Thursday, April 04, 2013

Who will kiss Mick Philpott's feet?

From Brother Ivo:

Mick Philpott has committed a grave and reckless crime. He will be sentenced today by a judge who will have greater knowledge of the facts, history, and context of the case than any of us who are brave, foolish, or over-confident enough to express an opinion.

Already, many of us will have considered the issue raised by the Daily Mail when it suggested that this family was a product of our Welfare State which offered significant financial support with little expectation in return, with an early politically-correct caution against 'judgmentalism' as his wife or his mistress presented him year by year with a new child to boost his distorted concept of what it means to be a father.

For most of us, good parenting has strong elements of restraint, self sacrifice, and commitment, coupled with a determination to impart a good example and a desire that our children should become good contributing members of society. Mr Philpott seems to be different.

The more we learn of his significant criminal history, the income he drew from the taxpayer, and his apparent egotism, the easier it is to dislike him. He and those within the newly identified 'Precariat', who share his culture, are antithetical to almost all the collective values of the rest of society, and so when he comes to our attention for having been instrumental in killing six of his own children, his lawyer had one of the worst tasks imaginable in offering a plea in mitigation.

Christians will also struggle with this case.

Many of us will have children, or work with, teach, care for, love, support and advocate for Christ’s little ones. We will have no problem hating the sin, but loving the sinner? This sinner? Must we? Seriously?

Jesus had a severe warning for those who would harm the children he loves:
Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones (Lk 17.1).
Yet we also know that our God is not limited as we are. He is a always a God of Justice but also a God of Mercy, and this presents all followers of The Way with a discomforting challenge:
Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven (Lk 6:36).
We have a High Court Judge to whom the enactment of human justice has been entrusted, but that is not the end for those of us who are called to be the people of the Resurrection. The question remains: 'Who will kiss Mick Philpott's feet?'

On Maundy Thursday, we saw Pope Francis washing and kissing the feet of offenders. We do not know their crimes; Brother Ivo does not know if the Pope knew. We do not know if the victims of those offenders saw that re-enactment, or what they might have thought of it.

We do know that when Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, he included Judas who nurtured betrayal and enmity in his breast even as Jesus included him in this most humble demonstration of what is expected of us.

That is how far He would have us go.

Whether it happens literally or figuratively, we ought to expect that some unknown Christian will reach out to this unlovely sinner. It may well be a prison chaplain, who may struggle with the idea of performing his or her service in this regard, and may even be rebuffed. How hard would it be for such a Christian to offer and perhaps be rejected when offering restored humanity? These are the risks we are called to take.

Yet still we must hope, and try and pray.

Taking the risk is the first and perhaps most difficult part. If we fear to offer, or allow our distaste to limit us, we cannot dare to succeed.

In these post-Easter days, we have to stand up for the unimaginable. If Christ can be raised from the dead, there is hope for Mick Philpott.

We may and should hope that, offered the service Christ commands, Mick Philpott may begin to be redeemed, comforted and restored. In that striking phrase, he can be 'loved into wholeness'.

There is no other way he can be changed.

Please God, it begins with a meeting and a question: 'Why are you here?' And the simple answer that Christians will be there for him because Christ offers him a more abundant life even than that offered by the Welfare State.

For many, that will be a greater challenge to accept than the empty tomb.

(Posted by Brother Ivo)


Blogger Tony B said...

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4 April 2013 at 07:37  
Blogger Gnostic said...

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4 April 2013 at 07:56  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Philpott's stupidity and greed snuffed out six young lives. Bollocks to forgiveness, Brother I. Let the bugger rot in hell.

4 April 2013 at 07:58  
Blogger Corrigan said...

Seems appropriate for consideration on this topic.

4 April 2013 at 09:01  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Hans Frank, the Governor General of Poland during the Nazi Occupation, returned to the Catholic faith of his childhood during the Nuremberg trials and was one of only two of the senior officials indicted to express remorse. This man was directly and indirectly responsible for the death of hundreds of thousands of men, women and children in occupied Poland.

If we believe his remorse was genuine, and his desire for forgiveness also genuine, then we are taught that there is nothing that God cannot forgive, and we have to assume that he received forgiveness, whatever Catholics may believe about the probable stay in Purgatory

But human forgiveness for what he did is probably well beyond the scope of most humans living on this most imperfect earth.

