Monday, January 27, 2014

Tony Blair is right – religious extremism sustains political conflict

Writing in The Observer, Tony Blair has returned to a favoured theme:
So the challenge is clear. And it is one that could define the nature of peace and conflict in the first half of the 21st century. The battles of this century are less likely to be the product of extreme political ideology – like those of the 20th century – but they could easily be fought around the questions of cultural or religious difference.
He first articulated this view back in 2008 when he opened his Faith Foundation. He said then: "Religious faith will be of the same significance to the 21st Century as political ideology was to the 20th Century." The quotation used to appear in His Grace's sidebar, for it was theo-politically accurate, if not prophetic.

But when Tony Blair talks about the "ghastly roll call of terror attacks" caused by religious extremism in Syria, Libya, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia and Pakistan, he's not talking about those pesky Quakers. He throws down the gauntlet: "We can either see all of these acts of killing as separate – produced by various political contexts – or we can start to see the clear common theme and start to produce a genuine global strategy to deal with it."

And that "clear common theme" is "people motivated by an abuse of religion. It is a perversion of faith. But there is no doubt that those who commit the violence often do so by reference to their faith and the sectarian nature of the conflict is a sectarianism based on religion".

He hasn't mentioned it yet, but he is absolutely right that military action will not deal with the root cause: "This extremism comes from a source. It is not innate. It is taught. It is taught sometimes in the formal education system; sometimes in the informal religious schools; sometimes in places of worship and it is promoted by a vast network of internet communications."

And part of the solution to the inculcation of malignant perversions of religion is educational: "People have to feel equal, not just be regarded by the law as such. Such religious tolerance has to be taught and argued for. Those who oppose it have to be taken on and defeated not only by arms but by ideas."

And then he moves to the nexus: "All over the region, and including in Iraq, where exactly the same sectarianism threatens the right of the people to a democratic future, such a campaign has to be actively waged. It is one reason why the Middle East matters so much and why any attempt to disengage is so wrong and short-sighted. It is here in the centre of Islam that so many of the issues around how religion and politics coexist peacefully will be determined."

And then he qualifies: "But this issue of extremism is not limited to Islam. There are also many examples the world over where Muslims are the victims of religiously motivated violence from those of other religious faiths."

And he is right, of course.

Muslims are, for example, being appallingly persecuted and slaughtered by extremist 'Saffron Terror' Hindus in parts of India. It may be viewed as a purely political nationalist movement, or, as Blair exhorts, the perversion of religious teachings, for it is not easy at all to admit persecution and violence into a faith which has 'no harm' as a core precept of its teaching. Unless, of course, you're claiming to be of the Brahmin caste with a prophetic message to cleanse the land of the non-believers and impose a caste system with a common language and culture under common laws based on Manu and Vedanta.

The objective, as ever, is theocracy, and the government shall be that of the elite. The other 90 per cent must submit to God, obey the law and pay their taxes, or suffer the divinely-ordained consequences.It is a common religio-political thread.

"The answer," Mr Blair says, "is to promote views that are open-minded and tolerant towards those who are different, and to fight the formal, informal and internet propagation of closed-minded intolerance. In the 21st century, education is a security issue."

Uh-huh. It's just a pity that his New World Order isn't a little more "open-minded and tolerant" toward the Christian conscience. After all, a Roman Catholic adoption agency isn't quite as detrimental to society as an Al-Qaeda sleeper cell.   

But he takes this opportunity to remind us of his current raison d'être, his passion, his divine vocation: "I established a foundation whose aim is to promote greater knowledge and understanding between people of different faiths. This is not a call to faith – it is a call to respect those of all faiths and not to allow faith to divide us but instead to embody the true values of compassion and humanity common to all faiths."

It is, of course, a benign call to faith: it is simply not possible to be such a prominent adherent of any religion and not to have one's every word and action ascribed to the potential spiritual fons et origo. Thus does the world judge Islam by the vile words and hateful actions of Osama bin Laden; and they judge Scientology by the antics and inconsistent morality of Tom Cruise and John Travolta. When Sir Cliff Richard challenges poverty or expresses compassion to those suffering with dementia, it is not Sir Cliff the rock star but Cliff the obedient disciple who acts and ministers.

The Christian vocation is to be Christ-like: Tony Blair is being Jesus as best as he knows how, and his faith is integral to and inseparable from his being. He famously did not "do God" in office: out of office he is doing God in abundance, and that God is Christian, and specifically liberal Roman Catholic. The means of inculcating his enlightened spirituality is education: "We focus on practical programmes. The schools programme, accredited to the international GCSE and recognised by the international baccalaureate, uses video conferencing and online interaction to link classes of students from different countries across the world to learn about each other and to learn to live with each other."

This is not a call for repentance and conversion: it is an exhortation to peace. And what is wrong with that? "Blessed are the peacemakers," said the Lord. And so Blair exhorts governments "to start to treat this issue of religious extremism as an issue that is about religion as well as politics, to go to the roots of where a false view of religion is being promulgated, and to make it a major item on the agenda of world leaders to combine effectively to combat it".

And here he has a sure and certain ally in the Prince of Wales, who freely talks of "fundamentalist Islamist militants"; and a manifest hurdle in Baroness Warsi – the Minister for Faith – who insists that those who perpetrate such atrocities are "extremists who do not follow any faith".

Baroness Warsi is convening a summit to deal with "secular extremism"; Tony Blair is educating the nations child-by-child about "perversions of religion". No one is specifically talking about the evils of Wahhabi-Salfist Islam, and the problems of believing that Mohammed was greater than Jesus, and that those who seek peace should behave in the minutest acts of daily life just as Mohammed behaved – domestically, socially, economically and politically.


Blogger Len said...

Has Tony shrunk or is that a really tall Catholic person?.

A New World Order Religion, called "United Religions" its on the way watch this space.

27 January 2014 at 11:18  
Blogger bluedog said...

'Tony Blair is being Jesus as best as he knows how.'

Wicked, Your Grace, wicked. And as Len points out, heartening to realise that Tony Blair is now carnival-barker-in-chief of the Roman Church.

But having mentioned the 'I' word, something the noble Baroness can never do, TB has at least started to atone for the outrage in Iraq. Perhaps this is how he admits that the destruction of Iraqi Christendom weighs heavily on his mind.

Quite right too, Your Grace, to highlight the bigotry and intolerance of the Hindu. Centuries of Moghul rule left a legacy of intolerance and illiberalism that has survived the best efforts of the British Raj to eradicate.

In closing, we need to remember that TB makes a living as an after-dinner speaker. As a fine amateur actor, TB will be aware that you are only as good as your last performance. Whatever he says is therefore aimed at his next performance. Which begs the question, who and where?

27 January 2014 at 11:49  
Blogger seanrobsville said...

So why did Tony Blair 'rub our noses in diversity' by importing millions of Muslims? Did he assume they and their children would forever be grateful, docile Labour voters?

Perhaps he's learned too late that Islam doesn't bring diversity, it only brings barren Dark Age totalitarian monoculturalism.

Blair's former Islamophilic policies have condemned future generations to fighting the kind of civil war he is now warning against.

27 January 2014 at 12:13  
Blogger graham wood said...

If all else fails. (And Blair was a failure in every department), then start a "Faith Foundation", a euphemism for more 'windbaggery'

27 January 2014 at 12:46  
Blogger Nath said...

The Muslim world - if one can speak of such a thing - is generally united as a block on certain precepts, just as we Christians are.

One being the hidden Immam or the Mehdi. Much of the violence behind fighting in Iraq at the moment regards this as rival sects act to prevent opposing prophecies from coming true.

Tony B. like most in the secular world and many Christians fail to realise this dynamic. We continue in our latent beliefs that history does not have an end when in fact like Christians praying "Maranatha, come Lord come!" most Muslims seek to usher in the eschaton. This is what they are working towards.

There will be no reasoning with these people, no reform of religion with the hope of a happy ever after. Their ever after is Islamic domination of the globe. It is their aim and ambition and many i fnot most across the Islamic world are preparing now for the Mehdi's imminent re-appearance and will say and do anything to hasten this event.

27 January 2014 at 13:22  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Happy Jack wonders about all this good natured tolerance and dialogue and where it might be heading. One world "religion"?

To have a meaningful conversation means to accept another religion has something valid to say. It also means valuing that point of view in some way. Does it go so far as accepting other religions are valid and that Christianity isn't the one truth? How can the truth and falsehood be blended?

27 January 2014 at 13:31  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Is this Blair's way of atoning for his enormous errors at home and abroad ?

Well, in mitigation, at least he is stating what most politicians, even amongst those no longer in office, shirk from stating.

But no one in politically exalted positions, in former Christendom, will say what they really mean. So whilst all hide behind coded language little will be achieved.

I claim no high level of understanding in comparative theology, but from my readings of world religions, only one faith teaches forgiveness and reconciliation, whilst more than one preaches supremacy and intolerance. How do you get around that basic point to the promised land of universal tolerance ?

27 January 2014 at 13:34  
Blogger john in cheshire said...

From what I have learned about islam it contains no compassion and no forgiveness. It is also at war with us, and even themselves, so I see no grounds co-existence with it.Maybe if, by some miracle, a lost part of their religious writings were to be found, which abrogated all the hatred espoused in the koran, then perhaps its followers could evolve into tolerant and civilised human beings.

27 January 2014 at 13:48  
Blogger Len said...

What we are heading for(And TB has read this situation very well and probably the main why he became a Catholic)is a return to the 'Roman System' of controlling religions.

'In the days of the Roman Empire when John wrote the Revelation different religions were
tolerated as long as they were registered as religio
licita (a legal religion). Legal religions
placed their gods in the Pantheon, a building in Rome, which means all gods. They were
required to give allegiance to Caesar but as long as they did this they could practise their
religion how they liked. Caesar was
as known as the Pontifex Maximus, a Latin term meaning
supreme bridge maker. On one level this title referred to his role as defender of the city of
Rome by securing the bridges across the River Tiber. On another level he was considered a
divine figure who
became' the bridge' between this world and the next. Later when the Roman
Empire collapsed, the Bishop of Rome took on the title, Pontifex Maximus, which is today
one of the titles of the Pope.
As well as accepting the supremacy of the Caesar, religions were
expected to keep the Pax
Romana, Roman peace. None of them should disturb this peace by challenging the power of Rome or by stirring up religious or nationalistic conflict.'(end of quote)
This will be seen as a 'good idea' by our secular Governments and will
of course stop Christians saying Christ is the 'only way' to get saved.

(Excerpt taken from)

27 January 2014 at 13:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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27 January 2014 at 15:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Jack,

There is always a danger of governments using political ideology and or religion to for their own evil goals, such as Nazi Germany. Today is holocaust memorial day, which is why that comes to mind. Today, though, I'd say that the larger danger is extreme Islamic Jihadists, who do indeed want a 'one world government', but not a mushy PC version,or one that comes to us via some secular far right or far left political party, but instead one which is governed by Sharia law and in which most of the earth is converted, by brute force or reduced to dhimmī status.

I'd also add that there is a difference between discussing your religion with someone who is not of that religion and feeling obliged to agree or follow that religion. I can grasp the basics of Christianity. I can respect Christianity.But it does not mean I want to or feel the necessity to worship Jesus or follow Christianity. Discussing belief does not mean having to abandon one's own religion. Christians should be free to convince me of their faith and I should be free to disagree, but neither of us should be in fear of our lives as a result of our different religions.

27 January 2014 at 15:03  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

I agree that one should be able to discuss religious differences without descending into bigotry and extreme lunacy. Which leads me to Len.

