Thursday, February 27, 2014

Bishop of Oxford: "There will be no witch-hunts in this diocese"

As Prime Minister David Cameron enters into tortuous negotiations with German Chancellor Angela Merkel about the future shape of Europe; and as Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson threatens to resign over certain secret assurances given to Irish Republican terrorists classified as "On The Run"; and as the Ukraine descends into a bloody civil war about historic matters of ethnicity, identity, religion, and whether or not Russia is more Christian and free than the EU; and as Syria (remember that?) pours out a vast sea of destitute and diseased humanity, where Christians are beheaded and mothers die in childbirth; spare a thought for Church of England as it continues to agonise over the House of Bishops Pastoral Guidance on Same Sex Marriage.

The Archbishop of Canterbury is trying to move on (with an ecumenical focus on social action projects), but the Bishop of Oxford has written a letter to his clergy in which he pours out his anguish and sorrow over the House of Bishops' statement, and explains his personal torment and the torture deep within his soul over the limbo caused by the statement. For Bishop John, civil partnership is not and can never be the same thing as marriage, and he has long trodden a narrow path which has pleased neither wing of the sexuality divide. It is not so much a question of sheep and goats, as which pasture is most conducive for spiritual grazing and where the theological grass is greener. But the inadequacy, ambiguity, obfuscation and internal contradictions contained in the Bishops' Dog's Breakfast Pastoral Guidance would do Sir Humphrey proud. For some, it comes as a great relief; for others, it is cruel and absurd. God reveals Himself in His Word, which requires exegesis, interpretation and a grasp of its fundamental Sitz im Leben. But the Bishops cloak Him in shadowy puzzlement and shroud the Word in smog. Doing theology in this context is nigh impossible.

This guidance permits the Church of England to begin the facilitated conversations that were advocated in the Pilling Report. There is no predetermined outcome, but the distrust and suspicion on both sides clouds understanding, makes prayer a profound spiritual struggle, and fellowship a depressing hassle. Here is Bishop John's letter to the clergy of the Diocese of Oxford in its entirety:
This is a very difficult part of the letter to get right. I know that what I write will be unacceptable to gay clergy who despair of the Church of England, and to conservatives who will see compromise looming. But I can’t not write about the Pastoral Letter and Appendix on Same Sex Marriage which emerged recently. I wish I could talk individually to everyone in order to engage properly and personally, but we all know this is impossible. I sit amongst many different loyalties and seek to honour as many of them as possible.

First I apologise for the tone of the letter (or rather the Appendix). It was written by committee and that is always bad news. This is a deeply personal issue, indeed a visceral one, and every word and inference is capable of harm. I hope it’s common ground that we are part of a Church which is called to real repentance for the lack of welcome and acceptance extended to gay and lesbian people. Nor have we listened well to those whose voice has not been heard, including the experience of those called to celibacy, those in committed same sex relationships, and clergy who have lovingly and sensitively ministered to gay couples over the years.

It was never going to be likely that the House of Bishops would change two thousand years of teaching during a day in February at Church House Westminster. The intention was to respond to a new legal situation in the context of a longer conversation in the Church about an issue which has theological, biblical, ethical, missiological and ecclesiological implications. This longer conversation is what the Pilling report has asked us to do and to which the College of Bishops is committed.

The House was also aware of a huge level of interest and concern from other parts of the Anglican Communion, and from other denominations and faith traditions. The Archbishop told us how in the previous few days, literally in the midst of corpses and tales of systematic rape, he had been quizzed by his African episcopal hosts about the Pilling Report, such was their anxiety.

The resulting letter and appendix is supposed to be a holding statement on the logical position of the House in the new situation, given the Church’s history and teaching – while the longer conversation goes on. The fact that this was done in a way which has caused dismay is a source of huge regret to me but that’s back to my first point above.

The longer conversation is one on which David Porter, the Archbishop’s Adviser on Reconciliation, is to give advice in three or four months, having worked on the task with a well-chosen group.

I appreciate that some are unwilling to participate in this process on the grounds that they believe the scriptural position is perfectly clear and ‘facilitated conversation’ can only mean an intention to change, while conversely others will be wary because they believe that to have participated in a process that didn’t in the end change anything might expose them to adverse treatment by bishops and/or others. Nevertheless, I dare to ask that we do enter the conversation with integrity and trust because we do need to seek God’s mind and heart, and we can’t do this without all of us being round the table and being honest with each other.

“I also know that many will be reluctant to examine the biblical material yet again. But the Bible is our core authority and issues of both exegesis and hermeneutical method are crucial. Let me be absolutely honest here. I don’t expect that many people will change their mind through this biblical exploration. I hope some might, because we must have the highest loyalty to truth, but in reality I don’t expect many to change their basic position.

“What I do very much hope, however, is that we can get to a point where we can respect the integrity of the biblical interpretation of others. I hope we can come to understand deeply why others take a different view, and to respect that conviction even though we disagree, perhaps profoundly. None of us is taking a cavalier attitude to biblical authority, but thoughtful, honest people can thoughtfully, honestly disagree.

“The task then becomes twofold: to discover how much we can agree on, and to learn how to disagree well on what we can’t agree on. Archbishop Justin often uses that phrase ‘disagree well’. So then the third question becomes whether we want to affirm that spectrum of honest belief or detach ourselves from it. I dearly want to keep intact the range and scale of the Church of England’s theology, and we will be grievously hurt by the loss of any from the richness of our calling and our reach in the nation’s life.

“As you will know from my statement on the website in December 2012 I have been very happy to affirm civil partnerships as a positive development which gives same sex couples the same rights and responsibilities as heterosexual couples. As that statement says, such relationships ‘are capable of the same level of love, permanence and loyalty as marriage, and I believe God delights in such qualities’.

“Nevertheless I believe that to say that civil partnership is the same thing as marriage is a category confusion. To use a musical image, nature has its ‘theme and variations’, both part of the music, but not the same thing. I have therefore looked for different ways of recognising two different patterns of relationship. I realise that that puts me at odds with most people on both ‘sides’ of the argument! And society has largely gone past that argument now anyway. The issue has become same sex marriage, though some may still want to opt for a form of civil partnership.

“So where do we end up? That’s just the point – we don’t know. The Pilling Report urges us to talk, and although it makes at least one recommendation about the recognition of a same sex relationship in a public service, its main recommendation is to talk and listen so that God may be heard. And that voice of God will undoubtedly be a gracious, gentle and challenging voice, just as I trust our conversations with each other will be marked by humility and grace.

“It’s quite clear that these conversations take place in a wider context of deep sexual confusion in society with everyone making up their own script, and the result is much chaos and pain. We have a responsibility to model something better in the way we handle principle and practice, disagreement and hope.

“As I wrote at the start, I’m sorry that the attempt by the House of Bishops to hold the ancient borders while the conversation goes on has proved so divisive in itself. The train crash was probably inevitable; the only question was when, where and involving how many. But be sure of this – there will be no witch-hunts in this diocese. We are seeking to live as God’s people, in God’s world, in God’s way. And we do that best as we stand shoulder to shoulder and look together at the cross, and at its heart see an empty tomb.”
It is almost a divine-human encounter - a psalm of lamentation, anguish, sorrow and penitence, in which Bishop John's supplicating heart is revealed for the world to mock, deride, spit upon and crucify. But the letter is honest: it is a mirror to a great many souls. The tragedy is that more bishops don't write such agonising letters about national political upheaval, or the unimaginable misery of persecution and the appalling bloodshed of war, tribulation and martyrdom.


Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

I sympathise on the agonising, but in the end if one truly valued biblical authority there must surely come a point - on any issue - where it becomes clear that certain arguments range beyond that authority. How does one faithfully appreciate an "interpretation" that relies on saying that clear biblical teaching has power no longer (the context approach) or never had power in the first place (the worldly morality approach) and still maintain that such positions are biblically authoritative?

Both lines of reasoning rely on the same assumption that a specific cultural age (our one) knows better than Scripture. Both, by necessity, fetter or reject biblical authority rather than permit themselves to be bound, changed and transformed by it.

27 February 2014 at 10:21  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

"...we do need to seek God's mind...' well, the Bible always works for me on that one.

27 February 2014 at 10:36  
Blogger William Lewis said...

Bishop of Oxford

"It’s quite clear that these conversations take place in a wider context of deep sexual confusion in society with everyone making up their own script, and the result is much chaos and pain. We have a responsibility to model something better in the way we handle principle and practice, disagreement and hope."

Doesn't the responsibility to model something better also include the correct use of sex? And wouldn't that be a better way of dealing with the problems correctly identified in the first sentence?

27 February 2014 at 10:38  
Blogger Meledor said...

A lot of people have been agonising recently - over why the bishops feel there is a need for facilitated conversations on something that the Bible is very clear on.

If the CofE does not remove false teachers it is finished as a church. Were that to happen that would really be something to agonise over.

27 February 2014 at 10:46  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Meledor @ 10:46

The Bible is clear. The problem is whether or not he Bible has authority.

Richard Dawkins dismissed it as "ancient scribblings." Bertrand Russell said we should not be fettered by the words issued long ago by ignorant men. Certain bishops are probably of the same sort of opinion.

Either the Bible is the timeless word of God, filtered through human minds, or it is not. Either we are in possession of a revelation, or we are not.

If we are not, then that is not an argument for tinkering with the message. That is an argument for starting anew on a basis of secular rationality, and for sweeping away the whole Christian paraphernalia.

Bishops included.

27 February 2014 at 11:11  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

we do need to seek God’s mind and heart

the Bible is our core authority and issues of both exegesis and hermeneutical method are crucial

we must have the highest loyalty to truth

27 February 2014 at 11:17  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

27 February 2014 at 11:17  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

The bishop wrote:

“I have been very happy to affirm civil partnerships as a positive development which gives same sex couples the same rights and responsibilities as heterosexual couples. As that statement says, such relationships ‘are capable of the same level of love, permanence and loyalty as marriage, and I believe God delights in such qualities’."

Fine, have a contractual partnership for the purposes of inheritance etc. But God delights in the expression of this "love" in same sex activities within such contractual relationships?

Happy Jack respectfully begs to differ. God surely does delight in love, permanence and loyalty - but homosexual sex? No, not according to Jack's understanding of the bible or to 2000 years of consistent teaching.

Unless God has changed His mind. Does God do this according to the times we live in? Or Jack supposes we may have become so 'enlightened' now that we realise we have been misunderstanding His word all this time.

Jack honestly doesn't see how there can be a 'via media' through this one or how all the "conversations" in the world will resolve it.

27 February 2014 at 11:33  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Your Grace

From quite early on, the letter was reading like an unusually well-developed exercise in fence-sitting: “I appreciate …”, “I dare to ask …”, “Let me be absolutely honest …”, “I don’t expect ,,,”, “ I hope …”, “I don’t expect …” (again), and so on.

And then comes this: “So where do we end up? That’s just the point – we don’t know.”

So why did the bishop go to the trouble of writing the letter in the first place? And, more to the point, why should anyone go to the trouble of reading it? Did Your Grace really spot something here that looked, even for a brief moment, as though it might have been of interest to your communicants? If so, what?

Or were you just making the point, clearly expressed (if I have understood you correctly) in your admirable concluding sentence, that it’s a great pity the bishop chose to waste his literary talent on a topic of zero importance, rather than addressing one or other of the numerous large-scale tragedies now being played out in the world around him but which have so far failed to catch his episcopal eye.

27 February 2014 at 11:39  
Blogger Time For Tea said...

If you don't have to be a Christian to get married in a CofE church, as shown on their website, why is it such a problem to have a SSM marriage ceremony there?

27 February 2014 at 11:42  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Time for Tea, Happy Jack believes it is because "marriage" is presently defined in the canon and liturgy of the Church of England as being a life long union between a man and a woman.

27 February 2014 at 11:53  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

I hope it’s common ground that we are part of a Church which is called to real repentance for the lack of welcome and acceptance extended to gay and lesbian people.

What does he mean by 'lack of welcome and acceptance?' if he means 'the willingness to act on the judgment that homosexuality is sin' then there is nothing for which to repent. Acceptance does not mean "I agree to submit myself to your understanding."

Nor have we listened well to those whose voice has not been heard, including the experience of those called to celibacy

Who would those be? He talks as if this is a private preference as opposed to a public requirement. Outside of marriage, everyone is called to celibacy. There is no equivalence partition between 'homosexuals called to celibacy' and 'homosexuals called to committed relationships.'

those in committed same sex relationships, and clergy who have lovingly and sensitively ministered to gay couples over the years.

