Thursday, September 26, 2013

Archbishop Justin: Peshawar martyrs cry out for justice

Yesterday, the Archbishop of Canterbury gave an interview to BBC Radio 4's 'World at One', in which he drew attention to the fact that Christians in Peshawar spoke of forgiveness even as they were 'crying out' for justice after Sunday's suicide bombings:
But he added that Christians in Peshawar are also ‘crying out vigorously’ for justice and protection following the worst attack on Christians in Pakistan’s history. The attack, which was launched as people were leaving Sunday Mass, killed 85 people and injured more than 120.

The Archbishop added that we have seen ‘more than 80 martyrs’ in Peshawar in the last few days. "They have been attacked because they were testifying to their faith in Jesus Christ by going to church. And that is outside any acceptable expression, in any circumstances for any reason, of religious difference," he said.

He continued: "When you look at what Christians teach, we are deeply committed to justice - we pray for justice for the victims, justice to be established. But Jesus, at his crucifixion, prayed also for those who were ill treating him. And that has been the pattern of Christian witness throughout the centuries."
Extending this doctrine of God to the appalling atrocity in Kenya, all this was faithfully reported by the Daily Mail. But the comment thread beneath was illuminating:
Why is it that all the Archbishops we get are so clearly nuts!

He's in his own little world and so far removed from real peoples' lives it's scary.

Yep,.. Just Like Cameron.... Roll on the Elections....!

I pray that the terrorists live in an eternal hell and burn there. I am not religious but this man should be removed from office as he is not fit for purpose.

Is it a pre-requisite that every AofC be an insensitive out-of touch buffoon? Whilst being in line with Christian teaching, surely forgiveness and prayers would be for the relatives of victims to decide themselves. It really isn't his place to say such a thing and can only compound the suffering of those relatives who feel that they could never forgive such an act - which most people would understand in these circumstances.

Anyone wonder why people aren't Christians anymore and why the churches are mostly empty buildings?

Welby needs to live in the real world.

No wonder the Anglican Church is falling apart. There is no moral direction left in either politics or religion nowadays. Our unelected, so-called leaders are all trying to show how wonderful they are, which is not what it is all about.

Bloody bible bashers saying pray for the sick and twisted terrorists?! Don't think so! Pray for the poor people who have lost their lives and the ones who were terrified stuck in the mall.

Is he for real

I wouldn't have thought it possible but this one is actually far worse than the last one.

Justin Welby may have been more suited staying in the city and not gone into the church.

Time was when the church had courage and direction and could give guidance. This clown is so full of pc nonsense we all just drift along

Who is this idiot trying to kid??

Is it any wonder that church goers are dwindling. Stupid man.

Well done Welby, talking to your hands is such an empty gesture.

Does the Archbishop of Canterbury really support Christianity?
In their indignation at the counter-intuitive teachings of Jesus and cynical condemnation of the faithful witness of the Archbishop of Canterbury, this baying horde is no different from those who cried "Crucify him!" in Jerusalem 2000 years ago. They leap to judgment, but their minds are darkened. No doubt Archbishop Justin will forgive them their ignorance of the Christian gospel, for they know not what they say.

But they should not detract from the witness of these Christian martyrs - in Pakistan and Kenya and all over what is often termed 'the Muslim world'. There are now pictures available online of Christians being beheaded in Maaloula, Syria, for refusing to renounce their faith in Christ. His Grace has seen them, and cannot bring himself to link - such is the horror of the terror. We really have no idea. But we must cry out on their behalf for justice.

So speak out, Justin, servant of Jesus Christ, for you have been sent as one seeking the grace of God to travel with these martyrs in His service together. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."


Blogger Manfarang said...

Daily Mail? Doesn't the Express still have Crusader on its masthead?

26 September 2013 at 08:13  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

These people who say 'I would go to church if xyzetc....' make me laugh

'....their ignorance of the Christian Gospel.....'

Alas such ignorance is very widespread. I hope Welby will priotitise proclamatio of said Gospel.

I thought he did very well indeed on Today about Wonga month ago.

PS anyone heard any more about the proposed C of E credit union enterprise?

26 September 2013 at 08:37  
Blogger David B said...

I didn't see this article or the comment thread in situ. But it doesn't look more silly than any other Mail comment thread, though of course in some of them the silliness is slightly mitigated by my own comments.

As selling points for religions go something to effect of 'if people are nasty to you you will get better pie in the sky when you die' must rank with 'If you believe you will be happy for ever and ever' and 'If you don't believe then you will be horribly tortured for ever and ever'.

Sadly, sadly and happily respectively, there is little evidence, and none compelling, that any of this is true, and much leading to the conclusion that it is all false.

For the perpetrators and victims both, though more for the latter, it is just another example of the evil that religion can, and so often does, do.


26 September 2013 at 08:57  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness! Here in Barchester we are at one with the Archbishop and give thanks for his wisdom. What happened in Peshawar was dreadful, but becoming all too common in the so-called Muslim World. I have to admit to being taken aback by a programme on last night's magic lantern, the one with Mr. Paxman, that actually featured the Peshawar massacre and the destruction of an ancient monastery in Egypt...are we seeing the beginning of an awakening?

26 September 2013 at 09:04  
Blogger Jay Bee said...

Why not pop over to the Mail comment thread and and counterbalance such misguided ignorance with a swift click on the appropriate ratings arrow.

They are not getting it all their own way and your votes will make a difference.

26 September 2013 at 09:35  
Blogger Flossie said...

Well said, Your Grace. It is indeed worrying when Middle Englanders (Daily Mail readers) are in such ignorance of the Christian faith.

I don't think JW is the best Archbishop of Canterbury that ever was, but at least he is not wobbly on this aspect of Christianity.

