Church of England

The establishment of the Church of England and the Christian Monarchy flourish together or fall together

This is a guest post by the Rev’d Dr Gavin Ashenden, Chaplain to the Queen.

__________________________

One of the many reasons I like twitter is for the jokes. “Why should anyone take any notice of the National Secular Society?” someone asked yesterday morning. “It’s only two old blokes and laptop.”

In fact that’s only half true. The National Secular Society won’t disclose its membership. But it gets a disproportionate amount of time because it can rely on the BBC to give it airtime, with its clumsy editorial policy of ‘balancing’ opposite points of view-irrespective of their merits or numbers they represent.

You can tell when the old secular blokes and the laptop are feeling unloved and unnoticed; that’s the moment when they put out their latest call for the disestablishment of the Church of England.

The which they have done this week. Perhaps they were miffed by the Queen speaking out increasingly forthrightly in her Christmas messages? This year she said movingly and memorably:

“And yet, billions of people now follow (Jesus).. and find in him the guiding light for their lives. I am one of them because Christ’s example helps me see the value of doing small things with great love.”

But whether or not it was the Queen as Head of State talking about Jesus, or just their boredom, they have released yet another report.

I have never understood quite why they are so cross about the bishops belonging to and making speeches in the House of Lords.

Like all legislative debating chambers (including the UN), endless self-important people say things no one notices or remembers except on those very few occasions when they touch a raw nerve with intelligence, wit and perception. And even then the media have to have a good reason to publicise it. This is not something that much describes the contributions of the bishops in the House of Lords, so why are the NSS even bothered?

Perhaps, as with many spiritual people, they have an innate sense of the power of symbolism, and sense at least the potential for speaking prophetically to the nation there, even if the bishops are only very seldom up to the task. They are afraid of what they might say.

But this complaint about bishops in the House of Lords is made by the NSS almost every time they make a public statement. No one else cares, and the moment passes, until, Groundhog Day-like, they say it again, the BBC pretends it is news, etc., etc.

However, the second thing they said this time begins to be interesting and matter very much. They are cross about the preeminent role the Church plays in national ceremonies, especially the Coronation.

The Queen, ‘may she live for ever’, won’t live for ever. The moment she dies, and the (probable) new Carolingian reign is upon us, may make Brexit look like a tea party.

Despite the empty rhetoric of the two primitive provocations in our infantile and unsophisticated public discourse which the NSS bring to this report – “it is unfair and unequal” – it is neither.

It is a little like complaining about the alphabet on public signs or in the news media. Why should it be the Latin alphabet? It is unfair on the Greek, Arabic, Cyrillic, Chinese or Jewish alphabet (not that any progressive cares about being unfair to the Jews – that is de rigueur). If you want to use the criteria ‘fairness and equality’ on public signage and written materials, you can; but at the cost of coherence and identity. Despite the facileness of the growing cultural Marxism, people are not quite yet that stupid – or conditioned.

In all the artificial debate about ‘British Values’, which we have brought up to avoid telling the truth about being unable to reconcile the clash of Muslim culture with Christian culture, the Christian Monarchy is a British Value par excellence.

Few people will dare say so, because few dare face the implications of the clash between the different value systems vying for influence in our New Britain.

Few dare face the emerging question of what happens when you have to choose between the absolute claims of Christianity and those of Islam in Britain.

And that may be partly why secularism has such a wind behind it. It can pretend that all values are of equal worth and relativism rules.

And yet, especially at Christmas, we know that can’t be true. There is a genius to a Christian monarchy, a charism to our Queen, envied across the world by secular republics especially. What they would like, of course, would be the beliefs of secular republicanism married to the values, power and symbolism of Christian monarchy, and especially to the person of Elizabeth II, the expression of Christian monarchy.

But they will have to choose. You can’t have both.

And that is where and when a profound crisis will emerge in Britain. Not because two old men and a laptop are media-starved and bored or irritated by Christmas, but because, sadly, Elizabeth will die soon and Charles will need to be crowned Monarch and swear his Coronation Oath in order to reign as King.

So how exactly will this work?

Will there still be a Christian anointing and coronation for Charles, with its profoundly Christian oaths of service (which are SO unequal and unfair and unrepresentative)?

Will Charles have to have four ceremonies to gain monarchical legitimacy?

A Christian one that continues in the unbroken tradition of a thousand years; a Muslim one in which Charles invokes sufficient elements of Islam to make the Muslim community feel he represents them (God help him in the future when they find he doesn’t); a multi-faith mush of value systems ranging from the spiritual politics of ecology to homeopathy for everyone else who is spiritual but not religious – as the mantra goes? And a secular one reflecting ‘British Values’, so the 40 or 50 or 60 per cent or however many people say they don’t happen to believe in a god at the moment a Gallup Poll asks them the question, also feel represented?

But what is clear is that the establishment of the Church of England and the Christian Monarchy flourish together or fall together.

This is complicated further by the fact that the Church of England ought not to want to be established.

Of course, it confers a few advantages. Archbishop Justin Welby gets more airtime representing his 750,000 (and decreasing) Anglicans than the more dignified and substantial Cardinal Vincent Nichols his two million (and growing) Roman Catholics. But Jesus made it clear you cannot serve God and Mammon – you cannot serve the Kingdom of Heaven and the state. You might just make a small and tenuous case at those moments when the state claims to be momentarily Christian, but not easily and not well.

At the heart of Christianity is the choice to take the narrow road over the broad one; the spirit over the flesh; forgiveness over the rights of revenge. The way is hard, and the number few that find and take it. To be a Christian is to choose to be a minority going the opposite way. How courageous would an established church need to be to reflect the teaching and practice of Jesus, and still remain a state Church?

So is there a solution to how Charles will be crowned?

Paradoxically, every year that passes stretches the legitimacy of Christian monarchy thinner and thinner in the face of the growth of Islamic political and cultural influence and the freneticism of the those who parrot ‘unequal and unfair’ at the moment of every choice between two opposing values.

Those who love or admire the Christian Monarchy are faced with the paradox that the longer Elizabeth II remains on the Throne, the harder will be the justification for a Christian coronation for Charles III (or George VII, or whatever regnal name he takes), as both secularism and Islam gather pace.

But the coronation of Charles is both an end in itself and also a symptom. If the Monarchy is to survive it needs to be Christian. If it is to be Christian it needs to be so as part of a struggle waged in the public space both to defend and allow the expression of Christian values.

The fundamentalist dogma of ‘Equality’ will destroy the Christian Monarchy quite as effectively as it shuts down Christian witness in the public space.

Every nurse who is sacked for praying with a patient; every baker who is prosecuted for refusing to merchandise homosexual propaganda against their conscience; every café that is visited by the police for showing the New Testament on video screens; every preacher prosecuted for complaining that Islamic violence like every other form of violence is evil; every university that ‘no platforms’ a speaker who offends snowflake gender values; every school that closes down a speaker like the gay, anti-feminist, Catholic blogger Milo Yiannopoulos; every time the Home Office refuse visas to Christian bishops from abroad, undermines the legitimacy and the possibility of a Christian monarchy.

If the Church of England wants to avoid being disestablished; if it wants to fight for a Christian anointing for Charles III (or George VII), it had better start defending in the public space the Christian values it believes in and upon which its existence is predicated.

It had better take the fight to the anti-Christian ‘equality’ agenda, through its schools, through the bishops in the House of Lords, through Christian MPs, through an energetic lay outcry, now, before it is too late.

If it isn’t  already.

  • Sarky

    You’re right. It is too late.
    Christianity has lost any influence it might have had.
    If the monarchy is to survive, it must be there for all people, not just a dwindling 5%.

    • writhledshrimp

      Our numbers may be falling but we aren’t dwindling.

      • Sarky

        If that were true, there would be no need for this article.

      • Dominic Stockford

        But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
        2 Corinthians 12:9

    • Merchantman

      I think you will find there is much less distance in belief between the various congregations of UK churches than ever.

    • Your metrics are misleading, Sarky. The 5% number (4.3% by 2025) is based on church membership. Even attendance…which is hard to quantify to begin with… doesn’t reflect the reality of dormant cultural attachment and when push comes to shove, dogged loyalty. If Jews went by these kinds of stats, the world would be all but Judenrein, God forbid.

  • chefofsinners

    I find reading the reports of the NSS is a great help in understanding what everlasting life will be like.
    However, the previous Carolingian monarchy wasn’t great either: two old men and a lapdog, you might say.
    Most true Christians in Britain are already outside the established Church. This is where the future of the faith lies – where it began and was always meant to be: outside the camp, bearing the reproach of Christ.
    Beautifully written piece, by the way, containing some great insights. And encouraging to find another of the Queen’s chaplains sound in the faith.

    • Dominic Stockford

      I agree with your ‘finding’ of true Christians, and the rest of that paragraph.

      I am afraid the first bit went ‘whoosh’ over my head. Bad day for me perhaps!

  • TIME to CTRL ALT & DEL

    Christianity grows most under persecutation.
    As the squeeze continues in the name of intolerant tolerance and unbalanced equality we should expect the Holy Spirit to be at work.

  • Politically__Incorrect

    Thank you Dr Ashendon for this perceptive and frank article. In light of Prince Charles’ recent comments in which he decries populism and declines to name the religion that is doing most of the persecution of Christians I don’t feel much hope for the future of the established church. That lack of hope is compounded by the current state of the Anglican church in this country which is steadily abandoning its scriptural basis and instead, embracing secular values like “equality” and multi-culturalism. I suspect that as with the revolt against the political elite, the revolt against the Anglican elite will come from the grass roots of the church, not from the top, and frankly, I think it is more important to have a true church than an established one.

  • Graham Wood

    Excellent comment To start the New year YG. It raises the oft repeated question for Christians as to whether there is a place for the Established church with the monarch as it’s head.
    From the New Testament the evidence is non existent.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Gavin Ashenden wrote it, not ABC.

    • Old Nick

      So is the New Testament evidence for indoor sanitation.

  • Dominic Stockford

    Vincent Nichols is ‘dignified and substantial’? I think you’d find that not the case, were he to be given more air time. Peter Smith (RC AB of Southwark) would be though. Not that RC bishops should be given airtime of any substance in a Protestant country where the 39 articles are still written into the law of the land.

    • Royinsouthwest

      How much time in the media do non-conformist Christian leaders get?

      • Dominic Stockford

        By definition there aren’t really ‘leaders’ among non-conformist churches. But even groups which seek to engage with the media for the benefit of Christ (such as the Protestant Truth Society, or Christian Concern) get very little response unless the media think what they are going to say will cause ‘outrage’ and therefore a dramatic response.

    • “Archbishop Justin Welby gets more airtime representing his 750,000 (and decreasing) Anglicans than the more dignified and substantial Cardinal Vincent Nichols his two million (and growing) Roman Catholics.”

      The Established Church and Christian Monarchy rely on support from Catholics and other Christians. Why alienate supporters? How are the 39 Articles relevant in silencing representatives of the Roman Catholic Church?

  • Charles has to have the courage and leadership to stand up and tell us what he wants namely a Christian coronation as defender of the faith. We are a Christian country and should stay so like it or not. We need some leadership and direction, all this muddling and fudging is no good all it does is complicate matters and give room for doubts to grow and chaos to reign.

  • magnolia

    Not sure where the 750K comes from. Those who come at Christmas and Easter, or the majority of these, once or twice a year and to the odd baptism and funeral in between, and say the Lord’s Prayer regularly think of themselves as belonging…..though the committed think that is deficient. However excluding the fringe communicates things which aren’t too good.

    I think our numbers are usually an understatement, as Communion numbers are easy, those who don’t go up or non-eucharistic services harder to count, and those who drop in and out during the service virtually impossible.

  • magnolia

    Incidentally that picture of Prince Charles seems peculiarly dressed as a precious prickly pear.

