Gavin Ashenden resigns CofE
Church of England

As Gavin Ashenden leaves the Church of England, the Ordinariate circles like a vulture

“I thought you’d already gone through the exit door a long time ago. Unless you actually want to stay and fight?” tweeted the Rt Rev’d Pete Broadbent, Bishop of Willesden, in response to former Queen’s Chaplain the Rev’d Dr Gavin Ashenden, during a discussion about liberals vs Anglo-catholics and the rise of the “intolerant exclusive ‘inclusives'” who seek to take over the Church of England. “Any hope for a Continuing movement in England to preserve Anglicanism, or are all true Catholics destined for Rome?” asked a passer-by. “I think the continuing Anglican church is called the Church of England!” Bishop Pete responded categorically. “This is no time to hand it to the liberals.. If there is no future for the catholics, we’re all in deep trouble.”

It was an interesting exchange, not least because the opening sentence evidences a certain episcopal ignorance, if not complete indifference to the departure of Gavin Ashenden, who has indeed now left the Church of England, though he had not done so on March 9th when the exchange took place. That Bishop Pete Broadbent had thought that a Chaplain to the Queen, as he was until January 21st, had “gone through the exit door a long time ago”, suggests that the hierarchy didn’t particularly care whether he had or not: the head can indeed say to the big toe, “Sod off.” But he hadn’t gone, so the challenge remained: “Unless you actually want to stay and fight?”

Gavin Ashenden has decided that he doesn’t want to stay and fight, so he has gone through the exit door – departed, quit, deserted, scrammed, gone. He has terminated his legal relationship with the Church of England, though he is at pains to point out that he has not resigned his orders, which are, he says, “indelible”.

“Have you ever given thought to joining the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham?” enquired one Eduardo Revero.

“I have given it a good deal of thought,” responded Dr Ashenden, with the weight of Newman on his shoulders.

“Go for it!” exclaimed journalist and Roman Catholic convert Dr Tim Stanley, as though conversion from Royal Chaplaincy to Roman Catholicism in two months were as simple as just going for it. What of the gospel? What of salvation? What of the Eucharist? What of the witness of the Reformation martyrs?

But the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham has been circling like a vulture ever since Bishop Philip North was forced to decline the See of Sheffield, and Anglican traditionalists have been wondering if the Church of England can still offer them a spiritual home. “The CofE’s trajectory is now obvious. Orthodox believers – you’d be very welcome here”, trumpets convert Mgr Andrew Burnham, formerly Bishop of Ebbsfleet, in the Catholic Herald. But it’s a distasteful inducement. Here’s what Mgr Burnham really thinks of Anglicans:

Andrew Burnham vacuum cleaners

The missio dei in the Church of England amounts to nothing more than flogging broken vacuum cleaners and swindling lost souls out of the Pearl of Great Price. The Ordinariate spies what it believes to be a dead and rotting Anglican carcass, and drools (if vultures do) over the tasty morsels being thrown up by the internecine battles over matters of gender and sexuality. Forget all the soothing talk of joint mission and mutual respect and the shared worship of ecumenical exhortation: Anglican order remain “absolutely null and utterly void”, as Pope Leo XIII promulgated in his encyclical Apostolicae Curae. When an Anglican priest or bishop crosses the Tiber to the Ordinariate, if they wish to minister they must be ordained. Not, please note, re-ordained, for the Roman Catholic Church believes and asserts that they were never ordained in the first place.

Which is why the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham can offer no natural spiritual home to the eminent Rev’d Dr Gavin Ashenden, who insists that his orders are “indelible”. He cannot “Go for it!” without publicly repudiating every sacerdotal act he has performed in his entire life of ministry. And, being married, Dr Ashenden will find that he has less chance of ever being appointed a bishop in the Ordinariate than he has in the Church of England (which is, sadly, as close to zero as it is possible to be without being so).

It would be strange, if not a little ironic, that he might exchange a church with gender issues for a church with gender issues; a church in which being a woman is a boost to higher office for one in which being married to a woman is a bar to higher office.

It is strange indeed that shepherds of the sheep like Mgr Andrew Burnham have dedicated the best part of their lives to the belief that the Church of England is the authoritative continuing Catholic Church in England, albeit reformed after the break with Rome, and then cross to Rome over questions of the exercise of that authority. If the Church of England were ever part of the One Holy and Apostolic Church, and Andrew Burnham and Gavin Ashenden were ordained into it, in what sense was their ordination so “absolutely null and utterly void” that they require ‘re-ordination’, which is really a primary ordination?

Such faithful men have long been a bulwark in the Church of England against liberals, progressives and the more robust Protestants. It is sad indeed that Gavin Ashenden has chosen to depart instead of determining to “stay and fight” his theological corner. We pray for him, of course, and hope that he might soon find a home in which he might dwell with peace, and from which he might venture to continue his ministry to the nation.

But to join the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham would be to jump out of the frying pan and into the fire. They can holler ‘valid orders’; and hover, pick and scavenge all they want. But do they really believe that intelligent, thoughtful, discerning men like Gavin Ashenden will proclaim the utter and total invalidity of their Anglican Orders – and thereby negate and nullify a lifetime of ministry – over the trivial, ephemeral, worldly obsessions of gender and sexuality?

  • David Waters

    I left the worthless organisation five years ago to join a nonconformist church. Best thing I ever did.

  • Jill

    Ooh, this is harsh, YG. I would rather consider it holding out the hand of friendship than circling like vultures. Dr Ashenden is not the only one looking around him for a safer home than the C of E.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Dr Ashenden has serious differences with the Church of Rome. And the Church of Rome knows it. It is therefore, not a friendly gesture to ask him to exchange one denomination with which he disagrees on significant matters, with another denomination with which he disagrees on significant matters.

      • Peasant Farmer

        Best sign him up as a PTS preacher quick sharp!

        • Dominic Stockford

          Mr Ashenden doesn’t share Protestant principles either.

          • Peasant Farmer

            Look on it as an ecumenical partnership of the best kind! Good men working together for the Gospel etc.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Compromise on Bible beliefs you mean, no chance.

          • Peasant Farmer

            Fair enough!

      • Jill

        I think most of us have serious differences with the Church of Rome, otherwise we would all be RCs instead of Anglicans. However, as we cannot know what is in people’s hearts, it seems rather harsh to judge them as ‘vultures’.

        I know personally several people, including two former Anglican priests, who have found a home in the Catholic Church, and are convinced that they have done the right thing.

        It won’t be for me, but the alternatives are rather limited at the moment for those of us who are halfway out of the Church of England.

  • That has really taken the wind out of my sails. Dr Ashenden’s posts from Your Grace’s pulpit have revealed a fine intellect coupled with a dry sense of humour and the Church of England is much the poorer for his departure. Not that the progressives will see it that way, they’ll be cracking open the communion wine. Truly, today’s C of E is unrecognizable from the church I was raised in. Such a sad day.

  • disqus_N9Jawtu8Uw

    With statements from Bishops like the Bishop of Manchester which effectively mean that they believe the Bible is not the Word of God but rather of its time (in spite of serious eminent scholars revealing such statements to be absolutely untrue), I rather understand Dr Gavin Ashenden leaving the CofE because the CofE has actually ceased to be a Christian Church.

    This is harsh but inevitable as it reveals many Bishops and clergy that remain in the CofE to be liars in very serious need of repentance of their dishonesty.

    Even now in the Reader licensing service, taken in the presence of Bishops, Readers are required to swear an oath that they believe in the Bible to be the primary authority (not secondary or tertiary, but primary) but since almost all Bishops do not believe any such thing we have arrived at the point that the Bishops are absolute hypocrites.

    My feeling is that many churches will go over to AMiE and go with GAFCON now.

    • Dominic Stockford

      But you can bet that the CofE won’t let a single one take a single item with them, not a hymn book, a prayer book or a hassock – certainly not a church building or a church home – even if the congregation bought it themselves.

      • Wolf N. Paul

        A hassock?

        • Martin

          Wolf

          Wot you kneel on.

          • Brian Kelly

            In your cassock.

          • Martin

            Or not, as the case may be.

      • Merchantman

        My guess is the C of E will go fully secular and amalgamate with the Department of Social Services.

      • Little Black Censored

        The C of E would rather a church building were used by Roman Catholics or even Moslems than let it go to any kind of continuing Anglicans.

        • Dominic Stockford

          Sadly, I think you are right.

          The putative body to which some Anglicans have spoken of going (the Free Church of England) demonstrated the same attitude – they had a church which closed and they actually had the plans ready to sell it behind trustees backs to a muslim group (until the independent trustees heard about it and prevented them). The Presiding Bp of the FCE also prayed publicly that ‘Jews Muslims and Christians are all followers of the God of Abraham’. They, of course, really want to be part of the CofE too. People need to be very careful where they go if the leave the CofE.

  • carl jacobs

    Did you notice this tweet by one Nick Gellatly buried in the exchange?

    no-one says PN can’t hold his views. Simply that they have no place in the leadership of CoE”

    How generous of him. PN is allowed to believe what he wants but only so long as he is safely ghettoized lest he actually influence someone. He is graciously allowed to stay but only on condition of silence and impotence. This is the new definition of “mutual flourishing”. You can be sure it won’t be the last redefinition. Progressives do believe there is a place in the CoE for conservatives. That place resembles nothing so much as a hospice for the theologically terminal.

    This is why Gavin Ashendon said that the liberals have already won. They have assumed the power to define the terms of this agreement and the bishops let them. It is no longer about “mutual flourishing”. It is now about liberals graciously allowing conservatives some place in a liberal church. But Progressives will determine the location, boundaries, and duration of that place – determinations they will feel free to change at will.

    Canon Lando: “That wasn’t the deal!”
    Darth Progressive: “I am altering the deal. Pray I do not alter it further.”

    But of course they will.

    • Merchantman

      No comment by the ++Canterbury or York. Surely Gavin Ashenden’s departure gets a mention following on from Bishop North’s resignation.
      Taken together one would have imagined these were significant resignations.
      Apparently we are in rearranging the pews mode.

  • Your Grace asks:

    ‘ What of the gospel? What of salvation?’

    Well exactly. If Mr Ashenden’s understanding of the Gospel is that of Rome, then one wonders why he has not decamped many moons ago. If it is that of the Reformers and the XXXIX Articles, then how can he possibly do so? ”It will be as though a man fled from a lion, and a bear met him!’ (Amos 5:19).

  • vsscoles

    Why join the Ordinariate? It resembles a Masonic Lodge for ex-Anglican clergy. Most of whom spent their Anglican lives pretending to be Catholics, and now pretend to be Anglican. But there is nothing Anglican about it – apart from the pensions which most of them are already receiving from the CofE.

    • Jill

      I seem to recall you left the C of E some time ago, and joined the Continuing Anglican movement. Not wishing to pry, but I would be interested to know more (if I am right).

      • vsscoles

        Not I, Ma’am. Still churchwarden of this parish. But I can see the dilemma faced by Rev Ashenden. There is no obvious alternative to the CofE, however bad it becomes.

        • Jill

          My apologies – I was confusing you with another V Coles, a former Anglican priest.

          It is true, GAFCON is not for everybody (some GAFCON countries ordain women) and AMiE seems to be a bit quiet.

          • vsscoles

            So far as I can see GAFCON is not very different to the “open” Evangelicals in the UK who support the ordination of women but are opposed to gay clergy. Confused or what?

        • 1649again

          I agree with you.

  • len

    The C of E seems to be well down the slippery slope. And the RCC waits for them at the bottom.
    Time to get off the slope and get with Christ.
    edit Anglicans do not listen to the siren voices of
    ‘The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham singing ‘welcome’, plug your ears and sail right past.

  • Dominic Stockford

    Gavin Ashenden’s problem is demonstrated by his current problem – ‘Whereto from here?’ His ‘a bit of this’ and ‘a bit of that’ theological position, encompassing some High Churchism, along with conservative views that are in fact in line with the original Protestant intentions of the CofE (and the Bible), have left him with nowhere to go. There are one or two continuing Anglican groups, but most of them are still genuinely Protestant in nature. The Free Church of England (of which the CofE now allows ministers to act in their congregations) is rapidly turning into a Ritualist group with conservative views (not too fussed about whether its high or low ritualism). But if he thinks the CofE infighting is bad, he won’t want to go there!

    Those that ABC calls ‘robust Protestants’ are very few in the CofE, but at least they would know what to do when they finally do leave.

    • carl jacobs

      If the CoE had a great many more “robust Protestants” and a great many less “via media” Anglicans, it wouldn’t have got its throat slit by Liberals.

      • Merchantman

        There are quite a lot of ‘robust Protestants’ probably 25-30% but they are kept under. Its very difficult to flourish with unsackable liberals messing everything up. We should have thrown them out years ago but we can’t.

      • The liberals were needed to counter the fundamentalism of the Calvinists and Puritans. The “via media” has always been a con. Without it, there wouldn’t be a Church of England. It was a political solution. Without it, there would have been considerably more bloodshep in England. It attempted to weave the views of Zwingli concerning the Eucharist into the Catholic ritual. The words could mean whatever one wanted them to, for worshipper and priest. How can a community be united with a lack of shared belief about the central act of worship – the Communion – or the sacerdotal role of priests?

        • carl jacobs

          I always smile when you use the phrase “fundamentalist” seeing as you are undoubtedly a RC Fundamentalist. I would bet you have been labeled as such on liberal Catholic sites.

          My point was that a church needs people who believe something besides “Can’t we all just get along?”

          • Jack is a simple Roman Catholic, Carl. He is not a “bible believing” fundamentalist who trusts in the power of individuals to interpret Holy Scripture unaided by the teaching authority of the Church or the use of reason and adherence to sacred Tradition. And, yes, liberals in the Catholic Church have given him all sorts of labels.

          • carl jacobs

            By technical definition, there is no such thing as a “Calvinst Fundamentalist”. You are using the word imprecisely for pejorative effect – just like Liberals.

            You fit your own definition of “fundamentalist” just as surely as any committed Calvinist. Unless of course by “fundamentalist” you mean “Protestant.” In which case I will gladly wear the title.

          • Terry Mushroom

            Jack, exactly what is a “liberal” in the Roman Catholic Church? E.G., Do they pick and choose from the Catechism?

            As a fellow left footer, I don’t understand Carl’s phrase “RC Fundamentalist”. Or maybe I should ask him he means.

          • Terry, there are many cafeteria “Catholics” – most especially in the USA.

          • Terry Mushroom

            So not Catholics then.

          • carl jacobs

            There are at least three common meanings of “Fundamentalist” in use.

            1. The original meaning from the “Fundamentals” controversy a century ago. Confer with Machen and his book “Christianity and Liberalism”

            2. The technical modern meaning which refers to Chirstian sects that are characterized by aggressive Arminianism, isolation, legalism, and an anti-intellectual response to modernity.

            3. The contemporary usage which means “One who believes in a knowable revealed divine truth to which all men everywhere are accountable.” This is heresy according to the modern dogma that states “There is no knowable truth.”

            Jack is absolutely a “Fundamentalist” according to definition 3. He will have to explain what he means by “Calvinist fundamentalism.” I think he means nothing more than “People who believe things the RCC rejects.”

          • Terry Mushroom

            Gotcha! Thanks. I’m with No 3.

            There is great deal of pain and suffering revealed on this site about what is happening to the C of E. This saddens me, as I’m sure it does my fellow Catholic, Jack.

            Apart from our friend of many names, I’ve detected much kindness and thoughtfulness behind any strong words and spats. And a very genuine desire to see Him face to face in the next world whom we can only see in a glass darkly in this. People here have taught me much and shone lights for me amidst the encircling gloom.

          • carl jacobs

            You can tell people hard truths that they don’t want to hear. They will get angry at you for fear that what you say is true. But they need to hear. There is no kindness in sugar-coating what has happened to the CoE.

          • Inspector General

            Indeed, Carl. One has personally suffered your anger over issues similar…

          • carl jacobs

            OK. You get a point for that response …

        • Brian Kelly

          The Church of England “needs” liberal only in the way that a doctor needs sick people – in order to cure them. You are confusing traditionalism with liberalism – two different things. Further, the C of E doctrine of the holy communion as expounded in the 39 Articles is Calvinist, not Zwinglian.

          • There’s a dispute about the theology underpinning the BCP and the 39 Articles and whether they are consistent. All that’s clear is that it is all terribly unclear. It’s not really a point that interests Jack too much as neither Calvin nor Zwingli are Catholic – reformed or otherwise.

          • Martin

            HJ

            No, they’re Christian.

          • My point exactly. There has always been hostility, overt and covert, within the Church of England towards those holding Catholic views. One thought you believed the Body of Christ consisted of baptised folk from all denominations.

          • Martin

            HJ

            Those who are in the Church are saved by grace alone through faith alone.

  • Inspector General

    Oh dear, Oh dear! Cranmer hath spake…and one is lost for words.

    Oh dear, Oh dear….

    • 1649again

      Nice to see His Grace showing a bit of fighting spirit IG. You should be pleased?

    • Inspector General

      Having composed oneself, the judgement.

      The CoE, hereafter to be referred to as ‘the patient’, is clearly in terminal decline and unable to save itself by its own efforts. If it needs an outside agency such as the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham to prop it up, then so be it. The patient will either revive or expire. If it expires, then move over Christ, the Golden Calf be back.

  • Merchantman

    This is a sad day for England. I believe the liberal church is anathema. Personally I believe the opportunity has arrived for a mass exodus from the Cof E as now constituted, to Gafcon, taking everything with us. Although personally I’m low church Anglican, I am happy with Traditionalists.
    Indeed when I turned to Jesus Christ I was in informal communion with RC’s who seemed to have an underground reformed RC church including their Bishop and Priest! A C S Lewis type situation.
    There is more that unites Believers than brands; there is the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit and we struggle on with nothing separating us from the Love of God as found in his Gospels and his word.
    There does need to be sound doctrine to anchor the church and that gives me concern for fragmenting, But now the situation is so critical in the C of E, I shall be seeing who locally is led in the same direction.

  • “He cannot “Go for it!” without publicly repudiating every sacerdotal act he has performed in his entire life of ministry.”

    Why frame it all so negatively? Let’s look at it another way, shall we?

    Happy Jack, a Catholic, “married” in the Church of England in 1979. His wife wanted to wed in her local parish church, so Jack obliged. Eight years later, on applying to have our third child baptised, Jack discovered his marriage was “null and void” and not recognised by the Catholic Church. Of course Jack disputed this. Jack “felt” married. He had meant his vows and considered himself married in the eyes of God – and, to this day, still holds to this position. However, it was explained to him, that so far as the Church was concerned, he was living in an irregular situation i.e. in sin. So, permission from the bishop was sought and we were married in the Catholic Church.

    Did Jack believe his first marriage meant nothing? No. Did the eight years of his “marriage” count for nothing? No. Did he believe the eight years of reception of the Eucharist were sinful? No. However, he trusted his Church and regularised his situation according to her rules. Of course, because he acted in ignorance, Jack was not subjectively culpable.

    “And, being married, Dr Ashenden will find that he has less chance of ever being appointed a bishop in the Ordinariate than he has in the Church of England.”

    As for promotion to a bishop, one doubts this will trouble a true worker in the vineyard terribly much.

    • Diotima Two

      Yes, I think a little pragmatism is in order here.

    • Royinsouthwest

      Why trust your church when it was obviously wrong about your marriage? Do you really think God did not hear your original vows?

      • Yes, Jack believes God heard our vows and, in fact, the priest advising Jack conceded this point too. However, our marriage was not recognised by the Church as sacramentally valid and, if one is a Catholic, one accepts her teachings.

        • Martin

          HJ

          Rather like being a Mormon or a JW. You have to follow the nonsense rules based on fairy tales with no historical backing.

    • John Abberton

      Sorry to see some irrationality and muddled thinking in this article, as well as a rather dated approach to the Catholic view of Anglican orders. I doubt that many R.C. bishops (privately, at least) are as doubtful of some Anglican orders. Of course proper theological thinking is needed. The question of intention is important and that is just for starters. I don’t know what is going on in Rome, but I would like to bet that there has already been a subtle change there. The late Graham Leonard was conditionally ordained a Catholic priest, though I understand this was very much “conditional” because he had valid orders. I have met an Anglican bishop who also has valid (that is proof of Apostolic Succession) orders and has the papers to prove it. The situation now is not as cut and dried as the article suggests. Not only that, most Anglican clergymen becoming R Catholic do not disparage their past ministry (and are not encouraged to do so). You paint a rather unflattering picture of the Ordinariate which I think is unfair. I understand the emotion behind all this, but in the end, that does not help. Gavin’s decision was emotional enough, I bet, without it now being overloaded with the fraught emotions of others.

