Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Where are the Tory Bishops?

The former Bishop of Dudley, the Rt Rev David Walker, was confirmed yesterday as the 12th Bishop of Manchester. He lists his interests as social housing, equalities, monasticism and cricket.

You don't get many Church of England bishops listing their interests as small state, sound money, free markets, home ownership, liberty, morality and croquet, do you?

Bishop David Walker may be a perfectly charming man - given to prayer, compassion and good works. He may infuse all of his interests with the teachings of Jesus - even the cricket. It is also a very safe bet that he votes Labour, because that best reflects his theo-political worldview. Like the vast majority of bishops, he is theologically liberal and politically left. You don't get very far in today's Church of England if you're theologically conservative and politically Thatcherite.

This feeds the media narrative leitmotif of the Church of England being ‘at war’ with the Government (which, let us remember, is not some extreme, right-wing, arch-Thatcherite group, but a mild and moderate coalition of ‘progressive’ Tories collaborating with ultra-enlightened Liberal Democrats). Over recent years this 'war' has been expressed against inter alia the Government's housing policy, EU policy, child benefit, disability benefit, unemployment benefit, NHS 'cuts' and the blanket prohibition on same-sex marriages in Anglican churches.
His Grace has observed this before, but it merits repeating over and over. The vast majority of CofE bishops are paid up (or very sympathetic ex-) members of the Christian Socialist Movement who pore over The Guardian every morning with their mint tea and muesli and intercede fervently for the amelioration of the fortunes of Ed Miliband. “O God, let justice flow like a river,” they pray, hoping desperately for the Thames to turn red and for the Tories to be consumed by a plague of UKIP swivel-eyed loons. The 'Right', they aver, is simply arrogant.

His Grace sometimes feels that he’s going round in circles on this, principally because lefty-liberal bishops often cannot think beyond their religio-political predisposition, firmly convinced that Jesus, were he to walk our green and pleasant land, would vote Labour. Those who are so persuaded tend to believe that everything that the Conservative Party stands for and does is lacking in compassion, immoral or regressive, if not evil.

While society must always protect the weak and vulnerable, adults must also take personal responsibility for their choices, including the bad ones. Those who refuse to work should not eat; those who apply themselves industriously should enjoy the fruits of their labours. Margaret Thatcher warned against merely professing faith for social reforms. Instead, she thought, faith should look to the “sanctity of life, the responsibility that comes with freedom and the supreme sacrifice of Christ expressed so well in the hymn: 'When I survey the wondrous Cross, On which the Prince of glory died, My richest gain I count but loss, And pour contempt on all my pride'”. The Bible, she said, offers a “view of the universe, a proper attitude to work, and principles to shape economic and social life.” It counsels hard work, creating wealth, and using wealth not selfishly but to glorify God.

“So when you’ve relieved poverty and ignorance and disease, if you are not a Christian you think that sorts out the problems of the world,” she later explained. “You and I know it doesn’t, because there is still the real religious problem in the choice between good and evil.”

You don't hear many bishops preaching like that these days, do you?

Perhaps, instead of obsessing about matters of gender, sexuality and equality, one or two might have the courage of their convictions to come out as Tory, and proudly boast of their Thatcherite interests in their Twitter profiles.


Blogger HeavensForfend said...

Of course, the views of the Bishop can by no means be the result of his 'prayer, compassion and good works' and clearly his 'theo-political' worldview can't be the result of an infusion of 'the teachings of Jesus.'

It's almost like a critique of excessive wealth is lacking from your bible: 'you have lived on earth in luxury and pleasure; you have fattened your hearts for the day of slaughter'

More than this, Thatcherism places a heavy emphasis on the excelling of the indivdual. Christianity conceives salvation entirely in terms of the communal and social, a people together where the usual social order of first to last is inverted.

A certain kind of old-fashioned conservatism is, I think plausible for a man of the cloth to espouse, but I would perturbed if a Bishop did think he could embrace Thatcherite neo-liberalism in good conscience.

As chance would have it, I was also eating a bowel of meusli whilst reading this.

8 October 2013 at 10:21  
Blogger bluedog said...

Your Grace, it seems Bishop Dave would need to restrict his reading of the Bible to the Gospel according to St John - no pesky parables there. How can a bearded lefty prelate read the parable of the talents or that of the wise and foolish virgins without wondering how Christ could be so, well, Thatcherite.

