Steve Chalke tweet gay marriage2
Mission

Communicating truth in a “dictatorship of relativism"

 

Cardinal Raymond Burke preached this week in Oxford against the “dictatorship of relativism” which brands Christians “fundamentalists and extremists”. The Tablet recounts:

Quoting the Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Burke warned of the dangers of “various ideological currents” and of “human deception and trickery which strives to lead us into error”. He continued with a condemnation of what Benedict termed a “dictatorship of relativism which does not recognise anything as definitive and does not recognise any goal except the ego and its desires”. Such a culture wrongly views Christians as fundamentalists and extremists, he said.

According to Bishop Lesslie Newbigin, there is not and cannot be a gospel which is not culturally embodied, and language is pre-eminently culturally defining insofar as it is the medium for communicating ‘meaning’ and ‘truth’. One of the greatest challenges therefore is how to translate Christian theological terms into the language of the receptor culture. Such fundamental words as ‘God’, ‘sin’, and ‘salvation’, and their intrinsic theological meanings, do not have exact equivalents in some cultures, or precise definition in others, which makes translation, even by way of dynamic equivalence, extremely difficult. Nor can recourse be had to simple transliteration, which would make the words sound unacceptably foreign.

A culture and its language can only be understood from within it, which entails ‘indwelling’ the tradition and making a personal commitment to it. It is clearly not simply a question of extracting some immutable, timeless propositions from Scripture and applying them uncritically in whatever context we find ourselves, simply because there is no objective or universal way of reading Scripture, and language usage is manifestly fluid. Words which caused the angels to rejoice 2,000 years ago are not necessarily those over which they may rejoice today.

As a missionary in India, Newbigin had to contextualise the gospel toward a predominantly Hindu worldview. He identified that the primary mission question was not ‘How can we fit the gospel into this?’, but ‘At what points does the gospel illuminate this; at what points does it question it, at what points does it contradict it?’ The mission task is therefore to engage in critique and dialogue; to contextualise the gospel by debating such topics as economics, social science and morality in the language of their practitioners.

For example, while Western dualism inclines toward categorical compartmentalisation and insists on divorcing science from religion (and so the gospel from reason), placing it firmly in the realm of human feeling and experience, the Hindu worldview does not distinguish between religion and culture: they are contiguous and symbiotic. Puja is not separated from cooking dinner; Krishna is not confined to temple worship. Such fundamental ‘social facts’ demand awareness of and sensitivity to the creative tension inherent in contextualisation.

Newbigin maintains that the missionary task is to challenge the “reigning plausibility structure” by examining it in light of the revealed purposes of God contained in the biblical narrative. He advocates a scepticism which enables one to take part in the life of society without being deluded by its own beliefs about itself. Of course, those who resist the delusion risk being labelled ‘bigots’ or ‘extremists’, but participation in the life of the receptor culture is an imperative for effective mission: we may not be of the world, but we are still manifestly in it.

Oppressive regimes find an abundance of scriptural support for their apartheid political systems in accounts such as the divine privilege of the Israelites over the Canaanites and the Old Testament theology of conquest. Only when questions are posed of the ideological and cultural conditions of the production of the scriptural text can the political issues affecting nations, women, races, sexualities, age groups and classes receive proper treatment in the interpretation of the Bible.

It has been observed many times that an oppressed Bible oppresses and a liberated Bible liberates. The problem remains that the process of liberating the Bible from the linguistic limitations of its own context may logically be pursued to the extreme, with reasoned demands for a total re-writing to meet contemporary needs. It may then indeed speak ‘more relevantly’ in a new context, but it may also cease to speak at all.

  • Phil R

    We read the Bible through our own cultural lens. So different cultures find different teachings more difficult.

    We seem to have problems with the Bible’s teaching on gender roles and sex, especially homosexual sex. In Asia I found that they had no problem with the Bible’s teaching on sex (They found it a bit weak if anything) but the Bible’s teaching on forgiveness was an extreme problem for them. (That many Asians readily acknowledged).

    Also they had no problem with the Bible’s teaching on collective responsibility and sub-serving individual needs to the greater needs of the community. (Especially the family). We claim that individual needs should trump every time, hence the greater divorce rate among other things in the West.

    The Western Church has in the main simply reinterpreting the Bible to fit it with with the current (Fashionable?) individualistic culture. This is no worse or better than making it fit with race based slavery, or interpreting the role of the Church to take on the role of God in certain circumstances.

    The acceptance by liberals Christians that Gay marriage is simply a cultural fashion and their behaviour towards traditionalists, on this and many issues is bigoted, would be an excellent step forward.

    • alternative_perspective

      The Romans had their own apostles. When they conquered a people they went into the culture and were responsible for creating a Romanised version of it.

      I fear too many of our Christian leaders see protection of the apostolic message merely in terms of abstract precepts rather than transmission of culture. Consequently the church lacks a unifying culture which enables the people of God to interpret the language of the Bible. As such we are forever dependent on dynamic translations of the Bible to communicate meaning. Unfortunately by then the people are already so fully inculturated by the world that we’re left fighting a loosing battle.

      I spoke with an intelligent women priest at length and mentioned the phrase “Biblical worldview”. Which she promptly denied existed. Perhaps I can see what she’s saying from a technical perspective but practically I don’t think one can read scripture honestly and not encounter an implied and often explicit interpretive framework.

      Thus herein, perhaps, lies the problem. Too many of our ministers believe scripture comes without interpretive context. Thus they feel free to interpret scripture how they feel. Culture becomes, perversely, the God of scripture.

      To create a human analogy: if doctrine is the skeletal system then the worldview is the flesh; both are completely inter-dependent. It is my argument that much of modern Western teaching and Christianity strips the bones from the flesh and then tries to re-assemble and clothe the skeleton in alien and mis-fitting bodies. It doesn’t work and it doesn’t fool anyone. It is a poor substitute for actual transformation and renewing and perhaps why the Gospel is so readily rejected by so many nowadays. Moreover it explains why so many Christians fail to grow in faith and struggle in their Christian lives. In short they are trying to fit Christ in to their existing lives, rather than allowing Christ to give them new ones.

  • Anton

    There is no question of rewriting the Bible, but it is appropriate to retranslate it from time to time as the ‘target’ language changes.

    Jesus came into a Hebraic culture whose worldview dominates both Testaments (the New is in Greek only for evangelistic purposes), but we have God’s assurance that the gospel can speak into – and challenge – all cultures.

    I don’t mind being called ‘extremist’ when my commitment to the Bible is raised. It’s a good chance to explain what I’m extremely committed to. As for ‘fundamentalist’, the word has some connotations of an ignorant hermeneutic, but it too can be used to good evangelistic effect. What hermeneutic is Steve Chalke using above, I wonder? It is ironic that secular gays understand the Bible better than the gay Christian movement.

    Lesslie Newbigin stated in one of his books that a Hindu, upon being told that Jesus of Nazareth was divine, would typically tack a representation of him on his wall next to pictures of other ‘holy men’; Newbigin drily stated that this was not a positive step in the evangelisation of India. Insistence on the uniqueness of Jesus does give offence to a Hindu, however. In a culture in which there are dozens of gods, where does uniqueness come from? The doctrine of creation is the answer. There cannot be two creators of the universe, and a creator has supreme authority over his creation. So the creator God is supreme – and Jesus is his only son. The doctrine of creation is a key tool in talking to New Agers, who ultimately got their beliefs from Indian spirituality.

    • preacher

      You’ve hit the nail on the head Anton, it’s not good enough to simply spray Scripture about at unbelievers in the hope that one might hit the target.
      We need love, compassion & understanding before we can connect & communicate with them. We have no authority to alter any of God’s laws or Commandments, but we must be able to clarify their relevance & meaning so that contemporary people can understand them & respond or reject them as they wish.

      Personally I feel the Church needs to pray for & embrace the Holy Spirit & His gifts more in the 21st Century – as the Lord taught, when He comes He will teach us lead us & explain the Scriptures & the deep things of the Father to us. Without Him we have one arm tied behind our backs.

      I’m afraid that IMO Steve C has taken a wrong turning, but hope & pray that he will realise it & turn back to the straight & narrow path that few nowadays find.
      He’s a nice chap & I feel that he’s doing his best & truly believes what he’s saying, & it’s quite common now to find the Church is, sadly, the only army that shoots it’s wounded, instead of nursing them back to full recovery.

      Blessings Brother. P.

  • Mike Stallard

    I find this article extremely interesting and very helpful. Thank you for bothering to post it.

  • IanCad

    Deep stuff YG, and not for simple souls like me.

    But!! This Steve Chalke! A minister of God? A Baptist to boot!

    Well we are warned about the preaching of false gospels, even more so, the worship of man, for this is exactly what the dangerous reverend is doing.

    god didn’t get it quite right at creation. I’m smarter than god. Had you consulted Me I would have helped you to get it correct the first time. The love of christ is made manifest in Me and in My ever-so-loving and progressive Colleagues.

    • Anton

      With worship like this, moreover…

      • sarky

        Funny 🙂 !!!!

      • Brilliant Anton! I’m sharing this with my Christian music friends on facebook.

        • Anton

          Try also

      • Martin

        This is just another Graham Kendrick song
        This is just another Graham Kendrick song
        We sing the first line twice and then we sing it again
        This is just another Graham Kendrick song

        • Anton

          It’s invidious to name names, but how many of today’s Christian songwriters will be remembered in even a generation’s time let alone the centuries over which we remember Isaac Watts, Charles Wesley, George Herbert and others? Many who had a vogue in the 1980s are scarcely sung today.

          For how to manufacture a modern worship song, see

          • Martin

            Anton

            Actually I think it is necessary to name names. For example the theology of the writer will be reflected in the words. Hence some of Wesley’s writing is dodgy and needs to be treated with care.

          • Anton

            Please may I have one or two examples?

          • Martin

            Anton

            Didn’t I give you a name above? If you want more may I suggest you consult the Directory of Contemporary Worship Musicians by David Cloud.

          • Anton

            I meant examples of bad theology in Wesley’s hymns. Sorry for not being clear what I was asking for.

          • Martin

            Anton

            O for a thousand tongue to sing has this verse:

            See all your sins on Jesus laid;
            The lamb of God was slain,
            His soul was once an offering made
            For every soul of man

            That last line is clearly unscriptural.

            And Can it be That I should gain has the verse:

            He left his father’s throne above, 

            So free, so infinite his grace, 

            Emptied himself of all but love, 

            And bled for Adam’s helpless race.

            Is clearly in error in the penultimate verse.

          • Anton

            Thank you. I affirm that Charles Wesley was capable of error in principle but I’m less convinced about those examples. Regarding the first, the Victorians used to speak of “a hundred souls drowned when the boat sank” and is this phrase not simply a poetic version of that?

            I often thought about the second example myself and I don’t believe Wesley meant to imply that Jesus needed to rid himself of sinful impulses. That would be obvious heresy and Wesley was a well educated and committed evangelical Christian. I suggest it means that Jesus spurned all other aspects of his mission such as healing, preaching and teaching in favour of being crucified.

          • Martin

            Anton

            The Wesleys were Arminian, their hymns reflect their Arminian beliefs. Wesley believed that Christ’s death was for all mankind and he clearly believed that Christ emptied himself of His divine abilities.

          • Anton

            Deep waters! I understand the Calvinism vs Arminianism disputes and am not sure that either side is wholly right or wrong, but I don’t understand what you mean by “Wesley believed that Christ’s death was for all mankind”. Can we agree that it was an invitation to all mankind?

            It seems to me that Christ did his miracles as a man having the Holy Spirit in immense measure, and that the Spirit is in principle available in the same measure to all believers. But unless you wish, let’s try to keep this dialogue on the subject of Wesley’s hymns. I agree that “emptied himself of all but love” is opaque but not that it is necessarily heretical.

            Certainly there are worse phrases in some popular pre-Pentecostal hymns, eg “And the Creed don’t matter; were you there?”

          • Martin

            Anton

            Actually it is very simple, either Man is capable of choosing to serve God, in which case salvation is entirely dependant upon Man’s choice. Or else Man is dead in his sins and incapable of turning to God or pleasing God in any way. Which does the Bible say it is?

            If Christ was only a man with the Spirit’s power then that is not the impression the disciples gained:

            But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord. For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken,

            (Luke 5:8-9 [ESV])

            Indeed if Jesus were not God, acting as God, He should have rebuked Peter. And did not Jesus Himself describe himself as God?

            So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.

            (John 10:24-30 [ESV])

            And that passage speaks of God saving His people and their eternal security as well. Two points of Calvinism. While the invitation goes out to all mankind, or rather the command, only those who are Christ’s, in whom the soil has been prepared, ever respond.

            “Emptied Himself of all but love” is most certainly error since again and again Jesus shows evidence of His godly nature.

            Sorry but I don’t know the hymn you are referring to.

          • Anton

            Re your last sentence, I am not going to waste the time of both of us by pointing you to a heretical hymn. If you really wish you can google the phrase as it’s fairly well known.

            I regard both poles of the Calvinist vs Arminian debate as able to ask impossible questions of the other. I don’t disagree with what you say but, as you have put the Calvinist side, please consider that when the jailer in Acts 16 asked Paul “What shall I do to be saved?”, Paul didn’t reply “You can do nothing” but said “Believe in Christ!”

          • Martin

            Anton

            The point is that God was working in the jailer’s heart, he was already under conviction of sin and raised from death to life.

          • Anton

            You might well be right, but to assert that is eisegesis.

          • Martin

            Anton

            So what caused the change in the jailer? he was about to kill himself, but he didn’t just not kill himself when he found the prisoners were still there. Actually I’m applying Ephesians 2.

          • Anton

            God surely stirred his interest. But there still remains his question and Paul’s answer as to what he – not God – should do next.

          • Martin

            Anton

            God made him alive. Then he felt a need he’d not felt before.

          • Anton

            Maybe, but maybe not. To assert that with certainty is eisegesis.

          • Martin

            Anton

            I’m applying Ephesians 2 to the passage. That’s exegesis.

  • Phil R

    “Where orthodoxy is optional, sooner or later, orthodoxy will be proscribed”

    Richard Neuhaus

  • scottspeig

    Can someone translate the meaning from the body of text and how it relates to the headline & banner??

  • Orwell Ian

    Isn’t it amazing how men of the cloth like Steve Chalke are suddenly finding deeper insights within the pages of Scripture just when there happens to be unprecedented cultural pressure to accept homosexuality as normal. I wonder why that is? Is it inspired by God, or the invention of man? Is more light and truth breaking forth from God’s Word? Or is man determining what God ought to have said to ensure that His decrees comply with current legislation, so His followers can lead quiet lives and His church retain the blessings of state backing for its operations in the social sector?

    Relativism is its own hermeneutic. Truth is inflexible, too bigoted and too dogmatic. Relativism makes it more pliable, more malleable and more digestible until it becomes the very opposite of what is was before. Perhaps we shall soon see this headline in the Baptist Times: Truth – Another dimension of oppression ended.

    The further a society drifts from truth the more they will hate those that speak it.

  • Politically__Incorrect

    Seems like a classic case of man trying to bring God down to his level. It is pure arrogance by Steve Chalke that he tries to re-educate God and twist the Scriptures to suit cultural fashions. In my view there is absolutely no requirement to re-invent God’s message to suit a changing society. There is no requirement because the Scriptures are sufficient as they are. Those who try to adapt it to meet the demands of a largely non-believing society risk deceiving many people. Steve Chalke is doing just that, along with many other members of the clergy.

    Thankfully, Christianity does not depend on an established church. I suspect the CofE is getting near to breaking point over issues of gender and sexuality. Breakaway churches are inevitable. Who knows, if I find a church that has returned to Christ, I might start attending again.

    • Anton

      Chalke isn’t Anglican!

      • Politically__Incorrect

        Strange, but I seem to remember seeing him at All Souls in Langham Place

        • preacher

          I believe he was a student at Spurgeons (Baptist) many years ago, but he now travels & preaches independently as an itinerant evangelist with no affiliation.

          • James Bolivar DiGriz

            @preacher
            “with no affiliation”
            Preumably you meant with no denominational affiliation. Given his views people might think you were referring to his relationship with the Bible! 🙂

          • preacher

            That’s Right Brother, I abridged it because it was in answer to a query about his denomination & I felt that it was obvious.

            Blessings.

          • CliveM

            Strange I thought he was still a Baptist?

  • Shadrach Fire

    Your Grace,
    A theologically complex article but of great interest.
    I do not believe that the Gospel is difficult to get across to other cultures. The Disciples spoke to thousands from all around the known world at Pentecost and Paul used his discernment to share with the Greeks in Athens with their myriad of Gods.
    When those in ministry distort the scripture to contemporise them, I fear for their future. There is no way that scripture should altered to accommodate changing society and morals. The Bible is God given and therefore unalterable. If you think that the writers got it wrong, you make no allowance for God to have put it right. God is not a thing from the past, he is present with us today.

  • Plasterer

    Unfortunate juxtaposition of Steve Chalke and Newbigin here, especially as apparently many commenters are getting stuck on the former.

    For completeness, I feel one should mention Vincent Donovan’s “Christianity Rediscovered”, which is a practical experience of doing what Newbigin talks about: “putting on” the other persons culture, attempting to work out what the gospel looks like when lived in that context, and discovering that while the gospel will most certainly challenge their culture, the experience of seeing the gospel through ‘other eyes’ also challenged our own culture, and the distortions which it has introduced to our understanding of the gospel.

    (Disclaimer: To my mind, Newbigin is up there with the church fathers. He was asking the right questions about 50 years ahead of time. AND providing answers).

    • Anton

      It was Newbigin’s knowledge of Western culture plus his perspective on what it looked like to another culture (that of India, where he lived for many years) that let him do what he did. I’ve read all of his books and was privileged to correspond with and eventually meet him towards the end of his life.

    • magnolia

      I agree that it is a little like comparing Barbara Cartland to Shakespeare!

      The business of understanding what Jesus is saying both from reading the NT and being taught, hopefully accurately, about the societal context in which he operated, and sometimes departed from, and challenged, then applying it to yourself within your own culture, and then helping others apply it within their own maybe different cultures, begins to sound a bit complicated once it is broken down. But like driving a car, after a while Christians-mostly- do it without thinking of each aspect, and only those called to be teachers or preachers need to analyse the component structures.

      Part of our difficulty is the lack of respect for teachers and a society which frequently asks celebrity views on things of which they have next to no capacity to have a view upon, which muddies the waters substantially.

    • snowBalls

      I fully agree with you about Newbegin. I remember reading
      his books 30 years ago and they still as relevant today as they were then. He spoke of the ‘acids of modernity’ which dissolve many other cultures and
      worldviews. If I recall rightly he predicted the conflict Islam would have with
      the west or rather the western worldview, one of whom’s characteristics is the insistence that religion should remain private. Newbigin also commented a lot on Paul’s writings and suggested that the latter’s main concern was not the evangelisation of the pagan world but that the communities he helped to establish remain faithful. Newbegin also thought that this is what Christian communities needed to do in the current context. Faithfulness sounds simple but I know from my own experience that this it is easy to fail in this regard. The likes of Chalke and Farron I would suggest also illustrate that the pressures to be other than what the gospel asks of us are immense.

  • Owl

    A note to Steve:
    The three national votes in Ireland (smoking ban, EU, SSM) have all been rather queer.
    My family come from Roscommon (father) and Leitrim (mother) and it was expected that the “no” vote would be over 90% (very conservative area). Among my family and friends in the area, no one appears to know of anybody that voted “yes” but somehow 49% of the population, apparently, did. Very queer indeed.
    The EU referendum got through with “dire threats of poverty” propaganda in an illegal second vote. Very queer.
    The smoking ban got accepted using a complete suppression of opinion of those not in favour. Very queer.
    I have sometimes wondered why Ireland seems to be used as testing ground for dodgy referendums.
    I have come up with the following:
    1. small population
    2. it’s an Island
    Control the media, opinion polls and the ballot box and Bob’s your uncle, precedent set and role model established for those less progressive countries. The EU/Lefties must love Ireland.
    I would be of the opinion that the majority of Irish citizens are not happy at all (but they don’t have a voice…… yet!).

