Sunday, January 19, 2014

We have more to fear from religious state orthodoxy than a biblically-illiterate Ukip councillor


A Ukip councillor from Henley-on-Thames has written to his local newspaper claiming that the current deluge of tempest and floods aflicting the United Kingdom are "divine retribution for the government's decision to legalise gay marriage". The subsequent outpouring of incredulity, condemnation and scorn has been rather disproportionate to the man's political (or religious) significance, except to say that elections to the European Parliament are fast approaching, and Ukip are widely tipped push the Conservative Party into a humiliating third place, if not win outright. Ergo, the merest unorthodox utterance by the lowliest of Nigel Farage's rabble army will be tend to be whipped up into a storm of shame and embarrassment.

David Silvester had been a life-long Tory (he is still named on Henley Conservatives' website as a branch treasurer). He defected to Ukip when David Cameron changed the natural-law (and dictionary) definition of marriage to embrace homosexual partnerships, thereby riding roughshod over millennia of Judæo-Christian orthodoxy (not to mention, Islamic, Hindu and Sikh beliefs on the primacy of the procreative potential of sexual union). The consequence of this, according to Mr Silvester, are storms, floods and other climactic judgments, which are God's warning about national rebellion, idolatry and apostasy.

The full letter is worth reading, not least because Mr Silvester expounds his belief and sets it in some sociological context, including the Queen's Coronation Oath. It is theologically naive and evidences spiritual immaturity, but the Bible exhorts us to nurture milk-drinkers onto meat (1 Cor 3:2), notwithstanding that some are patently unable to digest it.

David Silvester was probably nurtured in 80s Baptist charismatic fundamentalism and believes that sexual sin is worse than murder, torture, rape and genocide. If not, why is his God not busy flooding vast swathes of the Middle East? Surely the 'cleansing' of millions of Christians from the land is more offensive than a few gays in Henley-on-Thames? And why on earth is He sending the rains upon Bangladesh, which has quite strict laws on homosexuality?

Mr Silvester's letter is being widely trailed as a 'homophobic rant', but his target is not gays and lesbians but David Cameron who, he says, has acted "arrogantly against the Gospel". It is the Prime Minister who is to blame for the bad weather; not the LGBT communities whom God was perfectly happy to tolerate until Mr Cameron allowed them to marry. Only then did the Lord decide to flood the households of gay and straight alike (but not, it must be observed, No10 or Chequers). Quite why He seemed okay with civil partnership is something of a mystery. As His Grace has previously written:
His Grace has received an email telling him that these present floods and interminable downpours are God's judgment upon a sinful and rebellious nation.

No, they absolutely and unequivocally are not.

Firstly, God promised never to do that again (Gen 9:11-17); and secondly, the books of wisdom found in the Bible suggest that the wicked may prosper while the righteous suffer. Job’s counsellors were of most use when they sat with him in silence for seven days (2:13). Though their understanding of suffering was partial, in their silence they moved towards empathy and understanding.
You may think David Silvester unutterably stupid, biblically illiterate or bigoted. You may decry the damage done to the Faith with each crass utterance. But the belief that "the scriptures make it abundantly clear that a Christian nation that abandons its faith and acts contrary to the Gospel" will be somehow punished is not unique to a lowly Ukip councillor: you will find it expressed by a number of politicians - especially those of representing Northern Ireland constituencies. Why does the media tolerate the DUP's Rev'd William McCrea MP ranting about the 'Sin of the Nation' - basically lesbians having children and the number of mosques plaguing the land - but not Ukip's Councillor Silvester?

The truth is that if you scratch beneath the surface of any religiously-inclined politician (except, of course, Anglicans of the Magic-FM-in-the-Chilterns disposition), you will find 'bigoted' beliefs which will offend all manner of modern sensibilities. How many Muslims repudiate gay marriage? How many Hindus and Sikhs believe that disabled people are paying the price for wrongs done in previous lives? How many Roman Catholics believe the Church of England to be a sham of an institution, a facade of ecclesiology and a wayward expression of theology that needs bringing back into the fold? Bigotry is everywhere.

But the demand is for conformity to the zeitgeist: dissent is intolerable, and must be punished. Astonishingly, even The Spectator condemns Nigel Farage for his "laissez-faire approach on unconventional views". This is appalling bandwagon-jumping from the Spectator, which was once edited by that famous conventional conformist Boris Johnson; which conventionally supported David Cameron for the leadership of the Conservative Party before anyone else had even heard of him; which employs that renowned lover of convention Rod Liddle; and which conforms utterly to that well-known convention of repudiating every notion of man-made global warming.

For the Spectator, it appears that only in the realm of religion must everyone be blandly conventional.

Ukip said the views expressed by Mr Silvester were "not the party's belief" but defended his right to state his opinions. It is an obvious point, but (sadly) needs to made . A party spokeswoman said:
"If the media are expecting Ukip to either condemn or condone someone's personal religious views they will get absolutely no response. Whether Jain or Sikh or Buddhist or Sufi or Zoroastrian or Jewish or Muslim or Baptist or Hindu or Catholic or Baha'i or Animist or any other mainstream or minor religion or movement, we are taught as a tolerant society to accept a diversity of ideologies. Freedom to individual thought and expression is a central tenet of any open-minded and democratic country. It is quite evident that this is not the party's belief but the councillor's own and he is more than entitled to express independent thought despite whether or not other people may deem it standard or correct. That is what makes the United Kingdom such a wonderful, proud, diverse and free country."
And so it should be. The imposition of a uniform pattern of public utterance exposes the merest trace of unorthodoxy as a jarring dissonance. Not since 1559 has there been an Act of Uniformity requiring everyone to assent to a particular worldview, and it took more than 300 years to eradicate that. In a free society, David Silvester ought to be free to express his religious views and Ukip free to select him as a candidate. There is far more to fear from intolerant assertions of state orthodoxy than a ranting Ukip councillor with outdated views on divine deluges. Biblical literacy ought not to be a qualification for standing for or holding public office: the ultimate judgment should lie with the electorate and the ballot box.

185 Comments:

Blogger David B said...

"David Silvester was probably nurtured in 80s Baptist charismatic fundamentalism and believes that sexual sin is worse than murder, torture, rape and genocide. If not, why is his God not busy flooding vast swathes of the Middle East? Surely the 'cleansing' of millions of Christians from the land is more offensive than a few gays in Henley-on-Thames? And why on earth is He sending the rains upon Bangladesh, which has quite strict laws on homosexuality?"

I can only guess at what led Sylvester into believing as he does, but Your Grace does a wonderful job of showing how silly his beliefs are.

Couldn't have done better myself.

David

19 January 2014 at 11:14  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Best icon so far, for promoting the case for a secular society since Matthew Hopkins.

19 January 2014 at 11:26  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Dreadnaught:

Matthew Hopkins was employed by local authorities, and ultimately condemned by a clergyman.

19 January 2014 at 11:44  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

That is what makes the United Kingdom such a wonderful, proud, diverse and free country

Note to Mrs/Miss/Ms UKIP: With diversity has come a diminution of our freedom. For a country to become less free is neither wonderful nor a source of pride. Please stop mouthing politically correct platitudes.

19 January 2014 at 11:46  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Its the cool dry season in Bangladesh now as it is in most of Burma and Thailand.

19 January 2014 at 11:54  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

The Inspector knew gay marriage would come back and bite Cameron on the arse, as so it should, and may it haunt him forever. And may his foolishness cause him to sweat at each and every election.

Anyway, the true significance of this unexpected political spotlight. When the voter casts his or her vote in the forthcoming elections, do you think that any of them will remember this man Silvester and what he said. They will not sir. But they WILL remember this - there is a new party they can vote for - UKIP. And vote for them they will, and there is absolutely nothing the cosy Lib-Lab-Con setup can do about it.

Nothing, I tell you !!


19 January 2014 at 12:05  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Whether God is or is not bring the rain as a punishment I leave to God

However, it must be true that the further we move as a society away from behaviours that have served society well for 1000s of years the more problems we can expect

Take marriage for example. We now have polices in place which according to Peter Hichens

"All modern Western politicians enforce tax, social and welfare policies that have almost destroyed lifelong faithful marriage. They are especially brutal to marriages in which the parents actually bring up the children, instead of farming out the job to paid strangers.

Nowadays, such arrangements are an eccentric, costly lifestyle choice adopted only by the old, the unfashionable or by the very rich. ........

The real hypocrisy of modern times is the way that candidates for high office like to pose as members of ideal, smiley nuclear families (the nanny, of course, is always left out of the pictures). Maybe this is a true image of their private lives. I have no idea and would rather not know. But it’s a completely false picture of their policies – the mad, giant subsidies for fatherless homes, the irresistible pressure on mothers to go out to work five minutes after the midwife has cut the cord, the divorce laws rigged against the innocent.

They should openly live the cruel, inconstant, child-unfriendly lives they force millions of others to follow. And if they’re not prepared to do that, and to let their children suffer the consequences, they should change their policies."

Great piece, which I wholeheartedly agree with. Marriage is not the whole experiment. There is Education, welfare, the media, defence, foreign relations and in my view a huge problem, borrowing money and creating the conditions that make it stupid for the rest of us not to follow suit and borrow against income that we may or may not have.

Democracy is the root of the problem because who in their right mind will not vote for lots of money now, rather than the possibility of maybe some money later?

Phil



19 January 2014 at 12:10  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Explorer

So what's your point?

19 January 2014 at 12:13  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

No doubt someone will now tell us about the "brave new world" we are entering as a result of these policies where everyone WILL be happy.

Sorry, did I use the wrong words?

Phil

19 January 2014 at 12:16  
Blogger The Explorer said...

12:13

The secular element of society made use of him. John Gaule preached sermons against him.

19 January 2014 at 12:21  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

David B

"I can only guess at what led Sylvester into believing as he does, but Your Grace does a wonderful job of showing how silly his beliefs are."

Presumably the next stage (as we have already seen) is to seek to "protect" people (especially groups who are particularly susceptible say children) against what the majority determine, are, silly beliefs?

Phil

19 January 2014 at 12:42  
Blogger Paul Perrin said...

The Floods and SSM *ARE* connected.

SSM was foist on us courtsy the EU, the floods are courtsy the EU.

A degenerate organisation dragging us down, with the conivance of Cameron, Clegg and Miliband.

Mysterious ways...

SSM/EU

http://www.europeandignitywatch.org/es/el-dia-dia/detail/article/eu-aims-at-recognizing-same-sex-marriage-in-all-27-member-states.html

Floods/EU

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2541773/Drowned-EU-millions-Thought-extreme-weather-blame-floods-Wrong-The-real-culprit-European-subsidies-pay-UK-farmers-destroy-trees-soak-storm.html

19 January 2014 at 12:46  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Dreadnaught:

Those Christians who opposed the witchcraft trials thought them an erroneous reversion to an Old Covenant that had been superseded by the New. In 'Acts', Simon the Sorcerer was not put to death. Nor were the Ephesian soothsayers.

