Political Parties

Why didn’t the Liberal Democrat Christian Forum speak up for Tim Farron?

Former LibDem leader Tim Farron delivered the Theos Annual Lecture last night, entitled: ‘What Kind of Liberal Society Do We Want?‘ The whole speech is worth reading, because it is packed with nuggets of political insight and Christian truth.

…Christianity is deeply counter cultural.  It offends us because it tells us that we are not our own, that we belong to God.  It tells us that we are not good, that our biggest need is not food, water, money, relationships, success or acceptance by society… our greatest need is forgiveness from the God who made us.  Christianity is a two–fingered salute to your ego.

…British Liberalism is founded in the battle for religious liberty.  The non–conformist, evangelical Christian groups that were persecuted by a society which favoured adherence only to the established church, built a liberal movement that championed much wider liberty, for women, for other religious minorities, non–religious minorities, for cultural and regional minorities, for the poor and vulnerable.

…Look through history.  Where the gospel is preached, other freedoms follow.  The abolition of slavery led by evangelical Christians most notably Wilberforce, the laws to prevent industrial exploitation led by committed Christian Lord Shaftesbury, the ending of the cruel practice of Sati in India after campaigning by Christian missionaries especially William Carey.

And it gets better:

…If our values are relativistic, if they are shifting, if they depend upon the temporary norms of this age, then the freedoms you bank upon today, cannot be guaranteed tomorrow.  Our liberties are in the hands of unstable forces, we cannot have confidence that our rights will still be our rights from one generation to the next because we cannot call upon any authority in support of those rights.

Christianity provides the values that permit liberalism to flourish.

In discarding Christianity, we kick away the foundations of liberalism and democracy and so we cannot then be surprised when what we call liberalism stops being liberal.

My experience is that although liberalism has won, it is now behaving like the established church of the empire in 4th and 5th centuries.  It has gained ascendancy and lost itself in the process.  It isn’t very liberal any more.

So many who declare themselves to be liberals, really aren’t.

And quite personal:

The questions to me came thick and fast during those seven weeks of the campaign, mostly they went along the lines of…’ but how can you believe what the Bible says and lead a liberal party?’  Answer: easy, you just need to be a liberal.  That people asked that question, makes me seriously doubt that they understand liberalism even though they may preach it.   Liberalism has eaten itself.

When Jacob Rees Mogg declares his views on the application of faith, he gets mocked, but no one is surprised or confused – he is a traditional conservative, of course he believes those things. Or so the thinking goes.

When a liberal turns out to be an evangelical Christian, people are surprised or confused.  If you are one of those who are surprised and confused… then you are a victim.  A victim of liberalism’s comprehensive triumph… where the main loser, is liberalism.

He’s slightly wrong (or outdated in his understanding) about this:

I believe in pluralism, I am not a secularist but I believe in a secular society where there is no ‘state faith’.  That in Britain we have a church trapped as part of the furniture of the state is a waste of a church.  A boat in the water is good.  Water in the boat, is bad.  A church in the state is good, the state in the church is bad.  Really bad.  It pollutes the message of that church.  It compromises it.  Weakens its witness.

But we’ll let that go – the man’s been hounded enough. He said he no option but to resign as LibDem leader: “I was right to do it.  I don’t regret it.” Because there’s a manifest upside: “It now gives me the chance to challenge the tyranny of opinion, to seek to redeem liberalism.”

He might start by asking the Liberal Democrat Christian Forum about the fervent support they offered him while he was being harassed and hounded by the media about whether or not gay sex is a sin. This is what they issued when he stepped down as leader:

And this is what they issued in support of their leader while he was being hounded about his orthodox Christian beliefs on sexual morality:

All the main political parties have a Christian contingent of support – there’s the Conservative Christian Fellowship, and Christians on the Left, for example – and they’ll talk readily about Jesus and salvation, and be very encouraging about Christians entering politics. But they only want certain types of Christians: they don’t want those who might talk about Jesus being the only way to salvation (ie Islamophobic, or racist), or those which believe in the sanctity of heterosexual marriage (ie homophobic), or those who oppose abortion (ie misogynistic), or those who believe in the virtues of the Protestant Constitution of the United Kingdom (ie anti-Catholic, or bigoted). No, the only types of Christians which these groups seek to encourage into public life, and to whom they will lend public support, are those who subscribe to the prevailing illiberal statist orthodoxy of the apparently immutable doctrines of equality and diversity.

If Tim Farron really wants to challenge the tyranny of opinion and redeem liberalism, he might start by cleansing the Liberal Democrat Christian Temple (established), and praying that his reformation might spread to the other political parties, and then to Parliament, and then to the country, and then to… well, all the earth.

  • Busy Mum

    “It now gives me the chance to challenge the tyranny of opinion, to seek to redeem liberalism.”

    But I want people to challenge tyranny of opinion while they are still in a position to do something about it…..

    • Dominic Stockford

      I have spent some of the day in discussion with local councillors (on Twitter) who all defend the party political system, and surprising people from different parties agreed with one another about the importance of it. Indeed, one even said that it was naive to try to be an independent councillor, and one should join a party in order to try to change the system – not that he has done anything about changing it since he did so and got elected. They got very hot under the collar at the idea that its ‘Time for Change’, or that the partys’ benefit is what is eventually arrived at. One councillor even claimed the local LibDems don;t have a whip, they ‘all sit down and discuss things, and then come to agreement’ (astonishingly unlikely, even good Christians can’t do that over the colour to paint a wall) – and yet despite this lack of a whip he’s only “voted with my conscience once”. Which begs several questions, but really shows that the party-dominated system is rigged by those in it, and people who claim to enter the party-system in order to change it don’t bother once they get in.

      • Martin

        Dominic

        Without a doubt, the political parties are entirely destructive of democracy.

      • Busy Mum

        I am involved with ‘democracy’ at parish council level – it is refreshingly non-political-party based – I guess that’s why Tony Blair tried to get rid of them…

        • Sir John Oldcastle

          Parish and Town councils are great. Though I have noted that one party is beginning to put candidates up for them (I cannot tell a Lie,bour). In London borough councils is the lowest level we have, so it’s politicised as far down as it goes. Another reason to leave London, I guess.

          • Busy Mum

            I grew up in London and had never heard of parish councils until I moved to the country when I married.

  • CliveM

    There’s not a lot in what he says that I would disagree with, but surely he must of seen that the party he led was one of the key drivers in this?

    One is led to wonder if it only started to matter when he started to feel the impact.