26 September 2013 at 09:38  
Blogger Martin said...

Much as I denigrate the appalling acts of those who attack others who are going peacefully about their business I feel I must point out that these 'Christians' were coming out of Mass, which is a heathen, not a Christian, celebration.

I must also point out that those who call themselves Atheists have used force to compel others to accept their beliefs. Atheists also demand that their beliefs are taught in schools so that every child is indoctrinated before leaving school.

Christianity, unlike any other religion, is not something that someone can be forced into because it is not a belief or behaviour. Christianity is about God changing the individual, raising them from the dead, giving them life and faith. It is entirely an act of God alone.

Unfortunately Welby does not understand this. It is not something that is taught on the Alpha Course or at HTB.

Welby seems to think his mission is to bring all together, to unify the CoE yet you cannot unify what is distinctly different. There are those within the Anglican Communion who are clearly not Christians, who seek to work against what God has commanded. There can be no union between them & the true believer. Welby clearly has a problem with discernment which makes me ask if he is truly saved at all.

Of course the passage in Luke 23:34 is a minority reading, so perhaps we shouldn't place too much emphasis on it.

26 September 2013 at 09:41  
Blogger seanrobsville said...

Fine sentiments, though I doubt whether the Muslims will be any more impressed by them than the readers of the Mail, since Muslims believe that anyone who dies while killing kafirs goes for an eternal sex orgy with 72 virgins in Allah's brothel in the sky.

26 September 2013 at 09:50  
Blogger Roy said...

The anger of the commentators on the Daily Mail article is perfectly understandable. What is sad is that they either have no understanding of the Christian message or, if they do, they think there is something wrong with having an archbishop who understands and preaches it.

The perpetrators of the massacre in Pakistan, and also those in Kenya and in Nigeria (the last mentioned having received hardly any attention in the British media) certainly deserve to "rot in Hell" as His Grace wrote in an earlier article about the Peshawar massacre.

However, a much better outcome would be if one of the culprits were to undergo a conversion as profound as that of Saul of Tarsus and become an Apostle (one who is sent) to take the Gospel to the Moslem world.

An even better outcome would be for ALL the people responsible for the Peshawar massacre to be converted. That seems very unlikely but, with God all things are possible.

We should pray for such an outcome. Perhaps the recent atrocities, including the beheadings in Syria that Cranmer mentioned, will make it very hard for some moslems to kick against the pricks.

26 September 2013 at 09:50  
Blogger Brian West said...

Comments on the Peshawar atrocity were reported on BBC South East news last evening, by two evangelicals, one very well known, the other less so, but more intimately concerned with the people at Peshawar.



26 September 2013 at 09:56  
Blogger Jay Bee said...


Don't you think that is a trifle judgmental?

Perhaps Romans 14:4 is also a minority reading these days.

26 September 2013 at 10:04  
Blogger David Hussell said...

The problem with newspapers is that they only publish those bits, of what you say, that will excite their readers, the most extreme bits. Sound bites are not sermons so the points are lost. Knowing how counter-cultural the "love your enemy" point is, I'd say something sensitive to the situation, but Biblically correct, like:-

"It is natural to want to pray for the victims, still alive, and the relatives of the dead and wounded, and we should do that, but Jesus also taught us, very difficult though this is to accept after such hatred, to try to pray for our enemies, as clearly they walk in great darkness."

That way Welby would have shown that he is human too, with all the usual difficulties that we all have, but also pointing to the better way of forgiveness.

Personally I find that forgiveness comes but slowly, it can not be forced. He came out with the "love your enemies" bit too soon, which is insensitive to the situation.
Moreover forgiving is one thing but trusting is altogether a different one, and is sometimes not wise.

26 September 2013 at 10:08  
Blogger Martin said...


What is wrong in being judgemental?

We must make judgements, for example in choosing who is to be an elder or deacon in the church.

Indeed, we make judgements every moment of every day.

But it is especially important to judge whether a man who claims to be speaking for God is actually doing so.

My judgement is that Welby does not serve God.

26 September 2013 at 10:13  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

David B @08.57, there is evidence and there is the attitude, assumptions and world view that we bring to the evidence.

26 September 2013 at 10:17  
Blogger bluedog said...

Where's Warsi when you need her? Didn't she wheel Dave round Pakistan, sprinkling borrowed money in all the right places, or so we thought. At least the Baroness should be telling us what has gone wrong. As Minister for Faith and Communities the Baroness should be on the front foot, reassuring British Christians about the benefits of multiculturalism.

26 September 2013 at 10:19  
Blogger Roy said...

Martin said:

What is wrong in being judgemental?

Someone who you claim to know said:

Judge not, that ye be not judged.

This thread is about an extremely important matter - the atrocity in Peshawar - and instead of writing about that subject you indulge in sectarian point scoring and insult the innocent victims by implying that unlike you, of course, they were not true Christians.

God is the judge of that, and he will also judge the perpetrators and you too, and yes me, one day.

26 September 2013 at 10:21  
Blogger Gareth said...

I thought the churches were empty because we are all judgmental bigots. Now I hear the churches are empty because we preach forgiveness.

26 September 2013 at 10:25  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...


Mass, which is a heathen, not a Christian, celebration.

Yes, of course, it derives from those vulgar heathen scribblings on which you heap your eloquent scorn:
Matt. 26:26-28
Mark 14:22-24
Luke 22:19

26 September 2013 at 10:26  
Blogger IanCad said...

Goodness knows! Martin @ 09:41.

I have my differences with the Church of Rome and, as the subject merits, will voice them.

This is not the time.

I worship according to my conscience and assume other Christians do the same.

We trust in a merciful God.

That said, God Bless Welby.