And Mick Philpott in many ways with this crime that turns the stomach - the murder, intentional or otherwise - if six of his own children, will fall into a similar category in most people's minds. Hope and prayer for him to find remorse and forgiveness, but an inability to detach the actions from the man. There may be some brave and loving souls who can find a way beyond this. And perhaps prayers should also be offered for the prison chaplain faced with a task that none of us would envy.

4 April 2013 at 09:29  
Blogger Brother Ivo said...

A prayer, Sister Tiberia, which Brother Ivo regretted not asking as soon as he re-read the post when it was published. Thank you for repairing an important omission.

4 April 2013 at 09:35  
Blogger Richard H said...

A humble and humbling piece, thank you. I can't help but compare its tone with that of your piece about the baby Peter tragedy. What/why/who has changed?

4 April 2013 at 09:57  
Blogger Brother Ivo said...

Brother Richard,

Well the first difference is - two entirely different independent authors!

Having read His Grace's earlier post, it is not actually contradictory.

He flagged up the contrast in how different killers of children were dealt with under the Law of this country at different times.

Even whilst that sentence is being served - whatever it is- Brother Ivo's post is a challenge not to the Law but to the limits of our discipleship.

They are very different in context.

4 April 2013 at 10:16  
Blogger D. Singh said...

‘He and those within the newly identified 'Precariat', who share his culture, are antithetical to almost all the collective values of the rest of society, and so when he comes to our attention for having been instrumental in killing six of his own children.’

Well, that does take the heat off us.

It is accepted that Philpot has committed a crime against us all. Are we sure that we have not committed a ‘crime’ against the Philpots of our country?

It is we who have degraded the ‘image of God’ by abolishing capital punishment and dismantling the execution shed (a place that should concentrate the mind of a murderer upon eternal issues).

It is we who have failed to stigmatize immoral living because we don’t want to be ‘judgmental’ and not only that installed the necessary social and economic systems that ensure the Philpots of this world are arrogant and take great pride in hurting us.

It is we who encourage, through passivity, the Phillpots of this world – it is we who have abrogated moral responsibility for our neighbours, community and country and thereby it is we who stand guilty before the eternal bar of judgment.

4 April 2013 at 10:32  
Blogger Richard H said...

Brother Ivo - I should have spotted the byline! Indeed, the two posts are not contradictory, but in tone they could not be more different. Yours is "full of grace and truth".

4 April 2013 at 10:45  
Blogger Steropes said...

Well said D. Singh. at 10.32

4 April 2013 at 11:28  
Blogger Unheard Melodies said...

Faith would be as much of a risk for Mick Philpott as loving him into wholeness will be for Christians. But at least the latter have heard the gospel call (preached by Archbishop Justin at his enthronement) to summon up their holy courage, get out of the boat, and walk towards Jesus. I hope Mick Philpott will find that courage, too.

4 April 2013 at 11:56  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Does the chaplain (whoever he may be), have the necessary degree of 'discipleship' to 'love' Philpot?


There's someone that chaplain has been forgiving all these years: himself.

4 April 2013 at 12:02  
Blogger Preacher said...

Brother Ivo.
I cannot find where The Lord Kissed the feet of the Disciples, washed, yes, but not kissed. maybe we have taken the example out of context. The Lord washed the feet of His Disciples but these men were His followers, not just chosen because they represented men convicted of crimes.
The actions of the Pope could be seen by many as portraying weakness rather than humility.
Judas was among the twelve, true! But didn't Jesus say of him that it would have been better if he had never been born?.
Many Churches today attempt to lure people to join by preaching a gospel, that is in fact not THE gospel. Judgement, Heaven & Hell are omitted in case the teaching causes offence. Thus we have the old adage of a "God without wrath, calling men without sin, into a Kingdom without judgement, through Christ without a Cross".
No mention is made of repentance or remorse. So many people who think they are assured of salvation are in for a terrible shock on the day of God's Judgement. All a product of this toothless misrepresentation of the true gospel,which eliminates the fear & Awe of God.
After his betrayal, Judas did at least show remorse. Throwing back the thirty pieces of silver & then committing Suicide.
If the reports of Mick Philpott's behaviour AFTER the crime are to be believed, he is a long way from the true repentance needed to gain the salvation he so badly needs to find before he faces a trial that has a worse, & longer sentence.
Good luck to the Prison Chaplains that have to convince him & his wife & friend of the eternal danger they are in.