  • David

    This reminds me of the proud claim I’ve long heard from secularists that, if you abolish an official public religion then you’ll usher in an utopian age of the secular state, which is neutral regarding beliefs and practices, and how we organise society. Then we’ll all be truly free. This is myth.
    As the French Revolutionaries found when they viciously attacked the Catholic Church, you simply introduce a new and far worse situation, an era of terror in fact. Or again when the Russian Revolutionaries set about destroying the Orthodox Church, erasing it from the public square, they simply succeeded in introducing a new and terrible reign of oppressive conformity to state enforced opinions and morality.
    In a pale imitation of those appalling periods of history today’s western progressives have simply created a new era of illiberal liberalism, deeply intolerant towards those who cling to a Biblical world view. Hence the many, many legal cases brought against conservative Christians, who simply stick with beliefs that were, until recently, perhaps considered old fashioned, but undoubtedly within the mainstream of acceptable beliefs.
    Our “brave” progressive friends, from the sexual revolutionaries of the 60’s up to the “Conservative” progressives like Cameron and May, have not increased freedom, but merely replaced one form of moral framework with another. I suspect that achieving true, totally tolerant liberalism, as Tim Farron idealistically wants, is impossible given the narrow range of tolerance that most humans have, and the ever larger state’s recent need to define what we should think.

    • Manfarang

      The Church of England is not served well by being an established church.

      • David

        I agree with your point as such. But my piece above is not a defence of retaining an established C of E, but it is looking at the wider historical picture.
        On your narrow point I’d disestablish it tomorrow if I had my way.

        • Manfarang

          Both Russia and France were tyrannies before their revolutions.

          • Anton

            And after.

          • IanCad

            After the revolution in Russia tyranny increased. The French suffered after theirs until Napoleon came along.

          • CliveM

            And continued to be after. All that happened is a lot of additional lives were lost establishing the new tyranny.

      • Busy Mum

        “The establishment is not for the purpose of making the Church political, but for the purpose of making the State religious.” Lord Eldon

        • Manfarang

          Don’t hold your breath.

          • Busy Mum

            I’m not!

        • Anton

          The underlying question in this subthread is: OK, so what should the religion of State be?

          God’s answer in the NT appears to be: “That’s not your business, Christian; just get on with offering my Son to people and standing against evil where you can make a difference.”

          • Busy Mum

            There is no reason why the state shouldn’t be run on that principle i.e.that can ‘be’ the religion of the state.

          • Anton

            You believe in an Established church? I don’t. God wants a set of people on earth whose allegiance is to him and him alone, above even their families (as Christ clearly said) and certainly above their countries. Christianity is a voluntary opt-in religion and making it a religion of State brings things like Test Acts against non-Christians who are fully citizens of their lands. Christians thereby oppress and use the absolutely un-Christian argument that the ends justify the means. I’ve seen them do it on this very blog.

          • Busy Mum

            Answer to question is no – God’s kingdom is not of this world and they are called out of every kindred, tribe and tongue…..N.B.called. Is it a voluntary opt-in religion or a compulsory ‘drawing’ by the Spirit….??

            The Test Acts were not against non-Christians, though, were they, and were just one form of the persecution which Jesus said we must expect – as Non-Conformists you and I would have suffered under them.

            Even in the most Christianised country, a Christian is a ‘stranger and pilgrim upon the earth’, rather than a full citizen of that land……I think it is important to recognise that having the established Church of England has played an important part in making England a safe and free place for Christians, whilst that established Church stayed true to the principles on which it was founded.

            Having had the benefits of that established church is simply going to add to this nation’s condemnation, in my view. Woe unto thee, Bethsaida, woe unto thee Chorazin…woe unto thee England – if the mighty works that had been done in thee had been done elsewhere, they would have repented long ago in dust and ashes (sorry, quoting from memory – it’s either Tyre&Sidon or Sodom&Gomorrah for the ‘elsewhere’!)

          • Anton

            The Catholic church was the Established church here for many centuries and we don’t see that as a good thing! The problem is inevitably that church-State links are a covenant of God’s people with this world. Also, gospel Christianity is a voluntary thing, so what of an Established church if the people freely decide to reject Christianity?

            I was using the Test Acts to make a more general point, but what you say about them is correct. The enforced absence of nonconformists from the professions and public office meant that they went on to lead the Industrial Revolution as innovators and entrepreneurs.

            Re your last paragraph, yes, Great Britain the Mighty is fallen.

          • Busy Mum

            That’s why I said no, I don’t believe in an established church!

            You ask, what of an established church if the people freely decide to reject Christianity? Well, I think we can see the result in the CofE right now – but of course, the CofE has encouraged the people to do that.

          • Anton

            Which is why I don’t believe in an Established church either. We have converged, in somewhat roundabout fashion, on an uncomfortable truth about once-Great Britain.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Yes. But the worst part is that if someone tries to disestablish the church it will unravel the entire State system. There will so many ‘unforeseen circumstances’ that will arise over the months following such an action that this nation will be left utterly unrecognisable. And, one thing that some would immediately do is put the campaign to remove the monarchy onto full speed ahead. Which would cause even further disruption, as then we’d have some political lummox elected as our ‘Head of State’.

        • IanCad

          And from there, on to pronouncing to the recalcitrant an interdict, then excommunication, imprisonment, and, by gradual degrees to other persuasions such as the rack, the rope and the axe.

          • Busy Mum

            I think you will find Eldon was referring to the establishment of Protestant Christianity, which does not allow for any sort of persuasion other than the foolishness of preaching.

          • Anton

            I don’t often side with the Catholics here, but I suspect you are going to get some pushback for that comment! Catholics were persecuted in protestant England and Scotland at various times in the 16th and 17th centuries.

          • Busy Mum

            Eldon was in the C19th and as such his comment was reactive rather proactive.
            I don’t think we can describe England as definitely Protestant until the end of the C17th.
            ‘Persecution’ is often too general a term and I think specifics are required….
            Yes, I’ll get the pushback – but who has had it better? Protestants in RC countries or RC’s in protestant countries?

            Got to go out on busy mum duties – would love to continue the discussion, though!

          • Anton

            There were no practising Catholics in 18th century England because the practise of Catholicism was illegal.

            Given that Catholicism is intrinsically political, I can see the point of this, too; but protestantism sadly emulated it in that respect.

            As for specifics, here are the names of Catholics put to death in protestant England:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Catholic_martyrs_of_the_English_Reformation

          • CliveM

            “There were no practising Catholics in 18th century England because the practise of Catholicism was illegal”.

            You’ll need to expand on this as I am nearly certain that there were Catholics practicing their faith in secret. So you must mean something else as I’m sure you will know this.

          • dannybhoy

            Please don’t..

          • CliveM

            Don’t what?

          • Anton

            He means don’t provoke me to what he considers to be further pedantry!

          • CliveM

            Oh!

