Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Global South response to Pilling Report shows missiological gulf


The Global South of the Anglican Communion Secretariat have issued a statement in response to the Pilling Report. Some will find it profoundly encouraging in its clear and prophetic expression of sound doctrine; others will be exasperated by its ungodly recalcitrance and loveless intransigence. It is reproduced in its entirety in case the pdf should disappear, but His Grace wants only to deal with the bold (his bold) in the third paragraph:
We are writing to express our serious concerns in regard to the Pilling Report. We know that the House of Bishops of the Church of England will be discussing this and we would like to assure them of our prayers so that the Holy Spirit would guide them to the right decisions.

First, we would like to say that we believe that the church of Christ should not in any way be homophobic or have any kind of phobia. We should follow in the steps of Jesus Christ who embraced all the marginalized of his society; having said that, we must say that we did not read of any homophobic statement from any bishop or clergy in the Church of England. It is sad that anyone who does not support the ministry of gay and lesbians, as well as same-sex marriages, is considered homophobic. Obviously there is a big difference between those who refuse to recognize the presence of homosexuals in the church, i.e. homophobic, and those who do support Lambeth 1998 Resolution 1.10 and do not support the ministry and ordination of non-celibate gay and lesbians, as well as same-sex marriages.

The Pilling Report raises an important question which requires an answer: will the Church of England conform to its context, i.e. will the Church of England allow the society to shape its faith and practice in such a way in order to be acceptable by the society, or will the Church of England recognize that its distinctive mission is to transform the society?

The Pilling Report suggests, that while the Church of England should not change its teaching, it should give a space to provide pastoral care to gay and lesbians such as doing same-sex blessing with unauthorized liturgies. It is similar to what some churches in North America called “a local option” and now has become a standard practice in these churches. In the pretext of providing pastoral care, the suggestion in a very subtle way, encourages the turning of a blind eye to a major alteration of the teaching of the church. This suggestion, of a local option, likewise ignores an historic Anglican approach to doctrine, namely lex orandi, lex credendi – what we pray is what we believe. A pastoral provision, while not officially changing the church’s teaching, does, in practice and in fact, change the church’s teaching. The Global South are resolutely opposed to this.

The Global South considers forward movement on the Pilling Report’s recommendations as equal to what the North American churches did ten years ago which caused much confusion in the Communion. This reminds us of Eli the High Priest who turned a blind eye to the wrongdoings of his sons which led to a period of spiritual dryness when the Spirit of God departed from the midst of His people (Ichabod).

The Church of England should not worry about the gap, or the principled tension, between the church and society, especially after the House of Lords and House of Commons accepted same-sex marriages. The Church should not allow the state to put pressure on it. Indeed, the Church needs to respond to the demands of the society, but not at the expense of its faith, practice, and unity. In fact, the Church needs to be the conscious (sic?) of the society, providing spiritual leadership and guidance. A faithful church will always have a principled tension between her and the society. This gap makes the church distinct as salt and light. Especially at this season of Advent, we need to repent and call people to repentance in order to prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus Christ. John the Baptist was never “politically correct.” He never compromised the message he came to deliver. He risked, and even lost his life, to stay true to this message.

The Pilling Report correctly recognizes that the Church of England is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion. It therefore obligates the Church of England to humbly consult and seek the counsel of sister Provinces on such a grave matter, in light of the spirit of the Windsor Report. There is an implication of this fact which is: if the Church of England wants to keep such unity, there must be wider consultation in order to avoid divisive decisions. Whatever decisions the Church of England will take will have an impact on its relation with the wider Anglican Communion, especially the Global South, and also the relation with its ecumenical partners and interfaith dialogues with other religions. It would be difficult to comprehend how we affirm our faith by saying the words of the Nicene Creed, “we believe in one , holy, catholic and apostolic church,” when we take unilateral actions that disrupt this oneness. Our hope and prayer is that the House of Bishops would give serious attention to the relation between the Church of England and the wider Communion, as well as other churches and other faith communities.

The Pilling Report recognizes that this issue is a divisive issue. It is astonishing that the Report makes the Church of England’s observations and recommendations without reference to the same practices by the North American churches in 2002 and 2003 that tore the fabric of the Communion at its deepest level, and continue to do so . It would be very sad, indeed, for the Church of England to follow in the steps of those in North America whose similar unilateral decisions led to further division and tore the fabric of the Communion at its deepest level.
Surely, after all the Primates meetings that have discussed the divisions in the Communion and provided ways forward, the Windsor Report, the absence of one-third of the Bishops at the 2008 Lambeth Conference and the absence of many Primates from 2011 Primates meetings, the Pilling Report does not acknowledge that extensive consultations in the Communion have already been done. We regret that greater attention to these reports and Primates statements did not provide more guidance in the recommendations of the Pilling Report as representing recent, existing consultations. Most of us in the Global South have already participated in the Listening Process. After more than 10 years of listening and conversation, we do not see a value of endless conversations and indabas.

We are clear on what the Bible teaches about sexual relationships outside of the marriage of one man and one woman, and the need for pastoral care for those who find themselves in relationships outside of this. The dissenting view written by the Bishop of Birkenhead captures well our position. For us in the Global South, his view is the majority view, and we hope the Church of England Bishops will recognize this. The Church of England needs to be cautious in taking decisions that will compromise faith and the position of the Church of England within the Anglican Communion as well as the position of the Archbishop of Canterbury who tries hard to heal the torn fabric of the Communion.

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be trans formed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will.”                                                               Romans 12:1-2

May the Lord bless you!

Yours in Christ,

+ Mouneer Egypt                                                      + +Ian Mauritius
The Most Revd Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis                The Most Revd Ian Ernest
Chairman of the Global South                                                     Honorable General Secretary of the Global South of the Anglican Communion                                               of the Anglican Communion
What irritates His Grace most about this is that we are about to celebrate the birth of Christ, and this issue is a colossal diabolical distraction. Five centuries ago, Church of England bishops were burned at the stake for the gospel of salvation; now they meet over cheese and wine to discuss sexuality.

The paragraph in bold type evidences the missiological diversity that exists across the Anglican Communion, and it requires a little unpacking, for therein lies the taproot of division and a possible branch on which may sprout a degree of unity.   

The Church has always struggled with the tension between the affirmation and assimilation of culture, and the call of the gospel to confront and transform it. Richard Niebuhr outlined five possible relationships between the gospel and culture, which are the typical approaches taken throughout Christian history.

He identified Christ against culture; Christ of culture; Christ above culture; Christ with culture in paradox; and Christ the transformer of culture. Each generates different understandings of the mission of the Church, and each finds its expression in the broad church that is the Church of England – which incorporates Protestants, Evangelicals, conservatives, liberals, Anglo-Catholics and permutations of various fusions of these held ‘in tension’.

Some essentially view culture as antagonistic to the gospel, and adopt a confrontational approach. The model of contextualisation (if there is one) will be the translation model, challenging the culture with a direct presentation of the unchanging gospel. Those who see culture as being ‘on our side’ adopt the anthropological model of contextualisation, looking for ways in which God has revealed himself in culture and builds on those. Those who adopt the ‘Christ above culture’ model have a synthetic approach and adopt a mediating third way, keeping culture and faith in creative tension.

And for those - like our Global South brothers - who see Christ as the transformer of culture, adopt a critical contextualisation which by no means rejects culture, but is prepared to be critical both of the context and of the way we ourselves perceive the gospel and its meaning. Thus culture itself needs to be addressed by the gospel, not simply the individuals within it, and truth is mediated through cultural spectacles, including our own.

This model mitigates cultural arrogance or easy identification of the gospel with English culture. It also permits one to see how mission relates to every aspect of a culture in its political, economic and social dimensions. David Bosch is an advocate of mission that is as inclusive as possible. He says:
Mission is a multifaceted ministry, in respect of witness, service, justice, healing, reconciliation, liberation, peace, evangelism, fellowship, church planting, contextualisation, and much more... mission has to be multidimensional.
Such a model is demanded by the postmodern plurality which now presents the Church of England with a melting pot of cultures and ideas to which it needs to respond in different ways: there cannot be one model of mission which is inflexible and unresponsive; each situation must be met on its merits and the response must be appropriate. Essentially, the context of each region of the Communion, and each diocese within each region, and each parish within each diocese must make them sift, test, reformulate and transform mission in order that the response can be relevant and dynamic for those who are being lost.

According to Lesslie Newbigin, ‘there is not and cannot be a gospel which is not culturally embodied.’ He maintains that the missionary task is to challenge the ‘reigning plausibility structure’ by examining it in light of the revealed purposes of God contained in the biblical narrative. He advocates a scepticism which enables one to take part in the life of society without being deluded by its own beliefs about itself.

The distinctive mission of the Church of England, while based upon the principle of inculturation, cannot endorse uncritical acceptance of the totality of English culture. And yet it operates a territorial ‘church in community’ type of ecclesiology which works with the state to define its worship, and through dioceses, parishes and chaplaincies to effect its pastoral care and compassionate service. Establishment commits the Church of England to full involvement in civil society and to making a contribution to the public discussion of issues that have moral or spiritual implications.

By concerning itself with the pastoral dimensions of wholeness and healing, the mission of the Church of England accords with people’s quest for meaning and an assurance of identity which cannot be found without community, without fellowship. Its fundamental weaknesses, in common with many churches in Europe, is its tendency to demand that people do not merely acknowledge the Lordship of Christ but also abandon their former way of life in favour of that of a peculiar middle-class sub-culture. Notwithstanding some of the excellent work going on in some of the most impoverished parishes in the country, the public perception of the Church of England remains one of middle-class privilege and an élitism which has little relevance to a modern, pluralist, multi-ethnic society.

And it is also one which has very little relevance to most gays and lesbians, and therein lies the missiological challenge.

225 Comments:

Blogger Martin said...

I'm not sure where the concept of the Church transforming the society comes from. First century Christians, to my mind, were more concerned with transforming themselves into the likeness of Christ.

Indeed, whilst they had to live in the society they separated themselves from that society in order not to be involved in the sin of society.

Until the CoE realises that the only authority is the Word of God, not the tradition or even the society, it will not abandon those things it has acquired: priestcraft, women clergy and now sexual misconduct.

17 December 2013 at 10:35  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Your Grace,

An interesting presentation of the situation including an excellent analysis of the alternative models of contextualisation available to us all.

The model of relating to the Gospel adopted by The Global South does, I believe, seek to transform both the individuals in it, perhaps first, and the society in which those individuals are located. That is how I see it, and that is, I believe, its strength. Unless we become separate from society, create our own sub-society, I see limited choice in how individual Christians relate to the wider society.

Does not the Great Commission require us to reach out to society, which is what many Churches, not just the C of E, is failing to do. Separation would be a survival strategy I suppose, if it were possible in such crowded small islands. But did not the early missionaries, Celtic, from the north, and Roman, from the south, set out to place themselves at the heart of the societies here at the time?
I feel heartened by the kind, clear faith of the Global South and have thanked the Bishop of Birkenhead for his courageous wisdom and faithfulness.

17 December 2013 at 10:49  
Blogger Martin said...

David

The Great Commission requires us to preach the gospel, not to reach out. The gospel is that all mankind has sinned and is in need of the mercy God freely offers.

17 December 2013 at 11:02  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Martin

" Martin said...

I'm not sure where the concept of the Church transforming the society comes from. (then you are wholly ignorant of the fact of the wonderful British missionaries that transformed the society here and abroad at great personal cost,including the giving of their lives for Christ's sake to transform the peoples in those societies) First century Christians, to my mind, were more concerned with transforming themselves into the likeness of Christ.
(Matthew 5:13: “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.”

Believers in Christ are preservatives to the world, preserving it from the evil inherent in the society of ungodly men whose unredeemed natures are corrupted by sin (Psalm 14:3; Romans 8:8).

The commision is twofold and involves transforming self and others, not being or living insular lives! You are grossly mistaken.
Christians, living under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and in obedience to Christ, will inevitably influence the world for good as the early church did and turned the world upside down (Or did they just gaze at their navels whilst living in your isolated and unhistorical society of the 1st century?), as salt has a positive influence on the flavor of the food it seasons. Where there is strife, we are to be peacemakers; where there is sorrow, we are to be the ministers of Christ, binding up wounds, and where there is hatred, we are to exemplify the love of God in Christ, returning good for evil (Luke 6:35)...Not hiding away from it!!!)

Indeed, whilst they had to live in the society they separated themselves from that society in order not to be involved in the sin of society (Oh really...“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven”. How on earth can you shine if you are living in a bubble, under a bushell?..Should we be Amish then or does your Calvinism say "Let them rot. It was preordained?)

Until the CoE realises that the only authority is the Word of God, not the tradition or even the society, it will not abandon those things it has acquired: priestcraft, women clergy and now sexual misconduct." Indeed and also that our Calvinist brethren learn that Salvation is for all men and none know who the 'called' are UNTIL they are 'called', so there is work to be done. Do examine your own system and see it's failings also, as the harvest seems ripe to overflowing but some gathers tend to walk away for the field in question looking for their own pasture instead of the one given to reap?

Blofeld

17 December 2013 at 11:33  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

Just a simple question for Your Grace.

Is intransigence always loveless?

17 December 2013 at 11:39  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

ps

"The Great Commission requires us to preach the gospel, not to reach out. The gospel is that all mankind has sinned and is in need of the mercy God freely offers." How very, *Brash Snorting* Calvinistic of you, my boy.

and we wonder how the world cannot see the love of Christ and how it has transformed we sinners that are it's recipient of so great a love.

It sounds like you will be rejoicing that the wicked are shown the Lake of Fire at the Great White Throne yet you were once one of them as we all were. All arrogance and pride in our salvation will be swept away on that day as we see men lost forever...no hope that tomorrow may bring a change. Yet they have earned what they deserved?

It seems, then, that the role of the Christian as salt and light in the world may be hindered or prevented through any choice to compromise or settle for that which is more convenient or comfortable, rather than that which is truly best and pleasing to the Lord.

Does the Lord really want us to "preachie no reachie"...is this truly best and pleasing to the Lord.

Unsaved men spend eternity in the same place as the Devil and his angels: Rev 20:15 And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. You would have us stand by and do nothing except speak. Jesus wept for the lost and clung on that cross to ensure we would be with Him forever, yet it can be so coldly stated by others is amazing and easily forgotten that that love extended to ALL MEN. He died for all men..That the lost are lost should urge us on in prayer and action.

1 Timothy 2:4

who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

but "will have all men to be saved," implies the possibility of man's accepting it (through God's antecedent grace) or rejecting it (through man's own perversity).

Our prayers ought to include all, as God's grace included all.
to come--They are not forced.
unto the knowledge--Greek, "the full knowledge" or "recognition" Philippians 1:9 ).
the truth--the saving truth as it is in, and by, Jesus ( John 17:3 John 17:17 ).

I think the Calvinist would joyously shut the door in the face of the sinner should God allow him the responsibility. Praise His Name that He and only He allows and denies entrance.

Blofeld.