  • carl jacobs

    This departure is by and large a good thing because it delegitimizes the whole concept of “mutual flourishing”. It’s one thing to talk. It’s quite another to act.

  • 1649again

    Well said Cranmer.

  • Martin

    Isn’t Bishop Pete Broadbent already a liberal? If he isn’t, how come he’s made it to bishop?

    The CoE has been flogging dead vacuum cleaners for years, despite the effort of Christians to pull it back from the brink. The time has come to leave, and just nudge the carcass on its way.

    • As Jack understands the situation, he’s an Anglo-Catholic. There are so many shades of grey in Anglicanism it is difficult to know where anyone really stands. What’s certain is that he believes in an Apostolic and sacerdotal ministry.

      • Brian Kelly

        No he’s not – he would belong to that imprecise territory of ‘Open Evangelical’ where ‘open’ battles with ‘evangelical’ for the upper hand. An ‘open evangelical’ supports WO and takes moderately liberal views on the historicity of the OT. Sometimes open evangelicals flirt with ‘catholic styles’ as they call them without really understanding them. A lot of them are going soft on homosexuality, so the term ‘evangelical’ is becoming pretty elastic. Broadbent was George Carey’s leftish curate in Durham and has been a Labour councillor in the past. He got caned by Chartres for rudeness about the Royal Family.

        • Thank you. It’s all so terribly confusing.

        • Martin

          Brian

          Then an ‘Open Evangelical’ is nothing of the sort & well on the way to liberalism if not already there.

          • Dominic Stockford

            ‘Open Evangelical’ = wet. As Ian Paisley said “jelly”.

      • Martin

        HJ

        Hadn’t realised you were referring to bish Pete. Whatever he is, I wouldn’t take his advice on matters spiritual.

  • 1649again

    Nothing like a threatened death to bring the vultures out, all hoping the patient doesn’t pull thorough and eyeing up the house and its contents like the scavengers they are.

    • One trusts you’ve noticed the Roman Catholic voices are fewer than the true, “bible believing” Christians.

    • carl jacobs

      It’s already dead. Time to bury the body.

      • 1649again

        Push off.

        • Martin

          A Viking burial?

        • Lol …. that told you, Carl.

          • carl jacobs

            He’ll get over it.

        • Maalaistollo

          Been acquiring some of ChaucerChronicle’s janitorial polish?

          • 1649again

            Run out of patience with the vultures and jackals constantly undermining the CoE and it’s very many sound priests and congregants on here. Sure we have a problem with a liberal clique at the centre at present but the church has been on its knees before and recovered, and it’s the evangelical part that’s growing just as it is in the developing world (GAFCON).

            BTW are the RC the vultures and the free churchers the jackals or is it the other way round? When two intrinsically opposed forces attack a third there’s something valuable they want or powerful they fear. Time they were both run off with fire and lead.

          • Dominic Stockford

            The Free Churches view the demise of the genuinely Protestant CofE with great sadness. We certainly aren’t looking for anything from the ruins – though we do wish that the genuine evangelicals within it would stand up for the Gospel rather more robustly than they actually do.

          • 1649again

            I know some are like you Dominic but others are not as you can see here today, just as many RCs are fond of the CoE and are not like HJ.

          • Happy Jack is “fond” of the Church of England – particularly its Anglo-Catholic wing.

            Anyone with a love of history, literature, and culture would find it difficult to resist the appeal of the Anglican Church. With some of the finest architecture in Christendom, an exquisite tradition of sacred music, fine liturgies with splendid hymns, Anglicanism takes all that is most refined, educated, eccentric, and traditional about England and filters it through the Christian faith …

            Members of the Church of England hold their Christianity in one hand and their Englishness in the other, and they pray by putting their two hands together. Converts to the Church of England often do not realize the depth of this union of Christianity and English nationalism. More importantly, many Anglicans are unaware how much their Christian faith is defined by their English culture.

            However:

            The expression of the Christian faith we call Anglicanism is now in terminal decline.

            https://www.catholic.com/magazine/print-edition/what-catholics-must-understand-about-anglicanism

        • carl jacobs

          No, this is where you are supposed to tell me that CoE is exceptionally different from TEC and the ACC and … well pretty much every other national church in Europe. But if you wish to wait four days by the body, who am I to stop you.

          • 1649again

            Not you fight, not even your country. You remind me of Joseph Kennedy in 1940 tell Roosevelt that Britain was finished and to be written off.

          • carl jacobs

            But it is my Church.

            If you want to learn the hard way, then you will learn the hard way. But make no mistake. You will learn.

          • William Lewis

            How can it be both your Church AND dead?

          • carl jacobs

            A church is not the Church. What is good for the Church is not necessarily what is good for any given temporal organization designated as a church.

      • len

        When the Church ceases to be salt and light it WILL be trampled underfoot..Which is exactly what seems to be happening.
        The remedy lies entirely with the Church leaders(who seem to be an apathetic bunch)
        Perhaps the leadership can repent and change their ways?.
        Perhaps if every Anglican prayed and sought God and the leadership got a kick up the backside the Cof E could get saved?.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Scavengers? I suppose so. They simply seek power and influence, and can’t help hoping for money too. It has little to do with the gospel, but then they never did.

    • Demon Teddy Bear

      I’m pretty sure that it was 30 years ago that Private Eye observed that all the CofE bureaucracy had to offer was jobs.

  • The Explorer

    In ‘Down and Out in Paris and London’, the tramps bestow the warmest of compliments on the young clergyman who feeds them: “Well, he’ll never be a f…..g bishop!”

  • Diotima Two

    This is very sad. Although a Roman Catholic I have much respect for the Anglo-Catholics. Anglo-Catholicism was once a great movement. In the 1920s it could muster very large conventions of ordinary CoE laypeople. I have a wonderful little book, ‘The Catholic Religion: A Manual of Instruction’ by Anglo-Catholic Rev. Vernon Staley as well as ‘Christian Proficiency’ by Martin Thornton. Somehow, the Anglo tradition of writing speaks to me more than the Roman.

    Anglo-Catholicism was once a great movement for renewal in Anglicanism – crushed since the 1960s by the march of liberalism & general wetness.

    • The first serious blow was inflicted at the Lambeth Conference in 1930. Thereafter, approval for abortion, divorce and remarriage, women clergy and homosexuality have all followed.

      • Merchantman

        A time of confusion generally: with the wait for it: the Oxford Union declaring they wouldn’t fight for King and Country; Churchill an outcast pariah and the depression following.

        I blame the Russians and the Germans!

      • The CofE doesn’t approve of abortion or, officially, homosexuality. What are you referring to?

        • Anton

          His obsession with marital contraception.

  • The Laughing Cavalier

    Typical sectarian anti-Catholicism from Mr Hilton.

    • Dominic Stockford

      The Church of England 39 Articles are very clear about the reality of the Church of Rome. Mr Hilton is expressing the official position of the United Kingdom on this matter. He also expresses Biblical truth about the matter. If you don’t like it, leave!

      • ” … the official position of the United Kingdom on this matter.”
        Lol …

        • Maalaistollo

          ‘The Prayer Book is a schedule to an Act of Parliament’ Enoch Powell is said to have observed. Whether he did actually say that is open to dispute, but it’s a good point nonetheless.

      • Bless you, Mr Stockford, but please don’t waste your time. Sean Armstrong has been hurling his own terse bigotry for more than a decade.

        • Dominic Stockford

          Thank you. I was hoping he might leave the UK!

        • 1649again

          Your Grace, I confess that sometimes I don’t know why you bother with your important work. Talk about casting pearls before swine. It seems your valuable construction has become a honeytrap for various Anglican phobes, monomaniacs and obsessives, none of whom share your namesake’s vision of an English Apostolic Reformed Catholic church which can encompass a nation and help steer its people to salvation. l see an epidemic of doctrinal fanatics, secular and denominational, but however well argued or forceful they are they lack that which St Paul said all our efforts in vain if without. Your site is now a dartboard for those who want to see the CoE dead. I pray you will find a way to address this issue. I remain deeply appreciative of your labours. Thank you.

          • What shall be done? Cease all chat threads? Make it a comment-free blog?

          • 1649again

            I don’t know Your Grace but it is becoming unedifying at times.

          • Martin

            We’re trying very hard to instruct you.

          • 1649again

            Martin the only thing you show me is that the faith you seem to follow is joyless, without humour or compassion, and dangerously literal. Without love our faith is nothing. We see today only through a glass darkly. I beseech you to consider that you may be wrong (sometimes and in some things) as I am sure I am on many indifferent things.

          • Martin

            Actually, today we see clearly, as if face to face, and there is nothing dangerous about taking God at His word.

            The watchman isn’t called to have humour, but to warn of impending doom, and that’s what I see.

          • 1649again

            Of course, you have greater clarity than St Paul and clearly little confidence that the future is in God’s hands and that the course of events may be His Will? Were the rest of us only to be Blessed with such Revelations. How was this Gnosis acquired Martin?

          • Martin

            I did not claim any of that and I have every confidence in God. But the churches have a resposibility to govern themselves, as the letters to the churches in Revelation make clear. The CoE has failed to discipline those who do not adhere to the word of God and is now reaping the whirlwind of its error. If you were to read your Bible you would see this.

          • 1649again

            All churches are always in error because they are composed of humans. Only the ‘Church’ is error free and our human churches merely roughly approximate to it, by varying amounts over time, yours included I am sure.

            Your point about the failure to discipline is fair but the CoE is very aware that it is imperfect and has as a consequence not defended the 39 Articles sufficiently. I pray it will change and rediscover its self-confidence. There are ways I have already outlined to deal with this, but the evangelicals and Anglo-Catholics need to stand up, co-operate and not run away every time they get attacked.

            I have to say that between you and HJ you have reaffirmed by faith in what the CoE is in theory and was as I saw only 20 years ago in my area, and that other churches have equal if different flaws. As a consequence I will try to stick it out.

          • Martin

            Absolutely agree that churches are always in some sort of error, but, as Revelation 2 & 3 demonstrate, there are errors that result in judgement. It seems to me that the errors of the CoE, as a whole, are such that lead to judgement. I wonder how many of the clergy of the CoE consent to the 39 Articles and whether any of the bishops do.

          • ‘Twas ever thus. There are simply some sad, obsessive, small-minded and destructive people who populate blog chat threads and gain some sort of spiritual fulfilment from spouting bile. One either permits freedom of expression within the law, or one filters every comment to ensure that it conforms to some standard of orthodox acceptability, which would take many, many hours and make the whole mission even more onerous than it has been for the past 11 years (next week). In fact, it would be preferable to terminate it altogether and lay the ashes in the ground. It is an option – a very, very attractive one.

          • Inspector General

            Just leave everything as you have it, Cranmer. You have no need to intervene. You are exonerated. We’ll fist it out amongst ourselves here. To the entertainment of the Almighty, as ever. You yourself try to instruct, but the herd won’t have it. Though a few individuals might.

          • 1649again

            I understand entirely Your Grace. It’s trying to square the circle I know. Perhaps one solution is to block for three months the worst offenders as a warning to others. I would love this place to become a house of refuge, debate and co-ordination for saving the CoE from a descent in heresy and would support it financially if that were to happen.

          • chefofsinners

            The problem is the times. There are few here who want to see the CoE dead, they want to see it become what it once was. As that prospect recedes towards the vanishing point they join the rush for the exits.

          • 1649again

            I see it differently.

          • Anton

            Nos sumus tempora: quales sumus, talia sunt tempora

            – Augustine of Hippo

            (We are the times: as we are, such are the times.)

          • chefofsinners

            catholic with a small c please. Otherwise, yes.

          • 1649again

            Fair enough but such nit pickiness is part of the problem.

          • chefofsinners

            For want of a nail…

      • The Laughing Cavalier

        Mr Hilton uses inflammatory language and it was for his sectarianism that he was sacked in 2005 as a PPC by Michael Howard.

        • Sean, it’s been 11 years. Move on. Boris commissioned the pieces in 2003 when he was editor of the Spectator and a vice-chairman of the Conservative Party. The Chief Whip approved them. The Spectator published them. A magazine owned by two rather robust Roman Catholics tends not commission “sectarianism” or publish “inflammatory language”. Reasonable, knowledgeable and intelligent Roman Catholics like Charles Moore found the pieces “intelligent and thoughtful”. So did William Rees-Mogg. So did Ann Widdecombe. The then Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster wrote sympathetically after Howard’s action, which came two years after the pieces were published – those pieces which were commissioned by Boris when he was a vice-chairman of the Conservative Party, and approved by the Chief Whip. You seem to have an odd stalking obsession which can’t be healthy for your spiritual life. Really, let it go. Move on, as mature Christians do.

        • Dominic Stockford

          The Pope of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this realm. Not only that, the Church of Rome teaches erroneous and dangerous theology that leads not to Christ, but away from him. That isn’t sectarianism, its the 39 Articles, and a difference of opinion. Mr Howard is a Roman Churcher and didn’t like someone having a different opinion than him. But this is the UK, and we’re a Protestant Country by Constitution.

  • Holger

    Another rat leaves the sinking ship.

    At this rate the Church will be purged of reaction within a very few years and the process of liberalization will be complete. A big woolly cloud of macramé, beadwork and organic hemp will envelope Anglican parishes up and down the land. Rigid beliefs in God the Father and Jesus the Son will melt into vague ideas about “lurve” and “caring and sharing” and “being at one with the cosmos”.

    Meanwhile the scattering rodents will have scurried off to Walsingham, there to be ensnared by the rigid dogmatism of Rome. Or they’ll have formed their own little rodent church where they can gnaw away at each others tails until they dwindle into nothingness. One more declining radical Protestant sect among the many hundreds, if not thousands, that split, split again and continue to split until they become so microscopic, they effectively disappear.

    As the CofE sloughs off one more necrotic body part, death stalks in the shadows ready to claim its victim. Remember, he can’t come back, ’cause he has no children to come back for…

    • The Explorer

      Splendid, eh. Christianity will soon be dead, and then there’ll be nothing to stand in the way of the gay advance except Islam.

      Are we to take it that you fear the Return of Christ? You seem to be rather harping on it lately.

      • Holger

        Fear of Christ’s return? Fear of an Independence Day-style alien invasion? Fear of the Walking Dead?

        We need have no fear of any of these things happening because they’re just figments of someone’s overactive imagination.

        I don’t believe in fairy stories and tall tales, so no: their dire warnings and prophecies of doom do not scare me. If you want to frighten someone, why not try a child instead? It’s much easier to convince a naive and clueless infant that spooks and monsters and sky fairies exist. Or are you bored with easy targets?

        • The Explorer

          Foe believers, of course, the return of Christ is an event to be welcomed rather than feared.

          Your argument seems to be that Christ will be unable to return because there will be no believers left to return for. Not so: the C of E is not the Church. There may not be a Church of England by the time Christ returns, but that does not mean there will not be believers.

  • Holger

    So if I may indulge in a little idle speculation, do we know what drove Ashenden over the edge?

    Was it the Sisterhood’s victory over +Phil the Sexist?

    Was it ++Justin’s visible trembling over a bra-less and pert Angelina Jolie?

    Or maybe the loss of his precious royal title rankles more than he cares to admit.

    Whatever it was, it seems to work a treat. Liberals should bear it mind for the next time a bigot needs to be ejected.

    • It appears to have been the reading of the Quran in Glasgow Cathedral denying the Divinity of Christ, and the subsequent silence of the Archbishop of Canterbury about this sacrilege.

      • Holger

        What? It’s as easy as that to eject bigots from the Church?

        Perhaps the archbishop arranged it so that reactionary throwbacks like Ashenden would flounce off, thus removing the worst and most intractable opponents and swinging the balance of power in favour of progressives.

        Smart move Justin. Like the photo op with Ms Jolie and her heaving bosom.

        I like the direction this archbishop is taking the church in. Woollier, vaguer, far more concerned with worldly affairs. Far easier to undermine.

        • Martin

          Nah, the bigots are still there.

    • Demon Teddy Bear

      Guillotining our bigoted foes works even better, doesn’t it, citizen Robespierre!

      • Inspector General

        Hey, you! It’s never too late to repent your sin, you know. Even Demons Clutching Teddy Bears have a chance. Apparently.

        Comer on man, stand up and testify to your folly. The empty choice you made. It’s that or perish…

      • Holger

        Seems to me that Ashenden fell on his own knife, so all we have to do is leave them to their own devices and they’ll take care of the problem for us.

        • Inspector General

          Do you know….no, one won’t say it. Denying you crowd vital medication is an idea, but not a Christian one.

        • Demon Teddy Bear

          You’re a bit thick, aren’t you?

    • len

      Eject a bigot , now there’s a thought?

      • Holger

        If your finger is on the eject button, I dare you to push it then.

        If it isn’t, what can you do except complain?

        • len

          Bigot?.
          ‘a person who is intolerant towards those holding different opinions’.
          Well know anyone?.

    • Little Black Censored

      If you think Ashenden is a bigot, you have not bothered to find out anything about him.

  • Demon Teddy Bear

    The CofE really is a nasty place, isn’t it?

    • Inspector General

      Demon Teddy Bear, of all things, is here.

      DTB is a Pink News warrior, chaps. It’s must be worse than we think. These fellows are smelling the gangrenous stink of the CoE and come to feast on it. Well, gay men and the consuming of flesh, you see. Well established.

      • Manfarang

        If you go out in the woods today,
        You’d better not go alone.
        It’s lovely out in the woods today,
        But safer to stay at home.

      • 1649again

        I’m not sure he is what you say he is Inspector.

        • Demon Teddy Bear

          Well spotted. No idea either who this “inspector” chap might be. Case of mistaken identity, methinks.

          • 1649again

            A battle hardened warrior against evils who is perhaps somewhat jumpy and easily alarmed.

          • Demon Teddy Bear

            Perhaps so. Been there.

    • len

      No, merely confused and under attack from within and from without.

      • Demon Teddy Bear

        Well said.

  • Jill

    Dr Ashenden explains to Aaron James of Premier a little more here:

    https://www.premier.org.uk/News/UK/Gavin-Ashenden-The-Church-of-England-is-a-coach-driving-over-a-cliff

    (Scroll down to the bottom)

  • len

    What seems to be happening with inter- denominational battles is’ a battle of theologies’.
    The C of E is tearing itself apart .Before’ anyone’ says so, the RCC is a denomination.
    Liberals within (and probably more so ) outside the Church want to make it more ‘ user friendly’ to tone down the scriptures and make them more Politically Correct.
    Knowing ‘ theology’ will not save you.Satan knows more theology than most Christians.The demons knew Christ when the Pharisees did not.
    Salvation is IN Christ, not in the Church or a theology or anything else.
    What is happening in the church is God sorting the Wheat from the Chaff.Time to get real with God and to check if you are IN Christ or merely in’ the church'(whatever its denomination.

    • 1649again

      Well said len, far more Christ in those words than a” the jackals’ slavvering further down.

      • Then why are you a member of the Church of England?

        • 1649again

          Because, despite the problems caused by human failings in it, it seems to me to be closest to the spirit of Christ’s message to try to meld the best of the other church traditions.

          • But Truth and error cannot be melded.

          • 1649again

            Having seen seen the tenor of those on here either side of the CoE I’ll stick with it and pray for reviival.

          • Pubcrawler

            I stand with you on that point for now, brother, but the persistent unedifying inter-confessional squabbling that this blog has played host to over the last few months can serve only to drive the curious away from the Faith entirely, and this man into the arms of the Orthodox.

            See how they love one another…

          • 1649again

            I agree brother.

          • CliveM

            Depressing isn’t it.

          • Anton

            To see how people love each other you have to meet them, whereas blogs are restricted to words. Please don’t judge on the basis of words alone.
            There have been some spectacular spats within Orthodoxy in (eg) the USA, but I wish you well.

          • Martin

            PC

            As Festus demonstrates, the curious are never saved. It is the condemned who are.

          • len

            That’s the error of trying to combine Christianity and paganism as the RCC does.

          • Martin

            Where did Christ tell us to “meld the best of the other church traditions”?

    • Len, care to define “theology” and “Church”.