    • Apparently I read on various news sites that Irish people traveled back to Ireland especially to vote in the SSM referendum from all four corners of the globe, about 300,000 of them.

      Just goes to show really that the Irish especially the young who have been brainwashed by the ‘progressives’ are no longer religious let alone Catholic!

      • sarky

        Brainwashed? Bit simplistic isn’t it?

        • The Explorer

          Absolutely. Belief in the washed part is okay. But belief in the brains?

          • sarky

            Insulting the intelligence of ‘yes’ voters isn’t very sporting.

          • The Explorer

            I was insulting the young. Actually, I wasn’t. I was insulting the education system.

          • sarky

            Funny, you would be praising it if the result had gone the other way!

          • The Explorer

            But it wouldn’t. Not until the education system is overhauled.

          • sarky

            I doubt it’s got much to do with the education system, but more to do with young people being more accepting as they are free from the shackles of religion.

          • The Explorer

            Young people are more accepting as a result of the education system. Being accepting is not necessarily a virtue, of course: it depends on what is accepted.

        • Not really, you hear something often enough you begin to believe it. It’s only when people get a bit older or they themselves have negative experiences do they start to question their beliefs.

          • sarky

            Same can be said for Christianity!

      • Owl

        Yes Marie,
        I read that too and it doesn’t sound very Irish. Perhaps a free trip “home” if you vote the right way?
        I wonder who organised and/or paid for this mass transportation.
        The whole fiasco has a very unsavory flavour to it.

        • Anton
          • Interesting article Anton, I might have guessed the meddling Yanks would have had something to do with the outcome.

            “U.S. Money

            How did the radical homosexual agenda advance so rapidly in Ireland?
            The first place to look is not Ireland itself, but the U.S.-based Atlantic Philanthropies organization founded by Irish-American Chuck Feeney. Atlantic Philanthropies has provided funding to many good causes. But large grants have also been made to so-called “progressive” causes, especially in Ireland. This includes approximately $17 million donated to the main groups who were part of
            the Yes Equality campaign group.

            This money was instrumental in getting homosexual “marriage” onto the political agenda in the first place. For example, between 2005 and 2011, Atlantic donated $4.7 million to the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) and subsequently boasted that the grant enabled GLEN
            to build a “full-time, highly professional lobbying machine” to work “inside the machinery of government” in Ireland, seeking to “embed long-lasting social change.”

            Atlantic Philanthropies money can be found all over the Yes side of this campaign. A variety of nongovernmental organizations that have nothing to do with homosexuality (including migrants’ rights groups and children’s charities) added their support to the call for a Yes vote. One thing that linked these groups was the common denominator
            of funding from Atlantic Philanthropies. This single foundation has enabled the creation of a well-funded network of liberal activist NGOs that seem to have exerted considerable influence behind the scenes and within the political parties and media outlets to win over the doubtful and pacify opposition, as Atlantic Philanthropies has
            phrased it.”

          • magnolia

            US tax exempt foundation money again. How much of what did they buy? I wonder….. I feel so sorry for all the decent Americans, and there are some really lovely ones, who sense that the US Empire is crumbling into decay. Gibbon’s “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” replayed.

          • The Explorer

            As the US sinks, China rises. And the decent Americans are aware of it.

          • william

            Duh . . . the decline was due to christian fascism being imposed destroying the great Classical Culture. Have you actually read Gibbons?

          • Pubcrawler

            You do realise that Gibbon was writing 250 years ago, don’t you? Things have moved on quite a bit in the world of Classics since then. Try reading something more recent and better informed by subsequent scholarship and you’ll see that Gibbon’s antichristian polemic is just that. And balderdash to boot.

          • magnolia

            No “Duh” at all. Since when have immorality, luxury, licentiousness,laziness, softness and effeminacy been key Christian virtues precisely? All of these are specifically mentioned. It is not Gibbons, it is Gibbon. I added an apostrophe and an “s” because it was “of or pertaining to”!!

            Of those at Antioch he writes, for instance:
            “The majority of the people supported the glory of the Christian name, which had been first invented (sic, used in latinate meaning) by their ancestors:they contented themselves with disobeying the moral precepts, but they were scrupulously attached to the speculative doctrines of their religion.”

            As you will notice Gibbon was Christian, hence the “glory of the Christian name”. He was not doing a hatchet job on Christianity!!

            Space precludes more quotations. It is a large work!!

        • Postal ballot? Jack never considered it. He was born in Belfast and so could claim Irish citizenship as well as UK citizenship.

  • I wonder what Scriptural evidence Mr Chalke has that the angels are rejoicing over same-sex ‘marriage.’ My Bible tells me that they rejoice over one sinner who repents, not over ninety and nine who are told that they don’t need to repent (Luke 15:7).
    .
    For the rest, I am very uneasy about ‘contextualization.’ All too often that tends to mean making the Bible say something it doesn’t so as to fit in with local prejudices.

    • Politically__Incorrect

      Martin, you need to remember that according to people like Chalke, if Jesus didn’t expressly forbid it, then it’s OK. So we must presume also that people-trafficking, drug-dealing, cyber-bullying, and money laundering are acceptable too.

      • CliveM

        Has he said that? Have you got a link.

  • Inspector General

    Human whining. Seems to be everywhere these days, don’t you think? Thanks to the blasted world wide whatever.

    Dealing with it is rather reminiscent of the pacification of a crying child. It bawls, so you stick a dummy in its mouth. Dipped in whisky if you don’t actually care much for the thing, in the hope that the blighter will eventually pass out.

    Unfortunately, one cannot believe in the bible as the actual word of God, but the spirit is definitely there. How one can twist that spirit into same sex marriage is quite beyond understanding, although that same spirit must surely allow two people of the same sex to cohabitate. Quietly, that is, without making a scene of defiance or whatever it is these people need to do to justify themselves. They say ‘victim mentality’ is attractive and addictive for those who live their lives unhappily. A point surely proved by the activities of on line organised buggery.

    Are gay people happier for SSM? Some are, certainly without doubt, but Big Gay isn’t. Not at all. Never will be, unless that is, we all become gay ourselves. From their point of view, that would be no bad thing and the sky wouldn’t fall in, so they would tell us. They’d even settle for us being merely gay friendly (well, for a while they would, but then they would press on). And when we spend all our time sodomising each other, the muslims step in and take control.

    But that scenario won’t put Big Gay off. The bullying screaming will go on, and on, and on. Has to, they can’t and won’t give that up…

    • DanJ0

      “Never will be, unless that is, we all become gay ourselves.”

      Just the handsome ones, please.

      • Inspector General

        Might be able to fix you up with a trans man. Interested?

        • sarky

          Are you post or pre?

          • Inspector General

            not quite sarcasm, but don’t give up…

          • The Explorer

            Will either do for you?

          • sarky

            Don’t mind but the tache will have to go.!

          • Inspector General

            Any sore backside you’ll be getting from the Inspector will be delivered via his boot…

          • The Explorer

            That’s not the only male thing that goes, of course.

          • sarky

            Wont take much removing apparently 🙂

          • The Explorer

            I’ll take your word for it. I assume you’ve done the appropriate investigation.

          • sarky

            Not without a hazmat suit!

    • michaelkx

      And when we spend all our time sodomising each other, the muslims step in and take control.
      and we all know what they do to the Gay lot. …oooh nasty.

      • william

        Oooh nasty – and we all know what they do to petty little christians like you. You lot really show your true natures on here.

    • william

      You’re totally deluded. We would not want you in our club. We’re exclusive and we certainly do not want everyone to be like us or for us to be like everyone else. We like being different – we’re special – we just require evil christianists etc to naff off and mind their own business.
      You lot are just jealous because you just cannot deal with the fact that your lives are so drab and dreary and it just ai’nt right in your minds that we are so much more talented than you tedious christianists. Having a fab life here . . . not on my knees praying to a non-existent deity.

      • Inspector General

        Yes, you are exclusive, but you still demand equality, whatever that is. If it’s acceptance you are really after, dream on. You’ll never get that in the same way you’ll never be free of the gay plague virus. Still, while you are here, enjoy yourself, but try not to queer in public. Wouldn’t want you to be given a good hiding out on the streets.

  • Inspector General

    The Campaign to Normalise Homosexuality is very much Wizard of Oz stuff.

    Pull away the curtains and you’ll find one gay masturbating and another showing him pictures of naked schoolboys. That’s about it.

    Don’t let Chalke view the scene though. He’ll come away disappointed, and annoyed that he was so easily taken in…

    If Chalke is reading this, he might want to take up the Inspector’s challenge for lapsed clerics. Follow Pink News for 3 weeks and read EVERY article and EVERY comment. Every one, even the ones that appal.

    • DanJ0

      “Pull away the confessional curtains and you’ll find one guy masturbating and another showing him pictures of naked schoolboys. That’s about it.”

      Fixed that for you.

      • Inspector General

        Oh Lord, it’s him. The man in the Inspector’s vision….

        {GULP!}

  • CliveM

    Does cultural context affect the way we read and understand the Bible. Of course it does. Look at the history of the church and the obsessions it has had in the past with witch craft and alcohol, look at the culture of the society at the time and you can see a clear correlation.

    • sarky

      Would explain why as the culture moves further and further from christianity, it’s adherents call for a more fundamentalist interpretaion.

      • Because the divisions become ever clearer. “Fundamentalism” – what is it? It is a word without meaning for a Christian.

        • Old Blowers

          Seriously??

          Think you will find there is!

          The term has become necessary due to false prophets and teachers such as Chalke.

          There are indeed five fundamentals of the faith which are essential for Christianity, and upon which we all should agree as true believers:
          1. The Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:1; John 20:28; Hebrews 1:8-9).
          2. The Virgin Birth (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:27).
          3. The Blood Atonement (Acts 20:28; Romans 3:25, 5:9; Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 9:12-14).
          4. The Bodily Resurrection (Luke 24:36-46; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, 15:14-15).
          5. The inerrancy of the scriptures themselves (Psalms 12:6-7; Romans 15:4; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20).

          Due to the departure from the true faith it has become necessary to state and restate again what christian fundamental/basics are which separate us distinctly from christian relativism/universalism and cults!!

          Blowers

          • Well. of course, this is precisely what Jack is referring to Blowers.

            You have defined Christianity’s basic truths. “Fundamentalism”, like “bigotry”, is merely a term of abuse hurled about by the heterodox and the heretic. Is it being a “Fundamentalist” to believe in the ancient Creeds?

            Now, many of our liberal/progressives will state they believe in these doctrines. Some don’t of course but many do. However, they will claim that the moral precepts for living as a Christian require modification as we learn more about human nature through ‘science’ and through ‘scholarship’. They claim Scripture reflects the cultural patterns of its authors and we need to transcend these to discover God’s true will as we ‘evolve’ and grow in knowledge and understanding. The patriarchal system, with its oppressive rules and power structures, enforced by a male priestly caste, with its old fashioned views of complementarity between male and female, needs to go and be replaced by accepting God values love above all else. Natural Law, imprinted by God on our hearts and accessible through Scripture and the application of reason, goes out of the window and is replaced by man asserting his own values and ‘rights’.

          • Old Blowers

            Well that’s better old boy, now you’ve explained yourself.

            Thought I was going to have to beat you over the head with Augustine’s letter to Jerome 28 chapter 3. *chuckles*

          • You know by now Jack is a Roman Catholic and so something of a “fundamentalist” on questions of faith and morals.

            Read this article and understand what’s afoot:.

            http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/may/21/proposal-for-transgender-baptism-to-go-before-church-of-England

            We have to lurve and accept all things in the minds of the liberals.

          • Old Blowers

            the link is broken you refer to but I get the drift from it’s title…Strangest of times. I think our persecution of faith will be more subtle in Europe, increased incrementally…Remember we reside amongst the very enlightened tolerant as we find frequently visiting here on this blog..It would not do to put someone in jail first, it must be ratcheted up slowly, like boiling a frog in stages from cold to tepid to warmer to cooked!!!

          • magnolia

            You take us back to the real fundamentals, with which I agree, though the one about inerrancy is interpreted so many ways that it is deeply flawed, wherein lies the problem. The term “fundamentalist” has come, within popular meaning, to focus on the last, and to posit a stubbornly literal interpretation of almost every book in the Bible, almost no matter what the literary genre, and to posit the inerrancy of the translation into English while they are about it.

            This has allowed fundamentalism to stand for stubborn stupidity, and provided an own goal insofar as it used by evildoers against Christians.

            I agree with the inerrancy, but as originally written, within context, without later add-ons, and in its original language, and also according to genre, and with the New Testament seen as a fulfilment of the OT. For some that would bar me from being seen as fundamentalist at all!

      • Phil R

        It has been called the “mushy middle”.

        That is the nominal Christians who made up the middle ground. They might regard themselves as Christian but only attend Church as few times a year if ever.

        As soon as there is a cost, then they disappear (As liberal churches in the CofE are finding). So you are left with more orthodox (you say fundamentalist) Christians on one side and more aggressive Atheism on the other, increasingly imposing their worldview by statute as we have seen.

        For Christians in the long run this may not be an altogether bad thing.

    • Politically__Incorrect

      I know that many Christians believe witchcraft is an undesirable thing, along with other forms of the occult. They just don’t see it as requiring punishment.

      • CliveM

        The question isn’t about desirability (the church has rightly never seen it as desirable) it’s about why suddenly the church became obsessed with it in the late medieval/ rennaissance period? The answer to that probably lies with the impact of the Black Death on society and the fear it generated. It was the likely trigger at least.

        So context has an impact in people understanding of God and his actions and demands.

        • magnolia

          But our society is also obsessed with witchcraft, but it is largely under the impression it is only symbolic or mythical or cool or even “cute” as in fluffy little vampires with big eyes in kids’ programmes that suck your blood in a lovely appealing little way.

          Look at all those pop videos where they use all the imagery: eat rosaries, have upside down crosses, flash the one eye symbol, the devil’s horns, and the pyramid symbol, not forgetting loads of black and red, flames that arise from nowhere, bondage gear, and using the body as an altar. Madonna for instance.

          It’s only that the church is largely asleep to all this stuff that makes us barely mention it , let alone warn the kids about being careful about these videos or giving them at least the keys to what the symbols are knowingly and repeatedly stating and restating.

          • sarky

            It’s all just imagery. It will no more turn you to the darkside, than wearing a crucifix will turn you into a christian.

          • magnolia

            That is like saying you can sit through a Church service without it affecting you. Of course you can, but that is no one’s intent, of course. But it does need the assent of your own will, assuming a decent mainline Church service. So it is when watching one of these pop video religious rituals.

            Though those into this occult stuff usually think that the images have a power in themselves, so if they can get you to watch them, knowingly or unknowingly, then they think they have pulled you in their direction. They are also happy to go into hypnotic elements which decent churches won’t. That is where we differ in terms of the way we do ritual/ liturgy.

          • sarky

            I doubt the artists involved have the first clue about the meaning behind the symbolism, let alone that they are part of a satanic plot to draw in the young.

          • The Explorer

            “Useful idiots” comes to mind. Furthering the cause without properly understanding what’s involved.

          • sarky

            Sounds like quite a few christians I know.

          • The Explorer

            Useful?

          • sarky

            Only to other christians.

          • The Explorer

            Long live Lincoln Steffens!

          • sarky

            I can’t remember anyone promoting communism (I think most of us understand what it involves)

          • Phil R

            Atheism and Communism are no more than two sides of the same coin.

          • DanJ0

            Like Christianity and Islam, in that case.

          • The Explorer

            More like a real £5 note and a copy.

          • DanJ0

            Monopoly money, maybe.

          • The Explorer

            Put it this way: Islam copied from Judaism and Christianity Adam, Noah, Moses, Abraham, Isa, divine revelation, The Holy Spirit, The Last Judgement, the Resurrection of the body etc, etc , etc Christianity borrowed from Islam the torments of Hell which, combined with borrowings of the imaginings of Virgil, found expression in Dante’s ‘Inferno’.

          • DanJ0

            Christianity and Feudalism (leading to a Divine Right of Kings) would be a more apt analogy, I suppose.

          • sarky

            Not even close! !

          • Phil R

            Of course they are. Ever heard of a Christian Marxist?

            No they were and are all Atheists.

          • sarky
          • Church liturgy used to be beautiful and deeply mystical for those open to this – is it anymore?

          • It all operates on the unconscious level – that’s why it is powerful. Certain musical notes do too. Combine the two – sound and visuals – and one’s mind becomes open.

          • sarky

            Ahh the Devils chord. Appears in most of the music I listen to, cant say its made my mind open to all things evil. If you believe that then surely you must believe it works the opposite way aswell?

          • magnolia

            So you like heavy metal? Which bands are you into?

          • sarky

            Mainly thrash and black metal. Behemoth, slayer, metallica, cradle of filth, bullet for my valentine, trivium etc etc etc.

          • magnolia

            Honestly, as someone who likes some of what you post, may I ask you to take care of what you feed your awareness with? I think you are a nicer guy, especially to your family, than the words there, and the people singing them. There doesn’t feel to be much light, love and laughter in that list!

            I hope your family’s half term nevertheless has lots of those qualities. Best wishes.

          • sarky

            We have had plenty of those thank you 🙂

            I think sometimes a bit of darkness helps you appreciate the light!!

    • Athanasius

      In fact, the Church had little interest in witchcraft because it simply didn’t believe in it. (The Catholic Church, anyway). Witch’s-hunting was a development of the early modern nation-state, particularly Protestant states.

      • CliveM

        In 1484, Pope Innocent VIII, in his bull Summis desiderantes, let the Inquisition pursue witches.

        Implementation was inconsistent and certainly traditionally the Church had denied witchcraft as a reality arguing that people were being tricked by the Devil. However in the run up to the bull more and more people had challenged this view.

        I’m simply pointing out that attitudes had changed. There was a trigger to the change and to a certain extent the Church adapted its teaching to reflect this.

        And yes Protestant countries did the same. It was part of the cultural change in a Europe.

  • The Explorer

    “God’s love triumphs.” One in the eye for St Paul. Does that mean:

    1. St Paul’s views WERE God’s views at one time, but aren’t now?
    2. St Paul’s views were NEVER God’s views? If so, then Paul was not divinely inspired. And if Paul was not divinely inspired, then nor were any other biblical writers. In which case, the Bible is simply an outdated human document. In which case, Bertrand Russell’s question is unanswerable: why should we bound by the words uttered long ago by ignorant men?

    For Russell, there is no God, and Paul is his interpreter. That seems to me a much more intellectually-honest position than Chalke’s. For if God wanted same-sex marriage all along, He must be pretty ineffectual not to get his wishes listened to until now, and articulated by those who don’t believe in Him anyway.

    • magnolia

      Steve Chalke has lost the apostolic authority big time. Not the one from “laying on of hands” but the one that comes from passing down the Word. Only the fallen angels will be rejoicing. Has he never read those ads for gay male partners? Has he never seen how often “SM” features? Does he think that stands for St Mary ? How innocent and spaced-out is he? Nice guy, but not in contact with the earth, I fear, and seeing evil in those who are trying to tell it as it is.

      • Phil R

        I understand the concern over the darker side of BDSM but we must be careful I think about adding to the Bible.

        The simple rule must be, if the Bible does not outlaw it then it is allowed.