          • dannybhoy
          • Anton

            I knew it but wasn’t taking it into account, and I should have said “There were no *openly* practising Catholics in 18th century England because the practise of Catholicism was illegal.”

          • CliveM

            Ok it now makes sense.

          • Manfarang

            Have you never seen a priest hole?
            One of the hides at Harvington Hall was accessed by tilting a step on the Grand Staircase.England’s castles and country houses commonly had some precaution in the event of a surprise, such as a secret means of concealment or escape that could be used at a moment’s notice. However, in the time of legal persecution the number of secret chambers and hiding-places increased in the houses of the old Catholic families. These often took the form of apartments or chapels in secluded parts of the houses, or in the roof space, where Mass could be celebrated with the utmost privacy and safety. Nearby there was usually an artfully contrived hiding-place, not only for the officiating priest to slip into in case of emergency, but also to provide a place where the vestments, sacred vessels, and altar furniture could be stored on short notice. Priest’s holes were built in fireplaces, attics and staircases and were largely constructed between the 1550s and 1605.

          • Anton

            See comments already made below.

            I’ve been in the priest hole at Boscobel House where the future Charles II hid in 1651 after coming down from the tree that gave its name to every pub called The Royal Oak in England.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Very upsetting to see that list…so many murdered Catholics. It serves as a reminder of the age old hatred for Catholics by Protestants which still and always will exist in England. No good will come from it.

          • Anton

            Don’t personalise it. You say Catholics and protestants, but it is really about our views of each other’s churches.

          • The Snail

            Under bloody Mary – (Queen Elizabeth 1st’s half sister) 300 Protestants were killed, all on the charge of Heresy i.e. for their religious beliefs. When Elizabeth 1st became queen, after Mary, she was much more laid back about individual’s beliefs – but did not countenance plotters against the state or those who would destabilize it. The various plots against Elizabeth were instigated by Catholics who had been egged on by the Pope who excommunicated Elizabeth, The charges brought against these Catholics was treason against the state because of their plots to try to get rid of Elizabeth.
            Only 4 people were executed for their religious beliefs( i.e.Heresy) under Elizabeth, none of them Catholics – all of them were Anabaptists.

          • Anton

            Francis Kett was neither anabaptist nor Catholic and was burnt for heresy alone.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Kett

          • The Snail

            Thanks for that Anton.. I had overlooked, to my shame, Thomas Kett.

          • Simon Platt

            Not true. Many Catholic churches predate the 19th century. Of course many of these were hidden in one way or another, but I could name one built in the mid 18th century and another, half a mile away, in the 1790s, around the time most legal restrictions on Catholic worship were removed.

            The practise of Catholicism was mostly strictly speaking not illegal during penal times, it was for many years illegal to be an English priest in England, which was inevitably constraining, and not to assist at Protestant services, ditto, so in practice Catholicism was proscribed, not to mention the various other penal restrictions under which Catholics were placed.

          • Busy Mum

            Now you will know that I am a right pedant….. two days later and still harping on….!
            When I had my lunch yesterday (my one sit-down of the busy mum day….), I perused that wiki link and came up with this:
            Henry VIII – 54 RC’s in 38 years (1.4/yr)
            Edward VI – 0 in 6 years (0/yr)
            Mary I – 1 in 5 yrs(0.2/yr)
            Elizabeth I – 212 RC’s in 47 years (4.5/yr)
            James I – 28 RC’s in 22 years (1.3/yr)
            Charles I – 36 RC’s in 24 years (1.5/yr)
            Interregnum – 3 RC’s in 12 years (0.25/yr)
            Charles II – 35 RC’s in 24 years (1.5/yr)
            Post-1688 to now – 1 RC, in 1692

            I dispute the idea that RC’s were ever ‘persecuted’ as such. These figures represent the ‘radicals’ of the day, not ‘moderates’ being hunted down purely for their beliefs. It appears that the stronger the Protestantism at the highest levels, the safer the country was for both RC’s and Non-Conforming Protestants.

            RC’s never faced a St Bartholomew’s Day-type rout in England, and although forbidden to ‘practise’, they clearly put the C18th to good use in preparing the ground for the Emancipation Act. Of course, that is the time the Jesuits were really on the back foot, having been made illegal in France, and a ‘hearts and minds’ campaign was the only way forward… I have long seen many similarities between the RC issues in the past and the current discussions around Islam.

    • I agree. A free society should be a Christian society, which grounds our rights and duties in our dignity of being created in the image of God: https://faith-and-politics.com/2017/10/30/why-should-non-christians-support-a-christian-state/

      • Manfarang

        Were people free in the Middle Ages in Europe?

        • Dolphinfish

          Compared to what? A Spartan helot or a slave in a Roman mine?

          • Manfarang

            The people were Christian in the Middle Ages.

          • Anton

            I think they were not very free and not very Christian.

          • The Snail

            Well they’d all been Christened but could not read – most of them. if they were Christian they would have acted like Christians – you can only tell if they did by comparing their actions to what the founder of their religion taught.
            Just as by comparing the actions of say ISIS, with what the founder of Islam did and taught. you will be able to decide whether you think they are following their founder.

          • Manfarang

            And your actions. Have you sold all your possessions and given the proceeds to the poor so that you can follow the Lord?

          • The Snail

            Jesus also said that if your eye offends you cut it out. Also he he said if you have faith small as a mustard seed you can say to a mountain caste yourself into the sea – and it will happen. And what about camels going through the eyes of needles?

            Did Jesus expect people to mutilate themselves? cause major geographical/geological disturbance etc?
            He taught like many Jewish rabbis, using in many cases, hyperbole i.e. exaggeration to make a point. Just as you or I might say ‘the whole world has gone mad’ in a particular situation – we exaggerate to make our feelings about something known. If you said that your friends would not take it literally.

            It does not however mean that these statements should be ignored – for giving to the poor and living a modest life style is required of Christians, and a little faith can achieve great things etc.

            Hope this helps.

          • Manfarang

            And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.

          • The Snail

            So what is your point – should Christians live in a commune, Is this the model for a monastery? or convent? This is just one instance of Christian organisation based on the principles that Jesus enunciated – just as there are different ways Churches are organised – from the House Church Model, to the Roman Catholic Model, to the Coptic Model or the Baptist Model or the Methodist Model ofr organisation. I don’t think the Almighty cares how things are organised but more about the faith of the people and how they act.. There is not one model that fits all.

          • The Snail

            Yes there were slaves in the Roman mines, however some slaves worked their way up to senior positions in the administration even a trusted administrators in the senate . The difference between slaves and a freeman was that freemen were Roman Citizens slaves were not.

        • David

          After the Black Death the shortage of labour certainly evened up the balance between landowners and the landless, giving the ambitious peasant considerable more bargaining power and sending up wages. The market worked for them you could say.