Non-religious support for the witchcraft trials is hard to quantify. It seems to have been the last gasp of alchemy (with its blend of magic and experiment in trying to transform base metals into gold) applied to the new problem of how to control nature.

After this final conflict of magic versus scientific method, scientific method won: with the results we know.

I think Hopkins is a bad example to choose because neither side comes out particularly well in the light of his activities.

19 January 2014 at 12:58  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Paul

When my father was a lad our valley in Wales used to flood every year and about 1 year in 5 it got so high it took the bridge.

Then the Forestry commission bought many of the farms and planted conifers upstream.

I hate the conifers, but the fact remains we have never had a flood since. The river never even gets high enough to break its banks, even with the worst rain.

Phil

19 January 2014 at 13:12  
Blogger Martin said...

Seems to me that His Grace has not learn't form the previous correction given to him. This is what God said:

“"and I will remember My covenant which [is] between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.” (Genesis 9:15 NKJV)

Nothing there about not flooding an offshore island. The acceptance of homosexuality as 'normal' is, of course, a fulfilling of what Paul said in Romans 1:

“Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man——and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; [they are] whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” (Romans 1:22-32 NKJV)

So we see that our nation is under the judgement of God, that we have had very unusual flooding could well also be God's judgement.

19 January 2014 at 13:18  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

David Silvester should be free to say what he said in his personal life, and it's up to UKIP if they put up with his saying it in his political life. However, the rest of us should also be free to point and laugh when he does it.

19 January 2014 at 13:19  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

There are several motives behind this disparagement. The most common exist simultaneously and cannot be severed:

1A. "Primitive idiot. There is no god to give judgment. Quit trying to scare people with your boogie man tales. "

1B. "Primitive idiot. This is natural phenomenon and nothing more. It has no greater significance."

1C. "Sore loser. Is this the best you can do to justify your defeat? If your god was real, you wouldn't have lost. No one listens to you anymore. Just go away and cry about how everything you believe is false."

There is also this much less common motivation:

2. "God isn't like what you say. He us only angry at intolerant bigots like you. See, I have embraced the post-modern world. They may not like you but perhaps they will like me."

Yes, we moderns do not like the suggestion that we are under authority with the power to judge. Our god is our autonomy and it will allow no other gods before it.

It's always problematic to apply specific divine motivation to events in time and space. How do you test the truth of the assertion? Everything happens within the Providence of God, but we have no specific insight into why those things happen. Unless we are told. And where is the prophet?

Ironically enough, there is in this case no reason for specific divine judgment of the flood and fire variety. The created order contains its own built-in judgments. Sexual profligacy produces certain inevitable outcomes in the life of a nation. Nothing flashy or dramatic. Just the inexorable outworking of many private decisions that in the aggregate lead to dissipation and decline. And the snare of the judgment is this. Men do not recognize the judgment visited upon them. They instead embrace and celebrate their own condemnation. For awhile at least.

We look to the wrong place for evidence of judgment if we look to fire and flood. Look for the ordinary and the common. That's where you will find it.

carl

19 January 2014 at 13:46  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

neither side comes out particularly well

Oh come off it!

If Religion and State were not so exclusively connected, then laws such as those criminalising 'witchcraft' would not have been enacted and Hopkins could not have acted legitimately: hence the benefits of the Enlightenment movement that we still enjoy (just).

Secularism would defend Silvester's right to his delusional logic, even the rights of others to elect him; but reason and science would intervene upon his reasoning to legally pin the blame on perceived miscreants of his religion, for acts of nature - man made or otherwise.

Hopkins could not have conducted his 'trials' without the backing and approval of King James, Parliament and the Church Establishment.

No this was just plain old ignorant, State endorsed supernaturalism.

19 January 2014 at 13:59  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

19 January 2014 at 13:59  
Blogger William Lewis said...

The response from UKIP was spot on and sadly, as His Grace says, needs to be made again and again until the yoke of political correctness is smashed and freedom of expression established as the most fundamental of human rights.

19 January 2014 at 14:11  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Dreadnaught @ 13:59

King James?

Hopkins flourished during the Civil War.

His title was self-proclaimed, and never endorsed by Parliament.

Evidence please, for the Church endorsement.

19 January 2014 at 14:18  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

19 January 2014 at 14:26  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Dreadnaught

If God is the God of all, then He is by definition the God of 'acts of nature.' You can't win the argument by saying "It's just a natural process" as if natural processes are mutually exclusive from divine acts. You are instead making the philosophical assertion that there is no divine purpose behind anything. On the basis of what authority? On the basis of your own a priori denial of God's existence. Nothing more.

Science and reason have nothing to do with it. Science cannot investigate the subject at hand, and reason is not an independent platform from which objective observations may be made. Reason is not a standard. It is a process that requires prior commitment of presuppositions. I'm as rational as you are. I simply inform my reason with different first principles and so I reach different conclusions.

To be precise in the conveyance of meaning, you should adjust your sentence. You should say 'Reason informed by philosophical Materialism, and science read through the lens of philosophical Materialism." Then it would be clear what you are saying.

carl

19 January 2014 at 14:30  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Dreadnaught

Hopkins was enforcing the 1604 law passed in the reign of King James. Is that what you meant?

19 January 2014 at 14:40  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

God bless Wikipedia.

19 January 2014 at 14:43  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Good to know your sources, DanJ0Mine's a book about the Puritans.

19 January 2014 at 14:45  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Evidence please, for the Church endorsement.

Wasn't James head of the CoE?

19 January 2014 at 14:50  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

If God is the God of all, then He is by definition the God of 'acts of nature.

Only if you want to believe there is a god - which I don't.

19 January 2014 at 14:51  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Explorer: "Good to know your sources, DanJ0Mine's a book about the Puritans."

At times like these I always check Google to see who is being a Google Savant. For example, the first lines of the Wikipedia enry are

"Matthew Hopkins (c. 1620 – 12 August 1647) was an English witch-hunter whose career flourished during the time of the English Civil War. He claimed to hold the office of Witchfinder General, although that title was never bestowed by Parliament."

cf yours:

"Hopkins flourished during the Civil War. His title was self-proclaimed, and never endorsed by Parliament."

Perhaps a coincidence, perhaps not. ;)

19 January 2014 at 14:54  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Carl, Happy Jack agrees with this, up to a point, "We look to the wrong place for evidence of judgment if we look to fire and flood. Look for the ordinary and the common. That's where you will find it." However, the ordinary and the common, both in nature and in human relationships, may reach a tipping-point one day when the consequences will be very significant.

Jack has some concerns about the breath of tolerance any one society can embrace and survive. How do "Jain or Sikh or Buddhist or Sufi or Zoroastrian or Jewish or Muslim or Baptist or Hindu or Catholic or Baha'i or Animist or any other mainstream or minor religion or movement" (including secular atheists too) all live together with such a diversity of ideologies? Jack agrees that "Freedom to individual thought and expression is a central tenet of any open-minded and democratic country", but does wonder whether such a society can flourish if people are all pulling in different directions.

Jack asks if God wants us to be "open minded" or are there some things we should just not tolerate?

19 January 2014 at 14:54  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Didn't Silvester realise what he was doing? Didn't it occur to him that he was helping Cameron and Miliband alike by handing them a caricature of UKIP as the party of poor useless ninnies?
What a git.

19 January 2014 at 14:58  
Blogger Philip said...

The UKIP councillor's views on homosexual acts and on gay 'marriage' would obviously be Biblically correct, although his interpretation of the floods etc in the UK are less so, as HG says.

And it is evidently correct we have "far more to fear from intolerant assertions of state orthodoxy" than the opinions of a UKIP councillor. For example, the councillor cannot (and probably would not) deploy the police to arrest anyone who dares to say anything that disagrees with his views (or offends any other Christian). Cp and contrast what happens to evangelists who share Biblical teaching on sexual ethics - proves HG's point that we have more to "fear" from State-imposed orthodoxy.

But I’d rather vote for principled Christians like Cllr Silvester than for any Cameron-style metro lib-leftie doing the bidding of the homosexual lobby in their attempt to impose their views on society and to suppress free speech and liberty of those who do not agree with them. (Btw, I do not vote UKIP as the Conservative MP is sufficiently conservative to get my support. )

19 January 2014 at 15:14  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

The point at issue is the law under which persecution for witchcraft was enacted was founded on ignorance. Hopkins acted upon the provisions of James' Act: are you suggesting the Church was impotent to act before 300 or so witched were hanged?

Queen Mary burned Protestants - Pope was silent: Queen Elizabeth burned Catholics - Parliament was silent.

Would those who believe today that random events of nature are sent in divine retribution also harbour a secret desire for corporal punishment of identified individuals so as to appease the offended Deity?

'I love the smell of napalm (or should it be faggots?) in the morning'

19 January 2014 at 15:16  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I see there's new twitter account following on from this story:

https://twitter.com/ukipweather

"EXTREME WEATHER WARNING! Tonight for the first time, just about half past ten. For the first time in history it's gonna start rainin' men"

19 January 2014 at 15:21  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...


Well gentlemen. What this man has said about Gay Marriage and God’s displeasure has now been analysed from mouth to anus. Perhaps His Grace can move us on...

19 January 2014 at 15:25  
Blogger IanCad said...

"---and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."

I think that's just about what we have here.

A few flooded basements,
a cancellation of a meeting at Kempton Park Racecourse.

To suggest that such are a demonstration of God's wrath is to trivialise The Creator.

When it happens we will know it.
The people in Noah's day sure did.

And in Sodom.
And the reason.

Ezekiel 8 plainly tells of how the abomination of sun worship led to the destruction of the First Temple.

Our Saviour clearly taught that when that same abomination, in the form of the sun-worshipping Roman army, was gathered outside Jerusalem, desolation would surely follow.

And so, in AD 70 the Second Temple, the glory of which surpassed the old, was destroyed, never to be rebuilt.

Oh, we'll know all about it when God acts!

19 January 2014 at 15:30  
Blogger The Explorer said...

DanJ0 @ 14:54

Coincidence. Dreadnaught's wording (if not his intention) suggested that Hopkins practised in the reign of James 1 and had his title endorsed by Parliament. Hence my wording.

My sources on the witchcraft issue generally include 'The Abolition of Man', 'Worldly Saints', and various background books to the Ballads (especially 'Little Sir Hugh), 'Macbeth', 'The Crucible', 'The Lady's Not for Burning' and Huxley's 'The Devils of Loudain'.

But I'd read all those before Wickipedia came on stream.

19 January 2014 at 15:33  
Blogger gentlemind said...

Is it not possible to turn the situation on its head and to still get the same answer? In what kind of society is something called a "same-sex marriage" even conceptually conceivable? I would suggest a society that is saturated with contraception, abortion and divorce.

What is "Equal marriage" then, if not a punishment?

