evangelicals trump
Mission

Bishop of Liverpool slams ‘so-called Evangelicals’, and so condemns himself

The term ‘Evangelical’ as applied to Christians has a long and well-chronicled heritage. In 1525, William Tyndale explained in his Doctrinal Treatises (p8): “Evangelion (that which we call the gospel) is a Greek word; and signifieth good, merry, glad and joyful tidings, that maketh a man’s heart glad, and maketh him sing, dance and leap for joy.” This gospel is the good news of Christ; the joyful tidings of the New Testament:

…because that as a man, when he shall die, appointeth his goods to be dealt and distributed after his death among them which he nameth to be his heirs, even so Christ before his death commanded and appointed that such Evangelion, gospel, or tidings should be declared throughout all the world, and therewith to give unto all that [repent and] believe all his goods: that is to say, his life, wherewith he swallowed and devoured up death; his righteousness, wherewith he banished sin; his salvation, wherewith he overcame eternal damnation. Now can the wretched man (that [knoweth himself to be wrapped] in sin, and in danger to death and hell) hear no more joyous a thing, than such glad and comfortable tidings of Christ; so that he cannot but be glad, and laugh from the low bottom of his heart, if he believe that the tidings are true (ibid., p9).

The Reformation had placed an emphasis on the individual’s need for salvation and faithfulness to the gospel – a faith no longer mediated by the lofty metaphysics of priests and popes, but characterised by immanence, comprehension, and direct relationship with the divine. As Protestantism fragmented, a remnant retained their missionary zeal and a moral fervour. They became known as Evangelicals or ‘gospellers’ – those whose mission was to preach the message of repentance from sin and of an assured salvation through the blood of Jesus.

Great outpourings of the Holy Spirit followed their witness, such as those seen in the great Evangelical Revival(s) of the 18th century. While many church pulpits had supplanted the life-giving gospel with barren moralism, itinerant preachers like George Whitefield and John Wesley took their message to the streets and fields. Theirs was a clarion call to return to the gospel, the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ. With the pulpits closed to them, they witnessed wherever the people were – in the workhouses and marketplaces; in hospitals and prisons. John Wesley covered around 5,000 miles a year on horseback, stopping wherever he was led to preach to those who would listen. “I look upon all the world as my parish,” he wrote. “Thus far I mean, that in whatever part of it I am, I judge it meet, right and my bounden duty to declare, unto all that are willing to hear, the glad tidings of salvation.”

But many Church of England clergy were irked by these self-styled preachers and teachers. Bishops and parish priests were God’s appointed guardians of the Faith, by order of the King. Just who were these fundamentalist zealots with their interminable focus on repentance, faith and holiness? But no matter how much the bishops tried to muzzle them, these Evangelicals carried on preaching. No matter how much the Church of England tried to rescue Christianity from the extremists, the spiritually dead turned away from their drunkenness, gambling and licentious behaviour, and were ‘born again’ in their thousands, being brought into a living personal knowledge of Jesus Christ which transformed their lives.

For Evangelicals, the Word of God is the bread of life, which “ran as fire among the stubble”, as Wesley wrote in his journal. “It was glorified more and more; multitudes crying out, ‘What must I do to be saved?’ and afterwards witnessing, ‘By grace we are saved through faith.'” ‘Evangelical’ became a necessary term to distinguish Protestant gospel preachers from those who were dead in their sin or bound by the pervasive theological liberalism.

The Evangelical Alliance, founded in 1846, was a Protestant fellowship of vibrant fundamental belief, not a denominational church organisation. Their unity was based on fidelity to Scripture and its transformative message of renewal – in both personal morality and societal spirituality. Membership was open to all churches which faithfully preached the Word of God, and to all Christians who had accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal God and Saviour. It is no exaggeration to say that Evangelicals instigated and worked tirelessly for some of the most revolutionary policies in British social history, from mass education to the abolition of slavery; from poor law reform to prison reform; from the establishment of trades unions to the foundation of the Labour Party. Evangelical concerns did not stop at the salvation of souls, but extended into sewers, schools, factories and slums. Theirs was a moral mission for the renewal of society.

As it was in England, so it followed in America, where men like Charles Finney conducted ‘revivals’ for those seeking salvation. For Finney, as with Wesley, the emphasis was on the individual’s freedom and responsibility to seek God. Our sin, in all its physical depravity and self-gratification, is overcome when the will is subject to the law of God. There is no middle ground to take; no compromise to be had. We are either dead in sin or alive to God. The moral character is the fruit of moral choice and moral action, and that morality is gleaned from the plain reading of the clearest understanding of Scripture. The progeny of Finney’s catalyst includes the Fuller Theological Seminary, the Billy Graham crusades, and the magazine Christianity Today, whose main concern has been to win a hearing for Evangelical orthodoxy.

There have been many other important Evangelicals – such as Peter Forsyth, Benjamin Warfield, Gerrit Berkouwer and Helmut Thielicke – all concerned with the primacy of Scripture, the centrality of the Cross, the imperative of repentance, the importance of personal holiness, and the desire for social reform to conform to biblical morality. They had their theological, soteriological and ethical differences, of course, but were united in their opposition to the pervasive liberalism, which taught the love of God but denied His holy wrath against sin, thus propagating a gospel of sentimental inclusion.

Sentimental inclusion…

The Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Rev’d Paul Bayes, told the Guardian that he doesn’t approve of Evangelicals who give “uncritical support” to President Donald Trump. He is of the view that these “so-called Evangelicals” (as he terms them) should reflect on how their support for the President relates to their faith, in particular the exhortation of Jesus to feed the poor and defend the weak. He said:

Some of the things that have been said by religious leaders seem to collude with a system that marginalises the poor, a system which builds walls instead of bridges, a system which says people on the margins of society should be excluded, a system which says we’re not welcoming people any more into our country.

The Bishop of Liverpool doesn’t name these leaders, which is convenient, for had he done so we would have been able to research beyond the superficial anti-Trump, anti-Christian mainstream media and fathom what else they have written or said. He accuses them of collusion with evil (let’s not beat about the bush: if you marginalise the poor, reject people or foment division, you are anti-Christ [Mt 25:31-46; Jude 1:16-19]). And that, of course, is evidently what Bishop Paul thinks of President Trump; that he is a force for evil. But the Bishop goes further:

If people want to support rightwing (sic) populism anywhere in the world, they are free to do so. The question is, how are they going to relate that to their Christian faith? Whenever people say those kinds of things, they need to be able to justify that they’re saying those things as Christians, and I do not believe it’s justifiable.

So we move from Evangelicals colluding with President Trump’s evil, to an onslaught against populism. And not just populism, but specifically right-wing populism. Isn’t left-wing populism just as bad? Is it evil to promise to cancel all student debt just to win their votes? Why does the Bishop only rail against right-wing populism, if it’s populism as a whole which is the problem? Is left-wing populism somehow more Christian? Or is the problem just Trump and Brexit? But the Bishop’s final sentence here is most revealing: he exhorts Christians to justify their right-wing populist views (which is eminently possible for Brexit, and also for Trump, especially if you believe life begins at conception and want to overturn Roe v Wade). But the Bishop’s ears are already closed: “I do not believe it’s justifiable.” Discussion over. And then we get the judgment:

Some quite significant so-called evangelical leaders are uncritically supporting people in ways that imply they are colluding or playing down the seriousness of things which in other parts of their lives (they) would see as really important.

So-called Evangelicals?

Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things (Rom 2:1).

Why is the Bishop judging entire lives and Christian ministries by what these Evangelicals are reported to have said about Donald Trump’s policies? Have they been quoted accurately? How does the Bishop know they are giving the President “uncritical support”? What Christian gives any secular politician uncritical support? Might the criticism be expressed but not reported? Does the mainstream media not like to extract a phrase or string together words in order to show their opponents and enemies in the worst possible light?

Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment (Jn 7:24).

For Paul Bayes, it appears that any support for Donald Trump which isn’t prefaced with a divine health warning is unacceptable: you can’t support his tax cuts without decrying his immigration policy; you can’t support his job creation without decrying his border wall; you can’t support his pro-life inclinations without decrying his crassness and crudeness. And if, on balance, you still come down for Trump, well, you’re obviously a ‘so-called Christian’. What a world it must be in the Bayes’ household (and his diocese?) if every positive utterance about someone must needs be balanced with a negative, lest you give the impression of colluding with their sin.

The President of the United States has 25 Evangelical advisors, who are not all pro-Trump by any means. Presumably, if Bishop Paul believes those who are for him are not true Evangelicals, then those who are anti-Trump must be the genuine ones. But why stop with Evangelicals?

The Guardian articles mentions the Pew Research Center finding that 81% of white Evangelicals voted for Trump. But that’s fairly consistent with those who voted for Romney and Bush (both on 78%), so it seems that 8/10 white Evangelicals tend to vote Republican. But these stats also suggest that 60% of white Roman Catholics also support Trump. Are they ‘real’ Roman Catholics, or just ‘so-called’ Roman Catholics? Why is the Bishop of Liverpool content to bash Evangelicals but not Roman Catholics? Is it more Christian to be anti-Evangelical than anti-Catholic?

Isn’t it just possible that many of these Trump-supporting Evangelicals and Roman Catholics are more concerned with the mass murder of babies in the womb than with the poor and marginalised? Is contending against abortion not also a noble and righteous pursuit? What would John Wesley say about (after-birth) abortion and the sale of baby body parts? What would George Whitefield say? What would Jesus say? Why should Evangelicals have to evidence support for the Bishop’s priorities in order to earn his assent that they may style themselves ‘Evangelical’?

And how does he know they don’t share his priorities? Seriously, what can Paul Bayes possibly know about the good works which these so-called Evangelicals do in private? They may very well feed the starving and house the homeless, but are simply not given to doing so for an easy headline. They may not be doing these things, of course, but the point is that the Bishop of Liverpool is judging them by what he reads in an essentially hostile media, which is a fairly crude assessment of a person’s faith or ministry.

Paul Bayes is an Evangelical (that is, according to Wikipedia, which categorises him under ‘Evangelical Anglican Bishops’, and references an article in the Guardian in support of this). Here he is taking the gospel to the people, following in the footsteps of John Wesley and George Whitefield:

His gospel focus is manifest: the stain of sin on humanity, the need for repentance, the glorious work of Christ on the Cross, the wonder of salvation, and the singing, dancing and leaping for joy when you are born again.

Did you miss that?

Gosh, these so-called Evangelicals get everywhere, don’t they?

  • Paul Bayes is ringleader of the Bishops Against the Bible lobby, and a disgrace to his office. It may surprise him to know that he doesn’t get to define what an evangelical is – whether to accuse others of being non-evangelical for having the temerity to vote right of centre, or to include himself when he clearly has no claim to stand in anything like the historical evangelical tradition.

    • David

      “Bishops Against the Bible lobby”
      Not to be taken literally presumably ?
      Can you clarify please.

      • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

        The acronym is BABeL

  • SonoView

    The Christian inhabits two kingdoms – the Kingdom of this world and the Kingdom of God. To the latter we are required to give absolute obedience (although we often fail). To the former we must give qualified obedience. That is if a Government is fulfilling its duty to provide justice, security, peace, support to the needy and afflicted etc., then we are to support it and pray for it, and be subject to its laws. We may disagree on the means govern, but that is politics and there is no definite right or wrong method or party.

    However if a Government sets its self against clear spiritual principles as defined by scripture then we are free to challenge this.

    “Then give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s” (Luke 20, 20-26)

    So, for example, if a Government decides that an individual may legally determine their own gender irrespective of genetics and biology, and in defiance of the creation ordinance – “male and female he created them” – then I believe that Government should be strongly challenged, and hopefully fall (I await to see Justine Greening’s fate today).

    Or if the leader of a country sets himself up effectively in the place of God and demands total obedience and indeed worship, then the believer must totally reject this (and the estimated 600,000 Christians in concentration camps in North Korea testify to this).

    As for the USA the term “evangelical” is a blanket term for a very broad church indeed. J. Packer once said that evangelicalism in America was 3000 miles wide, but only an inch deep. Perhaps unfair because there are some great US evangelical churches and leaders, but these are relatively few.

    As for evangelicalism in the UK ……..

  • gadjodilo

    “All you need is love, tra la la la laaa” Is this bishop 15 years old?? And in that clip from the Pride rally he even says at one point “Love is love”! Awesome.

  • Mrs S wilson

    Thank you for a first-rate article, Archbishop. Why is this bishop allowed to come out with these views without any censure from on high, while any deviation from parish or diocesan boundaries in order to preach the Gospel or mentor those in need of pastoral support is immediately jumped on as wrong? No wonder the C of E is dying. At this rate, it won’t be long till it goes completely. Are no evangelical bishops willing to come out and confront him?

    • Demon Teddy Bear

      There are no evangelical bishops. Blair filled 70 bishoprics with liberals. Not sure if there are even any anglo-catholics left. So who cares what any bishop says? He’s just a timeserver.

      “Bishop” Baynes represents nobody but the deep state who appointed him. He’d endorse any vice, so long as it was endorsed by his masters. His hate for Trump – and for Christians – is merely an obedient apeing of his betters.

      • dannybhoy

        Gavon Ashenden is an Evangelical Anglo Catholic although not and never a bishop.

        • Anton

          Define “episkopos” according to scripture, and Christian tradition!

      • Rhoda
        • Demon Teddy Bear

          Name another.

  • Ian G

    This has to be one of your best. A great read.

    • dannybhoy

      I’d go along with that. In fact it seems to me your posts are becoming even more Gospel based and assertive..

  • Manfarang

    What silly Billies the Hillybillies can be.

  • David Roseberry

    What a great summary of what it means to be an evangelical. I am one! What I would hope all non-US people would understand is that our election systems gives us a choice between what’s behind Door #1 and Door #2. That is it. Out of 320 million people we get a menu with two items.

    The bit in the last part of the article and the video of the Bishop of Liverpool would cause his predecessor, J.C. Ryle, the first bishop of Liverpool to be rolling in his grave… were it not for the full glory of the Resurrection.

    • Manfarang

      With the lowest voter turnout of all the western countries.