      • David

        Yes I understand the point that your link article is making. But things have now gone beyond that happy state I fear.
        The Queen has often emphasised that the role of the C of E, as she saw it, is to act an an umbrella under which all faiths may flourish. I feel that such a happy state may have been recognisable until recently. But now the umbrella is in a parlous state. It is leaking and not acting as a very good umbrella. With numbers attending regularly plummeting and even the leadership lacking in deep belief regarding the authority of our main source of truth, The Bible, then the effectiveness of the umbrella is visibly faltering. Basically The Queen’s point only works with a reasonably strong and well supported state Church, supported by a respectable proportion of the population. We are well past that point I am afraid.

        • Given the state of General Synod, I’m afraid I don’t share your faith in the benefits of electing church leaders for the CofE.

          • David

            Err, what do you mean ? You make no sense.
            I have no faith in the current leadership, apart form a few bishops. This is why I’m interested in electing new ones, replacing the current majority who were selected by a mysterious process impenetrable to those who pay for it all.

          • The General Synod is elected and it seems to be more keen on revisionism than the bishops.

          • David

            Irrelevant. Individual bishops are not elected by those they serve.

          • The point is that electing bishops doesn’t seem likely to make them less liberal.

          • David

            Who is “them”. It will become a new “them”.
            The liberal churches are full of the very elderly. The numbers of congregants in such churches will fall rapidly over the next decade. In contrast the Biblically led churches are often growing attracting a younger overall support group. With the disestablishment I seek, and bishops being elected, conservative churches will increase their influence over who becomes a bishop. Over time, perhaps a decade, the theological convictions of the Bench of Bishops will shift towards the Bible affirming. This simply cannot happen whist the C of E remains established. Now do you understand ?

  • Wearing his Christian hat, Tim lists some of the notable reforms brought about where ‘the gospel is preached’ and rightly warns of the dangers of discarding Christianity.

    Wearing his progressive hat, Tim welcomes the immigration and diversity which are making Britain less Christian, less receptive to the Gospel and which will eventually lead to Christianity being discarded in favour of Islam, with the diminishing band of Christians preaching to no effect whatsoever, if they are allowed to preach at all.

    I simply do not understand how someone so aware of the blessings of Christianity can support the immigration which will bring an end to Christian Britain.

    • David

      Cognitive dissonance ?
      Inertia since joining in a state youthful idealism ?

      • @ David—In Time to Emigrate?, the former minister George Walden calls it ‘mood music’:

        ‘I’d be so alarmed by the situation that I’d do everything possible to suggest it was under control. It’s up to politicians to play mood music in a crisis, and up to the people to understand that there’s little else governments can do. The last thing they can say is that we face a threat to which we can see no end because it’s based on a fundamental clash of cultures. On the IRA we told the truth; on the Islamic problem, we lie.’

    • Manfarang

      The EU countries are Christian. From outside the EU immigration to the UK is heavily restricted. Around 8,000 Syrian refugees have been accepted in the UK.

      • Anton

        There is no such thing as a Christian country. There never has been and there never will be until Christ returns. There are Christian individuals called out of their nations, and the collective of them is called the church.

        A country has a law. The law is Old Testament (although it is the wisest legal code ever written, since God himself wrote it). The New Testament contains nothing whatsoever about how to run a country with a mandatory legal code, but plenty about how to run a volunteer group called the church.

        • Manfarang

          In Denmark the Lutheran established church is a department of the state. Church affairs are government by a central government ministry, and clergy are government employees. The registration of births, deaths and marriages falls under this ministry of church affairs, and normally speaking the local Lutheran pastor is also the official registrar. The other EU countries still have Christian majorities.
          (Didn’t you say Christians don’t follow the Mosaic law)

          • Anton

            Christians are not obliged by their faith to follow the Laws of Moses. Where Christians live in countries in which they may have input to what the laws should be, they should advocate for *some* of the Laws of Moses given that God wrote them and there are none better – specifically, the laws governing interpersonal moral behaviour, for human nature has not changed.

          • Manfarang

            “The aphorism that ‘Christianity is part of the common law of England’ is mere rhetoric; at least since the decision of the House of Lords in Bowman v Secular Society Limited [1917] AC 406 it has been impossible to contend that it is law.”

          • Anton

            Genuine Christianity never was law; it is grace.

          • Manfarang

            I think you will find part of Christianity was and is Canon law.

          • Anton

            The New Testament, being written by God the Holy Spirit, is more authoritative than the church, and says otherwise.

          • Manfarang

            Acts and the Epistles set up the church.

          • Anton

            God set up the church.

          • Dominic Stockford

            The New Testament is full of law?

          • Anton

            I meant the opposite; perhaps my words are capable of misunderstanding.

        • dannybhoy

          A country such as ours shaped and influenced by various strands of Christianity can be said to be a Christian country, if it acknowledges the supremacy of the faith, bases its laws upon its moral values and encourages the teaching and preaching of the faith in schools and institutions.
          In that sense we were and have been for the longest time, a Christian nation.
          In the same way as Israel with all its imperfections, tyrannies and spiritual adulteries remained God’s chosen nation..

          • Anton

            Because the moral law came via the Jews I’d accept a “Judaeo-Christian nation”.

          • dannybhoy

            Another flash of that finely shaped pedantic ankle of yours Anton…
            So okay…. Judaeo-Christian nation.
            But given that neither the body of Christ we believe in, nor the Church in the UK are perfect, we can perhaps compare the state of our nation as entering a potentially fatal period of apostasy..

          • Anton

            If you think the difference is pedantry then I suggest you have missed my point, but I agree that the nation is in decay and under judgement.

          • dannybhoy

            Grooooaan..

          • Anton

            For the avoidance of misunderstanding I’m not peeved, but if you think it’s minor then here’s a challenge for you: Define a “Christian country”.

          • dannybhoy

            I didn’t think you were peeved just exercising that gift of yours for ..exactitude.
            Define a Christian country?
            One historically influenced and inspired by Judaeo Christian writings and morals. Whose rulers whether kings or politicians appeal to the Bible for inspiration and guidance, to the point where laws and actions are shaped (however imperfectly) by those values,
            and where Christianity is able to flourish and influence.
            Bit like here really..

          • Anton

            If influenced by “Judaeo Christian” writings and morality then surely that is how the country should be described?

          • dannybhoy

            Except that people didn’t much concern themselves with the Jewish roots of the faith and appropriated Moses and the prophets etc under the general heading of “Christianity”.
            Replacement theology.

          • Anton

            If only they had… the Mosaic system of land ownership was a lot fairer than the feudal system.

          • dannybhoy

            You’re changing the subject. we’re not discussing agriculture -yet.
            Did you go back to your thread with Chef?

