bishop-of-liverpool-brexit-trump-tweet
Church of England

Bishop of Liverpool slams Trump/Brexit voters who “bow the knee to hate”

Amazon have produced a warm, cuddly, interfaith Christmas ad. And it’s authentic: there are no actors. A real-life vicar and a real-life imam exchange gifts (knee-pads) to help make praying a little more comfortable in their advancing years. It’s a thoughtful, sensitive comfort-blanket that fills you with all sorts of fluffy feelings. There are real friendships across the faiths: dialogue isn’t all bogged down in hard assertions of tawhid or taqiyya or endless arguments about the succession of prophets. Underneath the dog collars and skullcaps of religious office are people who live with bread and need friends. And they can all get arthritis. Christmas is a good time to say ‘Love thy neighbour’ and get yourself a fine pair of knee-pads – especially if it boosts the impending Black Friday shopping orgy.

What this has to do with Brexit or the election of Donald Trump isn’t entirely clear, but the Bishop of Liverpool Paul Bayes sent out the illustrated tweet with a link to the Guardian (..of course), which includes this paragraph:

There have been reports since Trump’s win of an increase in reports of hate crimes in the US aimed at Muslims, Latinos and African Americans. In the UK, the outgoing prime minister David Cameron condemned “despicable” incidents of xenophobic abuse shortly after the Brexit vote in June.

And so the Bishop of Liverpool dutifully equates the “Trump:Brexit world” with hate, as though the two events are contiguous and repugnant to the holiness of God. Might one not reasonably infer from this that Paul Bayes would have preferred a ‘Hillary:EU’ world; and that he believes ‘ever closer union’ to be a manifestation of the kingdom of God, or that the image of God is better reflected in the ‘Hillary:EU’ benevolent political cosmology? It appears not:

paul-bayes-trump-brexit-hate-2

Goes far beyond? Does it? Is there any other way to construe his meaning other than that a Hillary:EU world is the lesser evil and the greater expression of love? A few members of the clergy clearly think not: “It was very hard to interpret it as anything other than a direct insult to me & 51.9% of voters,” tweeted the Rev’d Dan Stork Banks. “That’s how we alienate people,” he added, fully cognisant of the implications for mission. And the Rev’d Richard Mutter agreed: “Is it any wonder so many people couldn’t care less what the bishops say?” he tweeted. “Antipathy is worse than alienation” (that’s them out of the ‘talent pool‘, for sure). And note the Bishop’s reproach “your critical comment”, as though his original chirp could not possibly be construed as censure of the 17.4 million British voters who supported Brexit and the 61.6 million American voters who favoured a Trump presidency. Stupid, ignorant mob. If the Trump:Brexit world amounts to bowing the knee to hate (and note the allusion to idolatry), what does that say of all those who helped to usher in this era of hostility, enmity and mutual loathing? Are we so beyond the pale that bishops of the national church must rebuke and humiliate us so publicly? Are we really out there with the BNP or down their with Britain First? Is this the alienating episcopal mindset?

Consider this tweet sent out in February, when Brexit was but a distant dream and the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States was nothing but a far-flung fantasy:

bishop-guildford

Do bishops have any idea how these sorts of public pronouncements are perceived by the world? It’s bad enough having vicars who tweet that Brexiteers are basically racist; that Ukip-ers are to be loathed and despised; that Brexit Christians (..oxymoron alert..) are the new lepers; that “tribalism and division” are uniquely ‘right-wing’ derivatives; or that Conservative beliefs are antithetical to the mind of Christ. But when bishops in the Church of England tell millions of people – their national flock – that anti-EU views constitute and engender ‘hate’, or the way they vote heralds a ‘nightmare’, they project a view of the church that has no place for Brexiteers/Tories/Trumpeters (or whatever they’re called); that holding these delinquent political beliefs is not only worse than leprosy, it’s the sort of abdication of democratic responsibility that might even help Ed Balls to win Strictly.

Stupid, ignorant mob. We need proven and established experts – theologian-guardians, dance judges, Hillary Clinton, Lord Deben, Tony Blair – to save us from our foolish, nasty passions. ‘Mass democracy has failed‘, trumpets former archbishop Rowan, Lord Williams of Oystermouth. Funny, isn’t it, how democracy was flourishing when we had the saintly Obama in the White House, socialists ruling the House of Commons and, of course, unquestionable ever-closer incorporation into the ever-blessed European Union. God forbid that the people might become bitter extremists and vote un-Christianly for uncivilised and unenlightened candidates. They’re so easily duped by false hopes and lies, these people. Far better to be governed by wise ones like Tony Blair and Lord Williams of Oystermouth: they can grasp complex issues, you know. True democracy is when the people learn this, and understand that they must vote for a Hillary:EU world because a Trump:Brexit world is violent, divisive and evil.

Curiously, the Bishop of Liverpool is sensitive to how ecclesial/episcopal contempt for those who erect their Christmas trees in November may harm Christian witness and hinder mission. They must be loved, not disdained:

paul-bayes-christmas-tree-hate

But if premature wassailers are to be loved, why not Brexit/Trump voters? Why are they juxtaposed with hate and worldly idolatry? What values, norms and reasoned expectations are displaced when church leaders bind everything with narrow consensual meaning? Isn’t it the task of the church to adjust to the new political context and get on with preaching the word in season and out of season (2Tim 4:2)? What’s the point of belligerent bishops being counter-cultural only when democracy produces results they don’t like?

  • Fred

    My experience of the BREXIT referendum was that: those Christians who sought God in prayer AND fasting …. voted leave. These clergy do rather reinforce the impression of being representatives of a political zeitgeist.

    • Royinsouthwest

      Why consult God when you can get guidance from the Guardian?

    • Jon of GSG

      That’s absolutely right. Some of us didn’t even have to fast either.

    • Albert

      My experience of the BREXIT referendum was that: those Christians who sought God in prayer AND fasting …. voted leave.

      Whereas those who voted remain were busy hating those voting to leave.

  • john in cheshire

    Whether these clergymen are Christians or not, I suppose only they know for sure but by their words, I think they are bad men, intentionally or not.

  • The Explorer

    An early EU poster had a picture of Breughel’s Tower of Babel, and the caption “Europe: many tongues one voice”. The next stage, presumably, is one tongue one voice.

    God it seems, wanted humanity spread across the world; whereas humanity wanted to be together in one place. This tension seems to have continued ever since. If some EU theorists had their way the whole world, presumably, would be in Europe.

    The Babel tension is carried over into the New Testament. Christ says to make disciples of all nations, but not that all nations should be merged into one. Paul says that in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female etc, but this is not a call to become unbrace and unisex. In ‘Revelation’, the Beast seems to preside over some unitary political and monetary system., but the great throng of 7:9 is drawn from every nation, tribe, people and language.

    For secularists with a globalist agenda to oppose Brexit and any other unwelcome manifestation of nationalism s understandable. But bishops who condemn Brexit sentiments as unchristian seem to me to be on uncertain ground.

  • Anton

    Dear Paul Bayes, Andre Watson, Rowan Williams and others,

    The pain you are feeling and the nightmares you are having represent your opportunity to be educated.

  • Phil R

    It just goes to show how far mortaity has slipped in the CofE / CinW.

    No wonder that only 1.5% of the population regularly worships as the CofE /CinW and each day the leadership drills new holes in the already fast sinking ship.

    It does not have to be so. The Anglican Church does not have to die. Reform and other conservative evangellical Anglicans with clear Biblically based teaching on female ordination, virtue and homosexual practise are growing.

  • The Explorer

    Mark Steyn asks a pertinent question about a global government. How do you vote it out of power? Suppose it turns into a bad government, and declares itself the single party of a single global state?

    • Phil R

      “This final empire will be a true global government, ruled by the man known as the Antichrist, also called the beast and the lawless one (Revelation 13:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:8).
      He will have “authority over every tribe, people, language and nation,”
      and he, along with the False Prophet, will force all people to take his
      mark. This future global leader will control all financial transactions
      (Revelation 13:17) and all religious observance (Revelation 13:8). Refusal to worship the Antichrist means death; acquiescence means eternal punishment from God (Revelation 13:15; 14:9-11).

      The Bible, therefore, shows that any time man attempts “globalisation” it is ruled by wicked, ungodly empires.”

      https://gotquestions.org/Christian-globalization.html

  • The Explorer

    “Brexit voters who bow the knee to hate.” Was God guilty of a hate crime with the Tower of Babel?

  • bluedog

    At least the CofE is consistent and continues its master class in how to insult and alienate its congregation. It can’t be long before we are told that Trump is not a Christian, like his new best friend Farage.

  • He obviously hasn’t read the Archbishop of Canterbury’s latest pronouncement on ISIS and Islam.

  • IanCad

    Good post YG. But! O how I wish that I had not clicked on your link to Lord Williams’ article in the New Statesman.
    We are told to be always ready to give a reason for our faith. This would seem to be even more incumbent upon a high bishop of the church.
    Try as I might, within his article, I can find not even a hint that Christ is King, or that the author was at any time honoured with the responsibility of being the Chief Officer of the CofE.
    What is evident, is a man who has supped at the table of the socialist creed. Drunk deeply, surfeited; and is now regurgitating the poison in the pages a left-wing rag.
    Infantile, sophomoric drivel. The undigested ramblings of a first year philosophy student. The strident yelpings of a permanently offended SJW. The thinly veiled notion that only he and his crew of self-satisfied, smug impracticais. have the intelligence, the insight, and the right, to administer the affairs of our land.
    We must change our educational system. Cut its budget by 50%. Lower the school leaving age to fifteen. Kill the H&SE. Encourage online education. Fire most of the college professors and scrap useless courses.

  • IrishNeanderthal

    It is obvious that there is a great deal of difference between being international and being cosmopolitan. All good men are international. Nearly all bad men are cosmopolitan. If we are to be international we must be national. And it is largely because those who call themselves the friends of peace have not dwelt sufficiently on this distinction that they do not impress the bulk of any of the nations to which they belong. International peace means a peace between nations, not a peace after the destruction of nations, like the Buddhist peace after the destruction of personality. The golden age of the good European is like the heaven of the Christian: it is a place where people will love each other; not like the heaven of the Hindu, a place where they will be each other.

    French and English, by G.K.Chesterton.

  • Dreadnaught

    The entire Western population is on the menu of random Islamic violence and defenceless against brutality of Jihad; but We are singled out as the purveyors of hate.
    And the clocks struck thirteen.

  • IanCad

    Good post YG. But! O how I wish that I had not clicked on your link to Lord Williams’ article in the New Statesman.
    We are told to be always ready to give a reason for our faith. This would seem to be even more incumbent upon a high bishop of the church.
    Try as I might, within his article, I can find not even a hint that Christ is King, or that the author was at any time honoured with the responsibility of being the chief officer of the CofE.
    What is evident, is a man who has supped at the table of the socialist creed. Drunk deeply, surfeited; and is now regurgitating the poison in the pages a left-wing rag.
    Infantile, sophomoric drivel. The undigested ramblings of a first year philosophy student. The strident yelpings of a permanently offended SJW. The thinly veiled notion that only he and his crew of self-satisfied, smug impracticais. have the intelligence, the insight, and the right, to administer the affairs of our land.
    We must change our educational system. Cut its budget by 50%. Lower the school leaving age to fifteen. Kill the H&SE. Encourage online education. Fire most of the college professors and scrap useless courses.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      Apart from that I gather you quite like him?

      • IanCad

        He has a beard; that is, in itself, a sign that common-sense has not entirely deserted him. Further evidence would be his choice of a piano as the one luxury he selected on Desert Island Discs.
        Come to think of it, he would be the ideal companion were I to accompany him in such a predicament. He and I would have lots to argue about, and as I’m sure he is as meek and mild as I am we would be unlikely to come to blows.

    • Politically__Incorrect

      Hop you get to write his job reference

  • layreader

    There were rioters on the streets of the US following Trump’s election. ‘Trump/Brexit’ obviously doesn’t have a monopoly on bowing the knee to hate. Or perhaps a riot is a normal, nice thing to do.

    • Politically__Incorrect

      Yes, apparently violent assault, vandalism, and general public disorder are all in the interest of peace (provided you are a Hilary supporter).

      • CliveM

        It’s the Lefts way of showing their ‘lurv’.

  • len

    Seems to me that the greatest threat to Christianity and indeed the ability to discern truth is Humanism and humanist ‘doctrines’.

    The theory that’ all truth is relative’ is by its very nature an attack on truth itself.The theory of ‘no absolutes’ is the very theory that is destroying western society.

    To speak truth has now become’ hate speech’ because it attacks this core philosophy of Humanism.

    As always both the Bible first and later Orwell had it right.

    ‘For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine.
    Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great
    number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.’ (2Timothy 4:3)

    ‘In a Time of Universal Deceit — Telling the Truth Is a Revolutionary Act’ (George Orwell)

    • IrishNeanderthal

      A short while ago, they were playing on Classic FM the Waltz from Jazz Suite No 2 by Shostakovich. He certainly seems (to me) to have captured that in his music.

      The term “hypernormalisation” is taken from Alexei Yurchak’s 2006 book Everything was Forever, Until it was No More: The Last Soviet Generation, about the paradoxes of life in the Soviet Union during the 20 years before it collapsed. A professor of anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, he argues that everyone knew the system was failing, but as no one could imagine any alternative to the status quo, politicians and citizens were resigned to maintaining a pretence of a functioning society. Over time, this delusion became a self-fulfilling prophecy and the “fakeness” was accepted by everyone as real, an effect which Yurchak termed “hypernormalisation”.

      • Terry Mushroom

        A book I intend to read is The Demon in Democracy: Totalitarian Temptations in Free Societies by Rysard Letgutko. He lived in communist Poland. His contention is that ..”both the communist man and the liberal democratic man refuse to admit that there exists anything of value outside the political systems to which they pledged their loyalty. And both systems refuse to undertake any critical examination of their ideological prejudices.”

        I found Communist Poland profoundly, spiritually depressing. I returned to outward prosperity in the west initially with huge relief. But because of some of the Poles I met with their huge integrity, courage and spirituality, I saw for the first time that, only more subtly, the same dead hand was on our side of the wall: the lies, emptiness, manipulation, corruption and cynicism to get power at any cost.

        A Polish lady gave me a statue of the crucified Christ. The deep scars of suffering are horrible. “Take it and believe,” she said, “for He is the Lord of history and He has us in His care.” Last Sunday in the Catholic Church was the feast of Christ the King. The Gospel was Luke’s Christ on the cross and the Good thief.

        • IrishNeanderthal

          Marking this for future reference.