A dangerous doc the Bible. While St John avoids the politically incorrect parables, he does blot his copy-book by reporting, 'Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.'

Of course, what Christ really meant to say was that his offer of salvation was, 'entirely in terms of the communal and social, a people together where the usual social order of first to last is inverted.'

Clearly John 14:6 in the KJV falsely represents the original Greek. There can be no possibility of individualism in a progressive and modern religion.

Love the smell of bacon and eggs in the morning.

8 October 2013 at 10:48  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness! Well, if my Lord of Manchester truly believes in equality, why didn't he become a Presbyterian?

8 October 2013 at 11:06  
Blogger Corrigan said...

You don't get very far in today's Church of England if you're theologically conservative and politically Thatcherite.

I know, I know, here's Corrigan banging on again about the One True Chruch, but as I've said sooooo many times, Protestantism leads, eventually, perhaps circuitously, but always inexorably to atheisim. That's why I don't abide it when I see it rearing its ugly head within Catholicism, and it's why I'll always take Cranmer et al to task when I see them trying to defend an ultimately indefensible doctrine which turns what is an absolutely necessary belief in the gloriously impossible into just another system of practical ethics, for the latter is exactly what the Church of England actually is.

8 October 2013 at 11:31  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Well said Your Grace.

And well said Mrs Proudie, such hypocrisy eh ? West Country folk, like my ancestors, have a knack for getting to the point.

He sounds a predicable and depressing sort of cleric. So many of them fail to see either the fundamentals or, the Big Global Picture, or even the Big British Picture.

The real work of the C of E is done at grass roots level. I have little to no faith in the House of Bishops. I think that we need fewer of them, but with more focus spent on evangelism. Sometimes disestablishment, stripping out much of the top layer, expending resources instead on spreading the Good News, not PC nonsense, seems very attractive to me. Of course only the committed Protestant types, like me, and the very few committed Anglo-Catholic ones left, after all that they've suffered, would agree.
But, against that, disestablishment would make it easier for us to be consumed by that monster the EU, so my political beliefs are a important consideration for me. But do we need so many Bishops ? I doubt it. The English Church needs reenergizing, focussing on its "core business".

8 October 2013 at 11:34  
Blogger David Hussell said...


That's two then for Full English breakfast, and proper bacon mind, not your streaky rubbish !

8 October 2013 at 11:37  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Your Grace will be interested, though not surprised, to learn that Bishop David has taken the trouble to make sure he is thoroughly up to date on the use of the preposition “around”:

The Bishop of Dudley, David Walker, told the Observer: "Public fears around immigration are like fears around crime. They bear little relationship to the actual reality."


8 October 2013 at 11:54  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr Hussell, in an ideal world this communicant could never go past kedgeree for breakfast. In fact crispy streaky bacon is fine company for a kedgeree, washed down with a large cup of Irish Breakfast Tea, or better still, Yorkshire Tea.

Perhaps Mrs Proudie can offer us her cook's recipe for kedgeree, preferably suitable to quantities of less than one hundredweight.

8 October 2013 at 11:55  
Blogger MaCM said...

I agree that a soft left attitude is the assumed position for the CofE. The fact that blind welfare creates misery (evidence - any inner city estate), that the right has no interest in losing a cost effective free atthe poitn of use health system - why would they? -the alterative would cost more - but that doesn't mean that they have to agree with every health union's self serving demands etc.

IDS's reforms are picking up the broken threads of Frank Field's genuinely compassionate reforms which were killed by fear of the left.

Believing we individually and societally responsible for actions is not unchristian. Being compassionate on the poor and weak is not the same as abrogating responsibility to an uncaring state.

Unless christians and particularly christian leaders take a stance in favour of the individual, in favour of responsibility - we cannot be relevant. Jesus calls us to repent of our failings - not to blame them on someone else, or wait for someone else to sort out.

8 October 2013 at 12:22  
Blogger David Anderson said...

How about a Christian bishop?