          • Anton

            I’d say that I’m widening the subject. I don’t mean to irritate you but I don’t see anything wrong with that.

            Yes I saw your comment appreciating the discussion; thank you. Last time I was there Chef had not replied to my pro-OSAS comment. I’ve now put both sides in my own words and I find both arguments persuasive. Oh dear!

          • dannybhoy

            It’s not a biggie.
            Widening the subject
            (-although I prefer to believe you’d nowhere else to go on the ‘Christian country’ thing, and decided a sideways move was your next step ;0)
            I read your comments and was discussing the thread whilst skyping with an old and dear friend from YWAM days.
            YWAM used to teach the Moral Government of God (Gordon Olson) and much lively debate was engendered on the meaning of free will, total depravity, God’s foreknowledge, irresistible grace and once saved always saved.
            All important stuff in terms of discipleship, sanctification and reaching the lost.
            I don’t think they teach it now, and certainly I and others I knew have modified our own views on the issues.

          • Anton

            I guess I sometimes do move on when I’ve made my point to my satisfaction and the other person still disagrees with it. Repetition of my point is pointless and perhaps ill-mannered, and silence looks like I’ve accepted the other person’s viewpoint when I haven’t.

          • dannybhoy

            You can lead a horse to water etc.
            It is in the lively exchange of views that we learn about ourselves and each other, and in the process perhaps change or modify our position on an issue.
            I know I have.

          • Chefofsinners

            Hear the word of the Lord: A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

          • Anton

            You are not in any doubt at all between more than one option about what every passage of the Bible means?

        • Anna

          The church is not a volunteer group.

          We did not choose Him. He chose us and called out of this world to be His own. We were never compelled (by fear), but His grace and love are irresistible. So we are drawn and bound eternally, by His infinite love. As Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life”.

      • @ Manfarang—My concern is that, on present trends, Britain and Europe (with the possible exception of certain East European countries) are unlikely to remain majority Christian. It was reported last year that the UK Muslim population was more than 3 million with over half of them born abroad. The maps on this page show the percentage of Muslims in each département of France in 1996 and 2016, as measured by forenames given to newborns.

  • Dolphinfish

    Therefore your end is on you,
    Is on you and your kings,
    Not for a fire in Ely fen,
    Not that your gods are nine or ten,
    BUT BECAUSE IT IS ONLY CHRISTIAN MEN
    Guard even heathen things.
    (Emphasis mine)

    Funny how, whatever the subject, GK Chesterton said it first, and usually decades before anyone even THOUGHT it was going to be a problem.

  • Father David

    Perhaps they were keen to replace Mr. Farron with an older man – septuagenarian Vince (In)Ca(pa)ble?

    • Manfarang

      How old is Jeremy? Of course we must not forget that dashing young man Tony Blair but how much God did Blair do?

      • Anton

        For a while I thought you meant Jeremy Thorpe…

        • Manfarang

          No the one accused of “reinforcing” the message of Isis.

      • Father David

        Jeremy is a sprightly sexagenarian. Nor must we forget that Dave, currently 51, gave way to Theresa who now clocks in at 61. I believe that being a vicar’s daughter Mrs. May, does do God although, I for one, would like to see more evidence!

        • Manfarang

          A bit of old Labour taking us back to the stagflation of the 70s.eh?

        • One would like to think so, but as you say, one sees precious little evidence.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Cable is fraying.

  • Anton

    The secular view is all too often “Yes, so-and-so is a good Christian… almost as good as no Christian at all.” I know Christians like that!

  • IanCad

    Bravo!! Mr. Tim.
    A splendid speech – quite reassures me that there are still men and women who proclaim that in the Gospel lies the essence of liberty. Marvellous stuff; there is still a remnant, not united, nor knowing of all truth but seeking and finding.

    “A church in the state is good, the state in the church is bad. Really bad. It pollutes the message of that church. It compromises it. Weakens its witness.” Couldn’t have put it better myself.

  • Inspector General

    Liberalism mirrors the Green movement. The latter started
    out as a justifiable concern for our environment. Your Inspector remembers the
    (successful) ‘save the whale’ campaign a few decades back. And even DDT before that. Like its now sullied cousin, Green was the new flavour. Green was
    everywhere. Not just places of learning, but the boardroom as well as
    parliament. Scantily clad girls hugged trees. Can you imagine that now! *

    And then something truly horrible happened.

    They had the world (civilised world, that is) at its feet.
    Not enough for them though. They were effective, but they thought, not
    effective enough. But there was a way to become more
    effective, triumphalist even. They turned themselves into a political party.
    Brilliant move, they thought. Elected representatives meant real power, so they
    thought.

    Almost in one sudden rush. Everyone abandoned the activists
    to themselves. The party was over. (Pun there, if you can see it). Why? That’s
    an easy one. The sensible knew what was to come. They of course were in the
    same room as the activists talked of their revolution to
    come. The activists were now the Greens.

    Today, the Green party relies on a ‘relationship’ with
    Brighton’s homosexual community to keep it in power there. That’s no problem,
    as it happens. One crowd of intolerants in league with another crowd of
    intolerants. Current Green policies include making owning a pet something akin
    to the regulations controlling human adoption. Oh yes, whatever the homosexuals
    want. Mustn’t forget that. Now that will be a list and a half, what!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    *Banned by liberalism for all sorts of reasons. Sexism, exploitism, feminism, sizism, youthism. All proud ‘liberal’ values now, probably. If you haven’t heard of some of these values yet, don’t worry, you will.

    • dannybhoy

      You read like a Victorian penny dreadful Sirrah!

    • Manfarang

      Watermelons

    • Royinsouthwest

      I am all in favour of saving the whales. I also remember reading and being very impressed by Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring back in the 1960s when it was first published. The book gave a huge impulse to the growth of the environmental movement in the West. Unfortunately, although she was well-intentioned, Rachel Carson was wrong about at least one important thing – the dangers of DDT. The insecticide does make the eggs of birds of prey thinner but apart from that it is fairly harmless and it is very effective in helping to wipe out the mosquitoes that spread malaria which is still a major cause of death in many countries.

      The ban on DDT has cost many lives in the Third World. Nobody wants to use DDT unnecessarily but if malaria is wiped out and care is taken to prevent it regaining a foothold there will be little need to continue using DDT. During the Second World War malaria was still present in Sicily. It is not today. Going further back it used to be present in parts of East Anglia. It is possible that Cromwell died from it but nobody is at risk of contracting malaria in the Fens today. The Green Movement needs a dose of common sense.