          Marking your post for future reference. In regard to your middle paragraph I have just read this on the New Scientist website:

          The world in 2076: The population bomb has imploded

          Could the population bomb be about to go off in the most unexpected way? Rather than a Malthusian meltdown, could we instead be on the verge of a demographic implosion?

          To find out how and why, go to Japan, where a recent survey found that people are giving up on sex. Despite a life expectancy of 85 and rising, the number of Japanese is falling thanks to a fertility rate of just 1.4 children per woman, and a reported epidemic of virginity. The population, it seems, are too busy (and too shy) to procreate.

          I have heard that in Warsaw Pact countries, women chose to terminate rather than bear children into the world that faced them. In our liberal democracies, we have the spread of what I call “New York” and “Hollywood” values. And G.K.Chesterton wrote that industrial capitalism was (to use words of my own) turning women into “un-women”.

          • Terry Mushroom

            I’ve read this elsewhere about Japan and Warsaw Pact countries. And aren’t some western European countries not replacing their populations?

            Chesterton was a very, very wise man. Humanae Vitae is a prophetic document.

            For more about Letgutko, see http://www.crisismagazine.com/2016/totalitarian-temptation-berlin-wall. I’m convinced that WWII in reality ended in 1990.

          • Anton

            And in Iran too.

  • It seems the primary qualification for membership of the British Establishment is contempt for the people. Politicians display their contempt with their barefaced lies, journalists and broadcasters with their half-truths and selective reporting, and the judiciary is now showing its true colours as well.

    With so many against us, it is bitter to have it confirmed that even the church is our enemy. In fact, the pattern has long been clear: policies harmful to the British are supported by the church. Mass immigration to reduce the British to a minority, Islamization to replace Christianity, and membership of the European Union to do away with accountable government were all carried out with the church’s blessing.

    If the church wants the British to associate Christianity with betrayal, it is doing a first-class job.

  • IrishNeanderthal

    Ein Kleiner Gedanke: Accusing others of hate, isn’t that bishop being a little bit like the Sunday School teacher who, after teaching her class the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax-Collector, said:

    “Now children, let’s all get down on our knees and give thanks to God that we’re not like that Pharisee”?

    * * * * * * * * *

    I think this lady could give the bishop an earful concerning his remarks about Trump voters: Hontas Farmer (@Hontas_Farmer) on Twitter

  • drjhb

    I was in an Anglican conference when the Trump vote was called. The presiding bishop referred ruefully to the result more than once, fearing the end of all things christian. He didn’t seem to mind that Hilary is vigorously pro-abortion, nor a hundred other dubiously-Christian policies.
    Along the row from me a group of Episcopalians from the USA shuddered. “That’s the end of support for Transgender promotion in schools,” said one. “I can’t wait for someone to assassinate him,” said another.
    So, what is the definition of ‘hate’ I wondered? These were fine liberal episcopalian women, normally bending over backwards to love the rejected, to tolerate and welcome everyone, whatsoever their views… except, apparently their President elect, and those who voted for him, half the population of their country.
    Hate is not hate, when it lets slip that it wants to see a President elected by due democratic process assassinated, in the strange new liberal fundamentalist world in which we live.
    In the New Think Revised Version of the bible, Jesus says, “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, except Donald Trump and those who voted for him, and by the way anyone who doesn’t hold a strict libertarian line on sexual permissiveness, and those who decline to produce cakes with a political / moral announcement they find in conflict with their beliefs, and anyone who in conscience can’t go along with a change in the universal and ancient definition of marriage, and anyone who wants to seek to save unborn babies from being killed by their parent to whom they’re an inconvenience, and use words like ‘killed’ in this context because it’s inflammatory, and all those so called Christians in the poor ignorant parts of the world not blessed with our enlightened ways of thinking and money, and who want to hold by the authority of my Word (the non-NTRV that is), and you may as well include everyone who voted for Brexit, and all capitalists, and all non-Guardian readers, and those who find the BBC biased, and everyone who doesn’t agree with us liberal, tolerant, welcoming, progressive lovely loving accepting people: shoot the lot of them.”

    • Inspector General

      It became fashionable to starve yourself down to the size and weight of a famine victim over thirty years ago. And it still is in catwalk circles. So, it becomes rather interesting when yesterday’s favourite psychosis of the over pampered meets an up and coming newbie that is fast taking hold of the less than mentally resilient today…and goes out for a (very low calorie) drink together…
      —————————-
      “Why do so many transgender people have eating disorders?”
      http://fusion.net/story/134204/transgender-people-eating-disorder-study/
      —————————-

  • Politically__Incorrect

    After Trumps election there were many death threats against him and threats to rape his wife. I wonder if MR Bayes would consider that hate. Or perhaps he thinks it is fine to threaten to assassinate a president-elect and rape his widow provided they are Republicans? Either way, we should be wary of what seems to be a new tactic by some on the Left. Not satisfied with the tired old Nazi comparisons, they now point to spikes in “hate” crime when things have gone the way of the political Right. It is very easy to report a hate crime online, and it doesn’t even need to be investigated or even true for it to appear in official statistics and of course in the Guardian.

  • Politically__Incorrect

    There’s one santa who does not exist now, fired from his job in a U.S. shopping mall for telling a little girl that Hilary Clinton is on his “naughty list”.

    • Dreadnaught

      Its rumoured that Trump is on a Jihadi naughty list too.

    • IrishNeanderthal

      Then what would happen if the Santas Union were to call an all-out strike? Maybe they would have to outsource to Russia, so that Ded Moroz (Grandfather Frost) could fill in, since he comes on New Year’s Day, and the Orthodox Christmas is twelve days later.

      But then, some government department would try to merge to two into one, to try to save money.

      • Politically__Incorrect

        What would they do about Snegurochka accompanying him? As a minor she could be on the minimum wage or she could consider it work experience. However, If she comes along then I suggest that Rochdale should be a no-fly zone for sanata’s sleigh.

  • Orwell Ian

    Do bishops have any idea how these sorts of public pronouncements are perceived by the world?

    Yes they do and they put them about for the same reason that Blair is making his comeback. All this guidance from above is to save us from ourselves. The people used what little is left of their democratic freedoms to make populist decisions and upset the globalist applecart. Liberal democracy has become a sham, an Oligarchy of the elite, totalitarianism without the gulags. A new reality is beginning to emerge and the elite don’t like it. They really don’t. Away with Political Correctness, we’ve had enough of being told what to think, believe and say. We’re tired of hearing that all cultures are equal and that Islam is a religion of peace while its wars declare the opposite. We’re fed up with being hectored, lectured, censored and insulted by religious and political “progressives.”

  • carl jacobs

    Bishops … If you don’t pay them, they will go away.

  • carl jacobs

    I saw that commercial here in the States yesterday, btw. During a football game, of all things. It is a good commercial. Very genuine. Very memorable. The problem is that it represents a particular as a universal when the particular on display is at odds with the universal.

    • The Explorer

      Translation please. I take you to be seeing that because one bishop and imam can be friendly with one another it doesn’t follow for all bishops and imams.

      • carl jacobs

        The particular of friendship between the Priest and the Imam is entirely believable. The general principle – that Christianity and Islam can happily co-exist in a land flowing with secular milk and honey – is a lie demonstrated by pretty much every Muslim country everywhere.

    • Albert

      It’s a great advert – but do you have English ads in the Us, then?

      • carl jacobs

        I thought it was an American ad. I was surprised to see a reference to it on the weblog this morning.

        • Albert

          They sound English.

    • Politically__Incorrect

      Maybe it’s just me but there does seem to be a breed of commercial (ad) that has political undertones. These ads don’t just sell a product, they are trying to sell a political narrative too. I don’t mind companies trying to brainwash me into buying their products but I do mind them trying to peddle a political view on the back of it. I strongly suspect the Amazon ad is trying to push the multi-culti narrative. After all, if they simply wanted to convey a message of mutual respect then the unlikely choice of Imam and vicar seems too much of a coincidence.

      • carl jacobs

        I agree with this. There was a distinct undertone of Universalism in that Commercial.

        • “All must remember that the peoples of the earth form one family in God.”
          (Pius XI, Divini Redemptoris,1937)

          • carl jacobs

            Which has nothing to do with the underlying message of the commercial -which is that all religions worship the same God.

          • Or …. that people of different faiths can actually get along with one another.

          • carl jacobs

            Yeah. You should test that concept in Saudi Arabia.

          • In case you didn’t notice, the advert was set in Britain not Saudi Arabia.

          • carl jacobs

            Yes, Jack. That was my point. Now why do you suppose that ad had to be set in a western country?

          • Because, having been influenced by Christian values, we believe in respecting the religious views of others that do not affect the common good.

  • magnolia

    I must know an unrepresentative sample of Anglicans on this basis as I have predominantly met people who are-sometimes a little hesitantly-glad that Trump won. They have read and thought and concluded that Clinton had loads of bad stuff about her, and of course I certainly don’t mean her gender. The US has suffered enough under Clintons, the Foundation is beyond embarrassing, the pay to play more than proven through comparing dates, the Soros funding of the body instigating riots there for all to see, the Purple Revolution planned as last ditch also unhidden.

    The death trail of those who have annoyed the Clintons is way beyond coincidental. There are clear breakings of most of the 10 commandments. How can anyone ignore this? Dead bodies, walking money, false witness, adultery, many trips to Epstein’s island……If Christians ignore all this we just look like we don’t know our own stuff.

    And yes, Trump is not guiltless, but he was the only alternative and he certainly didn’t have a campaign manager who went to spirit cooking dinners. Anyone who is ignorant should research this stuff before suggesting Christians who voted against this dark, dark stuff heavily connected with Satanic ritual are morally deficient. They were not; probably warm kind people who don’t like seeing “performance art” where a bound shape that looks like a baby is drenched with a bucketful of blood-like substance. Any wonder Christians hated seeing that?

  • Albert

    The EU’s Common Agricultural Policy has been unjustly keeping farmers outside the EU in poverty for decades. Hillary’s policy on abortion is so strong it makes King Herod look like the patron saints of children. My question is, how it be so obvious that a Christian should vote for these people, that those who wrestled with the issues and voted differently, are regarded with such contempt?

    [P.S. I think the bishop has a point about how he has been misrepresented – but the view Dr C takes on here is not clearly a stereo-type – I experience it in the real world.]

    • carl jacobs

      Albert

      There is no moral imperative to open a market. The EU is free to subsidize its own markets as it sees fit.

      • Albert

        That may be true, but it is not consistent with the beliefs of those who complain about people voting against the EU. They would normally be all in favour of the jubilee thing.

        • carl jacobs

          So then you are withdrawing the charge of injustice and replacing it with a charge of inconsistency? I would agree with that.

          • Albert

            No. I think it is wrong myself. I think that skewing the market against the poor is plainly against the teaching of Jesus. But I think we are crossed-purposes – it’s not just the subsidies, but the tariff walls I had in mind.

          • carl jacobs

            The Gov’t of Nation A has no responsibility for the welfare of the citizens of Nation B. If the Gov’t of Nation A decides it wants to encourage indigenous food production, that Gov’t is within its rights. It has not wronged the citizens of Nation B by doing so.

          • Albert

            You’re such a modernist. The concept of nation states is hardly biblical (i.e. it isn’t in he Bible) and remains subject to moral norms.

          • carl jacobs

            If I had used the terms “king” and “kingdom” the argument would have been just as valid. The argument depends upon right authority and not upon the organization of Gov’t.

          • Albert

            You miss the point. The idea that a Government, of whatever form, has responsibility only for the people that are subject to it is plainly immoral and modernist. No one, in Christianity at least, can draw such boundaries in their moral thinking.

          • Anton

            God divided up the human race by language at Babel for its own good. today there can be economic warfare between nations and their rulers as well as physical warfare, and therein is a difficult question: If I, a ruler, can do better for my people by imposing tariffs on goods from my neighbours, which have the side-effect of hurting them economically, should I?

            This is a grey area so only the simplistic would seek to give an unqualified Yes or No. In the long run a no-tarif situation is better for both countries, but that may not be so in the short run and how do you ever reach the long run except through the short? Then there is the question of relative pain: If I can do my people a great good but the economic pain inflicted on the neighbours is small, is that OK? Then there is the question of self-sufficiency in food, which is not an only economic issue but also a security issue.

          • Albert

            As far as I can see, you’ve just discussed this in terms of a utilitarian morality. Am I right?

          • Anton

            If you want to try to put my discussion into wider categories in which you believe you understand general principles, feel free. I believe human affairs are so complex that general principles are leakier than philosophers suppose.

          • Albert

            As I understood it, you set out your position consequentially. Before I addressed your position, I wanted to check that I had not misunderstood it. Apparently giving you the chance not to be misrepresented was some kind of sin, on my part.

          • Anton

            Talk English, man!

          • Albert

            You judged the rightness of the action in terms of consequentialism.

          • carl jacobs

            It’s not about consequentialism. It’s about authority. A citizen of country B has no entitlement to sell goods and services within the border of country A. Any Gov’t imposing such a restriction is acting within its lawful authority.

          • Albert

            Anton’s argument was about consequentialism as far as I can see. You are making a different judgement – it’s about the lawful rights of a country. But that’s morally not the issue. As Chesterton says To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it. You seem to me to be reducing morality to the secular law.

          • Anton

            I didn’t make any argument. I asked some questions in order to promote fruitful discussion. They seem to have provoked fruitless discussion, because of your wish – not mine – to place them in an abstract philosophical framework.

          • Albert

            Okay. Take out the word “argument” and put the original word I used: “position”. In the end, moral questions can only be assessed on the basis of some kind of moral framework. I find it odd that you find that objectionable.

          • Anton

            I don’t find that objectionable. I am not willing to circumscribe any answers offered to my questions by supplying a moral framework. If readers wish to do that as part of any answer, they are welcome.

          • Albert

            I am not willing to circumscribe any answers offered to my questions by supplying a moral framework.

            So on what basis do you expect your questions to be answered?

          • Anton

            On any basis that the reader wishes.

          • Albert

            In that case a reader can just dismiss your questions as being morally irrelevant, or even morally wicked.

          • Anton

            That is the reader’s choice. I’m interested in all replies that seek genuine engagement with the questions I asked.

          • Albert

            So long as they don’t address the question of the moral framework by which your questions can be assessed. You said, for example that:

            This is a grey area so only the simplistic would seek to give an unqualified Yes or No.

            But that assumes a wider moral framework, but then you eschew any attempt to discuss the moral framework.

          • Anton

            If you don’t want to consider the questions I raised, don’t. Others might. That’s fine either way.

