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Countering the warped Christianity of the far right

 

Once upon a time around 15 years ago it was impossible to go to any Christian youth event without seeing a swathe of bracelets marked with ‘WWJD?’. ‘What Would Jesus Do?’ was the fashionable question. These days they’re less common, but sometimes I still catch myself thinking it through. What would Jesus want me to do for those people I know who are going to be on their own this Christmas?

WWJD? is a very sensible question to ask in the appropriate context, but in the wrong one it can be rendered meaningless to the point of nonsense. YouGov carried out a survey last week which was in danger of falling into the latter camp.

How is anyone supposed to answer “Do you think Jesus would support or oppose renationalising the railways, so they are run in the public sector rather than by private companies?”? Unsurprisingly the majority of respondents hadn’t a clue. It wasn’t really a burning issue in first-century Palestine. The issue of dealing with foreigners was, however, so asking, “Thinking about immigration into Britain, which of the following do you think would be Jesus’s view?” was a much more sensible question. Once again, the most popular answer was “Don’t know”. Interestingly, after that the most common reply by far was “Jesus would want no restrictions at all on the amount of immigration into Britain”. This was even the case for Ukip supporters. How many of these views were based on any form of biblical study rather than a hunch, though?

This is often the problem when the public are asked about Jesus. Most would say that He was a good man and then, after that, imagine what He would do or say through the lens of their own interpretation of what it means to be good. Sometimes the result can be profound and revealing, but at others it can end up being quite bizarre. During an interview in the Independent a few weeks ago, atheist comedian Tim Minchin came out with the incomprehensible opinion that “If Jesus were here now he would clearly be a liberal humanist”.

Occasionally assertions about Jesus become more disturbing and sinister. Church of England clergy may be banned from being members of the BNP, but that doesn’t stop it attempting to use Christianity as a weapon. It has a page on its website entitled ‘Jesus is Saviour’ and posted a very creepy fireside video of Nick Griffin retelling the Christmas story on YouTube in 2009. During the same year, in the run-up to the European elections, the BNP unveiled a billboard poster which featured an image of Jesus alongside a quote from John’s Gospel (15:20): “If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” This was followed by “What Would Jesus Do?” and the answer: “Vote BNP”. It almost goes without saying that such a statement wouldn’t hold up to even the most superficial scrutiny.

When political parties claim to be the true representatives of Christianity, or Jesus’ words are taken out of context in the public arena by those in power, great damage can be done. We’ve seen sectarian violence being carried out in the name of Christianity in Northern Ireland and there are plenty of other examples where religion has been taken and used as an excuse to justify horrific wars and crimes. Fortunately the BNP have been sufficiently incompetent and abhorrent in their views to have been firmly rejected by the majority, but that hasn’t stopped some of their twisted religious rhetoric from lingering on.

Britain First, which is a recent offshoot of the BNP, put up a candidate at last month’s Rochester and Strood by-election. Speaking ahead of the by-election, their leader Paul Golding claimed that religion is fundamental to his movement’s core message. Britain First carries out vigilante so-called Christian patrols harassing Muslims in the East End of London. “All our historical figures, Churchill, Nelson, Cromwell, Elizabeth… all of them are Christian,” he said. “This country is built on Christianity. People think of Jesus as some tree-hugging, sandal-wearing liberal, which is not the case.”

“(In the Bible) Jesus Christ uses physical violence at times, like in the temple in Jerusalem, when he physically attacked people who were trading in the temple grounds, and it says in the Bible he came to bring a sword, not to bring peace.”

The warped and selective views of Golding don’t deserve the attention that this piece has probably given them, but how many of us could argue against them if it was necessary? How much more does the average Christian know about the real Jesus compared to your average person on the street? It’s probably not as much as ought to be the case.

We might not ever have to take on someone with far-right views, but what should we say about our multicultural society, British values, the role of faith schools, immigration, the rise of Islam or the benefits system? These are very real issues that can’t be dodged either, because they affect us directly or will need to be addressed at the ballot box in our decision on where to place our ‘X’.

Those of us who call ourselves Christians do our faith a disservice if we make judgements regarding politics and the state of our society that are not grounded in a solid understanding of what Jesus would expect from us.

‘What Would Jesus Do?’ bracelets might not be quite so fashionable these days, but the question is only going to grow in relevance over the coming years in a world where religious and secular tensions continue to increase. And, as this happens, both the Church and individual Christians need to be prepared to give an account and take on these challenges with words and actions that are full of God’s power, grace and wisdom.

This article was first published at Christian Today on Monday 1st December.

  • len

    Perhaps a more pertinent question would be what IS Jesus doing.
    Jesus is working through the Holy Spirit expressing His Life in believers who are committed to following Him.
    We cannot act out what we think Jesus might do in a given situation but we can be guided by His Spirit and act accordingly.This is the Christian life.

    • dannybhoy

      “We cannot act out what we think Jesus might do in a given situation but
      we can be guided by His Spirit and act accordingly.This is the
      Christian life.”
      Agreed. A believer is surrendered to the Lord, to be prompted by the Holy Spirit and guided by Him.
      I had a very interesting talk with a call centre guy whilst renewing my car insurance. I still pray for him and his situation.
      I honestly believe that the Lord who knows all hearts can prompt us to say or do something to meet a need or open a conversation.
      That’s the wonder of the Holy Spirit led life.

  • Paul Dean

    I think a more biblical and more useful question than WWJD is “What is Jesus about to do through me?” If we are in Christ and Christ is in us, this is the reality. (1 Cor 6:15)

  • Graham Wood

    I’m not sure of the actual point of this article. Gillan perhaps you need to clarify what you mean by “the right”, or even “the far right”. Or for that matter the same meaningless concept of “the left”?

    • Shadrach Fire

      What is left and what is right in political terms and in Christian terms? When the left can be right and the right can be left, where are you? Is a fundamental right wing? But if they have compassion for the poor are they left wing as well?
      Well questioned Graham. Norman Y.

  • It is fairly uncontroversial to say that Jesus asked far more questions than he answered. That immediately suggests to me that he wanted people to think and pray.

    There is a fairly even spread of openly Christian politicians. The sensible ones don’t play that card when they are doing their day job. Instead, they expect their personal faith to infuse and inform their views. This is sensible. As is implied in the article, modern issues do not have direct parallels with Biblical times; indeed it is spurious to try and make them. In a way, this is the main problem with Islam. It’s wackier proponents attribute rules from the wrong end of the telescope, and in doing so have attempted to return society to the middle ages.

    What I find increasingly challenging myself is the clear message that modern liberal thinking does not sit well with the recorded words of Jesus. We cannot expect to get away with spinning these words to suit our views.