      • len

        Whatever you want them to be,’Interpretation’ such as defined by men.

        Or what the Holy Spirit says they are…Jesus promised us ‘a guide’ the Holy Spirit

        • So, you’re using terms that you don’t understand?

          Jack is with Augustine of Hippo who used the term to mean “reasoning or discussion concerning the Deity.”

          • len

            With all due respect you are speaking pure bollocks

          • Could you define the terms “due respect” and “pure bollocks”?

          • Anton

            I don’t think you need education in the subject.

      • PessimisticPurple

        Len will never answer that with anything approaching clarity Jack. He’s an evangelical. He’s been saved, so whatever he does, it’s just dandy with Jesus. Thus, he can make blank pronouncements like “salvation is in Christ, not the church” and never have to explain what this “salvation” of his actually consists of. In fact, it’s better he doesn’t try, otherwise he might be forced to confront how self-serving this “personal relationship with Jesus” stuff actually is.

        • Jack knows this PP, he likes to ask this question occasionally. Len conveniently overlooks the fact that Christ established a visible Church.

          • len

            Jesus never established a Church.

          • Martin

            Len

            As defined in my post above, wrong.

        • len

          Try reading the Bible ? .Salvation is simple when you clear all the RCC rubbish away.

          • PessimisticPurple

            That explains a lot…

          • len

            You have a Bible?.
            You can read?.
            Read the Words of Jesus.
            How long have you sat in a church and whatever have they taught you?.

          • Scripture contains more than the words of Our Lord, Len. Or do you discount everything else?

          • len

            Its the’ more’that causes the problems Jack, stick to the scripture its enough you know.

          • Jack was referring to scripture. Len. Jesus’ words do not stand outside of all of the writings of the bible and cannot be understood unless this totality of revelation is taken into account. Indeed, they’re incomprehensible without this.

          • PessimisticPurple

            I study the entirety of Jesus’ teaching. I don’t just assimilate the bits that tell me what I want to hear and ignore the rest. There’s a name for that practice. It’s called “Protestantism”.

          • To be fair, most protestants attempt to understand Jesus’ words in the context of all scripture. Len is an exception. There was a time when he claimed Saint Paul vision was from Lucifer and not Jesus, the risen Christ.

          • len

            There was a time when I claimed the Pope wasn`t all bad.

          • len

            Tell that to the Bereans.

          • Some idiots understand; some don’t.

        • Martin

          PP

          I’ll answer, the Church is the assembly of God’s people, those who are saved, it is not an organisation nor is salvation in it, but in God.

          Theology is the study of God, which can be either false, as in Rome’s, that of the liberals in all denominations and the Mormons, or true, as in the Church of Christ.

  • Happy Jack found this brief article by an ex-Anglican (now Roman Catholic) priest helpful.

    I attended an Anglican seminary of the Evangelical persuasion called Wycliffe Hall, and down the road was the Anglo-Catholic seminary called St. Stephen’s House. The two were totally opposed in theology, liturgical practice, culture, and ethos. In Oxford was an Anglican seminary which was “broad church,” or liberal. This third strand of Anglicanism has always been a kind of worldly, established, urbane type of religion that is at home with the powers that be and always adapts to the culture in which it finds itself.

    These three forces co-exist in the Anglican church – united by nothing more than a shared baptism, a patriotic allegiance to the national church, and the need to tolerate each other. Unfortunately the toleration frequently wears thin. The Anglo-Catholics, the Evangelicals, and the liberals are constantly at war. Their theology, their liturgy, their politics, and their spirituality are in basic contradiction to one another.

    Other influences have complicated things further, and the three main strands of Anglicanism have divided into sub-strands depending on the influences of various individuals and movements. Just about every permutation and mixture of politics and religion is found within the Anglican church.

    This is very pertinent too:

    Anglo-Catholics consider themselves to be Catholics within the Anglican Church. Furthermore, many traditionalist Anglo Catholics see the liturgical abuses, liberalism, and spiritual decay within the Catholic Church and believe themselves to be more faithful to Catholicism than most Catholics.

    The traditionalist Anglo-Catholic is very similar to a traditionalist Catholic group in his mentality. He believes himself to be part of a remnant of true believers whose job it is to keep the faith and stand firm, while all the others in his church drift into moral decay, heresy, schism, and apostasy. Rather than seeing full communion with Rome as the answer, he sees it as going out of the frying pan into the fire. He is not convinced that Rome is any purer than the Anglican church.

    The bottom line in discussion with Anglicans is the question of authority. Should the Catholic apologist point to the disarray within Anglicanism the Anglican may well reply, “You Catholics have just as much variety and dissent and division in your ranks.”

    To which we must say, “That may be, but we do not claim it as a virtue. We have one authority on earth. We have one clear teaching. We may not all obey it. We may not all unite around it, but it is there. It is one. It is holy. It is Catholic. It is apostolic. It is a rock on which to build, and the rock is Peter and his successor.”

    https://www.catholic.com/magazine/print-edition/what-catholics-must-understand-about-anglicanism

    • len

      Peter is not the Rock. How could he be when scripture quite clearly states that Christ is the Rock, even Peter himself states that Christ is the rock.

      If you are going to interpret the scripture to mean that peter is’ the rock ‘all you are doing is to illustrate my point (above)is that men can corrupt scripture to fit their own ends(namely the RCC in this point)

      • len

        Psalm 118:22
        Verse Concepts
        The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief corner stone.

        Matthew 21:42
        Verse Concepts
        Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures, ‘THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone; THIS CAME ABOUT FROM THE LORD, AND IT IS MARVELOUS IN OUR EYES’?

        Mark 12:10
        Verse Concepts
        “Have you not even read this Scripture: ‘THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone;

        Luke 20:17
        Verse Concepts
        But Jesus looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written: ‘THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone’?

        1 Peter 2:7
        Verse Concepts
        This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, “THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE VERY CORNER stone,”

        Acts 4:11
        Verse Concepts
        “He is the STONE WHICH WAS REJECTED by you, THE BUILDERS, but WHICH BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone.

        Isaiah 8:14
        Verse Concepts
        “Then He shall become a sanctuary; But to both the houses of Israel, a stone to strike and a rock to stumble over, And a snare and a trap for the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

        Romans 9:33
        Verse Concepts
        just as it is written, “BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.”

        1 Peter 2:8
        Verse Concepts
        and, “A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE”; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.

        Matthew 21:44
        Verse Concepts
        “And he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust.”

        Isaiah 28:16
        Verse Concepts
        Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed.

        1 Peter 2:6
        Verse Concepts
        For this is contained in Scripture: “BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A CHOICE STONE, A PRECIOUS CORNER stone, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.”

        Daniel 2:34
        Verse Concepts
        “You continued looking until a stone was cut out without hands, and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and crushed them.

        Daniel 2:45
        Verse Concepts
        “Inasmuch as you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what will take place in the future; so the dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy.”

        Daniel 2:35
        Verse Concepts
        “Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were crushed all at the same time and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them was found But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.

        1 Corinthians 10:4
        Verse Concepts
        and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.

        1 Peter 2:4
        Verse Concepts
        And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God,

        • len

          Peters words himself .(Does Peter call himself ‘the rock’?.

          The Living Stone and a Chosen People
          4 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house[a] to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For in Scripture it says:

          “See, I lay a stone in Zion,
          a chosen and precious cornerstone,
          and the one who trusts in him
          will never be put to shame.”[b]
          7 Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,

          “The stone the builders rejected
          has become the cornerstone,”[c]
          8 and,

          “A stone that causes people to stumble
          and a rock that makes them fall.”[d]

          Does Peter call himself the Rock?.
          Obviously Not!.
          Just as mary the mother of Jesus never called herself’ the Mother of God’ and ‘Co Redemptrix’.

          These are RCC heresies.

          • Coniston

            Christ is indeed the Rock. But Christ also renamed Simon as Peter (petros= rock). And you haven’t referred to Matthew 16: 17-20 or John 21:15-17. As for Mary, she is clearly not Co-Redemptrix (which I believe is a view held by only a few Catholics – HJ will doubtless confirm). As for ‘Mother of God’ she did not call herself that, but undoubtedly gave birth to Jesus, who, if you believe in the Trinity, is God. All very confusing for a non-theologian.

          • len

            Jesus pre dated Mary so how can she be ‘the mother of god?’.
            Peter petros’ little rock’ (a chip of the block) if you like.But this is what all Christians are .
            Jesus also called Peter Satan(Does the RCC want to claim that too?.

          • IanCad

            Len, you’re doing just fine with no backup. Don’t worry, I’m sure there are plenty of others cheering you on.
            I’ll join the fray tomorrow if it’s still going.

          • len

            Thanks Ian, this has been going on for years now, the RCC has built walls around its dogmas and traditions but they will come down!.

          • No wall, Len. Just the Truth. You’re the one putting up the wall.

          • len

            ‘The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe’.

            (Proverbs 19:10)

          • Was Jesus both human and divine – two natures in one being – and did Mary did birth to Him?

          • len

            Which came first Jesus or Mary?.

          • Mary was born before Jesus of Nazareth – who is true God and true man. The Son of God, the Second Person of the Trinity, and until His Incarnation, pure Spirit, has always existed.

          • len

            No Mary, God would have found another woman.
            The RCC ‘mary’ is an invention.

          • Are you insane?

          • len

            Never been saner.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Yes he is. He has been like this for years and getting worse. !

          • len

            ‘ Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of’ the wise’ are futile.”So then, no more boasting about men! (1 Cor 3:18-21).

          • Martin

            HJ

            See above, two naures, one was born, the other not. You really must learn to separate the person from the natures otherwise you’ll get into heresy like Patrick over the Trinity.

          • It’s you that is having the problem. One person, two natures. The person – Jesus – cannot be separated from His natures. The divine nature of the Son of God was perfectly united with human nature in one divine Person, Jesus, making him both truly God and truly man.

          • Martin

            HJ

            Bit slow, aren’t we. The God nature was not born, hence has no mother. The man nature was born, hence has a mother.

          • Now you’re dividing the hypostatic union. One person who was both God and man. Is Jesus God or not? Was He born of a woman or not?

          • Martin

            HJ

            No, I’m not dividing the hypostatic union. The Man was born, the God was not.

          • Are you claiming Jesus of Nazareth wasn’t God Incarnate?

          • Martin

            HJ

            Once more you fail to distinguish between the person and the nature. It’s where your doctrine falls apart.

          • Jack’s Catholic doctrine is sound – it’s the same one held by any true Christian and was formulated b the early Church Councils. Your doctrine, on the other hand, is verging on Arianism.

          • Martin

            HJ

            When you fail to distinguish between the person and the nature and between the two natures you can hardly say that your doctrine is sound.

            My position is that Jesus is God from eternity and also Man, born of Mary at the same time, inseparably.

          • Wouldn’t disagree with your last sentence.

            Since his Incarnation Jesus has had two natures, divine and human. These natures are completely united (meaning he is completely God and completely human). Although Jesus has two natures, he is only one Person – God, the Second Person of the Trinity.

            Since the Son born to Mary is a single Person, and that Person is God, with two natures, Mary can rightly be called the Mother of God. This doesn’t mean that Mary existed before God. She is a human person with a human nature. She existed before Jesus’ human nature was created.

          • Martin

            HJ

            The natures are separate but united in the person of Christ. God was never born, therefore Mary isn’t the mother of God, just a sinful woman who had a great honour bestowed on her.

          • Jesus Christ was born. Jesus is God. Mary is His mother.
            Mary was without sin throughout her life. She was, by an act of God, full of grace.

          • Martin

            HJ

            Jesus is both God and Man, the Man was born, the God was not. Mary was a sinner, saved by grace, like any other Christian. The gospels tell us that she doubted her son, in the same way that her other children and the disciples did. You have been taken in by the heretical nonsense that Rome teaches.

          • OldJim

            Len says below: “No Mary, God would have found another woman.”
            you’ve said: “The God nature was not born, hence has no mother. The man nature was born, hence has a mother.”
            “God was never born, therefore Mary isn’t the mother of God,”

            Are we saying, then, Martin, that had there been no man Jesus of Nazareth, then the ‘God-Nature’ of the Second Person of the Trinity would have been in hypostatic union with ‘another’ man?

            On the face of it, the trinitarian language that you are using is all entirely orthodox, as is happy jack’s. It’s absolutely true, as I can see we all agree, that Jesus Christ is one person, who has two natures in eternal hypostatic union. But the way that you’re trying to use that language is to separate the natures back out, and make Jesus the ‘product’ (in time) of two neatly separable contributions – the eternal, discarnate Word, and the man-nature born to Mary, to which (whom?) that Word was bound. And that sounds more like adoptionism than orthodox Christology. There really is a reason, you know, that the council of ephesus declared Mary ‘Theotokos’ at one and the same time as that at which it came to its conclusion on the hypostatic union. The ability to call Mary “Mother of God” was being used as a litmus test for the orthodoxy of the Christology.

            In the Gospel of John, it is made clear that:
            “No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.” (1:18)

            “not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father” (6:46)

            “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” (14:6)

            It is in the Incarnation of Jesus Christ that God is made known to us. Theologically, as Christians, it makes no sense to talk about our knowledge of God outside of, or apart from Jesus Christ at all.

            Yes, the Jewish people had a relationship with God temporally prior to the birth of Jesus. Yes, the philosophers have come to monotheistic conclusions through pure reason, both before and after He walked the earth.

            But theologically, as Christians, the Incarnation is the central revelation of our Faith, without which we know nothing and through which prism everything else must be seen.

            And that means that talking about the second-person-of-the-trinity-leaving-aside-his-mortal-nature isn’t a theological subtlety. It is strictly speaking natural philosophy; pre-theological, and pre-Christian.

            Not only do you not know the Second Person save through the Incarnation, you don’t know God save through the Incarnation. It is only in the Incarnation that God is revealed to you.

            So, yes: Mary is a creature, created by God, Who is eternal.

            But she is also truly the Mother of God, Jesus Christ, without Whom we do not know God, and in Whom Man and God are Indivisibly and Eternally united; and this Incarnation, this union of natures, this human life lived, is not something incidental, not simply some contingency plan for the execution of a salvific drama, but rather is fundamental to God’s Identity, to the inner life of the Trinity, and our only and eternal revelation of Who God Is.

            When you try to work backwards from the Incarnation, or break it into constituent components, whether you mean to or not, you begin to walk it back. You end up a Jew or Muslim who happens to believe that God possessed a body. The Incarnation is much more fundamental than that. There’s no neater way to put it than to say: God has a mother. God has a mother!

          • Martin

            I have been asked:

            Are we saying, then, Martin, that had there been no man Jesus of
            Nazareth, then the ‘God-Nature’ of the Second Person of the Trinity
            would have been in hypostatic union with ‘another’ man?

            Which seems to misunderstand the nature of Jesus. Jesus is as much Man as He
            is God, He does not become God because of the hypostatic union, He is
            God and the hypostatic union describes the connection between His two
            natures.

            And

            But the way that you’re trying to use that language is to separate the
            natures back out, and make Jesus the ‘product’ (in time) of two neatly
            separable contributions – the eternal, discarnate Word, and the
            man-nature born to Mary, to which (whom?) that Word was bound.

            What I am saying is that the two natures are united in the person, they do
            not have any union outside of the person. The Council of Ephesus were
            not fighting the battles that today’s church of Rome are fighting. Their
            battle was against the Gnostics who denied that Jesus Christ had a
            physical nature, since, for the Gnostics, the physical was evil. The
            Council were talking of Jesus, not Mary, whom they regarded as an
            ordinary sinful woman saved in the same way that any Christian is saved.

          • OldJim

            Well, the Council of Ephesus wasn’t actually about Docetists – it was about Nestorius. And I don’t see that we’re talking about whether Mary was sinless, or whether it is acceptable for a Christian to pray for her intercession, or whatever other issue you might have with Catholic doctrines around Mary. Let’s stick to whether Mary is rightly called “Mother of God”, “Theotokos”, where we have a chance of fruitful dialogue at present.

            I see you are saying, truly, that “He is God”, and that “the two natures are united in the person”. I put it to you that this is all that you need to confess to know that Mary is the Mother of God. She was not the mother of a “Man-nature.” There is no divisible, separable man-nature to give birth to here, but a person, and a person from the moment of conception.

            That person was born of Mary, that person is God. If you assent to those two statements, then you have done all you need do to assent to the following: ‘Mary is the Mother of God.’

            Nobody means by the phrase that she is the origin of the Godhead, or that she preceded the Trinity in the order of creation.

            It doesn’t hide some secret ‘Catholic heresy’ of which you need be scared. It means only what it says: that Jesus Christ is an integrated, indivisible person, fully human and fully divine, and that Mary was mother to this person: gave birth to Him, fed Him, raised Him, and loved Him.

          • Martin

            Jim

            So what you want me to say is that Mary is the mother of the God nature as well as the Man nature.

            Trouble is, unlike the rest of us, the person of Jesus does not have His origin in the conception of His human nature. He didn’t start His existence at conception, as we all do, He existed from Eternity. His Man nature started at conception and that is very part of His being, but His God nature wasn’t conceived or born.

            Your problem is that you go from your position to elevating Mary to the point that you worship her.

          • OldJim

            http://www.christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/301-600/the-nestorian-controversy-11629695.html

            Your arguments exactly parallel the origin of Nestorianism. This statement in particular is straightfowardly Nestorian.

          • Martin

            Jim

            No, I’m saying that the natures are distinct yet united in the person. The Nestorian heresy created two persons.

          • Coniston

            Mary was undoubtedly the mother of the infant Jesus. So you seem to be saying he was not God.

          • Martin

            Con

            Mother of the human nature, not the divine nature.

          • Coniston

            “Christian leaders met together at the Council of Chalcedon in 451 AD, to search the Bible and properly define what we call “the hypostatic union” – the union of the two natures of Christ. Here at this council (based on the revelation of Scripture) Jesus Christ was declared to be one Person with two natures, one that is fully human and one that is fully Divine. These two natures are united in the one Person. These natures can be distinguished from each other but never separated.”
            http://www.reformationtheology.com/2011/08/the_lord_jesus_christ_one_pers.php
            True, Mary was the mother of the human nature of Jesus, but since these two natures cannot be separated it seem fair to call her the Mother of God, without implying that she was in any way prior to the Divine nature of Jesus. In addition the title Theotokos (God-bearer, or Mother of God), was, I think, bestowed on her to counter the Docetic heresy, which refused to accept the fundamental humanity of Jesus (as well as his Divinity).

          • Martin

            Con

            But as you said, the two natures can be distinguished. Thus God is not born and has no mother.

          • You are correct, there is no doctrine concerning Mary as Co-Redemptrix. It’s a concept open to misunderstanding.

  • PessimisticPurple

    Circling like a vulture? Not, for instance, like a rescue helicopter? No, I suppose it would choke our genial host to get through a post without putting the poison into Rome. In this regard, he is a true renaissance man. One of the Borgias, perhaps.

    • The Borgias, as you may possibly be aware, were Roman Catholics.
      One of them was the Pope.

      • Anton

        Two of them.

        • Martin

          Part of the apostolic succession no less.

  • Politically__Incorrect

    I wonder, Dr. Ashendon, is it really important for you to belong to a denomination at all? Are you not more free to minister through the word now that you are not tied to an institution and it’s (errant) teachings on the Gospel? Surely there is a need for a ministry that is untainted by the mores of modern “progressive” culture and which acknowledges there are other sins besides inequality and therefore a need for both Jesus and salvation?

  • Cressida de Nova

    I have just looked up at the sky and not a vulture in sight.
    May God bless Dr Ashenden in this difficult time, and grant him the strength to suffer the slings and arrows that are heading his way.He has followed his conscience and will make a very good priest.May he be included in all of our prayers.

    • len

      Those rose tinted glasses Cressida?.
      Good idea to pray though.

    • M. Lanier

      Given the Church of England’s departure from the faith, order, and morality of Christianity, one cannot fault Canon Ashenden for leaving. But it would be better if in England there were a place for traditional Anglo-Catholics to land — a continuing movement — rather than the seemingly inevitable defection to Rome or Eastern Orthodoxy. To say “the continuing Anglican church is called the Church of England,” in the words of +Broadbent, is not bold but in fact frustratingly naive, as the extent to which heresy and secularism has penetrated the highest echelons of the CoE is on display for everyone to see.

      • It’s not a “defection” to join the Catholic Church.