  • William Lewis

    One has faith that the socially conservative and culturally Christian majority in this country will become ever more so in the face of rising Islamic and secular opposition. Their values are indeed British values and personified in our Queen “par excellence”. Her Majesty is probably the single most unifying force of Britishness that we have. I hope that the Established Church will step into the breach between the reigns of our current monarch and the next to ensure the continuity of this magnificent and envied, British institution – the Christian Monarchy.

    Does the Established Church need to do more to defend against an encroaching, nihilistic equality agenda? Perhaps in the name of freedom it can. We have, after all, recently voted for freedom in an historic referendum. “Britons never will be slaves” we may sing and, in our subconscious, believe. Many people (including Peter Tatchell) are uneasy that bakers can be forced to promote homosexual messages. We won’t, as a nation, be told what we can or cannot do, whether by President Obama or two men and a laptop.

    And didn’t our Lord come to set us free? Perhaps we, and the established Church, should act and speak as if the truth has indeed set us free?

    • David

      Well said.

  • Andrew Holt

    Fantastic post Dr Ashenden. It feels like the story of Gideon is being played out in our time. The army will be small but with God all things are possible. It must have been unnerving for Gideon to see all the men turn back but what a glorious victory! I’ve recently been re-reading Henry’s speech in Henry V, “we few, we happy few, we band of brothers.”This is an exciting time to be a Christian.

  • len

    This ‘old bloke with a desktop’ said:”If the C of E cannot get its act together it would better for it to be disestablished rather than put out an increasingly Social Gospel.
    The C of E needs to get back to its roots ,back to the 39 articles and start preaching the Gospel.
    Speak out and be damned with the consequences.”

  • Politically__Incorrect

    The NSS won’t publish its membership? I wonder what they are afraid of. Is it just embarrassingly small?

    • len

      I think the NSS is larger than rumoured, its three blokes but they own the Media.

    • James Bolivar DiGriz

      “The National Secular Society boasts about 7,000 members – the same number as the British Sausages Appreciation Society”
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/9078434/Its-time-for-Christians-to-fight-back.html

      • Old Nick

        Is that the same as the British SAS ?

      • Politically__Incorrect

        So, like a small dog. No bite but lots of noisy yapping

    • William Lewis

      The membership of the NSS probably breaches their diversity rules – not enough Bishops.

  • Catholics Are Right About Everything
    Interesting perspective ….

    • William Lewis

      How rude, particularly about Protestants!

      Milo is never knowingly under-outrageous! Good to see yet another, err perspective, of what it means to a Roman Catholic 😉

      • He makes Jack chuckle.

        • carl jacobs

          Who is that?

          • Not someone you’d approve of…unless you can tolerate imperfect vessels.

        • Cressida de Nova

          He makes Linus look good !

    • David

      You’ve selected a surprising choice of champion to advance your point…

      • Why surprising? He has some interesting things to say.

        • David

          Interesting ? Well it was pitched at a knock about fun level, I’d say. But are you closing your eyes to his “unorthodox” sexual views and practices ?

          • From the little research Jack has done, his views do seem complex and conflicted. And yet …..

          • Cressida de Nova

            Conflicted? I can think of a better word.

          • David

            “complex and conflicted”
            Not half – but well put !

        • All I could hear was swearing, not very interesting.

    • Don’t tell us you discovered Milo Y only now! Or were you, like me, keeping him to yourself? Wild, brilliant, brave and most importantly in an era of mealy-mouthed mumbling, lethally effective.

      • Jack had never heard of him until this article mentioned him.

        • No! Big in the States, where he lives now. Hours of free fun of lectures and interviews on YouTube…which you already may be click-baiting your way through as we speak.

  • David

    Unlike his mother, the very model of a contemporary constitutional monarch, Charles seems a weak and vacillating individual pulled hither and thither by the post-modern cultural currents. However this is not about him, but about the stability and unity of an entire country.

    The C of E has many faults but one of its strengths is that it sees itself as, in some sense, ensuring the religious toleration of all but the violently intolerant. This is why many non-Christians that I have personally encountered, who are faithful to their persuasion, like having a head of state who considers themselves to have been appointed, ultimately by God. Yes some of the aggressive and intolerant types of atheists may mock that, but I have also met thoughtful, respectful, old school atheists who would prefer to have a Christian monarch as a politically neural head of state compared to the alternative, a politically partisan ex-PM as President. President Blair anyone ? No thank you !

    In fairness to Charles even he occasionally brushes up against reality, having revised his views in the light of the unfolding evidence of Islamic violence. Earlier he stated that he wanted to be crowned as Defender of Faiths. Recently given all that has happened around us he has reverted to the historical singular “Faith” !

    Especially in times like these, of great, even frightening changes, there is much to be said for maintaining symbols of stability and continuity with the past. This is why there is in practice little threat to the continuation of either the monarchy or of the establishment of the C of E; both the majority of the political establishment and the majority of the people want to retain such symbols, even if we will have to steal ourselves for a short while as King Charles assumes the throne.

  • As the Christian Church grows weaker and learns to rest on Christ, not on approval from the world, it will grow stronger. Even if that strength means persecution and possible extinction. It’s where we believe we’re heading anyway. Then consider what we know will happen.

    Let’s fight the anti-Christ, rather than having supper with Satan. Why continue to compromise our faith in order to hold onto institutions that survive by apologising to and accommodating secular culture? Just as we individually grow stronger when we rely on Christ and not just our own feeble efforts, the same applies to the Church. If this is the time when the Christian faith is to go down in the West, and it’s still an ” if “, let’s at least go down representing that faith.

    We know the outcome of the war, even if we don’t yet understand the significance of each of the battles. Sometimes we can only “win” by “losing” and vice versa.

  • [The C of E] had better start defending in the public space the Christian values it believes in

    A key Christian value, I would have thought, is maintaining the strength of the faith. That being the case, why did the C of E not speak out against the arrival in this country of one of Christianity’s enemies, Islam, and why has the church continued to aid the process of Islamization by preaching the glories of diversity and allowing its churches to become mosques? It’s as though the church wants England to become Muslim.

    This year she said movingly and memorably

    In her Christmas messages of 1982 and 2004, the Queen said memorably and sickeningly: ‘I believe that for those with a sense of tolerance the arrival and proximity of different races and religions have provided a much better chance for each to appreciate the value of the others’ and ‘diversity is indeed a strength and not a threat.’

    Like her church, the Queen, far from defending Christianity, embraces the diversity which will eventually destroy it.

    Catholic blogger Milo Yiannopoulos

    At around 2¼ minutes into this video, Yiannopoulos describes himself as ‘a gay Jew who never shuts up about his black boyfriend.’

  • In the light of Her Majesty’s recent indisposition, I am grateful to Rev’d. Dr. Ashenden for a very timely article. He seems to have forgotten that between Charles III and George VII, there will (DV) be William V, but that apart it is a very interesting piece. I reply as a Monarchist and a non-conformist.
    .
    The current religious settlement dates from 1688 and brought to an end a long period of persecution of dissenters. Now a limited freedom was granted to non-conformists who could agree with the doctrinal articles of the C of E to assemble in their own buildings to hear their preachers (the reason that Dissenting preachers were not doing open-air preaching with Wesley and Whitefield was that it was illegal for them). The monarchy was felt to be the guarantee of religious freedom for all Christians, especially after the French Revolution had effaced the memory of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes 100 years earlier.
    .
    I think most Free Church folk would be content with the established Church of England if that organization remained true to its articles. Many of us treasure books by J.C. Ryle and other evangelical churchmen, despite our differences over baptism, church governance etc. But the glue that joins together Christians of differing denominations is the Gospel of Jesus Christ as revealed in the Bible. And alas, that Gospel is very rarely heard from the lips of the leading Bishops of the C of E. To be a Bishop these days is to be more of a politician than an evangelist, and this should not be. This is not something new; it has been going on since Bishop Calenso, 150 years ago. What is different is the scale of the apostasy, which has become pervasive.
    .
    It is my profound belief that what Britain needs most of all is a new Reformation, and like the Church of Rome 500 years ago, I do not believe that the C of E is reformable. The synods are controlled by the liberals and to those evangelicals who declare that they are “in it to win it” I reply, why then do you keep on losing? When people look at the Church of Rome or at Islam, they see organizations that at least appear to know what they believe. When they look at the Church of England they see an body that does not accept its own articles of faith, and does not believe its own holy book. Who would join such an outfit? Why would anyone suppose that he would find salvation there?
    .
    I see no alternative, therefore, but for true Christians to come out of the C of E, whether to start a new Episcopalian denomination or to join the Dissenters. The monarchy will have to look after itself. The glory of the King of kings trumps that of Charles III. Perhaps Charles had it right when he spoke of becoming the Defender of Faith. Perhaps a new role can be found there.

    • Old Nick

      Prince Charles (Philip Arthur George) has expressed his intention to take the regnal style George VII.

      • Merchantman

        Well that’s a start!

      • Pubcrawler

        His name is ill-omened: no heir apparent called Arthur has ever acceded. There have been (arguably) two. Then again, perhaps the third time is the charm…

      • But our Carl will get all nervous over the King George name! You know, flash-backs, triggering, safe spaces, cups of hot chocolate….

        • carl jacobs

          To be honest, I don’t expect Charles to become King. At least to me, he has lost the stature necessary to occupy the role. But of course Americans view the Royal Family with studied detachment. We’re quite happy for it to be over there.

          • You better be happy over there; take a closer look at the mayhem in Europe. And if your Trump can transform himself from the crazy Orange Ape to prime presidential material with a knock-em-down cabinet, and I’m reluctantly impressed if not awed, the Prince too can smarten up and bear the Crown like a king…but Her Majesty is not ready for retirement yet, so enough of that.

    • David

      Well we certainly need a revival, that’s for sure.
      The Reformation was about the rediscovery of true Christianity and then presenting it to the people. Conservative orthodox Christians like myself are still in possession of true Christianity, but struggle to present it to a world entranced by different gods.
      I believe that the current trends within the C of E point to a future trajectory, for the decline of the liberal churches within it, most of which will all but disappear in twenty years time, whilst the doctrinally conservative ones, such as my own, continue to grow or hold steady with younger people replacing the older ones as they die.
      The denomination will undoubtedly become more conservative over time, even as it shrinks in overall size. I agree that the bishops are a hindrance and most live in their own socialist – theologically liberal bubble. So whether reform will occur through this gradual increase in the influence of those following a conservative theology is perhaps a moot point.

      • Merchantman

        Agreed that the membership of the C of E will probably rapidly become more conservative, presumably meaning bible based, and thus at odds with the liberal top.
        This is already becoming a gulf where it seems to me the Top is having its work cut out to restrain a more enthusiastic base. I have witnessed this.
        Is what continues to call me personally to stay with the Anglican church is the possibility of avoiding enthusiasm from going off the rails, which it can do. Unfortunately the top is in presently in danger of becoming heretical and thus one is caught in the middle.
        I therefore think there is an urgent need to restate the 39 Articles and Spirit filled biblical scholarship to draw some firm lines before much time passes. Some people may need to be disqualified er…

        • David

          Yes, you’ve hit a number of nails on their heads there !

    • William Lewis

      Interesting perspective, Martin, but

      “Who would join such an outfit? Why would anyone suppose that he would find salvation there?”

      I did not join such an outfit and yet I found Jesus under the auspices of, and am grateful to worship and find Christian fellowship within, the very outfit in which you suppose salvation cannot be sought.

  • Dreadnaught

    In the scale of things the NSS is a complete irrlevance but always good for a a cheap-shot from a member of the Establishment.
    How many Christians has the NSS put to death? What part of their Charter gives specific details of how to ‘dispose’ of Jews, Christians and others who don’t accept its tenets?
    Christianity is being purged from the Middle East like no other time in history.
    It is under attack globally yet this post opens up wish the earth shattering news that the National Secular Society is the true villain of the piece, while Islam warrants a passing aside based on Charles’s naievite.
    It may come as a shock to the writer that Charles, the CoE, the NSS and even Britain as a world power, are bit players in the ongoing shift from Western cultural prominence in our daily lives to the uncontrolled, invited excesses of Islamism and the appeasement thereof.
    Never mind Cheerful Charlie and his odditiest, there is the most stupid of men dressed up as a pope who when not metaphorically on his knees, arse in the air kowtowing to Islam, is busy burying his head in the sand: the posture is the same, either way he and his followers are getting shafted.
    Gavin Ashenden avoids the Herd of Elephants in the room and points his finger at everything except the the big bull charging towards him and his archaic concept the ‘Church of England’.

