Friday, July 05, 2013

Rev'd Dr Peter Mullen: Synod, women bishops, and the enemy theories that conquer us


His Grace is delighted to announce that, in addition to Brother Ivo's regular insightful musings, this august blog of religio-political commentary and analysis is to be joined by the distinguished presence of the Rev'd Dr Peter Mullen, who recently retired from his position as rector of St Michael's, Cornhill in the City of London. He formerly wrote for Telegraph Blogs, and his most recent book is The Secular Terrorist (..the slow suicide of Christian Britain). He writes today on the meeting of the General Synod in York:

This weekend the General Synod of the Church of England will turn its attention once again to the matter of women bishops. But can the church be trusted to mind its own business or will Parliament mind it for us?

Earlier this year and disappointed by the vote against women bishops, MPs held a debate by which they attempted to coerce the church to consecrate women – threatening dire penalties should the church refuse. This has the support of nearly all the bishops and the former Archbishop of Canterbury who commented: “The issue must be resolved in the shortest possible time.” But, Dr Williams, that is what the vote was for. If it had gone in favour of the motion, you can be sure there would have been no call for further discussion. We know what will happen – because it happened in the Synod all through the 1980s votes which rejected women priests: the innovators adopted the time-honoured technique of Trotskyists, Entryists and EU politicians and kept on calling for further votes until they had achieved the result they desired. And what is democratic about that?

It was quite astonishing to hear Dr Williams in one of his last public speeches before his retirement say that the church has 'a lot of catching up to do' with regard to prevailing opinions in secular society. As if Our Lord’s command to his disciples had been: “Go ye forth into all the world and set ye up focus groups.”

Given good will and a little of what the church used to advertise as its market leader – charity – the women bishops measure would have gone through. Its opponents among traditional Anglo-Catholics and Evangelicals alike had long accepted the consecration of women as a fait accompli. All they asked for was that a conscience clause for those who could not on theological grounds accept the authority of a woman bishop should have their belief recognised by a simple statute. This would have been an eloquent compromise, something in which the church as a whole could take pride. And it would have happened, had not the innovating 'liberal' elite relished the prospect of rubbing the noses of traditionalists in the dirt and entirely to unchurch them.

For 'liberal' read dictatorial.

What we are now hearing is the death-rattle of the English Church, and it is dying of a malady far more serious than women in the Episcopate. The recent vote was only the culmination of a political process which goes back at least as far as the 1840s when, while still an Anglican, John Henry Newman warned that the choice facing the nation is between Christianity and liberalism. By liberalism, he meant secularisation by government edict. And that precisely has been the historical record ever since Newman’s day.

The control of national life, and the determination of the character of this life, has been increasingly dictated by the secular state in accordance with values which have nothing to do with the Christian faith. Back in the 19th century this was exemplified by the government’s abolition of ten bishoprics in Ireland. In 1928, the state again intervened to block the modest and appropriate revision of the Book of Common Prayer. But these suppressions were nothing compared with the state takeover we have experienced in our times.

This is not some paranoid fantasy on my part; the grumbles and sulks of a disaffected traditionalist. Listen instead to the dire warning issued to the Church of England by Frank Field MP.

Frank Field has used a parliamentary device to deny justice to traditional Anglicans who oppose the plan to consecrate women as bishops. He put down an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons which would overrule the Synod vote against women bishops. He said:
“I expect the Women Bishops Measure will be overwhelmingly supported by the dioceses and two thirds of each of the three Houses of Synod. If this measure is then held back from Parliament by some ‘clever’ procedural wrangle in Synod by a disgruntled minority, then some MPs will lobby the government to lift the dispensation that parliament has given to the Church of England to discriminate against women, as the majority of Anglicans will have made known their wish that such discrimination should cease.”
On Friday 22nd November last year, Field introduced a one-clause bill in the Commons proposing that the Cof E lose its exemption, going back 37 years, from equality legislation.

Dire penalties were hinted at, such as Disestablishment by which bishops would no longer sit in the House of Lords and the church would lose all its historic privileges. Now that the Synod vote has been cast against the ambition of the modernisers to appoint women bishops, we can expect these threats to be carried out imminently. And, henceforth, religious and theological issues will be settled by the secular state according to so-called secular values. The scandal, the apostasy, lies in the fact that this is being achieved with the connivance of the church’s hierarchy.

The word 'secular' is a euphemism for 'atheistic'. The nostrums and shibboleths by which we are now governed owe nothing to our 1000-year-old Christian history and tradition, but to the Enlightenment rhetoric whose political and practical results became apparent in the French Revolution: principally the cry for Liberty and Equality. There was never much Fraternity – not when Madame Guillotine began to roam the land.

All this goes far beyond a piddling little issue of ecclesiastical niceties about which ordinary people care nothing; a bit of churchy crinoline and old lace. For these last 200 years and more we have been living through a period of revolutionary historical and social upheaval. Our banners now are not led by the cross of Christ – which is the cross of St George – but they are emblazoned by slogans which owe their origin not to the counsels of God but to an increasingly overbearing and dictatorial atheistic state. 'Diversity' has replaced the Ten Commandments.

The revolutionary change from a Christian society to an overbearing secular authority is profound and it will not be reversed – and certainly not by some supposed natural process such as 'the swing of the pendulum'. When we look to discover how this catastrophe has come about, we should turn to the philosopher and poet T.E. Hulme. At the beginning of the 20th century, he wrote:
“We have been beaten because our enemies’ theories have conquered us. We have played with those to our own undoing. Not until we are hardened again by conviction are we likely to do any good. In accepting the theories of the other side, we are merely repeating a well-known historical phenomenon. The Revolution in France came about not so much because the forces which should have resisted were half-hearted in their resistance. They themselves had been conquered intellectually by the theories of the revolutionary side. An institution or a civilisation is beaten only when it has lost faith in itself, when it has been penetrated by the ideas that are working against it.”

122 Comments:

Blogger Albert said...

Good post. Although I tend to think that the try, try and try again approach towards women's ordination is more like the IRA. After narrowly failing to murder Margaret Thatcher in Brighton, they pointed out "We only need to win once."

The recent vote was only the culmination of a political process which goes back at least as far as the 1840s when, while still an Anglican, John Henry Newman warned that the choice facing the nation is between Christianity and liberalism. By liberalism, he meant secularisation by government edict. And that precisely has been the historical record ever since Newman’s day.

Why don't you follow Newman's solution?

Dire penalties were hinted at, such as Disestablishment by which bishops would no longer sit in the House of Lords and the church would lose all its historic privileges.

And what would St Paul say to that? I think we know the answer:

But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

5 July 2013 at 14:24  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

Been missing you on the Telegraph, Peter. Good to hear from you again.

5 July 2013 at 14:39  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

And it would have happened, had not the innovating 'liberal' elite relished the prospect of rubbing the noses of traditionalists in the dirt and entirely to unchurch them.

The ultimate proof of authority is the compulsion of those who would reject it. That is what the proponents of Women Bishops most desire - that those who would reject Women Bishops be compelled to bend the knee. That is why the issue is intractable.

... to the Enlightenment rhetoric whose political and practical results became apparent in the French Revolution: principally the cry for Liberty and Equality.

Exactly so. It is the reincarnation of Robespierre and the goddess of "Reason." The western world really hasn't advanced beyond "Reflections on the Revolution in France."

carl

5 July 2013 at 15:42  
Blogger Christian Contender said...

Dr. Mullen wrote, quoting Hulme, “The Revolution in France came about ... because the forces which should have resisted ... themselves had been conquered intellectually by the theories of the revolutionary side”.