          • Albert

            I do want to. I just want to know how I am to address them. What constitutes a good answer? It depends on the assumptions of what constitutes a good answer. You made a claim about simplistic answers, as if you were simply stating a fact. But then any attempt to discuss that claim about simplistic answers is somehow frowned upon as being a kind philosophical silliness. The problem is that you are already doing philosophy – it’s just that you don’t want the philosophy to be examined.

          • Anton

            Whether I am doing philosophy is a matter of categorisation that is irrelevant. Asking a question in good faith is not any kind of hiding, is it? If you don’t want to answer it, just leave it at that.

          • Albert

            So the implication is that my question was not in good faith, is it?

          • Anton

            I don’t think you’re in bad faith. I just think that your approach is convoluted to the point of wasting everybody’s time.

          • Albert

            Whereas your approach of ignoring my questions by questioning why I am asking them is not a waste of time?

          • Anton

            I didn’t question why you asked them.

          • Albert

            I beg your pardon – you simply made statements which you will do everything in your power to prevent anyone investigating.

          • Anton

            You could always try answering my question…

          • Albert

            Here’s your question:

            If I, a ruler, can do better for my people by imposing tariffs on goods from my neighbours, which have the side-effect of hurting them economically, should I?

            That can only be answered by having a wider moral framework/philosophy by which to judge the question. Hence my question about philosophy. In other words, by itself, the question is literally unanswerable.

          • Anton

            I think Jesus might have been more constructive if asked the same supposedly unanswerable question.

          • Albert

            Jesus tended to be quite clear on things. I suspect you would find him simplistic. Jesus would have answered your question in accordance with his own moral framework. In answer to your question, I think no. But without some way of knowing how I came to that conclusion, what is the benefit of that answer? Of course, if Jesus gave us that answer (no) that would be beneficial, because it would have authority. But what authority do I have? None. That’s why my answer to the question only has value if you know what my moral framework.

          • Anton

            What has authority to do with it? If I ask a question I am simply asking for any respondent’s reasoned opinion. It is you who are being coy, not me!

          • Albert

            So, let’s be clear. I’ve asked for your moral framework – i.e. the way in which you think about answering a question, and you have pushed that away. And I’ve answered your question. But apparently, I am being coy.

          • Anton

            You have not answered my question(s). You asked me a question back, instead. That is why I consider you are being coy. To repeat, I am not going to straitjacket any respondent by supplying a moral framework. I leave the reader free to do that.

          • Albert

            Here’s your question (as I understand it):

            If I, a ruler, can do better for my people by imposing tariffs on goods from my neighbours, which have the side-effect of hurting them economically, should I?

            And I said:

            In answer to your question, I think no.

            It’s not a very interesting answer because I am not talking about the moral framework that gave rise to the answer – you don’t want to hear that.

          • Anton

            No, I am happy to hear your reasons – and always was.

          • Albert

            But that would mean looking at the philosophy behind it (sorry, it’s a bit too late now for me to write more at this moment!).

          • Albert

            I am sorry, I genuinely do not know which question I am not answering. I do know which questions of mine you are not answering.

          • carl jacobs

            And where did David acquire responsibility for the citizens of Troy?

          • Albert

            I never said that he did, neither is it entailed by my position. We all have duties towards everyone we come into contact. Being King does not mean our duties cease to be, it means they are increased.

          • carl jacobs

            You said …

            The idea that a Government, of whatever form, has responsibility only for the people that are subject to it is plainly immoral

            And now you say …

            I never said that he did

            I could use a closer city if you like but think you would say the same thing regardless of the city I choose. Perhaps you should clearly state what you mean instead of simply asserting the same thing over and over again.

            How does a king hold moral responsibility for the welfare of those people not under his authority?

          • Albert

            There is no logical inconsistency, and this should be clear from my comment We all have duties towards everyone we come into contact. If David comes into contact with the people of Troy, then he has moral duties towards them. If he doesn’t and his actions do not reasonably affect them, then he doesn’t. Thus it doesn’t follow from my comment that you can just pick any place in the world and say that therefore David has been given responsibility for them. Proximity isn’t the issue in itself – it is contact and affect that matters and you are missing the source of the obligation, also.

          • carl jacobs

            David had continual contact with the Philistines because he shared a border with them. What moral responsibility did David possess by virtue of his office as King for the welfare of the Philistines? Was he responsible to protect them? Did he pass laws on their behalf? Did he rule over them? I want you to operationalize this claim.

          • Albert

            What moral responsibility did David possess by virtue of his office as King for the welfare of the Philistines?

            To treat them justly.

            Was he responsible to protect them?

            If they were in his territory, or part of territory he controlled, yes.

            Did he pass laws on their behalf?

            Assuming they were outside of his jurisdiction, then no.

            Did he rule over them?

            Same as before.

          • carl jacobs

            To treat them justly.

            To treat someone justly is not the same as being responsible for his welfare. But you still haven’t explained this statement in anything but abstract terms. How does a King in Jerusalem fulfill his moral responsibility to uphold the welfare of the citizens of Tyre? He has no authority over them. What is he supposed to do?

            Here, let’s make this concrete. What responsibility did the President of the US have to the people of Rwanda in April 1994?

          • Albert

            To treat someone justly is not the same as being responsible for his welfare.

            Have I said they are the same?

            But you still haven’t explained this statement in anything but abstract terms.

            I haven’t defended what you keep attributing to me, that’s true. But then I think my point is different from the point you want me to make.

            Here, let’s make this concrete. What responsibility did the President of the US have to the people of Rwanda in April 1994?

            No. That’s making your misunderstanding concrete. You are thinking I am talking about responsibility for welfare. That may or may not be true, but it is not my claim. I am talking about a responsibility to treat people justly, when we have contact with them.

          • Maybe, but a Christian surely has a moral responsibility for the welfare of all peoples.

          • carl jacobs

            I have no moral responsibility to fulfill that which is beyond my capacity. It is beyond my capacity to bear the responsibility of all. In addition, there are distinct limits to the scope and range of my responsibilities. There are things I would do for my children that I wouldn’t do for yours. This is not even controversial.

            And, in any case, the state is not a person. If you don’t like the term ‘state’ I can use kingdom if you prefer. But if you choose to think that there is a collective moral responsibility through the state for the “welfare of all peoples” then I suggest that you – right here and now – declare for drafting 200,000 men into the British Army and sending them to the DRC where some 5 million have died in ethnic conflicts.

            Surely your commitment to the “welfare of all peoples” isn’t limited to an objection to tariffs.

          • You cannot hide behind some notion of the state being a “corporate person” without individuals in that nation having a moral responsibility. In the situation you cite, the responsibility of the state is to do what it is able to do to end suffering. And that is a prudential judgement about what is and what is not possible to achieve. Tariffs and subsidies by disadvantaging poorer countries to secure the wealth of richer countries, distorts the just sharing of the world’s wealth.

          • carl jacobs

            What is needed in the Eastern DRC is a force that can monopolize violence and provide security. That is the only realistic way to end the suffering because that is the root of the problem. It is well within the reach of Britain to provide this capability. In fact, France has done so previously but on a small scale. No, what is lacking is will. Sure, you might have to take a chunk of money out of your Welfare state to fund it, but preferring your own comfort to the needs of another is surely a selfish misallocation of security in this world. Therefore, I nominate the British Army for this task, on behalf of Happy Jack and his responsibility for the welfare of all.

            I await your affirmative response.

          • Anton

            I think you mean Belgium, not France?

          • carl jacobs

            I was referring to something called Operation Artemis.

          • Imposing “peace” through an external force is one path. There are others. The correct way for the international community to address humanitarian concerns is through the United Nations and not by one country unilaterally policing the globe.

          • carl jacobs

            the international community to address humanitarian concerns is through the United Nations

            You do realize the UN has been in the DRC for years, right? It hasn’t helped because what’s needed is an imposition of security.

            not by one country unilaterally policing the globe.

            Not the whole globe. Just the DRC. We’ll send the Canadians into Sudan next. Or do you want to pontificate about the UNs role in Sudan as well?

            It’s called the “Responsibility to Protect” Jack. Europeans love it. And this is Britain’s chance to fulfill its responsibility – since as you said we have a moral responsibility to all people everywhere.

          • We do have a moral responsibility to people everywhere, Carl. How we meet that responsibility is where judgement comes in. Imposing “peace” doesn’t actually work.

          • I don’t do Sudan.

          • carl jacobs

            Sorry. Michael Ignatieff has already committed you. R2P originated in Canada, you know.

      • Royinsouthwest

        John Bright thought that abolition of the corn laws was a moral imperative because they kept food prices high to the detriment of the working class.

  • David

    Thank you Your Grace for a very good and timely article.

    Liberal bishops interpret the Bible through the lens of secular thought systems, Socialism usually, and then use those ideas to form political judgements; therefore their views on politics are as unreliable as is their grasp of Christian precepts. They are truly “blind guides”.

    I suspect that Anglican bishops have usually been remote from the bulk of the people, but in an age of mass communication and the internet, their remove from most peoples’ everyday lives is becoming increasingly obvious. This makes evangelism more difficult of course. But only the coal face vicars, who are often traditional and evangelical in their beliefs, who are genuinely reaching out to the rank and file can see this.

    Some of these comments seem to reflect a great deal of resentment, anger even, that the “little people” have finally seen through the left-liberal scam to destroy peoples “anchors”, of which our sense of belonging to an independent democratic nation state is a major one. The comment “Mass democracy has failed” from former Archbishop Williams proves conclusively that, he at least, sees democracy as merely a mechanism in which the bulk of the population is invited to participate, but only if they continue believing the brainwashing originating from his elite left-liberal group; this is of course democracy as a mere facade, to fool the populace into believing that they are equals with them, and have choices in their lives. His comment is a truly ugly one, and I’d say, an unchristian one. Who does he think he is ? He’s just a man. But what a sneering, superior leftie he has revealed himself to be !

  • I find these pronouncements by bishops so incredible. Shouldn’t the clergy, including bishops, be doing their best to understand the people they are supposed to be serving?

    If our +Paul spent a bit of time with people in his diocese amongst those who voted Brexit, perhaps he wouldn’t accuse them of ‘hate’.

    • David

      My thoughts exactly.

      If only they’d get out from their Guardian informed, Anglican middle-class ghetto and meet the suffering British, the working class experiencing falling wages, zero-hours contracts or seeing their culture decimated by mass immigration from alien cultures of unprecedented proportions, then they’d finally grasp that all is not well with the EU’s imperial dreams for controlling us all through enforced “harmonisation”and “diversity”.

      In fact I have urged our +Martin to do just that, to get out to meet working class people.

      • Royinsouthwest

        I wonder, is it possible to harmonise diversity or to have diverse harmony?

        • Royinsouthwest

          Actually, after further reflection I think the answer to both my questions is “yes.” A conductor of an orchestra, or a choir or both, helps to create harmony without enforcing uniformity. Of course the members of an orchestra or choir normally joined it of their own free will and are not forced to remain members, although they may have to give notice before leaving.

        • David

          I found harmonics a difficult part of the theory of sound, so I’ll pass on that one, if I may. Over to you…

          • Anton

            Fourier series!

      • Royinsouthwest

        Have you had any reply from him?

        • David

          Effectively no.
          After over three weeks and only silence, I wrote my fairly standard, “Do you answer letters ?” follow-up. Then there was a cursory non-reply glossing over the issues. It is easier for the elite to ignore, criticise or even attack, alternative arguments than to risk critical self-examination of their narrow, precious world view.

    • dannybhoy

      If you believe in the priesthood-laity thingy then surely the one should defer to the other?
      As is the case.

  • CliveM

    One thing I believe we have learnt beyond any shadow of doubt since Brexit. The Left, for all their protestations about social justice, equality and fraternity, have a patronising contempt for their fellow man (and woman) that is truly breathtaking. With Trumps victory they claim hate has won! Actually it is clear hate lost. No one can hate better then our elite.

    • David

      Quite so, and very succinctly put !

      • dannybhoy

        Don’t tell him that.
        Compliments go straight to his head and make him unbearable….

    • Dreadnaught

      The Left, for all their protestations about social justice, equality and fraternity, have a patronising contempt for their fellow man (and woman) that is truly breathtaking

      You only just latched on to this MrM?

      • CliveM

        Sometimes it’s good to point out the obvious!!

  • Royinsouthwest

    “Hate speech” is by definition speech by right-wingers. Left-wingers are nice people, as they keep telling us, and therefore they cannot possibly be guilty of “hate speech.”

    Margaret Thatcher and misapplied death etiquette
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/apr/08/margaret-thatcher-death-etiquette
    The Guardian, 8 April 2013

    Margaret Thatcher’s detractors throw party planned decades ago
    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/margaret-thatchers-detractors-throw-party-planned-decades-ago/

    Hundreds of opponents of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher partied in London’s Trafalgar Square to celebrate her death, sipping Champagne and chanting “Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead.”

    Thatcher’s most strident critics had long vowed to hold a gathering in central London on the Saturday following her passing, and the festivities were an indication of the depth of the hatred which some Britons still feel for their former leader.

    “We’ve been waiting a long time for this,” Richard Watson, a 45-year-old from eastern England wearing a party hat, said. “It’s an opportunity of a lifetime.”

    BBC to play ‘distasteful’ witch song clip after Thatcher’s death
    https://www.thestar.com/entertainment/2013/04/12/should_the_bbc_heed_thatcher_supporters_and_ban_ding_dong_the_witch_is_dead.html

    In a compromise destined to please no one, the BBC says it will play part of “Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead” but not the whole song.

    Why It’s Ok to Celebrate Thatcher’s Death
    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/leigh-jones/why-its-ok-to-celebrate-thatchers-death_b_3052759.html
    Huffington Post, 10 June 2013

    Would Bishop Paul Bayes agree that the above were examples of hate speech? John Lyndon, a former member of the Sex Pistols group, certainly would.

    Sex Pistol John Lydon: ‘People celebrating Thatcher’s death are loathsome’
    http://www.nme.com/news/music/public-image-ltd-6-1252371

    • magnolia

      Agree with the caveat that plenty of left-wingers were massively anti-Clinton, and I think rather honourably so. For instance I think Assange is a left-wing Green and he was certainly of strong opinions, as was John Pilger, or Gerald Celente, or various Anonymous manifestations. i rather suspect Max Keiser was no great fan, and rather a lot of their ex-staff of all colours had feelings and views. They know things…

      Also quite a number of left wingers were Brexit, in the tradition of Tony Benn, not least Giles Fraser.

      Some of these issues don’t bear much left-right analysis, and contempt for banksterism certainly crosses the lines, as do collectivist v. democracy questions and even hawks v.doves. Those who don’t realise that banksterism, oliigarchy and anti-neocon passion run across left v. right aren’t keeping up. (I know that’s not you.) Neocon banksterism presstitute supporter mobs, unsurprisingly sometimes paid, are also unsurprisingly prone to violence.