  • dannybhoy

    “Why didn’t the Liberal Democrat Christian Forum speak up for Tim Farron?”
    Because you don’t go into politics to promote Christianity, and to have spoken up for him would have exposed the weakness of their own position.
    Christianity has to be proclaimed as well as lived. Much as Islam is lived and proclaimed here in the UK. Our Christians in politics are (imv) hamstrung by a Church that owes its continued existence to the State and Establishment. It is a Church that as regards the gospel of salvation through Christ Jesus has lost its way. Indeed it seems happier and more fulfilled as some kind of inclusive auxiliary department of the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety..
    That’s what we and those politicians are up against, so poor Tim having been exposed as a ditherer of ssm was on a hiding to nothing. Fig leaf stripped away in the icy blasts of interrogation and friends were there none to offer even a handkerchief..

    • Dominic Stockford

      Interestingly there are one or two of us who ‘dabble’ in politics precisely in order to promote Christianity. It does mean we’ll never get elected, but it is one of the easiest and most public forums for getting faith matters into the public secular arena.

      • dannybhoy

        Promote Christianity or a Christian perspective?

        • Sir John Oldcastle

          ‘I’ intend to promote Christianity. Others do it I think to promote values.

          • dannybhoy

            I asked the question because I think there is a problem with trying to promote a Christian take on an issue, without an upfront reference to your absolute adherence to the Christian faith.
            A Christian political party wouldn’t work because there are too many shades of opinion. But distinct Christian groups within the main parties?

          • Sir John Oldcastle

            There are two Christian parties. The Christian Party, and The Christian Peoples Alliance. They are discussing a merger.

            The breadth of Christian practice does cause issues. Those who run them are both much more charismatic/Pentecostal than I am entirely comfortable with.

            There is also an issue over membership. One party only allows members who have been given the support of their pastor, the other allows non-Christians to be members. Both positions have clear and significant problems.

            In the next London Council elections I will probably stand as an independent.

            UKIP is the only mainland party with a significantly Biblical Christian group.

  • John

    The Farron saga this year finally convinced me for good that our country has reached a tipping point that can only now be reversed by a sovereign and sweeping visitation of the Holy Spirit such as it had in the time of Wesley and Whitefield. Trying to persuade hearts and minds in Parliament is about as effective as polishing turds and hoping they will sparkle.

    • David

      Agreed. We are nationally,now plunging rapidly down the slippery slope towards unbridled sin being celebrated, almost compulsorily. True Biblical faith exists still in a few pin pricks of light within a sea of darkness. Only a direct visitation of the Holy Spirit through great preachers, a latter day Wesley can save the nation from its ultimate destruction.

      • dannybhoy

        With all that is going on in our nation; all the piecemeal decisions, the about turns and climbdowns, the war on paedophilia, the insistence on girl guides sharing toilet facilities with men, the creation of safe spaces supervised by skilled NHS staff so that druggies can safely shoot up on the stuff that will inevitably destroy them….
        (catches breath)
        I am reminded of that old quote, “They whom the gods would destroy they first make mad..”
        I do wonder whether as a nation we reject God, he in turn leaves us to our own devices and makes fools of us.

        • David

          I agree.
          I believe that the degree of our rebellion against God is now so severe that He has abandoned the nation as a whole, giving it up to its hedonism and self-destruction. He remains loyal to the few faithful of course.

        • Martin

          Danny

          Your last sentence reflects the meaning of Romans 1:18-32.

          • dannybhoy

            Thank you for noticing Martin.

      • Richard B

        David, you may like to note my above contribution.

    • dannybhoy

      Gross but effective imagery.

    • Richard B

      You may like to note my above contribution on this John.

    • Anton

      Any such change will begin inside the church. And will begin with repentance. Yes, repentance *inside* the church. That is exactly what Wesley sought. To those who responded to his preaching, one question was put prior to their acceptance into the nationwide net of Bible study homegroups which Wesley started: “Do you earnestly desire to flee from the wrath to come and be saved from your sins?” That is timeless preaching of the true gospel. It is not “Do you earnestly desire to have Jesus Christ as a wonderful friend?”

      • Dominic Stockford

        Indeed – though of course John forgets to add the need for Christians to pray for parliamentarians, and to try to teach them the truth – they need it as much as anyone else.

  • carl jacobs

    immutable doctrines of equality and diversity.

    Those are the central dogmas of the established religion of the West, and only an heretic would reject them. It doesn’t matter what religious form you adopt so long as you worship man and proclaim his autonomy.

    When a man is asked “Is gay sex a sin?” he is really being asked “Is man morally free to set his own sexual boundaries?” If the answer comes back “No” then the reaction will be the equivalent of “He’s a witch! Burn him!” A metaphorical pyre, of course. For now.

    • Anton

      And he might be subject on the way to his martyrdom to something that not even Christ had to endure.

    • Dominic Stockford

      As the Christian Institute have pointed out the world of today has been taken over by Gnosticism.

      • Anton

        It’s easy to say, but exactly what is the knowledge that supposedly saves, and in what sense does it supposedly save?

        • Sir John Oldcastle

          As a Christian, 1 Corinthians 15:3-4.

          As for the Gnostics, it’s the knowledge from within, you ‘become your own Christ’ so to speak. Which means ‘whatever satisfies’ is the answer for them, even though they reject matter as evil!

        • Anton

          All clarification welcome!

    • The Snail

      Equality and diversity are nouns and as such are verbs which have been made into nouns i.e. reified. They tell us nothing until we discuss how equality and diversity are realised.

      From a Christian perspective one could say that we are equal in that we are all sinners and that we are all mortal (here today gone tomorrow – as far as this life is concerned), we are all loved by God).etc.

      We could say our diversity stems from the fact that each person is unique etc.

      Of course in the secular society people will mean completely different things by equality and diversity. which are of themselves mere slogans. They can be shouted from the roof tops by many people who will mean very different things by them.

  • Richard B

    ‘Coincidental’ conclusion Your Grace, on recommending Tim Farron might start by cleansing and ‘praying such reformation might spread’. It just so happens my reposting of your previous (on Welby’s ignorance on Christian support for Trump) refers an anticipated reforming of churches by the Lord, as in the latest of many recent prophetic words and visions.

  • Dominic Stockford

    I come with totally unconnected news of great joy – Meghan Markle is NOT a Roman Catholic. Huzzah!

    • Ray Sunshine

      Harry has warned Meghan Markle
      That the Windsors are quite matriarchal.
      “It’s no use getting cross,
      My grandma’s the boss,
      She just wants you to lend us some sparkle.”

      • Inspector General

        “Royal child in stop and search incident”

    • Simon Platt

      Unlike you and me, eh?

      • Sir John Oldcastle

        ? I was once, but God opened my eyes to the truth and I now denounce the blasphemous heresies and dangerous deceits of Rome. Praise God.