  • dannybhoy

    off topic:
    Danny has made his financial offering to the blogsite.
    Not boasting, just hinting(!)

  • Chris Bell

    It should be recognised that the organisation known as the CoE has not been appointing Bishops for years. They merely have appointed social workers. Paul Bayes SW.Snr. is acting rationally as far as regards the practice of SW which is always subject to political fashions and populisms and is invariably in league with cultural marxism.
    His Mitre is kept, quite reasonably, in the cupboard. How could he understand or accept the Biblical Absolutes? There is a sort of ‘back to basics’ fundamentalism in Trump that is scaring the bejajus out of the neo-liberal of today. Which is good……..I reckon.

  • Does the term “evangelical” have any meaning? It seems we have “confessional” and “revival” evangelicals; “conservative” and “liberal” evangelicals; “generic” evangelicals; “progressive” and “post-conservative” evangelicals; “open evangelicals” and “post-evangelicals” and even “fundamentalist” evangelicals.

    Confused?!

    As for Bayes. He’s long been calling for a change in the church’s attitudes to homosexual people. He supports dropping the requirement for homosexual Christians to be celibate, saying: “I’ve learned to respect the experiences of people who want to celebrate and express their sexuality, and be within the church”, believing it’s possible to hold a positive view of same-sex relationships “while being a biblically rooted evangelical.”

    So, he’s a “biblically rooted” evangelical.

    What a sad, sad, sad spectacle.

    • It means in the church the same as it means in secular culture – an enthusiastic purist (and I don’t mean that negatively) eager to make converts to the cause. It acquired that meaning during the 1790s (interestingly well after the Great Awakening and after the lifetime of Wesley, Whitefield and Edwards – the adherents of their revivalism weren’t known as evangelicals at the time). The main driver seems to have been the launch of the Evangelical magazine (a Calvinist counter to Wesley’s Arminian magazine). Prior to that it was sometimes used, following Luther, as a generic term for Protestant, particularly in the Lutheran tradition.

      The connection with orthodoxy comes from being enthusiastic purists who take the Bible and Christian doctrine seriously.

      • Jack agrees, of course he does. However, the word as used by the likes of Bayes has lost its meaning.

        The term ‘evangelisation’ comes from Greek and means, ‘to announce Good News’ or ‘glad tidings’. It is what we find referred to in St Mark’s Gospel, for example: “After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. ‘The time has come,’ he said. ‘The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!’” (1:14-15).

        Like the sons of Zebedee in Mark’s Gospel (1:16-20), the Church must mend her nets if she is serious about becoming fishers of men.

    • len

      Truly it is a sad spectacle to see a man of the cloth sell himself in a vain attempt to be a ‘friend to the world’.

      You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.(James 4.4)

      • Indeed, the *gospel* he’s selling is one that encourages an “adulterous people” to turn their backs on God and worship the flesh, the devil and world – the three enemies of the soul.

  • magnolia

    His body posture in giving that speech to the Gay Pride rally says it all: a cringing oleaginously apologetic one that the Church ever said anything to anyone other than that the mighty Orgasm is the Summum Bonum and Love itself, wherever and however it takes place and no matter how apparently disgustingly, and apologies that the church has come late to the (leatherbound, phallic with thongs and whips and tastlessness and gaudiness) party. He even looks down to ensure he has not forgotten the initial of the latest accreted “sexuality” minority. Gross. He’d have said “SM” quite happily, it appears. Does “i” stand for incest? I am behind the times, there.

    Deeply embarrassing about all that stuff about Sodom and Gomorrah and the church’s erstwhile distaste for the gay orgy and predatory homosexual scene.

    The Holy Spirit does not shine though his body there, and I think he will have a lot of explaining to Jesus. He needs some idea about bad and good auras and very quickly he needs that.

    • Anton

      He certainly does Apologetics.

    • Anton

      Yes, the body language says a lot.

    • It’s almost like he’s possessed there. Satan has got hold of him. Someone needs to throw a bucket of Holy water over him and call the Priest for an emergency exorcism.

      • Cressida de Nova

        LOL…good idea !

  • dannybhoy

    Bishop Paul Bayes says in that clip:
    “In front of all of you I want to app pologise (very with it) in behalf of any Christian communities that have discriminated against LGBT something people (couldn’t make out last phrase) on the grounds of their orientation and identity..!
    (consults smart phone -KJV Bible app? again)
    He has no right to do that.
    It reminds one of the old Sino-Soviet regimes where they apologised for their manifest sins against the people -before being led out and shot…
    The Bible recognises both Capitalism and Socialism, and each have their place in different communal settings.
    But Capitalism has been far more successful in providing a higher standard of living for many more people.That’s why the Communist Chinese government has introduced State Capitalism..

    Donald Trump has all kinds of faults, just like Clinton and Obama and other;, but the political elite and the MSM don’t like him, so we get to know a lot more about his personal predelictions and failings.
    No doubt someting involving a havana cigar and a pretty girl will eventually make its way to the front pages. (Although Slick Willy can claim to have gotten there first..)
    He won’t play their game so he has to be attacked, and the fact that he is putting America and Americans first has sealed his fate.
    Capitalism and Christianity can, have, and do work together better than Christians and Socialism. Americans are known as generous supporters of those who are out of work and down on their luck. Americans admire a person who doesn’t give up. Capitalism and Christianity expect a man to work in order to eat, not rely on the State or the rich to meet their needs.
    So Christians can recognise Mr Trumps faults and failings yet still support his desire to re-build the American economy and protect her citizens against illegal immigration and terrorism.

    • “The Bible recognises both Capitalism and Socialism, and each have their place in different communal settings.”

      This is well worth a read:

      The best idealism of earlier times was fixed upon the soul rather than upon the body: exactly the opposite is the case with Socialism. Social questions are almost entirely questions of the body — public health, sanitation, housing, factory conditions, infant mortality, employment of women, hours of work, rates of wages, accidents, unemployment, pauperism, old age pensions, sickness, infirmity, lunacy, feeble-mindedness, intemperance, prostitution, physical deterioration. All these are excellent ends for activity in themselves, but all of them are mainly concerned with the care or cure of the body. To use a Catholic phrase, they are opportunities for corporal works of mercy, which may lack the spiritual intention that would make them Christian.

      The material may be made a means to the spiritual, but is not to be considered an end in itself. This world is a place of probation, and the time is short. Man is here for a definite purpose, a purpose which transcends the limits of this mortal life, and his first business is to realize this purpose and carry it out with whatever help and guidance he may find. The purpose is a spiritual one, but he is free to choose or refuse the end for which he was created; he is free to neglect or to co-operate with the Divine assistance, which will give his life the stability and perfection of a spiritual rather than of a material nature.

      This being so, there must be a certain order in the nature of his development. He is not wholly spiritual nor wholly material; he has a soul, a mind, and a body; but the interests of the soul must be supreme, and the interests of mind and body must be brought into proper subservience to it. His movement towards perfection is by way of ascent; it is not easy; it requires continual exercise of the will, continual discipline, continual training — it is a warfare and a pilgrimage, and in it are two elements, the spiritual and the material, which are one in the unity of his daily life.

      As St. Paul pointed out, there must be a continual struggle between these two elements. If the individual life is to be a success, the spiritual desire must triumph, the material one must be subordinate, and when this is so the whole individual life is lived with proper economy, spiritual things being sought after as an end, while material things are used merely as a means to that end ….

      The Socialist wishes to distribute material goods in such a way as to establish a substantial equality, and in order to do this he requires the State to make and keep this distribution compulsory. The Christian replies to him: “You cannot maintain this widespread distribution, for the simple reason that you have no machinery for inducing men to desire it. On the contrary, you do all you can to increase the selfish and accumulative desires of men: you centre and concentrate all their interest on material accumulation, and then expect them to distribute their goods.”

      This ultimate difference between Christian and Socialist teaching must be clearly understood. Socialism appropriates all human desires and centres them on the here-and-now, on material benefit and prosperity. But material goods are so limited in quality, in quantity, and in duration that they are incapable of satisfying human desires, which will ever covet more and more and never feel satisfaction. In this Socialism and Capitalism are at one, for their only quarrel is over the bone upon which is the meat that perisheth.

      Socialism, of itself and by itself, can do nothing to diminish or discipline the immediate and materialistic lust of men, because Socialism is itself the most exaggerated and universalized expression of this lust yet known to history. Christianity, on the other hand, teaches and practices unselfish distribution of material goods, both according to the law of justice and according to the law of charity.

      http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14062a.htm

      • magnolia

        Very good; it systematises with clarity what many of us find frustratingly lesser- understood in the present Church, where so much ink is spilt on who has what material goods and how many of them, and education is commodified as a means to get more…even pets are sometimes understood in terms of accessorising rather than respected as beings in their own right.

        I think Massow’s pyramid of needs, which is a useful tool, becomes too absolutised by many people, and the difference between mission and foodbanks thus greatly blurred. Not so much the seeking after “rice Christians” as the vague hope that those wanitng baked beans might gain a hazy notion that Christians can care about the poor. It is of course good, but not sufficient, and some Christians spend literal years waiting to have the “right to talk” of their faith while handing out material goodies. This is wasteful and ineffectual mission, and doesn’t do people the courtesy of treating them as spiritual beings, nor help them sort out their heads, hearts, and souls, but is ubiquitous.

        • It’s the same process at play with “accepting” and “including” all sexual expression as good in itself because it is mistakenly, and diabolically, seen as a manifestation of “love”. In fact, it is a manifestation of bodily lust, an end in itself, that can never be satisfied if separated from the higher calling of God and our souls.

        • For people of faith, charity is a duty, a privilege, an opportunity to respect the image of God that resides in every human being.

          For those wanting to expand government assisting the poor is about supremacy and power. A Christian gives voluntarily as the expression of love, for the benefit of the receiver, and to the glory of God. In the other, the state redistributes wealth to leverage the votes of key voting constituencies, ultimately to preserve the system for the benefit of the wealthy and politicians who run the system.

      • dannybhoy

        “The material may be made a means to the spiritual, but is not to be considered an end in itself. This world is a place of probation, and the time is short. Man is here for a definite purpose, a purpose which transcends the limits of this mortal life, and his first business is to realize this purpose and carry it out with whatever help and guidance he may find. The purpose is a spiritual one, but he is free to choose or refuse the end for which he was created; he is free to neglect or to co-operate with the Divine assistance, which will give his life the stability and perfection of a spiritual rather than of a material nature. ”
        Hmm.
        Where it becomes difficult is that the world is orientated towards the physical..
        “…… Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!” 1st Corinthians 15
        The righteous will always be a minority called to be salt and light, so we live in this fallen world but are not of it.
        So we all live in systems geared towards the material life and have to come to terms with it.
        Christianity (I think) can never change or replace those two systems and variations thereof
        until our Lord comes to reign.
        The socialism practiced in the kibbutz system for example worked, but there was a motivation behind it that caused it to work – the (secular) desire to prove themselves as Jews of the land and as socialists. There are also orthodox Jewish kibbutzim.
        So whilst I agree with the analysis we still have to live our Christian lives out under one system or the other.

        • Socialism and Capitalism are at one, for their only quarrel is over the bone upon which is the meat that perisheth.

          • dannybhoy

            ?
            I am indeed forgetful brother Jack, as you have often and gleefully pointed out.
            But I’m sure I read this first time around.
            What have I missed?

          • Er, the point.

          • dannybhoy

            Cutting.
            Very cutting.
            At the risk of further acerbicisms please explain where I have missed it?

          • Apologies ….. Jack is getting grumpy in his old age.

            Read the section on private property and follow the link to the Christian doctrine of property.

            Earthly goods are meant to be, in a certain manner, useful to all men, since they have been created for all men, and consequently the rich are strictly obliged to share their superfluities with the poor. True Christian charity will even go beyond this strict obligation. A wide and fertile field is thus opened up to its activity, through the existence of poverty. For the poor themselves, poverty is a hard, but beneficial, school of trust in God, humility, renunciation. It is of course self-evident that poverty should not degenerate into wretchedness, which is no less an abundant source of moral dangers than is excessive wealth. It is the function of a wise Government so to direct the laws and administration that a moderate well-being may be shared by as many as possible. The civil power cannot reach this end by taking away from the rich in order to give to the poor, for “this would be at bottom a denial of private property”; but by regulating the titles of income in strict accordance with the demands of public welfare.

            .http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12462a.htm

          • dannybhoy

            “Apologies ….. Jack is getting grumpy in his old age.”
            Yes.
            Danny is still able to remember this and clings onto it with future spats in mind..
            Then you kindly redirect me; which you didn’t deem necessary in your original post, (but “Danny the Prod” takes great delight in offering forgiveness to his Catholic brother..)
            So you’re agreeing/disagreeing/ready to murder me as a’neritic?
            What were we discussing?

          • Jack is endeavouring to enlighten you about the pitfalls of capitalism and socialism, and the political and social responsibilities of a Christian and government towards those in need in a fallen world.

          • dannybhoy

            Thank you Jack,
            “and I mean that most sincerely..”
            But I agree with all of that. I was just pointing out that we live in a fallen world and whilst we can and should exert an influence as citizens we cannot change it.

          • The Christian Gospel changed the world. It can again, God willing.

          • Anton

            I know that you advocate what Chesterton called Distributism and that is exactly how God gave out the land of Canaan to all of the Israelites, but it took a divinely mandated genocide to do it. The analogy in an industrial society would be a communist revolution…

          • In our present context, Jack is advocating that Christians vote neither “right” nor “left” but as individuals and churches consider the role of Christian charity and also when voting how particular political parties approach managing the economy so that a moderate wellbeing is enjoyed by all.

      • Anton

        New Advent sell cheaply a CD-ROM which includes the Vulgate and Septuagint Bibles side by side with an English translation and a huge amount of writings of the Church Fathers trnaslated into English. I recommend it to all as a reference resource.

        • It’s a wonderful website for those who can’t afford the $20 for the download of its content.

        • dannybhoy

          Where?
          Where’s the link?
          I looked on Jack’s original link and couldn’t see it.

          • Anton

            Ah, it’s changed to a digital download – at the bottom of the frontpage.

