Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tutu’s hell of a heaven

From Mr Alexander Boot:

Archbishop Tutu is the last of the great theologians, putting St Augustine to shame.

You see, Augustine’s notions of heaven and hell were too complex, too replete with nuances to satisfy the modern mind.

The Archbishop’s interpretation, on the other hand, is as simple as truth itself. As far as he’s concerned, heaven and hell are separated strictly along sexual or, to be more precise, homosexual lines.

Speaking at the launch of the UN’s global campaign to promote ‘gay rights’, the Archbishop said, “I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. No, I would say sorry, I mean I would much rather go to the other place.”

The other place is hell, in case you’re interested. Now one wonders how the good prelate visualises a homophobic heaven.

Does the picture he sees in his mind’s eye feature St Peter vetting the sexuality of all entrants at the pearly gate? “Sorry, sir, you can’t come in. Your moustache is too neatly trimmed.”

Conversely, does he think that hell resembles a fancy-dress party at Caligula’s court? If so, it must be a lot of fun – at least in the mature judgment of the Anglican prelate.

How anyone capable of such utter, unmitigated vulgarity could be ordained, never mind elevated to a high clerical rank, is beyond me. But then life is full of surprises.

Such as a supposedly educated man using the word ‘homophobic’ at all. Etymologically the word means fear of homosexuals, which, if it exists at all, can’t be very widespread.

One finds it hard to imagine too many mothers traumatising their naughty boys for life by telling them that, if they misbehave, the Big Bad Homosexual will get them.

But these days we can’t be sticklers for etymological precision. After all, we don’t expect the Liberal Democratic party to have much to do with either liberalism or democracy.

In colloquial parlance ‘homophobe’ is used to denote someone who either hates homosexuals or thinks homosexuality is wrong. This ought to put the word beyond bounds for a Christian: using the same word for both is a sure sign of a weak grasp of Christian doctrine.

The same St Augustine, whose notion of heaven Archbishop Tutu has invalidated, wrote, “Cum dilectione hominum et odio vitiorum.” The phrase is usually and somewhat loosely translated as 'hate the sin, love the sinner', and it encapsulates the quintessential Christian attitude to such matters.

To put it in the simple words favoured by Desmond Tutu, homosexuals must be loved because they too are God’s children. At the same time, homosexuality must be hated because it’s a mortal sin. Not being able to differentiate between the two is intellectual vulgarity at its most soaring.

Alas, this is precisely what the Archbishop displays when saying, “I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this.” One wishes his depth of feeling were matched by some depth of thought.

For God who is love can’t by definition hate sinners – it is to save them that Christ came into the world as an incarnated man. On the other hand, God is unequivocal on defining homosexuality as a mortal sin.

Archbishop Tutu can satisfy himself on that score by glancing at a few scriptural verses, such as Genesis 19:1-11; Leviticus 18:22; Leviticus 20:13; Judges 19:16-24; 1 Kings 14:24; 1 Kings 15:12; 2 Kings 23:7; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 Timothy 1:8-10; Jude 7.

Clearly, God didn’t regard homosexuality as merely an alternative lifestyle. As a minimum, He taught that homosexuals couldn’t enter the kingdom of heaven. Does this make Him a homophobe in Desmond Tutu’s book?

“I am as passionate about this campaign as I ever was about apartheid,” continued the Archbishop, showing that he’s as weak on secular nuances as he is on theological ones.

As apartheid was a nasty state policy, campaigning against it was perfectly legitimate and commendable. On the other hand ‘homophobia’, however defined, isn’t part of South African law. It goes without saying that attacks on homosexuals, like any other assaults, must be dealt with resolutely and severely – and the country’s criminal code is clear on this.

How then does the Archbishop see the campaign? Telling the police to be quicker in their response to GBH? Asking the courts to pass stiffer sentences on thugs?

Contextually he goes much further than that. Archbishop Tutu clearly disagrees with God’s view of homosexuality as a sin.

God therefore is a homophobe and not someone in whom Archbishop Tutu self-admittedly can believe. The feeling must be mutual: I doubt God believes in Archbishop Tutu either – and He certainly doesn’t countenance politically motivated, intellectually feeble effluvia.

Alexander Boot is a writer on political, cultural and religious themes


Blogger John Thomas said...

As I have said before, "homophobic" means "Fear of Likeness", and the intentional mis-creation of the meaning of words for purely political ends has a cold Orwellian chill about it, but just what I'd expect from our neo-Stalinist Establishment, which will surely re-create something like gulags, for "homophobes", as soon as they can. Indeed, Mr Boot, LibDems neither lib oe dem!

30 July 2013 at 09:43  
Blogger Martin said...

Of course, God doesn't love everyone, the Bible is quite clear on that:

“As it is written, "Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated."” (Romans 9:13 NKJV)

And without a doubt, if God loved everyone He would have to wish the best for everyone. Without a doubt, that best is Heaven. So since some go to Hell, clearly God doesn't love everyone.

Of course, anyone who hates God, who is a rebel against what God has commanded and refuses God's offer of mercy would hate Heaven. Perhaps that is why Tutu would rather be in the other place.

30 July 2013 at 09:45  
Blogger J J Hutchings said...

Hell is empty, as Christ emptied it.

And I'm quite sick of people taking the line in the letter to the Romans out of context. Do your research before spouting off. It's embarrassing.

30 July 2013 at 09:48  
Blogger Bruvver Eccles said...

J J Hutchings. Could you explain the Last Judgement, then? Are we all going to be saved?

30 July 2013 at 09:54  
Blogger The Explorer said...

J J Hutchings:

Do you mean a particular line (if so, which one?) or a line of argument? And what, in your view - there are several views on 'Romans' - IS the context? Please elaborate.

30 July 2013 at 10:00  
Blogger Preacher said...

Good post Mr Boot.
Why is the issue of homosexuality always the yardstick for Sin?.
The view of Any man, whether he be a Bishop, an Archbishop, Cardinal, Pope, Rabbi, Imam, etc, ad infinitum is irrelevant. The Word of God is very clear - "All have sinned".
That's it! It's not about what men want. All the cries of "It's not fair" are no plea in the Court of the Almighty. If Archbishop Tutu wants to appear modern & liberal, that's his choice. The same as Cameron Clegg & the rest.
Truth to tell homosexuality is just the latest 'in' thing that stupid high profile men have chosen as their podium to show how modern & liberal they are. really they are hypocritical windbags.
It is not all about us! it's all about what God requires.
He could have left us ALL to rot in Hell. But instead, he became a man, the only perfect man who ever lived & died in agony because we hated His example which revealed our sin.
His death gave us the undeserved second chance to be redeemed. His resurrection was God's signature that this sacrifice was acceptable to Him.
That's it. Take it or leave it my friends, it's not open to being re-negotiated.

30 July 2013 at 10:06  
Blogger Martin said...

The context of Romans 9 is quite clear, it is about God choosing.

God chose Israel, that is He chose one man, Jacob, a dishonest scheming cheat over against his elder brother Esau. God chose Jacob to be His and his family after him.

In the same way, God chooses who He will save, from before the foundation of the Earth. He chose to love some, to have mercy on them. On others His wrath falls because He is angry with them and does not love them.

That is God's right, to choose whom He will.

30 July 2013 at 10:16  
Blogger Gary said...

Tutu is not a Christian. Christ condemns all unrepentant homosexuals to hell. One cannot disagree with Christ and claim to follow him.

30 July 2013 at 10:25  
Blogger Nick said...

Very good post Mr Boot.

When I heard about Archbishop Tutu's comments, my thought was that here is another senior Anglican who has lost the plot.

His words show a surprising ignorance of both homophobia and of God. He is playing to the anti-theist gallery of course, and his use of hyperbole makes him look frankly ridiculous.

"Homophobia" is of course a term that's thrown around casually to mean anyone who's not a paid-up member of Stonewall. Those who use the "homophobic bigot" accusation have failed to stop and think what they are saying. If someone disapproves of SSM, does that mean they also want to beat up the nearest homosexual? It is like the absurd knee-jerk assumption that if you believe in immigration controls, then you must be a racist. It's intellectually lazy.

It's a pity that so many Anglican "leaders" seem to be "hard of thinking".

30 July 2013 at 10:26  
Blogger OldJim said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

30 July 2013 at 10:28  
Blogger OldJim said...

Comments 2 and 3 look like the setup for a terrible joke.

"A Calvinist and an Amyraldian walk into a thread..."

30 July 2013 at 10:28  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Preachers ,

'Why is the issue of homosexuality always the yardstick for Sin?'

That's a good question- I always ask myself why people get so angry and upset over this being a 'sin', when there are lots of other sins to be angry about. This one is top of the charts, for Christians though.

'He could have left us ALL to rot in Hell. But instead, he became a man, the only perfect man who ever lived & died in agony because we hated His example which revealed our sin'.

Yes that the bit I always struggled with in Christianity. What kind of deity creates humans, knowing full well they are never going to be perfect, and when the mess up doom them to a fate he already knew was going to happen? Not exactly the acts of a loving god. If you think of the god of justice, again, it doesn't seem particularly just to leave people in hell forever; wouldn't it have been more just simply to destroy what he'd created and start over again? Putting people into a place of eternal torment reminds me of the Greek deities, who did things to spite humans and or for fun.

'His death gave us the undeserved second chance to be redeemed. His resurrection was God's signature that this sacrifice was acceptable to Him.That's it. Take it or leave it my friends, it's not open to being re-negotiated.'

According to Martin's view, god already decided who was going to be saved from the start, so why bother if it's just the holy crowd who get in?

30 July 2013 at 10:42  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Martin,

I find your posts intriguing, because the standard response I got from doing the Alpha Course was the contrast being 'the old testament god' of judgement and fire and the kind loving face of christianity in the form of jesus. One is rules and regulations and the other freedom 'from the law'. The one is to suggest that christianity is 'everyone', unlike the 'chosen master race' of judaism.

Yet in your posts you've flipped that on it's head... very confusing, if refreshing honesty there.

30 July 2013 at 10:52  
Blogger Gary said...

Re this question: "Why is the issue of homosexuality always the yardstick for Sin?"

