Philip North Martyn Percy
Church of England

Abstaining: Martyn Percy’s excellent (but flawed) Lenten reflection (on Sheffield)

Martyn Percy has written an excellent Lenten reflection on abstaining, in the context of the appointment of the next Bishop of Sheffield. We wait with bated breath to see if Philip North will proceed to consecration or stand down, as Professor Percy has suggested he should. The reflection is really, truly exceptional; the sort of allegorical applied theology which might make one proud to have once studied at his feet. It is profound, discerning and wise; almost prophetic. Rarely will you read such a parable of imaginative ingenuity and moral virtue.

It is worth reading and reflecting upon before you proceed further. And not only reflecting upon, but mediating prayerfully and faithfully; allowing Martyn Percy’s wisdom and insight to enlighten your mind and permeate your soul. Seriously, take the time. Here’s the space to do so ->

*************
SPACE TO MEDITATE UPON ABSTAINING by Martyn Percy
*************

Brilliant, isn’t it? It weaves its symbolism into a lyrical theology of ecclesial love, acceptance and mutuality. It sings with moral consciousness, biblical integrity, and reasoned, powerful pastoral compassion.

But there is a flaw, and that flaw is contained in its very genesis:

Bishop Philip North is an abstainer. He is entitled to be so. He abstains from ordaining women. He abstains from recognising and affirming their full and equal sacramental ordination, (NB: but not lawful, although this is still against Principle One of the ‘Five Guiding Principles’). He abstains from clarifying his views on what happens when a woman priest celebrates the Eucharist at an altar in Pitsmoor or on the Manor Estate – or any other parish of the Diocese. He abstains from recognising the sacramental efficacy of men ordained by women bishops. He abstains from full participation in a Eucharist and Consecration, unless they are male-only affairs, and the sacramental ‘integrity’ of the event is guaranteed.

Does a paraplegic abstain from walking? Does a eunuch abstain from sexual intercourse? Does the blind man abstain from gazing at porn, or the deaf man from bathing his soul in Beethoven? Do men abstain from giving birth? Does God abstain from sinning? May the body and precious blood of Christ be bounded in a piece of mouldy bread and a cup of corked wine?

You cannot abstain from that which you cannot do. You cannot withhold that which cannot be. You cannot voluntarily refrain from that which cannot be performed. The ordination of women isn’t analogous to circumcision (or not), or eating meat offered to idols (or not), because such things exist. It is a question of ontology, and Philip North believes as a matter of conscience that to be a woman is incompatible with priesthood. He accepts the law of the land and the ecclesial reality, but the spiritual law of God is higher. You (/we) may demur, but this is what he believes. As the Archbishop of York has assured, Bishop Philip is dedicated to the encouragement and support of all women under his episcopal authority, but as a matter of conscience he believes that priesthood and maleness are as inseparable as Jesus and divine sonship.

And so Martyn Percy’s Lenten reflection breaks down: Philip North is not abstaining from ordaining women priests: he believes it is simply not possible to do so. You can quibble over whether temporal incapacity is analogous to spiritual stricture, but that would be to miss the point.

And there is a further flaw, or perhaps it isn’t so much a flaw as a theological impertinence. There is a demand (most recently articulated by ‘progressive’ Sheffield MP Louise Haigh) for Philip North to “clarify his views”; that is, to submit himself to some sort of ecclesial Court of Star Chamber, in which Martyn Percy might play the role of chief prosecutor to make a window into the Bishop-Elect’s soul to test his suitability for diocesan ministry.

Is this not a matter for Philip North’s own conscience? If he is in submission to the laws of the Church and the authority of Synod; and if he is committed by his own testimony to the mutual flourishing envisaged by the Five Guiding Principles, is it not for him in his conscience to work out the tensions, inconsistencies and incompatibilities between his ecclesiology, theology and praxis? Has not tolerance of that precise via media latitudinarianism permitted the Church of England to flourish for 500 years? Might not the intolerance of catholic orthodoxy precipitate schism?

Perhaps that is the intended or desired outcome: create a church in which there is a glass ceiling on the advancement of conservative-catholic clergy like Philip North, thereby privileging the rise of liberal-progressive clergy like…

  • 1649again

    A classic piece of modern liberalism in the American sense. When not in authority they demand freedom of conscience and practice, when holding the reigns of authority they expect total ideological purity and conformity of thought, and require those suspected of dissent to be held to inquisitorial account. Dreadful hypocrisy.

  • vsscoles

    Ahem, Cranmer, Bishop Philip North is already consecrated. All that is required is for him to be Confirmed by the Court as the next Bishop of Sheffield. The Court has no role other than to confirm that he, Philip North, really is Philip North, and has been duly nominated by the Crown.

    • Dominic Stockford

      If he ends up as Bishop of nowhere, he will not be a bishop. Surely?

      • Anton

        Rotten boroughs?

      • vsscoles

        He is already Bishop of Burnley

        • Dominic Stockford

          Which is, surely, the next place out of which he will be hounded for his orthodox views on women and Christian ministry

  • len

    Professor Percy seem to have abstained from following the scriptures?.

    • Merchantman

      If it walks with Percy further down his wide church road I think it’s fair to say cumulatively the Anglican Church could be considered in error having departed from recognisably biblical and orthodox Christianity in many regards. We should however; what with it being Lent and all; abstain from judgement.
      Partying with the ungodly was settled when Moses came down from the mountain and found the place in uproar.

  • Anton

    Doctor Percy
    Because thou hast cleaved unto false doctrines, namely the ordination of women into positions of authority within the most excellent Church of God in this realm of England; because thou believest that man may marry man, contrary to the scriptures of that same church; because thou takest thy beacon from the times and not from the same sacred scriptures: therefore shalt thou this day be deprived of thy living at the Church of Christ in the University of Oxford.
    Witness my hand this day
    ******** Cantuar, Anno Domini 20**

    (fill in the gaps)

    • Dominic Stockford

      Time then, to bring a song to life…

      So light up the fire and let the flame burn
      Open the door, let Jesus return
      Take seeds of His Spirit, let the fruit grow
      Tell the people of Jesus, let His love show….

  • ecclesiaman

    I have never been a member of the C of E. It is undoubtedly true that God has used this organisation and its members both lay and ordained. However it is having to face up issues that get to the heart of what “church” is about. John Wesley reluctantly (I stand to be corrected) had to leave in order to fulfil his calling. I know nothing of Rev. North’s theological convictions save those mentioned in this article.
    It is important to be inclusive but this has limits that go beyond tradition and culture. The scriptural position is, or should be, where our limits are defined.
    Paul speaks in Romans 14 about attitudes in respect of acceptance to the Fellowship of believers. It would appear that the “Charity” of KJV 1 Corinthians 13 is absent in Sheffield.
    Regarding restaurant ownership, should not the proprietor decide what he/she wants to put on the menu?

    • Anton

      John Wesley never wrote any letter of resignation from the clergy of the Church of England, nor was he thrown out of it, but he was strenuously opposed by what might be called the complacent majority party within the CoE, which is why he often had to preach in the open air. He did ordain ministers to oversee the congregations which had sprung from his movement in the newly independent USA, an action irregular within the CoE; and after his death many of his followers in England quit the CoE to become the Methodists.

      • Dominic Stockford

        It was John Bunyan who was effectively thrown out.

        • Anton

          Yes, I have used the line “Bunyan was imprisoned for unlicensed preaching, which is what I am doing now.”

    • Coniston

      Bishop Phillip North has been Bishop of Burnley. He is a member of Forward in Faith, and is one of the Bishops of the Society of St Wilfred and St Hilda, a traditional, orthodox and largely Anglo-Catholic part of the Anglican Church.

  • carl jacobs

    The ability to abstain is the grace offered by religious progressives to those who reject progressive religion. It first reflects the presumption of power. Grace does not need to be shown to Philip North. Justice demands that he receive the recompense due for his ideological sin. Progressives however are gracious and have allowed space for his conscience – but only on condition that he not be able to act upon it. Abstention is a negative freedom. It simply allows one to stand aside in silence.

    It second reflects the settled judgment that Philip North is wrong – that both the teaching and practice of the church must say that he is wrong. The grace has been extended to him and not what he believes. This distinction means that he must be restricted from any office of authority. Otherwise the grace shown to him will likewise be seen as grace attributed to his position.

    It third reflects the belief the Philip North is passing away. There is always present the progressive belief in progress and progress has judge Philip North to be obsolete. There is therefore no need to engage him for the bar of history has judged him and found him wanting. The progressive in shows in response some measure of pity for those trapped in the past who must watch die that which they hold true.

    Remember however that grace is undeserved. Justice demands a far harsher sentence. If he will not accept the grace offered and go gentle into that good night, then he will be dispatched with force and conviction. The grace extended does not reflect on his worthiness. It is intended to reflect on the gracious forbearance of progressive religion. And that forbearance has its limits.

  • Little Black Censored

    I almost hope Philip North will withdraw, as he was once persuaded to withdraw from his appointment to Whitby; that would accelerate the provision of a national and orthodox alternative to the C of E. There are already some very competent leaders in waiting, and North could join them. There must soon be a tipping-point, and perhaps this is going to be it.

    • 1649again

      Better to have an appointed Bishop to make the move. Gives it more credibility and strengthens the arguments why church assets should be split if there is ever a schism.

      • Anton

        You can’t split the church building within a parish.

        • 1649again

          Don’it posit straw men please Anton. Each parish’s members would decide which side they went with. Those who didn’t like the result could attend another church nearby that voted differently. The members pay the church’s running costs and he who pays the piper should call the tune.

          • Anton

            Good solution! I’m on your side.

    • carl jacobs

      The target is not just Philip North but any who would dare follow. This campaign raises the threshold that must be achieved to enact such an appointment and as revisionists get stronger that threshold will only get higher. Eventually it will become unachievable. So it would better for this appointment to be turned back. Better to face the future with unclouded eyes than starry visions.

      Only good can come from conservatives leaving the CoE. The remaining ship will capsize and the likes of Martyn Percy will be tossed into the water with no hope of rescue. What after all does a liberal theologian do when there is no liberal church to employ him?

      • Anton

        Get a job in a university theology faculty.

        • carl jacobs

          Supply rather exceeds demand.

          • Anton

            Good!

  • Paul Greenwood

    Philip North is not abstaining from ordaining women priests: he believes it is simply not possible to do so.

    That is as clear an exposition of Christian Gospel as you can get.

    When you quote Louise Haigh , 29 year old former youth worker for the local council, you simply state Matt 22:20-22

    If you cannot genuflect at the New Godhead you remain committed to the God of the Bible whose presence permeated the Old Testament

  • ChaucerChronicle

    Your Grace

    Your analysis is robust:

    ‘And so Martyn Percy’s Lenten reflection breaks down: Philip North is not abstaining from ordaining women priests: he believes it is simply not possible to do so. You can quibble over whether temporal incapacity is analogous to spiritual stricture, but that would be to miss the point.’

    Bishop North cannot abstain from an act of commission nor ommission regarding women priests.

    There is an inequality within the Church of England between the sexes which North is qualified to correct: there are more women than men sitting on the pews.

    Blokes, particularly from the rough council estates, would love to see North come down and just talk to them (most of them think church is for women). Has North got the guts to go and sit with them over a pint (they’ll buy the pint!)?

    Our fathers would here the voices of men most of the time: walking to work with your mate; working with blokes; lunch with blokes; a pint down the King’s Arms after work (with blokes); the match on Saturday (with blokes); again down the King’s Arms and may be Sunday morning at church listening to a bloke like North looking him in the eye and accepting his rebukes (respect!): http://magazine.biola.edu/article/06-spring/the-feminization-of-the-church/

    What do we get today, eh? Work meetings that are rapidly turned by women into discussions about relationships (wasting business time); Breakfast TV and the ubiquitous female chattering voice (when we haven’t got the time and all we want is a news sunmary); Saturday night and Match of the Day spoilt by more women presenters; Sunday morning and the female vicar telling us ‘sin is the space between you and God’ (daft! If the football team captain can shout at us across the pitch: God does it better); then the touchy feely hymns (Jesus Lover of My Soul). All we bleedin’ want are those battle hymns that inspire us to be soldiers in the faith.

    It is futile to send a female vicar down as she has no ‘command authority’ in the eyes of us blokes on the terraces.

    It’s as simple as that. If North is reading this I hope he follows the link supplied and studies the material as he’ll need to have his ‘rear in gear’.

    Thank you.

    • 1649again

      There’s a lot of truth in that. A very good Vicar explained it differently to me – most of the clergy these days are introverts and the the hierarchy are pseudo-scholars, when was is needed are extroverts with the common touch who work and play alongside normal people while conveying the simple eternal truths of the Gospel in vernacular language. if they did that you could go back to the majesty of the King James and BCP as most people rather appreciate its majesty. They just seem increasingly different to normal people, both male and female.

      • ChaucerChronicle

        An excellent point about the King James and BCP. Both are written in a memorable fashion, like poetry.

        It is no wonder our fathers remembered verses and often quoted them: in work, play and on the battle field.

        From the BCP for a fight at sea against any enemy:

        O MOST powerful and glorious Lord God, the Lord of hosts, that rulest and commandest all things: Thou sittest in the throne judging right, and therefore we make our address to thy Divine Majesty in this our necessity, that thou wouldest take the cause into thine own hand, and judge between us and our enemies.

        Stir up thy strength, O Lord, and come and help us; for thou givest not alway the battle to the strong, but canst save by many or by few. O let not our sins now cry against us for vengeance; but hear us thy poor servants begging mercy, and imploring thy help, and that thou wouldest be a defence unto us against the face of the enemy.

        Make it appear that thou art our Saviour and mighty Deliverer; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

        • Dominic Stockford

          Some of the BCP is helpful, some is utterly confusing.

          “Prevent us, O Lord, in all our doings with thy most gracious favour, and further us with thy continual help; that in all our works, begun, continued, and ended in thee, we may glorify thy holy name, and finally by thy mercy obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ Our Lord.” (Book of Common Prayer 1662)

          • 1649again

            Very easy to understand.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Not to all the people (the vast majority of the English speaking population of the world) who correctly understand prevent to mean ‘stop’.

          • 1649again

            Then the priest should explain the meaning. Good vicars do. I will remember things better if people explain them before or afterwards. On Sunday we had a very good retired overseas Bishop who gave a little explanation on everything we did or said. made the service so much more impactful.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Far easier and far more sensible is to use the language of the people, as the 39 Articles enjoins, and begin the prayer ‘Go before us, O Lord…’

          • 1649again

            I think you let the local churches decide as they know their local population better than we.

          • Dominic Stockford

            You propose ignoring the enjoinder of the 39 Articles? Does what they say not suit you? A slippery slope there begins.

          • 1649again

            As you are not an Anglican and spend quite a bit of time on here attacking the CoE I won’t be lectured on how conservative Anglicans should take things forward.

          • Dominic Stockford

            My congregation here began as a congregational Continuing Anglican church, we still use liturgy based on the BCP, sometimes even the BCP itself. I am also the Chairman of the PTS, a body founded to fight the romanising influence in the CofE. I am not in it because it is pretty much finished as a reasonable place for sincere Christians to remain – how can a faithful Christian remain in the same denomination (be in communion with) the people who propose same-sex marriage in church, and all the other unbiblical practices they seek to follow? It would however, be great if it returned to its founding and Protestant principles.

          • 1649again

            Nothing can be returned to where it should be if people flee the fight.

          • carl jacobs

            This is a repeat of the argument that happened in TEC. Once you must plea with people to stay and fight, you have already lost.