        This is a nice summary

        “In regards to the “marriage bed” (Hebrews 13:4),
        the Bible does not give many restrictions to what a married couple can
        do sexually with each other. Beyond adultery (threesomes, swapping,
        etc.) and pornography, which the Bible clearly and explicitly identifies
        as sin, a good principle seems to be the “mutual consent” mentioned in 1 Corinthians 7:5.
        If a husband and his wife are in full agreement, with neither being
        forced or coerced, God has given married couples freedom in regards to
        what takes place in the “marriage bed.” Could this freedom include black
        leather costumes, non-violent bondage, and role-playing? There is
        nothing in the Bible that explicitly restricts such activities.”

        http://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-BDSM.html#ixzz3bbnkmTrR

        • magnolia

          “A good principle seems to be the “mutual consent” mentioned in 1 Corinthians 7.5″

          I think it is a good principle, but not an all-sufficient one.

          “See that you love one another with a pure heart, fervently” might be another principle! I know that that is aspirational, and none of us ever “gets there”, me very much included!

          Lust has long been held to be possible within the marriage bed. It is when mutual love and admiration tips over into the desire to possess and dominate and even subdue. Or the fear of losing…

          As for SM I wasn’t aware of BDSM. If these things were not of a somewhat shameful nature I doubt that we would need all these letters standing for unmentionable things!! I think St Paul would say we should not even mention such things. But as we live in the times we do that option is, appallingly, not open to us. I wish it were.

          • Phil R

            Marriage is gritty, unpredictable and intense.

            Marriage was never intended to be boring.

          • dannybhoy

            Marriage is one of the means by which God reveals ourselves to ourselves…

          • sarky

            How about respect?

          • Phil R

            I honour her with love and she honours me respect

            As it should be

          • sarky

            I take you do understand the meaning of misogynist?

          • Phil R

            Not applicable in this context

          • dannybhoy

            Really depends on where you’re at as a person. Some people have a strong sex drive, most don’t.
            I think that’s because the first reason for sex is procreation, as it is for all mammals.
            It has to be enjoyable because otherwise most men would be out playing or watching sport.
            I don’t know how many great Christian lovers there have been. I’ve never read about any. Perhaps because in the great scheme of things it is not as important as people make out. Our gender is not ‘us.’ It is the physical part of iur animal being. The real ‘us’ is the person inside who reflects, who feels, who loves, who needs love, who is creative, musical, whatever.
            I love my wife, but not because she’s a pneumatic sex babe. I love her because we have enjoyed a physical relationship, we share interests and views, we have been through the good and the bad, she loves God and she loves me.
            Sex is just a part of life.

          • Phil R

            You love her because you love her.

            There should be no other reason

        • dannybhoy

          Too much info and not very edifying monsieur.
          Take your own counsel and keep it between you and your wife..!

          • Phil R

            My point was that we should not add to the Bible by creating additional rules.

          • dannybhoy

            Not so mon ami,
            Your point seemed to be that if it’s not clearly verboten Scripturally, we can do it.
            My point is that what you and your wife get up to is between you, your wife and the Almighty.
            I don’t want to judge and I don’t want to know!
            Hebrews 12:2
            “..fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the
            joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat
            down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
            I just doubt your wife would have you share your intimacies on a blog. One can respect your frankness but maybe not your wisdom…

        • DanJ0

          Those rings are evil if you don’t shave, that’s for sure.

    • Ivan M

      The old-line atheists had the merit that they knew the difference between lies and the truth, so Russell jettisoned the whole of Christianity when he realised that his brand of sexual libertarianism was incompatible with the fire and brimstone Christianity preached by his grandmother. Not so the cloying “Christians” of today, who require not just tolerance but endorsement of their perversions as the highest expressions of freedom and love. Earl Russell would have had nothing to do with this lot of liars.

  • not a machine

    I think it only fair that before attempting a new theology ,I perhaps consider the nature of Steve Chalkes view in his tweet , I have in my own journey had the privilege of meeting various flavours of ministry at different times in my life , ranging from the instructional evangelical , where your life becomes orientated around certain themes to the more contemplative aspects of catholic study and prayer .I have met people who have studied the bible and seen political themes and political messages and action , I have met people for whom the bible is a continuing source of illumination and study in a far more literal sense .I have my own view and some considerations about how important it is we both value and keep our Christian nation as with many it is very difficult to translate our experiences of prayer and repentance as they can be so intimate .I am convinced of Christ and that the way to the father is through Christ.
    The problem with the tweet for me is that if Gods judgement is righteous , then it may well be that oppression is part of the lesson of righteousness .I can see all sorts new consequences to this dissolving of marriage being between one man and one woman , for now Mr Chalke perhaps tweets as the lifting off of a yoke of oppression , and error perhaps he forgets that seems to run (in his own view) in the bible where husbands had wives and even Jesus himself being recorded as being at a wedding (a ceremony honouring the joining of one flesh between one man and one woman) , as was something ordained by God the father.
    Mr Chalke is no doubt aware that unsound theology led to problems not in the bible ,but in humankinds history , and he is not on firm ground proclaiming something as so ordained by the father , is repealed in his tweet ,without of course wanting to explain where he has seen in the bible that the new meaning of marriage to include same sex , trumps the original , unequivocal meaning in the spiritual order and instruction of things.
    .
    That said same sex couples/individuals wish for something of spiritual acceptance and as I understand it this is available to any sinner who turns and earnestly repents to Jesus and the father , no ifs no buts but Gods love is available to all who repent of their sin. This true strength of Christ is rather difficult as alas the places and voices of repentance , do not always write illuminating books , make proud tweets or climb to positions of celebrity .They are often people in fear,in addiction ,in breakdown or even loss and moments of earnest repentance may not take place in a church meeting , more like in dark and lonely moment in the search for what may be felt as loss or sense of the diminished self .It is the curious nature of sin ,that none (except Christ) was or has ever been without it .
    So can we by redefining sin eradicate it from the need to ask god for mercy ?? well this approach first assumes that your definition of sin (over centuries of thought) was wrong , it perhaps also assumes that as well as redefining sin you are liberating people into a new and better way of thinking which will endure as a more perfect translation of meaning until the end of time , without consequence .
    judgements around sin and its effects do not exist in the moral plane alone (in my view), they also have spiritual consequence the problem of “what you bind on earth you also bind in heaven ” is perhaps a warning to quote Jedi master Obiwan Kinobe “you should be mindful of your thoughts” .
    Changing the meaning of sin , will in turn determine the nature of repentance and whatever such repentance entails for the dialogue and co response in turning away from sin , to Christ. Lightening the weight of sin , if done in a new theology may look good upon the surface or web page , but if it does not instruct that “we” as in the individual have to turn away and toil at it , with prayer (and perhaps something of the same theology we have understood for millennia in so ordering our minds/approach toward this task) , then we will not have understood the dynamic relationship , and perhaps more importantly have been unclear in ministry to see that “sheep are not lost to wolves”, and then those who have ministered wrongly will have to consider if they themselves have not dealt with sin .

    • preacher

      The problem that I see is that as people start to ‘liberate’ themselves from the laws & commands of the Bible, they sink deeper into the quagmire of sin that will eventually leave them without hope of redemption through Christ.
      The Bible was written, not only to show the problem & consequences of sin, but also God’s solution to it.

      Scripture has been attacked for centuries by men who think it constricts them from following their desires so they reject it & kill those that dared to make it available to all.
      But in truth it liberates those willing to believe & respond to it’s message.

      If we ignore the things that God condemns, Where will it end? – Answer, in the total destruction of our race. Adultery will become ‘acceptable’, then the rest of the original Ten Commandments will fall leaving a vacuum of morality & the rise of Anarchy with the only rule being Anything goes & the survival of the fittest. Which I believe is the situation that the secular humanist philosophy will lead to. The example being the rise of the Nazi party in the 1930’s.

      The most worrying thing is when ‘Christian leaders’ begin openly rejoicing in the destruction of the Word that they purport to believe in, & agreeing with those that oppose it.

      God knows, it’s bad enough when they fail to preach the gospel & preach the false ‘All are saved’ heresy instead. Their position is worse than most, as they are leading many to Hell & will be responsible for the loss of every one of them.

      • not a machine

        Preacher , I too have greatly pondered what is going on when ministers give a talk on morality. It may be that modern considerations about life , lead them upon a dialogue where they have to be unbound by the ten commandments to penetrate the problem at hand , who would not find a sermon on the motor vehicle difficult , when poverty is alleviated by economic activity , yet the creation is poisoned by its requirements.
        As you say “If we ignore the things that God condemns where will it end” and it does indeed end when , we turn away from him, or perhaps more better thought as “the dynamic of sin” for it does seem to be dynamic to very time its self .
        There is the vacuum of morality in that one cannot give thanks to God as many who consider Christ have to do and that further wholeness that allows a path of joy beyond the ego.
        The interesting and arresting scripture is when the woman is about to be stoned , and Christ draws a line and says “let he who is without sin cast the first stone” .To me again Christ seems to alluding to where sin may reside in mans judgement , with the woman who sought forgiveness or with the crowd wanting a degrading sin to mean death.
        Strangely enough I actually consider the death sentence to have some value , although it has difficult considerations and theological argument.
        As for the rise of Nazism there were number of ideologies that fused into that in the decades before , and perhaps its worth considering that the fear of communism was a competitor and how that played into the mix of what people thought .
        I don’t think it can be made up , by any new ministry or theology , they can only echo what they see around them ,until its problems become manifest and then as some have chosen, to say nothing .

      • sarky

        But the rise of the Nazi party didn’t lead to the destruction of our race did it?
        In fact many ‘secular humanists’ fought against it, which kind of makes your point a mute one.

        • preacher

          Hello Sarky.
          “Many secular humanists fought against it” – So did many Sikhs, Buddhists, Jews & of course Christians, etcetera so ?
          It’s obvious that the Philosophy of a master race which made all others subservient slaves is lost on you. That was what the Nazis were all about.
          IMO World War 2 was a good example of what would happen if humanity embraced the secular humanist beliefs.
          One could view it as a sort of Mike Check on what would have happened if the humanist Philosophy had won.
          Have a nice weekend.

          • DanJ0

            Wasn’t Germany a predominantly Christian country in the first half of the 20th Century? Oveewhelmingly Christian, actually. So, who was fighting in the German army, navy and air force during the war under Hitler?

    • Good post and written from the heart and with reason based on experience.

    • dannybhoy

      Well written Sir.

  • Martin

    You know, it is very strange but I have always understood that every religion, and I include Atheism in that category, aside from that which is founded upon the Bible as God’s word is false. It doesn’t matter what it is, if it does not bow to the God, who created all, who laid down the law to show us how bad we are, who chose His people before the foundation of the Earth, it is false. Christianity destroys the culture of the world and in its places creates a culture of godliness.

    That Christian culture will always be at odds with a national culture because there is never any Christian nation. The mission task is to proclaim life to the dead, healing to the blind, the glorious day of the Lord.

    What Steve Chalke proclaims is Cosmic Child Abuse, a nonsense when you consider that the Son is an equal partner in the Godhead, the one who took upon Himself the task of saving His people. So now Steve Chalke wants to proclaim a love that causes another to sin, to come under the condemnation of God. I think John expressed it well:

    They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. (I John 2:19 [ESV])

    • patton

      Amen

    • not a machine

      choice is difficult , sin has gravity .

  • Phil R

    “The people of Ireland vote for polygamous marriage/Incestuous marriage/fixed term marriages/forced marriage/lowering the age of marriage to 10. The Angels Rejoice etc”

    No Steve they do not. Get a grip.

    A Christian is more than making money and being invited to nice dinners with “important people” because you say the right things.

    BTW. The poor love the Gospel, Steve.

    That is the one in the Bible not the one in your head.

    • Anton

      Dear Steve Chalke, Do you believe that, on the day of judgement, God will regard acts of gay sex as not sinful if the two men involved held a marriage certificate from the State they lived in?

      • Phil R

        The only “consistent” theological argument would be for Steve to state that since the price for sin is paid then we are free to commit all sins with impunity.

        Now there is some merit in this argument up to a point because the price for all sin is indeed paid. However, the early Church paid a huge price in terms of persecution for not sinning by worshiping idols or Caesar as a god when instructed to by the state.

        He could declare himself not a Christian but a believer in Universalism and this at least would be consistent.

        • Philip___

          Steve Chalke doesn’t even believe sin was paid for, because he doesn’t believe in “penal substitution”, i.e. Jesus bore God’s wrath we deserve. So sin isn’t a problem and God doesn’t punish it. (That means He’s not just). So presumably we can do what we like within whatever bounds are determined by the society at the time which God goes along with, and He accepts everybody in the end. I’m not quite sure what religion it is that Steve Chalke believes in, but it’s not Biblical Christianity.

  • Linus

    Liberal Christians like Steve Chalke are like children when they first start to suspect that Santa Claus might not exist. They can’t ignore reality, but they’re so desperate to hang on to their delusion, they start negotiating a compromise in their heads. Santa DOES exist and he DOES distribute free gifts, but maybe there is no flying sleigh after all, and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer might be a myth…

    The journey from delusion to reality is quick and easy for some, and long and arduous for others. Some are so attached to their visions of a world that exists solely in order to serve them and their egos that they get stuck along the way and never progress beyond a certain point. And then they die and cease to exist and their philosophical constipation dies with them, and the world keeps on spinning, completely indifferent to the stories man makes up in order to sweeten the bitter pill of death and oblivion.

    Steve Chalke’s “Santa sans Rudolph” flavour of Christianity will die with him just like the Bible-believin’ literalism of most who post here. Reality will remain and little by little the human race will come to recognize it. It’s only a question of time.

    • Dream on, Linus.
      Voltaire predicted that Christianity would die within 50 years. Fifty years after his death his old house was being used as a Bible distribution warehouse.

      • william

        It’s dead in Blighty, thank god. Just because evil scammers go and exploit the poor and uneducated in developing countries with their “missionary” work does not mean it’s thriving there either. They’ll soon see the light.

        • The Explorer

          Did you mean ‘thank god’? If you did, which god did you have in mind?

        • Dream on again.
          People are coming to the Lord all over the world, often in the teeth of the most appalling persecution. Atheism is too grim and hopeless (quite apart from being ridiculous) ever to hold people for long.

        • Dominic Stockford

          As long as there is one Christian in the UK it isn’t dead.

      • David

        Interesting fact – the warehouse bit I mean.
        The irony is delicious !

    • The Explorer

      And what will the human race do when it comes to recognise reality? Die and cease to exist, and its philosophical constipation will die with it, and the world will stop spinning. Tell the Greens to stop worrying about the future of the planet. The planet has no long-term future anyway. Avoir le fun, while ye may, old time is still a flying.

      • Linus

        Whether we live or die, the world will keep on turning. Only when the sun enters its helium burning stage, expands into a red giant and swallows the planet will it stop turning. Failing a large planetoid crashing into us, or maybe a rogue black hole or a neutron star sailing past, that’s the only thing that will stop the Earth in its tracks, and it’s going to happen whether we’re here to witness it or not.

        In the meantime we’re here, we’re alive, and life is sufficiently interesting to justify staying alive. There’s no need for a God to give it a point. The fact that we’re here is point enough. And when we’re gone, we’ll be here no longer. We were nowhere before we were born, so there’s no reason to suppose we’ll be anywhere after we die. Life is it. That’s all there is.

        God is wishful thinking. An expression of the human desire for more life while faced with the unnegotiable reality of death. Children eventually figure out that a fat man in a red suit can’t come down the chimney, but they still want their gifts, so they still hang on to belief in him as long as they can. Christians want their god and his promise of eternal life so badly, they’re willing to ignore reality completely, or as much as their basic personality type and IQ allows, in order to keep on hoping for something impossible. It’s no surprise that on average, Christians are less intelligent than Atheists. As a group you’re all sighing after something that makes no logical sense, which requires a shaky grip on the very concept of logical sense to begin with. There are no passages celebrating intelligence, learning and rational thought in the Bible. These things are the enemies of religion.

        • The Explorer

          “Come,” says the Lord, “let us reason together.” (Isaiah).

          That God is wishful thinking is as much a belief as that God isn’t wishful thinking. Death will illustrate who’s right.

          Some people may want the idea of eternal life, but others may want its non-existence with equal fervour. Those who serviced the Nazi gas ovens might be a case in point. Punishment in the after life for unrepented sins in this… And they were committing a pretty major sin!

    • William Lewis

      Your own constipated philosophy proclaims that you are a dead man walking. Your self confessed cosmic insignificance is neither demonstrable nor relevant to anyone else. Particularly those who have found God. Additionally, it is rather ironic that someone who repeatedly claims to have established reality through reason, repeatedly fails to demonstrate the reasons for his reality.

    • Phil R

      Linus

      “Reality will remain and little by little the human race will come to recognize it. It’s only a question of time.”

      I don’t know where you get your figures from. Christianity worldwide is growing at around 2 to 4 times the rate of population growth overall. In specific countries it is growing at around 10 times the rate of population growth.

      In the UK Christianity is growing in Bible believing Churches.

      As BTW it is in France. E.g there are two English Churches in Grenoble. A couple of year ago I attended the smaller one where they apologised that many things that normally ran were not because most people were away on holiday.

      Coffee was first taken in the carpark then we went inside. Even though many were away it was packed. The numbers may be small in comparison to the city but the numbers are growing.

      Yes even in France!

      • Linus

        You can’t judge the fate if Christianity by last year’s statistics. You need to look at long term trends, and over the last few decades the decline has been consistent as well as catastrophic.

        As for the growth of religion in the third world, well the poor and desperate will grasp at any straw. Greater access to education will have the same effect on their beliefs as it’s had in the West. Religion is fated to decline in the face of growing knowledge, and growing access to knowledge.

        Superstition can’t survive in the full glare of the light of knowledge. It withers and dies.

        • Phil R

          Long term trends are what I was quoting

          greater access to education has the opposite effect to what you suggest in Asia Africa and South America.

          In the West it is the poor by and large that have stopped attending church

          yours is the old Marxist mantra about education replacing religion. It is not borne out in practice

          • Linus

            Look at the latest figures for Christianity in the UK, which show accelerating decline for the Anglican Church, less dramatic decline for Catholicism, which is largely the result of Catholic immigration that most on this site want to ban, and stability for the various Protestant sects that also rely on immigrants to keep the numbers up.

            The overall picture is one of increasingly catastrophic decline. Even one of the former Anglican archbishops is warning that the CofE will fade away in a generation unless “something is done”. But what, precisely? Does he want parliament to pass new recusancy laws? What’s his plan for filling the churches? Moaning in the press about what a tragedy it is that fewer and fewer people are taken in by the ludicrous superstition peddled by a bunch of obsessive fantasists?

            By all means continue to crow about how churches are growing. We can all see what a delusion – or an outright lie – that claim really is.

            The figures speak for themselves, and bleak reading for Christians they really do make. Religion is now the preserve of immigrant communities for whom it is more a marker of identity than anything else. Among the native British only an ever-shrinking number of the elderly and the constant but small percentage of the population that suffers from obsessive personality disorders go to church any more. That’s the reality of your “Christian revival”. Growth means a couple more social misfits stumbling into your empty churches and “finding the Lord”, i.e. discovering a means of concentrating all their feelings of rage and dissatisfaction, and focusing them on an imaginary god and his fictional exploits in the hope that he’ll actuate your power fantasies and make you rulers of the world.

          • Phil R

            The rant is really quite remarkable.

            Rage and dissatisfaction? Wanting to rule the world?

            You sure that you are not talking about Islam?

            In the last 60 years Christianity has grown

            Worldwide and numerically religious beliefs are flourishing.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Growth_of_religion

            See the table at the bottom.

            The stats may actually be too positive for Atheism and some report overall an overall fall in the last decade of around 1%

          • Linus

            Look at the figures for your own country and the Anglican Church in particular and weep.