It isn't the yardstick, in my view, but it is the current hot point. The reason for this is that the homosexual community (guided by cultural Marxist organizations such as Stonewall and the BBC) have openly declared war on Christ and are persecuting His church.

30 July 2013 at 10:55  
Blogger LEN said...

Nothing from this World will be carried into the next(Heaven that is!)

We either discard all the baggage we have accumulated here or we do not qualify for Heaven.This was accomplished by Jesus Christ at the Cross of Calvary we either accept this or reject it according to our desire to change or not!.

Heaven will be full of God`s Creation and all that God Created He proclaimed to be 'Good'.

So all that God did not Create will not enter Heaven.God created in Love ,Christ gave His Life in Love for His Creation.

Heaven would be a most uncomfortable place for those wish to oppose God because to place unrighteousness next to perfect righteousness would be unbearable.

30 July 2013 at 11:30  
Blogger Irene's Daughter said...

Why did God hate (turn away from)Esau? Because Esau despised the Gift that God had given Him.(his birthright) God loves (turns towards) those who love (seek after Him) and hates (will not look upon) those who turn away from Him. It is not God who chooses, it is we who choose and God responds to our choice. He does not force Himself on those who want nothing to do with Him.

30 July 2013 at 11:38  
Blogger john in cheshire said...

I still remember Mr Tutu's utterances when I was in South Africa back in the early 80s. He was an ass then and he doesn't seem to have improved with age. As implied in this post and comments, one can only wonder if he actually believes in Jesus Christ or the Judeo-Christian God. I have always had my doubts about him and those like him.

30 July 2013 at 11:40  
Blogger Irene's Daughter said...

Yes there are many, many sins and we have all sinned in some way. What is so disturbing about the issue of homosexuality - something that God has declared to be an abomination to Him (that is He finds it disgusting and He cannot look upon it)is that so many high ranking church leaders condone it. And when Church leaders condone homosexuality they are closing the doors to homosexuals coming to repentance,forgiveness and an eternity in the very presence of God. How can they repent if they don't know that God considers their actions sinful?

Those who claim to be members of Jesus' Body on Earth, who should be pointing people to the salvation available in Jesus, are actually opening the gates of hell wider and pushing people in. And by the way, falling in after them. Is it loving our neighbour to do this?

PS condoning any sin, not just homosexuality, has the same result!

30 July 2013 at 11:46  
Blogger Nick said...

"..And when Church leaders condone homosexuality they are closing the doors to homosexuals coming to repentance,forgiveness and an eternity in the very presence of God. How can they repent if they don't know that God considers their actions sinful?.."

That is true Irene. The devil must be laughing his head off at the way he has deceived church leaders into deceiving the masses. Satan is indeed the father of lies.

30 July 2013 at 11:59  
Blogger Martin said...


God created Adam perfect, Adam chose to sin and thus condemned us to follow in his path.

God knew this would happen, I imagine it is the inevitable result if the creature is given self will, and chose to save some. God does not tell us on what basis He chose those He was to save but we know it was not for our merit, indeed it was for His glory.

I'm afraid the Alpha Course does not present the gospel, for the gospel is the same in the Old Testament as the New so how could God be different?

We are saved entirely by the mercy of God and not by anything we do, not even 'accepting' is involved in our salvation.

Once God has changed us, new birth or new heart, there is no going back, we cannot lose what God has done.

I think homosexuality is getting attention because the effort is to make it an acceptable life style. I've not noticed anyone seeking to do that with theft or murder (aside from abortion that is).

30 July 2013 at 12:22  
Blogger Peter D said...

I guess, according to Tutu, God must be a biggoted homophobe. He wipped out the cities of plains such was His hatred of the degeneracy of homosexuality.

The Bible reveals that sexual degeneracy and homosexuality, in particular, is a consequence of a nation’s impenitent abandonment of God. And, further, that God’s wrath and judgement follows such an abandonment.

So, it seems to me, the increase and widespread acceptance of the perversity of homosexuality is a symptom and a consequence of a much deeper spiritual malaise. Saint Paul sees homosexuality as evidence of an individual being in total revolt against God – an active, persistent rebellion that amounts to wilful, aggressive, sedition.

So no Christian can defend active homosexuality. As Saint Paul says of those engaging in such acts: “They are without excuse”.

How should faithful Christians respond to homosexuals who are in our midst and most especially those in our congregations? Most certainly not by comforting them in their sin.

And this is what troubled me most about Justin Welby's recent comment that he felt "challenged" by those he knew who were living active homosexual lifestyles. For God's sake, there's nothing to be "challenged" about!

It's the same with Pope Francis who, whilst staying within Catholic teaching, seems to think active homosexuals might be fitted for the the priesthood. They can repent and move on if they have "goodwill". Tell that to the victims of Cardinal O'Brian and the other sexual perverts hiding behind the robes of Christ. How many confessions did these men receive? They may well be struggling to overcome temptation but if you're addicted to chocolate and on a diet, don't go and work in a chocolate factory!

30 July 2013 at 12:24  
Blogger Martin said...

God chose to reject Esau for His own reasons, or rather He chose Jacob for His own reasons. We are not party to God's reasoning.

30 July 2013 at 12:25  
Blogger Martin said...


You are entirely right on the nature of homosexuality. It is also interesting to note, in an age where we a lamenting the mistreatment of the sick and elderly, that Paul includes these things:

“being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; [they are] whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” (Romans 1:29-32 NKJV)

"disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful" seems to sum it up

30 July 2013 at 12:31  
Blogger Frank P said...

"One finds it hard to imagine too many mothers traumatising their naughty boys for life by telling them that, if they misbehave, the Big Bad Homosexual will get them."

Weeee..eel! I did once lead home by he scruff of his neck an errant urchin that I had caught thieving in Portobello Road to his harassed mama from the slums of Notting Dale (now mainly occupied by filthy-rich Russian frausters, I understand) and she addressed her unkempt issue thus:

"If you bring Old Bill rarned 'ere agin, you little bugger, I'll put my boot [no relation I'm sure - she wore the Victorian laced-up inherited ladies' ankle boots which were still in vogue in those parts at that time] four lace-holes up your jacksie!"

Justice dispensed, I withdrew, fearing that had I remained I would have witnessed behaviour that would have required me to remove the child to a 'place of safety' which would undoubtedly have in turn led to this unfortunate victim of circumstances being buggered systematically and regularly, sometimes by those wearing dog-collars as either an entitlement of their profession or as an indication of their perverted proclivity. Tu, Tu sad. But that was London life, in those days. Worse than Purgatory and Hell combined , I suspect.

30 July 2013 at 13:13  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


C'mon now. You we Calvinists don't do that humor thing. :)


30 July 2013 at 13:30  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Archbishop Tutu testifies that he worships a different god. But then we already knew that about liberal Christians. Nothing to see here. Move along.


30 July 2013 at 13:32  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Reminds me of a lengthy on line argument I had with an atheist doctor. He said he'd rather go to hell than admit he was wrong about God, even if confronted with God. After observing that this was an option open to him I walked away from the discussion.

I mean, what do you say to someone who maintains that his intellectual integrity trumps God's righteous judgment? How do you argue with a man who maintains he will continue to onsist he is right even if proved wrong?

This particular species of self deceiving vanity is one reason we have the book of Job.

30 July 2013 at 13:35  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Martin, I agree that about sums it up.

Its not a very sophisticated strategy, constantly shoving homosexualism in Christians' faces and then accusing US of being obsessed with the issue when we respond in a measured way. Not at all sophisticated. But if the BBC and other propagandists throw enough mud, some sticks.

Its going to get a lot nastier He who endures to the end will be saved..

30 July 2013 at 13:44  
Blogger The Judicious Hooker said...

Do you think homosexual activity gets the ecclesial spotlight turned on it as a sin because of the general acceptance by the churches and society of extra-marital sexual activity among the heterosexual majority?

It's far easier to project sinfulness on to a minority group. Especially when that minority are still sleeping off the all-night Dance Party and unlikely to be up in time for 8:00am Holy Communion (1662).

While in projection mode, the churches can happily overlook 'living in sin', 'serial monogamy' and divorce without limits in their overheated denunciation of inversion.

It is possible for heterosexuals to sin sexually and as the majority, there's likely to be more of it. When did you last hear the word 'fornication' in a sermon?

30 July 2013 at 14:18  
Blogger non mouse said...

'Tis good to see you here, Frank P. You and Mr. Boot, of course.

Must rush off myself ... though not to reflect (even briefly) on possible permutations of the theme: God-fearing/q*******-fearing.

30 July 2013 at 14:25  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...


The answer to your question about the kind of God lies in the second, and unspoken half of equation: a God who pays the price for the sins of mankind in death.

God, omniscient and eternal, knew full well what would happen to His Creation, that the pinnacle of His work, the beings who bore His very likeness and were made to be co-partners with Him in rulership over Creation, would turn into rebellion and death. He knew that some of those who He had created would prefer their own destruction to service to Him. He knew that His Justice would require destruction, of us and also the destruction of the world: so tightly bound up with the Deep Magic of His Law that mankind's revolt dragged all Creation towards the abyss.

This is why the cryptic opening of the Gospel of John is so essential to our faith: for even as He knew all these things before He had even begun Creation, so too He worked a Deeper Magic still. As Creation would be doomed through its rebellion to be destroyed, so it would be destined to be saved through Jesus' obedience. He was there at the beginning. All things were made through Him. All Creation began with the promise of the Son who perfectly obeys the Father, in the blood of the One who is punished for the sins of the World.

Even before Adam's sin was even thought of, Jesus was committed to paying the price of that act. Even before I have sinned, Jesus has already acted to bring me back into perfect restitution.

So yes, God punishes all that fall short of His Law, His standard of perfection. To claim imperfection is not a defence, but a confession of guilt. But against this inevitable destruction, He has given something everlastingly sure, eternally true, and wholly free: His Grace. The desperate and the damned can claim, through no merit of their own, a spotless relationship with God.

The evangelical aphorism for this is: "you're either judged in your sins, or judged with Christ on the Cross".