We can show support for our fellow seekers by our witness in regular attendance at the church of our volition; as did those who were slaughtered.

The comments in the Daily Mail show that we live in a post-Christian country.

We cannot wait for a convenient season but must reslove to support our churches now.

26 September 2013 at 10:29  
Blogger Jay Bee said...


You are confusing making judgments with being judgmental. The former may well be rational decision making and laudable but the latter is the negative attitude of tearing someone apart. How well do you know Welby? Have you really got enough evidence to form not only a judgement but also pass sentence that he "does not serve God"?

The exercise of critical thinking is better served by discernment rather than negativity.

26 September 2013 at 10:38  
Blogger Martin said...


So why not address what I said instead of taking a passage of Scripture totally out of context?

The fact is that my points are vitally important, concerned with the ETERNAL SALVATION of souls. That is why the false prophets were to be ignored & stoned.

Yes, it was a tragedy, but how much greater a tragedy is it that daily souls are entering Hell.

26 September 2013 at 10:59  
Blogger Martin said...


The Mass does not derive from any passage of Scripture. It is an idolatrous abomination.

26 September 2013 at 11:03  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Open your eyes, Martin.

26 September 2013 at 11:03  
Blogger Martin said...


Christians are not seekers, they are those whom God has found & saved.

26 September 2013 at 11:05  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Well said Jay Bee,

Martin. I think God is the judge of who is or is not a Christian, not you, or me for that matter.

Whilst I cannot agree with everything from the Church of Rome, or my own Church for that matter, to say that Mass is heathen, not Christian, is ridiculous. You are wrong.

Welby is far from perfect, and not my idea of the ideal A of C , but he is trying to offer comfort and support to the fellow Anglicans in Pakistan who have suffered this appalling violence. He in turn deserves the support of all those who are pilgrims under the Christian Cross, and indeed all decent people. Could you offer some loving support instead of sniping at him, and being divisive.

26 September 2013 at 11:05  
Blogger Nick said...

I guess a lot of those comments revolve around the "Forgiving" bit of Welby's comments. I've seen a lot of comments on this blog about the issue of forgiveness, some more Biblical than others.

I think forgiveness is non-negotiable. God commands us to do it. If we don't we fall short of His expectations

Forgiving is not the same as condoning, neither does it remove the trespasors guilt. Vengeance belongs to God. I see forgiveness as more to do with liberating ourselves from a burden of hate that drags us down to the level of the perpetrator. It i in a sense the ultimate rejection of the sinners behaviour.

That still leaves the question of whether it is right ot stand idly by while our brothers and sisters are slaughtered. How can that be love?

Maybe the real question is how did we get to this state of affairs? Have politicians in the West given tacit approval to Muslim butchery through their softly-softly approach? Either way, we need to stand up against the plague of Islamic blood-lust that is sweeping across the world. The horrors perpetrated by them must be exposed

26 September 2013 at 11:08  
Blogger Martin said...


When a man sets himself up as a prophet he is to be judged on his prophetical words. Welby has done that, it is fair to judge him on what he has said.

Welby showed cowardice in failing to lead the bishops in a vote against that fake marriage bill, he has failed to deal with the unbelief within the CoE, he has failed to condemn wickedness at home. Pretty good evidence that he is not serving God.

When it comes down to it, he is a government appointee and that is all.

26 September 2013 at 11:18  
Blogger seanrobsville said...

@ Nick,
Regarding 'the plague of Islamic blood-lust that is sweeping across the world.'

Muslims are very insecure in their beliefs, probably because subconsciouly they suspect that their cult is nothing more than a scam founded by a conman. Anything that activates these repressed doubts, including the mere existence of competing religions, will provoke murderous rage.

26 September 2013 at 11:22  
Blogger Len said...

Nick.. you have expressed my thoughts on the matter of forgiveness.Those unfamiliar with Christian precepts see this 'Christian forgiveness' as a weakness, as an apathetic attitude towards those who are persecuting us but God is asking us in effect to hand over those who are persecuting us for Him to deal with.
It is far harder to do this than to respond in anger to those who persecute us.

26 September 2013 at 11:23  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

David B:

"As selling points for religions go something to effect of 'if people are nasty to you you will get better pie in the sky when you die' must rank with 'If you believe you will be happy for ever and ever' and 'If you don't believe then you will be horribly tortured for ever and ever'.

Sadly, sadly and happily respectively, there is little evidence, and none compelling, that any of this is true, and much leading to the conclusion that it is all false.

Changed your mind over the last few days presumably?

"Sometimes I regret that there is no Hell, where those who kill and persecute in the name of any religion against another, or any sect of any religion against any religion or sect of their own religion might spend eternity."

Ah, but no - you're consistent in rejecting punishment meted out by God. After all, a hell defined by the tenets of liberal atheism would be high justice, wouldn't it?

26 September 2013 at 11:24  
Blogger Martin said...


We are not Christians by what we do but by what God has done to us. Therefore we should be careful to ensure those we accept into our churches, and especially those we give authority to, are Christians.

The Mass takes the wonderful act of remembrance Christ gave to His disciples into a re-enactment of the sacrifice of the cross. That event can never be repeated. The silliness that surrounds the bread and wine, the idea that there is something holy about a piece of bread or a drop of wine, makes it clear that the message has been lost. Idolatry has been allowed to destroy what Christ gave.

Welby doesn't deserve support for he is acting against the interests of the Church and it's Master.

26 September 2013 at 11:26  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...


I share your view of forgiveness and I really liked the way you put it - I hadn't thought of it as an extension of the abjuration of evil before.

It makes sense though, since forgiveness of our enemies has been, since the earliest days of the Church, the means by which some of them have been introduced to God. It's a rebuke to the inevitability of evil.