          • dannybhoy

            Ah.
            So it’s not CD Rom ..
            It would take an orful lot of paper to download..
            Good job we’ve got Jack.
            (Only kidding Jack. I really admire Catholic scholarship).

          • Anton

            Good job I got the CD-ROM when I could.

          • dannybhoy

            Copy it and send it to me. I’ll give you a tenner.

          • Anton

            New Advent deserve the money. If you are serious then contact me near Easter and I’ll try to work something out. I’m running in a new computer system at the moment.

          • dannybhoy

            No I’m not serious,
            I’ve got Jack and Google.
            Are you very computer literate?
            Have you tried these new solid state harddrives I’ve been reading about? Evidently they are extremely fast.

          • Anton

            I don’t have one but they must have overcome some speed barrier as solid state memory sticks have generally been slower than hard drives. The other traditional problem with solid state storage is that it degenerates slightly with each rewrite and loses integrity within the normal lifespan of a computer.

          • dannybhoy

            I remember some small laptops had solid state harddrives, but they were indeed slow..

          • bluedog

            Interesting. I’ve got a Macbook Pro with solid state hard-drive and so far so good, now two years old. Boots up very fast when you turn it on, but your comments about memory degrading are something to bear in mind.

          • Martin

            CCEL is as good.

          • It’s a digital download, numpty!

          • dannybhoy

            Might be corrupted. Can’t take the risk.

          • It’s orthodox Catholic – by definition it’s incorruptible.

          • dannybhoy

            :0)

  • IanCad

    This was not written over the course of a day. Many, many hours must have been spent in the cause of our enlightenment YG. That a small and fractious flock should be the beneficiary of such first-rate writing is something we probably all value too low.
    Danny gently reminds us that there is a facility, up on the top right of the homepage, for us to demonstrate the value of this blog. I know of none other quite like it and believe, if we are able, all should contribute something to show our support and appreciation of a mighty labour.

    • David

      Hear, hear !

    • gadjodilo

      Well done Danny and everybody who has contributed financially to this blog. Is it indeed a great read. I shall try to do the same tomorrow morning, though sometimes payments are not accepted from my part of the world.

      • dannybhoy

        Sea shells and lump guano do have their drawbacks in currency exchange markets..
        Got any gold??
        ;0)

        • gadjodilo

          Fastest growing economy in the EU, matey! Though it’s mainly sustained by the trade in horse meat, anthracite and untraceable plastic explosives.

          The Gyp…. errr, Rroma community have plenty of gold. Maybe they’d be kind enough to lend me some.

          Btw, our genial host appears to be a Dr of stuff. Does he have a job or is this his main source of income?

          • dannybhoy

            Don’t ask me mate, I would imagine he does but it would be quite easy to find out.
            Why? dya think he might lean one way in preference to the other?

          • gadjodilo

            He might be employed by a neo-Gramscian think-tank set up to destroy the fabric of Western society – or a university.
            Secondly, he may be living in a 50-room, silver-roofed palace and may not actually need our money: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqFcZf-yNRE

          • dannybhoy

            or our lump guano…

          • David

            Personally I find horse meat rather tasty and anthracite far preferable as a fuel to the dreamy and useless wind farms that scar our most beautiful countryside. As for plastic explosives, well I’ll let the security experts worry about that.

          • gadjodilo

            Horse meat is indeed well tasty – I never understood what all the fuss was about.

  • len

    Jesus was called ‘ friend of sinners’ but he never sold his soul to gain recognition, quite the reverse in fact. To be ‘in the world’ but not’ of the world’ is to walk a line but not to cross it. It seems few Christians can do this.
    To have compassion for ,even to love sinners but never to condone their actions is the path Jesus took and Christians should attempt to follow this,

  • David

    This irresponsible, ignorant and arrogant condemnation from the Bishop says to me that he is basically a secularist, who places the Pelagian heresy of Socialism, and all its works, ahead of Biblical truth. So he prioritises the Social Gospel whilst ignoring the vital, prior need to seek salvation through repentance, accepting Jesus as the Lord of ones life. On this basis alone he then judges whether someone is a Christian, a judgment that only God can make. Like many others who allow their left wing beliefs to redefine, erroneously, their faith he fails to see that welfare applied incorrectly, often to simply win votes, can do great damage to individuals and therefore society. Basically he strikes me as a secularist and a wannabe left wing politician, not a priest or bishop. I see him as a fraud.

  • Sybaseguru

    So would Paul Bayes condemn King David – after all he was a flawed individual, far more flawed than Donald Trump. Davids scheming makes Donald look like a boy scout. The liberal elite still haven’t understood why they lost, and are totally blind to any alternative world view.

  • CliveM

    “he doesn’t approve of Evangelicals who give “uncritical support” to President Donald Trump”

    Is anybody worthy of uncritical support? Did he have approve of Obama’s support if it was uncritical?

    Actually I think what he actually believes is “ I don’t approve of anyone supporting Trump “ it’s just he especially disapproves of evangelicals of a certain type, so by linking them to Trump he hoped to further undermine both.

    I say the above as someone who is happy that Trump will never be a voters option in the UK and does find him ‘beyond the pale’.

  • gadjodilo

    Fastest growing economy in the EU, matey! Though it’s mainly sustained by the trade in horse meat, anthracite and untraceable plastic explosives.

    The Gyp…. errr, Rroma community have plenty of gold. Maybe they’d be kind enough to lend me some.

    BTW, our genial host appears to be a Dr of stuff. Does he have a job or is this his main source of income?

  • Q: What do you get when you cross a Jehovah’s Witness with a Bishop Bayes?
    A: Someone who knocks on your door and tells you what you want to hear.

  • John

    Paul Bayes is most eager to please his fawning public.
    ‘Do I seek approval of men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I were still pleasing men, I would not be a servant of Christ.’ Gal 1.10.

  • Anton

    I do not recognise Paul Bayes as my brother in Christ and he has no authority to speak on my behalf. Quite clearly he does not speak on Christ’s behalf as what he says is inconsistent with the word of God.

  • Anton

    Listen closely to the last words of the person introducing him at 0.15. It is not “thank you”, is it?

    • dannybhoy

      It is.
      You know Anton I suddenly thought; a bloke like him wouldn’t last five minutes in the real world!
      He and others like him serve an agenda as useful puppets, given a platform and manipulated.

      • Anton

        On the contrary Danny, he’s doing very well in the world, but lousily before Jesus Christ.

        • dannybhoy

          I was thinking more of the world of ordinary people as calls a spade a spade, and not a bleedin’ shovel..

  • Sir John Oldcastle

    I suggest that all Evangelicals in Liverpool Diocese cease attendance of CofE churches forthwith. Finding themselves Christian brothers and sisters who welcome them instead. Mr Bayes salary would almost certainly cease to be paid, which might sharpen his mind a little!

    • Anton

      I would not quit an evangelical CoE congregation in Liverpool if I were in one. Instead I would ask my vicar to stop paying the parish share, and if he declined say that I’d henceforth contribute in ways that would directly benefit the local congregation but put nothing further in the parish plate.

      • Dominic Stockford

        And your vicar would say how much he sympathises, but is unable to accede, because then the parish would have to fund every last thing it does, from his salary and that of his myriad secretaries and ‘yoof workers’ to the upkeep of the buildings, all from what comes in the plate, and it simply isn’t enough. He might consider signing up to Bp. Thomas of Maidstone, but its’s so far away, after all, so what could he really do for us?

        Having shot your bolt, what would you then do? Stick with someone who won’t even admit his own denomination is effectively apostate? What then? Martyn Lloyd Jones got Ephesians and (sealing with the Spirit) wrong, but he was right about this – it’s way past time for Evangelicals to leave the CofE.

        • Anton

          Which is exactly what I did, but I do not agree that God is saying today to every CoE evangelical without exception, “Come out of her, my people!” I believe on grounds of scripture that he is saying Do Something – either coordinate against the liberals or come out to the Frees. But only a prophet can know when the message for all changes from that to the one you are saying.

          • dannybhoy

            Yes, say to folk I know that although I don’t accept the clergy-laity divide I do accept that God can work through any structure where hearts are open and obedient.
            I think some folk use the laity clergy thing as in,
            “My priest/vicar will tell me if, or when I need to do anything, and they’re closer to God than I am.”
            And clergy get into liking the reverenc, but not liking being pulled in so many ways, because “after all, you are the priest!”

    • gadjodilo

      These guys are quite well paid, in a profession that ought to be a vocation if anything is. My wife could it properly, and for free, and without referring to notes on a mobile device, which Bayes does here, (except she wouldn’t as she believes the biblical teaching about the limits on women’s leadership in churches).

  • Anton

    Come on my evangelical brothers in the CoE, either begin to deal seriously with apostates like this or quit for the Frees, but don’t just sit there!

    • Marcus Stewart

      The evangelicals have money – great leverage, and the bishops know it. They need to use that leverage to make demands on the quality of those made bishops, on pain of secession. Godspeed!

      • Anton

        The problem is that both sides want to be the Established church.

  • Brian

    I find it strange that an English Anglican bishop should feel it his duty to comment on the spiritual state of non-Anglican Christians in a foreign country, most of who couldn’t find Liverpool on a map and none of whom have ever heard of him. Why does he do this? Who exactly does he claim to speak for? Has he not enough to do in his own job and town?
    Can anybody with the information please post;
    1. Anglican church attendance in the Diocese of Liverpool;
    2. How it has fallen in the past generation;
    3. The growth of Islam and ‘no religion’ in Liverpool.

    • Manfarang

      Just over 1% of the population in Liverpool are Muslims. The largest ethnic group is the Chinese.
      The city experienced a large drop in its population post WW2. Even a few scouses have made their way to Thailand to live.
      The bishop is speaking to people in Britain to reject what Trump stands for.

      • Anton

        Clever of you to avoid saying whatTrump stands for!

        • Manfarang

          Why don’t you know?

          • Anton

            Why do you think I don’t?

          • Manfarang

            To clarify-.
            1. Trump First. (1st trip to Saudi to protect his own business interests there etc.)
            2. Take America back to the 1950s.

          • Anton

            I’d sign up to the second of those.

          • Manfarang

            Well there was full employment. In 1950s America the Coloured people, as they were called then, were very much second class citizens. Sit at the back of the bus.

          • Anton

            Trump is (rightly) not trying to do that.

          • Manfarang

            Of course he is. No public healthcare provision. The Constitution prevents him from doing a lot of other stuff.

          • Anton

            Healthcare impacts blacks and whites in the same income bracket to exactly the same extent.

          • Manfarang

            In other words the poor don’t get good healthcare.

          • Anton

            You manifest the usual false socialist assumption that if the State won’t provide something to the general public then nobody else will.

          • Manfarang

            Cold as charity as they say.

          • Anton

            As who say?

          • Manfarang

            Robert Louis Stevenson used it in his poem “Christmas at Sea” but is not credited with inventing it.

      • Simon Platt

        I think you’ll find that the largest ethic group in Liverpool is, still, scousers.

        • Anton

          So it’s still a majority foreign-language city!

          • Simon Platt

            I’m reminded of the day I stopped off to shop in Aintree, on my 30-mile journey home, and found it difficult to make myself understood to the young lady manning the till.

          • “the young lady manning the till.”
            *gasp*

          • Manfarang

            As long as they don’t man the call centres.

          • dannybhoy

            She was gender fluid?

          • Get with the programme.
            It’s now zie; sie; ey; ve; tey; or e.

          • Brian

            ‘sie’? ‘ve’? How very European of you!

          • dannybhoy

            I’m so glad you’re here Jack.
            And I mean that most sincerely…
            ot.
            The wife is expressing an inexplicable desire to see Scotland in all its naked er, nakedness.
            Inexplicable.!
            I can’t afford two tickets to see their rejuvenated Rugby team, and can’t think what else she might find enticing about venturing north of the border.
            But perhaps we shall,whilst Danny is safe enough to drive.
            I will insist though, that we take in Dundrennan.
            I know roughly where you live and if you’re not in, shall write you a friendly note carefully attached to a housebrick…
            :0)

          • Manfarang

            Well if you don’t speak scouse.

          • Anton

            It’s in England…

          • Manfarang

            They once elected an Irish nationalist MP.
            There are those in England who think if you don’t speak RP then you are not speaking English.

          • Anton

            If you can’t be understood throughout England then it might as well not be.

          • Manfarang

            Normally English people raise their voice when they are not understood. Fat lot of good it does in most countries abroad.

          • Anton

            The English traditionally speak softly and given the global reach of English it can do a lot of good.

          • Manfarang

            There has been a big increase in the number of people globally who study English but their knowledge of it is still limited. Of course there are some who can project their voice without speaking loudly.

          • Royinsouthwest

            What! Are you suggesting that being foreign is not a cause of deafness?

        • Manfarang

          Minority non-white group.

          • Simon Platt

            No, they’re still a majority.

          • Manfarang

            I filled out a form when I was last in England. It asked about ethnic language. Do you think I wrote English?

      • Brian

        I wasn’t aware that Trump was seeking to run Britain. Anyway, do you know how the Church of England has declined in Liverpool? Or how many Liverpudlians profess no religion now – in a city that used to be among the more religious in Britain?

        • Manfarang

          Haven’t you heard of Trump speaking about no go areas in Britain?
          The Liverpool Orange Lodge condemned the violent city centre clashes during a Protestant march last year.

          • bluedog

            The Orange Lodges are one of the worst manifestations of Protestantism, their marches are needlessly provocative.

        • bluedog

          Most of the Catholics in Liverpool became Marxists.

          • Manfarang

            Liberation theologists eh?

          • bluedog

            Submission to a different magisterium. A relative seamless transition.

  • Inspector General

    This is another cleric who thinks the hand of welcome should
    be outstretched to those who revel in homosexuality. Rewrite the law in other
    words. We know that will have to happen. What he doesn’t realise, or maybe he
    does but cares not to admit it, is that the hand will be grabbed and he be thrown
    to the floor as his ‘friends’ move in and take over.

    If you want to find an example of militant sodomy meeting
    the rest of us halfway and coming to mutual agreement, then don’t choose Civil
    Partnership. These people don’t do ‘half way’ and they never will. Why should
    they? Everything they’ve wanted to date they’ve got or getting. Paid in full. And they’re always wanting more. And more after that…

    • dannybhoy

      the hand of what?