  • Athanasius

    What Jesus would do is always problematical. I have had discussions on this topic with atheists conditioned to the assumption of gentle Jesus, meek and mild, which I have found to be the default in traditionally Protestant countries. Possibly, this a consequence of the co-opting of the Church into the service of the state, nowhere achieved with more complete smoothness than in England, hence the stereotype of the Milquetoast CofE vicar. In that scenario, we don’t want to present too much of what our American cousins would call a “kickass” Jesus. It therefore often comes as something of a pause-giver to my atheist inquisitors when I portray the Jesus who physically booted the moneychangers out of the Temple, the Jesus who came to set son against father and daughter against mother, and the Jesus who warned that His Father would say to those on His left, “depart from me, ye cursed, into the eternal fire”.

    Jesus may have been many things, but He was not all things to all men. You don’t shape Him to you, you shape you to Him.

    • saintmark

      32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

      34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.

      Mmmm, yes, I hadn’t thought of that before, only those on the right are saved and all the while those on the left are believing they are doing the will of God.

      • Athanasius

        Why do you assume they believe any such thing? There are many who do what they do simply for the pleasure of it with no thought of God whatsoever. My point was a response to the modernist notion of Jesus being some kind of enabler who will, under the banners of “compassion” and “tolerance”, accept anyone doing anything.

        • Nick

          Almost always (and perhaps it is part of the Christian growth phase), a Christian will gravitate towards a more ‘kickass’ Christ. It can’t even be called a whim because it is so persistent a phase. But is it accurate or is it as much a caricature as the urban-myth Jesus?

  • carl jacobs

    I know how to define the Left. It’s that collection of world views that find their common source in the French Revolution.

    What exactly defines “the far right?” My experience is that “the far right” is defined by “the Left” and serves to illustrate by means of contrast all the (alleged) virtues of “the Left.” In practice that means Hitler, or Nazi, or fascist, because (you know) those are all things that the Left isn’t. But what puts National Socialism in the same camp as Edmund Burke?

    • John Moore

      But the term NAZI

    • Athanasius

      I would argue that the key concept is not “left” and “right” in any traditional sense, for when we argue that, we argue what have, in essence, become merely items in random pigeon-holes. The key to understanding the whole thing is materialism; whether you are of the opinion that everything is explainable in terms of economic forces, or if you believe in something more. From that standpoint, both communism and neo-liberalism are poisons extracted from the same root, and, while they may not have been as immediately deadly as their communist counterparts, Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan will both come to be seen in time as every bit as noxious as Karl Marx.

      • Busy Mum

        Go into any secondary school and you will find that Thatcher and Reagan are regarded by the younger generation as far more noxious than Karl Marx.

      • carl jacobs

        Athanasius

        So then who would represent your ideal leader? What is the ‘something more’ he should believe in?

        • Athanasius

          What a strange question for a Christian to ask.

          • carl jacobs

            Athanasius

            Well, then, let my clarify. Since you have declared Thatcher and Reagan to be of the same kind as Stalin (if not the same degree) then what person would you have replaced them with? I am looking for a name. You must have someone in mind who fits the ideal mould.

          • Athanasius

            There is no ideal mould this side of Heaven. I think that inadvertently, you’ve struck on the fault line which runs between Catholicism and Protestantism. In Mark 10:18, a young man addresses Jesus as “good Sir”, to which Jesus responds, “why do you call Me good? Only My Father in heaven is good”. Now, this may seem like a very innocuous passage, but in fact, it’s the heart of the difference between Catholicism and Protestantism. Within Catholicism, we have a picture of what it means to be good – we must actually be Godlike, and for this reason the Catholic Church maintains what, to the “modern” mind, seems like ridiculous prohibitions on such things as sex outside marriage, contraception, divorce and remarriage etc;. Protestantism, on the other hand, teaches us only how to avoid the most egregious evils, which is a standard a very long way short of being actually “good”. In short, Catholicism is utterly unrealistic, which is probably why it’ll be around after the last Protestant parish has closed its doors, despite the Church’s current difficulties.

            Nevertheless, while the Church may act as an ark to get individual souls into Heaven, it will not change the world here on Earth. When you look at it, it hasn’t really changed anything in two thousand years. We still kill unwanted children by the thousands, only now we don’t expose them, we abort them and call it a “woman’s issue”. We no longer enslave people from developing countries, instead we employ them as illegal labour to harvest our crops and look after our children. And if we don’t have gladiatorial contests anymore, we still have a place for the sons of the poor in the military expanding our empires, only we do so now for the profits of the oil companies rather than as an exercise in rallying the Roman mob (although there’s an element of that too). We haven’t evolved socially at all since the days of Rome, and with that in mind, short of the Second Coming, there is nobody who “fits the ideal mould”, as you put it, nor can there ever be. I merely state that Thatcher and Reagan were feeding from the same intellectual trough as Karl Marx and Lenin. Other leaders, although theoretically of the supposed “left” or “right”, were not driven purely and exclusively by what they perceived to be historical forces based solely on economics, and were in consequence somewhat better for their peoples. In the British model, Clement Attlee, Harold Wilson and – to an extent – the so-called One Nation Tories such as Edward Heath. In the US, there were the two Roosevelts and – again, to an extent – Eisenhower. Kennedy is too iconic and didn’t live long enough for us to get a truly accurate picture.

        • dannybhoy
  • Martin

    What would Jesus do is one of those meaningless phrases that crop up from time to time in a Christian context where the user doesn’t really understand the gospel. For a start, we are not in the place Jesus was in, we do not have the knowledge and understanding that Jesus had as God, nor His power. It could almost be said to be bordering on idolatry, justifying our own fallible judgement.

    So what is unusual about men trying to use the gospel as a tool to advance their own standing. The seven sons of Sceva tried it, Constantine tried it, as have popes and other rulers down the ages. Who does it fool but those who do not think.

    Christians are called to think, to examine and to test. When someone comes to a Christian with a claim they should be testing it against the Bible and examine the fruit. And Christians should not be silent in rejecting the claims.

    But there are plenty of people out there who think they are Christians and will be fooled by those claiming to come in Christ’s name, whether from the left, like some bishops, or from the right as above.

  • Linus

    Jesus is a few lines of text in an ancient book distinguished by its absence of plot in favor of dumb narrative and by its two dimensional cardboard cut-out characters.

    The character of Jesus is written in a deliberately vague and undeveloped manner. That way you can project whatever motivations and emotions you like onto him and make him into whatever you want him to be.