How true of our own day. In the thinking of many churches the welfare state is the new kingdom of God. Abolishing poverty and embracing diversity have become more important than the salvation of souls. The Church has let the world define the message, in direct contradiction of Colossians 2:8.

The ultimate problem is the abandonment of Scripture as God’s inerrant word to mankind. We have become far too sophisticated to argue, “The Bible says”. Yet this was the method of the Lord Jesus Christ, who often declared, “It is written”, or “Did ye never read?”

Regarding Dr. Mullen’s allusion to the French Revolution, there was great potential for a similar social rebellion and upheaval in Britain, but it did not happen. By 1815 many of this nation’s grave social problems had been alleviated, and Britain could justifiably by then be called the most stable country in all Europe.

What had made the difference, as the French historian Elié Halévy perceptibly stated, was that “the working class, the hard-working and capable bourgeois, had been imbued by the Evangelical Movement”.

Halévy’s thesis, supported by other historians such as G. M. Trevelyan and Basil Williams, is that vigorous Gospel preaching was behind society’s turnaround for the better.

Dr. Mullen states, “The revolutionary change from a Christian society to an overbearing secular authority is profound and it will not be reversed”.

I agree, but would add, Unless there is once more fearless Scripture-based Gospel preaching throughout the length and breadth of the land, preaching which shuns all conformity to this world and its fashionable man-centred philosophies. The Gospel of Jesus Christ crucified for sinners can yet rescue our beloved country.

 

5 July 2013 at 16:00  
Blogger non mouse said...

Thank you, Your Grace, for bringing this Rev. Dr. to our computers!

Dr. Mullen - thank you for an excellent diagnosis of the condition that sickens Britain. From your discussion, I discern an argument that we should address the cause of our disease rather than merely treating the symptoms -- What a good idea!

Your quote from Hume is most apposite: our civilisation has indeed been penetrated by the theories of an enemy. Marxism is the present manifestation of that force - and it embraces humanism, and "the Enlightenment*" and prides itself on "Deconstruction."** Fortunately for us, they're merrily preaching it to all the rebellious children in universities, so we may easily know the enemy and his [war] "games."

Now all we have to do is muster our own resources ...

_____________________
* A thieving misnomer, if ever there was one! We had already received Enlightenment: Christ is The Light.

**And they lie when they claim this is not "destruction." Unlike you, however, they're not very good at defining terms. To a large extent, therefore, they "know not what they do [or destroy]." At best, they're like children who break their parents' most precious possession, not understanding that its un-mendable and irreplaceable.

5 July 2013 at 16:06  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Dire penalties were hinted at, such as Disestablishment by which bishops would no longer sit in the House of Lords and the church would lose all its historic privileges.

The author says this like it would be a bad thing. Perhaps the problem should be viewed from a different frame of reference. Why does the church need historic privileges? Why should bishops sit in the House of Lords? What purpose an established church whose theology can be dictated by Jacobians in parliament?

There might be another answer here.

carl

5 July 2013 at 16:11  
Blogger Flossie said...

Well hooray, what great news that our gracious host has Dr Mullen on board - especially as his views on women bishops do not exactly chime with His Grace's own, unless I am very much mistaken.

I was very pleased to see some spiteful Twitter comments from the so-called liberals. The reason none of them engage in intelligent argument on the issue is that there is none. The Holy Spirit, having got it wrong the first few times on WO, must keep trying until He gets it right, according to them. Christian doctrine, as we all know, must now be decided by the Court of Public Opinion, especially of those who never darken the church's doorsteps. Bible? Pah! St Paul? Miserable old misogynist.

Bravo, Dr Mullen, and bravo, Your Grace!

5 July 2013 at 16:12  
Blogger seanrobsville said...

@ Christian Contender
" Unless there is once more fearless Scripture-based Gospel preaching throughout the length and breadth of the land, preaching which shuns all conformity to this world and its fashionable man-centred philosophies. The Gospel of Jesus Christ crucified for sinners can yet rescue our beloved country."

In this post-Dawkinsian era, no religion can expect to convince anyone by quoting from self-referential scriptures.

5 July 2013 at 16:19  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Good to see you appearing here Rev'd Dr Peter Mullen. Good decision Your Grace.

I look forward to reading your truly Christian and conservative insights Peter.

5 July 2013 at 16:26  
Blogger non mouse said...

Sigh. ... it's.

5 July 2013 at 16:27  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

seanrobsville

And yet mysteriously people still come to faith by it. You misunderstand the foolishness of the Gospel. You do not understand that:

1. The Word of God is not dead but living. It is the power of God unto eternal life.

2. Evangelism is not persuasion but proclamation.

3. Conversion is a work of God and not man.

Salvation is not contingent. There will be no man in hell who can say "If only someone had confronted me with more persuasive words..."

You do however correctly identify the epistemological crisis of the Western world. But it is far deeper than you imagine. Science and Reason have shown themselves false gods in turn. So men turn within themselves, find no truth therein, and despair. Each man becomes his own little failed god, and life devolves into a pointless selfish pursuit of experience and pleasure. That's why the West is (quite literally) dying off.

What will the little gods do when they can no longer pay for their pointless pleasures? What happens when prosperity gives way to suffering and pain from which no respite may be foreseen? Against whom will he turn his wrath when he recognizes no god but himself?

carl

5 July 2013 at 16:48  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Good form ! The Reverend Peter Mullen no less. DanJ0, you really must come out and meet this man…

5 July 2013 at 17:30  
Blogger Richard Watterson said...

Oh God, not this bloke, please.

5 July 2013 at 17:33  
Blogger Anglican said...

Carl Jacobs: 'Science and Reason have shown themselves false gods'. True, but only if a reductionist science and a blinkered reason are meant. True science is not at odds with Christianity. Christianity has always used reason (as far as reason can take us) to think about the implications of Faith.

As for disestablishment, I have always been opposed to it, but I am changing my mind. It would be intolerable if the state were to try to control what the Church believes and teaches – and in any event I fancy it will be inevitable. But where does that leave the monarchy?

5 July 2013 at 17:42  
Blogger Christian Contender said...

@seanrobsville

“In this post-Dawkinsian era, no religion can expect to convince anyone by quoting from self-referential scriptures”.

Courteously, I cited hard evidence from historians whose aim was not to promote Christianity (Halevy, Trevelyan, Williams) of how the Biblical Gospel changed this nation and saved it from violent revolution. The evidence is there in our own history.

I would also cite the evidence of how the Bible changed even me, for the Scriptures are God’s living word.

5 July 2013 at 17:45  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Anglican

But where does that leave the monarchy?

That's a question I have asked many times. The world of Liberté, égalité, fraternité has no need of monarchy. It's ironic in a way. France has been a degenerate weak nation since the defeat of Napolean in 1815 - bitterly jealous of its declining position and influence. And yet the deification of man that was made manifest in the French revolution has conquered the West in any case. In the end, we have become France.

No wonder we are dying.

carl

5 July 2013 at 17:56  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Rev'd Dr Peter Mullen,
Good post and very enlightening. How can the Church prosper if they seek to adjust to the liberal attitudes of the day. Society should be following the precepts of the Gospel.
What I might say is that you have set out the problems as you see them but fail to present any possible solutions.

5 July 2013 at 18:01  
Blogger Peter D said...

"This would have been an eloquent compromise, something in which the church as a whole could take pride."

It is such compromises that have fatally weakened the Church of England since Newman warned of the troubles ahead from secular atheism. Look at the 'democratic' decisions it has made this century.

You cannot compromise or play synod politics with Truth.

5 July 2013 at 19:26  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Inspector: "DanJ0, you really must come out and meet this man…"

What's to see? Go back another 200 years and we see an overbearing and dictatorial theistic state. If people wanted a Christian society then I expect they'd attend church. Only they don't, in vast numbers.

