subject to universal suffrage and majority vote by its members?

26 July 2012 at 15:31  
Blogger len said...

I sometimes wonder if Christ was told He must attend 'Church' which one would He Choose?.

Or perhaps He would not attend a 'Church'at all and would call people out of their' Churches'?.

The word "church" is commonly used to translate the Greek word εκκλεσια ekklesia except in a couple of cases where ekklesia refers to a non-Christian assembly. The ek~ means "out" or "from" and the ~klesia comes from kaleo to call. So ekklesia simply means the "called out" people —called out of darkness into God's light. That light is the Lord Jesus Christ (1Pe 2:9 Jhn 1:4). There is nothing in this word to suggest a denomination.

Perhaps our denominations are more trouble and cause more division then they are worth?.

26 July 2012 at 20:03  
Blogger Albert said...

There is nothing in this word to suggest a denomination. Perhaps our denominations are more trouble and cause more division then they are worth?.

Spoken like a true Catholic, Len!

26 July 2012 at 20:15  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

len

Acording to Wiki, in Greek, the adjective kyriak-ós/-ē/-ón means "belonging, or pertaining, to a Kýrios" ("Lord"), and the usage was adopted by early Christians to anything pertaining to the Lord Jesus Christ: hence "Kyriakós oíkos" ("house of the Lord", church).

In standard Greek usage, the older word "ecclesia", ekklesía, (literally "assembly", "congregation", or the place where such a gathering occurs) was retained to signify both a specific edifice of Christian worship (a "church"), and the overall community of the faithful (the "Church").

This usage was retained in Latin and the languages derived from Latin.

I do agree with you, there should be no denominations - just one Church of Christ.

26 July 2012 at 20:24  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr Albert @ 14.44, as a layman and non-theologian my knowledge of Anglicanism is self-evidently less complete than your own. Like the majority of the population I tend not to spend every waking hour contemplating my relationship with the Almighty.

Hence when you say, ' Look at tour own position: you don't know your own history, and you don't know some of the principles objections against you, and yet (i) You still believe it and (ii) have the audacity to criticise others.' it is easy for you to be correct in some detail or other. Equally, I would simply say that you are wrong in your beliefs and your interpretation of history, that is my opinion.

The Roman Catholic Church descends directly from the Roman Empire. When the barbarians were at the gates of Rome and all was lost, the Roman aristocracy ceased to be magistrates but became priests, devising a Magisterium instead, complete with a Curia. To this ignorant Anglican, that is indeed imperial, and with all the arrogance of imperium. The Orthodox Church shares this view.

Ultimately the Church (yes, I managed the capital) consists of all those who try to lead their lives according to Christ's teaching.

It is surely preferable if we try to see things in that light without sectarian division. Look at the persistent attacks on len, and currently Paul Twigg, and IanCad. Who leads the attacks and tells the objects of the attack about their deficiencies? Why, it is the Catholics, of whom you have chosen to become one. Ever thought of live and let live without endless proselytising?

As to 'psychobabble', it genuinely fascinates me how an apparently intelligent individual can swing through 180 degrees and disparage the teaching and traditions of his own family, which you appear to do.

The aggression of your replies may be symptomatic of a certain guilt.

26 July 2012 at 22:04  
Blogger Albert said...

Bluedog,

I would simply say that you are wrong in your beliefs and your interpretation of history, that is my opinion.

That's fine. I'm not having a go at you for that. It is the criticism of me, my psychology and my spiritual state that riled me - considering they came from a position of ignorance.

The Roman Catholic Church descends directly from the Roman Empire. When the barbarians were at the gates of Rome and all was lost, the Roman aristocracy ceased to be magistrates but became priests, devising a Magisterium instead, complete with a Curia.

The Catholic Church descended through not from the Roman Empire.

The Orthodox Church shares this view.

So what? The expression "Caesaro-papism" refers to the Christian East's temptation to replace the Pope with the Emperor. I have a very high regard for the Christian East, but it is far more nationalistic than Catholicism (see how it breaks up into national churches) and is typically somewhat subordinate to the state.

