Richard Frazer 2a
Ethics & Morality

Kirk: "We're not telling you how to vote, but a vote to leave the EU would be sin"

 

The Rev’d Dr Richard Frazer, convener of the Church and Society Council of the Church of Scotland, didn’t use the ‘s’ word. In fact, he told BBC Radio’s Good Morning Scotland programme that such an interpretation of what he has said is nonsense. But (for those of us who are dim-witted, weak of faith and slow of learning) could someone please explain how it is possible to deny humanitarian compassion and moral values and not be in a state of sin? Because this is precisely what he said:

To walk away would be a denial of the very humanitarian and moral values for which we stand as an active participant in global civil society. In this global world, there is no “them” and us, only “us”. One of the most common human characteristics is to blame other people for misfortune – a scenario that goes all the way back to Adam and Eve. In their case, they blamed the snake for tempting them to eat forbidden fruit”. In the case of those advocating an exit from the EU, it is common to hear people blame faceless bureaucrats in Brussels or a mighty onslaught of foreigners waiting at our borders to overrun our way of life.

In Adam’s sin, we all died: in Christ’s salvation, we were made alive. Christian ethics are concerned with the ordering of the whole of life in accordance with God’s order. Christian moral judgments are founded on reality as God has prescribed: they may not be arbitrarily opted out of. The way God orders his kingdom is the way Christians ought to live within culture and influence society, bound by moral principles which are objectively true, noble and virtuous.

Is it possible to deny humanitarian compassion and not offend God? Would that not be a denial of love? Is it possible to deny moral values and not offend God? Would that not be a denial of the life-giving Spirit? Is it possible to eat of the forbidden fruit and not offend God? The Rev’d Dr Richard Frazer appears to think so. Or perhaps it’s just the ‘s’ word he has a problem with? Either way, the Church of Scotland is definitely not telling people how they should vote. No siree. “What is important here is not to tell people how to vote – that is for everyone’s individual conscience,” Dr Frazer says. But if you vote Leave, you are inhumane, uncompassionate and morally delinquent – just to make that absolutely clear. Those aren’t sins, though, so you’re alright. A vote to leave the EU won’t send you to hell: it just means you won’t feel particularly welcome in the Kirk, where humanitarian compassion and moral values abound.

Last month the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland reaffirmed its support for the European Union – a position it has held for 20 years on the grounds of promoting peace and security alongside its ability to address issues of global injustice such as migration and climate change. Membership of the EU, they believe, is the only way of achieving the common good. Forget the fact that 20 European nations aren’t in the EU. Forget the fact that the Vatican State isn’t in the EU. No, the EU is God’s instrument on earth for achieving his kingdom. Not that that should influence how you should vote. No siree.

Dr Frazer takes the view that Leave campaigners who claim that the immigration crisis and loss of sovereignty was the cause of the country’s woes are “playing a dangerous game”. Can you play dangerous games with people’s lives and not be in a state of sin? Not that he’s telling you how to vote. No siree. This is all impeccably neutral stuff.

The European project is far from perfect, but in as much as it has successfully replaced bombs with bureaucrats it has enabled European citizens to enjoy unprecedented peace, stability and opportunity since the Second World War. The issues we face are ones that, we have in part made for ourselves and, remaining within the EU, we have the influence to be part of the solution rather than simply standing in the wings and laying the blame with the ‘other’… In this global world, there is no ‘them’ and us, only ‘us’.

It’s good to have replaced bombs with bureaucrats. Far better to be smothered by reams of paper than blown to smithereens by a mortar shell. Does Dr Frazer think that Christians who want to leave the EU prefer bombs? Does he think we prefer war to peace, problems to solutions, or impotence to influence? Funny, isn’t it, how a minister of the Church of Scotland can so decry the evil of diving the world into ‘them’ and ‘us’, and yet do precisely that by pitching the enlightened, progressive, compassionate and moral Remainers (‘us’) against the backward, uncharitable, ignorant and morally-delinquent Leavers (‘them’). But he’s not telling you how to vote. No siree.