            And then if it comforts you to see how Christianity grows in the Third World among people with little access to education, where social structures favour corruption, graft, the oppression of women and the persecution of LGBT individuals, by all means go ahead.

            Your religion only seems to flourish in the midst of poverty, chaos and oppression. It’s like fungus that feeds off rotting fallen trees. Clear out the dead wood and the fungus disappears with it.

          • Phil R

            What makes me weep is not the figures on the demise of the CofE.

            What makes me weep it the destruction of the family. Figures that show that without a biological father and mother in the home a child is 5 times less likely to achieve in school, 5 times more likely to take drugs or be involved in risky sexual activity and 20 times more likely to end up in prison.

            I do not weep for the CofE. They could reverse their decline tomorrow. The blueprint is there in the form of successful Conservative Anglican Churches. They refuse to do so (for now at least) and I think the reason is clear and he is not nice and does not want good outcomes for people as the above statistics show.

    • The Explorer

      You die, and cease to exist, and the human race as a whole follows suit in due course, and the world is completely indifferent. This may lead to positive views of life, but it could equally lead to a) despair, as in ‘The City of Dreadful Night’, b) making whoopee to fend off reality, as in the vomiting British tourists you complain about.

  • michaelkx

    Your Grace Gentlemen Lady’s and others.

    Can we define word ‘Sin’. The Oxford Dictionary said it is the “Transgression against divine law, or the Principles of morality” I think we can as assume that we all agree
    with the Oxford Dictionary’s definition. That to steal is a ‘sin’ to murder is the same. But taking the logic that we have grown up and moved forward, and no longer need a GOD, and his law are immaterial, and homosexuality is now acceptable, can I go out and murder? Or steal? Please do not say that stealing and murder are historically
    seen as wrong, because so was homosexuality, from earliest times. So what are
    we to do? Tell GOD he got it wrong? Or just ignore him? As for me and my house
    we will follow the Lord. Now we’re have I heard that before?
    PS yes the Greeks were well know for Homosexuality, but look what happened to them. Disintegration and moral collapse, from which they have never recovered.

    • The Explorer

      Tricky one. Humanity has replaced God. So if there is no God, can there still be sin? Yes, because there can be sin against the new God: Humanity. The new divine law: anything is permitted, provided it does not harm another person. So things like murder and theft are still wrong.

      But sexual conduct becomes a minefield. Is incest wrong? Who’s harmed, if contraception is applied and no children are involved? What about bestiality? Does an animal count as another person? Is consent necessary? On the other hand, does a bull ask consent of a cow, or a rooster of a hen?

      For those of us who have not fallen prey to the religion of Humanity, these conundrums do not arise. We still have divine law to guide us.

    • dannybhoy

      Can we define word ‘Sin’. The Oxford Dictionary said it is the
      “Transgression against divine law, or the Principles of morality”

      Had that sentence included the word “Christian” or even “Judaeo/Christian” before “morality” I would have agreed.
      HJ said some months ago in response to one of my (few) anti Catholic theology comments, something to the effect that ‘had the Church not fought against the enemies of Christianity we would not be here as Christians to differ.’
      I am a ‘muller’. I mull over things that challenge my understanding. I talk to God about them,I talk to my friends, I compare what has been said with what I as a sinful, fallible, inconsistent man saved by Grace understand, and adust my thinking accordingly.

      So in the context of this thread it seems to me that we cannot help but understand the world from the worldview imprinted upon us from our cultural values as interpreted by our community and parents.

      The worldview which prevails and shapes the world, is the one which has the economic and militaristic self belief to impose its will….
      Sin means different things to different cultures.

      • Danny, do some “mulling” around Natural Law … i.e. God’s will for how we should live, consistent with His creative design for our individual and common good. He has imprinted this in our conscience but it has been damaged by the Fall. The Seven Laws of Noah and the Ten Commandments provide a broad brush outline.

        There is only one God and only one morality. It was so before Jesus of Nazareth lived. Christ’s life, His death, and resurrection, is God’s way for us to achieve our destiny in this life and the next, by overcoming the effects of sin through a relationship with Him.

        • dannybhoy

          I’m mulling, I’m mulling!
          Mulling over the fact that Hinduism, Confuscianism, even Islam and other religions would disagree with you.
          If you had been born into another religion, would you necessarily make the connection to that morality?
          I don’t think so.
          So I don’t disagree with your second paragraph, but my original caveat that we include Christian or Judaeo/Christian was to point out that different cultures have imposed their will on the world as they knew it, and their definition of sin would have been quite different to the Christian understanding..

          • … certain truths appear to transcend particular cultures and ages – prohibitions against murder, theft, adultery, falsehood, etc. And all, apart from the odd exception, are and have been, based on preserving complementary relationships between the sexes for the procreation and raising of children.

            What is unique about Christianity is that it’s commandment of love is universal in scope. Other religious systems ‘dehumanise’ out groups and moral laws are seen as non-applicable to some, or less respect is justifiable. The other difference, of course, is that it is rests on the revelation that God is Love, that His Mercy is greater than His Wrath, that none of us measure up but that oneness with God is available through a freely offered, and grace initiated, relationship with Christ.

            Viewed in secular terms, it is something of a miracle that this message has survived in the pagan and barbaric world that surrounded the first 12 Apostles. It has gone on to inspire and build civilisation. Down its 2000 year history, the Church has faced many threats to its existence. The current one, to embrace and accommodate popular opinion and the sin in the world, and driven from within by false teachers, seems to Jack its greatest one.

          • dannybhoy

            “Other religious systems ‘dehumanise’ out groups and moral laws are seen
            as non-applicable to some, or less respect is justifiable.”
            So some religious beliefs demanded placatory offerings, like children and babies to Moloch and the Aztecs gave their gods the hearts of living people…
            Now as I understand it all these things would come under the heading of ‘Doctrines of Demons..’ Men deceived into the worship of demonic beings.

          • Satan has always endeavoured to corrupt the knowledge of Himself God put in our hearts. He did it to Eve in the Garden and has been at it ever since. It’s remarkable how all religions endeavour to find a solution to what is known as the “problem of evil” – a God permits so much suffering.

          • dannybhoy

            Hm.
            Why are we discussing this Jack? As far as I can see we agree on the basics, even if you have got some of your theology wrong, I still expect to meet you in heaven one day…
            ;0)

          • Lol … Jack would presume no such thing, Danny. One hopes and one prays.
            Jack is just musing …. and endeavouring to enlighten you on the only sure and certain path of salvation – the Holy Roman Catholic Church.

          • dannybhoy

            (with apologies to George and Ira)

            “You say potato, I say potahto
            You call it musing, I call it mulling
            -Let’s call the whole thing off!”

            Joke:
            “Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, “Don’t do it!”
            He said, “Nobody loves me.”
            I said, “God loves you. Do you believe in God?”

            He said, “Yes.”
            I said, “Are you a Christian or a Jew?”
            He said, “A Christian.”
            I said, “Me, too!
            Protestant or Catholic?”
            He said, “Protestant.”
            I said, “Me, too! What franchise?”
            He said, “Baptist.”
            I said, “Me, too!
            Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?”
            He said, “Northern Baptist.”
            I said, “Me, too!
            Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?”

            He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist.”
            I said, “Me, too!
            Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?”
            He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region.”
            I said, “Me, too!”

            Northern Conservative†Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879 or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?”

            He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912.”
            I said, “Die, heretic!”
            And I pushed him over…

          • Old Blowers

            Heard they have a large part of heaven sectioned off, with Peter on eternal doorman duties at that entrance…welcoming and re-assuring the RC’S they are the only tenants worthy of entering Heaven. *titters*

    • william

      This is one of the more common lies that christianists spout. The Classical culture thrived up and until it was ruined by the arrival of the ignorant, irrational christianists. Within fifty years of the imposition of christofascism the Western Roman Empire collapsed and was over-run by more vigorous and healthy pagan cultures of Northern Europe. The East ossified and produced nothing of note until it too was overrun by the hordes of mohammed. Luckily we people who are free of dumb middle Eastern superstitions continue to thrive. And, of course, our culture blossoms. So, I’d open your eyes and have a look what happens to weak immoral and perverted cultures such as christianism.

      • The Explorer

        Augustine’s ‘De Civitate Dei’ provides an interesting challenge to the claim that Christianity wrecked Rome. Pagan Rome managed it all by itself.

        By ‘the East’ do you include the Byzantine Empire? Constantinople? St Sophia?

        Are we free of dumb middle-eastern superstitions? If we’ve got rid of one, we seem intent on importing another a great deal dumber than the one we got rid of.

      • hadda

        “The Classical culture thrived up and until it was ruined by the arrival of the ignorant, irrational christianists.”

        Greek culture was essentially moribund with the death of Alexander. That’s BC. After that nothing new of worth was created to match what had been achieved in the previous century; everything was merely epigonal and fossilised.

      • Owl

        William, what an ignorant post. Please get your facts right.

      • Darter Noster

        What a load of cobblers. The Roman Empire was on the rocks for 150 years before Theodosius made Christianity its sole religion. And how exactly does the lack of Middle Eastern superstition theory explain the rise of Islam?

      • You need to read “Gibbon’s Decline And Fall of The Roman Empire”

        • Old Blowers

          He says he has on this thread but obviously it was all Latin to the poor pagan. *giggles*

  • len

    I believe’ real Christianity’ (which is Biblical Christianity ) is being clearly defined as the two systems (God`s and the corrupt world system devised and empowered by demonic spiritual forces) draw ever further apart.
    The decision is which system do you want to belong to?. The one that promises Life or the one that was judged and condemned 2,000 yrs ago.
    It really is only a question of time……..

    • David

      I agree.
      Well said Len.
      During my lifetime, these sixty plus years, I have seen the two systems diverge increasingly. The world is almost unrecognisable now, if seen through my teenage eyes. In the succeeding generations the present gulf between the two systems will become a sea, and then an ocean, until society is engulfed in chaos and dysfunction, which we label theologically as sin. Maybe before then society will swing back towards God’s order, but I am not predicting that.

  • Philip___

    The following sentence seems to go against the grain of this article up to that point: “Only when questions are posed of the ideological and cultural conditions of the production of the scriptural text can the political issues affecting nations, women, races, sexualities, age groups and classes receive proper treatment in the interpretation of the Bible.” . Despite the possible caveat in the final two sentences, the sentence I quote does seem to me to lean too heavily to allowing the beliefs of the receptor culture (i.e. in the case of our own western relativistic totalitarian ‘liberal’ culture) to determine the interpretation of Scripture and thus overrule its’ teaching and determine what the church believes and teaches particularly in key contentious issues where the teaching of Scripture is opposed. That is, the Bible can be re-interpreted and thus God’s unchanging message adapted according to what the receptor culture determines. That surely cannot be a position any Christian should adopt.

  • len

    As I mentioned earlier the secular culture we live in which has been defined by God as the ‘old creation’ has become totally corrupted. This’ old creation’ was judged at the Cross of Jesus Christ but this old creation carries on as though nothing has happened. Just as it was in the days of Noah, people carry on making their plans not only do they indulge in rebellion and break God`s Laws but encourage others to rebel and shake their fists in the face of God.

    Yet God waits to see if any have the eyes to see, the ears to hear of the salvation He offers through his Son….
    And waits…….while the clouds gather…..

  • jawjaw2013

    Isn’t this article simply sophism? Fishing about for a way to reduce the cognitive dissonance between being a Christian and condemning homosexuality? Of course many of the commentators here do not experience this dissonance – to be Christian is to condemn homosexuality – yet the lengths to which the author appears obliged to go to justify what others describe as “bigotry” suggest there is a problem.

    The problem is of course between the spirit and the letter of the law. Jesus did not condemn homosexuality. Presumably it never occurred to him to do so, but the spirit of his teachings was clear. He did not speak in riddles. Love and faithfulness are holy. Hence sex outside marriage is a sin, any sex. Homosexuals are forbidden church marriage – which Jesus defined as between a man and a woman, although one can hardly imagine him saying anything else. However, to oppose it outside the sacrament of the church, is not consistent with the spirit of Christianity.

    The church has dispensed with much that is no longer of our time. Many commentators here doubtless despise it for doing so, but how many of them have beards? Or eat shellfish? These were also condemned in the passages in Leviticus that took a swing at gay people. People equate homosexuality with murder or theft. So presumably they would like to see a return to burnings at the stake? The comparisons are just as absurd.

    Christianity is not simply a question of faithfully following every word of scripture. Christians do not worship a book, like Muslims. What makes Christianity special is that it relies on one’s conscience to interpret the Word – it looks in to one’s soul.

    I read here a lot of mean-spirited comments. “Mean-spirited”. Some of the people here parade around like the pharisees in M:23 and it doesn’t appear to occur to them that they are discrediting their own faith. The great majority of Irish voters had a Catholic education, yet the Archbishop bemoaned the fact that despite this, they hadn’t understood. Laughable – the people heard Jesus despite the best efforts of the pharisees.

    • DanJ0

      “Some of the people here parade around like the pharisees in M:23 and it doesn’t appear to occur to them that they are discrediting their own faith.”

      Luckily, they have me here to point it out to them, and I’m pleased to serve. 🙂

    • dannybhoy

      “Christianity is not simply a question of faithfully following every word
      of scripture. Christians do not worship a book, like Muslims. What
      makes Christianity special is that it relies on one’s conscience to
      interpret the Word – it looks in to one’s soul.”
      And if we are born again through Christ Jesus we look to Him for guidance.

      “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

      19 By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; 20 for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22 and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24 Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God,[d] and God[e] in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.”

      “But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin[b] a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”

      Being homosexual or being like Phil with a raging sex drive, is not the issue. Being born again of the Spirit of God is the issue.
      We should treat all men and women with respect and God’s love, but remember that God’s love condemns sin, and we are all sinners.

    • Inspector General

      We are merely facing down a sexual rebellion, dear fellow. It is the right thing to do.

      • jawjaw2013

        A rebellion against… who?

        • Inspector General

          Against the traditional family unit, and the promotion of human degeneration, among other things. Suggest you go to Pink News and bone up on the degenerate gay lifestyle that is.

          Start with the story of our gay heroes being denied their amyl nitrite, or poppers as they call them. They’re not exactly the happiest bunch on a good day, but that has really plunged a few into despair…

          • jawjaw2013

            Why should what gay people do bother you so much? I don’t believe being gay is a lifestyle choice, as such, but a biological fact – surely divorce, Tinder, promiscuity etc among the straight population who are more likely to form a “traditional family unit” should bother you more?

            And if gay people should wish to settle in to faithful, monogamous relationships, why should that offend you?

            The issue of homosexuality is a side show. I think it has become symbolic for many conservatives of the changing world. That does not, however, mean within this context it is not Christian. It seems to me many people here confuse their own conservatism with what they consider to be Christian. It is a cultural identity, not a religious faith.

          • Inspector General

            Well it shouldn’t bother, but when they do things like queer marriage, and persecute Christian bakers, something moves this man to complain and defy them.

            Isn’t that the story of man to a degree, resistance?

            If the UK is happy to allow 3% of the population to steer future social direction, we really would deserve everything coming our way. If you think of it like that, even you might agree…

            The Christian outlook is merely secondary. It just happens to be a coincidence that its take on mass buggery promotion is the same as yours truly.

          • Phil R

            “If the UK is happy to allow 3% of the population to steer future social direction”

            I hadn’t really thought of it like that.

          • DanJ0

            The number of church-going CofE members is half that number, yet the CofE is the established church of the State. Perhaps we ought to change the constitution to remove that social anomaly.

          • Inspector General

            Make a bid for power, you mean…

          • DanJ0

            To tidy up an anachronism. Most people on this site seem to think the CofE is an irrelevance anyway, and that it has lost it way religiously speaking.

          • jawjaw2013

            “They”… it’s funny how a couple of gay people taking action within the law are equated with all gays. How many self-described Christians do appalling things? There’s a reason we are commanded to “Judge not…”

            The gay issue has become a “dog whistle” because it has been so glaringly unfair. Some conservative Christians complain about “being oppressed” but it is terribly decadent compared to the real suffering experienced by gay people in our recent history and in much of the rest of the world now.

            As an intelligent person, can’t you see that?

          • Inspector General

            “They” in the context was the state. See the problem?

            It is not even 3%. One feels that only 1 in 10 homosexuals are activists. The rest just get on with it. Why do you side with these ingrates? There is no persecution. Admittedly, some people don’t like them, but you can’t legislate for that. It is a good lot they have in the UK. But it’s never enough, as you will find if you follow Pink News…

          • jawjaw2013

            Why would I follow Pink News?!!!!!

          • Inspector General

            if you’re on-side, you might as well see what you are on-side for.

            However, one does detect that your postings reflect a laissez-faire attitude to organised buggery. If that be the case, then it’s the wrong attitude to have. They’re making a bid for power, helped by a population who does not see them as a threat…

        • Are you a baptised Catholic?

    • Phil R

      “Christianity is not simply a question of faithfully following every word
      of scripture. Christians do not worship a book, like Muslims. What
      makes Christianity special is that it relies on one’s conscience to
      interpret the Word – it looks in to one’s soul.”

      No Christians love God. Perhaps you could try this instead of trying to reinvent God in your own image or to agree with your worldview. (Like a Pharisee perhaps?)

      • jawjaw2013

        “Perhaps you could try this instead of trying to reinvent God in your own image or to agree with your worldview.” How so? Indeed I was just making this point to the IG below.

        The teachings of Christ are not complicated, and most people get them (as the Irish illustrated). Christian homophobia (which is what it is) is merely cultural-historical, there is little in the faith to back it up. Cultural conservatives and the hierarchy of the Catholic church (much the same thing) cling to it almost unthinkingly because it represents change, which they fear. It has next to nothing to do with Christ.

        • Phil R

          “The teachings of Christ are not complicated”

          Do tell us then what they are we cannot wait!

          I just thought that they were to love your God with all your heart and love your neighbour as yourself.

          Is it easier?

          Perhaps “do what you like mate, God loves and approves of you whatever the misery you cause.

          • jawjaw2013

            What part of “love your God with all your heart and love your neighbour as yourself.” condemns homosexuality?

            You’re the one that seems to have all the answers, so perhaps you can explain? And how are gay people making you, a lusty, BDSM-loving heterosexual so miserable? Are they crowding out the leather clubs?

          • Phil R

            Loving your God is keeping his commandments and loving your neighbour does not mean letting them do whatever they want. Quite the reverse in fact.

            Miserable? Oh because I do not agree with you. Should have known

          • jawjaw2013

            Ah, so it is you that has all the answers. I thought it might be.

          • Phil R

            And you have no arguments left I see

          • jawjaw2013

            Actually, I had something better to do. I have yet to see any meaningful rebuttal of my position. Oh yes, the usual letter of the law, the Koranic interpretations, etc, but the thing is hat is all you have in your armoury. Prejudice against homosexuals is nothing new, but our understanding and acceptance of them is. Not because we embrace immorality but because with our understanding of how the world works, we use our Reason (or Logos) to understand they are a natural part of humanity. The Bible does not condemn slavery either (indeed Jesus mentions slaves) but we are aghast at this practice. Or would you rather we returned to this state, like those chaps in Syria?

          • Ah, humanity is ‘evolving’ and so too is God’s truth.

          • jawjaw2013

            Er… yes. Humanity is evolving. Or have I wound up back in the 18th century?

          • You really believe man is no different today than centuries ago?

          • Phil R

            Read about first century slavery. It was nothing like the race based slavery everyone condemns. That is why Christians opposed it so vigiously.

            In the first century, people often sold themselves into slavery in the first century in order to improve their position. Slaves were paid and most bought themselves out again. Very few remained slaves beyond 30 years of age.

            Slavery was not a good thing. But it was not the inhuman thing it became and is today.

          • jawjaw2013

            Haha, an apologist for slavery now. Keep going!