17 December 2013 at 12:05  
Blogger Simba Hosting said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

17 December 2013 at 12:28  
Blogger David Anderson said...

Cranmer's response to this reads rather like "yeah, hath God said?"

Actually yes, God has said. Sexual activity outside of marriage is a serious sin. Saying so isn't a "serious distraction" from something more important; it's a central issue for Christians today to face. Cranmer has a problem with the law of God, and spends a lot of words waffling around that root fact.

17 December 2013 at 12:30  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Happy Jack agrees this is a "diabolical distraction" and is a very successful one. All these meetings by big wigs and their discussions and feedback and disagreements.

Jack thinks Rasher Bacon asked a very important question. Sometimes the most loving thing to do is not to compromise or take half measures. If the bible is clear about sex then the church should be too.

Then the big problem remains. This "missiological challenge". How does the church let outsiders in to get to know God loves them while also saying they must leave old ways behind? Nowadays, this just sounds so old fashioned in modern society. The secularists and atheists make Christians look like old fogies over sex, marriage and homosexuality and over abortion too. Maybe its easier in the Global South.

God isn't a cuddly teddy bear who let's anything go. Inviting people to meet him and learn about him means being honest about him too. Hell and Satan is real too and people need to be saved and its up to good Christians and their churches to set about helping with this.

17 December 2013 at 12:58  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

David Anderson

I think you are mistaken in your assesment of Cranmer here.

He speaks volumes regarding God's Law but as the early proponents of getting the Bible into the common tongue felt regarding the dispute of The lords supper etc by such as Tyndale, was lets get the word out to save souls and the Lord's supper will inform itself once the people know what God says about it?

If Gays and Lesbians are not informed what sin is in particular as God sees, it by preaching them to get into the situation of needing Salvation, what relevance can be sought from whether a women and woman or man and man can be married.

The CofE is missing it's mission that it is to save sinners and not rubber-stamp what Society temporally deems acceptable.

Concentrate on the great mission not be distracted by the missives of secular society.

It has become the Civil Service at prayer!

We then tend to be influenced by society rather than we influencing that society.

Blofeld

17 December 2013 at 13:03  
Blogger Len said...

Compromise is killing the church.

Compromise might mean survival and acceptance by this corrupt world system in the short term but it means a future confrontation with God.
The Church if it 'changes sides' becomes an enemy of God.We already see this happening (I am not going to mention the Roman Church [oh I did!}because many of the Protestant
Churches are equally bad.You might love your neighbour but that doesn`t mean you have to get into bed with them!.
You can love someone but not agree with what they are doing.
God loves us all because He sees the potential within us all not because we are worthy of being loved but because it is His nature to care for us and not want to see us under the power of the enemy(which we all are until saved)

The Church age is coming to and end but the Holy Spirit is still seeking those who wish to get out of this corrupt world system and to join the Kingdom of Heaven.



17 December 2013 at 13:03  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Extra Sensory,

Quite ! And thank you.

Triumphalism and being an "in" group, should not be part of our joy in the faith and salvation that we have been graciously given, through no merit of our own. It is offered to all. Then they too, as individuals, have the BIG choice.

That's the whole point of the Great Commission.
God offers. Messengers 'reach out", in many ways, including preaching the gospel of course which is vital, obviously, and individuals decide. But we have no idea as to who will decide what, and many change their mind later. Our job is to keep going, abandoning no one, as we are not the judge.

Do pass on my greetings of the season to Tiddles, please.

17 December 2013 at 13:07  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Blowers, Happy Jack says hello again! You have been quiet of late. Did that scan go okay. Jack trusts you're not "with child". *chuckle*

17 December 2013 at 13:10  
Blogger David Hussell said...

I was responding to Extra Sensory at 12.05, but forget to add the all important time.

17 December 2013 at 13:10  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Happy jack.

Well said my fine lad.

"Jack thinks Rasher Bacon asked a very important question. Sometimes the most loving thing to do is not to compromise or take half measures. If the bible is clear about sex then the church should be too. "

As William Tyndale found, because society is illiterate about the things God says, how can you blame them by not understanding what means wrong and what means right especially when those that should know better refuse to inform for the temporal appearance of peaces sake? as we have found with the undermining of family and marriage until nothing makes any sense except our own lustful desires.

These things never destroy immediately but like a slow acting poison, so that bit by bit society is destroyed which leads to more insane swallowing of more poison!

Blowers

ps

David Hussell said...

Who on earth are we to know who is saved and who is not. Everything in the scripture for Calvinists runs contrary to the Lord's actions towards others and how we should act accordingly. He will save who He will save and it is not for us to judge what we should do. We must OBEY HIM!

God only knows, David, our regrets on that day as we see people lost forever who we could or should have said something to...It will most definitely be personal the loss we feel for our own lack of action or comforting words.

Sometimes I dread that day for the lost moments that old Ernst could have said or done something (Preachie and reachie) and I must live with this.

May God soften our souls for the lost sinner as He softened someone to tell us about the great love of Christ for us which changed us FOREVER.)

17 December 2013 at 13:17  
Blogger David Hussell said...

If the Church conforms to society it will be absorbed by it. That is what is/will happen to many in the liberal branches of Church's I think, including the C of E, my denomination. The US has pointed the way - look at the Episcopalians, locked in fruitless legal disputes. The traditional ones grow in numbers, with or without church premises.

Our job is to welcome all, as Jesus did, avoid condemning any individual, just as Jesus did, keep pointing everyone to the wisdom of God including the moral laws, which include sexual behaviour obviously, and keep going, reaching out, being there for those who wish to listen to the Gospel.

So Cranmer is spot on. This is a colossal diabolical distraction, as Happy Jack noted. It distracts from doing the main job, The Great Commission, as indeed it is intended to do !

17 December 2013 at 13:21  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Extra Sensory @ 13.17

Indeed, and thank you again.

Off out now for some fresh air and winter sunshine, methinks.

17 December 2013 at 13:26  
Blogger Richard Brown said...


Ironical, is it not, that in a post-colonial Britain which has been brought up to believe that the days of Empire were a Bad Thing, we should be attempting to foist our liberal mindset on the rest of the world all over again, as if they had never had their independence?

17 December 2013 at 13:43  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

Thanks Jack.

I've been thinking recently that sometimes the via media leads over a cliff, particularly when the ground up to the narrrow way gets eroded.

I know the Bob Dylan 'with God on our side' lyric can always be used on the intransigent Kaisers of this world, but it's a bit facile to assume that the Bible as a whole is an incomprehensible document.

I sometimes think about property leases and the parable of the vineyard. Under good English law, all have clauses allowing the landlord control over the use of the property by the tenant, some absolute. This whole Pilling report is a bit like making reference to a lease that forbids use as a zoo, and reinterpreting it to allow occupancy by a variety of animals with paying visits by the general public. The test is not in the benighted mind of the tenant (be he ever so sincere) but in the court of entirely fair justice to which he is dragged by the landlord when he walks up the drive and sees a zoo in operation.

Not a perfect metaphor, but the unexpected return of the Landlord even seems to be disappearing from the mind of the contributors to the report.

17 December 2013 at 13:58  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Happy Jack said...

"Blowers, Happy Jack says hello again! You have been quiet of late. Did that scan go okay. Jack trusts you're not "with child". *chuckle*"

Still suffering with the pain and getting difficult to walk more than 20 meters without losing some balance and suffering more pain.

"Did that scan go okay." The chancers have still not gotten back to me with the report, despite leaving message on answerphone.

The NHS is becoming utterly useless and too self absorbed to care for its patients. Hopefully I can get out to them in person next few days and give them a few pieces of whats on my mind about them!

"Jack trusts you're not "with child". *chuckle*" Dear boy what a financial boon that would be, could then afford to go private..It would be only the best for me and me new offspring. Would hate to have to do the midnight feeding and nappy changing all over again as MRS B was a bit lax in that department.

(Keep that between you and me my lad, as I have a reputation to uphold on the blog) *Cheeky Chortles*

Blowesr

17 December 2013 at 14:15  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

David

"That's the whole point of the Great Commission.
God offers. Messengers 'reach out", in many ways, including preaching the gospel of course which is vital, obviously, and individuals decide."
Indeed...It sometimes appears to Old Ernst that the story of the Good Samaritan would be lost on Calvinists.

Rather than go and help after the first two had ignored the injured soul, the Calvinist would approach and preach them they deserved what they got because they were not saved and could not be or else why the beating. No reaching out here!

Who, indeed, is my neighbour.

I sometimes wonder if they see Calvin rather than Christ in their thoughts and actions?

Scary or what?

Blofeld

17 December 2013 at 14:28  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Your Grace,
The CofE is wearing it's slippers. Hoping that they can move arround without being noticed. Like a lobster in a pot, it's members don't notice the increasing heat till it's boiling and then they won't realise they are in hell because their won't be any difference with life on earth.

A good leader will stand strong on issues and not compromise. That can only bring distruction in God's Holy Realm.

17 December 2013 at 14:32  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

There's something I never understood about all this "postmodern mission" stuff that gets bandied about quite a bit - when have they met someone who demands such a multidimensional approach? It's probably true at a macro level, but it smacks of an organisational approach that has shifted the burden upwards from individuals. Who was ever saved by the Church corporate?

Mission is about people. Go out and meet them. Their needs will be made apparent to you. Go out and meet them.

17 December 2013 at 14:44  
Blogger Martin said...

ESB+T

Of course a society is influenced by the believers in its midst, but that does not mean we are called to transform society. The call to believers is to preach the gospel, and believers are salt to the society they live in.

yes, the early Christians did turn the World upside down, by telling the people that something new had happened, that God, the creator God had come to Earth to die for men's sins and all that was required of men was to accept the offer.

The first Christians were despised, hardly of much use as mediators, who would want one of those to make peace for you. How do you bind up wounds for those who continue to hate God? Will you tell them it will be all right when their dearly beloved is in Hell and that is where they are headed as well?

How do you think the society knew they were a light? Did they wallow in the mire along with the rest of the citizens? Or did they perhaps, by their lack of joining in the evil acts of their neighbours demonstrate they were different?

Funny that, God down the ages chose people, He even chose the children of Israel and yet you balk at the idea that God can choose whom He will save. Is God your lap dog to do as you please, does He have to wait until you are ready to turn to Himbefore He can save you? The answer, of course, is NO, God is sovereign and He will do as He pleases whether it pleases you or not.

We are not told whom God will save, so we go out into the World and preach the gospel to all. Then we see the meaning of the parable of the soils. Some soil is totally un prepared, the seed falls and is eaten, some soil is on the edge of the prepared area, the weeds choke or the ground is to rocky. Some ground God has prepared to receive the seed and it bears great fruit.

If you think the gospel is entirely in Man's hands then clearly God has failed for many hear the gospel and walk away. No, God will save all He wills to save, not one of His sheep (remember they are His) will be lost.

17 December 2013 at 15:34  
Blogger JohnH said...

I'm sure that I would consider this to be a good article - if I understood it, that is.

"[Richard Niebuhr] identified Christ against culture; Christ of culture; Christ above culture; Christ with culture in paradox; and Christ the transformer of culture. "

What in heaven's name does that mean? I rather suspect that the answer is "nothing!". No wonder people are baling out of the CofE in droves when they are confronted by waffle like that.

17 December 2013 at 16:02  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Martin, Happy Jack respectfully enquires if you are one of these elect, chosen before time began, to be saved and that you had no say so in it at all? And how do you know this?

Let's be honest, nobody knows for sure if they are going to heaven. There are so many theories with different parts of the bible quoted back and forth saying this and that.

Jack thinks God draws people to himself in different ways - and some have greater choice than others. Saint Paul, for example, would have been real dumb after meeting Jesus not to believe in him. And Jesus picked him for a very special job. Paul still had to agree and do what he was told. It's the same with Mary. Are you saying she could not have said no to the angel? And even Jesus wrestled with what lay in front of him and sweated blood and tears. He had to agree too. With others it can take more time and happen in a different way. Who says there's only one route?

Jack thinks you diminish God by turning him into a being that leaves no room for man to freely chose him once the Holy Spirit starts going to work on him.

Anyway, back to the issue. The church has a problem with a small group who are active homosexuals and who have read the bible and think they are saved and still think what they are doing is okay. What should the church say to them and how should it treat them? This is a small group and so much time and energy is going into arguing about this. That's why Jack agrees it is all a "diabolical distraction".

Blowers, Happy Jack will tell no one you were a hen pecked husband and father. Your secret is safe with Jack. *chuckle*

17 December 2013 at 16:22  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Martin:

I agree that God is sovereign and is not required to answer to mankind in anything - but that is a little bit different from the proposition that He suffers us to have a choice about whether or not we follow Him. Someone who insists on free will trumping even God has set up an idol - but the idea that God might gift by grace the opportunity to choose freedom from sin through His Son is not the same thing.

A quick question, though, how do you understand 1 Timothy 2:4?

17 December 2013 at 16:35  
Blogger David Hussell said...

John H @ 16.02

You say that you are baffled by the Richard Niebuhr reference. I agree that the extract you have seized upon, in itself, is unclear. But Leslie Newbigin was a highly respected missionary in India for 40 years. He wrestled with the question as to how a gospel, written using the metaphors and socially meaningful examples of the ME 1st century culture of Jesus' time , could be explained successfully to the totally different cultures he encountered in India, with no Biblical tradition. Other missionaries have written books describing their approach, say to the Masai, and so on. We here now in the west are in a missionary situation, Do you agree to that?
The same problem occurs whatever the culture of course, so The Lord's Prayer for Inuit says, "Give us our daily seal ... ". You may see the serious problem in communicating across the chasm of a different culture - even though the basic theology, the human need, is unchanging, identical, always, everywhere, for everyone. Newbigin's models of contextual theology simply propose a variety of ways, methods, of relating and relaying the gospel to people in need of God's truth, located in their particular culture at that particular time. You may wish to learn and read a little more before alighting on that one point and condemning it.

Do not all Churches nowadays struggle with the communication point, in todays post-modern western culture, or do you have the answer? If so please share it with the rest of the universal Church, although you run the risk of being declared a Saint, which might scare you ?

Just teasing there - too much of a temptation !

17 December 2013 at 17:40  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

HJ wrote:

Let's be honest, nobody knows for sure if they are going to heaven.

That's not a very Methodist position, let alone Protestant. One might even call it ... you know.

carl

17 December 2013 at 17:59  
Blogger gentlemind said...

If the church of England sides with the State, it will continue to be the church of England. If it sides with God, it will become a Church. Calls for the church of England to side with God are, then, calls for the church of England to cease to be the church of England. And those calls are motivated by a desire for the church of England to continue to be the church of England :)

A structural fault inherent to the foundations.

17 December 2013 at 18:07  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Archbishop Cranmer

Five centuries ago, Church of England bishops were burned at the stake for the gospel of salvation ...

Five centuries ago, the Romans were actively attacking the Gospel and the doctrines of Grace. Today the libertines use sexuality as a stalking horse for the idol of human autonomy. You fight the battles that are presented to you.

now they meet over cheese and wine ...