4 April 2013 at 12:52  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness! I believe Judas played the part he was destined to play, didn't he? Whithout betrayal, Our Lord would not have been identified, handed over, judged and crucified... Judas is essential to 'the plot' so to speak...

4 April 2013 at 13:04  
Blogger Julia Gasper said...

Even Hans Frank didn't kill his OWN children.

4 April 2013 at 13:09  
Blogger KirstenM said...

I can't help but feel for people in prison who are there for crimes which will single them out for malevolence at the hands of other prisoners. They live in a state of fear byond my imagining. Their sentance is truly dreadful.

And by the way, don't think for a moment that I have forgotten the depth, and the length, of the suffering of their victims, and all those affected by these criminals, when I say this.

4 April 2013 at 13:13  
Blogger Philip said...

Wanting Mick Philpot to know the forgiveness and restoration of Christ is right. One can hope he'll know true repentance. (There's too much of a 'let them off and show God's love' without genuine repentance and turning to Christ, in some representations of "Christianity"). It is also right to address the reasons why we have contributed to his crimes by removing rightful restraints on evil by refusing to stigmatise immoral living and effectively punish genuine wrongdoing, and de-valuing human life by abolishing capital punishment, and so on as D Singh above points out.

When Bro Ivo says,” Christ offers him a more abundant life even than that offered by the Welfare State” he is of course right!

4 April 2013 at 13:43  
Blogger David B said...

In my frequent discussions with Christians I am often told, after presenting them with some point that they seemingly find difficult to answer, that it is down to context.

Assuming for the sake of argument that Luke 6.36 is an authentic reporting of a historical Jesus, is it certain that the context of the quote would include cases like this one? Or, for that matter, cases like Hitler, Nero, or the various Catholic Priests whose behaviour has led to the broken lives and sometimes suicides of those they abused?

How would a Christian know that this context would include such people, given that many Christians avoid thinking about the consequences of some, or many, Biblical discussions on the grounds of context?

How is it that Christians use some biblical injunctions as somehow absolute, and others as context based? How do they choose which is which?


4 April 2013 at 13:45  
Blogger D. Singh said...

David B

I am unsure as to hwat you are asking; but if you are asking would God have forgiven Judas Iscariot if he had asked for forgiveness and repented - I am sure God would have done so.

If Hitler had asked for forgiveness and repented - I am sure of the same. Nevertheless, in my opinion he should have been tried for war crimes, convicted and hanged from the rafters (despite being forgiven by God).

4 April 2013 at 15:29  
Blogger MFH said...

agree with this post.
In answer/comment on some of the above a truly repentant soul will be happy to take the punishment due to them.
the example is the dying thief
"we indeed justly suffer" - "but this man has done nothing amiss" - May this repugnant man be able also to pray.. "remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom" and receive the same answer.
Oh how the grace of God amazes me..

4 April 2013 at 16:32  
Blogger IanCad said...

Good post Brother Ivo.

"Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy." Matthew 5:7

Interesting point MFH, and from a passage I used on this blog just a couple of days ago.
I had never really paid much attention to the part you quoted.
Repentance does not negate punishment.
Amazing Grace indeed.

4 April 2013 at 17:04  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

If the bloke ends up being released again at some point then I suppose he needs to feel remorse for his actions otherwise he's still a danger to others even if he has completed his sentence. However, if not then I'm not sure I'd wish he comes to feel true remorse for his actions as that ought to double someone over on his knees clutching his stomach and sobbing on a daily basis. That seems a cruel thing to wish on someone. My Facebook page is full of people calling for him to be hanged at the moment but I'm no advocate of capital punishment myself. I find I have to think that people such as him must be an unfortunate product of their genes, epigenetics, environment, and circumstances, resulting in what appeats to be a sociopathic personality. The alternative that such people freely choose to be what is essentially evil is too much to imagine for me.

4 April 2013 at 17:23  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Also, I wounder how his children would have eventually turned out like as adults.