19 January 2014 at 15:43  
Blogger RetiredPaul said...

Why does God's retribution require lightning bolts and pestilence? If He is told often enough "we are grown up now, we do not need you", will He not withdraw and leave people to suffer the consequences of their actions?

So, if you insist on building housing estates on flood planes, don't you run the risk of them (or somewhere else downstream) getting flooded? If you pass laws that disrupt the structure of families, won't you get an increase in broken families? If politicians believe that what they do in private doesn't matter, then why be surprised when they behave badly in public?

These things have always gone on, but maybe we have been protected from the consequences by a benevolent God looking after His children. Now, as our leaders have requested, we are on our own.

19 January 2014 at 15:49  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Dreadnaught @ 15:16

I'm quite happy to agree that Hopkins enforced the 1604 law of James I ()though James wasn't there to see the enforcement), provided that you are happy to agree that Hopkins was opposed by at least some clergy.

19 January 2014 at 15:54  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Dreadnaught

Only if you want to believe there is a god - which I don't.

Precisely my point. Your argument doesn't end in unbelief. It begins in unbelief. Acts of nature are by definition random because there exists nothing to give them purpose. If a man is struck dead by a flood, it is nothing more than a meaningless event causing the meanness death of an otherwise meaningless life. In the vast meaningless universe, who will even notice let alone remember?

We pay a fearsome price for our claims of autonomy. Mostly we just cross our fingers and hope the bill never comes due. But when it does...

carl

19 January 2014 at 15:58  
Blogger IanCad said...

Now, I hear, Mr. Silvester has been suspended by UKIP.

When, when, when? will the public wake up to the fact that this populist, democratic rabble-rousing party is a clear and present danger to the liberties of our land?

The Conservative Party is still the best hope for our nation.

Get behind David Davis.

Welcome back, Mr. Silvester.
I would like to think that you can say or believe anything you wish as a member of the CP.
Silly me!

I'm forgetting Michael Howard.

19 January 2014 at 16:03  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Here we go:

UKIP have called upon emergency procedures to suspend Councillor David Silvester following remarks made to the media over the weekend.

The South East Chairman Roger Bird has stated:

"We cannot have any individual using the UKIP banner to promote their controversial personal beliefs which are not shared by the Party. Everyone is entitled to their own religious ideology which is central to a free and fair society. Councillor Silvester's views are his own and in no way reflect the Party's position. Indeed Councillor Silvester himself has clearly stated this. However, Councillor Silvester has today acted contrary to Party requests and continued to court the media in order to promote his own personal beliefs. This has caused significant offence to many people and goes against the core principles of UKIP. It is not fair on the many thousands of hard working members of UKIP to have one person take attention away from their efforts and successes by promoting their own controversial views despite being requested not to do so."



19 January 2014 at 16:14  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...


Silvester was earlier warned to keep his big mouth shut forthwith, but gave an interview to the BBC...

What did he expect to happen after that...

19 January 2014 at 16:23  
Blogger Albert said...

Dreadnaught,

The point at issue is the law under which persecution for witchcraft was enacted was founded on ignorance

Yes, certainly. Witchcraft appeared real and profoundly damaging. Of the nature of the craft, it appeared that there was no way of controlling it other than deterrence and severe punishment. There's nothing uniquely ignorant or superstitious about using a severe retribution to prevent something that is (perceived to be) profoundly harmful. What was ignorant was the fact that people believed witchcraft was real and dangerous. In that regard, you and I benefit from a knowledge that was not available at the time. How is that something for us to be proud of?

What's the reason for modern forms of secular persecution? The fact that, under the materialist superstition there is no reason not to persecute those who get in our way? The fact that the materialist superstition prevents any reasonable account of how it is that human individuals are intrinsically valuable? The fact that the materialist superstition makes people a prey to false materialistic ideologies?

Take Christianity out of the 16th Century and you would have still had witch-hunts - although probably only more of them, since witch-hunts were much less common in Catholic countries than in Protestant ones.

Take religion away [from modernity], as the Nazis and the communists did, and you do nothing to suppress the pursuit of Lebensraum. You simply remove the principal source of mercy in the ordinary human heart and so make war pitiless; atheism found its proof at Stalingrad. Roger Scruton

The problem with violence is a problem of humanity. It will not go away while you have humanity. Trying to blame it on religion, says Scruton, is like blaming love for the Trojan war. All human motives, even the most noble, will feed the flames of conflict when subsumed by the 'territorial imperative'.

19 January 2014 at 16:42  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Inspector, it seems Ukip don't tolerate the views of individual members that reflect "controversial personal beliefs" or their own "religious ideology" since this might cause "offence" to other party members.

Translation:- he'll lose us votes.

Oh dear ....

19 January 2014 at 16:44  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

I'm not sure about this bit in the UKIP statement: This has caused significant offence to many people. Offence? What offence? He made a fool of himself, certainly, but who is he supposed to have "offended"? As for the rest of the statement, I thought they let him off lightly. The fathead must have made a nasty dent in UKIP's electoral chances.

19 January 2014 at 16:48  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...


Jack. It’s a discipline problem. He would stand accused of bringing the party into disrepute. EVERY political party has that clause in the conditions of membership...

19 January 2014 at 17:02  
Blogger seanrobsville said...

The Russians bash queers as God intended but still get hit by meteorites.

You just can't win.

19 January 2014 at 17:34  
Blogger IanCad said...

Sratch a Ukipper and you will find intolerance.

Didn't the ever-so-brilliant, and too-too-superior UKIP candidate Julia Ghasper call for a boycott of HG's blog a while ago?

DanJo, if you're around, do you remember that? As I recollect it had something to do with you.

19 January 2014 at 17:36  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Acts of nature are by definition random because there exists nothing to give them purpose.

'Acts of Nature', 'natural phenomena' or more specifically weather events, do not have purpose is very true - they neither demand or ascribe such an abstract concept as 'purpose' to understand why they happen - but they can be explained.

19 January 2014 at 17:44  
Blogger Integrity said...

Your Grace,
My take on this is that in the New Covenant God does not administer judgement as is suggested but we receive the recompense of our actions through the natural world as created by God. He also gave us clear instructions as to how we should live our lives and there will be a result from how we live.
This may not be what we expect.
If we fail to work, we will go hungry. If we treat others with contempt, this will come round and bite us.
In the wider social sphere the decisions of Government will have an effect on our society as it leads into a chaotic state without morals. This is the punishment that we will suffer from the failure of our law makers to acknowledge Gods ways in their administration.

As to flooding, yes it is a judgment of god, not in a real sense but upon the greedy and thoughtless developers who built in potential flood planes.

We reap what we sow.

19 January 2014 at 17:54  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

IanCad: "DanJo, if you're around, do you remember that? As I recollect it had something to do with you."

It did. She hates me with a passion, bless her. It stems from this thread way back, I think:

http://archbishop-cranmer.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/cameron-defends-gay-marriage-because-it.html

And poor Laurence Durnan, too. The real one, that is.

19 January 2014 at 17:54  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...



you and I benefit from a knowledge that was not available at the time.

Religions and gods stand in the way of expanding earthly understanding until they lose the option of violence.

19 January 2014 at 17:55  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I notice she's deleted most of her comments in there too. I wonder why? Heh.

19 January 2014 at 17:57  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

As to flooding, yes it is a judgment of god, not in a real sense but...

Utter bollocks.

19 January 2014 at 17:59  
Blogger Albert said...

Dreadnaught,

'Acts of Nature', 'natural phenomena' or more specifically weather events, do not have purpose is very true - they neither demand or ascribe such an abstract concept as 'purpose' to understand why they happen - but they can be explained.

That's just confirming Carl's argument. You are assuming your metaphysical world-view rather than proving it.

Religions and gods stand in the way of expanding earthly understanding until they lose the option of violence.

I'm guessing you don't know much about the history or philosophy of science. BTW are you unaware of how materialism has a history of standing in the way of scientific discovery?

19 January 2014 at 18:03  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...


One notes from the radio news Farage is going to conduct a vetting of all UKIP candidates. If there is one complaint to be made about the party this man supports, it’s that there are too many mavericks in positions of responsibility. We need to be intolerant of those who have personal campaigns they put above the party’s aims.

So, that’s good news then. UKIP goes forward...

19 January 2014 at 18:16  
Blogger IanCad said...

DanJo,
Thanks, but I thought it was more recent.
Last October or thereabouts.
I'll hunt it up.
Daft woman.

19 January 2014 at 18:19  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Take Christianity out of the 16th Century and you would have still had witch-hunts - although probably only more of them, since witch-hunts were much less common in Catholic countries than in Protestant ones.

Summis_desiderantes_affectibus

The bull, which synthesized the spiritual and the secular crimes of witchcraft, is often viewed as opening the door for the witch-hunts of the early modern period. However, its similarities to previous papal documents, emphasis on preaching, and lack of dogmatic pronouncement complicate this view. Some scholars view the bull as "clearly political", motivated by jurisdictional disputes between the local German Catholic priests and clerics from the Office of the Inquisition who answered more directly to the pope.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Summis_desiderantes_affectibus

19 January 2014 at 18:21  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

IanCad: "Thanks, but I thought it was more recent."

Oh it was, for sure. But that was how I originally attracted her UKIPpy ire.

Btw, I think the wonderful Newsthump has it just about right as usual:

http://newsthump.com/2014/01/19/ukip-pledges-to-send-homosexual-couples-to-drought-affected-areas/

:)

19 January 2014 at 18:26  
Blogger Preacher said...

Right or wrong, David Silvester has the right to his opinions & the right to voice them.
As this Blog has proved, their is great diversity in the Christian Church & the different credos that many hold.
Like it or not, none of us get it right all the time. If we did, we would be God & that is obviously not the case.
If we are honest, the Christian walk is a growing & learning process. We are programmed to seek, to investigate & deduce. To search for truth & answers. We make mistakes & learn from them. We are not all at the same point of learning.
Is Mr Silvester right? possibly. Don't forget that everybody thought Noah was two sandwiches short of a picnic & of course the Titanic was unsinkable & it was laughable that the world was a sphere everybody new it HAD to be flat.
The Earth was without doubt the centre of the solar system & so on.
Life is a quest, & the object whether we like it or not is God.

There are no billionaires in Heaven, nor Kings or Emperors, just people.
After the Titanic disaster, White Star lines put up a list of names, there were two columns, starkly they read - Lost & Saved.

If we have not the courage to speak out what we believe & risk ridicule & scorn, then we are a faithless, pitiful excuse for a Church & not worthy to bear the name of Christ.

19 January 2014 at 18:30  
Blogger Frederic said...

"You may think David Silvester unutterably stupid, biblically illiterate or bigoted."

Biblically, Mr Silvester is a lot more literate than you. And has more faith in God's Word. You could learn a lot from him.