Really? You would say such a thing of African bishops? Episcopalians meet over cheese and wine. They have bank vaults stuffed with dead men's money. The Africans have no such thing. To imply easy self-indulgence on their part is just gratuitous.

... to discuss sexuality

Considering the centrality of sex to procreation, child rearing, family formation, and the propagation of civilization, the potential aggregate public harm from the private misuse of human sexuality is staggering. There is a reason the Bible talks so much about sex. It's not a trivial subject. Certainly it is much more important than 'payday loans.'

carl

17 December 2013 at 18:11  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

A fellow thinks to himself. “What is the bedrock of the CoE if it is not the middle classes.” And “what the hell is wrong with elitism ?”. The CoE has been of the middle classes ever since the class emerged in the 19th century. And who in the CoE cares if society is now pluralistic (…whatever relevance that is…) and as to multi ethnic - What is that to the CoE ?

How to atone for being middle class then. Let’s see. Getting drunk at weekends. Keeping a cross bred Staff. Doing the football pools. Feeding the children on baked beans, shouting at them, and then your neighbours in the street. Would that help – to abandon standards just because the public may or may not perceive you as privileged. What damnable rot !

And then we come to the sexually disabled. Yes – that’s what they are. Trying to make the best of a disability. Yes, they will call you homophobic, because it’s working definition today is anyone who does not go along with the latest homosexual thinking. And the latest homosexual thought is that anything is now possible, absolutely anything, so reach out. If it’s denied you, keep on tapping away until dissent collapses in the din of the mock outrage you generate. Two young homosexual men in their early twenties who want to adopt a newborn ? No problem, ask and parts of the CoE might even campaign for you.

Seems to this man it’s impossible for the CoE to say NO ! Why has that word disappeared from the church. Where’s it hiding ? Who hid it away ?

Preach the gospel to the gays. That’s what Jesus would have you do. Not shake them by the hand and encourage them to continue in their deluded ways…



17 December 2013 at 18:20  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Carl,

"Let's be honest, nobody knows for sure if they are going to heaven.

That's not a very Methodist position, let alone Protestant. One might even call it ... you know."

On the contrary, it sounds thoroughly Calvinist. The works of 16th and 17th century Calvinists, particularly the more private ones, are dominated by uncertainty as to whether or not they belong to God's predestined elect. As good Calvinists they knew that anything they thought or did in life had no bearing whatsoever on whether or not they were elected to salvation, and their writings are full of pitiable if futile examinations of the evidence of their own election. Wesleyan methodists, as opposed to Calvinist methodists, were much more open to Arminianism, which rejected double predestination and limited atonement. They were accused of being closet Papists because of it.

17 December 2013 at 18:33  
Blogger David Hussell said...

gentlemind, @ 18.07

Hullo there, gentlemind. Good to "see" you.

You may well be right, but only if it is a simple, pure, binary either / or choice, which it may well be, or not. But is it so cut and dried ?

Being in a philosophical mood, some may say that a time of choice, has passed, and some may say that time is now, or soon, or later...

But God, I think, looks at people, individuals, not institutions. It is possible that even within the North Korean Government there are people that God regards as his own, unlikely though this may seem to us here, now. But who am I to judge? I shall leave the judging to God I think.

If I face the binary either / or, choice as you put it, I will choose God. But at present with many faithful, traditional Christians, of different theologies within the C of E, the body as a whole lives. But that is no guarantee that it may not die, spiritually, later, if as has happened elsewhere, those who follow Scriptural, Traditional theology leave. But of course at present they aim to influence the direction of the vast, rambling organization containing many smaller groupings, that sails under the flag, of the C of E. Time will tell I think.

17 December 2013 at 18:34  
Blogger JohnH said...

David Hussell @ 17.40

Of course I agree with you about the need to present the Gospel message in terms understandable to the recipients. I don't see how that objective is advanced by the sociologists' claptrap that I quoted.

As an aside, I remember my Sunday School teacher telling the class (I'm 70, so it was a few years ago) about a society that didn't keep sheep, so a well-known passage had to be translated as: "All we like pigs have gone astray".

17 December 2013 at 19:04  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Carl, Happy Jack is confused by your comment.

HJ - "Let's be honest, nobody knows for sure if they are going to heaven."

Carl - "That's not a very Methodist position, let alone Protestant. One might even call it ... you know."

Happy Jack claims no denomination allegiance. Jack understands that even if he is moved to accept Jesus, salvation can still be lost. Don't you believe this? Are you certain that you have been saved? Jack notices Martin has not answered him.

17 December 2013 at 19:15  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Happy Jack,

I believe Carl believes (correct me if I'm wrong, Carl; I have you pegged as a Calvinist, but I may be wrong) in what is called "Perseverance of the Saints", which means that having been elected for salvation for no humanly discernible reason by God before the world was created, you will by virtue of that not lapse into sin.

To understand this, HJ, look up TULIP, the acronym for the five points of Calvinist belief, which are: Total depravity (humanity is unable to accomplish anything towards salvation without God's grace), Unconditional election (those chosen for salvation are chosen for no reason other than the will of God), Limited atonement (by which Christ only dies for the elect group chosen before the workd was created through no merit of their own), Irresistible grace (having been elected for salvation there is nothing you could do about it even if you wanted to), and Perseverance of the saints (see above).

17 December 2013 at 19:31  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Darter Noster, Happy Jack says if its all that certain for Calvinists then where can he sign up? Oh no, Jack can't. Jack wonders if they really believe they're one of the people chosen to be saved. How can they know? And what if they're not and they haven't even been given a chance to say "yes" or "no"?

17 December 2013 at 19:57  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

Dear Happy Jack

On the question of whether we can have assurance of salvation, I firmly believe the answer is that we can.

Rather than have me add words to this blog, let me point you to Google 'Safety, Certainty & Enjoyment' by George Cutting. In doing so myself to check it was available, I found an apocryphal story that Queen Victoria used to keep copies to give away.

It's difficult to have joy if we're in doubt on this, and although the language of the tract is archaic, it puts it more clearly than I could.

Maybe it's become unfashionable to sing:

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine
Oh what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God
Filled with his spirit, washed in his blood

While we must not be presumptuous, we also must not denigrate the words of Christ with our own finite attempts to be infinite.

17 December 2013 at 19:58  
Blogger David Hussell said...

John H @ 19.04

Well you've got the broad purpose of it now, pigs and all !

I agree that the overly academic language of the theologians, often adopted by non-professional theologians for the purposes of theological discussions, can frustrate easy understanding, and can therefore be unhelpful to a plain understanding. But the language isn't sociological or claptrap, just, maybe, a little too rarified and academic.

17 December 2013 at 20:05  
Blogger Ezekiel Lamb said...

You may be "Elect" and not yet be aware hence the need to take the good news to the multitude.[what the CofE should be about} As for the revelation of Grace it would bring the likes of Rusbridger/Dawkins to their knees and that is the truth.

17 December 2013 at 20:06  
Blogger Nick said...

"...will the Church of England allow the society to shape its faith and practice in such a way in order to be acceptable by the society, or will the Church of England recognize that its distinctive mission is to transform the society?"

That I think is a very true and pertinent statement, and not a "diablical distraction".

OK it's Christmas, but the CofE is doing its usual thing. In Cardiff, "carol services" are now "carol concerts". "God Rest Ye Merry Genrlemen" is now "God Rest You Merry People" so as to avoid offence to the feminists. This is the kind of secularisation the report is alluding to.

What this part of the report appears to be saying to the CofE is "are you followers or leaders". In many cases it is a case the blind leading the blind (society leading the CofE)

I have long considered myself "Anglican, but these days I find the CofE deviates so much from its roots, particularly on matters of sexuality and marriage, for me to identify with it in any meaningful way.

As to this report, well, it sometimes needs those closest to you to tell you that you have B.O.

17 December 2013 at 20:08  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Happy Jack,

Ah, now here's where it all gets complicated.

It's not that Calvinists know for sure that they personally have been saved - as I pointed out in my first post historically many lived in constant doubt as to their election, though others did not.

Roman Catholics also believe in a form of predestination, but it works in a different way. An omnipotent and omniscient creator God must logically know and be in charge of who is saved and who is not. Roman Catholics, however, believe that salvation is achieved by humans and God's grace, which is offered to all but inevitably not accepted by all, working in partnership, whereas Calvinists believe that God has chosen who is to be saved and, crucially, who is NOT to be saved, because God alone is responsible for human salvation regardless of human merit.

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

AB

The point is surely, that no one will come, all reject God's offer of mercy. Man's free will is so perverted that he cannot turn to God.

Paul speaks of the Ephesians being made alive when they were dead, not of their choosing to follow.

17 December 2013 at 20:57  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Rasher Bacon, Happy Jack enjoyed that read. That man is a good writer. Nice and easy to follow.

Jack thinks the man is saying a believer can be sure and certain of salvation because once he accepts Jesus he can rely on him because that's what the bible says. Once the Holy Spirit is with you, he is with you. And yet, "communion£ can be "suspended" for a time.

"When, as a believer, you do anything to grieve the Holy Spirit of God, your communion with the Father and the Son is, for the time, practically suspended; and it is only when you judge yourself, and confess your sins, that the joy of communion is restored."

So what happens if you die when this "communion" is suspended? That would be unfortunate, would it not?

Darter Noster, Happy Jack says if he was a Calvinist, then he would certainly much sooner believe he was a saved person!

Old Jim explained that Catholic position to me. We went through a long discussion about it too. Jack remembers asking why all grace isn't "efficacious" rather than "sufficient" and this just can't be answered.

Jack says, its probably best to keep believing in Jesus, doing your best for others and following God's laws.

17 December 2013 at 21:13  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Amen, Happy Jack :o)

17 December 2013 at 21:31  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Carl and Martin, Happy Jack has been thinking long and hard about all this and respects your position. He can understand how you've arrived at it too. It just doesn't square with Jack's trust in God or his understanding of God's love. Jack thinks it's just too black and white.

Jack has met people so damaged by life who, through no fault of their own, are just not ready to hear about a God of love and about Jesus. And Jack means really damaged. They have no love for themselves and have never really been loved. They are not bad people, just people in pain. How are they to understand about God's love? In time they may come to know him through the help they get from others like Blowers was talking about. Jack has seen some of them die on the streets and he does not believe they go to hell because of the sins others have committed against them.

That parable in Luke 14 talks about the poor and the lame being brought to God's party. It also talks about those in hedgerows being compelled to come. The people with all the advantages just refused. As Jack said on that thread this needs careful thought.

Jack just thinks it all needs
careful weighing up, that's all. And remember, Jack didn't begin his turning towards to Jesus by being preached to. He started to turn because something was moved within him by another person's love for him.

Jack says, maybe that "soil" you were talking about Martin is prepared by the Holy Spirit acting through others. And maybe God takes the broken people of this life into his arms even though they do not know him.

17 December 2013 at 22:07  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Happy Jack,

I believe Calvinists would say that the broken, the damaged and the suffering who remain faithful to God in spite of their troubles are precisely those who demonstrate in their lives that they are the Elect. It is the comfortable and the complacent who have the most cause to question their Election, not the striving and the suffering faithful.

That said, I agree with you that in double predestination there is something which just does not match the picture of God in the New Testament as a God of love, mercy and forgiveness.

However you portray it, it is very difficult to avoid the impression that double predestination means that God has chosen a small elite to whom everything will be given, whilst the only purpose of the rest of us is to make them look good by comparison and earn punishment by our inevitable and inescapable failure.

That to me makes God the cosmic equivalent of my school PE teacher.

17 December 2013 at 22:34  
Blogger Naomi King said...


'This issue is a colossal diabolical distraction.'

Indeed it is Your Grace, by homosexuals to destroy the church and they are succeeding. On this one, I fear Archbishop, you have taken the wrong position.

17 December 2013 at 23:04  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Geraint Davies MP
Swansea West
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA

Dear Mr Davies
Re: Opposition to Early Day Motion 219 ‘Gay-to-straight conversion therapy in the UK’

I would agree with part of your motion that deviant sexual behaviour, “being lesbian, gay or bisexual is not a disease or illness” and that is because such behaviour is sin: the breaking of God’s commandments and the natural created order and function of sexual organs and sexual desires.

The unspoken but underlying premise for your motion is that people are born gay or are innately gay. This is, however, completely false. There is no scientific or medical evidence to support your premise.

Even Peter Tatchell (Guardian, 28 June 2006) admitted “Much as I would love to go along with the fashionable "born gay" consensus (it would be very politically convenient), I can't. The evidence does not support the idea that sexuality is a fixed biological given.” In other words, people change their sexual behaviour through choice or desire.

So why are you sponsoring a motion that is based on a lie?

For parliamentarians this is nothing new as the public watched the appalling abuse of process and the flagrant disregard of logic and true debate on the Same Sex Marriage bill, which will ultimately deny every child the right to a natural mother and natural father. That is child abuse, so why do you support the NSPCC? Are you not advocating and promoting emotional cruelty to children, who have no choice in the matter, by saying through that bill that their same-sex parents are equivalent to a natural mother and father?

Now you are proposing another bill to continue the revisionist agenda of parliamentarians, to deny that humans are created male and female with sexual desires for the opposite sex and, as a natural consequence of their sexual union, reproduce.

What will happen to young people who through peer pressure or wrong choices adopt a homosexual lifestyle and then later, reject the perversion and marry a person of the opposite sex and have children? Do they need sexual orientation realignment therapy to return to being gay? What nonsense!

Marriage has been revised; the name for this natural union has been corrupted by parliamentarians so that it is now meaningless. Activists admit that their real goal is complete freedom from morality and marriage, so your proposal is only a part of their agenda.

Cont ...

17 December 2013 at 23:17  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Cont …

Sex at birth has been revised by the word gender; so that GLBTQ’s can switch between male and female characteristics to suit their temperament.

Then, like a holocaust denier, you propose that it is “potentially extremely harmful” to help someone seeking to change their same-sex attraction and behaviour, to natural opposite sex attraction and behaviour.

The NHS is there to “deliver good healthcare to all”, so if someone seeks help voluntarily to behave like a normal person using their sex organs in a healthy way, why shouldn’t the NHS support with counselling therapy the delivery of biologically normal behaviour? The answer is because gay parliamentarians can’t stand to be told that their behaviour is not normal.

Parliamentarians, like all bullies, have no argument and therefore use insulting and sarcastic terms like “voodoo magic” to describe counsellors who offer help to same-sex attracted people.

There is also a secondary agenda here to stop Christian counsellors who want to help their congregation to deal with sin in their life by teaching that homosexuality is not natural and is against God’s word. It is plain to see that parliamentarians want to bury the perversity of homosexuality under the straight jacket of legislation to force compliance and acceptance by society even though instinctively everyone knows it is wrong, even you.

Is the next thing you will be proposing that adults who have a minor-attracted sexual orientation (aka paedophilia) need legislation to be treated as normal? Sadly, it looks like other senior members of the Labour Party have got there before you. (Daily Mail, 14 December 2013). You and your fellow parliamentarians are an utter disgrace and do indeed have a serious “moral disorder”.

Yours sincerely

Dr James B Waddell

There's some food for thought, not very CoE PC but true non the less.