4 April 2013 at 17:25  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

The state does not forgive. It exacts vicarious retribution on behalf of the victim. If the state had exacted sufficient punishment for this man's prior crimes, then this crime would not have occurred. We in the West chronically under-punish crimes against persons. We are too concerned with rehabilitation and 'second chances.' If you attempt to murder a woman by stabbing her 13 times with a knife, you shouldn't get a second chance. You shouldn't get a break because the victim happened to live. You should be sealed inside the prison until you die.

Even so. Brother Ivo is correct. (Did I just say that?) The man may be beyond the forgiveness of the state, but he is not beyond the forgiveness of God through Christ. Men do not understand their own great guilt before God. They look at Mick Philpott and they say to themselves "I'm not like him!" They don't realize that the best of us brings more guilt before God than this man brought before the Court. And yet the Cross of Christ is sufficient to atone for it.

We think ourselves good because we do not comprehend the truth of our own evil nature. Men like Philpott allow us to indulge that conceit. We love to observe the perception of our own goodness in the differentiation we make between our conduct and his. But that isn't the standard. No man will be able to justify himself before God by claiming "I am better than him!" So don't despise the despised murderer. Don't cast him into hell as if you shouldn't already be there waiting for him. We all of us share more in common with him than we want to admit.


4 April 2013 at 17:27  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Ivo asks “Who will kiss Mick Philpott's feet?”

Well, YOU have a go then, son. Would make an interesting request landing on the prison governor’s desk. You go ahead and humiliate yourself. Wash them first if you want, from what the Inspector has read about his hygiene, there may well be a whiff of petrol about them still.

So, we ask ourselves, what is the POINT of your post. To show us all you too are like the Christ ? You too have bountiful reserves of forgiveness ? That you can take Philpott by the hand and lead him into the garden of righteousness, to show him the light ?

Spare us the guff old fellow, and just admit the truth. You are as disgusted by him as the best of us. Instead of having the sheer honesty to admit that, you sanctimoniously climb up to divine level and look down on the blighter with pity. Good for you, but this man here has far too much integrity to consider that. You see, he’s NOT divine, but mere flesh and blood, and so he’s told, as miserable a sinner in the eyes of God as is Philpott. But with two differences. If you kiss the Inspector’s feet, he would be more deserving of it. And, you won’t find any traces of dead children’s blood on them.

One last consideration, that man. If Philpott fails to repent, then whatever the Son thinks, and however forgiving He is, the Father is going to condemn his immortal soul to dwell away from paradise. Hell hopefully. Looks like there really is a limit to divine forgiveness then !

4 April 2013 at 18:08  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


Now he’s in chokey, let’s hope he doesn’t try and ‘arrange’ for a bigger cell, what !

4 April 2013 at 18:12  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

David B. Or, for that matter, cases like Hitler, Nero, or the various Catholic Priests whose behaviour has led to the broken lives and sometimes suicides of those they abused?

How the hell did Catholic priests get in there !!

Ah, penny has dropped. You are such a small minded individual that you hang on to your comfort blanket come what may. Come on that man, you may have wasted part of your life in a cult, you damned fool, but it is never too late to be you. Er, that’s if being you isn’t any worse than bandwagon you...

4 April 2013 at 18:22  
Blogger len said...

Christ washing his disciples feet was symbolic of Christ`s ability to cleanse the disciples(and us) of their dirt/sins.

The Pope kissing peoples feet is (presumably) an act of humility on the Popes part it will accomplish nothing else but an outward sign that the Pope (although he 'heads up'a vastly wealthy religious organisation) get can come down off his Papal throne and mingle with the' common folk '(call me cynical but their seem to be a 'photoshoot' going on?.)

God can transform anyone if they are genuinely repentant and wish to change their lives. Mick Philpott may arrive at that stage in his life whilst serving his prison sentence he certainly is not at that stage yet.

4 April 2013 at 18:49  
Blogger Brother Ivo said...

The Inspector General makes the false assumption that he found the post harder to read than Brother Ivo did to write.

None of us finds it easy to think like this but as Mark Twain famously observed, it isn't the parts of the Bile we don't understand that we find troubling but the parts we do.

4 April 2013 at 19:54  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

He most certainly is not at that stage Len and I wonder if he ever will be? He's already had seven years to contemplate and accept Jesus and God into his life during his previous stay courtesy of Her Majesty. Maybe this time he will get to see the error of his ways and the light, he's got the rest of his life, well at least 15 years. I too prey for the prison chaplains.