5 July 2013 at 21:07  
Blogger Martin said...

Well all I can say to the true believers in the CoE is what Martyn Lloyd-Jones said in my youth - "come out and join us".

Let the Church of Christ stick to the Word of God whatever those who serve another authority may say.

5 July 2013 at 21:41  
Blogger LEN said...

Jesus promised that the gates of Hell would not prevail against His Church...?
So...what is the Church that is dying of' a malady' and what is that malady'?.

In a word.. ..'compromise.'

A Church connected to the State will eventually become corrupted by that State.

Jesus said "My Kingdom is not of this World". The problem with 'the church' is that in many cases it has become 'wed to this World 'and very part of this World{system]

The Church has become an 'organisation' not the called out group of followers of Christ that it initially was.The State claims ownership of 'the Church' and wants the church to follow whatever agenda the State sets.

This is never so apparent as today when the church is beginning to have to follow secular agendas [by Law]or choose to follow God`s Law.

Of course this is not a new dilemma;

Joshua 24:14-15
Choose Whom You Will Serve “Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

5 July 2013 at 21:42  
Blogger John Wrake said...

Dr. Mullen,
A timely reminder that God calls Christians, not to be successful, but to be faithful.
We are to be faithful in presenting the Good News, because that is the way we show our love to God and our love and care to mankind.

I believe that love can be shown in the national context, for our Constitution was written by those convinced by the truth of Scripture as is evident to any reader. That Constitution is what has held the nation together and much of our present difficulty stems from those in political power acting contrary to the Constitution, either through folly, ignorance or treason.

We are all required to live under the Law and that Law is Judaeo-Christian Law.

John Wrake

5 July 2013 at 22:21  
Blogger Peter D said...

Len

It seems we are in agreement about the Church of England, its decision making processes and the undue influence of a liberal, secular state.

Where we differ, of course, is over the nature of clear and decisive Christian leadership and Christ's prescribed Apostolic prescriptions for this.

Mr Integrity

There is a solution - Henry Newman showed the way.

5 July 2013 at 22:22  
Blogger Albert said...

Is it me, or is the Archbishop of Canterbury very confused on the topic of homosexuality, and preparing the ground for a change of teaching?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/10163249/Welby-calls-for-Church-to-join-the-sexual-revolution.html

5 July 2013 at 22:30  
Blogger Flossie said...

Albert, I think the Archbishop is totally naive and gullible. He thinks that by having cosy chats with Peter Tatchell he will get them onside, but he will not. You only have to read the Pink News readers' comments to see that. I expect the poor man would be totally shocked to read them.



5 July 2013 at 22:36  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Peter D,
Without wishing to ruffle your feathers, I don't believe in ritual expression which Henry Newman is reported to have reverted to, away from his early evangelical experience. Anything done as a ritual has no life in it. Everything has to have a fresh experience of the Holy Ghost and be a genuine act of worship, not vain repetition.

5 July 2013 at 22:40  
Blogger Albert said...

Mr Integrity,

Anything done as a ritual has no life in it.

Baptism, the Eucharist etc.

5 July 2013 at 22:49  
Blogger Albert said...

Flossie,

I hope he does well, but I fear you may be right. What does it matter if society changes its mind on something. It's the truth that counts.

5 July 2013 at 22:50  
Blogger Martin said...

The ABC isn't just naive & gullible, he fails to realise that the job of a minister of the gospel is not to act as an arbitrator but as a prophet, telling out God's wrath against sin and His offer of mercy to the sinner.

5 July 2013 at 22:57  
Blogger bluedog said...

Excellent post, Your Grace. Thank you.

5 July 2013 at 23:05  
Blogger Flossie said...

Peter D @22.22 - aren't you skating on rather thin ice here?

I think that, barring miracles, the Church of England is doomed. The people who have got their way by dint of bullying and driving out their opponents will soon be the ones in charge. Think of that! The ladies of WATCH, GRAS and other unpleasant organisations will be calling the shots.

So, at the risk of skating on thin ice myself, I think Peter D (and Cardinal Newman, and those who have followed him since), could well be right.



5 July 2013 at 23:25  
Blogger Peter D said...

Flossie


I think we are in agreement.

Let us recall the scriptural account in Mathew 16:18:

"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 on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven."


Now, let's add a modern understanding:

"And I say to thee, your authority in all of this is subject to whatsoever in written after my death and resurrection, which must be followed to the letter. And also to the private judgement of individuals, who will differ in opinion according to the Holy Spirit. And I say to thee, you must also subject this opinion to majority votes amongst yourselves in synod gatherings, remembering to take into account the prevailing opinion of the society in which ye are living."

I don't think so!

5 July 2013 at 23:57  
Blogger Peter D said...

Integrity
"Anything done as a ritual has no life in it. Everything has to have a fresh experience of the Holy Ghost and be a genuine act of worship, not vain repetition."

My dear man, ritual is an outward sign of inward meaning and also the transmission of Grace. I do agree ritual for its own sake, not properly understood, is meaningless.

However, it was Christ Himself who commanded His disciples to Baptise in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He also instituted the great Eucharist service. Both rituals have deep theological meaning and are channels of Grace.

6 July 2013 at 00:26  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Greetings, Reverend Mullen! I hope you find your new home to your liking. May take a while getting used to, but then, it becomes hard...impossible, one might even say... to leave. Just look at His Grace; he's tried to make his escape a few times and has even made brief disappearances, but always came back. We're irresistible, you see.

Very interesting piece you wrote, I see, one I'll have to take a closer look at after the Sabbath. Funnily enough, I was just discussing the contentious issue of Orthodox women rabbis with a colleague. Yes, we also get the pressure.

6 July 2013 at 00:32  
Blogger Peter D said...

Update from Pink News.

"The Vatican has issued an unprecedented religious text co-written by Pope Francis and his predecessor Benedict XVI in which the two men restate their opposition to equal marriage.

The 82-page text restates the Catholic Church’s position on marriage saying it should be a “stable union of man and woman.”
“This union is born of their love, as a sign and presence of God’s own love, and of the acknowledgment and acceptance of the goodness of sexual differentiation,”"


And from Justin Welby:

"Making his first speech to the General Synod of the Church of England as the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has admitted that the Church of England’s opposition to equal marriage was “utterly overwhelmed” by those who support equality for same-sex couples.

“The cultural and political ground is changing. Anyone who listened to much of the same-sex marriage bill second reading debate in the House of Lords could not fail to be struck by the overwhelming change of cultural hinterland. Predictable attitudes were no longer there. The opposition to the bill was utterly overwhelmed, with amongst the largest attendance and participation and majority since 1945. There was noticeable hostility to the view of the churches."


And he then goes on to condemn homophobia in schools!

Does God want a politician or a Shepard?

6 July 2013 at 01:37  
Blogger Flitmus said...

It is so good to know that we will be seeing the Revd Mullen here.

6 July 2013 at 08:01  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Albert, Peter D,
'Baptism, the Eucharist etc'. These are commands of our Lord as are our habitual response to avoid sin. However, the rituals of the church are manmade in the most and not scriptural commands. Bless you both however in that which you feel brings you closer to God.

6 July 2013 at 08:49  
Blogger Albert said...

Mr Integrity,

Bless you both however in that which you feel brings you closer to God.

Thank you, but doesn't that admission rather undermine your original point?

These are commands of our Lord as are our habitual response to avoid sin.

They are rituals though, aren't they - and they presumably require at least a little bit more ritual than found explicitly in scripture?

However, the rituals of the church are manmade in the most and not scriptural commands.