"For if God spared not the angels that sinned... And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly." 2 Peter 2:4-6

"Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." Jude 1:7

19 January 2014 at 18:32  
Blogger David B said...

@Phil who said

"Presumably the next stage (as we have already seen) is to seek to "protect" people (especially groups who are particularly susceptible say children) against what the majority determine, are, silly beliefs?"

Well onw wouldn't want Scientology taught as true in schools using public money, would one?

well perhaps you would. I wouldn't.

But I think you presume too much, certainly from someone with my POV.

HG said -

". In a free society, David Silvester ought to be free to express his religious views and Ukip free to select him as a candidate. There is far more to fear from intolerant assertions of state orthodoxy than a ranting Ukip councillor. Biblical literacy ought not to be a qualification for standing for or holding public office: the ultimate judgment should lie with the electorate and the ballot box."

As I have said many times, I don't think that what I might believe to be good moral rules of thumb should be taken as moral absolutes, but what HG writes there seems to me a particularly useful rule of thumb.

I should add, though, that while Sylvester and his ilk should be free to express their religious views, others should also be free to point out, or argue the point, that his views are stupid.

And I should also be free to point out that so is your asinine presumption.

David


19 January 2014 at 18:34  
Blogger Albert said...

It's about what words mean Dreadnaught. I did not say there were no witch-hunts, I said,

witch-hunts were much less common in Catholic countries than in Protestant ones.

Now I don't know how you got through to a document entitled Summis_desiderantes_affectibus, but if you did it through wikipedia's page on witch-hunts, you must have noticed that it actually backs up the point I made. It's all about following, rather than picking, the evidence.

19 January 2014 at 18:35  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Inspector, Happy Jack says its all about votes, votes, votes. It seems upsetting what you call 'Big Gay' has electoral consequences. The man hasn't spoken against any party policy, has he? Just what are these on homosexual marriage?

Terms like "bringing the party into disrepute" and "mavericks in positions of responsibility" really means silencing opinion that may be unpopular. The man is a Christian. So, okay, as His Grace pointed out, he may not too well informed. So what? But what's wrong with speaking his mind? One's man's so called bigotry is another man's truth.

Solution: "Farage is going to conduct a vetting of all UKIP candidates." Democracy at work in a 'new' political party? This is where it all started to wrong with the Conservative Party. Imagine the likes of Churchill and Thatcher trying to get on selection lists these days. Today we end up with the bland and the characterless who go out of their way not to say anything too definite in case it "offends" or appears "uncool".

19 January 2014 at 18:39  
Blogger Albert said...

Just to prove the point:

The general desire of the Catholic Church's clergy to check fanaticism about witchcraft and necromancy is shown in the decrees of the Council of Paderborn which in 785 explicitly outlawed condemning people as witches, and condemned to death anyone who burnt a witch. Emperor Charlemagne later confirmed the law. The Council of Frankfurt in 794, called by Charlemagne, was also very explicit in condemning "the persecution of alleged witches and wizards", calling the belief in witchcraft "superstitious", and ordering the death penalty for those who presumed to burn witches.[12]

Similarly, the Lombard code of 643 states:

"Let nobody presume to kill a foreign serving maid or female servant as a witch, for it is not possible, nor ought to be believed by Christian minds."[13]

The manuals of the Roman Catholic Inquisition remained highly sceptical of the witch craze and of witch accusations.


And then there is the table, which shows things like about half the number of executions for witch-craft in Catholic Spain, Portugal and Italy together than in a place as sparsely populated as Protestant Scandinavia.

My point is quite simple, and not anti-Protestant: witch-hunts and burnings took place pre-modernity. The look pretty universal. Far from increasing the practice, some forms of Christian seem actually to have limited the practice.

19 January 2014 at 18:41  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Albert

My bottom line is that believing that God controls the weather to his purpose is as illogical as believing in witchcraft - not a crime, just plain stupid.

19 January 2014 at 18:42  
Blogger Albert said...

Dreadnaught,

Right. So in fact, most of what you have written to me has been irrelevant to the point you wish to make.

As for that point, if God is the cause of the existence of all things, together with its capacities and powers, then it follows that something inanimate, like the weather is necessarily controlled by him, and if controlled, it is presumably controlled to a purpose. That is not of course, the same thing as thinking one knows God's purpose is to cause floods because of changes to marriage law - a view I find as silly than you do.

19 January 2014 at 19:01  
Blogger Albert said...

as silly as you do - lose the "than"

19 January 2014 at 19:02  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Jack. One is not sure you fully grasp the concept of political parties. It means sacrificing some of your own views to work towards others that you share with the membership. Now, that applies to the Inspector as well. Despite being put off by the Conservative leadership about an EU referendum for what seems like decades, and a few other issues with Maggie, he stuck with them, you might know. However, when Cameron loaded gay marriage on the Inspector’s back too, it broke. Or another way to look at it, the common aims this man and the party had had reduced to a level that another party far better reflected the policies that matter.

Now, this sorry tale has occurred, at a guess, several times ten thousand across the land, as no doubt Cameron will discover when he is forced to go to the people who put him where he is, hoping they’ll keep him there. No one else is going to do it, we’re not enjoying an economic boom under him. Some hope he has !


19 January 2014 at 19:02  
Blogger The Explorer said...

If one argues for social progress, initial death for wrong belief should have been followed by much milder punishment.

But in the New Testament, heretics are expelled after two warnings. The Early Church conceded points that needed to be clarified. Hence the creeds. The Church argued with heretics, prayed with them, reinstated them if they could. Burning for heresy came centuries later.

As I've said already earlier on this thread, death for witchcraft ceased with the New Covenant. Simon the sorcerer was rebuked; the Ephesian magicians were forgiven. Death was not imposed (or requested from the authorities). Again, death for witchcraft came centuries later.

Also, Augustine was sceptical about witchcraft, but the Seventeenth Century was credulous. It's strange. Unless we concede a new sense of power over Nature - "The new philosophy calls all in doubt" - that frightened people (and which earlier eras simply didn't have) then it just doesn't make sense.

19 January 2014 at 19:14  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Inspector, Happy Jack agrees being a candidate for a political party "means sacrificing some of your own views to work towards others that you share with the membership." Even one's Christian's views?

Did David Silvester speak against any Ukip policy? No. He spoke out against homosexual marriage and expressed his belief that it had caused recent flooding. Silly agreed but he is free to say this.

Jack asks if he'd given a more balanced biblical account of God's will and the consequences of rebelling against it, would that have been better? Or if he'd quoted some of the more 'politically incorrect' passages from the bible would this have improved his theological credibility? You know as well as Jack that his 'crime' was talking about God's opposition to homosexuality and this made him a target for ridicule.

19 January 2014 at 19:22  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

David

Quite right silly views I confess.

I fully accept that these views are not helpful to society's harmony. Therefore I submit myself to educating myself to the current accepted views and desist considering any other views than those allowed by the State.

Am I now a good candidate for your Brave New World David?

Phil

19 January 2014 at 19:25  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

It seems that UKIP are now going to do a purge of unfashionable ideas and beliefs from their party....

Democracy in action. You can believe whatever you like as long as we agree with you.

UKIP are now a mainstream political party so it seems that Nigel thinks he has to play the game like the others do.

So it is downhill from here for UKIP?

Phil





19 January 2014 at 19:34  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Dreadnaught

My bottom line is that believing that God controls the weather to his purpose is as illogical as believing in witchcraft - not a crime, just plain stupid.

According to what?

1. God does not exist.
2. If God does not exist, He does not control the weather.
3. God does not control the weather.

That's a perfectly valid argument but it's truth is 100% dependent upon the truth of the first premise. That's the not-so-hidden premise of your entire argument.

You aren't calling me illogical and stupid for believing that God can control weather to His purpose. You are calling me illogical and stupid for believing in God.

carl

19 January 2014 at 19:37  
Blogger David B said...

You are still being silly, as far as I can tell, Phil.

Is there really a lot of point in your writing a couple of paragraphs that both you and I know are untrue?

If so, please explain.

David

19 January 2014 at 19:52  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

According to what?

Most of the world apparently.

19 January 2014 at 19:56  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

You are calling me illogical and stupid for believing in God.

There are so many religions and multitudes of sects claiming to know God/Allah/Jaweh/Ganesh/Thetan whatever etc etc ad-infinitum, I don't see why I should single you out for special individual consideration.

19 January 2014 at 20:06  
Blogger Integrity said...

Dreadnaught; If you walk down a railway track, what can you expect?
If you build in a flood plain, you get flooded. These are the repercussions of our ill guided actions. God gives us sense.
Not bollocks. Maybe that's what you lack?

19 January 2014 at 20:07  
Blogger Integrity said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

19 January 2014 at 20:07  
Blogger Len said...

God does not have to judge anyone.All God has to do is retire from the scene and the way is left open for the prince of the power of the air to have unrestricted access to us .
We in the UK have demanded that God have no involvement in our Society and God being the gentleman that He is will do as we wish.
So whatever happens next we certainly cannot blame God for...if anything we must blame ourselves.

19 January 2014 at 20:19  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Jack. There is only one party this man has heard of that had Silvester been a member of it, his views would not be ‘out of place’. That party is the Christian Democrats, of which we of course do not have here in the UK. UKIP is not the Christian Democrats by another name.

Do remember it’s UKIP’s detractors who are on his case, not this man. If his ramblings bring unwanted attention and criticism to the party, he needs his arse kicked, the best cure for stupidity....

19 January 2014 at 20:25  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Jack. In our Western society, Christianity is only going to be an interested pressure group behind the scenes. Hopefully, a powerful one, but one of many.

One likens running a political party to that of being the captain of a ship. You know where you are going, but you need the crew to cooperate to get you there. You don’t need arguments breaking out, or unhelpful and extremely selfish messages being broadcast from it...


19 January 2014 at 21:01  
Blogger Albert said...

Dreadnaught,

There are so many religions and multitudes of sects claiming to know God/Allah/Jaweh/Ganesh/Thetan whatever etc etc ad-infinitum, I don't see why I should single you out for special individual consideration.

None of that gets you off the hook. In the end, if theism is true, God controls the weather. That's true if God turns out to be the LORD, the God of Israel, the Holy Trinity, Allah, or some other deity we don't know about. So your position fails. Whatever else we claim about God, if he exists, he controls the weather.

19 January 2014 at 21:37  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Inspector, Happy Jack says that surely one can be a Christian and a democrat (lower case) and be a member of any political party?

There are Christians in the Labour and Conservative parties - and probably the Liberal party too if one looks hard enough. Should they all shut-up about *sensitive* issues in case they appear silly and threaten the *image* of their party? Jack thinks not. This is not democracy.

Before Jack votes again he wants to know up-front what these candidates believe about abortion and homosexuality and what they intend to do.

19 January 2014 at 21:38  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...


Jack. Goodbye...

19 January 2014 at 21:47  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Inspector, Happy Jack suggests that if you are unable to answer these reasonable questions, then you are probably unsuited to politics.

Goodbye ...

