Sunday, June 01, 2014

North Korea sentences Christian missionary to life of hard labour


We must rejoice that Christian Dr Meriam Yehya Ibrahim is to freed by her Muslim captors in Sudan. If these reports be true (and we must, understandably, proceed with caution), her liberation doubtless comes in the wake of intense political pressure and international condemnation of Sudan's barbarous notions of sharia justice.

North Korea has just sentenced South Korean Baptist missionary Kim Jeong-Wook (pictured above) to hard labour for life, having found him guilty of setting up an underground church and of espionage. Trumped up allegations of spying invariably accompany charges of illegal proselytism in oppressive regimes: it is the surest way of securing a conviction for 'crimes against the state' - subversion, sedition, treason and fomenting discord or revolution. In North Korea, even the distribution of Bibles or the holding of secret prayer services can be punished with labour camps or execution.

Prosecutors had sought a death sentence for Kim Jeong-Wook (named in North Korea as Kim Jong Uk), but it appears that his admission of guilt and a sincere expression of remorse were sufficient to commute this to life imprisonment with hard labour.

“The accused admitted to all his crimes,” announced North Korea's news agency KCNA. “He committed anti-DPRK religious acts, malignantly hurting the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK (North Korea) overseas and tried to infiltrate into Pyongyang... for the purpose of setting up underground church and gathering information about the internal affairs of the DPRK while luring its inhabitants into South Korea and spying on the DPRK.”

In fact, Kim Jeong-Wook had been doing what Christian missionaries tend to - comforting the oppressed, providing shelter to the homeless and offering food to starving refugees. He had been doing this for the past seven years, because Jesus commanded him to go. 

Like Sudan, religious freedom is enshrined in the North Korean constitution, but that freedom extends only to state-authorised religion, which is, of course, no freedom at all.

The story has been reported by Al-Jazeera and Reuters, and (to their credit) the Independent and Guardian. As the Indy states, "no details of the trial can be independently confirmed". Nor will they be.

Neither the Prime Minister nor Hillary Clinton have yet joined with South Korea in demanding Kim Jeong-Wook's immediate release. And no celebrities have yet condemned North Korea's barbaric sentence, or incited their millions of Twitter followers to lobby their governments or harass the media on Kim Jeong-Wook's behalf.

But then, he is male, of rather geeky appearance, and manifestly not pregnant.

130 Comments:

Blogger Unknown said...

Yes, it is outrageous, but you lose some of your own moral outrage by being petty about women, who, after centuries of abuse, rape and murder by state sponsored misogynistic men, are finally making progress to raise the issues with other misogynistic governments here in the west.
If this is so outrageous to you, then take a leaf out of our books and organise. But comparable, it aint.

1 June 2014 at 11:19  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

If there was ever a place where a carefully targeted set of missiles was needed then North Korea is it during one of those military parades.

1 June 2014 at 11:21  
Blogger Len said...

I don`t think the concept of Human Rights has even been considered in North Korea.
North Korea is dominated by a regime which only understands brutal oppression through any and every means available to them.They rule through fear.
We see these forms of brutal oppression mainly in Atheist and Islamic cultures who have no respect at all for the liberty and the human Rights of those who live under their tyrannical regimes..

1 June 2014 at 11:49  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Will no one speak up for this secular country who has successfully banned the interference of God from it’s life ?

Come on secularists, where are you. We’ve heard the bad, now how about the good...

1 June 2014 at 12:02  
Blogger Father David said...

World leaders making a big hue and cry over Meriam Yehya Ibrahim have hopefully secured her safe release from prison in Sudan. Hopefully a similar expression of outrage by the great and the good may have the same effect in North Korea but Kim il Un might just be a harder nut to crack than the Sudanese Government. In the meantime much prayer to be offered .

1 June 2014 at 12:03  
Blogger David Hussell said...

North Korea is a very strange place, a fossil-like throwback of a communist regime dedicated, amongst other things, to destroy any other "power base" including all religions, other than the worship of the State Family. It needs to collapse.

What purpose does it serve, geopolitically ? It is a buffer state between quasi-communist China and the capitalist "western" world. It is difficult to imagine what might cause it to collapse, short of Nepal style internal, multiple massacre, as a result of a power struggle. No one in the west knows what to do, and I conjecture that neither does China.

It is truly amazing, almost miraculous, that there are people so brave as to risk spreading Christianity in that desperate place. But there are, so we must both urge the politicians to bring what little pressure can be brought to bear to assist them, and pray as Father David suggests.

There must be some way for the west to exert political pressure on that wretched regime ? China may well the key to effect desirable change, by involving them, so as to remove the risk of further destabilising the already precarious balance of power in that global region, which has enough tensions running already.

1 June 2014 at 12:44  
Blogger Unknown said...

Inspector General in Ordinary

North Korea isn't a secular country. It is ruled over by the holy trinity and governed according to communism. Communism is a political ideal, not a secular, religious or atheist one.

See Christopher Hitchens Youtube videos for a better understanding of N Korea and the holy trinity. Also do some research on secularism. You don't seem to know what it is.

1 June 2014 at 12:47  
Blogger john in cheshire said...

North Korea will remain as it is until China decides otherwise. I suspect it's tolerated by China because its existence prevents the West coming up against China's border. Similar to Russia and Ukraine.

1 June 2014 at 12:52  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

China and the EU are trading more than €1 billion every day
Just two decades ago, China and the EU traded almost nothing. Today, they are
second-largest economic cooperation in the world.

Here is an opportunity if ever there was for the EU to apply diplomatic endeavour on China to bring some sanity to the world.

1 June 2014 at 12:54  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Unknown. “Secular” adjective. ‘Concerned with the affairs of this world; not spiritual or sacred’ (Oxford Reference)

Oh dear. Looks like North Korea is indeed a secular country then. By its constitution and laws.

You secular boys need to take on board exactly what and where you are leading us to...

But here’s a thought, you’re not, by defying the word’s dictionary definition, trying to sweeten the pill for us by any chance, are you ?

1 June 2014 at 13:11  
Blogger Albert said...

The Sudan Tribune is denying Meriam is going to be released.

1 June 2014 at 13:14  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Unknown @ 12:47

In a postmodern world, definitions are fluid.

What does 'sick' mean? To me, it means 'unwell', or 'depraved'; to teenagers, it's a term of approval.

'Secularism', likewise, means different things to different people: we've had debate about the meanings before on this blog.

Despite the problem of consensus, going by Marx I disagree that communism is a political ideal, although it includes politics: like Islam, communism is a complete package.

Communism, surely, is first and foremost a philosophy of history: Hegelian dialectic, inverted?

Given the materialism bit of dialectical materialism, the atheism is intrinsic. It is because there is no Heaven that justice on Earth is a matter of such urgency and immediacy.

1 June 2014 at 13:31  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Inspector: "You secular boys need to take on board exactly what and where you are leading us to..."

So, we will move from a very well-established liberal democracy to a quasi-communist totalitarian one with a cult of personality simply by ditching some bishops from the House of Lords, disestablishing the CofE, and ditching Platitude of the Day from BBC Radio 4. The thought processes involved there are a marvel to behold. What next, a return of 1970s-style moustaches as a fashion statement will herald a political shift to a regime like Iraq during Saddam Hussein's tenure?