Len would slice every Catholic into little pieces ( after Carl gave them a haircut) on his sandwich board if he thought he could get away with it.I have never witnessed anyone who is so relentlessly obsessed with such a consuming hatred for Catholicism.
It cannot be healthy.

27 January 2014 at 15:23  
Blogger non mouse said...

Good citations, Len! Thank you.

27 January 2014 at 15:47  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

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27 January 2014 at 17:08  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Hmmm “Saffron Terror” eh. Worth a look up. And then onto “Terrorism in India”, both courtesy Wiki.

Hello Hello Hello – what do we have here…

“Terrorism in India has often been alleged to be sponsored by Pakistan. After most acts of terrorism in India, many journalists and politicians accuse Pakistan's intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence of playing a role”

Pakistan, that’s a rabidly muslim country next door, isn’t it ?

{AHEM} Let’s bring up Hindu nationalist terrorism, but that turns out to be rather on the small scale. Akin to Basque terrorism, don’t you find ?

Anyway, best walk away from what we’ve found, lest the Inspector be accused of suggesting Blair’s pronouncement that weapons of mass, ooops, that should be "…this issue of extremism is not limited to Islam. There are also many examples the world over where Muslims are the victims of religiously motivated violence from those of other religious faiths." is a gross exaggeration. Blair doing gross exaggeration ? Whatever next…So we visit Burma and the embattled muslims there. Only their so called plight is also not what it seems. Heavens above, it appears these persecuted blighters are descended from muslim immigrants from India, and, unpleasantly, are just like the rest of their faith - the Koran has seen to that.

And what’s this… “Burmese-Buddhist monk Shin Thawbita was brutally assaulted and then his genitals were cut off and he was then burned alive by a Muslim mob in Meikhtila on 20, March 2013.[49]”


27 January 2014 at 18:12  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

One also notes from the Daily Mirror that a couple of Mohameds were killed in Syria, having come over from the UK to fight; brothers they were.

Perhaps they were from the surge of aliens Tony let in. Tony, how about it old man, recognise them ?

Anyway, if you’re here, how about a moving tribute from you on how these brave Islamic extremists gave their lives to kill the un-believers in a war that didn’t concern them. No ? Then what about a few words about how the UK will be enriched by the valuable combat experience the other estimated 300 from this country will be bringing back to these shores, unless they too are ‘rested’ from this life. That’s what alien immigration is all about isn’t it, ‘enrichment’, God help us…

Tony, you’re being rather quiet. For God’s sake, at least say something about you and your government’s role in putting us all in danger, for now and unless there is going to be a fundamental re-direction of Islam, which there won’t, forever…

27 January 2014 at 18:15  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

Thus does the world judge Islam by the vile words and hateful actions of Osama bin Laden

Osama’s vile words included quotations from the Qur’an and his hateful actions were inspired by the Qur’an. Whether we judge Islam by one of its more infamous sons or by its most sacred text, it is never long before the words ‘vile’ and ‘hateful’ spring to mind.

‘the true values of compassion and humanity common to all faiths’—Blair

Well, yes, there is compassion and humanity in Islam but they are reserved for fellow Muslims; I believe Islam is unique among major religions in restricting observance of the Golden Rule to its own community. To move from that position to an Islam that is ‘open-minded and tolerant’ would necessitate Muslims either ignoring large chunks of the Qur’an or rewriting the blessed thing.

27 January 2014 at 18:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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27 January 2014 at 18:36  
Blogger Anglican said...

There are Muslims who are good people. But are they good Muslims?

27 January 2014 at 18:36  
Blogger Owl said...

YG, could we give Tony back?

We'll give you green shield stamps as well, if you would just take him.

You won't, oh.. sh*t.

We'll just have to disown him.

Inspector, well said.

27 January 2014 at 18:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I think that neither Len or Carl would get within ten feet of you, let alone be able to chop you up! You are very Jewish in spirit. If only you and Hannah could reconcile to one another. But I guess, this is like people's views on marmite (:

As a 'PS' to this discussion, what I said above-about dialogue and discussion- was written with difficulty*. Indeed our sages and Rabbis do warn against discussing Judaism with non-Jews.

I've had so many negative encounters with Christians over the past few years, such as the condemnation of Hannah for being gay (as aside from any 'action'), the attempts at Messymaniac 'jewish' Christians to 'Evangelize'* one of my older daughters at university ... Hence why I feel that Jews do, in fact, need engage in these issues of faith and religion.

*Who,exactly, is going to tell someone they are 'hell bound' ( my deceased family, are in hell already, apparently) for being either gay in orientation or telling some one that their father, for being a Jew who had cancer,at the time and needed to 'repent of my sins to Yeshua' to avoid hell.

27 January 2014 at 18:49  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

All this talk of hell, dear David, makes my stomach turn over (of course it could be the inevitable result of game pie and a whalebone corset, but I digress). It seems to me we make our own hell - or we busy ourselves making one for others. Mr. Blair seems to have adopted the mantle of Mr. Gladstone (albeit of a more trans-tiberian nature) but without considering the fact that it is through the blinkered actions of politicians such as himself that religious extremism has been awakened. Mr. Gladstone contented himself with fallen women: Mr. Blair with the fall of dictators...and look where it got him (filthy rich). Mr. Blair reminds me of a Biblical character however - the one that slithered down the tree and whispered to Eve...but then I suppose she was the first fallen woman.

27 January 2014 at 20:18  
Blogger Integrity said...

Your Grace,
My name is Tony Blair. Whatever I say, you must believe because I am Tony Blair. Don't do as I do but do as I say.

Who gave this man the right to write on subjects he clearly has but only a very shallow conception. Don't forget, he doesn't do God.

27 January 2014 at 20:46  
Blogger Integrity said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

27 January 2014 at 20:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mrs Proudie,

"All this talk of hell, dear David, makes my stomach turn over (of course it could be the inevitable result of game pie and a whalebone corset")

Ah well, all this talk of hell also makes my stomach turn over too. I'd rather be of a religion that focuses on what one does in life as much as what happens in death. I just thought I'd share a few family experiences of 'evangelism' by Christians or the Messy-maniac 'Jews', 'born again' believers and 'Jews for Jesus' type people and how that has made my family more alert to the need for discussion, dialogue, rather than hide away in a self imposed ghetto & how these organisations have achieved the opposite to what they were trying to do. If you find Christian hell a matter for vomiting, how are the rest of us to take this? I wouldn't blame that on your game pie or corset. As for Bliar, well, I NEVER voted for him as I've always voted Conservative *until 2015*.

PS- I can't really 'doff' my hat as I'm supposed to keep my head covered and besides which Mrs K does fantastic hobnobs ...

27 January 2014 at 22:13  
Blogger Matt A said...

Bliar always "did God", read Peter Stothard's book "30 Days" if you need proof. It was his cabinet, and specifically Alistair Campbell who declared that the Labour Party did not do God.
In a remarkable turn of events, Putin now seems to be the main doer of God in the political realm....

27 January 2014 at 22:20  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

David K, Happy Jack says no one knows who is going to hell or heaven - except God. And God is not bound by our limited notions of Him.

A Christian believes all salvation is through Jesus Christ but theologians have debated how this works for thousands of years.

Some believe one can be saved by Jesus without actually knowing Him or being a member of His Body (one of the many Christian churches or one particular church.) One just needs to be seeking the truth with a genuine heart. (This, some say, is in the Christian part of the bible.) Others believe you must confess His name and be actually baptised. (This, some say, is also in the Christian bible.) Others believe you must be a member of one particular church. (This, some say, is in the bible too.) And everyone parades their arguments out and rows and squabbles about it all.

All a bit of a mess, really. Then, that's people.

Jack is a Christian. He is not a liberal, nor does he believe in universal salvation, but says, at the end of the day, only God knows the answers to all these questions.

What Jack has said may all be heresy - so don't pay too much attention to it.

28 January 2014 at 00:18  
Blogger non mouse said...

Strange picture that,Your Grace. Bliar looks as if he has a dent in his forehead... brain transplant? Change of spirit?

Whatever. I don't know how he and the Observer have the gall to stand him up in front of the British.

After all, it's greatly to his discredit that we have to bother ourselves about those noisy, pestiferous, life-threatening mozzies at all. I wish they'd all just buzz off back to the desert and take TB with them.

28 January 2014 at 04:40  
Blogger Len said...

Happy Jack, There is only one way to get to Heaven.
Salvation is IN Christ Jesus so we must be IN Him, joined One Spirit with Christ.

How do we do this?.
We don`t and cannot... God joins us One Spirit with Christ.
So you see the futility of doing religious works to GET saved.Salvation cannot be earned only accepted as a gift.

Salvation is all of God from start to finish even the faith to believe in God is a gift from Him.

God does as He pleases no one can make Him do anything.God has already done everything necessary for salvation.

So we seek God accept His Word as Truth and that is the only response we can make.Everything else is because of God`s goodness Grace and Mercy.
Being One with Christ cannot happen by accident (just as you cannot get married by accident no human can join you to Christ only God can do that.
But to get married normally starts with a desire to meet and to develop a relationship with the object of ones desire.

28 January 2014 at 08:31  
Blogger Len said...

H J, Some might call this event being 'born again' but those of 'the religion which cannot be named' seem to get infuriated by the mention of this and claim that sprinkling water over unrepentant infants creates this new birth so they join the club without even knowing it.
Don`t tell them I said this or there will be circular arguments going on for weeks.
All the best keep happy!.

28 January 2014 at 08:40  
Blogger IanCad said...

non mouse,

You have a point.
He looks spiritless, diminished.

Then, again, he is not the first politician to appear so when in a photo-op with the sheer, monumental presence that is Edward Cardinal Egan.

28 January 2014 at 08:44  
Blogger David Hussell said...

I would be interested to know what the conference "to combat secular extremism" to be convened by Baroness Warsi is all about.
Does it include closing down the Catholic adoption agencies, forcing sincere Christian Registrars our of their jobs for exercising their totally reasonable mainstream religious conscience, trying to prevent conferences on defending traditional marriages, frustrating free speech by only allowing public adverts that promote SS relationships and generally bullying everyone who refuses to bow the knee to a particular point of view dressed up as "secular".
A secular state can be just as oppressive, if not more so, than theocracies, it just forces the worship of a different God - the new God is of course "ME" , self-centered Man/Woman. In practice the elite will "arrange" the laws to favour their particular take on a so called secular neutrality.

28 January 2014 at 08:59  
Blogger John Thomas said...

"to promote views that are open-minded and tolerant ..." - This is the 'talking, negotiation, education, reason, etc. will make a better world' approach. I fear there will always be people (extremists) impervious to all of that. I know this is a hope-denying (thus, non-Christian) view of mine ... but it may be realistic, however hopeless. Being realist, rather than idealist, can sometimes actually be better for people.

"those pesky Quakers" - Yes, many Quakers, and other "moral" people and pacifists, support "socially liberal" causes and programmes which include abortion, which kills far more humans than terrorism.

28 January 2014 at 11:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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28 January 2014 at 12:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Jack,

Thanks for that reply.I think you might have misunderstood where I am coming from here. I was not seeking the 'correct' Christian version of the afterlife or to seek validation for a way of thinking which claims everyone goes to Christian heaven. If that is what people believe then it is their affair and not mine.

I was merely pointing out that there are Christians who do hold to the belief that non-Christians go to hell if you don't convert to Christianity and they are very active in spreading their beliefs ('evangelism') . The irony is that the effect this had on my relatives who have encountered this type of Christian evangelism, it has had the opposite effect of conversion and brought them back to their Jewish home. My argument that Jews, Christians and others should have dialogue and discussion stems from this experience.Christianity has always been self confident and its message, whilst telling all and sundry about the need to convert.