    Jesus is the Grand Old Duke of York of messiahs. When his followers are left, he’s left. When his followers are right, he’s right. And when his followers are only halfway left (or right) he is neither left nor right. So Conservatives and Ukippers can claim him. And Socialists can claim him. And even the few LibDems that Cleggers and his Spanish infanta haven’t already dragged screaming into the pit of hell can claim him.

    So really, political allegiances tell us nothing about Jesus. They tell us a lot about the people who clothe him in such allegiances, but nothing about the stick figure they hang such garments on.

    • len

      It is said that when you read the Bible(assuming that you have ?) the Bible reads you…which makes your comments somwhat predictable?.

      • Linus

        The Bible can’t read anyone or anything. It can’t read period. It’s just a whole lot of words printed on paper and bound into a book. It doesn’t have any eyes to read with, any optic nerves to transmit visual images with, and any brain to process those images into coherent (or even incoherent) thought with.

        Your comment is therefore meaningless. Unless you mean that God reads me as I read the Bible. That’s not what you wrote, but I’ve known Christians long enough to realize that many of them do conflate their God with their Holy Book and think they’re one and the same.

        If this is the case, my response would be that as I have no proof that God exists, I can also have no proof that he is reading me. If you can offer me any proof that he is, I’m perfectly willing to examine it and see if it stands up to basic scrutiny.

        Problem is, it never does…

        • Nick

          Dumb narrative? Whatever happened to free-thinkers? They used to at least appreciate parable and the depth of the Bible. These days some people say the free-thinkers are all the same.

        • dannybhoy

          “If this is the case, my response would be that as I have no proof that
          God exists, I can also have no proof that he is reading me. If you can
          offer me any proof that he is, I’m perfectly willing to examine it and
          see if it stands up to basic scrutiny.”

          Well. one day Linus you will find out one way or the other.
          If there’s nothing you won’t know because you’ll have ceased to exist anyway, and if there is… you can tell Him what you think of Him and he’ll probably put you in a litttle corner well away from Him and everyone else..

          • Linus

            It seems most likely to me that I’ll never find out. If when I die there is, as I suspect, no God and death equates to oblivion, I’ll never know if I was right or wrong because I won’t exist.

            I can only know what happens after I die if I’m wrong and there is an afterlife. But who will I be meeting? God? Allah? Vishnu? The Flying Spaghetti Monster? None of the above?

            And what proof do I have that the Bible has anything to do with the real God, if there is one. It could just be a myth and a legend made up by Bronze Age goatherds that was seized on by crafty political leaders because of the opportunities it provided for the domination of unruly populations. “The meek shall inherit the earth” reads like a dictator’s manifesto, after all.

            So is YHWH the real God or is he just a literary construct? For all I know, the real God could well be called Gary or Sharon and live in a suburban semi in a heavenly version of Croydon. Can you prove to me that this is not the case?

        • len

          “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged
          sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and
          marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”(Hebrews 4;12)
          Of course the Living Word ‘Jesus Christ’ is everywhere by the Power of His Spirit He comes and goes where He pleases and speaks to those who seek Him with a honest heart seeking Truth.
          If you are merely asking Jesus to present himself to you so you can examine him to see if He comes up to your expectations (as He did to many and they still did not believe him) why should He?.
          Jesus Christ can only be revealed to us through God Himself..by divine revelation….

          Perhaps a good place to start seekingTruth.

          • Linus

            Well, apparently this Jesus says he loves me and wants me live with him in bliss forever and ever. But I don’t know him from Adam and I’m certainly not going to commit to someone whose best offer is “read about me in a book”.

            I mean, did you order your wife from a mail-order catalogue? Or did you have a chance to meet and fall in love with her before you decided to spend your life with her?

          • len

            You are conflating spiritual matters with physical matters which will lead to some confusion…… apparently?

            The Holy Spirit( the Spirit of Jesus Christ) speaks to the human spirit.The spirit is the essence of a person the part that lives forever (whatever the destination one decides on Earth)

          • Linus

            And you’re fantasizing about spiritual matters and claiming they exist on a separate plane from physical matters. But really they only exist in your head. Or if they are real, you can’t provide any evidence for them.

            I’m just supposed to take your word for these spiritual matters, am I? Well, I wonder who are you that your unsupported claims should have any kind of influence over me?

            In any case, if you refer to your Holy Book, you’ll see that the character of Christ claims the Church, of which I assume you’re a member in some form or another, as his bride. Eternity for you, if it actually exists outside your imagination, will therefore be some kind of enormous polygamous marriage with one groom and millions of brides, both female and male.

            Good luck with that! I hope you have lots of fun on your wedding night!!!

    • dannybhoy

      Well hiya Linus!
      I was a Conservative. Jesus didn’t figure in that. Now I’m in UKIP and Jesus isn’t featured there either, although the little group I’m involved with know I’m a Christian,
      I.m invilved in CofE church with my wife and they know we’re evangelicals. I’m also invilved in our Churches Together group and we invite people from all backgrounds to have meals with us.
      Your assumptions about the teachings of our Lord Jesus are way off the mark.

      • Nick

        I had this theory that Christ wasn’t in the Tory party or UKIP too.

        • dannybhoy

          Of course He wasn’t. The Lord is interested in the state of our hearts and whether or not we are a part of His kingdom.
          That doesn’t mean we can’t be involved in politics or phiiosophy or even stamp collecting, as long as we remain aware of Him and listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit.

          • Nick

            I know, forgive me dannybhoy, it was a cheap shot.

          • dannybhoy

            That’s okay. I’ve done cheap shots myself!

          • Wot’s a “cheap shot”? Where are they being retailed? Jack thought we’d covered ‘Black Friday’ already.

          • Nick

            I have many of them so I’m willing to share Jack. ‘Let he who has two cheap shots give unto him who has none. No need to crush the masses in a scramble for them. They are not desirable items.

          • Not desirable items? Are you offering Happy Jack a scorpion, Nick?

          • Nick

            Neither egg nor scorpion. Words are all I have to give.

          • dannybhoy

            Har de Har de Harrrr!

  • Busy Mum

    Why shouldn’t people like Golding select and warp the Scriptures when many other people calling themselves Christians do the same? Or are ‘selective and warped’ subjective terms to describe the views of anybody perceived to be more right-wing than oneself?

  • carl jacobs

    Gillan

    Am I supposed to infer that the Christian People’s Alliance is part of the “far right?” I had never heard of them before. I spent a few minutes on the Christian Party’s (badly designed) website. I didn’t see anything that made me think anything other than “ordinary Conservative.” Is that picture at the head of the post supposed to be definitional?