1 June 2014 at 13:39  
Blogger IanCad said...

DanJo @ 11:21

Overkill. Typical military thinking I'm afraid.
We are in a new age. Just a tiny, targeted device would work fine.

Don't think "Drones." Model aircraft technology and SatNav is all that's needed.

I'll bet 'Ol Kim dosen't get much sleep. The thing wouldn't have to travel but a hundred miles.

1 June 2014 at 13:44  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

IanCad: "Overkill. Typical military thinking I'm afraid.
We are in a new age. Just a tiny, targeted device would work fine."

It'd need to be the entire military council too. Followed by food drops for the population, and leaflets to stand the lower echelons of the army down. I expect many of them are paranoid after their daily Two Minutes Hate, or whatever they're indoctrinated with.

1 June 2014 at 14:09  
Blogger David Hussell said...

The Explorer @ 13.31

Post-modernism plagues us with fluid definitions, yes I agree. Which frustrates discussion and identifying areas of agreement. P-M debates seldom progress, because if you can't agree what the sources of authority and wisdom are, so you have no shared language in which to discuss an approach to any kind of agreement. The result is a tendency towards chaos. It is presented as "freedom" but it isn't, it's moving us towards, well, chaos.
It is difficult to see what could take us beyond this developing mayhem. Humanists who have` gained much ground in the west, especially through their favourite political tool, the EU, would answer "Humanism"; but without identifying, to my knowledge, how a Christian heritage humanist would agree paths of action with a, say, Muslim heritage one. At the moment they are almost exclusively operating within a post-Christian sphere.
Communism is almost dead, thank goodness, although it is not impossible that it could revive, I suppose ? Christians will point to the coming Kingdom of Heaven, and work towards it here and now. Islam has its own aims and methods as we all know, and indeed, many must now know. With Communism in its last death throes it leaves the fields of conflict open between which creeds - Christianity, Islam, Humanism and secularism, (anybody) ? Interesting.
But in the meanwhile many suffer because they find themselves on the wrong side of the fence, geographical territory dominated by intolerant regimes that oppose their world views and creeds. I believe that the struggle will be never ending until God establishes his rule.

1 June 2014 at 14:13  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Yes DanJ0, something like that. The secret is to do it incrementally. You just cut loose a few of society’s anchors and away you go.
You malcontents will get there in the end.

A good example is capital punishment. We’ve gone from hanging murderers to life will mean life, to twenty five years, to fifteen and the last time this man looked, it could be as few as ten years in chokey, and maybe half in an open prison at that, before they are freed to kill again, should they so desire. And all that in about 40 years. Impressed, huh ?

1 June 2014 at 14:19  
Blogger Albert said...

David H and Explorer,

The key thing in understanding words is how they are used. Clearly, "secularism" by any normal definition excludes religion. This is true from a dictionary, at any rate. Thus, if "secularists" proclaim it has a different meaning, they need to show this by the way in which they use it. Simply saying, as unknown did, "You don't seem to know what it is" invites a dictionary response, which in turn bats the "you don't know what you are talking about" back.

The problem for those who promote "secularism" is that their actions rather suggest their definition is that which is found in the dictionary.

1 June 2014 at 14:22  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Inspector: "Yes DanJ0, something like that. The secret is to do it incrementally. You just cut loose a few of society’s anchors and away you go.
You malcontents will get there in the end."

But I'm not discontented. Quite the opposite, really. In fact, I was saying on the thread below last night how wonderful it is living in the UK at this time in history. If anything then it's some of the religionists here who are malcontents. That'll be the End Timers, those who bemoan other people enjoying their freedom and pursing their own interests and goals, and those who are obsessed with the sex lives of other people and want to regulate them to suit themselves.

1 June 2014 at 14:40  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Albert @ 14.22

Yes, I agree.

So then, with "spirituality" ( a word I dislike but it has its uses ) well and truly dumped, is "authority" simply a matter of who has the biggest gun, financial clout or which group can gain enough political power to arrange laws that achieve their ends ? My intuitive feeling is "yes".

1 June 2014 at 14:49  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Well he took the risk setting up an underground church in N. Korea. He knew what they are like and the consequences of getting caught.

At least he wont be killed although imprisonment for life is extreme, he has gone against the state who wants to ensure he wont do it again.
The Yanks wont care much so it's down to the South Koreans and pressure from any other country to get him extradited back.

But there are so many cases of Christian persecution around the world what are the CofE and the Catholics doing about it? Where are the messages and pressure from the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury?

1 June 2014 at 15:30  
Blogger Albert said...

Marie,

At least he wont be killed

I wouldn't bet on that.

although imprisonment for life is extreme

In North Korea, it may be worse than execution.

what are the CofE and the Catholics doing about it?

There are various charities, like Aid to the Church in Need. The Catholic Church is active through her diplomatic channels, which is a less glamorous, but often more effective mode.

1 June 2014 at 15:42  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Albert @ 14:22

I'm fumbling with my thoughts here, but it seems to me that the decline of authority has affected language in much the same way as morality. It underlies the collapse of punctuation and grammar.

If 'Justice' is just a word not a concept (Realism) then it means simply what a particular speech community decides it means: rather than a concept overarching them all.

Then within the particular speech community sub groups change the meaning of a particular word further to suit themselves and the result is semantic chaos.

When it comes down to it, it's Plato versus Saussure: and there are profound implications for scripture as revelation.

1 June 2014 at 15:46  
Blogger Albert said...

Explorer,

If 'Justice' is just a word not a concept (Realism) then it means simply what a particular speech community decides it means: rather than a concept overarching them all.

One of the dangers is the effect that has on rhetoric. If someone uses words like "equality" "discrimination" etc. then they have very likely won the argument before they begin. But scratch the surface, and they may well be using them quite differently from how their audience understands them. The cleavage over the word "secularism" is a key point.

1 June 2014 at 16:25  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Albert @ 16:25

Exactly so. Saussure was a disciple of Nietzsche: he did for language what Nietzsche did for morals.

We are living with the results.

1 June 2014 at 17:00  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Marie 1797 @ 15.30

What are the Churches doing about it ?

The C of E continues highlighting abuses in areas where, as a legacy of empire, it has connections with the local Anglican Churches, e.g. Sudan and much of East Africa. It is sensible to concentrate on countries where it has expertise. The previous A of C and this one are active. Many English dioceses are "linked" with African ones, including mine. R. Williams visited Mugabe-l and and spoke there about injustices - and returned !
The C of E has no links with North Korea, although Open Doors, an ecumenical organisation that I support, does and generally, operates in some very difficult places does. Their website is revealing.

1 June 2014 at 17:41  
Blogger Albert said...

David,

I think Church leaders speak out pretty frequently against persecution. The trouble is that they aren't listened to. The reason the West has inoculated itself listening to the clergy is so that the West does not have to take responsibility. The West is primarily concerned with freedom. The fruits of this unwillingness to listen to the Church are to be seen daily.

1 June 2014 at 17:47  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ Marie 1797

An interesting comment and I think "risk" is a key difference between the two compared cases.

Like a soldier in a spiritual army he knowingly risked his life to serve his master, and clearly made an error of judgement to have eventually been caught. Difficult not to make a small error in a country in which every man must now have the one "dear leader" haircut whether it suits them or not! And no doubt many other stipulations.