  • IanCad

    Completely off-topic but I thought this really hits the spot:

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1ab5dc9604cbf9695eb2313338032cd1bf2f1762dd32db35982fb164100a3cee.jpg

    Maybe it’s been around for a while, but I lead A sheltered life.

    • dannybhoy

      Brilliant!

    • David

      Excellent Ian !

  • len

    It takes a brave man to make a stand for Christianity on a public platform.I wish Welby would try it sometime?.

    • Anton

      Yes, he’s busy making a stand for Islam against President Trump just now.

      • len

        Sad, but true.Political Correctness makes fools of all who speak it.

  • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

    ‘…what kind of liberal society do we want?’ How about ‘….what are the important things in society we need to conserve?’

    • Mike Stallard

      Division!
      When we sort things out, we divide them into piles. When we sort ideas or challenges out in our minds, we divide them into parts. When we eat our Christmas dinner, we divide the food into mouthfuls.
      When God made the world, He divided earth from water, male from female, good from bad, night from day.
      We need to conserve that at all costs.

    • bluedog

      Equality, diversity, non-discriminatory social policies?

      • Royinsouthwest

        Harriet Harman’s bogus “equalities act” enshrines discrimination with its list of “protected characteristics” which means that instead of being equal before the law, some people are more equal than others.

      • layreader

        No doubt, like motherhood and apple pie, we all say ‘hurrah’ to the above. But motherhood and apple pie have obvious meanings, ‘equality, diversity, non-discriminatory’ – what do these mean, and why do they always end up meaning that some are more discriminated against than others? And worse, these meaningless words are now enshrined in law – isn’t that ridiculous?

        • bluedog

          My post has no other function than to try and wind-up Mrs Proudie. Regret to report complete failure at the time of writing. Of course, your own comments are entirely accurate.

          • layreader

            I’m too old. My irony detector is failing.

          • Anton

            You need a new metal detector!

          • dannybhoy

            I have one! Waiting the right time to sally forth in search of artefacts..

    • Norman Yardy

      To conserve Mrs Proudie and all that she stands for.

    • Chefofsinners

      Jam. We need to conserve jam. And marmalade.

  • not a machine

    Mr Farron makes a call into a malevolent fierce wind, which he does not wholly understand. The Christian faith can be rejected not only due to political parties When Paul went to Ephesus the trinket and pilgrim artifact makers were unhappy with the effect it would have to their Artimis temple visitors, still in Paul’s journey, a wonder of the world. Mr Farron draws some line about politics and representation of Christian faith as though suddenly realising that the palace of Westminster may be a place where Christian understanding has been domesticated by knaves who see a godless society. It is difficult to address an audience with a mystery you are unable to complete yourself, we do try and have a rich history of religion and philosophical discussion and point making and scoring, some people still ponder Plato and he predates Christ. Belief can find Christ/God and yet it can also create fools who are opposed to Christ in thought, word and deed. Mr Farron stands perhaps sorting things in his own thinking, has he identified the cultural agent that is causing his Christian concern, not quite. I post under a moniker, Mr Farron has stood to try and define politics and Christianity, he is brave, but Palmerston would have faired no better in this wind, rearranging the familiar moral landscape so competently.

  • The Snail

    It is, I believe, the role of the State to pass laws. These laws do not promote righteousness but limit evil. That is not a bad thing, without law there would be chaos.

    The role of the Church is to change people’s hearts, thus it is a bottom up(grass roots) movement. Jesus avoided being drawn into political argument, but rather dealt with individuals persuading them to follow him.

    A law against theft does not change a thief, he may still steal if he thinks he can get away with it. He can be changed radically as in the case of Zaccheus or at least given the chance of repentance as with other individuals in the Gospels.

    After all the great commission of Christ is to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to individuals.

    Matthew 28

    “19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

    The Church not expected to set up governments and run states.

    When a Church ceases to follow its primary purpose it becomes just another entity on the political scene.

    Of course the rewards in society are not what one would wish for.,if we follow Christ’s command.

    Matthew 24
    9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

    This is happening to our fellow Christians around the world as I write. O Lord help them to remain true to you.
    This is a challenge to our faith in the relatively safe countries of the UK..

    I guess a political career is more attractive..to the leaders of the Church than what Jesus foretold.

    • not a machine

      Yes some good scriptural points, but are you sure that laws so passed limit evil? You would require a conscience that considers what evil may be, and money is attractive to makers of legislature 🙂

      • The Snail

        Thank you.
        Perhaps I should have said “Laws is designed to limit evil” for that is the most they can do.
        Paul writes
        Galatians 3:34

        “24 Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith.”

        disciplinarian = paidagōgos
        pahee-dag-o-gos’
        A boy leader, that is, a servant whose office it was to take the children to school;

        According to William Barclay the paidagōgos would follow the Children holding a stick which he used to keep the children in line – until he got them to school.

        I know that Paul is referring to the law of the Hebrew Bible but what he says is characteristic of all good laws – they keep us in line until we find faith in Christ.

        • Mike Stallard

          The Master said: “Guide them by edicts, keep them in line with punishments, and the common people will stay out of trouble but will have no sense of shame. Guide them by virtue, keep them in line with the rites, and they will, besides having a sense of shame, reform themselves.”
          Shame nobody is listening to Confucius (Analects Book 2.3) now any more than they were then.

      • Royinsouthwest

        In so far as the law acts as a deterrent to murder, other crimes of violence, robbery, fraud, etc. then it limits evil. Of course simply passing a law is mere virtue signalling if there is no real intention to enforce it and punish those who break it. The law against female genital mutilation is an example of a law that was passed to make MPs look good but which is virtually never enforced despite the fact that the evil it supposedly proscribes is widespread.

        • Norman Yardy

          Current bad/evil laws are same sex marriage and coming up, gender orientation.

  • Inspector General

    Totally off topic but your Inspector is watching the film ‘Hotel Sahara’ set during the 39 45 war in the desert….

    “I’ll pretend to be an Arab and ride the donkey. You pretend to be one of my wives and walk behind me”

    “What’s that you fellow? Oh! thanks for the tip”

    “Change of plan! Arab men now make their women walk in front. In case there are mines”

    • Manfarang

      Does the movie mention when the British troops went on strike in North Africa?

      • dannybhoy

        We did?
        Why?

        • Manfarang

          Discontent with conditions.

    • Anton

      Is it as good as Ice Cold in Alex?

      • dannybhoy

        Doubtful.

  • dannybhoy

    Disgusting little man.

  • Chefofsinners

    Does anyone know to this day whether Tim Farron actually thinks gay sex is a sin?

    • len

      Best not to go there, the advice from scripture is the same.