See my previous comment. Ritual in itself is not man-made, but commanded in both Testaments. It is clear that some of the OT prophecies of future ritual are fulfilled in Christian worship, and are manifested thus in the book of Revelation. No one is saying however that each particular man-made ritual is necessary for salvation, only that some kind of man-made ritual is.

6 July 2013 at 09:03  
Blogger Albert said...

Peter D,

Poor Church of England, it really is losing its way. But the cause is evident: it has never really been clear which it follows: the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of man. It doesn't really matter which issue we take: ordination of women, homosexuality or whatever, the underlying debate is always the same: which kingdom are you part of? The long term trajectory (a word beloved of liberals in the CofE), seems pretty clear.

6 July 2013 at 09:13  
Blogger William Lewis said...

The important thing is to walk with Christ. Some may choose to be constrained by secular caprice, others by religious superstition. Both of these deny the salvation (freedom) wrought by our Saviour.

6 July 2013 at 10:11  
Blogger Flossie said...

Tell that to the Archbishop of Canterbury, William Lewis. He seems intent on walking with Peter Tatchell and Stonewall at the moment.

Compare and contrast his wet and wobbly words at the opening of General Synod yesterday with Pope Francis's first encyclical:

http://www.lifesitenews.com/marriage-one-man-and-one-woman-for-nurturing-children-pope-francis-first-en.html?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=e30e607287-LifeSiteNews_com_Intl_Headlines_06_19_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0caba610ac-e30e607287-326196590

6 July 2013 at 10:18  
Blogger Flossie said...

And another thing which got my dander up - he said (in the same speech) 'If we say we will ordain women as priests and bishops, we must do so in exactly the same way as we ordain men'.

So this means 'no provision', if I read it correctly.

One wonders what wheeze the Church of England will think of next to get rid of more of the faithful.

6 July 2013 at 10:25  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

That will be synod demanding SSM in Anglican churches then, Flossie...

6 July 2013 at 10:35  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

And the cross, the symbol of Christianity replaced by an image of a cat. Mustn’t forget that...

6 July 2013 at 10:44  
Blogger John Wrake said...

Let us not get distracted into arguments between Christian denominations.

There is nothing more wrong with the C of E than the mistakes and misdeeds of any other church.

Try reading again the 39 Articles at the back of the B.C.P. That is the belief of the C of E set out plainly.
Those Articles make clear that error is not confined to any particular body, office or individual, but that all are liable to err.

What is at present missing is the bottle to tackle error. It is present in the pew, as well as the Ministry.

If you disagree with the ABP, have you written to him and told him why?

John Wrake.

6 July 2013 at 10:50  
Blogger Flossie said...

Oh yes. I have written to all the bishops in the House of Lords. You can too.

Here are their details:

http://www.anglican-mainstream.net/2013/07/06/stand-for-marriage-contact-bishops-in-the-house-of-lords/

6 July 2013 at 11:23  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

All well and good to receive another headline contributor - but where is the interaction from the good Dr? Not even a whiff of appreciation for those who have welcomed him with warm greetings.

Unimpressed.

6 July 2013 at 11:23  
Blogger Flossie said...

Do keep up, Inspector - there are several Synod members demanding just that.

6 July 2013 at 11:25  
Blogger Christian Contender said...

Dear Mr. Wrake,

Thank you for your comments. You stated, “If you disagree with the ABP, have you written to him and told him why?”

I have pointed out 8 serious flaws in Justin Welby’s speech to the House of Lords re the Same Sex Marriage bill. These were published in the English Churchman newspaper, so I hope that Mr Welby will have seen it. (It can be found at http://www.realchristianity.org/ssm-abc---serious-flaws.html)

One of the real problems is that the media tend to focus on the C of E. They focus on what the archbishop and bishops say, but conservative evangelical nonconformity (my own constituency) is simply not on the media’s radar.

(Nonconformity, of course, has also been plagued by theological liberalism).

The Archbishop has been presented as a defender of orthodoxy, because he voted against the government’s bill, and yet his speech in the Lords was seriously contrary to Scripture. I say this, not in any personal or ad hominem criticism, but simply desiring to uphold Biblical truth.

The C of E (with some honourable exceptions) has long ago abandoned the 39 Articles, along with the supreme authority of Scripture. As the national church, it carries, I feel, a special responsibility for the nation’s departure from the Biblical faith “once delivered to the saints”.

When I have tried to defend a Biblical position on homosexuality and on the ministry of women, in, say, the local newspaper, my opponents have come back at me and said, The C of E has shown a willingness to move with the times. Why can’t you?

Yours amicably.

6 July 2013 at 11:42  
Blogger Albert said...

John Wrake,

There is nothing more wrong with the C of E than the mistakes and misdeeds of any other church.

Misdeads, I agree. But this is simply unfaithfulness in teaching - and it is teaching Christ promised would be faithful.

What is at present missing is the bottle to tackle error.

I don't think it is a personal courage. ABC is very personally courageous. It is a lack of confidence in the revelation God gave us.

If you disagree with the ABP, have you written to him and told him why?

Because I'm a Catholic. It's pretty obvious that the liberals do not even listen to their own traditionalists (they are after all, the only people to whom the gospel has come - a part from all the non-religious people, of course). So why would anyone listen to me?

6 July 2013 at 12:16  
Blogger Albert said...

Flossie,

'If we say we will ordain women as priests and bishops, we must do so in exactly the same way as we ordain men'.

Yes, it means rescinding existing legislation. It means breaking promises made 20 years ago (without those promises the legislation would not have got through in the first place). It means there is no place for orthodox Christianity in the CofE.

I thought the days in which people believed the Church's role was to copy the secular world because the secular world is so right, were over. Evidently not.

6 July 2013 at 12:20  
Blogger Preacher said...

Secular man is Blind, he speaks of what he does not see. In his world of darkness this is truth to him & he seeks to make others become like him.

Those that pluck out their eyes in a vain attempt to appease & agree with his assertions show their weakness & ignorance of the counsels of God.
Willing to sell their birthright for a mess of pottage, they are not worthy to bear the name of Christ & having denied Him , He has said that He will deny them before His Father in Heaven.
Sheep on the right please, Goats to the left. Thank you.

Welcome Peter Mullen, it's good to have you aboard.

6 July 2013 at 12:56  
Blogger Flossie said...

Actually, I have to retract some of what I said about Archbishop Justin. Having just read his full speech (this is what comes of reading what the press says he said rather than what he actually said) on the issue of women bishops, his actual words were:

One thing I am sure of is that trust is rebuilt and reconciliation happens when whatever we say, we do. For example, if, while doing what we believe is right for the full inclusion of women in the life of the church, we say that all are welcome whatever their views on that, all must be welcome in deed as well as in word. If we don’t mean it, please let us not say it. On the one hand there are horrendous accounts from women priests whose very humanity has sometimes seemed to be challenged. On the other side I recently heard a well-attested account of a meeting between a Diocesan Director of Ordinands and a candidate, who was told that if the DDO had known of the candidate’s views against the ordination of women earlier in the process he would never have been allowed to get as far as he did.Both attitudes contradict the stated policy of the Church of England, of what we say, and are completely unacceptable. If the General Synod, if we decide, that we are not to be hospitable to some diversity of views, we need to say so bluntly and not mislead. If we say we will ordain women as priests and Bishops we must do so in exactly the same way as we ordain men. If we say that all are welcome even when they disagree, they must be welcome in spirit, in deed, as well as in word. - See more at: http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/articles.php/5098/archbishop-justins-presidential-address-at-general-synod#sthash.2Xaxn599.dpuf

So my apologies to the good abp - but I still agree with Albert, having followed the machinatins of WATCH and various other groups over the past twenty years.