          • Phil R

            Slavery was different in ancient times. BTW. Do you know who made every item in your wardrobe?

          • dannybhoy

            I hear there was fierce competion to work in the arenas…
            Although others say it led to a dead end careerwise.

          • Phil R

            Gladiators were not all forced. Some sold themselves to pay off debts, some were free.

          • dannybhoy

            Hard work getting life insurance though.

          • Actually, these were Our Lord’s words:

            “The first commandment of all is, Listen, Israel; there is no God but the Lord thy God; and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with the love of thy whole heart, and thy whole soul, and thy whole mind, and thy whole strength. This is the first commandment … “

            To love God with our whole heart, soul and mind, we have to know Him through Scripture, Apostolic tradition and through accessing His Natural Law through the use of reason – guided by the Holy Spirit.

            ” … and the second, its like, is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

            Loving ourselves and our neighbour is loving according to God’s revealed will, not some fluffy, emotionalism based on what we think would be kind and nice and/or what is the latest cultural whim or popular fashion.

            “There is no other commandment greater than these.”

            And they lead onto the Ten Commandments – not ritual laws.

          • jawjaw2013

            “Loving ourselves and our neighbour is loving according to God’s revealed
            will, not some fluffy, emotionalism based on what we think would be
            kind and nice and/or what is the latest cultural whim or popular
            fashion.”

            Or just because it makes people who can’t stomach an evolution in social understanding uncomfortable? Many of you appear to have a great deal of fear/ dislike of gay people, but really – what have they ever done to you?

            Gay people have been, on the whole, far more sinned against than sinned – if we are talking about actual cruelty and oppression rather than busy bodies wanting to pry in to the privacy of people’s bedrooms. What do you think is really the greater sin?

            The reality is that gays are (as they always have been, like Jews or indeed Israelis now) a useful scapegoat for people’s anxieties about change. They are a particular touchstone because they are “aligned” with the liberal tendency in the church you despise, but you fail to make any logical Christian defence of your position.

          • *victim alert*

            You are free to do what you want with whoever you want within the scope of the civil law. Just don’t attempt to justify it as morally acceptable, on the grounds that Jesus never condemned it, or argue same sex unions constitute a valid marriage which, by its very nature is, and has always been, based on sexual complementarity.

          • jawjaw2013

            Heh? Oh, you are saying that I am saying gays are victims. Well, they are, aren’t they – and much of the sentiment on this thread is simply a cover for old fashioned hatred, is it not? Or do you think this all springs from Christian love?

          • jawjaw2013

            Furthermore, I will justify it on the grounds that it is morally acceptable. As I said elsewhere, we don’t keep slaves any more, nor regard black people as sub-human, because our understanding has evolved. The evidence points to homosexuality as a naturally occurring phenomenon. Within this context, why should faithful monogamous gay relationships be condemned? To do so, in my opinion, is un-Christian.

          • Goodness, you trot out all the familiar progressive ‘arguments’.

            Chattel slavery has always been condemned by the Church and it has never regarded black people as less than human.
            There is no evidence at all that homosexuality is “naturally occurring” – and even if there were, so what? Autism appears to be naturally occurring too. So does all manner of physical and mental disabilities.

            One cannot choose to be free from the effects of disability. One can choose whether or not to act on the sexual impulse and desire.

            It’s unchristian to pretend God approves of a behaviour He has explicitly condemned.

          • jawjaw2013

            “It’s unchristian to pretend God approves of a behaviour He has explicitly condemned.” There you go, getting all Koranic again. Where? On what stone tablet is that?

          • You have already been provided with the foundational Biblical texts. Add to this Natural Law and constant Church tradition and teaching and what is there to debate?

          • The Explorer

            Isn’t paedophilia also a naturally-occurring phenomenon? Rape? The fact that they exist does not make them tight.

          • jawjaw2013

            Murder too. However, the element you miss is consent.

          • Phil R

            So you would be happy with poly, incest, paedo, relationships provided there is consent.

            Murder…. of the unborn as well no doubt. Sorry no way of getting consent from the baby yet…..

          • jawjaw2013

            There can be no real consent in paedophilia. As for the rest, I think you are arriving at ad absurdum…

          • Phil R

            Paedos would disagree presumably, but the rest are legitimate areas for consent, that presumably as a Christian you would say “go for it” God loves that sort of thing?

          • jawjaw2013

            Trolling!

          • Phil R

            You swerved and did not answer the question

          • jawjaw2013

            No, really, still trolling and about to turn in.

          • Phil R

            You have no answer for consensual sexual activity that we (still) find distasteful

            Would you advise a fellow Christian involved in any of these sexual activities to continue in them as a Christian

            Yes or no will do

          • The Explorer

            Some Russian advertised for someone he could kill and eat. A respondent volunteered, was killed and eaten. He had consented. Did that make it right?
            The Marquis de Sade said that whatever is is right. I can cut a servant girl and pour hot wax into the wound because I’m stronger than she is. Who needs consent?

          • Martin

            JJ

            So consent is the magic key is it? Does God get to consent?

          • Phil R

            I am very selfish and greedy.

            So that is OK also I assume?

            After all I must have been “born that way”

          • jawjaw2013

            Your selfishness and greed (and I have little reason to doubt it, judging by your sexual habits) presumably affect other people. What have gay people done to you, other than offend you by their very existence?

          • Phil R

            I was just extending your logic.

            BTW I know lots of gays. There is the guy I used to know at work. We got on very well. He even invited me to his “wedding”. I didn’t go, in fact very few from work were going to go so I think he called it off in the end.

            Nice guy, he used to ask me for advice……!

          • Martin

            HJ

            Seeing the apostles are dead the only way we have access to apostolic tradition is through the Bible. Even ‘natural law’ must be tested against Scripture.

          • magnolia

            “What part of “love your God with all your heart and love your neighbour as yourself” condemns homosexuality.

            What a very very easy question.

            The part whereby someone who is clearly of one gender is unable to respect and love someone of the opposite gender. Stick around long on this blog and you will see particularly gay men tearing into women like a tiger onto a gazelle. It is not lovely.

          • Inspector General

            Nature condemns homosexuality. HIV is a death sentence you need to take medication for, at a cost of between 8K and 12K per individual per annum. Rather pisses on your humanism that, what!

          • jawjaw2013

            Most people with HIV are straight.

          • Inspector General

            Not in the UK they’re not.

            The medieval types had it right…

            “Anuſ ſex doeth cauſe diſeaſe in both boddee and mynd”

          • Phil R
          • DanJ0

            Nature seems to condemn black people in sub-saharan Africa too.

          • Inspector General

            Plenty of empirical evidence suggesting that if you live a chaste Christian life there, you should remain pox free.

          • DanJ0

            Even homosexuals!

          • Inspector General

            Even your crowd…

          • DanJ0

            Well, there you go. It’s not nature that condemns homosexuality or black people from certain parts of the world. It’s the presence of sexually transmitted disease, followed by sex with people who carry the disease. No disease present then no transmission. Simples!

          • Inspector General

            Think you’re winging it a bit, don’t you?

          • DanJ0

            It’s you who is probably doing it with randoms in motorway service stations in Cumbria, matey.

          • Inspector General

            ??

          • DanJ0

            Oh come on!

          • Inspector General

            Are you inferring that the Inspector General, of all people, is a bummer?

            How dare you, sir!

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            A medical authority with an interest in the area has told
            me that what is claimed to be HIV is more likely misdiagnosed malnutrition.

          • DanJ0

            Oh lordy, your religious nuttery is asserting itself again.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Of course, it would be quite inconvenient to have the accepted position challenged.

          • DanJ0

            I’m happy for the accepted position to be challenged, provided the evidence exists and is presented. The scientific method depends on that sort of approach, though you probably don’t know much about that. So, present the evidence please.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Did you not notice that I presented the evidence? And let’s face facts, political correctness demands that it be not only homosexuals that suffer from HIV. That’s pretty good evidence against your position.

          • DanJ0

            “Did you not notice that I presented the evidence?”

            Huh? Where? Oh, you mean a personal anecdote! No wonder you’re prime fodder for a religious cult.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Fortunately, unlike you, I’ve no problems in that respect.

          • DanJ0

            The silent reader should note the complete lack of evidence for the claim along with the expectation that a mere claim is sufficient evidence. You’re prime fodder for your religious cult, Martin. Even though I’m a libertarian-leaning liberal, I think there’s justification for a paternalistic intervention to rescue you from your cultish religious delusions on the basis that you don’t appear capable of rational discernment.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            And your evidence that I am wrong is?

          • DanJ0

            You regularly demonstrate the most basic of errors about the scientific method. As now. This is why you are prime fodder for your religious cult. You don’t seem to have any critical thinking skills at all. I have asked you to supply evidence of your claim and you have been unable to do so. Why should I even entertain the notion?

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            So what are these errors with the scientific method and what do you not understand about knowing God exist? Seems to me that you will use any excuse to pretend God doesn’t exist.

          • DanJ0

            Duh. We’re talking about your claims about HIV, and your lack of evidence to support such a claim. That you don’t even feel the need to provide evidence and feel that your mere assertion of the claim ought to be enough is very indicative.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Why would I bother providing evidence when, however good the evidence is, you and your PC fellows would reject it. You don’t want evidence, you just want confirmation of your bias.

          • DanJ0

            You have no evidence, you numpty, otherwise you’d have posted it by now. You’re fooling no-one there. Have some personal integrity, for goodness’sake. Sheesh.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            As I said, you’d never accept it.

          • DanJ0

            Again, the silent reader will note your repeated avoidance of substantiating the claim whether or not I personally would accept it. I think it’s fair to say that you clearly have very little personal integrity as a result, despite your inherent claim of being linked with your god’s Holy Spirit and all that implies.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Those who love me keep my commands – said Jesus. Love means following the Law of God, which is found in the OT, as has been pointed out to you here so many times.

    • dannybhoy

      ” Many commentators here doubtless despise it for doing so, but how many of them have beards? Or eat shellfish?”
      How many of them even have hair?!
      Not sure how you arrived at beards being forbidden? Shellfish yes, but then you’re mixing up the dietary laws of the holy nation of Israel (at this early stage a theocracy) with the freedom to eat anything as outlined in the Acts of the Apostles..
      Good effort otherwise.

      • jawjaw2013

        Yes, I think I got the beard thing mixed up – you have to have one (19:27). As for the rest:
        “But all in the seas or in the rivers that do not have fins and scales,
        all that move in the water or any living thing which is in the water,
        they are an abomination to you.” (Leviticus 11:10)

        “If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have
        committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood
        shall be upon them.” (Leviticus 20:13)

        Leviticus is usually cited as “the part of the Bible that condemns homosexuality” which is why I mentioned it. There’s not much else, so why these people should condemn gays while quaffing oysters, I have no idea (and nor, I suspect, do they).

        • magnolia

          Actually you have quoted one of seven texts within the whole of the OT and NT and within that you have failed to distinguish between dietary law and moral law. The Jewish contributors here would eat you alive, (that is metaphorical, as the eating of anything alive is forbidden, which is actually rather civilised, is it not?) from failure to make that distinction.

          We do not condemn gays. What we condemn is the outlawing of free speech, the parading in daylight in black leather bondage gear and brandishing whips, sodomy in public places, the lack of protection for teenage boys from predatory male paedophiles, the use of public lavatories and bushes for lewd acts, and the bullying of b and b owners who don’t want sodomy on their bedsheets, plus the brainwashing of little kids in primary schools with inappropriate sexual material, and the disrespect shown to male female sexual acts by the equating of what is normative and functional and healthy and procreational with what is anal and infertile, which will lead to the further disrespect of already time poor and status poor hardworking mothers. Get it?

          • DanJ0

            Phew. I can walk tall now I’m apparently not subject to that condemnation.

          • This part applies:

            “the disrespect shown to male female sexual acts by the equating of what is normative and functional and healthy and procreational with what is anal and infertile …”

            It applies to all masturbatory and non-complementary sexual encounters and acts.

          • DanJ0

            It does? You’ll be adding having a good taste in soft furnishings next just in case someone slips through your net.

          • Darter Noster

            ROTFL 😀

          • Phil R

            No condemnation from me.

            In fact I am your best mate on this site……

          • DanJ0

            Not only to me but to the poor and the disabled too. What a guy!

          • sarky

            You forgot women!!

          • Phil R

            What is this about women all the time Sarky?

          • sarky

            Childish!!! I find your views on women (and most things) backward, patronising and arrogant.
            People like you are the reason I am glad to be an atheist.

          • Phil R

            I thought you might like the clip…..!

            Seems I was right.

          • sarky

            About what?

          • Phil R

            Best mate to the poor and the disabled…..too

            Before Sarky asks me again, women also.

            (He sounds like the guy off Life of Brian.)

        • dannybhoy

          Because it’s part of the dietary laws laid down for the Jewish people, and (I think, though my Jewish posse may correct me) it’s about creatures which live on waste products, carrion. etc.
          The Scriptures are about how God revealed Himself (that is His nature and attributes) to man. Part of that interactional revelation involved creating a nation ‘Holy unto the Lord..’
          The difficulty for us is in understanding that the Jews had been a subject subservient people in Egypt for 400+ years; the descendants of Jacob.
          God took them out of Egypt but then He had to get Egypt out of them. I have found it easier to read the Old Testament as a history book of a nation formed and called to serve God and reveal Him to the world..

    • William Lewis

      “Homosexuals are forbidden church marriage – which Jesus defined as between a man and a woman, although one can hardly imagine him saying anything else. However, to oppose it outside the sacrament of the church, is not consistent with the spirit of Christianity.”

      The spirit of Christianity is to follow Christ who, as you pointed out, defined marriage as between a man and a woman. So all your diversions into the holiness of love and faith, the sacraments of the church and the Pharisaic, mean spiritedness of the Christians who follow this teaching are nothing more than that: diversions from the fact that we are following the Word made flesh.

      • jawjaw2013

        No, yours is a diversion. The Catholic church does not recognise marriage outside the church, so why should it oppose gay marriage outside the church, simply because the celebrants are gay?

        • William Lewis

          The Catholic church claims a lot of things but we were talking about what it means to be a Christian. Perhaps your error is to conflate the two?

          • Now, now…. no error involved but he is ignorant of Catholicism and/or has rejected it and is misrepresenting its teachings.

          • jawjaw2013

            How am I ignorant of Catholicism?

          • For a start, the Catholic Church does not recognise the sacrament of marriage as valid sacrament if it involves a Catholic in a wedding service conducted in either a civil or religious service outside of the Church. It recognises other marriages, involving non-Catholics as potentially valid, depending on the understanding of those entering them at the time.

            Secondly, your suggestions about an individual’s freedom to act as he sees fit and popular opinion trumping traditional understandings of morality, smells of the liberal-progressive counterfeit teachings of “primacy of conscience” and “sense of faith” used to justify homosexuality, abortion and other moral evils.

          • jawjaw2013

            Yeah, I knew the first thing, I don’t see what the second has to do with my understanding of Catholicism, whatever it “smells” like. As it happens, I didn’t have a problem with the church opposing church marriage for gays, just the civil type, which it doesn’t recognise anyway, for gays. Can’t you see why that makes no logical sense?

          • The Church is tasked by Christ with proclaiming His message and all Catholics are asked to follow its moral teachings in both their private and public lives. This includes the public square of politics.
            The Church condemns homosexual acts and not men and women with homosexual inclinations. Why? Because these acts are against the law of God? Why? Because He created us male and female to multiply and fill the earth – not to engage in fruitless and unproductive mutual masturbation for the sake of pleasure. Staying silent on homosexual ‘marriage’ harms the common good of a society. Why? Because it devalues marriage, harms the stability of family life and disassociates sex from its intended purposes.

          • jawjaw2013

            Well, from a Catholic perspective, the church has accepted evolution. It is plain from studying nature and evolution that gays have evolved for various reasons. As the church says – God is not un-reasonable. I am simply using my reason to reach this conclusion.

            Condemning gay marriage harms to the church – it makes it look in-credible in the eyes of ordinary people to whom it should be evangelising. There are far, far more important things to be getting along with – not least the salvation of souls. Presenting the church as backward and cruel to any reasonable people disfigures the Christian message and blocks evangelisation and therefore harms the family.

          • Phil R

            “It is plain from studying nature and evolution that gays have evolved for various reasons”

            Such as?

            “Condemning gay marriage harms to the church”

            Evidence?

            Churches that take a traditional view are growing, liberal ones the numbers are in free fall.

            “Presenting the church as backward and cruel”

            Forwards is not always towards enlightenment. Eugenics was thought of as being a good idea in the early part of the last century, inc sadly some in the Church.

          • DanJ0

            “It is plain from studying nature and evolution that gays have evolved for various reasons.”

            Homosexuality doesn’t have to have evolved for any reason. It may just be a by-product of something else.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            It’s the by-product of sin.

          • DanJ0

            Stupid boy. *In the voice of captain Mainwaring*

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Indeed, you are stupid, but you have chosen to be stupid.

          • DanJ0

            Sadly, you haven’t chosen to be stupid.

          • Inspector General

            If you consider that what we know as homosexuality today is the refined product from the raw ingredient, which essentially is no desire to jump headlong into the reproductive process, then that hypothesis holds water. For example, how would the early church have faired if there were no men prepared to leave the ladies alone.

          • Martin

            JJ

            It matters not what men accept, even men claiming infallibility. What matters is what God’s word says and that applies to the mode of Creation as well as the nature of marriage and sexual morality.

        • Perhaps you are unaware that this is not a Roman Catholic blog. Most of us here are not of that persuasion. We seek to follow Christ who defines marriage as being between a man and a woman.
          The simple fact is that two people of the same gender cannot be married. To say otherwise is to misunderstand the nature of the thing or to adopt a humpty-dumpty approach and declare that when you say a thing, it means just what you want it to mean.
          Even in societies where homosexuality has been tolerated or even approved of, it was never suggested that people of the same sex could be married. People understood that marriage was between a man and a woman and was primarily for the procreation of children.

          • DanJ0

            “To say otherwise is to misunderstand the nature of the thing or to adopt a humpty-dumpty approach and declare that when you say a thing, it means just what you want it to mean.”

            In the context of Christianity, yes, as it’s Holy Matrimony. To normal people, marriage is a social institution.

          • Inspector General

            ‘Normal people’, says DanJ0

            {SNIGGER}

          • Dominic Stockford

            Apparently only about 1% of the population are normal…

          • Inspector General

            One would think 80% in this country. Sorry muslims and young black men…

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            What would you know about normal?

          • DanJ0

            I don’t give a rat’s ass whether you accept it as normal. I don’t accept your religious beliefs as normal. However, I expect society to treat us well, as a matter of social justice, and I’m prepared to argue for that. It seems people have recognised the validity of the argument given the referendum result in Ireland, a country formerly under the dubious hegemony of the Roman Catholic Church until recently.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Oh look, potty language. It’s rather appropriate for you isn’t it, as others have already pointed out. It doesn’t matter what you think of me, what matters is how you behave toward your maker, who will demand answers from you.

            Now the question of ‘social justice’ is an interesting one as you place yourself above thieves and paedophiles, insisting that your acts are moral in comparison with theirs. I suspect that they might have a quibble or two over that. In any case the righteous Judge of all the Earth has described you thus:

            For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

            (Romans 1:26-27 [ESV])

            Pointing to the slippery slope that mankind is on once it rejects all God given morality. A slippery slope that you contribute to. Had it occurred to you that you are responsible for the sin and destruction of your fellow creature?

            Frankly, what the church of Rome says matters little, you should worry over what God will say to you.

          • DanJ0

            “Oh look, potty language.”

            A rat’s ass?? Lol.

            “It doesn’t matter what you think of me, what matters is how you behave toward your maker, who will demand answers from you.”