If the ministry involves an affirmation of the committed same sex relationship, then it is not loving and sensitive.

What I do very much hope, however, is that we can get to a point where we can respect the integrity of the biblical interpretation of others

This cannot happen. The two positions preclude each other. Eventually someone has to set teaching and practice in the church. So the answer will come back from both sides "I can maybe respect the integrity of the other position so long as it remains privately held and my side sets the teaching and practice of the church." That's the Gordian knot.

There isn't an answer in conversation. Both sides enter it with no other agenda than to change the opinion of the other side. Neither side will move. What then is the point?


27 February 2014 at 12:01  
Blogger Meledor said...

Uncle Brian @11:39

"Or were you just making the point, clearly expressed ...that it’s a great pity the bishop chose to waste his literary talent on a topic of zero importance, rather than addressing one or other of the numerous large-scale tragedies now being played out in the world..."

If that is His Grace's point then this part of the bishop's letter addresses it perfectly:

"The Archbishop told us how in the previous few days, literally in the midst of corpses and tales of systematic rape, he had been quizzed by his African episcopal hosts about the Pilling Report, such was their anxiety."

Clearly a reference to church leaders in South Sudan. They have suffered terribly in recent weeks. I am grateful that, despite their own suffering, they can spare a thought for the suffering being brought on the church in England by the bishops' actions in adopting the Pilling Report. This clearly shows how serious the South Sudan church leaders view these developments.

27 February 2014 at 12:17  
Blogger David Hussell said...

This is a heartfelt plea for everyone to play together nicely, unity in diversity and all that stuff.

However the Scripture is clear, and so is 2000 years of Tradition, plus the wisdom contained in the Hebrew Bible. If you listen to the BBC's take on science (Reason) it says that SS attraction has a genetic root. Well perhaps, partly, but it doesn't explain all of it and there is mounting evidence that it is hugely culturally influenced. And desire is not the same thing as activity is it ?

I have the feeling that the Via Media, formerly a six (?) lane highway is about to be widened to a Los Angles style twelve lane freeway. One risk is that more travelers may be heading for the off-ramp soon, and that's not the worst risk by a long way.

27 February 2014 at 12:21  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...


Yes, agreed, but please note that the Bishop of Oxford is here quoting Archbishop Welby's words. At least in the excerpt that His Grace has given us here, the Bishop of Oxford has nothing of his own to say on the subject.

27 February 2014 at 12:27  
Blogger Ars Hendrik said...

On the one hand I absolutely agree with the sincerity of Bishop John's letter – he has clearly agonised in private and in prayer over this issue, which he knows will not be resolved without bitterness and anger.

The last paragraph of his letter reminds me of George Mackay Brown's 'Magnus', in which the Bishop of Orkney says the beautiful, timeless and reassuring words: "We who stand at the altars of Christ see history across a broken tomb.”

Then, like you, I cannot help but wonder why the real crises of the world are not similarly treated in such letters; or, if they are, why not so publically? The 'gay marriage' issue is, notwithstanding the passions it arouses, a side show of a side show, affecting only a handful of people. Compared to the slaughter and desolation we increasingly see in the world the treatment of homosexuals in the West does not merit to be described as persecution. Considering this, the angst expressed in the letter over this issue is unintentionally bathetic.

27 February 2014 at 12:40  
Blogger Meledor said...

Uncle Brian @12:27

Agreed. Unlike the South Sudan church leaders, neither Archbishop Welby nor the Bishop of Oxford have anything to say other than we should keep on saying it to each other - in the interests of 'respect' and 'affirming' and encouraging 'honest belief'.

27 February 2014 at 12:46  
Blogger Tim Hall said...

Dawkins and Russell were right....up to a point. Doubtless some of those ancient men (no women mind) were divinely inspired, but the one who wrote that "God hates homosexuals" (remember that bit?) surely wasn't.

Polkinghorne writes of the need to be utterly rational in ones faith and not feel the need to believe 100 impossible things before breakfast. If the original creative impulse for our Universe was a loving God, then such a God cannot ,logically, hate homosexuals, regardless of what the Bible might emphatically state. Simply going back to scripture cannot help.

27 February 2014 at 13:05  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Ars Hendrik

Sincerity of belief is (along with the skulls of bishops) paving stone on the road to hell. Sincerity counts for nothing. Right belief is everything.

This bishop is sincerely trying to find some way for the church he helps lead to reconcile itself with sin. He is doing so for the sake of temporal unity and at the cost of those he would affirm in a destructive life.

That's a fearsome cost for the sake of sincerity.


27 February 2014 at 13:07  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Carl, Happy Jack agrees with you. He remembers reading somewhere that "error has no rights".

In this matter it is a choice between error and truth. How can there can be a compromise?

27 February 2014 at 13:20  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

If only John the Baptist could have written such a nice letter he would have had a much quieter life and a less painful death.

27 February 2014 at 13:24  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Lucy @ 13:24

Same goes for Christ.

27 February 2014 at 13:30  
Blogger Ars Hendrik said...

Carl, Jack,

I think the bishop realises that, which is why he is so uncertain. I don't envy him.

As for the road to Hell - I remember Jesus telling those in authority that publicans and harlots would be welcomed into Heaven in front of them. Makes you think.

27 February 2014 at 13:32  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Tim Hall

the one who wrote that "God hates homosexuals" (remember that bit?) surely wasn't

No, I don't remember that. Could you perhaps point it out?

Otherwise, your rational conception of faith reduces to "The parts I agree with are divinely inspired.". But who are you then but the revelator? And what criteria do you use to make these determinations? Reason is a process that must be informed. It is not a standard in and of itself. So what first principles inform your reason and where did they come from?


27 February 2014 at 13:37  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Tim Hall:

Interesting thoughts. Three responses occur to me.

1. Not all ancient ideas date in the same way. Aristotle's politics have not dated like his physics. His theory of tragedy is still bang up to date.

2. As Carl says, what are your criteria for deciding who was inspired and who wasn't? And what is your understanding of 'inspiration'?

3. The biblical view is that nature and human nature have alike been spoiled in some way. Both are not the way they are meant to be. Ultimate restoration of both lies in the future.

27 February 2014 at 13:48  
Blogger The Explorer said...


Meant to add, I respect the humane intention underlying your post.

27 February 2014 at 14:10  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

A point that has often fallen by the wayside for me is that people talk about listening to gay people, and that is excellent, but there feels as if there is an assumption that that will make one change from identifying with their angst.

Now I regard identification as a double edged sword. It produces some lovely results, but you have only to see Judges who seem to have identified with a male adult, and forgotten what it feels like to be a child (cf. Dickens who never forgot, for instance), and consequently passed absurdly light sentences on downloaders of thousands of pictures of child porn, to see that we must stand above and beyond our identifications.

I would like to see male Bishops who identify with children and women as much as they identify with men; that is rare. I would also suggest that if you advertise "no witch hunts in this area" it encourages anyone who thinks they may be perceived as "witch" to seek refuge there, and this is less than entirely wise in the wake of Chichester, and after Cameron's comment which clearly covered paedophiles.

Furthermore two of the last four Christian gay men I spoke to (off this blog) spoke at some length at the frustration and anger and strong dislike of their mothers, (who were strong domineering people) in a social setting. Now if church people are truly listening, they will see the need for healing and forgiveness before unhelpfully affirming a block to being free to appreciate women, which would not be true kindness at all. Frankly often they are far too keen to be PC to hear what people are really saying at all, let alone to help them onwards, so PC in fact that if someone is a casebook case showing everything Freud listed, they have programmed themselves into not noticing at all even if it is dangling there in front of their noses.

27 February 2014 at 14:14  
Blogger Anglican said...

The Bishop wrote:
“Nevertheless I believe that to say that civil partnership is the same thing as marriage is a category confusion."

But now that the barriers surrounding marriage have been knocked down, a civil marriage becomes, in effect, a civil partnership (recognised by the state), though confusingly still called ‘marriage’. In the sacred name of ‘equality’ there is now no logical reason why there should not be ‘marriage’ between more than two people, or between close relatives - father & daughter (or son), mother & son (or daughter), brother & sister. Truly those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad.

27 February 2014 at 14:18  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

It is also extraordinary that lawmakers would think they could fiddle with semantics whilst being wholly lamentably ignorant of the very basics of the study of semantics. Surely there must have been a few who studied language? Though maybe these were dissentient or had simply forgotten the very basics of what they had learnt.

Certainly by design, naivety, coincidence or a mixture of these the Frankfurt School is having its grisly way.

27 February 2014 at 14:27  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Ars, @ 13:32, yes and Happy Jack agrees too. But Jesus also said people had to be born again of water and the spirit.

27 February 2014 at 14:30  
Blogger Busy Mum said...

Tim Hall,
"the need to be utterly rational in ones faith"
A contradiction in terms! Faith,by definition, is irrational.

The Bible describes faith as 'the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen'.(Hebrews 11)
This tallies pretty well with my OED definitions of 'complete trust, confidence; belief, especially without logical proof.'

Paul also writes that 'hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?' Romans 8

So all the different 'faiths' of the world are all hoping for different things hereafter and believe that their own version of the afterlife is true, though nobody on earth can prove their own faith - because it's irrational.

27 February 2014 at 14:38  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

27 February 2014 at 14:47  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

The Explorer

Aristotle's [. . .] theory of tragedy is still bang up to date.

I may have mentioned this before. If so, forgive me. In this connection, in case you haven't yet had the pleasure, allow me to recommend, with the warmest possible enthusiasm, a short story by Jorge Luis Borges entitled "Averroes's Search". It's in the Penguin collection of Borges stories, Labyrinths, first published in 1970.

27 February 2014 at 14:47  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

Thanks to dear Bishop John’s honesty, I can see our suffering Christian brethren in Africa grappling with the big question that is once again swerved here - a question that they at least want to answer, in marked contrast to the liberal wallowings of English bishops & clergy.

Why bother? Why suffer? Why not take arms against the sea of troubles, and by opposing end them? The contrast between African bishops at the sharp end and an Oxonian bishop farming sheep couldn't be more marked. No-one in the Diocese of Oxford is on the verge of picking up a machete and forming a militia to defend the family and the town of Chipping Norton. Perhaps he feels that too and seeks to use it to shore up his position, but without giving an application.

Doesn't anyone else see the connection that the hope of the suffering church depends on whether Christ's words are true, and whether the Bible is a reliable and timelessly understandable record of those words? The biggest enemy of that hope is not the man with a machete or AK-47, but the safe liberal hand-wringer from England who can afford to let his or her colleagues' doctrinal wheels spin without engagement.

I suggest that's why those African bishops asked those questions. Yes - to an Englishman we might wonder why they're obsessing about trivial matters like human sexuality, when there's a threat to life, but they have their priorities right, where the English largely haven't. It's not a matter of threat to this life - they're rightly more concerned about the threat to the next - an almost completely absent concept in the discussion in this country. They are concerned that the Bible is being manipulated to reverse its meaning, a stunt that can be applied to work on everything including the resurrection that was mentioned at the end of the letter. I’m sorry, some people are taking a cavalier attitude to Biblical authority, and not to say so is untruthful. It’s insane to believe in the unity of polar opposites – it’s unscriptural to think that light and darkness can co-exist. It’s naïve to think that everyone ‘in’ the Anglican church is a Christian. It’s insulting

Apologies, your Grace, for going on a bit there - I just haven't seen that eternal concept or priority recognised. It's all about everyone being happy and fulfilled in this life – that the sufferings of this life are worthy to be compared to the glory that is to be revealed.

For those reasons, I wouldn't really agree that the subject of human sexuality is a sideshow of a sideshow, nor with the patronising view of the African bishops’ priorities that this oft-repeated statement infers.

27 February 2014 at 14:58  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

Delete 'it's insulting' from para 4 - that's quite enough ranting...

27 February 2014 at 15:01  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

As a point of pure comical interlude, before resuming the serious stuff, I can see why a Bishop would like a picture of himself with a crook amongst the sheep.

But I wonder whether anyone thought that the sheep are looking a bit mucky, in a muddy pen, hungry looking, and shying right away from the Bishop who they are looking at suspiciously as if he were a dangerous interloper. Perhaps they represent the parish clergy!!

Were they Oxford sheep or another breed?

27 February 2014 at 15:18  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

"We are seeking to live as God’s people, in God’s world, in God’s way. And we do that best as we stand shoulder to shoulder and look together at the cross, and at its heart see an empty tomb."

.... surely if we want to live God's way then we also read scripture and live by God's revealed will and laws?