Jack asks if there is any Ukip supporter *out there* willing to respond?

19 January 2014 at 22:03  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Happy Jack

Have you seen the letter? It is signed "Councillor David Silvester (UKIP)" and he gives his address as Henley Town Council. He was not expressing his opinion as a private citizen but as an elected politician. So he ought to have realised he was creating trouble for his party.

And it's stretching a point to say that he was expressing his views "as a Christian". These views, about God sending the floods to punish Britain for something Cameron did, show, as His Grace said, that Silvester is biblically illiterate.

19 January 2014 at 22:07  
Blogger T Griffiths said...

At the risk of displaying my biblical illiteracy, how does the good Archbishop see God intervening in human affairs over things which displease Him?

19 January 2014 at 22:07  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Alright Jack, as it’s you. The Inspector is rather fond of you, you know. It’s as if you are a composite of certain previous followers of this site who are no longer welcome...{AHEM}

We have secularists / atheists who follow this site. Dreadnaught / David B / DanJ0 to name but a few. All political parties need to engage mass appeal. There is no chance whatsoever of the aforementioned characters considering UKIP if UKIP is blatantly Christian, and anti abortion and anti, well, everything that goes against Christianity...

Savvy ?


19 January 2014 at 22:09  
Blogger David B said...

@Albert, who said -

" In the end, if theism is true, God controls the weather."

I'm sure there must be flavours of theism then this is not the case.

To start with, if deism is a subset of theism, then it doesn't hold.

Certain forms of polytheism might have a King God, so to speak, who allows control of weather, and various other phenomena that some of us might term 'natural' to other Gods in a patheon.

Or even hand over temporary control of some phenomena to some adversary, in order to plague some faithful follower, like Job.

So I don't think your blanket statement holds.

But, pretending for a while that God does control the weather, does not to PoE raise ugly head again?

As Gods who are claimed by theologians to be loving, just, benevolent and stuff, a God who seems so tolerant of the sort of collateral damage imposed by floods does not seem to my human understanding to be worth worshipping, even if we were to have such a God who was distinguished by strong evidence for his existence.

To me a claim that a good God would use such indiscriminate weapons of mass destruction is just more evidence that faith can be very bad for the human moral compass.

Such interference, though, as His Grace implicitly pointed out, might have something to be said for it if it were used to precisely target those who are persecuting Christians in Syria, I suppose. But such strikes seem conspicuous by their absence.

So, to conclude - In many God conceptions God does not, as you claimed, control the weather, and for those conceptions of God in which he does, he does pretty lousy jobs on the benevolence and justice since of things.

I think that all you can get back to me on this would be something like 'God is not like men, what he does is mysterious but it must be good else it wouldn't be God.

I don't think that quite does.

David

19 January 2014 at 22:53  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

David B

In the absence of God, there is no problem of evil because there is no authority to define evil. In the presence of God, you must define evil consistent with God's definition, and the problem disappears. What you can't do is what you always do. You can't bootstrap some concept of evil out of thin air, and then judge God according to it as if it gives you some objective standard. It doesn't.

carl

19 January 2014 at 23:12  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Uncle Brian, Happy Jack says who can say that someone is "biblically illiterate"? And so what? There are one or two who comment on here who say they are Christian that Jack wonders about. And, let's face it, modern "Christianity" covers a wide variety of opinions.

Jack agrees the man is was a bit of a numpty but he prefers this to dishonest, clever clogs who bamboozle and deceive. Give Jack a straight talking politician any day of the week to the faux Christianity of many politicians.

Inspector, Happy Jack has a certain fondness for you too and appreciates your point. And yet, do you really want to appease aforementioned chaps and get them voting Ukip? Jack suspects they are a lost cause. They are all for Europe's 'Human Rights' legislation. Jack considers this a great attack on freedom.

19 January 2014 at 23:15  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Jack, you might be surprised at where a UKIP government for the UK is going to shove the ECHR...

19 January 2014 at 23:36  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Inspector, on that happy note, Happy Jack bids you goodnight and a pleasant night's sleep.

20 January 2014 at 00:06  
Blogger non mouse said...

Thank you, Your Grace - and I especially support your thesis and final paragraph.

One aspect of the issue is surely that the electorate should not allow whipped up 'personality problems' to distract us from dealing with the shenanigans (?sp) of what presents itself as the State: but what is in fact the useful idiot of the foreign power that has invaded us by stealth.

If, however, we are momentarily constrained to humour the deconstructionist ploy of 'divide and conquer' - then Christians may surely remind the insurgents here of a Biblically Correct view: God the Creator necessarily set the laws by which all phenomena proceed. That principle applies to weather, and even to mankind (including idiots).

The thought could bring us (once more) to consideration of miracles - and of the possibility that God may occasionally attract our attention by arranging the coincidence of natural events and human involvement. One might offer, as an example, Moses' parting of the Red Sea.

Of course, the flooding of English flood plains is more predictable. Commenters here are right, also, to observe that disasters ensue because we ignore that regular occurrence. Yet ... if one sees Mr. Silvester's argument as presenting a parallel about the general consequences of ignoring God's Laws ... then he's not so far off the mark as he may seem.

Unfortunately, the euSSR sets itself as God, and it requires us to treat its laws accordingly. Surely the British electorate shouldn't trust them or their agents. I'm more concerned about security of the ballot and of vote-counting than I am about irrelevant arguments foreigners use for manipulating us into slavery in an island-sized 'dumpster'.

20 January 2014 at 01:26  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

I take issue with HG accusing Catholics of being bigoted against Anglicans. That is the same as accusing someone of being bigoted against waxwork museums because they declared that Madame Tussauds contains effigies which are life like but not the genuine article.

Anglicanism was founded on a murderer's promiscuity.It is not a great start for a new religion but it just so happens to be the truth.That is not my definition of bigotry.

20 January 2014 at 02:04  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

Anglicanism was just as arguably founded on a scholarly man's realisation, despite what he had earlier thought, that Luther did have some worthy and true points.

Incidentally the Roman Catholic church also believes this, as indulgences were later, largely stopped, and some of the worst offences somewhat ameliorated in the Counter Reformation.

Also if Roman Catholicism's founder is looked into we see it was founded by a vacillating cowardly perjuring lying faithless betrayer of his friend, do we not?

And yet we might wish to say that this was not greatly relevant, and that the man had other virtues. After all if we want to stick with the Church founded by the nicest guy I think the Orthodox churches win that one with St. John!!

What matters is the local assembly of Christians to study the Word to many of us here- ekklesia not monolithic church.

20 January 2014 at 02:59  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

I'd rather vote for someone who believes (evenbif incorrectly) that God punishes national wickedness with bad weather than for somone who wanted to jump into the civil war in Syria on the Al Quaeda side (Cameron) borrowed and spent our grandchildren into penury, isn't sorry and will do worse if elected (Milliband and Balls) or is standing by Lord Rennard (lib dems).

Still voting UKIP.

20 January 2014 at 04:59  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

No Lucy, what matters is the truth.

St Peter is not the founder of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is the Church of Jesus Christ. St Peter was appointed by Jesus to be his representative.

Your scurrilous comments about St Peter do not alter the fact that the founder of your religion was a promiscuous serial killer and That Is greatly relevant despite him having other virtues such as composing a few mediocre madrigals and eliminating indulgences.

Genghis Khan, Hitler and Stalin all had virtues but like your Henry V111 were all murderers, thieves and destroyers of property too.!

The foundation of your religion is rotten and in spite of a certain legitimacy being acquired over the years in certain quarters, the ediface built up over the last few centuries will crumble eventually.It is inevitable.

20 January 2014 at 06:26  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Would the Reformation in England have happened without the divorce?

Eamon Duffy in 'The Stripping of the Altars' suggests no. David Daniell in 'William Tyndale' suggests yes.

I don't know either book well enough to venture a verdict, but I think they are the two to consider for anyone concerned about the subject.

20 January 2014 at 09:17  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

The Explorer

That England would have ended up a Protestant country is quite likely, I think, though it isn't the kind of thing you can prove conclusively by assembling evidence. All you can say with any certainty is that it wouldn't have started the way it did, with the Catholic Church in England being severed from the Papacy, and with the Catholic clergy -- including, of course, His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury -- being given orders from time to time, over a period of years, to alter their doctrines and their form of worship in line with a creeping Protestantisation. Also, of course, the monarchy wouldn't have picked up all those material assets -- churches, abbeys, monasteries and so on -- free of charge.

20 January 2014 at 09:55  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Thanks, Brian

Very fair analysis.

The what-might-have-beens of history are, as you say, impossible to verify.

I think one cannot ignore the stirrings of Wyclif and the Lollards, before Luther, nor the fervour of the Puritans.

20 January 2014 at 10:13  
Blogger Len said...

St Peter was 'one' of the representatives.
Peter never claimed to be head of the disciples.

20 January 2014 at 10:23  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

The Explorer

I've never read either of the books you mention, in fact one of them, the David Daniell, I'd never even heard of until this moment. But I remember that The Stripping of the Altars got very good reviews.

I've been trying to remember the title of an entertaining Kingsley Amis novel I read a long time ago. It's a "what if?" story based on the supposition that the Reformation never happened. The mid-twentieth century pope is a bluff, reactionary Yorkshireman, and the story is largely told in the form of dialogue between a pair of middle-aged castrati.

20 January 2014 at 10:42  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Len said...

St Peter was 'one' of the representatives.
Peter never claimed to be head of the disciples."
Indeed Len and as St John was the last living apostle, the succession would have been through HIM and NOT some ordinary bishop who had not seen Christ. It was not!!! A bishop is NOT nor can be an Apostle (building block on the foundation that is Christ).

Keep up the good fight.

Blofeld

20 January 2014 at 10:46  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Explorer and Uncle Brian

You may find this interesting that Tyndale had a greater effect on reformation that others give him credit for and why the reformation would probably have gone ahead without the actions of Henry V111 when he had left this mortal coil... from an unabashed admirer of William Tyndale

http://www.tyndale.org/tsj03/mansbridge.html

Blowers

20 January 2014 at 10:54  
Blogger non mouse said...

Well said, Lucy Mullen @ 02:59, beginning Anglicanism was just as arguably founded on a scholarly man's realisation, despite what he had earlier thought, that Luther did have some worthy and true points.

Similarly Mr. Explorer @ 10:13.

The workers of England paid the RC dearly for a very long time -- as we do now to the euSSR. Once we decide to take back our country and the fruits of our labour, we don't owe the foreign powers a thing. Rather the opposite.


20 January 2014 at 10:59  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Thanks for that, Blowers.

I dare say an agenda other than statistical accuracy underlay the 20% figure.

Tyndale, I suspect, will remain a controversial figure this side of the Second Coming. Not just with Catholics; some of his enemies are secularist.