    Whom I wonder does he think poses the greater threat to Christianity; Porteous-Wood and his little outfit or Muhammad and his barbaric excesses?

    • len

      ‘How many Christians has the NSS put to death’?.
      Or;
      How many lives have been condemned to spiritual death by Darwinism?.

      How many students have had the slightest glimmering spark of Christianity beaten out of them by our ‘education system’?

      How many Churches are having their foundations destroyed by aggressive atheism.?

      I would say Islam has done a worse job destroying Christianity than secular humanism?.

      Christianity is being destroyed by weak Christian leaders and aggressive secularists.

      • Dreadnaught

        How many lives have been condemned to spiritual death by Darwinism?
        You worry about this abstact construct rather than an inflicted physical violent death? Weird I call it.
        Sounds like a familiar Islamic apologist’s smoke-screen when faced with realism.

        • len

          Spiritual death is far worse than physical death.

        • Royinsouthwest

          What sort of “faith” is it that can only survive by ignoring evidence for evolution by natural selection? Hardly faith built on a rock.

          • chefofsinners

            Creationists believe all the evidence for evolution. They just interpret it as evidence for creation.

      • Sarky

        And how many Christians have done f### all in the face of all this??

        • len

          Too many.

    • The fact of the matter is that the leaders of ISIS are mere tyros in the art of persecution and mass-murder when compares to the great secularists of the 20th Century, Stalin, Mao Tse Tung and Pol Pot.
      And let us not forget that the country most hostile towards Christians today is not a Moslem on, but the atheist nation of North Korea. One might also add that secularist China has been increasing its persecution of Christians in the past year or two in a desperate attempt to stop its people abandoning in ever-increasing numbers the hopeless and despairing tenets of atheism for the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ.

      • Dreadnaught

        Christianity was the predominant religion of the ME for 500 years but not any more and this took place a long time before your list of modern atheist tyrants who struck out all regligions, not just Christianity.

    • Anton

      Worth answering with another question: Who let Islam into this country and why?

      • Dreadnaught

        Any reasonable person would not deny access to this Country to a legitimate immigrant. There was not one peep of dissent from British Christians at the arrival of a competing ‘religion’ in its homeland – quite the contrary in fact.

        • Anton

          Your first sentence appears to contradict what you said above.

          I agree, unhappily, with your second sentence, but it avoids my very specific question…

          • Dreadnaught

            I refer to immigrants as people from other countries. I do not go along with their insistence on self identifying by their chosen belief systems.

          • Anton

            Thanks you for the clarification; but the issue is this: you suggest that, in taking aim at the National Secular Society, “Gavin Ashenden avoids the Herd of Elephants in the room and points his finger at everything except the the big bull charging towards him and his archaic concept the ‘Church of England’.” You refer obviously to Islam, but are you not refusing to concede that it was secular people who let Islam into this country, and who therefore bear the responsibility?

          • Dreadnaught

            As ther is no ‘collective’ of Secularist its rather pointless to suggest that this is the root cause of Islamic inliftration. For generations the secular model was to accommodate the various confugurations of Christians i.e. Protestant and Catholic.
            Until very recently a persons religion was as largely private affair at the personal level but largely Christian with a small peaceful contingent of British Jews .Muslims reached critical mass in the nineties and their profile altered dramatically which ‘coinsided’ with the political correctness of the Left which was enthusiastically promoted by the media and other political parties. Whether or not this can be attributed to the concept of secularism is debateable.
            Secularism to me is allowing a person to follow the religion of their choosing without interference. The point at wich this no longer fits the concept is when a benign religion morphs into an aggressive political entity with an agenda to subsume the host society and culture while being funded from inside and without, by foreign aid.
            .

          • Anton

            If you read the Quran you will see that (unlike the New Testament) it is intrinsically political, requiring its faithful to fight physically in order to further the faith wherever it is not accepted freely. Islam should therefore be recategorised as a political movement.

          • Dreadnaught

            If you have read anything I have written in the past, you would have realised that I have held this position for years.

          • Anton

            I have read and enjoyed many of your posts, but forgive me if I suggest that on occasion you inadvertently contradict yourself. Immediately above, you wrote “The point at wich this no longer fits the concept is when a benign religion morphs into an aggressive political entity with an agenda to subsume the host society and culture while being funded from inside and without, by foreign aid.” Can a religion whose scriptures command its faithful to fight physically in its furtherance ever be said to be benign?

          • Dreadnaught

            It’s more a question of interpretation in place and time. This is why any religion will at some time or other reserve the right to endorse violence on some pretext or other. Its one of the reasons that alienates me from ‘believers’ in religion. Nice today – Nasty tomorrow.

          • Anton

            To speak of “interpretation” suggests that the verses in question are sufficiently unclear as to carry more than one possible meaning. That is not true in this case. It is all about how faithful its followers are to it.

          • Dreadnaught

            The Bible and Koran are peppered with contradictions which are cherry picked to suit the argument. Clearly man-mad constructs to maintain the myth of divine intervntion.

          • Anton

            We can discuss the general question of contradictions at another time. (If you wish to assert that there are some in the New Testament, please provide examples.) Just now I am making two assertions: (1) The Quran does contain verses commanding adherents to fight physically in furtherance of their faith; (2) The New Testament does not. Do you agree?

          • Dreadnaught

            1. Yes.
            2. No. The NT relies on the OT for its own authority.

          • Anton

            I’ll take (2) to mean that you can find no verse in the NT commanding physical fight in furtherance of the Christian faith, otherwise you would have cited it. (Self-defence is another matter; the NT is fairly clear that Christians may fight back against an ambush by highwaymen, for instance.) The NT sets out how a voluntary opt-in group, known as the church, is to live, whereas the OT sets out how a nation, ancient Israel, is to live, and gives it a code of law. The differing contexts call for differing constitutions, which is why the NT specifically explains that Christians are not commanded to keep that code of law and are not to use violence in furtherance of their faith.

  • carl jacobs

    There is a genius to a Christian monarchy, a charism to our Queen, envied across the world by secular republics especially.

    Ummmm … It is?

    • There are advantages to having a living monarch over trying to keep alive a constitution, Carl. But I won’t tell you what they are; you have to rejoin the Commonwealth to see them 🙂

      • carl jacobs

        Wouldn’t that be sort of like Canada conquering the US? We’d all end up … Canadian.

        • Better. You’d have a longer leash with the Brits because they’re not up to your shtik yet.

          • carl jacobs

            Hrmmm. What’s in this bottle you’re trying to sell me, anyways …

            [Sniff sniff]

            … Because it bears a strong resemblance to snake oil.

          • Look at it this way; you only have two worthwhile, highly competent friends whose loyalty stands out in spite of their own interests and mutual distrust…Britain and Israel. With the EU and the UN, both are in their own spot of trouble. With the Crown as the light to give luminescence to your to-be-slightly-altered Constitution (hey, better than the deadly “living” interpretations) and the Anglosphere drawing together in a very messy world, one can think of worse options. Just talking crazy stuff, I am, but then again, crazy’s been the new norm for a while now.

          • carl jacobs

            Wouldn’t it be easier to just add two new states to the Union?

          • I don’t think you guys still have the mojo to handle us. Imagine Farage and Netanyahu filibustering in Congress.

          • Merchantman

            Both states facilitated through the benign neglect of King George. What better foundation from which to build?

          • carl jacobs

            You see, the problem is that whole Monarchy concept just won’t fly here. Maybe an American Commonwealth?

          • William Lewis

            Stop being so coy, Carl, and come back to the mother country. You’ll get a constitutional monarchy, warm beer, proper football, cricket and rugby. We’ll even have an amnesty on all the outstanding taxes you still owe, just for good measure. What could be more generous than that? All you would have to do is move your Independence day celebrations forward a few days to June 23rd. Simples.

          • carl jacobs

            We already have crickets. Why would we want more of them?

          • CliveM

            Carl

            Give up your citizenship and become a subject of HM the Queen. Gawd bless ‘er.

          • carl jacobs

            OK so …

            “Soldiers of the Queen” is a cool song. I must admit.

          • William Lewis

            Cricket is an optional extra, Carl. We’re throwing it in for free. You’ll learn to love it. It goes very well with the warm beer.

          • carl jacobs

            Warm beer …

            Oh! Is that where Avi gets his taste for Coors Light.

          • William Lewis

            Coors Light is a concession we allow for loyal Commonwealth members. You could probably keep your “Buds”, if you really insisted, but for a transitional period only whilst everyone adjusts to the new arrangement. One mustn’t throw taste completely out of the window.

          • Pubcrawler

            You will also then be able to drink it in proper, 20 fl. oz Imperial pints, not the fey 16 oz Queen Anne measures.

          • Take it up with the Brits, Carl. Canada can’t broker much, as we’re temporarily disabled under a Liberal prime minister who would run to his safe space and ask his ministry of Global Affairs (I kid thee not; used to be the chauvinistic, non-inclusive “Foreign Affairs”) to get the UN’s permission.

          • carl jacobs

            Wow. “Global Affairs.” So does that mean Canada is going to pony up some money for its military in order to fulfil its Global Responsibility to Protect? (That’s a Canadian thing, you know. Michael Ignatieff and all that.) Just wondering …

          • Michael Ignatieff is safely away in Budapest at the head of the Central European University, at least until 2022. No need to stir up trouble. Money? Better than that; build that pipeline and we’ll give you some of our gooey stuff.

          • Samuel

            Dude,

            Don’t Worry . I’m secretly working with Obama and Samantha at the UN to abolish America and New Zealand , who are actually settler colonial imperialist regimes, occupying native American and Polynesian land. I’m sorry , but New York was always native American and needs to be transferred back to the rightful indigenous owners. Same with Auckland. Oh and I’m trying to figure out which useful idiot state I can get to do this behind-the-scenes . Usually I’d use New Zealand , but…. one must be consistent. Ahhh feck it , New Zealand will do.

          • Pubcrawler

            Or Argentina.

          • I didn’t expect you to sit back and do nothing, Shmu’el. Fun to see the UN buildings go to the 13 native tribes of Long Island and I can never remember where New Zealand is. In fact, years can go by until I remember New Zealand. Make sure you don’t upset your neighbours by going overboard and offering ole’ Britannia to the pre-Indoeuropean Atlantic Bronze Age folk. A meaningful, especially in these times, Hanukkah, to you and the ladies.

          • Samuel

            Dude ,

            Well exactly. John Kerry has been replaced by a changeling from the Dominion, at least that’s what Klingon sources say when they call him a “qup qoH batlhlIj” ( honour less fool , at least that’s what Hannah said !).

            All of this must be so as I gratefully receive notifications from
            BBC, Guardian and that bastion of Zionism and free speech
            ” the forward”. In this alternative dimension Israel is just a phantom of one’s imagination, lest it upset anyone . Also Peter Minuit was not Dutch but Palestinian and native American , which means ,according to the precedent of 2334 , goodbye America!

            Happy Hanukkah to you and yours as well.

          • My Klingon’s rusty after all these years, but seems like Hanna’s got it right. Yes, 2334 will be an albatross around a few necks in time. Probably evidence for the karmic principle. Let the games begin.

          • PS: Herzog’s kissing Lurch’s (John Kerry’s) traitorous arse was to be expected. Let’s see how many resolutions they can stuff until January 20th. But a very nice tweet from Trump, just up on Arutz Sheva notifications:

            “We cannot comtinue to let Israel be treated with auch total disdain and disrespect. They used to have a great friend in the US, but not anymore. The beginning of the end was the horrible Iran deal, and now this [Res. 2334]! Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching.”

          • Samuel

            Dude

            Lurch? LOL!.