I think rightly or wrongly, and I personally think wrongly, the public will identify far more with someone who was just quietly trying to live her life and bring up her children, which is no way to criticise her for that was her calling at the time, than they will with daring missionary work. This is because many people like to shun risky situations!! I doubt that similar books to "God's Smuggler" can expect the same audience as they had then. Maybe risk is rather unfashionable, and particularly risk for something called truth in this post-modernist age.

I personally like the risk takers. Life would be much less colourful without them. I am sure that amongst those who do identify with and pray for this man will be many risk takers whose risks for God have left them with formidably strong faith, which prayers will therefore be strong and helpful ones, and make up in faith what they lack in number. Some of us lesser mortals like me will join them since HG has placed this under our noses!!

1 June 2014 at 17:49  
Blogger Shadrach said...

Our Church hosts a Ministry Training Bible School called Amnos, run by South Koreans including the leader of the Bible ships Doulos and Logos. They are such lovely Christians and so inspired by the Gospel as to reach out to whomever they can.

Such would have been the driving force of Kim Jeong-Wook that he probably knew the dangers he faced and tackled them without fear. They South Koreans are a great example to us as a nation that has come to God in recent decades and have not become dulled in their faith and enthusiasm by intellectualising boring Bishops.

Our prayers are with this man.

1 June 2014 at 17:50  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Inspector

“Secular” adjective. ‘Concerned with the affairs of this world; not spiritual or sacred’ (Oxford Reference)

Straight question: where would you as a proclaimed Christian, rather live?:

An openly secular country such as ours or say Sweden, Denmark, even China for instance

or in any Islamic State?

1 June 2014 at 18:17  
Blogger Len said...

I suppose living in the UK(or indeed any Country which had a Judeo/Christian culture ) will be OK as long as vestiges of the Judeo/ Christian culture remain.When the foundations are finally uprooted it will be an entirely different matter... even Dawkins recognizes this.

1 June 2014 at 18:49  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Oh come on Dreadnaught. It’s all a question of degree as well you know.

One feels he’s seen our Christian heritage threatened enough over recent years. It’s lead to a line in the sand stance from this man, I can tell you.

It’s not too bad living under such a heritage as an atheist is it ? To warrant continued change under secularism which is bound to eventually assign Islam as much import as Christianity currently enjoys. Under some ‘fairness’ rot of a notion. Oh yes – the bleeding hearts of ‘equality’ will ensure that, that’s for sure. Where do you think gay marriage came from ?

That would be a situation of white atheist secularists kicking their own people in the teeth then, would it not !


1 June 2014 at 18:52  
Blogger The Explorer said...

DanJ0 @ 14:40

"how wonderful it is to be living in the UK at this time in history. If anything then it's some of the religious here who are malcontents.

True enough: a culture that is ideal for some people won't suit others.

Germany in the late 1930's must have seemed a wonderful place and time to be alive for anti-Semites and gay bashers. Jews and gays would not have felt the same way.

Thoroughgoing Nazis were probably a minority of the German population, but if there were more of them than there were Jews and gays would their happiness have made the culture valid?

1 June 2014 at 19:12  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Inspector

You are waffling again. You and I both live in a secular country. Before Roman conquest imposed Christianity we had a Pagan (broad term) culture and heritage. If a person so desired, they could and do follow whatever constitutes religion for them: that is what secularism delivers and defends.

Secularism is not remotely like Stalinism, Cuban Communism, Maoism or Pol Pot(ism) - they are essentially atheistic totalitarian constructs with emphasis on the Toalitarian; bit like the Taliban if you prefer a religious link.

Secularists may well be atheists (I'm no banner-boy) but not necessarily Totalitarianists; they may be not. Atheism is secondary to the Statist commitment to what could loosely be called Commnism - not the other way round.

Not too bad being Christian living in a secular nation is it?



1 June 2014 at 19:17  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Well there you have it Dreadnaught. You exemplify the severity of it all. If we can’t keep Britons like you on board, we are eventually going to sink.

While you secularists have such disdain for the country’s religion, and want to ‘do something about’ it’s inevitable.

So we sink, but what down to. With the benefit of a few million aliens living here who are breeding quite well, one offers you a low key civil war, North of Ireland style. The only question is when. But maybe we can answer that...

The first generation of muslim settlers were considered good peaceful immigrants. But the second, their children, look what they’ve managed. Can you imagine what the third generation are going to be like, brought up by the second. The word exponential comes to mind...


1 June 2014 at 19:36  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Albert @ 17.47

You are absolutely right. The leaders do speak out but are ignored. Welby is experienced in Africa and can speak with authority as a traveller, not only as a Christian. Even in his short time as A of C he has done some pretty intrepid, brave even, things, but outside the Churches's press there's precious little coverage given to him. I have my differences with him, theologically, but as ever I'll give credit where it's due, and exactly the same points apply to R. Williams who showed real physical courage.

I'd go further than you and say that because the west is desperate to distance itself from its faith heritage, and also to avoid being seen as favouring Christianity, all because of the left/liberal pressure groups at home, Christians in the west and globally are offered less protection than the, as you said earlier, "favourite" groups. This then sends a message to the oppressing regimes, allowing them to proceed with impunity, and so a downward spiral has been created. Somehow the west must be shamed out of this unjust stance.

1 June 2014 at 19:42  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Secularism can mean:

1. Religious organizations have no formal role in government.

2. Religious ideas have no role in government beyond the influence believers bring with them when they engage the political process.

3. Religious ideas have no roll in government. Private citizens may govern their lives as they see fit, but the government must act as if God does not exist.

It is the third definition that is contentious. That is generally what non-religious people mean when they say Secularism. To enact law founded in a religious worldview would violate this understanding of secularism because it would restrict the autonomy of a non-believer to act. Gov't, it is believed, should never compel a non-believer to act according to a religious understanding. But what makes compulsion in the name of non-religion more valid?

Secularists like to say that the gov't should be neutral toward religion but their definition of neutrality means that religion ends up invisible to the govt. That isn't neutrality. It's a de facto establishment of philosophical materialism. Which is what the irreligious like about it, and what the religious do not like about it. God is removed from the one area of irreligious life where he might otherwise make an unwelcome entrance.

Btw, this whole question of "Would you rather live in an,Islamic state?" is a red herring. Of course not. We aren't making a generic case for religion over irreligion. We are making a specific case for Christianity over irreligion. The fact that secularists don't see the difference between the two is neither here nor there.

People all want basically the same thing. "My worldview should dominate and you can be left in peace with yours as long as you don't make trouble." The atheist wants to marginalize the Christian and the Muslim. The Christian wants to marginalize the atheist and the Muslim. The Muslim wants to marginalize the Christian and the atheist. Everything else is rationalization and window-dressing.

carl

1 June 2014 at 19:49  
Blogger Len said...

I am quite amazed at how many Christian ministers and 'spokespeople' seem to have such a poor grasp of Christianity...Don`t they have to attend college or something?..Or could the problem be something entirely different?.
Most of the disciples were uneducated people but they preached the Gospel with fire and conviction and with extraordinary clarity.
The Apostle Paul one of the more intellectual apostles despised all his knowledge and preached through the Power of the Holy Spirit.
Could this be what is lacking in our Ministers today?.