4 April 2013 at 19:54  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Can the Inspector call you an anti Catholic bigot instead ?

4 April 2013 at 19:55  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

{AHEM}, ones last criticism was aimed at the shameless Len.

Ivo. That would be ‘bible’ one hopes. Any problems with understanding the bible, get yourself off to a Catholic priest. Those fellas are trained in the bible, the amateurs around here are not. If he’s Irish, bring a bottle of Jameson's with you...

4 April 2013 at 20:00  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

By the way Ivo, are you going ahead with your feet kissing desire. Or have we been subject to mere empty rhetoric this fine yet chilly day...

4 April 2013 at 20:04  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Forgiveness is conditional upon repentance. Read psalm 51.

4 April 2013 at 20:12  
Blogger Preacher said...

If all my kids had died as a result of my stupid, wicked, actions that had backfired. I would be distraught with guilt. Not trying to frame other innocent people for my crime & lying about them to the police.
Nor enjoying threesomes in a hotel room with my wife & co-conspirator, or boasting to her in the back of a police van, "They've got nothing on me!".

"All have sinned & fallen short of the glory of God". If we are honest we all deserve Hell, not just the "Big" sinners.
But Mick Philpott will be in prison with the big & the small. The high & mighty & the petty thief, a good example of the danger that faces all mankind who reject the mercy of God.
I believe it's a good time to take stock of our own position regarding our salvation. Many will not see another dawn. We must decide before it's too late. It's too important to let it ride on a hunch or the roll of the dice. Six Kids went to bed & never got up, the oldest was thirteen. That's how sudden & unexpected the end can come.

None of us deserved Christ to die for us. Not one. But if we choose to ignore His sacrifice & go our own way, we are responsible for our own eternal fate. The choice is ours & Mick Philpotts. I hope the time he now has on his hands will bring him to true remorse & then repentance before God.
At the moment I fear it will be a long road.

Yes there is hope for him, but he needs to hear the truth.
The cure may be bitter to taste - but it works.
Sweet placebos administered by well meaning, sincere, people always prove eternally fatal.

4 April 2013 at 20:52  
Blogger David B said...

Brother Ivo, you are aware that Twain was no lover of the Bible?


4 April 2013 at 21:46  
Blogger Peter Damian said...

Brother Ivo

By my reading of the Gospels, we are not required to wash or kiss the feet of Mark Philpott. However, neither are we entitled to judge and condemn him.

God is always willing to forgive our sins. As long as we live it is never too late to ask for forgiveness and make a new start. We can all ask God for forgiveness. However, the Lord's Prayer sets a certain standard: "and forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us.

Although God is always ready and willing to forgive us, He requires two things of us as conditions of access to this forgiveness: repentance and the forgiveness of others.

Repentance means a sincere resolve to turn away from sin and toward God. If our sin has harmed another person, we should also make amends for the wrong done. If we have tried to hide our sin, we should confess it. True repentance involves sorrow for acts of sin and leads to a fundamental change in attitude and heart. God is always willing for us to start over.

Jesus said we must also be willing to forgive people who sin against us: "If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins."

Forgiving another person means pardoning the offender and ceasing to feel resentment or hold a grudge. There should be no limit to our willingness to forgive others. We should have a forgiving spirit whenever someone has committed an offence against us - whatever the offence.

Some believe there is no obligation to forgive unless the offender repents, but that condition is mentioned in only one of the many passages on this in scripture. The sin was a sin against God. Sin is disobedience to God's commandments. In the Bible, sin is a serious evil that disrupts our relationship with God. Repentance is owwed to God. Continued anger and holding a grudge on our part are always wrong. The default position as a Christian should be forgiveness.

Easy to say - but how would we feel if Mark Philpott had killed our family and attempted to frame us for murder?

Forgiving others does not deny the right of governments to punish offenders. However, the seeking of cold revenge and retribution are not Christian virtues.

4 April 2013 at 21:50  
Blogger Old Blue Eyes said...

Well I hope his fellow prisoners kiss his feet - after they've cleaned him out.

4 April 2013 at 22:18  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Peter. until Mickpott repents, one does believe we are able “to judge and condemn him.”
Sure;y, that is the basis of evangelism. Otherwise, why bother ?