            As foe the Labour / Zionist Union leader, Herzog’s father would be ashamed of his son’s bullshit.

            As my better half said :

            Gédéon n’avait-il pas lutté contre un ennemi plus grand que nous, le l’Amalek? La reine Esther n’a-t-elle pas triomphé?

          • See, everyone thinks that because I grew up in Canada I must know at least some French. But I got an exemption from high school requirements, as I was learning English. Still am; this here blog is my advanced ESL seminar. With you Brits, our Canadian spelling rules and the Yank, Carl, here confusing me, you can only imagine the mess in my head.

          • Samuel

            Ah dude,

            I don’t get French either . At my (hated) boarding school (within which an informal “fag system” still prevailed ) , the French teacher said I did ‘have the intellectual capacity to speak French’. Although my pigeon Latin was acceptable. Kind of ironic that I married a Jew of French + Russian heritage .

            The translation I think would be:

            ‘Did not Gideon struggle against an enemy greater than ourselves, the Amalek? Did not Queen Esther triumph?’

          • Thanks. I don’t know, Obama, may his name be erased, is too little of a pisher to be an Amalek. He’s merely a failure and a nasty rasha. That’s my theology for the day.

          • Samuel

            Having said all of this , I think New Zealand’s a cracking place and my co conspirator /business partner is a Kiwi, who is an intelligent , but rustic, straight talking , no nonsense “one of the lads” man. I think the phrase “lions led by donkeys ” is an apt phrase when one encounters Kiwis verses their political masters….

          • IrishNeanderthal

            In his book The Origins of the British, Stephen Oppenheimer argues that much of the descent of today’s British is from those Atlantic Bronze Age folk. This would be similar, I may add, to those parts of Latin America where, although they speak Spanish, the people still to a large extent look like their pre-Columbian ancestors.

          • Greetings, Irish! I recall reviewing it at our library a few years back, but recall the Iberian and Basque connection, not pre-Columbians, who are closer to Mongols and Tibetans. A genetic trace, perhaps, but a visible morphology?

          • IrishNeanderthal

            I meant that the situations were formally similar: in our case, a people with considerable pre-Indo European ancestry but today speaking European languages: in Latin America, people with features derived from East Asian ancestry but speaking Spanish.

          • Ah, yes, I see. Used to be thought that the Proto-Indoeuropeans somehow killed or pushed away the older cultures, but Colin Refrew did propose a case of major linguistic assimilation.

        • Royinsouthwest

          There are republics in the Commonwealth so you could still maintain an identity separate from that of Canada.

          • carl jacobs

            It’s too late, you see. Avi has already poisoned the well. I’m on to his sneaky revanchist Canadian plot.

        • 🙂

        • Old Nick

          Better bacon. Though I suppose that would not sway the thoughts of Avi Barzel.

  • carl jacobs

    Btw. In terms of the craft and skill of the writer, this was an excellent piece of work. It was a pleasure to read.

  • preacher

    There are many true born again & Holy Spirit filled believers who are never counted as part of the ‘Church’ because they find the denominations are a hindrance rather than a help to practising their faith. We love our brothers & sisters who truly love & serve the Lord, but find the slow progress that comes with Church membership is often like trying to drive a car with the handbrake fully on – frustrating, annoying & non productive.
    Many non conformist Churches have started well when they have realised the problem, but over time, have resorted to religious formulae for different reasons, losing the direction & impetus which originally gave them birth.
    Many ‘ New ‘ groups have arisen that focus on signs & other manifestations as proof of authenticity. The obvious problem is that they have lost sight of the Lord Jesus & His Mission & entered a delusional state without power, purpose or direction.
    I believe that God has not & will not give up on His Church, that would be unthinkable, but He is now preparing a body of people with Godly leaders who will deliver a powerful return to the original body of believers who like them, will ” Turn the World upside down ” & bring many into the Kingdom. The green shoots of this reformation are often found here in the cases reported of those believers who risk their jobs & livelihoods to pray for people & tell them of God’s plan of salvation in the West, While others abroad are persecuted & martyred for refusing to bow to other god’s or men.
    What can one say – Maranatha Lord maybe ?.

  • Gosh, YG, I’d say that if you are fishing for guest posters, this Reverend Dr Ashenden is a keeper.

  • IanCad

    This is more like it should be. Hairy chested Christianity; all is not yet lost.

    • Sarky

      Hope you’re not referring to the women???

  • len

    Our Christian Foundations have been under a prolonged attack for some time now and the Foundations have been undermined for decades.These attacks have been carried out with no true understanding of the consequences of these actions by secularists.
    For Christianity to become relevant again these battered foundations will have to be rebuilt using the Word of God.
    Another Reformation is needed, a return to basics,clear out all the rubbish.

    • David

      We need to rebuild the old walls.

  • jsampson45

    We have a “representative” “democracy”. The coronation oath was administered in the full knowledge that the monarch must follow the advice of her ministers who need not be Christian at all. It was a piece of hypocrisy. To establish a Christian monarchy the C of E would have to abolish the constitution.

    • Or, like the Yanks…I see the one who loiters here just gave you thumbs-up…to amend it. Ministers need not be of the same religion as long as they recognize the Crown and the state religion’s institutional primacy. The Chinghis Khan proved that with a much more impressive empire.

  • Sybaseguru

    An interesting question given that God, in his wisdom delegates his power on earth to the Monarch, who in turn delegates to the government and parliament. God is the source of the Monarchy’s authority. The two parties of God and Monarch are intertwined, although God would no doubt survive if the two were divided. The idea of a non christian Monarch is a nonsense and would see the end of the Monarchy. As for a Catholic Monarch, 400 years of claimants to the throne would take precedence over Charles – a further dogs breakfast. We live in interesting times.

  • Inspector General

    This is an excellent post. More of the same soon sir, if you would.

    An item of news not prominent at the time was a report on the plight of the homeless. It emerged that louts, no doubt drunken, have urinated on these unfortunates where they lie. That in itself shows the success these militant secular types have had in banning Jesus from schools where they’ve managed to do it. Vile specimens of heartlessness from children made. Without Christian charity, there is no other charity from the indigenous in this land. Only emptiness.

    Interestingly, one has found by talking to them, the godless are not always absolutely godless in a sense. Many believe in the concept of Karma. Most likely so do some of the militant seculars. They may not ask themselves at the moment what Karma has in store for them for their ‘assistance’ in getting the aforementioned hapless losers urine sodden, but it’s not going to be nice. Is it?

    And now for a bit of controversy. Islam is our friend, at least in the matter of what is established. Islam by itself will maintain our institutions, the greatest being the Monarchy. Because the population loathe and fear and yes, hate Islam. Not so much the Islamic peoples themselves, that wouldn’t be British, but what Islam stands for. They’re not stupid, our people, and consequently don’t want Islam getting anywhere near what counts. They’re quite sure about that. And this from the most intelligent in the land all the way down to the men who sweep our streets and empty our bins. The latter types will freely admit it, after a pint in a pub, if you care to broach the subject, but the former, now they’re different. Only at the dinner table between intimates will they volunteer that truth. And who can blame them in this PC State we’ve allowed to police us. So for the time being, they give Islam the thumbs up (with one or two reservations) but thumbs up it definitely is. Just like they gave remaining in the EU the thumbs up, to a man.

    • Malcolm Smith

      Quite right. And this is why Charles’ coronation will almost certainly go ahead according to the ancient rites – by inertia, if nothing else. To suggest changing it would be to open up a can of too many worms. And if there is anything that would really get the indigenous population riled up it would be a sop to Islam at such a time.

      • Inspector General

        We’ll call it ‘most certainly’ then…though it might be an idea to tell Charles that…

      • Anton

        Charles should simply be told that if he won’t take the Coronation Oath as it stands then the order of succession will be run through until somebody who will is found.

    • Well, the drunken domestic louts were “bested” by a pack of sober Syrian migrant yoofs in Germany, who set a homeless guy on fire in a subway station. If I had to choose, I’d go for the domestic option. Guy’s ok, thank God, and the feral creatures who were too stupid to notice a CCTV cam a few meters away were all caught by the polizei.. Little bit of justice, not to mention high-res cams and good facial recognition software can make one’s day, even though the yoofs will undoubtedly be all set free on a promise of good behaviour before the next call of the muezzin. See http://www.dailywire.com/news/11928/video-syrian-refugees-light-homeless-man-fire-amanda-prestigiacomo

      • Inspector General

        If the Inspector was a cynical fellow, Avi, he might be saying right now that the ‘refugees’ are maintaining their persecution skills ready for later use…

  • You missed your true calling, dude. Running through the dark streets of London with a brush, a pot of glue and a ream of placards is so you.

    • Samuel

      Dude

      Well you bourgeois capitalists don’t understand the scientific science of Leninist- Marxism with a dash of green theology ! You need to be sent back to Siberia for reeducation, Metropolitan Refusenik climate change denier… ahem…

  • wisestreligion

    Picking up on the final paragraph of this post, indeed Equality is today perhaps the biggest and most visible god in the Liberal pantheon. Very beguiling and virtue-bestowing too. C of E bishops rush to worship this god. The Christian, on the other hand, knows a real equality, at the most fundamental level, which is beyond the grasp of the atheist. “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them..” As we meditate on this astonishing verse we stop to fuss about whether we are a bit worse than the person to our left, or a bit superior to the person to our right – we are amazed at the undeserved privilege of being made a bit like God. The talented, beautiful celebrity and the disabled child are both in His image, so what’s the fuss about equality? With ultimate equality secured, we can move on to celebrate our God-given uniqueness and put to work our diverse talents.

    On the rare occasion that you can get an atheist, against his nature, to think deeply about our human creation you will find his faith is in evolution and “natural selection”. This latter force is the cruelest and most unequal force imaginable. The weak go to the wall and die and the strong inherit the earth. With this dark thought in the foundation of his worldview it is not surprising the atheist needs to summon up the god “Aequitas” to ease his conscience. And the result? Our uniqueness is denied, we obsess about materialism, status and the superficial, and the excellent is pulled down to the level of the mundane or the profane as we have just witnessed in our Government’s equality-driven redefinition of marriage.

    • This is not the time and place to reignite the theology of evolution and natural selection, but for a peek at a variant on the “cruelest and most unequal force imaginable,” volunteer for a week with children and their parents at a children’s hospice. The world that the Almighty gave is what it is.

      • Sarky

        Crap?

        • Chin-up, Sarky, you’ve decided to stick around so far, so appreciate the nice things too, like the smell of a dewy hedge on a June morning, the frost on a glass of beer (scratch that; you Limeys like it piss-warm) and the bigger things like the cosmos and its galaxies, if not this mysterious thing we just call existence.

          • Sarky

            I’m more than happy avi, unfortunately not everyone is as lucky.

          • Well, there you go. Little steps; at least you’re not a solipsist or bowing to idles. I’m right on the latter, I hope.

          • Inspector General

            How could you Avi! He’s not going to be able to sleep tonight with all those ideas of yours in his empty brain…

          • Now, now, I have a suspicion, from a few posts way back when, that Sarky is current or former law enforcement brother. He could be current, me I’m a long time ago former. Besides, he likes to bait us.

          • Inspector General

            Gasp!

          • Gasp, indeed. But think about it, Inspector, if you can get three Jews on an Anglican blog, how hard would it be to find a copper? ‘Nuff said.

          • Pubcrawler

            “you Limeys like it piss-warm”

            Cellar temperature, actually, so that it can be properly appreciated, not frozen in order to disguise the dreadful flavour of an awful product.

            (I have, BTW, had some most excellent Canadian beer, such as the output of Propeller brewery in Halifax, NS (which I have visited). But then they’re keen to make beer in the English style, not the local vernacular.)

          • Czechs like it cellar-temperature too. I like my Plzensky Prazdroj (Pilsener Urquelle…the best suds in our galaxy) cooled in a bucket of water…too cold and it’ll taste like one of Carl’s American beers, which only work when it’s hot as Hell outside and you’re washing down burgers and hot dogs or chasing down cheap Bourbon.