  • Uncle Brian

    Even in Scotland the latest polls are showing a swing towards Leave.

  • Anton

    Just another hierarch.

    • CliveM

      The Cof S formally doesn’t have a hierarchy.

      • Anton

        That’s a matter of definition. Its congregations are not autonomous under Christ. It has a hierarchy of councils rather than a hierarchy of individuals. (And, to be pedantic, HIEREUS means priest!)

        • CliveM

          Yes, but again whatever the origin of the term hierarchy, clearly that’s not the current meaning here!

          Remember the Minister is simply one of several elders who make up the session responsible for the discipline, nurture and mission of the Church. He is the only paid one (formally the teaching elder) , but he is in no sense a Priest. And I can tell you (from experience) his authority within a Congregation can be severely curtailed. Very often the Session Clerk has more power.

          • Anton

            OK, my comment about hiereus was a distraction. The points are that (a) the Kirk’s congregations are not autonomous under Christ, and (b) even if you have only “roles and positions” then you have a hierarchy, so this man is indeed a hierarch – and thinks like one, as his pronouncement indicates in support of a grosser hierarchy in Brussels.

          • CliveM

            Ok my turn to be a pedant!

            A Hierarch is one one who occupies a position of authority in a religious hierarchy. This individual holds a position of responsibility, not authority. Authority resides with the various sessions!

            Anyway I’m making more of this than I originally intended:0) and ultimately makes little difference to the core point of the blog.

          • Anton

            If a congregation errs, there are presumably sanctions that can be taken against it. By whom they are taken clearly defines a hierarchy.

          • CliveM

            It’s not by whom, but by what. No individual has authority to impose sanctions. The authority to do so resides with the presbytery. The presbyteries are made up of Ministers and Elders from the Church’s within the Presbytery.

            Tbh it’s a real problem for the CofS, this lack of personal authority and continual round of meetings is killing it. Having been in the Kirk my whole adult life, I can’t think of a single decision made by an individual.

          • Anton

            Please correct me if I am wrong. As I understand it, each congregation is run by a council within itself (which is biblical), but set above congregations is a higher council (which isn’t biblical).

          • CliveM

            Apologies, I’m not making myself very clear am I!!

            Each Congregation is run by the Session, which is responsible for the discipline, nurture and mission of the congregation. These are governed by a local Presbytery. The presbytery is made up of Elders and Ministers of the local Congregations. Above this is the General Assembly (the main ruling body). This is made up of representatives from the Presbyteries and is the main decision making body of the Church. Each level has office holders, but these office holders can only carry out the instructions of the various councils. They have no authority but they do have responsibility.

            But even the General Assemblies authority is circumcised by the barrier act, which requires it to consult the wider Church before making changes in the areas of worship, doctrine, discipline or church government

            I’m not arguing that the Church doesn’t have a formal structure, I am saying it doesn’t have an ecclesiastical hierarchy.

          • Anton

            So that’s clear then. Thank you!

  • The Explorer

    “Pleasure is a sin, and sometimes sin’s a pleasure.” (Byron). This is one such time.

  • Royinsouthwest

    Yet again a senior cleric comes out in favour of the establishment and against the people. Perhaps he should make a statement about the effects the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy has had on the livelihoods of Scottish fishermen,

    The Norwegians have twice rejected EU membership and one of the reasons was to retain control of their own fishing grounds. Although Denmark is a member of the EU the Danish dependencies of Greenland and the Faroe Islands are not and again fishing is the reason.

    Actually Greenland was part of the EU when Denmark joined, at the same time as Britain in 1973, but because of disputes over fishing policy a referendum was held in 1985 and the Out side won. Therefore if Britain votes for Brexit we will not be the first country to leave the EU. No calamities occurred as a result of Greenland’s exit.