26 September 2013 at 11:48  
Blogger IanCad said...

Martin wrote:

"Christians are not seekers, they are those whom God has found & saved."

Oh Dear! Predestination has reared its ugly head.

Now, that God moves in mysterious ways, can and does choose whom he will and has foreknowledge is biblical truth.

However, to promote the doctrine of predestination as the sole means to salvation is to devalue the role of Christ's mission, to negate the inward working of the Holy Spirit and to contadict the word of God.

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you" Matthew 7:7

So; we may seek?

"---choose you this day whom ye will serve;---" Joshua 24;15

And, Yes! We have the power of choice.

26 September 2013 at 11:53  
Blogger Brian West said...

Hold on a minute everyone.

The church bombed at Peshawar was Anglican, not Catholic (not that makes it better or worse). That a news report referred to 'Mass' does not necessarily mean that the Peshawar congregation calls it that; reporters are notoriously ill-informed on Christian details. The minister of the church, Rev. Zia Pervez Mirza, is associated with World In Need, an evangelical aid organisation; see for their report yesterday if you want to get closer to the facts.


26 September 2013 at 11:56  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...


These people could have been martians for all I care, that still doesn't justify the murder of 85 people. There is some irony in your words, because you know that they were killed because they said they were Christian.

The rest of your comments are there to make points against Catholicism; I fail to see how the bit about 'abominable Mass' has got to do when your own religion is under attack.

As you are fond make a judgement, here's mine -that this isn't the thread for that kind of discussion. Judge away and give us the Protestant theology, but it ain't going to bring any of these people back or provide any kind of comfort or care for those who are grieving for their mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, family and friends. If it is true that Jesus 'changes you' and that is what makes Christianity better than anything else, then can he start with you please?

26 September 2013 at 11:56  
Blogger Corrigan said...

Welcome, Martin. The murder of dozens of Christians is, apparantly, an opportunity to take a pop at the Church. You'll fit right in here.

26 September 2013 at 12:03  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Brian,

Thanks for that link, Martin should read it too, this bit especially:

'People in Peshawar rushed to help. The Catholic church took the survivors into their compound to keep them safe. Muslims turned up to comfort their Christian neighbours, and to help dig the graves for the dead. Christians came from places like Karachi and Islamabad to offer help, gifts and comfort'.

26 September 2013 at 12:04  
Blogger Martin said...


Does Predestination have an ugly head? It is part of the doctrine of the CoE is it not:

XVII. Of Predestination and Election.
Predestination to Life is the everlasting purpose of God, whereby (before the foundations of the world were laid) he hath constantly decreed by his counsel secret to us, to deliver from curse and damnation those whom he hath chosen in Christ out of mankind, and to bring them by Christ to everlasting salvation, as vessels made to honour. Wherefore, they which be endued with so excellent a benefit of God, be called according to God's purpose by his Spirit working in due season: they through Grace obey the calling: they be justified freely: they be made sons of God by adoption: they be made like the image of his only-begotten Son Jesus Christ: they walk religiously in good works, and at length, by God's mercy, they attain to everlasting felicity.

And of Israel did not God say:

“"For you [are] a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth.” (Deuteronomy 7:6 NKJV)

So to whom was Matthew 7:7 written? Was it the Gentiles?

That God's people, those whom God has chosen are called to think on who they will serve, is that a great surprise?

And tell me, do the dead have the choice of raising themselves to the new birth. Can those dry bones choose to rise up, be joined & covered in flesh?

26 September 2013 at 12:06  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Martin, 11.26

Paragraph one, I have no problem with.

Paragraph two. An Anglican Mass, Communion Service, Lord's Supper or whatever other name (in English) it goes by, invites us "to draw near by faith", the words favoured since the first Prayer Books, so that anything spiritual, the communion with God, is through the faith of the believer, between the individual and God. The act of remembrance deepens the bond between God and the individual, through belief, not your "silliness". It is only right and proper that all this is done in an atmosphere of reverence, deep thought and holiness, to allow us weak humans who increasingly find it difficult to concentrate for long on spiritual matters, to focus on the significance of what is being remembered. That is fairly standard Anglican theology, in my book. Catholic friends here are well able to explain their particular theologies.
This is a time to support the injured, including those who are trying to show pastoral care for the victims and their families, and that is what we should all do now. I have no time for divisive sniping when we are faced with horrors like this. Open your eyes to what has happened.

26 September 2013 at 12:15  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

The ‘pattern of Christian witness throughout the centuries’ has culminated in Christianity being on the verge of extinction even in its own birthplace while Islam steamrollers from strength to strength. Now that Europe has been infected by Islam, Christianity is entering its final days here, too; a religion that preaches peace is always going to be at a distinct disadvantage against a religion that thrives on violence. There is hope, of course, that the people of Europe will expel Islam from their continent but it’s ironic to think that, even as they are doing so, they will be condemned as intolerant and racist by—who else?—Christians. Dear God.

26 September 2013 at 12:31  
Blogger Martin said...

Funny how everyone rushes to attack me while ignoring what I said in the first three paragraphs about violence and compelling others into your religion.

The defence of the Mass, even if it is only used as a name for the Lord's supper, clearly goes against the 39 Articles:

XXXI. Of the one Oblation of Christ finished upon the Cross.
The Offering of Christ once made is that perfect redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction, for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual; and there is none other satisfaction for sin, but that alone. Wherefore the sacrifices of Masses, in the which it was commonly said, that the Priest did offer Christ for the quick and the dead, to have remission of pain or guilt, were blasphemous fables, and dangerous deceits.

So if it was an Anglican service as the World in Need post indicates why has no one rushed to correct the error? Is it because it is not only the media who are woefully ignorant?