Jesus never said: "Make sure when you preach that you never speak about sin - that is too divisive. You must not offend people" or "Tolerate one another as I have tolerated you."

27 February 2014 at 16:05  
Blogger Time For Tea said...

Happy Jack, I've just been and had a look at the CofE Cannons and relating marriage I came across this statement which I think is more relevant to the point I should have been driving at. I admit my earlier post was lazy:

'3. It shall be the duty of the minister, when application is made to him for matrimony to be solemnized in the church of which he is the minister, to explain to the two persons who desire to be married the Church's doctrine of marriage as herein set forth, and the need of God's grace in order that they may discharge aright their obligations as married persons.'

I then popped back to the wedding section of the CofE website where is says:

'Thinking of a church wedding?

Congratulations! You're welcome to marry in church whatever your beliefs, whether or not you are christened and whether or not you regularly go to church.'

What I can't reconcile is that on the one hand it emphasises the duty to explain the 'need of God's grace' but then says nothing about the acceptance of that grace before carrying allowing those vows to be made between the two parties.

If someone doesn't believe in God (and not just any god), should we be allowing them to marry in church? We worship a God who delights in keeping His promises and expects us to keep the ones we make to Him. We are exhorted not to make them lightly. So it's not for any selfish reasons we shouldn't encourage it. It seems to me terribly unfair to let couples make a promise not only to each other, their friends and families but also to a God, whom they don't know. They have then bound themselves into something that if they break, they won't just have offended those there present who cherished their union but they will also have offended Him in whose house and in front of whom they made those promises, and they won't even know it!

I appreciate and fully believe that only God can know a mans heart, it just feels hypocritical to say 'we'll marry you no matter what you believe...unless that's a homosexual union you want'.

27 February 2014 at 16:13  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Ian Cad would probably have something to say about this picture.

27 February 2014 at 16:35  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Time for Tea, Happy Jack is not a member of the Church of England so cannot help you. He understands the points you are making.

Is a marriage a Christian marriage without church vows and a belief in God? A problem, as Jack understands it, is that by law the Church of England is obliged to offer marriage (unless the couple have been divorced) and baptism to all those who ask.

27 February 2014 at 16:36  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Explorer, no jokes about kilts and zippers, Jack hopes. These are refined Oxford sheep.


27 February 2014 at 16:38  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Happy Jack

"Carl, Happy Jack agrees with you. He remembers reading somewhere that "error has no rights"."

I know who said it originally. I know which right wing Catholic blog quoted it in the last week. Might want to be a bit careful, or everyone will start thinking you're Dodo again (who greatly admired said blogger) :)

27 February 2014 at 17:02  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Mr Belfast,

Well long time no see, where have you been? Welcome back and good to see you back!

27 February 2014 at 17:12  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Lucy Mullen,

As you've commented on the photo, do you (or anyone else) know why Bishops have sheep crooks anyway,as they aren't farmers as such, is it to do with the time when they were landowners? Also why do Cardinals wear Kippahs, but not the Parisoners?

27 February 2014 at 17:15  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Happy Jack @ 16:38

I shall exercise Oxford-style restraint, and say no more.

27 February 2014 at 17:16  
Blogger Preacher said...

The CofE is quite simply at the crossroads. Follow the teaching of God, or sell out for the sake of peace & quiet.
Fear is the deciding factor & this is what the church leaders in the countries where our brethren are being murdered daily for their unwavering faith can sense.

I feel that it's time to stand up & be counted, is it God or man that the Bishops follow.
Let those that choose man leave & seek other employment & those that follow God prepare themselves for war.
Scripture tells us that our enemy is spiritual & we know he is a liar & has no rules, so it will be a hard fought campaign.
ALL have sinned & fallen short of the glory of God. But ALL sinners have an invitation to be part of the Church of God. But repentance is a necessity not an option.
We all still sin, but look to God's grace & mercy shown through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on Calvary to cover us as we admit & confess those sins in contrition to Him.

The choice is up to the individual but the Church must lead mankind to make the right choice.

27 February 2014 at 17:20  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Ah, beware of Oxford, home of the Puseyites and Tractarians...turn instead towards Cambridge and those stalwarts of the Reformation, Hooper and Ridley. Those men had backbone, but this seems no longer mandatory in the CofE ('tis true my Lord the Bishop has very little backbone himself, though I make up the deficit threefold). Dear Happy Jack, you are not an Anglican? Well now, we can sort that out for you right away. I am sending Mr Slope up to Durham armed with some helful tracts: 'Anglicanism and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,' The Good Rood Guide' and 'The 39 Steps-to Lambeth.'

27 February 2014 at 17:38  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

From the post earlier

"Clearly a reference to church leaders in South Sudan. They have suffered terribly in recent weeks. I am grateful that, despite their own suffering, they can spare a thought for the suffering being brought on the church in England by the bishops' actions in adopting the Pilling Report. This clearly shows how serious the South Sudan church leaders view these developments"

Of course it matters deeply to the church leaders in South Sudan. If the Bible's teaching on homosexuality is wrong then its teaching on murder, compassion, theft, is also in question.

We live in a country where there is a rule of law (sort of).

They do not. I am sure that there are Anglicans there who reason that if the Bible can sanction homosexual weddings then probably God is not going to mind too much about a bit of theft and the odd murder, particularly as there is a good reason. Like we need to feed out families and they have food, medicine etc and we do not.

Shall we have facilitated conversations about agreeing to murder, rape and theft?

Not quite yet, but maybe not as far away as we might think


27 February 2014 at 17:43  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ david k

The shepherd's crook signifies that he is an undershepherd of the flock. It goes something like this;
1. The Lord is my shepherd. We all look up to Him.
2. The Bishop is the under shepherd. The Lord looks down on him, but the suffragan bishop looks up to him.
3. The suffragan bishop is the under under shepherd who looks up to both of these but down on the Rectors and Vicars.
4. The Rectors and Vicars are the under under under shepherds (who do with the curates and keen younger people like youth workers most of the pastoral work) so they don't get a crook.
5. The curates are undershepherds to the power of 4, and would be the bottom were it not for the Readers, youth workers, lay assistants and lay anything else who look up to all the rest, and have a crick in the neck rather than a crook in the left hand.

with apologies to John Cleese and the two Ronnies and anyone who isn't feeling a trifle flippant!!

As for the Kippah I don't know that but sure our RC friends will know.

27 February 2014 at 17:45  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

I didn't realise that Welby had written this piece on Sudan.

It goes to show that he is both naive a complete idiot. Far worse that Williams and I would not have thought that possible.


27 February 2014 at 17:47  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

The only important sentence in this letter is the sentence highlited in the title of the post:

But be sure of this – there will be no witch-hunts in this diocese.

In other words "No one is going to be disciplined in accordance with the bishop's statement regarding clergy entering gay marriage." All the angst and hand-wringing is naught by smoke and fulmination. Because, very soon, facts are going to be established on the ground and most bishops aren't going to lift a finger to prevent it. Homosexual clergy in the CoE will enter into gay marriage and dare the leadership to do something about it - safe in the knowledge that leadership has no intention of doing anything about it. Once gay marriage is shown to be tolerated most places in the CoE, it will become impossible to apply discipline for it any place in the CoE. The battle is essentially lost.

So, what then of all this hand-wringing and talk of facilitated conversation and "good disagreement." It is all intended to find some way of keeping conservatives (and their money, and their children, and did I mention their money?) from leaving. What's coming cannot be stopped. The bishops don't have the will to stop it. But they would just as soon not go bankrupt in the process. So they want to "talk." The outcome of the talks may not be predetermined. But the outcome of the church's practice has already been decided. The "talks" are intended to get the recalcitrants to reconcile themselves to that reality. It won't work.

The Great Divide is coming. It probably can't be stopped at this point. And this is a good thing. The established CoE has become a captive of the Baals, and it has no desire to be set free. Let the believer come forth from it, and leave it to its corruption.

And smack your sandals on the doorpost for good measure.


27 February 2014 at 17:53  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Mrs Proudie @ 17.38

May I be so bold as to also suggest that I supplement Happy Jack's Anglican education by adding a few vital tracts of my own, to your most excellent and cunningly selected doctrinal readings?

I had in mind, "The Spiritual Significance of the Round Tower Churches of East Anglia", and "Revealed : The True Reasons why Bishop"s Vestments have Thirty Nine Buttons". After all that he may wish to peruse, "The Climatological Correlations of Anthropogenic Global Warming and On-Line Swearing". What do you think ?

27 February 2014 at 18:01  
Blogger Len said...

The are two(yes only two!) Christian churches running parallel courses.

One is the persecuted Church (the Body of Christ)which has survived throughout the centuries despite repeated attempts to eliminate it or to corrupt it.These methods( to eliminate or to corrupt) are satanic methods to' either remove or to disqualify the testimony of Christians and therefor to remove the threat that Bible believing Christians present to this satanic World system.

This corrupt false Christian Church is morphing into the last days apostate church which will present herself to the Lord with soiled garments and full of abominations proclaiming herself to be the' one true bride'.
It is only then that those who have chosen to believe the lie above God`s Truth will realise their error and that they have been lied to by those they chose to put their faith in.This will also apply to the secular world and their faith based religion..'. Secular Humanism'.
Jesus Christ the true Shepherd is the Head of the Body which is His 'Church'.
It is time (as the Preacher says)to make choices... either Life(which is Only IN Christ Jesus) or death.

27 February 2014 at 18:03  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Dear David, what a splendid selection of uplifting tracts - should Happy Jack burn the midnight oil whilst reading these he will surely come to the fold. I would also add Mr. Slope's very own 'My Nightly Intercessions' and 'A Choirboys Guide to Muscular Christianity.'

27 February 2014 at 18:27  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Sister Tiberia, Happy Jack says that comment was so uncalled for, especially after he advised you about plain chocolate digestive biscuits.

Mrs Proudie, Happy Jack looks forward to the delivery of said books. Spring and Summer will be here soon and he will do his best to give them his full attention before the streets call.

Was "helful tracts" a spelling error - or are you telling Jack something?

Will Slope expect a tip of some sort?

David H, too many big words in those books for Happy Jack but he appreciates your interest in his spiritual development.

27 February 2014 at 18:33  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

I say Archbishop, that’s a rather splendid picture of pastoral care in action. All bishops could do worse than to arrange their own picture taken in a similar setting to be hung over their fireplace. To keen the mind to the essential mission, what !

Perhaps that would shake these fellows out of their navel gazing and derived distress about people of the same sex who cohabitate. It happens. So does wife beating, husband beating and child abuse, mental, physical and sexual. There are also parishioners who kick the cat. Does the CoE have to formulate a policy for each of these and more, and agonise over the right words to be said and approach taken ?

You see, at the end of the day, there is only one approach a priest can take in any of these situations. And that is what Christ would have done. He would have said “Go, sin no more”. That’s it. That’s all he would do. He wouldn’t have threatened them with the disciples, though an interesting thought that would be. And wouldn’t have thought he would have rolled his eyes either. He would just walk away. But in doing so, he wouldn’t have made a fuss. He wouldn’t have invited the apostles to a convention on sin. No point, it’s not anything to determine. It’s already worked out for us.

It is somewhat inconceivable that Christ did not come across homosexuality in his day. In a time when slavery was part of life, there would have been catamites aplenty, and no doubt secret liaisons between married men that way inclined. And this during an age when all you did in the evening was drink wine if you had it, and sit and talk. There could have been few secrets or situations not known to each and all. Yet Jesus said nothing about it, but come to that, he didn’t make a scene over prostitution, or adultery, though he was minded to save an adulteress’ life.

Christ realised how we live, our peculiarities, our failings, and to be honest, he did not show surprise over it. And when he came upon it, his attitude was ‘know the way of the father’. And with homosexuality, that’s all he could say. He certainly wasn’t going to applaud a couple for a noble stand. If that was Christ’s approach, exactly what is the CoE doing pulling it’s hair out over it today ?

27 February 2014 at 18:43  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

More thought. It appears to this man that Christ was much more understanding and forgiving of the human condition in general than we give him credit for. He was certainly way ahead of a multitude of ‘good’ Christians by a long way. And it makes sense that it is like that. As part of the divine, albeit that was not over obvious to him while he was alive on earth, in a way that this man will never fully understand and never will, it would be at odds if he derided humanity for it’s existence. It having taken many prototype species to arrive at the present homo sapiens sapiens.