30 July 2013 at 14:42  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Peter D

I've always been a bit dubious about using the Cities of the Plain as an example for anything. :) To quote Fr Thomas Reese SJ (full text here - http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/sodom-homosexuality-drone-strikes-and-prayer)

"Then there is the scholarly debate over whether the sin of Sodom was sexual or whether it was a sin against hospitality to strangers. Abraham and Sarah had recently shown hospitality to three strangers and were rewarded with a pregnancy. The same three men go to Sodom, where they are welcomed by Lot and his family, but the locals want to have sex with them. When Lot tries to protect his guests, the crowd turns on him because he is not a real citizen but a "resident alien." Lot's guests end up saving him by pulling him into the house and closing the door.

Lot is so protective of his three male guests that he offers the mob his two virgin daughters instead. You don't have to be a feminist to think that offering your daughters to a mob to be gang-raped is a horrible idea. Later, these same daughters get their father drunk and have sex with him to "ensure posterity by our father." Maybe I should have preached on the corrupting effect of patriarchal culture."

Add to which there's a lot of debate amongst archaeologists as to whether they ever existed at all


30 July 2013 at 15:11  
Blogger John Thomas said...

"...homosexuality is just the latest 'in' thing that stupid high profile men have chosen as their podium to show how modern & liberal they are ..." (Preacher, here). - and they are "useful idiots" as - was it Lenin? - called them.

30 July 2013 at 15:15  
Blogger gentlemind said...

Preacher asked, "Why is the issue of homosexuality always the yardstick for Sin?"

Gary replied, "It isn't the yardstick, in my view, but it is the current hot point."

Our non-belief in God has naturally resulted in our progressive non-belief of more and more things that exist in relation to God. That progression of non-belief has logically reached the level of our own bodies. That is why homosexuality is the issue of the day. Next will be "transsexualism", as we continue to legally collapse the human body in on itself.

When we stopped believing in God, God did not go anywhere. When we stopped believing in God, we also stopped believing in Man. And now, we are trying to make Man disappear.

30 July 2013 at 15:19  
Blogger Peter D said...

Sister Tiberia
Your reading far too many articles by Jesuits!

Really, you are.

You're forgetting why God sent the travellers to Sodom in the first place. And weren't the visitors Angels - messengers of God?

Also, the mob turned down the virgin girls - they wanted to sodomise the male visitors. Or was it they just wanted to get to "know" them - as in have a bit of a friendly gossip being somewhat nosey types? Oh, and not forgetting the visitors had to blind the men in the end such was their lust.

Next you'll tell me Saint Paul wasn't really condemning homosexuality but temple prostitution. Another Jesuit fallacy that I'm sure you've encountered.

30 July 2013 at 15:33  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Peter D

Well, if I burn with the Jesuits in the end, I'll consider myself in good company :)

"Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire."

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin SJ - who I have no doubt beholds his Creator's face now.

30 July 2013 at 16:07  
Blogger Peter D said...

Sister Tiberia

So you follow that rag 'The National Catholic Reporter' too. It figures.

The article by Thomas Reese you have quoted from goes on to say:

"Since gay priests have been falsely blamed for the sexual abuse crisis, the pope's statement is very significant."

Falsely blamed? I don't think so.

"In 2005, the Vatican issued a document saying men with deep-rooted homosexual tendencies should not be ordained or allowed in the seminary. Most interpreted this to mean that someone with a homosexual orientation could not be a priest even if he were celibate."

Yes because such a deep rooted tendency can result in habitual sin and being amongst other males would be a temptation too far - not to say access to vulnerable and impressionable teenage boys.

"Pope Francis made clear that being gay is not an impediment for ordination. For him, the issue is not orientation but whether a person is a good priest. Even if a priest fails in celibacy, one can "then convert, and the Lord both forgives and forgets. We don't have the right to refuse to forget.""

Is this really what Pope Francis signalled? Try telling the victims of Cardinal O'Brian to forget. Or the victims of male sexual predators masgarading as ministers of Christ.

"The pope made it clear that there is no room for homophobia either in the church or society."

Well we need to define "homophobia", don't we? Preventing putting temptation in the way of men who have an intrinsic sexual disorder and perverted desires is not being "homophobic". Neither is removing them from active ministry when they succumb to this in order to protect the vulnerable or to prevent scandal in the Church. It is actually helping them, I'd say. Is the odd visit to a teenage prostitute acceptable, I wonder? Or the occassional 'indiscretion' with a fellow priest? Off to confession and try one's best thereafter?

"But if I had said what he said 24 hours before he said it, I would have been reported to the archbishop."

And rightly so.

Yet again, sadly, Pope Francis has demonstrated a lack of sound leadership and, it seems, a lack of willingness to tackle what Cardinal Ratzinger once called "Filth in the Church".

30 July 2013 at 16:13  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

"So you follow that rag 'The National Catholic Reporter' too. It figures."

On the other hand as you well know, I also follow Rorate Caeli, The Catholic Herald, The Tablet, Fr Z's blog, and about a dozen others.

I will freely admit though that in the last ten years. almost every time I've found something worth reading, it turns out to be a Jesuit who wrote it. So be it.

30 July 2013 at 16:15  
Blogger Peter D said...

Sister Tiberia

Ever thought that maybe because you focus on emotion and compassion more than reason and discipline. I find reading Jesuit articles helping too but for opposite reasons.

30 July 2013 at 16:28  
Blogger LEN said...

Perhaps following Christ might make things a lot clearer?.

But there again I am just a simple protestant.

30 July 2013 at 17:08  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

I tend to think that Jesuits constitute some of the best minds in the Church. So I don't think that reason and compassion are mutual exclusives. :)

30 July 2013 at 17:18  
Blogger Peter D said...


So what's your view as a "simple protestant" on how to respond to active homosexuals and those promoting this as an acceptable lifestyle?

And no long quotes plucked from scripture - just your considered view.

30 July 2013 at 17:19  
Blogger Peter D said...

Sister Tiberia

It was emotion and reason I contrasted and then compassion with discipline. They have to be kept in balance.

I'm sure there are many Jesuits with very fine minds. This doesn't necessarily mean their views are correct.

Still, even if weak on homosexuality and the priesthood, Pope Francis was quite clear the question of women priests is a closed subject. As for divorce, remarriage and access to Communion, I think he could manage no more than "it's complicated".

30 July 2013 at 17:29  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

I doubt anyone would disagree there with the "its complicated" view, Peter ;) It is. And the Church has to work out some solution to this very complicated problem that stems the haemorrhage of Catholics in second marriages to other Christian faiths - together with their children. It isn't only the remarried couple that the Church loses - and I'm very glad I'm not the one who has to work out a solution.

30 July 2013 at 17:36  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

The Catholic Herald actually has a very measured piece on Papa Francis' interview on the plane.


30 July 2013 at 17:49  
Blogger Albert said...

The word "homophobia" like the word "homosexuality" is so unclear that it is better left unused, unless context makes it clear.

30 July 2013 at 17:52  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

You’re on excellent form today, Mr Boot. Good show, that man !

It may come as a surprise to some that the Inspector is rather relaxed about homosexuality - on an individual level, that is. If two fellows wish to sodomise each other, then remember the golden rule. “Not in front of the children, and don’t frighten the horses”. One thinks this unwritten etiquette worked rather well until the internet age, when the more enthusiastic of the breed decided to seek out others of similar devotion to the, {AHEM} ‘pastime’, as we’ll call it.

Anyway, interest in the condition and self promotion by sufferers out to squeeze every concession they can in order to make their chosen lifestyle as near respectable as possible has resulted in this intellectual plague sweeping the world and cutting down the none too bright in it’s path. That will be Tutu included, then. And a certain deranged prime minister closer to home.

This man has every confidence that the plague we are now enduring will one day subside and maybe almost disappear, rather like the Black Death, (…which apparently is still hanging on in some parts of Asia, anti-biotics not withstanding…). This will be achieved by a greater awareness of the homosexual agenda by the general population, and the disgust the knowledge so gained will generate. Because, chaps, there is much to be disgusted about. Rather tellingly, Big Gay adherents don’t actually find what they do, or what they want, disgusting. To be honest, as to what those characters get up to, it’s as well as they don’t as it is doubtful they would keep their sanity – in fact some don’t as suicide is a bit of a problem in the LGBT world.

One day, someone will stand up and say, “The emperor isn’t wearing any clothes”, and the new call will be. “He’s damn right, the man isn’t !”

30 July 2013 at 17:58  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Relax Gentlemind, even Big Gay has problems with transsexuals. Or as this man sees it, when extreme homosexuality meets mental derangement. And yes, just as the majority of the population find transsexuals creepy, including this man, so does quite a chunk of gay world too. In fact, don’t be surprised to find a new loose coalition of queers in years to come, calling themselves LGB only, and giving the pitiful bed wetters the boot.

For the uninitiated, the transsexual is a homosexual who so desires the company of the same sex, they have convinced themselves the best way to attract is to mimic man’s normal partner, woman. Typically, Post Op trannies go into the heterosexual club scene in a big way or prostitution. It’s one or the other, presumably on how desirable they’ve convinced themselves they are. Either way, sex is what it’s all about. They can also have a short lifespan in their new form, even if they don’t commit suicide straight away. On line self help for trannies begs them to admit readily they are transsexuals, and not lead men they meet to think otherwise. This sound advice seems to be generally ignored, as a large number of lifeless ones are found here and there exhibiting signs of recent sexual activity. Well, if you don’t expect common sense from deranged people, you won’t be too upset at the outcome…

Toodle pip !

30 July 2013 at 17:58  
Blogger Albert said...

Martin @0945,

if God loved everyone He would have to wish the best for everyone. Without a doubt, that best is Heaven

Well doesn't scripture say:

God our Saviour, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Therefore, on your own terms, God loves everyone.

30 July 2013 at 18:03  
Blogger Peter D said...

I agree "homophobia" is a tricky term and needs contextualising. But "homosexuality"? All we need to do is distinguish between the inclination and acting upon it. I doubt the world would accept a return to using "sodomite" for the latter group.

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

Preacher: "Why is the issue of homosexuality always the yardstick for Sin?."

It's easy for people to feel self-righteous when they don't feel the desire or the temptation, I expect. Also, there are lots of homophobes around who feel empowered by their religion to indulge themselves in their character flaw.

30 July 2013 at 18:08  
Blogger Albert said...


All we need to do is distinguish between the inclination and acting upon it.