            There is no way to recover the CoE because there is no way to recover the hierarchy. As people begin to realize that fact, they will slowly bleed away. Staters will say “Stay!” but to no avail. As more leave, the church becomes more heterodox causing more stayers to become leavers. There is nothing to be done to stop this.

            The CoE is toast.

          • 1649again

            Stop projecting your experience on to us. With God all things are possible and we have not lost yet.

          • bluedog

            True. But what Carl is highlighting is the intent and the process likely to be used by the forces of destruction. By way of comparison, one doesn’t ignore the techniques used by Islam to advance with the conceit that it can’t happen here. Fore warned is fore-armed.

          • 1649again

            That I understand, but it’s not telling me anything I don’t know. What I object to is the defeatism.

          • bluedog

            Well, if you believe in pre-destination it’s hard to be a cock-eyed optimist. Comes with the territory.

          • Dominic Stockford

            The Bible instructs us: “Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the LORD. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you.”

          • 1649again

            Plenty of true believers in the CoE.

          • betteroffoutofit

            No slippery slope necessary. The Word of God is the straight and narrow path; His rod and staff our guide. By definition, that doesn’t require limitation of His Word to the debased ignorance of post-modern corruption; it means considering deeper meaning and Truth. It means learning to expand our understanding of His Way, not skidding about on latter-day pistes and byways.

          • betteroffoutofit

            They’re only half correct; they impose their own limitations on everybody else.

          • Arden Forester

            Prevent here means go before. “pre venio”. English has somehow subverted the word and turned it around. Good thing the Highway Code gets brought up to date.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Exactly so. My point. The language of the BCP is no longer comprehensible to people of today. Language changes, always has and always will. It is no good hiding behind ‘beautiful language’, when in fact our task is helping people to worship God, through Jesus Christ.

          • betteroffoutofit

            The ‘people of today’ are linguistically challenged … they need help; hiding behind misconceptions of ‘modern superiority’ won’t do a thing for them.

            And it’s no good turning the Word of God into the obscenities of the world (which is the post-modern idiom). That won’t help either.

          • betteroffoutofit

            Nothing confusing about it — if you know the Latin root of “Prevent.” “Prae” = before; “venire” = to come. Thus “prae-venire” = to come before, or to precede.
            Here, then, we pray for the Lord to precede us, or to “favour” all our doings by leading us, we may infer, along His path

            See Chambers Dictionary for etymology, and meanings they have declared “obsolete”. An alternative view is that our standard of education has fallen, so now people no longer understand English properly …

          • Dominic Stockford

            Thus, as you thereby prove, you need to educate people to understand the language used in a a simple prayer. Much more wise to pray, and preach, in language they understand already.

          • betteroffoutofit

            Ha, Ha!!!! You’re “putting the cart before the horse” — and that’s obsolete because both carts and horses are obsolete; though, one admits, some aircraft do have rear-mounted engines!!!
            To analyse your first sentence, then:
            Firstly, given your perspective, how could you use something as ancient and obscure as “thereby”?!? Young Yanks despise ‘old words’ like that – and I expect post-Brits follow suit. In spite of yourselves, though, you use other Old English words that yet survive.

            Otherwise and further, nota bene:
            “Prove” is from Latin “probare” = to show, prove good; and (related) Old English “profian” = to assume to be.

            “educate” is from Latin “educare” = to rear: that is, “e”= from + “ducere”= to lead.

            “People” is from a frogulacious corruption of Latin “populus” = people, as forming a political community, a nation.

            “Understand” is from Old English “under” and “standan” = to stand under and, by extension = to perceive, notice, observe, take for granted.

            “Language” is from Latin “lingua” = tongue … which helps produce speech

            “Used” is from Latin: “uti, usus” = to use.

            “Simple” is from Latin “simplus” also, “simplex” = simple, single, uncompounded, unmixed.

            “Prayer” is from Latin “prex, precis” = prayer.

            In short, most of your words have, at some stage, required education in Latin vocabulary, and most are not ‘simple’ in the sense of ‘uncompounded or unmixed”. So I suggest that just because a few less developed types have taken charge and decided not to bother with some words, doesn’t mean that none of us should care or remember.

            Neither is your idea of “preaching in the language of the people” a new one. Indeed, if Pope Gregory hadn’t approved of it (circa AD597) we’d all be speaking totally mucked-up Latin, just like all those Romantic euros 🙂 The only reason we have literacy, and/or Modern English is because it came to us via Christian teachers and preachers educated in Greek and Roman (and, I’d argue, Hebrew) rhetoric. They put the Good News about in Old English, along with a bit of help from their Celtic affiliates. And so it continued, all the way to you and me.

            The truth is, then, that the Church still has a part to play in educating laity and young congregations in the possibilities and beauties of the language that ensued, and which we have inherited. For preachers now to participate in trashing that to the present Lowest of Common Denominators —- well, that leaves us all alienated, and with nothing further to say.

      • Anton

        I agree about the clergy but not about KJV. Requiring people to learn the very different English of 400 years ago in order to convert and grow in the faith is putting an extra step at the church door. It’s difficult enough already in our culture. It was a great translation for its day, but suffer little children?

        King James is great for the Psalms, because they are poetry. For St Paul’s letters (sorry, epistles), where comprehension is everything and the concepts are tricky enough already, it’s a disaster in the 21st century. Most people read little enough modern English.

        • Dominic Stockford

          Absolutely so, Anton.

        • 1649again

          In formal services, eg HC, I would use readings from the KJ and the BCP order of service because they are read aloud and being almost poetic, are memorable, as they were written to be recited by a group. They are comprehensible if explained, indeed they are more comprehensible than Shakespeare to which most people get exposure at school. Private reading, study and exposition, as well as more informal family style services should be in a more modern translation. We use both.

          • Anton

            But prayers should be comprehensible without the language having to be explained to those present. All prayers in the Bible were.

          • Sarky

            You’ll have to do the BCP in txt language then.

          • bluedog

            Exactly. If we can teach and celebrate the works of Shakespeare, the contemporary of the KJV, it doesn’t seem too demanding to use the BCP.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            You, mate ‘ave hit the nail on the head: Shakespeare at school.

        • Pubcrawler

          “King James is great for the Psalms”

          The Psalm texts in the BCP are, interestingly, not the KJV versions.

    • There are more women than men in Church these days because in general women live longer than men, it’s congregations are comprised mostly of the older generation of ladies who are if the truth be said surprised at the introduction of women clergy but, have no choice other than to go along with the madness.

      • Dominic Stockford

        There are plenty of congregations ministered to by men. The real truth is that people find it emotionally impossible to leave the congregation/denomination they have attended for years, even if they agree with nothing that is preached/taught/said there.

        • That’s true a lot of the time. People especially the elderly ladies see their friends at Church so it would mean the whole group agreeing to move to another Church. If they are on their own they are more likely to try another one.

      • Sarky

        There are more women than men in church because church has become feminised.

        • ChaucerChronicle

          Excellent observation!

        • betteroffoutofit

          I guess that depends on what you think “feminity ” involves. You see, it’s not the same thing as “trying to be like, to dominate, or to replace men.”

          • Sarky

            Thats not what i was getting at. Got to admit I’m no expert on church, but the the last time i went the songs were feminine, the language was feminine and the whole thing was just uncomfortable.

          • betteroffoutofit

            Oh yes – it’s horrible. But that’s not truly feminine – that results from the language and behaviour of females who are too selfish and stupid to understand that they’re imposing themselves – or their image – on others.

          • Anton

            Yes, you are right.

      • betteroffoutofit

        “… no choice other than to go along with the madness.”
        Oh yes, there is a choice, especially if you’re like me and you just can’t stand stand the types of females with whom they pollute everything…

    • Dominic Stockford

      Watching men in modern ‘wet-evangelical’ churches is interesting. They rarely join in singing the ditties, they stand up under protest during the latest modern song, and are clearly generally dissociated from what is taking place. I imagine the same conclusion can be reached in any of the feminised congregations, whatever their churchmanship (ironic word that, in the circumstances!).

      We have next to no working people left in this corner of middle-class SW London – and many of them I speak to have been put off by the goings on, ‘liturgical dance’, latest social fashion, or whatever is going on in the church they used to attend. It’ll take a dollop of Holy Spirit to change this.

  • carl jacobs

    As far as WO is concerned, I have always thought that good fences make for good neighbors. The entire problem can be addressed with parallel organizations. That way no one is coerced.

    But of course that can’t be allowed. In the first place, too many parishioners would go the wrong way and take their money with them. Bishops can’t tolerate the serfs getting off their land. A bishop is entitled to that money.

    Second the church needs conservatives as ballast. A church liberated from conservatives would too quickly spun off into the fever swamps of liberalism and alienate parishioners. These things must be done slowly.

    Coercion has always been at the heart of this conflict and the motive is money.

    • Dominic Stockford

      They’d be broke in a heartbeat if the conservatives of evangelical and high flavour left.

  • Coniston

    On a rather different thread (if this is to be allowed), The Times on 25th February had two opposed articles on Same Sex ‘Marriage’. One by Rev. Alasdair Paine, who opposed it, and the other by Prof. Diarmaid MacCulloch (who some years ago wrote and narrated the excellent BBC series on the History of Christianity). MacCulloch argued that it was time the CofE changed its views on SSM. But his argument contained no reference to the Church’s 2000 year old teaching and beliefs about marriage, let alone to the Bible. He argument was based on the need for ‘inclusiveness’. He based this on gays’ sense of their own ‘reality’, and God, he ended by saying, loves reality.

    • Anton

      MacCulloch is, coincidentally, gay.

    • David

      Yes the arguments in favour of SSM are all political, never theological.

    • IrishNeanderthal

      Obviously a follower of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. On termination:

      At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of
      existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human
      life….

      and on SSM:

      It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.

      But putting the two together, in practice he means that everybody must accept Justice Kennedy’s concept of existence.

      • Terry Mushroom

        Kennedy’s philosophy also underpins “gender identification”.

  • Dominic Stockford

    Yes indeed ABC. Philip North believes that even if he went through the form of words and ritual associated with ordaining a man, but applied them to a woman, that woman would still NOT be ordained. It isn’t abstention, its inability – and one based on the Bible teaching.

    • Mike Stallard

      I want to ask this: can women do the job of being a Vicar? Can they really be a “Father”? Can they pray in a Church alone after dark? Can they honestly go house to house on a rough estate visiting? Have they got the balls to stand up in front of their Bishop and question him/her? I am afraid that an awful lot have not got the ability to measure up. Much nicer to have tea parties for their friends (other women) and to exclude the nasty boys and (paedophile query) men. Jesus, after all, was a women really. And if the Church building is nice and warm and cosy, that is nice.

      • Martin

        Mike

        No one in authority and teaching in a church is allowed to be called father, we have but one Father.

        • John

          Nor should they be referred to as “the parish priest”. All followers of Jesus are a kingdom of priests, and our access to almighty God is mediated by one Great High Priest.

          • Martin

            John

            There is only one priestly office in the Church, and that is already taken.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Many men would struggle with many of those things – it is Christ that enables us to do it. I still always fall back on the Bible’s teaching however, rather than the practicalities. The Bible says no!

  • Jill

    I hope His Grace will permit me to go off at a slight tangent here. I have posted this old article on various sites many times before, but it is more relevant than ever now, when people are wondering why hardly anyone goes to church any more. It is by Fr Robbie Low, on the importance of men in church.

    http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=16-05-024-v

    I would add that it is not only men who find ordained women unconvincing.

    • David

      I was aware of this research from some time ago, but it is useful for you to point to it, from time to time and in various contexts. The liberals though simply will not listen, as they ignore everything that doesn’t support what they want.

    • Mike Stallard

      Brilliant article. I note that the Vicar and the Rector have now been replaced by the Priest in Charge – instantly dismissable.

  • Arden Forester

    Martyn Percy reiterates the common misconception about what being in Christ Jesus is all about. The Kingdom of Heaven came down to Earth. It was not the other way round. “Thy Kingdom come on Earth as IT IS IN HEAVEN”. There is neither male or female, circumcised or not, black or white or anything else in Heaven. Souls have no outer appearance as we know our bodies to have. The Kingdom of Heaven is perfect. However, on Earth we have complementary roles. Saint Joseph had a completely different role from the Virgin Mary. We have a Dominical command that we should have unity, that we all be one. We should all be one in the Church, the Bride of Christ. In that sense, we are all female.

    This desire to reduce the two sexes to something other than what they were meant to be is not good. The destruction of the Sacraments to suit the whims and fancies of the World does the Faith no service.

  • chefofsinners

    The article by Percy has no merit whatsoever. It is remarkable only as an exercise in self-indulgent schism-mongering.
    ‘It weaves its symbolism’? Hardly. It conflates separate concepts into an obfuscating tangle.
    ‘Biblical integrity’? In no sense. He appeals to examples of abstinence in the New Testament but ignores the clear statements of that same Testament about women’s role.
    As for the analogy comparing the diocese to a restaurant which caters for many tastes, I am speechless. Fortunately Jesus has these words in Revelation 3: “I will spew you out of my mouth.” Surely, Martyn, a man such as that can never be our Great High Priest?

    • Mike Stallard

      I was at Lincoln theological college (now closed). We had lots of this sort of thing. Divorce: two cats tied by their tails. Gay sex: Have you ever thought what it is like to be in love with someone and never to have sex? Women priests: I am sick and tired of looking out at a sea of male faces.
      Now, several decades on, we can assess the damage.

    • bluedog

      Percy should stick to premises that offer All-Day Breakfast and Coffee at reasonable prices. He’ll find it less confusing.

      • Anton

        His premises should be the Bible.

  • Mike Stallard

    Ordaining women was a move towards Methodism. Strip off the rather unconvincing clothing and replace with a suit and you have it right there – Methodism. The Superintendent (aka Bishop), the Minister (aka Priest in charge), the Circuit (aka multiple parishes), the comfortable refurbished Chapels with snack bar attached (aka the Parish church where the Priest in Charge lives).
    For people who want to be Catholic – go for it! I did and it was the best thing I have ever done.

  • “Should gentiles be circumcised, or should Jewish converts withhold their desire to see believers marked by this sign of the covenant?”

    This is where he goes fundamentally wrong. It’s not a question of man’s desire in when it comes to our obligations to God. What matters is what God has revealed to us. One cannot equate the external signs and disciplines of the Mosaic Covenant with the New Covenant, The early Church, aided by the Holy Spirit, was at liberty and had the authority to abolish and change these.

    And this:

    ” … there remains a way of eating in this restaurant that respects every kind of proclivity, within reason, that could conceivably be catered for. Indeed, for those who want all their food cooked separately from others to avoid taint, and even prefer to eat only with those who share such proclivities, they can eat in a separate room within the restaurant.”

    Once again it is reduced to simple human choice and “proclivities” which no mention of God and His revealed will for His Church.

    “So far, so good.”

    Nope – the analogy is flawed.

  • Martin

    Goodness, it makes the Lord’s Supper sound like some sort of magical event. The problem over women in ministry is that God has commanded otherwise. I don’t care who has spoken for it, God has said don’t do it.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Simples!

  • Holger

    There are women priests in the Sheffield diocese who should be able to count on the support and pastoral guidance of their bishop.

    If North does not believe that women can be priests, he won’t be able to support them or guide them as priests. He won’t have the skills or ability to do the job he’s being asked to do.

    That being the case, he’s every bit as unqualified to be a bishop as he believes women are to be priests. His church ordains women so he’s going to have to deal with them. If he can’t, he should turn down the role.

    • ChaucerChronicle

      Nah!

      The wimmin should turn down the role.