            If there is a god and its name is Allah then you will also be in quite a lot of trouble, matey. Think on that.

            “I suspect that they might have a quibble or two over that.”

            I expect almost all thieves know they are doing wrong and harming others, and everyone bar a minority of paedophiles think paedophiles harm to others. Clearly 62% of voters in the Irish referendum think that homosexuals ought to be able to take part in the social institution of marriage. That’s Ireland, with its history of Roman Catholic cultural hegemony. Reality intrudes on your absurd beliefs yet again.

            “In any case the righteous Judge of all the Earth has described you thus”

            Mere words in a book, written by men, about a theistic being that almost certainly doesn’t exist.

            “Had it occurred to you that you are responsible for the sin and destruction of your fellow creature?”

            Stupid boy. *In the voice of Captain Mainwaring*

            “Frankly, what the church of Rome says matters little, you should worry over what God will say to you.”

            You too, if it exists and its name turns out to be Allah!

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Think on this, you know God exists & you know you are under judgement.

            Everyone is born with a conscience and we all, with varying degrees of success try to subsume their conscience to their will. If you’ve read many of my posts you will know that I don’t rate the church of Rome very highly.

            The words may be written by men but their author is the God whom you know exists, the God who will judge all.

            And remember, if you are with God you are in the majority.

          • DanJ0

            “Think on this, you know God exists & you know you are under judgement.”

            I’m an a-theist, you cretin.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            No you’re not, you know God exists.

          • DanJ0

            This is why I think you’re a cretin, and prime fodder for your religious cult.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            You know I am right.

          • DanJ0

            You don’t even demostrate the religious values of Christianity yourself. You make a piss-poor Christian, as I have previously noted. What is curious is that despite claiming you know your own god exists, you yourself behave as though the Holy Spirit is a stranger to you. You behave like the religious cult member you seem to be: incoherent, irrational, and delusional even about our shared and observable reality. I don’t know a theistic god exists. Moreover, you don’t know it exists either. I think it’s so unlikely a theistic god exists that Christianity and Islam can be simply dismissed. Hope this helps.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Not sure you’re qualified to judge me, and anyway, you’re probably just trying to upset me. But don’t judge God by me, judge God by what He has said in the Bible, by what He has created and how He hasn’t dealt with you as you deserve.

          • DanJ0

            I’m fully entitled to judge you. Afterall, I’m doing so by the standards of your own religion. Moreover, you’re judging me. I have read the bible multiple times. I’ve read the Qur’an in English too. I’ve even talked to Jehovah Witnesses many times on the doorstep. I haven’t heard anything that convinces me that any of those mutually exclusive claims are true. You don’t know that a theistic god exists. None of you do. You’ve got that as a matter of religious belief. That is, you merely want it to be true because you’ve been caught up in a local subculture.

          • Martin

            It is quite amusing how you feel entitled to judge me, but object when you think I am judging you. But then I don’t need to judge you.

            It’s amusing too how you claim to have read the Bible quite clearly have never understood it. Nor do you understand how to judge between completing claims.

          • DanJ0

            I think I have a very good understanding of Christianity, as it goes. What don’t I understand? Or are you pretending that my dismissal of it as simply a man-made book is the equivalent of that?

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Actually your posts indicate a very poor understanding of Christianity, combined with a hatred of God that spills over into hate for those He has saved. So, since you hate God you must know He exists.

          • DanJ0

            The silent reader will no doubt note the absence of any explanation of this alleged very poor understanding, together with the circular reasoning about an a-theist hating the Christian god. It’s no surprise there’s no explanation, just more assertion yet again.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            That you reject basic statements of Christianity is pretty good evidence that you don’t have a clue. And your continual denial of your hatred for God means you will not admit your sin and seek mercy.

          • DanJ0

            Again, I note that there is no explanation and I note your circular reasoning. You just assert all the time. But hey, what else can you do in reality? This is why I am so condescending to you. You’re completely absurd.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Seeing that you know God exists but still pretend, I think we both know who is being absurd.

          • DanJ0

            The reality is, of course, that you are taking the concept of sensus divinitatis in your cult’s version of Calvinism a little too far for your own personal and perverse pleasure there. Moreover, you’re doing it at this point to try to swerve around the difficulty you’re in here and elsewhere as I repeatedly demonstrate your lack of critical thinking and your poor debating skills. You have nothing, really, hence your broken record.

          • Martin

            Ooh look, you’re using Latin, you must know what you’re talking about.

            ROFL

          • DanJ0

            I expect most people know it’s the correct term, and it’s been discussed down here in the past. You can write “ROFL” all you like but we both know you’ve been caught out in your sins. You’re a vicious and unpleasant oik, made in the mold of the Phelps family. That much is clear for all your hiding behind religion. You actually disgust me. There are many good people who follow Christianity, and you do them a great disservice with your evil in its name.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Latin was never the language of the Bible and it is the language of an ancient sect who used it to keep the gospel from the common people.

            Sadly you don know the meaning of the word good, else you would know that there are no good people and it isn’t the good who become Christians.

          • DanJ0

            You poor attempt at sophistry doesn’t come close to disguising the fact that you’ve been revealed for what you are, any more than Shirley Phelps-Roper’s justification for her aggressive and ungodly homophobia does for her.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Oh look, you’ve resorted to using the magic word ‘homophobia’, in the hope, presumably, that it will scare me off. Sorry, it doesn’t work. The reality is that you are a sinner under the condemnation of God, trying to pretend your sin is a fact of your nature.

          • DanJ0

            I’m rebuking your for your sins according to your own alleged religious beliefs, and highlighting your poor attempt at sophistry over sensus divinitatis. You’ve been repeatedly revealed over what you’re doing and over what you are. You’re just hiding behind religion for your own personal and perverse pleasure.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            One day you might understand what Christians believe.

          • DanJ0

            At this point, Martin, I don’t actually believe you’re a Christian at all. Your behaviour does not demonstrate any association with the Holy Spirit, or what a Christian would imagine the Holy Spirit to be like anyway. There’s nothing good in you that I can detect. You should be like a city on a hill regarding Christianity and you’re not at all. You actually damage Christianity in your sphere of influence.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            So tell me, how do the dead judge the living?

          • DanJ0

            I’m very much alive and enjoying life in our shared reality. In your make-believe reality, I think your behaviour and attitudes show that you are either deluding yourself or lying to the world about your relationship to its Holy Spirit. By observation, you are dead in your sins in your make-believe reality. You ought to worry about your own afterlife if you have managed to delude yourself that it is true.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            You are dead in your sins for they control your every whim.

          • DanJ0

            I’m an a-theist so the rules and concepts of Christianity don’t apply to me. You on the other hand label yourself a Christian in public so one can readily apply them to you. It’s clear from your behaviour, attitudes, and knowledge about Christianity that you are dead in your sins yourself. You can claim here to be ‘justified’ all you like but your observable lack of any santification shows that you’re either deluding yourself or lying to the world.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            You are a created being so God’s requirements apply to you. Unless you can obey His law perfectly you are condemned. Your only hope is to receive mercy.

          • DanJ0

            In the highly unlikely event that Christianity turns out to be true, you’d better hope for mercy yourself after pretending to be a Christian for your own base purposes. That’s surely worse than merely being an a-theist!

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Remember, since you know God exists you are not an a-theist, Atheist or any other strange thing, just a sinner under judgement.

            Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

            (Matthew 5:11-12 [ESV])

          • DanJ0

            There’s no point regurgitating bits of the bible now, you idiot. I know what you are, and what you are not. People who actually show fruits of the Spirit might have recourse to that but you most definitely don’t, nor do you seem to want to either. Away with you, you charlatan.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Actually you haven’t a clue.

          • DanJ0

            I can tell that you have no discernable relationship with the Holy Spirit, or what proper Christians imagine the Holy Spirit to be anyway. How on earth did you think you’d get away with your scam when you can’t even justify your behaviour and attitude in biblical terms? What an idiot!

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Once again, how would you know?

          • DanJ0

            Once again, you don’t show any fruits of the Spirit and those are discernible in our shared reality. Or, at least, aspirational behaviour in the absence of an actual Holy Spirit is anyway. You’re very clearly not attached to the vine, as the expression has it. All these assertions about your being ‘justified’ are exactly that. You’ve not yet realised that sanctification ought to follow from that. Read your bible, you damned fraud.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            If I have problems they are nothing compared to yours. You stand condemned before God and yet you refuse to do anything about it. He offers you mercy yet you refuse it. You are a fool.

          • DanJ0

            You’re in the same position as me in that the Holy Spirit clearly doesn’t know you, for the reasons I have explained above. Actually, if there are gradients then you’re probably in a worse position in the very unlikely event that Christianity is true because your operating under its name for your own perverse pleasure in spreading hate brings it into disrepute. That’s surely got to incur an extra level of pubishment. You’re doubly damned, you charlatan.

          • DanJ0

            A bit got lost about good people in my comment below. It’s quite interesting that you equate my “many good people who follow Christianity” to mean sinless. What happened to fruits of the Spirit, Martin? Do you even know what that means?

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            But good does mean sinless, as Jesus pointed out, there is none good but God alone. And you aren’t good, nor am I. But I’m justified & you aren’t.

          • DanJ0

            What happened to the fruits of the Spirit, Martin? What about the faith versus works argument in James? What about Paul’s letter to the new church? You’re ‘saved’? You’re deluding yourself. In the very unlikely event that Christianity turns out to be true, I reckon Jesus will say: “I don’t know you” when it gets to your turn..

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Isn’t it interesting how you have turned from attacking what I say to attacking me. Could it be that I have got too close to what you know is true?

          • DanJ0

            I’ve attacked what you say from the start. It’s irrational nonsense born of your hatred, based on a cultish interpretation of a sect of Christianity which itself has no foundation in reality. You have nothing. That you think you have the right to repeatedly play your broken record and rebuke an outsider to your alleged religion like me invites a back-in-your-face response, and you shall get it now and in the future. Even by the standards of your own alleged religion, you are doing evil and behaving destructively. It’s quite reasonable for me to judge your personally by the standards of your own alleged religion when you try to force it on others in the public space. You are a disgrace.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            You hate God & hence hate any who serve Him. You wish to continue in your sin and cannot bear to have the consequences pointed out to you

          • DanJ0

            You don’t serve him. The Holy Spirit clearly doesn’t know you judging by your behaviour and attitudes, and you clearly don’t give a toss about the Holy Spirit in Christianity. You’re a fraud, piggy-backing onto Christianity to peddle your hate and homophobia.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            And in that last word we see the basis of your hatred, you don’t like the consequences of your sin raised.

            But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.

            (Revelation of John 21:8 [ESV]

          • DanJ0

            Claiming to be ‘saved’ so you can try to use religion as a stick doesn’t do the job when you show no fruits of the Spirit at all. You pathetic, risible fraud.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            I’m not using a stick, I’m reminding of your desperate state before the God you know exists.

          • DanJ0

            For what purpose? You never did say. Of course, I know exactly why you’re doing this and it’s not because of anything godly.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Because it is what you need to hear.

          • DanJ0

            You cannot say what purpose it serves in your cod-Calvinist world because it serves no godly purpose other than to give you personal gratification as you spread your hate. It’s very clear now that you’re no Christian.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            I just told you what purpose it serves.

          • DanJ0

            I was raised in the CofE until my mid-teens. I’ve heard all I need to by now. So, what purpose does your aggressive and repetitive assertions actually serve? Is it by any chance the same as that of your Westboro Baptist brethren through their actions?

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            The CoE has long been a place of muddled headed theology, even more so now. In the ’60s some people in the CoE were saved and thought they’d discovered something new.

            They built a whole theology on feelings and muddleheadedness and called it the Charismatic Movement, clearly you have been exposed to it. It mixes a modicum of truth with whole swathes of error resulting in a level of heresy as great as that at Westboro. From such grew Alpha.

            But what you really need to concentrate on is your state before God. You stand condemned with your only hope being God’s mercy. Seek it now.

          • DanJ0

            Martin, you have no high ground here. You seem to be part of a cult, similar to the Westboro Baptist Church, and you cult is influenced by Calvinism which is a strange, bleak sect of Christianity. You don’t speak for Christians, or have any basis to judge.

            We both know that you don’t have any relationship with the Holy Spirit in Christianity as it almost certainly doesn’t exist. It’s more than that though: you clearly don’t give a rat’s ass about the concept of the Holy Spirit either. It’s membership of your cult that gives you your version of ‘justification’.

            You like to assert that you’re ‘justified’ so you can be sanctimonious and so that you can spread your hate, like your Westboro Baptist brethren. Yet if you were ‘justified” then one would expect you to show ‘sanctification’ too as that ought to follow. But you don’t. Now why would that be? 😉

          • Just so. And if that’s all marriage is, it can be ignored or made into a wax nose to be punched into any shape at all. That is why we are in the dreadful state we are today with young men committing suicide in record numbers and young women with all sorts of mental problems and more and more children being taken into care.

          • DanJ0

            Dreadful state? As I often say, we’re incredibly blessed to be living in the UK and at this time in history! Honestly, you need to travel more, and perhaps read some history books. That’s the sort of comment a Jehovah Witness would make, trying to start one of their conversations on the doorstep.

          • Well it is all rather wonderful, isn’t it? Unless of course you were one of the 200,000 unborn children slaughtered each year in Britain who weren’t able to enjoy it. Or one of the growing number of being who think it is so wonderful that they commit suicide. Or if you come from the increasing number of broken homes. Or if you’re a woman who is suffering from the epidemic of STDs and has just found out she can’t have children. Or, of course, a homosexual with a hugely enhanced likelihood of suffering from mental illness and one or two other nasty maladies.
            .
            But you and I are alright, aren’t we, DanJo? That’s the main thing. Stuff all the unfortunates.

            ‘….You say, “I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing”- and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor blind and naked.’
            (Revelation 3:17).

          • DanJ0

            “But you and I are alright, aren’t we, DanJo?”

            Relatively speaking, living in the UK and at this time in history means we’re incredibly blessed. Perhaps you should feck off to Syria or Iraq for the sake of comparison and if you actually survive then report back about how shit your think our society is.

          • jawjaw2013

            “The simple fact is that two people of the same gender cannot be married.”

            Actually the simple fact is that they can – in a number of countries including Ireland and the UK.

          • Martin

            JJ

            The fact is, that persons of the same gender cannot marry, however much the corrupt laws of the nations say they can.

          • Governments and authorities deciding something doesn’t make it so. Or do you believe that when the Pope said the sun went round the earth, it actually did?
            In Orwell’s 1984, the government declared, “War is Peace, Freedom is slavery, Ignorance is Strength.” It seems to be the view of not a few governments today (ISIS, North Korea, Sudan etc.). It doesn’t make it so.

        • Dominic Stockford

          The Church of Rome does not in fact recognise marriage outside their church as being marriage.

    • The New Vainglory
      Two men went up to pray; and one gave thanks,
      Not with himself – aloud,
      With proclamation, calling on the ranks
      Of an attentive crowd.

      “Thank God, I clap not my own humble breast,
      But other ruffians’ backs,
      Imputing crime – such is my tolerant haste –
      To any man that lacks.

      For I am tolerant, generous, keep no rules,
      And the age honours me.
      Thank God, I am not as these rigid fools,
      Even as this Pharisee.”

      (Alice Meynell)

    • Pubcrawler

      “He did not speak in riddles.”

      You’ve heard of parables, right?

      • jawjaw2013

        I thought parables were used to make things clearer? I appreciate some can be difficult to understand (and I certainly don’t understand them all) but at the time they were accepted and, presumably, reasonably comprehensible.

        • William Lewis

          Perhaps you should read the New Testament before determining what Christians should or should not be doing?

          • jawjaw2013

            How patronising! I don’t like to presume, but that doesn’t seem very Christian of you.

          • William Lewis

            Patronising to presume that criticising Christians requires knowledge of the New Testament or patronising to presume that you haven’t read it?

          • jawjaw2013

            Did it take you all that time to still be patronising?

          • William Lewis

            Apparently so. Do you have an answer?

          • jawjaw2013

            Yes. I have read the NT, and re-read. Now I presume you are going to pounce with your verse? Well, I’m going to bed!

          • Martin

            JJ

            Seems you haven’t read this part of the NT.

            Then the disciples came and said to him, Why do you speak to them in parables? And he answered them, To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says:

            You will indeed hear but never understand,
            and you will indeed see but never perceive.
            For this people’s heart has grown dull,
            and with their ears they can barely hear,
            and their eyes they have closed,
            lest they should see with their eyes
            and hear with their ears
            and understand with their heart
            and turn, and I would heal them.

            (Matthew 13:10-15 [ESV])

            The evidence is, I’m afraid, that you are not a Christian.

        • Dominic Stockford

          Jesus said, specifically, that parables were designed NOT to be understood by some…

    • Orwell Ian

      If you want to put a Christian on the defensive label them a Pharisee.
      Never fails. Jesus had harsh words for the Pharisees. Therefore Pharisees bad and no believer wants to be compared to them. But why did He give Pharisees such a hard time? Did he condemn them as hypocrites for keeping the law? No, he hammered them for adding to it or nullifying it for the sake of their traditions. The real Pharisees in the SSM debate are none other than the modernisers, since they are the ones who overturn express prohibitions against homosexual relations to establish their new theologically liberal regime.

      • jawjaw2013

        Yeah, where are the express prohibitions?

        • Orwell Ian

          Leviticus 18:22 & Leviticus 20:13
          Further evidence of divine displeasure can be found in the story of Sodom Gen 19. in Ezekiel 6:49, Romans 1:24-26, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, 1 Timothy 1:8-11, and Jude 1:7

          • jawjaw2013

            Yes, I dealt with Leviticus elsewhere. I hope you’re keeping your beard in order and steering clear of crustaceans.

          • Orwell Ian

            I hope you’ll find time to read and ponder the other passages I mentioned.

          • dannybhoy

            Homosexuality is a perversion of God’s design. That doesn’t mean He hates homosexuals more than he does randy adulterous heterosexuals, but He is against all sexual sin -(partly) because it ruins so much else in life.
            I was skyping with my long time pal from YWAM days and we were talking about the David – Jonathan relationship.
            Some like to believe there was an element of homosexual love between them, but many men have a deep friendship with another man that has nothing to do with sex.
            It’s based on compatibility of personalities, on true appreciation of another’s qualities, abilities and ideals. Especially so with Christian men. For single people Christian communities/organisations are a great way of serving the Lord and building deep friendships..

          • jawjaw2013

            “Homosexuality is a perversion of God’s design.” How so?

          • dannybhoy

            ‘Male and female He created them..’
            ‘Go forth and multiply..’
            We love in a fallen world and however it came about, homosexuality is not part of God’s order.
            To my understanding that does not however mean they are ‘worse sinners than others or rejected by God. It just means that they are sinners like everyone else, to be listened to and respected and befriended, and where possible brought to Jesus.

          • jawjaw2013

            Yeah, I agree we are all sinners. I just don’t think some should be considered to have sinned more – because of how God made them – than others.

          • dannybhoy

            Well I don’t believe God made us bad. Through all kinds of influences we may develop seriously warped characters, or be a better person because of a loving family or the influence of an individual.
            I know some people believe we are born bad or preordained to be what we are. I don’t believe that.

          • jawjaw2013

            I don’t think you have to – only that only God is perfect. That means we are all flawed, and in our flaws are our sins.

          • dannybhoy

            That’s not what you said.
            You said,
            “I just don’t think some should be considered to have sinned more – because of how God made them – than others.”

          • Martin

            JJ

            The problem isn’t that they have sinned more, it is that they have pride in their sin and demand others accept their sin as righteousness.