Ultimately the Church (yes, I managed the capital) consists of all those who try to lead their lives according to Christ's teaching.

and is the body of Christ, with Christ as its head - it is superior to the two of us.

Look at the persistent attacks on len, and currently Paul Twigg, and IanCad.

Do you not see that these attacks are usually responses to attacks on Catholics - sometimes of the sort, not only to impugn our being Church, but even impugn our being Christians. But that's okay, because they are Protestants.

As to 'psychobabble', it genuinely fascinates me how an apparently intelligent individual can swing through 180 degrees and disparage the teaching and traditions of his own family, which you appear to do.

It was not a 180 degree swing. Catholicism is the completeness of Protestantism. If you think I disparage Anglicanism and that this indicates a dodgy psychological state, then you must concede Protestantism rests on some pretty dodgy foundations - have you never read what Luther and other early Reformers said about Catholicism - or is it okay when they do it because they are Protestants?

It is not my intention to disparage Anglicanism, but when false claims are made either for it, or against Catholicism, then I will come out fighting. I do exactly the same when atheists make similar attacks on Christianity or theism. Is that dodgy psychology?

The aggression of your replies may be symptomatic of a certain guilt.

The "aggression" of my replies has nothing to do with guilt (I don't even know what you mean) it is in response to the extraordinary arrogance of the personal attacks you have mad on me from a position of ignorance. You do not know your own tradition, you do not know the most typical path from Anglicanism to Catholicism, and yet, you presume, across the internet to offer some kind psychological diagnosis. Perhaps you should ask yourself why you do this.

26 July 2012 at 22:40  
Blogger Albert said...

I'm just going to add Bluedog, that although I have been robust in my responses (yes perhaps too robust, if so, I apologise), but you have been repeatedly and personally insulting. Can you not see it?

26 July 2012 at 22:47  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

bluedog

Who's "attacking" Paul Twigg or IanCad? And, so far as I can see, peace has broken out with len except for the issue of his cats. Even Blofeld isn't being "attacked" except when he makes unsubstantiated personal allegations.

And you shouldn't group all Catholics together as if we are the 'Borg' - someone called us this recently - or unthinking automata. I would not wish to be associated with the comments of some and I'm sure other Catholics will disassociate from my comments too.

You throw out this statement:

"The Roman Catholic Church descends directly from the Roman Empire. When the barbarians were at the gates of Rome and all was lost, the Roman aristocracy ceased to be magistrates but became priests, devising a Magisterium instead, complete with a Curia."

Do you seriously expect a Catholic to let such an inaccurate misrepresentation pass unchallenged? What is your evidence apart from the Orthodox Church supports this view? You defend your own faith with vigour, and so you should. Expect no less from others.

26 July 2012 at 22:53  
Blogger Paul Twigg said...

Chaps,

I see that my name's involved here, but I'll respond to whatever caper I'm now involved in tomorrow.

26 July 2012 at 23:51  
Blogger non mouse said...

The Labour Party under Tony Blair's leadership de-legitimised morality and replaced it with abstract moralising, as though the vagaries of human sense were a substitute for millennia of accumulated wisdom. The nation’s Protestant Christian Settlement, which bequeathed to us a tradition of benign social authority, has been subsumed to a malign socialist ultra-liberalism which is inexorably changing our culture beyond recognition and foisting upon everyone a value-free vernacular. Indeed, Your Grace.

Once more I would point out that, wittingly or not, non-communicants on your own Christian/CoE blog contribute to the same “malign” dynamic. The present strand exemplifies how, wide-eyed if not disingenuous, they divert every discussion to their own ends.

Presently, the most egregious non-communicants are those of whom Mr. bluedog says: “... from my Anglican perspective, the lack of doubt in the attitudes of some Catholic posters in this blog is quite chilling. Automata is the word that springs to mind (26 July 2012 12:25). Chilling, it is; and aggression and vindictiveness augment their effect on all who presume to withstand the attack.