      • …. that feeds one’s lust – material and sexual.

        • dannybhoy

          Hush yo mouf boy!

      • Marcus Stewart

        ‘The hand of welcome’… titter ye not…

  • ecclesiaman

    It was such a sharp contrast to read the utterly wonderful words of Tyndale (my heart sang!) and the deceiving words of the Bishop. Evangelical? Just the opposite! Mustn’t waste too many words on this man.

  • Anton

    Acts 20:30: From among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw the disciples after themselves.

  • Just imagine if he’d said;

    Every human being is called to receive a gift of Divine sonship, to become a child of God by grace. However, to receive this gift, we must reject sin, including homosexual behaviour—that is, acts intended to arouse or stimulate a sexual response regarding a person of the same sex. Such acts are always violations of Divine law.

    People are subject to a wide variety of sinful desires over which they have little direct control. These become sinful when a person acts out the desire or encourages the desire and deliberately engages in fantasies about acting it out.

    Homosexual acts are acts of grave depravity; they are intrinsically disordered and contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity.

    Homosexual persons are called to chastity and self-mastery that teaches them inner freedom. By prayer and grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection. As Saint Paul comfortingly reminds us, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

  • Marcus Stewart

    I’ve long since given up thinking that bishops have anything to say worth hearing – and so have evangelicals, which is what irks the Bishop. They’re simply not interested. The increasingly liberal bishops, from whom there’s no theology, just liberal-left commentary on the zeitgeist, are merely tolerated by evangelical clergy, churches and congregations – and they know it. This article’s spot-on in its analysis of the Bishop’s real message: that the Right is Wrong, not populism per se. And there’s nothing new in that from this lot…

    • dannybhoy

      I read somewhere (Jack will remind me) that many evangelical Anglican churches don’t mind what the leadership do, as long as they’re left alone to run their parish.
      I can understand that, and I can understand the pressure which is exerted on vicars by the parish share and the hierarchical nature of the Cof E. But if they explained the issues to their parishoners, and took united action, they could change the leadership.
      With the blessing of Scripture if not Church tradition.

      • Anton

        Which raises the question, what was ever the point of the episcopacy in its hierarchical form…

        • dannybhoy

          Rome was the point Anton. The ecclesial successor to the Roman Empire.

          • Anton

            I agree entirely! I’m making the point more widely than to your good self.

          • dannybhoy

            You mean Jack,
            And Albert
            and Brian??

          • Anton

            Unto all who read it.

          • dannybhoy

            Like erm,Jack and Brian and Albert, and er….

          • Anton

            the many others who read this blog but do not write. The ratio is quite large for most blogs.

          • dannybhoy

            Oh yes, I forgot them..

          • Er, the episcopacy existed in the first century.

          • dannybhoy

            In the shape of the Apostles.
            But there is no scriptural backing for “successors to the Apostles because we have all the info we need in Scripture and the Holy Spirit to lead us..

          • Brian

            Except for that little business of the Doctrine of God and the Trinity, since the Arians, the Gnostics and everyone else had the Scriptures and (they said) the Holy Spirit to lead them in interpreting the Scriptures rightly.

          • Manfarang

            Where is the word trinity in the Bible?

          • Brian

            Check the index. It comes after ‘socialism’.

          • Manfarang

            No index in my KJV. I just looked.

          • Brian

            You evidently have the wrong app.

          • Manfarang

            App? It’s on my bookshelves.

          • dannybhoy

            There’s lots of examples like that Brian. But let’s accept that even now there are differences of opinion as demonstrated on this blog:
            Predestination, views on the atonement, sovereignty, foreknowledge etc.
            Unless the good Lord reaches down from heaven and says “Yup, the Catholics have got it right!”
            it will remain in the realm of intellect and reasoned discussion, and those of us who disagree will continue to do so.

          • Brian

            But affirming the doctrine of the Trinity – repudiating Sabellianism on the one hand and Arianism on the other – couldn’t be done by simply ‘reading one’s Bible’ because diligent Bible readers came to radically opposed conclusion. In the end it did come down to correct exegesis of the Bible – but a universal standard had to be reached. Nicea didn’t solve everything in 325: the debate raged on until Constantinople in 381. Those who adopt a ‘Just read the Bible’ attitude are so often unaware of their own presuppositions; so the Jehovah Witnesses have revived a form of Arianism while Unitarianism-Adoptionism has been the endpoint of most modern Liberalism. Which means we can’t do exegesis without philosophical analysis.

          • dannybhoy

            That is what I said, these things are mostly resolved by intellectual discussion and debate, but there are different views and there will continue to be so this side of Heaven.
            The danger (and sterility) of the intellectual fixation with theology, is that it promotes an intellectual rather than practical approach to the faith. Yes we need to seek the truth, but the fact is there are different practices across the Christian world.
            So on what do we build our faith, endless inconclusive intellectual discussion or sanctification; growing in the grace of God, the fruits of the Spirit and spreading the Gospel?

          • Anton

            Really? I take the view that it is perfectly possible to derive the Trinity unambiguously from the Bible and that those who do otherwise are simply wrong, and remain in their errors becaues it is a lot harder to unlearn something than to learn something.

          • Manfarang
          • About 80AD, the fourth pope, Clement of Rome (c.30-100) wrote to the Corinthians that the Apostles of Jesus had “preached in country and city, and appointed their first converts, after testing them by the Spirit, to be bishops and deacons of future believers . . . They later added a codicil to the effect that, should these die, other approved men should succeed to their ministry.” There can be no doubt that the early Church understood herself as “Apostolic,” as descending directly and organically, in an unbroken line, from the original apostles chosen and commissioned by Jesus Christ.

            For an understanding of the role of Bishop read the letters of Ignatius. By his time, the end of the first century, the whole Church system for carrying out the mission Jesus gave the Apostles was firmly established and functioning. His letters to some of the churches in Asia Minor testify to the existence at this very early date of a hierarchical, episcopal Church as planned and commissioned by Jesus Christ.

            What was the Church like around 107? First, the Church had already spread far and wide since the days of the Apostles. Ignatius travelled over a good part of what is modern Turkey, encountering local churches in most major towns. At the head of each of these churches there was a principal leader called a “bishop” the Greek word was episkopos, meaning “overseer.” These local churches were in close touch with one another. They did not see themselves as independent, self-governing “congregations” of like-minded people; they saw themselves as linked together in the one Body of Christ according to a firmly established and well-understood system, even though they were geographically separated.

            The Church described in these letters dispensed both Word and Sacraments to the faithful. Its members believed and professed doctrines taught by its authority, and they participated in the Eucharist and other rites celebrated by men “set apart” and ordained within the same Church of Christ.

            The letters of Ignatius are clear about the role which the bishop, or “overseer,” held in the early Church. “It is essential to act in no way without the bishop,” Ignatius wrote to the Trallians. “Obey the bishop as if he were Jesus Christ.” “Do nothing apart from the bishop,” he wrote to the Philadelphians. To the Smyrnaeans he gave the same advice: “You should all follow the bishop as Jesus Christ did the Father . . . Nobody must do anything that has to do with the Church without the bishop’s approval.”

            By the second half of the first century a consistent terminology to describe these offices in the Church had become fairly fixed. In the letters of Ignatius it is clear that leadership in the Christian community is exercised by an order of “bishops, presbyters, and deacons.” Of these designations, “bishop,” from the Greek episkopos, was applied to the highest officer in each local church. “Presbyter,” from the Greek presbyteros, meaning “elder,” and “deacon,” from the Greekdiakonos, meaning “servant” or “minister,” were applied to lesser officers. Henceforth these were the terms for these offices in an “institutional” or “hierarchical” Church.

            Ignatius wrote to Polycarp (the words were also meant for the latter’s entire flock in Smyrna): “Pay attention to the bishop so that God will pay attention to you. I give my life as a sacrifice (poor as it is) for those who are obedient to the bishop, the presbyters, and the deacons.”. To the Trallians he wrote: “You cannot have a church without these.”

            [These letters are all available on the New Advent website]

          • Anton

            Obey the bishop as if he were Jesus Christ

            Yes, and that later became obey the Pope as if he were Jesus Christ. The trouble is, he isn’t.

          • No he isn’t Jesus Christ but he carries His authority to shepherd the People of God.

          • Simon Platt

            Up to a point, Lord Copper.

          • Indeed, Mr Salter. Let there be no Popolatory.

          • Anton

            In your opinion.

          • No, it’s a matter of faith based on the clear words of Jesus Christ.

          • Anton

            Yes it’s a matter of faith alright: faith in the extrabiblical apostolic succession.

          • The seeds of which are clear in Scripture by the actions of the Apostles and by their immediate successors, as evidenced by the episcopal structure of the early Church.

          • Anton

            Seeds is a great way of saying it isn’t there.

          • Brian

            Nothing at all in the Bible speaks about a ‘Petrine succession’. The leader of the Church in Jerusalem was James, not Cephas (Acts 16).

          • dannybhoy

            Saint Peter himself never mentions any special authority. I don’t even know how many of the disciples/apostles remained in Jerusalem and how many returned home to Galilee.

          • Brian

            Yes, he certainly missed a trick in 1 Peter.

          • Are you an advocate of sola scriptura? Surely not?! This argument assumes that all Christian doctrine is explicitly described in the Bible, even though this teaching itself is not found in Scripture. Divine revelation comes from God’s word given to us in written form (Sacred Scripture) and oral form (Sacred Tradition), both of which testify to the existence of the primacy of Peter and his successors as Bishop of Rome.

            In regard to the authority of the Bishop of Rome as Peter’s successor, in the first century Clement of Rome intervened in a dispute in the Church of Corinth. He warned those who disobeyed him that they would “involve themselves in transgression and in no small danger,” thus demonstrating his authority over non-Roman Christians:

            “Accept our counsel and you will have nothing to regret. . . . If anyone disobeys the things which have been said by him [Jesus] through us, let them know that they will involve themselves in no small danger. We, however, shall be innocent of this sin and will pray with entreaty and supplication that the Creator of all may keep unharmed the number of his elect ….

            “You will afford us joy and gladness if, being obedient to the things which we have written through the Holy Spirit, you will root out the wicked passion of jealousy, in accord with the plea for peace and concord which we have made in this letter.”

            St. Ignatius of Antioch referred to the Roman Church as the one that teaches other churches and “presides in love” over them.

            In 190, Pope St. Victor I excommunicated an entire region of churches for refusing to celebrate Easter on its proper date. While St. Irenaeus thought this was not prudent, neither he nor anyone else denied that Victor had the authority to do this. Indeed, Irenaeus said, “it is a matter of necessity that every Church should agree with this Church [Rome] on account of its preeminent authority”

            Irenaeus in 180: “The blessed apostles [Peter and Paul], having founded and built up the church [of Rome], they handed over the office of the episcopate to Linus. Paul makes mention of this Linus in the epistle to Timothy [2 Tim. 4:21]. To him succeeded Anencletus, and after him, in the third place from the apostles, Clement was chosen for the episcopate. He had seen the blessed apostles and was acquainted with them. It might be said that he still heard the echoes of the preaching of the apostles and had their traditions before his eyes. And not only he, for there were many still remaining who had been instructed by the apostles. In the time of Clement, no small dissension having arisen among the brethren in Corinth, the Church in Rome sent a very strong letter to the Corinthians, exhorting them to peace and renewing their faith. . . To this Clement, Evaristus succeeded. . . and now, in the twelfth place after the apostles, the lot of the episcopate [of Rome] has fallen to Eleutherus. In this order, and by the teaching of the apostles handed down in the Church, the preaching of the truth has come down to us …..

            “But since it would be too long to enumerate in such a volume as this the succession of all the churches, we shall confound all those who, in whatever manner, whether through self-satisfaction or vainglory, or through blindness and wicked opinion, assemble other than where it is proper, by pointing out here the successions of the bishops of the greatest and most ancient church known to all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul, that church which has the tradition and the faith which comes down to us after having been announced to men by the apostles. With that church, because of its superior origin, all the churches must agree, that is, all the faithful in the whole world, and it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition.”

          • bluedog

            But it cannot be denied that until Luther emerged from the RC, HJ’s version of events held good. For 1500 years, Christianity reflected the model that HJ describes. We debate this time and time again, but the Bible itself is the creation of the apostolic church that was created by Constantine. Your ancestors were, gasp, Catholics.

          • Anton

            The true church in England in the era before the Reformation was the Lollards. They fit the biblical criteria exactly: a minority committed to the scriptures and persecuted by the world, ie the culture, for their faith in Christ. Don’t fall for the truth as peddled by historians of the institutional churches.

          • bluedog

            And before the Lollards? What? Was Constantine a Lollard?

          • Anton

            You are assuming that the true church was always visible to the chroniclers of the day, who were invariably Roman Catholic men of power and interested in recording politics. Why make that assumption?

          • bluedog

            Do true churchmen wear kilts?

          • Brian

            Lol ….lard. 🙂

          • Martin

            Was Constantine a Christian?

          • Merchantman

            ‘And before the Lollards’- Waldo.

          • bluedog

            No, not even Waldo. But the Great Waldo Pepper, he was something else.

          • Brian

            Too much like Dan Brown to be believed. There was a Catholic Church long before Constantine – and not just in the Roman Empire. Learn about the church in Persia and Armenia.

          • bluedog

            Don’t follow the Dan Brown analogy. It was Constantine who commissioned Eusebius to categorise the gospels and books of what became the New Testament. Wouldn’t you agree? Prior to that there would have been a local variations in belief and of course, the well-known heresies.

          • Brian

            But not clear enough for Paul in Antioch when he condemned Peter for his disobedience, and not clear enough for the ancient churches of Jerusalem, Alexandria, Antioch and (not-so-ancient) Constantinople, who never recognised the bishop of Rome as their superior.

          • Scripture is absolutely clear about the primacy of Peter.

            https://www.scripturecatholic.com/the-primacy-of-peter/

          • Martin

            HJ

            Can you demonstrate that Clement was a pope, even a monarchical bishop in Rome. After all, the letter that bears his name doesn’t indicate it was written by him or event that a pope wrote it.