Of recognisable ‘modern’ humans, that is ‘homo’, we seem to come in at Mark XVII, not just counting in line, but dead end branches too, but it is far from clear. But we are, for all our faults or sins as some would have it, the remarkable story so far. We are however weak and prone to illness and disability. And what is homosexuality if not a disability. So with this in mind, we welcome the homosexual as part of God’s creation as we would the cripple. But just as we don’t celebrate the cripple and glorify in his condition, neither should we for the homosexual. The homosexual for his part should not take advantage of our concern for him to demand special considerations. He must realise his place, and that is behind the fruitful family. That is the way of the hierarchy, and we all have our place in it.

27 February 2014 at 18:44  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Lucy Mullen, David Kavanagh

That’s an interesting question you ask, David, about the Catholic kippah, which seems to have no specific ecclesiastical name in English. It’s usually just called a skull-cap, though sometimes people call it by the French name, calotte, and sometimes also, though less correctly, by the Italian word biretta, which properly designates a more elaborate affair, like a square brimless hat with three small wing-shaped projections on top. The skull-cap is said to have evolved from a larger form of head covering worn in the Middle Ages to keep priests’ shaven heads warm in unheated churches. These days the colour-coded skull-cap seems to serve mainly as a badge of rank: white for the pope, red for cardinals, purple for bishops. The same colours apply to birettas. In a fairly recent past ordinary priests also wore birettas, which in their case were black.

27 February 2014 at 18:46  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Dear Happy Jack, I fear St Peter not only holds the keys to Heaven, he has some of my laptop keys as well! Yes, 'helful' was indeed a for giving Mr Slope a tip, I caution against it. He'd only want more...

27 February 2014 at 19:01  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Back into a more serious mode, Happy Jack please forgive my occasional nonsenses,

Fueled by the SS debate, amongst other things, GAFCON, the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, which I support, gathers momentum.

The orthodox Anglican Christians of the global south, especially in Africa, remain grateful to the Mother Church, as they see it, who sent missionaries from England to convert Africa. Their response is to encourage the remaining Anglican orthodox in the UK, many of which are in groups such as Reform and Anglican Mainstream. Monthly pastoral letters are issued by the Chairman, one of the Archbishops. For any Anglicans reading this blog who are interested they are available on the GAFOCN website. They are very considered, affirming Scriptural truth, on all subjects.

27 February 2014 at 19:02  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

The plain chocolate digestives were very good advice :)

27 February 2014 at 19:05  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Lucy Mullen,

Ah thank you for that explanation re the Bishops cock.

27 February 2014 at 19:08  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Inspector @ 18:44

Some heavy stuff there.

I'm not going to tackle equating the homosexual with the cripple, but I am not clear about this "part of God's creation".

Would God have intended cripples in an unfallen world the way He would have intended, say, lions; or are cripples the result of a corrupted Nature?

I have three thoughts on this.

1. When Christ encountered cripples, he invariably healed them. He did not tell them their condition was part of the divine plan.

2. The medical profession, following Christ's example, does what it can to alleviate when it cannot fully cure. It does not say that disability does not need treatment.

3. Paul's hope of the resurrection body, in which that which ahs gone wrong will be put right.

27 February 2014 at 19:11  
Blogger The Explorer said...

'has', even

27 February 2014 at 19:11  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Uncle Brian,

Thanks for that explanation. To us it is about men keeping their head covered, just wondered if that applied to Catholics/Anglicans! I was also wondering about the colour co-ordination of the various 'skull caps', so that also answers a question I hadn't asked, but wanted to know.

I was intrigued by the discussion you had yesterday about the names of the week to answer some of these questions (I thought it was to do with the Vikings? e.g. Thor's day is Thursday). Last week we went on a family trip to Yorkvik you see...

27 February 2014 at 19:13  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Happy Jack,

Hope your not dishin' Sister Tibs.... I think she was trying to do what Carl tried to do for you yesterday...

27 February 2014 at 19:14  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...


Don't bother.

I remember having a discussion with Inspector about 'cripples' a few years back, as one of my sons is disabled (Down syndrome) and his view didn't seem particularly 'Christian' regarding disability.

27 February 2014 at 19:17  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...


27 February 2014 18:43 and 18.44

Well said!


27 February 2014 at 19:32  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Explorer and David

Jesus healed the cripple if you remember that had put his faith in the pool rather than God. Even after healing the cripple still seems rather lukewarm about Jesus immediately ratting on him to the Jewish leaders.

Anyway the point is... what did Jesus say to him when he met him a second time?

"See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you." NIV


27 February 2014 at 19:40  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Explorer. Nothing sinister there at all, one can assure you. Unlike many who whine about the physical ills in this world which, if there be a God who cares, would not exist, this man appreciates the mechanics involved are subject to failure at times. One immediately thinks of David Attenborough, whose atheism apparently stems from being in the company of African children who were going blind due to a worm eating their eyeballs. How could such a loving God exist to allow that to happen being the question. The answer is that we are obliged to fit in with a nature that pre-existed before we did. We also have to survive in a world that can be fairly hostile to humanity at times, whether it be in the womb, or in the jungle.

David Kavanagh. You burst upon Cranmer’s scene some years ago in a quite bellicose manner. It would not surprise at all, at the time, that you took the wrong end of the stick. One’s own views in this area have not changed since then, but hopefully, your reception of them has...

Phil. Good of you to say. Keep up your inspired work old chap...

27 February 2014 at 19:50  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ David K

Some of us refer to John ch. 9 for our views on disability. "did this man sin or did his parents that he was born blind." I guess there has always been an LCD religiosity that has tried to blame people, and in fact I have spoken to Buddhists who believe it is punishment for what someone did in a previous life, which is just awful. Christ answered with a "no" and a healing, so certainly any approach which plonks blame around or shows no compassion or doesn't help practically both child and parent fails to mirror Christ and is therefore not Christian.

In addition we all know love and trust and a lack of subterfuge are a hallmark of Down's syndrome and that in this way they teach us and hold us to higher standards. And remind us that Love is what it is all about which we cleverer folk so can so easily forget. I know something of how much work bringing up a disabled kid is and how few even begin to understand that, and how exhausted parents can get, so the last thing you need is any discouragement.

Re your previous post, may I reiterate it was the Bishop's crook, not your typo. Wow, you'll get me excommunicated, man, if you're not careful (and if the C of E could bring herself to do anything that definitive!!)

27 February 2014 at 19:52  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

David Kavanagh

is the expert on the days of the week question. It was only after learning from him, one day last week, about the Seventh Day Adventists’ arguments in favour of restoring Saturday as the Christian day of worship that I became interested in the question and started doing a bit of googling. At some uncertain date, apparently around the time Constantine put an end to the persecution of Christians, the Church adopted, for its internal use, a non-pagan set of names for the days of the week, which were, in fact, a straightforward translation of the Hebrew names (second day, third day, and so on, with Sabbatum for Saturday). The sole exception was the first day, which was renamed Dies Dominica, the Lord’s day, whence domingo in Spanish, domenica in Italian, and so on.

27 February 2014 at 20:05  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

David K, Happy Jack is on friendly terms with Sister Tiberia and would never disrespect a lady.

Besides, what business is it of yours anyway? Do not adopt a "bellicose manner" with Jack, Sir.


27 February 2014 at 20:13  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Inspector @ 19:50

Thanks for that. A worm that eats the eyeballs of children, though, is a pretty good argument against a loving God.

Darwin, after all, was appalled by the ichneumon wasp that paralyses a caterpillar before laying its eggs: the emerged larvae feeding on the still-living host. As he put it, what sort of mind would think up a process like that? (If you're going to argue for a Creator.)

If Nature is as delivered from the hand of God, then these are real issues.

If Nature is not as intended (the groaning creation) and if Nature is to be re-made in the New Heaven/New Earth, then these problems dissipate a little. What seems cruel IS cruel.

Such an explanation would not satisfy Attenborough, but it certainly helps me.

27 February 2014 at 20:35  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Sister Tiberia, Happy Jack is pleased you find plain chocolate digestive biscuits a source of relaxation.

As an emergency, for exceptionally stressful times, Jack keeps a supply od Fry's Chocolate Creams (original plain). A sweet fondant centre is covered in dark, bitter chocolate.

Jack confesses, he sometimes manufactures a 'crisis' so he can justify having the odd one.

27 February 2014 at 21:21  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Are you spurning my hobnobs now, Happy Jack?

27 February 2014 at 21:27  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Mrs Proudie, Happy Jack would share a hobnob with you anytime, my dear woman.

27 February 2014 at 22:08  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Explorer. Would it be fair to say you are expectant on a British middle class existence ? No serious illness, knowing you will be housed and fed until you die. Never having seen a dead body, as the majority today haven’t including this man. We have created a sophisticate existence for ourselves, at least those who have been clever enough have. Nature’s trials are of little compared to areas where Boko Haram stalk.

Oddly enough, the Inspector didn’t expect to sail through life without difficulty, and, finding himself on his own in his mid fifties along with S.A.D.. he has not been otherwise convinced...

27 February 2014 at 22:14  
Blogger Harry-ca-Nab said...

Antichrist, or the Reunion of Christendom: An Ode

Are they clinging to their crosses,
F. E. Smith,
Where the Breton boat-fleet tosses,
Are they, Smith?
Do they, fasting, trembling, bleeding,
Wait the news from this our city?
Groaning "That's the Second Reading!"
Hissing "There is still Committee!"
If the voice of Cecil falters,
If McKenna's point has pith,
Do they tremble for their altars?
Do they, Smith?

Russian peasants round their pope
Huddled, Smith,
Hear about it all, I hope,
Don't they, Smith?
In the mountain hamlets clothing
Peaks beyond Caucasian pales,
Where Establishment means nothing
And they never heard of Wales,
Do they read it all in Hansard --
With a crib to read it with --
"Welsh Tithes: Dr. Clifford answered."
Really, Smith?

In the lands where Christians were,
F. E. Smith,
In the little lands laid bare,
Smith, O Smith!
Where the Turkish bands are busy
And the Tory name is blessed
Since they hailed the Cross of Dizzy
On the banners from the West!
Men don't think it half so hard if
Islam burns their kin and kith,
Since a curate lives in Cardiff
Saved by Smith.

It would greatly, I must own,
Soothe me, Smith!
If you left this theme alone,
Holy Smith!
For your legal cause or civil
You fight well and get your fee;
For your God or dream or devil
You will answer, not to me.
Talk about the pews and steeples
And the cash that goes therewith!
But the souls of Christian peoples...
Chuck it, Smith!
Gilbert Keith Chesterton

27 February 2014 at 22:37  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

A further thought Mrs Proudie.

Happy Jack will thread a 'via media' between hobnobs and plain chocolate digestives. He will begin on some articles permitting a peaceful co-existence between them. It should also prove possible to accommodate Chocolate Creams (Jack has an aversion to name Fry).

27 February 2014 at 22:41  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ IG in O
Never mind, Inspector, Mrs. Proudie and her Mother's Union Gang have scoured the back streets of Cheltenham and Gloucester for suitable fillies (Roman Catholic variety). They have undergone theological sifting, and a rigorous medical which has assured her that literally nowhere has a tattoo, and that all are still capable of foaling and that none is a prematurely aged 15 year old who looks like forty, and they will be on the march to your offices come the Springtime, when your S.A.D. has lifted and a middle aged R.C.'S fancies turn to thoughts of love.....

27 February 2014 at 22:44  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Inspector @ 22:14

I have had a serious illness that entailed a spell in intensive care and from which I still suffer the consequences. I have seen two dead bodies.

But my personal circumstances are irrelevant to an observation of what life on this planet has been like and is like for millions of sentient beings: human and animal variety.

27 February 2014 at 22:49  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

My dear Lucy. Trawling the back streets of Cheltenham and Gloucester for girls will only land the aforementioned crowd into trouble with the authorities {AHEM}. In fact, that would be best left to Vietnamese (illegal) immigrant Madames, as the local press doth report...

S.A.D. is something we all suffer from, as exhibited during the xmas insanity shop. The last few months have not been good for this man, as we have been denied winter sunshine due to the storm clouds. However, his day light lamp at work has pulled him through. Such is life...

27 February 2014 at 22:58  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Explorer. Most alarmed to hear about your past and continuing health issues. But one agrees, our fellow brethren do seem to have a terrible time of it. It is one reason why this man suggests colonisation of the afflicted areas by the West. It will eventually happen, these ‘embarrassing’ lands will become untenable, as fashion will dictate, as the world gets smaller...

27 February 2014 at 23:07  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Lucy M, that was a very kind and hope filled message to the Inspector. The search does not need to be restricted to Roman Catholics. Any Christian of a traditional persuasion would be a suitable match.

Perhaps David K and his family network might assist - and even Avi. Jack understands the Jews have considerable experience in the match making field.