1 June 2014 at 19:50  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Explorer: "True enough: a culture that is ideal for some people won't suit others."

It certainly won't suit people who want to control the lives of others according to an ideal of how humans should behave in detail. Now, I'm well aware that there are religious people who are liberal and tolerant in the laissez-faire sense and that's great. However, I'm also well-aware that there are those, religious and non-religious, who want to control the lives of others in detail. In the UK, we have a diverse population that requires a superstructure that recognises that otherwise we'll be in a state of oppression of one sort or another. Those who know our history will know what happened here when Christianity operated at the State level.

1 June 2014 at 20:02  
Blogger Albert said...

David,

also to avoid being seen as favouring Christianity, all because of the left/liberal pressure groups at home

Exactly. This is why I took some exception to Dreadnaught's comment on another thread about "Church and Politics" in relation to Islam. It struck me that he might have been right, depending on his meaning. But in the end, the reason some Muslims are getting away with killing our Christian brothers and sisters with little Western protest is because of the secular liberal-left.

1 June 2014 at 20:05  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Explorer: "Thoroughgoing Nazis were probably a minority of the German population, but if there were more of them than there were Jews and gays would their happiness have made the culture valid?"

Valid? What does that actually mean in this context? By what standard? Or is that what you want to ask? Again.

1 June 2014 at 20:07  
Blogger Albert said...

Carl,

Your definitions of secularism are spot on. The truth is, secularism under heading 3 is promoted by self-proclaimed secularists, because it privileges themselves over others. That it is inherently anti-democratic is obvious.

1 June 2014 at 20:08  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Our representative democracy has decriminalised homosexual behaviour and blasphemy, and brought in laws regarding abortion, divorce, and same-sex marriage.

*high-fives the democrats amongst us*

1 June 2014 at 20:21  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

"But then, he is male, of rather geeky appearance, and manifestly not pregnant."

A good point about the priority given by the *opinion formers* in the West. No out cry for a committed, courageous Christian male and (whisper ....) anyway, he knew what he was doing and the risks involved.

The pursuit and defence of liberty and freedom in the "Oh, so, we've never had it so good" West requires a social victim. Kim Jeong-Wook just doesn't fit that profile.

If only he could attract Stephen Fry's attention!

1 June 2014 at 20:35  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Its no red-herring. You in the US have not lived under theocratic rule yet it would be unwise for a Presidential candidate to profess to be atheist.

Be a Bible thumping Christian and you get to break all the moral rules you like so long as you do a 'Pat Robertson' or a 'Clinton'

And why do you say religious 'ideas' have not role in Government?
If people are free to hold religious beliefs and are duly elected, they will inherently express views conditioned by their religious convictions and presumably also of those who voted for them.

The is no hard wall between either.

1 June 2014 at 20:40  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Kim Il-Sung, the founder of the ruling dynasty, is sometimes said to have been the grandson of a Presbyterian minister. I don't know whether it's true -- there can't be more than a handful of people, even in North Korea itself, who would know for certain one way or the other. But if it is true, his rise to power was very bad news indeed for his grandfather's fellow Christians.

The Explorer mentioned Nietzsche earlier. He, too, came from a clerical family, I believe.
Lutheran in his case.

1 June 2014 at 20:41  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

The atheist wants to marginalize the Christian. The Christian wants to marginalize the atheist and the Muslim.

Utter nonsense - Is that what Cristianity is all about? I thought the aim of Christians was to draw the like of me toward them; and while I'm at it, why did you left out the Jews from these paradigms of your wisdom?

I do. Oh how I so do, want the West and the Rest, marginalise Islam - not necessarily individual Muslims.

1 June 2014 at 20:59  
Blogger Shadrach said...

Len @ 19:50.
Ministers attend Bible Colleges that have no life. They teach theology and teach Christianity. The students learn theology and learn Christianity.
Truth is you have to be empowered to become a Christian. It's not something that you can intellectually ascribe to without the empowering of the Holy Spirit and unfortunately, Ministers today are afraid of the power of the Holy Spirit because it's not something they can control. We can't let God do just what he wants can we?

1 June 2014 at 20:59  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Len @ 19.50 + Shadrach @ 20.59

You are both right. Christianity has been, for some decades "taught", as mainly as intellectual exercise, almost a cultural study, if you wish. There is every reason to encourage an increase in mental, intellectual understanding, that's fine, very good I would say, but on its own this is insufficient. What is far more valuable, vital, is the "belief" , the faith element, the trust in the Holy Spirit.

Two weeks ago I completed a Christian Theology degree, through the C of E, alongside Methodists, leading to Reader (Lay Preacher) Ministry. It was, I would say, 90% of the mind, intellectual, which is fine of its own accord, but with a totally insufficient emphasis on matters of the spirit. Because of my unusual personal links with the conservative protestant wing of the C of E, Reform, I was able to supplement, top up, that cerebral, mainly liberal "mental" element with my own extra studies, and activities, which will continue. Thus I was able to both, learn conservative Reformed Church thinking and doctrine, and experience the deeper spiritual commitment, but most will not.
In a nutshell far too much theological education has been, for some time, secularised, that's the core of the problem I suggest.

1 June 2014 at 21:26  
Blogger William Lewis said...

Carl

"Btw, this whole question of "Would you rather live in an,Islamic state?" is a red herring. Of course not. We aren't making a generic case for religion over irreligion. We are making a specific case for Christianity over irreligion. The fact that secularists don't see the difference between the two is neither here nor there."

Quite. I would add that secularists who don't see the difference between the two really beggars belief. It would be funny/pitiful if the consequences were not so serious. Are they really so blind?

1 June 2014 at 21:31  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Dreadnaught

Be a Bible thumping Christian and you get to break all the moral rules you like so long as you do a 'Pat Robertson' or a 'Clinton'

You greatly misunderstand the political situation in the US. THIS is ... what's the word you used ...utter nonsense. An conservative Christian politician who broke those moral rules would destroy himself. He would be savaged with the charge of hypocrisy.

And why do you say religious 'ideas' have not role in Government?

Because if the gov't was democratically elected by a bunch of people like me, and therefore reflected that image in the law, you would still complain about theocracy. You aren't concerned about who gets to make the laws so much as you are concerned about which laws get made. You don't care a damn about theology. You care about how that theology might impact your life. However that might come about.

Utter nonsense - Is that what Cristianity is all about? I thought the aim of Christians was to draw the like of me toward them; and while I'm at it, why did you left out the Jews from these paradigms of your wisdom

I left the Jews out because I didn't want to type the additional words. Besides which, I was focusing on the three main religions in the West today.

Now, stay on target Dreadnaught. We are talking about how worldviews get reflected in law. And, yes, you to want to marginalize me. That doesn't mean "Deny my right to participate." It means "Mitigate my influence so the law doesn't reflect what I believe."

You say you want to marginalize Islam. Well, Islam has no existence outside of the people who comprise it. You can't marginalize Islam without marginalizing Muslims. So you have a few options here, and they all involve actions about people.

1. You can keep their population small relative to the whole so that they simply don't have the mass to effect change.

2. You can convert them to your way of thinking.

But if those options fail, and they ever get sufficient size to start electing majorities, then the laws they pass will reflect Islam. That must be prevented. So, hell, yes - I would want to marginalize Islam. I want its political influence to be negligible. But the atheist is going to look at me and think the same thing. Remember those laws about divorce and abortion that DanJ0 was high fiving earlier? Put people like me in power, and I guarantee you those laws will be changed. The reason they were changed in the first place is because people like me list influence. And that loss wasn't an accident.