      • Holger

        Why? The Church accepts and ordains women. Why should they refuse to do something the Church tells them – and they believe – they’re fully capable of doing?

        The issue here isn’t what they believe. It’s what you believe. What you’re really saying is that other people’s beliefs and consciences don’t count. Only your beliefs and your conscience have validity and should therefore be imposed on everyone else.

        So who made you emperor of the world? Nobody? Ah, so in other words, who cares what you think? Why should women who want to be priests and the Church that encourages and accepts them take account of your opinion?

        There are women priests in the diocese of Sheffield and part of the duties of its bishop is to provide them with support and pastoral guidance in that role. If North can’t or won’t do that, he’s not fit to be bishop of Sheffield. To be a bishop with diocesan responsibility in a Church with female clergy means acceptance of the validity of their orders.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Which is a comment that shows the divide between Christians and the world.

      • chefofsinners

        Linus agrees with Martyn Percy. Which of them should be more worried?

        • Dominic Stockford

          Linus WILL be delighted to have Percy agreeing with him, Percy MAY well be pleased to have Linus agree with him.

  • Inspector General

    There’s only one thing for it, Percy. Irritating in your duplicitous edibles manner is one thing but it’s not achieving anything other than feeding your sinful pride, in one’s far from humble opinion. You must up the tempo, that man.

    You need to announce to us traditionalists that unless you have your way, you yourself will abstain – from food. For a period of not less than 40 days (and nights). That to start with, plus an option to continue the fast to the very end if need be, if we still haven’t learnt by your sterling example of putting man’s gods of equality and whatever in front of God Almighty.

    The progressives in the church will cherish your memory, and some cathedral or other, having been cleansed by feminists, might even name a side chapel after you. Although Peter Tatchell may well be up there in the queue first. Feminists and their allies come after the LGBT elite in the new age pecking order, you know. (For more information on the new hierarchy, contact Jenni Murray, c/o BBC)

    Anyway, one will leave you now so you can arrange a date for your own ‘last supper’…

    Oh, one final thing. The outrage of the Rotherham Abuse is unlikely to be forgotten for a very long time. That you choose to commandeer the findings to make capital out of it to bolster your cause is quite frankly distasteful. From such we can discern how low you are prepared to go.

    {SNORT!}

    • ChaucerChronicle

      Superb!

      I knew you would come through General!

      • Inspector General

        To use the now famous phrase, CC, “can I shoot him now, Mr Mainwaring”

        • ChaucerChronicle

          General,

          You got style!

  • Inspector General

    Money lenders inside the door. Shrill feminists dressed up as high priestesses. Vicars who snub you if you don’t vote the way they do, and gayers looking to recruit the young. Just about the only crowd who haven’t turned up are the temple prostitutes, what!

    {KNOCK KNOCK!}

    Oh, surely not…

    • ChaucerChronicle

      Class!

    • 1649again

      You’re on form tonight.

      • ChaucerChronicle

        Yes, he is.

    • HedgehogFive

      In the Old Testament, one or more of the Kings of Judah are on record as having done away with “male temple prostitutes” (“sodomites” in the KJV.)

      But I wonder, does the Hebrew word “qadeshim” actually cover both genders?

      • Inspector General

        Where’s Avi when you need him…

      • Hi

        kadesh/ qadhesh is masculine: the feminine is kedeshah/ qedheshah .

        • HedgehogFive

          Thanks, Hannah.

          But back to what the IG was saying, I have recalled “a man and his father go in to the same girl, so that my holy name is profaned” (Amos 2:7).

          One Hedgehog theorem is that the nasty men often make the most profound observations, and what he has said does makes one wonder if self-styled progressives will try to “Christianize” the old South Indian Devadasi system: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devadasi

          • bluedog

            You’re on to something here, H5. Could lead to a dramatic turn-around in male church attendance if adopted by the CoE.

          • Hi

            Yes , well I couldn’t possibly comment on what Christians “Christianize”, as it ends up with the Christmas was a pagan winter festival and Easter a pagan fertility festival , argument or not .

            But back to the original question, I see didn’t fully engage with your question as to whether qadeshim i.e. temple prostitutes included females .

            I suggested that there are masculine and feminine versions of that word: kadesh/ qadhesh is masculine: the feminine is kedeshah/ qedheshah. So that would be a yes to your question.

            Example (I translate from my own bible written in Hebrew) :

            Deuteronomy 23:18-19

            “None of the daughters of Yisrael shall be a kedeshah , nor shall any of the sons of Israel be a kadesh. You shall not bring the hire of a zonah or the wages of a keleb into the house of the L-rd your G- d to pay a vow, for both of these are an abomination to the L-rd your G-d.”

            Note that zona is the word for an “ordinary” as in what we think of today as a prostitute and kedeshah/ kadesh refer to the feminine and masculine of pagan – temple prostitution. For whatever reason the English KJV translation renders kedeshah as whore or harlot and kadesh as sodmite. Also of note is the word keleb literally means dog. However while it can also refer to contempt or abasement , it can also refer to pagan sacrifice and male cult prostitute .

            See also Hosea 4 :14:

            “Nevertheless I will not bring charges against your daughters for their adultery, Idolatry, nor against your brides when they commit adultery, idolatry, because you equally with them commit adultery, idolatry, you go astray just as they, to the Qedeshah with offerings, and the people don’t discern the decline.”

  • Pubcrawler

    Tangential: I’m currently reading Waugh’s Black Mischief, a work which I’m sure the Inspector would find inspirational, if he hasn’t already. I have just encountered the following sentence:

    “He had already renamed the site of the Anglican Cathedral, Place Marie Stopes.”

    • Anton

      Great book!

      • Pubcrawler

        I prefer Scoop, but both are refreshingly unconstrained by contemporary sensibilities, shall we say.

        Can’t see ’em being read much in schools these days. Sadly.

        • CliveM

          Can’t be worse then the reading list at my school. Seemed to consist of 1930’s mining stories and the life histories of poor black people in the southern states of USA.

          Wonder if someone had an agenda.

        • Anton

          The Loved One is his finest.

  • magnolia

    It would be futile to post my views given the tenor of the commenters, and the lack of real engagement with the issue. For once Linus speaks more sense than the rest of you, and that for me is a strange sensation.

    What Martyn Percy wrote is gentle, nuanced and exploratory. No one would think so from reading the comments section as it stands at present. I even- astonished- see the guy baying on the football terrace accorded the status of wise moral judge of Christian leadership. Seriously? What are some of you on?
    .

    • len

      The Bible.

      • ChaucerChronicle

        Len,

        Great, riposte!

      • magnolia

        Umm…where in the Bible is the football terrace held up as a bastion of decent thinking, right speech, Christian leadership, and an idolatory-free zone? Where in the Bible is the brave advent of men who will kick a ball around a field for millions a week prophesied and lauded? What would Jesus say? What has he said by his Holy Spirit?

        • ChaucerChronicle

          Rejoice in thy youth young man.

          Rejoice.

          • magnolia

            “He delighteth not in any man’s legs”……Precious little adult sport in Scripture. Not even horse jumping or camel polo. Be interested if anyone can find anything.

          • len

            Run the good race?

          • magnolia

            Sorry -coincided…

          • len

            Great minds?

          • magnolia

            Yes, the games at Corinth-running jumping, wrestling. Paul uses the actions for imagery.in terms of training and running the race. Nothing more. And Jesus never refers to sport at all, other than the children in the playground.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Are you suggesting that:

            1. St Paul was not a gladiator;
            2. He did not train in the gymnasium;
            3. He did not have the opportunity to throw away his weapon?

          • Anton

            He wrote “bodily exercise profiteth little” (1 Tim 4:8).

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Are you ignorant?

            St Paul was a gladiator.

            ‘I fought with beasts at Ephesus.’

          • magnolia

            NOT by choice. I don’t think “being thrown to the lions” was a sport in the modern sense at all!! This comes, besides, in a passage in which he chronicles his sufferings, in contrast to gaining validity via ego and glamour..

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Whether it is by choice or not; he would’ve trained in the gym (nasium).

            He was self-disciplined – military style; able to buffet his body in the Stoic-Centurion regime.

            Stand firm!

            Is a miltary order commanded through experience, theory and conviction.

    • ChaucerChronicle

      Linus’ error is to presuppose ‘equality’ rather than ‘complementarity’.

      Shut it.

      • carl jacobs

        A gentleman does say “Shut it” to a lady.

        • len

          does not?

          • carl jacobs

            Thanks

        • ChaucerChronicle

          Perhaps you should visit a bar in England after a football match with ‘LOVE’ and ‘HATE’ tattooed on each set of knucles.

    • len

      ‘What Martyn Percy wrote is gentle, nuanced and exploratory’.
      So was Satan’s suggestion to Eve.

    • Inspector General

      You’re probably run down, Mags. Mild hysteria, you know. Seen it before in the canteen when it all gets too much for the gals. Buckfast wine and take to your bed immediately.

      • magnolia

        Yes to the housework, assuming it’s free?

    • 1649again

      The problem is we’ve all learnt the obfuscatory language of the liberals. We recognise immediately the honeyed sympathetic ‘inclusive’ words whose meaning and intent is their very opposite, we know they use sophistic words as they practice to deceive. We can hear them a mile off and know the time is right to sharpen our swords, oil our armour, form ranks and have a last swig of fluid from our flasks.

      • len

        Fluid?.Scotch in mine

        • 1649again

          That’s why I did not stipulate Len. The Inspector would be scotch too and myself Armagnac.

          • len

            Its ..’.fluid’ then.

          • 1649again

            BTW the Inspector still has not sent me that bottle of single malt…

          • len

            Probably lost in the post?.

          • 1649again

            Almost certainly as he hasn’t asked for my address!

          • len

            Ah, could be the reason then..

          • Anton

            While the man was alive you could write to “Don Bradman, Australia” and it would get there.

          • 1649again

            Alas one is rather more obscure than the great Donald!

          • Dominic Stockford

            Pale Ale for me, though Badger Beer seems more appropriate…

          • 1649again

            Not bad, but one can suggest better…

          • Anton

            Enzian schnapps.

      • David

        That’s why listening to Trump’s plain, direct language is pure tonic.

    • ChaucerChronicle

      ‘Strange sensation’.

      ‘gentle, nuanced and exploratory’.

      Nothing of the sort, madam.

      What Percy is attempting to do is corner a Christian for failing to bend the knee to heresy.

      North is correct in his response: DEFIANCE!

    • CliveM

      “see the guy baying on the football terrace accorded the status of wise moral judge of Christian leadership”

      Confused.

      • magnolia

        I was confused also!

        “t is futile to send a female vicar down as she has no ‘command authority’ in the eyes of us blokes on the terraces.”

        from ChaucerChronicle. I don’t like gender rancour from either side, personally. Never liked the anti-men feminist slogans like the one about fish and bicycles either.

        I wonder whether the Queen is perceived as having any authority by the blokes on the terraces, or the PM? ( I know Delia Smith did!) It just all sounds a little silly, especially as professional football and Christianity have principles which frequently grate on each other these days, especially regarding pay in the highest leagues, monopolies re TV coverage, and widespread Sunday football matches and childrens’ football often in unapologeticcompetition with Sunday church attendance.

        • ChaucerChronicle

          ‘gender rancour’?

          Grammar rancour.

          Daft.

          • magnolia

            “Britain on the Couch” (1998) by Oliver James has 2 good chapters on this unlovely phenomenon, that has become part of who we are in the late 20th and early 21st Century. Worth a read.

          • CliveM

            Magnolia, I was feeling some sympathy with your argument until you quoted Oliver James.

            Cant stand the man!

          • magnolia

            Don’t know him, personally. Don’t think i agree with him on other things. However, sometimes I agree with people on some things when i really don’t find them agreeable overall, and sometimes charming people I have real differences of opinion with.

            Thanks for the sympathy however – and your politeness and good humour..

          • Cressida de Nova

            Clive’s gentle humour and politesse is a breath of fresh air here.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            The New Testament is a good read.

            Why not go go back to the first century AD?

        • CliveM

          Ok now I understand.

          Thanks for the explanation. Being CofS most of my adult life, we have a slightly different take on woman in Ministry. I’ve asked Carl a question above which might flesh it out a bit for you.

    • chefofsinners

      Martyn’s comments must be understood in the context of his wider agenda. He is not gentle, he is subtil. Like the serpent. The female priesthood is his gateway to many other unscriptural innovations which you will abhor as much as the next man or woman. He is attempting to establish and exploit a logical pathway from women priests to all bishops having to approve of women priests. Next on his agenda are practising gay priests, then only bishops who approve, then logically any heresy under the sun. Put it together and what have you got? Babylon, mother of harlots.

      • magnolia

        Many women do not see the connection between female ministry and practising gay priests, (who already exist in quite large percentages in some parts of the country,) Thus it is not a pathway, as the path has already happened, but is just covert in parts.

        The issues to look at are very different ones, except for those who like to suggest they are both discriminated against minorities, but they are no minority so it won’t hold water.

        • IanCad

          You fight against long odds here Mags; but you display dignity and forbearance, something we all need.

    • ChaucerChronicle

      As it has proved futile; why post?

      • magnolia

        Good question. It hasn’t always been pleasant to post on this, and I have bad memories from months back of hurful excoriating and dismissive comments towards women.

        I am not ordained, but I feel for those women who are, as they sometimes run a cruel gauntlet of sneers, sarcasm, and playground meanness, that is not proper to a Christian, and not reminiscent of Jesus’ encounters with women. Imagine the surprise of the woman at the well when Jesus listened to her and cared about her- very countercultural. on this particular issue. This thread countercultural in that image? Not so much, I see.

        |I went to a school that was amongst the pioneers of female education, and then to a university college that was too. Therefore I feel a moral obligation to counter the stereotypes of women being fluffy, thoughtless, ineffectual little creatures concerned with crochet and jam-making who shouldn’t bother their pretty little heads with anything serious. Understand?

        • Dominic Stockford

          They have chosen to reject the teaching of the Word of God on the matter.

          • magnolia

            The word of God which says “for you are a royal priesthood, a holy nation”. I believe in the priesthood of all believers and the ministry of any trained or trainable to be useful. I don’t take a high view of the sacrament, or of ekklesia, the church. I don’t believe in any lording it over others, but just in functionalism. I do not believe in sitting in a special seat, unless there is function attached.

            Let each do as they are gifted to do. Why would God give gifts to be unused for building up the Kingdom. We are told off if we have the temerity to bury our talents. It is so very simple really, and we complicate it, like the original disciples, with power games. “Who is the greatest?”, and Jesus must be so frustrated with it all, for the answer is still the least among us.

          • Dominic Stockford

            we have no sacrificial priesthood – the priesthood of all believers refers to a sharing in Christ, not being an overseer/pastor/elder in a congregation. About which the Bible is very clear – “I do not permit a woman to have authority over a man”

          • magnolia

            I don’t take issue with the verse, but I take issue with the translation. You probably already know how. So i will just point out that no one actually believes in that in the way they act, and it is undesirable and impossible. I don’t believe the word of God is unrealistic to observed reality, but is, when understood correctly, fully practicable, and fully contrary to ego.

          • Dominic Stockford

            I believe in the Bible, if I don;t I’m lost. Retranslating to suit a worldly point of view won’t help, as from Genesis 3 onwards the structure of godly society is clearly laid out.

          • magnolia

            We probably differ there, as I believe in it as originally given in its original language.