        • Martin

          HJ

          Yes it is, for it is to join a sect that has seceded from the Christian Church.

        • chefofsinners

          Defecation?

          • len

            Right in the defecation if you join the RCC

    • Demon Teddy Bear

      Well said.

    • CliveM

      Cressida

      He is a very good Priest already.

    • bluedog

      No vultures in the South Pacific, Cressida, so your observation comes as no surprise. But the Stormy Petrel is quite another thing. Now who might that be?

  • Anton

    Walsingham is a pagan shrine.

    • Inspector General

      It’s a Christian shrine, Anton. You cold protesting fellows, that God annoying wretch Len included, are playing a dangerous game disparaging Christ’s earthly mother’s place in the greatness of it all. Your very salvations are at risk.

      • Martin

        IG

        Christians don’t have shrines, just as they have no office of priest and no altar.

        • Inspector General

          Martin. The Jews had their Temple, and no one complains about that. Christ didn’t.

          • carl jacobs

            The Temple was destroyed and can never be rebuilt. OT Judaism is gone having fulfilled it purpose. The Priesthood is gone and can never be restored. There would be no reason to do so since we now have one perfect High Priest. It’s all over and done with.

          • Inspector General

            You are all on report. Especially you Jacobs. A damn ringleader you are.

          • carl jacobs

            As you can see, I am about to inaugurate a little war. In a matter of hours after Rome and Canterbury have annihilated each other, we shall see a new power dominating the world.

          • There’s already a power dominating the world but not everyone bows to it.

          • carl jacobs

            Ah, but you will. The Special Executive for Calvinism, Transformation, Reformation and Evangelism is … irresistible.

          • Ah, you’re a Lizard Sith then. The Greys will overcome you and your ilk.

          • carl jacobs

            You will pay for your lack of vision.

          • Sarky

            SPECTRE??…..

            bet you’ve got a cat haven’t you Carl!!!

          • carl jacobs

            No. My wife has a cat. It’s not the same thing.

          • Anton

            No. That cat has your wife as a servant.

          • len

            Sounds about right Cats rule.

          • Sarky

            Come on Carl, you know you love the little critter!!

          • Martin

            Carl

            You have my sympathy.

          • len

            Blowfield . Wonder what happened to ‘old Blowers’?.
            Or ‘Uncle Brian’ come to that?.

          • carl jacobs

            I suspect Blofeld has shaken off this mortal coil. He wasn’t well last time he was on the board. I worry about Uncle Brian tho.

          • len

            ‘Old Blowers’ was a real character , I liked Him ,Uncle Brian too.

          • IanCad

            If I remember correctly, Blowers had landed a job a short while before quitting the blog. Uncle Brian just dropped out of sight.
            I hope all is well with them both.

          • len

            I thought blowers mentioned a job, I do hope both are well.

          • len

            The RCC?

          • len

            ‘Shakes in boots’.

          • Martin

            IG

            Have you ever examined how infrequently Mary is mentioned in the NT? And nowhere is she given any authority.

          • Martin

            IG

            The Temple was done away with when the one great sacrifice was made. There is now no more sacrifice.

          • len

            OT . Not over the top, like the RCC.

          • Matthew 12:6. “Yet I say to you that in this place there is One greater than the temple.”

            Matthew 24:2. “Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be cast down.”

      • Apart from Papal authority, Our Lady and the Eucharist seem to be the two great stumbling blocks for most “bible believing” protestants. God help them.

        • Martin

          HJ

          Not stumbling blocks, Mary was just an ordinary, sinful woman and eucharist just means thanksgiving. If your second item is referring to your pagan ideas surrounding the bread and wine of the last supper, they aren’t stumbling blocks either.

          • You’ve just demonstrated Jack’s point. And the plain words of scripture on both Our Lady and the Eucharist, prove you are in error.

          • Martin

            HJ

            The plain words of Scripture, stripped of your imagination, prove I am right.

          • Inspector General

            It’s not looking good for you, Martin.

          • Martin

            IG

            On the contrary.

        • carl jacobs

          Well yes. The the Marian dogmas, the theology of the Mass, and the claim of Papal authority are big issues. Along with:

          The Infallible Magisterium.
          The Sacramental Priesthood.
          The Sacraments.
          Sacred Tradition.
          Veneration of saints.
          The elevation of Magisterium over Scripture.
          The Treasury of Merit.
          Purgatory.
          The works righteousness inherent in RC justification.

          To name a few.

          • len

            Indeed.You couldn`t make it up…Oh they did.

          • Two errors in there, Carl. The Magisterium is not elevated over scripture. Catholics appreciate scripture has to be faithfully interpreted by those appointed by Christ in the light of reason and sacred Tradition. And works of righteousness are not inherent in justification. Rather they reflect our developing sanctification.

          • carl jacobs

            Two errors in there, Carl.

            No, Jack, you didn’t count right. There were twelve errors. The three you mentioned plus the nine I added. Oh, and I forgot a couple:

            Mortal vs Venial sin.
            The non Scriptural books added to the Bible.

            So we are up to 14.

            As for the rest, well, that’s the argument, isn’t it. Sola Ecclesia vs the Five Solas of the Reformation.

          • Er …. there is a biblical basis for the distinction between sins of different gravity. I John 5:16-18 is clear there are sins which cause death and sins which do not. There are multiple lists of deadly sins in various places in scripture. Our Lord provides us with several of them in Matthew 15:18-20. St. Paul gives us the rest in Ephesians 5:3-7, Colossians 3:5-6, Galatians 5:19-21, and I Corinthians 6:9-11.

            It was protestants who tinkered with canonical scripture because there were some books that didn’t suit their opinions. The canon of the entire Bible was essentially settled around the turn of the fourth century and it was identical to what Catholic Bibles contain today. By the time of the reformation, Christians had been using the same 73 books in their Bibles for more than 1100 years. This practice changed with Martin Luther, who dropped seven books on nothing more than his own say so and attempted to drop one or two from the New Testament.

          • Terry Mushroom

            Carl, if somehow the Roman Catholic Church were to disappear, would Protestants still call themselves Protestants?

          • len

            Are Christians to protest against spiritual deception?. Certainly !. Its not only the RCC that is cloaked in spiritual darkness.

          • Martin

            Terry

            I rarely call myself a Protestant, just as I rarely all myself an Evangelical. There are far too many people who claim those titles who would once have been called simply unbelievers.

          • Rhoda

            Referring to the people of Berea, Paul writes in Acts,

            “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks,”

            Nothing there about needing those appointed to “interpret” scripture.

        • Maalaistollo

          He does.

        • chefofsinners

          God has already helped us. Which is why we understand your lady and your doctrine of the Eucharist to be idolatry and blasphemy respectively.

          • Anton

            I do wonder if this Mass-as-sacrifice stuff is simply taking a Kairos view whereas protestants take a Chronos view. Re Rome’s Mary, we are obviously in full agreement.

          • chefofsinners

            Not sure how kairos helps there. The crucifixion and atonement were undoubtedly a kairos moment (“at just the right time Christ died for the ungodly” Romans 5:6 uses kairos). This makes the moment unrepeatable.

          • Anton

            A kairos moment is an infinity of chronos.

        • IanCad

          Implicit in your comment, it would appear to me, is the notion that one has to discard the Word of God in order to return to Rome.

      • Anton

        Where did I disparage Mary the Blessed Mother of Jesus?

    • Demon Teddy Bear

      Not that I ever noticed.

    • len

      Pagan religions need …pagan shrines, idols, all that sort of stuff.

    • Royinsouthwest

      Years afo I would have agreed with you but I hope I would have been more polite. I am still suspicious of shrines and ritualistic worship but any worship beyond Quaker style silence contains elements of ritual.

      When the Samaritan woman asked Jesus where the correct place to worship God was he did not say the Samaritans should stop worshipping Him on their holy mountain. Did the apostles tell the Jews to stop Temple worship? Is Keswick a shrine for Evangelicals?

      • Anton

        Of course services cannot be anarchy but it is the Roman view of Blessed Mary, specifically, that is behind my comment.

      • len

        Depends on how you perceive the object.?.
        There is a long history of ‘adoring’ religious relics with some.

      • Martin

        Roy

        God removed the Temple & I’ve never been to the Keswick meetings.

    • Hi

      Wasn’t Walsingham head of the Tudor MI6 , under Elizabeth I? (As portrayed by Geoffrey Rush) . Rather ironic ….

  • CliveM

    Isn’t it extremely sad that the Rev’d Dr feels unable to continue in the CofE. It will be a big wrench for him.

    He needs our prayers.

    • carl jacobs

      Good things often involve pain and sacrifice. If he can by his example get others to open their eyes, so much the better.

    • Demon Teddy Bear

      It is extremely sad that the liberal monopoly of church offices is now so complete that no-one else is permitted to hold them. This is Tony Blair’s mess (as ever); the system needs reform.

    • len

      Certainly a spanner in the works?.

      • Sarky

        At least he’ll only need a small net!

        • len

          Possibly.

  • Ivan M

    The Reverend is being true to the eternal moral teachings. No faggotry of any kind among priests. Though I don’t care for the OT malarky that he indulges in, nonetheless his reward will be great in Heaven.

  • Elizabetta Greene

    The Anglican Catholic Church would seem congruent with his faith.

    • M. Lanier

      I didn’t know the ACC had parishes in England. It certainly would be a good fit for disaffected Anglo-Catholics.

      • Elizabetta Greene

        anglicancatholic.org.uk lists parishes, missions and “house groups.”

  • len

    The battle for’ the truth’ seems to be heating up in these last days.The Abrahamic religions ‘Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and a host of other religions either claim to be’ the truth’ or pathways to the’ truth’
    So who is right?.Is truth relative , or absolute?.
    Mohammed claimed to be the last ‘prophet’ sent to reveal ‘the truth’ from God.Many religious cults have been set up by people claiming to have’ the truth’, the only truth, and nothing but the truth.
    Where is a person seeking the truth about religion supposed to start?.It is also seemingly impossible for those already entrenched in their religion to change position?.
    Why would any wish to die for a religion they believed to be false?Because some are doing this daily.

    It is possible to find a way through this maze of deception and arrive at’ the truth’.

    The God of Abraham , Isaac and Jacob does nothing without first revealing it through His Prophets. Fulfilled prophecies are living proof that the Author of the Bible is exactly who He says He Is.

    However, the Pharisees read the scriptures, saw Jesus Christ in person, but still did not believe because their hearts and minds were cloaked in spiritual darkness.’ Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him.'(John 12:46)
    Jesus imparts Life and Truth to those who are in communion with Him(in the true sense of the word, spiritual communion) One Spirit with Christ.That is why Jesus said “You must be born again, born from the Spirit of God)
    This is the mystery of the ages This is how you KNOW the Truth who is a person Jesus Christ..

    • Sarky

      None of that proves that ‘your truth’ is the truth.
      Try using the reasons you use to dismiss other religions on your own. I have seen nothing in any religion that would lead me to believe it’s true.
      If christianity was true there would not be all this infighting that has been highlighted on here recently.
      Either god exists or he doesn’t, if he does then words of the bible must be set in stone and true.
      But when you have Christians who take a ‘pick and mix’ approach, how can it be taken seriously.
      I used to think i understood a bit about christianity (having been brought up in the church), now i really haven’t got a clue what you believe our stand for. The whole thing is a mess and is totally understandable that is disappearing rapidly.

      • len

        Not ‘my truth’ sarky.Gods truth.

        • Sarky

          Exactly my point!!

          • Holger

            Try to explain something rational to a blinkered zealot and you’ll get a blinkered zealot’s response: “my holy book is God’s truth because I say so and God exists because I say so.”

          • len

            You can only be missing the point deliberately.

          • len

            There you go again..Don`t even have to wait.

          • Martin

            Holger

            So says the blinkered zealot.

          • Anton

            There is no God and Sarky is his prophet?

          • Sarky

            There is no god but someone made a profit.

          • 1649again

            Come on – that’s beneath you – and Anton too.

          • Martin

            Anton

            Since sarky is his own god it should be: Thgere is a god called Sarky & Sarky is his prophet.

      • Martin

        Sarky

        You’re deliberately forgetting that you know God exists. Your confusion would be much less if you were to resolve that problem.

        Why is there infighting, well most of it isn’t actually infighting, since most of it is not between Christians. If you were to actually learn what a Christian is, even more of your confusion would be removed. Generally you actually do very little thinking, just using your false catagories does not require thought.

        • “Why is there infighting, well most of it isn’t actually infighting, since most of it is not between Christians.”

          Translation: My view of Christianity is correct; all other views are wrong and those holding them are not Christian.

          • Martin

            HJ

            It’s the Bible that defines what Christianity is, not you, not me, not even a guy in a funny hat who is a communist.

        • Sarky

          Cant even be arsed to answer you any more.

          • chefofsinners

            Hey Sarky
            You have understood and rejected the gospel, just like Jesus said most people would. The only reason to answer you is to reject your arguments, for the benefit of other readers. Some will read and be persuaded, others will not. Thanks for creating the opportunity for Christians to explain the faith and answer the usual atheist arguments.

          • len

            You just did 😉

          • Martin

            Sarky

            Seems that you’re nature is coming out in your language. In any case, you know I am right.

      • 1649again

        Hi Sarky, Those are all the arguments I used with myself when an atheist before the latter broke down and then as a vague deist before becoming a Christian.

        Your PS does hold water in my view because man corrupts everything and because the faith is God’s Truth or Word and therefore it does keep breaking out and can’t be contained by any means. Rome couldn’t wipe it out, neither can Communist China or Soviet Russia, neither could an authoritarian and corrupted medieval Roman Catholicism, even Islam struggles which is why it chooses physical extermination and even it is struggling to contain Christianity in its own backyard. There’s reason why its survived everything thrown at it and still comes through.

        The faith, or its essentials for salvation, is so simple it’s hard for prideful people to accept (the adage of the Last and First comes to mind), but humans being humans (too many full time clerics subject to human pride and intellectual vanity) can’t leave it at that, but constantly over-elaborate it and argue over everything.

        It’s all there in the Gospels and the Epistles. but Jesus said it best when he taught that in essence there are two first principles by which the Old Testament’s laws, indeed any, and teachings should be interpreted: put God first and Love our Neighbours as Ourselves. As you can see on here being flawed humans we Christians struggle to do these things and most of these arguments on here are in reality “my view is right” on things outside the essentials for salvation.

        It’s one of the reasons I like what the CoE has always tried at its best to be is not to be too hung up on matters indifferent to salvation but focused on expounding a simple Gospel. Modern liberals have entered the church and are trying to use it to further their essentially secularist ideologies (again My Way is the Right Way) rather than listen to the simple but incisive challenges to us posed by Christ’s timeless message.

        So why did God send Jesus you might fire back – doesn’t that show that His Word was fallible? The answer comes down to Free Will – for God to reveal Himself to Humanity in His Real Form would destroy our ability to love him freely. I understood this a little for the first time when becoming a father. As a father your children will love you because of your role, as they grow up what you really want is them to love you freely because of who you are not what you are, and to reach their potential. Hence why Jesus showed God’s limitless love for us by an act of supreme self-sacrifice (the atonement) and then showed what might be ours by rising again – ‘there is no greater love than that of a man who lays down his life for his brother. [I’m not going to get into the whole Grace, predestination and free will thing here.]

        In the OT we see that God inspired prophets, fallible people whose work often failed, even the Law became corrupt, ritualistic and missed the point which is why Jesus was sent in the form He was to make the point that the Law was meaningless without Jesus’ two first principles. (I would argue a similar failure overcame the medieval RC church which introduced elements of magic and superstition until again God’s truth broke through as it always will). Indeed, for all we know God may have inspired similar prophets pre Jesus in the world to teach non-Jews a very similar message as the Jewish prophets for instance (Zoroaster perhaps?) but being human they failed or their teachings were subsequently corrupted, even forgotten.

        So the thing appears a mess, and indeed in human terms it is and always will be, and the churches are simply not immune to the entropies built into physical reality. But the spiritual church is not a mess because that is God given. Any RC, Protestant, Anglican, Copt, Nestorian etc who believes in the simple essence of the faith, the message Jesus taught, tries to follow the two first principles in their daily life, and embraces faith in Christ is a Christian and are all brothers and sisters to one another and members of the universal church. Those who say they aren’t but claim to be Christian need to ask themselves some hard questions.

        So you are asking very human questions, which are fair, but need perhaps to understand that God might answer these questions in ways that are not initially obvious to flawed human reason.

        Finally, the Scriptures are written by men inspired by God, not literally dictated by God as Muslims believe of the Koran. That’s are important distinction with huge implications for how both religions view their written source material, and which explains why Christianity created the modern world and its wonders.

        Sorry for a long rambling answer, but a serious question such as yours deserves a serious answer in a constructive spirit and the fact that I asked the same questions means that I can empathise with your thinking. I better go into hiding because I’m sure I will now be accused of heretical error from all directions, but Christianity is a faith for everyman and everywoman which makes it hard for many of the powerful and most intellectual, who value their superiority, to accept which is why few of them will make it through the pearly gates.

        • Nothing heretical in there. Indeed, much of it is more Catholic than reformed protestant. Shame you persist in misrepresenting Roman Catholicism. The significant theological questions dividing Christians centre on once we receive the gift of faith how we nurture this and how we continue to receive God’s grace to live out the Gospel.

          • 1649again

            HJ, I happen to believe that many of the worst errors of the medieval church have been corrected or at least mitigated.

          • The “error” being the Real Presence of Christ and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? There’s no continuity between Anglicanism and the early Catholic Church.

          • 1649again

            You would say that wouldn’t you? I was actually thinking about reading the Bible in the vernacular, indulgences etc. As for the other things they are mysteries about which there is no need for a precise teaching – the RCC’s needless insistence on such an almost magical interpretation has been a source of needless division.

          • But that’s the root of the division, isn’t it? It’s about the nature of the priesthood and the Real Presence and the sacrificial nature of the Mass. Jack has no issue with complaints about the abuse of indulgences or the bible being faithfully translated into English.

            Anglicanism likes to present itself as a “reformed catholicism”, striking a balance between the extremes of Rome and Geneva. For a Catholic, it’s nothing of the sort. Cranmer’s Book of Common Prayer, written in beautiful English, contains heresy behind its lovely façade. It has been described thus: “It is not a disordered attempt at a Catholic rite but the only effective attempt ever made to give liturgical expression to the doctrine of justification by faith alone” It is militantly anti-sacerdotal. Cranmer also formulated a rite of ordination removing the sacerdotal nature of the priesthood, thus losing the Apostolic succession for Anglicanism, although it retained the titles of “bishop”, “priest”, and “deacon”.

            As Cranmer himself confessed:

            “Lord, I have sinned against heaven, before thy face. I have sinned against heaven, which through my fault is bereft of so many who should be dwelling there and because I most shamefully denied this heavenly gift presented to us. I have sinned also against earth, which so long has miserably lacked this sacrament, and against the men who I have debarred from this super substantial food, being the murderer of as many as have perished from the want of it. I have defrauded the souls of the departed of this perpetual and most august sacrifice.”.

            Here’s a long Catholic critique of Anglicanism and its turbulent history. It’s well worth a read

            https://www.catholic.com/encyclopedia/anglicanism

          • 1649again

            Is that Cranmer’s ‘confession’ under duress which he recanted? LOL.

            I was trying to be generous in the interests of Christian common ground, something alas which hard line RCs such as yourself can’t reciprocate. Let’s leave it at that.

          • Martin

            HJ

            Of course Jesus is there when Christians remember His death, that doesn’t mean that the bread and wine indiscernably change their nature.

        • Sarky

          Hi, thanks for that (better than Martins ‘you know god exists’ bollocks)
          I get what you’re saying, but still don’t agree with alot of it. I particularly dont agree that if god showed us his real form it would take away free will. Even if god popped down and proved his existence, it wouldn’t mean that people would choose to follow him. I honestly don’t think i would (have thought about that question alot).
          It seems to me that modern christianity is all about ‘he loves me more than you’ and ‘i know gods will’. Bit of an ego trip for the righteous and something that leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

          • 1649again

            Your last paragraph – it’s a danger I agree and seen even on here, but man’s failings don’t disprove the truth of God or His teaching.