6 July 2013 at 13:32  
Blogger Albert said...

Thank you Flossie, and yes, I think that is really an excellent speech by the ABC. He seems to grasp the contradiction in the present position. The trouble is, which way will they go?

On the one hand there are horrendous accounts from women priests whose very humanity has sometimes seemed to be challenged.

I just wonder what that refers to. It's hard to see that sexism comes much from the traditionalists, since the traditionalists tend to have very little to do with female clergy (although some of the gay clergy can be terribly sexist, and quite a lot of the gay clergy are opposed to women's ordination - all very odd). I have sometimes wondered if female clergy sometimes automatically report opposition to women's ordained ministry as pure sexism, as denying their humanity etc. WATCH and GRAS have both tried to make it look that way. So I'm a bit suspicious of these kinds of stories about women being harrassed by traditionalists.

6 July 2013 at 13:50  
Blogger Peter D said...

Christian Contender said ...
"One of the real problems is that the media tend to focus on the C of E. They focus on what the archbishop and bishops say ..."

Well yes, they would do wouldn't they? These are the leaders of your church. The ABC is the leader of Anglicanism (in the leader without actual authority, via media sense).

The media also focusses on the Pope, Cardinals and Bishops of the Catholic Church too. There are divisions amongst this group too. However, in the final analysis, what the Pope and the Magisterium say carries final authority.

Can you spot the difference? And which approach do you think conforms to Christ's commission to His Church in Mathew 16:18?

6 July 2013 at 14:32  
Blogger Peter Simpson said...

Dear Peter D,
C of E is not my church, having long ago abandoned the authority of Scripture in favour of Synod majority votes. I would like to see the media pay more attention to what conservative nonconformists are saying. The country is generally unaware of Biblical teaching, because many mainstream churches do not make God's word their starting point. Christ's church is built as Scripture is proclaimed.
Yours courteously.

6 July 2013 at 15:20  
Blogger Peter D said...

Peter S

The media will look to leaders to represent the doctrinal stance of any church.

Where, or to whom, could they turn to find an authoritative, coherent account of what you refer to as 'conservative nonconformists' or, for that matter, 'liberal nonconformists'?

6 July 2013 at 16:05  
Blogger Peter Simpson said...

Peter D,

They would have to turn to individual ministers who were known, because they were speaking out and challenging the pc consensus with Biblical truth. It is of course down to such ministers to preach in the open air, write to papers and ring in to radio stations.

Mainstream churches have compromised under pressure from the world, for example by condoning civil partnerships whilst being opposed to marriage redefinition, but in God's sight sin is sin, whatever name one gives to the legal institution.

Tomorrow in this country a major sporting event, with all it's commercial ramifications, will take precedence over the 4th commandment. Will church leaders be speaking out against the profaning of the Sabbath? How desperately Britain needs a prophetic Scripture-based voice, which has not been nullified by fear of the liberal secular consensus.

Many churches have become frightened of the poor marketing potential of teaching God's law, and so an unbelieving society is left in ignorance of the eternal validity of the commandments. Grace only has significance in the light of law.

6 July 2013 at 18:08  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Peter S: "Many churches have become frightened of the poor marketing potential of teaching God's law, and so an unbelieving society is left in ignorance of the eternal validity of the commandments."

Have you considered that we simply don't care what you believe is true and would rather be free to watch the tennis?

6 July 2013 at 19:12  
Blogger William Lewis said...

Its true that some people really don't care what other people believe and are happy just to drift from one sensory stimulation to the next. For those seeking something deeper, however, the question of how to present the Gospel in a culturally sensitive and personally relevant way is ever present.

6 July 2013 at 19:48  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

No drifting for me, I've planned tomorrow with military precision. In fact, I've just been to Sainsbury's to buy some ice cream.

6 July 2013 at 20:06  
Blogger William Lewis said...

Good plan! As far as it goes.

6 July 2013 at 20:12  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Danjo,

William is quite right, you also need some fresh strawberries!

Now, Flossie, your type (along with Mrs Proudie) are naturally the backbone of the Church of England! The answer is simply not to pay your tithe; I am currently on a 'boycott' of said tithe. Rector isn't happy, but tough!

Now Peter D, I appreciate your need to 'fish' for Anglicans to go to Rome, but as people like Corrigan and Ms De Nova have made quite clear we are not and never will be a part of your 'one true Church', even if we convert- look at the treatment of Orthodox Christians such as Albert and Darter. The comments from Corrigan and De Nova are enough for me to NEVER entertain of converting to Rome!

Chars!

6 July 2013 at 20:21  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Lavendon, old fellow. One recommends you convert to Rome. And if anyone says to your face that as a convert you are not good enough, just poke them in eye. Middle finger, of course. As they fall away, kick their arse too...

Trust this man, it won't come up in conversation again.

6 July 2013 at 20:32  
Blogger Peter D said...

Lavendon

My good man, that's not a good reason at all! Catholics, despite the opinion of some, are not the 'Borg' collective who all think the same way. How boring would that be?

Judge the Church on its doctrine and teachings, not its human and sinful members.

Just imagine, you'd be in full communion with the likes of myself and the Inspector ... just, given his somewhat 'independent' views on Catholic doctrine.

You know it makes sense.

6 July 2013 at 21:35  
Blogger Albert said...

Lord Lavendon,

Now Peter D, I appreciate your need to 'fish' for Anglicans to go to Rome, but as people like Corrigan and Ms De Nova have made quite clear we are not and never will be a part of your 'one true Church', even if we convert- look at the treatment of Orthodox Christians such as Albert and Darter. The comments from Corrigan and De Nova are enough for me to NEVER entertain of converting to Rome!

The Catholic Church does not need to fish for Anglicans - we come by ourselves, and in any case, the CofE does its best to eject its own people.

As for not being proper Catholics, I don't know why you include Corrigan - he recently called me "a good Catholic". In any case, Catholicism is not defined by random individuals, especially not if they don't subscribe to Catholic teaching themselves. (But I guess you knew that!!)

6 July 2013 at 21:53  
Blogger Albert said...

Just to add to that last comment, I have never met a Catholic in real life who thinks converts aren't proper Catholics.

6 July 2013 at 21:54  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Albert,

Ms De Nova, has the courage of her convictions and I salute that, because she does not skirt over the "issues" which divide us....

As for Corrigan, the chap is raving anti-English, anti-Anglican, anti Jewish and Irish nationalist to boot. Not combinations I can agree with, ever, certainly not when he uses Catholic Dogma to assert these positions as Holy Writ.

Inspector,

If only most Catholics were like you, my good fellow.

Peter D,

I understand you mean well.

Now I must get some kip, as tomorrow is an important birthday for me....

Cheery pip, all!

6 July 2013 at 22:42  
Blogger Peter Mullen said...

Thanks very much everyone for your kind words of welcome. I'll try to keep you interested; and please do keep the comments coming
Peter Mullen

6 July 2013 at 22:50  
Blogger Peter Simpson said...

DanJO wrote, “Have you considered that we simply don't care what you believe is true and would rather be free to watch the tennis?”

What I believe has no authority whatsoever, but what God has revealed in His word has all authority.

I would only want people to keep the 4th commandment out of the desire of their hearts, but the abandonment of the Lord's Day in modern Britain is indicative of a general rejection of the Christian revelation.

The Christian Sabbath marks the most significant event in all human history, the resurrection of Christ, and yet liberal progressive Britain thinks that shopping and sport are more important, doing so despite all the immense blessings of social stability and rich quality of life which Biblical Christianity has brought to this nation. This is tragic.

Yours courteously.

6 July 2013 at 23:03  
Blogger Peter D said...

Lord Lavendon said ...