    • Busy Mum

      Being what you and I would call an ‘ordinary conservative’ is tantamount to inviting people to call you things like Nazi, Fascist, Hitler etc

    • An uncharacteristically obtuse comment, Mr Jacobs. The clearest inference is that the Christian People’s Alliance claims to be the only party able to “beat the BNP” (ie the ‘far right’, of whom you have doubtless heard). While that claim is plainly absurd electoral hyperbole, the picture elicits a further question germane to the topic at hand: the extent to which any political organisation may legitimately claim to be the (definite article) Christian party.

      • grutchyngfysch

        Entertainingly enough, the BNP used to claim to be the only “real Green Party”, which may suggest an interesting trajectory for them to pursue now that UKIP have rounded up the right-wing protest votes (and a few of the racist votes too, no doubt).

        Actually, now that I think about it, there may be more in this than meets the eye: after all, “Voting Green will keep the BNP out of power”…

        http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2009/may/05/greens-bnp-euro-election

      • carl jacobs

        Archbishop Cranmer

        Well… I’m an American, so you have to make allowances for us when it comes to British politics. That picture just confused me. I had never heard of either party. And the slogan reads “We can beat the BNP other parties can’t.” It made no sense to me at all – even allowing for the non-standard English used in Britain. I thought “Which BNP is it that the other parties can’t beat?” I thought it might actually be a plea to BNP supporters.

        Anyways. It sort of makes sense now.

        • “Well… I’m an American, so you have to make allowances for us when it comes to British politics.”

          Not just British politics, Jack would say. Still, we’re a tolerant bunch.

    • grutchyngfysch

      There are two parties: the Christian People’s Alliance (http://goo.gl/qyht6U) and the Christian Party (http://goo.gl/pg3jgc). The latter is described as being more right wing than the former, but your mileage may vary depending on definitions.

      Confusingly, they used to run on a joint ticket, although this is no longer the case – which would date the image being used to the last European elections (we don’t have second preferences in General Elections) and make questionable its value for drawing current inferences. A reverse search shows this particular image being used in only one context (http://goo.gl/z9kn7p), which isn’t much more illuminating.

      The CP’s take on the CPA is that the latter is “a Christian values party” whilst the CP frames itself as a “Christian faith-based party” – it also maintains that the CPA is pro-EU to it’s Eurosceptic position (http://goo.gl/csyStq – if the title of this one doesn’t bring Happy Jack running, I don’t know what will). That said, the CPA’s own description of its policies look a bit more like jaded pro-Europe, leaning towards Euroscepticism, to me (http://goo.gl/mx9kaQ).

      Both parties run similar views on Immigration, and place Immigrant-affirming verses from Scripture at the top of their policies. I’m not enormously sure that this will be amenable to BNP voters looking to cast their votes around, but hey – perhaps at the next election they won’t repeat election phrases from 3-5 years ago. Especially since UKIP has nailed the BNP’s chances.

      • Grutchyngfysch, Jack is not aware of any political party that has an exclusively Roman Catholic membership.

        (That avatar looks familiar. From Belfast, isn’t it?)

        • grutchyngfysch

          Aye Jack it is. For the avoidance of doubt I am indeed AnonymousInBelfast, but had this Disqus account for longer than our host’s switch to it, so any cybershenanigans are unintentional. Though, I seem to recall someone (I want to say Bluedog, but this may be a false recollection on my part) accusing me of being you and Cressida, so I guess if you’re already convinced this will simply be more evidence to the auto da fé, so to speak.

          • You were accused of being Happy Jack? !!!!
            (Good to see you back.)

          • carl jacobs

            Good to see Ya, grutch. I have missed your comments.

          • grutchyngfysch

            Cheers Carl – I occasionally pop back on to watch the flow of th arguments (usually to your credit), so I’ve only been incorporeal rather than entirely absent, but life is such that I tend to use my spare time for sleeping these days 🙂

          • carl jacobs

            Good to see Ya, grutch. I have missed your comments.

  • Shadrach Fire

    Gillan said; We’ve seen sectarian violence being carried out in the name of Christianity in Northern Ireland and there are plenty of other examples where religion has been taken and used as an excuse to justify horrific wars and crimes.
    How well do you know NI? I was frequently there during the troubles, in fact there was a soldier at the end of the road when I got married in 1970. The conflict was never about religion or Jesus. It was republicans against those who wanted to remain British.
    Many times wars are fought in the name of religion but never in the name of Jesus (except perhaps the Crusades). In the middle ages the Catholics and Protestants beat the hell out of each other. It has been written on this blog recently that we are guilty of too much criticism of the brethren. Even today in articles like this we criticise the brethren more that we do the devil and his cohorts. They may be wrong in their interpretation but so are we to bring an emphasis to their errors.

    • James60498 .

      To the extent that he said being used as an excuse he may be right.
      Other than that, it is Irish v. British. And I say that married to a Northern Irish woman and having left a place literally two minutes before a shooting.

    • Uncle Brian

      Yes, that’s my understanding too about the sectarian violence in NI. There are two communities who don’t like each other, don’t intermarry, don’t want to work in the same jobs or live in the same streets. One community, the people with Scottish surnames, wear a badge that says “Protestant” while the other side have Irish surnames and wear a badge that says “Catholic”. But the quarrel was never about religious belief.

  • Nick

    It’s very tricky to figure out what Christ may think about a whole host of issues. What Christ thinks and what the majority of the Church thinks are also not necessarily the same thing. You can’t really say he was/is right wing, although there is evidence for this if you look at his emphasis on personal responsibility. You also can’t say that he was/is liberal although there is an argument for this in his rejection of violence and his view of sin as a sickness. The fact is that a whole host of our dearest opinions are probably out of sync with what Christ thinks, but maybe Christ is okay with this – becoming Christ-like is not so much in having the same opinions about issues but in being more loving (although maybe that’s a liberal view). He famously remained elusive, silent and enigmatic over many topics (including homosexuality). Politically it is hard to say whether he would even support democracy – after all his kingdom is an absolute monarchy so you would assume he would support this model rather than the democracy which many hold dear and fight wars for. He remains engimatic and I think he likes it that way for now.

  • What would Jesus do?

    Jesus would be neither “left” nor “right” in His politics. He would expect us to faithfully translate His commandments into contingent social, economic and political action appropriate to particular situations. To take the Commandments of God and the personal morality of the Sermon on the Mount, and apply them conscientiously across all our actions. He would expect an orthodox Christian Church, basing its teachings on scripture and tradition, to inform this process and to guide us in all our individual activities – as private individuals, family and community members, and as political and economic agents.