            As for God revealing himself it would clearly destroy free will because it would mean that you have an obvious choice of following His will or committing spiritual suicide consciously as an act of spite, so in effect it would be by God an act of compulsion through fear while God wants us to observe His laws out of love rather than fear (in effect one of the huge differences between Christianity and Islam about the nature of God). It’s the difference between a free man choosing to observe the laws of the land and a slave following the laws out of terror of the consequences of breaking them.

            I think you’re asking the right questions and seem prepared to think the answers through so fair play to you. It took me probably a decade or more to work my way through it, usually unwillingly, and still I learn more and develop newer appreciation and understandings all the time. Christians should be pilgrims and never presume that they have a precise understanding about anything other than the simple core of the faith. Everything else is provisional on human interpretation.

          • Sarky

            Still can’t agree with your second paragraph. Doesnt hell make christianity an act of compulsion through fear?
            Not alot of love in the threat of hell!!

          • 1649again

            Was waiting for that! Depends what you mean by Hell – is it endless torment for all unrepentant sinners or simply death of the soul? Jesus talked a lot about the unsaved going to the fire as with the weeds separated from the wheat. Weeds burnt on a fire don’t burn forever, but are just consumed in a few seconds and are no more. We know that Satan will be imprisoned for eternity according to Revelation, but not much more. Not surprisingly Jesus spent most of the time teaching people how to grasp eternal life, not terrifying them with the consequences of not doing so.

            I’m not going to argue you into faith but hopefully you can see how intelligent rational people can get from where you stand to where people such as I do without losing our wits.

          • Sarky

            I just don’t get how you can easily dismiss every other religion, but not this one. Or that,were you born in afghanistan, you would be arguing for islam

          • 1649again

            That’s a different point Sarky. Pre-Jesus God inspired human prophets and the Hebrews were chosen to be a race of missionaries but kept it to themselves. I’m quite open to the idea that prophets were inspired in other parts of the world, eg Zoroaster, but human infallibility stymied their efforts. [Don’t forget Christians believe God has an antagonist here.] Indeed one can see significant commonalities of teaching between the likes of Zoroaster and the OT prophets. I would also interpret the story of Babel as an allegory based on Sumerian memory about the breakdown of a very early monotheism into polytheism as humans started to build cities in Sumer and to venerate, and later worship as divine, the founders of those cities (same happened in Greece where city founders were later worshipped). The fact that the oldest names for God in Genesis (El/Eya) correspond with the head of the Sumerian/Akkadian pantheon and first god may suggest this. So other religions predating Christianity can be seen as fossilized remnants of these earlier potentially inspired faiths, sadly decayed by time.

            Post Jesus it’s different. No subsequent prophets are required and so other post Christian faiths are either derivatives of these earlier faiths, human attempts to syncretise, or Satanically inspired counter-strikes against God’s breaking into history in the person of Jesus which deliberately seek to subvert Christianity (Islam). Jesus did warn several times against new false prophets and religions arising to do this. Manichaeanism may be another such as it sought to emulate but subvert Christianity and led to the entry of Gnosticism into the faith through heresy, but it failed because it was too austere and exclusivist.

            As for the point about a Muslim in Afghanistan it’s why Christians are told to proselytise the world. Those who don’t have the chance to see the Christian Gospel are believed by many Christians to be judged by the purity of their intentions, but ultimately these things are unclear as we are told that faith in Christ is the only certain path to salvation. It’s not much remarked in the media but there is more and more evidence of huge numbers of secret conversions to Christianity in Muslim countries (Iran being one) with an article only last week saying the % of Christians in Bangladesh has reached 10%. It may be one reason why Islam is becoming so radicalised again.

            All IMHO of course, and provisional, but these are the sort of issues with which the ancient historian side of me wrestles, Christianity is not an easy gig, you have to wrestle with it, because it’s about basic first principles and faith, not perfect knowledge, and not easy rote answers.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            Mind your language. In any case, you know God exists. The Bible calls you a fool because you pretend you don’t. And I really can’t argue with the Bible’s estimate.

          • Sarky

            Philipians 2:3

          • Martin

            Sarky

            Oh look, the Devil’s slave can quote Scripture too. Do you imagine a fool would have something significant to say?

        • David

          Well said !

      • len

        Prophecy Sarky, Bible prophecy.
        Check it out.I did, countless others have as well and come to faith through it.

        • Sarky

          Bible prophecy??
          I have checked it out along with nostradamus and various others…

          Sorry, load of old codswallop!!

          • 1649again

            The re-establishment of the State of Israel is a prophecy manifestly prove to have come true.

          • Sarky

            Cant really agree. There are many in power trying to fulfil prophesies by human acts, not sure if that counts.
            Even the bible does it. The nativity story is twisted to fit the OT prophesies.

          • 1649again

            Come on Sarky – that’s trying to have it both ways! if people try to fulfill prophecy and succeed, then prophecy is fulfilled! It’s a closed circle but still true for all that.

          • Sarky

            Maybe, but to me thats like doing an exam with all the answers written on your hands.

          • 1649again

            But then you get top marks and everything goes swimmingly! What’s not to like if it’s meant to be?

          • Holger

            The bible says nothing about the re-establishment of the State of Israel. Isaiah 66:8 is vague and can be interpreted in many ways. Crazed evangelicals believe it talks about the events of 1948, but nothing in the bible states this explicitly.

            You see what you want to see. It’s just a pity that reality isn’t included.

          • Anton

            Isaiah 11:11-12.

          • Holger

            Isaiah 11:13-16.

            Not so much, eh?

          • Anton

            You said that the Bible says nothing about the re-establishment of the State of Israel and I gave you verses to the contrary. These were not refused in the subsequent verses posted by you. What new point are you seeking to make?

          • Holger

            The bible claims that at some point there will be a Jewish renaissance. You interpret this as the founding of Israel, but the bible speaks of no such event. So your interpretation is not definitive: it’s what you understand the prophecy to mean. Other interpretations are perfectly possible.

            In prophetic religions, prophecies are always written in a general and vague manner. This allows believers to fit them to just about any event in order to claim fulfillment of the prophecy.

            If the bible stated that 1948 years after the birth of Christ the Jewish people would return en masse from a long period of exile from the land of their ancestors and found a Jewish state called Israel, then I’d be impressed. But all it does is talk vaguely about some kind of Jewish resurgence at some indeterminate date, which mean anything.

            Prophecies without specific, verifiable detail are not prophecies. They’re merely a way of providing religious demagogues with the means of hoodwinking the intellectually undemanding, ignorant and superstitious masses.

            Harold Camping is proof enough that Christians who attempt to prophesy actual events rather than vague possibilities always come a cropper. He died a disappointed man, so I’m told. Personally I think he died a foolish one.

          • Anton

            And globalisation.

          • len

            Nostradamus? Really.

    • William Lewis

      Truly.

    • And do you suppose people find the Truth? It is preached and taught. You yourself were raised as a Christian. You didn’t wake up one morning, discover the bible and suddenly believe. Jesus didn’t tell the apostles to write down everything he had taught them. He simply commanded them to teach it.

      • len

        Exactly.Gods Truth must be preached.Not religious nonsense.

  • IanCad

    “I have given it a good deal of thought,”

    So said Dr. Ashenden in response to the suggestion that he pass over to the other side.

    To be blunt; for any high official of the Protestant persuasion to say such a thing can only be evidence of a less than solid commitment to the notion that in scripture is contained all instruction necessary to the saving of souls.

    “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16

    Can’t he stay and fight/persuade; or do the rites of tradition and error hold a greater attraction for him?

    • Royinsouthwest

      The verse you quoted does not say that nothing else at is “profitable for instruction in righteousness.” Do you think that Bunyan’s Piligrim’s Progress is useless in that regard? Are the sermons you listen to in church useless?

      • Pilgrim’s Progress is profitable for instruction in righteousness etc just as far as it is based on the word of God. The same goes for a sermon.

        • Dominic Stockford

          Exactly so.
          “The Word of God is the SOLE source of faith and practice…”

      • IanCad

        I’m fine with writings and sermons so long as they are all square with The Word.

    • Here’s that verse within its fuller context:

      “The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea; and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with all eagerness, examining the scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men. (Acts 17:10-12)

      The Bereans eagerly received “the word.” They also examined the scriptures to see if the word was true. What was “the word” they received and from whom and what scriptures did they examine?

      The word they received was Paul’s teaching about Jesus – that same teaching which he sums up in his first letter to the Corinthians, “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures.” (1 Cor. 15:3) The scriptures mentioned is the Old Testament scriptures. Most of the New Testament had not been written and what had been written had not yet been canonized so as to attain the status of Scripture.

      What we see here is a group of people being taught about Christianity by Paul prior to the existence of the New Testament. They eagerly listened to Paul while examining the Old Testament Scripture.

      Paul’s method was one of the ways Christianity was first taught. And Paul’s teaching is an example of Sacred Tradition. This Tradition comes from the Apostles, passing on what they received from Jesus’ teaching and example and what they learned from the Holy Spirit. The first generation of Christians did not yet have a written New Testament, and the New Testament itself demonstrates the process of this living Tradition.

      • Martin

        HJ

        ‘Sacred tradition’ could not survive the dodgy popes, it depends on homesty. In any case, the tradition of the early church was a belief in one God.

        The Bible is the reason we know Paul’s teaching, not anything the church of Rome has carried.

      • dannybhoy

        They had Jesus’s teaching, the Holy Spirit…
        and the Jewish Scriptures, and that’s what the Bereans used to check out what Paul was saying…

        • They had Saint Paul passing on the words of Christ and highlighting and interpreting the relevant Old Testament passages. Sure, it was the Holy Spirit who opened their minds and hearts but without the teaching would this have been possible?

          • Martin

            HJ

            And now we have Pauls words in the Bible, not by word of mouth.

          • We have some of Paul’s words which have to be contextualised – not transcripts of his teachings, nor transcripts of Christ’s words.

          • Martin

            HJ

            What you have is what God has given you. It is sufficient.

  • Little Black Censored

    “Here’s what Mgr Burnham really thinks of Anglicans….”
    He doesn’t think much of the Ordinariate either, and rightly so.
    What orthodox Anglicans need is a free province of their own, which the liberal control-freaks would not allow them to have. Perhaps the time has come to try again. Good fences make good neighbours.

    • carl jacobs

      A separate province will never happen. For three reasons.

      1. Too many “net contributing” parishes would join it – leaving considerable financial holes in the budgets of too many bishops. Leadership is entitled to the money of its serfs parishioners.

      2. A separate province would be destabilizing because it would remove the brake of conservative opinion. Every nutjub & fruitcake on the religious Left would find his way inside to occupy the position of the departed conservatives in order to remake what remains in their own image. The resulting progressive chaos would simply drive more parishes into the arms of the new province.

      3. The whole point of this exercise was to bring conservatives to heel. They can’t be allowed to escape. They must be made to bow the knee and confess that progressivism is the true religion.

      Never going to happen.

  • CliveM

    I’m not CofE. But not because I am anti it.

    However I do have a respect for its history, its traditions and witness. It is desperately sad that many are feeling pushed out of it simply because the hold to its historical beliefs.

    I don’t believe however that it is in its death throes. It has seen worse and recovered.

    Through faithful prayer and witness it can again be a beacon to the nation.

    Those of us of a different tradition should do all we can to support it.

    • 1649again

      Well said. A truly Christian attitude Clive.

    • len

      God would support the C of E too, if it remained faithful to Him.

      • CliveM

        There are many who are faithful. Scratch beneath the surface (Bishops), and you’ll see them.

        • len

          I refer to the leadership of the Cof E who seem woefully inadequate.

    • Sorry, Clive, but let the dead bury their dead. For generations the Church of England has turned its back on Christian morality and many of its bishops deny basic Christian doctrine. Why mourn its demise?

      • CliveM

        Because the Bishops aren’t the whole of the story.

        Besides they seem such smug individuals I wouldn’t want to let them think they’ve won. I’m also a stubborn sod.

        • Read what Gavin Ashenden wrote:

          “But Canterbury has sold its birthright. She planted the orthodox Gospel around the world so that scores of millions worship our adored Risen Christ, but has slid from under the obligations of the Apostolic faith she received, to a heterodox secularized shadow of that faith.”

          https://ashenden.org/2016/12/03/leaving-home-the-future-of-the-christian-faith-in-england/

          It’s a powerful indictment of the Church of England. Sounds like he’s on his way to GAFCON.

        • 1649again

          Clive, don’t you realise its all about the Bishops (and Cardinals)? The rest of us are just pew fillers and cash providers. 🙂

          • CliveM

            It’s strange that those who don’t believe in the Priesthood, appear to believe that in this instance that it is the Church.

      • William Lewis

        Turncoat.

    • carl jacobs

      I don’t believe however that it is in its death throes.

      Why? Is this a wish or is it analysis? Where do you see hope in the institutional hierarchy of the CoE? Do you see faithful bishops guarding the faith? Are not the clergy more liberal than the bishops? Will both not become more liberal as more and more heterodox women are brought into positions of leadership? Is the CoE not beholden to a secular gov’t that is driven by a secular population both of which are wholly hostile to the Gospel? If you want to say that there is yet life in the CoE you can’t just point to the odd faithful parish. You have to demonstrate that there is some way to recover the hierarchy from those who currently grasp it. Liberal religion is a political religion. Liberal religionists are very good at acquiring and maintaining political power. They are well aware of the need to control who has access to church gov’t – which is precisely why PN was harassed into resigning. So how are you going to change the leadership of the CoE? No one here has offered a credible strategy.

      Here is what you can’t do. You can’t win the war by withholding money. Your opponents are not mercenaries to be purchased with a bribe. They believe what they believe and they will fight for it. They will perceive withholding money as a declaration of war, and they will respond as such. And they possess powerful allies – principally the law, the courts, and control over the governing mechanisms of the CoE. They also have extensive experience from which they may draw to learn how to deploy such power. It would be a good thing to withhold money but understand there is no going back from it and ultimately it will result in defeat.

      You may say “God will work a miracle.” Well, He certainly could. But you should first look around at all the other dead churches that litter the landscape and ask yourself “How come that church didn’t receive a miracle? Is the CoE somehow special in a way that they were not?” Too often the “God will work a miracle” argument contains the implicit “because that’s they way I want it!” clause. And that is a slender reed upon which to base a hope for intervention. In the meantime, however, prudential decisions have to be made. There is no foreseeable end to the ratcheting of the leadership of the CoE in the direction of liberalism. And God’s provision does not always correspond to our desires. Could it not be that God is saying “Come out from them and suffer the loss as testimony to what is important. Sacrifice the tradition and the history and the sense of continuity in place and time for the sake of my Name.”

      God would have to strike the leadership of the CoE with a collective “Road to Damascus” experience in order to save it. But that simply proves what I have already said – that the CoE is dead. It can’t be rescued. It must be raised to life. For Paul was dead on the Road to Damascus before he found life.

      • Anton

        Why can’t the evangelicals win by withholding money? Given that the system is as follows, that the CoE has to pay retired clergy pensions from its rental and investment income, and runs itself from day to day on money it receives from parishes; and given that most of that latter money comes from evangelical parishes, just exactly why can’t evangelical parishes support their clergy directly and withhold money from the hierarchy until a list of liberals has been purged? Where is the flaw?

        As you know I’m not Anglican either but I support its evangelicals.

        • carl jacobs

          Your argument amounts to a demand of “Shoot yourself in the head or we won’t give you money.” The liberals would be required to purge themselves. It will not happen. They would be better off counter-attacking.

          So how could they respond? Well, they could change the teaching of the CoE and then ask Parliament to remove the quadruple lock – which it no doubt would be happy to do in order to quash the rebellion of the homophobes and the mysogynists. Who exactly in this present western culture would speak against it?

          • Anton

            Interesting prediction of what would happen next. Perhaps some of the Anglican evangelicals here might like to take up the discussion.

          • Holger

            The Great Anglican Purge is upon us!

            The invincible forces of liberalism will run through the body of the Church like a dose of salts, flushing out all conservative waste matter and emptying it away into the oblivion of the Cloacus Maximus Gafconicus.

            I’d better start practicing the words to Kumbayah. When the liberals have won their victory, I’ll join them in their celebrations and then start turning the conversation on to rational and logical topics. Their woolly, vague and naive faith won’t stand up to much of that kind of talk. Within a few years they’ll have faded away and their remnant will have merged with the Wiccans, the vegans and other Froot Loops like alien abductees. And the sewers will gurgle with the stench of decay given off by the festering remains of Gafcon…

          • Little Black Censored

            There is something pathological about your language. Perhaps you should get help.

          • 1649again

            He’s fighting back the fascination with and calling of Christ. It’s the only logical explanation for his repeated visits and their tone. Hate and love they say are just different sides of the same coin. I hope he finds that for which his heart is really yearning. Be gentle. We’re all sinners

          • Inspector General

            ” He was depressive, suicidal, insecure, procrastinating, self-pitying and narcissistic. “All of his relationships,” wrote his doctors, with an unsparing lack of sympathy, “have been characterised by coercion, manipulation and demand.”
            https://mosaicscience.com/story/gay-cure-experiments

          • carl jacobs

            Perhaps some of the Anglican evangelicals here might like to take up the discussion.

            No, I don’t think they will do so because there isn’t much they can say. This isn’t about dispassionate analysis. It’s about history and tradition and place and time. Those are things that grip one’s loyalty. It’s easy for me to say these things because I am detached from the consequences. I am well aware of that reality.

            But some things must be said. These people are going to be stuffed headfirst into the same wood-chipper used by TEC. It’s coming and it won’t be stopped.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Absolutely – I followed the TEC shenanigans with great interest, and in some detail. Wood-chipper is an apt description of what occurred there.

          • William Lewis

            I’m not particularly interested in the history and tradition of the CoE. I happen to worship and have fellowship with congregants of the same CoE church that first brought me to Christ. The teaching is Biblical and orthodox and there are enough people to keep it Christ centered. I occasionally preach and lead and will continue to support the church for as long as Christ reigns within it. It is far from dead.

          • magnolia

            It’s not coming. The wheels are coming off it in full view. Yesterday’s trend is tomorrow’s old hat.

        • Dominic Stockford

          The evangelicals who withhold their money have not yet had court challenges on the matter. They will come if the CofE liberals see their coffers seriously threatened – just as it happened in the USA.

          • 1649again

            Paying the Parochial share is not compulsory and cannot be enforced by legal means. The only threat is not to appoint a new vicar at the next change but in the short term this is meaningless and would be futile if enough churches simply stopped paying.

      • CliveM

        Carl

        If every time the CofE had a crisis people walked it wouldn’t have seen its first birthday. The Church was in a much worse state in the 18th Century, but recovered. The faithful part is growing, the unfaithful are dying. That’s why they are trying to intimidate those with orthodox views out of the church. It’s not strength, it’s fear.

        If the Orthodox stay faithful, with Gods support they will surely win.

        • carl jacobs

          That isn’t an answer, Clive. It amounts to a wish upon a star. Did you see 1649’s plan above:

          1. Get 500,000 evangelicals to join the CoE.
          2. Think of something to do.
          3. Watch the liberals surrender.

          Step 2 needs a little fleshing out, don’t you think? Somebody has to answer the question of “How” before we all start claiming inevitable victory. Conservatives need to displace the leadership of the church against the power of the church hierarchy and its allies in the gov’t and culture. How are they going to do that? Arm waving is not a plan.

          “Staying faithful” is not a plan. It’s an imperative. Jeremiah was faithful. He ended up watching Jerusalem get destroyed. John the Baptist was faith and he got his head cut off. Faithfulness does not guarantee the achievement of that which we call success.

          Liberal religionists are not friends. They are the enemy. They do not fear us. They hate us for what we believe. Unlike conservatives, they have plans that can actually be executed in time and space – plans that are evil and not good. They are executing those plans right now. Given the opportunity, they will complete the execution those plans. Conservatives who stay will place themselves at the mercy of those plans and no amount “Rah Rah!” speechifying will change it.

          • 1649again

            What a dishonest post. You really have let yourself down. All you do is promulgte defeatism and pour scorn on any suggestion for resistance. One might think you are working for the liberals.

  • Michael Kemp

    Might the Free Church of England or Church of England (Continuing) offer a refuge for disaffected conservative Church of England folk? They are both evangelical and subscribe to the historical Anglican faith as expressed in the thirty-nine articles.

    • Dominic Stockford

      The FCE has a great desire, to reunite with the CofE – that clarifies the lack of sense in that move. The CofE Continuing is a staunchly Protestant Body which is clear about using the BCP and the KJV – so most rfugess from the CofE would not go that way either.