          • Dominic Stockford

            διδάσκειν δὲ γυναικὶ οὐκ ἐπιτρέπω , οὐδὲ αὐθεντεῖν ἀνδρός ἀλλ’ εἶναι ἐν ἡσυχίᾳ ;

            to teach however a woman I do not permit nor to use authority over a man but to be in quietness

          • magnolia

            αὐθεντεῖν is the word we will disagree upon. You will know the N.T. Wright position and there’s no real point rehearsing it here as we will end up disagreeing (politely with you, and I respect and appreciate that).

          • Dominic Stockford

            N T wright is not someone that Reformed Christians will have much time for.

            Strong’s Concordance
            authenteó: to govern, exercise authority
            Original Word: αὐθεντέω

            Part of Speech: Verb
            Transliteration: authenteó
            Phonetic Spelling: (ow-then-teh’-o)
            Short Definition: I domineer over
            Definition: I domineer, govern, have mastery over.

          • magnolia

            Ah well, I’m just a Charismatic Evangelical Anglican with some reformed theology, so I do have time for him. Nice guy, hardworking, good orthodox theologian.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Not at all orthodox on issues such as his denial of imputation – which rather undermines the completeness of the understanding of justification.

          • IrishNeanderthal

            Incidentally, the more modern Greek pronunciation “avthente” (master) is the origin of the Turkish word “effendi”.

          • Anton

            I don’t know the NT Wright position; please post a summary of it. I’m interested in what it says, not who wrote it.

          • Dominic Stockford

            NT Wright translates the passage as follows “They [women] must be allowed to study undisturbed, in full submission to God. I’m not saying that women should teach men, or try to dictate to them; rather, that they should be left undisturbed.”
            (Kingdom New Testament)

            He says of the passage:

            “The key to the present passage, then, is to recognize that it is commanding that women, too, should be allowed to study and learn, and should not be restrained from doing so (verse 11). They are to be “in full submission;” this is often taken to mean “to the men,” or “to their husbands,” but it is equally likely that it refers to their attitude, as learners, of submission to God—which of course would be true for men as well. Then the crucial verse 12 need not be read as “I do not allow a woman to teach or hold authority over a man” (the translation which has caused so much difficulty in recent years). It can equally mean: “I don’t mean to imply that I’m now setting up women as the new authority over men in the same way that previously men held authority over women.”

            A whole lot more is available on https://bltnotjustasandwich.com/2011/09/05/deduction-and-tom-wrights-translation-of-timothy-211-12/
            if you have the time and patience!

          • carl jacobs

            NT Wright is a Liberal.

          • betteroffoutofit

            Took me a long time to figure out what Americans meant by “Liberal” as I always relate the term back to the Latin, which means “free” (esp. in thought or expression); “unencumbered” (esp. with debt); noble-minded; or, independent. Couldn’t see much wrong with that so long as laws are respected.

            Then I found out about US unis, the Frankfurt School, and all the associated franco-german claptrap. Then I found Brits – no longer classically educated, but increasingly subject to Fabianism (and franco-german claptrap) – were accepting the American corruption.

            Just another good word gone bad, then …

          • carl jacobs

            You don’t like Americans very much, do you. I suspect you would be much happier if we just went back home and left you in peace.

          • betteroffoutofit

            Now isn’t that just typical!!!
            Truly, though, I have met some very good and nice Americans. So the big group isn’t much different from anyone else’s.

          • carl jacobs

            That wasn’t a comment based upon one observation.

          • betteroffoutofit

            I know.

          • carl jacobs

            You do. Well then. That explains why you made the “Some of my best friends are American” comment.

          • betteroffoutofit

            Yes. I’ve also recently read both “Tom Sawyer” and “To Kill A Mockingbird” – especially considering their social context(s). Enlightening, indeed.

            One thing I’d never quite envisioned was the youth of the US developmental process – that pioneer business was very recent; it really is a very young country.
            Another was the large number of cultures in the mix. So I now think less in terms of the group, and more in terms of individuals and the state of their roots.

          • Cressida de Nova


            What constitutes a man? There is more to a man than his genitals which contrast him to a woman. On this ‘ Christian’ blog most ‘ Christian’ men fall very short of the ideal that Jesus had in mind.He was not supportive of tyrants . There is no need for a woman to have authority over a man who genuinely adheres to the Christian teaching of justice equality and compassion.

          • CliveM

            Always be suspicious of someone who bangs on about authority. Particularly if male. To often it’s what they’re interested in.

          • Cressida de Nova

            True !

          • Dominic Stockford

            The definition of ‘equality’ is rather important in that statement.

          • Merchantman

            I agree, a few months ago I had to sit in my Parish Church and be ‘reeducated’ on a very topical subject by a priestess in a way which ran counter to accepted doctrine. She started spouting retranslating from a US revisionist one of several who have caused chaos in the US Episcopal Church.
            It’s here, its very bad stuff which goes to the heart of the church.

          • chefofsinners

            Your second paragraph is an argument from nature. Never strong. I have the ability to pick locks. Does it mean I should steal from people?

          • magnolia

            ” And that one talent which ’tis death to hide, lodged with me useless” (Milton) is accurate to Scripture.

          • Dominic Stockford

            How can it be a godly talent if it is contrary to the teaching of the Scripture?

          • chefofsinners

            You appear to be confusing spiritual gifts with natural talents.

          • Anton

            Not 1 Peter 2:9. Paul to Timothy. Some of us share your view that men shouldn’t be ordained either, but this is about practical leadership of congregations.

        • betteroffoutofit

          Arrgh. I went to one of those schools as well — and that’s where I discovered how utterly vile the female of this species can be. I left hoping that I’d never again have to deal with power-mongering, muscle-flexing, communist, man-replacing … well, now I call them feminazis. Men HAD to be better; they couldn’t be worse.

          One learns, of course, that the qualities ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are not intrinsic to either (yes, either) gender, or to any race, etc.

          Ultimately, I came to believe that all depends on the natures of an individual’s parents. So: if we have good role models for fem. and masc. – then we’ll not only follow suit, but will also choose our spouses accordingly.

          All of which bodes ill for generations whose parents are greadly displaced from their traditionally accepted roles. But why would I say more when Aldous Huxley revealed the end game (in “Brave New World”)?

          • magnolia

            Yes, I agree with loads of that. And, yes, females bunched together is not the best dynamic,but nor are males. Plenty of young men prefer co-ed and not just for the obvious sexual interest, for they find it generally a better, more civilized, ambience and culture. The social balance (especially when combined with monogamy and chastity) makes us all happier and better human beings.

          • betteroffoutofit

            Yes, I think you’re right (and “Tom Brown’s Schooldays” paints a sorry picture, indeed ). Perhaps “balance” is the essential factor here!

            I think the problem is that “Feminism” involves the re-ganging together of those nasty types (and they’re still just as bad to women who won’t buckle under).
            As for the whining about ‘poor mistreated little us’: I think they conveniently forget that, especially in an ancient warrior society like ours, women have traditionally been both strong and powerful. Somebody had to keep things functioning while the men were away defending our lives and properties: and those somebodies were frequently women – as mothers, teachers, nurses etc. – the latter especially after the wounded lads came home. Only look around Yorkshire at the strong women; they’re still there!!! At their best, though, they are about complementarity – they’re not in a fight for superiority.

        • Cressida de Nova

          Here’s a giggle !

          Women ! Know your Limits: Harry Einfield – youtube

          • magnolia

            Hilarious; thanks!

        • ChaucerChronicle

          All right.

          I understand.

        • ChaucerChronicle

          Can you tell us then; how you would go about correcting the sex imbalance in the pews?

      • Cressida de Nova

        She posts because she is a Christian woman and unlike a lot of misogynists here, realises that one must do the right thing and be heard even if it is unpleasant and one is subjected to vile insults, and even if one would prefer not to post here at all.

    • Anton

      Martyn Percy is an academic and understands how to knife someone subtly. Please read it again!

    • 1649again

      I was agnostic on the subject of female clergy and have been roundly criticised by some of the antis on here for that. The scriptural arguments either way don’t seem decisive to me, although tradition is against, that in itself is not decisive either.

      I have however become more sceptical since because ‘by their fruits ye will know them’. The proponents of female clergy argued it would bring new people to the faith, new energy, new growth. If it had I would have said it was the right thing to do. It hasn’t at all. It’s created new division, not healed anything at all, and is acting as a carrier for terrible heresies such as the ghey agenda. One female vicar we had, although generally quite sound, was a militant feminist, changed all the hymn books and service sheets for ghastly PC ones but was undermined by the female dominated PCC which saved the old ones and used them when she wasn’t taking the service. Since she left the new ones are no longer used.

      Better for it never to have happened and to be phased out in my view. It’s a failed experiment that has not delivered what it promised when indicates it’s not scripturally sound. To say that is not misogynistic. Indeed the most anti I know are women congregants.

      • magnolia

        Just a few observations:

        I know from speaking to people in theological colleges that what happened was that initially it was very hard to place more orthodox women as some conservative churches didn’t welcome them. You have seen the knock-on effect that initial numbers are more liberal.

        It has long not been an issue to the Salvation Army and there has been no discernible effect upon their numbers since Catherine Booth.

        The division between ministers of state holding authority and the Queen holding authority as Governor of the C of E v. ministers/ clergy of the C of E. is probably a bit theologically specious, though a subset of a whole can of ecclesiological worms…

        There is a difference between correlation and causation.

        Possibly media outlets beamed into people’s homes like the BBC (arguably very hypocritically) scowling into camera as they hold a big magnifying glass up to the small amounts of pedophilia in the church, therefore doing openly and determinedly negative PR, plus dreadful soap operas where church folk are mostly loons, does significantly more damage than just about anything else. Thank God for the slow death of monopolistic media that the internet provides.

        • 1649again

          I recognise all those things. but it was for the proponents to prove material benefits in order to over-ride the issues of traditional and church unity. They said the benefits would be large. They have not materialised, which is why I have moved from agnosticism about it to greater opposition.

          • magnolia

            With my children’s generation it plays as a plus, and they just see not having female clergy as a concept as deeply unreasonable and weird, and it seems it is an evangelistic non-starter, and this is from those who take on the extreme feminists, who they also feel are weird!

          • 1649again

            We’re not to conform to the world, but to offer an alternative to, even refuge, from it. As I said, I’m not someone of deep conviction about it either way, but have become more sceptical because what it seems to be bringing with it. Others on here have much greater conviction about the issue and on balance I think they’re being proven more right rather than its proponents.

  • Andrew Holt

    Does it matter what Philip North believes as regards women clergy? He may lay hands on them believing nothing changes, the anointing and empowerment are from the hand of God. If, as a result of his actions the ladies in question are suddenly fearless in preaching, tireless in service and filled with an inexplicable joy. If congregations grow in number, faith and influence and the Lord daily adds to their number, who cares what Martin Percy, Philip North or anyone else thinks. You can be doctrinally correct in every respect and still miss the purposes of God. Ask the Pharisees.

    • len

      What does it matter if Philip North follows the Word of God?..Everything.

    • ChaucerChronicle

      Does it matter what St Paul believes as regards women clergy?

      Daft.

      • Andrew Holt

        If your’re going to drag “Saint” Paul into this, does it matter to you that nowhere in Scripture does he mention a special priestly caste, male or female, in the new born church? In most of his letters, he addresses the congregation directly and we know little about early church leadership structure. What we do know, however, is that we are to be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation and unless we wish to emulate the wonderful world of Islam roughly fifty per cent of that Royal priesthood will be women.

      • Sybaseguru

        Yet every time Galatians 3:28 is trotted out by the pro women group. Its nothing to do with equality – except in salvation. The whole context is salvation, and no one (that I’ve met) has argued against women being saved.

  • Andrew Holt

    I’m reminded of the scene where Peter indicates John and says to Jesus, what about him? Jesus says, and I paraphrase, if he sticks around till I return what’s that to you? You follow me. I think if we could all do that, follow Him and withdraw our heads from the dark and dank space that they presently inhabit we would begin to move forward taking the Kingdom of darkness by storm. Right now the world looks on at these rows over the role of women in leadership etc, or worse they have ceased to bother looking at all. And I for one do not blame them.

    • len

      Christians are not to follow’ the ways of the world’.That is the reason the church is in the mess it is in!.

    • carl jacobs

      They cease to look because they judge by a false standard. We don’t shape ourselves the the opinions of the world.

      These issues are important because theology is important. We have no choice but to argue about them. They involve the authority of the Scripture. I am willing coexist with those Christians who support WO but only if they exist in a separate structure. Personally I think WO is the first step to liberal corruption for it involves a compromise of Scriptural authority. But it’s not my business so long as it’s not my church. The argument is only necessary within a church.

      What I can never do is submit myself to the spiritual authority of a woman. That’s an imperative and if it leads to conflict, so be it. Frankly, I don’t care what the world thinks.

      • CliveM

        “What I can never do is submit myself to the spiritual authority of a woman”

        In the CofS, the Minister is sometimes described as the “teaching” elder. The Church is run by the Kirk Session and no one individual has authority over another. Certainly (and it is often misunderstood) the Minister has no authority over others in the Church.

        In that circumstance, are you happy to have woman Ministers?

        • carl jacobs

          A woman cannot occupy the scriptural role of elder. That is the constraint. I don’t know how to apply that principle to your question.

          • CliveM

            So what do you believe the scriptural role is? Detail is a bit sketchy.

            Are you saying the biblically the title Elder came with spiritual authority?

          • Dominic Stockford

            Timothy clearly did have that. As part of being an overseer (far better than the not so biblical ‘elder’).

          • carl jacobs

            Are you saying the biblically the title Elder came with spiritual authority?

            Absolutely. That’s the problem.

          • CliveM

            Well doesn’t quite describe the elder in the CofS.

          • Did you miss this question, Carl?
            “So what do you believe the scriptural role is? Detail is a bit sketchy.”

          • carl jacobs

            No, I just didn’t want to get into it.

          • Hmm ….

  • CliveM

    Ah but Hannah, you wouldn’t have it any other way.

  • Andrew Holt

    Len, most Christians I know are engaged in attempting to follow the word of God. The reason the church is in such a mess is that too often we fail to follow the Word of God. My point is all our understandings are imperfect. We want it all laid out, neat and tidy and safe. I’m right, you’re wrong. All our squabbles are leading us to a lonely place of increasingly isolated irrelevance.

    • ChaucerChronicle

      No pal.

      The liberals have jettisoned the CofE’s USP.

      It is they who are about to dance round the gold calf.

      • Dominic Stockford

        About to?!

    • len

      It is Gods Word that defines Truth .

  • Inspector General

    Anyone here think George Michael was saved ?

    That’s what the celebrant at his forthcoming funeral will have us believe. But if he is, truly saved, we might as well give up being Christians. The progressives will have won. Thus the observance of the faith counts for nought. The Kingdom of Heaven is open to all humanity who live and breath…

    • David

      It’s called “Universalism” Inspector, and liberals promote it.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Those who cannot tell the truth to someone for fear of making them cry soon lose the ability to discern the truth themselves. From there it is but a short step to scratching itchy ears.

        • David

          Yes of course, Dominic. But what does the phrase ” scratching itchy ears”
          mean ? Please explain.

          • 2 Timothy 4:3.

          • David

            Understood. Thank you.

          • Dominic Stockford

            2 Timothy 4:3 “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions”

    • No man can judge another’s soul or it’s condition on his death. We can condemn behaviour and point out it’s eternal consequences, no more.

      • Inspector General

        Oh ye of little faith. He was lost, and is now lost forever. But that was his choice.

        • magnolia

          You were inside his head at the moment of death were you? Or an angel of doom squatting by his shoulder?

          “Oh, I’ll leap up to my God, Who pulls me down?”