So again, it is appalling that men should violently attack others, who are defenceless, a wicked act. But that is what we can expect from Man, a fallen creature. Don't expect anything better whatever their religion may claim.

26 September 2013 at 12:39  
Blogger IanCad said...

Brian West wrote:

"Hold on a minute everyone"
Blessed are the peacemakers. But Brian, you are too late.
Martin assumed they were Catholics and thus Pagans.
He got jumped on.
He responded.
I escalated.
Now we are in a furore over Predestination.
My fault.
Now I have to craft a reply to him over a controversy that goes back to Augustine.
And it is a busy day.
Those souls in Peshawar await The Resurrection.
May God judge them lightly.

26 September 2013 at 12:43  
Blogger Roy said...

Why can't we all discuss the atrocity at Peshawar, and similar ones, and pray for the comfort of the victims, their loved ones and friends, and for the conversion of the terrorists and those who support them, instead of indulging in pointless "my theology is better than yours" debates.

What was it that James wrote about "pure religion"?

26 September 2013 at 13:01  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Ian Cad,



Agreed, with enthusiasm !


Could you please think about learning better timing for the extolling of your particular theological points of view. This is not the time nor the place. The context in which one says something, often becomes more powerful, in the eyes of the world, than what is in fact being said, especially in today's shallow sound bite culture.

26 September 2013 at 13:44  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

What Roy said. Several dozen Christians have been brutally murdered for their faith, and several dozen more, the victimns of attempted murder, are in hospital being treated for their wounds. And along comes some poor blinkered sectarian to tell the victims it was their own fault for not being predestined?

They were martyrs.

26 September 2013 at 13:45  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness Martin! Well, whatever the Church of Rome does...i.e. "The Mass takes the wonderful act of remembrance Christ gave to His disciples into a re-enactment of the sacrifice of the cross. That event can never be repeated. The silliness that surrounds the bread and wine, the idea that there is something holy about a piece of bread or a drop of wine, makes it clear that the message has been lost. Idolatry has been allowed to destroy what Christ gave."

...does not equate with the C of E, where Holy Communion is a commemorative, not an idolatrous, act. I'm sure my Lord Cranmer would concur.

26 September 2013 at 13:46  
Blogger Corrigan said...

The defence of the Mass, even if it is only used as a name for the Lord's supper, clearly goes against the 39 Articles

And your point would be?

26 September 2013 at 14:01  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Oh, for God's sake.




Discuss that, or say nothing.

26 September 2013 at 14:05  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Thank you, Your Grace.

26 September 2013 at 14:07  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ Johnny Rottenborough.
I cannot agree with your anxiety that a "religion that preaches peace is always going to be at a distinct disadvantage against a religion that thrives on violence".
For Jesus died on the Cross, apparently defeated by violence- the violence of the mob, the soldiers, and the judicial system- and yet He rose again and Christianity has spread to the ends of the earth. The early Christians were virtually pacifist, and yet the Church spread.

The blood of the martyrs was the seed of the Church, time and time again, and we are promised that we have no guarantee that that will not be so for us, that we may have to die for our faith, but that the Church of Christ ( the assembly of Christian believers) will not die out "the gates of Hell shall not prevail against" it.

As for forgiveness it is arrogant of us to withhold our personal forgiveness if those who were tortured and killed gave it, though I find it a struggle to forgive nevertheless.

26 September 2013 at 14:15  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ Lucy Mullen (14:15)—Christianity has indeed spread around the world but where it has come up against Islam, Christians have either compromised, converted, retreated or been murdered. I do not wish to cause offence but God hasn’t lifted a finger to defend his persecuted flock in the Middle East and elsewhere and I don’t think he will intervene to save his flock in Europe. I’d urge Christians to temper their faith with practicality and kick Islam back to where it belongs.

26 September 2013 at 14:40  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

Kicking Islam back to where it belongs will become a whole lot more difficult if the EU gets this legislation through: ‘A European Framework National Statute for the Promotion of Tolerance’. They’re going to force us to tolerate Islam.

26 September 2013 at 14:50  
Blogger Preacher said...

"Blessed in the sight of the Lord is the death of His Saints".
Jesus told us to be prepared to pick up our cross & follow Him & many have been called upon to do that.
We follow Him to death, (whether by martyrdom accident, illness or old age). Then into resurrection & new life, without having to face the judgement of Almighty God that we all deserve.
Some of us will be called upon to face martyrdom, yes even members of Western Churches, as has been the case in atrocities abroad where tourists have paid the price of fear & intolerance.
Christianity was born in the Blood of the Saviour. It has been persecuted from the beginning by despotic Roman Emperors, Vikings & enemies of its truth. It continues to rise Phoenix like from the ashes & always will.
I'm no fan of the AofC but I stand by his drawing attention to the evil perpetrated in Pakistan & his call to believers to pray in unity for those that are now resting with the Lord & for their grieving loved ones, who can now only look toward the day when they will be reunited in Heaven.
As for the Daily Mail. The writer is sad & blind. Pray that the eyes of this blind one may be opened to the glory of the risen Lord before the condition proves eternally fatal.

26 September 2013 at 15:03  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Archbishop Cranmer said...

Thank God you finally intervened!!

These were visible believers murdered for professing Christ in public in a muslim country.

Crass insensitivity, unfortunately considering the content of the post.

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:" This not being the one for sectarian tug o war!

Please turn brain ignition 'on' first before selecting your gears?
Now drive carefully!! ;-)


26 September 2013 at 15:24  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ Johnny
The greater problem is not the mass immigration difficulty, a matter foreseen by some ages ago, and some of my own ancestors included, but our inertia as Christians in befriending and conversion as this mission field came to our doorstep. We have nothing to be ashamed nor reticent about.