One who'd stand up in public and preach the fallen-ess and lostness of man, the guilt and depravity of sin, the need for atonement, and the incarnation, death and resurrection of Christ, and his ascension to the Father's right hand as Lord of Lords and President of Presidents, the necessity of faith exclusively in him for salvation, his return and the final judgment, etc.? One who'd explain that secular humanism is a false ideology/religion of which we need to repent? One who'd make clear that our political problems, whilst real, are *downstream* of other, more ultimate ones?

I walked past the spot of the actual Cranmer's martyrdom the other day. I wish that pseudo-Cranmer would get more acquainted with actual Cranmer.

As for Corrigan's comment... Corrigan seems ignorant of the proclamations of the one who's just been appointed as alleged earthly leader of the 'One True Church'. Francis has done some interviews in his own words now, so that nobody can continue to feasibly claim that he's just being misinterpreted by the media. Rome is a motley bag of competing factions just like Protestantism is. If you believe in the unchanging Bible as God's mouth-piece instead of the leader of the 'One True Church', then at least you don't have to keep explaining why God keeps changing his mind. Much better to put your trust in Christ alone and be led by his Word alone - you can then have in-house disagreements and be honest about them, rather than keeping up a farcical pretence.

8 October 2013 at 13:06  
Blogger deimos said...

Hmmm - why no Tory Bishops ? The cynic in me says conflict of interest - you can't worship God and Mammon at the same time.

But I think the real reason is that its just not an attractive career choice for a promising young Tory Lad and even if one tried to climb the CofE leadership ladder they would find the rungs greased.

8 October 2013 at 13:18  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Deimos has provided (at 13:18) one interesting and convincing answer to Your Grace's question, but it's not the only one. Tory bishops are reported to have been observed from time to time, singly or in small groups, drying themselves off on the further bank of a certain river, in the shadow of the Castel Sant'Angelo.

8 October 2013 at 13:44  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

According to most Anglican clergy (and increasingly their congregations, the gospel is that God wants to show His great love to us by giving us lots of lovely free stuff - taken from the "rich" ("Rich" being defined as "people who earn more than me"). Sin, selfishness, responsibility, repentance, sacrifice are not in the vernacular of most preachers of the 'gospel' any more.

My own Bishop - Nick Baines - is a good chap. But it was interesting that on a recent away day for the Diocesan clergy he invited some way-out, whacky (heretical?) preacher to talk about the linguistics of the cosmic Christ. I challenged him on this and his response was that it is best to have a "menu of theology". Yet, the menu is only varied in as much as a vegetarian menu might be varied! I would like to see if he would invite a creationist from Answers in Genesis to address the clergy, or someone from the EDL, or even the UKIP Christian Soldiers? I think we all know the answer to that.

8 October 2013 at 13:50  
Blogger David Hussell said...

David Anderson,

Agreed, yes !

Ukip Christian Soldiers.

Yes !

8 October 2013 at 14:12  
Blogger David Hussell said...


Yorkshire Tea, ah Yes, yes, yes, but no streaky for me, thank you. It's all yours ! Enjoy yourself now.

And plain, David, will do just fine, no Mr required, unless total formality is your habitual style, with everyone, which is unlikely for such a boisterous canine.

8 October 2013 at 14:16  
Blogger Roy said...

Uncle Brian said:

The Bishop of Dudley, David Walker, told the Observer: "Public fears around immigration are like fears around crime. They bear little relationship to the actual reality."

I wonder how many people the bishop thinks have come into Britain to live in the past few years? How many towns the size of Dudley would be required to accommodate all those who are likely to come in the next 10 years? Perhaps he would care to demonstrate his grasp of reality by answering these questions if he, or someone who knows him, reads this blog.

One final point; why the funny hat? Does anyone imagine that Peter, James, John, Paul or any of the apostles needed such ridiculous garb in order to fulfil their duties?

8 October 2013 at 14:37  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Wise observations, Your Grace, but how does one say it nicely? Let's see.

From a Judaeo-centric perspective: Without a developed, formalized and properly instituted system of rational religious laws and teachings dealing with the details of economic life of a society, Scripture becomes a Rorschach blot and Justice a tool for arbitrary, emotion-based personal expression, appetites, reactions and machinations.