Which people don't these days. "Are you against homosexuality?" people may ask. Notice how the news has changed. It used to say "practicing homosexual". Then it became "openly homosexual" (which is very unclear, almost implying that a celibate homosexual is dishonest). Now it just speaks of homosexuals. "Rights for homosexuals" can mean a claim for just human rights share by all, or it can mean rights to require certain privileges for the behaviour - like marriage.

30 July 2013 at 18:16  
Blogger Dr.D said...

Tutu has clearly abandoned the Christian faith, and chosen modern power and popularity instead. He has walked away from the gifts of the Spirit that were conferred upon him at his consecration. He still calls himself an archbishop, but in fact he no longer has any jurisdiction, and no longer has the cure of souls anywhere.

He shames all Anglicans when he makes such a fool of himself.

30 July 2013 at 19:02  
Blogger IanCad said...

Knowing nothing about the guest author of these recent posts, Alexander Boot, I Googled him.

First up was some outfit called Jack of Hearts

Let me tell you, any residual neutrality which I may have maintained regarding the Sodomite community has entirely disappeared.

Fine; what adults do to and with each other in the privacy of their homes is no one's business but their own.

The utter perverted filth that is celebrated, wallowed in and proselytized by these sick, sick, souls is a terrible indictment of our society.

That Desmond Tutu is cheering them on is evidence of his utter unsuitability for the role he plays.

False Teachers? He deems it fitting to condradict the clear word of God?

"--let God be true, but every man a liar--" Romans 3:4

30 July 2013 at 20:19  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Steady IanCad, the Inspector is here. Having researched our hard done by gays for a long time now, the bitchy character assassination of the man Boot is standard fare. Jack of Hearts is a new site for this man, but one is immediately outraged by the rainbow lollipop on the frontispiece. Every groomer should have one,..

By their diseases shall they know the wrath of God, what !

30 July 2013 at 20:58  
Blogger ardenjm said...


Your question to Martin - and coming to understand where he is coming from - opens up fascinating avenues into Theology and Philosophy - and I encourage you to follow them. They'll clarify many things for you I suggest.

Martin is great because he gives you the pure Protestant line that most Liberal Protestants no longer believe and therefore they muddy the waters of their error. With Martin, his errors are as clear as the yellow cross-gartering on the legs of Malvolio in Twelfth Night - since, in Literature, this caricature of a Puritan is the nearest thing to the theology that Martin uses (even though he'll claim he is just giving the unadulterated Word of God. He isn't. He's borrowing from Philosophy and Theology. He just doesn't know it. I know this sounds patronising. But, look, when the dog wags its tail, I can't help but pat its head.)

Martin is underlining that God's will is what it is - inscrutable and unquestionable. He's part of a wider Protestant school of thought, that, ironically for them, is borrowing from Franciscan Nominalism articulated some 200 years before the first Reformers. The Nominalist school of thought rejected Thomas Aquinas's position and emphasised the primacy of the will in God: God is Love.
Aquinas emphasised the primacy of the intelligence: God is Truth.
Now, at first glance, those friendly Franciscans seem to have it right: God is warm, loving and good and we are called to love Him in return. (That's true, of course) but the problem is this. Aquinas said: you can't love what you don't first know. You have to love a TRUE good in order to love it TRULY.
(See where I'm going with this?)
Not so - said Nominalism. God is God. He is who He is: you just need to obey. What God wills - is, by definition, right and true and just. In other words - God's arbitrary will is beyond our ken and we just have to submit.
If God asks you to curse and hate Him in order to gain Heaven then this is what you have to do. And, of course, a number of Protestant Reformers affirm exactly that.

First amongst them, Martin Luther was educated at the school of Gabriel Biel - a Nominalist. On an existential level Luther was profoundly disturbed by this arbitrariness of God: How could He KNOW that God loved and saved Him etc. He thought he found echoes of all of that in the Bible: God chooses to save who He will. Luther got over his existential angst by coming to believe that, lucky him, he was one of the chosen. And thus was opened up that pathway to hideous self-righteousness that has plagued Protestantism ever since. (Catholics can suffer from this, too, of course, don't get me wrong. It's just that with us we don't claim that we can have speculative certitude of our salvation - only moral certitude). We have to wait a few decades before Calvin gives the logical conclusion of Luther's predestination doctrine. Dear Martin gives it to us here: if God chooses His elect, He also chooses those who He will damn for all eternity.

It's monstrous, of course. And not at all what the Bible MEANS (although there are verses that seem to SAY that) - and is one more proof that Christ instituted an embryonic magisterium whereby the Church could as a whole interpret Scripture. Luther et al reduced the magisterium to individual judgement - which explains the existence of Martins the world over...

Interestingly enough, this mistake of the arbitrariness of God's will is part of the Euthyphro Dilemma - and if you don't know that already Wikipedia has a good introduction. (Aquinas, needless to say, gets it right on that, too. C.S. Lewis follows the Thomist line.) Martin, God love him, would take the "Whatever God will is therefore just" line and in that respect joins Protestants, Nominalists and Muslims the world over.

Martin doesn't realise that in this respect he's basically a Muslim. But he is.

Mind how you go.

30 July 2013 at 21:22  
Blogger David B said...

There are a couple of things I don't understand. Well, perhaps I do:)

One being why so much emphasis is placed on the biblical injunctions, such as they are, against homosexuality, while the injunctions against all such of other stuff, like shellfish, wearing cloth of two sorts, looking with lustful eyes at someone of the opposite (or same, for that matter) and much else, is mentioned not at all.

Is it a hangover of the days when man was not known to be an evolved animal, when sexuality was viewed as beast-like, and sex didn't fit in well with the concept of man as something entirely separate from the rest of life?

Another thing is that, time and again, when I bring up verses about hating parents, not having parties except with the poor and undesirable as guests, that the predicted end of the world in the lifetimes of people of the time of Christ, and all the other rather nasty stuff in the Bible, then I get told that Christians are not literalists, and/or that context is all, and/or that some unlikely interpretation of the test rather than any sensible reading, other stuff of that ilk, when it comes down to homosexuality, or purgatory, and loads of other stuff, it is often the same people who try to explain very clear readings of text they don't like who use other verses, sometimes obvious readings of them, sometimes not, to but usually with the verses having to be pretty tightly interpreted, to justify their positions on homosexuality, purgatory, and so on. While others, of different brands of Christianity, use pretty tightly interpreted other verses, and/or different interpretations of the same verses, to try to refute their views.

All, though, seem to use very precise reading of verses when they think they can use them to justify as position, yet deny precise readings when they don't like what is said, especially when the verses are pointed out by an atheist like myself.

The words 'picking' and 'cherry' spring to mind, though not in that order.

Do they not?


30 July 2013 at 21:25  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

David B, a quick answer for you. The OT is a book about how to be a Jew. Nothing wrong in that, it was written for Jews by Jews. So extract the Jewish lifestyle business and you have left God’s intention. We know it’s God’s intention because the Christ did not criticise it.

So there you go...

30 July 2013 at 21:33  
Blogger Peter D said...

David B
Well, you don't have to read the bible ... (SHOCK, HORROR AND GASP!) It's not necessary for salvation.

All you need do, if you want to understand God, is start with the catechism of the Catholic Church and it'll give you the necessary bible references and other useful sources like encyclicals and council documents.

Alternatively, if you're not really that interested and just want to be a smart arse who sneers at Christianity, you can keep asking the same questions over and over and ignore the answers that are repeatedly given you.

30 July 2013 at 21:50  
Blogger Martin said...


The difference between God's permissive and perfect will. It was not God's will that Man should fall but He allowed it so that His glory might be the greater and His people might gain what is greater than what Adam lost.

God is not dependent on us for anything, not even our salvation

30 July 2013 at 22:13  
Blogger Martin said...


Actually, the Moslem and the follower of the church of Rome are the two who are alike. In both there is a list of instructions to be carried out in order to please God. Bot require the sinner to make themselves acceptable to God.

For the one in my position, however, there is nothing that can be done to gain God's salvic approval. But because God has saved the desire is to please God and glorify Him.

Are you surprised that I use theology? Is not theology the study of God and the only source we have for that is the Bible.

Of course the themes have cropped up down the ages from different persons. The doctrines of grace did not arise fully or partially formed at the Reformation, they had been followed here and there, even within the church of Rome, and are even found, shock horror, in the Bible.

Of course balance is always a problem, we are dealing with a God that is far beyond Man's comprehension yet God gives us what we need to know. We must balance God's justice and mercy, His love and wrath when to us it is hard to hold both at the same time. The only place we can go to correct our errors is the Bible, because our intellect is far below the level required.

30 July 2013 at 22:34  
Blogger Elwin Daniels said...

Anyone using the term 'homophobia' in a threatening or bullying manner should be hissed and shunned.

Etymologically it means an irrational fear of the same, which is a senseless term. On the other hand if 'homo' is a noun (it isn't, it's a prefix) than it means an irrational fear of homos.

So either the daft term with it's insulting baggage should be dropped or henceforth homosexuals should be universally referred to as homos. The response to anyone using the term should be 'I don't have an irrational fear of homos, I have a principled objection to their sexual practices.' (although, I'm sure most of us would add, they are welcome to them in private)

Communists and other revolutionaries have always been very good at commandeering things, including language. Don't let them. It is a hard thing to answer a simple lie with a complex truth, but someone has to at least try.

PS if Tutu is reading this, I have a bible he can borrow. In fact I'll buy him one for his very own if he promises to read it. He may find a few surprises.

30 July 2013 at 23:08  
Blogger Elwin Daniels said...

David B

Man is NOT 'known to be an evolved animal' that's an atheist fairy tale. Read Vij Sodera's 'One Small Speck to Man: The Evolution Myth', a selection of it is on line.

The hoary old chestnut about shellfish is easily exploded if you read the New Testament, where dietary and similar prescriptions and proscriptions are quite clearly done away in Christ, who fulfilled the law. Try reading the letter to the Galatians where Paul explains that circumcision is no longer required if you want to understand this relatively straightforward biblical rinciple.