"Matchmaker, Matchmaker,
Make him a match,
Find him a find,
catch him a catch
Matchmaker, Matchmaker
Look through the streets,
And make him a perfect match.

Promise him he'll be happy,
And even if he's not,
There's more to life than that --
Don't ask Jack what."

27 February 2014 at 23:09  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Phil Roberts,

I don't recall actually; until about 3 months ago, my encounters with the New Testament was 20 years ago. I have actually purchased an 'NIV' Christian Bible recently, which is the one these Messianic guys seem to use. My purpose in purchasing this is so I can fully understand and to combat Messianic Judaism whose adherents have been 'evangelising' my daughter at university (which actually has been fantastic because it has reinforced her own Jewish faith & galvanised me in mine). It would be helpful for you to provide chapter and verse to the quote you've given us. And to provide explanation for the point you are making...

27 February 2014 at 23:32  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...


I make no apology for 'bursting onto the scene' or my 'bellicose manner' in respect of my views. I see that as a medal to fasten onto my hat. I will say that you are very correct that my reception of your postings has changed and I take them in the spirit in which they are meant and appreciate your writing style, your wit and your own straightforward beliefs.

27 February 2014 at 23:37  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Happy Jack,

Perish the thought of me being bellicose to you!

Never my fine yellow flavicomous man!

You see, I respect Sister Tibs patient attempts to put forward her world view, whilst trying to steer us away from the Testosterone fueled, pub brawl like gladiatorial pit this place sometimes becomes[Although I do relish it sometimes]. And also many months ago she shared with us a few personal matters, which from my own family I can identify with.

27 February 2014 at 23:47  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Happy Jack,

So,Sister Tibs's chocolate digestives and Mrs P's Hobnobs... Oh I can see you need the wisdom of Solomon!

27 February 2014 at 23:55  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...


Trust you are better now old chap... how is the book going?

27 February 2014 at 23:57  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Uncle Brian,

Yes, day, months and years, their origins and meanings are fascinating topics. Whilst using the Christian calender system day to day, the Jewish year is currently 5774.

28 February 2014 at 00:05  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Lucy Mullen,

Thank you for your explanation on disability. Ooops, the reference to the Bishop's staff was a typing error on my part. I do apologise.

28 February 2014 at 00:08  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

David K, Happy Jack says yes: "So, Sister Tibs's chocolate digestives and Mrs P's Hobnobs... Oh I can see you need the wisdom of Solomon!"

Jack is confident he will find a middle way through this hazardous challenge. Catholics to the right of me; Protestants to the left of me. He's thinking along the lines of: 'A biscuit for different seasons.'


28 February 2014 at 00:20  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Happy Jack

As we Americans say...

"The only thing you find in the middle of the road is a dead armadillo and a yellow line."


28 February 2014 at 00:26  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...


But, but the paint use in the middle of British roads is white. Yellow is used on curbs to note restrictions on parking,so traffic wardens can fine you (e.g. double yellows in front of ATM's ).

28 February 2014 at 00:36  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

28 February 2014 at 01:09  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Happy Jack,

I wish you well in trying to find via media on this issue, but sometimes trying to find a middle way is not possible, for various reasons and as history has shown with the Christian reformation or as an example closer to home, Anglo-Orthodox Judaism had a splits in the 1960's, which was called 'the Jacobs affair', which resulted in the creation of British Jewish Masorti Judaism, because at the time it was not possible to find a middle path regarding the origins of the Torah & precisely how it had been given to the Jewish nation.

28 February 2014 at 01:11  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Carl, Happy Jack says, indeed but one must try. He cannot disappoint Mrs Proudie and yet he knows plain chocolate digestives are very effective in reducing stress. Is there only one biscuit for every season?

David K, Happy Jack has some awareness of this split and actually thought Rabbi Jacobs had a reasonable point.

Still, as Jack is not a Jew, it is really none of his business. What is significant for both Jews and Christians is whether there was an actual Adam and Eve. Perhaps more so for Christians.

28 February 2014 at 01:52  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

" Happy Jack said...

Lucy M, that was a very kind and hope filled message to the Inspector. The search does not need to be restricted to Roman Catholics. Any Christian of a traditional persuasion would be a suitable match.

Perhaps David K and his family network might assist - and even Avi. Jack understands the Jews have considerable experience in the match making field. "

Jack, you forgot the first part of the song from Piddler On Me Sunroof

[Roman Catholics]
Tradition, tradition! Tradition!
Tradition, tradition! Tradition!

[Uncle Albert & Papists]
Who, day and night, must scramble for a Tithing,
Feed the Flock, make them say their daily prayers?
And who has the right, as master and holder of the 'Keys',
To have the final word on The Word?

The Papal, the Papal Tradition.
The Papal, the Papal Tradition.

[Sister Tiberias & Mothers]
Who must know the way to make a proper home,
A quiet home, a Catholic home?
Who must show how to raise this family and mediate with God for this home,
So the 'Papa's free to oversee the holy books?

The Mother, the Holy Mother! Tradition!
The Mother, the Holy Mother! Tradition!

At five, I started Catholic school. At ten, I learned the rosary.
I hear Father Murphy has picked a bride for me. I hope she's naughty.

The son, the son! Tradition!
The son, the son! Tradition!

And who does Holy Mother teach to mend my ways and tend and fix,
Preparing me to marry whoever the Papal thinks clicks?

The daughter, the daughter! Tradition!
The daughter, the daughter! Tradition!

Traditions, traditions.... Without our traditions, our lives would be as leaky as ... as... as having a Piddler On Me Sunroof!

Tradition! Holy Tradition!

Shout It From The Rooftops and dance *Ya die die die, Yada da yada die die*!


No chocolate digestives or Hobnobs for me then?

I'll get my Cassock!!!!

28 February 2014 at 03:04  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ IG in O
The back streets suit Mrs.Proudie's team just fine, I imagine. Besides otherwise they might be wailing and gnashing their teeth in great disappointment at the loss of so big a diocese as Oxford to their annual High Witch Hunt Season, which is something they look forward greatly to. They have a special song while yomping the Oxfordshire, Bucks and Berks countryside which will have to be put into abeyance as the silly Bishop is being such a spoilsport. These tough M.U. types need something to get their teeth into, and esoteric liberals in the S.C.Rs can be into all kinds of stuff.

Your wife hunt will just have to fill in for them.

28 February 2014 at 03:07  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

28 February 2014 at 03:35  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


Well, of course the saying is locked in an American context. But I believe the color yellow has the same connotation in both cultures. Similar to "Take your white feather plume, sweet little man." (1)


1. "Sweet Little Man" by Oliver Wendell Holmes. 1861. Otherwise known as "An Ode to William Jefferson Clinton." By me, anyways.

28 February 2014 at 03:38  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

The inspector deserves a sweet Anglican gal like Lucy. Such a liaison could only strengthen his faith and prepare him (sooner rather than later) for his entry into heavenly paradise.

28 February 2014 at 04:11  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Dear Lucy, well my dear, someone has to scour the backstreets to rescue the fallen and root out slackers, but I must confess the Barchester Mother's Union has yet to organise a proper Witch have, however, given me an idea. I spoke to my Lord the Bishop over breakfast this morning and he thinks (and I agree with him) that we should appoint a Diocesan Witchfinder General. So applications are open, dear fellow communicants - who will through their hat or skull cap into the ring?

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

This comment has been removed by the author.

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


28 February 2014 at 08:10  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Mrs P:

Since the Inspector already has 'General' is his title...

28 February 2014 at 08:43  
Blogger The Explorer said...

David K @ 23:57

Much better than I was, thank you. Hope the same goes for you.

Book keeps throwing out new branches. Trying to prune it.

Hope you and Hannah will be able to read it, one day.

28 February 2014 at 08:46  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...


I was tempted to post something from Fiddler on the roof, but I thought we'd all end up singing 'If I were a rich man' and other such ballards. That would be too much frivolity...

28 February 2014 at 08:51  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...


Oh yes, I know what you mean. That was more straightforward than one of my Chinese colleagues who said our business strategy should be 'kill the chicken to scare the monkey'...

28 February 2014 at 08:54  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

28 February 2014 at 09:26  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Dear Explorer, glad to hear you are on the mend...or at least feeling a little better. I always find a draught of Daffy's Elixer to be a marvellous tonic, so I will send you some. Mr. Slope is also fond of a pick me least I think that's hat he said.

28 February 2014 at 09:28  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

The Explorer,

Blessings on you and your family. Regarding the book, I'd just get the first draft written and prune afterwards. I look forward to reading it one day. I am fully recovered, my 'mojo' is back.

28 February 2014 at 09:47  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

28 February 2014 at 10:00  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Happy Jack,

Well I wouldn't suggest you can't have an opinion on these matters.The above post wasn't an attempt to start discussing divisions in Azkenazi Orthodoxy in detail.Rabbi Jacobs may indeed have had a reasonable point & I won't take away from the man his wonderful personality or his scholarly/intellectual stature, or the how he was treated, during and after the split, but there were others who did not see his argument as reasonable but a fundamental step away from orthodoxy.

My post was therefore to note that if there are sincere differences in viewpoint and these are fundamental ones I cannot see how they can be reconciled & no amount of 'via media' will keep the religion together.

Martin Luther may have had a reasonable point, in a Christian context of 16th century Europe, but others didn't see it that way and even today, as this blog shows, the divisions are still here and run deep.

The issue of homosexuality in the Church is clearly a 'zero sum' opinion. There are those who state that active homosexuality is a sin and there cannot be any compromise as a result without descending into heresy. There are those who clearly state that active homosexuality is not a sin or is not a problem and that the Church needs to embrace gay people with open arms and affirm their relationships and whatever else this view isn't heretical. You simply cannot reconcile these two opinions.

One final point to this is many people outside and inside religion might see the C of E's 'agonising' in respect of homosexuality to be a distraction, a waste of time and showing a wilful taste for being obsessed with sex and sexuality. This may seem valid, but the debates over homosexuality are in reality a proxy fight,the real and underlying fight is about authority. Namely the authority of the Bible and/or tradition.

If you embrace homosexual relationships, what other beliefs are going to be thrown out as well? That Jesus didn't perform miracles? That he wasn't god's son? That he didn't rise from the dead? I don't believe any of these things, but clearly a Christian, to be a Christian DOES believe this things,but if you start chipping away at the authority of your own religious text any or all of this is possible as you no longer feel the text has any authority over you, as it is easy to ignore the bits one personally doesn't like (might be bad choice of words, but I think you will see the point I am making).

Furthermore what does it say about consistency of belief if you are going to change a 2,000 rule within the space of 20 to 30 years?.

Therefore if the real fight is about who 'owns' authority, a split will happen. It is just when and how, not if.

28 February 2014 at 10:03  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mrs Proudie @ 0928 says 'I always find a draught of Daffy's Elixer to be a marvellous tonic,'

And if that doesn't work there's always Dr Collis Browne's Chlorodyne. Sweet dreams!

Sorry to hear of your affliction, Mr Explorer and do hope the problem doesn't recur. Advice offered to Mrs P could prove most efficacious in every way

28 February 2014 at 10:09  
Blogger The Explorer said...


Thanks for good wishes.

I don't like talking about myself, but neither do I like causing speculation.

I had a heart operation that went wrong and necessitated a spell in intensive care.

I am recovered, but without former energy.

My brain, however, is - hopefully - unimpaired.

28 February 2014 at 11:30  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness Bluedog, you are not proposing that I go quietly into that dark night I hope...

28 February 2014 at 11:31  
Blogger Christianforever said...

David Kavanagh said

‘I don't believe any of these things’

First, the New Covenant is not a Gentile book it was written by Jews. Jesus was Jewish and so were all of His disciples and Apostles that wrote. Foretold in Isaiah 7:14 & Fulfilled in Matt 1:23== ‘Behold a virgin shall be with child and bring forth a Son, and they shall call His Name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, ‘GOD with us’; Jeremiah 31:31 ‘Behold the days come saith the Lord that I will make a (NEW COVENANT) with the house of Israel and the house of Judah’. The New Testament is Gods New Covenant. And Jesus is the Light to the Nations. wake up God LOVES everybody not just Jews.

Second,love is Jesus’s only weapon and it is the only weapon Christians have had for 2000 years! What is more important,being meticulous about thousand of Laws and following them religiously,or filling your heart with Love for your fellow men?Jesus was more interested in reaching the Unfortunate,the Lepers(who were segregated becuz the laws said they were impure)I can only imagine the love they must have felt when Jesus went near them and they felt His warmth and love and eventually were Healed If God is all Love He would have wanted us to Put PEOPLE before laws. Jesus saw that many of the laws that were being practiced in His time were not necessarily bringing people closer to God....What He wanted was for the people to have a Pure heart, love their neighbor as themselves and to have more Mercy and Compassion for others. Jesus gives you love and salvation. Judaism does not.