          (offstage) “‘Tis the Inspector”

          • Inspector General

            As the American’s might say, Mags “he had it all, but in the end, he blew it, lady”

      • magnolia

        Come on, Jack, surely you realise by now that the Inspector is an exception to that rule! 😉

        • Inspector General

          It is said 500 men in 7 years. Anyway, shouldn’t you be in bed waiting for your hyster to recover…

        • He’s certainly an exception that proves many rules.

    • Anton

      Come off it Inspector, the CoE has been using liturgy that assumes the deceased is Christian for centuries and we all know that many haven’t been, especially latterly.

      • Dominic Stockford

        In this area over half of all funerals are now led by ‘celebrants’ and are not religious. The drop in hypocrisy is gladly shared.

      • 1649again

        To be fair the CoE leaves the judgement to God and seeks to offer comfort to the bereaved, for which one can’t criticise it.

        • Anton

          This complaint was made to me by an evangelical Anglican vicar, but I was aware of the tension at the funeral of my own father, a clearly nominal Anglican who asked to be buried by the 1662 rites (and was).

          Forasmuch as it hath pleased Almighty God of his great mercy to take unto himself the soul of our dear brother here departed, we therefore commit his body to the ground; earth ot earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; in sure and certain hope of the Resurrection to eternal life, through our Lord Jesus Christ…

      • magnolia

        “sure and certain HOPE of the Resurrection to eternal life”

        The church is wise and these questions are old. Brilliant wording.

  • On International Women’s Day, let’s all apologise on behalf of God for creating men and women with different qualities to complement one another and for Jesus not choosing women as Apostles. What was He thinking?!

    • Cressida de Nova

      Shame on you Jack. Men who love women give recognition to their suppression in the past and celebrate their quest for equal rights.

      • Jack’s post relates to the “human right” of ordination for women, Cressie, not to women’s other roles in the Church or in secular society.

        • Cressida de Nova

          Oh Sorry, Jack!
          Must say I was surprised. I thought you had caught a dose of misogyny, rampant on this blog.

          • magnolia

            “Rampant on this blog.” Yes. And Jack doesn’t do it. I am wondering to what extent various contributors are aware of what they do, and what the causes, sometimes seemingly primal, are of it.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Jack really likes women…you know ,the way heterosexual men are supposed to be.

          • Rhoda

            Have we been reading the same blog? I haven’t seen much rampant misogyny; except for the men who think that no action should be taken against those who carry out FGM.

          • bluedog

            Funny that. Somehow it seems a defender of the one true faith can be complicit in a process that concedes the right of parents to mutilate their daughters, yet be praised for his piety. The world turned upside down?

          • Unlike you Bluedog to malign a person and misrepresent them. Please cite an example where Jack has ever conceded the right of any parent to mutilate a child.

          • carl jacobs

            You are playing word games, Jack. Sure, you won’t concede the right. You just happen to think the crime should be ignored “in the best interest of the girl” – and presumably in the best interest of all those other “not-yet-but-soon-to-be” mutilated girls as well. It’s a distinction without a difference. You will of course assert vociferously that there is a huge difference, and then you will play the “expert” card.

            I suppose you might convince a social worker or two with that argument. Not many others, though. Not many others.

          • The crime isn’t ignored, as you well know. As repeatedly explained, there is considerable community involvement and monitoring of girls deemed to be at risk. Social workers and other agencies deal with individual children in individual circumstances. That’s their statutory duty. You’d sacrifice an individual child’s welfare and future in order to deliver justice for a crime committed against that individual child, in the hope it would deter others. You’d have the state routinely and regularly remove girls from their families and communities and subject them to a life in children’s home.

          • carl jacobs

            Is anyone sent to prison? No. Then the crime is ignored, Jack. Social workers don’t count as punishment.

            And you certainly have been silent on the whole problem of recidivism.

          • There’s only ever been one prosecution since 1985, Carl. This was on a doctor last year who performed some sort of procedure on a woman after she gave birth. He was acquitted. Lack of evidence. It’s only relatively recently it has been addressed as a significant issue. It’s recognised the law is a blunt instrument and establishing a case difficult. As for recidivism, those families where there is evidence of this practice are monitored closely and made aware of the consequences.

          • carl jacobs

            Consequences? WHAT consequences!? That they will be monitored even more closely and warned even more strenuously? You have done nothing in this argument but justify the lack of consequences.

          • Jack has simply explained child care and care protection legislation and the fact that the paramount concern is always the best short term and long term interest of individual children.

          • carl jacobs

            So should I take that as a de facto admission that there are no consequences imposed because the system chooses to preference the “the best short term and long term interest of individual children”?

          • You take what you like from it, Carl.

            Jack doesn’t set overall policy in these situations. His job was to protect the best interest of individual children; not to sacrifice a child’s wellbeing so some greater good might come from it.

          • carl jacobs

            I’ll take that as a “Yes” then since you have never actually stated any consequences.

            You know, when Dad kills Mom, little Jimmy and little Suzy are screwed six ways to Sunday because Dad is going to prison regardless. This normally isn’t controversial. No one is advocating that particular crime go unpunished because of the impact on the children.

            Punishing the crime is the first duty of the justice system.

          • And you can’t see the difference between this situation and FGM? Seriously? Think about it. Think about it from the child’s perspective. Think about it from the parent’s perspective.

          • carl jacobs

            What’s wrong, Jack. I’m genuinely concerned. In six years I’ve never seen you post this angry.

          • Yes, Jack is angry. He’s had his personal integrity maligned and been accused of cooperating with evil and colluding with breaking the law. Plus, he’s grown weary with the level of ignorance being displayed about the child care law and child development.

          • carl jacobs

            I apologize for upsetting you, Jack. The argument is certainly not worth that. I won’t argue with you about this anymore.

            FWIW, my opinion of you hasn’t changed at all because of this. I expected you to take the position you did. I knew you would have a personal and professional commitment to a process that will be appreciated by virtually no one outside the profession. I understand that reality. I understand where you are coming from.

          • It wasn’t so much you, Carl, it’s the band of Puritans on here. That’s why Jack didn’t comment on the recent article on mental health. There’s on;t so much ignorance and prejudice one can take.

          • carl jacobs

            Nevertheless. What I said stands. ☺

          • bluedog

            ‘Except, African communities, where the practise is greater than Muslim communities, are not using implicit nor explicit threats of violence. Even in those Muslim communities where it happens there is a division of opinion. It takes time to change deeply embedded cultural attitudes without alienating people. And, yes, Jack would defend the best interests of children in these situations. Not to justify their parent’s behaviour but to protect them from further more significant psychological harm.’

          • Did you read the last two sentences and the set them in the context of trauma caused to young children who would be removed from their families and communities, alienated from those they know and love, and raised in children’s homes?

          • Anton

            Do that to 10 and another 10,000 would be spared FGM. But THE RULES say look at each case individually, and must follow THE RULES, of course…

          • So it’s okay to ruin the lives of 10 to spare 10.000? Now why does that moral reasoning sound familiar? And, yes, implementing the law is important.

          • Anton

            Their lives are already pretty lousy without a clitoris.

          • You would compound that harm by removing them from their family and community and burden them with a life of isolation.

            Go do some research on outcomes for children raised in care and especially children from ethnic minorities.

            Perhaps you should inform yourself before pontificating on matters you are ignorant about.

          • bluedog

            I did and I posted on exactly that point at the time, a post to which you never replied.

            My point remains the same, if the state mandated the rights of the child as paramount, by doing so the state negated its own criminal law and thus permitted a shockingly high incidence of child abuse. Anyone charged with implementing the state’s policy, and being in disagreement with that policy, had the option of protesting and requesting the right to recuse themselves from the action as a matter of conscience. It would have been extremely difficult for the state to resist such a request. You appear to have done no such thing, indeed you have stated that you agreed with the state’s policy and it seems, willingly implemented it. A number of communicants, self included, find your position reprehensible.

            The state’s policy presumably emanated from the EU and reflected the best intentions. As is so often the case, ringing declarations of western moral virtue fail once in contact with Islam. This was just such an instance and dealing with the unintended and perverted consequences of the state’s policy required a degree of courage and an ability to determine between good and evil. In situations such as these, the Eichmann defence of following orders is no defence. In your own posts, you rightly claim that evil cannot be used to good. Yet that is precisely the nature of your defence in this situation.

          • A number of errors in there Bluedog.

            First, it’s an African practice just as much as if not more than an Islamic one. Second, British child care law and policy did not come from Europe. Third, it is not the job of social care agencies to enforce the criminal law but to follow the law pertaining to their specialism.
            Jack’s conscience is entirely clear in this matter. His responsibility was always to promote the best interests of a particular child before him and to represent those needs, not to embark on a wider campaign at the expense of an individual child’s welfare. Recommendations made to the police and the CPS are just that, recommendations. The police and CPS have to decide what’s in the public interest and whether a successful conviction can be brought.

          • bluedog

            ‘First, it’s an African practice just as much as if not more than an Islamic one.’

            And most common in Islamic areas of Africa. Not quite sure of your reasons for tarring the Africans with the same brush as the Muslims.

            ‘Third, it is not the job of social care agencies to enforce the criminal law but to follow the law pertaining to their specialism.’ Isn’t there a moral obligation to at least report a crime to the police? Or do the social care agencies operate under their own moral code?

            ‘Jack’s conscience is entirely clear in this matter. ‘

            One cannot envisage any other outcome.

            ‘The police and CPS have to decide what’s in the public interest and whether a successful conviction can be brought.’

            Presumably a brief by the social care agencies as first responders would carry weight with the police. In short, if the social care agencies either do not report at all or down play the seriousness of the situation the police may not react and the CPS would never make a judgement.

            There is no suggestion that the social care agencies might decide not to disclose an epidemic of FGM in order to ensure the safety of their own personnel.

          • FGM is always reported to the police as a crime. It’s a mandatory requirement on agencies. No one downplays its seriousness. The outcome of investigations are discussed between agencies and recommendations made as to a course of action.

          • bluedog

            ‘…and recommendations made as to a course of action.’

            The ‘too-hard’ basket.

  • Arden Forester

    Reading Martyn Percy’s piece makes me wonder. He is really neither fish nor fowl. He talks of the church, implying the CofE is some kind of sect, making its own decisions and then he talks of the Church as if all this innovation fits into the Universal Church. Does he follow Catholic doctrine or protestant dogma? It appears to be a convenient mixture of both.

    To decry traditionalists as a tiny, tiny percentage is less than charitable. But then liberals never really were liberal. I don’t mean Liberals but those fashioned after a dictatorial consensus around a liberal attitude to life. Woe betide those who do not follow. It happened in America under Jefferts Schori. She was almost promoting heresy as the next best thing.

    I do not believe in female ordination. Not because they are women but because the Tradition of the Faith tells us this is not possible. Saint Joseph did not complain about his role even if he was unsettled. He had to throw off the cultural attitudes around him and accept his role. As did the Virgin Mary. As did Saint Peter, after much troubled thinking.

    What is established on the Rock is not to create pleasure for our own desires but to enable us to worship as we should.

    • One doubts Percy believes in a sacerdotal priesthood, Apostolic succession, or unity formed through adherence to truths agreed by the generations before him.

      • Anton

        Or even just truth universally acknowledged to be in scripture.

  • Anton

    At Babel God decreed against Man United.

    • At Calvary, He decreed otherwise.

    • carl jacobs

      It must be hard for Jack. Every year he has expectations and every year they are pitilessly crushed.

      • Anton

        Take a longer view, Carl. Cricket is my game but history suggests that clubs as large as MUFC rise and fall very near the top of football on a timescale of decades.

    • ChaucerChronicle

      What?

  • len

    This is’ the threshing floor’.Lots of noise, lots of dust,and sometimes a few grains of truth(hopefully)

  • … allowing Martyn Percy’s wisdom and insight to enlighten your mind and permeate your soul.”

    Yes, YG, the fatal flaw of all progressives and modernists.

    The mind is a flawed human organ, made from dust. It is subject to many influences, as Eve can confirm. It is our eternal soul, awakened by God’s grace, that enlightens the mind. However, the mind must be properly disposed, prepared and disciplined. If not, the separation between God and us deepens and the soul darkens as we grow further away from Him. It is the spirit that leads us to truth.

  • chefofsinners

    Confused by the title: “Martyn Percy’s Lenten Reflection”.
    It is well known that Martyn Percy doesn’t have a reflection.

    • bluedog

      Or a shadow.

      • Anton

        Setting aside his politics, David Chameleon is too relaxed a personality for that. I’m more concerned about a return by Blair in some form.

        • magnolia

          Blair leading a populist movement?

          Could happen….roughly the same time as a singing poodle stars in Wagner’s ring cycle as the main lead.

          And what form did you have in mind as a potential for him? Does it come in blood red? Attended by the ghosts of the innocent civilian departed?

          • Anton

            I don’t mind replies in that tone, but please don’t complain about men fighting rough here if you adopt it! Blair is unlikely to return to the Labour Party but he is well aware that with lame-duck Corbyn leading it there is a void at centre-left, which is exactly where he himself sits; and he is a megalomaniac. For all the verbal hatred expressed of him by various parties, he knows how to bribe the British electorate with its own money, and a year is a long time in politics.

          • bluedog

            Brexit is Blair’s current obsession, and he has already tried to mobilise the Remoaners, so what else is going on. There’s scope for a cross-party anti-Brexit alliance and one can imagine the arch-sh*t Heseltine conspiring with Blair to try and put something together.

          • magnolia

            The tone was merely humorous, and reassuring, not by any means”fighting rough”. Nothing “ad hominem” there at all. If you look through this thread I have fielded quite a lot of actual “ad hominem” with only milder rejoinders, or deflections, and in several cases just let it go. Less heat and more light is good in debate. That is why Percy offered a parallel image. Wise move, though it has rather been obviated and obscured here.

          • Anton

            No, Percy was in the knife business in that piece, but from the back rather than the front, rhetorically speaking.

        • bluedog

          Timing would be of the essence. Would Blair lead a posse of bright young things to depose Corbyn before an election or after Corbyn’s annihilation? Blair could only be an interim leader with say, a five year mandate that enables a credible successor to build support. But haven’t we seen peak Blair? Can’t envisage Blair managing Sturgeon’s call for Indyref2 in 2018; it was he who created the preconditions.

      • Hi

        Dave would be too busy chillaxing. The nightmare scenario would Tony Blair coming back …

        • Anton

          I just said that! Keep scrolling…

  • Sybaseguru

    Everyone fails on one (or more) of the 5 principles defined by the Bishops, but that’s the point of them.

  • Sybaseguru

    I think Martyn Percy would find the Latin would precede the French (by more than a millennium), but as he cant differentiate on that simple matter it would not be unreasonable to assume that the remainder of his epistle is equally dodgy. And so it proves…

    1) Quotes Galatians 3:28 out of context (its to do with salvation, D’oh!)
    2) The restaurant is highly contentious – we had veggie friends and I always argued that it was quite unreasonable for them not to provide meat (it was a taste issue not an animal issue) when we provided veggie food for them. In the interests of unity in Christ I never enforced this.
    3) “But less reasonable for the new owner to refuse to offer certain things that were once on the menu, because they troubled his or her own conscience.” The old restaurant failed on most counts. There were one or two successful dishes, which the original owner didn’t like anyway, but the rest were rubbish. The new owners are quite entitled to revise the menu, particularly if they find that they have a lot in common with the successful dishes.

    etcertera, etcetera…

  • IanCad

    Finally managed to read it after countless security warnings kept popping up.

    Fairly light and blessedly short, I would venture to say, most middle of the roaders would applaud it.