            Lots of micro-breweries with yummy stuff now, but fat chance of getting anything from Halifax (I’m in Toronto), thanks to stupid provincial trade barriers every new government has been promising to remove since I don’t know when. Easier to get a brew from Europe than from another province!

          • carl jacobs

            Ya know what? The city in which I live has a big Czech heritage. We have a Czech village and even a Czech Museum. Not too long ago I went to a small restaurant/bar in Czech Village and tried a Czech beer – because life is too short and there is alot of beer to sample. It was really good beer actually. Of course it was served at a reasonably chilled temperature.

          • You mean Cedar Rapids, Iowa? Heard about it from a friend, and was going to stop there last year, but my route and schedule got changed. I’ve come across such marvels in the States. People who haven’t spoken the old language in generations, look and sound like everyday Americans and haven’t visited the old country, but keep the holiday foods and a remnant of a few traditions.

          • carl jacobs

            That’s about the size of it. The beer was called Czechvar.

          • Pubcrawler

            Czechvar is the US brand name for what the rest of the world calls Budvar or Budweiser Budvar, but they’re not allowed to call it that in the US for obvious reasons

          • I think that’s the one from Ceska Budejovice. Czech beer connoisseurs will tell you that the secret is not in the grains or the brewing (which apparently any monkey can get right), but the special spring water.

          • Pubcrawler

            Yep. Water is, after all, the major ingredient (just don’t tell the landlord that his beer is mostly water) and its mineral content and acidity are important factors in both the brewing process and the final flavour. See ‘Burtonise/ize’.

          • carl jacobs

            Yes, well, I guarantee you it didn’t taste like Budweiser. I don’t like any of the major American brands. And you should be more open-minded regarding your snooty attitude towards rice-based beers. Saporro is excellent – smoothe with no after taste.

          • Ok, agreed on Saporo. But I think their brewery was started up and run by Germans, otherwise who knows what would’ve come out.

          • Pubcrawler

            “excellent – smoothe with no after taste.”

            Does. Not. Compute.

          • carl jacobs

            One day I will go to England and drink some beer in a real English pub. I have always wanted to do this. Ever since I watched my first episode of Inspector Morse.

            But Saporro will still be my favorite beer.

          • Look, Pubcrawler likes his beer dark and rich. Rumour has it that it in the old days they’d throw a rat’s carcass into the barrel, to give the thing a “body.” You won’t impress him with a variation on sakeh. I went through a dark beer phase in my uni days, English Newcastle Brown Ale we used to get. Good with red meat. Dark or opaque beers and liquors aren’t kosher for some reason (maybe the rat issue?), so haven’t had any in a long while…but you can go ahead.

          • carl jacobs

            I actually like dark beer as well. In truth I am pretty cosmopolitan when it comes to beer. At the moment I am going to drink some of the Japanese plum wine my daughter bought me for Christmas. The wife is working and I am home alone.

          • Ah, men of leisure we are. Wife and youngest are off to in-laws for ten days. I’m trying to move about as little as possible not to make a mess that I’ll have to tackle in a panicked frenzy hours before gunning for the airport pickup.

          • Pubcrawler

            “Dark or opaque beers and liquors aren’t kosher for some reason”

            Really? Can’t think why, it’s still just malt, hops, yeast and water (no rats involved nowadays). I’d be interested if you could find the reason for that ruling, just out of curiosity.

          • I’ll remember to ask on Shabbat (I have no trouble remembering beer topics). My guess is that you wouldn’t be able to see bugs, which are not kosher in anything. These kinds of rules date back to before there were quality control protocols and regs and it takes time to rescind them; we can’t change them to suit ourselves even when it makes sense to do so without a major process. Kind of what conservatism is about!

          • Pubcrawler

            I found this:

            http://www.star-k.org/articles/kashrus-kurrents/2183/beer-halacha-clarifying-the-kashrus-of-beer/

            Seems it’s to do with the use of lactose in some dark beers, especially stouts. Make of it what you will, but if you find out anything else, do let me know.

          • Well, well, look at that; you’d fit just right in with my cronies around the scotch and herring table with that quick access to Rabbi Google. Of course. Milk is a problem, unless it’s visibly designated on the label, because you can’t have it with meat. I’m surprised no one’s gone for a dairy (halav) certification, because stout would work well with strong cheeses. With the price of booze and kosher cheese (no rennet), you’d be draining that wallet fast, though.

          • Pubcrawler

            There are vegan stouts. I know because I was enjoying one (or two, or so…) in the pub earlier. Presumably then they would be OK.

          • carl jacobs

            Dare I ask? What’s a vegan stout?

          • Pubcrawler

            A stout made with no animal products involved. Do you know about isinglass?

          • carl jacobs

            Only what I just learned from google.

          • Used to make my own masonry stains with it…a method invented by Goethe, of all people. I think we better turn-in; conversation’s getting bizarre and HG will have kittens when he wakes and sees all this weirdness.

          • Yes they would be for most, but not for all, as some won’t take anything without the certification…and if made in the same plant as regular stouts, there would be problems with dairy equipment. Complicated, I know, but keeps us off the streets.

          • Pubcrawler

            Breweries that produce vegan beers are entirely vegan, to the best of my knowledge, so contamination shouldn’t be a problem.

          • Well, I’ll go by that then…let it be on your head 🙂

          • Anton

            Milk and alcohol…

          • IanCad

            I’m sure Guinness must have got the Pareve stamp years ago when Robert Briscoe had a word with his Dublin Rabbi. If he, in gross neglect of his mayoral duties, failed to do so, then I’m sure his son Benjamin would have sorted it out when he held the same role a generation later.

          • Pubcrawler

            Guinness went vegan a year ago.

            Note: this was not the vegan stout I was enjoying last night. Can’t abide Guinness.

          • Or, more likely, the strictures against dark beer, which I only heard a few years ago are a temporary over-reach by a handful of ultra-Orthodox in the US. Pubcrawler’s source, Star-K, is legitimate, yet only mentions issues about dairy content, not colour or opaqueness. This is something I need to ask around about.

          • Samuel

            Dude,

            I think you may be right about the ultra Orthodox influence behind that ruling or custom / tradition.

            Because the most widely followed Orthodox Beth Din in the UK- the ultra Orthodox and us Sephardi also have Beth Dins and kashrut authorities – the Chief Rabbi’s London Beth Din – seems to take a more lenient stance. Interesting that neither Guinness or Newcastle Brown were on the Haredi approved list.

            But as far as the Chief Rabbi and his court go…they note the following on stout:

            “All Stout is approved. The majority of Stout marketed in the UK is Parev. So called ‘Milk Stout’ is Dairy as it contains a small percentage of lactose, which is declared on the label. Specialist varieties (such as Scallop Stout containing shellfish or O’Hanlon’s Stout containing port) are NOT covered by this general guideline.”

            And on ale/ beer it says :

            “All ale is approved and Parev.”

            “Unflavoured beer is approved and Parev”.

          • Hmm. So, again, no mention of colour or opaqueness as issues. I mean, they do make sense, as in being able to see what grosserity may be floating around, but then again, most kosher red wines are pretty dark and opaque, so this can’t be an applicable principle. Note to self: Check with centrist Orthodox bet dins before listening to worry-warts at shul. Stout, here I come.

          • Samuel

            Dude,

            It’s interesting about the opaque nature of beer as some cider is not kosher because of gelatin used to make the drink clear…. but would cloudy “organic cider” be kosher ? (I don’t drink it so never thought about it b before).

            Anyway , I find these discussions are of enormous benefit, both here and elsewhere . There’s nothing like a good discussion which leads to other discussions .

            As a P.S. , although traditionally you might think Iraqi Jews drink wine and arak , we also did beer, much to my surprise. Although thanks to the Arab Islamization of Iraq , buying , selling and producing alcohol is now history. Even though the oldest beer recipes are from ancient Mesopotamia….

          • bluedog

            ‘Rumour has it that it in the old days they’d throw a rat’s carcass into the barrel, to give the thing a “body.”

            Not quite. On the old barrels there is a bung-hole on the top from which a rat was supposed to be suspended by the tail. When the rat had dissolved and only the tail was left, the beer was ready to be drunk.

          • Pubcrawler

            I hope you do. And I hope you find someone less snobby than me (which I freely admit is highly likely) to guide you through the intricacies of English ale.

            If you like Saporro, drink it by all means. I’m currently savouring a ‘four grain imperial oyster stout’, which you’d probably hate (and Avi wouldn’t be allowed to drink, as it’s made with real ‘fresh Lindisfarne’ oysters). I think it’s delicious. There’s the joy of proper beer: a variety for pretty much every palate. And the less of what I like you drink, the more’s left for me. Win-win!

          • Oy, dark beer with oysters, as treif as it comes. In my pre-kosher days I used to like oysters; sit down at the oyster counter with a bottle of soy sauce or Magi and have the guy shuck the suckers for me til I couldn’t slide one more down. But oyster beer? I don’t know about that.

          • carl jacobs

            You don’t know about that? You eat salted herring for goodness sake! And yet you have scruples about oyster beer?

          • We were doing so well when you weren’t insulting my herring.

          • Pubcrawler

            At this point I’ll leave you two to it. Do you know what time it is GMT?

          • carl jacobs

            About 0200Z.

          • Good night! Carl’s in the Mid West, so he’ll rattle around a bit longer, but you can ignore him.

          • carl jacobs

            Since you were born in a Communist country, wouldn’t it be … Red Herring?

            Thank you, thank you very much. I’m here all week.

          • Yeah, in the dog house again.

          • Pubcrawler

            Now I wouldn’t ever contemplate eating an actual oyster (I’m with Swift on this)*, but oysters and stout are a traditional combination; sometimes the two are combined in the same liquid, and in that form, I enjoy it muchly.

            * “He was a bold man that first ate an oyster.”

          • Hahaha! One of his best lines. Works with eggs too, if you really think about it or look at a diagram in a biology text book.

          • Sarky

            I have a real English pub two minutes from my house, chocked full of real cask ales. So if you ever fancy a brew with a heathen…

          • carl jacobs

            Why thank you, sarky. I’ll take you up on that should the opportunity present itself.

          • Well, you flyover-country folks sure learned the coasters this time around. Probably because you had no EU-cooties in the beer to worm into your DNA. Still scratching my head.

          • carl jacobs

            btw, Avi. If you do ever come thru here, and you’ve a mind to do so, tell me beforehand. We’ll figure out how to communicate.

          • That’s a deal, Yank! Don’t do as much driving rigs, but looks like I was an hour away from your hood just last year.

          • Albert

            It was really good beer actually.

            Are you being sarcastic? Of course it’s good beer, the Czech Republic is the home of Pilsner. Of course, that’s not as a good as proper British ale…Pubcrawler is quite wrong about US micros. They are producing really good beers, and American hops in British beers are very welcome.

          • Pubcrawler

            “Pubcrawler is quite wrong”

            That never happens.

          • Albert

            Okay. Pubcrawler isn’t only quite wrong. He’s very wrong. 🙂

          • Pubcrawler

            Yeah, the bucket of water method is fine. Pilsner not really my thing, I like darker and maltier, but I do like a dark (proper) Budvar from time to time.

            Pale low-alcohol ‘beer’ made from rice (I ask you!) is best left to those below 49th parallel to swill because they’ll never know any better.

            It’s as hard to get Canadian beers across the Atlantic as it is across the inter-provincial borders, sad to say.

          • Until recently Canadian beers were all big brewery types, such as Molsons and Labatts (seen them both in Europe) and not worth the money…or even if they were giving them away. Stuff never grew on me; I used to pick up jugs of beer a kid from a shop in cellar in Prague for Dad when he had company and he let me suck-up the foam, which forever spoiled my tolerance for shitty brew. The good ones here are the micro-brewery ones…well, they’re getting better… but those are relatively recent and will take a long time to filter out into the wider world.

          • Pubcrawler

            Molsons and Labatts have been here for ages, but brewed under licence rather than imported and (probably therefore) even worse than the Canadian versions. They’re not served in the sort of hostelry that I frequent, anyway, so I can’t say how popular they are, if at all.