28 February 2014 at 11:42  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

The Explorer

I’m sorry to hear about your health problems. To have had a heart operation is cause enough for anxiety, but a heart operation that went wrong … it hardly bears thinking about. I’m glad your recovery is going well.

Best wishes,

28 February 2014 at 11:46  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Uncle Brian:

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me."

Faith is a great comfort in such circumstances, and a great strengthener.

28 February 2014 at 12:22  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

" David Kavanagh said...


I was tempted to post something from Fiddler on the roof, but I thought we'd all end up singing 'If I were a rich man' and other such ballards. That would be too much frivolity..."

The Fiddler is one of the great mucicals of all time, is it not. It puts old Ernsty in a superb mood despite the seriousnes of the content...A reflection of Life and it's many struggles and choices.

Piddler On Me Sunroof....
A small nation's traditional way of life is turned upside down by a lack of Christian love as well as by secular hatred.

'Sabbath Prayer',

“May the Lord protect and defend you,
May he always shield you from shame;
May you come to be in Paradise a shining name
Strengthen them, oh Lord, and keep them from the stranger's ways
May God bless you and grant you long lives
May God make you good mothers and wives
Favor them oh, Lord, with happiness and peace
Oh, hear our Sabbath Prayer, amen.”

In Ernst's parody, the story ends as it began with the tinkles of the solitary Piddler (standing on me convertible..piddling!!)— symbolic of Ernst's precarious existence under secularist, non christian Britain.

Shalom, my lad.


28 February 2014 at 12:36  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...


‘the New Covenant is not a Gentile book it was written by Jews ‘

Just because a Jew writes a book or comes up with an idea, it does not automatically make it authentic or true to the Jewish nation. Karl Marx was Jewish, but his own self- Jew hating and ideas are not compatible with Judaism. Likewise many of the Russian revolutionaries (and therefore murderers) were Jewish. Again that doesn’t mean that they are an automatic reflection of the Jewish nation or religion. Therefore the point that the New Testament has to be valid to Jews, because it was written by Jews, is a weak and flawed argument.

Regarding Messianic promises, we could be here all day debating these, but let’s just say that we would say that Christianity either misrepresents the ones you've quotes or has translated the Hebrew into English in a way which biases the passage toward the Christian view.

‘wake up God LOVES everybody not just Jews’.

No Jew would disagree that God loves everyone and not just Jews, I don’t know where you get that idea from.

‘What is more important,being meticulous about thousand of Laws and following them religiously,or filling your heart with Love for your fellow men?’

Judaism is more that slavishly adhering to a bunch of apparently difficult to fulfil rules, which have no bearing in life; in fact Jewish law focuses on EVERY aspect of life! Nor is it about putting legalisms before people. In fact I would say the opposite is true. Jewish law provides a proper channel by which such concepts of love can be practiced and Jews are permitted to break Mitzvot if a life needs to be saved. Another way of demonstrating this is to note Jesus (who as you say was Jewish) and his ‘golden rule’, which I assume you are referring to. You will note he is actually quoting from the Torah and not inventing a new concept himself, so the idea that Jewish people can’t or only love their Jewish neighbour is actually false; Leviticus, which Jesus is quoting from, doesn’t say ‘btw that’s only the Jewish neighbour I’m talking about’!

28 February 2014 at 12:46  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...


As ever you provide a great ray of sunshine on this otherwise wet and dull day. Thank you for that Sabbath prayer.

An early Shabbat Shalom to you as well my friend!

28 February 2014 at 12:55  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ Cressida
Whilst duly flattered by the girl descriptive for the sake of honesty- oh darn and all that-one must eschew it, since admittedly over the age of 35 (cough, cough), and well used. We are looking not for s.o. in my mould, (no double entendre there please) but one of child-bearing age, non smoker, strong strong SOH, high church or RC, immune to whisky fumes, theologically literate, in the Gloucester/ Cheltenham area, unmarried and without offspring.

Preferably also able to carry the Inspector home hoist over her shoulders should he have the odd tipple too many. Black leather shorts and camouflage jacket but NO tattoos is the right kind of look. But also submissive in the right context.

Get to it, tally ho, A wife hunting we will go, what!!

28 February 2014 at 13:42  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

To be a little serious for a while, I think I am seeing a red flag every time the word "witch-hunt" is used. A very long time ago I read Trevor-Roper's book with its many examples on this subject (not light reading) and even then the actual word is usually unsuitable, as normally allegations were made which were then pursued using the judicial processes of the time.

In at least one of the Channel Islands witchcraft was illegal until very recently. Of course people can go over the top in pursuing these cases, but it was never like a bear hunt or a foxhunt, and was a misnomer from the start. And now we have reached the stage where it has all the melodrama of a gory bloody chase in the imagination, and yet is used as a no-no to mundane matters of church discipline on the other.

We don't, if they ever did, witch-hunts in this country. The idea of the C of E ever getting close to such a thing is risible. In fact as a nation we are closer to the USA where practising Satanist Michael Aquino was a Lt. Colonel in the Army. Is that wiser than the excesses of the past? The man looks like something out of a horror film and I think the answer is that we have our own particular 21st Century flavours of stupidity, that are different from those of early centuries, but will look no better from the 22nd Century's point of view.

28 February 2014 at 15:49  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

David K,

Not much to add to your response to Christianflower's straw man version of Judaism, except that in the language of the Torah and by the understanding of our Sages, the commandment in Leviticus to love one's neighbor pertains specifically to non-Jews, otherwise the word "brother" would have been used. Also, the Talmud specifies Jewish behavior towards non-Jews with dozens of requirements and prohibitions which often guarantee a better treatment for the Gentile than the Jew. It bears reminding that in terms of the "life hereafter," non-Jews have equal access (accessability act?) to Heaven if they lived a moral life, regardless of what religion they followed. What this means is that because the much-criticized Jewish "chosenness" has more to do with additional and more stringent requirements on Jews (615 commandments), a Gentile who is bound only by the sheva mitzvot b'nei Noach, that is the 7, yes seven, Noahide laws has a higher chance at being favoured in Heaven than a Jew.

Explorer, sorry to hear about your medical difficulties, friend. I spent all day yesterday with a nasty fever and a migraine, whining, snapping and feeling sorry for myself, forgetting about all the folks with much bigger issues than mine, like David B, Mr Blofeld and now you. Wishing you and the others a refuah sh'lema; an easy, complete and speedy recovery.

Mr Blofeld, Piddler on Me Sunroof????

Well, I did get my breath back after that one, but it still hurts and it feels like something snapped somewhere. Just when you think you've heard them all...

An early Shabbat shalom to all you folks on the other side of the Big Puddle.

28 February 2014 at 17:03  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Lucy: "Get to it, tally ho, A wife hunting we will go, what!!"

Obviously I have a preconception of what the Inspector {horses whinny} would really want but if we're talking about women here then surely Clarissa Dickson Wright is the ideal to aim towards for him?

28 February 2014 at 17:13  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ Danjo

I am seeing a picture of a 66 year old, and thinking that cannot be a suitable breeding partner. So let me check I have the right one, (the first lady to be called to the bar, no less- lots of big meals to eat-hats off gents!!). Do you mean Clarissa Theresa Philomena Aileen Mary Josephine Agnes Elsie Trilby (sic) Louise Esmerelda Dickson Wright or another?

If so, I think that is too many names for the Inspector to hope to remember on his big day, especially as post 40 one's memory is not so- ah- let us say sprightly as it once was. I wonder whether it was her husband who ever "mistook his wife for a hat"; if so not entirely unjustified, as long as he didn't say "deerstalker" rather than "come here you old trilby".

28 February 2014 at 17:37  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

Sorry youngest lady in her time, not first lady.

28 February 2014 at 17:42  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Greeting Avi,

re your post. Well said.

Shabbat Shalom!

28 February 2014 at 17:44  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

For pity's sake, I am around you know !

28 February 2014 at 18:03  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...


If you just google any Bible quotes you get the chapter and verse

"See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you."


28 February 2014 at 18:24  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...


Many people assume it is the disability that Jesus was referring to and he was made disabled because of sin.

That may have been the case but the most likely is the fact the the man place his faith in the pool not God.

Jesus says stop sinning. Don't forget he was only just healed. So what had he done in the meanwhile to cause him to sin again?

Put his faith in the Jewish leaders perhaps?

It is interesting that even though the man was healed in a miraculous way and he owed Jesus a huge debt, when he was questioned carrying his bedroll on a Sunday he immediately put the blame on Jesus.

BTW I don't see this passage as legitimizing Sunday working. Jesus is in fact saying I have the authority to work on Sunday. That is what irritated the Jewish leaders because only one person could have that authority.


28 February 2014 at 18:34  
Blogger Christianforever said...

David and Avi,

How can you continue in your disbelief when it is clear that in scripture Jesus was foretold in the Old Testament? Neither of you can explain Jeremiah 31 vs 34, where it is foretold a New Covenant- the NEW TESTAMENT will happen (and it has!). But what of Isiah 53, which neither of you can argue is NOT referring to Jesus Christ [I know Rabbis band this from being used in Synagogues and we can see why, because they want to PREVENT the Jews from hearing the Truth) :

"1 Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
4 Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way;and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,so he did not open his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away.Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of people he was punished.
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,and with the rich in his death,though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
11 After he has suffered,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,because he poured out his life unto death,and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,and made intercession for the transgressors."

28 February 2014 at 18:47  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

The poor Inspector. I am actually beginning to feel sorry for him. Being made the subject of matchmaking. Its not unlike the experience of being subjected to a colonoscopy but in public.


28 February 2014 at 18:48  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Phil anyone can work on a Sunday; Jews are prohibited from work on the Sabbath; an hour before Sun-down on Friday and an hour after Sun-down on Saturday. One can carry items on the Sabbath provided there is an eruv, a partition dividing private from public domains, except if it's for purposes after the Sabbath. It's unlikely that Jesus would have made a major change to the Sabbath laws; most likely it was a question of a specific leniency on the laws of the eruv, something that was lost in the "translation." The Pharisees made these kinds of interpretations through Rabbinic laws quite often, which irritated the Sadducees and the political leadership in Jerusalem, but it wasn't a repudiation of Jewish Law.

28 February 2014 at 18:51  
Blogger Christianforever said...

Jesus came to complete the law, not abolish it. But he had no time for the man made laws of the Pharisees and therefore the made up scribbles of the Pharisee- Talmudic Jew. The deception and Christian hate- The Talmud says blasphemous and evil things about our Lord. The Talmud is how Jews continue to be fooled into not seeing the real truth of Jesus Christ. This is also why Jews persecute Christians and Messianic (authentic) Jews in Israel.

28 February 2014 at 19:03  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

BTW, Phil, that was my historical speculation with a Jewish bias; don't try it in church.

28 February 2014 at 19:06  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Public colonoscopy, Carl? Only you can think of such horrid things!

Christianforever I would love to chat with you, but I'm forbidden to do so as only David K, who is a member of the Sanhedrin in good standing and is rumoured to be one of the Elders of Zion has an updated certification for the European Theatre Command to do so. Last time I tried, he had hot lead poured down my ear.

28 February 2014 at 19:16  
Blogger Christianforever said...

No surprise that Barzel cannot refute what the scripture says. Kavanagh has run away. We'd probably only get more long winded posts from him. The Truth of Jesus Christ speaks for itself and neither Talmudic Jew can defend themselves.

28 February 2014 at 19:28  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


I prefer to think that I have a rich and well-developed ability to choose just the right metaphor.


28 February 2014 at 19:29  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Hmm, went from Avi to Barzel and Dave to Kavanagh. What's next, "hey, A-holes!"?

Btw, David already started his Sabbath that's why he's not here; I'm on my way to pick up the Sabbath goat. You can reach Dave telepathically if you hum in B flat minor and turn around for times. That's Dave@Bflatminorx4. Shabbat shalom, dear.

28 February 2014 at 19:34  
Blogger Christianforever said...

The Old Testament contains numerous prophecies written over 2,500 years ago. Every one of these prophecies was fulfilled in the life of Jesus of Nazareth approximately 2,000 years ago.

Even more prophecies concerning the Second Coming of the messiah remained unfulfilled, but the promise of Jesus is that they will be fulfilled in this generation.