To provide an example, Jewish law and teaching, halakhah, clearly defines for me what charity is and who the legitimate recipients may be. It instructs me with numeric precision on the minimum I must set aside, and just as importantly, it places clear limits on the extent of charity I may give. The latter prevents a person, no matter how rich or poor, from being a miser or just as improperly and unjustly, from giving it all away to the destitute, while neglecting the legitimate needs and rights of his own and his family's welfare. A contempt for economic laws which sees them as inferior to "spiritual" teachings, rather than as a vital component of an authentic religious life may be at fault here. I don't know whether this is an inherent structural weak point of the Christian religions, or something that was lost with the march of Modernity along with so many valuable customs, festivals and holy days.

Whether we like the idea or not, the material economic sphere is at the base of all human activity. This should tell us something and what I think it tells us is that our mundane economic behaviour ultimately determines our relationship with our community, the World and.....God, our Creator, who gave us a universe based on knowable and comprehensible natural laws for our benefit and for His divine purpose. Only from such a material-spiritual relationship can true Justice spring; not from myriads of vague ideas and qiestionable inspirations based on platitudes and emotions, on fleeting or fashionable notions, our emotions and interpretive guesswork, our own or that of the most influential charismatic personality of the times.

Charity, tzedakah in Hebrew, most accurately translates as "justice." True charity, true Justice, one which sources the Divine, the Sages of the Talmud warn, does not favour with bias and preference the rich and the powerful...nor, as importantly, the poor and destitute.

Jess sayin.' Let the refutations begin...

8 October 2013 at 14:55  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

Back in March, the bishop was voted Liberal Hero of the Week ‘for showing leadership with a pro-immigration stance’.

You, too, can be a Liberal Hero of the Week. Simply spout some progressive crap like ‘Studies show the vast majority of new arrivals to the UK enhance and enrich our society, both economically and culturally.’

8 October 2013 at 14:59  
Blogger Meg Underdown said...


I think Jesus would have been appalled by these statistics. Greater equality drives the economy better than outrageous inequality. The rich don't work that more than the poor£0.6 - £60!

8 October 2013 at 15:52  
Blogger Len said...

Well said' David Anderson'.(8 October 2013 13:06)

Corrigan(and others) believe if they keep repeating the same 'mantra'(about Catholicism being the 'one true church)' one day it will become a reality?.
God`s Word is Truth and exposes all the errors of Catholicism and all other `isms.

8 October 2013 at 16:10  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Meg, your stats are crap, your position unsupported and your patronizing exploitation of the "what would Jesus do" line is insulting to the genuine Christians here. See: http//im_a_lazy_vapid_activist_tool.org.

8 October 2013 at 16:13  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Dear Meg, may I counsel a darkened room, some of those scented candles and a DVD of dolphins chattering...then, once cleansed of such nonsense, abandon the Church Miliband for the Church Militant, garb yourself in the Corset of Conservatism, the Bloomers of Bishop Berkeley and the Parasol of Puseyism and seek out a Lefty. Then kick him. It does both of you the world of good.

8 October 2013 at 16:46  
Blogger John Thomas said...

"You don't get very far in today's Church of England if you're theologically conservative and politically Thatcherite". Yes, I've always said the C of E leadership is "'The Guardian' readership at prayer", and now here is HG saying it too. Very soon this C of E counterfeit will be taken over by real Christianity, and the sooner the better.

8 October 2013 at 16:46  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

What about some Christian bishops indeed!

I went to Above Bar Church in Southampton last Sunday for the first time since I was a student in the 1970s. It was nice to have simple, Christ-centred worship with a proper half hour sermon from, as it happened, the first chapter of Revelation.

Meg, if you want to find out what sorts of thing would 'appal' Jesus, you could try reading what He Himself said. Revelation 1-3 is a good start, but not if you are trying to make Him a social democrat Guardianista.

Its about time our bishops started to talk about what not what Jesus WOULD do but what He WILL do, when He returns in glory to judge the living and the dead, which Anglicans still chant but seem to doubt.

8 October 2013 at 16:51  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

'menu of theology' Rebel Saint? And this from one who aspires to teach? Quite profound implications.