    Iceland has always remained aloof from the EU and once again control of its fishing grounds is an important reason. After the International financial crisis ruined Iceland’s banks the country did consider applying to join the EU but the prospect of persuading the EU to make substantial changes to its fishing policies seemed remote and so the idea was dropped.

    The Rev’d Dr Richard Frazer should be asked why he thinks Scottish fishermen should not have the same rights in their own fishing grounds as Norwegian, Icelandic, Faroese, and Greenlandic fishermen have in theirs.

    • CliveM

      You don’t have Senior Clerics in the CofS. All have equal status. Even the Moderator of the General Assembly is not head of the Church, or its leader or spokesman. What you have are roles and positions.

      • Royinsouthwest

        That is a distinction without a difference. A person with a prominent role or position automatically has a higher status even if they do not have authority over other people.

  • Ian G

    This is not a bully-pulpit, of course not.

  • Dreadnaught

    in as much as it has successfully replaced bombs with bureaucrats it has enabled European citizens to enjoy unprecedented peace, stability and opportunity since the Second World

    Considering that it cost 55 million lives of ordinary people to arrest German territorial ambition in Europe, it’s a bit rich to lay claim that the Franco-German coal and steel alliance, Common Market, European Community, now the European Union should take the credit for peace in Europe. The people of Europe had had enough of dying for political motives in two World Wars and invested their trust in NATO and the US to keep the peace.
    Giving credit to the EU is a total sham.
    The EU is a latter-day reincarnation of the Soviet System of ‘independent’ States under central control, stuck in the 1950s, that can never be challenged from within. More than that, it does not want to critically examine the culture of Islam for which it is paving the way to subsume its own broad cultural spectrum of nations.
    No one has thought it necessary to consult the half billion people it wants to control and like the USSR, it will fall apart but not before civilian unrest forces it to heed the voices of the ordinary people; by which time the US will have washed its hands of being NATO’s main benefactor.

  • Andrew Reeves

    Hard to think of a country who has done more for human rights than Britain, way before the EU existed. Parliamentary democracy, banning slavery, religious freedom, fighting the Nazis on behalf of weaker countries to the point of almost bankruptcy, and on and on. It has been a beacon of hope for democracy and humanitarianism for centuries – and I speak as a 6th generation Australian.

    • IanCad

      Always condsidered Aussies to be “Texans without the trousers.”
      I shall amend and, in the future, declare that they are nearly as nice as New Zealanders.
      A terrific post. Thank you for reminding us that – once upon a time – we could hold our heads high.

    • David

      I am grateful for you reminding us of that list of “good things”, and concur with the excellent comments of Ian below.

    • IrishNeanderthal

      Regarding the comment (below) by IanCad, I am reminded of the following joke.

      A Texan is being shown around the outback by an Aussie rancher, and keeps going on about how much bigger everything is in Texas.

      Suddenly the Aussie has to swerve to avoid a Red Kangaroo.

      “Got to keep your eyes peeled for these grasshoppers”, he says.

    • Old Nick

      The Australians having also made notable contributions to most of the efforts you mention, particularly the last one you specify.

      • Andrew Reeves

        Indeed they did & fighting together in 2 World Wars is one of many reasons that most Australians have a very warm regard toward Britain – we even voted to retain The Queen rather than become a republic. From one island nation to another, most of us hope you will get your sovereignty back. To add to my earlier list, the British in India abolished Sutee (burning young widows on their husbands’ funeral pyres) and Infanticide. And the majority of people living under a democratic parliament inherited it from Britain: the US, Australia, India, Sth Africa, NZ, Papua New Guinea, various states in SE Asia, and other members of the Commonwealth. I should also point out that it causes considerable offence to Australians who fought in Europe during the War (sadly not many left now) and their widows/children that Australians have to line up in the “Other Countries” line at Heathrow after a 24-hr flight while the former enemy goes in the fast track EU queue.