People want the law to reflect what they believe. The specifically want the law to NOT reflect what they don't believe. And in the zero sum world of politics, that means someone is going to get marginalized.

carl

1 June 2014 at 21:53  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

David Hussell

That’s a very interesting point you made about the content of your theology degree. How much space, if any, is given to the fields of OT and NT studies? Are German authors like Martin Hengel and Joachim Jeremias read at all? Or are they deemed outdated by now?

1 June 2014 at 21:53  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

David Hussell

And I forgot to say: Congratulations on completing your degree course! What new letters can you now add on after your name?

Regards
Brian

1 June 2014 at 21:59  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Uncle Brian

Thank you for the congratulations, Brian.

But really the letters are not the important bit, at all.

Space for OT/NT studies ? Quite a lot, but not enough, perhaps 40/50%. Part of the problem that course designers face is that theology is one very immense field with depth (4000 years worth), width (global), and obviously all the strands of Christian thought - it's huge, truly is, even compared to my previous (youthful) fields of study. Then there's the related, interwoven fields like aspects of history, philosophy and cultural studies, other faiths, all relevant to help make Christianity "come alive" to younger generations, although I'll leave that to the young. It's a life time study really, so I shan't be getting bored. But now I do the useful bits as well, like teach, preach, bury the dead, cheer up the clergy, write one-off services, and what have you as well.
German authors ? Sorry, no. But I studied obviously, Luther, and at a personal level, that incredible guy, Bonhoeffer.
It's made me realise, as in my other fields, how little I know really.

1 June 2014 at 22:19  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...


David. One’s congratulations on your Theology degree. That’s two here then, with Albert.

Any more hiding out there ?

1 June 2014 at 22:28  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Albert

I didn't know you had a degree in theology. Congratulations to you too!

Specifically Catholic theology, or generically Christian?

Regards
Brian

1 June 2014 at 22:39  
Blogger The Explorer said...

DanJ0 @ 20:07

Sorry, called away unexpectedly. That's the problem with blogging.

What does valid mean? In that context, appropriate to the happiness of the greatest number.

It's because he realises that the wish of the majority can be a tyranny that Mill elects for quality over quantity.

What is quality? What Mill, playing God, thinks it is.

But Nietzsche, also playing God after killing him off, might come up with something different.

Which of the two is right: whoever has the power to enforce his opinion.

As you so rightly point out, I've said this sort of thing before.

1 June 2014 at 23:14  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Lucy
I'm all for people taking risks in life, but there's a time when you have to weigh up the costs and benefits.
What about his congregation attending the underground church? They would no doubt have been in trouble too? What punishments have they had to endure I wonder?
Sometimes it's best not to poke the hornets nest.
Bringing Christianity to N. Korea might have been challenging and exciting for this young man but even if his followers appreciate it they are unable to promote it other than in underground movements with the risks of being killed or imprisoned for life themselves. Why do we feel we have to impose our ways on others whom we see as living lives less fortunate than ourselves? Ignorance is bliss for some.

The biggest threat in the world is Satan's 'religion of peace' .

2 June 2014 at 00:32  
Blogger Che Yeoh said...

DanJo@14.40

'and those who are obsessed with the sex lives of other people'

That would be just about everyone then - there's hardly a programme on the telly that isn't sexualised in some shape or form. Your friends in the north were rather bemused by the BBC's new programme following the referendum 'Scotland 2014' which mainly consisted of closeups of Sarah Smith's (daughter of John Smith) legs. Quite what they have to do with the referendum I don't know, but the viewer numbers dropped from 80 000 to 22 000 in the space of a couple of days. Left them without a leg to stand on..

2 June 2014 at 01:00  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Che:"Your friends in the north [...]"

Which friends are these?

2 June 2014 at 05:59  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Explorer:"What does valid mean? In that context, appropriate to the happiness of the greatest number. It's because he realises that the wish of the majority can be a tyranny that Mill elects for quality over quantity. What is quality? What Mill, playing God, thinks it is."

I don't recognise that interpretation at all. Have you read On Liberty?

"Which of the two is right: whoever has the power to enforce his opinion."

Mill wrote a political work so I'm raising an eyebrow at the word "right" there.

2 June 2014 at 06:09  
Blogger The Explorer said...

DanJ0:

Yes, and I have it on my Kindle.

What I was thinking of in this instance, though, was 'Utrilitarianism'.

2 June 2014 at 07:39  
Blogger IanCad said...

Congratulations, David Hussell.

Glad I didn't know about Albert's qualification.
I might have been more circumspect during our robust disputations.

2 June 2014 at 08:10  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Inspector, IanCad,

Congratulations.

Thank you both.

2 June 2014 at 08:24  
Blogger IanCad said...

And, at this moment, Kim Jeong-Wook is, most surely, hungry.
His body must ache. Hard labour will hurt, especially if manual work has not been part of his vocation.

It will be a struggle for him to survive. The brutal, the selfish, the scheming. They have a chance.

Kim is a Christian. His faith. Our prayers.

May Christ comfort and sustain him.

"For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day."
2 Timothy 1:12

2 June 2014 at 08:29  
Blogger William Lewis said...

Well said IanCad

2 June 2014 at 08:32  
Blogger The Explorer said...

David H:

Double congratulations.

1. For completing the degree.

2. For completing a theology degree with your faith intact.

2 June 2014 at 09:56  
Blogger David Hussell said...

The Explorer

Thank you too for the congratulations.

The price for defending my orthodox faith was some "interesting" conservations with the tutors, liberals to a man/woman. But I would advise the young to stay away from such places.

2 June 2014 at 10:48  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

CJ

You don't care a damn about theology.

On the money with that.

Same approach I take to Islam, Judaism and so on. Theology is a thoroughly meaningless pursuit, valid only to the person who is already committed to that belief construct.

You guys don't even agree on which branch of your religion is the 'right' one because there can't ever be a right one; anything you say can either be approved or contradicted by someone else from the same sect or any other, which calls itself Christian.

If I vote for a politician it is because of the person and the political group. A person's religious inclination is their own business
but I draw the line at their acceptability for the political arena when they claim their decision are influenced by consultations with a spurious divinity.

Islam is NOT A RELIGION. It is a political ideology constructed to favour Arabs first and foremost with stolen mythologies to give it that added gravitas of the guiding hand of an unseen ultimate truth icon.

2 June 2014 at 10:57  
Blogger Len said...

I am really surprised at the level of anti Christian feeling in these 'days of enlightenment' as man 'evolves' to become 'a higher species'.(Although I suppose I shouldn`t be surprised as Jesus told us this would happen and the 'last days' would be the worst of all times of persecution of Christians for their belief in Jesus Christ and His Gospel.)
More Christians were martyred in the 20th century than in all previous centuries combined a sad indictment of the times we live in..
Despite article 18 Declaration of Human Rights;"Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance."
Even membership of the UN does not guarantee that basic human rights will be acknowledged in member Countries.

2 June 2014 at 10:59  
Blogger Roy said...

DanJ0 said...