            I do wish that the Canadian micros could find some sort of access to the wider world (hey! an opportunity for the UK post Brexit!) in the way that the USan ones see to have done in the last few years, infesting the world with their beers that taste of grapefruit or horsepiss-soaked hay rather than, say, malted barley…

      • Anton

        The world that the Almighty gave us was good; I shudder for anybody who blames God for this mess. It has been messed up by man and by fallen angels, and God is not happy about it and will eventually run out of patience.

    • Old Nick

      “Aequitas” would not be the Latin for equality. Indeed I am hard put to it to think what the Latin (or Greek) for equality in this sort of non-mathematical sense would be. Equity or justitia would involve “sua cuique reddere” – to give each his own – but that is not equality, because what is one’s own is different for everyone, by definition. Nor is S. Paul’s talk of the variety of gifts very redolent of equality. I was actually under the impression that Egalité was more of a French value than a British Value – and I would not certainly not swear to promote it.

      • Pubcrawler

        Greek has ἰσονομία, which is sort of close, but lacking the full cigar.

        • Old Nick

          True, didn’t think of that. I guess it refers more to equal rights within a certain class of peers, rather than an absolute and universal equality.
          Not sure about Latin, though. Any ideas ?

          • Pubcrawler

            I can only think of paritas, which isn’t it at all. Maybe it’s a concept that the Romans had so little use for that they never felt the need to lexicalise.

          • Old Nick

            I agree about the Romans. Same with ‘toleration’, though they practised it vigorously for private ‘superstitiones’, so long as folk toed the line re the religio of the natural gods.

          • Pubcrawler

            Yup. Observe haec prisco quae more parentum and no one much minded what else you did.

    • 1642again

      Excellent comment. The lessons of the Gospels are so profoundly simple that many professional clergy are bored with them and many other lay people simply can’t comprehend them and think there must be more to it.

  • Mike Stallard

    I am a Catholic now.
    I used to be firmly anglican. I used to love the past, the traditions of my noble country, the wars, the battles, the Empire, the World War Victories. I used to try to restore them, like Humpty Dumpty.
    It just won’t work, I am afraid.
    When I go to Mass, there is little mention really of secular politics – unlike the National Church.
    I have grown used to that now.
    And the sight of Her Majesty driving to open the powerless parliament in her gilded coach pulled by horses and surrounded by George IV cavalry makes me supress a smile.
    I deeply regret this. But it really is time for a big change with Brexit.
    I am almost in favour of a President – we are pretty nearly there already.
    My country is not Ruritania.

    • bluedog

      It’s all about you, isn’t it?

      • Mike Stallard

        Yup.

    • chefofsinners

      President Nigel. It has a certain je ne sais quoi.

    • Dominic Stockford

      You’re a Roman catholic – no surprise that you don’t love the UK anymore, if you’re following a church that claims secular authority over us (and all the world).

  • bluedog

    A remarkable contrast, Your Grace. Is this the sermon that Justin Welby should have delivered on Christmas Day? One could be forgiven for thinking that it should.

    • Down, bluedog, down! You’ll knock the knick-knackery off the coffee table with your wagging tail!

      • bluedog

        Avi, it’s cold outside.

        • Just saying, let’s not make the new reverend nervous; he’s used to better behaved sorts than us.

        • chefofsinners

          It’s pretty cold inside the Church of England these days.

        • Sarky

          Are you two about to duet??

          Which of you is tom jones?

          • Inspector General

            Off with you Sarky. This is clever men’s stuff. No place for you Comprehensive educated also rans….

          • Sarky

            What are you doing here then?

          • Inspector General

            Isn’t there a cock fight you could be attending? Or perhaps throwing the horseshoe at the spike, or whatever it is you rough thickos do to pass the winter nights…

          • Sarky

            Actually, having a glass of the good stuff, watching jonathan Creek.

          • Inspector General

            Then imbibe with gusto, dear boy, and pass out at the earliest won’t you…

          • Samuel

            Yeah. Warwick Davis as a vicar, which was surreal….

          • Sarky

            I think he came up short in the role.

    • chefofsinners

      This sermon (also by Ashenden) is the one the AoC should have preached on Christmas Day.
      https://ashenden.org/2016/12/22/the-end-is-nye-the-culture-war-in-the-c-of-e/

      • bluedog

        Clearly a man whose time has come. Thanks for the link.

      • David

        Brilliant piece, dazzling clear in its simplicity and clarity, like all the great teachers of the Bible. A split seems inevitable given the refusal of the Bishops to do their job and defend orthodoxy. Thank you for the link Chef-boss.

  • bluedog

    ‘The oppressive tentacles of the global octopus of Tory capitalist jackals, hyenas& running dogs have had their swan song.’

    Superb!

  • Pubcrawler

    “a Corbyn speechwriter”

    Too much passion.

    I see Kirchner is in a little hot water just now. Shame. A foretaste of what’s in store for the Hildabeest, one hopes.

    • Samuel

      Ah dude,

      You’ve got more chance of justice from a cow with BSE!

      NB: just turned on tv. Jonathan Creek episode. Warwick Davies as a vicar!

      • Pubcrawler

        “Warwick Davies as a vicar!”

        I don’t suppose the writers thought to give him the name ‘Denis’?

  • Simon Platt

    I was taken aback to read about the café that was visited by the police for showing the New Testament on video screens. I should have said “I don’t believe it” if I hadn’t read it from what I believe to be a reliable source. And, of course, it’s true: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2046959/Police-say-sorry-cafe-owner-threatened-arrest-Bible-DVDs.html

    • Thanks for that link. Wow. So that’s the Yurup you’re still in; everything is forbidden until expressly permitted by the kindness of the constabulary. You folks need to walk away from that one.

      • Simon Platt

        I’m afraid that’s a new development. Or am I overinterpreting “still in”?

        • Don’t forget the dude with the East Anglia U emails on the global warming farce and what your cops did to him a few years back. You wouldn’t even need a lawyer to stop that sort of nonsense even here in libtard Canuckistan, just an “eff-off, officer, not opening my door and come back if you get a drunk judge to give you warrant.” Yeah, sorry, you’re still in, and you folks have a lot of inertia to take care of and house cleaning ahead of you.

          • Dominic Stockford

            But then we don’t have legally enforced ‘shared toilets’ yet – as you do. Or mayors demanding the texts of all sermons to be preached (even though your courts eventually shut her down). We’re both in something!

          • Ha! You just want to keep your loo all to yourself. I understand, I don’t want anyone on my throne either. Ok, I’m not implying all’s well here, but the examples you gave were legislative changes, one of which was successfully overturned. Anyhow, tossing examples back and forth really address the issue that citizens in the US and Canada have, in the aggregate, more protections at the ground level from busybody cops and cavalier lower court judges. Systemic over-reach accepted as the norm, not wanting to cause trouble, instead of savage fights in the courts, bringing down cops, judges and institutions. This shouldn’t be so, not in the historical cradle of the rule of law, the epicentre of liberty.

    • Politically__Incorrect

      Pity that police officers can’t be charged with wasting public time like these vindictive half-soaked plods did.

      • Sarky

        Don’t blame the police, blame the snitch who reported them.

  • Robin Harris

    A rather tasteless article, unworthy of his position or vocation.

    • William Lewis

      Tasteless? Where? Why?

      • Robin Harris

        I do think the British monarchy is a necessary constitutional instrument, (despite it’s past) and thus I find it tasteless to show a caricature of the Prince of Wales with a rather poor photo-shop of a crown and a band aid muzzle. But it is in the rest of the article that I find unworthiness to a vocation. I think it is a rant of snide and snarky remarks typical of the movement he seems to represent that claims to follow the “Authority of the Bible” which usually consist of a bundle of selective quotes to assert viewpoints that clang and clash with Christian charity. No wonder the churches are emptying. F. W. Faber’s poem ‘Souls of men, why will ye scatter’ (AMR 364) is one we should study and take to our hearts.

        • William Lewis

          It seems to me that national secularism and “equality” get the brunt of any “snarky” comments in the article but I don’t have you down as a secularist. The pictorial muzzling of our future Defender of the Faith is presumably in line with the creeping secularism described in the piece but you will be hard pushed to find a more pro-monarchy blog than this, or indeed this piece. There is a less than flattering comparison of the AoC with Vincent Nichols but apart from that it would seem that your beef is with the “movement that the author seems to represent” rather than the piece itself. I’m afraid that I do not know what that movement is or what viewpoints is asserts from selective scripture to usurp Christian charity.

    • chefofsinners

      If you disagree, put up some kind of argument.

      • carl jacobs

        An argument would convey legitimacy on his opponent by rendering his opponent’s ideas worthy of response. This was merely dismissal by one who presumes to hold some sort of authority. He sees nothing of substance. He sees only the repulsive and vulgar. And so he turns away as a man might turn away from a rotting piece of meat.

        He will not respond.

        • chefofsinners

          Or perhaps there is no good argument against what has been said.

    • David

      By tasteless do you mean not in conformity with your tastes ?
      You offer no argument or explanation.

    • carl jacobs

      “Tasteless” is an aesthetic judgment. So how did you intend to use it?

      Do you believe the post unfit for the context – as in “Can you believe he told that story in this setting?” That would be an incongruous judgment about a blog post on a weblog designed for just such blog posts. So if the article isn’t inappropriate for the setting then what is its fault?

      Or are you saying the article is “without flavor”? I doubt that, since the article was well-written and engaging. That’s not a defensible position. It amounts to nothing more than “I didn’t like it.”

      Well “tasteless” also conveys a lack of fashion sense – as in “Can you believe he wore that shirt with that tie?” So does it simply violate the fashion of the day? Is that the origin of you cyrptic dismissal? Because who really gives a rat’s [nether region] about fashion? But then in this post-modern age, fashion has become something of a substitute for moral judgment.

      When there are no absolutes, what remains but the collective opinion of some privileged subgroup? We huddle in the dark and tell ourselves that we must be right because all the enlightened people agree. But we never call this judgment by its rightful name – the spirit of the age.

    • The Explorer

      Yes, indeed, tasteless in all sorts of ways. Not in the sense of having no flavour, but in the sense of mentioning things better unmentioned, such as:

      that billions follow Jesus
      that there are bishops in the House of Lords
      that the Queen won’t live forever
      that Christianity and Islam are irreconcilable
      that secularism and Islam are gaining ground
      that equality shuts down Christian witness
      that nurses can be sacked for praying with patients
      that there is homosexual propaganda.

      Christ also said tasteless things. One of the reasons he was put to death.

  • Alison Bailey Castellina

    Her Majesty has many chaplains who preach to her once in a while: it is an honorary role. The political and liberal CoE Bishops will never fight for clear Christian space, as most do not believe in the uniqueness of Christ or in the efficacy of His Cross. This results from the flawed CofE selection process and some of its theological colleges. Her Majesty’s testimony on Christmas Day as one of the billions of His followers was all the more remarkable, due to this fact. Her message was much admired by beleaguered Christians on the European Continent, as courageous and humble (which it was). According to the New Testament, Christian leaders should be identified by the Holy Spirit leading CofE congregations and anointed by hands laid on, not appointed by impersonal committees. That would probably require Disestablishment. I am now in favour of this since an unbridgeable chasm has opened up between the CofE’s externally appointed leadership and its faithful ‘sheep’, fatal for trust and church unity. If the CofE were an authentic Scriptural Church, it could flourish and start to save this largely benighted and now seriously fractured country. Until then, Bishops will be largely indistinguishable from its secular elite.

    • Dominic Stockford

      John Stott was a Queen’s Chaplain – he never preached to her.

      • Alison Bailey Castellina

        He did -now and then

        • Dominic Stockford

          Please provide evidence. I have read his own words saying that he never did.