  • preacher

    Just another out of touch high Churchman, comfy with the Status Quo,- as our cousins in the States would say ” If it ain’t broke don’t fix it ” But I think the U.K version should read -” It IS broke, so let’s Brexit ! “.
    Personally speaking, if it came to a choice I’d take the mortar shell – it’s a darned sight quicker & less painful than another forty or more years of dying by slow E.U suffocation under reams of paper.

    • Dreadnaught

      They should loosen their dog-collars and allow the blood to access their brains again – every little helps.

      • preacher

        Or even take the damn things off & go out & preach the gospel – much more challenging, exciting & stimulating than a musty old Church building Dreads.

        • Dreadnaught

          I agree (in a sense) – render unto Caesar and all that stuff.

      • IanCad

        Tightening would more effective – real tight.

        • Dreadnaught

          I’m no advocating stringing them up – in a democracy everyone has the right to make a fool of themselves.

  • IanCad

    Just about a month ago the Church of Scotlland gave the thumbs up for the marriage of homosexual clergy.
    Now this.
    John Knox would vote out, and kick out, this silly priest.

    • Old Nick

      Not a priest – nor would he claim to be one.

      • IanCad

        Just a plain old member of the congregation then. In that case, why’s he wearing a dog collar?

        • Old Nick

          He would call himself a minister – owing to his reading (a reading I happen not to share) of inter alia the Epistle to the Hebrews.

      • Gregory Morris

        Surely, new Presbyter is but old Priest writ large

        • Old Nick

          Only in the mind of the lamentable Milton.

  • saintmark

    Erm…. so is he saying it’s wrong to blame the snake for tempting Adam and Eve? Is it a sin to blame the snake? Or Adam? Or Eve?

  • David

    The gulf that now separates these senior Churchmen, on both sides of the border, helps to explain why they are so ineffective at preaching the gospel. Jesus spoke in the language of the people and he understood their sufferings, travails and anxieties. He recognised injustice when he saw it. He looked evil in the face and condemned it. These senior Churchmen are so remote from the people how can they expect to reach them with the gospel ? The truth is, I suspect, that they don’t care enough about the Great Commission, as life is just too comfortable as it is. A cold Church that loves not its own people is a dead Church.

    • Anton

      Plenty of living faith in the pews. But, the higher up the hierarchy (with apologies, Clive) that you go…

      • CliveM

        But a……. Oh never mind. :0)

  • carl jacobs

    Sufficiently enlightened progressive opinion dislikes the Westphalian state. Intensely. Westphalia causes war, you see, with all its boundaries and exclusions. All this talk of war and peace is really a disguised way of saying “The EU exists to transcend Westphalia.” They don’t actually know how the EU will transcend Westphalia. They just more or less have faith that it will. Somehow. It must be so because they think it is the destiny of Europe to lead the world in ever more progressive advancements of civilization.

    This explains the attitude towards “Remain.” To vote for “Remain” is to vote for Westphalia, and to vote for Westphalia is to vote for war. Why? Because war cannot be removed so long as Westphalia stands. Progress must move forward.

    Now they can’t actually say all this out loud. “We are seeking to create a new non-state system of government that unites all people by obliterating the connection between the political and the national” is not a good campaign slogan. Someone will ask questions that cannot be answered – like “How are you going to do that?” So instead they talk broadly about war and peace.

    If you were enlightened, you would see in the EU a new form of government that makes nation-states obsolete. You would rejoice at the vision. And you would do everything you could to bring it to pass.

    • The Explorer

      The world as one big happy family. But some families are not happy. Some families are dysfunctional. What if we made a one-world family, and then there was family feud?

    • Anton

      And didn’t it work so well in the 1930s with the League of Nations?

    • bluedog

      Agreed. Former EU commissioner for the UK, Lord (Peter) Mandelson, speaks of ‘post-democratic society’. One suspects that this view is common within the higher reaches of the EU, where it seems to be taken for granted that an unelected bureaucratic elite reflects a higher state of consciousness than the great unwashed.