      • Don Benson

        Quite right, Magnolia, ‘left’ and ‘right’ are ancient tribal terms which are still trotted out by lazy journalists and second-hand thinkers. They have little relevance to today’s situation and serve only to mislead.

  • magnolia

    I note that Rowan Williams thinks he doesn’t know what a Trump presidency might have a store. He hasn’t been reading some of the alternative media that might throw some light on that, then.

    I can see that some thought there might be a utopia with no racism, sexism nor any other -ism nor any other bulling or unkind word (except probably to Christians, and any politically incorrect people who don’t matter.

    And this might have come about, albeit at the cost of mass extermination of animal and vegetable life and a nuclear winter, but hey, what does that matter if anyone saying anything racially or otherwise demeaning has been stopped?

    Why spoil a narrative with things like weighting not having a war heavily, or having more than a handful of moral categories that matter?

  • Dreadnaught

    Better you heard it from me old lad…

  • dannybhoy

    I believe the Scriptures teach nationalism, rather than one world internationalism, and I base that mainly on Genesis 11 and some other scripture verses.
    It seems to me that those in the (Anglican) Church who advocate the ideal of “one worldliness”, either misunderstand or wilfully distort the Gospel in order to fit in with the prevailing Western world view based as it is on humanism.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Acts 12 also.

      • dannybhoy

        I was thinking of Acts 17>
        26 “From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.”

        Anyway, how are you brother? I hope that you and yours are keepng well.

        • David

          Good point.

          • dannybhoy

            Actually in reading that verse again it’s pretty profound…
            ” and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.”
            I’m reading in Jeremiah at the moment and chapter 27 says,
            4 “And command them to say to their masters, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel—thus you shall say to your masters: 5 ‘I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are on the ground, by My great power and by My outstretched arm, and have given it to whom it seemed proper to Me. 6 And now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant; and the beasts of the field I have also given him to serve him. 7 So all nations shall serve him and his son and his son’s son, until the time of his land comes; and then many nations and great kings shall make him serve them.”
            I believe that man has genuine free will – guaranteed by God Himself, but the overall plan and supreme Chess player Himself out thinks us at every turn!
            I find that both comforting and deserving of worship.

          • There is a distinction between a healthy patriotic attachment to one’s nation and the ideology of nationalism. There is a universal brotherhood of humanity. We are children of one Father and one Redeemer.

            Pius XII in the Encyclical Summi Pontificatus (1939) stated:

            “nations, despite a difference of development due to diverse conditions of life and of culture, are not destined to break the unity of the human race, but rather [are destined] to enrich and embellish [that unity] by sharing of their own peculiar gifts and by their reciprocal interchange of goods which can be possible and efficacious only when a mutual love and a lively sense of charity unite all the sons of the same Father and all those redeemed by the same Divine Blood.”

            In other words, the love for one’s nation is legitimate within the context of a rightly ordered patriotism that has as its point of reference the universal unity of humanity.

          • dannybhoy

            “…only when a mutual love and a lively sense of charity unite all the sons of the same Father and all those redeemed by the same Divine Blood.”

            Except that not all sons acknowledge the same Father, or the same’ lively charity.’
            And that those same sentiments had no effect whatsoever on the Nazis and their treatment of their ‘siblings’ I agree with his well meaning intentions.
            Any way old Jack, I would like to know how you a an old stalwart are keeping?
            I hope very well.

          • So what if we have different faiths or view charity/love differently? Jack believes Jesus answered that one.

          • dannybhoy

            Absolutely.
            Which is why I genuinely care about curmudgeonly old people like yourself.

        • Dominic Stockford

          You’re right, Acts 17. My misquote.

          I’m not bad. Standing for the Christian Peoples Alliance in Richmond Park by-election though, so I expect a lot of worldly hassle to come my way in the next couple of weeks.

          • dannybhoy

            Well done that man. I have just started reading “Jesus and Politics” by Alan Storkey which I bought for a mere 75 pence in our nearest Christian bookshop.
            Have you ever read it?

          • Dominic Stockford

            Heard of him, not read it. I have Wayne Grudems recent long thick book one politics in religion. However, I shall basically be preaching the Gospel to them!

        • Royinsouthwest

          Are all the existing boundaries of nations God given? If not, are some of them approved by God and some not? The boundaries of Israel seem to obsess some Christians. What is the “correct” boundary between the Ukraine and Russia? Were the pre-World War II boundaries of European nations correct? If not, how do we know whether or not they are correct now? Should the Basques be independent? What about the Scots? Should the Kurds have a nation state of their own? What was God’s view of the Schleswig Holstein question in the 19th century? When Africa was divided up by colonial powers during the “scramble for Africa” were the boundaries drawn correctly?

          • chefofsinners

            Good points. And should Roy stay in the South West?
            Let’s not forget that the Jewish populations across the Roman Empire were the seed beds of the church, nor that the great commission is to go into all the world.
            God is now building one church out of every tribe and tongue, and heaven will be as multiethnic as it gets.

          • dannybhoy

            I don’t think that’s the issue Roy I think the issue is that as a principle and at that time,God set boundaries and times to stop mankind from uniting -or rather being united- in rebellion against the Creator.
            Look at Acts 17 above,
            “27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.”
            That peoples make war against each other for territory or resources is the story of rebellious humanity, and God makes it clear in Jeremiah 27>
            5 “I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are on the ground, by My great power and by My outstretched arm, and have given it to whom it seemed proper to Me. 6 And now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant; and the beasts of the field I have also given him to serve him. 7 So all nations shall serve him and his son and his son’s son, until the time of his land comes; and then many nations and great kings shall make him serve them.”

            I don’t believe in predestination, but I do believe that God is clever enough to know what little creatures who don’t want to admit that they are little creatures might get up to!

          • Royinsouthwest

            I agree with the points both you and Dreadnaught made.

          • Dreadnaught

            Nations and boundaries have always been moveable feasts: defending a small piece of the planet that sustains you and your progeny through physical strength is the law of nature. If you believe your God created all things in nature, then He must by default, condone rather than condemn your actions. I think?

          • Royinsouthwest

            I agree with both you and Dannybhoy below. It is the existence of geographical and temporal limits to the authority of various human rulers throughout history that has divine approval rather than the precise positions of the boundaries and the precise extent to which people are allowed or prevented from crossing them.

          • Dreadnaught

            The point i was making is that land is not gifted to certain exclusive groups of humanity by a god of the imagination of those particular groups. To say that it is, may give a group a perceived legitimacy to repel outsiders, but it is essentially a survival tactic to preserve life sustaining material needs.

      • David

        Genesis 11, yes, but Acts 12 – why so ?

    • David

      Yes so do I. The Tower of Babel clearly represents a setting apart of the different language groups into what we now call nations.

  • The Explorer

    I suppose there are two contradictory impulses behind internationalism, united nationism, globalism, one-worldism or whatever we like to call it.

    One is the desire for power. Control of the whole world. The other is its opposite, the desire for peace. If we are all united there will be no need for war. Nation will not compete with nation if there are no nations.

    • dannybhoy

      I think it’s in part the ‘carnal’ man who believes that we are the product of evolution and that as man we will eventually given time understand all there is to know about the material world/universe. I think that also means the ideal of the ‘complete and perfect’ man has been abandoned in favour of the ‘conformable’ man.
      It is not that carnal man doesn’t want the good, but that he has rejected God’s good.

  • David

    When Jesus was on earth he strove to understand the life of the ordinary people around him, their trials and tribulations. His sympathy was for them. He was very critical of the religious elite that focussed on maintaining petty religious rituals, often man-made, whilst constantly ignoring peoples’ real sufferings. It strikes me that the outraged C of E bishops who have blown a gasket regarding the Brexit referendum and now Trump’s victory, are doing the exact opposite !

    • Politically__Incorrect

      True. The “Gospel of Love” does not apply in their view where Leavers and Trumpers are the object of their criticism. Only bile and condemnation is appropriate.

  • chefofsinners

    “If a man desire the the office of a bishop he desireth a good work.”
    Not any more. Too many bishops these days desireth a good income and a bit of power. They are wannabe politicians using our church as their hustings. Any overlap with the gospel is purely accidental.

    • Politically__Incorrect

      I was wondering whe you were going to chip in chef. The overlap with the Gospel will improve as they steadily re-write it. They just have to persuade God to vote Labour, then to brand everyone else a Nazi, and then remove all the bits rom the Bible that the Guardian doesn’t like. At that point man and God can live in harmony.

      • chefofsinners

        Still laughing.

        • chefofsinners

          Still laughing…

  • David

    I consider that the invention of this ugly phrase, “hate speech” tells us much more about the nature of those who pressed to introduce such laws, than the attitude of many of those who are accused of breaking these false laws.
    Generally I find that that patriotic, conservative Christian people “hate” very few people, if indeed they hate anyone at all. But they do reject evil in all its forms. Evil can become embedded within certain cultural practices and attitudes, for example those beliefs that led to the Rotherham outrages. Yet the law is now arranged to accuse those who oppose such evil as being “haters” of a race or religion. Meaningless words, which are but PC code, are invented to prevent rational discussion, using “phobia”, as suffixes. This reveals that one of the real purposes of the so called Hate Laws is to silence democratic dissent, especially from those that oppose certain evils.
    Certainly the reaction of many of the liberal-left to Brexit and Trump’s result reveals most clearly that the real intolerance, tending in many cases to real hatred, is very much the property of the utterly intolerant, but oh so superior, left-liberal tendency.

    • Quite right!
      ‘Hate speech’ speech has to be interpreted.
      “You are guilty of hate speech” really means “I hate you for disagreeing with me.”

      • Dreadnaught

        To ‘hate’ is now a criminal offence – its an actual thought-crime. Bloody Norah – I hate this ridiculous law; so lock me up why don’t ya?

      • David

        Nicely put.
        “Hate Speech” is a concept for the immature, that is people insufficiently grown up to cope with hearing dissenting views or beliefs. None of us should have the right to be protected from ideas we don’t like or agree with – it is simply censorship. This concept has something of the playground about it. Being upset or even insulted is part of the price mature societies’ pay for democracy, of which free speech is the cornerstone. It should not be on the Statute Books of a mature democracy.

      • John

        It certainly can mean that at its worst and has become a pernicious weapon of the political correctness cultural crusade. But equally, do we really want a world where people saying “all Jews must die” or “bring back slavery for niggers” are protected by free speech legislation? Those really are examples of nauseous speech up with which we ought not have to put.

  • Most religious leaders and politicians seem unaware of the reason why people voted for Brexit or Trump; they believe that they were driven by ignorance, hate and bigotry rather than disillusionment with a globalisation that has left them behind. If only people like this bishop could see that these were last ditch efforts by people excluded by post-national politicians to regain their values, livelihoods, self-respect and some of the modest prosperity that they enjoyed in the past.

    • Jon of GSG

      It’s never really clear to me that they can’t, rather that they don’t want to admit it. I fear it’s an aspect of our politics now that one of the main drivers for some people being “progressive” is that they like looking down on others. Their convictions are based almost entirely on the conviction that the opposing view can only possibly be motivated by racism, selfishness etc. If they admitted that’s not true, they’d have to rethink their entire political position.
      Which would of course be a good thing, but a lot of effort.

    • Dreadnaught

      Excellent.

      • dannybhoy

        Danny looks down on no man….
        :0)

      • Thanks.

    • Jonathan Tedd

      Alas our great energy economy is now longer providing wealth, and to make matters worse we increase debt in the assumption that growth will continue, in order to pay it off.

      https://surplusenergyeconomics.wordpress.com/2016/10/

  • Inspector General

    Chin up, Cranmer! You didn’t think the Marxists for Jesus crowd would quietly settle down to the new order, did you? There is frustration to be vented, and derision of the flock, and of course hatred, for those who defied the Anglican with-it clergy’s beloved secularism. There are accusations to be made, fingers to be pointed, and the guilty to harangue. And Cranmer dear fellow, if the Inspector has never uttered a truer word than this, then you, yes YOU sir, are among the most guilty of the lot! An example will be made of you.

    Something to look to forward to, each day, what! A reminder from them that you played a no small part in ruining these priests lives. For now their once happy progressive disposition has been replaced by much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Only the peace of Christ will save them from their agonies, but they’re hardly going to accept that at the moment. There is too much revenge to enact. And we know that revenge is denied good Christians. (Pity that. There have been times in an Inspector’s past…but we’ll not go there).

    It’s just as well bishops don’t have the power of arrest….and you are still a free man accordingly. Enjoy!

    • dannybhoy

      Inspector General sir, would you regard yourself as a Deist? Some here as wondered whether I am a Deist, and I know most definitely that I am not.Bear in mind that I have always enjoyed your contributions on this blogsite, but you yourself sir how would you define your understanding of our great and wonderful God?

      • Inspector General

        Had to think about it, Danny, and the answer is yes. The Inspector has always had a strong appreciation of hierarchy, and naturally looks up to the higher levels, and indeed the highest of all, God. Worked very well in Victorian times, but since then, feeble man is playing games and its all gone upside down and rolled over. A good example being numerous Anglican Bishops who in a previous era, would not have been consecrated as priests, such is their weak understanding of hierarchy…

        • dannybhoy

          Aha, so Happy Jack was right!
          I believe it was he who first suggested you might be a Deist. Interesting that you bring hierarchy into it, as I thought Deism basically teaches that God created the universe and man then left him to get on with it whilst He attended to other more pressing matters.
          Or are you referring to that tribal hierarchy evident in human societies?

          • Inspector General

            Mind your dodgy prostrate, Danny. The alternative to Deism is that man has been introduced to God by revelation. Including Christ. The Deist understands the need for God without being pointed that way…

          • dannybhoy

            Thanks to t’tablets Danny’s prostate is no longer hindering the flow of bodily wastes in liquid form, so that Billy Connolly’s alternative solution is not even a remote possibility

            So you don’t doubt the existence of God, but you doubt that He is knowable or that He really cares about us as individuals?

          • Inspector General

            God is logic Danny. He is mathematics, he is physics, and other boring stuff like that. Study those subjects, and you get to know God.

            Good news about your prostate then…

          • dannybhoy

            Yes I’m sure that they find their origin in the being of God, but it seems to me that God is the Source and Creator, and as Creator He must also be the ‘inventor’ of love because within the Godhead love exists. I don’t think God created man because He wanted somebody to love or talk to. He already has that between Father Son and Holy Spirit. I don’t understand it but it makes sense because God is complete in Himself.