    • Nick

      But would he Happy Jack? Seems to me that Christ is probably laughing his head off that none of us (I speak for myself) really know him or his views. Above all he seems to want to remain enigmatic. His commandments are that we should love each other, forgive, not judge, not worry, have faith and all the inferences of the parables. We can’t win. Christ remains enigmatic and you would have to be a philistine not to find him fascinating, but when it comes to politics, most of us are just guessing.

      • Jack doesn’t believe Jesus is laughing, Nick. Not at the way the West is going. Whilst Jesus’ Kingdom does not belong to this world. He expects us to conform our lives to His in all spheres and do all we can to order society according to God’s ordinances. He was not enigmatic about this.

        Jesus when He said “Render therefore to Caesar that which is Caesar’s and to God those things which are God’s” placed responsibility on us to decide what we owe God and what we owe the state. Unfortunately, the Church has done a poor job in forming the faith and conscience of Christians over the past 40 years. Now we’re seeing the results — in public life, in economic activity, in families and in the confusion of our individual lives.

        • Nick

          I was reliably and forcibly informed the last time I was on this blog that Jesus has only rights and no responsibilities. Therefore if Christ wants to laugh or dance over us or simply show mild amusement at my ridiculous thoughts then I’m not one to judge. However, the question remains – Christians have the right to influence politics, campaign and lobby Government – but why the hell join it?

          • “Jesus has only rights and no responsibilities.”

            Whilst on earth, He was both God and man and had all the human responsibilities we have now. But you’re right, now He has returned to His Father, He is free to regard us all as He chooses.

            “Christians have the right to influence politics, campaign and lobby Government – but why the hell join it?”

            Because if they don’t Hell will reign more freely than it otherwise might? Some Christians will be called to political life.

          • Nick

            I suppose. But if all Christians rejected that call then just think of the respect which we would earn from the people.

          • We wouldn’t last 5 minutes once we abandon the political square.

          • Nick

            But lots of churches do in other countries. We should go underground.

          • Too soon to abandon stations just yet and remember many persecuted Christians depend on us to bring their situation to public attention.

          • Nick

            We could let them do that in America. Do you think the idea is cowardly? Think of the opportunities of an underground church. I’m just putting the idea out there – like an egg (not like a scorpion). Think of it like a beautiful golden egg – maybe of no practical use, but very nice to take out, handle and consider now and again in times of crisis.

    • IanCad

      Jack,
      Sounded pretty good until you got to Scripture and Tradition.”
      One or the other. You can’t have both.

      • According to Saint Paul you can, Ian.

        • IanCad

          Yes Jack, but he is talking of the traditions given orally by apostles and prophets inspired of God. Not the traditions later invented by men.
          Hence, Sola Scriptura.

          • Is he? Not as Jack reads his writings. And where is ‘Sola Scriptura’ written is scripture?
            We’ve been here before. As you know, as far as Jack is concerned it’s an unscriptural doctrine. A doctrine invented by man some 500 years ago and one that is responsible for all division amongst those subscribing to it.

          • IanCad

            Many times! And let me add, generally forcefully argued but with goodwill.

          • One has to be understanding towards heretics, don’t you agree?
            And Jack is trying …… sure you’ll agree with that.

          • IanCad

            What with all of our disputations you should have understanding.

          • CliveM

            Yes Jack, you are very trying!

          • Uncle Brian

            In all seriousness, Ian, is it really mentioned in the Bible? Can you quote chapter and verse?

          • IanCad

            Uncle Brian; “Many times” was referring to Jack’s “We’ve been here before”
            Matthew 5:18
            Galatians 1:6-9
            James 1:25
            Isaiah 40:6-8
            Deuteronomy 4:12, 12:32
            Ian

          • Uncle Brian

            Thanks, Ian. Yes, I misunderstood your “many times”, but okay, here we are. I’ve had a quick look at your six verses but for the time being I want to talk about just one of them, Matt. 5.18. I wanted to make sure I hadn’t misunderstood what you mean by “sola scriptura”, so I looked it up on an SDA website and this is the definition I found: ”The Bible, and the Bible only, is the authority for Christian faith and practice.” Link:

            http://www.thh-friedensau.de/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Aufsatz-Vortrag003a.pdf

            But if you try and use Matt. 5.18 in support of that doctrine, you end up tying yourself in logical knots. Matt 5.18 refers to the Law, the Torah, the Pentateuch. But if you wish to assert that the Pentateuch, and the Pentateuch only, is the authority for Christian faith and practice, you are discarding all the rest of the OT, from Joshua to Malachi, and also, of course, you are discarding the whole of the NT, including Matthew. The logical conclusion can only be that Matthew is not an authority for Christian faith and practice. But I’m sure, of course, that you don’t believe that. Conclusion: there must be something wrong with the premise that you started out from. There may be more than one way of putting that right, but the simplest and most straightforward way would be to recognise that Matt. 5.18 does not support the “Sola Scriptura” doctrine.

            If you object that the expression “the Law” in that verse does not refer to the Pentateuch but to the whole of the scriptures accepted by the SDA Church as Holy Writ, then you have another problem. What is your authority for claiming that, in
            this verse, the word “Law” has that meaning? Can you find a chapter and verse in the Bible to substantiate that claim?

            Regards
            Brian

          • IanCad

            Uncle Brian,

            Tossed a coin to decide to whom I should address my response and heads came up with Uncle Brian rather than Happy Jack.

            Must admit that I read the comments yesterday morning and thought; “Oh Dear! I have my work cut out.”

            It was most fortuitous that my wife and daughter had to go to Gatwick to fly out for a cruise. The day was concerned with packing and re-packing in preparation for the long drive up and back.

            Well, today is another day and I still have the same problem. Namely – how to respond in a limited time – to a subject that I really wish I had not started.

            To answer your entirely valid objections – verse by verse – would require a theological treatise. To generalize is to do a disservice to you both; but, it is to that artifice I must resort.

            The tenor of The Word is the law, and our subjection to it. Whether the Law of Moses or the Ten Commandments. Upon this our conduct shall be judged.

            Tradition, as most Protestants define it – at least, within the confines of Catholic/Reform debate – is the addition of rites or obligations not in harmony with scripture. It does not follow that celebrations or remembrances such as Christmas or Easter should be discarded because no mention of them is made in Holy Writ. Neither (To my mind) should great works of art or our magnificent churches and cathedrals be discounted because there was no scriptural charge to create such things of beauty.

            Re-reading this prior to posting, it seems evasive. Throwing around bible verses willy-nilly is not wise in a blog format. I have done it before to my discomfort. I should probably have talked of the “Sufficiency of Scripture” and then could have confined my quotation to just one verse: 2 Timothy 3:17

            Maybe I’m digging myself a deeper hole.