While the ceremonial and dietary requirements of the law were clearly anulled, moral requirements remain. Sexually immoral behaviour, including fornication, adultery and same sex activity, is clearly prohibited for believers in the New Testament. Those outside the church can of course do as they please, this side of the Day of Wrath. If you seek understanding, read 1 Corinthians chapter 5 verses 9-13 where Paul explains this in quite straightforward language.

Not so much Christians cherry picking as our opponents nit picking.

30 July 2013 at 23:21  
Blogger ardenjm said...


I'd say you haven't understood what the Bible means.

Not surprising, really:
You're not the whole Church.

You appeal to those in the past who you think agree with you. But, in fact, you wouldn't have belonged to their communities either - because you would have found something you disagreed with and claimed the Bible taught you differently.

You consistently (I'll give you that) illustrate what is wrong with Protestantism from its very inception:

"The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!”

Or as the great G K Chesterton put it when speaking about the branch of Franciscans who went off the rails and over-exaggerated the teaching of Poverty that they had found in the example of St Francis:

"The Church could include everything that was good in St Francis - but St Francis could not include everything that was good in the Church because the Church is bigger than St Francis."

You go to the Bible to correct your errors? The Bible directs you to the Church.

And I haven't forgotten that you don't believe General Ireton did nothing wrong in killing 600,000 Catholic Irish in the middle of the 17th century.
Tell me - what part of the Gospel do you think inspired Ireton?
"Let the little children come unto me?" Perhaps?

You are the perfect example of the ideological protestant who can't see how any wrong doing can be done by the Elect - because, of course, they are the Elect. And therefore they do not sin.
Instead of calling your notion of election in to question - which you'd think 600,000 corpses would do for any reasonable person - you blithely re-interpret their slaughter as the sinless act of justice.

Why? BECAUSE GOD'S WILL IS ARBITRARY but since it is God's it IS just.
Ergo: Whatever His elect do is JUST.

Let me help you see the errors of your thinking, Martin with two verses from the Bible that are perfect for you.
Our Lord spoke of all the Iretons in history and those, like you, who try to justify his actions in John chapter 16 vs 2:

"in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God."

(And let me add that I condemn, unreservedly, all those Catholics who did terrible things in the name of the Church. Sheer wickedness. I can do it for Catholics. You, however, can't do it for men like Ireton because, of course, they are the elect - and the elect don't sin. You see? That's where you and I REALLY differ.) As Scripture says in the Prophet Isaiah:
"Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness"
And as Our Lord affirms in St Matthew's Gospel:
"If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!"
And He could have been speaking directly to Ireton and to you over this, Martin, in John chapter 9:
"If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, 'We see,' your sin remains."

You do not understand the Bible at all. Even as you quote it at me.

I pity you.

30 July 2013 at 23:27  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

A hearty greeting to Mr Boot and a salute to His Grace for picking 'em good. Enjoying Mr Boot's posts on his blog and even the "biography" by the Jack of Hearts character. Anyone who can provoke such low-brow vitriol from such a fellow is on the right track.

And don't let anyone here think that I've been away. I read every single post and every single comment. Just that this Jolly Trucker Jew has been doing long hauls while family's off to see other family and after twelve hours of bouncing around and listening to CB natter, it's hard to think of something to say.

31 July 2013 at 00:53  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Elwin: "(although, I'm sure most of us would add, they are welcome to them in private)"

A position which has followed the liberal cultural shift in recent decades towards something more civilised.

31 July 2013 at 04:51  
Blogger David B said...

@Elwin Daniels

I am well acquainted with arguments in favour and against man being an evolved animal. I commend the same sort of education to you.

Regarding OT laws being done away in Christ, is there not another verse which contradicts this?

Another thing I don't really understand (unless I do) is why the compilers of the NT paid so much attention to what Paul said. He clearly never met Christ in the flesh, and any other meeting seems likely to be the product of imagination, epilepsy, mental illness or any other cause of delusion.

Many biblical scholars seem to think that his views were often at odds with those of people who supposedly knew Jesus very well in the flesh, like his brothers.

And, of course, we have Paul's prophesies of the end the world in the lifetime of people around then, which never happened. Does this not cast some doubt on his reliability?


31 July 2013 at 08:01  
Blogger IanCad said...

David B,

Here you go: Revelation 14:12

"Here is the patience of the Saints: Here are they that keep the Commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus."

31 July 2013 at 08:44  
Blogger William Lewis said...


Your quote of John 16:2 continues thus:

"Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me."

That is the key is it not? To know, to be in relationship with, the Lord Jesus Christ.

31 July 2013 at 09:02  
Blogger ardenjm said...

@William Lewis

Actually, the key to it comes from the Epistle of Saint James and from the Gospel of St Matthew chapter 7:

"By their works you shall see their Faith" and "I will declare to them, 'I never knew you'" - even though they cry "Lord, Lord."

Martin is in a double bind. These Puritanical Elect who slaughtered their way across Ireland are, for someone with the Theology of Martin, incapable of committing crimes that could take them beyond the Election of God. Just as Martin's Reformed Theology commits him to an Arbitrary Divine Despot who, as Luther admits, could technically issue "sinful" diktats but, because they come from Him are to be held as just - so then, those who are elected by such a Divinity are able to stab, smite and slay and thereby enter Heaven.

It is truly a monstrous doctrine.
They may indeed say: "We are the true Christians."
They are not. As St James demonstrates: their works reveal the lie that they are not of Christ.
But, you know, in Matthew 7 such people are genuinely amazed that Our Lord turns round to them and says, "I never knew you."
They are utterly convinced that they are the real deal.

I see them in my own Church. I certainly see them amongst those who are bigots in other Churches - and, alas, I sometimes see such attitudes in myself: kyrie eleison.

However, I can say such things (and tremble) because I'm not a predestinarian in the Protestant sense. I KNOW, as a Catholic, that whilst Christ is my Saviour and has earned for me saving grace and offers it to me I may not get to Heaven. God leaves me free. Therefore, I have to walk humbly and every day beg anew for the grace not to succumb to sin...

Somehow, I don't think men like General Ireton ever had such an approach. But what is truly perverse is those, like Martin, who try and say that what he did in Ireland was God's work.

31 July 2013 at 09:56  
Blogger David B said...

IanCad, another thing I've wondered about is how Revelation got into the Bible in the first place.

Surely even the most hardened Christian much concede that it is .... odd.


31 July 2013 at 10:08  
Blogger ardenjm said...

@David B

The simple answer is because the Holy Spirit wanted it - no matter how testing its contents - and the Church discerned, debated, disagreed, argued, quarrelled even about it. But finally, the Holy Spirit won through and the Book of the Apocalypse was included.

The Church is full of such stories: that sometimes through the quirkiest of human interactions God is at work.

31 July 2013 at 10:26  
Blogger IanCad said...

Thanks for answering David B's question for me.
Very well stated.

Although we are poles apart denominationaly, your points regarding the "Putitan Elect" do resonate with me.

The moral certitude or, at least, the notion that God has ordained it thus I am merely performing His will, covers much evil.

If we have no freedom of the will we are mere cyphers.

On his death bed Oliver Cromwell was uncertain as to his salvation.
His Minister assured him that once being under grace he could not again lose it.
Dreadful theology.

31 July 2013 at 11:11  
Blogger LEN said...

Peter ,
'So what's your view as a "simple protestant" on how to respond to active homosexuals and those promoting this as an acceptable lifestyle?'.

I have known few 'gays' I knew one who was raised as a Catholic and was tortured by guilt over his sexual orientation which brought him to attempt suicide.

None of us are perfect and without Christ we are all lost.Am I 'better' than homosexuals ..No.Without Christ I would be lost in my sins although I am not 'gay' my sins would disqualify me from Heaven.God does not judge on a 'sliding scale' sin is sin.

The Gospel is the Power of God and the True Gospel must be preached(difficult in this Politically Correct age)

It is the Love of God which draws sinners to Him not condemnation.
The difficulty in' this present age is fallen man is redefining' sin' to make it socially acceptable.Our youth is growing up with no way to define sin as the boundaries are being[deliberately] blurred.Only the Holy Spirit can convict people of their fallen nature which is why Jesus told His disciples to do nothing until after Pentecost when they were filled with the Holy Spirit.No one should preach the Gospel unless guided by and accompanied by the Holy Spirit.

31 July 2013 at 13:23  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

David B:

The honest reason that you get the replies of exasperation that you do is not that you have uncovered some cataclysmic error which Christians have managed to avoid noticing for 2000 years, but because your line of attack is so painfully unoriginal.

Virtually every atheist who I have had discourse with on the subject of faith, whether online or in the flesh, has adopted exactly the same lines of argument, exactly the same quoted verses, and exactly the same logic. So much so, it is apparent that they are not the product of individual intellectual questioning of Scripture, but a kind of anti-Gospel, received without much critical inquiry by those who want not to believe, to crib Mulder's poster.

The thing is, besides being rooted in an essentially perjorative vision of Christians as being mentally defective over the subject of their faith, each line of attack reveals not some vast illogic on the part of the Christian, but the ignorance of the atheist. I use "ignorance" here not as an insult, but to describe the fact that nobody who has sat down and read the Bible properly: by which I mean, as the books and letters that it is composed of, instead of by taking one verse and pairing it off (usually with the express purpose of producing conflicting readings).

How can I be confident making that assertion? Because the matters which are raised are not mere trivia but some of the essential questions which dominated the early Church. A reading of the New Testament, may not produce any faith, but it would certainly dispel the idea that Christians are somehow ignorant of the halakha, and have just "cherry-picked" for the convenience of their own prejudices. It's exasperating for us precisely because when the question is asked, I only wonder: have you not read Acts? Romans? Hebrews? Have you not read Galatians?

Look, I'll make you an easy offer: you tell us why it is that these things leapt out at you when you were reading the Bible; don't just give us two references to verses, or an ambiguous reference to scholars - give us the reasons why when you read Paul you found he was at odds with Jesus. Explain to us why you think that Paul is making a specific prophecy of the day of judgment to his own lifetime. Tell us how you think the New Testament is deficient in its handling of kashrut.

Just please, don't shout shellfish, mixed-fibres and tattoos and expect us to suddenly embrace unbelief.

31 July 2013 at 16:44  
Blogger Jon said...

Will there be any sexuality at all in heaven? After all, as the missionary Dodo always whines, the purpose of sex is pro-creation (pity Mrs Dodo...)