          • Inspector General

            We exist, Danny, because it is logical that we exist. Good one that, worthy of the best of them…

          • dannybhoy
          • Anton

            God is LOGOS, not logic, Inspector; that’s John 1:1. I’m a theoretical physicist and it is not through those things that I came to God.

          • Inspector General

            Rather surprising, Anton. One would have thought all men of superior intellect would have no problem with an ultimate reason for what is. The beauty of the design, that kind of thing…

          • Anton

            Well Yes, intelligent design is far clearer in physics than biology. I can now answer a key question which I couldn’t as an atheist physicist, namely why are the laws of physics beautiful?

          • David

            I am grateful to you, a professional physicist, for describing the Laws of Physics as beautiful on this blog.
            Some 15 years ago, as I was approaching the faith from the outside, one of the main reasons I became to believe that God existed, was the beauty that I saw in the laws that govern the universe, and the low probability of that happening by chance. But that idea was met with limited comprehension from most of the committed that I encountered. I was “expected” to say something softer, more human I suppose. However I continued in my quest.

            Once I had committed myself to God, repented and sought forgiveness, becoming a believer, the personal relationship took over from my probabilistic/ scientific approach, and it all progressed from there.

            But to this day I meet vanishingly few, face to face, outside “professional science”, who come to believe that God exists, because of the inherent order and beauty of the physical natural laws. Just saying….

          • Anton

            All physicists see that same beauty. They wouldn’t be physicists otherwise. but only those who believe the laws were created by one with an incredible sense of aesthetics and intelligence can explain them.

            They are violated by miracles, however; the playwright walking on to the stage of his play. Peter walking on water and sinking as his faith wavered is never going to be reconcilable with any law of gravity.

          • Inspector General

            He could have walked on the backs of submerged angels. One has made a hobby out of explaining miracles using physics…

          • Anton

            O, grand, let’s have some more examples!

          • Inspector General

            The most impressive miracle was the physical repair and patching up of Jesus after his crucifixion ordeal and bodily death. That took the angels a full 2 days’ work to achieve. Worth the wait, though. Even then, they didn’t have enough time to fill in missing flesh from his hands. Needless to say, he fully knew what he was at that stage – an immortal who could truly call God his father, and in an understandable rush to depart that place and assume his spiritual position in the divine hierarchy…

            Angelic invisibility? If they lack a corporeal form, the real question is how they manage to be seen when they want to be..

          • Anton

            And that visibility of something incorporeal violates the laws of physics, no?

            What do you mean by the divine hierarchy, please?

          • Inspector General

            If we knew all the answers, Anton, we wouldn’t need theoretical physicists, now would we!

            The divine hierarchy from what we can establish is God, his angelic creation, his human creation. In that order…

          • Anton

            You are the one who has a hobby of explaining miracles using the laws of physics, so why suddenly coy when I ask you about how angels become visible?

            Where in the divine hierarchy is Jesus, please?

          • Inspector General

            9 choirs of angels. Archangels are the ones to attain human form. Christ is obviously an archangel. The idea that he is God Almighty is ludicrous and worthy only of the belief of the mischievous snake in the garden crowd…

          • Anton

            Told your parish priest, Inspector?

          • Inspector General

            Don’t want to trouble him. Few are gifted the higher understanding, so why pain those that are not. Just think about it. God Almighty, the creator of the universe as we know it. billions of light years across and Jesus Christ who walked this earth, the same entity?

          • Anton

            You know he’d deny you Communion; isn’t that why you don’t tell him?

          • Inspector General

            For a theoretical physicist who has the word, one was expecting that much more from you. Never mind, just fall in, and carry on…

          • Anton

            I am marching fully in the ranks, Inspector. I suggest instead that you fall out, as you do not believe what we in the church do regarding the divinity of Jesus: a matter of the utmost importance. I do not condemn you for your denial but you simply do not belong among us. This is far more important than physics, of course.

          • Inspector General

            Your opinion noted, Anton. One wishes he could ascribe to established Christian belief as it is, but be of assurance that this man takes a truer course.

          • Anton

            But I am not discussing with you now the truth or falsehood of whether Jesus is divine; I am discussing with you whether it is proper to take Communion from a priest who requires the Creed to be said first, and whether it is proper to speak that Creed when you don’t believe a vital part of it. When you affirm that Jesus is divine as part of the Creed, you must believe that you are lying. What have the Ten Commandments to say about that?

          • Inspector General

            When we commune with Christ, we don’t need the permission of the church! The very idea!

            The Creed or the oath of allegiance, Nicene style, is just that. Put together by the fellows meeting at Nicaea in 325 AD. Amended though, in 381 AD.

            This man bends his knee in the presence of the divine, not to words conjured up by mere men…

          • Anton

            I agree, of course, that the Creed is the word of man rather than of God. (Have you ever thought of becoming a protestant heretic rather than a Catholic heretic?) But Jesus is clearly portrayed as divine in the Bible, which is the same source from which we know anything at all about him, so where do you get your criteria from for deciding which parts of the Bible to accept and which to reject, and why?

          • Inspector General

            The NT isn’t the problem, except perhaps where it reaches back and relies on the OT. The OT, in ones opinion, was always a “History of, and instructions on how to be, Jews”. Ran that last bit past Avi once. He didn’t vociferously object. One would have remembered if he had…

          • Anton

            In terms of words, that is most of the Old Testament. But aren’t you forgetting that it starts with the whole of the human race and before that the origin of the world on which we exist? And would you actually tell me which parts of the Bible you accept and which you reject, and why? Notice that Jesus is clearly portrayed as divine in the NT too: He said I AM and he chose not to rebuke Thomas for calling him God.

          • IanCad

            All instruction necessary for salvation was within the Old Testament. When Jesus taught and cited scripture He was using the writings of Moses and the Prophets.

          • True, no objections. Better description than most of the ones one hears, as a matter of fact.

          • David

            Para. 2. A good analogy, and very useful to me when I encounter those who doubt the Biblical miracles.

          • Anton

            By and large science and scripture are in positive accord, eg the beauty of the laws of physics; but sometimes they clash, eg miracles.

          • David

            Yes agreed.
            Although my knowledge is limited, having studied Earth Science, not Physics, at first degree level, it is suggested that the recently understood probabilistic nature of matter, from the sub-atomic to the galaxy, as opposed to the earlier understanding, based upon more predicable Newtonian mechanics, brings Christian theology and Science closer.
            I also like the way that Genesis 1, 2 in its ordered, measured pace for Creation, points to both an ordered, reliable God, whilst also suggested to early investigators that such a God created a universe run along ordered lines; they then sought to understand the “how”, thus discovering that which Science refers to as its “Laws”.
            Arguably if we had followed the chaotic, temperamental gods of Greece or Rome, not the more rational Hebrew God, thinkers would not have had the confidence to seek order in the universe. If you do not expect to find something you tend not to look ! So is it no coincidence that Science arose from a society shaped and steeped in Judaeo-Christian ideas of God ?

          • Anton

            I believe God knows nothing of the probabilistic character of matter. He knows what ever atom is doing and will do, exactly. The reason that scientists suggest a nondeterministic theory is that the alternative is even more radical, namely a theory that is nonlocal (“action at a distance”) and acausal. That’s Bell’s theorem, properly understood.

            Another reason why some scientists suggest indeterminism today is that they have lost faith that the universe can be explained. That faith derived ultimately from Christianity and permeated European society, but ceased to in the last century. This is the point that you rightly make in your last paragraph.

          • David

            Very interesting. I understand, and accept your explanation. Thank you for that.
            I sometimes listen to lectures at the Wolfe Institute of Cambridge, which studies the relationship between Science and Religion. It is very good to hear scientists who are also convinced Christians talk of how their faith influences their science.

          • Anton

            Do you mean the Faraday Institute? I know one or two of those guys.

          • David

            Yes I do. Just after I replied I realised I’d confused it with the Wolfe Institute which is an inter-faith organisation whose work I now suspect.
            The Faraday crowd do some very interesting work. They give free lunch time lectures and tours regionally, as you know I’d imagine.

          • dannybhoy

            Psssshh..

        • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

          My Lord the Bishop is not amused…and I agree with him.

  • dannybhoy

    Well now my fellow chuckle brother, I think Danny got caught up in the twilight zone; torn between following the US election campaign and struggling with his foray into the mysterious world of FACEBOOK..
    Persuaded by the honeyed arguments of an old fiend I set up an account and opened the world of marvellous things….
    But I’m over that now. I don’t want to collect a zillion cyberfriends, I just want to communicate with intelligent reflective people who want to ponder the deeper things of life.
    Which is why you haven’t heard from me lately..
    :0)

    • CliveM

      Seduced by Facebook! Recant…….

  • Don Benson

    Is Paul Bayes the king of irony? He famously (within the Church of England) reckons the church of which he is a bishop must ignore its own doctrine on sexuality for fear of upsetting approximately 2% of its potential members, yet seems happy publicly to insult more than 50% of its existing members over Brexit and Trump.
    While we, apparently simple-minded folk in the pews, cringe with embarrassment at the utterances of some of our bishops, it has to be asked why it is that their wiser and more faithful colleagues are unwilling to act together to prevent this kind of stupidity from continuing.

    • dannybhoy

      That’s because no matter what nonsense a fellow Anglican may spout, he is after all a fellow Anglican. And Anglicans never put each other down…..

      • Inspector General

        You sound like one of the black ‘brothers’ in Chicago today. Just before a round of gunshots…

        • dannybhoy

          Ah, shaddapa you face..

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      In my day bishops used to be gentlemen, now I don’t know where they come from…

      • Anton

        Or where they go to?

  • Anton

    If only the bishops were as upset at near-empty churches as at Trump and Brexit.

    • chefofsinners

      Don’t be absurd, Anton. These Phari-sees aren’t going to have anything to do with sinners who dwell in the everlasting darkness to the right of centre. The CoE exists to nationalise the means of salvation.

      • Anton

        Indeed; as the Welfare State has nationalised charity and social workers have nationalised compassion.

  • chefofsinners

    Tonight I saw a bishop in a hard hat on the roof of Gloucester cathedral, blessing some new solar panels.
    Any thoughts, Inspector?

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      Isn’t that worship of Sol Invictus?

      • chefofsinners

        They were singing ‘Shine Jesus Shine’

      • Anton

        I’ll worship the Son, rather than the Sun.

    • Inspector General

      A builder acquaintance has already informed the Inspector that moss grows just as well on solar panels as cathedral roofs….

      • chefofsinners

        It grows particularly well on cathedral roofs. This is because religion is the opium of the mosses.

        • Inspector General

          And less us not forget, the present whatever of Gloucester is of the ‘God, the single mother’ persuasion…

      • Anton

        A solar panel gathers no moss, so they say; and not much sunlight either.

        • Royinsouthwest

          They do gather subsidies though.

          • CliveM

            Spent £6k on solar pane. With what I save and earn I get back near £900 a year. Better than the 0.5% I get from keeping it in the bank!

          • Royinsouthwest

            It sounds like a good investment – provided that our political leaders don’t suddenly change their energy policies.

          • CliveM

            Effectively I have a contract with the Govt for 20 years for this subsidiary. They have phased it out for new users.

          • Anton

            Good luck, but the taxpayer won’t keep that up for long given how uneconomic and unnecessary it is.

          • CliveM

            See reply to Roy.

    • Royinsouthwest

      The solar panels will need all the blessings they can get if they are to make a reasonable contribution to solving the energy problems of a country with weather like Britain, especially on a day like today!

    • Dreadnaught

      Are you sure he wasnt nicking the lead?

    • dannybhoy

      https://www.canterburydiocese.org/bishop-trevor-blesses-photovoltaic-panels-on-kents-first-carbon-neutral-church/
      We recently attended a service where a bishop blessed some battery powered candles…
      I nearly got the giggles. Fortunately my dear wife thumped me in the region of the solar plexus.
      Personally I think the candles served as an excuse to rough me up…

      • chefofsinners

        What were you and your wife doing in the region of the solar plexus?

        • Anton

          That’s a VERY long leg.

  • Royinsouthwest

    I don’t know whether or not Bishop Paul Bayes supports the Labour Party but the views of Jeremy Corbyn’s brother, the maverick weather forecaster Piers Corbyn, might give the good bishop a heart attack. Piers Corby gives his views on Donald Trump and Brexit half way down the right hand column the home page of his website.

    Weather Action
    http://www.weatheraction.com

    Congratulations President-Elect Trump!

    “Whatever you may have heard or feel about Donald Trump his election is an amazing revolution and vote of no-confidence against the corrupt self-serving political establishment bubble, mainstream media and opinion manipulators in the USA and the world. The result will lead to tremendous changes which will defy and out-date the norms of today’s tired and failing elites and methods.

    This election is strangely reminiscent of my brother, Jeremy Corbyn’s, epic victories in Labour – on many different policies but nevertheless against the establishment bubble. Incidentally I predicted the victories for Brexit, Trump and my brother (both times) months ahead and recently collected winnings on a bet with William Hill on Trump.

    “The political implications of Trump’s election are tectonic and world-wide. … ”

    “AS with BREXIT none of the crazy establishment scare stories about a Trump victory will come true. I am sure President Trump – who thinks outside the box as a businessman rather than a politician – will be much easier and more flexible to deal with than the biased media have led us to believe especially for politicians who think positive about ways forward.”

    I wonder if Piers is saying what Jeremy thinks but does not dare say?

    • Inspector General

      One recalls the old Bolsheviks from his youth (college lecturers). Their beliefs, if that is the word to use, were entirely herd like trendy for the time. In fact, they were not averse to picking up young ladies they were educating, and giving them the full benefit, from the rumours going around at that time, the mid 1970s.

      • Royinsouthwest

        I wonder how such behaviour would be described today? If the young lady disapproved then I suppose it would be “sexual harassment” but if she consented it would be “affirmative action!”

    • Anton

      The Weather Underground?!

      • Royinsouthwest

        Piers, like his better known brother, might be subversive but I don’t think he is as threatening as the Weathermen were. The name “Weather Underground” has since been appropriated by a commercial organisation.

        • Anton

          Just a pun…

  • Dominic Stockford

    Horrible advert. A Christian cannot pray with a muslim, it is NOT the same God.

    • Anton

      It’s more complex than that. Even to say “same god” raises the question of whether you mean ontologically or epistemologically; in this situation the difference is relevant. I summarise it thus: Muslims and Christians acknowledge that there is one creator but each think the scriptures of the other, describing his personality and actions, are fundamentally flawed (certainly they are incompatible). Above all, we differ on whether the man Jesus of Nazareth is divine (meaning in the way that the creator is). There can be no compromise about that.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Thee is only one God, and the muslim faith does not know Him.