  • john in cheshire

    In relation to this nonsense from the clergy, as I recall the Good Samaritan didn’t take the fellow into his home forever more, he paid for him to be looked after in the place where he was assaulted only until he was well enough to look after himself. What the organised Christian Church in our country seems to want us to do is to go beyond what Jesus was preaching.

  • PessimisticPurple

    Funny old world, when Presbyterians start fretting over humanitarian concerns

  • Uncle Brian

    I’ve just heard about the attack on Jo Cox. In one report — but only one, apparently — it says the attacker shouted “Britain first!” What else is known about all this?

    • Dreadnaught

      Quite true White 50yo stabbed her shouting Britain first at least three times with a 12″ blade and then shot her with a home made gun.

      • Uncle Brian

        That was quick! Thank you both. At first sight it looks as though it’ll help Remain by making Leavers look like psychotic murderers. Or am I reading too much into this?

        • Dreadnaught

          No I think you have it right.

          • Uncle Brian

            Okay thanks, Dredders.

          • Dreadnaught

            It was an event waiting to happen in this part of Yorks where the whites are becoming the minority in certain towns.

          • Uncle Brian

            What is known about Jo Cox’s state of health? I hope she will make a full recovery.

          • Dreadnaught

            Nothing further heard. Her husband was apparently part of the Geldoff IN flotilla outside Parliament and she tweeted a pic of that. No one can condone what this guy has done I hope it stays an unwelcome one off and she pulls through. Not Cricket old man, not Cricket at all.

          • Uncle Brian

            Thanks again, Dredders. I expect Cranmer will be posting something about it before long.

    • CliveM

      I seen a couple of reports saying the same. Campaigning has been suspended for the rest of the day.

    • Pubcrawler

      Latest I have read is that source originally quoted wasn’t there at the time, only reporting hearsay. Other eyewitnesses inconsistent about what (if anything) the attacker shouted.

      It’s breaking news, best to wait and see.

      It’s an appalling incident, and disappointing to see how quickly some are leaping to make political capital out of it. (Mentioning no names, Maria Eagle.)

      • Uncle Brian

        On BBC World Service Television, which is the only British channel we get here, they’re giving a short newsflash on the Jo Cox attack every few minutes, while the normal programming goes ahead as scheduled. On CNN, oddly enough, they seem to be giving it greater prominence. She is said to be in critical condition, with West Yorkshire police expected to make a formal statement soon.

        • Pubcrawler

          Statement imminent. Much waffle on the BBC News Channel while waiting for it.

          • CliveM

            “Much waffle ” describes 24hrs News broadcasting perfectly.

          • Pubcrawler

            Indeed. I wouldn’t normally bother but…

          • Pubcrawler

            Well, that’s grim. 🙁

          • CliveM

            Oh dear. Dreadful.

          • Uncle Brian

            Exactly. We only have one TV, so I can’t keep an eye on both channels at once, but from what I’ve seen CNN seems to be making a better job of it.

      • CliveM

        Not one of THE glamorous Eagle sisters?

      • The Explorer

        Horrible thing, the power of rumour. What would REALLY have created confusion would have been if he had shouted “Allahu Akbar!”

        • Pubcrawler

          We wouldn’t have heard about it so quickly, I’ll bet. But now’s not the time.

    • Intonsus

      It appears that she was intervening in a dispute between third parties

    • Dreadnaught
  • Intonsus

    This all sounds rather close to ‘undue spiritual influence’, contrary to section 115 Representation of the People Act 1983

  • Royinsouthwest

    The death of Jo Cox is a tragedy not only for her family but for Britain. Such things should not happen in a civilised country. Knives are easy to obtain but how did the perpetrator manage to get a gun, I wonder?

  • The Explorer

    Dreadful news, and not the first time something like this has happened. MP Stepehn Timms was stabbed back in 2010, and there was that American female politican shot in the head in Arizona.