          • The Explorer

            Vaginal sex, provided there is fidelity, carries minimal health risk.
            Anal sex, even with fidelity, can damage the anal sphincter muscle with resultant chronic incontinence, cramps, prostate damage and ulcers or fissures that invite further infections such as amebiasis, giardiasis, shigellosis and ectoparasites. Then there are the viral infections such as condylomata, herpes, hepatitisis B and hepatitis A.

          • jawjaw2013

            What about lesbians. Are they ok then?

          • The Explorer

            Not according to St Paul, because health is not the only criterion. Divine intention for the race comes into it as well.

          • jawjaw2013

            What Paul had it in for lesbians too? I must have missed that. Even Queen Victoria didn’t have it in for them…

          • The Explorer

            Try the opening of ‘Romans’.

      • Below Jack has posted a poem on this very theme. The prayer of the liberal progressives today:

        “For I am tolerant, generous, keep no rules,
        And the age honours me.
        Thank God, I am not as these rigid fools,
        Even as this Pharisee.”

    • The Explorer

      This is well written, but I find myself at odds with many of its assertions.

      1. “Jesus did not condemn homosexuality.” He said he upheld the Mosaic law, which did. At the end of ‘John’ it says that only a fraction of Christ’s words and deeds are recorded. So he might have done. The argument from silence is always shaky. I knew a girl who said it was okay to snort coke because Jesus didn’t say you shouldn’t. “Don’t spit on the floor” means it’s okay to spit on the ceiling?

      2. “Presumably it never occurred to him.” If Jesus was incarnate God, then I think it unwise to speculate on his thought processes. If you don’t think He was incarnate God then we have parted company already.

      3. “He did not speak in riddles.” Really? “In my Father’s house are many mansions.” “I have other sheep that are not of this fold.” “Pull down this temple and I will raise another…” The parable of the sower had to be explained. And he certainly spoke in paradoxes.

      4. Confusion of ceremonial and moral law. The moral law will not pass away. But He declared all foods clean. (‘Mark’).

      5. “One relies on one’s conscience to interpret the Word.” Really? Never heard that one before. Surely one relies on one’s conscience in a moral, not an intellectual sense?

      • jawjaw2013

        “So he might have done.” Really? I think you are splitting hairs – this “upholding the laws” is always used to justify intolerance. But there’s a reason why it’ the New Testament. Turning the other cheek does not equal an eye for an eye.

        Do you find “in my father’s house there are many mansions” difficult to understand? I suppose only if you wish to exclude some and include others.

        • The Explorer

          Good point; although when Christ forgave the woman taken in adultery it was not because adultery was now okay. “Sin no more.”
          Yes I do find “many mansions” difficult. It should be ‘rooms’ in the modern sense, for a start. Translation issue. So we live together in the afterlife in one big family. But who’s there and who isn’t? It’s not up to me as to who’s excluded and who’s included. As a matter of interest, are you a universalist?

          • dannybhoy

            Or perhaps it’s planets?

          • jawjaw2013

            Not at all. I’m a practicing Christian, although I suppose a fair amount of the commentators here would kick me out of their house. But to be honest, I have doubts about their credentials too – I can understand conservatism (I’m actually quite conservative myself) but I can’t understand how they square the lack of compassion. I suppose they say they love the sinner etc, but I think that’s disingenuous. I think it’s just an excuse, or they’re a bit thick. Anyway, who am I to judge.

          • Old Blowers

            ” I can understand conservatism (I’m actually quite conservative myself) but I can’t understand how they square the lack of compassion.”

            Typical socialist christian, aren’t you…full of ‘compassion’, wanting to give more money from others, no matter how you need to acquire it despite the dire consequences when their economic policies don’t match the reality of said compassion. It always goes pear shaped!!

            Man cannot live by emotions alone but the truth that faces him that’s in his pocket.

            Labour (shown through their enforced policies whilst in government) and Lib-Dems (Just on the absurdity of theirs) have shown all the classic tendencies of the serial gambler and lack of concern for their actions on the nation’s balance sheet.

            They want all the good things in life for themselves and others but are not prepared to go about earning and saving to bestow this ‘grand’ compassion.

            Ask the gambler why he wastes the family’s monies with his wanton tendencies and he will say it’s to provide healthier food in the fridge, to have more money for spending on better clothes for his family, to want to provide for them to have the opportunities he never had, to feel that he and his own are moving on in the world and want people to see this through his successful enterprise…except the reality is never like this, is it.

            The money is lost in his recklessness so there is now NO food to go in the fridge, the children cannot even buy clothes from Primark as there is now NO money to buy them and now NO money to pay the bills or provide for their housing needs. The family must now rely on the ‘kindness’ of Wonga and their ‘friendly interest rates’ to try and go another day but the ending is assured.

            His family, in his care has lost everything and now walk the streets, needing to frequent food banks and rely on whatever handouts they can get.

            Where was the gamblers compassion? No gambler ever believes he is doing it for the bad (I’m going to lose our money, what a waste) but only ever for the good (Look at us now, top of the world).

            To help your family and to help others with what you can is the correct way but a looney tune view of compassion helps no-one and leads to ruin, as the socialist gospel has shown just with something like the NHS…When is enough money put in ever enough in a bloating, money eating budget that continually spirals out of control, masked as compassionate spending for an institute that now appears, from the evidence of malpractice and mismanagement, to harm as much as heal the health of the nation???.

            There is no easy line at running a nation well and righteously for all..We can be so mean that nobody really matters but me or so foolishly spendthrift that every cause must be deserving of being classed THE top priority, regardless of the reality and to use a well know saying ‘ “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have
            always obeyed – not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence – continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his purpose.”

            If only we showed this practically for the benefit of all ( fear and trembling) and raising the nation up righteously but God’s purpose never seems to come into the equation, only man’s well meaning intentions!!!

          • jawjaw2013

            “Typical socialist christian, aren’t you…full of ‘compassion’, wanting to give more money from others,” LOL – off topic!

          • Martin

            It isn’t compassion to encourage the sinner in their sin.

    • Shadrach Fire

      The real issue is not about gays. They seem to have been around for ever.

      The main issue as I see it is that after thousands of years, suddenly the world wants to redefine what marriage is. No longer between a man and a woman but open season for anyone to marry anyone.

      The Law that Tony Blair brought in could have been seen as fair as it gave gay couples some rights for tax and property. However, someone convinced Dave C that that was not enough. But that was part of their plan for decades, to breakdown the family unit. Further, they are determined to importune their beliefs on young children to perpetuate their sad life style.

      Yes, their life style may be considered ok outside of the Church, but it should not have dragged in the whole population into their despicable scheme. And yet yes, the Christian has a concern as to what happens in society as it affects all people and sends some to Hell and inhibits others from finding Christ.

      • jawjaw2013

        See my response above, although why “despicable scheme” I don’t know. Are you a Christian?

      • sarky

        “Further, they are determined to importune their beliefs on young children to perpetuate their sad lifestyle”

        is that not why christian organisations go into schools? And why you are so determined to keep the Christian element in assemblies?

    • not a machine

      jaw jaw2013 I think its fairly unequivocal that marriage so defined in pretty much any culture for the last 4000yrs was between a man and a woman. Homosexuality has been established during this time and of course we perhaps should not forget the role of the eunuch who often held senior civil positions in empires .
      I do not and cannot see any desire or need to return to burning at the stake for homosexuality , but there will perhaps be something of a more cultured understanding , which some people are happy with .Perhaps Christians are a sort of group that can contain the difference , realising that hatred is a little limited . I think back to my school days and how brutal not only being different could be let alone something more difficult like being gay , and of course being gay could cause problems in adulthood in work choices.
      Equally I perhaps have seen gay lifestyles that have been promiscuous ,sex drug fuelled and tragic in other ways , that can only attract views that are anti the lifestyle . I don’t think the gay community is asking for sympathy , I do sometimes wonder if they have engineered , a sort of reverse bigotry upon the religious people to “see how you like it” so to speak , and in that sense both funded and built a rabid form of socialism , which if so may not play out so well historically .
      I am perhaps rather angry that “marriage” has been taken down such a rough road to achieve what some see as equality , that said I can see there were problems with how the church preached homosexuality . I think the gay community , have not understood how important the role of traditional family is to the church .
      We are however, where we are , There will perhaps some way down the line be some better dialogue , but I do not see a situation where , a sort of teaching occurs that tries to generate impossible thinking about heterosexual relations . if it becomes a legal matter if you promote heterosexual marriage and family as majorative (not all homosexual couples want children) and my own pet problem of teaching sex education early , then I think some of us might want to challenge that thinking as being a bit too obsessed and self interested .
      My thoughts are at the moment , that a perhaps more enlightened era about homosexuality is here , but that does not mean people cannot be free to disagree with its minorative enforcement , or even wrongly positioned/intentioned educational aspects.
      I have thought recently around being “mean spirited” as you put it and as much as I love traditional catholic thinking , I can see that to serve others may well mean having services that speak to them and show Jesus to them in a more thoughtful way, but perhaps my final point in a rather foggy area is , that turning holy communion into ,light entertainment , will not develop people in the faith .

      • jawjaw2013

        I don’t disagree. What one sees is reaction for reaction – gays have been unfairly treated for centuries, and now people want to reverse what they see as a mistake. The church – or at least conservatives within it – struggle to recognise times have changed. There is little space for nuanced debate, as we have seen – my point was not that gays should be provided with “sacramental” marriage, but Christians should not oppose their marriage by the state – the word “marriage” no longer, as it were, being owned by the church. Christians have changed their understanding of Christianity again and again – that is why the CofE is catholic and reformed, after all.

        • Martin

          JJ

          No, there is no such group as ‘gays’, just sexual sinners. But then other sinners have also had a pretty raw time, thieves for example. Are you suggesting we should legislate to allow them to continue stealing?

          • DanJ0

            I think we can all agree that thieves are doing wrong, and wronging others in the process, whereas in your example one needs to have religious beliefs to think that.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            You have religious beliefs, they just don’t include the worship of your Creator. At heart, there is no difference between a homosexual and a thief.

          • DanJ0

            This, people, is why religion is ridiculous.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Says he whose religion is self-worship.

            Remember, whether you are tempted to steal or to have sex outside of marriage, it is still sin.

          • DanJ0

            “Remember, whether you are tempted to steal or to have sex outside of marriage, it is still sin.”

            Just like you don’t subscribe to the Muslim prohibition about alcohol, most people don’t subscribe to your minority religious notion of ‘sin’. Luckily, just about everyone thinks that stealing is wrong even though most people don’t accept the minority religious notion of ‘sin’. Hope this helps.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Just like your religion, that to which Muslims hold is false. There is only one true religion.

          • DanJ0

            I expect Muslims say much the same thing about the divinity of Jesus. Hope this helps.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            The Qur’an is very muddled on what Christians believe. That’s strange for a book from God.

          • DanJ0

            Yet there’s over 1.6 billion Muslims in the world who think what you believe is false. Why would I give a rat’s ass what you believe when you don’t give a rat’s ass what they believe? I think what both you and they believe is false. Hope this helps.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Why would numbers matter? It isn’t a matter of what sinful men allow themselves to be persuaded by but of what is true. You already know God exists, that gives you a good start on what God is like.

          • DanJ0

            Just a reminder here that you’re as sinful as the next man according to your own religious beliefs, and you’ve been persuaded by your religious cult that your own absurd beliefs are true. 1.6 billion Muslims believe there is a theistic god and that its name is Allah. If all of them can be that wrong, then so can you about your theistic god. You’re all asserting that your own religious beliefs are true, and vast numbers of you are wrong because the claims are mutually exclusive. Of course, believers in theistic religion all make a similar claim: that a theistic god exists. However, if you all make such a mess of the details then one is entitled to ask whether the underlying claim is rubbish too.

            You’re asserting that somehow everyone has intrinsic knowledge of a god, even though they know nothing about its details. I’m aware of no such intrinsic knowledge myself. Like you, I’m self-aware and I’m mortal. It seems to me that it’s weak people like you who merely wish there’s a theistic god because you can’t handle being self-aware and mortal. So you’ve attached yourself to the local religion. This is why in largely Muslim countries people find Islam, and in countries in the West people find Christianity. It’s merely cultural. I don’t mind that, of course. What I object to and find risible is your projection of your weakness onto me.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Of course I’m a sinner as you are, but I am saved by grace. But of course, you are your own god, and your authority in all things, and will not be contradicted. Sadly tho’ your god is fallible and weak, a poor imitation of the God who made all things and requires your worship.

          • DanJ0

            “Of course I’m a sinner as you are, but I am saved by grace.”

            Unless there’s a theistic god whose name is Allah as 1.6 billion Muslims claim is the truth of the matter. In that case, you’re toast. Luckily, just like you, they’re almost certainly wrong.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            You ignore the fact that you know God exists.

            And it is hardly hate to warn you of your impending doom and the means by which you may avoid it.

          • DanJ0

            Perhaps you should convert to Islam if you want to avoid Jahannam just in case it’s Muslims who are speaking the truth. The religious can only assert their beliefs as truth in the absence of any compelling evidence so it’s basically horses for courses.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Like every false religion, including yours, Islam requires that you save yourself, you make a change in your own behaviour. Christianity alone tells us that we cannot change ourselves, that we are dead in our sins and God must save us.

            You are under God’s condemnation, your only hope is God’s mercy.

          • DanJ0

            Two things: I have no religion in any common understanding of the word as you well know, and in my life and worldview there’s no such thing as being ‘saved’. Like all other animals, we’re born, we live, and then we die. That’s it. I’m content with that.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Two things, you know God exists & you choose to worship yourself.

            Your born, you die and after that comes the judgement. What will you say? Actually you’ll say nothing for you’ll have no excuse.

          • DanJ0

            Mere assertion again, of course. You’ll be in the same position if Islam turns out to be true instead. You’d better hope it isn’t. I’m happy enough myself with the working assumption that you and Muslims are simply wasting your lives, and that you’ll die at some point and permanently cease to exist like every other animal on our planet. That’s what the evidence overwhelming points towards.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Since you know what I’ve written to be true you have no excuse.

          • DanJ0

            I note that you’ve simply skipped over the comment above that. It looks very much like you prefer to merely assert your nonsense again and again rather than face your own sins and misbehaviour. You’ve been revealed and it’s not a pretty picture, is it?

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            You haven’t made a comment worth replying to. You know God exists and that is all there is to it.

          • DanJ0

            You’re reduced to that now? You’re pathetic.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Of course I’m pathetic, I’m a sinner just like you. And you revel in your sin, even identifying yourself by it. At least I have seen my state, you just glory in yours.

          • DanJ0

            The bible requires you to at least try to emulate your god when it was in human form according to your fables. Yet you carefully choose the bits of the bible to justify your malignant behaviour and ignore the rest. You clearly revel in your own sin. On that basis, I very much doubt you’re ‘saved’ in Christian terms. You’re either deluding yourself, or lying to the world about it.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            No, the Bible does not require me to emulate God. That’s something beyond me.

          • DanJ0

            God in man form, Martin i.e. Jesus. And attempt, not achieve. Hence, the popular phrase amongst Christians: “what would Jesus do?” I note you’re getting terser and terser, Martin. Is that because the more you say the more you reveal yourself? You revel in your sin, which is hardly Christian. You severely need rebuking.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Actually a man who is also God, one person, two natures, perfect in both.

            And the phrase “what would Jesus do” is very foolish since we are not Jesus.

          • DanJ0

            I note your blatant swerve there.

          • DanJ0

            Actually, let’s look at the detail here again. You appear to be saying that it’s my choice to be ‘saved’ or not. Is that what you’re saying? That is, you don’t hold the strict Calvinistic belief of unconditional election together with irresistible grace?

          • DanJ0

            I note the lack of response here. It’s not hard to guess why.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            What I am saying is that you have a responsibility to respond to God’s offer of mercy. There’s nothing in Reformed doctrine that is contradicted by that.

          • DanJ0

            What offer of mercy has it made to me, and can I actually refuse the offer? I think you’re playing with words now to try to get out of your present difficulty.

          • Martin

            Have you not read this:

            “For God so loved ithe world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life”

            There is the offer, will you accept it?

          • DanJ0

            Can I actually refuse it if the Calvinist god offers it to me? You declined to answer that above. Why?

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Of course you can refuse the offer, you’ve been doing so all your life.

            You may not believe God but you most certainly know God exists. And He has made Himself know to you, you just pretend He hasn’t.

          • DanJ0

            So you don’t believe in irresistable grace afterall?

            I do not believe in a theistic god, which is why I am an a-theist. It’s nice to see you accept that now after your months and months of broken record bullying. Progress! As for knowing a god exists but not believing in a god, that doesn’t make sense of course. sensus divinitatis is a poor argument for multiple reasons which is why one doesn’t see it thrown about much, even by Calvinists. I’m still chuckling about your Latin thing given that John Calvin wrote his core works in Latin. Presumably you didn’t and don’t know that.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            As I have repeatedly said, you know God exists but do not believe Him. Note the absence of the word ‘in’. And of course I believe in irresistible grace.

          • DanJ0

            Your first sentence doesn’t make sense (as usual) and your second sentence has me wondering whether you edited that out afterwards. I don’t mind if you ignore my chuckling about the Latin thing, it must have grated to have an a-theist point that out to you. 😉

            So, let’s have a look at your third sentence. Obviously what I have been doing is comparing and contrasting your alleged religious beliefs with your behaviour so see if it is coherent. I contend not. In this case, I’m investigating what you’re trying to achieve by your tactics.

            Christianity says there’s nothing I can do to deserve ‘salvation’ myself. Well, fair enough. Calvinist-oriented sects say that the Christian god has selected people according to some unknown criteria for ‘salvation’ irrespective of what I do myself. Moreover, it says that I am inherently unwilling to choose ‘salvation’ by myself and that I cannot refuse ‘salvation’ when it is presented.

            Given all that, I have argued that rebuking ‘sinners’ who are outside of the church and behaving like you are behaving with your repeatedly playing your broken record serves no worldly purpose, and that it is unchristian in itself especially when one looks at Jesus’s summary of the ten commandments into two.

            You’ve been very coy about some of those comments, and you have repeatedly swerved around the thrust of it. You have failed to defend or justify your actions other than by misrepresenting verses of the bible. You’ve avoided talk of fruits of the Spirit, sanctification, and 1 Cor 5:12. You’ve tried to worm your way out of behavioural religious obligations. In fact, for the most part you’ve just done the equivalent of putting your fingers in your ears chanting la-la-la-la-la-la.

            Even ignoring the religious stuff and thinking personally, how do you think that you’ve actually helped yourself here? What have you achieved other the hardened my resolve, presented Christianity in a bad light, and invited a hard response back which will continue into the future? It’s a very curious tactic.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            That you hate having your sin pointed out is understandable, equally you hate God and refuse to obey Him. Your only hope is to seek His mercy.

          • DanJ0

            You’re no Christian. You’re clearly not ‘saved’. This is why you have no defence and have to revert to your mantras. Away with your hate and nonsense.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            So what hate is that? I’ve warned you of the consequence of your sin, despite your abuse. That’s hardly an act of hate.

          • DanJ0

            As I’ve said time and again, you’re using your alleged religion as a stick to attack people you hate. You’re certainly no Christian, that much is clear now from this thread.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            I imagine that if anyone warned you that what you were doing would cause you harm or kill you, you’d say they hated you. Nuff said.

          • DanJ0

            But that’s not what you’re doing. You’re doing it repeatedly as a means of attacking someone and doing it knowing that the core premise of your argument is completely rejected by your target. You’re also repeatedly reasserting the core premise of your argument without any supporting evidence too, and you have a known history of being homophobic here. On top of that, you can’t even theologically defend your actions. In short, you’re knowingly using religion as a weapon and in doing so you’re demonstrating that you don’t hold the values and behaviours of that religion yourself. That is, I know for sure that you’re a fraud as well as an aggressor now rather than merely a not very bright religionist from an off-piste branch of the religion. That’s been the sum total of your achievements here.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Of course you reject what I say, you’re a sinner, dead in your sins. That doesn’t mean I don’t have an obligation to warn you and tell you of the wonderful mercy of God.