Presumably, people won't be having angel babies, so sex won't exist? In which case, neither will sexual sins?

What's all the fuss?

31 July 2013 at 17:47  
Blogger Peter D said...


That's it? That's your answer?

Wait for the Holy Spirit to convict the sinner and wait to be being "born again"? This will remover the temptation to sin, will it? Or will it mean its okay to sin because one is "saved" and thus "covered" by Our Lord's sacrifice?

"I have known few 'gays' I knew one who was raised as a Catholic and was tortured by guilt over his sexual orientation which brought him to attempt suicide."

I trust you didn't share your 'insight' with him about how he'll overcome his temptation to sin.

Not that I doubt your word (cough) but you omitted to include sexual abuse as a teenager by a priest which caused his sinful disorder (cough).

Guilt isn't a negative emotion if it causes a reflection on an actual or planned violation of a moral standard. Was it his "sexual orientation" causing this guilt i.e. his sinful predisposition, or was he actually acting on it?

The Catholic Church, far from inducing unnecessary guilt has wonderful healing access through its sacraments to Christ for empowering us to resist actual and contemplated sin.

And you haven't actually answered how we should deal with active homosexuals.

"It is the Love of God which draws sinners to Him not condemnation."

Well yes, agreed. So you advocate doing and saying nothing? Isn't it being Christian to point out certain behaviours will eventually be judged by God and habitual sin will erect a barrier between us receiving God's grace?

31 July 2013 at 18:00  
Blogger LEN said...

Peter D

Try reading my post?.

31 July 2013 at 18:23  
Blogger LEN said...

Well Peter D how many homosexuals have you alienated to ever getting saved or even hearing the Gospel(I can think of at least one?.)

31 July 2013 at 18:24  
Blogger LEN said...

Peter, What do you think this scripture means, I would be interested in your take on it?. What do you suppose God was saying?.

'16"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17"For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.…'(John 3 ;16)

When we condemn people we are actually joining forces with the 'accuser' of mankind .It is the Holy Spirit who convicts people of sin. 7"But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. 8"And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; 9concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me.(John 16:8)

31 July 2013 at 18:46  
Blogger Peter D said...

Len said ...
"Well Peter D how many homosexuals have you alienated to ever getting saved or even hearing the Gospel(I can think of at least one?.)"

But according to your 'theory' the Holy Spirit moves where He wants and those He chooses are "born again" whether they want to be or not?

I've never condemned anyone. Ever heard of: "Cum dilectione hominum et odio vitiorum." And it wasn't Mohandas Gandhi who first coined the phrase.

You, on the other hand, stay silent in the face of a sin that God hates and should be openly challenged.

31 July 2013 at 20:01  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Jon @ 17:47

'Matthew 22:30'. No marriage in Heaven. No death, so no need for procreation. Since, in Christian terms, marriage implies sex: no marriage, no sex. (Mind you, if death is the end, no sex with the atheist take on things either. "The grave's a fine and private place..." etc).

No death; so no murder. So why all the fuss about murder?

31 July 2013 at 20:17  
Blogger Martin said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

31 July 2013 at 22:23  
Blogger Martin said...


And there we see the difference. You consider the sinner must have something going for him to get to Heaven whereas the Bible says no one who relies on anything outside of Christ will get to Heaven.

No, I'm not the whole Church, but I am a member of that Congregation, "chosen not for good in me" but for His glory.

I praise Him for His mercy and willingly declare that I deserve Hell and He would be entirely just in sending me there.

31 July 2013 at 22:29  
Blogger ardenjm said...


No, what we SEE is a man whose ideological commitment to a perverted version of the Christian Gospel means that he sees no problem at all with General Ireton slaughtering 600,000 Irish Catholics in the 17th century.

That's what everyone sees, Martin, except you:

"If then the light in you is darkness how great is that darkness!"

1 August 2013 at 00:30  
Blogger Peter D said...


Once again you have completely misconstrued Catholic teaching.

We're into the realms of predestination here and what this mystery of mysteries means. How does our will become one with Christ's; is Grace efficacious without our assent; and, once our souls are infused with Christ's redeeming Spirit, can we fall from Grace?

Centuries of nuanced debate in there.

"I praise Him for His mercy and willingly declare that I deserve Hell and He would be entirely just in sending me there."

Tell me, do you consider yourself one of the Elect and thus certain of Heaven?

1 August 2013 at 00:40  
Blogger LEN said...

Peter D
Have you ever read Romans?.

IF so then you would know that people are aware of the existence of God.
IF so then you would know that people know that they are in rebellion against God.Even Dawkins has acknowledged the existence of God!.

People may deny that fact but deep within them they know!.

1 August 2013 at 09:53  
Blogger LEN said...

Peter D ,you and your religion are in the business of condemnation.
You openly condemn those who God wishes to save!. Christ gave His life for all sinners and you sit in the seat of the Pharisees judging them.Christ gave His Life for these people you are condemning!.
Your Catholic religion condemns all those who will not bow to their religious fabrications and curses those who oppose them.

If you cannot see that you are more of a fool than i take you for.

1 August 2013 at 09:59  
Blogger Peter D said...

"Cum dilectione hominum et odio vitiorum."

Worked it out yet?

It's silence in the face of evil that permits its growth.

1 August 2013 at 10:49  
Blogger Jon said...

Explorer, I'd have thought the fuss about murder was that it gets you to heaven rather quicker than you otherwise would? You can't say the same thing about sex.

Anyone else? If you're not gay or straight in heaven, why should it matter what you were on earth?

1 August 2013 at 11:38  
Blogger Peter D said...


It probably wont matter all that much in Hell either whether one was heterosexual or homosexual in life. Eternity is a long time to suffer and think about the consequences though.

1 August 2013 at 12:42  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Jon @ 11:38

You CAN say the same thing about sex if there's a fatal STD involved.

I'm not clear what you're saying in your opening sentence: is it that you automatically go to Heaven if you're murdered? Into the afterlife (allowing its existence) cetainly; but that's not the same thing.

Do I take it you're a Universalist? Otherwise, the fuss about murder, sex and all the things that Paul lists as potentially precluding you from the Kingdom are that they decide who GETS to Heaven in the first place.

PS: Your comment re "angel babies". Are you suggesting that humans turn into angels in Heaven? Is that what you think Christians believe?

1 August 2013 at 13:22  
Blogger Martin said...


Goodness, is General Ireton your only argument? He did what he considered right in his day and age. It was certainly more effective than the Good Friday Agreement.

Would I have done it? I don't live in that age and I'm pretty much a softy so no.

Try to think up some new arguments against the gospel, please.

1 August 2013 at 13:37  
Blogger Martin said...

Peter D

So you think a sinner can get to Heaven based solely on what Christ has done without any action, physical or mental, on his behalf?

That is what the gospel says. Repentance is brought about only after the soul has been saved, a good work brought about by an act of God.

1 August 2013 at 13:40  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Peter D @ 12:42

Don't forget that 'Hell' isn't in the vocabulary of some believers in the afterlife. Either:

a) You go straight to Heaven (or Summerland, or whatever) regardless.


b) You go either to Heaven or Purgatory. Purgatory is like an EU Referendum: if you get it wrong, you stay there until you come up with the right answer. Then you go to Heaven.

Eventually, Purgatory will be empty, and Heaven will be full with everybody who ever lived.

One problem: but a serious one. Does God agree?

1 August 2013 at 13:52  
Blogger Peter D said...


Well yes, I don't disagree with the latter proposition but struggle with your presentation of the first. Certainly, I don't believe any of us can take personal credit if we achieve salvation.

Now tell me, do you believe Christ died for all mankind? I do. Do you believe His saving Grace is offered to all men and women? I do. Do you believe in a Hell? I do.

So clearly we need to understand from Scripture the process by which some people are redeemed and some are damned. And our differences come down to our different understanding of Scripture and who is able to speak authoritatively on the correct one.

1 August 2013 at 14:19  
Blogger Peter D said...


If memory serves, our friend Jon is a homosexual-atheist, so his worldview is somewhat different to your own. I may be mistaken and if I am wrong, I'm sure he'll correct me.

1 August 2013 at 14:37  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Peter D/Jon:

Peter: Thanks for that. It's a case of teasing out what his world view is, and what he assumes mine to be.


Remember, "I go to prepare a place for you," "I am making all things new," New Heaven and a New Earth. Heaven pre and post the Last Judgement is not the same. (Going by Biblical data, I mean: if Heaven doesn't exist at all, then one lot of nonsense is as good as another).

I assume (whether you believe in it or not) you were citing the New Heaven of Resurrection Bodies?

1 August 2013 at 15:10  
Blogger Peter D said...

Here you go, what do you make of this story?

An Essex homosexual and his *civil partner* are off to court to force churches to host homosexual *weddings*.

He told a newspaper “I am still not getting what I want." (hand's on hip and foot stamped down) "The only way forward for us now is to make a challenge in the courts against the church. It is a shame that we are forced to take Christians into a court to get them to recognise us.”

He whinged: “It upsets me" (the poor soul) "because I want it so much – a big lavish ceremony, the whole works" (not God's Blessing then?) "I just don’t think it is going to happen straight away.”

Google: Barrie Drewitt-Barlow for the whole sordid saga on this satanic corruption of family life. God help their 5 children.

Oh, does that sound like I'm condemning them? Still, the Guardian adores them so that'll help compensate for my judgmental approach.

Be interested in hearing your opinion. You already know mine.

1 August 2013 at 15:35  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Peter D:

I can understand why homosexuals are often atheists. A E Housman gave the classic exposition.

God comndemns homosexuality, but made me homosexual. He then condemns me for being the way he made me. The only response to such a god is not to believe in him.

The immediate problem with it, I think, is the omission of Original Sin. Not one of us is the way God intended us to be: whatever our sexual orientation. Concede that, and the power of Housman's argument is much reduced. (It's why liberal theologians are so keen to do away with the notion of sin; and Original Sin most of all).

1 August 2013 at 16:06  
Blogger ardenjm said...


Oh, I'm so sorry that I keep on skewering you on your slippery and despicable defence of the slaughter of 600,000 Irish Catholics. We should, really, just move on.
Nothing to see here, people.
Nothing worth talking about.