Now had your regular communicants the slightest interest in returning the insult to secular, papist, or socialist sites, they would go there and do so. However, we respect their right to be wrong and would rather leave them to it.

The difference invokes some questions: Are the mischief-makers bored with their equally unimaginative fellows? Have they not the common sense to know that browbeating wins no converts? More dangerously, to what extent are they communist pawns? If they protest otherwise, why do they exploit your tolerance and foist their interminably divisive polemic upon us?

...cont'd

27 July 2012 at 02:51  
Blogger non mouse said...

...cont'd:

Whether or not they understand it,in provoking and perpetuating dissension, the saboteurs inure us to the governmental umbrella which rules while we fight each other. Such puppetry is “chilling” largely because it produces colonies of weakened automata: who lose the ability to recognise or disempower the tactics of script-writers.

My concern has heightened because I have recently heard professional educators recommend that students should no longer learn critical thinking and rhetoric. They claim that mathematics and science are all that is necessary for the advance of society.

I say caveat lector. Day by day, we see what kinds of science and religion progress when, as Your Grace says Truth is relativised; all belief is valid as long as it coheres with state orthodoxy.

27 July 2012 at 02:52  
Blogger bluedog said...

Thank you, non mouse @ 02.51 for your kind words of support.

27 July 2012 at 09:43  
Blogger Albert said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

27 July 2012 at 10:38  
Blogger Albert said...

Non mouse,

I think you need to read the thread again. All I said was the the Protestant Settlement did not (as Cranmer had said) bequeath peace. If you don't want to take my word for it, try reading the foremost Anglican historian of the Reformation: Diarmaid MacCulloch. If you can't be bothered to read his big book, look at his recent TV programme. No one has disputed the point I made, but instead it was claimed I had denied Catholic violence. When I asked for the evidence that I had disputed Catholic violence, none was forthcoming, instead I subjected to a load of armchair psychological abuse, much of which revealed it was not me that was not aware of the violence of his own side.

No one should score points in relation to violence. No one should claim to be a greater instrument of peace than is true. We should all have nothing but shame on the subject. Observing this should not result in psychological attacks.

27 July 2012 at 10:40  
Blogger Preacher said...

A bit late gentlemen, but had to say an AMEN to Albert & Len's thought that all this denominational business really throws a spanner in the works.
Q/ What denomination is God?
A/ None.
No one person or group of people can claim to exclusively own God.

God can not belong to anybody.

WE can belong to Him, if we come to Him ON HIS TERMS.

Blessings. Preacher.

27 July 2012 at 10:45  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

non mouse

So who are the "regular communicants" as opposed to these unspecified "egregious non-communicants"? These undefined bloggers who are "wide-eyed if not disingenuous", display
"aggression and vindictiveness" and, horror upon horrors, might even be "communist pawns?"!

I think a wide range of opinion and views have been aired on this thread and generally the discussion has been well conducted if a little fractious at times concerning historical detail and its interpretation, and whether Blair's flaws are connected to his Catholicism.

Isn't that what a good religio-political discourse will engender?

Preacher said ...

"God can not belong to anybody.
WE can belong to Him, if we come to Him ON HIS TERMS."


Who could disagree with this?

And we know His "terms" through His Revelation and through Jesus Christ. If only everyone could agree what His message meant. But then we're all human and flawed - and that's why there is a Church and why it has fragmented!

27 July 2012 at 11:52  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Poor old Blue Dog being picked upon here. It's not just you though- Dodo and Cressida are being ghastly to me on other threads. It's like the mafia the way certain people operate on this blog.

27 July 2012 at 16:14  
Blogger bluedog said...

Thank you, Hannah @ 16.14. Fortunately this mangey hound has learned to roll with the punches. It's hard to get used to the idea that some communicants are totally devoid of a sense of humour, though. Look at the way the mafia treat Ernsty. It does seem that Cressida and Dodo have hooked up. Hope they are very happy together.