          • Gavin Ashenden

            Each of the Queen’s chaplains as a condition of office is required to preach in the Chapel of the Court of St James’ once a year. Members of the Royal Household attend as do some ambassadors. The Queen may or may not attend in person. The office of Chaplain to the Queen makes one part of the Royal Ecclesiastical Household which makes priestly contact with the Queen possible, but not guaranteed.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Thank you for clarifying that Gavin. This is why I believe what I read, that though John Stott may have preached ‘for’ the Queen, he did not preach ‘to’ the Queen.

          • Gavin Ashenden

            Exactly so.

          • chefofsinners

            I have a relative who held this position. He’s at the ’emeritus’ stage of his ministry these days, but I believe he preached to the Queen on a number of occasions.

          • Anton

            I was once in a church choir that sang at a service which Margaret Thatcher attended. Not even Pavarotti has sung in Margaret Thatcher’s presence, I believe.

          • Alison Bailey Castellina

            Dominic, it depends when you read it. I think he went to Sandringham for this purpose, but maybe she was not present, at the service.

          • Dominic Stockford

            I read what I believe to have been his words, saying that he never preached to her.

    • David

      This conservative Biblically led Christian, who happens to be an Anglican totally agrees with you. The hierarchy is a disgrace, and the liberal churches are shrinking. But faithful gospel preaching and teaching is still taking place amongst some of the grassroots clergy, whose churches are slowly growing. The future C of E will be smaller but more orthodox. There may even be a split with the liberals.

      • Alison Bailey Castellina

        Thankfully, grassroots CofE churches can act semi-independently for Christ. We have reached the point where the CofE leaders cannot represent the Church of England – which is its laity, without consultation with them, en masse. Otherwise, theirs is just another ‘bubble’ – like Westminster’s. What other organisation speaks without knowing what its majority members believe, or support? I believe it is time to ban all political statements from CofE’s leaders. We need true statements about Faith and Hope in Christ – like those of HM Queen – but about which, sadly, many Bishops seem to know little or nothing. It is not Prince Charles, who has been standing up for the church, whose mouth should be shut by sticking plasters, your Grace : it is the CofE’s leaders.

        • 1642again

          The scripturally sound churches should simply cut off the supply of funds to the Diocese and make their demands. Just watch how quickly the establishment buckles.

          • Anton

            Trouble is, much of the CoE’s income comes from land rental, not from congregations.

          • 1642again

            Yes, but it’s all needed for clergy pensions.

        • Dominic Stockford

          Prince Charles does not stick up for the Protestant principle of Christ alone, nor does he believe it. If God does not act in his heart we Christians will be in for an even more torrid time when he becomes King.

          • ” … the Protestant principle of Christ alone”

            Hardly a “Protestant” principle.

            All Christians believe we are saved through Christ and the working of the Holy Spirit. Where Catholics differ from some Protestants is in believing we retain freedom to accept or reject Christ and believing that grace can be resisted or lost through sin.

          • carl jacobs

            “Christ Alone” was one of the Five Solas of the Reformation. And not for no reason. It is very much a Protestant Principle as an examination of the Canons of the Council of Trent will establish.

          • For example …..

          • carl jacobs

            CANON XXXII.-If any one saith, that the good works of one that is justified are in such manner the gifts of God, as that they are not also the good merits of him that is justified; or, that the said justified, by the good works which he performs through the grace of God and the merit of Jesus Christ, whose living member he is, does not truly merit increase of grace, eternal life, and the attainment of that eternal life,-if so be, however, that he depart in grace,-and also an increase of glory; let him be anathema.

          • Isn’t that addressing Faith Alone? It’s addressing how justification and sanctification operate and correcting the errors of the reformers.

            As Jack said: all Christians believe we are saved through Christ and the working of the Holy Spirit.

            (Btw, isn’t it a logical contradiction to have five separate “alones”? )

          • carl jacobs

            The Canon states that a man’s justification is partially founded on his own merit. Hence, not Christ Alone.

          • That’s one, narrow reading. You have to see individual Canons in their full teaching context and alongside one another.

            CHAPTER VIII
            But when the Apostle says that man is justified by faith and freely, these words are to be understood in that sense in which the uninterrupted unanimity of the Catholic Church has held and expressed them, namely, that we are therefore said to be justified by faith, because faith is the beginning of human salvation, the foundation and root of all justification, without which it is impossible to please God and to come to the fellowship of His sons; and we are therefore said to be justified gratuitously, because none of those things that precede justification, whether faith or works, merit the grace of justification.

            For, if by grace, it is not now by works, otherwise, as the Apostle says, grace is no more grace.

            CHAPTER X

            Having, therefore, been thus justified and made the friends and domestics of God, advancing from virtue to virtue, they are renewed, as the Apostle says, day by day, that is, mortifying the members of their flesh, and presenting them as instruments of justice unto sanctification, they, through the observance of the commandments of God and of the Church, faith cooperating with good works, increase in that justice received through the grace of Christ and are further justified, as it is written:
            He that is just, let him be justified still; and, Be not afraid to be justified even to death; and again, Do you see that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only?

            This increase of justice holy Church asks for when she prays:
            “Give unto us, O Lord, an increase of faith, hope and charity.”

            This is then reflected in the Canons:

            Canon 1.
            If anyone says that man can be justified before God by his own works, whether done by his own natural powers or through the teaching of the law, without divine grace through Jesus Christ, let him be anathema.

            Canon 4.
            If anyone says that man’s free will moved and aroused by God, by assenting to God’s call and action, in no way cooperates toward disposing and preparing itself to obtain the grace of justification, that it cannot refuse its assent if it wishes, but that, as something inanimate, it does nothing whatever and is merely passive, let him be anathema.

            Canon 9.
            If anyone says that the sinner is justified by faith alone, meaning that nothing else is required to cooperate in order to obtain the grace of justification, and that it is not in any way necessary that he be prepared and disposed by the action of his own will, let him be anathema.

            Catholics believe justification involves the free forgiveness of sins and the re-creation of the sinner through the infusion of sanctifying grace and the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity. This makes us God’s adopted sons. God alone causes justification. The basis for justification are the merits of Jesus Christ.

            We believe: no one can exact God’s forgiveness; no one can bring down grace; and that man, when born, cannot bear (supernaturally) good fruit. Justification is dependent on Christ’s redemptive act, is a free gift and not a work of law nor a product of human willing.

            However, a living faith realises itself through good works; it produces good works. Having formed faith is sufficient for salvation but this living faith will die if it is not expressed in concrete works. Good works testify to justification; they are signs of a justification received.

            While we’re on Trent, Jack particularly likes Canon 6:

            If anyone says that it is not in man’s power to make his ways evil, but that the works that are evil as well as those that are good God produces, not permissively only but also propria et per se, so that the treason of Judas is no less His own proper work than the vocation of St. Paul, let him be anathema.

          • David

            “Hardly a Protestant principle”
            Oh yes it is.
            “By Christ alone” is one of the Five Solas, or slogans, that represent the great principles produced by the Protestant Reformation.

          • Dominic Stockford

            I blocked him so don’t have to read the nonsense. Though in this case I can guess what he said!

          • Pompous tw*t.

          • Grouchy Jack

            Heh ….. that’s this Jack’s job! And he wouldn’t have left out the ” a ” in “twat”.

          • chefofsinners

            Wasn’t Pompous Tw*t a Pope in the Middle Ages?

          • No, no. It’s the President of the Protestant Trooth Society.

          • chefofsinners

            Hell hath no fury like a Jack Blocked.

          • carl jacobs

            You are incorrigible.

          • carl jacobs

            You blocked Jack? Why? He’s done nothing to deserve it. So he’s a Catholic. It’s not a crime that he defends what he believes. At least he knows what he is talking about. There aren’t many of those, you know. Jack is exactly the kind of Catholic you should engage.

          • Wonder if he’s spotted the Catholic influences in the article he’s praised.

            “At the heart of Christianity is the choice to take the narrow road over the broad one; the spirit over the flesh; forgiveness over the rights of revenge. The way is hard, and the number few that find and take it. To be a Christian is to choose to be a minority going the opposite way.”

            Choice and free will? Sounds almost semi-Pelagian to Jack.

          • carl jacobs

            You said that just to annoy me, didn’t you. I bet you were smiling some nefarious evil smile when you typed it. And now you will just deny everything.

          • Actually, Jack said it to annoy Mr Stockford. The author has an interesting background.

          • carl jacobs

            But he’s blocked you so he can’t see any of your posts.

          • Hmmm …. do you think he’s blocked Grouchy Jack?

          • Dominic Stockford

            Brushing dust off feet after many hours teaching. Biblical.

            Also, more than tiresome having a debate with someone who starts by saying that the Church of Rome isn’t a works religion, then ends up, many exchanges later, by triumphantly telling me that human actions are necessary for salvation….

          • carl jacobs

            Well it’s true. Consistency has never been a strong point of Roman apologetics. Many of their arguments depend upon narrow legalistic definitions – worship vs veneration, for example – that don’t hold water. Still, I’d urge you to reconsider. Jack’s just a Catholic, Vatican Issue, one each. And he’s generally a good guy.

          • So what? It may be a “slogan” adopted by the reformers. However, this doesn’t make it an exclusive Protestant principle.

          • David

            Oh dear !

          • IanCad

            Problem is David; these here Solas demand a certain consistency with the Word. As Luther learned to his hurt during his debate with Dr. Eck at Leipzig.

          • David

            Luther was not perfect. He had a number of faults, as do we all.

          • Theological reasoning being one of them ….

          • Anton

            Hey Ian, you’re a 7th Day Adventist aren’t you? Going to see Hacksaw Ridge in the New Year?

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

          • carl jacobs

            Medics don’t win wars. There is no inherent virtue in refusing the responsibility to kill so that others have to do it for you. Neither does placing yourself in harm’s way obviate that responsibility.

          • Anton

            What of Deuteronomy 20:8?

          • carl jacobs

            What of it? The man is released for the sake of those who stay. He is not released for the sake of his own supposed virtue.

            There is no equivalence between those who are simply willing to die and those who are willing to kill. The latter is a much greater burden.

          • Anton

            Do you think the GIs he was attached to took your view of him? I note also that you are in disagreement with the persons who gave the guy the medal. Please note that I am not advancing an argument against your position but pointing out that the US Army itself disagrees with you.

          • IanCad

            We went over this just a few months ago.
            You and I will never agree. I say a country that doesn’t care about the conscience of its subjects isn’t worth fighting for.
            You make it clear there should be no opt-out – not even to serve as a medic.
            We’re miles apart on this.

          • carl jacobs

            I said that the attitude which would inspire one to be a medic in lieu of killing is not an attitude worth honoring. It Inherently demeans the soldier who assume the responsibility to kill as somehow corrupt.

          • IanCad

            Anton,

            I’ll probably wait until the tumult and the shouting dies and then watch it online. It’s meant to be a corker of a film.
            I have seen this documentary:

            He’s a braver man than I will ever be.

          • Maxine Schell

            I read, a while back, that Charles said he would be defender of faithS. Will the English be OK with that?

          • Sarky

            Absolutely. The ‘British’ are made up of many different faiths, with christianity becoming smaller and more insignificant by the day. Charles will just be reflecting modern Britain.

          • Anton

            Secular humanism is a faith system, albeit not a theistic one.

        • Dreadnaught

          I believe it is time to ban all political statements from CofE’s leaders
          Isn’t this slightly att odds with living in a democracy already suffering the assorted bans on free speech that Putin would enjoy in Mother Russia.
          Don’t ban: Debate!

          • Dominic Stockford

            “God exists and has opinions on how we should live” is a political statement. Preachers and churches are SUPPOSED to tell people this.

          • Dreadnaught

            This sounds exactly like the claims of Islam and its aims.

          • The aims may well be the same – to spread the message of our respective faiths and convert individuals and nations – however, the methods are entirely different.

          • Dreadnaught

            The only difference is the time-scale. The spread and maintenance of Christianity was backed by force and politics; Islam is no different, its just that its latest incarnation its excesses are happening before our eyes.

        • How can faith not be “political”? It’s mission is to convert hearts and minds and transform cultures to reflect and support Christian virtues. How can the two be separated?