But I'm not discontented. Quite the opposite, really. In fact, I was saying on the thread below last night how wonderful it is living in the UK at this time in history.

So, you are in effect saying "I'm alright Jack" to quote the title of a film starring Peter Sellers, if I remember rightly.

Do you care about those British children who go to primary schools where few of the younger children can speak English, or the elderly people who feel as if they are living in what has become a foreign country?

Do you care about the victims of crimes committed by illegal immigrants who cannot be deported because of their "human rights"? Do you care about the victims of crimes committed by murderers sentenced to "life imprisonment" who are then released after a few years?

Do you care about the institutionalised cowardice created by politicians under the guise of "health and safety"? There was a case where policemen stood by and let someone drown in a pond because they had not been "trained" in how to rescue someone from water. Can you imagine such a thing ever happening before at any time in British history?

But never mind. You have got gay "marriage" and incessant gay propaganda from public bodies (even OFSTED inspectors quizzing primary school children) so everything in the garden is rosy.

Obviously some things are better now than they were in the past, but we are living on the social capital of previous generations who achieved so much more than this generation ever has or will, despite the fact that they lived through far harder times.

2 June 2014 at 10:59  
Blogger Len said...

In an enlightened democracy why cannot atheists and Christians live together?.
We both have world views which are different but is not diversity possible with equanimity?
We elect Governments which represents the view of the majority(no sniggering please)
so what is the problem ?.
(Answers in less than 200 words )
Christianity( Biblical that is) is NEVER going to change this present World system!.
Biblical Christianity demands a new world, a new system,which will be built out of the ashes of the old one...

2 June 2014 at 11:09  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

In an enlightened democracy why cannot atheists and Christians live together?

I wasn't aware there was a problem.

2 June 2014 at 14:27  
Blogger Len said...

I think just this blog alone gives testimony that there is a problem.

2 June 2014 at 15:30  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Roy: "So, you are in effect saying "I'm alright Jack" to quote the title of a film starring Peter Sellers, if I remember rightly."

No, I'm saying we're alright Jack as it goes. If you think we're not amazingly lucky to have been born in the UK at this time in history then you really need to travel the world a bit more. To places off the package holiday list, I mean. We should get on our hands and knees and thank Pikkiwoki for our blessings every day. I'm being deadly serious with the sentiment here, it drives me up the wall when people run this country down.

2 June 2014 at 17:27  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Len: "I am really surprised at the level of anti Christian feeling in these 'days of enlightenment' as man 'evolves' to become 'a higher species'"

I've only really become aware of it in the UK since some Christians have started professionally playing the victim card e.g. with that famous B&B case. That's not to say that Christians in other places around the world are not victims, they bloody well are beyond the point of persecution. Just not in the UK where Christians enjoy special privileges.

2 June 2014 at 17:31  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Explorer: "What I was thinking of in this instance, though, was 'Utrilitarianism'."

I hope you're not doing a Dodo and Blofled, assuming that I'm a utilitarian in moral philosophy terms because I talk about JS Mill in political philosophy terms. I've pointed and laughed at the pair of them often enough for that.

The tyranny of the majority thing is from On Liberty and refers to social control as well as voting power. It's a core thing to the essay because prevailing opinion and feeling is so powerful and pervasive.

2 June 2014 at 17:47  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Len

Keep a sense of proportion. So one or two atheists post here and are likely to challenge all aspects of all religions, this does not mean that there is a world-wide conspiracy to which anyone who declares themselves atheist and to destroy Christianity.

There is more antagonism and nastiness from so-called Christians, between themselves and YOU in particular (in the past at least)just because you don't run with the mob.

2 June 2014 at 17:56  
Blogger Len said...

Dreadnaught@ 17:56, agreed.
I was told when I became a Christian that I would suffer persecution... but I never expected it to come from 'the Church'.
I have always challenged religious beliefs (come from being an atheist for so long before I became a Christian I suppose)

2 June 2014 at 18:13  
Blogger Albert said...

Oh Len! On another thread you've said that Catholicism isn't even Christian and here you setting yourself up as the innocent victim of "the Church".

2 June 2014 at 18:57  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Hi DanJ0:

The idea of the tyranny of the majority drives the argument in 'Utilitarianism'.

Greatest happiness of greatest number. Good = pleasure; evil = pain.

But the 'pigs' experience pleasure, and there are so many of them that if you calculate the greatest happiness of the greatest number numerically then the pigs' view of pleasure must prevail. (My point about the Nazis).

Thus quality must judge quantity.

But who is to determine quality? In the absence of God, people like Mill. A latent authoritarianism is inherent within his position.

That's the sort of thing I was getting at.

Off blog now for a day or two. Regards to you.

2 June 2014 at 20:30  
Blogger Hannah said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2 June 2014 at 20:59  
Blogger Hannah said...

Hi Albert,

Is Pope Benedict still called a Pope? Just wondering, for various reasons...

2 June 2014 at 21:01  
Blogger Albert said...

Hannah,

He is called "Emeritus Pope" or "Pope Emeritus". He is in fact, just a bishop now, with now extra authority. But I like the title; it seems fitting.

2 June 2014 at 21:36  
Blogger Albert said...

I mean "no extra authority".

2 June 2014 at 21:47  
Blogger Hannah said...

Hi Albert,

Thanks for that. You see being ecumenical we have various fridge magnets with the faces of world religious leaders on them in our house. I'm a bit anal retentive when it comes to the order they are supposed to be on the fridge. So Pope Emeritus Benedict can now safely put in between Rowan Williams and Rabbi Sacks & above them Justin Welby, Pope Francis can share a space with David Lau and the Deli Lama...

2 June 2014 at 22:24  
Blogger Len said...

Albert if you knew my circumstances regarding 'the church 'you probably wouldn`t be so derisive?
But there again?

2 June 2014 at 22:26  
Blogger Len said...

But I suppose there again Albert I haven`t been burn by the church as Catholics did to poor old Cranmer and thousands of others?.

2 June 2014 at 22:28  
Blogger Len said...

Catholics are not supposed to have two popes at the same time (bad for business) But two Popes did exist at the same time and each Pope called the other a heretic,,and people agreed that both Popes had been right.

2 June 2014 at 22:34  
Blogger Albert said...

Hannah,

So Pope Emeritus Benedict can now safely put in between Rowan Williams and Rabbi Sacks & above them Justin Welby, Pope Francis can share a space with David Lau and the Deli Lama...

Yes, I quite see the difficulty.

2 June 2014 at 22:38  
Blogger Albert said...

Len,

The point is that I would never deny your are a Christian. The whole burning of people thing - I don't see your point. I could just bat it back.

There was a period when three people claimed to be pope, but there was no period when two popes were recognized as pope.

2 June 2014 at 22:40  
Blogger Len said...

Albert,I have never denied the possibility of a Catholic being a Christian(in fact I have lost count of the times I have said this!)It is the Catholic(and other) religious 'systems' which I abhor.

2 June 2014 at 22:47  
Blogger Len said...

Albert, A religion which kills and tortures people because they do not believe what those in that religion believe cannot be the Christianity that Jesus Christ preached.(Islam is still using this control method but Catholicism uses more subtle methods today.)
Catholics are not allowed to burn and torture people anymore but they still use fear and intimidation to keep their flocks under control.