27 July 2012 at 22:21  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Hannah, come now. I have never been ghastly towards you. If I ever am I will warn you first so you can prepare and summon assistance.

Bluedog, you poor soul facing such cold and uncompromising brutality and all alone too. My, Albert's word were harsh and he's usually so charming when insulted. Never mind, chin up and be a brave wee soldier.

You think Blowfly humerous? Naughty boy, did your mother never tell you it is very wicked to laugh at the afflicted.

Now, cressida has been terribly beastly towards me too and I am still in a state of shock. And neither she nor I are 'hookers'. What a terrible suggestion!

27 July 2012 at 23:20  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

I say that Bluedog, when it all gets a bit too much, just roll up in your basket and do some serious therapeutic licking, what !

28 July 2012 at 00:14  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Inspector, what a wonderful suggestion. I'm sure bluedog is already well aquainted with said activity.

28 July 2012 at 01:47  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

All the time I have been on this blog I have never engaged Bluedog for obvious reasons(Zzzzzz) Desperate to gain my attention he throws a personal unmanly insult
at me and expects me to run away crying like his stereotypically
Doris Day heroine. Be warned Rover!

28 July 2012 at 04:39  
Blogger len said...

I must say plenty of heat in the kitchen today!.

It must be remembered that in a crucible' the dross' floats to the top and the rest is refined.

The' dross 'on the blog is self apparent but there is also a refining process going on amongst the more discerning bloggers.Keep at it Albert(an others)it is only in the heat of the Kitchen or perhaps the' threshing floor' that the wheat is separated from the chaff.(apologies for mixing so many metaphors)
I genuinely think good can come from discussion between denominations and faiths if approached in the right manner.

28 July 2012 at 09:39  
Blogger Preacher said...

Dodo.
I'm glad that you agree.

"The problem is that we Are all human & flawed." This includes Church leaders, of all denominations.
So what is the answer?. How would you rectify the situation?.

Dr Cranmers blog reveals planks in the eyes of many. Both believers & non believers. the question is when will we start taking our own responsibilities seriously instead of relying on the teaching of other flawed men?.

28 July 2012 at 11:45  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

So good of you to acknowledge the qualities and talents of others len. One does one's best.

28 July 2012 at 11:45  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Preacher

Surely a central question is how we can be confident the views we form about the essential message of Christ are from the Holy Spirit?

28 July 2012 at 11:50  
Blogger Preacher said...

Dodo.
Allowing for our agreeing on the fact that all men are flawed. Then how can we expect the men chosen to lead us to be perfect?. They may be sincere, but sincerity is no guarantee of 100% success.
How often have we taken advice from a sincere source & found out to our cost that it was wrong.
God is the ONLY flawless one & I believe He knows our dilemma & is willing & ready to help. He left us the written word as a guide & sent the Holy Spirit to live in humble believers. Jesus taught us to pray & Paul told us to pray at all times.
In many Churches in the West, I think we have grown lazy. We prefer to be spoon fed like babies rather than wrestle with steak like adults. Paul praised the Bereans for checking out what he taught & any minister should be happy to see his people growing, even if they sometimes question him.
You might make mistakes, but when you were a toddler a loving parent was always watching you when you fell & was quick to catch you or pick you up & comfort you. Do you think God would do less for you?.
I think you are old enough & bold enough to stand without help, the question is, do you dare?.
Stay in your Church if it suits you & you are comfortable there. But remember, men are only human.


Blessings. Preacher.

28 July 2012 at 20:27  
Blogger Preacher said...

Dodo.
That should read 'You WILL make mistakes.'

28 July 2012 at 20:28  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Preacher

What's with all the do I dare step out alone and trust in the Holy Spirit? The Catholic Church isn't some repressive regime that stiffles all thought and debate! And no Catholic runs to his priest on a daily basis for advice and guidance about life. I do wish people would understand the Church better.