The reason why I came back to it Martin is that it took multiple posts to even get the slightest hint of an acknowledgement that there was something in this slaughter that was unacceptable. But just the slightest of hints, mind:

"Would I have done it? I don't live in that age and I'm pretty much a softy so no."

Not that there was anything OBJECTIVELY wrong in these actions, of course. Because as you also say:
"General Ireton...did what he considered right in his day and age. It was certainly more effective than the Good Friday Agreement."

So - killing 600,000 Irish Catholics was more "effective" than the Good Friday Agreement.

Right... effective in a Final Solution kind of way you mean.

I choose the example of Ireton and your defence of his actions and slippery refusal and inability to condemn them as the perfect illustration of everything that is erroneous in your Protestant understanding of election and justification.

Let's just be clear here.
I'm saying that General Ireton's killing (much like Mary Tudor's - who you are NOT slow to condemn, of course, oh no) are AGAINST THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST.

And I'm the one who is meant to be arguing against the Gospel here?

Give me a break.

"When the light in you is darkness - how great is your darkness."
You need - urgently I'd suggest - to ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten your darkness.

1 August 2013 at 16:09  
Blogger Peter D said...


Just so. But are we born totally degenerate or mortally wounded? Therein is another divide between Christians and explains the different positions on redemption and sanctification and the role of free will.

1 August 2013 at 16:49  
Blogger The Explorer said...


I'm not a Calvinist, and I reject total depravity.

But I have an awful lot more in common with a Calvinist than I have with Rousseau.

1 August 2013 at 16:54  
Blogger Peter D said...

Well don't all Christians - its just a question of how far along that path you want to go.

1 August 2013 at 16:59  
Blogger The Explorer said...


You and I both agree that salvation lies in Christ: although we may differ on how exactly that salvation is achieved.

That makes us far closer to one another in terms of belief than one who denies the possibility of salvation, or the necessity; or who thinks it is achieved via the Five Pillars; or through escaping the cycle of existence.

That's why I regard any quarrels i have with Catholics (or Calvinists, for that matter) as essentially family quarrels. They are nothing like my quarrels with a secular humanist or a liberal theologian (different words, in my view, for the same thing).

1 August 2013 at 17:27  
Blogger Tommy said...

So many preachers harp on about homosexuality, and rightly so but they also need to go on about the fornication and adultery happening in their churches too, yes it happens in most churches and it needs to be challenged.

1 August 2013 at 22:55  
Blogger Martin said...

Peter D

To answer you, no, Christ did not die for all mankind.

All men everywhere are commanded to repent and if they did they would be saved, but like the guests invited to the wedding feast 'they have better thing to do'. So yes, it is offered to all.

And yes, I do believe in Hell.

The process is very simple, all deserve Hell and they are offered God's mercy which, without exception, they refuse. God therefore has chosen some, by His own will, not by merit they may have, to save out of every nation. He changes them so that they are willing to come and clothes them with the righteousness of Christ.

1 August 2013 at 23:08  
Blogger Martin said...


There is a subtle difference between Mary Tudor & General Ireton, it may have passed you by.

General Ireton was putting down a rebellion, Mary was suppressing religious freedom.

As to 'final solution' that is the way men have conquered nations all down history. Are we to say it is always wrong just because it offends our modern sensibilities?

1 August 2013 at 23:16  
Blogger Martin said...

Peter D

"Google: Barrie Drewitt-Barlow for the whole sordid saga on this satanic corruption of family life. God help their 5 children."

Couldn't agree more. Still God has sometimes saved a brand out of the burning.

1 August 2013 at 23:18  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Martin,

I don't know the full history there, but I think that saying killing 600,000 is a more effective method to settle the peace in current Ireland is, by TODAY'S standards is morally wrong (that would, be about 100% of the Catholic population of Ulster, or a genocide).

From what I've read about your posts, I wouldn't want to ever know your deity, let alone worship it.

1 August 2013 at 23:48  
Blogger Martin said...


As you say, by today's 'moral' standards. And by those standards, you fight a terrorist until it gets to embarrassing and then you give him a guaranteed place in governing those he has terrorised.

1 August 2013 at 23:56  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2 August 2013 at 00:15  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

HI Martin,

For some reason this sketch reminds me of you :


Especially the bi (to Cromwell) 'well we can go to Church, that isn't SINFUL is it?'



2 August 2013 at 00:18  
Blogger ardenjm said...

The Puritans hated the Catholic Church. this was no simple suppression of a rebellion. This was the systematic extirpation of what they believed to be a monstrous blasphemy. They had no more notion of "religious freedom" than did Mary Tudor 90 years before them.

The scandal of killing tens of thousands of women and children isn't a modern sensibility. It's the moral law. You relativise it in this instance because if you don't one of the key foundations of your reformed theological system is undone: if the so called elevt can do damnable actions either my notion of election is faulty, or my notion of God's goodness is faulty or both.

And Martin - let me give you a clue: it's both.

2 August 2013 at 00:19  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Martin ,

"...by those standards, you fight a terrorist until it gets to embarrassing and then you give him a guaranteed place in governing those he has terrorised."

But as Moshe Dayan noted :

"If you want to make peace, you don't talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies."

2 August 2013 at 00:49  
Blogger Peter D said...

"To answer you, no, Christ did not die for all mankind.

All men everywhere are commanded to repent and if they did they would be saved, but like the guests invited to the wedding feast 'they have better thing to do'. So yes, it is offered to all."

Something of a contradiction in there. Salvation is offered to all through Christ; yet He didn't die for all mankind. Now you seem to be moving to a position where God has foreknowledge of our response to His Son's sacrifice as opposed to having simply chosen those who would respond positively to His Grace.

2 August 2013 at 01:32  
Blogger IanCad said...

Glass houses and stones are springing to mind.

On the subject of Purgatory, the Catholic Encyclopedia makes note that the doctrine was refuted by the "Albigenses, Waldenses, and Hussites."

It does not chronicle Rome's attempted genocide of those racalcitrants; perhaps numbering in the millions.

2 August 2013 at 08:04  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Peter D:

Jon seems to have withdrawn from the discussion. Pity.

Still, that's the thing with a blog: people lead busy lives, and answers are thus not necessarily sequential. And as new threads come on line, ongoing discussions on older ones tend to get abandoned.

However, he might yet be back. I'll continue to watch this space for a while on the off chance.

2 August 2013 at 09:27  
Blogger LEN said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2 August 2013 at 11:25  
Blogger LEN said...

Peter D.... have a question, something which is puzzling me 'why do you wear a lampshade on your head?'.

Also If I could borrow your spectacles(you seem to be wearing those as well?)I could join you in the 'hair splitting process you seem to be indulging in.

2 August 2013 at 11:27  
Blogger ardenjm said...


You don't say so at the top of your post - but your last post is directed to me.

I don't know whether you realised that this emphasis on Ireton's 600,000 Catholic victims isn't just a binary playground, "oh yes you did oh no you didn't" discussion. Nor is it a "you're bad" "but you're worse" squabble - even though on this blog Mary Tudor's 250 victims are inevitable rolled out and paraded around so it's good to think of the religious/ethnic cleansing that happened less than a century later by English Puritans against Irish Catholics.
I appreciate that for some people on here these two categories of people made in the image of God are not of equal value - but I think, on balance, one English protestant still isn't worth 2,400 Irish catholics. But perhaps you disagree.

So let me explain what's going on when I try and rub Martin's nose in that number:
He's effectively a Calvinist, our Martin. This gives him to beliefs that come in to this discussion:
Certain people, by God's eternal decree are the Elect: they are going to be Saints in Heaven. They are Saved and Just.
God's eternal decree is Just because God wills it. Full stop. If it comes from God - it's just. As the Reformers said: If God wills that I blaspheme Him for my salvation then so be it. Justice is whatever this (arbitrary despot) God wills it to be.

See where I'm going with this yet?

I, however, am not a Calvinist, thanks be to God.
I'm Catholic. Two beliefs of my own inform my approach to this discussion: God is not an Arbitrary Despot: His Will is, as Thomas Aquinas teaches, one with His Wisdom and His Goodness and His Being. Therefore what is Good and Just and Right is found in the nature of God Himself.
Secondly - I don't believe God indulgences in arbitrary Double Predestination. He leaves us Free and gives us the grace sufficient for our salvation but we need to respond to that grace - in our choices and in our actions. We can, therefore, lose God's grace by sinful actions that take us beyond His Charity.

So - now you have the two elements to this discussion:
I can condemn and do condemn - as did John Paul II in the Jubilee Year 2000 ALL actions by even the most nominal of Catholics that were contrary to Christ's teaching - but especially religious coercion and violence.
Martin, however, because of his theological commitments CAN NOT DO THAT about his co-religionists. Why? Because they are the Just, the Elect - and they are going to Heaven - so whatever they do - even if it appear sinful to you and me is NOT SINFUL. It is not a sin. It hasn't been condemned by God - because God has elected them. This is why Martin has systematically failed to condemn any of those crimes in Ireland. But I have no hesitation in condemning the crimes done in the name of Catholicism.
Catholic teaching requires me to.
Martin's teaching requires him not to.

You tell me - what seems nearer to the Gospel in your opinion?

Oh - and as for "millions" of Albigensians, Waldensians, Hutterites killed "by Rome" - yeah, underline with a big red pen the 'perhaps' there.
I'm ready to repudiate the actions that led to any number of victims but the fact that you speak of millions indicates pretty clearly that you're looking for the truth in the way a cat looks for a bath.

There were thousands killed for sure between the Albigenisan Crusade in the 1230s and the Massacre of Mérindol in 1545 - and many others were forced to convert, harried or exiled.

But millions, no. That's a lie.

2 August 2013 at 11:36  
Blogger Martin said...


Of course the problem with 'Christmas' is in the last three letters. No record of it being celebrated in the Bible either.

2 August 2013 at 11:50  
Blogger Martin said...


Actually I disagree, the real problem with Ireland was the rebellion.

As to your opinion of election and God's goodness, perhaps you need to take account of God's justice as well.

2 August 2013 at 11:56  
Blogger Martin said...


And wasn't Moshe Dayan a terrorist?