            Regards,

            Ian

          • Uncle Brian

            Hello again, Ian. Now you make it sound much more reasonable! When people like me say they disagree with
            “sola scriptura”, it’s not the “scriptura” they’re disagreeing with, only the “sola”. For example, to start off at a very basic level, the word “trinity” occurs nowhere in either the Old or the New Testament. Does that mean that you have to choose between believing in the Holy Trinity and believing in Sola Scriptura? On the face of it, going by the dictionary meaning of the word “sola”, I’d say the answer is Yes, you do have to choose, and I choose the Trinity. But from your latest comment, it looks as though it may not be quite as black and white as all that. Is there a grey area?

          • IanCad

            Uncle Brian,
            A grey area? Certainly many dark areas. We only see in part.
            Although, as you say, the word “Trinity” is not in the Bible we may infer from the many descriptions of the governance of Heaven that such does exist.
            We could take another unmentioned word – “Rapture” – from it has sprung several varieties of modern beliefs. To my mind fanciful but I’m sure to the followers the essence of truth.
            What a privilege we have to be able to debate these thorny issues without fear or oversight.
            Getting late UB.
            Closing down for the Sabbath.
            Always good talking with you.
            Ian

          • Uncle Brian

            Shabat shalom, Ian! See you on Sunday.
            Regards
            Brian

          • None of which present ‘Sola Scripture’ as a biblical principle for the New Covenant in Christ..

            Matthew 5:18 – applies to the Old Testament and the core, rather than the law, of its teachings otherwise we’d still have circumcision etc.;

            Galatians 1:6-9 – references preaching of the Gospel;

            James 1:25 – again talks about the overarching moral law and preaching;

            Isaiah 40:6-8 – references the Word of God not written scripture;

            Deuteronomy 4:12 – references the revelation to Moses;

            Deuteronomy 12:32 – references the Mosaic Covenant.

          • IanCad

            HJ,
            You lost the toss. Wrote to Uncle Brian.
            Ian

  • Inspector General

    Young Dillan rushes into the room….

    “Mummy, Mummy ! Something terrible has happened !”

    “What ails you so, lamb. You tell mummy”

    “It’s the far right. They’re mentioning…no I can’t say it”

    “Out with it sweetheart. Tell mummy your troubles”

    {SNIFF} “JESUS. They’re mentioning JESUS !!!”

    “Calm down, treasure. Is that all ? Don’t worry yourself, the far right are finished in the UK. They never really got going. They measure their support in dozens of votes these days. Not tens of thousands. There now. Aren’t you reassured about that ?”

    “But Mummy, you haven’t been listening, it’s the far right…”

    {SMACK!}

    {HOWL!}

    {WHIMPER…} “I think I’m beginning to see things your way Mummy”

    “That’s good son, because there’s plenty more where that came from…”

    And so young Dillan settled down for the night and eventually
    went to bed, still wondering what else there is in grown up life that can scare a sensitive young thing like him sh_tless…

    (Authors note: Any apparent connection our over complaining juvenile hero has with persons living or dead or neither is purely coincidental.)

  • I note that many in the above quoted YouGov survey stated that “Jesus would want no restrictions at all on the amount of immigration into Britain”.

    The churches today frequently conform to the tenets of liberal secularism on immigration. I contend that they are mistaken, and I courteously argue this, not from any right wing perspective, but from a Biblical one.

    Justin Welby recently stated concerning immigration, “At the heart of Christian teaching about the human being is that all human beings are of absolutely equal and infinite value”. One responds politely that the equality of all peoples is simply not the issue when discussing immigration. No one supporting tighter border controls is saying that immigrants are of less value as human beings.

    The Archbishop continued, “The language we use must reflect the value of the human being and not treat immigration as just a deep menace that is somehow going to overwhelm a country that has coped with many waves of immigration”.

    At the heart of this statement is the notion that the levels of immigration sustained by this nation historically are comparable to the levels experienced in the last 50 years. This line of argument, however, is surely unsustainable, because the recent levels are simply so much higher than, say, the 50,000 Huguenots who came to England after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes.

    Furthermore, with immigration in the past the obvious necessity of integration was never questioned, whereas since the 1960s the nation has embraced the completely opposing doctrine of multiculturalism, whereby it is deemed the norm for distinct communities to retain their own culture and identity alongside the host community.

    One asserts most strongly that we love and welcome our neighbour whoever he is and wherever he comes from, but that does not mean that Christians should turn a blind eye to the difficulties which large-scale immigration brings, such as wage depression amongst the lower paid, pressures on public services and the cultural transformation of neighbourhoods. Nor is remotely right-wing to point out these problems.

    If multicultural and multiracial societies are a moral imperative, then every other country on earth should also be encouraging large-scale immigration. Every country in Africa, Asia, South America and the Middle East should be relaxing border controls in order to eradicate any existing broadly mono-ethnic or mono-cultural identity. That is the logic of the liberal secularist position, which the churches have willingly emulated.

    It is not, however, the teaching of the Bible, in which we find God Himself ordaining nationhood and upholding the principle of controlled borders (Genesis 10:5, 11:7-8, 30:25; Numbers 20:17; Deuteronomy 30:25; Proverbs 22:28). Yes, under the new covenant, God’s spiritual kingdom is made up of people of every tribe and tongue, but the propriety of retaining national boundaries and national identity is still upheld (Acts 17:26-27; Romans 9:3, Romans 11:1).

    • Nick

      I disagree. Even in the Bible the Jews are told to treat their immigrants not as second-class citizens. But that is the situation in the UK towards immigrants today. Also Christ praised many immigrants within the gospel and he even formed a parable in which an immigrant was the hero. That is because he was aware that nationalistic feeling can end up treating foreigners as second-class citizens. This is the situation which we have today in the UK with the general feeling of antagonism from many of us who were born in the UK towards immigrants (and also Muslims). In what way is personal (or even national) sovereignty threatened by immigration? There would be so many less Christians in the UK without immigrants. Of all the policies which Christ may or may not be against why do you pick this one?

      • William Lewis

        We are called to make disciples of all men, not import them. It is the people of this country we should be concerned with, if this is where God has seen fit to have us sojourn. The fact that some immigrants are Christian is not really the point it seems to me. The issue of immigration is one of culture and resources.

        • Nick

          Yes but all because liberals parrot this ‘party line’ to the nth degree doesn’t mean that it is wrong. You could use the same argument regarding the British born having children – they are ‘wasting’ resources. Or the elderly – they are just a drain on the NHS and are living longer. The reason things are so grim in this country is not the fault of immigrants. Liberals are beginning to say it is like Germany after the recession (because we have just been through a recession). And we all know that liberals live in ivory towers and don’t go out onto the streets except to appear on Question Time. You can’t just blame a people group like that for the problems (some people even say because if Christians join in with this then why shouldn’t we be next?). The Government is to blame for withdrawing the necessary resources for the population. Not the immigrants. Or the Muslims.