17 December 2013 at 23:17  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Welcome back, Mr Blofeld, good to know you are surviving your health system. You deserve a medal and gold watch for this.

Carl: That's not a very Methodist position, let alone Protestant. One might even call it ... you know. You tease. That's a tough guess. Jain, Shinto, Mahayana Buddhist, Yemenite Jewish, Brazilian Animist, Scientology, Syriac Orthodox, Cathar, Bulgar Heresy, Ukrainian...er...what was it? Any of these, I guess.

17 December 2013 at 23:19  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

O Happy Jack

Unfortunate and sad, perhaps, but ultimately not to be confused with the safety of being adopted by God, methinks.

Maybe dying while that communion is interrupted - being 'called home' as some term it - is in some cases the only way communion can be restored. When we see him we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3, v2). All that junk we lug around with us here on earth will be left, including the stuff we don't even realise is a problem.

To an extent communion is always poor, or polluted, compared with then. Precious, but passing into something better . Imagine standing in face to face with Jesus Christ, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Gets me every time.

17 December 2013 at 23:57  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Rasher, Happy Jack says we agree on the end, and unmerited grace as the means, if not the nature of the journey.

Avi, Happy Jack says if a denomination is a must, then what about "Eighth Day Adventist"? This is a new religion Jack is thinking of setting up and has outlined it in a thread below.

18 December 2013 at 00:38  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Avi

Just further evidence in the Mysterious Case of the Floundering Feather.

Yes, Darter, I am a Calvinist. I was of course referring RCism. I really didn't intend to provoke a full-scale discussion of Calvinism. I was just noting a curious... correlation.

carl

18 December 2013 at 00:38  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Martin:

After a fashion I agree with you - Grace is an essential part of our ability to respond to God's salvific plan. Without it, we are indeed lost. But this is not the same as the insistence on Grace being necessarily irresistable, or on an outright denial of freewill.

Can God irresistably redeem? Unquestionably yes. Does He do so? I'm not so sure. 1 Timothy 2:4 expresses the idea that God desires that all shall be saved. It is God's Will that none will be lost. Under your model, that should be enough. If God so desires it, thus shall it be.

Yet, there is a tension here that virtually all Christians would recognise the distinct possibility and the very high probability that not all will be saved. Is this a failure of God's will? Is it an error on the part of Paul? Neither of those propositions is going to wash with either you or me.

Thus, I am drawn to the conclusion that though it is withion God's power to coerce without possibility of resistance, it is not in His nature to compel where one may approach Him willingly. I do not confuse this with the idea that one's wish to approach God is enough to be saved: I merely think that what God wants, is that we want to be with Him. He wants us to desire His presence as He demonstrated His love for us on the Cross.

The two are not equivalent, of course: God does not need any of us, whilst we all need God. Accordingly, the consequence to the wellbeing of God of one of His creations being forever apart from Him are non-existent. He will not be diminished by one rebel. The consequences for that rebel, on the other hand, are devastating.

If, under a condition of a Grace that permits and enables acceptance of Christ, someone chooses nevertheless to reject Him, it is my belief that God will honour that rejection, will levy the judgment which for us was carried out on Jesus Christ, and will ultimately command them, along with the other goats, to depart from Him.

18 December 2013 at 00:57  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Carl, Happy Jack confesses to feeling slightly annoyed. Jack is trying to seriously think about the theme of the article - the missiological challenge in the secular and atheist west. What approach do you suggest to evangelising in the situation we find ourselves in?

Jack asks, what would you say to and do for the homosexual, the unmarried couple living together without a life long promise, the prostitute who thinks it okay to sell her body, the alcoholic or drug addict, the woman who has had or is thinking about an abortion? Nothing? Just preach? It is all predestined by God? What difference could you make? What difference can they make?

And AnonymousInBelfast what is his belief:

"... not a very Methodist position, let alone Protestant. One might even call it ... you know"?

18 December 2013 at 01:25  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Jack:"Jack asks, what would you say to and do for the homosexual, the unmarried couple living together without a life long promise, the prostitute who thinks it okay to sell her body, the alcoholic or drug addict, the woman who has had or is thinking about an abortion? Nothing?"

Stigmatise their behaviour because it's a moral fault, to one way of thinking at least.

18 December 2013 at 02:46  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Ernst always finds the calvinist saying "Perseverance of the Saints" a strange term. As Perseverance-persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success- means something completely different in english than the Calvinist meaning.
The calvinist saints must then 'stick to it' with their salvation. This appears very works orientated to silly old me, they must do the work to completion and not Christ, Father or Holy Spirit, bit like the arminian RC?.

"Carl,

"Let's be honest, nobody knows for sure if they are going to heaven."

Of course you do. Faith is trust not in yourself or how you feel this moment, this hour, this day, this month, this year etc. Faith is trust in the object of trust. Can what He says be trusted despite your emotions and what has happened today??

"Romans 8

33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is GOD WHO JUSTIFIES.
34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,
39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

18 December 2013 at 03:39  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Romans 10:9

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."

This passage cannot be construed to teach that this salvation is the result of any action on the part of the believer or their 'persevering'. Many people read Romans 10:9 and make the mistake of thinking that a person can appropriate the salvation by his own efforts. Whether one believes this salvation to be eternal salvation or time salvation it is not one a person can get.

St Paul says that 'if thou shalt believe in thine heart, thou shalt be saved', not 'get saved'.

Thou-shalt-be-saved is translated from sodzo which is in the future tense, passive voice, indicative mood; Online Bible Greek Lexicon.

Because sodzo is in the future tense the salvation under consideration is a future salvation indicating it is referring to eternal salvation. This does not mean salvation does not take place until we enter into glory nor does it deny the antiquity of our salvation before the world began, 1 Tim 1:9. But rather one can not be said to posses it until he believes in Christ, and then he is declared to be saved in both this life and in eternal life.

The passive voice means the action (salvation) happens to the person. In other words, he is not active in gaining or achieving salvation.

He believes because he is saved.

He does not believe to get saved which would be the case if it was in the active voice.

To put it another way, if sodzo was in the active voice, meaning the person must secure it, then the correct translation would be thou-shalt-get-saved. But this would contradict the scriptures which tell us salvation is by grace and not by works. Eph 2:8, Rom 11:6 Therefore, salvation is a state of being and belief is the evidence of salvation.

Finally, it is in the indicative mood.

The indicative mood means that it is a statement of fact.

Many who read statements such as Rom 10:9 think they see it in the imperative mood which would give a command (believe) in order to achieve a condition (salvation).

If it was in the imperative mood, then one must-believe-in-order-to-get-saved would be a correct translation. However, the indicative mood tells us that if one believes, one is saved; a statement of fact.

How is one saved?

By Jesus Christ and Him alone.

How does one know if he or anyone else is saved?

If one believes on Jesus Christ and Him alone.

What kind of belief in Christ qualifies as saving belief?

Belief from the heart.

What does one believe about Christ that qualifies as saving belief?

Belief in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

How does one know if one is saved?

If one confesses with his mouth the Lord Jesus, and believes in his heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, "thou shalt be saved."

How can so simple a statement of faith be so difficult to comprehend and accept.

It truly is like humanity to want some praise for their 'dubious part' in what God has made a one sided agreement rather than accept it is all grace and we are the blessed beneficiaries of a Cross on a lonely hill and A Love Divine , The Eternal Love of God Given Grace !!

Blowers

18 December 2013 at 03:45  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Happy Jack, "Eighths Day Adventist"? Hmmm. Could you make it a generously syncretistic, multicultural and inclusive faith by blending Judaism, Islam and Christianity? That would give us a 4-day weekend, not to mention more holidays and festivals than we'd know what to do with. I won't mind if you forget to include the fasts. If successful, please send application forms.

18 December 2013 at 03:56  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

"Jack thinks the man is saying a believer can be sure and certain of salvation because once he accepts Jesus he can rely on him because that's what the bible says. Once the Holy Spirit is with you, he is with you. And yet, "communion£ can be "suspended" for a time.

"When, as a believer, you do anything to grieve the Holy Spirit of God, your communion with the Father and the Son is, for the time, practically suspended; and it is only when you judge yourself, and confess your sins, that the joy of communion is restored." (Dear boy, being incommunicado with the almighty is due to OUR persisting in behaviour that shuts Him out. It is not what He wants, it's our continued action that determines this.

1 John 1:5-10

5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.
6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
9 IF WE CONFESS OUR SINS, HE IS FAITHFUL AND JUST AND WILL FORGIVE US OUR SINS AND PURIFY US FROM ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS.
10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.)

So what happens if you die when this "communion" is suspended? (Nothing..You are out of fellowship, not that your salvation is lost.!

If you died today without first speaking to your father who you had refused to speak to for the last month, would you die legally not being his son anymore). That would be unfortunate, would it not? (It would be sad that you have missed out on communion with the Lord but you are not now lost forever because of it!)

Blowers

18 December 2013 at 04:06  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Avi Barzel said...

"Welcome back, Mr Blofeld, good to know you are surviving your health system. You deserve a medal and gold watch for this."

Thank you lad.

Would rather have a week in Israel than the medal and gold watch.

Ernst desire is to go to Israel before he dies and visit Jerusalem.

Mrs B forced Ernst and family to go to Egypt in 2002 rather than Eilat. What a c&%p hole that was with the constant shenanigans of the arab traders in Sharm and Cairo..the only saving grace was the Museum as Ernst loves archaeology.

Blowers

18 December 2013 at 04:13  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Avi Barzel said...

Happy Jack, "Eighths Day Adventist"? Hmmm. Could you make it a generously syncretistic, multicultural and inclusive faith by blending Judaism, Islam and Christianity? That would give us a 4-day weekend, not to mention more holidays and festivals than we'd know what to do with. I won't mind if you forget to include the fasts."

Too late, Jack and Avi...Roman Catholicism was their first (There are more saintly holidays and festivals in it than there are stray animals at Battersea) and has a domain that declares it so!

18 December 2013 at 04:20  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Good to see you are in fine spirits again, Mr Blofeld. On that ecumenical note, let me leave you with some remembered lines from a traditional song sung by one of our Canadian folk groups of the 1960s, The Irish Rovers:

The Orange and the Green

Oh, it was the biggest mix-up that you have ever seen, me father he was Orange and me mother she was Green!

Me father was an Ulster man, proud Protestant was he...
Me mother was a Catholic girl, from county Cork was she.

They were married in two churches, lived happily enough...
Until the day that I was born and things got rather tough.

Baptized by Father Riley, I was rushed away by car...
To be made a little Orangeman, me father's shining star.
I was christened David Anthony, but still, in spite of that...
To me father, I was William, while my mother called me Pat!


18 December 2013 at 04:55  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

HJ

I apologize for annoying you. I will strive not to do so in the future.

As for evangelism, you trust that God has a people that He seeks to gather and at He will not lose even so much as one. He guarantees that He will seek out and redeem every one. That means it is not contingent on the efforts and words of men. God ordains both means and ends. The evangelist' message is the means and salvation is the end. To use the biblical metaphor, the evangelist scatters the seed but it is God who gives the increase.

Natural man is dead in sin. Like Lazarus in the tomb. God uses the foolishness of the Gospel to call natural man to eternal life. He is spiritually reborn. When he receives spiritual life, certain things occur to manifest that gift if life. Repentance, faith, belief, good works. Just as Lazarus started to breathe when he was raised to life, so the new believer exercises faith when he is raised to spiritual life. God acts and man reacts. That is the correct model.

carl

18 December 2013 at 05:14  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

If God is good then God is just.

The predestination concept contained in Calvinism is not just.It is a crutch for those who want to live out aggrandisement fantasies deluding themselves that they have been preselected for salvation.

I would go so far as to say that the cult is the manifestation of its founder, a mentally deranged crackpot priest from Northern France who ordered the beheading of a nine year old boy for being rude to his mother.


18 December 2013 at 05:16  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

DanJo

"Stigmatise their behaviour because it's a moral fault"

I'm not a .....

"homosexual, the unmarried couple living together without a life long promise, the prostitute who thinks it okay to sell her body, the alcoholic or drug addict, the woman who has had or is thinking about an abortion"

So these are (Safe) sins for me to condemn. Greed and Pride are my problems, so I look for someone to rationalise this behaviour as OK. That is why I (used to be) a conservative.

We are all at it, trying to make God say what we want him to say.

Because we know best of course.

If we know best then we don't need a Bible because we can decide what our culture has decided is OK.

God may have a different view of what is ultimately the best for us, but we are our own gods now. so we can pick and choose, or just condemn the bits that don't bother us much.

Phil

18 December 2013 at 06:04  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Cressida

John 6:44

"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them"

You will never choose God unless God chooses you first.


The alternative?

You are responsible for your own salvation in some way. If you truly believe this you would never find peace in your life as you will never know if you have done enough, to make the grade.


Phil

18 December 2013 at 06:18  
Blogger Naomi King said...


Those of us who still hold a Biblical worldview have been heartened by recent global events affirming normalcy. The Australian high court struck down “gay marriage” as unconstitutional, the Indian high court re-criminalized sodomy, and Russian President Putin declared his nation to be the new moral compass of the world for championing family values. Although Ukraine’s highly controversial decision to postpone (or cancel) a step into the fold of the European Union has been framed in economic terms, there is little doubt that the Ukrainian disdain for the sexual perversion agenda of the EU has played a major role. And in tiny Jamaica, a push to decriminalize sodomy (driven in large part by the U.S. State Department), has run into so much opposition that the pro-family Jamaicans just might win that battle.

18 December 2013 at 06:29  
Blogger Naomi King said...


There is no question that among the major western powers 2013 has been the best year for the homosexual movement since its defeat of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in 1973. The APA was the first of the big secular institutions to fall to the homosexual movement after its agenda was militarized in the Stonewall Riot of 1968 (the day they tried to burn police officers alive in the Stonewall bar on Christopher Street in NYC for attempting to arrest an under-age drag queen who serviced the homosexual men there). Today that incident is celebrated annually as “Gay Pride Day.”

That was the day the “gay” movement abandoned its previous goal of achieving “the right to be left alone” (tolerance) and embraced the new goal of total conquest of Christian civilization being advocated by the radical Frankfort School of cultural Marxists led by Herbert Marcuse. Marxism has, of course, always been about destroying civilization to clear the way for the Marxists to build a supposed socialist utopia on the ashes. Like Balaam in the Bible (Numbers 22 and Revelation 2:14), the Frankfort school teaches that taking down civilization could be accomplished more rapidly through a focus on social rather than economic issues (i.e., encouraging sexual immorality in society). Marcuse saw homosexuals as the perfect agents of this change, as indeed they are.

18 December 2013 at 06:32  
Blogger Naomi King said...


Yet, despite the dire picture in the west (lets not forget that 2013 also saw “gay marriage” adopted in England and France), the culture war is not over, even in America. There remains one institution still standing against the “gay” agenda: the church of Jesus Christ (in alliance with Torah-faithful Jews). Not the Church of England, of course.