    Traditionalists will not; neither would they be happy to be classed as a “–a tiny, tiny percentage of our worshippers.” Methinks the good Dr. Percy is telling porkies.
    Resorting to desired (Required?) percentages of clergy is but a statement of dissatisfaction with the created order – the mark of all equalitarians.
    I might grumble and huff and puff over the acceptance of women in the ministry; Hey! I hold it as a black day when they got the vote, but know, deep down I am wrong.
    An appeal to rigid biblical instruction on the part of those conservatives may be their Achilles heel; For to resort to such would require questioning of several other doctrines and practices not based upon scripture, but upon tradition.
    Consistency is a hard road.

  • ChaucerChronicle

    I say Jacobs; what’ve you got against ManU?

    • Anton

      It goes back a while; it’s because Jack supports them.

  • CliveM

    Authority, authority, it always seems to come back to this word. Woman must not have authority over man. Jesus’s call was that to lead we had to be servants. He didn’t say that leadership came with authority over others, although it certainly comes with responsibility.
    This isn’t the same.
    There is something about this argument that confuses me. I understand that those holding the view that the role of Priest is both Sacerdotal and Apostolic, will tend to have a traditional view on the importance of the maleness of the Priesthood. Indeed traditionally the RCC has very explicitly seen itself and its Priesthood as having ‘spiritual authority, over the laity.
    But what about the Free churches, or those that call themselves Reformed? As they have rejected this view of what the Priesthood is, are they right too also cling onto the view that there is any member of the body of the Church with ‘Spiritual Authority’ over others? And if they can’t (and to me that seems to be the right conclusion), what is it that stops woman being ‘Ministers’
    (or Pastors etc.)?
    It comes back again to Paul’s warning about woman not having authority over men. But in a Church where no one holds this authority, one that is run administratively by Elders or Deacons (or whatever you wish to call them), is this really an adequate basis for the banning of female Ministry.
    It’s not clear to me that it is.

    • Anton

      What’s confusing about it? God designed things such that leadership should be male, a universal principle that applies to family, nation and church. (It’s not about sacerdotalism or the apostolic succession; those issues are specific to the church.)

      God’s curse on Eve and womanhood, following the Fall, includes this (Genesis 3:16): “You will desire-your-way [TSHUQAH] with your husband, but he will master [MASHAL] you.” This much mistranslated phrase means that the woman will desire to dominate the man, but will fail. In the Hebrew original, the same construction appears shortly afterwards in Genesis 4:7 when God says to Cain, “Sin desires-its-way [TSHUQAH] with you, but you must master [MASHAL] it.” The two words appear together nowhere else. So the Fall is the start of the ‘battle of the sexes’.

      What did God intend, before the Fall took place? Eve was made for Adam (as a helper: Gen 2:18), from Adam (2:21-2). Paul says that this implies male authority: “The head of every man is Christ, and the head of woman is man… for man did not come from woman, but woman from man” (1 Cor 11:3&8). So God intends that authority shall be male. That is why he reveals himself to us as our Father.

      God cursed the key role of woman, child-bearing (Genesis 3:16), and the key role of man, namely providing for the family (which only he can do because caring for a house full of young children is a fulltime job for the woman) – Genesis 3:17-19. That is labour of a different kind,

      What does St Paul say about the duties of husband and wife? Ephesians 5:22&25: “Wives, obey your husbands as you would the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is head of the church… Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” That love is agapē – self-sacrificial love, beyond eros which the couple obviously enjoy and share. Paul appeals to the dawn of man and to man’s relationship to God. This has nothing to do with ancient Middle Eastern culture, Greek culture, or modern secular culture.

      The relationship between husband and wife can be abused. Men can throw their weight about as bullies, abusing their power. Such behaviour is usually obvious. Women can try to usurp male authority in the home. That is usually more subtle. In Genesis 3:16 God tells us that these things will happen, as a result of the Fall.

      When a man bullies, it becomes harder for the woman to obey. When a woman usurps, it becomes harder for the man to lead the family and show sacrificial love for them. A vicious circle of blame and misbehaviour is set up all too easily. In Christian marriage, a man must crucify his inner bully, and a woman must crucify her inner usurper (in Pauline terminology).

      Feminism is the translation of woman’s tendency to rebel against male authority from the domestic arena into the political arena. It denies the differing roles of the sexes, making it difficult socially for the vicious circle of blame or misbehaviour to be broken out from, into the roles given by God.

      • CliveM

        You keep coming back to authority, although sometimes using a different word like master. As the model used by Christ for the Church is to be ‘servants’ I’m not convinced this applies.

        • Anton

          It’s when ‘authority’ is quoted instead of reasoning that I am against it; and when it is wielded by people who don’t have personalities to match. But all I have tried to do above is begin from the Bible and apply it to certain pastoral and cultural situations, and if you think I have made a mistake then please be specific.

          • CliveM

            All your examples (apoligies if I’m wrong) seem to be about the ‘right’ power relationship between men and woman.

            I’m talking about what is the correct model for the leadership of the Church and does this then exclude the female ministry.

            Christ is clear, those who run the Church are to be like servants. Not husbands.

            Therefore how can this be used to justify the exclusìon of woman from the ministry?

            Especially if we reject the RCC model of Priesthood.

          • Anton

            Power relationship? I spoke no less importantly of love in the parts of that post that were about marriage. As for the church, Paul wrote (in 1 Tim 3) that an episkopos must be a ‘man of one woman’ and be treated with respect by his children. Back then, ‘episkopos’ meant simply ‘overseer’, meaning someone who provided spiritual leadership within a congregation. Doesn’t that settle it?

          • CliveM

            Anton,
            There is a saying that you need to use scripture to understand scripture. Meaning the scripture needs to be assessed in light of what scripture say elsewhere. It cannot and must not be read in isolation of the wider scriptural understanding.
            So at first reading we appear to have Christ saying one thing (we should be servants) and Paul saying another, (the leadership needs to be in authority over the Church and therefore male).
            The interesting thing about the book of 1 Timothy is that there are several ‘commands’ that are widely ignored. For example 1 Tim 2 v.9 would appear to prohibit woman from wearing gold or pearls. When was that last imposed? The reason why it isn’t is that most Christians understand that this is addressing a cultural issue and needs to be understood in the light of this. In addition, we don’t believe that when Paul says “But women will be saved through child bearing”, that this means what it appears on the surface to say at least. We understand the woman, like men are saved through faith in Jesus Christ.
            The Church that Paul is addressing in the letter is facing many problems; through the work of ‘false teachers’, ‘controversial speculation’ (a lesson here perhaps for some of what is said on this board!) etc. and Paul is pointing the way to promote cohesion in a Church that was still very much influenced and in some ways organised by its Jewish Synagogue roots.
            In this context, what we see are instructions suited to a situation and are not necessarily meant as a universal form of Church governance. Indeed we see that in other Churches Paul encouraged the role of woman. The bible certainly seems to suggest that Priscilla for example had a role in teaching scripture. Or in Romans 16:12, he commends the ministry of the woman who brought his letter to the Roman Christians. More broadly in the Old Testament we see that Deborah was not only a Prophet but also a Judge (Judges 4:4).
            There are other examples.
            All of which would appear to support the idea that 1 Timothy 3 is about addressing a specific problem and is not about the role of woman in the wider Church. Indeed if you reject the cultural basis for Paul’s comments and stick to the ‘surface’ understanding for 1 Timothy, you are led back to the RCC view on the Priesthood. It is only by viewing Church leadership through Christ’s call to be servants (and how can you be a servant, if you have authority), that you have a proper rounded view of Ministry, which avoids the trap of the RCC model of the Priesthood.
            Apologies for slow response, but busy and this demanded a longer response then I usually give.
            p.s. I seem to be arguing myself into a position that I didn’t hold this time yesterday!

          • Anton

            Some things in the Bible are obviously specific to ancient near Eastern culture, but patriarchy isn’t. Our culture is the odd one out. Paul takes it straight to the creation of the human race in 1 Timothy 2, and that obviously transcends all cultures. I am not mentioning this passage in relation to whether women may or may not speak in church, but something much deeper.

            I do not agree that my view leads inevitably to the RC priesthood. This is about congregational leadership, not ordination. (I’m against the ordination of men as well as of women, but let us not divert.)

          • Anna

            in my view, Priscilla instructing Apollos about the gospel was similar to a mother using her wisdom, knowledge and experience to advise or guide her son. She was not his pastor or spiritual director.

            There will always be women leaders in history, who are specially commissioned by God for unique tasks – like Deborah, the prophetess Huldah or Esther – and equipped by Him to perform their roles with excellence. Throughout church history, we have had women who influenced their generation, without occupying the roles feminists clamour for today.

      • Andym

        “God designed things such that leadership should be male, a universal principle that applies to family, nation and church.”

        I’m intrigued by this statement, Anton. Does that mean that you disagree with the Queen as head of state, and the existence of a female prime minister?You have argued for male headship in the home, and in church – but the nation? And would this apply in workplace, or school?

        • Anton

          At school it is children being taught, and any adult has legitimate authority over children. As for politics, we need to recognise that our culture is the odd one out across all of human history and geography. (The Queen scarcely has any real power in any case.)

          • Andym

            So as far as politics is concerned, we are the odd one out in your view. But do you think we should be? Should women be barred from office, or politics altogether?

            Should women be barred from directorships of a company where there are male staff?

          • Yes.

          • Holger

            Didn’t you know that women must not exercise authority over men? This means no queen regnant, because no matter how notional a sovereign’s power may be, the Royal Prerogative is still exercised in her name, therefore she is the source of an authority to which men must bow. And this MUST NOT BE, or apparently the sky will fall, or something…

            It also means no female prime ministers. No female ministers. No female university lecturers. No female police. No female armed forces officers. No female company directors. Indeed women should be barred from all traditionally male occupations because these almost always include the exercise of some form of authority over men, and this MUST NOT BE, or apparently Narnia will be overturned and perish in fire and water, or something…

            But it gets even sillier. Many traditionally female occupations also involve exercising authority over men. A housewife might have to tell a plumber or an electrician or a gardener what to do. A nurse might have to exercise authority over her male patients. Or a librarian might have to impose a fine on a male library user. However the bible tells us that these things MUST NOT BE, or apparently Sauron will cover all the lands with a second darkness, and this until the ending of the world, or something…

            Of course, it may well be that the apocalyptic consequences of female disobedience and presumption aren’t quite as bad as I’ve painted them (I tend to get the bible and other works of fantasy fiction like the Narnia Chronicles and The Lord of the Rings mixed up – it’s easily done…), but one thing is clear. Any woman who does not simper in the presence of men and do exactly what she’s told to do is clearly going straight to hell. It doesn’t matter whether the man’s command is reasonable. She must still submit to it, although she can rest assured that if she is treated badly, God will avenge her at some indeterminate point in the future. Won’t he?

            Oh well, in any case, she still has to submit.

            This being the case, and being rather amused by the idea that no matter how unreasonable my command, any woman I’m married to must obey it, I think I might trot off to Saint-Nicolas du Chardonnet this evening and find me a wife. I’ll then command her to don a tutu and parade up and down boulevard Saint-Germain on point balancing a large chocolate merveilleux on her nose whilst juggling 16 pineapples and a jar of rollmops. If she’s a faithful Christian then despite the sheer unreasonableness of my demand, she won’t be able to disobey me. And as according to everyone here, I’m already going to hell, my punishment for treating my wife badly won’t be any worse than what I’m already going to experience. So I might as well have all the fun I like.

            Hmmm. Now here is where the looming equal marriage slippery slope is really going to come in useful. When polygamous marriage is legalized, which according to the seers and doomsayers here, may in fact be very soon, I’ll be able to marry a new wife every week – or even every day – and get them all juggling away at various sites across Paris using various kinds of cake, fruit and other household goods. Of course I’ll have to keep them secret from each other otherwise they might not believe our marriage to be sacramental and refuse to obey me. Which will be another sin to add to my charge sheet, but what the hell! When the consequences can’t possibly get any worse, why not go for broke? May as well be hanged for a sheep as for a lamb.

          • Anton

            I don’t consider it a matter for the law of the land. Not everything is about legislation!

          • Andym

            But you think we should not have female leaders of any kind where men would report to them. You would never be able to work for a woman – never be able to take instructions from one – see Holger’s examples. You would have to chose not to, despite the absence of legislation.

          • 1649again

            Christianity recognised the difference between spiritual and secular authorities dating right back to Jesus’ “Render unto Caesar…” It’s entirely consistent to argue for spiritual leadership to be exclusively male, at least in terms of a priesthood, while accepting that females can hold secular authority.

          • Andym

            I understand that position. Anton seems to think it goes further – to apply to, in his words, the nation, as well

          • Anton

            Not everything that is wrong should be a matter for legislation, as I have said. Not everything should be compulsory or forbidden.

          • However, Queen Elizabeth I most certainly did and at one time held the title Head of the Church.

      • len

        Very clear and comprehensive post Anton.

      • Manfarang

        No more women drivers as in Saudi eh?

        • Anton

          What has that to do with authority?

          • Manfarang

            “A dangerous matter that exposes women to evil”, according to one authority in Hijaz and Najd.

          • Anton

            I’m talking only about authority and gender. The right to drive has nothing to do with that.

          • Manfarang

            Submission to God, submission to the father, submission to the husband.

          • Anton

            What have those to do with the law about driving?

    • ChaucerChronicle

      Look, pal; you can call it whatever you want. Us blokes are more efficient when we are doing things together.

      Introduce a good looking woman into a pub discussion on the state of the world and she attracts attention, dissipating it.

      I’ve seen this time and time again; not only at university but also down the Tame Cat and the Playful Mouse.

      • 1649again

        You could have warned us before you lit the blue touch paper.

      • CliveM

        You’re not a Weegie are you?

        • len

          Weegie?.

          • CliveM

            Glaswegian

          • len

            Ah,something about the cut of his jib?.

          • CliveM

            The use of the phrase ‘look pal’!

    • len

      This is about’ the Order’ God designated
      This matter of questioning God’s authority is basically what Satan did.
      Authority is to flow downwards from the throne of God, when we challenge that order we are basically Challenging God.

      • CliveM

        Who’s questioning Gods authority? I’m not.

        • len

          There seems to be some who are doing so in ‘ the Church’,Intentionally or inadvertently.

        • I think you’ll find you are.

          • CliveM

            How?

            Typically I find Christians use that argument in an attempt to close down discussion.

            Isn’t it essentially the same method liberalis use to close down debate, when they accuse someone of being racist or sexist etc?

    • Dominic Stockford

      The only authority I hold comes from accurately preaching, teaching, and applying the Word of God.

    • If you want to know the Free Church position on women in ministry, try this:
      https://fiec.org.uk/resources/article/women-in-ministry-statement

    • Good questions.

  • Sarky

    Went there once to see ‘cradle of filth’ , nice place!

    • Anton

      Can’t think which college you mean…

  • Hi

    In respect of the church of England and female clergy, the more I think about it the more I think that this allows for gay marriages in church and maybe even a married lesbian archbishop of Canterbury one day.

    Allowing women vicars required theologians to change the tradition and to rework the bible via the words of Paul of Tarsus and Jesus of Nazareth. Then came women bishops, which is presumably permissible because of women vicars.

    After this the logic is to allow gay clergy and gay marriages or face charges of hypocrisy and picking n choosing. If people ignore Paul of Tarsus and Jesus or the Christian Bible and the tradition of the church on women vicars , then people can and are free in all good conscience to ignore or change all of this on gays and marriage and whatever else they don’t like too (e.g. non Christians not going to hell, rather negating Christianity ).