AT the Winchester Cathedral harvest market last weekend, I offered customers at my apple stall a varied menu of heritage apples including perfectly ripe russets and the esteemed Ribston Pippin, but where some preferred the (to me) tasteless but shiny and crunchy Spartan, I didn't blame them. They had a choice and who was I, a humble apple grower, to gainsay it?

I should think that the vastly more serious matter of getting right with God would hardly admit of 'a menu of theology'. Surely if all roads lead to God then none do, or else it doesn't matter a jot what you believe. If so, we might as well take the softest option and go with the liberal left flow.

PS is anyone else familiar with the social gospel 'hymns' of Ian Bell of the Iona Community (TFTD favourite). they're in 'New HYmns and Worship Songs' which uis standard fayre at many Anglican churches including mine.

can't stand them.

8 October 2013 at 17:06  
Blogger David Hussell said...


at 14.55. A very useful and succinct piece, thank you.

John Thomas. 16.46. I agree, the sooner the better, for the wishy washy stuff to go and the true faith to blossom. The annual , residential Anglican Reform Conference ( those who trust the Bible) is coming up in November and is a sell out. I may have to camp in the back of the estate car. That's luxury compared to where I've kipped in my younger days !

8 October 2013 at 17:20  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Dear Mrs Proudie, can anyone, regardless of faith affiliations, participate in your curative afternoon attitudinal purgative exercise? "[A] darkened room, some of those scented candles and a DVD of dolphins chattering..." sounds pretty good to me, a swell suggestion for a stressful day, especially if one may make superficial modifications, such as adding a bit of scotch and a Cuban cigar to the setup...nay, let's stick to our conservative principles and make it a Dominican Republic one. Thus restored, cheered and energized, any Gentleman of any faith would apply himself with due diligence to the arse-kicking bit...if for no other reason than to purge through vigorlous activity any intruding thoughts of those bloomers and corsets you frequently mention and now ...o, my poor ears and whiskers...the allures of Puseyist philosophy.

8 October 2013 at 17:37  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ rambling Steve.
You are right about some of the John Bell Iona hymns. At their worst they mangle syntax like nobody's business, and use theological buzzwords, though I do confess to a liking for "THe Touching Place". Better than anything by the two dreadful Freds though?

How about your 3 Bishops? Left, right, middle, centre, or mottled apples politically.

I once read an interesting observation about the Evangelical Anglican wing of the church, which is that its leaders are by and large not Bishops, but writers, apologists and evangelists. Don't know whether they found the possibilities of having influence were greater that way as Bishops get bogged down in day to day running and discipline. It used to be Lloyd Jones, Stott, Watson, and Green, for instance, maybe now Nicky Gumbel, N.T. Wright (who left being a Bishop to go back to academia), and others- not sure who!!

Maybe a bit more conservative in inclination.

8 October 2013 at 17:45  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

One is sure there is a connection between bearded lefties defining Anglicanism and those misguided wretches who thought Jesus had come to throw the Romans out.

As the man himself said, he is not about this world, but Anglican bishops today do come across as nothing but…

8 October 2013 at 17:53  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Dear Avi, of course you may sample the delights of the scented candles and darkened room, to be followed up in your case with a slap-up tea! I feel scones, jam and clotted cream is in order. I must say I always feel enlightened after reading one of your missives, and am flattered that you found time to respond to one of mine. Now, if I am not mistaken, someone - was it you, dear David? - asked for my kedgeree recipe...time to consult Mrs. B's cook book. "First take your kedgeree and pluck it..."

8 October 2013 at 18:06  
Blogger Camel said...


'adding a bit of scotch and a Cuban cigar to the setup...'

Now you are talking. Don't forget the Shmaltz herring either. Now Mrs Barzel was a WREN, well I was just a humble, lowly cook at Her Majesty's pleasure...

PS- someone asked me to pass his regards on, well the banned flightless, stuffed dead bird, who is apparently alive (we've had 'words' you see on his own space).

Toodle pip!

8 October 2013 at 18:26  
Blogger Corrigan said...

Len, I'll make it simple so even a fundie can understand it - you're making it up as you go.

8 October 2013 at 20:00  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Your Grace,
There is at least one Christian and plausibly right of left and that is Bishop Michael Nazir Alli, former Bishop of Rochester. I was told that he resigned his Bishopric over issues taken by the then ABC. He is doing a great job promoting both the Gospel and Christian issues.
I can't blame this new guy for his lack of wisdom. I blame those who selected him. As I reported the other day, there have been no Evangelical elected as Bishops since the late nineties.