2 August 2013 at 12:00  
Blogger Martin said...

Peter D

No one responds positively to Christ's sacrifice, all refuse the offer of salvation. God of course knew that would happen and chose to save some, despite their rejection of Christ, by giving them a new heart.

2 August 2013 at 12:04  
Blogger ardenjm said...


Children, Martin. Children. They killed children.

Not rebels.

You're trying to justify the unjustifiable.
Listen to your conscience for pity's sake and open up a crack in the monstrous logic of your Calvinism.

2 August 2013 at 12:13  
Blogger Martin said...


So do I say that the elect are without sin in this world? No I don't. Does that affect their salvation? No it doesn't for their salvation is entirely dependent upon God.

The elect are saints, separated for the glory of God. That doesn't mean they wear silly hats or are especially good, it means that God has chosen them and separated them,

Nor do I believe that anyone can be made a Christian by force or any sort of coercion.

Now if you really want to look at the wicked things your co-religionists did down the ages I'm sure that is possible but remember they did it because of religious dogma, the same dogma that you hold to. General Ireton was a soldier, I am not a soldier. He did things you don't like because he was a soldier suppressing rebellion, not for dogma's sake.

Remember, Rome failed to refute the arguments of the "Albigenses, Waldenses, and Hussites" and instead killed them, not for armed rebellion but for proving the 'Church' wrong. Luther also proved Rome wrong and would have paid with his life if he had not had powerful friends. So your 'Church' is based on a tradition of killing those whose arguments it couldn't refute.

2 August 2013 at 12:23  
Blogger Martin said...


So you are telling me that among the "Albigenses, Waldenses, and Hussites" there weren't children?

It is not sufficient to say they were wrong because it was for the doctrine of Rome they were killed.

2 August 2013 at 12:26  
Blogger ardenjm said...


Here. Let me help. It's the hundredth time I say it but I'll say if again if it gets you to say the same thing just once:

"But I have no hesitation in condemning the crimes done in the name of Catholicism.
Catholic teaching requires me to."

Now. Your turn:
"I condemn the crimes done in the name of Calvinistic Puritanism (even though Puritan doctrine doesn't require me to)."

All you need to do is copy and paste.
If you can.
But, of course, you don't SEE the Irish Catholics as victims of Ireton. No no - they DESERVED it.

For me there is a moral equivalence in the wickedness that killed Catholic children in Ireland as killed Albigensian children in South West France.
For you there is no moral equivalence:
the killing of the Irish was a justified suppression of a rebellion. They just "happened" to be Catholic - and their killers just "happened" to be Catholic-hating Puritans.
HOWEVER the suppression of a rebellion in South West France is a case of religious persecution according to you! Pure and simple. No "political" dimension to it at all.

You couldn't make it up.

Martin, your hypocrisy is worthy of the Puritanism you subscribe to.

2 August 2013 at 12:40  
Blogger Martin said...


What didn't you understand about the oppression carried out by the church of Rome being for the sake of its doctrine? If you repudiate the oppression you repudiate the doctrine.

Ireton was not doing what he was doing for doctrine's sake but as a servant of the state.

2 August 2013 at 13:00  
Blogger ardenjm said...


You, sir, are a piece of work.

After the crushing of Drogheda, Cromwell gave this characterization of his actions there: "This is a righteous judgment of God upon these barbarous wretches, who have imbrued their hands in so much innocent blood...."

Parliament was so pleased with the slaughter at Drogheda that on October 2, 1649 it instituted a Thanksgiving Day: "The House does approve of the execution done at Drogheda as an act both of justice to them [the slain] and mercy to others who may be warned by it."

A servant of the state, you say?

Here is Cromwell on Religious Liberty:

"I meddle not with any man’s conscience. But if you mean a liberty to exercise the Mass. ..that will not be allowed of."

"I shall not, where I have power, and the Lord is pleased to bless me, suffer the exercise of the Mass.... nor suffer you that are Papists...."

Why can't you say it?
What makes you utterly incapable of saying:
"these people did terrible crimes because they hated Catholics. They thought they were doing God's work. They were not. This is not what Jesus wanted."

I can say it for every occasion that Catholics acted against the fundamental tenets of the Faith ESPECIALLY when they claim that they were doing it FOR the Faith - except in cases of self defence.

You want to have your cake and eat it.
For you what is good for the goose is NOT good for the gander:
Catholics killing others in your eyes is SOLEY because the Catholic Church oppresses the religious freedom of others. There are no other factors to be taken into consideration.

Puritans killing Catholics, however, is a political act to protect religious liberty and religion barely comes into it at all.

What a fraudulent and morally bankrupt argument you're palming off here.

2 August 2013 at 13:44  
Blogger Martin said...


So now you are saying that if the head of state uses religious language it isn't the head of state it is the religious dogma.

Of course the Mass is an act of idolatry, an evil act that even the 39 Articles condemns. It isn't a hatred of 'Catholics' it is that the church of Rome has corrupted the gospel and prevents men hearing the true gospel. It is God's work to condemn the Mass, just as it is to condemn Jihad.

Of course Rome acted for 'the faith' but it wasn't the faith once delivered to the saints. And it was for this false faith that they killed. Indeed, it was for this false faith that they encouraged the ignorant people to rebel. So perhaps you should blame the church of Rome for the killings in Ireland.

2 August 2013 at 16:23  
Blogger ardenjm said...


"So perhaps you should blame the church of Rome for the killings in Ireland."

Ha! I KNEW we'd get there in the end. They were killed - not by the swords and muskets of the Puritans and their henchmen. Oh, no. Martin blames their deaths on the Catholic Church. The killers are absolved of all wrong doing. They were killed for being Catholic. And the fault of THAT, lies with the Catholic Church for converting them.

Martin. There is something especially perverse in your reasoning. And I seriously think that it's a spiritual blindness, akin to the one Saul was suffering from before his conversion.

"So now you are saying that if the head of state uses religious language it isn't the head of state it is the religious dogma."

Oh, okay.
Mary Tudor was Queen of England.
Her persecution of the Protestants in England was a political act.
If that's how you want to go with this. Let's do it.
Oh for sure - she called them heretics. But they were burned because they threatened the stability of a Catholic country. End of.

Queen Elizabeth did something shrewder than her half-sister Mary, however.
She re-defined heretics as traitors. So Catholic priests became political enemies. And then she had them killed.

Same reality, different label. No-one's fooled.

But, in any case, both Elizabeth and Mary were the political authority. They did what they did for reasons of State.

So did the French Crown. The Albigensians and the Hugenots posed a threat to the political cohesion of France.

So did the Spanish monachs: the Muslims and the Jews posed a political threat to the stability of Spain.

So - according to YOUR OWN ARGUMENT: the ONLY place where you can say that the Catholic Church acted in a politico-religious way is in the Papal States - where the Popes wielded political power also. And when we look into the history of the Papal States we find that the history of religious tolerance is chequered - depending on the Pope who was in power. As you'd expect according to the political shifts and power struggles of the day.

As for your rant against Catholic teaching.
That's your problem.
Get over it already. I'm not going to dignify your bigotry by trying to reason with you. You have no interest in discussing these things with me. Anything I might say is automatically disqualified because I'm a Catholic.

2 August 2013 at 17:01  
Blogger Peter D said...

Well I am back.

If you've been reading the above exchanges between Martin and ardenjm, you'll understand the division between Catholicism and Calvinism is more than a "family squabble". They present two very different God's.

Beyond personal abuse, do you have anything to contribute to the discussion?

3 August 2013 at 00:03  
Blogger Peter D said...

That last sentence was directed at Len who's name for some strange reason did not appear. Weird that.

3 August 2013 at 00:04  
Blogger Peter D said...

I wonder if you might assist. As a Catholic I've always struggled with the theological distinction between "efficacious Grace", given without merit to some and leading to salvation, and "sufficient Grace", given to all but not effective for salvation.

I was schooled in the belief that God bestows His Grace and if it is efficacious our free will becomes as one with His. However, if it is sufficient our free will not be enough for Heaven.

Did I misunderstand the distinctions?

3 August 2013 at 01:10  
Blogger ardenjm said...

@Peter D

This question remains, as far as I can tell, the least resolved of all the theological questions that the Church has looked at. Others are perhaps more complicated: on The Holy Trinity for example. But the question of Predestination remains unresolved since St Augustine in so far as the Church has simply set parameters within which various schools of thought - and very different ones at that - can be expressed.

For my own part - I accept the Thomist critique of the Calvinist doctrine of Double Predestination - because it's constructed using faulty philosophical tools. But as much as I love Thomas his essentially aesthetic reasons for why God's grace is efficient in some lives and merely sufficient in others really sets my teeth on edge: because damnation reveals something of the Justice of God, says Thomas and it is fitting that the full gamut of God's qualities be revealed. (I give the short hand version here, obviously).
So, in short - I can't answer your question - and am only slightly consoled myself that even Thomas's solution raises more questions than it answers. Maritain tried to find an answer. But he introduced so many more qualifications to his answer that I didn't know if I was coming or going. What is sure, though is that Calvin gets crucial things wrong: even if, evidently, he gets right the priority of God's saving grace in the whole process. But in that respect, what he gets right he draws from the Catholic tradition in the first place.

This website is worth looking at for these questions. Enjoy!


3 August 2013 at 03:08  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Peter D @ 00:03

Hello Peter. Was relieved to see the rider about Len.

Jon really does seem to have abandoned us on this thread: must have more pressing things on his mind.

Gregory Boyd (the theologian I mentioned a while back) makes rejection of Calvin's view of God the keypoint of his theology. On the other hand Charles Colson (legal adviser to Nixon, who came to faith in prison) made common cause with Catholics against Secularism. I think he was a Calvinist, but, if so, it's barely detectable.

I've added to my Blog an essay on 'Shakespeare: Catholic or Protesttant?' Short, and nothing profound; but it might be of interest.


3 August 2013 at 08:12  
Blogger Peter D said...


Many thanks for your answer - clear and to the point as ever - and also for directing me to what looks like an interesting website.

"This question remains, as far as I can tell, the least resolved of all the theological questions that the Church has looked at."

When God leaves something so significant shrouded in mystery from the Church He has His reasons.

3 August 2013 at 15:23  

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