Below is a list of messianic Old Testament prophecies I've managed to compile. I will attempt to make this list as exhaustive as possible, so if you notice a missing prophecy, please email me, and I'll do my best to make this list an authoritative source on the subject.

1. The Messiah will be born in Bethlehem.

Old Testament Prophecy: "But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village in Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you, one whose origins are from the distant past." Micah 5:2

New Testament Fulfillment: "Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod." Matthew 2:1

2. The Messiah will be a descendant of Judah.

Old Testament Prophecy: "The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from his descendants, until the coming of the one to whom it belongs, the one whom all nations will obey." Genesis 49:10

New Testament Fulfillment: Luke 3:23-38 and Matthew 1:1-17 confirm that Jesus is a descendant of Judah.

3. Great kings will pay homage and tribute to the Messiah.

Old Testament Prophecy: "The western kings of Tarshish and the islands will bring him tribute. The eastern kings of Sheba and Seba will bring him gifts." Psalm 72:10-11

New Testament Fulfillment: "About that time, some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, 'Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We have seen his as it arose, and we have come to worship him." Matthew 2:1-2

"They entered the house where the child and his mother, Mary, were, and they fell down before him and worshiped him." Matthew 2:11

4. The Messiah will be a descendant of David.

Old Testament Prophecies: "The Lord swore to David a promise he will never take back: 'I will place one of your descendants on your throne. If your descendants obey the terms of my covenant and follow the decrees that I teach them, then your royal line will never end." Psalm 132:11

"'For the time is coming,' says the Lord, 'when I will place a righteous Branch on King David's throne. He will be a King who rules with wisdom. He will do what is just and right through the land." Jeremiah 23:5-6

"At that time I will bring to the throne of David a righteous descendant, and he will do what is just and right throughout the land." Jeremiah 33:15

New Testament Fulfillment: "He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!" Luke 1:32-33

5. The Messiah will be born of a virgin.

Old Testament Prophecy: "All right then, the Lord himself will choose the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel - 'God is with us.'" Isaiah 7:14

New Testament Fulfillment: "But while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Joseph, her fiancé, being a just man, decided to break the engagement quietly, so as not to disgrace her publicly. As he considered this, he fell asleep, and an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. 'Joseph, son of David,' the angel said, 'do not be afraid to go ahead with your marriage to Mary. For the child within her has been conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.'" Matthew 1:18-21

28 February 2014 at 19:46  
Blogger Christianforever said...

6. Children will be killed in effort to kill the Messiah.
Old Testament Prophecy: "This is what the Lord says: 'A cry of anguish is heard in Ramah - mourning and weeping unrestrained. Rachel weeps for her children, refusing to be comforted - for her children are dead." Jeremiah 31:15
New Testament Fulfillment: "Herod was furious when he learned that the wise men had outwitted him. He sent soldiers to kill al the boys in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under, because the wise men had him the star first appeared to them about two years earlier. Herod's brutal action fulfilled the prophecy of Jeremiah." Matthew 2:16-17
7. The Messiah will be taken to Egypt.
Old Testament Prophecy: "When Israel was a child, I loved him as a son, and I called my son out of Egypt." Hosea 11:1
New Testament Fulfillment: "That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, his mother, and they stayed there until Herod's death. This fulfilled what the Lord had spoken through the prophet: 'I called my Son out of Egypt.'" Matthew 2:14-15
8. The Messiah will be the Son of God.
Old Testament Prophecy: "The king proclaims the Lord's decree: 'The Lord said to me, 'You are my son. Today, I have become your Father. Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the ends of the earth as your possession." Psalm 2:7-8
New Testament Fulfillment: "And a voice from heaven said, 'This is my beloved Son, and I am fully pleased with him.'"Matthew 3:17
9. The Messiah will be heralded by the messenger of the Lord.
Old Testament Prophecy: "Listen! I hear the voice of someone shouting, 'Make a highway for the Lord through the wilderness. Make a straight, smooth road through the desert for our God. Fill the valleys and level the hills. Straighten out the curves and smooth off the rough spots. Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all the people will see it together. The Lord has spoken!"Isaiah 40:3-5
New Testament Fulfillment: "In those days John the Baptist began preaching in the Judean wilderness. His message was, 'Turn from your sins and turn to God, because the Kingdom of Heaven is near.' Isaiah had spoken of John when he said, 'He is a voice shouting in the wilderness: 'Prepare a pathway for the Lord's coming! Make a straight road for him!'" Matthew 3:1-3
10. The Messiah will be anointed by the Holy Spirit.
Old Testament Prophecy: "And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him - the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord."Isaiah 11:2
New Testament Fulfillment: "After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. And a voice from heaven said, 'This is my beloved Son, and I am fully pleased with him.'" Matthew 3:16-17
11. The Messiah will bring light to Galilee.
Old Testament Prophecy: "Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali will soon be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiless, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory. The people who walk in darkness will see a great light - a light that will shine on all who live in the land where death casts its shadow."Isaiah 9:1-2
New Testament Fulfillment: "When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he left Judea and returned to Galilee. But instead of going to Nazareth, he went to Capernaum, beside the Sea of Galilee, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali." Matthew 4:12-16

28 February 2014 at 19:49  
Blogger Christianforever said...

12. The Messiah will preach good news to the poor, comfort the broken hearted, and announce the year of the Lord's favor.
Old Testament Prophecy: "The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, because the Lord has appointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to announce that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord's favor has come." Isaiah 61:1-2
New Testament Fulfillment: "When he came to the village of Nazareth, his boyhood home, he went as usual to the synagogue on the Sabbath and stood up to read the Scriptures. The scroll containing the messages of Isaiah the prophet was handed to him, and he unrolled the scroll to the place where it says: 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has appointed me to preach Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the downtrodden will be freed from their oppressors, and that the time of the Lord's favor has come.' He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. Everyone in the synagogue stared at him intently. Then he said, 'This Scripture has come true today before your very eyes!'" Luke 4:16-21
13. The Messiah will be hated without cause.
Old Testament Prophecy: "Don't let my treacherous enemies rejoice over my defeat. Don't let those who hate me without cause gloat over my sorrow." Psalm 35:19
New Testament Fulfillment: "Anyone who hates me hates my Father, too. If I hadn't done such miraculous signs among them that no one else could do, they would not be counted guilty. But as it is, they saw all that I did and yet hated both of us - me and my Father." John 15:23-25
14. The Messiah will make the blind see, the deaf hear, the lame walk, and the mute speak.
Old Testament Prophecy: "And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind and unstop the ears of the deaf. The lame will leap like a deer, and those who cannot speak will shout and sing!"Isaiah 35:5-6
New Testament Fulfillment: "John the Baptist, who was now in prison, heard about all the things the Messiah was doing. So he sent his disciples to ask Jesus, 'Are you really the Messiah we've been waiting for, or should we keep looking for someone else?' Jesus told them, 'Go back to John and tell him about what you have heard and seen - the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor. And tell him: 'God blesses those who are not offended by me.''" Matthew 11:2-6

28 February 2014 at 19:50  
Blogger Christianforever said...

15. The Messiah will enter Jerusalem riding a donkey.
Old Testament Prophecy: "Rejoice greatly, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey - even on a donkey's colt." Zechariah 9:9
New Testament Fulfillment: "Jesus sent two of them on ahead. 'Go into the village over there,' he said, 'and you will see a donkey tied there, with its colt beside it. Untie them and bring them here. If anyone asks what you are doing, just say, 'The Lord need them,' and he will immediately them.'" Matthew 21:1-4
"The two disciples did as Jesus said. They brought the animals to him and threw their garments over the colt, and he sat on it. Most of the crowd spread their coats on the road ahead of Jesus, and other cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. He was in the center of the procession, and the crowds all around him were shouting, 'Praise God for the Son of David! Bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Praise God in the highest heaven!' The entire city of Jerusalem was stirred as he entered. 'Who is this?' they asked. And the crowds replied, 'It's Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.'" Matthew 21:6-11
16. The Messiah will arrive in Jerusalem at a specified time.
Old Testament Prophecy: "Now listen and understand! Seven sets of seven plus sixty-two sets of seven will pass from the time the command is given to rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One comes." Daniel 9:25
New Testament Fulfillment: "But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law." Galatians 4:4
17. The Messiah will enter the Temple with authority.
Old Testament Prophecy: "'Look! I am sending my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. Then the Lord you are seeking will suddenly come to his Temple. The messenger of the covenant, whom you look for so eagerly, is surely coming,' says the Lord Almighty." Malachi 3:1
New Testament Fulfillment: "Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the merchants and their customers. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the stalls of those selling doves. He said, 'The Scriptures declare, 'My Temple will be called a place of prayer,' but you have turned it into a den of thieves!'"Matthew 21:12-13
18. The Messiah will be rejected.
Old Testament Prophecy: "He was despised and rejected - a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by. He was despised, and we did not care." Isaiah 53:3
New Testament Fulfillment: "And Pilate said to the people, 'Here is your king!' 'Away with him,' they yelled. 'Away with him - crucify him!' 'What? Crucify your king?' Pilate asked. 'We have no king but Caesar,' the leading priests shouted back." John 19:14-15

28 February 2014 at 19:50  
Blogger Len said...

The Jews have a major problem with their religion as do also the Muslims and the Catholics because they all use the scriptures as the basis of their religion but deny the truth revealed in the scriptures.

"If you are a Jew, you will come to realize that if Yahushua is not the Messiah, there can be no Messiah. Most of the prophecies He satisfied can no longer be fulfilled. If He didn’t walk into Jerusalem on Branch Monday, four days before Passover, in 33 CE in accord with Daniel 9’s prophetic timeline, if He wasn’t the Suffering Servant and Sacrificial Lamb of Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22, then the Scriptures which brought us the concept of the Messiah aren’t reliable."

('Yada Yahweh' a must read for these religions)

28 February 2014 at 19:52  
Blogger Christianforever said...

I could quote more scripture, but it is already clear to the silent reader that Jesus is the completion of the Old Testament. I appreciate that others will not like these facts, but I have shown them to be facts. The Jews can still be Jews and be Christians. There are excellent organisations out there such as Jews for Judaism and Jews for Jesus, which help Jews come to know Jesus as the Messiah. Amen and God's blessing to them.

28 February 2014 at 19:54  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Happy Jack has read John 5. Jesus cured a lame man and the Jews complained because it was on the Sabbath. Jesus' answered the charge: "My Father worketh until now; and I work." Jesus then went on and let it be known He was God's Son. Jesus' answer seems to have been that God works all the time and as He was God's Son, His equal, He could too. The Sabbath was not binding on God.

Mark 2 also gives an interesting take on Jesus' view of the Sabbath. Again the Pharisees were moaning about Jesus and His followers breaking rules on the Sabbath. Jesus' reply was that the law could be broken if there was need or necessity.

He also went on to say:"The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of man is Lord of the Sabbath also.". Here Jesus is claiming control of the Sabbath as His day. And being God, the Lawmaker, He had the right to set His own rules aside should He wish.

(Actually, this may be a biblical justification for the Christian Church, Christ's Body, to change the day of worship from the Sabbath to Sunday.)

28 February 2014 at 19:55  
Blogger Christianforever said...


No Kavanagh is a coward. He is hiding behind legalistic ritual because when all is told, he cannot explain my posts above and still not admit Jesus is the Jewish Messiah.

28 February 2014 at 19:56  
Blogger Christianforever said...


Well said! I was shocked at the lack of support and silence by so-called Christians, defending Biblical truth. Good to have you here.

28 February 2014 at 19:57  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...


Thanks but I don't believe that anything fundamental was lost in translation. So it leads us to the conclusion that Jesus was not making a point about any need to change Sabbath laws as such, more that he alone had authority to disregard them.


28 February 2014 at 19:59  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Yeah, didn't read the stuff above, but at a glance looks like you're right. Still, rather stay as I am. Just to piss you off.

28 February 2014 at 20:00  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

"Being made the subject of matchmaking. Its not unlike the experience of being subjected to a colonoscopy but in public."

Happy Jack asks, and you know this because ......?

28 February 2014 at 20:02  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Phil you're asking the wrong person. I'm guessing at a secular historian's answer that he used leniencies and strictures which were not accepted by all until much later.

28 February 2014 at 20:08  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

28 February 2014 at 20:16  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...


I think you need to change your name to "notachristianreally?!"

Spewing large amounts of information and then insulting the our Jewish friends is not the mark of a Christian.

Read your Bible rather than just cut and paste it

Or does it make you feel superior to our Jewish friends? Are you better then them? Does God like you more then them? Answer these, without cutting and pasting.