Judaism has (given history) been less self confident and in Europe at least was cut off from Christianity in ghettos. This is no longer the case and I believe that many within my community desire to return to self imposed ghettos, often out of fear of assimilation and conversion from their Jewish heritage. In fact, I'd say that Jews need to active in today's world, without necessarily loosing their Orthodoxy and that Judaism can stand on its own two feet and contribute to the well being of nations, but not by mass conversions, but by involvement in the community and example to others.

28 January 2014 at 12:35  
Blogger Len said...

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28 January 2014 at 12:50  
Blogger seanrobsville said...

@David Hussell
"I would be interested to know what the conference "to combat secular extremism" to be convened by Baroness Warsi is all about."

It's about criminalising criticism of Islam:

28 January 2014 at 15:05  
Blogger IanCad said...

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28 January 2014 at 15:37  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Anglican @ 18:36

Very well observed, and the absolutely key issue in relation to Islam.

It explains why well-meaning Westerners who know nice Muslims at work and who have never read the Koran are baffled at the idea that Islam is a violent religion.

Mohammed said love your neighbour as yourself. Or was it Jesus who said that? Anyway, all religions have violent fanatics, including Christianity. Look at Waco, Texas. That was religious, wasn't it? Look at the Crusades.

28 January 2014 at 16:08  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Dear Mr Explorer, I believe we see the crusades through a glass darkly, and forget that they were fought to push back the Islamic conqueror - the invader and the aggressor. Only with our PC Western guilt-burden do we now accept the Moslem cry of 'We were the victims...' The truth is Christianity stopped being violent, Islam didn't. As for Waco Texas, let us use the mantra of the politicians - 'Waco does not represent real Christianity...' It works for others, why not us?

28 January 2014 at 16:30  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Happy Jack

I remember quite a long time ago (I'm sure Len will correct me if my memory of this is wrong), Len asked me if as a Catholic I believed that Jesus Christ was Lord. I said yes, Len, He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. All that any of us who call ourselves Christian here argue about is the details. :)

I was thinking about this the other Sunday when the reading from the Letter of St Paul to the Corinthians touched upon that very point.

"11 For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you. 12 Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?"

If the arguments have been going on since the first century, then it's probably hopeless to think that two millennia on, we're any of us going to be any different.

As you said "All a bit of a mess, really. Then, that's people."

28 January 2014 at 18:44  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

David H: "[...] frustrating free speech by only allowing public adverts that promote SS relationships [...]"

Dunno if you're aware but that has been at the Court of Appeal in the last day or two and an investigation into Boris's conduct has been ordered.

28 January 2014 at 18:48  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

The David Koresh 'Branch Davidian' Waco sect wasn't even distantly related to biblical Christianity. The Crusades as discussed were essentially defensive responses to Jihad. Without them we'd be speaking Arabic and would have had no Reformation, Rennaissance, Enlightenment or modern era.

It is too easy to say that all religions are similarly violent. People should read the books and do the math.

28 January 2014 at 20:12  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

PS Robert Spencer's 'Politically Incorrent Guidecto Islam and the Crusades' is recommended reading but I doubt that any public library will order it for you.

Spencer lives in hiding due to jihadi death threats and is I believe not allowed to enter the UK. That shouldctellnus something.

28 January 2014 at 20:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David Kavanagh,

You are deceived by Talmudic Judaism! Firstly, let's define who a Jew is. Are you a Jew based on religion, culture or parentage? Biblically a Jew is a person who belongs to the people who are descended from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; the people with whom G-d made the covenants through Abraham, Moses and David. It is G-d himself who has made us Jewish.

The term 'Christian' comes from the Greek 'Christos', which translates the Hebrew, 'Meshiach', meaning 'Messiah'. A Christian is defined as someone who has made a decision to follow Y'shua as the Messiah, be they Jewish or Gentile. Becoming a Christian is a personal matter between an individual and God; nobody can be 'born' a Christian. You have to have a second birth or be 'born again'.

The first Christians were Jews who came to believe that Y'shua was the Messiah. None of them renounced their Jewishness. Their faith was based on G-d's age-old promises found in the Hebrew Scriptures. In the very beginning, Christianity was considered to be just another sect within the Jewish faith. For the most part, it wasn't until some years later that Gentiles were even offered an opportunity of becoming believers in Y'shua without first converting to Judaism.

It follows that if Y'shua is the Messiah, then nothing could be more Jewish than believing in him.

Why do you attack the most Orthodox Jewish beliefs - that of Messianic Judaism and the proclamation of the good news that G-d’s promised Messiah has come! Through Messiah Yeshua there is now atonement for sins and peace with G-d. G-d’s Word clearly states that this message is to be proclaimed first to the Jew. Nowhere in Scripture is this requirement limited to any particular age or location.

G-d’s final means of bringing his people Israel to faithful obedience would be by a provoking of them to jealousy through the inclusion of the gentile people in his great and precious promises. As it says in Deuteronomy 32:21, “They made me jealous by what is no god and angered me with their worthless idols. I will make them envious by those who are not a people; I will make them angry by a nation that has no understanding.” From the call of Abram gentiles have been graciously brought into covenant relationship, yet it was always in small numbers. However in Messiah Yeshua the inclusion of the gentiles finally became an abundant reality.

The great witness to the world would now be seen in “His purpose … to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace and in this one body to reconcile both of them to G-d through the stake, by which he put to death their hostility.” [Ephesians 2:15,16] That is, Jew and Gentile functioning as one in Messiah. The great dividing wall of hostility was now demolished. Gentiles were once “separate from Messiah, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without G-d in the world. But now in Messiah Yeshua you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Messiah.” “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow-citizens with G-d’s people and members of G-d’s household”. [Ephesians 2:12-13,19]

Now it can be said of gentile believers, “Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of G-d; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” [1 Peter 2:10].

28 January 2014 at 21:21  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Sister Tiberia, Happy Jack says this is a significant point: "Is Christ divided?" We know He is not. And so he asks how all these different 'schools' came about and started to divide His message of truth? It wasn't the Holy Spirit at work, that's for sure.

As you say, the differences are over detail .... and we all know what is in the detail.

28 January 2014 at 21:53  
Blogger The Explorer said...


I hope it is appreciated I was being ironic?

As in Branch Davidians: that must be something to do with King David. Never heard of David Koresh.

Waco is a favourite for Muslims denouncing Chrisitianity, and it works on the sufficiently gullible. LIkewise the REcapture of the Holy Land by the Crusades is convneiently forgotten.

29 January 2014 at 07:19  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Happy Jack, I do occasionally think Our Blessed Lord is sitting somewhere with his head in his hands, thinking "I gave you all two simple instructions, that you should love God and you should love each other. Just how did you manage to make it all this complicated?" :)

29 January 2014 at 08:07  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Sister T:

He also said some pretty cryptic stuff.

"Render unto Caesar...", or "I have other sheep that are not of this fold," or "On this rock...", or "For the Father is greater than I," demand interpretation.

You can just see Arius pricking up his ears with that last one.

29 January 2014 at 08:57  
Blogger IanCad said...

The Explorer,

David Koresh was the charismatic leader of the schismatic Branch Davidians who sprung from a breakaway group of Seventh Day Adventists.

They became victims of one of the worst massacres in the history of the USA.

Eighty seven of souls, men women and children, many of them British, burned and gassed to death in a military operation that was not only unnecessary, but also, unconstitutional.

Wiki has a lot of information if you wish for more.

I will add that I believe the affair reflected very badly on the SDA church, who, in their understandable zeal to distance themselves from the Davidians, failed in their duty to condemn unreservedly this outrage.

However, many others did:

29 January 2014 at 09:19  
Blogger The Explorer said...


I was still in ironic mode: I read a book about the whole sorry episode.

My point was that Waco is used by Muslims as evidence of mainstream Christian violence, and gullible Westerners are taken in.

29 January 2014 at 09:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


That post of yours is in essence Christianity, no matter how much you dress it up with Hebrew words. I appreciate that Christians are told to evangelize everyone, but it's the way which this is done which I find irritating. The mixture of Christianity with some Hebrew and Judaism doesn't make it Orthodox or authentic and seems to me a back door way of getting Jews to become Christians. Strangely enough I have more respect for the preacher& his congregation, who stands in the rain, in our high street, with a bible in his hand and shouts about Jesus, than the set up you guys have got on the go.

29 January 2014 at 11:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see Sister Tibs has made a welcome return to this weblog (:

29 January 2014 at 11:17  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Sister Tiberia, Happy Jack says different churches give different answers to that one! Jack agrees man is fallen and makes wrong turns. Then, God will have known this all along and Jack believes it does sadden Jesus that people loose His message and (depending on what you believe about the nature and power of grace) risk their salvation.

Jack supposes, as a Catholic, you would say Christ instituted a mystical and physical church with Apostolic leadership and gave it His authority; others say this church went wrong hundreds of years ago and lost its way; and others say the church is not a physical body at all but a spiritual one made up of all believers.

29 January 2014 at 11:41  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Happy Jack:

At one level, the differing interpretations bother me. But I also think they may be part of God's plan.

Imagine if we all agreed. We might ossify.

Arguing with Catholics, Calvinists, Arminians, Open theologians or whoever keeps the issues alive for us.

And there are,after all, crucial things on which all of us agree.

29 January 2014 at 12:02  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Explorer, Happy Jack says there has always been plenty of debate for 2000 years, most of it when the Church was one. And there was plenty of disagreements too and these were settled within the one Church - or false doctrines declared as heresy. God's will that His Body, the Church, be divided? Permitted by Him, yes.

29 January 2014 at 13:48  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

"Jack supposes, as a Catholic, you would say Christ instituted a mystical and physical church with Apostolic leadership and gave it His authority; others say this church went wrong hundreds of years ago and lost its way; and others say the church is not a physical body at all but a spiritual one made up of all believers."

You'd find Catholics (including myself) cheerfully agreeing to all three! That the RCC comes with apostolic succession, that it has made truly humungous (sp) errors of judgement at one time or another (the Renaissance Popes are a fascinating read), and that the Church is made up of the People of God (affirmed in the documents of Vatican II).

29 January 2014 at 14:24  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

David, thank you very much for the kind "welcome-back" - I've never really been away, but sometimes commenting feels like too much energy, particularly when a debate (not this one) starts spiralling badly downhill on sectarian lines. Mea culpa :)

29 January 2014 at 14:26  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Sister Tiberia, Happy Jack can understand that comment and he chuckled at this: "affirmed in the documents of Vatican II."

Jack asks if any of these "humungous (sp) errors of judgement ever been doctrinal, dogmatic and in matters of binding teaching? Jack has watched a few programmes about the goings on of some of those popes you mentioned. The church was occupied by some very sinful men. (Some say it still is.) Can a Catholic believe this effects the authority of the magisterium, the bishops and pope - past and present - when it comes to things like faith and morals?

29 January 2014 at 16:28  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Frankly, Jack, put three Catholics in a room, you get an argument. Put four, you get a Holy War. Most of us cling to the promise that Christ made to us "And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

Note that Christ never promised us a Pope (or his minions) would not make mistakes - indeed I seem to remember Christ rebuking Peter a few verses later. But we take this as a promise that we will never have a Pope with the ability to destroy the Church. (And heaven knows we have a few who have tried) :)

29 January 2014 at 17:20  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Sister Tiberia, Happy Jacks trusts you are talking metaphorically about Catholics!