Anyway, now that's off my chest, I do know where you're coming from. However, didn't the Bereans check what Paul was teaching from their Hebrew scripture?

The New Testament gives a clear commission to the Apostles to preach, teach and baptise. Matthew 16:18 is unavoidable. It calls for a Church with leadership and authority. This and rules out the development of individual doctrine and the solo player.

And of course priests and clergy are not perfect. Who expects them to be? When following the teachings of the Church however, I do believe I am following the revealed will of God. Why on earth would I want to rebel against this?

28 July 2012 at 20:49  
Blogger Preacher said...

Dodo.
It's not about rebellion. As I said, if you are happy where you are, stay there.
Did I say you were to step out alone? I think not. I merely encourage you & all men to seek the blessings of God personally, this was in response to your earlier question about confidence in the message of the Holy Spirit.
We are told that we will receive the Holy Spirit when we ask the Father for Him & God doesn't lie or not deliver on His promised.


Blessings. Preacher.

29 July 2012 at 14:36  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Preacher

What you actually said was:

"I think you are old enough & bold enough to stand without help, the question is, do you dare?"

It implied a lack of spiritual maturity and courage. You have assumed remaining within the Church is some sort of avoidance of self responsibility.

"I merely encourage you & all men to seek the blessings of God personally, this was in response to your earlier question about confidence in the message of the Holy Spirit."

You think the Church prevents a personal relationship with God? We've discussed this before. Membership of the Church is based on such a relationship!

My questions related to issues of denominations all claiming different 'truths' about God and the Gospel. The history of Christianity, including early Christianity, is littered with what the Church views as heresy.

I asked:

"Surely a central question is how we can be confident the views we form about the essential message of Christ are from the Holy Spirit?"

This concerns such things as the Christology we hold and the process of salvation and justification and the part played by the Church - Christ's Mystical Body. These are not matters I am confident the Holy Spirit imparts to individuals but believe they are given to the Church through the Holy Spirit.

I offer as evidence the competing 'truths' revealed to so many individuals through their own interpretations of scripture or through personal encounters.

Coming to God on His terms means understanding the terms. It's not God "belonging to anybody".

As I said we know His "terms" through His Revelation and through Jesus Christ. People do not agree what His message means and that's why, in His wisdom, God established a Church.

29 July 2012 at 19:35  
Blogger len said...

I think that looking at the various Christian denominations that they all have elements of truth in them,but they all have elements of error also.

It is rather like pure clean water flowing through contaminated filters(we' the church' are the filters)

So what we need to do is to go directly to the source of the pure clean water ." On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink."(John 7:37)
Jesus also promised the Holy Spirit would lead us into all truth.
Perhaps if we placed our faith in Jesus Christ rather than our denominations we would become more effective Christians.

God must come first in our relationship.... all else follows from that relationship with God.


Matthew 22:36-40
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

30 July 2012 at 08:17  
Blogger Preacher said...

Len
Spot on Len. The Church is not about denominations. Was never meant to be.
The Church is the people, the Body of Christ on earth. All responsible for spreading the gospel.
Jesus makes it clear when He says "Go into all the world & make disciples of all nations."
Dodo.
I think the problem is that we have a different definition of what Church is. To me it is the body of Christ on Earth comprising of all born again Holy Spirit filled Believers, who obey Jesus' Commands, read the Bible & pray to God daily. irrespective of their denomination.

30 July 2012 at 10:19  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Preacher

Don't you see the myriad of ways your statements can be understood or misunderstood?

"To me it is the body of Christ on Earth comprising of all born again Holy Spirit filled Believers, who obey Jesus' Commands, read the Bible & pray to God daily. irrespective of their denomination."

What does "born again" mean?
What is "Spirit filled"?
Obeying Jesus?

"The Church is the people, the Body of Christ on earth. All responsible for spreading the gospel.
Jesus makes it clear when He says "Go into all the world & make disciples of all nations."