"God hasn't lifted a finger". Well there is always a mystery here. Why did Peter get sprung out of prison by angels in Acts 12 but in the same chapter James gets killed? Of course the Jesus whom both loved and worshiped has by now welcomed them both into the next life seen in the wider perspective, but how did James' family feel?

Other times when God did not lift the divine finger (I find this image a bit difficult) include the Cross when Jesus cried out "My God, My God, why thou forsaken me?" And many of the most dedicated Christians have indeed also gone through the Dark Night of the Soul. Some were eaten by lions.

Indeed the early Church Fathers welcomed martyrdom as a great honour, and far from perceiving God as not lifting a finger here in St. Ignatius of Antioch's letter to the Romans w e see him asking the Church not to intervene, far from most of our present understandings:
"I am writing to the Churches and I enjoin you all, that I am dying willingly for God's sake, if only you do not prevent it. I beg you, do not do me an untimely kindness. Allow me to be eaten by the beasts, which are my way of reaching to God. I am God's wheat, and I am to be ground by the teeth of wild beasts, so that I may become the pure bread of Christ."

26 September 2013 at 15:28  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Lucy Mullen, Johnny Rottenborough,

Christians are indeed asked to forgive, although I , and many other Christians I would imagine, find that a very difficult thing to do. It is the ultimate moral aim, from the sermon to end all sermons, The Sermon on the Mount, an aim rather than something easily achieved I would suggest. Christ knows our weaknesses whilst urging us to try to improve on them. We are not expected to be perfect but to sincerely aim for his standards.

Matyrdom is not something that Christians are asked to pursue, unlike some Muslims. Indeed avoiding it without denying our faith is acceptable. In my opinion a Christian has the right to self defense, and the duty to protect the old, the weak and children. In troubled areas of the world Christians are free to defend themselves, by force, I maintain. Some on this blog will now shoot at me !
Translated onto a larger scale I maintain that a Christian is free to help defend his country and many fine Christians have served as distinguished soldiers and in other armed services. To give one example the victorious General later Field Marshall Montgomery was a convinced evangelical Christian, like his father, an evangelical vicar in Ireland. Lord Dannat, recently retired from being Head of the Army is an effective Christian voice in the Lords and led the charge against SSM. Pacifism is not an essential pre-requisite for being Christian although we should always show proper reverence for all of God's sons and daughters.

26 September 2013 at 15:30  
Blogger Jay Bee said...

On the matter of self defence. It is justifiable but only if a Government fails in its duty to protect a threatened minority.

In Pakistan the problem is so bad that protection is beyond the capability of the Police and only the Army could do it. Judging by recent comments by Bishop Nazir-Ali there is reluctance amongst the Army to get heavily involved and it might be due to political intimidation or worse. So as far as self-defence goes, not a chance in Pakistan, since the failure of Government protection may not be due to negligence or incompetence at all.

26 September 2013 at 15:53  
Blogger David Hussell said...


From my limited understanding of Pakistan it is a very complex society where one is never fully sure of where the alliances and allegiances, at the individual or agency level, truly are. In the circumstances as clearly the persecuted minority can not, in all certainty, rely on protection from Police or Army, self defense seems the only realistic alternative and I see nothing in Christian doctrine to prohibit that, as a last resort.

26 September 2013 at 16:17  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

One is chastised, one is contrite, and yes, one is praying for those victims and their families.

26 September 2013 at 16:40  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Those comments on that article in the Daily Mail just shows how far people have strayed from Christian thinking. It's scary really that people no longer understand, or can see why the Archbishop of Canterbury prayed for the gunmen as well as the poor victims.

I pray that those who think they have to commit acts of violence and hatred meet their fate, that they see the error of their ways, that they come to know what they have done is wrong on so many levels and that they see the light and reform.

26 September 2013 at 16:59  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I have to say that I simply can't comprehend the minds of those who are committing atrocities like this. They disgust me beyond words.

26 September 2013 at 17:00  
Blogger non mouse said...

Your Grace - much of this argument would seem to hang on the definitions of "justice" and "death."

Screechings for a "vengeance" that is synonymous with "justice" have always struck me as somehow non-English; that type of hyper-emotionalism seems very Mediterranean. A positive response to violence requires a cooler head and better education.

And yet ... the answers to the conundrum have come from the Middle East. Judeao-Christianity indeed teaches that Vengeance is the Lord's, and that Christ is Judge (the meter out of Justice). Even the Greek/Ovidian tradition noted the illogic of human vengeance - in that it begets further cycles of violence (as with Cadmus, Jason, and the Dragon's Teeth with turn into armed men).

But our literary tradition did buy into the Revenge tradition at one point: though it was a horrible Jacobean business. Personally, I say the authorities did quite right to close the theatres when it went too far. Unfortunately, that type of theatre has now come to real life on a global scale.

Or death .... as the case may be, according to one's take on the matter. Considering the present increase in our distance from God, though -------- this inhuman existence becomes more of a living death at every turn.

Hell is here to stay, awhile. One hopes the Gates of Canterbury will stand against it in the way of King Edmund, the East Anglian attacked by those other invading pagans in AD 869. We have an interesting parallel in that his advising Bishop recommended appeasing the Vikings; Edmund refused, and became a famous martyr instead.

Those who ignore history, however....

26 September 2013 at 17:23  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Let’s be charitable to Welby and say he made the comments on forgiveness before he was able to see the Inspector’s take on the dilemma, previous thread down. One hopes he has since taken it on board.

And just what is this ‘justice’ he calls for. Is it perchance, the arrest, trial and execution of the guilty. If you do find yourself with an irresistible urge to forgive, it’s a lot easier to forgive a man with a rope around his neck waiting for the drop. You see, you are then less likely to suffer bouts of self disgust afterwards, which is always a risk when those you have forgiven merely laugh in your face.