29 January 2014 at 19:03  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Happy Jack,

Did His Grace miss something? When did you become a Roman Catholic?

29 January 2014 at 19:08  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

I say Jack, have you really been inculcated by the sterling presence of the RCs on this site to be moved to so affiliate ?

If so, good show that man !

29 January 2014 at 19:21  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Jack, it's an exaggeration. But sadly, if you look at a lot of the Catholic blogs on the internet - not an exaggeration by much :)

29 January 2014 at 19:27  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Archbishop Cranmer

Happy Jack has not become a Roman Catholic! He is exploring options and differences between Christians. At the moment, Jack finds he has greatest sympathy with conservative, Anglo-Catholics with an evangelical leaning.

Jack just wouldn't like to enter a Catholic discussion group to find out more and then find himself in the middle of a Holy War!

29 January 2014 at 19:40  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

I can give you a list of blogs to carefully avoid then, Happy Jack :P

29 January 2014 at 19:43  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

But in fact, you won't see the "Holy War" going on one many of them because very few - on either side - have unmoderated comments. So generally the only comments that will be permitted through are the ones where there is general agreement with the owner of the blog. It's sad really. One of the greatest strengths of His Grace's blog is the willingness to let all the points of view be heard, subject to some basic rules of good manners (which are occasionally breached!) :) You will not find this sort of ecumenical dialogue on many Catholic sites.

29 January 2014 at 19:49  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Inspector, that remark made Happy Jack chuckle! Above all else, he wants to "affiliate" to the Church of Jesus.

Jack finds he is being pushed in a certain theological direction by some blogger comments on here - no names - rather than being attracted to it by the comments of some Catholics on here - again, no names.

Sister Tiberia, Happy Jack has found some very good Anglican and Catholic blogs where he reads the articles and only some of the comments.

As the stalwart desk sergeant Phil Esterhaus, on Hill Street Blues, used to warn: "Hey, let's be careful out there."

29 January 2014 at 20:04  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

There's one very "progessive" Catholic site - the National Catholic Reporter - which has recently closed its comments completely because, in the words of their editor:

"2) We are not reacting to “irreverent comments.” The words I used to describe the comments were “malicious,” “abusive” and “vile.” An NCR contributor called me and asked me to read some of the comments over the phone to him, and I declined. That’s how vile they were."

And all these commentors would presumably have identified themselves as both Christian and Catholic. The mind boggles.

29 January 2014 at 20:13  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Jack, as WC Fields might have put it, and you really need effectuate his accent here, “Heavens to buggery”

29 January 2014 at 20:21  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Ah, that might have been “Heavens to Betsy”

Apologies DanJ0...

29 January 2014 at 20:26  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Sister Tiberia, Happy Jack says this shows there is a lot of confused and troubled people about!

The Apostles had a big falling out too over the role of the Mosaic Torah and eventually settled their differences.

Imagine the difficulties facing the early church trying to make sense of all that had gone on. Thank God for Pentecost.

Inspector, Happy Jack says you could have exclaimed: "Heavens to Purgatory!" Or should that be: "Heavens to Murgatroyd!"


29 January 2014 at 20:37  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Greetings, Your Grace. Just to let you know that I have been reading your excellent posts...I nearly said "religiously," but that wouldn't come out right...and even sent several folks your way (Yids, Catholics and Protestants but sorry, no Anglicans yet in this lot) from an inter-denominational conservative workshop I took part in. Several later said they had never seen a blog like yours. They meant it as a compliment, of course. I remember how it was, Your Grace, when I chanced upon your blog a few years back; I took over a month to back-read every post and comment on it.

Apologies to the usual suspects here, but yes, I have been avoiding all you people like the bubonic plague, daring not to even peek at the comments section, as things have been crucially busy for me and I have little willpower especially when stressed and presented with an opportunity for pleasant escapes in your company.(Not to worry, eventually I catch up to all you've been up to.) Alas, a friend hunted me down and alerted me about the higher-than-usual amount of oddities to be found today and here I am. See, no willpower.

Welly, welly well, Sister Tiberia is back. Hello, Sister, so glad to see you here again; always enjoy reading you posts. (They all return. Or most, where are Oswin? Berzerker? The terrifying and inimitable Viking? And of course never to be back, Lord Lavendon, may he rest in peace.)

O, look, there's someone new here who's pretending to be a messianic Jew. Whoop-tee-doo-thrills. And he's trying to hit on poor Dave Kavanagh...zzzzzz. Bloody disappointment as messianics go, this new fellow, at least compared to the irritating pests we get in Canada and the US.

And what's this? Happy Jack is leaning towards Catholicism? What a surprise, I am shocked...shocked, I say ;) I thought he'd be a slam-dunk for orthodox Judaism, what with the salty herring, the smoked salmon, juicy roast briskets and tender Montreal smoked meats with proper scotch we put out every Saturday after services. But that was entirely my mess-up: I didn't specify denominations, so when poor Jack went religion-sampling, he wound up at some obviously liberal, New Agey place with a lady "rabbi" who laughed at our Jack when he asked where the scotch is. The travesty. Avi apologizes to Jack on behalf of the entire klal Yisrael for such rudeness to a stranger in a strange land. If ever in Toronto, Jack will be given a proper reception with Avi's inner circle of co-conspirators and the twenty year-old scotch will flow, one kids thee not. In any case, better that he was turned off leftie liberal Judaism, as he was likely to find there only hand-squeezed organic carrot juice and oh-so-delicious macrobiotic, gluten, nut, sugar and sodium-free fair trade-grown, union-made quinoa and watercress quiche. Mmmm-mm-yum! Kidding; gi'me a bucket!

30 January 2014 at 01:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

30 January 2014 at 10:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sister Tibs,

Well it is good to see you are 'back' posting now. I did try and read some of those blogs that were mentioned many many months ago- what was it -Mundbor (?)- so I see what you mean by 'spiritual battle' or is that a deliberate example of Poe's law?

Greetings Avi,

Did you go to Switzerland last week or did the elders not call? I wasn't invited, but anyway I'm too busy on the look out for an alternative country residence. I had thought I bought an old rectory, but the deal fell through on the grounds of quirky ancient English laws called 'chancel liability', a bloody nightmare to do with C of E Church repairs.Mrs Proudie will probably be familiar with this.

Yes Messianic Jews, quite an interesting crowd. Very persistent and of course they are right and we are wrong.

30 January 2014 at 10:57  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

I did actually think Mundabor was a parody originally - and eventually came to the sad conclusion that not only is the man serious, he isn't even the worst out there....

30 January 2014 at 14:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sister Tibs,

Well that is a shocker, as I thought that blog was an amusing parody, but I must admit to being relatively naive with blogging.I was utterly convinced you were a 'sister' (nun), until you mentioned you were married (:

Well we've been a bit naughty and put in an offer for a complete wreck of a house, for our family 'get together' abode, which needs a great deal of rebuilding (a barn an old windmill and a house with a tree growing in it). And this time no need to become a 'lay Rector'. That's the problem with Mrs K watching 'homes under the hammer' or was it Sarah Beeny or 'Grand designs'. It's worked out quite well as it gives my brother Samuel some work, so he can start to stand on his own too feet (& a place of his own to live).

30 January 2014 at 16:05  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

There’s a thing Avi - whatever happened to our Northumbrian hill farmer Oswin.

The fellow abruptly stopped posting nearly two years ago now. Almost in mid flow, so one recalls. He was getting on a bit but still did his rounds to tend to his charges on those bleak hills. We must consider that the fellow went out of this world ‘on his feet’, so to speak. No lingering incapacitating illness for him. We can thus conclude that he is now enjoying his reward in Christ. He came over as such a fine chap, that one cannot contemplate any other possibility…

30 January 2014 at 18:20  
Blogger Len said...

Jack, I cannot conceive why anyone would read the Bible and then think "I must become a Catholic"This is not a logical conclusion because you would then have to ignore (or reinvent) most of what the Bible teaches. Someone mentioned 'Apostolic succession '. Well.....More than one Pope occupied 'Peters Chair' at the same time each claiming to be the 'one true infallible pope 'and each using his alleged power to excommunicate the others.
Other popes sold the Papacy to the highest bidder.(Pope Benedict IX)
Other Popes were murdered and legend has it that some lay on the bed of the Tiber.
So quite how the succession thing works no one quite seems to know
but whatever you do don`t question it or you will be in big trouble IF you are a Catholic?.

30 January 2014 at 18:47  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Avi: "And what's this? Happy Jack is leaning towards Catholicism? What a surprise, I am shocked...shocked, I say ;)"


I had a sudden flashback in the blasphemy thread at 26 January 2014 23:57 and later.

30 January 2014 at 19:11  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Avi, Happy Jack is still exploring options and, whatever conclusion he comes to, will take up your kind offer if he ever finds himself in Canada.

Len, Happy Jack finds this a surprising comment: "Jack, I cannot conceive why anyone would read the Bible and then think "I must become a Catholic."" Well, Jack didn't say that had happened, did he? He also didn't realise you were so opposed to Catholic teaching - is that Anglo Catholic, or just Roman Catholic?


Unless Jack is wrong, there are many, Anglicans who accept Apostolic succession. And, as Jack has been saying recently, he finds reading the bible on his own a very confusing exercise and is unwilling to simply put his own interpretation on matters.

Here is how Jack summed up his dilemmas when he was talking with Rambling Steve Appleseed

Steve said:

"Phil Roberts, I have done the Calvinism versus Arminianism thing over the last 6 years until it has done my head in."

And Jack replied:

"Have you considered the Roman Catholic 'thing' too? It's not really funny but Jack does understand your exasperation.

At the end of the day, we (some or all?) are called to be members of Christ's Body. We either respond (voluntarily or have no choice?) and become members of a spiritual Body of believers or a spiritual and physical body of believers. Once members, we are either 'saved' for certain or are 'saved' through cooperation with God.

So many things to work out!"

Jack will continue to consider and reflect on these matters. This is not something Jack wants to dispute until he is clearer in his own mind.

30 January 2014 at 23:45  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

This is Happy Jack's "snake-eyed" look.

He will let readers decide to whom it is addressed.

30 January 2014 at 23:49  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Sister Tiberia said...

Happy Jack, I do occasionally think Our Blessed Lord is sitting somewhere with his head in his hands, thinking "I gave you all two simple instructions, that you should love God and you should love each other. Just how did you manage to make it all this complicated?" :)
"Think He would say 'Now when did I say all that nonsense to anyone, especially the Romans!'

Happy Jack said...

Sister Tiberia, Happy Jack says different churches give different answers to that one! (Think it was Rome that started all the serious nonsense, Lad!) Jack agrees man is fallen and makes wrong turns (Man is fallen BUT chooses to believe lies over truth by not understanding His Word). Then, God will have known this all along and Jack believes it does sadden Jesus that people loose His message (Dear Boy, you cannot loose what you have failed to understand) and (depending on what you believe about the nature and power of grace) risk their salvation.

Jack supposes, as a Catholic, you would say Christ instituted a mystical and physical church with Apostolic leadership and gave it His authority (Traditional RC Doctrine but twisted periodically to add new other things to it, for the temporal benefit of Rome and NOT Christ ); others say this church went wrong hundreds of years ago and lost its way (Indeed!); and others say the church is not a physical body at all but a spiritual one made up of all believers ( Truly ).

Sister Tiberia said...

You'd find Catholics (including myself) cheerfully agreeing to all three! ( 'quelle surprise' )That the RCC comes with apostolic succession (Does it say that on the package, my dear?), that it has made truly humungous (sp) errors of judgement at one time or another (Still talking about Rome, dear lady?) (the Renaissance Popes are a fascinating read), and that the Church is made up of the People of God (affirmed in the documents of Vatican II).