      • Chefofsinners

        The advice from scripture is: Have the courage to speak the truth.
        We are all sinners, even to know good and not do it is sin. And all sex outside of marriage is sin, so yes gay sex is sin.
        Why will Tim Farron not say it? He is like Lot in Sodom: a righteous man tormented.

        • len

          Fear, plain and simple,fear of man and fear of the consequences of proclaiming Gods Word.

          The consequences of preaching the Gospel in some other parts of the world will result in a death sentence, but political Correctness is far more subtle it also uses fear as a weapon, but fear of bring ridiculed, fear of being hated,fear of loss of respect,fear of losing position and ones job.

          • Chefofsinners

            Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

    • Royinsouthwest

      Most of us are far more interested in the question implicitly, but emphatically and encouragingly, answered in this article; what does Tim Farron think of Jesus Christ?

    • My attitude is that it is not for me to judge others in matters like this but to live my own life, as best I can, in accordance with my beliefs.
      And if he personally believes that it is wrong, that’s for him to decide; why should he be obliged to tell everyone?

      • Norman Yardy

        If it is not for us to judge, we should point out what scripture says.

        • Exactly. I notice Rees-Mogg handled a similar situation with little difficulty.

      • dannybhoy

        I think Jacob Rees-Mogg had it right when he expressed his personal beliefs but that he respected the law of the land.

        • Exactly. I don’t believe in gay marriage but it’s now the law of the land. Come to that I don’t believe couples should have children before marriage, but again I have no say in the matter. As with the proposed divorce on demand, well what’s the point of getting married in the first place?
          But I respect the law, just like Rees-Mogg.

          • dannybhoy

            Quite right.

          • Chefofsinners

            How do you mean ‘respect the law’? If you mean you will obey it, that is nonsense because you aren’t going to marry a man. If you mean fail to challenge it then you are wrong.

          • I disagree. There are quite a few laws that I would disagree with. I would only challenge them if they wished to make me do something that was against my beliefs.

          • Chefofsinners

            Ah – you are a liberal. I had not realised.
            But this law will force Christian registrars to ‘marry’ same sex couples, and Christians venue owners to accommodate their ceremonies, and Christian’s taxes will be used to give them the married couples allowance and Christian marriage guidance counsellors will have to advise them and so-on and so-forth. Polygamy next.

          • I do have objections to these things, but at my age there is little I can do about them and I am not directly affected. As for any tax allowances they might collect, I am far more concerned about all the invaders who are living here on benefits.

    • Manfarang

      “We are all sinners”

    • Anton

      That is reliably inferrable or else he would not have resigned.

  • Mike Stallard

    Bingo! What a superb article, your grace, and well noticed too! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Well done!
    Inspirational.

  • Royinsouthwest

    Is that a description of what politicians and much of the mainstream media actually do?

    • Sarky

      Ha ha pretty much.

  • > I believe in pluralism, I am not a secularist but I believe in a secular society where there is no ‘state faith’.

    The root error is here. Pluralism, without official state poly-theism, is ultimately unstable. Despite times of change and inconsistency, you eventually have to have both or neither.

    Similarly, secularism without official state atheism, is also unstable. Despite times of change and inconsistency, you have to eventually pick both or neither.

    The public sphere is not a huge neutral sphere where we can politely ask Christ to leave us alone for a bit, or to share his supremacy with a bunch of idols. Christ is not simply Lord of a very small (and ever shrinking) “private sector” that stops a few centimetres outside your front door (and the secularists don’t believe in your freedom inside your front door either – they claim total rights everywhere, which is what Tim Farron has been discovering and would not be so bemused by if he hadn’t made his root error). The alternative to some sort of Christendom (a word humanists have tried to make scary by associating it with the Taleban, which is absurd – there have been many states that formally recognised Christianity without being repressive theocracies), is not a nice pleasant “liberal” place where we all get along nicely together. Eventually, one of the ideologies will claim the upper hand. You can’t have freedom without an ideology which ultimately backs freedom. And neither atheism nor polytheism ultimately have that foundation which can provide freedom in the long run. Only Christ brings freedom in the long run, because his blood actually sets men free.

  • magnolia

    Sadly, it seems few are willing to make a stand for others, even in Christian circles, and even when others are being treated with rank dishonesty and injustice. And some of those who are ready to make a stand make wrong stands for the wrong people…

    But a few are both judicious and courageous. We must value them highly. Sometimes their earthly reward is disfavour. Their heavenly reward will be great.

    WE must pray to God that more Christians may be willing to take risks for others……

    • dannybhoy

      Absolutely, and one of the big problems for us Christians is that unless we agree theologically and doctrinally, down to the last jot and tittle, we cannot have unity, and in this way we justify our failure to stand together.

      • Anton

        I have no problem disagreeing with my lead elder about the timing of the rapture, some aspects of evolution, and whether we are once saved always saved. The problem is that doctrinal differences have been hardened into denominations. A denomination is defined by a hierarchy. Persecution will decapitate those hierarchies and close their mutually exclusive buildings. Then we shall be one, as the church reverts to its biblical structure.

        “If you will not purify my church, I will do it. The bride must be made ready for her wedding.”

        The one prophecy I believe I have ever received.

        • dannybhoy

          I agree Anton, and I would not stand with a fellow Christian because we share absolutely identical opinions on things theological, but because we worship and serve the same Saviour; we are Family

        • David

          Yes, far too much is made of the differences between Christian groups. But if we worship the Triune God and regard Jesus Christ as our Saviour then we are all part of the universal, and unseen, Church’s family of Christians.

        • Richard B

          Anton, thank you for sharing that prophetic word which is similar to another and a vision of the C of E, both received mid-September (https://wp.me/p1Y1yB-akw)

  • Norman Yardy

    If one makes a stand, others shy away. Peter denied the Christ three times as prophesied and the Disciples all did the same.

  • IrishNeanderthal

    This is very pointed, concerning Welby vis à vis both Tim Farron and Trump.

    Anglican Unscripted #348 – Babbling while Baffled

    More about Trump, but the bit concerning Farron is most telling.

    • Chefofsinners

      Well worth 15 minutes to watch this. Gavin’s analysis is, as usual, incisive, making it abundantly clear that Welby has chosen friendship with the world and enmity with God.

      • Anton

        He has a genius for dismantling nonsensical position while remaining courteous.

    • dannybhoy

      That’s a great vid, thank you for posting it.
      May I remind Christians here that Gavin Ashenden resigned/was pushed from his post as a Queen’s Chaplain because he stood up for the faith re Glasgow Cathedral’s leadership allowing the portion of the Qu’ran relating to Mary, mother of our Lord.
      He could have kept his mouth shut as many others did and continued in his prestigious, cushy and privileged role…
      May I also remind those in a position to do something about it that Gavin is willing to come and speak at meetings if invited..?