        • Anton

          That is not in dispute between us, for you must know him through Jesus Christ. “Same God?” was the issue to which I responded.

          • Dominic Stockford

            If there is only one God, and we agree about that, it is simple and clear that the muslim god is a false god in every possible way.

          • Anton

            Before making such comments you must clarify whether you are talking ontologically or epistemologically, because the following statements, made in an imaginary conversation, do not have the same content:

            1: Two volitional spirit beings exist, each claiming to have created the world; you worship one, whereas I worship the other.

            2. One volitional spirit being exists who claims to have created the world, but you and I have different ideas of his personality and his actions in human history.

            The situation between Jews and Muslims is (2), not (1). In addition we Christians take Jesus to be equally divine, and we differ from both Jews and Muslims.

            The question “Same or different god?” fails to clarify between (1) and (2), which is why I think it is better not to answer it directly.

            We are clearly in agreement that Christians should not pray with Muslims because of the theological divide.

        • And yet some Muslims might make in to Heaven and many declaring faith Jesus Christ will not.

          • carl jacobs

            How would this happen, Jack?

          • IanCad

            “For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;” Romans 2:12

          • carl jacobs

            All men have the law as revealed by general revelation. There are no innocent men.

          • The Catholic Church does not take a stand on exactly who goes to Hell or Heaven. Only God, the perfect Judge, can know this. She acknowledges that God can work outside of His sacraments for those who through no fault of their own are sincerely ignorant about the Church, baptism, and the other sacramental forms of God’s saving grace.

            16. Finally, those who have not yet received the Gospel are related in various ways to the people of God.(18*) In the first place we must recall the people to whom the testament and the promises were given and from whom Christ was born according to the flesh.(125) On account of their fathers this people remains most dear to God, for God does not repent of the gifts He makes nor of the calls He issues.(126) But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Mohammedans, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind. Nor is God far distant from those who in shadows and images seek the unknown God, for it is He who gives to all men life and breath and all things,(127) and as Saviour wills that all men be saved.(128) Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience.(19*) Nor does Divine Providence deny the helps necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God and with His grace strive to live a good life. Whatever good or truth is found amongst them is looked upon by the Church as a preparation for the Gospel.(20*) She knows that it is given by Him who enlightens all men so that they may finally have life. But often men, deceived by the Evil One, have become vain in their reasonings and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, serving the creature rather than the Creator.(129) Or some there are who, living and dying in this world without God, are exposed to final despair. Wherefore to promote the glory of God and procure the salvation of all of these, and mindful of the command of the Lord, “Preach the Gospel to every creature”,(130) the Church fosters the missions with care and attention.

            (Lumen Gentium)

          • carl jacobs

            And thus does the RCC condemn itself.

          • The Explorer

            At one time, the likes of you and I were destined for Hell for being outside the Catholic Church. Now we have a chance of salvation on the basis of our invincible ignorance. Surely you find that reassuring?

          • Dominic Stockford

            Well put, but no, not reassuring at all.

          • Oisín mac Fionn

            Isn’t it interesting how both undigested food and undigested philosophy both have the same acrid stench about them when regurgitated whole and splattered on the pavement before one?

            Particularly noisome is the Catholic equivalent of the diced carrot that’s always present in physical vomit no matter what the actual meal consisted of. The “one true Church” staple foodstuff that bulks out a Catholic’s spiritual diet without providing much if any nutritive value at all.

            Tell me Jack, if you actually manage to keep it down for long enough so that it passes right through your digestive tract, do you leave little piles of diced carrot in your invalid’s bedpan? Or do you follow the rule of the Blessed St. Bulimia of the Burning Heart and only consume in order to regurgitate?

          • chefofsinners

            Your comment betrays a certain lack of self awareness.

          • The Explorer

            Hello LInus, old chap, reliable as the proverbial bad penny.

            And here was I beginning to hope you’d finally moved on elsewhere.

          • CliveM

            His comments are living proof of the statistical term “regression towards the mean”.

          • The Explorer

            “I would not have such a heart in my bosom for the dignity of the whole body.” Gentlewoman, ‘Macbeth’.

            In modern terms, Just imagine being Linus.

          • CliveM

            I prefer not too.

          • dannybhoy

            Better that he stays here; whether as our thorn in the side or as to ‘undistort’ his views! That he comes back is an encouragement to us all..

          • Jon of GSG

            Maybe a more readable version of the idea is in C. S. Lewis’ “The Last Battle”. My own experience is that God is almost always more merciful than we are, and it seems reasonable that he’ll give a bit of leeway to someone who genuinely loves justice and mercy and all the rest of it, but is not a Christian because, for example, Christianity has never been properly represented to them.

          • dannybhoy

            Jeremiah 17:10 (NKJV)
            10 “I, the Lord, search the heart,
            I test the mind,
            Even to give every man according to his ways,
            According to the fruit of his doings.”

            and 1 Samuel 16:7 (NKJV)

            7 “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees;[a] for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

          • CliveM

            Whilst not agreeing with every comma or dot, I agree that there will be non Christians in heaven.

            Who are we to limit Gods mercy?

          • John

            zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

          • dannybhoy

            Didn’t you once say that in relation to salvation one could only receive true salvation through the Catholic Church? In other words those who like myself believe John 3:16 and Romans 3:23-26 leads to repentance, salvation and sanctification are not truly saved being outside of the Catholic Church?

          • Here’s the Catholic position on Christians who are not members of the Catholic Church:

            14. This Sacred Council wishes to turn its attention firstly to the Catholic faithful. Basing itself upon Sacred Scripture and Tradition, it teaches that the Church, now sojourning on earth as an exile, is necessary for salvation. Christ, present to us in His Body, which is the Church, is the one Mediator and the unique way of salvation. In explicit terms He Himself affirmed the necessity of faith and baptism(124) and thereby affirmed also the necessity of the Church, for through baptism as through a door men enter the Church. Whosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, could not be saved.

            They are fully incorporated in the society of the Church who, possessing the Spirit of Christ accept her entire system and all the means of salvation given to her, and are united with her as part of her visible bodily structure and through her with Christ, who rules her through the Supreme Pontiff and the bishops. The bonds which bind men to the Church in a visible way are profession of faith, the sacraments, and ecclesiastical government and communion. He is not saved, however, who, though part of the body of the Church, does not persevere in charity. He remains indeed in the bosom of the Church, but, as it were, only in a “bodily” manner and not “in his heart.”(12*) All the Church’s children should remember that their exalted status is to be attributed not to their own merits but to the special grace of Christ. If they fail moreover to respond to that grace in thought, word and deed, not only shall they not be saved but they will be the more severely judged.(13*)

            15. The Church recognizes that in many ways she is linked with those who, being baptized, are honoured with the name of Christian, though they do not profess the faith in its entirety or do not preserve unity of communion with the successor of Peter. (14*) For there are many who honour Sacred Scripture, taking it as a norm of belief and a pattern of life, and who show a sincere zeal. They lovingly believe in God the Father Almighty and in Christ, the Son of God and Saviour. (15*) They are consecrated by baptism, in which they are united with Christ. They also recognize and accept other sacraments within their own Churches or ecclesiastical communities. Many of them rejoice in the episcopate, celebrate the Holy Eucharist and cultivate devotion toward the Virgin Mother of God.(16*) They also share with us in prayer and other spiritual benefits. Likewise we can say that in some real way they are joined with us in the Holy Spirit, for to them too He gives His gifts and graces whereby He is operative among them with His sanctifying power. Some indeed He has strengthened to the extent of the shedding of their blood. In all of Christ’s disciples the Spirit arouses the desire to be peacefully united, in the manner determined by Christ, as one flock under one shepherd, and He prompts them to pursue this end. (17*) Mother Church never ceases to pray, hope and work that this may come about. She exhorts her children to purification and renewal so that the sign of Christ may shine more brightly over the face of the earth.

            (Lumen gentium)

          • dannybhoy

            Can’t go along with that Jack. As far as I am concerned I would happily fellowship and pray with a Catholic who believes in Christ alone for salvation, the Holy Spirit to lead in sanctification and accepts the authority of Scripture over that of man. The Catholic Church has no real grounds for claiming any kind of overall authority. Having said that I wouldn’t start an argument about it and I expect to see many many devout Catholics in Heaven.

          • “The Catholic Church has no real grounds for claiming any kind of overall authority.”

            Except scripture and Tradition which clearly establish the primacy of Peter and Apostolic succession.

          • Anton

            Whose tradition?

          • Sacred Tradition (capital T).

          • Anton

            Declared sacred by whom?

          • dannybhoy

            Well Jack we’ve both set out our stalls on that issue a while back, and obviously we remain convinced of our position; so there’s no need to revisit. I think there is more that unites than divides.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Absolutely, good question. Matters not what you reply Jack, eternal life is only possible for those who have faith in Jesus Christ as their sole Saviour. A muslim, by definition, DENIES that Jesus Christ is even God.

          • dannybhoy

            But Dominic we would agree that the Church universal fails often to truly represent our Lord, and (even here) we can present as vague or hypocritical to our non Christian fellow bloggers. I know that I fail. I usually don’t want to, but sometimes I do.
            So my point being that if someone from a different faith realises that something is missing and is seeking for more, but remains unconvinced by the lives of the Christians they know or meet, what then?

          • Dominic Stockford

            Everyone who is elect of God will be saved, regardless of what you or I do. Salvation is the action of the Holy Spirit, not of me.

            Philippians 1: “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

    • They actually don’t pray together in the advert. A Christian and a Muslim can, however, share friendship and exchange gifts. Or would you have preferred the advert to end with the Imam sending a parcel bomb to the Priest?

      There is only one God.

      • David

        Yes only one God.
        But our understanding of God is starkly different from theirs.

      • Dominic Stockford

        There is indeed only one God, and they deny Him.

        And the clear implication of the advert is that they have been praying together. Unless maybe they were looking for their glasses under the sofa? Not.

        • Royinsouthwest

          They do not recognise God as or Father, nor do they understand that God is Love, and there are other defects in their understanding of Him. However they acknowledge Him as the creator of the universe. That is a start.

          • Dominic Stockford

            I would point out, however much of ‘start’ people might think it is, they are still quite dead in their sins.

        • Watch it again. There is no suggestion at all that they have been praying. You are seeing things.

          • Dominic Stockford

            I disagree.

          • No, you wish it were different and don’t have the honesty to admit your mistake. The facts speak for themselves.
            They greet at the door. They share a cup of tea or coffee. They get up from the sofa and rub their knees. Where’s the prayer?

      • Anton

        Jack, I’ve written this below to Dominic in an attempt to clarify the debate:

        It is important to clarify whether you are talking ontologically or epistemologically about “same/different god”, because the following statements (made in an imaginary conversation) do not have the same content:

        1: Two volitional spirit beings exist, each claiming to have created the world; you worship one, whereas I worship the other.

        2. One volitional spirit being exists who claims to have created the world, but you and I have different ideas of his personality and his actions in human history.

        The situation between Jews and Muslims is (2), not (1). In addition we Christians take Jesus to be equally divine, and we differ from both Jews and Muslims about that.

        The question “Same or different god?” fails to clarify between (1) and (2), which is why I think it is better not to answer it directly.

    • Sarky

      You also can’t play football nicely with a German, but that made a good advert a couple of years ago.
      Think you might have to much time on your hands.

      • dannybhoy

        Hey Sarky m’man!
        Nice to see you back. Your sharp wit and piercing intellectual observations have been missed here… All is well?

      • Anton

        We missed the opportunity to impose cricket on the Germans as part of the 1919 peace settlement. But perhaps just as well, given what happened in football…

        • carl jacobs

          We missed the opportunity to impose cricket on the Germans

          Wasn’t the Versailles Treaty harsh enough?

          • CliveM

            Cricket is a civilising force for good.

            Which may explain the USA.

          • carl jacobs

            So .. Cricket civilizes by strangling the passions of men and reducing them to a state of catatonia?

          • Anton

            Homage to Catatonia!

          • IanCad

            Darn! That’s good!

          • CliveM

            It teaches control. If it wasn’t for cricket India would st Be tossing their widows on a fire. It is no coincidence that Nazi Germany didn’t play Cricket.

          • carl jacobs

            “No, son, those aren’t gnomens from sundials. Those are Cricket fielders. Now be patient. This over will be finished in just 90 more minutes.”

          • IanCad

            Love it!!

          • Anton

            In India the British had the Muslims and the Hindus playing cricket instead of fighting each other. We departed and war resumed.

          • CliveM

            But just think how much worse It would be without cricket? It’s probably saved that continent from a nuclear war!

          • A bit unfair to the Hindus, who had a long history of tolerance and offering refuge to persecuted groups – Parsees, Christians and Jews (who were allowed to live in peace for centuries). The problems that Hindus might have had with Muslims in the past are the same ones that the West now faces, and seem rather woefully ill equipped to tackle.

            “We departed and the war resumed…” and now its spread all over the world. Non-interference might have been a better policy.

          • Anton

            My comment did not apportion blame.

            Britain did not go into India for altruistic reasons, but as to whether non-interference would have left the place better… ask Vishal Mangalwadi, an Indian Christian (and I mean based in India) who has degrees in both Eastern and Western philosophy and who has been jailed for his faith; he is in no doubt that the British improved things. And Lawrence James’ History of the British Empire ends with a quote from icon of the Left Nelson Mandela lauding the British Empire; this is an intelligent book written from great knowledge and an acute awareness of the tension between an empire won and maintained by force (or its threat), yet which did a lot of good.

            What did the British ever do for us…?

          • I am sure Mangalwadi (never heard of him before) has his point of view, as have others such as Amartya Sen, Nehru, Gandhi and others, who were also jailed (not Sen, of course). You should read a bit more widely on this topic, particularly about the Bengal famines.

            About Hindus, I think it is only fair to give others credit where it is due. Intolerance to minorities by Hindus – and I do not deny that it is wrong – is relatively recent. It began in the 20th century as a response to colonial occupation. Personally I find serious flaws in Hinduism, but historically, they have provided refuge to persecuted groups, and this should not be forgotten. They were not in the business of persecuting people on the basis of their faith.

            “What did the British ever do for us…?” Well, the Hindus also did a lot for the Jews, the Parsees and Christians, in the past when India was rich and able to help. Let’s give them some credit.

            I don’t understand what you mean, but I think it is wrong – and unchristian – to take the goods and wealth of others by force. “A fortune made by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapour and a deadly snare” (Proverbs 21:6 NIV). So I cannot understand Christians defending colonialism. It is more creditable to build up one’s national wealth by hard work and honest trade. Although some good may come out of the evil things, the ends do not justify the means.