(So you are still talking about Rome and only Rome then and that Rome and it's popes do not hold to what was supposedly stated by Jesus to it?? "Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus" ("Outside the Church there is no salvation").
(Pope Innocent III: "There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside which no one at all is saved." Fourth Lateran Council, 1215.
Pope Boniface VIII: "We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff." From his Bull Unam Sanctam, 1302.
Pope Eugene IV: "The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church." From his Bull Cantate Domino, 1441.) !!!!)

31 January 2014 at 08:11  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Sister Tiberia said...

Frankly, Jack, put three (ROMAN?) Catholics in a room, you get an argument. Put four, you get a Holy War. Most of us cling to the promise that Christ made to us "And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.(Then what do the minority cling too??)"

Sister Tiberia said...

David, thank you very much for the kind "welcome-back" - I've never really been away, but sometimes commenting feels like too much energy, particularly when a debate (not this one) starts spiralling badly downhill on sectarian lines (It starts on sectarian lines as you and other RC's use specific sectarian language that is uniquely RC as above, my dear..There is no downward spiral about it!). Mea culpa :)...Should'nt that read " mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa " :-}


31 January 2014 at 08:12  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

The prayer of confession of sinfulness used in the Mass of the Roman Catholic Church known as Confiteor (Latin for "I confess"),

I confess to omnipotent God, to Blessed Mary ever-virgin,
to Blessed Michael the archangel, to Blessed John the Baptist,
to the holy apostles Peter and Paul, to all the saints, and to you father:
that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word and deed:
through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault.
Therefore I beseech the Blessed Mary ever-virgin,
Blessed Michael the archangel, Blessed John the Baptist,
the holy apostles Peter and Paul, all the saints, and you, Father,
to pray for me to the Lord our God.

A prayer to congregation and priest with no mention of Jesus by name but various others forbidden to receive prayers...Delightful, is it not?

31 January 2014 at 08:28  
Blogger IanCad said...

"Blessed Michael the archangel"

Described thus:

"Michael is considered a saint and is the incense-bearer in front of the throne of God the Father. Michael is the leader of the heavenly hosts and the army of God. He is also the defender of the faith, the guardian of the Blessed Sacrament in tabernacles around the world, guardian and patron of the universal Church, the escort of souls to their particular judgment and the herald of the general judgment."

In place of Christ??

31 January 2014 at 10:14  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

""And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it".

Presume that Our Saviour had to tell Peter who he was as he had forgotten and thought he was someone else?

RC Nonsense of a ridiculously sublime nature, that only the desperate could twist to make it more than it was...he was a little stone (as were all the other apostles
Douay-Rheims Bible

And the wall of the city had twelve foundations {stones}, and in them, the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb) and Christ was/is The Rock it is all built on!!!

"In place of Christ??" It seems so, as regards the necessity of keeping the indoctrinated blind!

*Huge Chortles*

31 January 2014 at 11:01  
Blogger Len said...

The Catholic Church used the 'donation of Constantine' to prove their authority but when this was found to be a very badly constructed Catholic forgery(naughty boys these Catholics theologians) they looked for something else to' prove' their authority.
Seeing the apparent ambiguity in Jesus`s remark to Peter the Catholic theologians seized this assumption (not the first) and created a new(false) foundation for their Church.

Catholic theology seems to be an evolutionary process rather like a snowball rolling down a hill gathering customs traditions and theories as it roll headlong gathering speed and attempting to flatten all that gets in its path.

31 January 2014 at 12:55  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Hi David K, Switzerland? I wish. It's back to the midnight meetings in the cemetery of the Altneuschul of the great Maharal and his Golem. Great kosher restaurant in Prague, though, the King Solomon (take note of their wine cellar and the roast goose dishes, Your Grace). Some say the best of its kind in the world. You were trying to buy a rectory? Goodness. If you're getting any stone or brick walls fixed up, don't let them use mortar with Portland cement. Only lime and sand mix, type "K". A friend had his historic masonry wrecked with a modern out-of-the bag cement-based mortar by "restoration masonry experts." I've actually taught and written in that field, done inspections and written up specs from time to time for friends who buy historic property. I love the old stuff, but hate fixing things (or paying through my nose) and prefer new buildings with good insulation, proper plumbing, up to date electrical and mechanical, sound roofs, windows and doors that shut tight and such. No romance or sense of adventure left in me.

That's a sad possibility, Inspector. I didn't know he is an older gent....I'll assume an is; seemed like a younger man than I when we last exchanged thoughts. Never can tell on these blogs. And a clever customer you are, Inspector, didn't buy Tony Baloney's equivalence shtick, I see. Truth be told, at times Hindus and Buddhists do give a little bit back, which provides the media and the Tonies of the world with the happy opportunity to do the "deep down we're all the same" spiel, to play the "honest broker" and take on the liberals' updated version of the White Man's Burden.

It would be my pleasure to host you, Happy Jack! Methinks you are alarming Mr Blofeld...who I trust has been successfully facilitating the physical repairs to his person (we'll all be doing the same soon)...with your inclination towards the seven hills of Rome. Avi has no dog in this race, and for all his grumbling about the history of Catholicism and Christianity in general with relation to Jews, he appreciates Rome's present position and admires its recent popes, clergy and ordinary adherents, some of whom he had the pleasure to meet at a recent conference. That's a chilling snake-eyed look, Jack; glad it's not addressed to Avi ;)

Greetings, Danjo. You have an elephant's memory... ~:3. Anyway, suppressed religious identity can be like isostatic rebound; takes a long time, but it’s inexorable and one day it will tower in its full majesty and we’ll all have to deal with it's effects.

31 January 2014 at 13:10  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Argh! Meant to write "its effects" not it's; the stupid device changed it on me.

31 January 2014 at 13:13  
Blogger IanCad said...

Avi, you wrote:

"And of course never to be back, Lord Lavendon, may he rest in peace."

I'm sorry to hear that.


31 January 2014 at 14:04  
Blogger Len said...

Can one be a Catholic and simply forget the fact?.
Bit like religious amnesia?.
Then you would have to commit the same mistake twice to become Catholic all over again, I suppose.
Oh well that`s religion for you a mystery no one can explain.

31 January 2014 at 15:53  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Hi IanCad. I think it's been almost six months ago now since Miss Rachel let us know. Perhaps David Kavanagh can renind us. A fine, brilliant and principled Christian and a good friend of the Jews and Israel, and what's a precious rarity nowadays, a true Gentleman to the core, the kind that reminds you to always take the high road. I still catch myself waiting for him to wade into a dispute.

31 January 2014 at 17:22  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Avi, Happy Jack believes you'd be a lot of fun to go out on the town with. We could form a busking duo to raise a few pence.

Now, let's be clear, Jack said he was in sympathy with conservative, Anglo-Catholics with an evangelical leaning. This may lead to him "towards the seven hills of Rome".

What Jack has to get straight is a number of theological and historical points and facts. It would be silly for him to join any church just to change later.

Jack is very clear he is not a 'monergist' but has yet to work out what type of 'synergist' he believes. Jack also feels he needs a church community and an institution with some leadership. He is drawn to ritual and ceremony too. This rules out Calvinism and also the non-aligned "born-againers".

Jack will only use his "snake-eyed" look rarely.

Len, Happy Jack asks if you are saying all Apostolic succession ended when all these bad men were seeking power over one another? Or do you believe it never existed in the first place? You do know this would apply to His Grace, Archbishop Cranmer! Jack will let you inform him if this is so.


Blowers, Happy Jack is pleased to see you back and hopes your health is on the mend.

Jack has been reading all about that disputed passage from Mathew 16 from all sorts of different points of view. He may be going astray but this chap's argument struck Jack as sound and worthy of reflection:

This goes through all that "pebble" stuff and the "keys" and what this means. This man used to be a Calvinist and then converted. Plus, he wears a cool hat. Jack knows you will have counter-arguments in place and he has been reading these too.

31 January 2014 at 17:46  
Blogger IanCad said...

Thanks Avi

I had no idea.
How sad.
I try not to miss too much.
This must have slipped by.
Condolences to all.

31 January 2014 at 17:54  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Happy Jack

This "I am just a seeker" facade is getting a little old. There is not a person who has been on this weblog more than 12 months who doesn't know who you are. We can tell be the opinions you express. By the times at which you post. By the frequency with which you post. By the banter you engage in. By the subjects which attract your attention sufficient to comment. Your signature is all over the place.

I was content to let this lie fallow for obvious reasons, but I am not content to see you present yourself as someone gravitationg towards RCism when you are in fact already RC. Create whatever personae you like. But don't lie. You are a RC pretending to be someone becoming RC. You are presenting this as "Why, I am just investigating these subjects, and here is what I found." No, you aren't, and, no, you haven't. You know every well what you are doing.

This sentence btw was an absolute masterpiece of ambiguous construction.

Happy Jack has not become a Roman Catholic!


31 January 2014 at 18:46  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Carl, Happy Jack is an authentic character who is exploring religious truth.

Jack is not in communion with the Roman Catholic Church. What is a 'Roman Catholic'? You amongst all bloggers on here claim to know the answer to this. Happy Jack is not: "a RC pretending to be someone becoming RC"? Happy Jack is existentially real and his search is an honest one.

If you want to "judge" him please do so on what Happy Jack says. Not on someone who you think Jack may have been or opinions you think he may have held.

31 January 2014 at 20:56  
Blogger William Lewis said...

Very sad to hear of the passing of Lord Lavendon. He was very much a gentleman with a wealth of experience, including fighting in the second world war, and a great love for his country and its church. My condolences to his family.

31 January 2014 at 23:02  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Happy Jack..any relation to Happy Gilmore, lad?

"Len, Happy Jack asks if you are saying all Apostolic succession ended when all these bad men were seeking power over one another? Or do you believe it never existed in the first place? (Dear's a myth, as to be an heir of apostolic succession one must first be an Apostle, which even Rome notes what are the qualification for this that cannot be met in any roman catholic bishop, supposedly after Peter.!!!)You do know this would apply to His Grace, Archbishop Cranmer! (Dear boy, Cranny NEVER thought himself a pope to squat in Peter's recliner!!) Jack will let you inform him if this is so."(That would be a doosie that Ernst would like to hear)

*chuckle* *Sniggers*

Blowers, Happy Jack is pleased to see you back and hopes your health is on the mend.(I have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis spondylosis with dehydration of lower spine and dilated blood vessels of upper hence the awful pains. Having to go on steroids and will need injections if oral not working.

Jack has been reading all about that disputed passage from Mathew 16 from all sorts of different points of view. He may be going astray but this chap's argument struck Jack as sound and worthy of reflection: (Fully aware of the chap and Ernst reads his blog occasionally but jimmy is a master of the double speak.."Ah veneration is not worship, you re-borners got it wrong" Yet..