            And Titus makes it clear that episkopos and presbuteros are the same office.

          • Yeah, how’s that working out?

          • Anton

            Badly if you reckon that the church should be a monstrous earthly hierarchy led by megalomaniacs like Hildebrand and Pio Nono. Very well if you understand that the church should be a decentralised network run from heaven.

          • dannybhoy

            Well, overall I think we’ve made as many fallibles as your Church has, we are as dependent on the Holy Spirit as you are, and we shall answer to the same Lord as you will. :0)

          • The truth about faith and morals has been preserved and handed down to the Church from Christ, through the Apostles and their successors, the Bishops in union with the Pope. A theologically muddled-headed Pope cannot change this, nor a sinful one.

          • dannybhoy

            Jack, all that is good in the Catholic Church will be preserved, blessed and used to His glory. Ditto amongst Protestants and us non conformists.
            What should really occupy our minds is appreciating the good we see in each other, working together where we can, and being a blessing and enouragement to all whilst we work at serving the King and His kingdom.
            That’s all that really matters to me.

          • You forgot motherhood and apple pie.

          • Martin

            HJ

            So which pope was it handed down to, Rome or Avignon, and how do we know that the decision is the right one?

          • gadjodilo

            It’s working out just fine, Jack. Probably the country with the most vibrant revival in Christianity is currently China, which is on course to become the most Christian country in the world. This is a Protestant phenomena: the Catholic church – sadly, I would say, because I’m a generous and non-sectarian kind of a person – is on the decline: https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2017/09/18/how-top-heavy-catholic-church-losing-ground-game-china

            Also, where I live at leasst, neo-Protestant churches have generally held their own during the onslaught of Western ‘values’ because they have remained faithful to their core beliefs. The churches which have lost ground have tended to be those who’ve kept their highly-centralised hierarchies and the rituals and the fancy robes, which many people now see as irrelevant and maybe even arrogant.

        • David

          “What was ever the point of the episcopacy…?”
          It is biblical, that’s the point.
          Unfortunately the positions have been largely taken (in the C of E) by unfaithful, who do not live up to the Biblical model. So do we abandon the Biblical model, and become unbiblical, or what ? That’s the dilemma !

          • Join one, true, Apostolic, universal Church.

          • Brian

            The Patriarchate of Moscow agrees and will welcome you at any time, once you have renounced your papistry.

          • Jack respectively suggests the various Orthodox churches get their regional rivalries sorted out and their collective act together before inviting a reunion with Rome.

          • Anton

            As they are organised by region there are no regional rivalries except in reflection of pre-existing political rivalries.

          • Jack isn’t going to criticise the Orthodox Church but it’s well known that a long history of nationalism has been profoundly corrosive of Orthodoxy’s desire to manifest full ecclesial unity. There’s a rivalry between patriarchates – between Constantinople and Moscow and a conflict between Jerusalem and Antioch. The Holy and Great Council of Orthodox patriarchs, meeting last year for the first time in 1,139 years, unravelled. The Russian, Bulgarian, Antiochian and Georgian Orthodox churches did not send representatives.

          • Martin

            HJ

            The pornocracy put paid to the apostolic bit as well.

          • len

            You cannot join the One True Church , you have to re- born into it.
            This action is performed by the Holy Spirit on a repentant adult. (Just to make clear this is not the sprinkling of water on an infant)

          • Anton

            If you want a biblical episcopacy then you had better adopt the biblical model of it, which is many episkopoi per congregation, not vice-versa.

          • Not so.

            Ignatius’s letters reveal his understanding of that same “one and only Church of God.” His emphasis on the central role of the bishop in each local Church stemmed from his conviction that the bishop was the centre of unity in the Church, guaranteeing that it would remain “one.” Ignatius wrote to the Philadelphians that there was only “one flesh of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and one cup of his blood that makes us one, and one altar, just as there is one bishop along with the presbyters and the deacons.” The unity of Christians was, in other words, a function of the unity of the Church to which they belonged, and that Church unity was guaranteed by the bishop of each local Church.

            Looking at the catholic, or “universal,” character of the Church as described by Ignatius, we find him remarking to the Ephesians that bishops continued to be “appointed the world over.” In his letter to the Smyrnaeans Ignatius went on to employ a phrase whose first surviving use in Christian writings occurs here, a phrase that marks this letter as one of the most significant documents of the early Church.

            The phrase which Ignatius employed in his letter to the Smyrnaeans was the name by which the Church of Christ had already become known: the “Catholic Church.” Ignatius wrote: “When the bishop is present, there let the congregation gather, just as where Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.” This is the first surviving mention in Christian literature of the name, “the Catholic Church,” the name which the Council of Constantinople (381) would later employ in the Nicene Creed to designate the entity for which that Council was speaking.

            No entity known to history has ever been called “the Christian Church.” This term only came into use recently by people unwilling to concede that the Catholic Church – that is, the visible, historic community of professing Christians subject in their place of residence to a local bishop in communion with the bishop of Rome – is the organic successor Church to the one undivided Christian body. It was that body to which Ignatius belonged in the first century and which he styled “the Catholic Church,” following a usage already established in his day.

          • Martin

            HJ

            Except that when he wrote to Rome Ignatius wrote to the church, since that church had elders/overseers, not a monarchical bishop. Equally in 1 Clement we have the church in Rome arguing for the reinstatement of Corinth’s elders/overseer with the church in Corinth. Ignatius was a leader in the downgrade.

            And no, Rome isn’t Catholic, it separated itself from the other churches because it considered itself to have the primacy.

          • David

            More than one bishop per church ? Really ! Is there evidence for this ?

          • Brian

            Yes, it’s in the first verses of Philippians.

          • David

            Could there have been a gathering of “senior” Christians at the time ? Unlikely perhaps, so you make an interesting point.

          • Anton

            Acts 20:28.

          • David

            It’s translated (NRSV, NIV) as “overseers”. Hhm a bit vague that.
            Is there a Greek scholar in the house ? Preferably they’d also have knowledge of the 1st century culture of the area.

          • Anton

            The Greek is primary. The word is episkopos and its operational meaning is overseer. But the English adjective ‘episcopal’ shows that it is the same as the English word Bishop.

          • David

            Thank you. But I feel that the linguistics will only take us so far. We also need to understand how, in practice, the early Church bishops operated. Then we must ask how that model should be applied now, all against the context of Church tradition and history. Books could be written on this, and indeed surely have already !

          • Anton

            We have all we need in scripture and the dictionary of koine Greek.

          • Pubcrawler

            That’s actually rather insulting to those who spent a decade and more studying and developing a moderate fluency in Greek.

          • Chefofsinners

            Take it on the chin old boy. We’re all obsolete in our own ways.
            I have a relative, top Greek scholar, cracking book at the publishers:
            WORDS WORTH WEIGHING
            (an a to z of some Greek words used by the writers of the New Testament)

            1. Capturing captivity – aichmalōtizō
            2. The road to renewal – anakainōsis
            3. The final analysis – analusis
            4. Fan the fire – anazōpureō
            5. How to please men – but not God! – anthrōpareskos
            6. Great Expectations! – apokaradokia
            7. The Trailblazer – archēgos
            8. God’s engagement ring – arrhabōn
            9. The lavish provision – chorēgeō
            10. Every muscle on the go! – ektenōs
            11. Who supplies your energy? – energeia
            12. What do you say? – eucharistia
            13. What did your teacher do? – exaleiphō
            14. Ready for the Grand Prix? – hedraios
            15. God’s abundant scale – huperekperissou
            16. How did you learn to write? – hupogrammos
            17. Give my love to all the family – katartizō
            18. Christ’s Daily Mirror – katoptrizō
            19. The war of the words! – logomachia
            20. All change! – metamorphoō
            21. The way to Bypath Meadow – methodeia
            22. How myopic are you? – muōpazō
            23. The bondage of the eye – ophthalmodoulia
            24. How straight can you cut? – orthotomeō
            25. The two Comforters – paraklētos
            26. God’s safe-deposit – and ours! – parathēkē
            27. Are you at home or away? – parepidēmos
            28. Let’s be frank! – parrhēsia
            29. Walking the walk – peripateō
            30. The Divine abundance – plērophoria
            31. Our God is a versatile God! – poikilos
            32. Are your arteries hardening? – pōrōsis
            33. What is set before you? – prokeimai
            34. Pray in every way you can! – proseuchē
            35. How to take someone’s face – prosōpolēmpsia
            36. The camper Man! – skēnoō
            37. How safe is your mind? – sōphrōn
            38. The importance of being earnest! or the Christian jihad! – spoudazō
            39. The victory procession – thriambeuō
            40. Catch them alive! – zōgreō

          • Pubcrawler

            Such a book I would happily have in my library.

          • Chefofsinners

            I’ll give you a nod when it’s published.

          • Anton

            That is the respected expertise by which the dictionary was compiled.

          • Pubcrawler

            It’s the implication in that ‘all we need’ that one can somehow absorb all that learning and expertise, Joe-90-like, merely by thumbing through a dictionary that riles.

            Lexicon is only one barrel in the lock of meaning.

          • Anton

            I wasn’t suggesting that. I find I regularly need to go to the Greek but the number of times I have needed to consult somebody, beyond what can be found at the ‘Greek’ and ‘Lexicon’ options at biblehub.com , is tiny. Of course I respect the scholarship of those who are able to respond, and of the persons responsible for biblehub.

          • David

            Is that a knee jerk reaction, more theological than practical ?
            Yes Scripture is complete. However recent discoveries in both archaeology and linguistics have greatly enriched our understanding of Scripture. For example, do not some of the recent translations improve our depth and accuracy of understanding compared to say the King Jame’s version ? I am no scholar of ancient languages, but my understanding is that the Vulgate contained inaccuracies ?

          • Rhoda

            This from Strong’s Concordance might help you:

            episkopos: a superintendent, an overseer (ἐπίσκοπος, ου, ὁ)
            Short Definition: overseer, supervisor, ruler
            Definition: (used as an official title in civil life), overseer, supervisor, ruler, especially used with reference to the supervising function exercised by an elder or presbyter of a church or congregation.
            epískopos (a masculine noun, derived from epí, “on/fitting contact,” which intensifies skopós, “look intently,” – properly, an overseer; a man called by God to literally “keep an eye on” His flock (the Church, the body of Christ), i.e. to provide personalized (first hand) care and protection (note the epi, “on”).
            epískopos has been regarded traditionally as a position of authority, in reality the focus is upon the responsibility for caring for others” (L & N, 1, 35.40)

          • David

            Thank you. Please see my response to Anton, just above.

          • Ray Sunshine

            Is there a Greek scholar in the house ?
            Pubcrawler is the one you want. He put in a brief appearance half an hour ago.

          • Simon Platt

            Well, the diocese of Lancaster had two not too long ago.

          • dannybhoy

            Or respected godly men with either spiritual gifts and ministries or with practical gifts.
            Not bishops as we currently see them, but respected anointed godly men with pastoral ministries, who can teach, lead, guide, discern, and exercise godly authority.

          • David

            Well yes, your understanding is how I have always read the relevant passages.

          • dannybhoy

            We’re probably wrong about that too…

          • Chefofsinners

            The Greek terms presbyteros, episkopos and poimen are synonymous, as can be seen by comparing Titus 1:5 with 1:7 and Acts 20:17 with 20:28. These terms are variously translated bishop, overseer, pastor and elder.

          • dannybhoy

            That’s how I understand it.
            I like the term ‘Elder.’ Men and sometimes women who have been given an anointing as teachers, preachers etc. Depending on the size of the congregation these would form the leadership, with one person recognised as leader or ‘father’ of the congregation.
            Leadership models usually fail or break down at some point because of ego, ambition, immortality or heresy. There is a failure to recognise the Lordship of Christ, and that the real goal is to work together in humility as servants of the Lord.
            The usual remedy is to establish a hierarchy of leadership, which allows for pomp, ego, ambition, and of course intrigue.
            But enough about the Baptists…

          • Chefofsinners

            In addition to Philippians 1:1 and Acts 20:28 mentioned below, there are Titus 1:15, Acts 20:17, Acts 11:30, Acts 14:23, Acts 15:2,4,6,22,23, 16:4, Acts 21:18, 1 Tim 5:17, Jas 5:14, 1Thess 5:22-13, Hebrews 13:7, 17. If you use scripture as your guide, you will not arrive at one man church leadership.

            Error had clearly crept in by the time that Ignatius was writing. Some would see the ‘Nicolaitans’ mentioned in Rev 2 as those who dominated the laity; this based on the etymology of the term.

          • “Error had clearly crept in by the time that Ignatius was writing.”

            That or the protestants have got it all wrong about the episcopacy and about the Eucharist. Ignatius emphasized loyalty to a single bishop in each city who is assisted by both presbyters (elders) and deacons.

            He is responsible for the first known use of the Greek word katholikos, meaning “universal”, “complete” and “whole” to describe the church:

            “Wherever the bishop appears, there let the people be; as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. It is not lawful to baptize or give communion without the consent of the bishop. On the other hand, whatever has his approval is pleasing to God. Thus, whatever is done will be safe and valid.”

            He wrote this in circa 107 and he used it as if it were a word already in use to describe the Church leading many scholars to conclude that the appellation Catholic Church with its ecclesial connotation may have been in use as early as the last quarter of the 1st century.

            Did error also creep into the Church about the Eucharist?

            “Take note of those who hold heterodox opinions on the grace of Jesus Christ which has come to us, and see how contrary their opinions are to the mind of God … They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, flesh which suffered for our sins and which that Father, in his goodness, raised up again. They who deny the gift of God are perishing in their disputes.”

          • Chefofsinners

            The most cursory reading of the New Testament will reveal that errors abounded from the earliest days.
            The fact that Ignatius first used the term ‘Catholic’ hardly counts as an endorsement.

          • David

            Interesting, thank you.

      • David

        My thoughts too…

      • Brian

        In practice Anglican evangelical churches pay no attention to what bishops say. But they know bishops have great opportunities for mischief-making, by promoting those in their gift. Alan Wilson has done this with his rent-a-mouth “chaplain” and you can be sure Paul Bayes is trying the same. Evangelical bishops – if there were any – would do the same. It’s just human nature.