Now that the people with cloudy secular thinking and ambiguous motives are off the battlefield, we can all finally recognize the culture war for what is it: a battle between Good and Evil. The still sizable remnant of the Christian church stands for the goodness of God, represented in the blessing of authentic marriage and the natural family, the sanctity of life and a civilization grounded in Biblical truth. The homosexual movement stands for the agenda of the evil one, represented in counterfeit marriage and corrupt notions of family, the sublimation of the needs of children to hedonistic selfishness, and a degeneration of civilization into moral anarchy.

18 December 2013 at 06:37  
Blogger Naomi King said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

18 December 2013 at 06:42  
Blogger Naomi King said...


How to wage a Pro Christ fight back ?

First, Reclaim the Rainbow. The rainbow belongs to God, not to the “gays.’” It is the symbol of His authority over creation in Revelation 6-9, and of His Glory in Ezekiel 1:28 and Revelation 4:3. The “gay’ movement is essence wrapping itself in God’s own cloak in an attempt to sanitize a lifestyle which cannot be sanitized. I am calling on every Christian church, ministry and activist to begin using the rainbow symbol (in conjunction with key scriptures) to reclaim the rainbow in a way that cannot be mistaken for support of the homosexual agenda -- such as displaying a rainbow flag or bumper sticker bearing the legend “The Rainbow Belongs to God: Rev 6-9, 19” (linking, the story of the flood with the story of Sodom and Gomorrah as does the Bible). I assert no copyright of this idea or verbiage for anyone who wants to adopt it for the cause of Christ.


18 December 2013 at 06:42  
Blogger Naomi King said...

The church reclamation of the rainbow will not only prevent the name of God from being tied to sodomy (an essential goal in itself), it will throw the homosexual battalions into disarray. It will also force them to find a new battlefield flag to fight under.

Second, Reclaim the Law. The church must be educated to recognize that anti-discrimination policies based on sexual orientation, aka sexual orientation regulations are the seed that contain the entire tree of the homosexual agenda with all of its poisonous fruit. Far from being a benign civil rights policy (a Shield) to prevent unfair discrimination in employment and housing, sexual orientation regulations are a devilish scheme to subvert the constitution and give militant LGBT activists a Sword to attack Christians through private lawsuits and public “hate crime” enforcement.

Sexual orientation regulations are used routinely today to give special rights to homosexuals and transsexuals. The next step in the sexual orientation regulations strategy is to strip the churches of tax-exempt status, force pastors to perform homosexual “marriages,” and criminalize the Bible as “hate speech.”

18 December 2013 at 06:46  
Blogger Naomi King said...


Third, and most importantly, Reclaim the Bible. This imminent, perhaps final battle for the heart and soul of Western civilisation largely comes down to a contest over the Word of God. Over the past 40 years the homosexual movement has produced an entire school of Biblical revisionists who have invented a new doctrine called “Gay Theology.” It provides the twisted theological underpinning for the “Welcoming and Affirming” movement in the so-called “mainstream” denominations, and for the more recent “Emergent Church” movement among evangelicals. “Gay Theology” is the heresy of our time and must be effectively countered.

In 2014, working to encourage the church in Europe and America to reacquaint itself with the clear Biblical teaching on homosexuality that has been largely self-censored due to the pressure of political-correctness in the popular culture. Now that the giant has awakened and realizes there is a very real threat to Christian civilization presented by the homosexual movement, individual churches will be increasing more inclined to revisit the teaching of the Bible on the topic.

Pastors and church leaders will look to the work of scholars such as Rob Gagnon and James DeYoung, as well as to concise Genesis-to-Revelation summaries such as Dr Scott Lively's video The Global Threat of Homosexuality at www.massresistance.org/docs/issues/scott_lively/speech_011512.html

Merry Christmas

18 December 2013 at 06:49  
Blogger Naomi King said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

18 December 2013 at 06:49  
Blogger Nick said...

Well said Naomi

To me, you are the only one on this post who is talking sense and addressing the issue

18 December 2013 at 07:49  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Phil Robers 6:18

I don't have to invent a d.i.y manual for salvation. I was lucky. I was raised as a Catholic .


It astounds me that anyone calling themselves a Christian can support the arbitrary and unjust concept of predestination.
It does not support any of the characteristics of the concept of God as good,just and merciful.

You have misinterpreted the quote from Saint John if you think it supports predestination. It means that salvation can only be attained, by God giving grace to everyone first which He does, Then through free will we decide to accept it or not.God is good.Not a malicious deity trying to trip us up issuing invitation only tickets into Paradise.

You will only find peace Phil if you cease twisting the scriptures and keep these thoughts in the
fore front of your thinking.

God is Good
God is Just
God is Merciful
God is Omnipotent
God is Omniescent




18 December 2013 at 08:40  
Blogger Naomi King said...


Thank you Nick, you might like to check this out as well

http://www.defendthefamily.com

Merry Christmas to Christ the King


PS 97:11 Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.

PS 97:12 Rejoice in the LORD, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.

18 December 2013 at 08:55  
Blogger The Explorer said...

What a thread!

Two very different issue being discussed, but both packed with insights.

The only contribution I want to make is the reminder that Calvin did not begin the Election debate. That started with Augustine, and the discussion has been ongoing ever since.

The episode in 'The Silver Chair'. Jill Pole says to Aslan, we called you. Aslan replies, you would not have called to me if I had not called to you first.
That is pure Augustine.

18 December 2013 at 08:57  
Blogger Elwin Daniels said...

Diabolical is right.

2 Peter 2:1-3

'...they will privily bring in damnable heresies....'

18 December 2013 at 10:34  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

Cressida (08:40)

Let's not blunt the force of the Global South's stand for what's right by an argument over something which is only rightly understood by God.

Isn't this statement a bit odd?

It astounds me that anyone calling themselves a Christian can support the arbitrary and unjust concept of predestination.

Odd, in the light of Pauls words to the, er... Romans.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

It's been there long before the Roman See, and either the apostle Paul wasn't Christian, or we are presented with an aspect of God's omnipotent & omniscient nature that touches on our lives and makes us worship. I suggest that a wrong reaction is to say the whole question must be brought down to fit inside the human brain - that's the most astounding arrogance and has split perfectly good churches with pointless argument.

Let's recognise when we're about to try and unscrew the inscrutable, and go gently.


18 December 2013 at 10:35  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Predestination/Election was an issue for the Jansenists. It's by no means a specifically Protestant problem.

18 December 2013 at 10:45  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

And also, remember that God's love is greater than His justice, for which we will all have cause to be very grateful sooner or later. Because if He was merely just, we would all be in trouble.

Cardinal Hume once said something on the subject but I can't find the reference, will try to post it later.

18 December 2013 at 10:56  
Blogger Naomi King said...


The homosexual movement may have built up a formidable army of activists and an enormous war machine over the past forty years, but even at its best it is no match for an awakened Christian church. And for the first time in 25 years I believe the church has been awakened. It hasn’t buckled on its armor. It’s not even standing on its feet yet. But the church of Jesus Christ -- the universal body of Bible-believing Christians spanning every denomination and confession -- finally has its eyes open and is aware that the enemy has breached the outer walls.

I think the shock that broke the peace of slumber occurred in the US back in 2012 when Chic-Fil A executive Dan Cathy made a public statement in defense of authentic marriage, and the “gays” dramatically over-reacted. In response to Dan Cathy’s pro-marriage statement, the mayors of “gay” stronghold cities Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia announced they would not allow Chic-Fil-A restaurants to be built in those cities. The church suddenly snorted and got up on one elbow: “Huh? What did they say?” For a brief moment the mask was pulled off and Christian's worldwide got to see the real face of homo-fascism. They didn’t like it !

The homosexual political machine, which had hummed along so perfectly for so long had made a major gaffe. They turned up the heat under the frog in the water pot too fast and he jumped out. Across the American nation, such a wave of support arose for Chic Fil A, that it stunned even the pro-family leaders who had been praying for something like this to happen.

Homosexual leaders moved rapidly to repair the damage, distancing themselves from the Mayors’ ill-advised announcement, but it was too late. The giant settled back into the pillows but didn’t go back to sleep.

The Giant in America was thus awake later in 2012 to see Southern Poverty Law Center supporter Floyd Lee Corkins attempt mass-murder against the Family Research Council, carrying a bag of Chic-Fil-A sandwiches to scatter among the corpses.

He was awake in June of 2013 when U.S. Supreme Court Justice and long-time homosexualist Anthony Kennedy struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

He was awake again in September when a “gay” journalist exposed the Matthew Shepard “hate crime” narrative as the biggest hoax of the modern age.

And he was still awake later in the year when Christian small business owners across the nations began facing criminal penalties for refusing to bake cakes and print wedding announcements for “gay” provocateurs who deliberately targeted them for punishment in the wake of sexual orientation “anti-discrimination” policies being adopted in their towns and cities.

At the close of 2013 the Christian church is now wide awake and concerned. The giant is sitting up on the edge of the bed, ready to put on his shoes and go out to deal with this problem.

18 December 2013 at 11:02  
Blogger Len said...

I think a parallel is when the Japanese attacked pearl Harbour. Isoroku Yamamoto' who planned the attack said that the response would eventually come because the attack would awaken a 'sleeping Giant'.

I pray that you are right Naomi.

18 December 2013 at 11:17  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Sister T @ 10:56

I always appreciate your posts.

Reading them, the differences between your version of the Faith and mine just seem to melt away and merge into what we hold in common.

Warmest regards.

18 December 2013 at 11:34  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Rasher, Happy Jack says this is a complex piece of writing that this side of heaven we never understand:

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified."

Explorer, Happy Jack says this is Christianity:

"The episode in 'The Silver Chair'. Jill Pole says to Aslan, we called you. Aslan replies, you would not have called to me if I had not called to you first."

Whether 'Aslan' calls us all or just some of us, is an issue. And then if we have a choice about how we respond to the call, is another issue. And whether God knows in advance or decides everything in advance, is maybe the biggest issue.

Combine it with that quote from Paul above and we could debate it for years and years and write books and books about it, and still not know for sure. That's God for you. Who's mind is great enough to understand him and his ways?

18 December 2013 at 11:48  
Blogger The Explorer said...

HJ:

C S Lewis said that all who want to find God, from whatever starting point, will do so.

He also said that ultimately there are two sorts of people: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, "THY will be done." (That's the point made above by Belfast (00:57).

I agree totally with your last paragraph. The thought that God's mind may be more complex than ours if he created us may seem a truism, but is found grossly offensive by some on two counts.

1. It complicates the notion that we created God: rather than the other way round. (On this view, EVERYTHING about God - being a creation of the human mind - must be explicable.

2. It is absolutely intolerable in terms of equality. NOTHING can be greater than humanity; nor one human greater than another. These absurd claims about Christ must be cut down to size. Nice guy in sandals, who died long ago.

18 December 2013 at 12:01  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Explorer

I think that sooner or later, all of us will be quietly explaining to a loving God that we got so much wrong, and we worried about so many of the wrong things, and we are so sorry. The differences just won't be important any more.

Take care, God Bless, and Merry Christmas

18 December 2013 at 13:08  
Blogger Preacher said...

Perhaps a quote from Tom Houston is appropriate here.
"The gospel must not be either muffled or modified by human authorities, religious or political.Where it has been subject to the civil power, it has always been compromised."

18 December 2013 at 13:42  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Naomi King @ various times,

You have excelled yourself. And I agree with you. . The slumbering giant is awake.
The whole human sexuality set of issues will identify who in the Churches will follow the devices and desires of their own hearts, of humanity, and who will follow revelation, and Jesus. At the end of this process we will have a numerically smaller, but enormously strengthened spiritually, set of Churches and, the tattered, dwindling remnant of the others, for abandoned by the Spirit they will waste away. We are within a watershed moment of time.

Truth will out, always !

18 December 2013 at 16:12  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Naomi King @ 6.29

You recite those countries including giant ones like India and Russia that reject the redefinition of marriage.....

Well there are also 8 smaller EU countries that reject it too, so it's not by any means a smooth progress for the cultural Marxists. Anglican Mainstream is a useful recorder to such maters.

I have admired the quality of reasoning in France around which very diverse groups, from atheists to Catholics, have rallied, opposing the redefinition. And it is quite incredible how the marches and rallies, on a large scale, have been studiously ignored by the liberal media, especially that dreadful bender of the truth, the BBC. The Brits are a pretty sleepy sort of people, incredibly malleable, and easy to govern. But as you say, some in the Churches are now fully awake.

18 December 2013 at 16:21  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Naomi K @ 11:02

I knew there was a drugs element within the Matthew Shepard story, but I had had no idea that there was a new book out suggesting drugs may have been predominant. Also the sexual orientation of one of the killers. Although not proven, these new factors,if true, will completely change the motives for the murder.

Thank you, Naomi.

18 December 2013 at 17:04  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Naomi,
Well said. You always come over with a stong message. Keep up the good work.

18 December 2013 at 17:14  
Blogger Martin said...

HJ

Do you not think that a God who is able to save the broken, despite their brokenness, who is able to save the baby despite its lack of development, who is able to save the mentally disabled despite their disability is the God of the Bible? That is the God I see, who brings in from the ditch and hedgerow despite that persons inability.

It isn't we who must understand but God who saves. It isn't us who gives life to the grain but God.

What would we say to "the homosexual, the unmarried couple living together without a life long promise, the prostitute who thinks it okay to sell her body, the alcoholic or drug addict, the woman who has had or is thinking about an abortion"? Why we should say "You must be born again". And that is what we must say to all.

18 December 2013 at 18:52  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Thanks, bless you both.

18 December 2013 at 18:53  
Blogger Martin said...

DN

No, there is no 'double predestination' for we all deserve Hell. Yet God chooses to save some out of His mercy. Those of us who are saved are not an elite but "the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind" (Luke 14:21). Not many of us are wise, mighty or noble (1 Corinthians 1:26) yet we have received a wonderful gift.

18 December 2013 at 18:53  
Blogger Martin said...

Naomi

A most excellent letter. And you are right about the rainbow and the rest.

18 December 2013 at 18:53  
Blogger Martin said...

AB

So are not we dead in our trespasses & sins when God in His mercy saves us? For this is what Paul describes to the Ephesians. God taking the dead and making them alive. Or perhaps you would think of Jesus speaking to Nicodemus and telling him he must be born again. Can the dead raise themselves, do we decide to be born?

Yes God desires that all may be saved, He would also have gathered the children of Jerusalem together, but they were not willing. None will come willingly, just as all refused to come to the Great Feast. No one will come of their own accord.

Jesus tells us that those who the Father gives to Him will come to Him. That sounds to me like God chose who would be saved before the foundation of the Earth and those are given to the Son.

What you postulate is that God's grace is given to all and some, under that grace, choose Christ and others reject. That makes it sound as if some are better than others, more honourable to choose right. Indeed it means that they are saved by their own will, for the same grace is given to all. How then is salvation to God's glory?

18 December 2013 at 18:55  
Blogger Martin said...

Cressida

How does one "live out aggrandisement fantasies" when one knows they are a sinner saved by grace, not because of anything in themselves? As the Landowner is made to say, it is His to do with as He pleases.