"Inspector,
If only most Catholics were like you, my good fellow."


Saints preserve us! We'd all be blooming Anglicans by midnight if that were so!

Have a good birthday tomorrow - 90 years young, I understand. And do go easy on the dance floor.

6 July 2013 at 23:19  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Peter D, you know you are an insufferable blighter at times, one presumes...

6 July 2013 at 23:42  
Blogger Peter D said...

But of course Inspector!

It's the Way of the Dodo, don't you know.

6 July 2013 at 23:54  
Blogger William Lewis said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6 July 2013 at 23:56  
Blogger Jumbo Driver said...

The church is not committing suicide, but the institution that is the Church of England may well be suicidal. Welby has probably hastened its demise with his latest genuflexion to secular mores regarding homosexuality.

There are non-conformist evangelical churches up and down the country that are far from dying. They are finding that Christians from the C of E are joining them in significant numbers.

Rome will not be the destination of the evangelicals. Why would we leave an institution that had lost its way to join one that is rotten at its core.

God will disestablish the C of E sooner rather than later, but Rome will not replace it. God's glorious revolution through the reformation will not be reversed.

7 July 2013 at 00:05  
Blogger LEN said...

Why should a disenchanted Anglican wish to swim the Tiber?.'Frying pan' and 'fire' come to mind.

The Anglican Church for all its errors [mostly for want of good leadership]could still be a viable instrument for God to use.The '39' articles would be a good place to start or should I say return to and re- start.
The Anglican Church needs to sever its ties with the State that is the only way it can remain fit for [Gods]purpose.

And 'Peter D' see you sneaked that 'rock thing' in again.
As you well know [by now you should do at least if you follow scripture]
The' Rock 'is Christ and the church is built on the revelation given by God to the Apostle Peter
that Jesus is the Christ.

So the Church is built on Christ the True Foundation Stone not that rather shaky pebble Peter.

7 July 2013 at 00:11  
Blogger Peter D said...

Len

Of course the Church is built on Christ. No Catholic disputes this. However, until His return in Glory, Peter and the Apostles, and their successors, is Christ's mandated way for His Word to be given shape and expressed on earth. He very clearly gave His authority to Peter and His Church.

Oh, and I never "sneaked that rock thing in again". It's there in the Bible as plain as the nose on one's face.

7 July 2013 at 00:31  
Blogger Ned Kelly said...

I am somewhat bemused that Catholics believe that their Pope is Peter's successor. Peter never repudiated Mosaic Law, never stopped worshipping in the Synagogue, never repudiated the Sabbath, never persecuted the Jews, never changed the calendar or how days are marked, etc, etc. Now how can a line of Popes who did all those things claim to be following Peter? Irrespective of how that bible passage is interpreted, the obvious truth is that the Church of Rome did NOT follow Peter or his beleifs.

7 July 2013 at 08:13  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

Glad to see Flossie take back (some of) her negative comments about ++Justin. Just a shame that others who joined her in the negative commenting have not had the good grace to follow her retraction, particularly in the light of Flossie's reasoning for her retraction!
Even sadder is that the reasons given were from people who tend to hold a certain female Tory politician with a rebellious streak in high regard, yet their much vaunted heroine was only yesterday declaring herself in favour of homosexual unions, in her own words (https://www.twitter.com/NadineDorriesMP/status/353514328781099008)

Getting back to the topic of the OP, having read the paper (http://www.churchofengland.org/media/1771468/gs%201886%20-%20women%20in%20the%20episcopate%20-%20new%20legislative%20proposals.pdf) I am convinced that it is, sadly, still very poorly thought through and aimed at getting women bishops at the cost of anyone who stand in it's way, whilst continuing to declare otherwise. It is simple unworkable, as seen in point 12 of the paper where the first and fifth bullet points are not able to truly coexist in their currently stated format.
I truly hope and pray that synod will seek to offer proper assurances to those with theological objections to women bishops, but the signs are not good.

7 July 2013 at 09:10  
Blogger Flossie said...

Youthpasta, have you not read about the indaba process currently under way at Synod?

John Bingham has covered it, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/10164838/The-actress-and-the-bishop-Church-of-England-makes-drama-out-its-own-crisis.html

but far more insight can be gained here:

http://bathwellschap.wordpress.com/2013/07/07/no-face-no-name-no-number/

After my usual explosion of 'more PC nonsense' I have on reflection decided that it might not be such a bad idea. At least proponents of WO will not be able so easily to misrepresent opponents as misogynists who want to keep women in their place (which they have been wont to do, as any reader of the WATCH website will know. A rather more cynical friend of mine, however, says he never underestimates the mental acuity of those who have been gifted between the ears with sawdust. So we shall see!

By the way, YP, I by no means let the ABC off - he wants to see women bishops as soon as possible. I just fell into the trap of doing what I have just accused others of doing - misrepresenting what he has said. And I think he has more or less sold the pass on homosexuality. One has to bear in mind the Man on the Clapham Omnibus, and this is how he will see it, certainly. The media is not big on nuance.

7 July 2013 at 10:45  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

I'm somewhat confused as to why the prevailing opinion is that the CoE compromised with secularity in the 1840s when Newman left.

For one thing, Newman left because he realised that the CoE could never be reconciled with the Roman Catholic church in the way that he, unlike most of the rest of the Oxford Movement leaders such as Pusey, had tried to promote in Tract 90.

Secondly, as a national church, the CoE has been compromising with Princes, Parliaments and society in general since 1534. Newman's Tractarians were part ofthe Evangelical Revival against Latitudinarianism (which is NOT the same as Liberalism); people like John and Charles Wesley, William Wilberforce, George Whitefield and miscellaneous other Methodists had been complaining about the CoE losing its way and compromising with secularity for over 100 years before Newman got in on the act.

7 July 2013 at 11:54  
Blogger LEN said...

Peter D... the evidence that Jesus is 'the Rock' (mentioned numerous times in scripture) has been established conclusively by the Word of God.
If you want to believe differently that is your prerogative.

Peter himself confess`s Jesus as the Rock on which His(Jesus`s) Church will be built. 1 Pet 2:3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a ROCK OF OFFENCE, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

Perter D. I have explained this to you before but you seem unable to accept Biblical Truth over and above Catholic 'traditions'.

7 July 2013 at 15:02  
Blogger Peter D said...

Yes Len, we've covered all this in great detail before.

And all that above doesn't actually address Mathew 16:18, now does it?

7 July 2013 at 15:12  
Blogger LEN said...

Peter D Yes.

7 July 2013 at 15:15  
Blogger LEN said...

Peter D,
IF you accept the Truth about the identity of' the Rock'. Then you must admit that your Church has lied to you.

I see that you cannot accept that fact so continue in denial of the truth.
Your traditions have rendered the Truth of God null and void.

7 July 2013 at 15:20  
Blogger Peter D said...

Len

How so?

You do understand the concepts of metaphor and analogy, do you?

In Matthew 16, Christ very clearly gave authority to Peter to lead His Church, likening his faith to a rock that would serve as a foundation, and gave also explicitly gave His Church His Divine authority.

How else can than part of Scripture be interpreted?

7 July 2013 at 18:12  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Reverend Mullen, you write very well and so persuasively and I for one am glad to see an intelligent clerical voice on this nominally Anglican blog which His Grace has left open for all to cavort in.

As much as one can agree with specific parts of your complaint, I find it hard to nod along, for the same liberalism and atheism we (me included) gripe about so often were the forces that got me and mine out of the Ghetto, saving us not only from the religion-fueled violence and exploitation by theocratic states, but also from the stifling dictatorship of our rabbinic dynasties, Ghetto councils and seminaries which made their deals and held onto power "under license" by Church and State.