"VENERATION. The word commonly used to express in English that worship given to saints either directly or through images and relics

"WORSHIP. Adoration and reverence paid to God…also for the honor paid to the saints….veneration." (William E. Addis & Thomas Arnold, Eds., A Catholic Dictionary containing some account of the doctrine, discipline, rites, ceremonies, councils and religious orders of the Catholic Church, Catholic Publication Society:New York (1884); w/Nihil Obstat and Imprimitur)

Is it not interesting Jack lad, that this Catholic dictionary uses the word 'worship' to define 'veneration' to it's readers (RC's) and then goes on to define worship as adoration, reverence and veneration....and yet..""WORSHIP. The unique adoration and reverence paid to God, called latria; the word is sometimes used for the honour paid to the saints (dulia), but this is better distinguished by some word such as "veneration." (Donald Attwater, Ed., A Catholic Dictionary, The MacMillan Company:New York (1942); w/Nihil Obstat and Imprimitur). "

This goes through all that "pebble" stuff and the "keys" and what this means. This man used to be a Calvinist and then converted. Plus, he wears a cool hat. Jack knows you will have counter-arguments in place and he has been reading these too. (Jimbo uses crafty semantics so that a word stated is not the word intended. Ernst always loves going to the source of the Catechism or RC Encyclopedia's, where the true meanings are boldly given...Akin merely lectures the gullible!!!

If you cannot trust an organisation that claims its founding COA (Chief Operating Apostle) had sole possession of keys and was THE 'pebble' in his own right and all the others that followed this Apostle in a 'succession' were NOT apostles so it, the succession, is invalid, how can you believe anything they say without maximum scrutiny!!!

Blowers, that Lad.


Happy Jack! Methinks you are alarming Mr Blofeld (Just a tad!!!!!) ...who I trust has been successfully facilitating the physical repairs to his person (we'll all be doing the same soon)...with your inclination towards the seven hills of Rome.(Wouldn't wish me condition on Corrigan!!!) Shalom.

1 February 2014 at 00:47  
Blogger Len said...

I totally concur with Ernst regarding 'apostolic succession'.

I can also totally sympathize with him as regards his illness as I have a mild form of the same condition.

Do as the' Bereans' did check everything against the Word of God .

1 February 2014 at 08:55  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Blowers, Happy Jack sympathises with your condition which he knows can be dreadfully painful. At the same time he is relieved it is nothing more sinister as Jack did have anxieties about what might have been wrong. He hopes, now they have found the cause, treatment will alleviate your suffering.

Jack does not wish to get into deep debate at this time about Apostolic succession and how this has been understood by churches and the history of this doctrine.

Len, Happy Jack is doing just that. As he has said, this is not such an easy thing to do. Passages that seem clear to Jack are given all sorts of different meanings by others and words are translated differently and contexts for these passages are explained in different ways.

1 February 2014 at 10:01  
Blogger Len said...

Happy Jack, agreed interpretation is not always as clear cut as one might wish it to be and to read the bible without prejudice or pre conceived ideas is quite difficult.

I don`t suppose any translation of the Bible is without error of some sort.Some words in Hebrew or Greek possibly lose or gain something in translation.

But it is the 'additions' or subtractions from the Word of God which I object to.

For instance Islam and Catholicism draw their 'authority' from the bible but then go on to deny the truth contained within the Bible.
We (who call ourselves Christian) are quite clearly told not to' add' to God`s word or to 'take away 'from God`s Word, Islam and Catholicism and all of the cults do this in one way or another.

1 February 2014 at 17:59  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Len, Happy Jack says you know full well the Catholic answer to that objection - both Anglo-Catholic and Roman Catholic and also the Orthodox Church. And it is a very different to one to Islam which believes their religious text was dictated word by word.

Jack says you know there was no Christian scripture when the early church formed and it was the church which had to decide what books to include and what books to leave out.

How did they know which books belonged in the bible? They decided it had to be a book handed down by the Apostles or their associates. This was the test. The books had to agree with the teachings the Apostles handed on to Church. It took hundreds of years before all the books of the New Testament were agreed and people had started to understand them through study of the Jewish writings and the Christian writings.

So, for example, that part of Jesus' words you quoted was a talk directed at the Pharisees for certain reasons.

Apart from this, there are real problems in ordinary folk reading and a bible. Let's be honest, not everybody in the world has a bible and not everybody can read. This was the case in the West too for 1500 years. And there's an awful lot to take into account in reading and understanding it and help from a learned person is needed. One needs time, a good education and to be able to think and reason critically.

And you do know the word "bible" is never used in the bible?

That was a little joke.


1 February 2014 at 19:00  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Brrrrr ...

Jack thought he was cold! Forgot to put his hat back on after an afternoon nap.

1 February 2014 at 19:03  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Βίβλος γενέσεως Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ υἱοῦ Δαυὶδ υἱοῦ Ἀβραάμ.

That's only the first chapter of Matthew, Happy Jack. You'll find 'biblos' used all over the place..

But your knowledge of the early Catholic councils is impressive..

1 February 2014 at 19:09  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Archbishop Cranmer

Thank you, Your Grace, that is much appreciated. You have illustrated Jack's very point about ignorance and his own lack of learning.

That was all Greek to Jack, so he Googled it and it seems βίβλος
means: "The book ...." Another translation said: "The historical record ...." and another: "The record of the genealogy ..."

So the word "biblos" or bible means - a written book, a roll, a scroll or a volume?

Jack meant is there a word that means the whole set of individual books that have been agreed by Church Councils as making up the complete Bible.

1 February 2014 at 19:39  
Blogger William Lewis said...

Happy Jack

It's good that you are not in communion with the RC church as you would find it restrictive in your search for truth. For instance, did you know that you would be excommunicated were you to deny the assumption of Mary? Not a very helpful approach I'm sure you'll agree.

Some of the Catholics on this site are fine, but we have had problems with one or two taking on the role of a harassing cyber Swiss Guard and bringing their denomination into disrepute. So do be careful there.

Anyway, I hope you find your way.

1 February 2014 at 21:06  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

William, Happy Jack says thank you.

1 February 2014 at 21:45  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

His Grace said: Βίβλος γενέσεως Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ υἱοῦ Δαυὶδ υἱοῦ Ἀβραάμ. That's only the first chapter of Matthew, Happy Jack. You'll find 'biblos' used all over the place...

Ehem, with all due respect, depends on your definition of what constitutes the Bible, Your Grace? Perhaps Happy Jack is a secret Jew, a Converso. Scratch his slippery yellow surface, My Lord, look behind that great big gourd of a rosy-cheeked smiling head of his and who knows, you might find a great Talmudist. A bipolar, mendicant, guitar-playing Talmudist with a sideline of expertise in Roman Church history and dogma, but also with a developing palate for the Anglican Communion. A much-needed multi-faith synthesis of a man for these turbulent and divisive times. Seems comfortable with the Koine Greek as well (that Wiki thing is just his deep sense of modesty) and fears not to opine and correct the high or the low for the love of wisdom. A rare bird indeed, Your Grace; perchance you may wish to employ his astonishing and seemingly limitless talents as your amanuensis...on a 24/7schedule and the cellarer's keys to your Riojas around his waist?

2 February 2014 at 00:07  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Lol ....

Happy Jack doffs his hat to you Brother Avi for your wit and good natured humour provided you're not just taking the p*ss.

Jack must point out he is unsuited to taking dictation. He would find the urge to insert words of his own irresistible. Jack would also be wholly unreliable holding the keys to any office. This might go to Jack's head and he'd end up forgetting who the real owner is.

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."

2 February 2014 at 00:25  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Goodness, no, Happy Jack, Avi has never "taken the piss" on this issue (a great working class expression which we unfortunately don't use here in Canada, btw) as he has always been impressed with your talents. Look at what you've done in a few short months with a donated computer and a data account. On this upwardly curved trajectory you could be a Doctor of Divinity by next year and then, who knows? In ten, in the College of Cardinals with a chance at the Throne of St Peter? If allowed to, I would certainly burn my lot on your behalf.

2 February 2014 at 00:52  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

William, your earlier post got Happy Jack thinking. Jack has been reading around a little and has no real problems believing Mary was assumed into Heaven.

Jack sees the issue here as: was this simply an unbiblical invention or could it be inferred from the bible and was this doctrine inspired by the Holy Spirit? The other issue, even if there is a case for believing it, is should it be imposed on people with the threat of excommunication and eternal damnation hanging over them?

Jack would want to be pretty certain about the authority behind such an imposition and also what this was authority based on.

2 February 2014 at 01:13  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

You are a very 'bad' man Avi. How on earth does your good lady wife put up with you?

2 February 2014 at 01:23  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Indeed, so, Happy Jack, and know that many a night Avi tosses and turns over his incorrigible badness and the burden it must be to his dear and gentle wife. But Avi never succumbs to the melancholy torpor of resignation and he is ever willing to learn from characters of good character. Perhaps, if one dares to ask, if you were to take Avi under your ample wing, as it were?

2 February 2014 at 01:35  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Avi, Happy Jack says then from hence forth consider him your 'partner in crime'.

Jack is willing to share his leather coat with you. He doubts very much he can help you mend your ways but think of the fun we might have being friends.

2 February 2014 at 01:53  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Avi has always considered Brother Happy as his friend. He must admit to a bit of nervousness about men in leather coats, but if you were to instruct Avi on how to hold a B flat minor on the six-string without breaking his fingers and buzzing the strings like a nest of wasps, he would be much obliged. One bids you a good night; perhaps due to yet another snow storm in Toronto, Avi's shul ran out of good clean scotch fairly quickly and to maintain momentum and flow, one segued to Canadian whiskey and then to Smirnoff vodka. The afternoon nap did not help much, and Avi is now squinting, with one eye nearly closed, wincing against a throbbing hum in his head.

2 February 2014 at 02:22  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Happy Jack

"How did they know which books belonged in the bible? They decided it had to be a book handed down by the Apostles or their associates. This was the test. The books had to agree with the teachings the Apostles handed on to Church. It took hundreds of years before all the books of the New Testament were agreed and people had started to understand them through study of the Jewish writings and the Christian writings."

To say the New Testament was written circa 300 AD is seriously and blatantly wrong. Archaeologist Nelson Gleuck wrote: “We can already say emphatically that there is no longer any solid basis for dating any book of the New Testament after A.D. 80.” William F. Albright the famous paleographer said that every book of the New Testament was written by a baptized Jew between the 40’s and 80’s of the first century and very probably between 50 and 75. Interesting that two conservatives (e.g., F. F. Bruce, John Wenham) and liberal (Bishop John A. T. Robinson) have penned defenses of early dating for the New Testament is a witness to the strength of the data for an early date. For example, in redating Matthew Mark and Luke, noted conservative British scholar John Wenham presents a convincing argument that the synoptic Gospels are to be dated before 55 A.D. He dates Matthew at 40 A.D. (some tradition says the early 30s); Mark at 45 A.D.; and Luke no later than 51-55 A.D.34 , Liberal bishop John A. T. Robinson argued in his Redating the New Testament that the entire New Testament was written and in circulation between 40 and 65 A.D. ( (see p.19)

We find the New Testament extensively quoted from the writings of the early church fathers, whom were pastors and apologists (evangelists). The Didache was in circulation prior to A.D. 80. In it contains knowledge of Matthew, Luke, Acts, Romans, I Corinthians and I Peter, and possibly Hebrews and Jude. The Epistle to the Corinthians from Clement of Rome was circulated in the first century. It quotes from Romans, I Corinthians, Hebrews and possibly Acts. The letters of Ignatius of Antioch, all written before A.D. 117,(his death) refer to Matthew, John, Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, and possibly eleven other New Testament books. Polycarp's Letter to the Philippians written prior to A.D. 117, quotes John, Acts, Romans, I Corinthians, II Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, II Thessalonians, I Timothy, II Timothy, Hebrews, James and I John. Other early Christian writings (such as The Shepherd of Hermas and II Clement) contain numerous quotations of the New Testament documents. The gospel of truth by an unknown author had comprehensive knowledge of the New Testament books. Tertullian in the 200’s translated the Greek into Latin quoted from every epistle except Philemon, James and 2,3rd John. Ireneaus quotes Paul over 2900 times in his letters and mentions 4 gospels, that to add or subtract would be heresy. Athanasius, in the council of Niacea in 325 Ad. Which debated the deity of Christ against the rising heresies referred to all 27 books of the New Testament calling them the springs of salvation By 170 AD the whole church from Asia to Africa had in their possession the completed Bible (2 peter was still considered). Origen nearly 1000 years before the council of Niacea placed the gospels in the order we still have them in today.