4 April 2013 at 22:20  
Blogger bwims said...

This soppy attitude to scum is why, sadly, Christianity is doomed when it is put up against a more robust religion (Islam) that knows how to treat people like this. I'm sure if Jesus came back tomorrow, He would say "you're taking this forgiveness thing a bit too literally! This joker is just taking the P!"

4 April 2013 at 23:47  
Blogger Peter Damian said...

No so, Inspector. Sorry. Well not according to my reading of scripture or the teachings of the Church.

Although someone may harm or insult us, or inflict an awful tragedy upon us, we should remember the affront is to God and the cost was Christ's death on a Cross. What affront is greater than to God? What can we suffer by comparison? We are taught to join our hurt and pain with Christ's.

God requires repentance and if He does not receive this, in His wisdom, He will judge and, where He determines, will condemn - and may God save us all from that.

This is a hard teaching, I know. But I believe it is the way God wants.

Evangelism is another matter, although related. It is telling others of the Good News and spreading the message of Christ. It permits, indeed demands, we challenge and confront sinful behaviours, explain why they are wrong, and then to inform people of the consequences. Most importantly, we also show them a way of transforming. We are not judging or condemning. It is the word of God that does this.

4 April 2013 at 23:48  
Blogger len said...

In God`s estimation we are all 'sinners'until we become redeemed (literally' brought back') from the bondage to sin)

In the estimation of man there are 'good sinners' and' bad sinners'(as the Pharisee said"thank God I am not like that wretch over there"but it was the 'repentant wretch' that went home justified before God.
As for' good sinners'(I suppose we would all like to class ourselves in this bracket?) but who would want to be the best sinner who ever went to hell?.

God has a remedy for the 'sin nature' in man.Does he try to reform the sinner?.No He crucifies him because man cannot redeem what God has already condemned(at Calvary)It is only then that God can breath new life into a dead spirit.As God raised Christ from the dead He will raise us into New Life.

If we are truly repentant and desire total change then God will give it to us if we surrender our life to Him.If One(Jesus) died for all then all died.His(Jesus`s) death becomes our death His Life becomes our Life this is God`s(only) plan for the salvation of Humanity.

We cannot 'transform' ourselves but nothing is impossible with God even the worst sinner can be washed clean and given a New Life if he/she so desires.

5 April 2013 at 00:19  
Blogger Peter Damian said...


Yes, we are saved through faith in Christ and yet faith in Him surely grows as we learn more of Him and the mysteries of God? This requires effort on our part.

Also, we will always be striving, with His Grace, to lead a Christ filled life. We will fall short on occasions and have to seek His forgiveness. Again, effort on our part is called for.

A few threads down you wrote this:

"I do not believe in' once saved always saved'.I also do not believe you can just 'loose' your salvation.But I do believe if you constantly sin(without confessing)that sin will harden your heart towards God and you will come to the point when you no longer care about your salvation and throw it away.

God knows we are not suddenly made perfect and we will and do sin but He wants to transform and sanctify us IF we will let Him."

I agree with this. We have to ccoperate with God's saving Grace.
Then, soon after, you wrote this:

"Can one be born again and continue in a life of sin ?.IF one continues in a life of sin(after procliming themselves' born again') I would seriously question whether they were saved at all."

These comments seem to me to be contradictory.

5 April 2013 at 00:58  
Blogger Corrigan said...

In my frequent discussions with Christians I am often told, after presenting them with some point that they seemingly find difficult to answer, that it is down to context

So, did you take this attitude when Sam Harris said there are certain people who, for the greater good, may have to be killed, or when Richard Dawkins said all religious education is child abuse? Or is the context argument only evasive when Christians do it?

5 April 2013 at 09:14  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Peter Damian. Although someone may harm or insult us, or inflict an awful tragedy upon us, we should remember the affront is to God and the cost was Christ's death on a Cross.

Pious piffle. There were no fewer than six souls who were affronted too. But all concern now to the killer !

5 April 2013 at 17:30  
Blogger len said...

Peter Damien..'These comments seem to me to be contradictory..'
(5 April 2013 00:58)
I do not deny' the contradiction' in fact it has puzzled thologians for centuries.

The apostle Paul said ; 'So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me'.(Romans 7:21)

There are two Laws at work here.1, The Law of sin and death and 2, the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus.

First I should explain that salvation is a three part process.
1; Our Spirit IS saved.
2,Our soul(mind will and emotions )is IN THE PROCESS of being saved.
3, Our physical body WILL saved at the resurrection.