          • Anton

            Please don’t put words in my mouth. Where did I defend colonialism or attack Hinduism? What I said was: Britain did not go into India for altruistic reasons, but as to whether non-interference would have left the place better[?] Why should I apologise for asking questions and for suggesting answers given by Nelson Mandela and by an Indian Christian? What makes you think I am unaware of the views of Amartya Sen, Gandhi and Nehru? I prioritise what our brothers and sisters in Christ who happen to be Indian say; isn’t that what a Christian should do?

            The British Empire *was* all about trade. Indian-made goods found markets worldwide, to the advantage of buyer and seller. The British took taxes but so, of course, had the rulers they replaced. And unlike those rulers the British provided a century of peace and infrastructure such as schools, hospitals, universities and railways.

          • I am sorry if I misunderstood your comment, but you seemed to be suggesting that the Hindus were constantly at war with people of other faiths before the British came along and ‘civilised’ them; this does betray a certain ignorance of their pre-colonial history.

            “Indian-made goods found markets worldwide”, – and long before the British arrived. India had a highly developed system of education, and its own indigenous health systems. Railways were paid for by the Indian taxpayer.

            Nelson Mandela had little experience of British colonialism outside of Africa.

            “The British took taxes but so, of course, had the rulers they replaced” – 50% versus 10% by the previous rulers of Bengal -https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Bengal_famine_of_1770

            “And unlike those rulers the British provided a century of peace and infrastructure”.

            The Mughals could make the same claim – and at least India remained a wealthy continent under their rule. The peace under colonial occupation was like the peace of Islam – endless war, and finally peace after all were subdued. I may be wrong, but I suspect that your knowledge of Indian history prior to British occupation is limited.

          • Anton

            I am not setting out a history of India but quoting facts relevant to a particular thesis.

            Railways were paid for by Indian taxes but they were invented, and therefore made available to India, by the British. Britain took control of India without mass slaughter unlike the Muslims, provided India with a century of peace, and left a legacy of democracy. The British also got rid of widow-burning and the thuggee cult of throttling. The size of the Empire, and steamships, facilitated far wider markets for Indian products than before. The Empire was based on trade, which is why Mandela’s quote remains relevant.

            I am not airbrushing the dark side of colonialism, but I am tired of hearing only the negatives. The East India Company was indeed rapacious – it actively prohibited missionaries at one time – but it was a private company. When the British government took over, India was governed better.

          • I agree with your last paragraph.

            Now there are many, many things that I like and admire about the British – but sorry, colonialism and the slave trade were dishonest, immoral and driven by greed as well as a lack of concern for the lives and goods of other people. These things are not worthy of a ‘Christian’ nation and have brought Christianity to disrepute.

            Indian trade and commerce, which thrived under the Mughals, shrank after the British took over. And there was plenty of fighting, killing (ever read about the sacking of Delhi), treachery and so on, for at least a hundred years till all those opposed to the British occupation were vanquished. It was hardly a peaceful transition of power. The so-called century of peace was also a century of terrible poverty and endless famine, previously unknown in the sub-continent. Hardly, something for a Christian to be proud of. Please read the section on economic impact – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Raj

            Railways were of course a good thing, but to suggest that a country could not have developed its own transportation system without British help is incorrect – after all, Japan has railways and India built numerous roads, and airports after the British left. As for democracy, the British Raj was hardly democratic. The fact is that Indian intellectuals of that period were exposed, thanks to the English language, to the ideas of the French Revolution and the American War of Independence, which helped them develop strategies for independence and democracy. Now to take credit for all these things presumes that people in the colonies were somehow stupid, and needed to be taught to think by the wise and benign colonial occupiers. It denies the past intellectual achievements of the sub-continent, and ignores the fact that the colonial period was a period of decline for India.

            I recognise that much can be said, for and against, British colonialism; but certainly from a Christian perspective there can be no justification.

          • IanCad

            An interesting dialogue between you and Anton. I’ve only listen a couple of the omnibus editions, but fascinating radio.The BBC is, overall, a force for good.

            http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05rptbv/episodes/player?page=6

          • “The BBC is, overall, a force for good.”

            I have to agree, although I think the BBC did a better job in the past.

          • Anton

            I like and admire about the British – but sorry, colonialism and the slave trade were cruel, dishonest, immoral and driven by greed as well as a lack of concern for the lives and goods of other people. These things are not worthy of a ‘Christian’ nation and have brought Christianity to disrepute.

            This is a considerable widening of the subject, bringing in many more things – with with I agree and disagree in parts! You have mentioned (for the first time in this exchange) the slave trade, which of course I condemn. Colonialism was driven by multiple motives; like the Romans, the British genuinely believed that British rule was better for people. In some places it was, too; the question is whether it was right to impose British rule against the will of whoever ruled previously. On which subject, let us remember also that the aim of the East India company was not governance but wealth off the back of trade. Also, the previous ruler was not necessarily from the people ruled over; often the British simply caused the local hierarchy to answer to them, displacing (for instance) a Mughal emperor who was equally alien to his subjects. I’m surprised that you paint the Mughals in a positive light, given the staggering amount of blood shed in Islamic expansion into India. I also regret your downplaying of the pax Britannica. If in doubt, look what happened as soon as the British left. In late-colonial India the British in no way encouraged Hindu and Muslim to hate each other.

            The French Revolution is the intellectual precursor of communism, not of democratic freedom. Modern democratic freedom comes from the English tradition. Unlike the French revolutionaries, the American revolutionaries understood this; that is why their slogan was No taxation without representation. This is also where modern Indian democracy comes from.

            Britain was never a Christian country, by the way. There never has been and there never will be until Christ returns. The collective of Christians is called the church, and is called out of every nation.

          • “This is a considerable widening of the subject, bringing in many more things…”

            The principle behind these things is the same. The exploitation of others is wrong, and in my view, even more to be condemned when carried out by people who had some exposure to Christian truths. Your main argument seems to be that the ‘Mughals were worse, and alien’ – although to be fair, they did settle in India, intermarried with local rulers and the taxes they collected were sent to their countries of origin – so the British had a perfect right to continue more of the same. I do not accept that argument.

            Something is either right – then it is right for everyone – or wrong. Consistency is necessary here. Judging from your posts in other threads, you do not like the idea of foreigners coming into Britain and taking advantage of the indigenous people (and I completely agree with you there); but somehow you seem to think it was alright for the British to help themselves to the goods and wealth of others. Would you like the Russians or Americans or the EU or Saudi Arabia to impose taxes on the UK to fight their wars as the British did in India? Even calling this a civilising influence is wrong, because it has put off too many people from Christianity.

            Do you realise many Muslims feel that covert Jihad is moral and necessary, because the West is morally decadent and in need of a ‘civilising influence’ – Islam?

          • Anton

            You say you have looked at my words on other threads and you then ask me if I realise that “many Muslims feel that covert Jihad is moral and necessary, because the West is morally decadent and in need of a ‘civilising influence’ – Islam?” If you’d looked better, you’d have seen that I have said that on some threads a while back. Please do me the favour, as I do you, of replying to what I say rather than what you guess is in my head.

          • “If you’d looked better, you’d have seen that I have said that on some threads a while back…” I am sorry if I have overlooked that, but there are so many comments on this blog, and it is difficult to remember what everyone says. But then the question is, do you accept that the Muslims have a right to occupy?

          • Anton

            It makes no sense to discuss rights without discussing who gives them. Civil rights are given by a government, for instance. I have no idea whether God (whom I take to be characterised in the Bible, not the quran) has given Muslims the right to take over Britain. But I do think – and this is what I’ve said before, including in sermons – that the rise of Islam in Britain represents impending divine judgement for a specific sin of secularism, namely the promiscuity that has led to rampant family breakdown since WW2. Both the sexual revolution and the rise of Islam are very fast on the timescale of the life of civilisations and match each other closely. The rates for divorce, children born outside marriage, children living with only one parent have gone hockey-stick from less than 5%, stable over the last 500 years, to about 50% in one lifetime.

          • chefofsinners

            Is Catatonia the 51st state?

        • Sarky

          We couldn’t play cricket with the Germans. Hitler only had one ball, himler was very similar and goebals had no balls at all.

          • IrishNeanderthal

            For the full words, from a German website no less!

            http://ingeb.org/songs/hitlerha.html

          • Anton

            If Goebbels had no balls, he was allowed a free hit! Check the laws of the game…

  • “Western Laws Now Clash With Moral Nature of Man”
    -Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill interview.
    If only more of our Bishops were like him.

    https://www.rt.com/news/367599-patriarch-kirill-rt-interview/

    • David

      Yes. I have great respect for Orthodoxy and the bishops that have nurtured their faith through far worse political oppressions than we experience.

      • dannybhoy

        Some weeks ago Clive M woke up and posted a link on the issue of Ancestral versus Original sin. I downloaded it and have read it it many times over. Here’s the link..
        http://www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/orthodoxy/articles/ancestral_versus_original_sin

        • David

          Many thanks. I shall study it with interest….

          • dannybhoy

            I meant to finish by saying that I printed it off and read and re-read it. As I neither accept all having sinned in Adam, nor that we are born as God intended us to be, I found myself agreeing with their understanding of ancestral sin; and the real legacy of Adam as being death, corruption and estrangement from our Creator.
            Of course more research would need to be done in terms of what Augustine actually meant, but it seems to make sense. Any brainier types willing to open the discussion?

          • David

            Thank you. I shall read it carefully with interest.
            But don’t look to me to be one of “brainier types”, certainly not in theology. I wrestle with the higher levels of theology but it is not my forte. My degrees, professional training and experience play to my strengths, which are in practical, physical, social and political reality, especially at the strategic, interconnected level.

        • IanCad

          Very interesting Danny. I must have missed it. Thanks to both you and Clive.

          • CliveM

            Much as I’d love to take the credit, Pubcrawler put it up months ago, I simply saved the link. Found it very interesting.

          • dannybhoy

            “Much as I’d love to take the credit…”
            Humph! Never stopped you before….
            :0)

          • CliveM

            Me? I’m ever so ‘umble.

          • dannybhoy

            Reminds me of a Dickens character.. Uarah Creep..

          • CliveM

            ☹️ well THANK YOU!

      • CliveM

        I have no problem with the Orthodox Church at all. The Russian Orthodox has however allowed itself to be to closely aligned to Putin and the state to be a fearless witness. In time it will come to regret it.

        • David

          I believe that the Russian Orthodox Church was closely aligned with the Czarist regime, so it is reverting to its historical position.
          Yes there are dangers when any Church aligns itself too closely with “Caesar”, but this has been the pattern in the west since Constantine. Overall I am ambivalent about such relationships, as they can be both a blessing and a curse; both an aid to mission and a trap that dilutes Biblical truth.
          Certainly the C of E is at present, I’d say, losing out on mission opportunities and the honest presentation of clear Biblical teaching, by aligning itself with secular powers such as the EU whilst compromising with cultural Marxist teaching, itself a secular “power” of sorts.

          • CliveM

            I’m not sure we are on the same page with regards Putin!

          • David

            No doubt Clive, no doubt. This is not surprising, as the MSM has done such a good job of covering up the war mongering of the west, as the US, acting for the globalists, continues trying to create a hegemonic, global, unipolar power base; moreover few access the truth concerning Putin’s ideas, objectives, and proposals.

        • Anton

          In communist Russia the Orthodox church of State was repudiated by the State. Its priests were pressed to pass on information about Christians to the KGB. How would it perform; would it draw on the apostolic era acceptance of persecution or be hamstrung by its traditions as a State religion? A few brave men refused, but fully 80-85% of priests collaboratedm including the entire hierarchy of the Russian Orthodox church, for advancement depended on cooperation (see The Mitrokhin Archive, chapter 28, The penetration and persecution of the Soviet churches; Mitrokhin was a disillusioned KGB archivist who noted down thousands of pages of files). In contrast the evangelical churches continued underground at great risk. Moreover, if the Russian Orthodox church had not been too close to the Russian aristocracy to press it to improve the lot of the Russian peasantry (from whom factory workers would be drawn), the communist revolution might never have happened. Civil rights were far worse a century ago in Tsarist Russia than in Western Europe.

          • CliveM

            The Russian Orthodox certainly has a long history of cosying up to authority. You’d think it would have learnt.

        • dannybhoy

          As will we in the Western European Church(es) who have failed to stand up for our Lord when we could have done so in freedom..

          • CliveM

            We all have to answer for our actions and inaction.

          • dannybhoy

            Right behind you Clive. I brought a chair because it might be quite a wait…

          • CliveM

            Agreed it’s best for those with least to say go first and not hold everyone up…………..

          • dannybhoy

            Ha ha!
            Aaaah so, you’ve still got that sharp wit and speedy retort Clive.
            I know the others won’t agree but…

    • Jon of GSG

      They are very friendly questions though. In the Russian context I’d like to know why his church is more or less silent about the violence meted out to gay people. But his answer about restriction on speech is spot on.

      • He said the Church can never approve of this but they don’t condemn people who have different sexual preferences, that it’s on their consciences and their business that they are going against moral nature and they have to live with that. He said they should not be discriminated against or punished, however under no circumstances should their lifestyle be accepted as a social norm no different from the social norm that stems from our moral nature meaning marriage between a man and a woman who create a family and children.

        Sounds a pretty clear message to me that he is promoting tolerance.

        • Jon of GSG

          Oh, thank you. Must have misse that bit somehow!

    • Very interesting interview. Thanks for sharing.

  • I had a look at the ad on youtube. Living at peace with one another is surely a good thing, and lots of Muslims feel the same way. While growing up in the ME, I remember my mother sending us at Christmastime to deliver cakes and sweets to the homes of Muslim neighbours, and being received with gladness.

    However this ad probably gives a false sense of security about the nature of Islam itself to a culture which has just begun to understand its dangers. It ignores the fact that Islam has mutated and virulent forms have emerged which can, as in the past, cause so much damage if not contained.

    • dannybhoy

      Good points Anna, thank you.

      • Thanks for the link – I will definitely have a look.

        • dannybhoy

          I’ve read ’em both and the Bookseller of Kabul is probably the most revealing of the two..

  • Anton

    The trouble with this “hate speech” nonsense is its failure to distinguish between belief systems and the people who hold them. “Hate Nazism, love Nazis” is immediately comprehensible, but apply the same principle to certain ascendant religions and everybody suddenly goes studiedly stupid. Paul knew the difference: Our struggle is not with flesh and blood, but spiritual principalities and powers (from Ephesians 6).

  • IanCad

    If the good Bishop of Liverpool is in such a flap over Trump/Brexit; goodness knows how the poor dear will react at the prospect of our current USeless Ambassador being replaced by Nigel Farage.