            I’ve defended my position theologically, not that you could understand of course, otherwise you would have to use your magic word ‘homophobia’. You just do not like to have your sin exposed.

          • DanJ0

            It’s obvious that you’re a fraud because you don’t show any fruits of the Spirit, or even seem to want to do so. You’ve been revealed for what you are, and for what you are not. Away with you, you charlatan.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Again, how would you know?

          • DanJ0

            So-called fruits of the Spirit are observable in our shared reality, unlike most of the religious nonsense you assert. One would expect a proper Christian to show fruits of the Spirit, even if they’re merely aspirational in the absence of an actual Holy Spirit, and you clearly show none. Moreover, you aren’t even interested in trying to demonstrate sanctification. You’re a damned fraud, and we both know it full well now.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            And all the time you are trying to talk me down you are ignoring your state before almighty God. You are condemned and your only hope is mercy.

          • DanJ0

            Luckily for both of us, theism is almost certainly not a true understanding of our reality

          • DanJ0

            As for not liking to have my ‘sins’ exposed, I’ve clearly been happy to state my position here. I regularly declare that I’m an a-theist and a homosexual. I suck cock, Martin, and I enjoy it. For me, sex is not inherently a moral act. I don’t have a belief in a theistic god, and I think theism is a misunderstanding of our reality. In what way is that indicative of being unhappy to have my ‘sin’ exposed? Honestly, you’re such a cretin at times that you beggar belief. Quite literally.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Yes, you like to pretend there is nothing wrong with your sin.

          • DanJ0

            There is no ‘sin’ in the real world because Christianity is just human artifice.

          • DanJ0

            Actually, perhaps this is worth exploring a bit more despite what I’ve said below. Now, from what I have gleaned over time from your comments you appear to be some sort of Reformed Baptist (hence my Westboro Baptist Church comparison). If so then what do you hope to achieve by your regular and targeted broken record of anti-homosexual, no-such-thing-as-an-atheist rhetoric? Are you trying to bring me to your god? That is, do you have a tendency towards Arminianism and are simply very misguided in your approach? I say misguided as you are doing the very opposite as far as I am concerned, and probably as far as other non-religious readers are concerned too. I find you quite evil and pretty repulsive, rather than a city on a hill in the Matthew 5:13-16 sense.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Westboro’ Baptist are hardly reformed and the point is that until you come to realise your sin you will not see your need of a Saviour. You cannot retain your sin and be a Christian, the two are incompatible. Thus your sin must be made plain before we can address God’s offer of mercy.

          • DanJ0

            So, to be absolutely clear, you’re inclined towards Arminianism in your religious beliefs and based on that you hope to bring me to your god to be ‘saved’ by persistently playing your broken record of no-such-thing-as-an-atheist and your anti-homosexual rhetoric, such as that unsubstantiated nonsense about HIV later on in the thread?

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Oh dear, you don’t know much about Calvinism. I merely point out to you the flaws in your pretence.

            I can’t persuade you, that I leave to God who can change you.

          • DanJ0

            Or, rather, I know enough to compare and contrast your religious beliefs with your behaviour here in order to show what you’re actually doing. That is, I’m demonstrating your hypocrisy and sinfulness. The silent reader might have seen the Louis Theroux’s interview with Shirley Phelps-Roper in his disturbing documentary about the Westboro Baptist bunch and draw their own conclusions about Martin from that here.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            And nothing I have said here justifies you. Remember, you are the one who has rebelled against your Maker and His commands. Your hatred of Him is quite clear.

          • DanJ0

            How can I hate something I am almost certain doesn’t exist other than as human artifice? Constant repetition doesn’t turn your cultish beliefs into truth. I note how you have swerved around my comment about your hypocrisy and sinfulness, too. You don’t seem to have a defence for your behaviour. Despite your claim that I am ignorant of Christianity, I have hung you by your own theological petard back there and you know it.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Why should I bother to defend myself against you ad hominems? The bitterness and hatred is clearly seen in in your replies. And of course you know God exists, that too is demonstrated by your bitterness.

          • DanJ0

            You have no reasonable defence, that’s why you’re not deploying one. Your broken record and your rebuking is just a stick you use for your own personal and perverse pleasure. You revel in your own sin. You’re clearly the one with the hatred despite it being unchristian. You’re not drawing your life from the Holy Spirit at all. You’re dead in your own sins.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Remember, it is God who justifies. But of course you don’t want God to justify you, you want to do it yourself.

          • DanJ0

            I’m an a-theist which means I don’t have a belief in a god so naturally your point is moot. Moreover, I don’t justify myself in the religious sense. I’m a moral person of course but I don’t even claim that morality exists independently.

            You have a very simple, one might say very simplistic, view of Christianity. The Holy Spirit thing seems to have passed you by. You seem to have got stuck at justification without seeing the sanctification bit. That is very clear by your behaviour.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            You’re not a moral person, for no one is moral without God and all know God exists.

          • DanJ0

            I note and invite silent readers to note your complete swerve around my comment about sanctification. You repeatedly reveal yourself. You’re no Christian.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            I see very little point in correcting your misunderstanding of Christian doctrine.

          • DanJ0

            You’re no Christian so it’s small wonder you struggle. Perhaps you should attend an alpha course? They’re free, you know.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Why would you think the Alpha Course has anything to do with Christianity?

          • DanJ0

            I’m suggesting you ought to go on one to be introduced to what proper Christians think is the Holy Spirit. Clearly you have no relationship with that, whether real or imagined, at the moment as you appear to be dead in your sins given your behaviour and attitude. Merely saying “I’m saved!” doesn’t mean anything, you know. It certainly doesn’t with me now as I know full well that you’re a fraud after all your mistakes here!

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            The Alpha Course has been influenced by a heretical sect described as Charismatic movement. Every Christian has the Holy Spirit with them, I don’t need to be introduced to Him. I’m afraid you are continuing to demonstrate that you haven’t a clue and are just trying to upset me.

          • DanJ0

            Clearly you don’t have the Holy Spirit with you. You don’t produce fruits of the Spirit, or seem to even want to do so. You’re a fraud. A charlatan. Away with you.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            ROFL, and you would know how?

          • DanJ0

            Martin, you give yourself away every time you reply. You’re clearly godless in every sense of the word. You’re dead in your sins, and you revel in that fact. Are you doing all this for a bet or something?

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            You will note that you did not answer my question.

          • DanJ0

            I have answered that question in multiple places.

    • Martin

      JJ

      You do not seem to understand that there is a difference between the moral and ceremonial law. The latter was never required of the Gentiles, the former was. Perhaps you should spend some time reading Acts.

    • chiaramonti

      There were many things Christ is not recorded as speaking about as there was no need to do so because certain actions were universally understood to be wrong. Where, for example, did he ever say that it was wrong to commit murder? He didn’t need to because it was universally recognised as being sinful and wrong. This is not to equate murder with homosexual sexual acts but it is no argument against the orthodox teaching of the Church that Christ never mentioned it.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Added to Martin’s comment below you need to remember that Jesus said he came to fulfil the Law – which clearly condemns homosexual activity.

  • David

    In the context of the title of this piece, ” A Dictatorship of Relativism” which Catholic Cardinal (?) said, as he gave his advice against “Gay Marriage”, that he was confident he’d die in his bed, but his successor would die in prison, and that man’s successor would be executed ?
    I think he was being very prescient. Because that’s the general trajectory for this increasingly oppressive, group think culture of ours. As the problems that will stem from this anti-nature, anti-God, anti-Reason cultural shift accumulate, its supporters will become increasingly desperate to shift the emotional pain of mounting social dysfunction onto a scapegoat – which will, indeed already is in some senses, be those who continue to hold to a Traditional world view, and not just Christians either.

  • jawjaw2013

    Thanks everyone for your responses to my comment, which were (mostly) reasonable. My original comment set out to discuss the Archbishop’s “apology”, although I enjoyed discussing the broader issue with you. Naturally I don’t think we have got much further along, but then we wouldn’t, would we.

    I can’t however escape the feeling that many of your views are essentially “stop the bus I want to get off”. I think this is fair enough – not everything (in fact a lot) that is new is good, and the best of Christianity – Christ – is 2000 years old. However, I do think most of the justifications for your positions are flawed: much has changed over these years and Christianity – not least the “catholic and reformed” CofE – has changed to reflect that. For all your cultural “disgust” at the behaviour of gay people – I think this is totemic of a wider malaise about society in general: you feel many of your values and traditions are under attack, and quite rightly so.

    But I think this is the wrong battle – to oppose civil marriage for gay people, which is outside the sacrament of the church, simply alienates many people from Christian teaching, because it seems unfair and wrong. Christians do not own the word “marriage”, any more than Muslims in Indonesia own the world “Allah”. It is the values of love and faithfulness that Christians should be promoting, not shunning that nice gay couple next door because they were born differently.

    Anyway, thanks again. And have a good Sunday, wherever you may worship.

    • The Explorer

      Thanks for this, and for the discussion.

    • Martin

      JJ

      What alienates people is their sin, it places them against God. And sex outside of the marriage of one man to one woman is sin. It is that simple. God owns marriage just as He does every single one of us, and indeed all Creation. You cannot change what God has created, even by pretending that those who are ‘gay’ have been “born differently”. They haven’t, they are just more sinners under the wrath of God.

      • cacheton

        What alienates Christians from the rest of society is their (selective) adherence to certain ideas in the Bible which promote the opposite of what they say their core values are, love and tolerance.

        What alienates them even further is that some show no signs of realising that this is what they do.

        • The Explorer

          Tolerance: definition 1. Enduring what you don’t agree with.
          Tolerance: definition 2: open-mindedness. (Often through lack of any convictions about anything).
          I don’t know any Christian for whom definition 2 is a core value. Definition 1 is accepted as part of what it means to live in a fallen world.

          • Martin

            TE

            But of course there are a lot of things we do not tolerate, and many of those we should not tolerate. Tolerance is not a virtue, it is a judgement.

          • The Explorer

            I would say the parable of the wheat and the tares is an example of tolerance. The weeds are tolerated until such time as they are dealt with.

          • Martin

            TE

            Is not the parable of the tares an example of judgement?

          • The Explorer

            Yes, and the separation of wheat and tares is a good argument against Universalism. But the timing of the judgement is significant. The tares are tolerated until then, but not because they are all right really, or as good as the wheat (which ‘tolerance’ in the modern sense would call for).

          • Martin

            TE

            Judgement is made immediately, but sentence is delayed.

        • Martin

          Cacheton

          Tolerance is not a core value for a Christian. Indeed, tolerance is never a core value for anyone. Are you tolerant of those who abuse others? Well a Christian is not tolerant of what destroys mankind, sin.

          Indeed, true love is intolerant of anything that will harm the one loved, and homosexuality is harmful, to the body mind and, most importantly, to the soul. That is why true Christians can never be tolerant of ‘gay’ marriage for it attempts to cover over the sin involved in sex outside of marriage.

          • cacheton

            Usually when one makes a point using a comparison, one tries to use a valid comparison. Your comparison of homosexuality with abuse is not valid.
            Your thought that it ‘destroys mankind’ is not built on your qualities of observation, given you by god, but by your conviction that the bible is the word of god, especially any bits that can be interpreted as condemning homosexuality. Even though you cannot explain how/why you think the bible is the word of god, or why these bits should be any more important to uphold than any other bits, your conviction still trumps your observation. Some people would even say that this (conviction trumping observation) is a good example of sin.

          • Martin

            Cacheton

            So why are you ignoring my main point that tolerance is not a core value?

            The Bible is the word of God and it tells us what we need to know about God and Man. If you wish to ignore the Bible, that is up to you, I can only point you to what it says.

          • cacheton

            You consistently fail to explain in what way the bible is the word of god.
            You have not explained how someone who is sexually attracted to someone else of the same sex is ‘destroying humanity’. You say ‘there is no such thing as orientation’, an assertion you would like to be true so you can justify your prejudices, but which is contrary to your god given powers of observation.
            ‘A pen will impart some of its nature to the writing’ – to me this statement shows desperation – only a desperate mind would invent such rubbish to try and justify its’ belief. But why? What are you frightened may happen if you use those god-given powers of observation uncluttered by your preconceived ‘religious’ ideas?

            I think what we have in common is that neither of us wants to see the church disappear. That is certainly why I read what is on this site and write posts. Re Explorer’s definition of tolerance – enduring what you don’t agree with. I suspect you will say that enduring something does not stop you from saying that you do not agree with it. But if you cannot explain coherently why you do not agree with it, your argument will not hold much water!

          • Martin

            Cacheton

            Not sure why I need to explain a fundamental Christian doctrine on a Christian blog comments section, but the Bible, in it’s original manuscript is, in every word and letter, what God has said, what God has required to be written. Because God is it’s author it is without error in what it says and is totally reliable.

            Romans 1 gives you a description of how God allows men who He has abandoned to their sin to degenerate into thoughtless beasts:

            For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

            Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

            For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

            And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

            (Romans 2:18-32 [ESV])

            It isn’t a matter of prejudice that causes me to say that there is no such thing a orientation, just plain common sense. All you have is immoral activity so it can hardly be called an orientation. Unless of course you are going to call theft and murder an orientation as well.

            Id on’t understand why you would imagine that God using a man as a man uses a pen should be “desperate rubbish”. it is just a way of explaining how God controls what is written in the inspired word of God. I do use my God given powers of observation and they tell me that much of what is claimed of homosexuality is just politically correct rubbish.

            I’d say that if a church is no longer performing it’s God given role then it should disappear. And frankly I think that is what should happen to the CoE.

          • DanJ0

            “It isn’t a matter of prejudice that causes me to say that there is no such thing a orientation, just plain common sense.”

            A statement of religious ‘faith’, arising from religious doctrine, and contrary to real world observation and experience.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            And your statement is other than religious faith, resulting from your faith in yourself as the arbiter of what is true?

          • DanJ0

            “And your statement is other than religious faith, resulting from your faith in yourself as the arbiter of what is true?”

            I’m homosexual, you cretin. I have direct experience of it. If you weren’t so feckin bigoted then you’d ask people like me how we experience it rather than just spew your hate.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Potty language does not improve your argument.

            So are you saying that those with religious belief are incapable of making a reasoned decision? Seems to me that you are so involved in your belief that you are blinded to the facts.

          • DanJ0

            No, I’m saying you are. You just peddle your hate.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            If it were hate why would I continue to tell you of the Saviour who offers you mercy? That’s something Westboro’ won’t tell you of. Remember, you know God exists.

          • DanJ0

            It’s just passive aggression, that’s why. You’re using your religion as a stick to try to beat people you hate i.e. homosexuals. Like the Westboro lot, your hate flows out of you and pollutes the Christianity you claim to hold. If one were to pretend for a moment that the Holy Spirit actually does exist, I have no doubt that it does not know you given your behaviour. There’s nothing good about you that I can see.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Except you’re not an a-theist, nor even an Atheist. You know God exists, so you can’t say there is no God, you can’t even say you don’t think there’s a God.

            I don’t need to beat you, you’re beating yourself. You’re the one who is the slave of sin. You’re the one who rejects the offer of mercy. Why should anyone feel sorry for a fool?

          • DanJ0

            In that case, feel free to demonstrate the values and ideals of mainstream Christianity rather than the values and behaviours of the Westboro Baptist Church. May I suggest Matthew 5:13-16 as a reminder of expected behaviour for Christians?

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Did you not realise that rebuking the sinner and pointing them toward the Saviour is a good work?

          • DanJ0

            How so if you’re inclined towards Calvinism? What difference does it make in the end?

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Mark 6:15

            You are part of that creation.

          • DanJ0

            I expect the Westboro Baptist bunch could use the same pithy justification for their sinful and malignant behaviour too. 😉

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Oh dear, are you feeling got at? Does exposure of your sin hurt your pride? Could it be that you don’t like that first stage of witnessing which points out to the sinner their state? If anyone is judging you it is you, yourself. And remember, you already know God exists.

          • DanJ0

            You think rebuking outsiders to the church who you think are sinners is the first stage of witnessing? You’re no Christian for sure, just a vicious and unpleasant homophobe. The chances of the Holy Spirit knowing you, even if it actually existed, are about zero judging by your behaviour. You revel in your own sin. Worry first about your own judgement if a god truly exists.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Unless you know you have a disease you won’t seek a cure.

            Remember, your magic word doesn’t work on me.

          • DanJ0

            I don’t have a disease in this context, so no cure is necessary. Your snake oil salesmen have no patter that will work with me. Your attempt to define everyone’s world according to your own desire is on a hiding to nothing. You have no foundation for that, just like any other religious person. Your religion floats in the air.

            Attempting to rebuke outsiders according to the internal rules of your religion is not only acrimonious, it is highly unlikely to work with intelligent and knowledgeable people. Even doing it generally in town centres, like those fools do quite regularly, clearly doesn’t work in practice.

            How likely is a targetted one based explicitly on homosexuality going to work with homosexual non-Christians? You’d have to be as thick as two short planks to think that … or a homophobe who gets off on using religion to try to beat up the targets of his hate.

            No, I think real Christians know that the firat stage of witnessing is actually to explain their own experiences of Christianity and what differences Christianity has made in their lives. It’s that city on a hill thing again, Martin. You should really think what that means.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Part of your sickness is the pretence that you are not sick.

          • DanJ0

            That sounds a little like your pretence that the Holy Spirit exists and knows you when clearly it doesn’t judging by your behaviour and attitude.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            That you don’t like my behaviour has more to do with your hatred of God than my behaviour.

          • DanJ0

            I’m simply judging you by the standards and values of your own alleged religion.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            That’s a lie for a start.

          • DanJ0

            I’ve been doing that all along. Clearly you’re no Christian.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            To quote:

            You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44 [ESV])

          • DanJ0

            There’s no point quoting the bible now, you idiot. You’ve given yourself away by not being able to theologically defend yourself other than with that risible ‘spreading the good news’ catchall. I know what you are, and what you are not. You’re no Christian, you’re a fraud. Away with you and your hate-filled, cod-Calvinist nonsense.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            On the contrary, I’ve defended myself as much as I need when you are merely throwing mud in the hope that it might stick.

          • DanJ0

            Theologically, you’ve failed miserably to defend your actions as we both know very well. You’re no Christian. No wonder you don’t show any fruits of the Spirit.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Still showing your ignorance?

          • DanJ0

            You have been unable to defend your actions with scripture, and you clearly don’t show any fruits of the Spirit. What ignorance? You’ve been caught bang to rights, and we both know it full well. Away with you, you charlatan.

          • Martin

            Your total ignorance of Christian doctrine and your cultivated ignorance of the state of your own soul.

            Remember, you are a sinner who must appear before God’s judgement seat. What have you done to prepare for that day?

          • DanJ0

            I’m pretty clued up on core Christianity and most of its sects. This is why I have been able to hold you to account and demonstrate that you’re a charlatan. Pretend you’re one of the elect all you like but your behaviour and attitudes give away what you really are!

      • CHBrighton

        Bollocks

        • Dominic Stockford

          There’s a reasoned argument for us.

  • Albert

    there is no objective or universal way of reading Scripture

    I don’t think that is quite exact. There are objective ways of reading scripture, this is what Paul means when he says we have the mind of Christ. However, it is unlikely that there is one single, exhaustive objective way of reading scripture.

    Such fundamental words as ‘God’, ‘sin’, and ‘salvation’, and their intrinsic theological meanings, do not have exact equivalents in some cultures, or precise definition in others

    This is certainly true of the word “God” in our culture. Outside of the Church, particularly among secularists, the word “God” rarely if ever, means what we mean.