          • CliveM

            Hi Nick

            I agree to a point, their does seem to be a hint (at the least) that people are blaming immigrants for our ills. And that is not fair.

            However in the terrorist ridden world we live in we cannot have open borders.

            Equally if the pressure of numbers impacts social cohesion, then questioning economic migration is sensible.

            Equally, if all we are doing is sucking out key, skilled workers from countries who can I’ll afford the loss, then the morality of it is not clear cut.

            Biblical principles need to be applied, but they also need to be considered in the light of complicated situations.

          • Nick

            But are terrorists our enemy or the Governments?

          • CliveM

            If they behead you, or blow up your family the question is academic.

            Actually the ones I’m thinking of, I believe, are all our enemy.

            Either way, I’d like them kept out!

          • Nick

            So much for our battle not being against flesh and blood I guess…

          • CliveM

            Spiritually it isn’t. Physically all to often it is. It doesn’t pay to over spiritualise some situations. We see on our screens the brutal, physical reality of the world.

            Hopefully it won’t always be so.

          • Nick

            Oh, it’s different to battling our own individual enemies? I see.

          • CliveM

            You’ll need to expand your explanation a bit?

          • Nick

            I’m using socratic questioning in order to make my point. I asked the above question not to win the argument because no argument can be won. I simply suggested that the Bible reference that our battle is not against flesh and blood encompassed terrorists. That it is the Government’s battle and not the battle of the people (a people who include Christians).

          • CliveM

            When you are talking about the safety of your fellow citizens, it is all our responsibility. Although I am not suggesting vigilantism.

          • Nick

            Sigh. Ok.

          • CliveM

            I’m sorry if I disappointed!!!

            I’m not trying to win, merely explain what I think.

            I am glad you come with an alternative perspective, group think is so unhealthy!

          • Nick

            We all agree on that 😀

            I would have to be completely irrational to disagree with your point. And I do still have a tenuous link with sanity.

          • CliveM

            My Grandfather (founding fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatry) would have said all our links with sanity are tenuous!! 🙂

          • Uncle Brian

            Yes, but some links are more tenuous than others!

          • CliveM

            What do you mean by that?

            What is that I see, Out, damned spot! Out, I say! — one, two. Why, then, ’tis time to do’t. Hell is murky! Fie, my Lord fie, for! A soldier and afeard?

            Anyway, what was I saying?

          • Jack says, reality is sooo stressful ….. rise above it. And if you ever visit a psychiatrist you need your head examined. Jack went once and quit because he was trying to help him behind his back. Do remember too that even if the voices aren’t real (who said that?) they have some cool ideas.

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            Dear Clive, get a grip! Next you will be saying there is no such thing as sanity clause…yo ho ho!

          • William Lewis

            Who’s blaming the immigrants? Not me. It’s clearly the govnmt’s fault. Nevertheless to compare the pressure on resources of native born and ageing populations with the acute pressure caused by immigration in some parts of the country is not to compare like with like it seems to me. And that doesn’t touch upon the large impact of the resulting multiculturalism and multiracialism. However, I take your broader point that we should be wary of blaming these high (record breaking) immigration levels for all the ills of this country. That is clearly false and could lead to scapegoating. But it should also be born in mind that it was really only yesterday that to even mention the word immigration was to be instantly branded a racist. That is something we can definitely hang on the ‘liberals’ and we must not again be gagged by their bullying threats.

          • Nick

            Possibly. But you know what us liberals are like – we will say anything to look good.

          • William Lewis

            Not sure what you mean by that actually.

          • Nick

            Ok.

          • William Lewis

            OK – you agree, or OK I’ve had enough of this? 🙂

            Bottom line, Nick, is that I honestly believe that a Christian can legitimately hold that controlling our immigration is a good thing for all concerned and, equally, that we are all called to love our neighbour regardless of race, colour or creed.

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            I quite agree! Take Mr Gladstone for example…he claimed to be saving fallen women but saving them for whom, one wonders? One glimpse of bombazine and the old goat was uncontrollable.

          • Uncle Brian

            In the gossip column of the Jupiter they’re saying that the Widow of Windsor doesn’t get on at all well with him and that she likes the other one, Mr Disraeli, very much better. Do you have any idea why this might be, Mrs P?

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            Ah dear Uncle Brian, what lady can resist a whiff of the exotic?

          • sarky

            The government has to withdraw the resources to pay for the immigrants healthcare/schooling/housing/benefits etc etc etc

      • Dominic Stockford

        The Ten Commandments, no less, expect any ‘immigrants’ to behave as their hosts behave.

        • CliveM

          I would hope they could do better then that!

      • dannybhoy

        “In what way is personal (or even national) sovereignty threatened by
        immigration? There would be so many less Christians in the UK without
        immigrants”
        We don’t know how many Christians are here, and frankly I don’t care about that.
        What I care about is people who don’t want to be a part of our culture (although in some ways one can hardly blame them) and who make it clear that they neither want to serve our country in some capacity or they make it clear they reject our leaders and laws and mean us harm.

    • I think Jesus would agree to a common sense controlled boarder system for every country in the world so that people couldn’t just go and dump themselves on a country and take advantage or spread criminality, terrorism and push everyone else out. I think Jesus would have been a very fair minded person.

    • Remember, Jesus, Mary and Joseph were political refugees ………

      Jack agrees its sensible politics and economics to restrict immigration to manageable numbers so that the fabric and peaceful order of our society is not damaged. However, this doesn’t need to be accompanied by animosity directed at other peoples, especially those already in our midst legitimately.

      • dannybhoy

        I agree withyour last sentence HJ. All who live here legitimately can stay here, but we desperately need to put the brakes on.

        • Jack agrees.

          • dannybhoy

            Well good. That makes a nice change and has cheered me up a little.. 🙂

          • …. then my evening has not been in vain.
            (That has a familiar ring to it).

          • dannybhoy

            Hur Hur!
            Don’t be so modest mon ami.
            I bet you can be a really nice man when you want to, Jack…..

      • Inspector General

        Bullshit. The holy family were obeying Caesar’s commands. They would return home afterwards…

        • Flight into Egypt ….

          • Inspector General

            The long way home….

          • Ten out of ten for the recovery, Inspector.

          • CliveM

            Great……!

      • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

        The Holy Family were asylum seekers? Dear Happy Jack you go too far! As for animosity, there seems to be a considerable amount coming from adherents of the Religion of Peace living in our midst, wouldn’t you say? Who is doing the adapting here?

        • Good evening Mrs Proudie.

          The Holy Family ran in fear from Israel to Egypt because Herod wanted the baby Jesus slaughtered for political reasons. This makes them political refugees in Jack’s eyes.

    • bluedog

      ‘whereby it is deemed the norm for distinct communities to retain their own culture and identity alongside the host community.’
      Indeed, and if you look at Pew Research Group studies on social relations in the United States one can only be deeply concerned. In the US there have long been racial defined and not just culturally defined communities. Pew research shows that social interaction between blacks and whites, that’s outside work and commerce, is virtually nil. US whites inhabit social groups that are almost exclusively white. If US society is a valid social laboratory the same experience can be expected in the UK and every other society where a European majority has been forced to accept immigrants of different race and culture. One can conclude that multiculturalism/multiracism will not lead to a happy fusion but a retreat into culturally and racially defined silos along Balkan lines.

      Since when was that a recipe for social harmony? This writer is absolutely convinced that the white British will simply not go quietly into a multi-culti/racial good night and happily fight to retain or regain control of Britain.

      As the late Lord Lavendon used to say, ‘Until the day’.

      • IanCad

        Hi bluedog, you’ve not been so active on the blog as of late.

        You make a good point re; Pew.

        However, racial/social barriers seem to fade in religion. Excepting in areas where a particular group has a huge presence worship services seem devoid of any factionalizing.

        “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.”
        John 17:21

    • dannybhoy

      “Justin Welby recently stated concerning immigration, “At the heart of
      Christian teaching about the human being is that all human beings are of
      absolutely equal and infinite value”. One responds politely that the
      equality of all peoples is simply not the issue when discussing
      immigration. No one supporting tighter border controls is saying that
      immigrants are of less value as human beings.”
      saying that everyone is of equal value is of course true, but intrinsic worth is not the issue. The issue is that people are bound together by a shared history and shared values.The way you build a household or even a people is by coming together into a contract mutually understood and mutually respected.
      Without that the result is inevitably a degradation of values and a breaking down in trust.
      I met the last Archbishop. I didn’t go a bundle on him and I have absolutely no wish to meet this one. Let him throw open the doors of Lambeth Palace and invite in as many as it will hold. I wonder if he will…..

    • Martin

      Peter

      Of course the gospel itself tells us that some are loved & some are not.

      • Never mind, Martin. One day your prince or princess will come.

        • Martin

          HJ

          Context, some are loved by God while some are not.

          • Martin, why did God make us?

          • Martin

            HJ

            God made us for His glory.

  • Inspector General

    Look, chaps. All this business about what Jesus would do. Have you learnt
    nothing. He said his Kingdom was not of this earth, and the Inspector for one
    believes him on that.

    The Jews were expecting a messiah to deliver them from the Romans. When it
    was clear that was not what he was about, he got into a bit of trouble about it,
    and with his own people at that.

    So, there you have it. We on this earth are given free reign over what we
    do, within obvious constraints. That is God the Fathers plan for us. We are an
    amusement to the almighty, if you will. If we in the UK decide we don’t want
    anymore bloody foreigners coming in, then so be it. We are not going to be
    handed over to Satan on death for our temerity.

    Get with it then, and no more of your international lefty nonsense !

    • Hmmm … a few Godly rulers and men around in Sodom and the other four cities of the plains, and certain actions offensive to God might never have taken root.

      • Martin

        HJ

        But there were not even ten.

  • IanCad

    I didn’t know that the WWJD craze had sailed over here.
    It reached the level of absurdity in the US.
    Quite reassuring for me though on the question of “What would Jesus drive?”
    At that time I owned a Ford E-350 15 passenger van.
    Just the ticket. Perfect for Jesus, the twelve disciples and room enough for Mary and Martha to come along and do the cooking.

    • William Lewis

      He did have a Colt once.

      • Ian G

        Proof positive that He would have been a member of the NRA had He the misfortune of being born in 21st Century USA. 😉

  • tiger

    Thank you Cranmer for a stimulating topic.

    Are you asking the right question though? The basis of Christian/Judeo religion is largely based on the individual. We, individually, are all on a spiritual journey and Christ has laid the foundations of the “perfect” journey in his teachings. Each individual’s life is measured on entry to to heaven based on their own path in life measured against the teaching imparted in this life.
    I believe sincerely that our leaders are pre-ordained by God himself and their actions as individuals are measured. Christ accepted the concept of nations and they were created by God for he dispersed the nations all speaking different tongues. In his final hours Christ accepted the difficult situation that Pontius Pilot was in and recognised his political plight and heaped no blame upon him.
    Will we be judged as nations? I believe not. Our leaders may be judged based on their stewardship of their own nation.
    Lest we forget the majority of “immigrants” do not cross the planet to join our society (which is rooted in Christianity) but are here to partake in the success that this society has achieved. They are economic migrants pure and simple. They wish to share our wealth whilst simultaneously living the same life that they lived before coming here. The majority do not share our Christian heritage or our way of life. There are a significant proportion that loath us so much that they would kill us, rape our women and children and destroy our civilisation and impose their own upon us. Our Christianity and our willingness to see the good in them as individuals and hope that they adopt our way of life, protects them everyday. How many times have you heard politicians say they must “integrate” and that a certain religion is a “religion of peace”?
    Christ said go out and recruit the heathen but he also expects us to defend the Christian heritage he has bequeathed against those that would seek to destroy it.

    • Inspector General

      Regrettably, we are being told we must ‘adapt’ to accommodate them. Such is the watering down of Britishness that in large areas of inner cities, it no longer exists. We have before us the very evils that the immigrants sought to escape, brought back by their own children….

      • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

        There are certainties in life…death is one, taxes another…and I would venture a third, to wit, the Inspector General will not adapt to accommodate…but Mr Darwin says those unable to adapt are doomed…ah dear Inspector, whatever will become of us?

        • Inspector General

          My dear Mrs Proudie. Fret not. It is those who say that the rest of us will disappear because we do not ‘reach’ for the {AHEM} ‘new morals’ who are the first to end up in the bin. You mark the Inspector’s words on that….
          {WAGS FOREFINGER…}

    • Uncle Brian

      They are economic migrants pure and simple. They wish to share our wealth whilst simultaneously living the same life that they lived before coming here. The settlers versus the natives.

  • WWJD? What WILL Jesus do. Judgment’s coming.

  • Martin

    I think this YouTube video sums up Welby very well: http://youtu.be/wzUUKXCTuZg