      • Michael Kemp

        Thank you for clarifying the issue Dominic. I made the suggestion because it seemed a possibility that no one appeared to have thought of. But if it is a nonstarter, then so be it.

      • Carlotta

        I’m not sure I’ve understood. Are you saying CofE Continuing adheres to BCP and KJV and this makes it unattractive to CofE refugees?

        • Dominic Stockford

          CofE refugees from the evangelical wing will not be particularly partial to KJV and BCP. Those from the High Church wing will not appreciate its staunchly Protestant, Doctrines of Grace, theology.

  • “If this is man’s design or man’s undertaking, it will be overthrown; if it is God’s, you will have no power to overthrow it.”

  • chefofsinners

    It is more blessed to bear the cross than to cross the Tiber. Each man fighting for doctrinal integrity within the CoE has my admiration, support and prayers. When a good and faithful servant like Gavin feels finally forced to leave then he deserves our respect for the battles he has fought and the price he has paid.

    Since the CoE was formed as a breakaway church it has suffered regular breakaways itself, giving rise to multiple groups. These movements might now consider a joint takeover bid. They could, if willing, return in overwhelming force of numbers and in the power of God’s Spirit to reclaim and purify the Church of England. Who wants to organise it?

    • 1649again

      I have advocated such a course of action on here but the trouble is that each free churcher would have to give up some little pet ideas and accept being part of a broader whole – I have never forgotten Oliver Cromwell’s remonstrations with the factional free churches of his day not to fall out over tiny matters.. But think what could be done is 3-500k committed evangelical Christians joined the CoE. The liberals would give up in despair or be routed with 3-5 years. Time for all true Protestants to pray, look to Heaven’s Will and the bigger historic picture.

      • Mike Stallard

        No chance of that! The Methodists had their chance ages ago. They flunked it.

        • Dominic Stockford

          The Methodists have few evangelical Christians – there’s more jelly in that body than at a 4 years old’s birthday party.

          • 1649again

            And for me that is a warning about abandoning the fight in the CoE when it’s not lost.

      • Jon of GSG

        I’ve just joined a most unpromising-looking C of E church because I felt quite sure that’s where God wants me, and just a few months later we’ve started a revivalist (?) prayer meeting. This week – third meeting – some Salvationists turned up. It’s not specifically what you’re saying, but in that direction. And I’ve come across prophecy lately about God breathing new life into the C of E. So I’m hoping…

        • William Lewis

          Hoping, and praying, with you.

          • Jon of GSG

            Thank you! It is all quite exciting…

        • dannybhoy

          If your heart is right with God, if you are humble in spirit, God can use you wherever you are.

      • chefofsinners

        Free churchers are less and less tied to their pet ideas. They have come together considerably in the past ten years and most regard evangelical Anglicans as partners. Pray as if everything depended on your prayer and work as if everything depended on your work.

        • 1649again

          Good. We are all in the same spiritual boat here.

        • 1649again

          Look around. See the problem? Perhaps these on here are unrepresentative?

      • Not going to happen.
        Not in a million years.
        My church had a retired Anglican minister preaching for us today, and very good he was too; but we’re not Episcopalians, we’re not paedobaptists, and we’re not the ones with the problem (not in the FIEC, anyway).

      • Anton

        Look, I’m not going to knife you in the back by opening a discussion about Establishment, Episcopacy and Ordination while you are fighting the good fight against the CoE’s ghastly apostate liberals. I fully support you in that fight. But please accept that these are not small matters, and that they utterly preclude my becoming an Anglican. In this I am not alone.

  • chefofsinners

    You’re a sort of second order Christian. Perhaps there will be a slightly cooler hell for you. I hope so.

  • David

    Well I would like to thank Gavin Ashenden for the battles he has fought well. I do hope that he finds a safe haven for his faith and talents. Knowing how thoughtful he is I suspect that he has already worked our his next steps, and I await those with deep interest. It appears that he wishes to continue in his present orders, and not to cross the Tiber. So some linkage with Gafcon and AmiE suggests itself to me, but that’s only conjecture.
    I can understand why, after the Philip North matter, sincere Anglo- Catholics feel that they need to leave. If Bishops cannot be appointed then there really is not future for them within the C of E; certainly there is no warmth of welcome. But their departure is a great loss for conservative theology generally.
    At present the staunchest conservative Evangelical group within the C of E, Reform, is urging us to “stand firm”. That is what I will do for the present, but ultimately my allegiance is to Christ not any institution. I do wish that the wealthy evangelical churches would use their financial muscle to support orthodox Biblical theology, and confront rampant Liberalism. But then I’ve always been one to recognise the need for unpleasant action, however unfortunate, when necessary.

  • dannybhoy

    The Catholic Church is not the answer to the Anglican dilemma. Better that Anglicans wedded to the authority of Scripture and the Gospel of salvation leave the progressive Anglican Church and reorganise themselves into a ‘Community of traditional Anglicans’, work on their own statement of faith, and get on with serving our Lord.
    To stay in is to eventually die. To join the Catholic Church is to betray Protestantism.
    I believe the Reverend Gavin is a godly and learned man, and people of his background might play a valuable role in setting up the leadership and statement of faith for a new alignment of Anglican congregations

    • 1649again

      As in ‘into exile and rearm for a successful return’? It may come to that, but not yet. Better to organise from within, marshal resources, mobilise supporters and start to resist in an organised way. The traditionalists aren’t anywhere near as organised as the liberal entryists. It’s exactly what’s happened to the Labour Party.

      • dannybhoy

        No, I wasn’t think that, just about that passage of Scripture…
        2 Corinthians 6:14-18 (KJV)

        14″ Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

        15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

        16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

        17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.

        18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”

        I don’t think we should worry about fragmentation in the body of Christ as long as it is done for the right reasons.
        New wine and new wine skins etc. etc.

        • Dominic Stockford

          Verse 14 is unanswerable in this situation.

          • dannybhoy

            That’s right. The Anglican Church perhaps understandably, decided that dealing firmly with those in unbelief and those undermining the faith would send out the wrong message to society -not to mention cause problems for our sovereign. So the obvious answer was to present as united and inclusive a front as possible.

          • Dominic Stockford

            And look where that’s got them!

          • dannybhoy

            I do think that faithful clergymen of Gavin’s calibre could provide the leadership the Church in Britain so desperately needs. People of learning and authority who could act as Church fathers..

          • dannybhoy

            I see you have written more in this vein earlier, and overall I agree, but I also see good solid Anglican evangelical clergy who could form a new Anglican alignment, and interact more with the various Christian groups and denominations that make up the body of Christ in the UK. There is a general lack of depth of leadership and sometimes scholarship, and I see that coming from the Anglicans, especially if they can let go the clergy/laity divide..

          • 1649again

            I’m not disagreeing but it will be easier to win from inside when the traditionalists, especially evangelicals, are already a growing proportion of the church and have resources and established networks rather than create something new outside which will be see by the country as just another spin off sect. The laity perhaps need to lead perhaps; they probably have more vision and experience of such things from the outside world.

          • dannybhoy

            Hmm,
            For that to work I think you would have to change the leadership and instal a real man of God. Another (more enlightened) Cromwell!
            I don’t think that will happen because you’d not just be fighting against the leadership but against the Establishment, the State, the very fabric of our social set up.
            Whereas if Anglican churches and clergy decided to form their own community of Anglicans concentrating on the Gospel, teaching and outreach, the progressive corrupters of the Gospel could carry on supporting the State..

          • 1649again

            You won’t know until you try. And wouldn’t you accept disestablishment as the price of victory?

          • dannybhoy

            a) I have never seen any indication that the Evangelical/traditional sections in the CofE would be willing/are organised/have the courage to mount a challenge to the current modus operandi of the CofE leadership.
            And
            b) Complete disestablishment might result in us becoming a Republic rather than a constitutional monarchy. It could lead to the destabilisation of our parliamentary system.
            I’d feel more comfortable with a Anglican splinter group withdrawing from the representative body.

          • 1649again

            Don’t agree with (b) and how is it relevant anyway? Besides I suspect the Archbishops would go with the flow anyway as they prioritse keepimg the show on the road.
            (a) is an issue, but hard times produce tough new leaders as the old ones fall by the wayside. No one’s tried yet so how do we know?

            It staggers me how passive and pessimistic conservatives seem to be.

          • dannybhoy

            It is relevant because we’re not asking for revolution, we’re wanting freedom to leave something that we can’t agree with or work with, and pursue what we believe is the right way.
            And we can’t work with them. So let’s leave it.
            There will still be faithful members of the clergy in place.
            We will still have our churches and congregations.
            No one is going to take those away from us.

          • 1649again

            In doing that you allow the liberals to misrepresent what christianity is to the nation unchallenged.

          • dannybhoy

            They’ve been doing that for years!
            Why do you think the churches are emptying? Because the CofE doesn’t stand for anything meaningful any more..
            No, if some of the CofE starts organising itself, declaring itself and standing for the faith, people will start coming back into the Church.

          • 1649again

            That I agree with, but from within, perhaps along the lines bd has suggested.

          • Carlotta

            I think the key word is “leadership”. We need a rallying point, a CofE Churchill or even, dare I say it, a Farage! I have been trying to find a spiritual home for sometime now, and there seem to be so many splinter groups when all I want is to worship Christ in reverence, to hear the Gospel, the Word of God, exhorted for me, and enjoy the fellowship of likeminded traditionalist Anglicans (sorry but I am of that generation). I find the ritual of high church, given an atmosphere of reverence, can be transcendent, but as long as there is the love of Christ and obedience to his Commandment – as 1649again so eloquently stated earlier – I can endure.

          • dannybhoy

            We had a discussion some months ago about the meaning of leadership titles in the early Church, and whether our modern ones accurately reflect both the duties and authority; not to mention the qualities required.
            I think God is moving His programme along, for it is by Him that revival will come. The future unity of the Anglican Church may be in serious doubt, but that sense of spiritual authority and stability remains, and could be a real blessing to the Christian Church in our country.

          • Carlotta

            We can only pray it is so.

    • len

      Well said Danny.

      • dannybhoy

        Thanks old timer..

    • chiaramonti

      Wedded to scripture? The present C of E has so interpreted scripture that it means whatever they want it mean to fit in with the present (temporary) secular mores. Sola Scriptura? I don’t think so.

      • dannybhoy

        Again,
        “Better that Anglicans wedded to the authority of Scripture and the Gospel of salvation leave the progressive Anglican Church and reorganise themselves into a ‘Community of traditional Anglicans’, work on their own statement of faith, and get on with serving our Lord.”
        You ditn’t read it right. :0)

        • bluedog

          But don’t you think that somehow needs to be done within the CoE? It’s easy enough to set up a splinter group outside a large and powerful institution, but will it survive and thrive? A policy of internal schism allows for the competition of ideas within the institution. The competition of ideas presented by an external entity becomes a threat easily ignored and dismissed.

          • dannybhoy

            Well, what would that splinter group be aiming to do?
            Not pretending to be the real face of the CofE, but rather rearrange themselves, establish lines of communication and leadership and sharing with other Christian congregations; then get on with being salt and light in their localities.

          • bluedog

            See post above, db.

          • dannybhoy

            The thing is though, how would we reconcile differences?
            We want to stay true to the faith.
            True to the authority of Scripture.
            True to Christian morality, against ssm, discouraging divorce, anti abortion. etc.
            We want more preaching of the Gospel, that Jesus is the only Way, that faiths are not of equal value, and so on.
            Would the progressive CofE agree to that?
            I think not. A peaceful and good natured departure from the official CofE would seem the only workable solution.

          • bluedog

            Please see comment made in reply to 1649 above. I don’t agree that leaving the CoE is the solution. The thing to do is set up an internal Ordinariate with the full support of the Archbishops.

  • Mike Stallard

    Your Grace is being much too clever about the indelibility of orders.
    I am a Catholic layman. But, you see, I am still really an anglican priest. Today I heard two parishioners tell me of two terrible events outside Church, just like a Vicar. I greet people with a deliberately limp handshake. I do not go into pubs. I still say the office. My wife tells me that I have never stopped.
    On Wednesday, which as you all know, is the day when OAPs get 10% off at B%Q, I met a retired very senior nun and her Archbishop friend shopping. He was very anxious about the 10% off. Quite a humble, normal bloke. Another ex nun insists on serving behind the bar in the coffee shop in our Centre. She also is proud of the Food Bank, as is her ex-priest friend who got married. He, too, has never stopped.
    It isn’t clever: you just go on being what you are.
    A word of warning: Catholic Bishops and Provincials and Archbishops are in no way like the Anglican ones. The same goes for the ex Anglicans who become Catholic Priests. They can wreak havoc with their assumptions. But they need not do so. It really is a brotherhood of equals, perhaps a bit more male than the anglican version, but a friendly professional bunch of colleagues who seem to get on with each other.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Collegiality in the Church of Rome? I think not.

  • 1649again

    An uptick for an elegant cop out!

  • Holger

    The bitchy in-fighting on this thread is the perfect demonstration of why Christianity is doomed.

    Ten thousand denominations, each of which believes itself to be the sole repository of the “true” Christian faith, each of which condemns followers of the other 9,999 as heretics and unbelievers.

    If a house is divided against itself, it cannot stand.

    See, there is some common sense in the Bible after all.

    • 1649again

      I thought diversity was wonderful?

    • William Lewis

      Families have squabbles but God’s Church – the one with Christ at its head – will prevail.

    • chefofsinners

      Getting rid of people like you from the church isn’t going to bring the demise of Christianity.

  • 1649again

    Vatican to hold first Islamic prayers. Seems like the madness is spreading.

    https://twitter.com/HarmlessYardDog/status/843450221262770176

    • These prayers were held in the Vatican gardens in 2014. Islamic and Jewish prayers were held when the Israeli and Palestinian presidents came to the Vatican

      Do keep up.

      • 1649again

        So the Vatican is leading the way compared to the Anglicans?

        Seriously Jack, this isn’t any better than what happened in the Scottish Anglican cathedral.

        • Don’t be so ridiculous. There’s no comparison.

          • bluedog

            And what if an iman speaks in Arabic to deny the divinity of Christ from within St Peters? The Muslims would be ecstatic.

          • chiaramonti

            Unlike with the Scottish Cathedral dean, you will find that there are prelates in Rome who speak the language and will have checked what any proposed Islamic prayer means.

          • bluedog

            Just as long as the valued Muslim preachers don’t seize the opportunity and go off piste, breaking earlier agreements on content. After all, give them the platform and they will scarcely fail to use the opportunity to the maximum extent possible.

          • What if?
            It was in the gardens at the Vatican, not a Cathedral and was not part of a Christian liturgy. In Glasgow, a Muslim stood at a lectern as part of a service celebrating the Epiphany and publicly denied Christ’s divinity.
            Jack isn’t defending the wisdom of this, just pointing out that any comparison between the two is ludicrous.

          • bluedog

            You don’t understand, do you? But that’s fine.

          • Oh, Jack understands all too clearly.

          • Anton
          • Jack believes Saint Pope John Paul explained that at the time. He was human and made mistakes. This was possibly one of them. In Jack’s opinion, the prayer meetings at Assi were probably more of a mistake and he’s surprised you didn’t mention these. And these are still is not comparable to the event in Glasgow Cathedral.
            If you want “dirt” on Catholicism go visit a sedevacantist site. Don’t waste Jack’s time.

          • Anton

            Don’t waste Jack’s time.

            You are under no compulsion to reply to me.

            Re the picture, some things cannot be explained away. I’m well aware of Assisi but a picture speaks a thousand words.

          • len

            Pope kisses Koran (the religion which says God has no son) you OK with that too?.

  • bluedog

    Your Grace, one looks at this thread and the ideas being expressed, some deliberately malignant, others simply confused and disillusioned, and feels that an appeal to the church leadership is urgently needed.

    The solution to the growing division within the CoE would appear to be an internal Ordinariate. Create an entity with clearly defined theology and traditional values and let parishes decide whether or not to join the Ordinariate and its structure. That way the traditional sheep can be drafted off from the progressive goats and both may thrive, or not as the case may be. For the traditionalists to simply leave the CoE and try to set up external competing churches to the CoE seems to this writer to be a recipe for oblivion. An internal Ordinariate serves to counter the sustained assault by the Roman Church on the CoE, which perceives a tipping point in its struggle to displace the Anglican communion.

    • 1649again

      I’m with you Bluedog and have offered His Grace financial support if he would use his blog site to co-ordinate a movement. Scriptural Anglicans should be positive and optimistic, not defeatist.

      • bluedog

        It needs to come from the top. A leadership group needs to devise a clear and achievable strategy and then sell the idea to Welby and Sentamu. They need to be persuaded by facts. Principally that WO has failed to increase attendance, but has increased and entrenched division, leading ultimately to collapse. If they are confronted by the possibility of rapidly increasing attrition among traditionalist communicants they may concede their own support for a traditionalist Ordinariate ‘as a pilot programme to determine options for future growth strategies’ In any event, the pitch needs to be couched in non-threatening and positive language that enables Welby and Sentamu to recognise its merits and support it.

        • 1649again

          But there needs to be an implied threat as well.

          • bluedog

            No more than implied. Most important is to sell the idea as a counter to the threat from Rome.

            One needs to know a little about the operations of the Roman Church. Historically, the RC Diocese of Liverpool would qualify as the most aggressive and effective agency of the Roman Church in Britain. It seemed to have a reach right up the west coast and deep into Scotland. Welby and Sentamu would presumably have their own assessments of the centres of competition.

          • 1649again

            I may be too used to the brutalities of major commercial negotiations, some existential with the most ruthless counter-parties. I suspect the liberals and Bishops wouldn’t last five minutes with those boys…

          • bluedog

            Yep. Never take a knife to a gunfight…

          • 1649again

            Take a tank and a machine gun every time.

          • We’re talking here about the Body of Christ – not a brewery in need of restructuring.

          • Martin

            HJ

            We are talking of Welby.

          • chefofsinners

            A man who can restructure a piss up in brewery is exactly what the CoE needs.

          • 1649again

            It’s an organisation we are discussing, composed of flawed humans.

          • It’s an organisation in need of the Holy’s guidance, not those from the corporate world brandishing management qualifications.

        • Martin

          BD

          What leadership group is there that could be capable of doing that?

          • bluedog

            Cometh the hour, cometh the man.

          • Martin

            BD

            But there’d have to be someone with authority. Short of God converting an archbishop I don’t see that happening.

          • bluedog

            Agreed, leadership is of crucial importance. Rather than replace the existing leadership, a case needs to be made to the current leadership that they face a crisis for which the solution is the internal Ordinariate. As explained above, Welby thinks in corporate terms and may be amenable to a corporate solution to a problem one suspects that he recognises.

          • chefofsinners

            Corporate hospitality is about all Welby will be amenable to.

          • Martin

            BD

            What is needed is the ejection from the church of all those not holding to a biblical standard. That’s the remedy Christ gives in Revelation 2&3.

          • Anton

            Wonder how many people will get that…

          • 1649again

            Something new.

          • Martin

            Something borrowed?

      • “Scriptural Anglicans”
        Translation: those inclined towards Geneva as opposed to Rome.

        And Anglo-Catholics? You know, those who believe in the Real Presence and the Mass? Those who believe in a sacerdotal priesthood and Apostolic authority? What of them? They are the ones most likely to be attracted to Roman Catholicism. Evangelists tend to come by way of a personal conversion as a result of accepting biblical texts supporting the authority of the Church and not mass movements (forgive the pun).

        • Martin

          HJ

          I believe in the Real Presence.

          • Yes, Martin, Jack knows.

          • Martin

            HJ

            It’s standard belief. Try to use the right terms.

    • Peasant Farmer

      It won’t happen because:

      A) Welby and Sentamu have allowed the current situation to develop, so what makes you think they see it as a problem to be solved?

      B) The progressive liberal wing would never allow it to happen. They have gained control of the church, they won’t allow any group to undermine that.

      C) Could the conservatives agree amongst themselves as to the form it should take? I suggested below to Dominic Stockford (in jest I admit) that his organisation could take Rev Ashenden on and he found the idea untenable. When the conservatives on this blog are unable to work together then I find it hard to think it could happen in a wider context, sadly.

      • dannybhoy

        I agree with points A and B, but I think conservatives could get their joint act together.
        There is the 39 Articles, the Creed etc etc. It’s all there, and conservatives could form a leadership structure around it.