20 January 2014 at 11:42  
Blogger Simon said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

20 January 2014 at 12:08  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

re St Peter

I was showing how you can take adjectives that are certainly true of some stages and actions of a person's life, take them out of context and timeline, and apply them uncritically across the board, but it isn't necessarily very helpful. That said, it seems highly probable, and also taking into account the apocryphal complaints of Mary Magdalene, that if it is institution by kind and virtuous person you want St John is a better bet.

But then you might also have problems with the Samaritans. And many Popes, not least the mad one who dug up his dead predecessor to stage a trial in revenge. Which goes to show the weakness of ad hominem arguments.

20 January 2014 at 13:28  
Blogger Kilsally said...

Not sure the ukip councillor knows the will of God and is therefore able to specific surviving actions & consequences . However Billy Graham & many others have no issue with God Judging sinful nations.

20 January 2014 at 13:41  
Blogger Albert said...

David B,

I'm sure there must be flavours of theism then this is not the case.

I think you may be moving from my claim "God controls the weather" to the claim "God manipulates the weather." For the reasons given, if God is the creator, he controls the weather, insofar as he makes things simply be with all their characteristics. Someone who does not hold this view of God is not a theist - at least not in a classical sense. But I am not thereby committed to the view that God is manipulating the weather for short term ends. He is simply making it be. If he didn't, we wouldn't be either.

I think that all you can get back to me on this would be something like 'God is not like men, what he does is mysterious but it must be good else it wouldn't be God. I don't think that quite does.

If you mean, that, by believing in God, I am committed to your anthropomorphic view of God, then yes. And far from that not quite doing it, my rejection of your anthropomorphism is in fact, logically and reasonably, the only position that can be taken.

20 January 2014 at 13:41  
Blogger Kilsally said...

Billy Graham : Does God still judge nations for their sins, like He did in Old Testament times? - http://billygraham.org/answer/does-god-still-judge-nations-for-their-sins-like-he-did-in-old-testament-times-how-bad-does-a-nation-have-to-get/

20 January 2014 at 13:42  
Blogger Kilsally said...

Billy Graham : Does God still judge nations for their sins, like He did in Old Testament times? - http://billygraham.org/answer/does-god-still-judge-nations-for-their-sins-like-he-did-in-old-testament-times-how-bad-does-a-nation-have-to-get/

20 January 2014 at 13:42  
Blogger Kilsally said...

Presbyterian: God's visitation of sinful nations: Two sermons, delivered in Colrain, on ... - Samuel Taggart - Google Books - http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Sy1LAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA8&lpg=PA8&dq=sinful+nation&source=bl&ots=HNBTgy-I8e&sig=pR77n83_OwiVaQllPmhR7EQ12u8&hl=en&sa=X&ei=dCjdUtv_BcqBhAfsqYHACA&ved=0CCwQ6AEwADgU

20 January 2014 at 13:46  
Blogger plishman said...

When considering phenomena, one should not mistake the reason for the cause.

20 January 2014 at 15:38  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

I agree with HG about Silvester's wrongheadedness on this matter, but there are at least biblical precedents for national judgments. Pharoah, Sodom and Gomorrah, Nineveh (averted by repentance at Jonah's preaching come to mind. And at the bible believing church I now attend (post CofE) there was some reflection on the judgments to come as set out in Revelation . Listen to the podcasts if you like Above Bar Church Southampton.

Counsellor Silvestercwsd midtaken snd has become a lwughing stock. Meanwhile Tony Blair the butcher enabler of Baghdad is a multimillionnaire, Cameton would have taken us into Syria if he could and the deficit denying communist Milliband looks set to become our next PM (sorry, Brussels viceroy).

The bible records that God has punished wicked nations in the past, but I've never heard of a country borrowing its way out of debt. So Silvester may be more rational than the next PM. He is certainly less dangerous.

20 January 2014 at 17:06  
Blogger nate895 said...


"David Silvester was probably nurtured in 80s Baptist charismatic fundamentalism and believes that sexual sin is worse than murder, torture, rape and genocide. If not, why is his God not busy flooding vast swathes of the Middle East? Surely the 'cleansing' of millions of Christians from the land is more offensive than a few gays in Henley-on-Thames? And why on earth is He sending the rains upon Bangladesh, which has quite strict laws on homosexuality?"

This is simply bunk. All of it. I don't know what this Councillor believes, nor do I even really care. However, there is a fundamental moral distinction between those who have or had the light and apostatized from it and those who simply never had it. Britain and her daughter nations adopted Christianity as their religion and are apostatizing. Iran has not never adopted Christianity. Neither has the Arab nation.

Christians should actually want God's judgment to poor down upon them, not because we want to punish the "bad people" but because God chastens His own. I have no idea if the bad weather in the UK has anything to do with God's Judgment, but it is a fact that God is Just and that He will act on that justice in history. Violate God's Law, and bad things will happen. It's just the way the universe works. Especially if Churches are ubiquitous and Christianity is your National Religion.

20 January 2014 at 17:58  
Blogger Albert said...

Plishman,

When considering phenomena, one should not mistake the reason for the cause.

Are you able to define how you are using "reason" and "cause", please?

20 January 2014 at 18:16  
Blogger plishman said...

Albert: certainly.

The cause of an event is the initial physical conditions from which it inevitably proceeds. This is the purview of science.
The reason is the purpose for which those conditions were arranged, at the time they were arranged. This is the purview of religion.
Science says: when these initial conditions are present, this will happen.
Religion says: why those initial conditions, why now?

Regards,
Phil.

20 January 2014 at 19:07  
Blogger Albert said...

Thank you Phil,

I can certainly see the distinction and why it is important.

20 January 2014 at 19:13  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Nate 895

"Violate God's Law, and bad things will happen. It's just the way the universe works."

We all know that keeping the law also means that bad things happen.

What you are really saying is that God loves me because I keep the law?

What sort of love is this?

E.g. Do I love my wife simply because she has a great body and she is good in bed? Is that really love Nate? What happens if she gets ill or has an accident and suddenly does not have a great body and we cannot have sex? If I do not love her any more because she does not fulfil my needs, what does this say about the love in the first place?

Worse, Christ did not need to die for you Nate.

You could just keep the law.

Phil

20 January 2014 at 19:21  
Blogger Albert said...

Phil Roberts,

God's goodness is embedded in the very nature of the universe. Go against that nature and inevitably bad things happen. That seems a necessary truth to me, given the premiss of creation.

20 January 2014 at 19:45  
Blogger nate895 said...

Phil, that's not what I mean. As I pointed out, God chastens those whom He loves. A parent who does not properly discipline their child is cruel, and God would be cruel if He did not properly discipline His children. We try to intervene when those we love do stuff that is self-damaging.

Salvation is solely by grace through faith, and that cannot be denied. Faith is a gracious act of God apart from ourselves. However, we cannot prosper outside of loving God and His law. Loving God's Law is a necessary consequence of faith.

20 January 2014 at 21:27  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Albert

So if your suggestion is correct then the reverse must be true that is if you are good then everything will go well for you?

I think the question is not if you are good but why are you good.

If you are good because you think that you can make yourself more pleasing to God, then you are partially responsible at least for your for your own salvation. You earn your salvation by pleasing God. If this is true if only in part then Jesus does not come into it so you don't need the cross.


Why are you good? So God owes you? or because your love God?

Phil

20 January 2014 at 21:41  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Nate

When I discipline my children. I make sure they know why they are being punished.

Also

"we cannot prosper outside of loving God and His law"

I know lots of people who do prosper without loving God.

"Loving God's Law is a necessary consequence of faith."

Why?

I don't love God's law because of faith Nate.

I Love God's law because I love God and want to please him.

Big difference..


Phil

20 January 2014 at 21:49  
Blogger IanCad said...

RSA, wrote:

"---The bible records that God has punished wicked nations in the past, but I've never heard of a country borrowing its way out of debt. So Silvester may be more rational than the next PM. He is certainly less dangerous."

Good Point.
A very good point.

20 January 2014 at 22:00  
Blogger non mouse said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

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

Uncle Brian @ 10:42 --- The Alteration (1976)? Haven't read it and got that off Wiki - went rather off old Kingsley once his wives showed him up.

That could be a shame, of course. He was utterly brilliant. And artists sometimes show a better side - (a searching side?) - in their writing that they don't/can't live up to in the material world. Another case of trying to balance 'personality' concerns with professional achievement?

20 January 2014 at 23:21  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Phil -" I know lots of people who prosper without loving God"

Material prosperity comes at a cost.
Squeezing yourself through the eye of a needle might be one of them.

People who are genuinely spiritual and love God place no emphasis on materialism and do not regard material prosperity as something to be envied or aspired to.

You may know people who do not love God and prosper ( we all do) but I know people who live with adversity who would not change places with them because they have something tbat money cannot buy that sustains them and gives them inner peace.

Albert's is correct 19:45.
If you love God goodness will follow you all the days of your life.

Your understanding of goodness is very different to the Christian ideal and experience. Goodness is not temporal in nature( as in good things happening to you) and has nothing to do with money or status.

The idea of God owing us anything reflects the mores of a secular society where you give in order to receive - quid pro quo.

Also Christians believe ( I am not sure know which religion you are) that God is
not a separate entity to Jesus.

The Trinity is God the Father God the Son and God the Holy Spirit= God

Your separation of God and Jesus on the cross is very muddled theology if you are a Christian.


21 January 2014 at 02:15  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Inspector
I wonder whether you think the Irish Free State was a golden age?
I think it an indication of what will happen in England when it gets its "independence"
No jobs,no money, no health service.
The boat being the only option for many.

21 January 2014 at 05:16  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Cressida

"Your separation of God and Jesus on the cross is very muddled theology if you are a Christian. "

So Jesus did not need to die for our sins?

He could not do this if he was not the son of God.

Otherwise, can God demand payment from part of himself?

Phil

21 January 2014 at 06:09  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Non mouse, yesterday at 23:21

Yes, thank you, The Alteration, that's the one. The title, as I recall, refers to the surgical "procedure" whereby boy trebles are enabled to continue their musical careers ...

It must be 20 years since I read it but it has turned out to be more memorable than most. If you haven't read it, I warmly recommend it.

Regards
Brian

21 January 2014 at 10:27  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

The Trinity is a mystery of religion.

No one, can fully understand it.
.It is futile of you Phil to try to impose human rationale to a mystery of religion in an attempt to explain it.

God is all knowing, all powerful,
and omnipresent...He can do anything and it is not for us to view Him as a case study to investigate and determine His motivations.




21 January 2014 at 13:06  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Cressida

"He can do anything and it is not for us to view Him as a case study to investigate and determine His motivations"

He did give us a book. It is called the Bible.

I find it helps a lot.

Phil

21 January 2014 at 13:55  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

The Bible relates that the mysteries of religion occurred

.They are- the Trinity Transubstantiation the Resurrection and the Ascension.

The Bible does not give a concise and detailed explanation of how these phenomena occurred.
If yours does, you should get another version.The correct one.