    If on the other hand people choose to ignore Paul /Jesus /the bible/tradition on one issue and not another , then it makes the c of e look inconsistent or malleable with the world. Maybe it will survive precisely because it conforms to the worldly viewpoint. Maybe evangelicals do bend with the wind and actually do accept women vicars(but for hypocritical reasons can’t do the same with gays).

    I don’t believe the church will spilt formally. It will be informal to keep up appearances . They’ll leave it to parishes to decide , as they have done with female vicars and remarriage of divorcees . So some will be no gays or female clergy/gay marriage , some will be no females, but gay vicars and gay marriage , some will have female clergy, but no gay marriages etc etc .

    So relax or even chillax. Everyone in the c of e , will have like a space space and the evangelicals can continue doing alpha courses (maybe even a “gay alpha”) , the Anglo Catholics can continue to be more Rome than Rome and the liberal wing can continue in its atheistic tradition.

    • IrishNeanderthal

      Hannah,

      To repeat the essence of what I said earlier, quoting Chesterton:

      You might as well write: ‘You like the look of a horse; why won’t you be logical and like the look of a hippopotamus?’ The only answer is, ‘Well, I don’t; and it is not illogical, because it does not in any way invade the realm of logic.

      • Hi

        I’m simply following on the logic of the church of England’s path as judged by its own internal logic , which all religions have, and the logic of” moving with the times ” and” fairness” , suggests exactly what I’ve written . Now it could be that my post is guilty of that thing called the slippery slope fallacy , but it doesn’t seem that way from looking at it .

        • IrishNeanderthal

          I don’t know whether you want to take this any further, so shall we agree to differ or shall we open up what might be a lengthy disputation?

          • Hi

            I think if I were to look at this from my own religion, I would be hard pressed to have ever submitted to women clergy and incidentally church gay marriage. Orthodox Judaism takes a huge emphasis on the Hebrew Bible and Mesorah (the transmission and explanation of Jewish law and tradition from God to Moses, to the Jewish people at mount Sinai, to the present and from family generation of generation ).

            So by that criteria , I think previously that the traditional interpretations by the church of England of Paul of Tarsus say no to gay marriages and female clergy. Case closed.

            I am not suggesting that one should approach one’s faith via dogmatic spoon feeding or that things cannot change (as they do) or excommunication on very minor jot or that it rely on a rejection of university or secular academic achievement.

            Indeed there can and should be broad boundaries within a faith community and my own faith has a tradition of vigorously arguing about anything and anything, especially the Torah and applying leniency over strictness. But there are in any religions , clear protective hedges around the community which provide boundaries .

            The community is also obligated to help return those led astray back into that fold , or we shall be wanting as per the prophet Ezekiel “You did not bring back those who were driven away, and those who were lost you did not seek'” (Yehezkel /Ezekiel 34:4).

          • IrishNeanderthal

            Hannah,

            I am much happier, for the present, having read your more recent comments.

            This morning, I had a thought which might appeal to you. Thinking of the anti-God bias of the BBC, there came to mind the strange uniformity among BBC TV presenters which cuts across the whole range of age, race, or sex. Now Jack might suggest they are controlled by Lizards, but I am reminded of an episode of Doctor Who (or maybe I am conflating two episodes) which fits my bill perfectly.

            The episode reaches a climax with a battle between the Doctor’s two old enemies.

            Cybermen: “This is War!”
            Daleks: “It is not War. It is Pest Control.”

            Earlier there is a scene with humans typing away at computers at tremendous speed, seemingly unaware of their surroundings. One of the characters goes up to a Nigerian girl.

            “Ade?” he enquires, then notices what seems to be an earphone stuck in her ear. He pulls at it, and out comes a wire which has been inserted into her brain.

            Something seems to be controlling the Beebots. I have noticed how much more personable Rageh Omaar has become since leaving the BBC, first for Al-Jazeera and now for ITV.

          • Hi

            Also 1649/1642 opined below that the most vocal critics of female clergy are women. This is true of my tradition as well: there’s a handful of Orthodox Rabbis (but very few have dared to take this title) , but while I am personally agnostic on the issue my sisters (Ruth, Esther and Rachel) are all against female Rabbis. Esther is vehemently against women Rabbis. And as you know she served in a combat division of the IDF. Her opinion was reinforced with her encounter and subsequent on going “ecumenical discussion” with a female vicar.

    • len

      ‘The Apostate Church of England.’
      Think I’ve read about that.

    • What an unholy mess. The end is nearing.

    • Dominic Stockford

      It formally split in the USA. Many congregations have fought their way free of the tendrils of evil spawned by PECUSA’s liberalism. People will have to be ready to fight though, really fight. The liberals will spend every last penny of the CofE’s money to prevent any buildings being taken from within their new kingdom of darkness.

      • Hi

        I had to edit several times before publishing my reply to Irish. I suggested in my initial version that liberals were akin to the serpent in Gan Eden.

        • Dominic Stockford

          They’re certainly the kin of the serpent…

  • carl jacobs

    My natural American humility prevents me from responding.

  • len

    ‘The Church’ has been under attack right from the start.Of course the ‘Church physical’ and the Church Spiritual are not always the same thing and are not mutually inclusive.
    Satan of course has several tricks up his sleeve and if one doesn`t work he will quickly apply another.
    What Satan cannot kill outright(he certainly tried hard enough with Jesus , the disciples, also the martyrs,) he will corrupt through ‘compromise’.
    Compromise might at the moment seem’ a good idea’ to some within and outside the Church.I can hear the words “get with it, modernize,don’t judge people,”being used to ‘guilt trip’ the Church and make it fall into line with modern liberal attitudes.

    That attitude will/is turning the Church into a place where people can go to feel good about themselves, an inclusive church, a Church also where Christ has been left outside . .Then the real Church, the Church Spiritual will go back to its original function where it will be hated, persecuted , and outlawed by the authorities as being’ fundamentalist’ and ‘divisive’.

  • Demon Teddy Bear

    The bishops already are 100% liberal, as a consequence of crown policy. The church mostly is not. This situation is a scandal. Inventing pretty language to justify this is merely a sign of a lack of integrity.

    • David

      There are a handful of bishops who are not liberal.

      • Holger

        And they’re getting older and closer to retirement with every second that passes.

        There’ll be no new traditionalist bishops. Liberals won’t permit it.

        • David

          One was appointed about a year ago, the Bishop of Maidstone.

          • Holger

            The opposition to the appointment of conservative bishops hadn’t had time to work out its strategy when the bishop of Maidstone was appointed. Now it has. And very effective it is too.

            I doubt there’ll be many (if any) more conservative appointments. If there are, they’ll get rarer and rarer, and every one will be harder to push through than the last.

  • carl jacobs

    Thinking Anglicans is reporting that Philip North has declined the position as Bishop of Sheffield.

    • “I do not doubt for one single second the Lordship of Christ or his call upon my life, but the pressures of recent weeks have left me reflecting on how He is calling me to serve him.”

      The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham?

      • Anton

        Nobody here doubts that you have a sense of humour, Jack.

      • carl jacobs

        On the bright side, we now know the CoE has at least one infallible dogma.

    • Anton

      Well, well…

      Those who said in 1992 that the CoE’s decision to ordain women would lead to this situation were right.

      One of these days something like this will trigger the big fight that is obviously coming between the CoE’s evangelicals and liberals. The fight is because they can’t live with each other theologically and each side wants to be the Established church with its buildings and its income. All Christians should support the evangelicals in view of the obvious apostasy of the liberals. The question is: when, and over what?

      • carl jacobs

        There won’t be a fight. There will be a departure. This will put paid to any compromise on SSM, and in fact any compromise on anything whatsoever. The words aren’t worth the paper containing them.

        I said when Women bishops were approved that there would be no traditionalist bishops chosen ever again. We have seen that prediction fulfilled. And so have many other eyes.

      • You “forgot” the Anglo-Catholics.
        [There are liberal evangelicals too]

      • ChaucerChronicle

        So now there can be no ‘Mutual Flourishing’. The doctrine lies in ruins.

        The conservatives TESTED the doctrine by prodding the liberal bee-bive – and the bees became furious:

        https://ashenden.org/

      • Holger

        Look at what happened in the US. That’s what you’re heading for.

        Evangelicals can’t win this. They don’t have the numbers or the power. All they can do is vote with their feet, in which case the liberals keep the pretty real estate and the investment income. Evangelicals will have to fund themselves and find alternative places of worship.

        Enjoy whatever shabby low-rent premises you can find. The polystyrene ceiling tiles, plastic chairs, formica surfaces and strip lighting will redound unto the glory of the Lord!

        Meanwhile as liberal Anglicanism dissolves into woolly secular “spirituality”, those lovely old churches will find new roles as galleries, theatres and other socially beneficial venues. Evangelicals will be tucked away out of public view on mouldering industrial estates and the next phase in the decline and fall of Christianity will have begun.

        • Anton

          By informed choice I’m not an Anglican, Holger; I am simply supporting those Anglicans who actually respect the Bible rather than those who deceitfully claim to.

          • Holger

            Oh I see. So you’re the proverbial rat who’s already fled from the sinking ship, are you? Self-preservation before everything, eh? Very Christian of you.

            So what little splinter group of self-absorbed Protestant zealots have you joined forces with then? The Gibbering Disciples of the Crucificated Christ? Or the Crucificated Christ’s Gibbering Apostles? I’m told one group believes he had brown eyes, whereas the other believes they were more of a greenish hazel. And they hate each other for it. Oh they say they love each other, but you should see how they beat each other up whenever they get the chance. But of course you know that. It’s your favourite pastime, isn’t it? The smaller the splinter group, the more exclusive you can be, the more people there are to be holier than.

          • Anton

            I quit the CoE some 15 years ago having decided that ordination, hierarchy and Establishment were unbiblical (although it was a combination of rampant theological liberalism at both local and episcopal level that drew me to closer Bible study). From that, you can deduce something about the congregation I am now part of. When I quit the local parish church I remained on good terms with those in it, by the way, although I live in another part of England today.

          • Holger

            Uh huh. Rat. Sinking ship. Absolute determination that they’re all wrong and you – wonderful you! – are right.

            It all adds up to a common garden Protestant zealot. How many members does your current sect consist of? A dozen or so? Fewer? And when’s the next split due? There’ll be disagreement about some minor detail sooner or later. Did Christ have long or short hair? Did he prefer his eggs boiled or poached?

            Boiled of course … but did he crack them at the big or the little end? Imagine the crusades you’ll be able to launch against the heretics who disagree with you on that absolutely crucial point of theology.

          • Anton

            Absolute determination that they’re all wrong and you – wonderful you! – are right.

            May I suggest that you purchase a mirror?

          • Holger

            I’ve never said that I’m right. But I have great confidence in the fact that you are wrong.

          • Anton

            Every man thinks he is right, for if he thinks he is wrong then he changes his mind until he thinks he is right.

          • betteroffoutofit

            He won’t see himself in it, Anton. They never do.

          • CliveM

            I suspect Linus spends a lot of time in front of the mirror already.

  • Inspector General

    Well, North had better undecline if he wants to stop schism…

  • Inspector General

    Off topic but one finds that salutary warnings are a comfort in this life. Let others suffer so that you don’t. And so…

    Your Inspector is deeply suspicious of IT technology, and although he does not use Wi-fi, there are fellows here who might and not everybody has password protected Wi-fi. Essentially, the link below has a chap using Wi-fi at his home and then the police turned up at his door. Unbeknown to either party (for some time) someone across the street was using the signal to download Category A child porn…
    ——————-
    http://www.gloucesterreview.co.uk/article.cfm?id=102364&headline=Pervert%20hacks%20neighbour%E2%80%99s%20%20wi%2Dfi%20to%20download%20child%20porn&sectionIs=news&searchyear=2017
    ——————-

  • ChaucerChronicle

    Well Martyn Percy you’ve won.

    Now what’s your view on him remaining as Bishop of Burnley?

    Have you got the guts to finish the job?

    • Dominic Stockford

      Good call.

    • Inspector General

      That’s how it must be for the most ruthless of us, CC. Leave no loose ends…

      • ChaucerChronicle

        General,

        The match isn’t over until He blows the final whistle: THE SECOND COMING.

  • len

    What we are witnessing is the death of one church and the birth of another.
    The false church is arising like the creature in ‘ Alien ‘out of the corpse of the old one.

    ‘Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.'(Matthew 24:28)

    Gods Word and the Body of Christ (The True Church ) will overcome this beast.

    • ChaucerChronicle

      Turning and turning in the widening gyre
      The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
      Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
      Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
      The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
      The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
      The best lack all conviction, while the worst
      Are full of passionate intensity.

      WB Yeats

      • len

        It will not last long.
        God is judging the church.

  • Dominic Stockford

    I rather like Adele’s take on the situation as it now stands for the CofE.

    “This is the end
    Hold your breath and count to ten
    Feel the earth move and then
    Hear my heart burst again

    For this is the end
    I’ve drowned and dreamt this moment
    So overdue I owe them
    Swept away, I’m stolen

    Let the sky fall
    When it crumbles
    We will stand tall
    Face it all together”

  • Anton

    Friends, Anglicans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
    I come to bury Philip, not to praise him.
    The evil that men do lives after them;
    The good is oft interred with their bones;
    So let it be with Philip. The noble Percy
    Hath told you Philip was ambitious:
    If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
    And grievously hath Philip answer’d it.
    Here, under leave of Percy and the liberals–
    For Percy is an honourable man;
    So are they all, all honourable men–
    Come I to speak in Philip’s funeral.
    He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
    But Percy says he was ambitious;
    And Percy is an honourable man.
    He hath brought many converts home to Canterbury
    Whose tithes did the general coffers fill:
    Did this in Philip seem ambitious?
    When that the poor have cried, Philip hath wept:
    Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
    Yet Percy says he was ambitious;
    And Percy is an honourable man…
    O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
    And men have lost their reason. Bear with me;
    My heart is in the coffin there with Philip,
    And I must pause till it come back to me.

  • Hi

    Well as my bro likes random quotes this one from Hagel : “the owl of Minerva spreads its wings only with the falling of the dusk”

    • IrishNeanderthal

      “There is an ominous and almost monstrous parallel between the position of their over-rated philosophers and of their comparatively under-rated soldiers.”

      G.K.Chesterton, The Barbarism of Berlin (First Published 1914)

  • Dominic Stockford

    On a brighter note, we are at least hammering the West Indies in the cricket…..

  • Holger

    All credit where credit is due. Despite his reactionary and sexist theology, at least North has the brains to understand how untenable his position is as a traditionalist in the midst of a progressive Church. If he turned this down, we have to assume that it’s because he understood he wouldn’t be able to do the job.

    • Inspector General

      Looking forward a few years….

      “Here lieſ Linuſ, known aſ Holger
      To the end a uſeleſs bugger
      Not fit to ſhovel ſhit waſ he,
      From one place to another”

      Looking forward, indeed…

      • Holger

        What, you mean I’m going to die!!!!

        Oh! Your! Gahd!

        And here was I thinking I was immortal.

        Oh well, sh!t happens I s’pose. Still, my consolation is that however mortal I may be, so are you.

        Who’ll mourn your passing, I wonder.

        • Inspector General

          There are those who know there is no heaven, but pray there is no hell. Think about it…

          • Holger

            And there are those who know there are mad old Irishmen whose sole purpose in life is to spit venom at others. Hell hath no fury like a bigot scorned, eh?

          • Inspector General

            There must be a moment, between unconsciousness and waking when you are free of it all and knowing it. And then you wake, to find to your dismay, it is you.

        • len

          The false Church will have but a brief time.
          Eternity is a long time to get this wrong..