My central point is that without doctrinal consistency and leadership this can only lead to chaos, confusion and ultimately damages the Body of Christ.

Imagine if the outcome of the very first Councils in Jerusalem had been: just make your own mind up on how you understand Jesus' life, death and resurrection and decide for yourself what this means for Jewish law and rites?

30 July 2012 at 23:53  
Blogger Preacher said...

Dodo.
A religious leader was told by Jesus "Truly I say to you , no one can see the Kingdom of God unless he is Born Again!".
Read the rest of John 3; 1-22.
Nicodemus was a top religious leader, he was, one can assume well aware & acquainted with matters of Jewish law, & was doctrinally consistent. But Jesus says, that was not enough.
Perhaps Nicodemus wanted Jesus to be a success, an Orthodox card holding member of the Sanhedrin, who would unite the Jewish people against the Romans & herald in a new age of Hebrew supremacy. Maybe not.
Instead of conforming to a rigid religious structure, Which we know originated from God, Jesus chose a group of, how would you term them, Lay people. To be the vanguard of the Church.
If it was wrong it would in your view have fallen into chaos & confusion in a few years & the few chastened survivors would have limped back to the temple & the Jewish faith. End of Christianity & We'd all be Jewish. But God doesn't make mistakes.
Despite opposition from secular & religious authorities from the very start, a Holy Spirit filled Fisherman, preached a message that drew 3,000 people to be followers of a 'Messiah' that many of them had called for to be executed & had seen die on a Roman cross.
From this foundation a body of believers was born that lasted for hundreds of years. Until someone thought that they would work better if they elevated leaders & priests to take authority over them. & Lo! the rise of denominations & the Fighting, Killing, Disputes etc began & continue today.

We rip & tear each other to pieces like football hooligans, because of denominational differences. This is what damages the body of Christ & allows the enemy the freedom to drag men to destruction.

If you still can't see where I'm coming from there's not much more I can do.
God Bless you. Preacher.

31 July 2012 at 14:43  
Blogger len said...

I do not find it too surprising when people cannot grasp spiritual truths because I was in exactly that same position myself.

Only God can open blind eyes and unblock deaf ears.Jesus proved He could do this both physically and spiritually.

The Holy Spirit is the One who reveals Christ and without Him all theology, all religious practices,religious observances, are so much useless 'dung' as Paul ever so politely put it)
The Holy Spirit is the revealer of Christ exactly as Christ promised.When Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would come to believers He said (in the Greek ) that He would send One exactly the same as Himself.What better guide could we have, what better revealer of the Truth could we have?.

31 July 2012 at 21:39  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Preacher

Of course I see where you're coming from - I just disagree with you.

And you've not addressed my central point. From the start the Church had a teaching role and a role in determining the true Christian Gospel. Do you deny this? What you do is give authority to each individual in the belief all have equal gifts from the Spirit.

You've given a very partial account both too of Jesus' encounter with Nicodemus and in terms of the history of the Church.

The essential point of Christ surely was that membership of the Jewish nation alone and following the Judaic rites was insufficient and that a living relationship with God was necessary. This is where Judaism was going wrong. Catholics accept this message of Christ too - shock horror! We see the process of salvation somewhat differently and the role of Church leadership too.

You commented:

"If it was wrong it would in your view have fallen into chaos & confusion in a few years & the few chastened survivors would have limped back to the temple & the Jewish faith. End of Christianity & We'd all be Jewish. But God doesn't make mistakes."

Is a false understanding of my position!

Matthew 16:18 tells us how God ensured His Church would survive until Christ's return. And your view of the first three hundred years of Christianity is both naive and inaccurate. The Church has always been Apostolic - read Acts and then Saint Paul about the different gifts and responsibilities of its members.