But we know it won’t come to that. We can no longer put our enemies to death. No, we lock them up for a few years and let them out to try to kill us all again. So it really is true then, we baulk at justice. It’s just another victim of the lower standards we have today.

Yet there is something holy in a just execution. Something decent, pure and right, don’t you think. A real ‘justice’ which was around in Christ’s time and which he did not condemn…

26 September 2013 at 17:39  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

If there is one faint glimmer of good news in the aftermath of this atrocity, it is this, from the World In Need site linked by Brian West at 11:56 and picked up by Hannah Kavanagh at 12:04:

Muslims turned up to comfort their Christian neighbours, and to help dig the graves for the dead.

So the good Samaritan is not a wholly extinct species, after all.

26 September 2013 at 18:14  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

My name saint Stephen was of course stoned to death for speaking unwecome truth to power and became the first Christian martyr.

As he died he prayed 'Lord, do not hold this sin against them.'

Nevertheless, an impenitent Jerusalem was destroyed as Jesus had prophecied not many years latet.

26 September 2013 at 19:17  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Muslims turned up to comfort their Christian neighbours, and to help dig the graves for the dead.

It’s not the muslim per se who is the problem. It’s the muslim extremist. But you can’t have the latter without the former. Which is why come Armageddon, they have to be destroyed, the extremists that is. One feels sure the peaceful types will convert. Assuming that is, we are the the ‘good’ side in the final battle against evil. Sometimes, with the ways things pan out, like abortion and the cult of homsexuality, one wonders if we are...

26 September 2013 at 19:38  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Quoted from

A prayer found written on paper in the clothing of a dead child in Ravensbruck concentration camp. The writer is unknown. This is forgiveness at its most pure, agonised and perfect.

"O Lord, remember not only the men and woman of good will, but also those of ill will. But do not remember all of the suffering they have inflicted upon us:

Instead remember the fruits we have borne because of this suffering—our fellowship, our loyalty to one another, our humility, our courage, our generosity, the greatness of heart that has grown from this trouble.

When our persecutors come to be judged by you, let all of these fruits that we have borne be their forgiveness."

26 September 2013 at 19:50  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Sister Tibs. How about “Lord, forgive your foolish people who abuse the gift of forgiveness. Let them watch in awe as your terrible judgment is inflicted on the guilty”

There you go. Reads much better...

26 September 2013 at 19:57  
Blogger Jay Bee said...

Sister Tibs@19:50

It's an astonishing prayer of forgiveness but I have a problem with it theologically. Surely a victim cannot purchase forgiveness for his persecutor. Only the blood of Christ is sufficient.

The persecutors had not turned from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so I cannot see how they could receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those sanctified by faith.

26 September 2013 at 20:25  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

... and to be honest Sister Tibs, surrounded by her middle class comforts, is really in bad taste here.

When the concentration camp personnel were hanged in 1946, one does not note any pretend nuns asking for clemency...

26 September 2013 at 20:33  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

I'm not suggesting that anyone here should be capable of such a prayer (and heaven knows I'm not). And a few interesting things happened at the time of the Nuremberg trials - look up Hans Frank and the Catholic priest who worked with him in the time before he was hanged.

I wonder who prayed that that man should have such a change of heart before his death - and whether they lived to see the prayer answered.

26 September 2013 at 20:42  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

And, as I'm very tired of explaining - I'm not a nun, or pretending to be a nun. The name indicates that I am a woman, and that I stand on the opposite bank of the Tiber to His Grace. No more, no less.

26 September 2013 at 20:44  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ Dan (17:00)—They’re inspired by verses such as:

[9:111] Allah has purchased of the faithful their lives and worldly goods and in return has promised them the Garden [Paradise]. They will fight for His cause, slay, and be slain. Such is the true pledge which He has made them in the Torah, the Gospel and the Qur’an. And who is more true to his promise than Allah? Rejoice then in the bargain you have made. That is the supreme triumph.

They believe their actions will admit them to Paradise. That belief that makes Islam particularly dangerous, as the apostate Wafa Sultan said in her testimony during the Geert Wilders trial: ‘The Qur’an is worse than Mein Kampf, because Mein Kampf is a political book, the Qur’an is a mix of politics and religion. In my opinion, it is easier to overcome a political ideology than a political ideology that is packaged as a religious ideology.’

26 September 2013 at 20:48  
Blogger bluedog said...

Lucy Mullen @ 14.15 said, 'The early Christians were virtually pacifist, and yet the Church spread.'

This statement seems very relevant to the situation today and begs two questions, why did the early church spread, and why is the church now contracting and apparently losing its appeal.

This communicant would not dare to attempt to answer the second question. However with regard to the first, during late antiquity the spiritual landscape was very favourable to a universal church as replacement for the regional, city and domestically based deities who proliferated at the time. Most of these deities were derived from Greek and Roman models, but were localised. The classical scholar Robin Lane Fox has written an excellent book on the topic.

Mr Rottenborough has some valid points in that Islam is a derivative of Christianity and is configured to offer 'benefits' that Christianity does not. There may be a work of analysis that explains the success of Islam and if any communicants can make recommendations, please do. One factor that surprises is the apparent lack of any Islamic organisational structure. Islam seems to offer a hierarchy of communities based opportunities for worship on what might be described as a bottom-up basis, starting with prayer rooms. Christianity on the other hand is currently configured more on a top-down basis with a clearly defined organisational structure. Perhaps it is not merely a coincidence that where Christianity is growing it does so through evangelical community churches.