    • David

      Exactly !

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      You are correct. My Lord the Bishop has nothing to say worth hearing. I, on the other hand…

  • Simon Platt

    I, for one, thank God for President Trump. We all should, even those of you who don’t like his policies. After all, he’s saved the world … rather, the American voters have saved the world, from the corrupt, warmongering, abortioneering alternative.

    • Manfarang

      Well he was going to pull American forces out of Afghanistan but he seems to have done a bit of a U-turn on that one. A lot of illegal abortion in Latin-America, Africa, and Asia.

      • Simon Platt

        What I like most about you is your determination always to look on the bright side.

        • Manfarang

          They’re out of sorts in Sunderland
          And terribly cross in Kent,
          They’re dull in Hull
          And the Isle of Mull
          Is seething with discontent,
          They’re nervous in Northumberland
          And Devon is down the drain,
          They’re filled with wrath
          On the firth of Forth
          And sullen on Salisbury Plain,
          In Dublin they’re depressed, lads,
          Maybe because they’re Celts
          For Drake is going West, lads,
          And so is everyone else.
          Hurray, hurray, hurray!
          Misery’s here to stay.
          There are bad times just around the corner,
          There are dark clouds hurtling through the sky
          And it’s no good whining
          About a silver lining

          • Royinsouthwest

            What about the Welsh?

          • Manfarang

            You will have ask Noël Coward about them.
            Twiddling in Merthyr Tydfil I suspect.

      • Brian

        Obama was keen on promoting abortion around the world.

        • Manfarang

          He may have been but it is up to the government of each country as to what the law concerning abortion is.

          • Anton

            Obama promoted it by threatening the aid budget of countries.

          • Manfarang

            He didn’t stop giving aid to Egypt.

          • Anton

            It’s a big country. Obama preferred to threaten small and nonstrategic countries.

          • Manfarang

            For example?

          • Anton

            Several in Africa, the continent he claimed to love.

          • Manfarang

            There are 14 African countries where abortion is completely prohibited; 36 countries where it is allowed under specific circumstances and three where it is allowed without restriction: Generally Africa is socially conservative.

          • Brian

            Malawi especially. If you’re going to bully anybody, make sure it’s a poor Christian African nation that needs US money.

      • Merchantman

        What was the prelude to the return of the Jews from the second captivity? Nehemiah rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem. At some point a Church of England will have to do likewise.

  • But is the bishop happy that he is called evangelical in Wiki? People call me fundamentalist and so I am according to the original use of the word but the present use is pejorative. The bishop likewise seems to think evangelical is pejorative so he really should get his wiki sorted out lest some think of him more highly than they should.

  • carl jacobs

    Liberal religionists expend a great deal of effort trying to ingratiate themselves to the secular world. I presume they think that saying “You play a tune and I will dance” is a good evangelism strategy. Obviously all these liberal secularists who otherwise have no interest in religion will (upon hearing the good bishop’s declaration of liberal orthodoxy) suddenly arise on Sunday morning to fill his coffers with money attend worship. Too bad for him. Liberal religion holds no interest for people. It is simply a safe emasculated form of religion that is acceptable to post-modernity. He chases after the approval of those who care nothing for him except that he opposes “reactionary fundamentalism”. In its absence they will drop liberal religion like a used matchstick.

    What to do with bishops. I can think of many things, but unfortunately those things might be considered illegal by the stuffy fastidious “Happy Jack” types. But at least the bishops can be ignored. Especially if you stop giving them money. Then they would have to get a real job and wouldn’t have time for silly interviews.

    • “What to do with bishops. I can think of many things, but unfortunately those things might be considered illegal by the stuffy fastidious “Happy Jack” types.”

      Illegal or immoral? There’s a difference. Depends what you have in mind. Do say.

      • carl jacobs

        Problably not fit reading for a family friendly weblog.

        • Is the spirit of the Inquisition rising in you?

          • carl jacobs

            No, but there might be a particular road that needs paving.

          • Hmmm …. but not by man. You really must address this blood lust.

          • carl jacobs

            I thought you wanted me to become Roman Catholic.

          • That’s in God’s Hands, not Jack’s. First, you’ll need to drop the heresy of moral consequentialism.

          • Anton

            To make room for Rome’s heresies?

          • You cannot fault the basis of the Church’s moral theology:

            “But if through my falsehood God’s truthfulness abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner? And why not do evil that good may come?—as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just.”

            It is therefore an error to judge the morality of human acts by considering only the intention that inspires them or the circumstances (environment, social pressure, duress or emergency, etc.) which supply their context. There are acts which, in and of themselves, independently of circumstances and intentions, are always gravely illicit by reason of their object; such as blasphemy and perjury, murder and adultery. One may not do evil so that good may result from it.

            http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s1c1a4.htm

          • Anton

            That’s the basis of a good discussion which tests it in hard cases, but it isn’t what I had in mind by heresies.

          • It’s in the “hard cases” where it needs to be paramount.

          • Anton

            Maybe, maybe not, but it’s not what I meant by heresy here.

          • By definition, there are no heresies in the Catholic Church. None.

          • Anton

            “We are right because we say we are.”

            Anybody can say that, but most of us aren’t so hubristic.

            You were’t even right about “Do no evil”, by the way. You assert it as a universal principle as against “Do the lesser evil”. But the logic of “Do no evil” forces pacifism in times of war. Yet you are not a pacifist. You contradict yourself.

          • Oh dear …..
            Never heard of Just War theory? Proportionate self defence, that doesn’t lead to greater evils, in the face of unjust aggression, is a moral duty, even if death results, is not murder and thus is not an intrinsic evil.
            A better example would have been theft in the face of certain starvation. Now there is a Christian defence for this (Google it). A tough example is lying which some moral theologians argue cannot be justified and some argue can.
            [And, No. Jack isn’t being drawn into this]

          • Anton

            I don’t mind if you reply or not. Your principal rhetorical tricks are assertion and denial, and almost never reasoning from a mutually agreed starting point. You are now shifting from “Do no evil” to “Do no evil except in some circumstances in combat.” Fine, but you have conceded the principle.

          • Explain …
            It is not evil to defend oneself with proportionate force from an unjust aggressor. How on earth is this conceding the principle of do no evil?

          • Anton

            You are hiding your problem in the grey areas between defence and counter-attack, and in what aggression is and is not “unjust”. In fact soldiers have to kill, and killing is evil – but it may often be the lesser evil. I have no problem with that. You do.

          • The fifth commandment forbids direct and intentional killing as gravely sinful. A solder killing in a legitimately waged just war is not an intrinsic evil. The intention is to preserve one’s own life by the use of proportionate force against an unjust aggressor. In that sense, the death of an enemy soldier is unintentional as the direct intention is not to kill but to defend. This is the point you’re not comprehending – through a wilful refusal.

            Legitimate defense
            2263 The legitimate defense of persons and societies is not an exception to the prohibition against the murder of the innocent that constitutes intentional killing. “The act of self-defense can have a double effect: the preservation of one’s own life; and the killing of the aggressor. . . . The one is intended, the other is not.”

            2264 Love toward oneself remains a fundamental principle of morality. Therefore it is legitimate to insist on respect for one’s own right to life. Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow:

            If a man in self-defense uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful: whereas if he repels force with moderation, his defense will be lawful. . . . Nor is it necessary for salvation that a man omit the act of moderate self-defense to avoid killing the other man, since one is bound to take more care of one’s own life than of another’s.

            2265 Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others. The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm. For this reason, those who legitimately hold authority also have the right to use arms to repel aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their responsibility.

            http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a5.htm

          • Manfarang

            What what what. Quietism designates the mystical element in the teaching of various sects which have sprung up within the Church, only to be cast out as heretical.

          • Brian

            I wasn’t expecting that.

          • Nor was Jack!

    • Manfarang

      Progressive religionists maybe, not the same as Liberal religionists.

      • Brian

        No difference.

      • carl jacobs

        I use those terms interchangeably. How do you differentiate them?

        • Manfarang

          Liberal involves the theory and methodology of interpretation of scripture not dependent upon any Church dogma or creedal doctrine. Liberal Christians may hold certain beliefs in common with traditionalists.

    • Brian

      Anglican are perplexed at times about the point of bishops, because unlike the episcopoi of the early church, who were evangelists, martyrs, preachers, theologians and missionaries, modern Anglican bishops are largely managerial sorts, trying to fill parish posts with the kind of people they approve of. In the early church episcopoi were really the chief pastors of the cities of the Greco-Roman world, but in the western Europe they became functionaries of the kingdoms that succeeded the end of the Roman Empire in the west – hence the rise of prince-bishops. In other words, the episcopacy in the west historically had a political role in the Constantinian world. Anglican bishops are not pastors today and because they are funded centrally, they can please themselves how they spend their time (and other people’s money). That’s why they like to play at politics without doing the dirty work of politics.

      • Brian

        Moreover, bishops in the Middle Ages and after had a vital role in the political economy of western Europe. They raised armies, brought in tithes, founded schools and universities and administered justice. When these roles were gradually accreted to the secular state, the purpose of bishops became more problematic. The current office bears scant relation to the pre-Constantinian role of bishops in the Empire.

        • not a machine

          The Palatine Bishop now there’s an unusual role, Bishop I think means over seer, make of that what you will if we are losing the transfer of the Christian faith.

        • Martin

          And baptismal records became the tax records of the state. Is it any wonder that all were baptised as a matter of course.

          • Brian

            You were baptised if your king told you so. On Christmas Day 597 10,000 were baptised in the Medway on instructions from King Ethelbert. The Saxons conquered by Charlemagne were also baptised en masse – but some of them kept their sword hands out of the water.

      • Martin

        Episcopoi were also presbuteroi and each local church would have had a group of them, not but one. The rise of the monarchical bishopremoved checks and balances and allowed sacralism to place its icy fingers of corruption on the churchs.

        • Brian

          That’s how I read Philippians and Acts. Monepiscopacy did emerge by the start of the second century; I am not so sure it was there c. 90 when Clement wrote to the Corinthians. Local leadership was plural in the apostolic period. Perhaps by the start of the second century the new development reflected the few survivors who actually knew the apostles? It’s typical of course to rationalise contingency developments as ‘the leading of the Holy Spirit’ – the C of E does this all the time!

      • Sybaseguru

        I understand that to be a Bishop in parts of Africa you have to have built up 2 churches. Well that makes sure that the UK mob don’t qualify, very few have grown 1 church, never mind 2.

  • John

    Horay! Justine ‘I think I’ll be the opposite sex today because I feel like it’ Greening has gone. Praise the Lord.

    • Thames_Valley_Vole

      During the 2005 Conservative leadership contest, the protagonists were doing the rounds putting their case forward.

      In our neck of the woods, though, while Davis, Fox, and Clarke represented themselves, Justine Greening stood in for David Cameron. She seemed quite impressive at the time, but when Cameron quit 10 years later I started to have doubts about her because of this.

    • Brian

      That cheered me – but who now is in charge of young minds? And when will Jacob Rees Mogg step up to the plate – I mean, crease?

    • not a machine

      There are times when I genuinely think Mrs May has had one of the most difficult political times, let’s hope this arrangement serves God, Queen and country.

    • CliveM

      And the replacement is?

      I’ll cheer when I know more about the replacement.

      Can’t be worse though.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      Yes, the Lesbian has left the building…rejoice!

    • Chefofsinners

      I doubt whether Greening has ever gone “Praise the Lord”.

  • Chefofsinners

    Bayes has spent years twisting the faith, hoping to appeal to social liberalism by defending the moral low ground. Now the pendulum has swung. It is those who have kept the faith who have achieved political ascendancy. Hark those cries of bitter anguish and the gnashing of teeth!
    I wonder, has he considered changing his name to Saul?

  • Martin

    One has to wonder if he would be happy for them to have voted for that proven liar and facilitator of her husbands dalliances. Or are her manifold sins not visible to the Left?

    • Brian

      I wish British ecclesiastics would stop obsessing about American politics. It is so servile.

      • Manfarang

        Hey you are talking about the soon to be 51st state.

        • Brian

          Instead of the 28th state of Europe? You don’t know much about American history – or outlooks. If there is a 51st state (there won’t be), it will be Washington DC. Won’t happen. If there is a 52nd (there won’t be), it will be Puerto Rico.

          • Manfarang

            The term”51st state” is also used in a pejorative sense, meaning an area or region is perceived to be under excessive American cultural or military influence or control. The 28th state of Europe will be a Balkan country.

          • Anton

            Amreican is perhaps under excessive English cultural influence.

          • Manfarang

            Not so much tea drunk in America. Not much crumpet either.
            No bangers and mash, toad in the hole, or spotted dick.

          • Anton

            What language do they speak there, Man?

          • Manfarang

            Don’t walk on the pavement.
            (dialect of English. I like how they speak in old Virginia)

          • Royinsouthwest

            Was the man’s name Paul Bayes?

  • len

    Apparently there are a few Bishops who want to re- write the Bible.
    God got it so wrong on so many levels.

  • Oh, God help and save us! Oprah Winfrey as a potential Presidential candidate!

    • Manfarang

      She has to win the primaries first.

      • A media savvy, black woman with “right-on” attitudes. Well worth a bet.

        • Manfarang

          And foreign policy. Does she have any understanding of the Middle East?
          Economic policy too. Does she understand complex issues?

          • Does it matter? Really?

          • Manfarang

            Yes of course it matters. In the Middle East the Americans have failed badly.
            Assad is now mopping up the opposition to his regime.
            Do we want another financial meltdown?

          • Jack meant in terms of her electability, not her competency.

          • Manfarang

            The Democrat voters are more concerned about competency than their Republican counterparts.

          • Sure …..

          • Royinsouthwest

            That is what they tell us so it must be true!

          • Manfarang

            Yep. The New Deal, Affluent Society (voters at the time responded to Kennedy’s hard-core promise to get America moving again out of its 1960 recession), Clintonomics …

        • bluedog

          Isn’t that a description of Michelle Obama too? 2020 could be a very tense presidential race.