So our spirit cannot sin (if we have been born again redeemed by the blood of Jesus.)

Our 'flesh'(all of us that is not under the influence of the indwelling spirit) can and will draw us towards sin if we let the 'flesh'gain mastery over the spirit.

Thus the scripture;'For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.'(Romans 8:14)

It is only when we are'born again' re -connected with the Spirit of Christ that we can hear the Holy Spirit and be guided by Him.

It may seem to some that I am very critical of' the religious' (Catholic or otherwise)but this is because I have experienced personally the futility of 'religious practices' compared to the spiritual re birth.
If all we needed was a' religious rule book' then Christ would never have needed to experience the horror of Calvary.

5 April 2013 at 20:01  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Heretical rot, that man...

5 April 2013 at 20:09  
Blogger Laura Honeybee said...

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. (1 Timothy 1:12-16 NIV)

5 April 2013 at 20:20  
Blogger Theo said...

Thank you

5 April 2013 at 22:09  
Blogger Corrigan said...

So, len, you're telling is that, having been saved, you're now a being of such impeccable substance as to no longer be capable of sin?

5 April 2013 at 22:45  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Corrigan. There appears to be three people to have walked this earth without sin. Jesus, his mother, and Len .

Back in the Fourth Form, we’d have thumped him for that...

5 April 2013 at 23:34  
Blogger Theo said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6 April 2013 at 00:19  
Blogger Theo said...

Please would you be so kind as to explain that strange comment?

6 April 2013 at 00:21  
Blogger Theo said...

You seem quite knowledgeable about prison...

6 April 2013 at 00:30  
Blogger Theo said...

I removed this but now I shall stand by it. Awful; what an awful statement to make.

6 April 2013 at 00:32  
Blogger Corrigan said...

And I'm not actually sure that the Church regards Jesus as being entirely without sin, Inspector. There was that incident concerning preaching in the Temple as a young boy...

6 April 2013 at 07:54  
Blogger len said...


Your question(5 April 2013 22:45)tells me that I have explained salvation as the Apostle Paul did because he was asked the same question(he was also stoned beaten and flogged for preaching that same Gospel.

Your question 'So, len, you're telling is that, having been saved, you're now a being of such impeccable substance as to no longer be capable of sin?'

In 'my Spirit' there is no compulsion to sin.(if I am One Spirit with Christ how could their be?.)

In' my flesh'I could be tempted to sin.If I walk in the flesh ..follow 'the leadings' of the flesh then I will sin....But if I walk after the spirit ..follow the leadings of the Spirit then I will (through the power of the Spirit) overcome the power of sin.

The Power of the' Spirit of Christ in Christ Jesus' is more powerful than the' Law of sin and death'....let me illustrate if I get into an aeroplane I go wherever the plane goes.In the plane I overcome the law the law of Gravity(does the law of gravity cease to exist?.No but the plane has overcome it.If I jump out of the plane I will descend to earth (rapidly )if I stay in the plane then all will be well.
It is the same IN Christ if I remain IN Him he will remain in me and the power of sin is overcome if I step outside of Christ then the power of sin will pull me down (much as gravity would outside the plane.)

That is why Jesus said' Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.'(John 15:4)

6 April 2013 at 10:29  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Interesting point Corrigan, with him hanging around the temple. One is reminded of the concept of the whipping boy in relation to the educating of the sons of the most exalted. They cannot do wrong, so a substitute is used. Anyway, too old to change one’s views...

Theo, Len, was placed on this site as a divisive by the very Devil himself. Even Jesus doesn't like him...

6 April 2013 at 10:40  
Blogger len said...

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is an offence to many(even or perhaps especially to some of the 'religious'after all the Pharisees were very religious)......
Do not think that I came to bring peace on Earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man's enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it. (Matthew 10:34–39 NASB)

6 April 2013 at 23:37  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Well, he was a tax collector, and spent his professional life as a hated bastard. Shows, doesn’t it...

6 April 2013 at 23:56  
Blogger Peter Damian said...


Your reply to my comment: "Pious piffle. There were no fewer than six souls who were affronted too. But all concern now to the killer!"

If this is your view then you misunderstood my comment.

My concern is not for the killer. Without repentance he will be damned - may God help him.