    • David

      Well the Ambassadorial Soirees would certainly gain some zing !

      But I suspect that it is a step too far for the stuffy unimaginative careerists and conformists that run Whitehall. But I hope that the pressure from the good ‘ole US of A builds up on Masie May until his enormous contribution to our nation is recognised, and he is, pragmatically, put to work to benefit the nation. The wise leader uses the resources that he has to aim as high as one realistically can, and still hit the target !.
      Let’s punch above our weight, once again !

      • IanCad

        “— his enormous contribution to our nation–“
        David, it was largely due to a post of yours that I eventually decided to vote in the referendum – a process I hold to be incompatible with Representative Government. I was not in the country during the twenty years, or thereabouts, when Nigel Farage fought so hard for our liberties, and, it is only recently that I have come to recognize the true worth of his efforts. I will state it again – another great tower in Trafalgar Square, with a statue of Lord Nigel atop.

        • David

          Thank you Ian for that – appreciated !
          I certainly support the statue idea but I’m not sure being a Lord would suit him – he’s more a dashing knight of the realm I’d have thought. But he still has much work to do.

          I take your point about our system of representative democracy. But recently those we elect have largely, cynically used the mechanics of the system to gain power and then ignored the wishes of many sections of our society.
          Hence the well founded distrust of the establishment. Because of that I’ve come to the conclusion that representative democracy doesn’t work well enough in today’s more fragmented society. I believe that we should move to Swiss type system of having all major decisions, where time is available, decided by referendum. Of course it sits alongside their representative democratic system. That would give us a truer form of democracy. Switzerland is perhaps the best governed country in the world. A fellow villager, an aeronautical engineer, who lived and worked there for two years described to me just how well the Swiss system works. The argument used against this is always that it will only work in small countries, like Switzerland. But that’s nonsense with today’s technology.
          Our system has served us well for about, speaking roughly, 300/400 years which is a tribute to its value; but times do change and any good conservative knows that we must recognise large scale societal changes and move to accommodate them, before an even more serious rift grows between the governed and those with influence. Food for thought maybe.

          • IanCad

            Needs a long answer David. Perhaps another time.

        • Anton

          Nah, just buy him a pint in the local. He’ll be a lot more grateful.

    • Shadrach Fire

      Be careful what you say about dear Mrs May. She is a Vicars daughter. That must almost make her a saint!

  • carl jacobs

    Wouldn’t there need to be a Professional Cricket League in the US first?

    • CliveM

      If you build it, they will come!

  • wisestreligion

    The advertisement’s message seems to be: if only the religious folk (meaning Christians and Muslims) overcame their hatreds then the world would be at peace. The trouble is it ignores the source of the overwhelming volume of hatred in the West, which is the self-righteous Liberal Atheists and others who regard themselves as non-religious.

    As for the bishops, they should concern themselves with inter-faith dialogue with the Atheists and “non-religious”, challenging them to question their beliefs and unbeliefs. It used to be called evangelism.

    • Sarky

      Dialogue with us atheists???
      Are you having a laugh?? They can’t even have a dialogue with each other!!!
      As for atheists causing all the hated, have another go!

      • Anton

        We’re doing it to you (dialogue, that is) even now and right here, Sarky…

        • Sarky

          “If you believe the things you preach, get out from behind your keyboards and get out on the streets”

          • Anton

            Some of us are, Sarky. Some months ago you were kind enough to commend me for having the balls (I think you used the word) to hire a room in a pub showing the premier league and issue invitations round the town offering people a free meal and curry, with a Christian talk at half-time and at-table chat after. The plan is not forgotten. If you get an invitation then you’ll know where I live!

          • Sarky

            Why haven’t you done it yet???
            This is not a dig at you, but why do Christians seem to be very good at planning but bloody useless at doing??

          • Anton

            Because we got the idea too late for last season, and we had hoped that this season there would be games on at two times of the day with a gap in between for a talk. But there aren’t, and we are still considering how best to do it. Also when the Lead Elder of our congregation and I went on a pub crawl to see which local pubs would be suitable, the ones we had in mind ceased to do TV sport over the summer. When we considered getting a 1-day Sky license and hiring the Town Hall to do it ourselves, Sky said that their shortest license was one month. We are actively considering our options.

          • Sarky

            That horse may have bolted now. Because of the expense most people I know watch the games at home with a four pack.
            Football and a curry at the church hall might be an option though!

          • Anton

            Thanks for the advice; we’re not giving up!

  • Shadrach Fire

    “Isn’t it the task of the church to adjust to the new political context and get on with preaching the word in season and out of season (2Tim 4:2)?”
    Rather than adjust to a new society, surely the church should learn to understand that society and reach out to it with the unchanging Gospel.

  • len

    I always thought the people would hear hear the truth of the gospel and that truth would set people free.
    Not that simple though.
    Has anyone on this blog ever been hit by the truth and changed their viewpoint let alone their religion?.
    Perhaps a common sharing in humanity is all any of us have got in common?.
    As for me’ Bob’ says it all;

    • David

      Brilliant song. I’m a fan too !

    • dannybhoy

      Great song that..
      Paul in 1st Corinthians 3>
      5 “What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe – as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labour. 9 For we are fellow workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.”
      That’s what we do; we seek to serve Him in our lives and witness, and God gives the increase according to His grace.

    • Sarky

      “Has anyone been hit by the truth and changed their viewpoint”

      I was raised a christian and now I’m an atheist, so yes.

      • IanCad

        Very funny! Len walked right into that.

      • len

        I also was raised a Christian became an atheist.Then I encountered the Truth(Jesus ) and became a follower .One more step to go Sarky….

      • len

        I too was raised a Christian and became an atheist.Then I encountered the Truth (Jesus ) and became a follower of His. One more step to go sarky….

        • Sarky

          Stopped walking when I reached my destination.

          • len

            You stopped walking when Satan wanted you to.

          • Sarky

            I don’t believe in Satan.

    • IanCad

      “Has anyone on this blog ever been hit by the truth and changed their viewpoint—“
      Yes!

  • Michael Russell

    I think you would be interested in Steven Pinker’s “The Better Angels of our Nature” a remarkable study in the overall reduction in violence world wide and the reasons for it. One can read the early and late chapters, jumping over the detailed arguments in between. But apropos your comments would be the chapter on the psychology of the “Good Germans” of WWII who passively colluded with the Nazis.

    What n is stunning, however, is that the portion of Trump voters who gave him the Electoral College win, though not the popular vote win, voted for him fully knowing the mendacity of the hate groups he massaged. Their support is qualitatively different than that of the average German citizen. They know better and had the means to oppose it. Evangelical and Catholic voters largely voted to end abortion, figuring he could not be as bad as the racist, xenophobic, and misogynist crowds he mobilized at his rallies.

    But they are, and not for a minute should anyone who opposes the forces of oppression excuse them. There are more than two paths forward as you binary analysis suggests. Sadly they weren’t running in either of our countries. None the less there is no compromise with the isms of Trump and perhaps those of HRC.

  • Paul Correa

    Wonder how much the Diocese of Liverpool is shrinking?

    • Anton

      Give global warming a chance!

    • carl jacobs

      Your avatar is offensive to all right-thinking people and should be abolished forthwith.

      • Paul Correa

        I’ve sure it’s offensive to Cleveland Indian fans.

        • carl jacobs

          Can anything good come out of Chicago?

          • Paul Correa

            I grew up in Wheaton, but me and 700,000 others have left IL the last decade. Why you see Cub fans all over.

          • carl jacobs

            You realize that the Cubs have torn the space-time continuum, and thus placed the Universe on an inevitable path to destruction. The Created Order has been fundamentally compromised.

          • Paul Correa

            End times.

          • carl jacobs

            I grew up in Rockford. Fortunately, my father did not succeed in turning me to the Dark Side.

  • chefofsinners

    Ambassador, with these Farrago Rocher you are really spoiling us.

  • Redrose82

    Stumbled across a delicious one liner earlier today regarding the election of Donald trump. “The Democrats haven’t been this mad since the Republicans freed their slaves”.

  • ZX10

    Thanks amazon for reminding us with your Islam loves Christians ad that we should be more open and caring in 2016 the year a defenseless 84 year old priest was pushed to his knees and brutally murdered by 2 Islamist faithful you want us to buy knee pads

  • You can always tell a smug, smart arse like the Bishop of Liverpool by the way they like to use people’s real names instead of an author’s chosen nom de plume – a sort of “look how clever I am, I know who you really are” sort of thing. (The same sort of smug idiots who seem to get a thrill from referring to Tommy Robinson as Stephen Lennon. Yet I bet they insist that we use a persons ‘preferred pronouns’). The problem for them, is that once they have given such a massive clue as to their self-righteous, smart-arse pomposity, you can pretty much guarantee that the rest of what they have to say will follow in similar vein. Therefore you can safely ignore it.

    • IanCad

      Off topic I know Reb, but I had not heard of Tommy Robinson until a couple of years ago. I’ve heard him in a couple of interviews and I must say he seems a straight shooter. Why does he get so much bad press? I know he was in the EDL, but that was then.

      • The answer lies in your own statement … he is a straight shooter. He’s a poor, white, working-class ignoramus: the sort of bigoted racist who’d vote for Brexit and Trump!! That’s why he is so unpopular amongst polite, liberal, progressive society. Of course, he’s exactly the sort of person Jesus would keep company with – whilst bringing the Bishop of Liverpool down a peg or two.

        • Anton

          He’s exactly why I could not consider joining the EDL he led despite agreeing with its flagship cause (call it anti-sharia). Have you seen his list of convictions? Then he reneged on the cause.

          • He most certainly hasn’t reneged on the cause – what on earth gives you that impression? If anything he’s doubled down on it.

            As for the convictions, all those arising post formation of the EDL are entirely spurious attempts to shut him up. Those pre EDL convictions are nothing to be proud of but neither do they lessen the truth of his socio-political convictions.

          • Anton

            Here is Tommy Robinson:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tommy_Robinson_(activist)

            He has various convictions before and after heading the EDL; in what way are the latter spurious?

            He also quit the EDL at one point saying that he had misjudged Islam. I do not wish to respond to the Islamic challenge in the way the EDL do in their demos, but that is not necessarily to dissent from their view of Islam.

            Britain needs an anti-sharia political party. This man is not a credible leader of one.

          • Not really wanting to get into a long exchange in a comments section. So just a couple of points.
            1) I suggest you give the man a fair hearing by letting him represent himself rather than 2nd or 3rd hand reports. Go and listen to his talk given to Oxford Union, or read his book. Read his twitter/facebook output (which will confirm he has in no way renegade on the anti-sharia cause).
            2) Understand that he is not coming from some middle-class suburb or up-bringing. I suggest you spend some time living in or around an inner-city social housing estates… issues and disputes aren’t settled with people sitting around a table having a friendly discussion over coffee or a glass of wine! His appeal to working classes is because he is one of them. The media and ‘polite society’ talk condescendingly to people like him. It is to his credit he has managed to fight (literally on some occasions) to be listened to.

          • Anton

            Re (1), the question is simple: Did he do the things he has been convicted of? Re (2), I suggest you stop making assumptions about me. A little over a decade ago I spent a considerable amount of time kipping on the sofa of a friend, a single parent, who lived on council estates and who needed a steadying Christian influence at the time. I know what life is like there.

            I do not believe that Tommy Robinson is a good leader of the anti-sharia movement that this country desperately needs. I was sorry to see him cozying up to the (Islamic) Quilliam Foundation, which I do not trust.

          • (1) Some of them. But note the timing, the manpower and resources thrown at pursuing him, and the severity of the sentences. It’s almost as if there was another agenda at play! (2) I don’t make any assumptions, simply pointing out the fact that the world he inhabits is not that of most political leaders or social commentators. It is very, very unusual for people from that background to be taken seriously or to rise into positions of power or influence. It’s not surprising to find someone who has come to the fore in that sort of environment is just as adept at using his fists as he is with his mouth!

            He didn’t cosy up to the Quilliam Foundation. After leaving the leadership of the EDL he spent some time with them, realised they were really just another government talk-shop and walked away from them. Again, I thoroughly recommend you read his side of these incidents. Whether he’s the best person to lead a national anti-islamification org, I don’t know. I suspect too many middle-class conservatives would struggle to get behind him. But finding someone who can bridge all the social divides is a tall order – Farage & Trump (& Frank Skinner) are the closest we’ve got (but even they are ‘too common/brash/unrefined’ for some people).

          • Anton

            It is not too much to ask that a country of 60 million can produce a leader of an anti-Islamification movement who doesn’t have a repeated criminal record.

          • That’s right: How hard can it be to find someone who wants to be publicly vilified, have the police & the other agencies of the state rallied against them, put themselves and their families in real & imminent danger of violence or death? Maybe we should ask Geert Wilders if he has any other friends. [A criminal record was no bar to being a disciple or a leader of the early church – in fact, it was almost mandatory.]

          • Anton

            Among 60 million people, not that hard.

            The early church leaders had criminal records for refusing to worship Caesar etc, not for the things TR did.

          • I beg to differ. Most people won’t step outside a comfort zone for fear of being called racist or being unfriended on facebook, let alone risk putting theirs & their families whole life in jeopardy for a battle against the might of the government, the media & the whole of liberal, progressive society.

            Peter stabbed a police officer; Simon was a member of the Zealots (EDL); Matthew was tax collector (when tax collecting made you a social pariah rather than being a tax avoider as it is today!); Paul was an accomplice to murder and guilty of ‘hate speech’; Judas was a thief (not a good example I grant you!). Hardly paragons of virtue.

          • Anton

            If Tommy Robinson is the best we can do out of 60 million people then frankly we deserve to be taken over.

          • There are undoubtedly lots of people who maybe better qualified, but there aren’t many (any) who are prepared to pay the price. And sometimes it’s the lowly shepherd boy rather than the qualified soldier who topples the giant.

          • Anton

            I’m looking for an English version of the man you mentioned earlier, Geert Wilders. I’ll wait for that; you follow Tommy if you prefer.

  • Jonathan Tedd

    He’s a pillock. Trump increased the vote from African Americans and Latinos.

  • DP111

    A Remain EU win would have sealed our fate to become an Islamic state, as the mad frau of Berlin would have insisted, that a Remain vote meant that we had to share the burden of the Religion of Peace that passeth all understanding.

    Then we would have even more “love” being shown by the Religion of Peace males, to young girls in the Midlands and Yorkshire.

    Yes indeed “Remain” means Love.

    Somehow the idea that a vicar should be a guardian of the sheep, lambs particularly, seems to have escaped the clergy of late. Instead, in their love of the wolf (love they enemy), they prefer giving him what he wants – lambs.