True, the atheists can be just as oppressive and deadly, as we've discovered, and perhaps we ain't seen nuthin' yet, but for some of us it's hard to forget the past and rush back to join religious conservatives--yours or mine--in their sentimental longing for the "good old days" that never were.

It's a tough call at times and things are never clear and simple, but when push comes to shove, I'll hold my nose and tolerate stupidities like SSM, the ubiquitous rainbow banners or women on the pulpits of some churches and synagogues as long as we get to keep the nice classical liberal/atheist-inspired values such as separation of "Church and State," freedom of thought and association, free enterprise, the vote, equal rights and one law for all. And I say this as an observant religious traditionalist who has many complaints against the secular world as it is, but who knows that things could be much, much, worse.

Much worse, indeed. Such as the reappearance of the once triumphant "banners...(of) the cross of Christ" first held by murderous Crusader mobs as they slaughtered and plundered their ways across Europe, decimating not only my people and many of their communities, but those of their supposed Christian brethren, those who were of the "wrong kind." I know of course that this is not what you have in mind, Reverend, and no, I don't have issues with the red-on-white flag of England or crucifixes ...different times, different meanings...but I hope that you can appreciate the reasons for the queasiness some of us might feel over the idea of the re-marriage of Church and State.

7 July 2013 at 20:40  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Avi, as we await Dr Mullen’s response, you might like to know that the Inspector has met the man, through the Freedom Association, of which we are both members. And he’s heard him speak at several TFA bashes. You can be guaranteed that should he choose to answer you, you will get the unexpurgated thoughts of the man. He does not do compromise, and he does not wrap his message in niceties. He does exactly what he says on his tin.

A breath of fresh air in these sophisticate days, sure you’ll agree come the time...


7 July 2013 at 20:58  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Avi

"....once triumphant "banners...(of) the cross of Christ" first held by murderous Crusader mobs as they slaughtered and plundered their ways across Europe, decimating not only my people and many of their communities, but those of their supposed Christian brethren, those who were of the "wrong kind."

That is one view of course. I have often wondered what would have happened without them? Constantinople fallen earlier? Spain still a Muslim country? Perhaps even Europe Muslim? and if so most likely America would be too.

slaughtering and plundering? Some did, the vast majority did not. Certainly many of our politicians could learn a few things from them, especially about honor, virtue and self sacrificial service.

Phil

7 July 2013 at 20:58  
Blogger Peter D said...



" ... nally Anglican blog which His Grace has left open for all to cavort in."

Cavorting is most definitely not permitted on this blog!

Now the Crusades. Your analysis was a tad simplistic. There were several with different triggers and different results and they all demand close study.

Just think, without the Crusades, excesses and all, the world could be under Muslim control - no Jews and no Christians.

We know from our shared Holy texts this could never be and God uses both good and evil to realise His purposes.

7 July 2013 at 22:01  
Blogger Albert said...

Darter Noster,

I think the point about Newman is that he realised that the CofE was institutionally wounded by secularism. This was nothing new in the 1840s. Newman thought that in effect it was the state or the culture of England that was keeping the CofE Christian. The state was losing interest in the CofE even while he was still in it. He saw that once the state lost interest, the CofE would rest on English Christian culture, and that since the Christian element of that culture was disappearing in a secular direction, the CofE would collapse into the secular culture. Newman was correctly grasping the nature of the CofE and being correctly prophetic about where it would end up.

7 July 2013 at 22:10  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Phil, I invite you to study the history of the Crusades from a variety of sources. Before the Crusader armies got anywhere near the Holy Land they aimed to liberate, they devastated swaths of Europe. The destruction of Jewish communities along their path was just the beginning, for when they ran out of Jewish bodies to rape and kill and goods plunder, they turned against the inhabitants of the Christian kingdoms they passed, arguably contributing to the fragmentation and eventual weakening of Christianity. This was not a case of ordinary depredation some elements in the armies at the time were prone to. This was an inordinately disorganized, undisciplined and vicious series of campaigns which in the long run failed to halt the march of Islam.

Yes, the movement expressed idealism, religious fervor and even poetry, but it was also driven by political and economic necessities and greed and many, not just Jews, suffered and were forgotten in the Church hagiographies and the chansons of the troubadours. Some of this benefitted Europe and even the inevitable contact with the Muslim East produced good things. Life is a complicated, though.

You wonder what would have happened without the Crusades. Me too; I'm a fan of alternate history fiction. Yes, Europe might have been Islamivcised, but I doubt it, as Europe is a tougher nut to crack than North Africa. For sure medieval European Jewish history would not have been a tale of horrors and perhaps Eastern Christianity would have been able to eventually resist the Turk and reclaim its dominions over the Bosphorus. Had the Christian kingdoms curbed their rivalries, coordinated and collaborated to form a unified and effective military command structure with clear and realistic objectives, rather then resorting to infighting and falling prey to religious fantasies, things would indeed have been different. Had they also treated their Jews fairly and exploited the skills and knowledge of the Jewish communities, many of which were familiar with Islam and had contacts with Jews of the Muslim world, all of this might have made a great difference and Islam might have been reduced to a minor, lunatic fringe Near Eastern sect it should have stayed as.

7 July 2013 at 22:11  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Peter D: Just think, without the Crusades, excesses and all, the world could be under Muslim control - no Jews and no Christians.

Perhaps, perhaps not. See my post to Phil above. Without the Black Plague and the social, political and economic revolutions it forced through...um...rapid depopulation, we'd be still living in the Middle Ages with the rest of the world. Still, I can't bring myself to call the Plague a "good thing." Call me "shallow."

7 July 2013 at 22:17  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Ah, Inspector, nearly missed your post in the fray. Thanks for the heads-up on Reverend Mullen. I sort of got the impression you have conveyed, suspecting that under that philosophical and courteous white glove rests a fist of steel. His Grace doesn't disappoint with the confederates he chooses.

Now, as for that run of unfortunate avatars of yours, my offer still stands....

7 July 2013 at 22:57  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Avi, “Fist of Steel” is spot on. You haven’t met him too, have you ?

Now, regarding one’s avatar. Your suggestion under consideration...

7 July 2013 at 23:10  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7 July 2013 at 23:19  
Blogger Peter D said...

Avi
Which particular Crusade or Crusades are you referring to? They were many in number, complex in cause and in outcome.

Inspector
Get a less 'wooden' looking image. There's an air of madness about your current one. Wouldn't want people to think you were a "swivel eyed loon"! What was wrong with the original? It appealed more to the ladies too.

7 July 2013 at 23:37  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7 July 2013 at 23:40  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Peter D: All of them, but especially the Second, Third and the Shepherds' Crusades. Quite nasty, those. Things were never the same between us since, although things are warming up a bit lately. Let's hope and pray.

7 July 2013 at 23:43  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7 July 2013 at 23:45  
Blogger Peter D said...

Inspector

You do make me laugh - Lord Haw-Haw indeed!

7 July 2013 at 23:55  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

An Irish title, of course...

7 July 2013 at 23:56  
Blogger Peter D said...

Rascal!

7 July 2013 at 23:57  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Peter D, I've been a sloppy reader and missed two of your points.

Now the Crusades. Your analysis was a tad simplistic.... I did imply as much, mentioning complexities. There were several... Indeed, hence my use of the plural, as in Crusades. And, ...with different triggers and different results and they all demand close study. Now you're getting all obscurantist on me, Peter, whereas Phil, before you, got into a bit of relativism with his, that is one view of course. Yet, the Crusades have been and are studied as much as they can be with the documents we have. Jewish and Christian chroniclers are in concordance with the unusual and surprising severity of the attacks. It might please you to know that Church authorities, from top on down, were disturbed by the level of violence and often spoke against it and tried to prevent attacks on Jews. The reaction against Crusader depredations in Eastern Eueope, especially Hungary and Bulgaria, are well known as well. In other words, this isn't some nuance-riddled, over-dramatized, depends-on-your-perspective Jewish leidensgeschichte tale.