You can 'bat that about' as much as you like but the fact still remains.

2 June 2014 at 23:10  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Len, you are sectionable.

2 June 2014 at 23:21  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Len, in what way does the Roman Catholic Church use "fear and intimidation to keep their flocks under control"?

Albert, in Jack's experience is rarely, if ever derisive so why not share your " circumstances regarding 'the church"? What's the issue at the back of this obsession?

3 June 2014 at 00:27  
Blogger Len said...

' in what way does the Roman Catholic Church use "fear and intimidation to keep their flocks under control"?'

The RCC religious system takes total authority over everything the follower of the RCC is permitted to believe.No interpretation of God`s Word is allowed other than that which the Magisterium permits.Jesus said quite plainly that the Holy Spirit would lead us into all truth and the Holy Spirit is not controlled by the RCC !.
This is nothing other than mind control through intimidation and fear.I could list all the anathemas but the list is long!
So to the Roman Catholic the Word of God is made null and void because where the Word of God challenges the authority of the Magisterium God`s Word is rejected.
All this is warned against in the Word of God,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCcwb1iUZI0

3 June 2014 at 11:24  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Len, rather than cover old ground about to whom the promise of the Holy Spirit was given, just where is the "fear and intimidation"?

Jack doesn't feel the slightest bit fearful or intimidated by the Church. Mind you, he does has a healthy fear of God's Justice and of Hell, as well as an appreciation of the Love and Mercy of God.

3 June 2014 at 15:24  
Blogger William Lewis said...

Happy Jack

An example of fear, intimidation and misinformation. I found it here:

"Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus"
1) To be saved it is necessary to be a Christian.
2) To be a Christian it is necessary to be a member of Christ's Church.
3) To be a member of Christ's Church it is necessary to be a member of the Catholic Church.
4) To be a member of the Catholic Church it is necessary to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.
5) Therefore, it is necessary for salvation to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.

3 June 2014 at 17:30  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

William, is it "fear and intimidation" to teach the Truth? You're free to reject this teaching - as is Happy Jack. Plus, you missed a rather important bit out, didn't you?

3 June 2014 at 17:34  
Blogger Albert said...

Len,

I've had a long day at work in London. I really can't be bothered to correct your misapprehensions of the Catholic Church. There is very little point since no evidence is required for your beliefs and no evidence will falsify them. I say this:

I have never denied the possibility of a Catholic being a Christian

Well actually, you did:

I am not the first to realise that Roman Catholicism is not Christian

You just can't separate the believer from the Church.

3 June 2014 at 18:38  
Blogger William Lewis said...

Happy Jack

"William, is it "fear and intimidation" to teach the Truth?"

No.

"You're free to reject this teaching - as is Happy Jack."

I am indeed free to reject those assertions. Do you know who set me free and how He did it? Others are less "fortunate".

"Plus, you missed a rather important bit out, didn't you?"

Possibly. I got stuck on "teachings" 3, 4 and 5. Did it get any better?

3 June 2014 at 18:45  
Blogger Albert said...

William Lewis,

Do you know who set me free and how He did it? Others are less "fortunate".

This kind of writing is just silly. As a former Protestant and convert to Catholicism, I can exactly the same.

3 June 2014 at 18:50  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

William, the point of a post is to read it all. It also helps to read some of the comments. That way you get the overall picture. It's a bit like reading any author really. Then you have to try to get a flavour of what was in the writer's mind at the time.

3 June 2014 at 19:27  
Blogger Len said...

I suppose Albert and HJ you have dug your hole and appear to be stuck with it or rather down it?.

I can only look on in bewilderment.

3 June 2014 at 21:58  
Blogger Albert said...

I suppose Len and WL you have dug your hole and appear to be stuck with it or rather down it?.

I can only look on in bewilderment.

That must be a knock down argument!

3 June 2014 at 22:01  
Blogger William Lewis said...

Happy Jack

I read on at your invitation. Wished I hadn't. Apparently if I don't subject myself to the Pope then I might still get to Heaven in a lifeboat. No mention of Jesus other than a reference to His Jewishness in the comments. A thoroughly unedifying experience at best. Poisonous, intimidating, fear-mongring religion at worst.

3 June 2014 at 23:05  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

*chuckle*

What on earth are these comments about holes supposed to mean?

Len, Happy Jack is still waiting on evidence of "fear and intimidation" -in 2014.

Let's look at the reply:

"The RCC religious system takes total authority over everything the follower of the RCC is permitted to believe."

Wrong. The Church expects its members to consent to Truths of faith and morals always accepted by tradition and those clarified when necessary because of disputes or due to a fuller understanding of these Truths. There's plenty of room in Catholicism for theological exploration. Take the Church's position on "predestination" and how grace becomes efficacious. It is not a settled matter. Take the destination of the unbaptised infant. Again, unsettled. Or those who have heard or been unable to hear the word of God. Again, unsettled. So many unsettled areas.

"No interpretation of God`s Word is allowed other than that which the Magisterium permits"

Well yes, Jesus did actually give this job to His Apostolic Church. Without it God knows where we would be today. Do you know the history of the early Church before it established the Apostles Creed?

"Jesus said quite plainly that the Holy Spirit would lead us into all truth and the Holy Spirit is not controlled by the RCC !"

Not sure of the term but you've confused two things there. Of course the Church doesn't control the Holy Spirit! Its the other way around. The Holy Spirit ensures the Church cannot err on matters of doctrine and dogma.

"This is nothing other than mind control through intimidation and fear. I could list all the anathemas but the list is long!"

That's because the list of heresies were and are so long.

"So to the Roman Catholic the Word of God is made null and void because where the Word of God challenges the authority of the Magisterium God`s Word is rejected."

Nonsense. What you mean is where a particular interpretation differs from the Church's it is rejected. What else?

Without this we'd have clerics teaching homosexuality was cool, you can divorce and remarry and have abortions. They would analysis the bible and say the Church has been getting it wrong and misunderstanding it all this time.

Others might say Jesus wasn't really God, or He didn't actually physically rise from the dead and, anyway, the atonement would be 'cosmic child abuse'. Some might say everyone gets to go to Heaven.

"All this is warned against in the Word of God,"

It is indeed Len and that's why the authority of the Church, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, is there.

3 June 2014 at 23:22  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

William, Happy Jack is disappointed you found the experience so unedifying.

You still don't get the message if you understood it to mean subjecting yourself to the Pope as opposed to accepting the Church as having authority. To do so, you would need some awareness of Pope Innocent III's teachings in 1208, the profession of faith of the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215, the bull Unam Sanctam of Pope Boniface VIII in 1302, and the Council of Florence in 1442.

The axiom "No salvation outside the Church" is the real point and has been repeated over the centuries in different terms by the Magisterium and at Councils and applied in different ways because its complex as times change.

3 June 2014 at 23:38  
Blogger William Lewis said...

Happy Jack

I see that I should add "duplicitous" to my last sentence.

I do not accept that the Church has authority in this context because I do not accept your definition of the Church. How can one accept the authority of an organisation that emits such flawed axioms? I have not been set free by the blood of the Lamb in order to submit myself to this human bondage. Albert thinks I'm silly. I think he's crazy.