        • bluedog

          Exactly. Is there a group of bishops who would step forward to lead the internal Ordinariate?

        • CliveM

          Howdy DB, I was beginning to worry about you!

          Hope you’re well.

          Ps don’t be so pessimistic, the CofE isn’t yet beyond hope!

          • dannybhoy

            Hi Clive.
            I don’t think I’m being pessimistic, I think it’s the opposite, Things are starting to move at last.
            I just don’t think things can be resolved by staying within the fold. I think any moves towards orthodoxy will be crushed or stifled.

          • CliveM

            But how are you doing?

          • dannybhoy

            What a persistent fellow you are Clive, and thank you for your concern.
            I’m basically fine. A combination of age, health and busyness rather tired me out for a few weeks.
            That gale we had recently managed to dislodge the cap of our chimney cowl, diverting smoke down the chimney and filling the house with smoke. The next day I went up on the bungalow roof to effect a temporary repair.
            (Must be some Scots blood in me somewhere, I didn’t want to pay someone to do it… ;0)
            By the time I had finished I realised four things. One, wooden ladders really are much heavier to manoeuvre than aluminium ones. Two, I really am getting old. Three, as you get older you lose confidence. And four, age related dizziness is not a good thing to have on a roof…
            I did nothing for the next two days. Absolutely drained me.

          • CliveM

            DB

            stick to terra firma in future! Dear me, can’t have my favourite Republican falling of his roof and injuring himself.

            Keep well.

          • dannybhoy

            Thank you Clive.
            A Republican? I don’t think of myself as such, but being ‘special’ is comforting..

      • bluedog

        Welby and Sentamu need to be persuaded kindly and factually that their policy has failed. If CoE baptisms have declined to just 50,000 a year, a figure recently quoted by His Grace, the end is nigh. WO has not reversed this catastrophic trend, it has accelerated it.

    • David

      You may have something there. Two ways of being Anglican, one Liberal and one decidedly conservative, but all within the one national Church as a means for distinctly different theological groups to coexist side by side.

      • bluedog

        Thank you, David. It returns to the idea of mutual flourishing but within defined boundaries allowing objective assessment of relative performance. Welby thinks in corporate terms, so that aspect of the internal Ordinariate structure may appeal to him.

    • carl jacobs

      Never happen. The leadership would never allow it. Bishops would lose too much money. And it sets up an implicit “Gamaliel Test” that liberals cannot hope to win. The point of this Liberal conquest is to 1) make conservatives submit or 2) drive them from the church. An internal ordinariate defeats both of those strategic goals.

      There will never be a separate entity inside the CoE for conservatives. You have a better chance of walking to the moon.

      • bluedog

        Doesn’t hurt to float the idea. Of course, everything you say about it is correct. But confronted with the possibility of massive defections and the threat from Rome, it may have appeal and at least be considered as an option. The critical element is leadership, and competent leadership who understand how to sell an idea rather than merely to preach.

        • dannybhoy

          It won’t happen bluedog. How will the government react to a new, more orthodox Christianity opposing popular opinion re ssm, upsetting the multicultural harmony etc. The leadership and government just wouldn’t countenance it,

          • bluedog

            They said the same about Brexit. The elites are disconnected from popular opinion, in the end they will buckle. They don’t have the numbers.

          • carl jacobs

            The comparison doesn’t work. Brexit happened only because the voter weight behind it was massive, voters have direct leverage over politicians, and (most important) David Cameron was dumb enough to offer a referendum. I guarantee you that every pro-EU politician in Europe learned not to do that.

            Assume conservatives in the CoE achieve a similar dominance. They still don’t have any means to directly assert leverage over the hierarchy. They can’t for example elect a whole bunch of orthodox bishops. They might dominate membership in the CoE but they wouldn’t be a dominant force either in the church or in the nation. That means counterveiling power will be brought against them to neutralize their numbers. All that has to happen to destroy conservatives in the CoE is for Parliament to expose the CoE to discrimination lawsuits. You have to recognize you are dealing with an opponent who is willing to go to those lengths to win.

            You should also realize the Progressives aren’t necessarily concerned about membership losses. Institutional liberals are very concerned about that. Ideological liberals see it as a form of purification that (despite all the evidence to the contrary) will eventually lead to membership growth. Liberals cannot really surrender that belief lest they be forced to give up on liberal religion altogether.

          • Anton

            Assume conservatives in the CoE achieve a similar dominance. They still don’t have any means to directly assert leverage over the hierarchy.

            One has been proposed at this very blog, and you didn’t falsify it convincingly. If it doesn’t happen it will be because the evangelicals/conservatives fail to organise themselves effectively.

          • carl jacobs

            Yes, I did convincingly falsify it. You are suggesting that an ideologically liberal leadership will purge itself in order to maintain the viability of an organization that is valuable to liberals only if they control it. What is their incentive to surrender? The choice has to provide them with some benefit. You have left them with none. Here’s the choice you offer them:

            1. You leave and give us control.
            2. We will financially starve you until you lose control.

            Either way they lose control. Their response is going to be “No, I think we will fight instead.” And they will produce a devastating counterattack. They have the secular allies to do so. They control the institutions of church power. I wasn’t kidding about the quadruple lock. Liberals already talk about removing it in the future. That could happen. And then the conversation becomes:

            3. You send in your parish share or we will expose you to a discrimination lawsuit.

            At which point, the conservatives lose. You thought the bakery case was bad? How long before someone sets up a lawsuit if that protection is removed? It was a foregone conclusion that the Ashers would lose. This case would be even more of a foregone conclusion.

            And there is one other thing. You are implicitly assuming that your opponent is only interested in money. Would you accept this deal if the situation were reversed? Would you compromise truth for the sake of money? They aren’t just going to fold. Respect your opponent enough to admit he will act on principle to his own detriment. Especially since there is a long history of liberals doing exactly that in these conflicts.

          • Anton

            I do not think it plausible that every evangelical parish will be susceptible to a lawsuit for discrimination; the purpose of witholding the parish share is to starve liberals, not to enforce a no-SSM rule. When liberals don’t get paid, their loyalty will fade very quickly.

          • carl jacobs

            Except the alternative you are offering them is also to not get paid. To take back the church you have to drive liberalism from the church. That means all those liberal bishops and all those liberal clergy are staring at unemployment. Unless what you are saying is “Well, we don’t want to get rid of liberalism – just most of it.” Which is for all intents and purposes the same thing. Here is what will not happen. You will not take back control while keeping all the liberal clergy and bishops in place. But a “purge” would seem to prohibit that idea in the first place. This is why I called this idea a declaration of war. They will find the money in the short term to fight you. They will have no choice.

            A bunch of conservative churches in the shadows is tolerable. But the secular culture – and especially Parliament – is not going to tolerate a conservative takeover of the CoE. They will act to prevent it. They will not allow that particular institution to stand athwart progress and cry “Stop!” The more you achieve the more powerful the reaction you would generate. And I will tell you right now you have no idea how inventive and ruthless these people can be in terms of manipulating laws and rules and procedures to get their way. It’s not just about liability.

            But actually it would only take one lawsuit. Once the consequences are known – and likely attached to individuals and not just the parish church as an institution – the other churches would leave. And they will end up right where they would be if they left now. Except they won’t be so nearly prepared for departure.

          • Anton

            They will find the money in the short term to fight you. They will have no choice.

            Where from? If they try to deny retired clergy their pensions then they are the ones who will rapidly get stuffed in court.

            Evangelical parishes that withhold their parish share from the hierarchy use the money to support their vicar while the attrition is going on. I can see the hierarchy asking evangelical vicars to disassociate themselves from their parishioners but they just decline to reply.

          • 1649again

            Exactly. There are few measures a Bishop can take. Churchwardens are also effectively unsackable if the the PCC supports them.

          • 1649again

            Agreed. Money = power in all organisations.

          • dannybhoy

            ‘They’ don’t need the numbers to keep the CofE under control, they have the Law on their side. They cannot allow the CofE to (officially) become more ‘Christian’, because its role in a multicultural society is now a symbolic ceremonial one.
            However, if conservative, evangelical Anglican congregations wanted to set up their own community or association, (like for example the FIEC), with their own leadership structure, convocation etc., I doubt anything official could be done about it.

          • 1649again

            That can be a fall back position certainly, but shouldn’t be the opening objective, which should be to bring the whole CoE back to true doctrine. People overlook the fundamental weaknesses of the liberals’ position which relies largely on positional authority (and they don’t have anything like 100% anyway) and the threat of State intervention. If the membership exert their will the State can only dis-establish the CoE, they can’t lock people up for following their conscience! Time for some Christians to trust God and grow some courage.

          • dannybhoy

            “That can be a fall back position certainly, but shouldn’t be the opening objective, which should be to bring the whole CoE back to true doctrine.”
            It’s not going to happen.
            You would not be just fighting against the liberals and the progressives, you’d be fighting against the whole -for want of a better word, political set-up.
            A low key, non belligerent coming together of Anglican Christian congregations would I think, be far more effective -and achievable.

          • bluedog

            So much the better if the new body has official imprimatur.

            There’s nothing seditious about the idea, it represents a structured return to mutual flourishing, with bonus devolution, very fashionable. If one believes in diversity and freedom of religion, what better practical demonstration can there be of allowing an Ordinariate for CoE traditionalists?

            Ticks so many boxes.

          • dannybhoy

            I do pray for the CofE. Not out of denominational devotion -far from it, but out of recognition of its national importance and influence.
            That is why we need men like Gavin and others (including vicars of flourishing churches to come together and discuss a way forward that is measured,non confrontational, non hysterical and determined to come up with a workable framework. There are other working models out there that work perfectly well. It’s not as they say, ‘rocket science’.

          • dannybhoy

            bluedog,
            I would go further and suggest that someone with the knowledge and contacts put out a comprehensive questionnaire to Anglican congregations to ascertain what sort of support there would be for such a development. Dependent on the results organise a conference.
            One thing is for sure, the vast majority of sensible Christians won’t want a radical challenge to the status quo., being mindful of the implications of such a move.

          • bluedog

            A very good suggestion, db. It’s really up to the Church leadership to conduct such a survey. The nature of the questions is always critical and one suspects the CoE probably does some polling to canvass opinion. Financing a survey through individual parishes should be relatively cheap to manage.

            One entirely agrees your point about most people not wanting a challenge to the status quo. Hence the suggestion that the internal Ordinariate be just that, and and integral part of the CoE rather than the cause of some great schismatic crisis.

          • dannybhoy

            So to give it some impetus, we here could make our suggestions for such a questionnaire to…. the Church Times?… the groups who want to see change?
            I dunno exactly, but what I do know is in order to achieve something you have to make a start.

          • bluedog

            Agreed. You can talk forever, but at some point there is no escape from action. The problem is one of leadership, and unless an idea has been prepped with the decision makers, it will take forever to gain traction. Who therefore has the stature to launch a campaign to initiate a survey? This is His Grace’s blog, and it somehow seems a breach of etiquette to use it as a means to co-ordinate an initiative with which he may not agree.

          • dannybhoy

            So we find an alternative site or email address that doesn’t involve HG.?
            Imagine, Martin Luther is just about to pin his 95 theses to the door, and the thought strikes him….
            Am I breaking protocol?
            Dissing the Pope?
            Offending my fellow priests….?
            I know who I will get in touch with…

          • dannybhoy

            There is a new thread, a new subject to get excited about.
            Easter eggs!
            And that is exactly why nothing will change in the CofE.
            Because it is easier to be distracted by a new post than actually apply ourselves in the here and now to help change things in the CofE…
            And that is how the system works.
            Keep people distracted by ‘new news’ so that they become incapable of doing anything except commenting…

          • Royinsouthwest

            John and Charles Wesley set up Methodism within the Church of England. It is a pity that so many modern Methodists have abandoned the faith of their founders.

      • 1649again

        Wouldn’t you like to see someone try?

        • carl jacobs

          They did try over WO. It failed.

          • 1649again

            Not the same issue at all.

          • carl jacobs

            The presenting issue may be different but the principles involved are the same. And the leadership of the CoE is only going to get more ideologically liberal.

          • bluedog

            As it stands, Welby is a corporate thinker. Recall the attack launched in HG’s blog by Dr Martyn Percy, berating Welby for exactly this attribute. Welby is susceptible to an approach on corporate lines, which is precisely what the internal Ordinariate offers. Sentamu is a different proposition, and may meet your characterisation of a liberal who only seeks doctrinal purity, regardless of cost. However, his recent speech in the HoL on Brexit, which remains a useful metaphor, suggests that Sentamu is in fact a flexible liberal. Dr Percy presents as an inflexible liberal, and a key personality within the progressive debacle.

            In summary, if any leading prelate of the CoE is going to buy the internal Ordinariate it is Welby.

          • carl jacobs

            Welby wouldn’t take on the liberals over Philip North. You think he would fight liberals over something as explosive as a separate province for conservatives?

          • bluedog

            It remains to be seen. What if Welby has buyer’s remorse having failed to defend North? In the final analysis, the CoE is an agency of the British state, whose current political leader is the daughter of an Anglo-Catholic priest. This may yet prove to be critical, internal Ordinariate or not.

          • carl jacobs

            Put not your trust in princes.

            All the pressure on the CoE is coming from the Left. Welby is trying to relieve it by conforming the church to the secular culture. Against him stands the International Anglican Communion (which he mostly ignores or tries to manipulate) and a collection of conservative parishes whose only real benefit to the CoE is that they provide money. Otherwise, they represent a subculture that is pretty much despised by the cultural powers that be. He’d cut them loose in a second if he could do so. The CoE leadership has already said it is willing to lose up to 20% over SSM.

            ConEvos become a cultural liability to the CoE when the CoE is seen as bending to their beliefs. Welby knows this. He is seeking to manage ConEvos. He isn’t interested in helping them. And he won’t stick his neck out for them.

          • bluedog

            Welby is in an unenviable position. A weak theologian, he seems incapable of putting arguments to the liberals that defeat their secular position. By the same token Welby owes his appointment to the secularist Cameron and we can assume that he passed Cameron’s Test Act with flying colours. Richard Chartres, by comparison, would have failed miserably. What we don’t know is what Welby really thinks and how he judges his own performance. My view is that he remains essentially corporate, hence Percy’s attack, and I assume Welby would respond favourably to a pitch that gives a corporate rather than theo-philosophical solution to what he may perceive to be a problem. It’s a matter of judgement.

          • “Welby owes his appointment to the secularist Cameron and we can
            assume that he passed Cameron’s Test Act with flying colours.” You’re not following. Cameron had no say since Gordon Brown changed the selection procedure. No10 is now merely the postbox from the CNC to the Queen.

          • bluedog

            Thank you for clarifying the procedure, Your Grace. As the Archbishop of Canterbury rates at the very top of the Order of Precedence, one suspects that ‘informal soundings’ may not be out of the question.

          • The appointment of Church of England diocesan bishops follows a somewhat convoluted process, reflecting the church’s traditional tendency towards compromise and ad hoc solutions, traditional ambiguity between hierarchy and democracy, and traditional role as a semi-autonomous state church.

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

          • dannybhoy
          • Royinsouthwest

            Is Sentamu really a “liberal” in ecclesiastical terms? I am not a member of the CoE but I always thought Sentamu was an evangelical.

          • Little Black Censored

            Sentamu is mainly a Grandstander. There are lots of them in the C of E and their churchmanship varies.

      • betteroffoutofit

        I think you’re right: Divide and Conquer is the game at which the Marxist Enemy excels, and which it now applies to the Merkl-Trump nonsense in Vespucci Land.

        Nothing new about the tactic, of course. They’ve chosen methods well tested by their own forebears – [who were, predominantly, Christians]. That’s why they decided to demoralize by infiltrating education – a system had iin the first place only because Christians preserved and developed it. The marxist-deconstructionist-postmodernist children kept the rubber-ducky games and toys; what they threw out with their bathwater was belief in, and search for, Truth.

    • What “sustained assault by the Roman Church”? Don’t blame the Church of England’s woes on Catholicism. They all originated in Anglicanism. Besides, traditional Anglo-Catholics and traditional Evangelists may agree on moral issues but will hardly make comfortable theological bedfellows.

      • Ivan M

        Why are you wasting your time repeating the same points over and over again HJ? Its Lent stay away from the computer – as I believe Albert is doing – and do something more enjoyable like pissing in the wind. I say this as one of your long time admirers. The Anglicans are circling the toilet bowl but some prefer to worry about Guy Fawkes instead.

        • Yeah, you’re probably right … very probably.

    • “The solution to the growing division within the CoE would appear to be an internal Ordinariate.” It already kind of exists: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Society_(Church_of_England)

      • len

        Seems this needs more publicity.

      • bluedog

        Thank you, Your Grace. May it flourish. One wonders why it is not seemingly enough for Dr Gavin Ashenden whose loss to the CoE is a great disappointment.

        • Holger

          He’s seen the writing on the wall.

          First he loses his precious royal title and then he sees that conservative candidates for the episcopacy can no longer be tolerated by the liberals. Which means that as a place of refuge, the Society’s days are numbered. Its bishops will die off soon enough and who then will there be to maintain this precious “apostolic succession”?

          The Society may last long enough to see out the most elderly and reactionary of its members. But as a permanent home for conservatives, it’s unsustainable. What diocese will permit the consecration of a reactionary bishop now that North has been rejected in Sheffield?

          • Too right he’s seen the writing on the wall. He’s a true Christian, not a fake like all these make it up as they go along liberal types now in the Church. It must have been a real wrench for him to see what he has always held dear crumble and turn into a joke, and for him to leave. One has to respect his integrity. He should join the Society too.

            The Society will attract many new-comers once they realise it’s existence. Deep down most human beings know homosexuality and other sexual perversions are wrong and destroy whole societies in the end.

            You can’t go against the natural order of things. There’ll always be a few kids in the class who can’t be brainwashed who will stand up to this nonsense.

          • Holger

            Given that men have been falling in love with each other and having sex since the beginning of time, I’d say that homosexuality was very much a part of the natural order of things, wouldn’t you?

            But of course you wouldn’t. In your vocabulary “natural” means “what I approve of”, doesn’t it?

            In any case, whether Ashenden joins the Society or not makes little material difference to anyone but him. He’ll never be a bishop so he’ll never have any long-term institutional influence. The only “porte de sortie” for the Society is to go down the same path as the SSPX. And given the trajectory of that particular band of arch-conservatives and reactionaries, any hope of making a long term difference is completely vain. Just like the self-regarding and quixotic pride of those who make up its dwindling membership.

            The very nature you talk of will take its course and dispose of the reactionary rump of conservatives over time. Consigned to the dustbin of history along with Nazism, McCarthyism and the Inquisition. You’ll never see the end because you’ll be long dead by the time it comes. And I doubt that even those who do live to see the day will notice much. The quiet going-out of a sputtering flame is never a remarkble event.

          • Little Black Censored

            You are playing with words. There have always been tendencies to perversity, which in a sense makes perverted behaviour “natural”, but you know very well what is meant. “Dustbin of history”! Now there’s a phrase I haven’t seen for a long time. It takes me back to the well-orchestrated Maoist demonstrations of years ago.

          • Anton

            Africans don’t have much truck with your viewpoint.

          • Holger

            Africans often claim that homosexuality is a Western import. Their cultures certainly suppress most traces of it. But not all.

            The evidence of various legends and myths from the earliest times shows that homosexuality was known about, and if it was known about, it must have occurred and therefore been – and still be – a naturally occuring part of African behaviour.

        • There are many Anglo-Catholic societies in the Church of England.

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

          • bluedog

            Thinking of swimming the Tiber back-stroke?

          • If Jack were an Anglican, he would be an Anglo-Catholic and would be swimming across the Tiber to Rome. Anglo-Catholics have always had a hard ride in the Church of England.

            Google Arthur Tooth and Edward King. Bishop North is a member of “The Society” and looked what happened to him.

    • Paul Greenwood

      It cannot be. The Church of England is an ERASTIAN Church. It cannot have a Supreme Governor with TWO distinct branches. Parliament legislates for the Erastian Church – it cannot have separate laws

      • bluedog

        Where does the suggestion of an internal Ordinariate demand a structure outside that of the CoE? The answer is nowhere. Your point therefore misses the point.

        • Paul Greenwood

          It would not make sense. Do you want a Roman Catholic department too ?