          • Alison Bailey Castellina

            Yes, the Church has to be political – but only as a result of being spiritual and in the Bishop’s case, the laity want clear proof that they are spiritual people not just politicians i.e. that they have The Holy Spirit guiding them. After all, “my sheep known my voice”. Then one would then give their politics ‘an ear’, if nothing more. Jesus Himself refused to be a political figure, e.g. become King of Israel, yet His teaching changed the Roman world, even politically (but it was 300 years after He died). The Bishops need to show that they are Lords Spiritual before ventilating their political views. In their case, their personal views are not necessarily more widely shared, by the lay CofE. They need to show true credentials – deep learning, spirituality and obedience to God. Until then, they should to be silent on political issues wider than poverty, disability, value of man in likeness of God and euthanasia.

          • carl jacobs

            It’s the difference between the Christian Church and the Christian Coalition – to use an American analogy. The latter was a very bad idea because it conflated the Gospel with conservative political opinion.

            The church informs the voter. The voter informs the political public square. The church should not inform the political public square directly for in so doing it becomes a political partisan.

          • Not so easy to achieve such a clean division in practice. Difficult if you’re the Archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the Established Church, with Lord’s Spiritual in Parliament, who addresses his flock and the content is widely publicised. Whatever Church leaders say today is in the public domain.

          • carl jacobs

            So you’re saying that the problem is Establishment, and the Erastiam nature of the CoE. I would agree.

          • It happens all over, Carl, regardless of having an established Church. The media report on comments and addresses by Church leaders. Consider the recent American Presidential election.

            ” … the Erastiam nature of the CoE.”

            There was a time when Monarchs ran both the temporal and spiritual realms in England. Hardly applies today.

          • Maxine Schell

            Upon his appointment, does the Archbishop take a Christian oath or a political oath, or no last at all?

          • Anton

            By having Christians in politics but not the church as a collective body.

      • 1642again

        Moi aussi.

  • IrishNeanderthal

    At the beginning of the first of this year’s Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, on Boxing Day, the lecturer, Saiful Islam, brought on Richard Dawkins.

    Oh so BBC, methinks.

    • chefofsinners

      The very definition of the heart of the spirit of Christmas.

    • weirdvisions

      The RI Christmas Lectures used to be good. All they are these days is politically correct, post normal tripe.

  • weirdvisions

    Personally I don’t want to see the hypocritical, intellectually challenged Jug-ears on the throne at all. Let the Succession skip a generation.

    • Dominic Stockford

      His sons are faithless too.

      • weirdvisions

        But they are far more likeable.

  • Question:

    How can Anglicans have a women as their Supreme Governor of the Church of England and at the same time base their opposition to women priests and bishops on Saint Paul?

    “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent..”

    Isn’t this understood as imposing two permanent restrictions on the ministry of women: they are not to teach Christian doctrine to men and they are not to exercise authority over men in the church.

    • Samuel

      Dude

      Well who knows about Anglicans , but for everyone else maybe Elizabeth I , who was a British Deborah or Esther , can help?

      ” I know I have the body of a weak, feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a King of England too, and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realm; to which rather than any dishonour shall grow by me, I myself will take up arms, I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field.”

      Sounds like a Brexit speech! G- d save the Queen!

      • That’s fine but she was exercising her authority in the temporal realm, not the Church.

    • chefofsinners

      If you can have Henry VIII in charge, you can put up with anyone. Same goes for Pope Francis.

      • The rumours are not true. Henry nor Francis are transsexual.

        Logically, how can one defend a woman as Supreme Governor and then deny ordination to other women? It’s always intrigued Jack.

        • chefofsinners

          You can’t, of course. It’s a bit like Catholics praying to Nary.

          • Totally different. Don’t you ever ask others to pray for you? Why not ask Jesus’ mother to intercede for us?

          • chefofsinners

            We read in scripture of Christ interceding for us as high priest. No-one else.

          • Who do you think Mary intercedes for us with? We still ask others to pray for us and offer our prayers for others.

          • chefofsinners

            I don’t think Mary intercedes for us with anyone. Once we are in God’s presence our wills are one with His. So we no longer pray to or for anyone.

          • Hmmm … that’s a new one on Jack.

            In the book of Revelation, we read: “[An] angel came and stood at the altar [in heaven] with a golden censer; and he was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar before the throne; and the smoke of the incense rose with the prayers of the saints from the hand of the angel before God” (Rev. 8:3-4).

            And those in heaven who offer to God our prayers aren’t just angels, but humans as well. John sees that “the twenty-four elders [the leaders of the people of God in heaven] fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints” (Rev. 5:8).

          • chefofsinners

            Prayers of intercession are different from prayers of adoration.

          • When the Day of Judgement has passed, and the elect are all in Heaven, intercessionary prayer will be redundant. Until then, Jack will take whatever help is offered by the Saints in Heaven.

          • chefofsinners

            Which is none.
            So, to return to the original point, you are happy for the ‘Queen of heaven’ to intercede for you, but the Queen of England gives you a problem?

          • As he said, Jack will take help from whomsoever provides it.
            Jack isn’t an Anglican and has no problem with Her Majesty being Queen. She’s not the Supreme Governor of the Catholic Church. He is just interested in how traditional Anglicans justified this and their opposition to women priests and bishops.

          • chefofsinners

            Your definition of prayer is unscripturally narrow in that it excludes worship. And where in scripture do you find any indication that dead Christians are praying for us?

            That aside, the main question is just a subset of the contradiction inherent in the sovereign being head of the church, and in the historic conflicts between heads of states and churches. It is solved in practice by successive kings and queens of England accepting that they are head of the church in name only, in the same way that the Queen is head of state but wields no actual power.

          • So, the British Monarch isn’t really the Supreme Governor of the Church of England. Who is then?

          • len

            Definitely not Mary ,….shes dead.

          • chefofsinners

            My definition of prayer in no way overlooks anything. It simply includes what you do not include.
            Regardless of that, to say that prayer is predominantly petitionary in scripture is false. The eternal occupation of a Christian is worship. While in this life there will inevitably be a lot of ‘please fix my problems’ prayers, this life will soon be past and will become infinitely insignificant in relation to eternity. The Westminster catechism holds that the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, in other words, worship. This is true. We are created to worship, which is why we will worship self, or Manchester United, if we do not worship God.
            The Supreme Governor of the Church of England is, of course, the Lord Jesus Christ.

          • And yet the prayers of Jesus were petitionary in nature. As are the predominant prayers in the Old Testament.

          • chefofsinners

            The Lord’s prayer is instructive. It contains adoration, confession and supplication.

          • And petition ….

          • Dominic Stockford

            I know she doesn’t.

          • IanCad

            Jack,
            Mary is dead and in the grave.

        • Maxine Schell

          If Jack has been intrigued”always”, me thinks God doesn’t want Jack to know.

        • bluedog

          HM Queen is not a priest and makes no claim to holy orders.

          • But she does have authority over men in the Church. No?

          • bluedog

            In a purely titular and indirect sense. The Queen acts on the advice of her ministers, who recommend an individual as ABoC who carries out his mandated role.

          • But that wasn’t the case when Elizabeth I ascended to the throne.

          • bluedog

            Gloriana no longer reigns. The Monarch is styled and titled Elizabeth II.

          • You’re missing Jack’s original point. He wants to know how “Bible believing” Christians, who adhere to Saint Paul’s restrictions on women holding authority in the Church, could have ever had agreed to a woman as Supreme Governor.

          • bluedog

            The Monarchy is gender-neutral so the question does not arise.

          • Eh?

  • Albert

    And that may be partly why secularism has such a wind behind it. It can pretend that all values are of equal worth and relativism rules.

    In fact, by saying all values are of equal worth, the secularist necessarily, but not stealthily, makes his own values the most worthy.

    Excellent post, BTW.

  • Royinsouthwest

    The problem with “equality” is that it’s self-appointed guardians usually end up supporting the idea that some people are more equal than others.

    • David

      Yes it identifies groups that are special and then gives them greater rights than all the rest. If reflects Marxist theory that there is always a persecuted group and a persecuting group. In practice the “persecuted” are given power over the assumed persecutors. In this way society is divided up, yielding ever greater power to the state.

  • Nor has Jack – on this particular issue.

    • Samuel

      Dude,

      Then we are in a similar boat, albeit I needed the kiss of life from better half , Dominique , as you had previously said and rebuked one regarding Calvinism. So I’m aghast that you don’t know this one.

      The wife’s answer is “Maybe it It’s just one of those ludicrous British things that are utterly implausible but somehow work ? ”

      I have to go as we are officially entertaining family and friends for the secular new year . We’re halfway through cluedo – to make it interesting we are using Cranmer Bloggers as suspects- I’ve got Hannah, , the library , an Etrog and a Menorah …. Next game is monopoly. (Scottish version being hogmanay . So who can buy Edinburgh castle or Dumfries and build golf courses on it?).

      • Hi Sam,

        That isn’t an Etrog, but happy jack! Hence giving me the opportunity to win the game. Anyways I’m good at monopoly and my backgammon strategy is well cool and I’ve always won at “risk” .

        Who’s going to loose???!

        • Samuel

          Best of five!

        • Handle Happy Jack carefully ….
          Happy New Year to the Tribe.

  • Inspector General

    Well. This thread seems to have run its course. With Cranmer’s indulgence, your Inspector brings you some exciting news, courtesy Pink Thing, of further interest…
    ————————–
    Theresa May revives plan to withdraw from human rights court
    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2016/12/29/theresa-may-revives-plan-to-withdraw-from-human-rights-court/
    ————————–

    • David

      Yes I noticed that. She is wise to concentrate for now on Brexit and then, at the 2020 elections, focus on withdrawing us from that political court. Once it is in a manifesto the H of L will not be able to justify blocking it, except for those who have no respect for democracy of course. The public will breathe a sigh of relief when we can dispense of that politically correct, anti-justice, mechanism. It is a classic example of a good idea, noble even, corrupted by degrees, through the misuse of power and left wing politics.
      After that Mrs May needs to get our own judges back into their legal boxes to bring to an end the era of judges as legal activists.

  • It just means we can say what we want to him without him replying. Sounds good to Jack.

  • Manfarang

    I always listen to the Queen’s Christmas Message. The one I liked the best was that of 1983 (attacked by Enoch Powell) The Queen of course is not just the Queen of England. If fact the version I saw this year was the one broadcast in New Zealand. (one kind soul in NZ put it on YouTube)
    My membership of the NSS ceased many years ago but I agree with them that having Bishops in the House of Lords is outdated. (Do you think the Council Of Guardians in Iran is a good thing?)
    Thailand has a new King, but who will speak ill of him (and get 15 years in jail) I do know His Majesty wishes the best for all his subjects regardless of their faith. Most Thais follow religion-atheism is something of a western thing.

  • Cannonkat

    But surely there has been good news this past year: Brexit! And with Brexit came the defeat of Hillary Clinton and the quickening (If not too late) of Angela Merkel and there is a MOMENTUM discernibly beginning throughout the realm: We ought say that Christian Revival is distinct probability, that augurs by the presence of prayer: How many of us are praying for Revival? One might start with the Great Litany, full of pleadings for Revival in our public life. It is not by eyesight or polls, but by a movement of the SPirit of God: He is our hope; the God of Jacob is WITH US! We should also study each morning the Church Fathers and in the evening the Saints: it is in union with them, in the Company of Heaven where our orthodoxy is to be rediscovered and revived! “If ye believe, ye can say to this mountain, ‘Move over there,’ and it shall be done for you!”

    • Manfarang

      A reincarnation of John Wesley eh?

    • Anton

      Brexit and Trump are good news for the UK and the USA but have little to do with genuine Christian revival, which always begins within the church as a movement of many persons at the same time undergoing deep personal repentance for their sins.

  • len

    IF Charles can come down on the side of Biblical Christianity all will be good.
    But If Charles continues with this multi faith nonsense the monarchy could go down with all hands aboard the barely afloat C of E.