      • bluedog

        They already look splendid.

    • Lucius

      I would say that will never happen, but after Trump, anything is possible I suppose.

    • Brian

      That’s a fantastic idea! Bring. It. On. There are many, many followers of the Church of Oprah – Paul Bayes is one – and you would hear them loudly roaring their approval.

  • Lucius

    I watched the video at the end of the article. This man is no bishop, and forgive me, no Christian.

    • Merchantman

      Wolves in the sheepfold-whore of Babylon. You’ve seen it there and it’s coming to a false church near you.

      • Lucius

        How can it be stopped? It seems the fracture of the CoE is a forgone conclusion.

        • Merchantman

          Showing Love is the excuse Bayes would use to embrace his audience, but Jesus says we don’t love him unless we repent and obey him. Bayes ( and his sort) is selling snake oil; the oldest one in the book.

          • Lucius

            “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Cor. 13:4-7)

            Bayles forgot the verse in bold.

          • As a self identified “biblically rooted” evangelical, Bayes believes it’s possible to hold a positive view of active sexual same-sex relationships based on scripture. He would argue that faithful same sex relationships are not evil, nor prohibited by God, but are an expression of love.

            Who has authority in the Church of England to declare him wrong?

          • Merchantman

            And he also forgot the Book of Nehemiah.

          • Lucius

            Biblically rooted? On what verse(s) of Scripture does he ground his assertion that “faithful same sex relations” are an “expression of love” in the Biblical sense; or is he arguing that Scripture neither condemns nor condones homosexuality and therefore, the absence of evidence of condemnation is evidence that homosexuality is condoned?

          • “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, (*homosexual nor heterosexual*), for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

            God is Love …. ?
            Misunderstandings and erroneous interpretations of Scripture by our scientifically ignorant and homophobic predecessors …. ?
            Inspiration by the Holy Spirit in reading Scripture afresh …. ?
            People are saved by faith alone and not by legalistic requirements …. ?
            Eating too much cheese before bedtime …. ?

            Take your pick.

          • Lucius

            I watch one video and despair and then come across another and have my faith uplifted. From your Orthodox brothers 🙂

          • Jack turns to this one in times of trial.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCLGaVh8qIs

          • Anton

            In times of trial you turn to Mary, a human being, rather than to Christ?

          • One notes you’ve completely missed the point of that video!

          • Anton

            Actually I was able to read only its title where I am this week.

          • Then perhaps you should inform yourself before commenting.
            [It depicts the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ as viewed through the loving eyes of His mother who suffered witnessing His death without despair]

          • Anton

            I informed myself of its title, Hail Mary, which was enough.

          • Clearly it wasn’t.

          • Anton

            One should not hail Mary. I’m sure that this blessed woman of faith and of superlative motherly qualities is horrified and disgusted at her elevation into an idol by Rome.

          • Into her presence the angel came, and said,”Hail, thou who art full of grace; the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women … “ (Luke 1: 28)

          • Anton

            Why do you think I called her Blessed? The point is that that was the word at and for a particular time and place.

          • ” … that that was the word at and for a particular time and place.”

            Was it?

            The magnificent Song of Mary:

            “Behold, from this day forward all generations will count me blessed; because he who is mighty, he whose name is holy, has wrought for me his wonders.”

          • Royinsouthwest

            You missed out transphobia.

          • Surely that’s covered in neither man nor woman?

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            Are you aware the you have become the subject of conversation in the comment thread of the latest blog post at Psephizo? Thought you would like to know…

          • dannybhoy

            Wow! If this carries on we may yet see a cyber version of “Spring Harvest’ or some such get together, but through the media of tappety tap tap keyboards operated by cyberspooks..
            Jack will be secretly pleased..)
            Actually this lady’s comment got me thinking..
            Penelope Cowell Doe January 8, 2018 at 8:10 pm
            “Brian, contemporary texts are no more unanimous on ‘God pleasing’ behaviour than were, for example, patristic texts. What is often claimed as the ‘clear meaning’ of scripture was not always clear to the Fathers (nor do all of us consider scripture as the Word of God, that is Christ).

          • “I know many RCs who woul not endorse anything that ‘Happy Jack’ writes, and who are perfectly orthodox.”

            How dare she say such a thing!

          • “[T]horoughly orthodox, non-cafeteria Roman Catholic contributor to Archbishop Cranmer’s blog ‘Happy Jack’ ….’”

            Today Cranmer’s blog … tomorrow Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire!

            [Note to self: place Penelope Cowell Doe on the ‘list’]

          • Manfarang

            I really must study more about Quietism.

          • Chefofsinners

            Pardon?

          • Brian

            The Archbishop of York, his Primate, could rebuke him. The Archbishop of Canterbury could rebuke him. But they won’t. Almost certainly because they agree with him and are playing a long game to bring the C of E round to this conclusion. The appointment of Chamberlin as the Bishop of Grantham, a man in a same-sex relationship, a fact known to Sentamu and Welby but concealed from the C of E, was one of the strategems in their plan.

          • David

            He may identify as what he wishes, but he certainly isn’t following Scripture.

          • CliveM

            HJ

            Carl is right, you’re being quoted as some sort of modern day orthodox catholic sage!

            Although there was some dissent.

            HJ for Pope. Keep this up and the Papal Knighthood is yours.

          • dannybhoy

            Then we’ll see some changes.
            Catholic recruiting units patrolling the streets looking for errant Prods and nonconformists..
            “Repent and return! Come back, come back to the True Church!
            Or Else..”

          • CliveM

            I think I’ll be able too outrun him.

          • dannybhoy

            You can run but you can’t hide forever..

          • Anton

            No thank you. I don’t want the Inquisition and the feudal system back.

          • CliveM

            Ah the benign “I’m only doing this for your own good” slaughter and torture of the good old days.

          • Anton

            Anybody who can read the Bible.

          • Chefofsinners

            Me. He’s wrong.

            Now how about you declaring the pope wrong?

          • About what?

          • Chefofsinners

            Take your pick.

          • He’s wrong about the football he supports.

          • Chefofsinners

            Thanks. I was struggling to think of one.

        • Merchantman

          Yes.

    • Paul Correa

      He is clearly not a Christian, he’s a gay activist dressed up in a bishop’s outfit. This is why I am a member of an Anglican Church in North America church, it’s nice to have a bishop who is a Christian.

  • Manfarang

    Don’t let’s be beastly to the Germans
    When we’ve definitely got them on the run.
    Let us treat them very kindly
    As we would a valued friend;
    We might send them some bishops
    As a form of lease and lend.

    • David

      Brilliant link. Thank you.

  • Malcolm Smith

    I could write at length as to why 80% of white Evangelicals and 60% of white RCs vote Republican. (Hints: being consistently on the wrong side of the culture wars is not a good way to win their votes. Neither is oppressing them, and attempting to corrupt their children.) Instead, what I shall comment on is the reference to helping the poor, building bridges, and harming the marginalised. It is a symptom of the left’s self-righteousness that they assume they are the only ones concerned about these unfortunates. The result is it never occurs to them that their policies in the matters are counterproductive, and only make matters worse.

  • Mike Stallard

    The deaf man’s face said it all to me. Christian love?

    • IanCad

      Mike, I don’t think the guy was deaf as he was standing to the side and in the rear of the errant priest.
      I have some time on my hands this AM.

  • IanCad

    Well, I finally watched the video. Not to put too fine a point on it, but Paul Bayes should in no way be held as a teacher of the Word.
    Truly, a gospel of his own making; worshipping a god of his own image and utterly defiling the role in which he is cast.

  • TropicalAnglican

    “…you can’t support his tax cuts without decrying his immigration policy;…”
    I have news for you — this baying bishop in all likelihood does not support tax cuts — didn’t an Archbishop of the same mentality proclaim that people should volunteer to pay more tax?

    Dear Barmy Biased Bishop Bayes, thankfully Trump has very kindly sorted things out for you and your ilk, and what’s more, he even had the prescience to do so all the way back in 2012:

    “The Prayer Breakfast was used by @BarackObama to say that the Bible commands higher income taxes. That’s not the way it is!”
    Source: http://www.trumptwitterarchive.com/.
    Actual link: https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/166618142695620609

    At least one Christian writer backs up Trump:
    https://www.christianheadlines.com/news/obama-god-loves-you-and-has-a-wonderful-tax-plan-f.html

    This is the applicable para:
    “And of course Mr. Obama’s formulation assumes that the only way “those who have been given much” can help the rest of us is by paying higher federal taxes. He thus completely ignores job creation and charitable giving, two areas where the wealthy are absolutely vital for the nation’s success.”

    (I believe the author, Stan Guthrie, was probably basing his points on some straightforward verses such as 1 Timothy 6:17-18: “As for the rich in this world, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on uncertain riches but on God who richly furnishes us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good deeds, liberal and generous,…” (RSV)).

    At the rate things are going, a sermon from Trump could well be more biblically accurate than one from your average liberal bishop …

    • Manfarang

      Just thank God that you have no dealings with the IRS.

  • David Gee

    A brilliant article by Archbishop Cranmer, as always, but how sad to see the video of the bishop. Almost unbelievable.

    • Royinsouthwest

      Unfortunately it is only too believable. “Peter Simple” the author of the “Way of the World” column in the Daily Telegraph columnist starting in the late 1950s would not have been described. I think he was far too ready to reject anything new in the Church of England but with characters like Dr Spacely-Trellis “the go-ahead Bishop of Bevindon” shows he understood the way things were going.

      Michael Wharton: The man who foresaw the way of the world
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/culturenews/10005884/Michael-Wharton-The-man-who-foresaw-the-way-of-the-world.html
      Michael Wharton’s ‘Telegraph’ column turned out to be remarkably prescient

  • len

    Is it possible that the church age has finished?.
    Could the Holy Spirit have left the church and no one within the Church has noticed?
    The church continues with its own business, making its own plans, making decrees, but it all rings hollow and empty because the Spirit has gone. The Holy Spirit will not stay where the Word is dishonoured, where the Word is corrupted for the gain of evil men. Perhaps Truth can no longer be found in the church now the Spirit of Truth has left.

    • gadjodilo

      I beg to differ. The Holy Spirit is plenty present in many neo-Protestant churches, in my experience. Of course, it helps when there’s a good preacher, and when hymns are sung with words that are poetry rather than mantras, and when a certain amount of spontaneity is also permitted.

    • Sarky

      The church age has been finished for years!

      • len

        Are you speaking from experience?.

      • Anton

        It is just beginning in the world’s most populous country.

        • len

          We who sent out missionaries to the World need some back here!.

          • James60498 .

            Already happening

    • dannybhoy

      Maybe Len. We know that God does not strive with us for ever. If the established Churches in Western Europe has deserted the faith there is nothing to be done except (as Anton says) allow persecution to purify the Church. It’s that thing about leaven…

      • len

        I know the Body of Christian Believers is growing in China, Russia and some Islamic Countries but’ the Church’ in the West(in its conventional form) seems to be a spent force.?.
        It seems’ the Church’ can only run for a set period of time before it becomes corrupted, but God is no fazed by this and will work outside of the [conventional] Church when it fails.

        I think the word ‘Church’ is probably misleading and has caused many problems. If we had kept to the’ Ekklesia’ (a called out group) things would have been so much simpler without all the denominational conflict.
        When I say ‘Church’ I mean the RCC and the C of E which is not necessarily the Body of Christ although it can be.

  • Manfarang

    I believe George Fox was much influenced by this notion.

  • len

    Homosexuality is IN the church of that there can be little doubt. Homosexuality is accepted and encouraged in secular society and it is increasingly being accepted in the RCC and C of E. The Media has been at the forefront of ‘normalizing’ Homosexuality and we are constant subjected to homosexual propaganda by the Media.

    The rise of the public acceptance of homosexuality is an indicator of the times we are in .

    ‘Matthew 24.12. He also said it would be ‘as in the days of Noah’ and ‘the days of Lot’ before His return. In the days of Noah we read how the earth was filled with violence, and every imagination of the heart of man was only evil continually (Genesis 6). We read of Lot living in Sodom, where sexual depravity and homosexuality ruled the conduct of people. Lot was ‘who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds).’ (2 Peter 2.7-8). This is happening all over the world.’

    (Author Tony Peirce )

    • Manfarang

      A close reading of the text in Genesis suggest that this association with homosexuality may be incorrect. More to do with the mistreatment of strangers.

      • Anton

        Yes, Ezekiel 16 explains that. Romans 1 is far more relevant.

        • The Snail @/”

          Do not just read Romans 1 because the argument which St Paul is pursuing goes on further. Having described the depravity of humanity in Ch1 he says

          2 Therefore you have no excuse, whoever you are, when you judge others; for in passing judgement on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are doing the very same things. 2 You say, ‘We know that God’s judgement on those who do such things is in accordance with truth.’ 3 Do you imagine, whoever you are, that when you judge those who do such things and yet do them yourself, you will escape the judgement of God? 4 Or do you despise the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience? Do you not realize that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? 5 But by your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgement will be revealed. 6 For he will repay according to each one’s deeds:”

      • The Snail @/”

        And Jesus says it would be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah than to those who do not give hospitality to the 12 he sent out, this suggests He regards the sin of Sodom as lack of ‘hospitality.

        The Mission of the Twelve
        5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: ‘Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, 6 but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 As you go, proclaim the good news, “The kingdom of heaven has come near.” 8 Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers,[d] cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment. 9 Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, 10 no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for labourers deserve their food. 11 Whatever town or village you enter, find out who in it is worthy, and stay there until you leave. 12 As you enter the house, greet it. 13 If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town. 15 Truly I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgement than for that town.

        • The primary sin of Sodom was pride (Ezekiel 16:49).
          Have a look at the link and note the event at which the Bishop was speaking.

          • Chefofsinners

            No. Read 16:50 “and committed abomination before me”
            Then read Jude 7.

          • The Snail @/”

            Not only Pride – Sodom is identified as the sister of Jerusalem, but Jerusalem has been worse that Sodon – according to Ezekiel in this Chapter

            Ezekiel 16

            “48 As I live, says the Lord God, your sister Sodom and her daughters have not done as you and your daughters have done. 49 This was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty, and did abominable things before me; therefore I removed them when I saw it.”