As I have previously said you cannot impose human rationale on understanding these phenomena.
They are mysteries.

Your approach is almost atheistic. Atheists deny everything unless it is scientifically proven.Sadly for them,they lack that very important spiritual dimension where it is not required to know everything in human terms. .We are limited by our humanity which pales in comparison to God's awe.
You will never fully understand the nature of God.

21 January 2014 at 15:59  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Manfarang. The EU is actually a good idea, if you are a mediocre nothing special state. You hitch a ride through life at someone else's expense that way. But for the truly great, and there is no doubt that the UK is that, it merely holds us back as we fight off the EU’s attempt to flood us with hard up Europeans
to turn us into a just a province, while financially bleeding us white for the privilege...

21 January 2014 at 18:47  
Blogger Albert said...

Phil,

So if your suggestion is correct then the reverse must be true that is if you are good then everything will go well for you?

No, that would be an error of formal logic. Having said that, there is a theoretical sense in which what you say might be true. But given the corruption of sinful nature, then no. You can be as good as you like but still get cancer, for instance. But given that nature is corrupt, it doesn't do us any good to make matters worse. That would be my point.

I think the question is not if you are good but why are you good.

Ultimately, I would deny the distinction. To be good for the wrong reason is not to be wholly good.

If you are good because you think that you can make yourself more pleasing to God, then you are partially responsible at least for your for your own salvation. You earn your salvation by pleasing God. If this is true if only in part then Jesus does not come into it so you don't need the cross.

Given the corruption of nature, this is not possible in practice. I do not think I am responsible for my salvation, even partially, in any way that is not caused by Jesus Christ.

Why are you good? So God owes you? or because your love God?

I'm not good, except insofar as I am created good by God and Christ is at work in me. However, if I am good, by the grace of God then, as scripture says:

God is not so unjust as to overlook your work and the love which you showed for his sake

21 January 2014 at 20:28  
Blogger Len said...

If I was going to invent a religion it would probably be Catholicism.If one foundation fails then find another.
A set of rules to follow.God would surely like that?.
A head on earth so everyone could see him.Boost up the faith with a visible representative.
Draw a veil of mysticism over any issues which people challenged.Bring out the infallibility Chair when all else fails.Dominate, assimilate,whatever it takes.
Job done!.

22 January 2014 at 12:03  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Cressida

I always thought that the Trinity was Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

As you say, I really must get a new Bible.....

Phil

22 January 2014 at 18:49  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

22 January 2014 at 19:06  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Albert (version2)

What you are saying seems to be if you are bad, bad things happen, if you are good bad things happen.

Surely the logic is that the two are not connected. So it is pointless to be good to stop bad things happening in your life.

So you need to be good for another reason.

I would like a new Octavia RS. Does this mean that if I am good God will give me one? Further more if I am lucky enough to be able to afford one in the next few months, is this proof that I have been good?

My view is that you need to be good because you love God and want to please him. Not because of or the expectation of reward from God.

Neither should we expect sinners to be punished by God. Who are we to say that they are sinners anyway? We don't know their hearts and we don't know their life. Leave the judgments to God.

(Unless it is DanJo and his friends of course. It is OK to wind them up. Otherwise, what else would we do for amusement on this blog?)

Phil

22 January 2014 at 19:09  
Blogger Albert said...

Phil Roberts,

What you are saying seems to be if you are bad, bad things happen, if you are good bad things happen.

I cannot for the life of me see why you think I am saying that. The point I am trying to make is expressed by St Paul:

receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error.

Sin is, in a sense, its own punishment. Then, because one is working against nature by sinning, there are likely to be other consequences. Then God can add other punishments if he wishes. Conversely, virtue has the opposite effect. So a man who commits adultery messes up his life and that of his family. A man who is faithful strengthens the life of his family. Things may still go wrong, but at least that will be right.

My view is that you need to be good because you love God and want to please him. Not because of or the expectation of reward from God.

Well, that's a higher view of the motivation to be good, but I would add that the idea of reward is not absent from scripture and it does not undermine or sit in conflict with the suggestion I am making that being good may be a reward in itself and will make life more likely to flourish.

Neither should we expect sinners to be punished by God. Who are we to say that they are sinners anyway? We don't know their hearts and we don't know their life. Leave the judgments to God.

Well I agree with that, except to say that scripture seems quite clear on sinners being punished. However, in that regard we should all take St Paul's words to our own lips when he spoke of himself as the chief of sinners.

22 January 2014 at 22:24  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

If you believe in one God - explain the Trinity according to your Bible, Phil !

22 January 2014 at 23:37  
Blogger Len said...

God states quite clearly that He is One.
'The Trinity' does not appear as such in the bible although the Trinity can be discovered in the bible.

In fact the concept of the trinity has contributed towards Mohammad`s rejection of Christianity.
Muslims believe the Christian idea of the Trinity consists of The Father, the Mother (Mary), and the Son Jesus Christ.
Wonder where they got that idea from?.

23 January 2014 at 11:40  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

You are trying to provoke me into saying some very mean things to you Len. I am not taking the bait. Your arguments are ludicrous.All I can say is I hope you are deriving some inspiration from your cats and that you are caring for them diligently. All this hate in your soul is not doing them any good. You don't understand the sensitivity of these animals. Drop the Catholic hatred thing and your cats will benefit.

23 January 2014 at 13:55  
Blogger Len said...

Cressida, I am perfectly attuned to my cats I do however share their curiosity about things as well.
I started off as a High Anglican (probably more Catholic than some Catholics)
But then I became curious and started questioning Catholic doctrines( I know this is a cardinal sin in your outfit) but that`s just me...curious.
I don`t actually hate anyone (come close to it once or twice)but I do not like 'systems'(religious or otherwise) which set out to intentionally deceive people.

23 January 2014 at 15:34  
Blogger Albert said...

Len,

I do not like 'systems'(religious or otherwise) which set out to intentionally deceive people.

By which you mean the Catholic Church. How do you know that we set out intentionally to deceive people? Because we dare to teach differently from you.

So we must liars.

The fact that, as you well know from this blog, we Catholics are more than able to defend our teachings, does not alter this uncharitable judgement. We disagree with you, therefore, we must be intentionally deceiving people.

23 January 2014 at 17:26  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Cressida

The Trinity (Father Son and Holy Spirit)

Easier to say what the Trinity is not.

What I don't see the Trinity as three separate persons

What I don't see the Trinity as one person split into three. (The Trinity is not like a pie!)

I do see the Trinity as three faces of the same person. Like say a triangle based pyramid

I see the Trinity as existing from the beginning, before creation (or there would have been a time when god was incomplete)

The rest I leave to God to reveal or not!

Phil



23 January 2014 at 20:03  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Albert

The problem with your argument is that God makes use of sinners.


E.g.

If Jacob had not been a liar, he would not have left home,met Leah and Rachel and had a large family which ultimately gave us Jesus.

You could also think of David and Bathsheba and the are many others, even Judas played his part.

Clearly God does not want us to sin hence the 10 commandments, but can also make use of sin.

He also chooses not to remove sin from the world. So since we are told he has control over everything, he does not want us to sin but can use sin.


29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s will


Matthew 10:29-31

Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)

Note it is not him noticing the sparrow falling, but without him willing it.

So if we do sin we do so because God knows we will. At the same time he does not want us to do so, so it must be for a purpose. A paradox.

The alternatives are..

God could do something but does not because he does not care.

or

God is not all powerful

The wimpish God does not appeal, neither does the uncaring God. So I prefer the paradox

Phil

23 January 2014 at 20:19  
Blogger Albert said...

Phil Roberts,

The problem with your argument is that God makes use of sinners.

That's not a problem with my argument. As Joseph says to his brothers:

As for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

Just because God permits evil so that out if he can produce God (as Augustine says) does not mean evil is not evil. Evil is of its very nature harmful, that God brings good out of it is part of the infinite goodness of God, it says nothing at all about the significance of evil.

At the same time he does not want us to do so, so it must be for a purpose.

Mmmmm...I'm always wary of assuming God must do something or other. It seems to assume God's goodness is a copy of ours. As far as I can see, all God does it produce good. He could of course produce more good than he does, but there is no obligation on him to do so. As he is the highest good, there cannot be a standard higher than him to which he is obliged.

Personally, I think he does have a purpose in not producing more goodness, and this is found in Christ crucified, but I do not think God has to act that way. In fact, if I did, I would be limiting God's love. God's love is found in that he freely saves us. Oblige him, and he is only doing his duty. Recognise there is no obligation and we see perfectly, freely offered love. Thus, I think your paradox is a pseudo-paradox.

23 January 2014 at 22:02  
Blogger Albert said...

Phil Roberts,

I do see the Trinity as three faces of the same person. Like say a triangle based pyramid

Sounds like the modalist heresy to me!

23 January 2014 at 22:04  
Blogger Albert said...

Just because God permits evil so that out if he can produce God

Sorry, I mean of course, Just because God permits evil so that out if he can produce good

23 January 2014 at 22:05  
Blogger Len said...


Albert,
God gave a specific warning in His Word that the Catholic Church would change His laws as well as prophetic and other times.

The Ten Commandments were altered by the Catholic church as were many other things you know this but are prepared to defend your religion against the Word of God?.To try and prove your religion right and the Word of God wrong doesn`t seem a very honourable thing to do IMO.

24 January 2014 at 10:07  
Blogger Len said...

The Catholic Church calls all Protestants liars and curses them.(Hardly Christian Albert?)

'Heretics (those who are not members of the Catholic Church or who do not hold to Catholic doctrine) worship a God who is a liar, and a Christ who is a liar.” — St. Augustine, (quoted in “Patrologiae Cursus Completus: Series Graca”, by Fr. J. P. Migne, Paris: 1866, 42:207).

24 January 2014 at 10:10  
Blogger Albert said...

Len,

God gave a specific warning in His Word that the Catholic Church would change His laws as well as prophetic and other times.

Reference please.

The Ten Commandments were altered by the Catholic church

Example, please.

you know this but are prepared to defend your religion against the Word of God?.To try and prove your religion right and the Word of God wrong doesn`t seem a very honourable thing to do IMO.

That really is low and unworthy of you. I expect you either provide an example of my doing that or to withdraw it. After all, you've just mentioned the 10 Commandments, well, how about this one:

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.

The Catholic Church calls all Protestants liars and curses them.(Hardly Christian Albert?)

But the example you give does not say that.

Len, please don't bother replying to this post, unless you are (a) withdrawing what you have said or (b) prepared to provide sources for each of your claims.

24 January 2014 at 10:26  
Blogger Len said...

Albert,I would advise all Catholics to check out their religion to see how it compares to the Word of God.Don`t take my Word for it take God`s Word for it!.
I will give you one thing though Catholicism is a clever religion. As 'John Macarthur' said"Oh, they've got a clever system. How to preserve error. How to perpetuate error. Make heresy infallible. And the arch heretic unassailable, ir-reformable and absolutely authoritative".
Catholic Heresies,
http://www.thebabylonmatrix.com/index.php?title=911:Catholic_Heresies#Pagan_Origins_of_Catholicism

24 January 2014 at 10:46  
Blogger Len said...

The Catholic religion's "traditional way" of enumerating the ten commandments takes away the second commandment (against making images unto ourselves) and makes the 10th commandment into two commandments.