2 February 2014 at 02:34  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Whether one agrees with these pastors / apologists is not the point. All, the early church from the first to second century show they were familiar with twenty one of the twenty seven New Testament books which is demonstrated by their writings and quotations. By this time period the Apocrypha was not part of the Canon.(Remember that old Ernst is not saying any old book is a part of the Bible but that the date these were written, even if not inspired but to be rejected as canon 'The Didache, etc' , shows that even their authors could quote from the NT letters!!!)

A man named Marciom in 140 rejected the entire Old Testament, he started his own church, he rejected Matthew, Mark and John and rewrote Luke. He accepted 10 of Paul’s epistles rejecting the pastoral letters. This had the church become more vigilant in the writings.
The Gnostics copied and circulated their own rendition of the New testament and distorted it. This is why it was so important to have the apostles writings disseminated to the whole church to withstand this false teaching that was trying to corrupt the truth. The Universal church had accepted all the writings long before any council gave its official stamp of approval in closing the canon. The canon (complilation of listing) was a creation of the church but the accepted letters were already held by the universal churches who had rejected the heretical nonsense being circulated as not God Inspired. The council merely rubber stamped the knowledge ganed from the various congregations. The reverse of what you have stated, actually, my fine fellow.

Trust old Ernsty has added to your knowledge bank and corrected old errors of scholarly thought rather than fact, my lad.


2 February 2014 at 02:35  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

2 Peter 3

As also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in ALL HIS EPISTLES, speaking in them of these things, ...

See, even as Peter is writing his 2nd epistle, he speaks of having read them...How so, if they were not already in circulation to the churches.
Peter was crucified under the reign of Nero in 68 A.D. Thus the book has to be written before 68 A.D. The fact that the death of Peter appears in the book to imminent, for instance Peter states he will soon be “deceased” (2 Peter 1:14), seems to put the writing of 2 Peter closer to 68 A.D. before Peter is killed by Nero.

So who is Peter writing to, if this is the following epistle of 1st Peter. 1 Peter gives the location of the audience in 1:1, where it states the audience is those in “Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.” Thus Christians in the Northern Galatia area.

As the apostles went out they shared the writings and they commanded them to be passed on to others. The apostles put their writings into circulation through the church. “I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read to all the holy brethren” (1 Cor. 1:2 and Eph.1:1). Which would be the whole church. 1Thes 5:27: “I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read to all the holy brethren: meaning it was to be read to all the church’s.

Jesus tells John the apostle in Rev 1:11, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”

Obviously the originals could not be passed to everyone everywhere. So what they did is similar to how they copied in the Old Testament times.


2 February 2014 at 02:50  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Avi:"Perhaps, if one dares to ask, if you were to take Avi under your ample wing, as it were?"

Stop it! :)

2 February 2014 at 07:31  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Jack:"Jack would want to be pretty certain about the authority behind such an imposition and also what this was authority based on."

When can we all expect you to find that certainty and to declare it here? Are we talking mere days away?

2 February 2014 at 07:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2 February 2014 at 11:02  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ian and William,

My uncle died last autumn. Thank you for your kind remarks they are, along with Avi's thoughts, welcome and appreciated.


2 February 2014 at 11:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greetings Avi,

Well when I was down and out on my luck I did do bricklaying for a year...Alas the deal on the Rectory fell through; as part of the purchased I'd have been responsible for the repair of the local (Anglican) Parish Church's Chancel and beyond with the nifty title 'lay Rector'- a ancient law going back centuries apparently. You can get insurance to cover you, as repairing a medieval structure is quite costly, but I thought it was one bit of ecumenical activity too far. That and the 'free Palestine from occupation' display at said Church...

2 February 2014 at 11:09  
Blogger William Lewis said...


I only hope and pray that I am as humorous and spritely as your uncle in the last few months of my life.



"That and the 'free Palestine from occupation' display at said Church..."

made me chuckle

2 February 2014 at 11:14  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greetings William,

Oh he always joyful of life and embraced -as much as he could and on his own terms- the modern world. I think having a big family helps as well, when you are keep up to date with what's going on with the youth of today. I'm finding that myself as I get older.

2 February 2014 at 11:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And I'm glad I made you chuckle as well...

2 February 2014 at 11:34  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Blowers, good morning from Happy Jack. It is good to see you exercising your grey matter on behalf of your faith in Jesus.

Jack agrees all the books deemed worthy by the early church we written in the days of the apostles and by them or their close friends. You know more than Jack about all this but there were also many other letters and books circulating and other ideas around about Jesus too. The church had to base it decisions on the authenticity of the written words as well as the teachings associated with them. And this all went on for many, many years.

From what Jack has been discovering it wasn't until the late 4th century that a "Catholic" (meaning universal) "Orthodox" (meaning correct) Triune Christianity was defined and backed up by secular power as well as the teaching authority of bishops of the church all meeting together and aided by the Holy Spirit. At that time there were various sects within the church, like Arians, Anomoeans, Macedonians, and Novatians. So by this time there was in place a Catholic Orthodox Church. It still had issues to work out but it had a collection of books called "The Bible" - or "The Book" - and a Creed it proclaimed.

2 February 2014 at 12:13  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Danjo, Happy Jack will be sure to keep you informed of the fruits of his spiritual quest. However, it is unlikely he will have clear answers anytime soon.

2 February 2014 at 12:21  
Blogger William Lewis said...

Happy Jack

"The other issue, even if there is a case for believing it, is should it be imposed on people with the threat of excommunication and eternal damnation hanging over them?"

Well quite. When the evidence for the assumption is so flimsy and non-biblical, one has to question why a belief (or not) in its veracity could determine the destination of one's soul.

One may even wonder whether one should be entrusting ones eternal future and search for truth to the pronouncements of an organisation that makes such claims pertaining to salvation for such a non-biblical and un-Christ-ian assertion.

2 February 2014 at 13:04  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

William, Happy Jack says you have identified the nub of the issue that has divided the church for centuries - maybe even since its beginning at Pentecost.

As he said earlier, "Jack sees the issue here as: was this simply an unbiblical invention or could it be inferred from the bible and was this doctrine inspired by the Holy Spirit?" This applies to a number of other dogmas of the Roman Catholic Church too. It's "our way or the highway", so to speak.

And as he added, "Jack would want to be pretty certain about the authority behind such an imposition and also what this was authority based on."

2 February 2014 at 13:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Jack,

Forgot to add my own 'good luck' notice with your spiritual quest. I am not sure what it is you are trying to find, as you clearly have a religion (Christianity), so it is not exactly as if you are being torn between 2 different religions. What are you trying to find exactly? If you could tell us, then the rest of us might be able to help, as from my perplexed perspective you've said your fellow believers have argued all of this for centuries, so it seems that the exchanges here boil down to the lines of 'How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?'

But, regardless, good luck with your journey of spiritual fulfillment (whatever it is you are seeking)...

2 February 2014 at 13:48  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

David KL Well when I was down and out on my luck I did do bricklaying for a year... Gosh, and when I was rather flush, I splurged on a ten-month apprenticeship course in brick laying and stone masonry!

...I thought it was one bit of ecumenical activity too far. No kidding. To the confusion and sometimes dismay of some of my coreligionists I enjoy Church architecture and art, but living in it and inviting shul friends for Shabbat Kiddush and Pesah seders, hmmm, I dunno.

That and the 'free Palestine from occupation' display at said Church... Perhaps you misunderstood? The sign may have been left there a while from the days this meant free Jewish Palestine from Ottoman and Arab occupation?

2 February 2014 at 14:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2 February 2014 at 14:17  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


A college course on bricklaying? On job training is much better, so my time working at building sites, included turning the air blue with swearing, wolf whistling at passing by girls, forgetting about almost every health and safety rule and generally un-PC jokes. Ah them the days, gone now with our EU regulations and health n' safety legislation...

2 February 2014 at 14:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to worry anyway Avi, it was lesson learned. Perhaps I should just try my luck with a disused lighthouse, now that would be a challenge.... or just not bother and leave it?

Oh and the Church was very much up to date in its display, documenting the 'illegal Israeli settlements in the west bank, gaza and Palestine', the 'illegal' security wall which hurts our 'Palestinian brothers and sisters in Jesus' (or words to that effect).

2 February 2014 at 14:30  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

David K, Happy Jack is, above all else, seeking a conversation to explore his Christian faith.

This comment by His Grace in the thread above impressed Jack greatly:

"Through spiritual discernment, historical reason, theological analysis and by exercising overt discrimination, he has decided that he is a Christian in communion with the Church of England. This does not make him ‘phobic’ or 'racist' about other options; it is simply that he has discerned the way of salvation and it sits well with him."

Jack cannot answer your question, "What are you trying to find exactly?" as he will not know until he arrives at the point HG has reached - if he ever does.

2 February 2014 at 14:36  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

David K, yes, brick and stone masonry apprenticeship programs are run by our college system towards a journeyman qualificaion through employers. I took interest in historic masonry and came back to teach the technical bit, which is quite complicated as you may have learned. We hosted some British fellows who were starting a similar program in Bridgwater, and I tell you, the young apprentices were far more polite, educated and refined than our guys.

I was of course kidding about the sign, although there was a time when "Palestinian" meant Jewish, when "Palestine" meant the historic Jewish homeland as deeded by the League of Nations at San Remo and everyone recognized that the Muslim Syrian Arab settlers now called "Palestinians" were mostly migrants, squatters and occupiers who came to benefit from British and Jewish agricultural and industrial activity. It took the KGB and the UN less than a decade to turn facts on their arse; to turn fascist Arab colonizers and squatters into a lovable minority which appropriated the word "Palestinian" for Muslims only, to turn Jews from indigenous inhabitants with historical and legal rights to their homeland into "thiefs" and "colonizers" and a collection of first Nazi and then Soviet-sponsored terror organizations into "national liberation" groups. All for the promise of being left alone and cheap oil. Well, so much for that one.

But I'm preaching to the converted. Still, you might be pleased to know that the "land for peace" fraud, the Oslo line and the "two states solution" are finally being questioned in Israel from a number of angles, and that in US and Canada the process is well under way, with the big Jewish organizations which have been drumming this kind of poltroonish nonsense from the liberal establishments are in retreat and disarray. It's finally acceptable to laugh at the "Palestinian narrative" and the "land-for-peace" hoax and to reject the "two-state-solution" as a sham which not even the Arabs want. Interesting times coming up with the demographic, religious and political shifts.

2 February 2014 at 15:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


My bad there, so I apologize. I wasn't into the technical side, more of a 'Casual labourer' on building sites, which whilst including wall building using the humble house brick, rather than actual stone cutting or working on old structures, was clearly not in your league of expertise....

2 February 2014 at 16:11  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Goodness, nothing to apologize for David. The whole point of the formalized apprenticeships is to lift the trade above the labourer level it has fallen to. This is the greedy small residential contractors' fault...the bottom-feeders of the construction industry... who are ignorant and don't train their people. And don't get me going on the new crop of architects who have been training as aesthetes, philosophers and environmental activists and don't know what a brick looks like. It's the same here; I've been collecting horror photos of the mess they've been making. I don't care about new construction, but when I see the few heritage buildings we have left in Ontario getting mangled I quickly blow the whistle on the contractors and sometimes get an inspection going. My activism is only a drop in the bucket, though.