        • Chefofsinners

          But in what way were the Sodomites inhospitable? In trying to bugger the angels who visited them.

          • The Snail @/”

            14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town. 15 Truly I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgement than for that town.

            So the rejection of what the 12 said was worse than than buggering Angels?

            I only ask questions – perhaps you have the answers.

          • Chefofsinners

            Yes, of course. The rejection of the gospel is the only sin that cannot be forgiven.

          • The Snail @/”

            Thank you for that.

          • Manfarang

            History is written by the victors, Centuries later when the Crusaders were finally driven out of the Holy Land allegations of immorality were made against them.

          • Chefofsinners

            Scripture is written by God.

          • Manfarang

            The formation of the canon did not come all at once like a thunderbolt, but was the product of centuries of reflection.

          • Chefofsinners

            Scripture was written by God.

          • Sarky

            Great tale of morality that. Didn’t Lot offer up his daughters to be raped to save the angels??

          • Chefofsinners

            Lot is not the hero in this story. It is Abraham. And it is a tale of morality. Abraham pleaded for the city to be spared, though he knew how sinful it was. We Christians should likewise plead for mercy towards sinners, all of them, whatever their sin. It teaches us not to condemn.

          • Sarky

            Like most bible stories its a twisted, dirty morality.

          • Chefofsinners

            It rewards the man who thinks on it.

          • Paul Correa

            The Bible is very honest about the depravity of man, hence the need for a Savior.

      • Chefofsinners

        No. Jude 7:
        Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

    • dannybhoy

      I knew that chap Tony Pearce. Edits a magazine called “Light for the Last Days”

  • Anton

    Calling Johnny Rottenborough… much as I share your view of Islam, is it not increasingly obvious WHY Almighty God is permitting it to rise in this country when you look at the video clip of Bayes?

    • Paul Correa

      Clearly God’s judgement. Mr. Bayes is similar to the OT ‘prophets’ who also worshipped Baal, and told the people to do so.

  • I just listened to the link.
    It is not love to send people off to hell with a pocket-full of false promises in their hands. And it is not hatred to tell people the truth as it is in Christ (Galatians 4:16).

    • Chefofsinners

      Paul, Paul, why persecutest thou me?
      This man hates the truth.

  • Trust the Irish.
    Marriage as we once knew it – mutual support and the foundation of a family through procreation – is no more.

    Two Irish men have married in Dublin to avoid paying €50,000 in inheritance tax on a house.

    Best friends Matt Murphy and Michael O’Sullivan are both heterosexual, but decided to get married when they discovered how much tax would have to be paid on the house Murphy, 83, intended to leave in his will to O’Sullivan, 58, who is his carer.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/23/two-heterosexual-irish-men-marry-to-avoid-inheritance-tax-on-house?CMP=share_btn_fb

    • Ray Sunshine

      Going back a few years, there were two elderly sisters sharing a house somewhere in England. They had lived in the house for many years – it may even have been their childhood home, but I’m not sure of the details. Whichever one of them died frst, the other one would be forced to sell the house to pay the tax bill. Do you remember that case, Jack? I don’t know how it ended.

      • The applied for a civil partnership but were declined because they were sisters.

    • Chefofsinners

      It illustrates the stupidity of the whole exercise of same sex marriage so-called. Good to see the ‘progressives’ being taken for a ride. They made marriage something God never intended it to be. Now these men are making it something the progressives never intended it to be. How does it feel?

    • Brian

      Good for them! Since the State decided (at the behest of the Irish voters) to trash the sacred character of marriage, it is only right that the State should be frustrated in its intentions to confiscate people’s wealth. I foresaw something like this happening long ago. It is only an injustice that siblings cannot do the same, but when laws against incest are finally abolished (about 2035), this wrong will be righted.
      It can only be hoped as well that members of criminal gangs marry each other so that they cannot be forced to incriminate their spouse (one of the protections of marriage granted under common law).

      • Royinsouthwest

        What is to stop a brother and sister, two brothers or two sisters, from identifying as not being related and thus eligible for marriage?

        • Anton

          When I look at the signatures on some wedding certificates I think that they were illegible for marriage.

  • IrishNeanderthal

    I have not watched the videoclip, because I don’t think I could stomach it.

    However, a few thoughts. Isn’t that chap the bishop of Lennongrad — you know, the chap who sang “Imagine there’s no heaven”?

    Concerning the not-so-long-ago Right Honorable Justine Greening, I think maybe the problem with her has been the same as that which G.K.Chesterton diagnosed in two influential 19th Century authors:

    In this respect Carlyle has had unquestionably long and an unquestionably bad influence. The whole of that recent political ethic which conceives that if we only go far enough we may finish a thing for once and all, that being strong consists chiefly in being deliberately deaf and blind, owes a great deal of its complete sway to his example. Out of him flows most of the philosophy of Nietzsche, who is in modern times the supreme maniac of this moonstruck consistency. Though Nietzsche and Carlyle were in reality profoundly different, Carlyle being a stiff-necked peasant and Nietzsche a very fragile aristocrat, they were alike in this one quality of which we speak, the strange and pitiful audacity with which they applied their single ethical test to everything in heaven and earth.

    Thomas Carlyle, in Varied Types

    Though perhaps Simon Cowell might have simply dismissed her as a “One Trick Pony”.

    And for a bit of fun, on the previous blog, weren’t some folks joking about robophobia?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/content/dam/business/2018/01/08/alex_Cartoon_jan9.gif

  • Royinsouthwest

    Paul Bayes is obviously a much better and more convincing evangelist than John Wesley. When Wesley first preached in Bolton, about 40 miles away from where Paul Bayes preached, he was stoned. Contrast that with the rapturous way in which the crowd in Liverpool received the Good News from Paul Bayes.

    Mind you, if the Bishop of Liverpool’s itinerant ministry takes him to the hometown of the Inspector General then perhaps, like Wesley, he might get stoned too!

    • Chefofsinners

      I note that Bayes took it upon himself to apologise on behalf of all Christians to the LGBT community.
      I would like to publicly apologise on behalf of Paul Bayes for just two things:
      everything he is and
      everything he has ever said, done, stood for, thought or imagined.

      • He’s not a real Christian, he’s a phoney.

        • Chefofsinners

          In that case I also apologise on behalf of all LGBT people for whatever…

      • Paul Correa

        What a jackass he is.

    • Dreadnaught

      When Wesley first preached in Bolton, about 40 miles away from where Paul Bayes preached, he was stoned.
      Should have laid off the Wacky Baccy well before the gig.

  • Chefofsinners

    So Theresa May has constructed a government based not on ability, but on the principle of ‘looking like the country it serves’. Thus the new cabinet is 90% female ethnic minority transgender Muslim one-legged pygmies, just like you and me.

    • Lucius

      When there is no longer a social consensus in politics and culture, racial/ethnic identity politics is an attractive substitute to build a sufficient electoral coalition (even if it is a mere coalition of convenience) to put you in office. It accelerates the ruin of the country in the long-run, but it makes political sense in the short-run.

      • Manfarang

        Regarding “BME” people, many were born in Britain and are in fact heavily anglicized. True equality requires these tags to be dropped.

        • dannybhoy

          BME?

          • CliveM

            Black and minority ethnic.

          • Manfarang

            Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) is the terminology normally used in the UK to describe people of non-white descent. However those that fall within this grouping and its sub-groups are far from homogeneous and it is not always easy to categorise them using a standard format.

          • Brian

            No, the list gets longer and longer – and ever more fatuous. Years ago, my half-Chinese wife got very annoyed at official forms that told her she was ‘black’. Do we have to add several brands of Eastern European, Slovakian Roma, Sinti etc etc, along with Irish, Traveller ….. This a 70s idea that is well past its burial date.

          • Manfarang

            I expect your wife is light skinned so just tick white. These days those of mixed descent in Hong Kong call themselves Chinese, those in England I hope would say they are English. The term Eurasian is something of a colonial hangover.
            Race shouldn’t be on any forms anyway. My wife would say she is ThaI. The late King of Thailand said concerning any differences of citizens of the kingdom, “We are all of one family.”

          • Brian

            I agree hey shouldn’t be asking these ‘Equal opportunity’ questions on forms – but this is a world in which people are being incessantly monitored / spied on / recorded on. Now they ask you about your sexual proclivities. This is the triumph of social engineering over nature and justice. It should be against the law to ask intrusive questions that are irrelevant to doing a job.

          • dannybhoy

            Thanks. Never heard the term before.
            I read or heard somebody say recently, “How much diversity is enough?”
            How much diversity do we encourage until it no longer matters anyway. We will have given up our ownership of land, history and culture, and joined all the other communities.

          • Manfarang

            Once when I was lugging my bag through London on my way to the airport a young man offered to help me carry it down some steps, he was of South Asian appearance but what struck me of how much a Londoner he was when it came to speech and mannerism.

          • Brian

            Well, I hope you checked your bag carefully afterwards.

          • Manfarang

            It was a genuine offer of help.

          • dannybhoy

            Great. If he was proud to be British and his loyalty was to Britain – like the good old Gurkhas – there isn’t a problem. The greatest thing will be when we can all poke fun at ourselves without crying “Racist!”

          • Manfarang

            In 1947,to the disappointment of their British officers, the majority of Gurkhas who were given a choice between British or Indian Army service opted for the latter. The Indian Army has Gurkha regiments.

          • Royinsouthwest

            Many of the so-called BME people are part white anyway.

        • dannybhoy

          Israel has the right idea. All newcomers of the right age go into the IDF for three years. This gives them medical treatment, fitness, education, skills and integration into Israeli society.
          To me military service is a great way to encourage historical awareness and loyalty to your adopted country..

        • IrishNeanderthal

          I think that term should be abolished. In effect, if not in intention, it smacks too much of the “whites/non-whites” partition in South Africa in the days of Apartheid.

          But what’s this “true equality” stuff? Anyway, how about a funny story:

          “Today I was nearly hit by a car coming out of a car park. The driver was African, and there were two passengers, one South Asian and one East Asian.”

          “Oh, BME, then.”

          “No, it was a BMW.”

          (Based on an actual incident.)

          • Manfarang

            The principle of isonomy.

    • John

      The news reporting about the cabinet changes focused almost entirely on what sex and ethnic background the people were rather than who they were and what was on their CV.

      • Chefofsinners

        Yes, we are appointing people to the greatest responsibilities in the land based on the way they look, or what their sexual preferences are.

        • Royinsouthwest

          Aren’t we so much cleverer than previous generations who simply did not understand what it takes to run the country!

    • Manfarang

      To sum up- extremely mediocre.

  • David

    With Theresa May’s recent cabinet reshuffle announcement we see her taking a further step to consolidate government level politics as mere show business, with almost all the emphasis on appearances and the superficial, rather than purpose, policy, principle and effectiveness. Indeed her main activity is to further divide society by promoting identity politics, which is the very opposite of the Burkean conservative principle of uniting society through applying the Christian concept of seeking the common good. She really is a charlatan and a disgrace, as she sails under a so called Conservative flag, yet all her thoughts are of cultural Marxism, controlling people and growing government.
    I believe that four decades of EU membership has, as was intended, greatly weakened our democracy by removing all the power and job interest to Brussels. The result is that our MPs and indeed ministers are now a very mediocre bunch indeed. I am so glad that I retained my Ukip party membership.

    • dannybhoy

      Good post David. I let my UKIP membership lapse, and Henry Bolton hasn’t inspired me to renew..
      A shame because he does talk some sense. UKIP’s problem is that they haven’t yet found the stability of leadership required to establish order and discipline.
      The Conservative party I used to belong to will inevitably go down hill because the well of talented people with strong moral convictions is running dry. So Theresa is trying to get people to focus on the bucket rather than the water, as it were..
      Same is true for Labour and all the parties of course.
      The United Kingdom is changing more rapidly now. Our multicultural society means the moral and religious convictions that marked us out as the nation of Great Britain are being washed away. David Cameron tried to pretend we hadn’t changed that much, but Theresa May is making it clear just how much we have!

      • Sarky

        I think it’s more complex than just multiculturalism. Where before, elections were won by knocking on doors and putting forward policies, they’re now won on Twitter and Facebook. Politics has turned into a kind of x-factor. If you need any proof just look at Corbyn and labour, both written off before the election. However, a clever campaign on social media generated a movement that galvanised the young into actually voting.
        Politics has changed and those that don’t keep up (i.e. the Tories) will be swept away.

        • dannybhoy

          Yes I think that’s true as well, but the reason is that there is an underlying awareness that the nation is changing dramatically. The young of course accept the world they are born into. Old fogeys have all those years of experience to look back on and compare. Plus noone is starving, we all have our lttle ‘virtual worlds’ to escape to; tv, computer games, films, drugs and alcohol.
          It will take a major disaster or threat to shake us out of our comfortable complacency. Not that I wish that to happen of course… :0)

          • Sarky

            Nothing wrong with looking back, however, it always seems to be done through rose tinted glasses.
            Are things really that bad?? I don’t actually think so. I think alot of christians look at the demise of christianity in this country, then look for a scapegoat. In the 50’s it was rock ‘n roll, in the 60’s freelove and hippies, in the 70’s tv etc. Now, its multiculturalism. To most people these things aren’t even an issue. Its very easy to blame others for your shortcomings. If the church is disappearing, its not down to multiculturalism, its because you’ve let it!!

          • dannybhoy

            I prefer the word “reasons” to scapegoats, and it’s not necessarily looking to blame but looking to understand. Why should I want to blame other people for the demise of Christianity?

          • Sarky

            Because its stops christians taking personal responsibility.

          • dannybhoy

            I have to take personal responsibility for my decisions.

      • David

        Thank you, and I agree with what you say.
        I too was a Conservative Party member, at least in my distant youth, and yes Ukip has not yet found a capable, stable leadership. Henry Bolton seems an acceptable sort of chap, but he is lack lustre, and not top leadership material, more of a good deputy I’d say.

    • IanCad

      Excellent post David!

      • David

        Thank you Ian.
        You may care to read my reply to dannyboy, who makes good points. There are a few of us ex-Conservative Party members on this site.