God created us and gave us our souls. We are His possessions. Do you not think he was affronted by this crime against these children? It is not your place to condemn or judge in the place of God. We are His creation. It is the civil authorities who are charged with exacting human justice.

As I said, the affront was to God - not to you.

"God requires repentance and if He does not receive this, in His wisdom, He will judge and, where He determines, will condemn."

The message from the Gospela is crystal clear - it is not your business to take upon yourself the right to condemn or seek revenge.

7 April 2013 at 02:00  
Blogger Peter Damian said...

Back to basic theology.

We are created as integrated beings with a soul, a body and a mind. The three cannot be seperated. How can a soul be saved if the body and mind continue to sin? You are, I think, treading the path of those ancient heretics, the gnostics.

God calls us to transform our corrupted nature through His Grace. Our souls, the centre of our being, have been wounded by the Fall and, as a result, our bodies and minds are out of alignment with God's purposes. Sin enters our hearts through our senses and causes us all to sin. These three aspects of our being cannot be seperated in the way you suggest.

7 April 2013 at 02:09  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Now see here Peter, do NOT presume to put the Inspector on a guilt trip. Dodo tried that and look what happened to him.

Mickpott remains condemned by this man, as indeed he does by the courts, where this man takes his justification from. Whatever you say...

7 April 2013 at 02:31  
Blogger Peter Damian said...

I am simply reflecting my understanding of Jesus' words to us. If this prompts a sense of guilt or shame then it is Christ who is responsible, not me. If I have misunderstood His word then please show me where.

Is this your your reaction to Philpott:

What an evil bast*rd. He should be made to suffer for what he has done, be executed, and his soul rot in hell."

Then, whilst human, this is contrary to the Bible as I understand it.

7 April 2013 at 02:59  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Not this man’s words. You are mistaken. Of course, as a gentleman, you will will apologise, will you not ?

7 April 2013 at 03:17  
Blogger Peter Damian said...

Then I apologise.

7 April 2013 at 13:09  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Inspector: "Now see here Peter, do NOT presume to put the Inspector on a guilt trip. Dodo tried that and look what happened to him."


7 April 2013 at 14:05  
Blogger len said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7 April 2013 at 17:05  
Blogger Peter Damian said...

If you wish to persist in this game of "who's who" do not expect me to play along.

This is a serious topic under discussion. As a liberal, considerations of forgiveness and the repentance and future salvation of this sinner will be irrelevant.

Do you have a view on whether the principles of retribution and prevention were properly applied here? Did the sentences impose sufficient costs for this crime to satisfy the dead victims? Would the sentences deter others?

7 April 2013 at 17:07  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo, your presence is required on the big thread below. Shouldn't take too long. Thanks.

7 April 2013 at 17:09  
Blogger len said...

Peter Damien,
Your description of the basic make up of a human being is inherently flawed!.

You have missed the' driving element' behind what man is and what man does.
This is the problem with the way 'Greek thinking' has destroyed much of the integrity of the Gospel.The way that Greek philosophy has taken the ' Spirit' and rendered it 'Soul' has totally misled many and rendered much of the Gospel to be misunderstood.The hebrew roots of the OT are more definitive even to the meaning of Hebrew names being lost in translation.

God is The Spirit man has a human spirit.
When Adam sinned and wanted independence from God the Spiritual connection beteen man and God was broken.Man lived after that by his own concept of 'good and evil'and the result was the chaos that has existed ever since.
Redemption (through the finished work of Jesus Christ at Calvary)is the re- connection of this spiritual link between man and God
God breathes Life into the dead(human Spirit) of man creating a new centre , a 'new heart' within the man. This is the transforming Spirit which will change everything within the man.
'I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.'(Ezekiel 36:26)
Without the Holy spirit dwelling within the human spirit we are doomed to failure as so many have found outwhilst trying to do their best to live' the christian life' by will power alone.

7 April 2013 at 17:12  
Blogger len said...

Peter Damien, I think the Inspector is best ignored.He has no desire to know the truth because his mind has already been captured by the enemy his contibution to this blog is to try and drag everyone down to his(very low) level.

7 April 2013 at 17:17  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

...says the man who parasites this blog to propagate his divisive and finger pointing corruption of the spirit of Christianity.

7 April 2013 at 17:39  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7 April 2013 at 18:26  

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