4 June 2014 at 08:21  
Blogger Len said...

HJ you seem to have a strange concept of the Holy Spirit?.
According to 'catholic theology' the Holy Spirit contradicts God and often makes mistakes that the Pope has to correct.
This would be laughable if not for the fact that Catholics take this seriously.

4 June 2014 at 11:40  
Blogger Len said...

I cannot figure Albert out, he seems intelligent(got a degree and all apparently?)but he just cannot accept Biblical truth .It seems everything Albert looks at has to be perceived through 'catholic spectacles' which he cannot take off.I think Albert sees himself as the ' master advocate' of Catholic theology and can thrash any protestant with his 'Catholic lash'.(indeed has even boasted as such)
I suppose that is just the nature of deception and many will fall under the power of deceiving spirits in these last days.
The only solution to this problem of deception is to have a love of the truth above denomination above pride and above all the know the Truth ...which is Christ.

4 June 2014 at 11:53  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Len, please provide evidence for this assertion:

"According to 'catholic theology' the Holy Spirit contradicts God and often makes mistakes that the Pope has to correct."

William

"I have not been set free by the blood of the Lamb in order to submit myself to this human bondage.

Oh don't be so dramatic! Is it bondage to follow Christ?

4 June 2014 at 12:02  
Blogger William Lewis said...

Happy Jack

"Oh don't be so dramatic! Is it bondage to follow Christ?"

Paul thought so.

Were you a slave when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.) For he who was called in the Lord as a slave is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a slave of Christ. You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men.

1 Corinthians 7:21-23

4 June 2014 at 12:33  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

William yes, but what slavery! It was you who objected to following the teachings of the Catholic Church - the visible Body of Christ, invested with His authority until His return.

"For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light."

Jack's point is that the Catholic Church does not put men in bondage to men or to institutions. Rather, through the Holy Spirit, it helps people become one with Christ and sustains them in this.

4 June 2014 at 12:47  
Blogger William Lewis said...

Happy Jack

"You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men."

4 June 2014 at 15:49  
Blogger Len said...

Jack you are in bondage to a religious cult.
If you want to test this just leave and put your faith in Christ ...
Still there?.

4 June 2014 at 17:11  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Len: "I think Albert sees himself as the ' master advocate' of Catholic theology and can thrash any protestant with his 'Catholic lash'.(indeed has even boasted as such)"

Think yourself privileged! We a-theists only qualify for a kicking apparently. :(

4 June 2014 at 17:22  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4 June 2014 at 17:40  
Blogger Len said...

Is Catholicism a cult?.
hmmmmmmmm let me see.

http://carm.org/comparison-grid

4 June 2014 at 23:21  
Blogger Len said...

Danjo,
I am beginning to have this horrific picture of someone dressed all in a black leotard type thing (masked of course ) with a whip and a little goblin type thing dancing around him hurling forth taunts and curses.

I think I had better stop there.....

4 June 2014 at 23:24  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

William, Happy Jack is the slave of no man or institution. His loyalty is to God through His Son, by the grace of the Holy Spirit.

Len, we disagree. Fine. Happy Jack answered all your objections and all you come back with is a ridiculous suggestion and accusation.

Why would Jack want to separate himself from the visible Church, the Bride of Christ?

The Apostolic Church was established by Jesus and given His authority until He returns. It is Jack's understanding that Anglo-Catholics, Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians all believe this in one way or another.

The Church is under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and God will not let it err in matters of doctrine and faith. That is also 'Biblical Christianity'.

Cult indeed!

4 June 2014 at 23:33  
Blogger Len said...

HJ
The Holy Spirit does not contradict Himself IF the Catholic church was under the direction of the Holy Spirit it would not contradict the Word of God which it quite plainly does..

The Spirit behind the Roman Church is the same spirit that inhabited Babylon...
If you cannot or will not see this basic fact then that is totally your affair.
But if you preach this heresy to all and sundry you will be accountable for this..and you can no longer claim ignorance....

5 June 2014 at 09:40  
Blogger Albert said...

Len,

and can thrash any protestant with his 'Catholic lash'.(indeed has even boasted as such)

I most certainly have not. I doubt I have said anything more than that experience shows you don't manage to maintain your position in the face of Catholic theology.

5 June 2014 at 20:07  
Blogger Albert said...

William Lewis,

How can one accept the authority of an organisation that emits such flawed axioms?

On what grounds do you judge the Catholic Church has flawed axioms? On the grounds of private judgement of course. But private judgement is just that private judgement. All error flows from private judgement.

5 June 2014 at 20:10  
Blogger William Lewis said...

Albert

"On what grounds do you judge the Catholic Church has flawed axioms? On the grounds of private judgement of course. But private judgement is just that private judgement. All error flows from private judgement."

On what grounds did you decide to convert to Catholicism if it was not your private judgement?

Why don't I just answer you with your own argument to me on 3 June 2014 18:50?

"This kind of writing is just silly. As a Protestant who has rejected Catholicism, I can [say] exactly the same."

6 June 2014 at 09:00  
Blogger William Lewis said...

Albert says

"But private judgement is just that private judgement. All error flows from private judgement."

Paul says

"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."

Romans 12:2

6 June 2014 at 09:04  
Blogger Len said...

If one wanted to know exactly what the author meant when he wrote a book who would be the best person to ask exactly what he meant?.
Well according to Roman Catholics,a committee who set themselves up and declared themselves to know exactly what the author meant(they kept changing this though and adding 'thoughts' that they thought would make things 'clearer'.)This group of men then declared that ONLY THEY knew what the author meant and although others could read the book they could never understand it unless this committee told then what the author REALLY meant (Did God really say, did God really mean this?)
Of course if one wanted to know what the author meant we would go directly to the Author which is exactly what the author promised!


"But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come."(John 16:13)

6 June 2014 at 09:58  
Blogger Len said...

Much is made about the 'authority' of the Roman Church but this quite plainly is a fabrication .The ONLY authority of The Roman Church is the false authority it has gained by deception and the twisting of scripture.
No Church father ever claimed that Peter was the rock on which the Church was built.Not One!.
The donation of Constantine was the original 'authority' of the Roman Church but this was found to be a clumsily constructed forgery by Roman 'theologians'.
So they looked for another source of their 'authority' for the false claim to be the one true church .Yes!..you have guessed it!.
Peter became their new' authority'.
Although Peter never claimed to be the rock and always claimed that Jesus Christ was' the Rock 'on which the church was built.
The only rock of truth is Jesus Christ; and that we, as his redeemed, need to keep our eyes on him. We are to look to no one else as the foundation, the source, or the hope on which the church is built. The Church is built upon Jesus--not Peter.

"For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ." (1 Cor. 3:11).

6 June 2014 at 10:09  
Blogger Albert said...

Len,

Well according to Roman Catholics,a committee who set themselves up and declared themselves to know exactly what the author meant(they kept changing this though and adding 'thoughts' that they thought would make things 'clearer'.)This group of men then declared that ONLY THEY knew what the author meant and although others could read the book they could never understand it unless this committee told then what the author REALLY meant (Did God really say, did God really mean this?)
Of course if one wanted to know what the author meant we would go directly to the Author which is exactly what the author promised!


You cannot answer Catholicism because you have no idea what it stands for.

6 June 2014 at 10:55  
Blogger Len said...

Albert you cannot understand the true Gospel because you have no idea what it stands for...

6 June 2014 at 16:07  

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