18 December 2013 at 18:56  
Blogger Naomi King said...


In the US, 2013 saw the completion of a 40-year LGBT campaign to conquer American society and culture. 40 years happens to be the Biblical number of testing (just as 13 is the number of rebellion against God) but in practical terms it was the length of time the “gays” needed to subjugate all of the secular institutions in America. The very last to fall was, of course, the Boy Scouts of America. Tellingly, the new homosexual-controlled Boy Scouts of America has just elected as its first president, the reprobate Robert Gates, who as Obama’s Defense Secretary, homosexualized the next-most-recent “gay” trophy the United States Military, following the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

To those in the US who would suggest that the Republican Party remains a secular institution still committed to defending the natural family, let me remind you that it was the Republicans, including libertarian darling Ron Paul, who willingly provided the votes to hand over the military to the Sodomites.

And even Ted Cruz voted recently to affirm the first openly homosexual judge to the federal bench. Also the seismic shift of FOX News to a more “gay-friendly” posture over the past 18 months or so is designed to give cover to the now solidly pro-homosexual Republican establishment.

The elite just can’t be too open about it yet because the grassroots is still very strongly pro-family.

18 December 2013 at 19:38  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Excellent fare Mrs King. We are in danger of being eaten from the inside out by aforementiioned crowd.

In case anyone is wondering whether highlighting the antics of the sexual lame will go against Christianity, forget that here and now. Organised buggery hates us – it’s not going to be any different in the future...

18 December 2013 at 20:13  
Blogger Naomi King said...


What a shame that the Church of England now is no longer the Church of Christ and one feels for His Grace as he attempts to undertake intellectual summersaults to justify the unjustifiable. The question is why does he feel he needs to do this ?

18 December 2013 at 21:19  
Blogger Roy said...

Blogger Phil Roberts said...


So these [sexual sins, alcoholism, drug abuse etc,] are (Safe) sins for me to condemn. Greed and Pride are my problems, so I look for someone to rationalise this behaviour as OK. That is why I (used to be) a conservative.


I agree. The obsession with homosexuality in the media and in many churches is a distraction. If the churches only appointed ministers without sin, then no denomination would have any ministers at all. A few months ago the new pope described himself as a sinner which shows that he is both humble and sincere. (I am am not a Catholic but I do admire him).

I don't recall anyone saying that the CoE or any other Church should have a blanket ban on ministers who have a quick temper, are envious of others, or covetous, or who look lustfully at attractive women.

It is almost impossible for a single, heterosexual man to avoid committing adultery in his heart. Although I am not married I should imagine that it is also pretty difficult for married men to avoid committing adultery in their heart, except possibly for those lucky enough to have a wife who looks gorgeous and has a high sex drive!

Therefore I think it would be wrong to single out homosexuals who have difficulty in keeping celibate, as a category of people to be banned from the ministry. However there are no lobby groups for other categories of sin, and therefore the gay campaigners in the denominations are partly to blame for attempts to ban practising homosexuals and lesbians from the ministry.

18 December 2013 at 21:26  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Phil and Roy, Happy Jack asks if you would hold an 'informal ceremony' to bless an adulterer or a man who loses his temper or any other sin we all commit?

As Jack reads it, the report is not about whether the church should "single out homosexuals who have difficulty in keeping celibate". In that situation everyone should support and help them. And of course all of us sin. That's not the point. It's not about easy targets at all. It's about those who do not accept what they are doing is wrong and who choose a lifestyle which is opposed to Church teaching.

Jack asks if these unions should be informally blessed in a church and should people in such unions become ministers?

18 December 2013 at 21:54  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Cressida

"arbitrary and unjust concept of predestination"

Why is it unjust? On what basis do you say it is unjust?

Phil

18 December 2013 at 21:58  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Happy Jack and Roy

Have I said that homosexuality is not a sin?

Of course you should not allow someone who is an unrepentant sinner becoming a Church Leader.

However, we should expect our leaders to fail occasionally. The point I was making is that we always find unacceptable in others the sins that we are not personally susceptible to or don't have the opportunity to commit.

That leaves us with a clear conscience of course!

So we condemn the sins that are easy for us to condemn and then we wonder why it is difficult to find God in our lives.

Phil

18 December 2013 at 22:10  
Blogger Roy said...

@ Happy Jack

Phil and Roy, Happy Jack asks if you would hold an 'informal ceremony' to bless an adulterer or a man who loses his temper or any other sin we all commit?

I agree with the point you made. As I said, I sympathise with men and women who struggle with temptations of a homosexual/lesbian nature because we all have sins we struggle with even though the nature of those sins will vary from one person to another.

What I don't like, and I agree with you here, is the campaign by gay activists to get the churches to approve of and endorse homosexual behaviour rather than regard it as just another example of human frailty.

18 December 2013 at 22:13  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Hi Phil,

A quick note, as I'm in the midst of things, but if I may add to Miss Cressida's future input, just in the sense that the Torah and its commandments and ethical teaching, including rules for justice establish the nature of a just relationship between Mankind and God. Torah and Talmud show a number of incidents where Man cries, "unfair!" and God listens.

That was the Jewish opinion, no doubt Miss Cressida, a Catholic, will have a different one from mine, so I don't presume to answer for her.

18 December 2013 at 22:16  
Blogger Roy said...

Phil Roberts said:

However, we should expect our leaders to fail occasionally. The point I was making is that we always find unacceptable in others the sins that we are not personally susceptible to or don't have the opportunity to commit.

I agree. When I was younger I used to wish that I was more confident, sophisticated and charming, and much more handsome. Of course, if I had all those qualities I would have had more opportunity to sin and I admit that my relatively good behaviour (good by human standards - not God's) was due partly to that lack of opportunity.

On the other hand, if I had possessed all those qualities, perhaps some gorgeous girl would have fallen for me and I would have married her and we would have been happy and faithful ever after!

Those of us who are challenged in the looks department can also face challenges and temptations that are not always appreciated by better looking people!

18 December 2013 at 22:22  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Incidentally, since homosexuality is discussed and Jewish prohibition mentioned, there is not a single instance in the Torah, Talmud or secular history of organized persecutions or death sentences for Gays.

18 December 2013 at 22:23  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Chaps, everything falls into place when you consider homosexuality to be the disability it is. Let us and the churches have a new start on the condition from now.


18 December 2013 at 22:45  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Inspector:

Your title has changed. Can you give us a clue as to why?

18 December 2013 at 23:01  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Avi, Happy Jack is uncertain whether there have been "organized persecutions or death sentences for Gays" in Christian countries. Not like those against heretics, witches and Jews, anyways. Nazi Germany is all Jack can think of and this was not Christian. For sure states made sodomy a criminal offence but Jack's doesn't know if that is the same thing. Maybe it is?

Do you know how Judaism handled it all during the times of the Temples and what sentences were passed?

18 December 2013 at 23:05  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

A quick reply HJ: I believe there were burnings of Gays during Inquisition by Franciscans and Dominicans, I don't know if they were sanctioned by Rome and I don't know if there more frequent and not discussed by historians. Treatment of Gays during Holocaust was under-reported.

There are no records or mentions of Sanhedrin sentences. Capital sentences were rare because of the high threshold of proof. Local, extra-judicial executions, or lynchings may be another matter, but no historical record I've come across.

18 December 2013 at 23:21  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

PS, HJ: Nazi Germany may or may not be considered Christian (certainly it wasn't officially and in terms of population anything but), but anti-Jewish laws for the exclusion of Jews were heavily based, almost paragraph by paragraph on anti-Judaic legislation in past Church Law.

18 December 2013 at 23:25  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Explorer. One has been honoured for services in defending the faith...

18 December 2013 at 23:40  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Avi, Happy Jack looked into that and the Spanish Inquisition was a scary time!

Wiki says:

"... between 1570 and 1630 there were 534 trials (incl. 187 for homosexuality, 245 for bestiality, and 111 with unknown specification of the charges) with 102 executions (incl. 27 for homosexuality, 64 for bestiality and 11 uncertain cases."

It then says:

"The first sodomite was burned by the Inquisition in Valencia in 1572, and those accused included 19% clergy, 6% nobles, 37% workers, 19% servants, and 18% soldiers and sailors. A growing reluctance to convict those who, unlike heretics, could not escape by confession and penance led after 1630 to greater leniency. Torture decreased: in Valencia 21% of sodomites were tortured prior to 1630, but only 4% afterwards. The last execution in persona for sodomy by the Inquisition took place in Zaragoza in April 1633. In total, out of about 1,000 convicted of sodomy - 170 were actually burnt at the stake, including 84 condemned for bestiality and 75 for homosexuality, with 11 cases where the exact character of the charges is not known."

And then adds:

"Nearly all of almost 500 cases of sodomy between persons concerned the relationship between an older man and an adolescent, often by coercion; with only a few cases where the couple were consenting homosexual adults. About 100 of the total involved allegations of child abuse. Adolescents were generally punished more leniently than adults, but only when they were very young (under ca. 12 years) or when the case clearly concerned rape, did they have a chance to avoid punishment altogether. As a rule, the Inquisition condemned to death only those "sodomites" over the age of 25 years. As about half of those tried were under this age, it explains the relatively small percent of death sentences."

As Happy Jack said, scary stuff.

18 December 2013 at 23:45  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Inspector, Happy Jack congratulates you on receiving this honour "for services in defending the faith..."

Jack asks have been given a special mission to evangelise to our homosexual brothers and sisters? The Mail is reporting that 'The Advocate', America's oldest gay rights magazine, has chosen your pope Francis as the "single most influential person of 2013 on the lives of LGBT people."

19 December 2013 at 00:32  
Blogger Naomi King said...


The gay lobby bullies are at it again, this time in the US. They've attacked one of the most popular Christians in America — Phil Robertson, patriarch of Duck Dynasty's Robertson TV show family. They are calling him "vile" and say he is pushing "extreme stereotypes" and "lies." The grossly misnamed Human Rights Campaign and their Hollywood ally GLAAD have demanded that Phil be punished and, incredibly, Wednesday night succumbed to the gay bullies and suspended Phil Robertson!

What is this man guilty of that would spur such "outrage" and result in him being banned ?

Phil Robertson told GQ magazine he believes that homosexuality is a sin. He says engaging in homosexuality is sinful. He says that "everything is blurred on what's right and wrong...sin becomes fine." He told the magazine (in colorful language) that he doesn't understand why a man would engage in homosexual sex when the beauty of a woman is available. And he also said that he doesn't judge anyone (that is the job of Almighty God, he says), that he loves all people, and that, "I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me."

Well guess what — homosexuality IS a sin in the bible, and virtually every other sacred text out there. Engaging in homosexual sex IS considered by God to be sinful according to the teachings of most religions. And sin is NOT logical. Sin is deceitful, harmful and degrading to the human soul.

19 December 2013 at 09:03  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Happy Jack,

102 executions for sodomy between 1570 and 1630 sounds terrible, but in the same period thousands of people would have been hanged (or in Spain, garrotted) for crimes such as petty theft. In England during that period one could be hanged for sodomy, which to modern ears sounds incredible, but then one could also be hanged for stealing property over the value of 1 shilling. At that time the great majority of crimes carried the death penalty, and sodomy was one of them, and continued to be one of them until the 1960s.

102 executions for sodomy sounds depraved and diabolical to us, but we think of the death penalty as the last resort for the most heinous crimes, whereas in the 16th and 17th centuries it was the standard punishment for practically anything. It was an incredibly brutal world, and you can bet that the number of poor people executed between 1570 and 1630 alone, for no more than stealing a tiny amount to survive, will dwarf the numbers executed for sodomy.

19 December 2013 at 12:04  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

"the great majority of crimes carried the death penalty, and sodomy was one of them, and continued to be one of them until the 1960s."

Coninued to be a crime until the 1960s, obviously, not continued to carry the death penalty. Just to clarify.

19 December 2013 at 12:07  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Martin:

You've got me wrong there, since I explicitly noted that my argument isn't the same as being saved by one's own virtue. I think you can damn yourself by it, but I'd hardly suggest that the requirements for damnation and salvation can be compared as equivalent. (For the record, salvation is a work achieved by God through His Grace alone - we can choose to reject it, but we cannot add to it or enhance it by accepting it.)

I note though that you now talk about people not being willing to follow God. That was my fairly simple point: if this is so, why is it that all men are not saved? It isn't a failure of God's ability, it isn't an error of Scripture - it must be that we have been given or permitted to have some capacity to resist Him. That implies meaningful choice - but where I differ from the free will crowd is that I can only understand choice in terms of God's power. Choice would have to be given by God - there's no possibility that choice could be exercised without His approval (i.e. we wouldn't be able to choose if He hadn't allowed us to) - otherwise He wouldn't be God.

19 December 2013 at 12:31  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Inspector @ 23:40

Congratulations on your promotion.

Richly deserved, I'm sure, old fellow.

(Or should I be calling you, "Sir"?)

19 December 2013 at 12:35  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Happy Jack

Why are the hangings etc for homosexuality scary stuff?

I have always suggested that hanging should be brought back for lots of crimes including pedophilia and murder. Homosexuality is not on my list (neither is adultery) but why should we lose sleep as Christians, if the Government decides to punish behaviours or crimes that the Bible condemns?

Perhaps we should lose more sleep if society starts to accept what the Bible condemns! Because then the dominoes start falling and history tells us the result is misery.

Phil

19 December 2013 at 13:30  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

The mind boggles...

19 December 2013 at 13:50  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Darter

"The mind boggles."

Culture Darter, such a wonderful thing.

What we do now and the way we live now is of course completely right, because we say it is.

At this point in time......

Phil

19 December 2013 at 17:50  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Avi

"where Man cries, "unfair!" and God listens"

So that proves what exactly....that God listens?

Why does God not always answer prayers?

Phil

19 December 2013 at 17:56  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Phil: "Homosexuality is not on my list (neither is adultery) but why should we lose sleep as Christians, if the Government decides to punish behaviours or crimes that the Bible condemns?"

Self-interest? Once a core sense of justice is lost, anyone is fair game.

19 December 2013 at 17:58  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

"Culture Darter, such a wonderful thing.

What we do now and the way we live now is of course completely right, because we say it is.

At this point in time......"

Of course, Phil, because everyone reading this exchange will see that the problem is my failure to be culturally relativistic, and not your statement that you wouldn't lose sleep if the Government started hanging gay people.

19 December 2013 at 18:24  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

DanJo

"Once a core sense of justice is lost, anyone is fair game"

So where does this core sense of justice come from?

A particularly clever committee? Or does it just evolve? Perhaps based on something harmonious that works already?

Like ants perhaps?

If we bin the Bible we can create our perfect society

Where we have no freedom at all.

Phil



19 December 2013 at 18:39  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Phil: "So where does this core sense of justice come from?"

John Rawls?

"If we bin the Bible we can create our perfect society [...]"

Of course, some Muslims think that we should follow God's directions in the Qur'an and use Sharia instead. Who can really argue with that? Afterall, they say the Qur'an is God's word and it's the moral absolutism in there that we're required to follow. We're just created beings fulfilling God's purpose.