          • Holger

            Eternity is along time to get this wrong..

            And the here and now contains no proof that you’re right about anything.

            Eternity is no more than an assertion, and your take on it is just the same. You say God, Muslims say Allah, Hindus say Vishnu. You can’t all be right and there’s no reason to believe that any of you are.

          • len

            Dancing on the grave of the church?
            Well God said what would happen IF the Church ceased to be salt and light.
            Judgement would fall.And secularists would take part in that Judgement on the State Church.

            Ask not for whom the bell tolls Holger.

          • Holger

            There is no bell and it tolls for nobody. The bell is in your head. Auditory hallucinations are a common symptom of religious mania. Next you’ll be seeing angels fly out of the pope’s arse. Then comes the gibbering…

          • len

            Thanks you just granted me a blessing…

            “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.(Matthew 5:11)

            Its win, win for me….thanks.

          • Holger

            Enjoy the spectacle of the angels, then.

            Disturbing the deranged in the midst of their hallucinations can provoke violent reactions, so I agree that it’s best for all concerned that you remain in la-la-land. I wouldn’t want to read about some crazed religious psychotic taking out his family or neighbours because someone shattered his illusions online.

          • len

            You are the gift that keeps on giving, Holger …Thanks once again …next?.

          • len

            Next?…

          • Holger

            Happy to oblige. The calmer and more ecstatic you are, the safer those around you will be.

          • Anton

            Nor you. Secular humanism is an axiomatic faith system too.

        • ChaucerChronicle

          Mortal?

          You’re both: immortal.

          • Holger

            Careful. If you tell me I’m immortal and I go and jump off a cliff to test the proposition and then they find this conversation on my computer, you could be in hot water.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            No invitation presented.

            You’ve already jumped off; you sense the mundane emptiness of it all each Saturday morning.

          • Holger

            That’s right, tell me what I feel. If you keep on repeating yourself, maybe I’ll start to believe it.

            Or maybe I won’t.

            Christians uttering their meaningless jargon are about as unpersuasive as anyone can be. It’s like watching obsessive/compulsive sufferers go through their little rituals in a vain attempt to ward off the evil they’re convinced is out to get them.

            Chill out! Satan won’t drag you down to hell unless you beat up a gay person every day. There is no Satan. There is no hell. So relax and stop with the meaningless rituals. They only hurt you in the end. What a waste of a life.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            A glimmer of hope I detect:

            ‘maybe I’ll start to believe it.

            Or maybe I won’t.’

          • Holger

            Only a deluded Christian could detect hope in that statement.

            But like I said, I’m happy for you to grasp on to your delusions. They’re what keep you from going postal on those around you. It’s when you try to impose your delusions on me that I object.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            No imposition. As I’ve indicated you are wallowing in your self-induced depravity.

          • Holger

            The wallower is you and the medium in which you wallow is your self-induced delusion.

            But by all means, wallow away. You’re so evidently off your head that nobody can possibly be taken in by you, so there’s no harm in letting you maunder away in your corner like the town nutter. Maybe you should consider standing on a street corner and giving out religious tracts. Or would that make you feel too exposed? Best to try evangelising under cover of Internet anonymity, eh?

          • betteroffoutofit

            How ad hom is that?

            And very marxist too – the method was called spiritual murder dontcha know, until they rolled up with the self-delusion that they’d invented it. They compound that with their ignorance of the de- and conotation of ‘spirit,’ of course.

    • len

      This is good!.This is separation.The false Church is defining itself..
      Lines have been drawn.

    • ChaucerChronicle

      It is written:

      For the time has come for judgment, and it must begin with God’s household. And if judgment begins with us, what terrible fate awaits those who have never obeyed God’s Good News?

      • len

        Holger seems to have’ gone off on one?.’
        It might have been agreeing with that Percy bloke has unhinged him?.

        • ChaucerChronicle

          He and the ‘ayatollahs in the sands’ have one thing in common: the destruction of things which have stood for thousands of years.

      • Holger

        And it is written:

        “A 2012 paper suggested that, when compared with experiences today, psychiatric conditions associated with psychotic spectrum symptoms may be possible explanations for some revelatory driven experiences and activities such as those of Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Saint Paul.”

        Of course that was written in Wikipedia, not the bible. But no matter where it’s written, it’s just an assertion until backed up with convincing proof.

        • ChaucerChronicle

          The reason why you are already under judgment is because in your heart you ‘worship Man’:

          For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

          And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper.

          • Holger

            Oh no! Clobbered by a rigid dogma!

            A couple of centuries ago those used to hurt. Now they have about as much punch as a wet marshmallow.

            If that’s the only weapon you have, no wonder you’ve lost the fight.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            The ‘weapon’ is not mine to wield:

            And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper.

          • Holger

            Record stuck in the groove, I see.

            Keep on repeating yourself and they’ll end up putting you away.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Or you may end up putting yourself away:

            “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. Those who knock it is opened.”

            ― C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce

          • Holger

            Right, so when the bible fails, wheel out the heavy guns in the form of C.S. Lewis, eh?

            If Jesus can’t convert me, Aslan might.

            Sorry to disappoint, but I searched the back of my wardrobe very thoroughly when I was a child and I can assure you, there is no way through to Narnia. Why? Because Narnia is an invention and you can’t make doors from reality into imaginary countries.

            C.S. Lewis was a writer of fiction. I realize you don’t have a clear idea of what that means. But I do. It means he made things up and wrote them down as fantastical stories in order to make money. If you realized that, you might understand why he’s the least convincing Christian apologist there ever was.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Of just fiction?

          • Holger

            Lewis’s overactive imagination was present in everything he wrote. Unjustified beliefs and jumping to unwarranted conclusions were his stock in trade. He asks rhetorical questions that have more than one possible answer, but then immediately moves on without considering any answer except the one he obviously wants to reach. That’s why his work should be classified as fiction: it’s about what he wants to be real. It’s not about reality.

          • Anton

            For example?

          • Holger

            In “The Problem of Pain” Lewis asks the question how, if the universe is such a terrible place, did we come to attribute its creation to a benevolent deity?

            His answer is that the universe itself is so awful that it provides no proof of god, therefore man’s belief in him cannot be rational unless it stems from another source: namely, revelation.

            Lewis maintains that this is the only reasonable answer. He completely fails to consider that another plausible origin for belief in an all-powerful creator god might be that it’s not rational at all but rather falls into the category of irrational wishful thinking – the desire for an “invisible friend” who’ll protect us and make everything better.

            So, which is the more plausible argument of the two? What does the universe tell us? Well, it doesn’t provide any proof of revelation. We can’t test the claims made in the bible and prove them to be true or false. But we do have evidence of the human tendency to make up imaginary friends in order to feel safe and more secure. Take a look at children. They do it all the time.

            So wishful thinking is actually a more plausible explanation than revelation for our notion of god. We have direct and verifiable evidence of the human tendency to indulge in wishful thinking. We have no direct and verifiable evidence that the bible was written by divinely inspired individuals acting as god’s stenographers.

            What Lewis does – and he does it time and time again – is to present the argument he supports as the only plausible argument and either dismiss or not even mention alternative points of view. That’s not only poor advocacy, it’s also poor science. He starts from a pre-determined outcome and presents only the evidence or arguments that support it. A true and impartial spirit of enquiry would examine all evidence and reach a conclusion based on the available facts rather than the pre-determined prejudice. If there are no facts, or too few to convince, the only rational attitude to adopt is agnostic. Faith based on a lack of evidence is an irrational position.

          • Anton

            I doubt that that is an accurate summary, but I’m just off for a long weekend. I hope you have a good one too.

          • Holger

            Doubt away.

            As I have contradicted your predetermined dogmatic certainties, that’s about what I expected as a response.

            If you agreed with my analysis, you’d be forced to admit to the two great weaknesses of the dogmatic approach: inadequate (or non-existent) evidence and a refusal to recognise plausible alternatives. As doing either of these two things would kick the foundations out from under your faith, you’re left with only two ways of answering my objections. Either you fall back on the classic Christian trinity of dogmatic denial, unsupported claim and idle threat, or you avoid responding altogether.

            Either it’s “No, you’re wrong! There is a God! I know there is! Don’t ask me for evidence, just believe me! If you won’t, you’re evil and will burn in hell for all eternity!” Or it’s “No, you’re wrong, but I don’t have time to explain why at the moment because of this hastily remembered thing I have to do right now…”

            I see you’ve chosen the latter response. Dogmatic condemnation would reveal you as nothing more than a blinkered zealot, so you’ve chosen to live with the cognitive dissonance of claiming something without being able to justify it beyond whining “but I belieeeeeve!”.

            If you can live with that, then all I can do is shrug my shoulders and remark that there’s nowt as queer as folk. A being who by his own admission is fallible placing absolute faith in beliefs which nothing but his fallible conscience tells him are true is such a pitiable object that there’s nothing further to say really. I don’t know where I saw the reference this week – it may even have been on this blog somewhere – but the image I have of you is of Wile E. Coyote. Off the cliff you’ve charged and are suspended in mid-air by your own absolute conviction that you’re still standing on solid ground.

            Then you look down … eeeeeeee!

            Splat!

          • Anton

            I have The Problem of Pain… at home, where I’m not just now. I shan’t forget.

          • Holger

            I look forward with the mildest of anticipation to the dogmatic assertions and bald-faced lies that will form the basis of your self-justification.

            I’ve heard it all before from you. As usual, you’ll present a tissue of suppositions and unwarranted conclusions as “evidence” and then accuse me of ignoring it. But there will be nothing to ignore. Evidence stands or falls by its verifiability (if that’s a word). If you can’t test evidence, it isn’t evidence. It’s an assertion, and therefore unprovable and irrelevant.

            I’m familiar with your assertions and the tiresome and predictable way in which they only ever support your predetermined dogma. There is no true spirit of enquiry in your faith, merely an ironclad determination to make reality fit your theory no matter how many miraculous events or imaginary beings you have to invent.

            But by all means, make up as many unverifiable ifs and buts and maybes as you like. If nothing else, they may help to soothe away your cognitive dissonance and make it possibie for you to function a while longer perched on the cusp of rational thinking and superstitious gibbering.

          • Anton

            You’re welcome, my litlle ray of sunshine.

          • Anton

            The Bible itself states that the universe as it stands suggests the existence of God, ie of a divinity having at least some of the attributes asserted as revelation by the Bible. I therefore doubt that you have summarised it correctly, for Lewis, as a believer, is not likely to go against scripture.

          • Holger

            And yet Lewis says “If the universe is so bad… how on earth did human beings ever come to attribute it to the activity of a wise and good Creator? Men are fools, perhaps, but hardly so foolish as that. The direct inference from black to white, from evil flower to virtuous root, from senseless work to a workman infinitely wise, staggers belief… The spectacle of the universe as revealed by experience can never have been the ground of religion: it must always have been something in spite of which religion, acquired from a different source, was held”

            Perhaps his interpretation of “scripture” was a bit different than yours. As he was a Protestant, this shouldn’t surprise anyone. You all make it up as you go along. Not for you learning a myth by rote in the Catholic tradition. You want to graft your own special fantasies onto the basic model, don’t you? Kitset Christianity. Endlessly customisable.

    • chefofsinners

      Very good Linus. I like you a lot more than I like Martyn Percy. You are consistent, honest and wrong, whereas Percy is devious, deceitful and wrong.
      I’m at a loss to understand why Cranmer demeans himself by fawning to this man, professing him to be wise. It’s Michael Gove all over again.

    • The poor chap hasn’t even been given a chance to do the job, he’s been bullied off. So much for the ‘tolerance’ of you left wing liberals that you boast to exercise, you’ve got more in common with fascism.

  • ChaucerChronicle

    Martyn Percy,

    North is still Bishop of Burnley; the issues you brought into sharp relief are still present and unresolved.

    Are you going to remain consistent and lead a campaign inviting North to ‘resign’ his bishopric?

  • David

    As regular visitors to Cranmer’s church will know the liberal versus conservative divide runs across both evangelicals and anglo-catholics, it divides all of the C of E, outside the rapidly shrinking, ageing liberal sphere. For most of his time as archbishop Justin Welby has promoted this idea of “good disagreement”, all living in harmony even whilst holding very different, conflicting theological positions.
    So what this latest episode of classic liberal intolerance demonstrates, most powerfully, is as various commentators on this thread predicted, that the school of “good disagreement”, is a false, empty and hollow one.
    In this context perhaps it is surprising that about a year ago, a decidedly conservative bishop was appointed, Rod Thomas, part of the leadership of the Reform group, was made Bishop of Maidstone. Perhaps it was because he was part of such a very well organised grouping of churches well supplied with funds from its dedicated congregations. They even have a full time Chief Executive and an annual, well attended conference which I frequent every second year. Like the anglo-catholics Reform refuses female church leadership. But a year ago, when the new bishop was appointed, there were fewer female bishops.
    We live in interesting times ! Will there be a split ? The answer is probably, yes. But who will go is the question ?

    • 1649again

      Well said David. My view exactly.

      • David

        Thanks 1649.

    • Steve

      There’s something I cannot understand in the support apparently given to “traditional Catholics” by “conservative Evangelicals”. The former believe in the sacrifice of the Mass (and especially since the arrival of the PEVs, a great many of them actually use the Roman Mass). I always thought that conservative (and some not so conservative) Evangelicals believed this doctrine to be blasphemous, “the blasphemy of re-crucifying Christ” as one writer put it, and that they would surely have thought this a far more grievous departure from Scripture than ordaining women to the priesthood/presbyterate or the episcopate could ever be. Am I missing something? If so, please could someone explain what it is?

      • David

        Fair question. I am conservative evangelical and, outside those things that we disagree over, which are quite a few, I usually find conservative Catholics agreeing with me over many more issues than I can agree with liberals of my denomination. Apart from having said that, a fuller answer is not so easy to supply.
        But much commonality is because both types of traditionalists find common cause in conservative Christian morality, e.g. being against abortion.
        Then they recognise in each other people who are, like themselves, conservative and therefore are not constantly attempting to dilute their own faith, albeit different. So in that sense they do not threaten one another, allowing for a respectful relationship, in disagreement.
        Although I disagree with the Catholic idea of the Mass I do not find it blasphemous – just wrong.

  • William Lewis

    Having read Percy’s thesis I found it to be, in turn, disingenuous, devious and disgusting:

    We are to ignore the fact that many women have been moved to express that they have felt supported by North and found him to be a very good Bishop.

    We are to treat North’s abstention on women clergy as an attack on equality and their rights.

    We are to equate North’s abstention to female clergy with the attitudes of the Rotherham rapists.

    And yet apparently “It sings with moral consciousness, biblical integrity, and reasoned, powerful pastoral compassion.”

    What have I missed?

    • Royinsouthwest

      According to Percy:

      What places like Rotherham will need from the next Bishop of Sheffield is someone who believes in the equality of women and men, boys and girls alike, and has an uncompromising unequivocal regard for their full dignity and total parity. This is utterly and totally essential.

      What places like Rotherham will need from the next Bishop of Sheffield is someone who, unlike other opinion formers, does not believe that it is a good idea to cover up crimes in the supposed interest of “community cohesion” and “anti-racism.”

      • Anton

        Crimes such as FGM too.

  • David

    My parting comment to this thread, is, there’s an interesting article on Anglican Mainstream arguing that the conservative versus modernising divide is now, for all practical purposes a schism running from the top to the bottom of the Catholic Church. I suspect that this divide is found in all the western Churches, as we are all being assaulted by the same cultural pressures.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Which fact reminds us that denominations were all started by men, whereas Christ simply founded His church.