Perhaps we don't support you because we are embarrassed by your arrogance and pride?


28 February 2014 at 20:18  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

I appreciate that others will not like these facts, but I have shown them to be facts.

Here's a fact for you:
You're a pain in the arse.

28 February 2014 at 20:32  
Blogger bluedog said...

Heavens no, Mrs Proudie @ 11.31. We don't want to lose you, and we don't think you should go. But if one takes the steamer across the English Channel, a small bottle can offset the unpleasant side-effects of the water in France. However, the tincture would not revive one's postillion, should he be struck by lightning.

28 February 2014 at 20:44  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Oh dear it seems we have a Ranter...

28 February 2014 at 20:46  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Len, Happy Jack asks if you know the author of the book 'Yada Yahweh', Carl Winn claims the letters of St Paul are unbiblical and demonic?

He has written this:

"The truth is: Yahowsha’s testimony completely and irrefutably destroys the myth of Christianity. Support for the world’s most popular faith is found only in the letters attributed to Paul."

He also goes on to say this:

"Sha’uwl (Saul/Paul) and Muhammad share many traits in common, making Paul’s epistles, and especially Galatians, remarkably similar to the Qur’an in substance and style.". He then claims the "fallen spiritual messenger" Satan " inspired Sha’uwl’s writings."

Are you no longer a Christian, Len? This material will damage your soul.

28 February 2014 at 20:47  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

28 February 2014 at 20:47  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

I say, looks like we’ve got a real Christian on board...

Shove up Len, and make way...

28 February 2014 at 20:49  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ phil @ 20.18
Seconded here.

28 February 2014 at 20:49  
Blogger Samuel Kavanagh said...


Dude, you are one wacked up man! Doovid is not able to take your bullshite right now because he is an observant Jew and therefore is unable to write during Shabbat, but if you leave your name, number and a contact address he will be with you shortly, but in the meantime go and read the thoughts of authentic Christians like my Cousin Lou & Sister Tibs, Carl Jacobs,Inspector General,Phil Roberts, Explorer, Belfast,Happy Jack & Mrs Proudie ... Me, his younger bro, is not so observant (hence I am making this text in the loo, as I’m living in his house and his rules). But don’t EVER call my bro, who served HM Defence forces, a coward you feckwit pompous git! I dunno what he will say on Sunday, but I hope he sticks a cyber poker where the sun don’t shine. As for all this Jews can be Christians lark, I’ve lived as a secular Jew for a long time and done some things, like eating pork, shell fish and sleeping with a girl outside of marriage and also dating a Protestant Christian. I’ve come to regret all of these actions, but you know what? The only people who have EVER stood by me have been my family, who despite their ‘legalism’ have always been kind and supportive, even as I’ve cocked up and made a mess of my life. I don’t know all this stuff about Biblical prophecy and the other passages from Torah, plucked out of thin air, but I DO know I am coming home. I’m coming back to my Jewish faith. And it is thanks to my bro and my family, so twerps like you continue your meme, but it won’t affect me bud !

Rant over, I am now going back to sing 'Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh' with all of my heart.

28 February 2014 at 20:55  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Ah dear Bluedog, I understand. I do occasionally take the Dover Packet across to France, but I'm not fond of Napoleon III's moustaches not to mention the garlic. When they get some sense in their heads and restore Louis Philippe to the throne I'll be there like a shot. I don't like people being rude to dear Avi or David's not what our little congregation have come to expect. New communicants are always welcome, but rudeness is not. There, that's better. I have macaroons on a silver salver, a nice tawny port and the magic lantern is showing CSI Canterbury...

28 February 2014 at 20:57  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Martin, the new man here. It’s you, isn’t it...

28 February 2014 at 21:00  
Blogger William Lewis said...

In the light of this one wonders if gay marriages couldn't be more easily accommodated in a newly formed peoples' republic of Scotland? After all, they already have Gretna Green. I'm tempted to start supporting the "Yes" campaign.

PS Don't tell the Inspector about this or he may have another turn.

28 February 2014 at 21:02  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Dear Samuel, I am posting one of my tracts to you immediately. It is entitled 'The Voice in the Wilderness - How to ignore it.' I shall also bake you a special batch of hobnobs using an ancient kosher recipe given to my Lord the Bishop by Mr Disraeli on one of their lads' nights out. Extra chocolate chips for you I think. Oh, don't spend too long on the thunderbox, dear boy, the wind can whistle so terribly. Do keep in touch, as Mr Slope is want to say.

28 February 2014 at 21:10  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

And Mr Inspector, the bishop is wondering if you will accept the post of Diocesan Witchfinder...there's such a lot at stake...

28 February 2014 at 21:15  
Blogger Christianforever said...

Samuel Kavanagh,

You raving against Biblical Christianity is understandable, but you are still a sinner and only Jesus Christ can forgive you for your sins. 'Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh' is the name of God. I thought you Jews weren't supposed to write or say God's name? (Christians can as we have a personal relationship with God, who can and does forgive our sins). It isn't a song either.

28 February 2014 at 21:17  
Blogger Christianforever said...

Phil Roberts,

Christianity replaces the Jewish religion of the old covenant, so we are free from the law as Paul tells us. The Jews need to hear the Gospel message like everyone else & to be converted to it. That Jews, whom scripture tells us 'did not receive' the Gospel have issues with this is irrelevant. Jesus Christ told us to spread the good news; first to the Jews then to the Gentiles.

28 February 2014 at 21:21  
Blogger Christianforever said...


I am not ashamed of the Gospel. Are you?

28 February 2014 at 21:22  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Oh for goodness sake Christianwhatever, God knows who is and who is not a sinner, so there's no point in any of us hurling the accusation around willy nilly (unless Harriet Harman is in your sights and then all bets are off). 'In my house there are many mansions' and all that. The bishop advises (and I agree with him) a strong sennapod infusion and a copy of Anne Diamond's autobiography to sooth the nerves.

28 February 2014 at 21:26  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Proudie? How rude.

28 February 2014 at 21:27  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Mrs Proudie, would you say upstart is high, middle or low Anglican ?

28 February 2014 at 21:41  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

And no, I am not ashamed of the Gospel, but I am ashamed of some Christians...

28 February 2014 at 21:42  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Dear Inspector, I suspect he/she or it (we live in transgendered times I fear) is what used to be called a Holy Roller, but there are signs of Strict an Peculiar too...

28 February 2014 at 21:45  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Inspector, Happy Jack says he's so way, way, way low as to be underground. He sounds like a demented predatory creature wailing in the night.

28 February 2014 at 21:52  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Mrs Proudie, the fellow is clearly deranged. One will take steps to see he is admitted to the borough asylum at the earliest, unless he agrees to be sent to the dark continent where he may be of some use in taming the savages therein...

28 February 2014 at 21:56  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Ah yes, there's always a place for the fervent and frothing up the Limpopo...

28 February 2014 at 22:03  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mrs Proudie @ 20.57 opines, 'When they get some sense in their heads and restore Louis Philippe to the throne I'll be there like a shot.'

Surely not. Our gracious Majesty was much taken by Napoleon's beautiful and talented empress Eugenie when the two couples spent a very long weekend together in 1855. Indeed, their Majesties now correspond in the ancient royal style, addressing one another as 'Ma Soeur', as you would be aware. Sadly Prince Albert has reservations about the Emperor. We must hope that he never shares them with Count Bismarck.

Indeed, communicants may not be aware that this was the true start of the Entente Cordiale, not Tum-Tum's 1904 excursion, which merely formalised his freedom of the better Paris brothels, in which he had lived for the previous twenty-five years.

28 February 2014 at 22:07  
Blogger Samuel Kavanagh said...

Feigned another 'bowl movement'. I forgot to add 'Blowers', Ian Cad, Uncle Brian and the well hot bade Cressida De 'Super'Nova on my roll call of intelligent and erudite Christains !

28 February 2014 at 22:15  
Blogger Samuel Kavanagh said...

And Blue Hound!

28 February 2014 at 22:20  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

28 February 2014 at 22:25  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


Here is the line you should have noticed...

Hmm, went from Avi to Barzel and Dave to Kavanagh. What's next, "hey, A-holes!"?

So I read through your posts (I hadn't previously) and didn't find much that was objectionable theologically speaking. There were times when I felt like I was reading words written on crumpled aluminum foil - that I would have to unwrap and smooth the medium to see the words clearly. But overall you never made my doctrinal knee jerk sharply upwards. But none of that matters. Because you didn't pay attention to the reason behind the words quoted above.

You don't get Evangelism points for being disrespectful. It's not a good tactic to call people cowards and suggest they have fled from the overwhelming power of your posts. You came across so sharp and hostile they stopped listening almost immediately. So what they did you accomplish? All you did was present yourself as an ass and justify it in the name of the Gospel.

In fact David Kavanagh is no coward, and he will interact. How do I know this? Because I have done it. I had a long conversation with him in which I explicitly and clearly laid out the Gospel. I pulled no punches. He listened. He rejected what I said. But he listened. Because I showed him respect, I received it in return. This is what you need to add to your posts.

If you want to insult Avi, he provides more then enough material. He has no culinary credibility whatsoever. He drinks Coors Light for goodness sake. And he eats this contemptible salted cat food. He has taken to enjoying certain theater performances that would send a normal man screaming into the night. Plus he is Canadian. But you should respect him as a Jew. I don't talk about religion with him because he asks not to discuss it and I respect his choice. I am here if he wants to change his mind.

Take to heart what I have said, and you will have greater opportunities then will be provided by yelling in people's faces.


28 February 2014 at 22:29  
Blogger Samuel Kavanagh said...


Ehyeh asher Ehyeh, is the name G-d gives to our teacher Moses, when he is told to free the Jewish nation from the slavery of Egypt and is the first line to a Sephardi 'hymn' :

'WHO WAS and WHO IS, desire Your people, listen to my prayer from your holy abode

Chorus: Behold I yearn for Your Temple, to see the greatness of Your strength, splendor, and glory (2x) Have mercy, my Only One, Who spares those who oppose you, shorten my exile, for I lean on You

Chorus: Behold I yearn for Your Temple, to see the greatness of Your strength, splendor, and glory (2x)
WHO WAS and WHO IS, desire Your people, listen to my prayer from your holy abode

Chorus: Behold I yearn for Your Temple, to see the greatness of Your strength, splendor, and glory (2x) Have mercy, my Only One, Who spares those who oppose you, shorten my exile, for I lean on You Chorus: Behold I yearn for Your Temple, to see the greatness of Your strength, splendor, and glory (2x)'

28 February 2014 at 22:33  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Calm down Carl, and stop standing to attention like that...

28 February 2014 at 22:39  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

OK so I don't feel sorry for the Inspector anymore. Put him on the gurney and bring out the steel eel.


28 February 2014 at 22:50  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

heh heh !

28 February 2014 at 22:54  
Blogger The Explorer said...


Are you telling me you understood that?

28 February 2014 at 22:56  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Carl, Happy Jack is shocked at your crude humour! Shocked and dismayed. Remember there are ladies present.


28 February 2014 at 22:59  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Happy Jack:

I just looked up steel eel and - contrary to what I'd been imagining - it said it's a very big roller coaster.

Am I missing something here?

28 February 2014 at 23:05  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Explorer. One was delighting at Carl receiving and acknowledging his orders. Orders to be obeyed at ALL times !!

28 February 2014 at 23:08  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

*chuckling away*

Explorer, Happy Jack is saying nothing.

"The poor Inspector. I am actually beginning to feel sorry for him. Being made the subject of matchmaking. Its not unlike the experience of being subjected to a colonoscopy but in public."
(carl @ 28 February 2014 18:48)


28 February 2014 at 23:12  
Blogger The Explorer said...


It's the German streak in him.

28 February 2014 at 23:12  
Blogger The Explorer said...


Got it.

One circumstance in which one would really prefer not to be an explorer.

28 February 2014 at 23:14  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ Christian flower

Your difficulty is in relating to these folk as real people, not as some cardboard cut-outs for you to sharpen your debating scalpels on. We do have some lively debates on here, and at times things get heated, but we do treat each other as people and you can disagree with someone one day and find yourself in agreement the next. Best to avoid ad hominem arguments altogether, but we are all human and fall into them from time to time, but please desist from ad hominem to the extent that it is indelibly insulting as it is embarrassing and not loving.

And posts can be too long, and some far too long. Good night; God loves everyone on this blog and would like us to treat each other with a modicum of politeness. Well more than that but He is probably resigned to our struggles and shortcomings.

28 February 2014 at 23:18  
Blogger Christianforever said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

28 February 2014 at 23:34  

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