19 December 2013 at 18:57  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Darter

I would not lose sleep if a paedophile or a murderer was hanged for their behaviour. As a Christian we would need to ask ourselves, what are we doing by failing to punish these crimes? Are we showing love to the victim and potential future victims? What also is the loving response to the paedophile or murderer?

Do you really think that this current shift in values and behaviour away from the Bible is sustainable in the long term?

We have no honour in society and in one house in my village a father is away doing a 9 month tour of Afghanistan, risking his life so that another father is free to dress like a girl on some days of the week and on other days dress like a guy and pretend he is a man and a father for his children.

Which kids from which family show their Dad respect?

Which Dad does society value more........?

Why do we even have to think for a second or so about the last question?

Phil




19 December 2013 at 19:03  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

DanJo

John Rawls?

I am sure that Stalin would have loved him

For a while at least....

Phil

19 December 2013 at 19:13  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I remember when you said this so it doesn't come as much of a surprise to me:

"It is sad to hear that homosexuality has now reached that part of Africa, but the positive thing is that they have formulated laws to limit it despite huge criticism from the West, especially the UK and US who are threatening to cut off all Aid unless they give homosexuals their “rights”."

As I reminded you back then:

"Phil, the laws you find positive put homosexuals in prison for a year, 5 years, fourteen years, or life depending on the country. Some are proposing the death penalty and some already have the death penalty. This is not paranoia. In other places like Iran, they periodically hang homosexuals, including juveniles, from cranes in public."

19 December 2013 at 19:17  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Phil: "John Rawls? I am sure that Stalin would have loved him"

Hmmm. Reference FAIL there, I think.

19 December 2013 at 19:18  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Phil, Happy Jack wonders what school of Christian thinking you follow.

His Grace asked how the church could evangelise those outside of the comfortable middle class way of life and especially those in the gay and lesbian community. Your answer to this "missiological challenge is to hang people!

Jack watched a film last night on BBC iPlayer called the 'Black Death'. In the old days the church seems to have believed pestilence, famine and plagues were God's judgement when men were sinful and the heretics, witches, sodomites and all sorts of others had to be tortured and some burnt at the stake.

Jack asks if this is what you think? Should that man who dresses like a woman be sent to prison or hanged? Should his children be taken away from him? Should he be beaten up by a group who disapprove?

Jack recalls Moses also giving strict rules to the people of Israel to follow God's commands and to deal heavily with certain serious sins like sodomy and adultery. And yet when all the prophets came they told Israel they were not looking after the poor properly or not honouring God. He doesn't think any of them said they should be killing more people.

Jack sees you ask, "Do you really think that this current shift in values and behaviour away from the Bible is sustainable in the long term?" Jack believes it is not because if we do not follow God's ways then there will be social chaos. But Jack does not know if going around killing people and locking them all up is the answer.

Jack asks would you hang adulterers? Or those who don't believe in a different God to you? Those who live together without being married? Those with children not born in marriage? Those who have abortions? Prostitutes? Thieves? The list could go on and on.

19 December 2013 at 20:02  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Danjo

I also remember suggesting an experiment

Lets take a run down crime ridden high unemployment city port from the UK

Free it of EU and UK laws and enforce clear Biblically based law that supports and values families and virtuous behaviour.

Free it of all taxes and useless red tape

Give it 10 years and it will no longer be a failing city and it will start to be a desirable place to live.

Give it 20 and either the rest of the UK will either have followed suit or there would be a wall around the city to keep the rest of the UK out!

That is the sort of experiment I am interested in. What they decide to do with people who are homosexual is a side issue.

Phil

19 December 2013 at 20:08  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Phil: "Free it of EU and UK laws and enforce clear Biblically based law that supports and values families and virtuous behaviour."

Sort of like an Amish community?

19 December 2013 at 20:28  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Or perhaps a Taleban one, if one changes the religious book.

19 December 2013 at 20:30  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Phil Roberts, Happy Jack sees you said earlier, "hanging should be brought back for lots of crimes including pedophilia and murder. Homosexuality is not on my list (neither is adultery) ..."

Jack asks are these two "safe sins" for you? Greed and pride are your problems, yes? So when your set up your little experiment and "enforce clear Biblically based law that supports and values families and virtuous behaviour", what do you propose in the way of compulsion?

Every family must have babies (how many?), no unmarried sex (heterosexual and homosexual?), no divorce (never?), no abortion (ever?), and attendance at church every Sunday (what sort of church?)These things are the bedrock of Christian family values and yet adultery and homosexuality are not on your list. Why not?

Jack asks how on earth will you "enforce" these things. Public stocks? Sackcloth and ashes? Prison? Hangings? And what will you do about pride and anger? The first is one of the biggest sins in the bible - it caused Satan to be thrown out of heaven and led to the Fall - and the second is very close to it.

19 December 2013 at 21:29  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

DAnJo

The model in my head was based more around Hong Kong or Singapore actually.

Phil

19 December 2013 at 21:36  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Happy Jack

"Every family must have babies (how many?), no unmarried sex (heterosexual and homosexual?), no divorce (never?), no abortion (ever?), and attendance at church every Sunday (what sort of church?"

Is that what the Bible teaches? My Bible teaches the merits of keeping promises, behaving correctly towards each other, values hard work and profit, but also compassion and opportunity for those that cannot help themselves to help themselves. It values the Sabbath and other Holy days.

My Bible gives genuine value to each individual made in the image of God.

Would people not wanting to live a life of Biblical values find this town an attractive place to live?

Probably not, but then again, that very much depends how far the rest of the UK had sunk

Phil

19 December 2013 at 21:52  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Happy Jack

"what do you propose in the way of compulsion? "

I don't.

But I think that every sensible Government should provide incentives for virtuous behaviour.

The problem is that for many years we have had successive Governments that have provided incentives for the opposite and by their own behaviour have modelled and encouraged often the most contemptible behaviour, which the media in particular seems to parade as both desirable and normal.

Phil

19 December 2013 at 22:07  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

The State spends a huge amount in the UK trying to mitigate the effects of the reduction of Christian influence in society. The lack of virtue means we need more Police, the lack of commitment means we need more inspection and laws. (Look at teaching and nursing as prime examples).

Think of the huge expense that the state has to bear because of the break up of marriage, marriage not happening in the first place and the lack of (educated well balanced, undamaged) children to support the old.

There are lots more, I am sure that you can thing of them.

It is true however, that Christian values generally mean more freedom for society. When they are abandoned or diluted we get Orwell (or worse)

Phil

19 December 2013 at 22:23  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Phil Roberts, Happy Jack says family life and having children and raising them properly is the bedrock of a society. It was God's first command to Adam and Eve was to have children and marriage was given a special place by Jesus. And Jack's bible is certainly against adultery and abortion and homosexuality.

Jack says such utopias as yours often result in a great deal of problems as someone wants to be the boss and run things and make all the rules.

Jack agrees with your last comment. Putting all these things into practice is the tough bit.

19 December 2013 at 23:27  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Happy Jack

"Jack agrees with your last comment. Putting all these things into practice is the tough bit"

Look around the world. Some places seem to be on the way up and some on the way down.

Of course some would say that we are on our way up to a rights based tabooless utopia

A brave new world of exciting possibilities that we should embrace along with Big Brother as the necessary Evil to keep us free.

The trouble is everywhere I look I see Orwell not freedom.

Phil

20 December 2013 at 00:11  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Phil Roberts, Happy Jack says you must not be depressed or despair. You look and see Orwell, not freedom. Jack looks and he sees plenty of love in the world and many people of kindness and generosity.

Jack says one person can make a difference in the life of others without changing the whole world or dreaming of setting up a new town.

20 December 2013 at 00:43  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

^ Indeed.

Also, there have been enough examples in history arising from trying to construct a society based on a pretense of homogenity of human nature or on a utopian vision of one sort or another for alarm bells to be ringing loudly here. Especially when there's the threat of non-conformists being compelled by force or imprisoned or hanged on the back of one religious book or other providing the justification for this or that.

20 December 2013 at 05:05  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

DanJo

Exactly, how close are we? How long before some of the contributors here are imprisoned or hanged for failing to bow the knee to the state's way of thinking?

You do not wish to live in my world of biblical values and I do not want my family and I to live in a world that coerces me to accept your worldview at work and at home. The Muslims certainly don't and I definitely do not want to live in their world (and neither would most liberals so I don't see the logic of liberals supporting them at every turn)

The up side as I see it is that "nominal" Christianity is collapsing as is seen by the fall in numbers to many (but not all) Anglican Churches. To be a Christian increasingly demands a sacrifice and that tends to make them conservative, Bible believing and increasingly turn to each other for support. I am not Muslim but I think that exactly the same thing is happening in their community also. The state increasingly interferers in their lives and this fuels both resentment and fundamentalism. The state understands this process with Muslims, is afraid of their reaction (Not the case with Christians) and so backs off, gives ground and appeases occasionally.

Although it will never happen I think that the above experiment would be really useful. Instead I think that we all need to take a long hard look as Christians at what the future holds for our families in the UK. There are still countries in the world that are very supportive of Christians and I think we need to look carefully perhaps into the possibility of investing our future elsewhere.

In the meanwhile the Christian father is still in Afghanistan over Christmas. Fighting for the rights of the guy to dress as a girl and laugh at his faith and sacrifice.

Phil














20 December 2013 at 07:33  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Phil Roberts, Happy Jack has read many of your comments now. Jacks respectfully asks if you have ever thought about the sin of wrath?

Jack sees that Dante described vengeance as "love of justice perverted to revenge and spite". Jack doesn't mean to be rude and is saying this because he carried this sin around with him too and it not an easy one to spot.

20 December 2013 at 18:35  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Phil: "How long before some of the contributors here are imprisoned or hanged for failing to bow the knee to the state's way of thinking?"

I think it is you who is paranoid now. But for the record, a long time I'd say.

"You do not wish to live in my world of biblical values [...]"

I'm a liberal in the JS Mill tradition and, as I say time and again, I fully support Article 9 of the ECHR here in the UK. Feel free to attend church, parade in public, abstain from sex before or outside marriage, preach on a street corner, and so on.

"[...] and I do not want my family and I to live in a world that coerces me to accept your worldview at work and at home."

Your religious views don't oblige me in general and you are not coerced other than through the normal workings of a plural society. You have a British passport so feel free to feck off somewhere else if they will have you if you can't live along side others who don't share your, frankly rather extremist, religious views.

20 December 2013 at 18:59  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Phil: "Although it will never happen I think that the above experiment would be really useful."

Do you remember Reggie Perrin (Series 3)? You flaunt your alleged wealth often enough here so you could buy some land and make like the Essenes with like minded people if you are so keen. Let us know how you get on.

20 December 2013 at 19:04  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

DanJo

Sorry DanJo.

Obviously my type of Christian faith has failed your test.

The trouble is that

Freedom works for people. The state grinds people down. You would never allow an experiment that I suggest, because it might be a success, people might actually like making their own decisions, supporting their own families and taking personal responsibility for others.

Would God bless our tax free, red tape free, little town where the laws are few but enforced?

We will not get the chance, why? because it would work of course!

Like most good communists the poor need to rely on the state or they might get ideas above their station.

The poor might get rich, they might start to value what they have since they have worked for it. Families might thrive, people might start to believe in themselves.

No we cannot have that...

They must believe that they only function as a small (useless?) cog of the state.


Phil

PS How many labels do you want to stick on me? It seems that there is a new one each post. No I am not in favour of a religious community like the Essene. Remember I said Hong Kong/Singapore was the model.




20 December 2013 at 19:53  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Phil: "You would never allow an experiment that I suggest, because it might be a success, people might actually like making their own decisions, supporting their own families and taking personal responsibility for others."

Feel free.

Of course, one wouldn't need to join your religious retreat to make one's own decisions, support one's own family, and take personal responsibiliy for others. I do all that now as an atheist, living in our plural society, and I don't feel particularly special with it.

20 December 2013 at 20:18  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

The problem is that history has shown us that Atheism creates nothing but misery and hopelessness.

It is also expensive as the destruction of the family structure, the ridicule of faith and virtue, creates huge costs throughout society which the state has to bear.

In order to keep it hold on people, Atheism requires more and more laws to limit an increasing range of freedoms.

If you really want to change things for the better, genuine freedom must come first

Phil



20 December 2013 at 20:51  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Phil: "The problem is that history has shown us that Communism creates nothing but misery and hopelessness."

Fixed that for you.

20 December 2013 at 23:01  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

"You have a British passport so feel free to feck off somewhere else if they will have you ..."

Happy Jack thinks that was very, very rude Mr Danjo! Especially as we're in the season of goodwill to all men.

*chuckle*

21 December 2013 at 00:19  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

DanJo

So Atheists and communists are different.

Glad you have sorted that one out for me.

They always seem to go so completely hand in hand I always thought "birds of a feather"

How wrong of me!

Phil

21 December 2013 at 05:31  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Happy Jack

"You have a British passport so feel free to feck off somewhere else if they will have you"

Whenever I have real discussions they start off civilised, then when all else fails, we get the to the last resort name calling etc.

I have to admit, as a tactic, with a mostly non Christian audience, it seems to work really well for them.

Phil

21 December 2013 at 05:41  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Happy Jack

" Happy Jack has read many of your comments now. Jacks respectfully asks if you have ever thought about the sin of wrath?"

It is not just me that talks about the lack of any real punishment for murder and other crimes as a great injustice.

The Bible talks of lots of sins, but two of them are way higher than others just because of the number of times they are mentioned. These two sins that are repeated over and over again, so we can be sure that we are obliged to do something about them.

These are idolatry and injustice.

Phil

21 December 2013 at 09:21  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...


Why do I make the point with DanJo that our current inactivity/lack of action will be a disaster for Christians? DanJo claims it will be many years before Christians are properly persecuted for just being Christians

See the following quote from Archbishop Chaput

"Evil talks about tolerance only when it’s weak. When it gains the upper hand, its vanity always requires the destruction of the good and the innocent, because the example of good and innocent lives is an ongoing witness against it. So it always has been. So it always will be."


He is right think about it, what happened when Evil triumphed in Russia, in France at the time of the Revolution.

Do we think it will be any different next time, here in the UK?

Or do you trust DanJo and his friends' promises?

Phil

21 December 2013 at 09:45  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Phil:"They always seem to go so completely hand in hand I always thought "birds of a feather" How wrong of me!"

You're talking to an atheist who is a liberal in the JS Mill tradition. The contrary evidence is before you if only you had the eyes to see.

21 December 2013 at 09:51  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Phil:"Whenever I have real discussions they start off civilised, then when all else fails, we get the to the last resort name calling etc."

When all else fails? Phil, I get the feeling that I'm not the only one here who thinks you have fairly extreme religious views on this. I can't fail by pointing to your past and current views and inviting people to raise their eyebrows. You're practically Islamic.

21 December 2013 at 09:57  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Phil:"Or do you trust DanJo and his friends' promises?"