8 October 2013 at 20:03  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Rambling Steve,

My favourite Hymnal is "Mission Praise", contains some lively numbers.

Admittedly tiny compared to your operation, no doubt, but many of our apples are suffering the indignity of being turned into delicious apple juice. I have an infernal machine that scrunches them up, thus exercising my arm muscles simultaneously.

Like you though I'm not at all impressed with the idea of menus for theology. It sounds well consumerist, a bit like the Pic 'n Mix sweet bars around which I sometime lurked as an impudent child hatching cunning plans for more sweeties per pocket money pennies. If the doubters are ever going to be led back home to the sheepfolds they need Shepherds that know The Way. Bring back Wesley I say.

8 October 2013 at 20:09  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Mrs Proudie writes, ...[I am] flattered that you found time to respond to one of mine.

Surely you jest, Madam. With every instance of spying your glorious avatar on a page, an anticipatory grin spreads across the scruffy visage of mine and my heart quickens, for it knows that your words will bring not only hilarity, but rich nuggets of wisdom wrapped therein. Surely I may speak on behalf of many here when I proclaim, "Mrs Proudie, for your service to God, country, Commonwealth and conservative common sense, we salute you!"

8 October 2013 at 20:46  
Blogger bluedog said...

Meg Underdown @ 15.52 says, 'Greater equality drives the economy better than outrageous inequality.'

A questionable assertion. People with drive, energy and ability will always do better in any field of endeavour than the idle, feckless and incompetent. A truth that the Left cannot countenance. The possible exception to this truism lies, as it were, in the field of reproduction.

There are of course institutionalised barriers to equality, of which the most important is called Islam. Think briefly and you may recognise Islam as a key driver of inequality both within existing populations and on a geo-political basis globally. This communicant is unable to name a single Islamic nation that excels by virtue of the efforts of its human resources alone. Indeed, there isn't one.

The conclusion is both simple and obvious. The Left should redirect itself and devote its currently misplaced energies to the eradication of Islam. Only then can inequality be banished from the face of the Earth.

You know it makes sense.

8 October 2013 at 20:50  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Hear Hear Avi. Such is Mrs Proudie’s goodly worth, that this man cannot think of any better mission for her than to visit a rough prison and give succour to the fallen lads within...

8 October 2013 at 21:42  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness! Gentlemen, gentlemen, or dare I say, friends...I am overwhelmed by your kind word. One labours in the vineyard of course but those Band of Hope blighters do get in the way. Dear Avi, I shall set about knitting you a pair of long combinations for the Winter Storm ahead as a token of my esteem - please indicate flap size. I do in fact make regular visits to the Barchester Clink, dear Inspector, discreetly seeking out Chartists in dark corners then casting the first stone before they wake up and reading improving tracts such as, 'How to avoid piles: the Eastward Position is your friend.' I will post a copy to you first thing tomorrow.

8 October 2013 at 22:29  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Salutations Mrs Proudie, dear heart. You remain the face of true effeminate Anglicanism on this site. One you hopes you are jolly proud in that...

8 October 2013 at 22:55  
Blogger Oliver Nicholson said...

James Newcome at Carlisle and Colin Fletcher of Dorchester (Oxon.) are both Evangelicals.

8 October 2013 at 23:06  
Blogger John Dub said...

If you want to encounter another Socialist masquerading as a Christian minister listen to Bishop Stephen Lowe on Radio 5 on a Sunday night. I've lost count of the number of times I've screamed at the radio listening to him regurgitate the labour party talking points.

However his (and most socialists) biggest failing is the belief in moral relativism.

Simply put it doesn't say in the bible that when you appear in front of St Peter, that he will say, well I understand your mortal failings, but e.g. your mother was an alcoholic

The left's attitude is that the state/society whatever is responsible for shaping your life choices and outcomes... when this is utter rubbish... and my understanding of Christianity is that the whole point of it is to take responsibility for your choices and actions and to guide you to make better choices.