          • bluedog

            Not really. The Roman Church has yet to appoint HM Queen as its Supreme Governor.

          • Paul Greenwood

            With Bergoglio it cannot be far off

          • Dominic Stockford

            Bergoglio is a Jesuit, don’t take anything he says seriously until he has made his final play.

    • Hi

      Yes, this hypothetical province could be called Wessex . But who could fill such a role? George Osbourne is a possibility to be this archbishop of Wessex , so he can continue supporting the northern powerhouse from the , ahem, south of England . Plus four other jobs gives him a breadth of expertise of the outside world.

      • bluedog

        There’s no doubt about your capacity for lateral thinking, Hannah; ten out of ten on that score. However, as an MP and editor-designate of the Evening Standard it would appear that George’s formidable talents are already stretched to the limit. So, regrettably, no to George.

        But to correct an apparent misunderstanding, the internal Ordinariate would be non-geographical in the sense that it should not pretend to be a province. Of course, it’s reach would be across the British Isles, and there may be Catholic parishes here and there which would feel more comfortable under the Ordinariate’s umbrella.

      • 1649again

        This situation might be amusing to you Hannah but it’s far from the case for those of us affected.

        George Osborne is an atheist very hostile to Christianity and his brother converted to Islam.

        • bluedog

          Great Scott!

          • 1649again

            Which is another reason why I have prayed for his demise.

        • Hi

          Actually my ridicule was for Osborne and not the Church of England .

        • Anton

          I understand that he was the real driving force for SSM, more than Chameleon.

          • Dominic Stockford

            The Home secretary, in charge and directly responsible for of the legislation and its production, was a certain Teresa May.

    • Anna055

      Problem here …. potential members of this new ordinariate are likely to be people who regard most of the progressive teachings as heretical. While they might currently live with the fact that some individuals within the current C of E hold heretical views, they almost certainly couldn’t accept being part, not even a parallel part, of an officially heretical church……hence ACNA in the US of course.

  • Manfarang

    I notice in a picture of Nick Griffin on the Independent website he has a Cross lapel pin. Well I suppose the darkest of souls need to be saved even if they are going to Hungary.

    • Paul Greenwood

      Hungary whose kingdom was occupied by the Armies of Islam 1541-1699. Maybe they have a history very different from the cosiness of Southern England ?

      • bluedog

        It’s one the great determinations, Islamic occupation. Leads to a far harsher society, reflecting the brutality of Dhimmitude.

        • Maalaistollo

          Which may explain the robust approach of the Serbs to the occupation of Kosovo by Islamic immigrants, which led to the West, in the form of NATO, bombing that ancient Christian nation into submission. A precedent for the rest of Europe if it fails to fall into line? No wonder Bulgaria and some other nations in that part of the world now look to Russia as their natural defenders.

          • bluedog

            Precisely, that was a disgrace, the consequence of which is that the Muslim Kosovars have destroyed large numbers of Orthodox churches dating back to the 1400’s. But that’s alright ‘cos the Serbs are genocidal hill-tribesmen and the Kosovars, well. Didn’t the Saudis bank-roll the whole thing at the instigation of the Turks? One suspects the mood has changed amongst the unwashed, although the elites would still struggle to pick the right side, as ever.

            Spain of course is another country where Islam left a deep imprint.

          • 1649again

            Portugal too. Very few Muslims there still. During the Reconquista the Portuguese not only demolished the mosques but even dug up and burned the bones in the Muslim grave yards. All traces of Islam were eradicated.

          • Anton

            1492 was an eventful year for Spain – expulsion of the Moors, expulsion of the Jews and Columbus trip to America.

          • 1649again

            I might have to change my date again. 🙂

          • Paul Greenwood

            Columbus had to travel west to find India because Islam controlled the Silk Road

          • Anton

            “Dash it,” said Bingo, “I’ll go to America.” The exact words, no doubt, used by Columbus some centuries earlier… – PG Wodehouse

          • Manfarang

            I’ll go India were his words. It was a lot further in fact but people still talk of the West Indies.

          • Paul Greenwood

            Clinton let them fly in weapons at night and NATO switched off radars

          • bluedog

            Shocking. I’ve lost my respect for Clinton.

          • Anton

            Were they immigrants? The problem round there is that one people, ethnically speaking, is divided between Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy and Islam.

          • 1649again

            Kosovans are ethnically Albanian Muslims who started settled the Serb heartland under Ottoman rule.

          • Anton

            A lot of locals converted to Islam under the Ottoman yoke, and I’ll bet genetics shows a complete mix by the 20th century.

          • 1649again

            They were the Bogomil gnostics, similar to the Cathars – hence the Bosnian Muslims who are ethnically Slav while the Kosovans are Vlach Albanians.

          • Anton

            Ah, I’d wondered what happened to the Bogomils. Some well-meaning but ill-informed and overly sentimental studies of pre-Reformation evangelicals call them Christians, which they were not. The largest genuine movement of that sort was our own English Lollards, who are heroes of mine.

          • 1649again

            It was basically the Paulician heresy transplanted to Europe.

          • Paul Greenwood

            Not true. Albanians are different

          • Paul Greenwood

            The main effect of which was the largest US Military Base outside Germany in Camp Bondsteel and the destruction of a Russian Ally, Serbia, to show Boris Yeltsin just who was going to determine European destiny

          • HedgehogFive

            It does appear that the Bosnian Serbs in particular resorted to the “third leg” as a weapon of war.

            That is the sort of thing that ISIS and similar organizations get up to.

        • Paul Greenwood

          also a completely screwed up society with corruption as in Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey, Syria, Hejaz, Egypt, N Africa, Spain

      • David

        Yes, unlike some Eastern European countries like Hungary, the island of Britain has long enjoyed protection by its natural moat, effectively patrolled by its excellent navies since Tudor times. Therefore it has enjoyed freedom from being ravaged by invaders. It has created a very gentle, peaceful people, but also one very unrealistic about the intentions of many others. We need to learn quickly to become realists, or pay a very heavy price. The hard fought for Brexit referendum was an encouraging sign, but a far greater move towards reality and cultural self-defence is now needed.

        • Manfarang

          Gentle peaceful people? You need to get out and about more. Britain has invaded most of the worlds countries.

      • Anton

        Check your dates; Mohacs was 1526 and I think liberation was a litle earlier too.

        • Paul Greenwood

          I have EVERY confidence my dates are correct

          • Anton

            1541 was the last gasp when the capital fell and the rest of Europe recognised the fact diplomatically, but much of Hungary was under Ottoman control from 15 years earlier.

      • Manfarang

        Life in England was not cosy, during this time people were being burnt at the stake. Something still remembered every year at Lewes on 5 November.
        The army that conquered the Kingdom of Hungary was an Ottoman one ,made up Bosnian Slavs and the Orthodox. Hungary was invaded as a result of an alliance between the Ottomans and the French.
        The relative religious tolerance of the Ottomans enabled Protestantism in Hungary (such as the Reformed Church in Hungary) to survive against the repression of the Catholic Habsburg-ruled Hungarian domains. By the end of the sixteenth century, around 90% of the inhabitants of Ottoman Hungary were Protestant, most of them being Calvinist.

  • 1649again

    One wonders why Mr Jacobs is so keen to decry any kind of traditionalist fight back in the CoE?

    • David

      I have been wondering that for some time.

    • bluedog

      It’s the natural optimism of a Calvinist. Best described in Rudyard Kipling’s poem ‘MacAndrew’s Hymn’. Predestination casts a long shadow indeed.

      • 1649again

        Then they don’t have much faith in God’s goodness or plan do they?

        • Paul Greenwood

          Cranmer’s Prayer Book is Calvinist.

          • 1649again

            I’m accused on here of being a Puritan within the CoE but I’m an optimist. You can follow the BCP and believe in the goodness of God and be optimisitc you know.

          • Paul Greenwood

            I simply do not follow your line of reasoning. The BCP 1662 is a fine document which would be a fundamental part of a Church of England if we actually had one.

      • Royinsouthwest

        Thanks for mentioning that poem by Kipling. I had never heard of it but have just read it now. It is a very long poem so my first impressions may not be correct but I thought that Kipling managed to be fair to Calvinism and display an understanding of human frailties at the same time.

        • Anton

          Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg is more fun.

        • dannybhoy

          It’s a very long poem! I love his writing but this will take time to digest.
          Anyway, I don’t believe in predestination. God’s foreknowledge yes. But choosing some for heaven and some for Hell goes against the revealed nature of God, so is doctrinally unsound….

          • 1649again

            I tend to agree with you but be prepared for heavy flak! In reality Predestination and Free Will are perfectly reconcilable.

          • dannybhoy

            Danny is feeling mischievous…
            There is a very good tape lecture on Augustine on youtube by a chap by the name of Winkie Pratney. Not well known in the UK but very influential in international youth missionary circles…

          • IanCad

            Augustine was the maker of much mischief.

          • dannybhoy

            I think he was wrong. The stuff I’ve read from Eastern Orthodox sources re- original sin, and Winkie Pratney’s lectures, led me to believe Augustine evidently misinterpreted some verses in Romans 5.

          • 1649again

            Augustine was previously a Manichaean and carried over with him to the Church some of Mani’s influences, including the fundamental evil of creation which was not a creation of a perfect God

          • CliveM

            Depending on your definitions.

      • carl jacobs

        Rather the clear vision of the Realist.

      • Isn’t the protestant understanding of Predestination and human freewill presented in the Church of England’s 39 Articles? How does this differ from Carl’s?

    • Martin

      Tradition will only produce what the liberals have. It won’t save the CoE.

    • carl jacobs

      Because I have seen this before. Because I can tell you how this will play out. Because you are choosing to fight to your enemy’s strength. Because you are choosing to fight on your enemy’s chosen ground. Because you haven’t the power to achieve your objectives. Because time is not on your side. Because it is futile to arrange yourself in heroic line of battle only to get pulverized by the enemy’s massed artillery.

      To win you must fight to your enemy’s weakness. You must render irrelevant the power that he holds. Forget fighting for the institution. Fight for the Church. Do you want to recover the CoE? Then leave it and build a place that is free of the corrupt powers that govern the CoE. Build a refuge for people who are driven out – because they will be driven out. Within 20 years the CoE will be a shell. Its remaining bishops and clergy will preside over emptiness. The whole liberal edifice will collapse for lack of interest. The risk is not that the CoE won’t be saved. Its already gone. The risk is that there will be nowhere for people to go as the corpse decomposes.

      • dannybhoy

        “Forget fighting for the institution. Fight for the Church.”
        A great line Carl, and I largely agree with your analysis, but we could raise up a grassroots movement of Anglican Christians now.

        • But what would unite such a group? Would it consist of (conservative) Anglo-Catholics and Evangelicals, coming together because of their objections to women’s ordination and the accommodation of homosexuality? If so, this would be a political movement rather than a spiritual one. What really counts for unity, is unity in the Spirit.

          Beneath the Anglo-Catholic and Evangelical objections to liberal-modernism lie radically different understandings of our relationship with God and what His revealed ways of saving the elect and damning the reprobate are. These differences are reflected in forms of worship and attitudes towards private judgement, leadership, priests, bishops and the place of the sacraments. Eventually, these fundamentally opposed theologies have to be addressed. They cannot be hidden forever behind ambiguity and terms such as “creative tension”.

          • dannybhoy

            “Would it consist of (conservative) Anglo-Catholics and Evangelicals, coming together because of their objections to women’s ordination and the accommodation of homosexuality?”
            Well Jacko, we’re talking specifically about the Church of England, the established Church of the United Kingdom, with our Queen as Supreme Governor.
            What you’re talking about (I think), is the Body of Christ in the UK made up of believers from all the denominations and the Catholic Church.
            So a grassroots Anglican movement would represent all those who worship our Lord and seek to live according to His teachings.
            The problem comes when non Scriptural ‘Church tradition’ leads adherents to start accepting lifestyles/attitudes and practices which Scripture clearly condemns..

          • As Jack included above:

            It is the wide variety of protestant views that confused Jack for years on this website. Naively, Jack had thought protestants agreed on the fundamentals of the Christian faith. In fact, it now seems to Jack that they don’t. The 5 sola, combined with the primacy of individual conscience, permit a limitless spectrum of believes and practices.

            One cannot just focus on “accepting lifestyles/attitudes and practices which Scripture clearly condemns”. Those promoting what we understand to be immoral live styles, will genuinely believe they are acting in ways consistent with God’s will, scripture and their consciences. As Jack said, its more of a socially conservative political movement, not a spiritual regeneration.

          • dannybhoy

            “The problem comes when non Scriptural ‘Church tradition’ leads adherents to start accepting lifestyles/attitudes and practices which Scripture clearly condemns..”
            The New Testament makes it abundantly clear what it means to be a Christian.
            It involves the struggle between the carnal nature and the (renewed) spiritual nature led by the prompting and enabling of the Holy Spirit.
            I don’t think God judges people by where they worship, but by what they worship.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Or even by ‘who’ they worship, and whether they do really worship the who.

          • But liberal-modernists wouldn’t disagree with these generalised statements. They just disagree on particular content. And Jack didn’t suggest where one worships matters. It is the form of worship he was alluding to.

      • 1649again

        It’s about fighting for the true spiritual church within the CoE to prevent the CoE becoming an instrument of the enemy and using its status to damage further the faith in the country. The CoE is far more important to England than the Episcopalian church was ever to the US and if we approach the task as cunning as foxes and if the Lord is with us then we shall prevail. Defeatism never inspired any victory.

        • You are right about the relative lack of importance of the Episcopalian Church to American identity. It was founded on Puritanism and Presbyterianism.

          That’s said, there’s insufficient unity in 21st century English Anglicanism or English culture, to pull this off. Just as the Church of England lost its spiritual salt, so too has the sense of Englishness waned. Respect for the Church of England always went hand in hand with respect for Empire, the Houses of Parliament and the Monarchy. This cultural cohesion, with the Church of England at its centre, can never be recaptured.

          Time to move on.

          • 1649again

            Don’t agree. Never write the English off and the CoE has recovered from worse before. No one thought Brexit could happen but it did

          • You’re still linking faith with nationalism and Englishness.

          • 1649again

            The English are a creation of Christianity. A cleric, the venerable Bede first defined us as English, wrote our first history, gave us a sense of our place in the world and that we are a people. So from the first England and the faith are seamlessly intertwined, without Christianity the English are no more.

          • Christianity is not the same as nationalism.

          • 1649again

            I know, but the faith crated and shaped the English and their sense of themselves.

          • William Lewis

            “Time to move on”

            After you.

        • carl jacobs

          Well, then, go forth and fight. But you better come up with a better plan than “We won’t give you any money.” If that’s your plan, you are going to get steam-rolled. You are assuming that:

          1. Your opponent will behave exactly as you expect. He won’t.
          2. That outside observers will stay passive. They won’t.
          3. That you will be able to achieve a level of solidarity among your allies to make it work. You won’t.

          That last point is offered as a passing observation. I haven’t developed it but it is nonetheless true.

          Someone once said something about a king considering whether with 10,000 men he could oppose 20,000. But I guess he was a defeatist. Something to ponder while you paint your face blue and imagine that you are following in the steps of Braveheart.

          • 1649again

            Please don’t treat others as stupid. If you know what you’re doing numbers are not a determinant – think Agincourt and Crecy if you want military analogies. I have outlined a potential strategy, not a detailed plan of campaign. Of course opponents will react, of course some outsiders will want to get involved, of course solidarity is the biggest problem because many traditionalists are too cosy and wet, but in extremis they might have to do something or otherwise they are in part culpable.

            Money is the liberals’ weakness, followed by the slow shift in numbers to the evangelicals. The other advantage is that the Archbishops and government fundamentally don’t want huge rows or the church to be embroiled in a civil war. If faced down they will try to compromise, as will many of the less committed liberals (the hard liners will of course be outraged).

            If you’re going into battle you have to be prepared to escalate beyond your enemy’s tolerance threshold and endure brickbats.

            Traditionalist/scriptural members of the CoE need to push back hard, win some ground back, get guarantees of no further erosion, a strong share in the church’s decision making forums, and organise hard and work so that our share of the numbers rises as a proportion over time. Liberals churches are literally dying out – if the evangelicals leave in 20 years the liberals will be chiefs without indians.

      • Aran’Gar

        Well in that case it would seem that staying would be the best choice as then you could swoop in and seize control of that shell.

        Breaking off sounds appealing, but the splinters tend to be infected as well….

  • Paul Greenwood

    Your Day tomorrow Your Grace !!! 461 Years !!!

  • bluedog

    Hs Grace’s blog in its earlier days used to make the same observation about politicians and clergy seeming to want to swap roles.

  • I wonder whether readers would like to read J.C. Philpott’s letter of resignation from the Church of England way back in 1835. How much have things changed in nearly 200 years?

    https://marprelate.wordpress.com/2011/01/30/philpots-letter-of-resignation-from-the-church-of-england/

    • dannybhoy

      Aieeee yi yi!
      Is loo-o-ng letter
      No?
      But basically same concerns as today.

    • Hmm … he became a Strict & Particular Baptist.
      He’s a tad dismissive and judgemental towards his fellows, don’t ya think? And where’s the joy in living? This reads like a letter of personal despair, not a proclamation of faith, hope and charity.

      • Well if he’d been blissfully happy, he’d have stayed in the C of E, wouldn’t he?
        Not all of God’s people are happy-clappy all the time. Some of them say,
        ‘Oh. that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of my people.
        Oh, that I had in the wilderness a lodging-place for travellers, that I might leave my people, and go from them!
        For they are all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men’
        (Jeremiah 9:1-2).

        • It’s far too judgemental towards other ministers and other people. Surely, we all at different stages of the Christian journey? The Holy Spirit works with individuals in different ways and at a different pace.

      • Anton

        And you’ve never been in that state?

        • Of course. We all experience what mystics call the “Dark Night of the Soul” – a spiritual crisis in the journey toward union with God. But not a constant state of gloom about others, society and one’s self.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Some excellent stuff in there. especially the castigation of the denomination for sending poor fools to their death in the ‘peaceful’ error of believing themselves to be Christians because of some act or another they had performed, or had had performed upon them.

  • Anton

    Meanwhile, Jeffrey John is making a whining noise to match his namesake and lookalike Elton.

    • Pubcrawler

      Whatever happened to nolo episcopari

      • CliveM

        I’m so glad I have google!

  • dannybhoy

    OT I know,
    but just to wish Vera Lynn ‘the Forces Sweetheart’, a very happy birthday and grateful thanks for reminding us all of what that generation was fighting for. For me Vera represents the very best of what it meant to be British.

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/forces-sweetheart-vera-lynn-experiences-10048803

    • Manfarang

      When 27-year-old Forces’ Sweetheart Vera Lynn ­arrived on the Burma front line in 1944 at Kohima, complete with khaki shorts, it was just the tonic troops thousands of miles from home needed. There was no room for naivety, or fear, during her four months in Burma.
      “The battle was going on up the hill,” she says. “We were at the ­bottom.”
      It was the plight of the wounded that hit her hardest as she visited bedsides. “The ­patients were all maimed, bad cases. The worst thing was the smell. ­Gangrene set in easily in those conditions,” she once said of what she saw.
      “The wounded lay in the heat with no sanitation in those tents. It was hard for everybody. The doctors looking after them were just boys themselves.”
      “At one point, suddenly sickened by the smell of gangrene, disinfectants and the sense of desolation at the thought of life ebbing away all round me, I was overcome by it all, and sat down on somebody’s bed, feeling weary and ill and futile. I asked for a glass of water. ‘We’ve no drinking water,’ someone said gently, ‘but there’s some ­lemonade if you’d like it’.”
      “It was hot, always so hot. There was nowhere to stay but in these grass huts, with two buckets ­inside—one for water, one for your toilet… It was weeks before I had a bath. One night I slept on a stretcher balanced between two kitchen chairs in a shed.
      “In the morning I’d wash by pouring a bucket of water over ­myself and letting the water drain away into the hard mud floor.”

      • dannybhoy

        A national treasure sadly neglected today -probably because half the population don’t even know who she is or was. But it was because of the sacrifices made by her generation that we’re all here today.
        Thanks for posting that Manfarang.

        • Manfarang

          Today there is unrest on the India Burma border but I will get to Kohima one day.

    • Pubcrawler

      Her Desert Island Discs is currently available on iPlayer

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08jlvmf

  • Simon Platt

    I’m afraid that’s rather ignorant.