2 February 2014 at 17:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, Avi,

Thank you for being generous there. I just did not want to belittle what was your profession. And besides which today I've realized, with the memories of Lord Lavendon being raised, what a complete shmendrik I've been of late. I've neglected important stuff, such as my family and been arrogant about property,of which I neither need or can take with me as my wealth is G-d's not mine. One house is enough. So tonight I shall raise a glass of my finest to a dear uncle, friend and wise guy, who still reminds me of the need to be humble, generous and thankful, who gave me that building job, when I was in need and I'm going to help a certain brother of mine, who needs the material more than I do.


2 February 2014 at 18:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Jack,

Converse away to those who wish to discuss these matters with you, then, whatever they are. Just remember that one can spend a long time worrying about detailed detailed theological matters, but never really experience or go out into the real world. Study whatever it is you want to, that's great, but also enjoy your life and celebrate life.

2 February 2014 at 18:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Your last few paragraphs there, too right, I find the propaganda of how 5 million Israelis can be the brutal Imperialists against twenty times that amount of Arabs, via 18 different countries, absurd. They tried to crush Israel from the start and when that didn't happen, tried to create a different narrative. But doubtless, along comes the likes of Guardian readers, like Corrigan, who just cannot accept Israel should exist, in any form.

2 February 2014 at 19:00  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

David K, Happy Jack assures you he enjoys his life and what is greater than a thirst for knowledge and wisdom? And Solomon asked God for this: "Give me wisdom and knowledge ..."

Jack has plenty of experience of the "real" world - as well as the "unreal" world.

Jack does not worry. Actually, sometimes he worries about this! When he sets his mind to something, he can be very determined.

2 February 2014 at 19:53  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Mr Kavanagh. One is interested in whom the current Lord Laverdon is. Would it be yourself by chance, although there may be need of consultation with the College at Arms regarding deviation from the direct line. All enquires into your late uncle’s place in the nobility came to nought, leaving one to consider whether he in fact purchased a Lordship of a manor.

2 February 2014 at 19:56  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Yes, David, raise a glass of the finest to Lord Lavendon. I believe he too was a fan of the scotch single malt as some of us here, although we spent more time discussing Lord Cavendish's bananas! I would join you in a glass, but I'm taking a tractor trailer out tomorrow and my personal rule is not a drop at least 24 hours before. Truth be known, I couldn't hack the summer heat in masonry and went into teaching (yup, the "those who can't..." line). Right now I'm off on a driving "sabbatical," helping to organize, brand and publicise a business for a friend with the hope of selling the brand and the business as a turn-key. I do miss the roads, though.

The "narrative" was a brilliant piece of work by the KGB's smartest. First thing they told the Arafat goon is to drop the "push them to the sea" line, the next thing was to temporarily form an "indigenous oppressed minority" to get more sympathy from the West and to save the egos of the Arab states by deflecting attention away from their shrunken wee-wees after they got their arses whipped a few times. Another important line they are still trying to hold to, at least with the inane liberal West, is that it's a nationalism issue, rather than the usual Islamic colonialist fascism. Here in North America, it's only after the weakening of the large Jewish organizations who tow the lines of the mainline political parties that the old "narrative" began to be challenged. That and the emergence of alternate news sources on the Net and the unexpected support by pro-Israel Evangelical denominations. This is why the coward Kerry and the duplicitous EU will ultimately fail in their latest attempt to weaken Israel and bring it closer to destruction. Even Netanyahu knows his government will fall if he tries to give away Judea and Samaria. Did you see or read about our unashamedly Christian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's visit to Israel? His support sent tectonic waves and the usual suspects are in panic at having the old "narrative" questioned, much less torn apart. The damage control among the libs is pathetic; Harper honoured Zionism and not only empowered Jews and their supporters at home, but stiffened-up Israel's spine and that of sympathetic governments throughout the world. Things look the same on the surface still...official policies have not been altered yet...but behind the scenes there is inertia to begin looking at starting up major policy changes. This is why Obama is panicking and will try to scare and pressure Israel into more land give-aways for useless Arab promises.

My own advice is to aggressively reject the KGB language every time it's repeated: Be proud of Israel as a Jewish state and its national movement, Zionism; use "Israeli Judea and Samaria" instead of the Jordanian concoction, "the West Bank;" call the "settlements" what they really are...Jewish villages, suburbs and communities; call the "Palestinians" "Arab Muslims;" when someone says "Palestinians" ask which ones, Jewish or Arab ones; remind everyone that Jews are the native, indigeneous inhabitants of the Land of Israel, and remind everyone that Israel has a clear, legal and never-abrogated deed to all the lands it controls. And it works; after a couple of years of letter-writing campaigns, some news sources now say, albeit reluctantly, "the West Bank, or as some call it Judea and Samaria"!

2 February 2014 at 20:15  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Ah, there you are Avi. The Inspector too raises a glass of single malt to Lord Lavendon’s memory, this instant. He was a highly spirited chap, and an accomplished fencer, which belied his 90 years. Indeed, the annals of Cranmer doeth record that a month or two before his death, he threatened to run yours truly through with a sword over some misunderstanding we could laugh about now, if the old fellow were still with us.

They certainly don’t make them like him anymore, those magnificent sons of empire, what !

2 February 2014 at 20:36  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Greetings, Inspector, yes I recall that. For some inexplicable reason you seem to bring out the duelist in a fellow. Do you recall how you and I were going to have a duel over something or other shortly after I joined this site? Something I intend to follow-up on if I ever make it to England.

I can see it in my mind's eye, a grand event to be recorded in the histories of Gloucester: After a good dinner and a better part of a bottle of single malt you and I can stagger over to some fencing school and try to convince the disgusted owner to let us have go at each other with foils. We'll either pass-out while trying to put on the equipment or we'll get tossed on our behinds and so will have to sooth our bruised egos with a few pints at your Mouse and Wheel. He who can make it to the loo without grabbing on to chairs, tables or horrified patrons wins the duel.

2 February 2014 at 21:34  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

I say Avi, if you ever made it to the Roman city of Gloucester – it would be tremendous.

Indeed, you will visit the Mouse and Wheel and experience its ghosts (which has also been put down to rat activity) and of course, the cathedral, considered one of the top ten in the country. We shall exchange personal details nearer the event...

2 February 2014 at 22:09  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Oh, by the way, the cathedral has it’s own English king entombed there. Edward II. Up the road in Worcester’s cathedral, we have King John, and Henry VIIIs older brother.

Heavens, one has almost forgot, Gloucester’s sole bar catering for a certain minority. The Dog and Anus, no less. We’ll walk past it but {AHEM} not go in...

2 February 2014 at 22:15  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

You're on, Inspector! Funny all this, as the Sabbath before last my wife went for a second glass of the red and got a bit of a flush on, which got her talking about her nominally Anglican family in England and the sterner Presbyterian one in Scotland (who still don't know of her conversion 20+ years after the fact!). As the evening wore on, we discussed a temporary work-stay somewhere in the UK. She is a prof and a specialist in education who would easily get a visiting lecturer's position and me...well, I'm a jack of all trades and all-around good egg as you folks would say. Wouln't try driving rigs, navigating those squiggly, narrow cow paths that go for highways in your parts, but I can try my hand at sidewalk art with chalks or might even join in busking ventures with our guitars; Canadian content, with some hammer-on action with tunes by Neil Young might get those shillings (or Euros by them God-forbid) flowing. Wife has UK citizenship already and I residency and work rights through an EU citizenship, of all things. Pipe dreams at our age, but a trip is definitely overdue, even if I can't afford my dream of doing the canal boat vacation along Jerome Klapka Jerome's Three Men in a Boat route. Wouldn't dream of visiting without arranging a get-together with you, of course.

2 February 2014 at 22:33  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Oh, don't start with that stuff, Inspector, I grow faint at the notion of gawking at such stuff...and you'll regret ever meeting me after I talk your ears off about medieval masonry techniques, barrel vaults, srone tracery and rubbed brick. The Dog and Anus, good one...the name would work well as a Franchise chain in Toronto. A ghastly logo in is already forming in mind.... Ugh.

2 February 2014 at 22:43  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

PS: Further to the logo, in the way of a blazon, a crest with a tincture of tenné, but a more modernized louder orange for attention, with a hound's head and an asterisk for the unspeakable nether member, thus: *

2 February 2014 at 22:48  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

“Gloucester’s well water had a reputation for being sparkling. But this is put down to the shafts being driven down into the thick Severn clay which did not allow free flow of fluid within and thus the waters contained a high percentage of urea”

2 February 2014 at 23:09  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Hmmm. Interesting, Inspector. Incidentally, would you happen to know the amount of bottled water one is allowed to lug through your Customs?

2 February 2014 at 23:15  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Avi and Inspector, Happy Jack says do not arrange a get together in England without considering including him too.

Jack will keep an eye on you both and ensure your safety with his network of street types.

2 February 2014 at 23:20  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

“Gloucester’s famous ‘taking of the well water’ festival 2013 had a remarkably low participation. The High Sheriff doubts it will continue in its present form”

2 February 2014 at 23:32  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Indeed so, Happy Jack, and if you can arrange for some of your friends to bring some wheel barrows for the three of us to keep us safe from running into traffic or walking through glass doors following an architectural tour of the Maouse and Wheel, all the better.

It's only a matter of branding and combining events, Inspector. Re-cast the bubbly-piss festival as a naturopathic fountain of youth and combine it with a Steampunk festival after first deftly removing all the unnecessary males with offers of dirt-cheap beer at the other side of town and invite the young ladies to reduce their imagined Victorian outfits to those little hats, fascinators, I believe they're called, and we'll be running out of tickets before the noon bell.

2 February 2014 at 23:54  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Avi. Law and order in Gloucester, a subject dear to the Inspector’s heart, in the 18th century....

“The miscreant was apprehended with a stolen lamb, value three pounds. He was sent to the then town gaol, located in a tower of the Eastgate. Here he stayed for three months awaiting the next Assize. His situation was most unpleasant, the edifice being a miserable place even when the sun shone. Eventually, on appearing before the judge, he was told that if he appeared before the bench again, he would be hanged. The leniency of the sentence was attributed to the time he spent on remand. He was thus discharged, but not before being whipped by the Sheriff’s men”

“This was nothing as to follow in the decades into the nineteenth century, when livestock theft was a mandatory death sentence. But all was not lost, for the judge himself would be allowed to pardon the condemned, after they sweated on their sentence for up to half a day, of course. It is found that for every six men condemned, the judge would reprieve between four or five of them. Naturally, someone would have to hang at the end of the day, lest justice was thought to be going soft”

3 February 2014 at 00:40  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Ha! Nearly missed this timely warning, Inspector. Having quickly checked out the kosher food situation and noticed the lack of meat in the Western parts of England, I might have been tempted to do off with a fat ram or a ewe. Not that I like mutton all that much, but if you're going to risk a hanging or a whipping, you might as well do better than stealing a scrawny chicken.

4 February 2014 at 22:33  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Avi, Happy Jack says you should also avoid poaching other avian species too, like peasants, grouse and other winged creatures, not just chickens. Pigeon used to be popular. Rabbit stew is a possibility. Jack hears goats are rather tasty. He's never tried pony but that might be a goer if one gets very, very hungry. Wonder what the penalty is these days for rustling and poaching in the Inspectors neck of the woods.

5 February 2014 at 13:18  

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