Jesus may have said it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye4 of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven but at no pint does he say you should invent some spurious mandate to take that wealth from him using the machinery of the state to do so. His point, if I may be so bold, is that he will be judged for his lack of charity on his judgement day.

And to see any church ointificating on wealth, when let's gace it, the churches of wehatever colour is massively hyprocrticil, even if this is a pre-reqiuistste of being a socialist.

So to sum up, the teachings of Christianity is that you own your life, your choices and ultimately your outcomes. Thus socialism with its message of precisely the opposite, is one of he more seductive offerings of the devil, and for the life of me, I cannot understand how theologians do not appreciate this.

What's easier - to accept the situation you're in and do something off your own back about it? Or to blame someone else for your failings. I simply don't recall Christ ever preaching the cop-out; in fact one of the defining features of Christian teaching is to take to better, but normally more difficult choice...

8 October 2013 at 23:47  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9 October 2013 at 00:11  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Friends, indeed, Mrs Proudie, although the Secrecy Act and modesty prevent me from disclosing preferred flap size. On the subject of modesty, hints on flap size may be found in the discourse on codpieces in Rabelais' Gargantua and Pantagruel...

9 October 2013 at 00:13  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Rebel Saint

"A menu of theology"?? I thought that was some kind of satire by Conservative Christians. By menu he presumably means enough intellectual tools to be able to aver from any teaching he finds unsatisfactory and justify any teaching he might imagine.

(As a more general point...)

Why is it that all these social justice types seem to be from a certain kind of middle class background. I can honestly say that, living in the middle of a deprived area, I have never heard anyone who works or lives here utter so much as a word of this liberal cant.

9 October 2013 at 02:26  
Blogger Mike Stallard said...

"Those who refuse to work should not eat;"

This is reactionary Fascism!

9 October 2013 at 07:30  
Blogger David Hussell said...

John Dub,

Well said ! Take responsibility for your life. Quite !

Oliver Nicholson,

Evangelicals. Whilst not commenting on the evangelical orthodoxy of the two that you mention, as I know nothing about them, I will say that I have been disappointed by the use of this description on a number of occasions.
The term "evangelical" is now used so loosely it includes some who may, yes have received such training but, who now, have seen the "advantages" of current liberal trends. So only a week ago I read about a prominent Evangelical who is now supporting SSM and all the rest of the Christianity undermining agenda. So I don"t just read what's on the tin but I prise it open and give it a stir before trusting what has become a vague term.

The devaluation of the meaning of words is one of the Cultural Marxists techniques. But I hope that you are right, and that the pair you mention are the genuine article. They are still about !

9 October 2013 at 08:02  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Rebel Saint,

Yes, most of the "Social Justice " types I meet too are from middle class backgrounds, and many are champagne socialists. There's something about protective, comfortable middle class upbringings, if divorced from the practicalities of some form of economic activity, that fosters wooly thinking. Guilt may be playing apart as well perhaps.
But simultaneously they are, to a man, unable to see that unlimited inward immigration, by depressing the wages of the indigenous workers , and even earlier immigrants, is very effective at pushing down living standards ! I have reached the conclusion that they are just non-practical people who live in a Cloud Cuckoo land and don't like coping with the facts of life, economic or moral.

9 October 2013 at 08:09  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Dear Heavensforfend,

Goodness! What a nice young man you seem to be, but I would caution you on eating bowels for breakfast... porridge is much better.

9 October 2013 at 10:57  
Blogger Martin said...

The gospel Christians preach is that God gives salvation, nothing to do with the communal.

Christianity is about the authority of the Bible - not some imagined authority of one elder in one town usurping Christ's authority. The Bible adequately keeps Atheism at bay, while it remains that authority.

9 October 2013 at 11:36  
Blogger Len said...

Corrigan.... I doubt you can see the irony of your remark(8 October 2013 20:00)

Catholicism has become like a giant snowball gathering doctrines and traditions as it rolled through the Centuries ...you just couldnt make it up......or could they?.

9 October 2013 at 17:49  
Blogger Drastic Plastic said...

Perhaps instead of complaining about these state appointees, it would be better to call on Cameron to reform the hopelessly corrupt and opaque system of appointments?

For THAT is where the dirt is.

9 October 2013 at 20:07  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

13 October 2013 at 21:06  

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