31 July 2012 at 22:08  
Blogger Preacher said...

Dodo.
This could end up as the longest tennis match in history.
My point is that from the very start ALL believers were filled with the Holy Spirit. The book of Acts is full of examples.
You say that from the start the Church had a teaching role, agreed!
now tell me which 'Church', Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, or perhaps you prefer to choose from one of the Catholic Branches. there were many times in history when several Popes ALL claimed direct succession from the Apostle Peter. How can you seriously call my view naive & inaccurate yet you ignore historic examples like this.
What examples of Christ like purity & perfection has the world seen from this titanic struggle for power but a bloodbath of war, terror & suppression. Tell me, how did the Papal line retrieve its purity after the for example Borgia debacle? or was it simply a case of "Oh well, put it down to experience".
Apologies if I'm being hard, you are entitled to believe & follow who & what you want.I have many friends from different faiths & none. But I sometimes find your replies patronising & disparaging. I enjoy honest debate, but please don't try & score points by belittling others, who are honestly making important points in an effort to illuminate the darker areas of life. The stakes are high & IMO it's not a game.
Better if we draw this to a close & agree to disagree don't you think?.

1 August 2012 at 10:58  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Preacher

You've just trotted out the standard protestant objections to the Catholic Church - a history of sinful men in a sinful world. It proves nothing!

There is one Mystical Body of Christ and talk of 'denominations' really is meaningless.

"And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven."

This is not a manifesto for individuals to think and do as they as please. It is a commission given to Peter and the Apostles to lead Christ's Church until He returns in Glory.

2 August 2012 at 01:27  
Blogger Preacher said...

Dodo.
Exactly my point. "A history of sinful men in a sinful world". Whether they be Catholic, Protestant, Politicians, Dictators or Kings.
How can you put a Leader, (who is a sinner like all men) elected by men who are also sinful, into a position of Supreme spiritual power & say that he is more holy & Spirit filled than any other believer?.
Just for the record book, I knew you would trot out the old, "Standard Protestant objection to the Catholic Church". I merely point out that Peter, Paul & the Rest have passed to glory many years ago. The succession to ANY Vicar, priest, Pastor, Minister, Cardinal, Bishop, Archbishop or yes even Pope, Cannot be decided by the votes of men. Because as HISTORY proves we often get it badly wrong, Yes even the most sincere & Godly men are imperfect & make mistakes.

Blessings. Preacher.

2 August 2012 at 09:04  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

As you know Preacher the Church believes the Holy Spirit guides it and its choice of Pope. Before you come back and reel off the history of the Papacy and its political and personal failures, I readily acknowledge these.

However, ultimately the Catholic Church passed through this and the "gates of hell" have not prevailed against it. You see, I trust the words of the Christ and despite all the past human failures at the Vatican, good and faithful men and women stayed true to the Church.

2 August 2012 at 13:34  
Blogger len said...

I find it truly sad when people cannot or will not accept the truth.
As I mentioned earlier only God can reveal truth(to those willing to lay aside their own prejudices or pre conditions)
Those who have bound themselves to a religious ideal are probably the most stubborn because their religion becomes a 'stronghold' which they feel they must defend at all costs.
The tragedy is that this religious 'stronghold 'leaves the most important person outside ....God Himself.
When Jesus said' I stand outside the door and knock' he was addressing the Church!.

2 August 2012 at 18:41  
Blogger Preacher said...

Dodo
I would not question the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the appointment of ANY Church leaders. What I would say is that men have free will & free choice, this introduces the fallible human factor into the equation.
Men are free to accept or reject the guidance of God & as history proves, we often make terrible mistakes. Not only in religious matters but in government as well.
I am not attacking the Catholic Church. But merely saying that when one man is elected to supreme power & is above criticism or reproach, unanswerable to anyone there is an inerrant danger. The same applies to Ayatollahs, Archbishops, & other human leaders.
I simply recommend that We the Church should be prayerfully alert to the dangers & exercise discernment in matters spiritual & not be afraid to question teaching that we disagree with.
As we are now in danger of slipping of this page I suggest we draw the matter to a close.
I will not answer any more on this debate. So God Bless you. Sleep well. Preacher.

3 August 2012 at 00:24  

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