Couldn't resist a stab at theological historiography? We know from our shared Holy texts this [disappearance of Jews and Christians] could never be and God uses both good and evil to realise His purposes. First of all, I'm aware of God's promise to keep the Jews...but not anything about Christians. Do tread carefully ;) As to your guesswork regarding "God's purposes," I wouldn't dare presume anything myself. You, though, being under looser requirements and with plenty of wiggle room outside of the Noahide Laws, might be safer. It's not all just single malt bottles and shmaltz herring spreads for us Chosen Folk, you know.

8 July 2013 at 02:52  
Blogger Drastic Plastic said...

We need not wonder that all the bishops are in favour of whatever those who appointed them desire. The state has, after all, appointed no Christians as bishops since 1997.

The victors in civil war are always arrogant. Just imagine the demands that the new bishopesses will make, that every one of their clergy is suitably "respectful", the harassment to which honest clergy will be subjected! Congregations that don't express adequate enthusiasm for the wife of some merchant banker tricked out as a bishop may expect merciless treatment.

8 July 2013 at 09:10  
Blogger Flossie said...

You are right, Drastic Plastic. It will be even worse when we get openly gay bishops demanding respect. I know I have said this many times before, but WATCH is fully supportive of this development.

Really, General Synod is not fit for purpose. Its parliamentary style ensures that there are 'winners' and 'losers' when in fact we should all move forward together over radical new developments, even if this takes time - or not at all. One 'side' losing - and thus driving out fellow believers - is not the Christian way.



8 July 2013 at 10:06  
Blogger Flossie said...

You are right, Drastic Plastic. It will be even worse when we get openly gay bishops demanding respect. I know I have said this many times before, but WATCH is fully supportive of this development.

Really, General Synod is not fit for purpose. Its parliamentary style ensures that there are 'winners' and 'losers' when in fact we should all move forward together over radical new developments, even if this takes time - or not at all. One 'side' losing - and thus driving out fellow believers - is not the Christian way.



8 July 2013 at 10:07  
Blogger Albert said...

Flossie,

but WATCH is fully supportive of this development.

Quite so. And the reason for that is that they are really the same issue. For question in both is, do we believe men and women are interchangeable, even when this interchangeability is contrary to scripture, tradition and reason? Are we followers of secular liberalism or of the Word of God?

8 July 2013 at 10:29  
Blogger Flossie said...

Easy answer to that one, Albert. Dr Mullen has some words to say on that issue too.

http://www.anglican-mainstream.net/2013/07/08/caught-with-our-trousers-half-down%e2%80%a6/

8 July 2013 at 11:03  
Blogger LEN said...

Do we believe men and women are 'interchangeable'?. Asks 'Albert.' I I suppose a case might be made for this[ in the Church at least!]. I don`t necessarily support this case but a case could be made if both parties were spirit filled believers.

'There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.'(Galatians 3:28)

In 1 Corinthians 11:5. Paul acknowledges women both prayed and preached in Church.

There is an' apparent' contradiction between Paul instructing women to' keep silent' in Church and then keeping their head covered whilst praying and preaching in church.

Some believe the 'keep silent 'instruction is whilst preaching is going on(no discussions going on during preaching distracting people away from hearing the Word.)
When the Church split between the West(Catholic) and the East(Orthodox)the Eastern Church permitted women to serve in the position of Deaconess.

8 July 2013 at 14:35  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Avi,


'It's not all just single malt bottles and shmaltz herring spreads for us Chosen Folk, you know'.

Note to several of my nephews there...

8 July 2013 at 18:43  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Greetings Lord L. Happy 90th!

8 July 2013 at 19:11  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Greetings Lord L. Happy 90th!

8 July 2013 at 19:12  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Albert

21:54
Not all converts fall into this category but there is a particular kind of convert that is easily identifiable. You being a prime example of the type and of course no one is going to say it to your face or make quips in front of you!

It is a certain type that takes refuge in the Church prone to accepting immediate authority, a holier than thou pompous arse type and in your case it is combined with being a nasty irk!Even HG has commented on your nastiness.

Also the provocative post by the geratric Lavendon holding me responsible for not converting to Catholicism is obviously ridiculous and written by one of his disturbed illiterate relatives trying to drum up support for some Cressida bashing which you are only to happy to comply with.

9 July 2013 at 01:50  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

oops typo (too happy)

9 July 2013 at 01:55  
Blogger OldJim said...

Darter Noster

I was a little confused by the reference to Newman, too. I don't know if you already know about it, but I think that I can cast light on the allusion to the 1840s, though.

In 1847, a priest named Gorham was interviewed by his bishop with a view to being incardinated into the Parish of Bramford Speke. He denied the doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration and was consequently determined to be unfit to minister and declined the post.

Upon appealing to the Privy Council, he found that the secular courts ruled that he could take up the post, regardless of the views of his bishop; it is my understanding that he was incardinated directly by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
(See here for more: http://liturgicalnotes.blogspot.co.uk/2009/12/dom-gregory-dix-and-papacy.html)


That a secular court was so flagrantly dictating the doctrine and governance of the Church of England really did rile up a lot of the more High Church chappies -- they couldn't explain that particular elephant in the room away, and they consequently left.

But it wasn't Newman, who had already been received into the Catholic Church, who was the most famous of the converts in this wave; it was that other great Victorian Cardinal, Manning.

I think that that is the reference that Dr Mullen intended to make.

9 July 2013 at 04:16  
Blogger Albert said...

Cressida,

Your capacity for thinking you know people through the internet remains astonishing.

9 July 2013 at 09:27  
Blogger Albert said...

OldJim,

No, I think Dr Mullen is quite right (and I doubt that someone of his scholarship would confuse Manning and Newman and not know the significance of Gorham). Newman saw already in the 1840s where the CofE was going. I can't quote sources at this moment, though!

9 July 2013 at 09:29  
Blogger LEN said...

I believe Cardinal Newman`s bones were to be dug up so that Catholics can add them to their relics hoard.

However when the Cardinals tomb was opened the Cardinal who was buried with his friend Father Ambrose St John their bodies were so decomposed that they had shuffled of this mortal coil and entered eternity together and no relics were available.

9 July 2013 at 12:49  
Blogger Albert said...

Len

You are quite right. In fact, some have suggest there's evidence that Newman arranged it that way, as he believed he was not a saint and didn't want a cult arising around his relics!

9 July 2013 at 13:16  
Blogger LEN said...

Albert, I agree with you that the Cardinal certainly has had the last laugh!

“Brass, wooden and cloth artefacts from Cardinal Newman’s coffin were found. However there were no remains of the body of John Henry Newman. An expectation that Cardinal Newman had been buried in a lead-lined coffin proved to be unfounded. In the view of the medical and health professionals in attendance, burial in a wooden coffin in a very damp site makes this kind of total decomposition of the body unsurprising. The absence of physical remains in the grave does not affect the progress of Cardinal Newman’s cause in Rome.”


10 July 2013 at 10:00  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Ah Avi,

My dear lad , many thanks for your kind remarks.

Cressida,

My dear girl, I was in fact complementing you, when I noted you had the courage of your convictions, but alas you cannot see that, although it is true, I could never conform to your idealised view of Rome/Faith/etc etc. You don't like converts to Rome and I wouldn't want to go there myself...

Toddle pip!

11 July 2013 at 16:39  

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