This is exactly what the Pharisees did by altering the scriptures to allow for their 'traditions'. “Jesus answered them, “How right Isaiah was when he prophesied about you! You are hypocrites, just as he wrote: 'These people, says God, honor me with their words, but their heart is really far away from me. It is no use for them to worship me, because they teach human rules as though they were my laws!' “You put aside God's command and obey human teachings.” And Jesus continued, “You have a clever way of rejecting God's law in order to uphold your own teaching.” e

24 January 2014 at 11:04  
Blogger Albert said...

What did I say, Len? Only reply if you are going to withdraw your comments or defend them. You have done neither - despite the fact that, on at least one of the points, the Ten Commandments seems to require you to do one or the other. Where does that leave you Len?

I would advise all Catholics to check out their religion to see how it compares to the Word of God.Don`t take my Word for it take God`s Word for it!.

I won't take your word for it Len! Why would I take the word of one who is so clearly violating the Ten Commandments? As for comparing my religion with the word of God, you of all people should know my knowledge of scripture, because you have fallen foul of it so many times before.

Speaking of which, from your link:

Rewritten doctrines Lucifer the Morning Star becomes the Christ under the Rome Rite

Christ being spoken of as "the morning star" is in the Bible, on the lips of Jesus in fact:

I Jesus have sent my angel to you with this testimony for the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star

So it would appear that it is you who is defending your religion against the word of God (indeed, against the Word of God himself). And interestingly you would seem to be defending yourself against the word of God precisely because you are defending yourself against Catholicism.

But again, if you can defend yourself, do so.

24 January 2014 at 11:14  
Blogger Albert said...

Len,

The Catholic religion's "traditional way" of enumerating the ten commandments takes away the second commandment (against making images unto ourselves) and makes the 10th commandment into two commandments.

The numbering of the Commandments is not clear in scripture and is not theologically significant. What matters is that all of the teaching is there. How do you know that your numbering is correct?

24 January 2014 at 11:19  
Blogger Frederic said...

"For if God spared not the angels that sinned... And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly." 2 Peter 2:4-6

"Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." Jude 1:7

24 January 2014 at 20:12  
Blogger Len said...

Albert try and find this in your catholic bible.

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them.

25 January 2014 at 09:11  
Blogger David Richards said...

"Thou shalt not make to thyself a graven thing, nor the likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, nor of those things that are in the waters under the earth. Thou shalt not adore them, nor serve them: I am the Lord thy God, mighty, jealous, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me:"

Exodus 20:4-5 in the Douay-Rheims. I don't know of any Bible more "Catholic" than that.

Likewise, while I am neither Catholic nor Protestant, I find it quite impressive that a quote from Augustine is supposed evidence of Catholic slurs against Protestants. Obviously his experiments in time travel never quite made it into The City of God.

You could still disagree with Catholic doctrines without ignoring that bit about false witness in Exodus 20 you know.

25 January 2014 at 13:34  
Blogger Len said...

If they know the scriptures why then do Catholics ignore them?.

25 January 2014 at 15:59  
Blogger Len said...

I am not at all surprised that the Catholic Douay-Rheims Bible has been 'doctored' to allow for Catholic practices.

This is Young`s literal translation from the Hebrew OT. 'Thou dost not make to thyself a graven image, or any likeness which is in the heavens above, or which is in the earth beneath, or which is in the waters under the earth. Thou shalt not make to thyself an idol, nor likeness of anything, whatever things are in the heaven above, and whatever are in the earth beneath, and whatever are in the waters under the earth. Thou dost not bow thyself to them, nor serve them: for I, Jehovah thy God, am a zealous God, charging iniquity of fathers on sons, on the third generation, and on the fourth, of those hating Me, Thou shalt not bow down to them, nor serve them; for I am the Lord thy God, a jealous God, recompensing the sins of the fathers upon the children, to the third and fourth generation to them that hate me, and doing kindness to thousands, of thos and bestowing mercy on them that love me to thousands of them, and on them that keep my commandments.

This is the Douay-Rheims Catholic 'version.'.
[4] A graven thing, nor the likeness of any thing: All such images, or likenesses, are forbidden by this commandment, as are made to be adored and served; according to that which immediately follows, thou shalt not adore them, nor serve them. That is, all such as are designed for idols or image-gods, or are worshipped with divine honour. But otherwise images, pictures, or representations, even in the house of God, and in the very sanctuary so far from being forbidden, are expressly authorized by the word of God. See Ex. 25. 15, and etc.; chap. 38. 7; Num. 21. 8, 9; 1 Chron. or Paralip. 28. 18, 19; 2 Chron. or Paralip. 3. 10.

(Can you see what Catholics have done?. They have nullified the Word of God by adding to it as the Pharisees did)

25 January 2014 at 16:36  
Blogger Albert said...

Oh dear Len,

You have made so many accusations, and that, after several days is the best you can do. As David has pointed out, you are simply wrong to think that the Command is not Catholic Bibles. Firstly, you haven't actually quoted the Douay-Rheims version, but merely a footnote. So here it is for a second time:

Thou shalt not make to thyself a graven thing, nor the likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, nor of those things that are in the waters under the earth. [5] Thou shalt not adore them, nor serve them: I am the Lord thy God, mighty, jealous, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me

Bizarrely, you have said we are nullifying the word of God, when the biblical authorisation for images comes from section you have quoted. Since you are evidently too lazy to open the Bible and read it, here are the quotations:

Ex 25.15 ff:
15The staves shall be in the rings of the ark: they shall not be taken from it.16 And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee.17 And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof.18 And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat.19 And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof.
20 And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be.


Numbers 21:

8 And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

1 Chron:

18 And for the altar of incense refined gold by weight; and gold for the pattern of the chariot of the cherubims, that spread out their wings, and covered the ark of the covenant of the LORD.19 All this, said David, the LORD made me understand in writing by his hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern.

2 Chron.

10And in the most holy house he made two cherubims of image work, and overlaid them with gold.11 And the wings of the cherubims were twenty cubits long: one wing of the one cherub was five cubits, reaching to the wall of the house: and the other wing was likewise five cubits, reaching to the wing of the other cherub.12 And one wing of the other cherub was five cubits, reaching to the wall of the house: and the other wing was five cubits also, joining to the wing of the other cherub.13 The wings of these cherubims spread themselves forth twenty cubits: and they stood on their feet, and their faces were inward.

Now given that these images are explicitly commanded by scripture (and reinforced by our Lord himself), how else can we interpret the Commandment except to say with the Douay footnote:

A graven thing, nor the likeness of any thing: All such images, or likenesses, are forbidden by this commandment, as are made to be adored and served; according to that which immediately follows, thou shalt not adore them, nor serve them. That is, all such as are designed for idols or image-gods, or are worshipped with divine honour. But otherwise images, pictures, or representations, even in the house of God, and in the very sanctuary so far from being forbidden, are expressly authorized by the word of God.

How then do you dare to rage against the word of God, Len? It is you who nullify the Word of God because you take away from it - as the Pharisees did.

25 January 2014 at 19:25  
Blogger Albert said...

Len, continued,

In any case, your original claim was to do with how Catholics number the Commandments. You haven't defended that - but I would point out that Luther agreed with us.

You haven't defended yourself against the charge of bearing false witness - something you have now repeated.

25 January 2014 at 19:26  
Blogger Len said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

26 January 2014 at 00:04  
Blogger Len said...

I can only repeat what I have already said.
Are you considering the ark of God a graven thing?.

graven image
n.
An idol or fetish carved in wood or stone.

So you Catholics continue to insult God.You 'argument' is no argument at all Albert.

26 January 2014 at 00:08  
Blogger Len said...

As I have already said Albert the cost of 'trying to prove' your religion is to make God a liar at worst and someone who cannot express Himself at best.

26 January 2014 at 00:12  
Blogger Len said...

Albert,So I suppose God was totally wrong to get angry when the Israelites made the golden Calf ?.
He should have congratulated them really?.
Your theology is so screwed up that I can only conclude that God has let you have the religion that you desire and left you to it.

26 January 2014 at 00:19  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Len, you are beginning to bark...

26 January 2014 at 00:40  
Blogger Len said...

Regarding the ark of the covenant and the bronzed serpent? The ark was never worshipped only the presence of God was, neither one of these were not objects to worship. The bronzed serpent was used once, and when Israel later used it (a number of times) they were punished.

2 Kings 18:3-4 Hezekiah did right in the sight of the Lord... He broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until then the Israelites had burned incense to it; but he called it Nehushtan (Amplified Bible). The very thing God had Moses make for the people to look upon to be healed, in time became a idol so that it was kept venerated. God used it for a single event but the people kept it as a souvenir.

26 January 2014 at 00:43  
Blogger Len said...

Inspector must be well past your bedtime.Nurse will be looking for you ,run along now .

26 January 2014 at 00:44  
Blogger William Lewis said...

UKIP have come out with their version of what's causing the weather

Kudos the Sunday Politics again.

26 January 2014 at 18:48  
Blogger Frederic said...

Sin separates us from God.

"Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness. None calls for justice, nor any pleads for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity." ISA 59 : 1-4

£And judgment is turned away backward, and justice stands afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. Yea, truth fails; and he that depart from evil makes himself a prey!(14-15)

A prey to the militant homosexual movement!

Cranmer knows that this is all about the SIN issue. Cranmer knows that sin separates us from God but he is reluctant to tell you!

26 January 2014 at 19:27  
Blogger Albert said...

Len

Are you considering the ark of God a graven thing?.

Please show where I said any such thing. All I have done is quote scripture on this issue.

So I suppose God was totally wrong to get angry when the Israelites made the golden Calf ?.

I think you've lost the thread of the argument. Just because something is an image, does not make it an idol. This is the only position you can take given the whole range of scriptural teaching.

The ark was never worshipped

Exactly. Who's defending objects being worshipped? You are assuming you understand Catholicism, but not understanding it.

27 January 2014 at 12:03  
Blogger Len said...

See Albert has surfaced and fired another [dud] torpedo.
I shall continue sailing unabashed and unafraid
See Ya!..

27 January 2014 at 13:23  
Blogger Albert said...

Len,

It is not a dud. I have argued nothing more than this: the biblical condemnation of idolatry is consistent with legitimate images. You haven't answered that point.

27 January 2014 at 14:00  
Blogger Len said...

I think I understand Catholicism better than most Catholics Albert.

1 February 2014 at 09:37  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1 February 2014 at 15:37  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1 February 2014 at 17:31  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2 February 2014 at 15:32  

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