It's curious that you say that when valuing freedom and scope for diversity are inherent to liberal philosophy, and you have a liberal in front of you who says repeatedly that the religious should be able to manifest their religion freely within the obvious bounds of a plural society. Yet we have a Christian here who says stuff like this:

"Why are the hangings etc for homosexuality scary stuff?"

and would be content to see the State to regulate behaviour of citizens according to Biblical themes even for those who have a different religion or none. It is you who is the danger, not me. You're the authoritarian. You're the advocate of illiberal social control. It is you who is the enemy of freedom.

21 December 2013 at 10:11  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

DanJo

"valuing freedom and scope for diversity are inherent to liberal philosophy"

As the Arch Bishop Chaput says above (I'll post it again in case you missed it)


"Evil talks about tolerance only when it’s weak. When it gains the upper hand, its vanity always requires the destruction of the good and the innocent, because the example of good and innocent lives is an ongoing witness against it. So it always has been. So it always will be."

Being just being "allowed" to merely "manifest my religion" is of course intolerance dressed up as tolerance, for as long as that tolerance is needed.

Phil

21 December 2013 at 10:45  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

See also "A Brave New World" Chapter 17

http://www.huxley.net/bnw/seventeen.html

Phil

21 December 2013 at 10:48  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Phil: "Being just being "allowed" to merely "manifest my religion" is of course intolerance dressed up as tolerance, for as long as that tolerance is needed."

Of course, liberal philosophy isn't about permitting things at all. It's actually about the opposite. People are free to do what they want unless it is prohibited, and the justification for prohibition is rooted in the concept of harm to one's fellows.

"See also "A Brave New World" Chapter 17"

A curious reference. Are you citing it as an example of something relevant here to do with a-theism or liberalism?

21 December 2013 at 11:10  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

"Then you think there is no God?"

"No, I think there quite probably is one."

"Then why? …"

Mustapha Mond checked him. "But he manifests himself in different ways to different men. In premodern times he manifested himself as the being that's described in these books. Now …"

"How does he manifest himself now?" asked the Savage.

"Well, he manifests himself as an absence; as though he weren't there at all."

"That's your fault."

"Call it the fault of civilization. God isn't compatible with machinery and scientific medicine and universal happiness. You must make your choice. Our civilization has chosen machinery and medicine and happiness. That's why I have to keep these books (The Bible) locked up in the safe.....

___________

"Of course, liberal philosophy isn't about permitting things at all. It's actually about the opposite. People are free to do what they want unless it is prohibited, and the justification for prohibition is rooted in the concept of harm to one's fellows."

___________

Many Humanists have already stated that it is Child Abuse to take them to church and bring children up as Christians.

How long will the tolerance towards Christians last? Luckily we have the answer from history and the answer is almost always not very long.

Phil



21 December 2013 at 12:35  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Playing footloose and fancy free with all sorts of terms now, Phil. Communist, a-theist, liberal, humanist ...

Perhaps I should start posting links. We can look towards Uganda now to see how things are panning out when people of your mindset take the reins.

From BBC News today:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-25463942

""Because we are a God-fearing nation, we value life in a holistic way. It is because of those values that members of parliament passed this bill regardless of what the outside world thinks," he said."

These are exactly the laws you thought were positive just under a year ago when it last came up. Note the stuff about mimi-skirts in there, and the graphics at the bottom. And:

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/12/21/world/africa/uganda-anti-gay-bill/

"The bill also proposes years in prison for anyone who counsels or reaches out to homosexuals, a provision that would ensnare rights groups and others providing services to lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender people."

Welcome to your Brave New World, Phil the Christian.

21 December 2013 at 13:24  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

A link from the Telegraph too:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/uganda/10531563/Uganda-passes-anti-gay-bill.html

"David Bahati, a lawmaker behind the private member's bill, hailed its adoption yesterday [FRI]as a victory against "evil" in Uganda, a deeply religious country where many have embraced American-style evangelical Christianity."

21 December 2013 at 13:54  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

So now we reach the real reason for all of this

It is all about gay sex and whether I approve of the Ugandans or not.

Well since the bill was passed to make it life imprisonment to knowingly pass on HIV to another person or to have sex with a minor, I would happily pass it here.

Uganda has a huge AIDS problem. We can sit in our comfy arm chairs and pontificate about human rights as much as we like, but it is not usually really about Uganda. There are lots of countries where you cannot openly have Gay sex without consequences. Try having a Gay relationship in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, in fact there are around 86 countries where homosexual acts are illegal.

Uganda is picked on because it is Christian, very poor, relies on aid and as a result the Gay rights lobby thinks it may be susceptible to pressure.

Crocodile tears. Go and hold your protests instead in Tehran or better still Baghdad.

Phil



21 December 2013 at 15:06  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I slam-dunked that at the end, I think. Can't beat some up to the minute reality trumping the religious paranoia and basic political misunderstandings.

*bows*

21 December 2013 at 15:17  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Danjo, Happy Jack asks this democratic, Christian country has the right to pass such legislation whether we agree with it or not? Uganda just doesn't want homosexuality accepted or pushed by groups from outside their country.

Jack sees too that the European Court has said that fear of imprisonment for homosexuality in African countries is grounds for asylum in EU countries. This seems a bit dodgy to Jack.

Jack also asks what's wrong with an anti-pornography law if the people want it? It outlaws anything that intends to cause sexual excitement or corrupt morals. What right do we have to impose our opinions on this country? Isn't that democracy too? Admittedly its not based on liberal views with a JS Mills leaning.

Jack points out he does not wish to discuss the morality of
homosexuality. Cranmer's Law 2 would come into play if we did and we'd be told off. Personally, Jack does not agree with these laws but that is not the point.

Jack is just interested in the right of democratic nations to make laws as they sees fit and not as the world expects. After all, this is not a "modern, pluralist, multi-ethnic society" and does not wish to become one at the moment.

21 December 2013 at 15:43  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

DAnJo

Resort to stereotype again

When all else fails, swearing, ridicule, etc

You try plan B

Saying that your opponent is too stupid to argue with.

BTW lots of countries have miniskirt bans and many more your would probably offend if you wore one even if there is no ban

We think that we can go and follow our rules all over the world and people should not get upset.

If you are sensible you follow their rules. This is called respecting another person's culture and not seeking to impose your own on everyone whether they want it or not.

You might like to try it here sometime.

Phil



21 December 2013 at 17:58  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Jack, of course Uganda has a right to pass laws like that. It's a sovereign nation. Moreover, it's a democracy so its legislature has some legitimacy as we understand it. However, sovereign nations are not usually self-reliant in our global world.

21 December 2013 at 18:01  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Jack: "Jack sees too that the European Court has said that fear of imprisonment for homosexuality in African countries is grounds for asylum in EU countries. This seems a bit dodgy to Jack."

What's the problem there?

21 December 2013 at 18:15  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Christians should also be allowed unhindered access to the EU from every radical Islamic country (most of them)

This will not happen for some reason? I wonder why?

Phil

21 December 2013 at 18:56  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Happy Jack says anyone can claim to a homosexual in fear of imprisonment? How can it be tested? And what if they say they are bi-sexual? It is the acts that are illegal and not the person. Loads of people could just use this as a way of getting into Europe.

21 December 2013 at 19:16  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Happy Jack

You could then be deported from the EU for not being Gay enough!

About right!

Phil



21 December 2013 at 19:18  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Christians have a right to claim asylum in another country under the 1951 UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol if they are being persecuted in their own. However, they have to do it outside their own country. There's enough in international law for the same to apply to homosexuals if they claim asylum within the European Union.

21 December 2013 at 19:22  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Do you agree in principle, Jack?

21 December 2013 at 19:23  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

The problem is also the expected increase in molestation of children

Gays are almost 40 times more likely to molest than straight

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2258616/posts

21 December 2013 at 19:24  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Heh. Here we go.

21 December 2013 at 19:27  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

I said to 'Explorer' on a thread below it seems to me that the 'test' for Christian 'orthodoxy' is to be as extreme as possible when it comes to treating gay people.

I have to admit I expected the Christian 'Orthodoxy' to be 'do you believe in Jesus as the son of god and as the 'saviour' of the world'?, but the answer is 'no', apparently; it is all to do with a self destroying obsession and invidiousness towards gay people. I can't believe that any western Christian is openly advocating what Uganda wants to do with gay people, where 'reaching out' to a gay person will be a crime. Well as I have a gay sister, I guess I'm Guilty as charged!

21 December 2013 at 20:06  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

David

Uganda is a country with a particular set of problems that as part of the package has decided to pass this law.

I've said many times that being Gay is not a block to salvation in the same way that me being greedy is not necessarily a block to salvation

21 December 2013 at 20:46  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Danjo, Happy Jack doesn't believe homosexual people should be imprisoned by the civil authorities. He thinks there is a better Christian approach. However, Jack really does not know whether this is a reason to see them as a persecuted group under the Geneva Convention.

21 December 2013 at 20:56  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

David

Interesting that you regard your own cultural Valves to be superior to the Ugandans

A little racism Creeping in here?

Phil

21 December 2013 at 22:39  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Jack:"Jack is just interested in the right of democratic nations to make laws as they sees fit and not as the world expects. After all, this is not a "modern, pluralist, multi-ethnic society" and does not wish to become one at the moment."

I wonder what you'd say if Egypt under a Morsi-like government passes a law making the manifestation of Christian belief illegal and starts putting Copts in prison for life or even hanging them?

22 December 2013 at 01:09  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Danjo, Happy Jack can see your point and says in those circumstances Christians would be a persecuted group.

A Christian faith means following Jesus and not denouncing him. They might do this underground and in secret. It is an act of will because they must render to God what is God's.

Jack just isn't sure acting on sexual desire is the same thing. To Jack they seem like different things.

22 December 2013 at 01:40  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Jack:"Danjo, Happy Jack can see your point and says in those circumstances Christians would be a persecuted group."

I wasn't talking about refugees there, I was talking about democracy. If Egypt wanted to make a law like that then who are we to complain if they started hanging Copts from trees all around the country? The Copts would have it coming they chose to manifest their beliefs. Not doing so, or just doing so in theiir heads, sounds a lot easier than living their whole lives in a celibate way and without intimate companionship. But hey.

22 December 2013 at 05:47  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Here's the relevant bit:"What right do we have to impose our opinions on this country? Isn't that democracy too? Admittedly its not based on liberal views with a JS Mills leaning."

22 December 2013 at 05:51  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I see the persecution of Christians in the Middle East is getting more coverage at last:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/labour/10532775/Labour-We-must-do-God-to-fight-anti-Christian-persecution.html

22 December 2013 at 08:42  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

for a Ugandan newspaper's point of view

http://www.monitor.co.ug/Magazines/ThoughtIdeas/Homosexuality--Is-it-a-normal-or-sick-lifestyle-/-/689844/1669834/-/fb7v3u/-/index.html

Phil

22 December 2013 at 10:20  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...


I would imagine that most of you are pretty familiar with the so-called ‘Anti-homosexuality Bill’ that is currently on the table in the Ugandan parliament. It is basically a law, that will get passed at some point or other, that seeks to effectively eradicate public homosexuality in Uganda. It has a wide media coverage, was featured on a recent Stephen Fry BBC documentary, and has its own Wikipedia site! It’s everywhere. I think it’s interesting that, as far as I can see, this bill is fast becoming the most famous thing about Uganda. It used to be Idi Amin. But I reckon now ‘gay-hating’ is the first thing many Westerners think about when they hear the word ‘Uganda’. This is largely thanks to a media campaign waged in the West against this bill.

The first thing to point out is that, and I dearly wish the British media would read the bill before they speak about it (as I have done) there is no mention at all of a death sentence. So automatically, when you find articles that talk about killing gays, you should discount them as uninformed and hyperbolic (Yes, you, The Guardian, and The New York Times and Washington Post).

[...] The vast majority of Christians in this country have never met or spoken with a Western missionary. And nor have their leaders. Many of these attitudes about homosexuality come direct from traditional Ugandan culture. Of course these attitudes may change in the future. But if they do, much as the secularists would scoff at this, it will most likely be because of Christianity, as churches preach a message of godly love and kindness towards active homosexuals here, thereby opposing the culturally-driven anger and violence towards homosexuals we too-often see. The sad reality for Western secularists is that their worldview has little to say to change Ugandan attitudes to homosexuality. They can go on about ‘human rights’ as much as they want, but the more they shout, the more they get ignored. The best hope for a Uganda that is safe for homosexuals is, of course, the gospel. The gospel that shows us that all people are created in God’s image and loved by him, the gospel that shows us how much God truly wants to rescue and redeem his people The gospel that promotes humble, gracious, non-violent love towards all people. The gospel that welcomes all people to confess that Jesus is Lord and unite together in a broken but re-built community of Christ (Ephesians 2:17-22)

And so, for the sake of Ugandan homosexuals, Ugandan Christians, and missionaries in Uganda, please don’t let this nasty, secularist, hate-filled narrative of Christianity in Uganda go unchallenged. Your future heavenly Ugandan co-worshippers around the throne will be grateful that you didn’t.


By Chris Howles, Namugongo Life

22 December 2013 at 10:23  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

22 December 2013 at 10:47  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Phil, quoting Chris Howles: "The first thing to point out is that, and I dearly wish the British media would read the bill before they speak about it (as I have done) there is no mention at all of a death sentence."

It has been dropped from the original bill now. As the Wikipedia page referred to says: "After facing intense international reaction and promises from Western nations to cut financial aid to Uganda, on 9 December 2009, Uganda's Minister of Ethics and Integrity James Nsaba Buturo said that Uganda will revise the bill to drop the death penalty (substituting life imprisonment) for gay people with multiple offences."

Just to refresh your memory while you're backpedalling:

"You will like this one. I was in charge of a group of lads (16 to 25 -- we were building a road) and they often used to meet each other and hold hands sometimes for several min. I told them that in the West someone might get the wrong idea if you did that. They did not understand and it transpired that they did not have a word for “homosexual/gay/queer” in their language. They asked me what they got up to and so after carefully explaining that I was not an expert! I described their lifestyle. They found it so funny that they could not stand up. One then said that they knew why there was no word for homosexual in their language. No African would be so stupid. ---Good point. "

Phil, 12 January 2013 07:10

"Lets be clear here..... If a man breaks into your house and threatens your family what does man do? Meekly give in? No you throw everything at them. The furniture the kitchen knives everything. If you have a gun you use that also. You do everything to protect your family. We are at war and in a war you use every weapon you have .....and fight! True homosexuality is not the only attack on the family. Drugs, porn and the media are keen to destroy what after God a Christian man values most. If it wasn't a war then no pressure would be applied to those countries that try to protect it citizens."

Phil, 12 January 2013 19:55

22 December 2013 at 10:51  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

"So automatically, when you find articles that talk about killing gays, you should discount them as uninformed and hyperbolic (Yes, you, The Guardian, and The New York Times and Washington Post)."

The letter has either been copied from Anglican Mainstream or it is also reproduced there, and it contains the hypertext links for those newspapers. Following the Guardian one shows the date of the article and at that point the death penalty was still in the bill as far as I can tell.

22 December 2013 at 10:59  

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