26 September 2013 at 21:20  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Tibs, old thing. A suggestion. Rename yourself to ‘The Lady Tiberia’ and leave ‘Sister’ to genuine nuns and, in context, senior nursing staff...

26 September 2013 at 21:32  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

But I'm not a member of the aristocracy either... :P

26 September 2013 at 21:33  
Blogger Brian West said...

I'd really be happier if you would all use your real names.


26 September 2013 at 21:36  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Brian, if you saw the occasional raving nutcase that posts here (and no, I'm not referring to Dodo), then you'd know just why we prefer not to give the religious cyber-stalkers any possible way to trace us in Real Life :)

26 September 2013 at 21:54  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Johnny R on the link between the Quran and Mein Kampf, there was a radio 4 documentary earlier this year by Alan Yentob who is a Jew of Iraqi descent. He said pre 1948 there were 140,000 Jews living peacefully in Baghdad. Now, he said, there are seven (7) living anonymously for fear of desth.

Survivors he interviewed said the persecution which culminated in public hangings, theft of all Jew owned property and mass expulsions began after someone translated Hitler's 'My Struggle' into Arabic.

I've read both of these disgusting books. I wish more Europeans would read the Quran-and fast- to understand just what it is that is now opening its jaws wide to devour us. Its not cryptic.

26 September 2013 at 22:13  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Johnny R- just re-reading you post and was struck by the appalling phrase

'...the Geert Wilders trial....'

Says it all really. We're doomed.

26 September 2013 at 22:21  
Blogger Brian West said...

Sister Tiberia

I did think hard before selecting my real name as my blogging name. I thought even harder before first commenting on the Pink News site; but no harm has come my way so far as a result of my transparency - as far as I've noticed.


26 September 2013 at 22:26  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ bluedog (21:20)—This page has some thoughts on what makes Islam successful. The final thought about the Qur’an being coded is rather daft but much of the rest makes sense. At a brief glance, there seems to be no mention of children being indoctrinated from a very young age and hooked for life.

@ Rambling Steve (22:13)—I’m shocked to hear that Mein Kampf precipitated attacks on Jews in Baghdad. The Qur’an and other texts make clear Islam’s contempt for Jews (hatred would not be too strong a word) so perhaps Hitler provided the final excuse for a pogrom.

26 September 2013 at 22:38  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Johnny/Steve,

Before I go on holiday.

As a descendant of Iraqi Jews, I know all about that... a community- a rich and educated community- of 2,500 years wiped out in 3. You were allowed 1 suitcase of personal belongings, but everything else was taken by the state.

26 September 2013 at 22:57  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

I had heard that Mein Kampf and indeed the notorious propaganda forgery Protocols of the Elders of Zion were best sellers in the Arab world, but was still surprised to hear this appalling story told by someone as high up in the BBC as Alan Yentob.

27 September 2013 at 06:53  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Just Googled on "Alan Yentob Iraqi Jews Mein Kampf' and there is a lot about the documentary 'The last Jews of Baghdad' which went out in November 2011 not earlier this year as I misremembered.

There is a piece on Rosie Bell's blog accompanied by Arabic translations of Mein Kampf currently on display in a Syrian book shop.

I think this is relevant to the thread as ideas in books are seen to lead to actions. How much better to get our ideas from the Prince of Peace, who said 'false prophets will lead many astray: by their fruits shall ye know them.'

27 September 2013 at 07:58  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Rambling Steve, Johnny Rottenborough,

I have read the Koran twice. However that page you make available, Johnny, is a very useful summary. Everyone should look into these matters, as you say.

27 September 2013 at 08:33  
Blogger bluedog said...

Thanks JR @ 22.38, saved to favourites!

27 September 2013 at 11:31  
Blogger Peter Simpson said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

27 September 2013 at 22:49  
Blogger Edward Spalton said...

Office of Inspector General
Re "Muslim Extremists".

Some interesting evidence was given at the trial of Geert Wilders by a Profesor Jansen, a leading Arabist. So unwelcome was his evidence that the judge who insisted on the prosecution tried to nobble the witness by engineering a meeting at a private dinner party. A new panel of judges had to be appointed.

Jansen's evidence could be summed up as
"There is not and cannot be any such thing as moderate Islam because the faith is defined for all time by its own scriptures and authoritative texts. There are however many moderate Muslims" - that is Muslims who are not fully observant of all the faith's commandments - such as fighting perpetual Jihad until every last non Muslim is either converted or brought to accept submission to Muslim rule.

The second panel of judges did not allow Jansen to testify in person but his statement was included in the record.

Islam is a religion of peace but only upon the corpses or submission of every last non Muslim.

That is what we are faced with and perhaps it is time to call, as Chesterton did in his poem "Lepanto" for "swords about the cross".

Certainly we gain nothing by deceiving ourselves, as our politicians appear to do - and then attempt to deceive us.

29 September 2013 at 08:36  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

That's why we must try to undermine the beliefs, or limit their spread, rather than the people.

29 September 2013 at 10:03  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

DanJ0. You must have skipped past this man’s earlier comment. So just for you, here it is again...

It’s not the muslim per se who is the problem. It’s the muslim extremist. But you can’t have the latter without the former.

One suspects that if a moderate muslim family finds one or more of it’s sons a fundamentalist, then at best it is in practice tolerated by them. At worst, it’s a cause of pride: All those years when the lad was studying his Koran were not then wasted. Perhaps he was a recognised a Hafiz (one who knows the Koran by heart) like Saajid Badat, the Gloucester shoe bomber who came from a good family.

29 September 2013 at 12:10  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Edward Spalton. One suspects ‘moderate’ is a Western term not fully understood by Islamic types. They see it as muslim leaders and muslim followers. There is no room for moderation in that...

29 September 2013 at 12:16  

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