    • magnolia

      Interesting information on Zerohedge who did a public records search and found the man had mental problems, and had found volunteering in the park several years ago a great aid to his mental health.

      Maybe not a lasting boon to his sanity….

  • Inspector General

    http://www.greyfriarskirk.com/revd-dr-richard-frazer

    “…He welcomes the emerging role of role Christian Church in which it has little power over people’s lives but can offer spiritual vision and a non-judgemental welcome to people of all faiths and those searching for depth, meaning and the wisdom for human survival…”
    —————–
    Rather commendable of the fellow, don’t you think, Cranmer? Perhaps he had an off day to so annoy you. We’re all entitled to one every now and then…so let’s give him the benefit of one this day, what!

  • Inspector General

    Just read about Jo Cox. Desperately sad taking of a wife and mother.

    But there will be no tribute. She was a member of a movement that has caused so much trouble in it’s social engineering. A movement that claims to stand for the working classes, but has punished it for 40 years, and disparaged ‘white van man’ if he so dares to fly a patriotic flag. A movement that has enabled Islam to gain a foothold in these islands, and a movement prepared to appease Islam lest it lose the inner city Islamic vote. One has no doubt that Ms Cox would have followed her leader in a vote to surrender this country to a foreign power, and to disarm us in nuclear weapons. She would have done what was expected of her. She was a Labour MP.

    Having said that. She was a human being who didn’t deserve to die so young. May God have mercy on her soul.

    • Anton

      Well said, Inspector.

    • IanCad

      Got to give it to you Inspector, you’ve got it in one. A brave post. There will be those who say you are insensitive. Hey!! It’s the independence of our nation that’s at stake here. A vile deed, but let it not distract us.

      • Inspector General

        Your appreciation is most welcome, Ian. It was off the cuff, with no previous drafts as one would rather…

        • The second paragraph. You could have just written: “Britain First”. Or said nothing.

          • Inspector General

            It’s not everyday the Inspector calls a contributor an ignorant despicable arse, but believe it or not, you are not the first this fine evening…

          • You used her untimely murder as an opportunity to promote your views on the EU. You should be ashamed of yourself.

          • Inspector General

            Not at all. The woman was a paid up member of the Labour party. She even nominated the old Bolshevik currently in charge, though it is said she later regretted it…

            As for ‘shame’, it’s laughable that you out of everyone who subscribes to Cranmer should dare mention the word…

          • As Jack said, you opportunistically used her untimely murder to promote your views on the EU. Shame on you.

          • Inspector General

            The Inspector does not wish to taint himself by further communication with you on this subject.

          • Well, yes, that’s understandable.

          • IanCad

            Jack,
            The Inspector needs no help from me, but your statement is ridiculous.

          • Yeah, you’re just as bad.

          • carl jacobs

            She has just been murdered. This isn’t the time to go blathering on about her politics. Jack is right. And Jack has no account to settle on this board.

    • michaelkx

      Inspector, I quote “To walk away would be a denial of the very humanitarian and moral values for which we stand as an active participant in global civil society. In this global world,” isn’t this what world domination is all about? you know the beast of Revelations.

      • michaelkx

        that should start something……………..;)

  • Eustace

    Walking away from the EU wouldn’t be a sin. Sin is an imaginary construct created by religions to browbeat children and frighten them into obedience. It doesn’t really exist, so nothing can be sinful. There is such a thing as harm. But not sin, which is just a religious bogeyman.

    Would walking away from the EU harm us? Yes, it clearly would. But Christians don’t seem to mind the idea of self-inflicted harm. Indeed their religion promotes it. Mortification of the flesh as a way of atoning for imaginary sin is as old as the religion itself.

    Far be it from me to tell Christians they shouldn’t whip themselves, literally or metaphorically, as punishment for their “sins”. If they get off on self-denial and suffering, that’s entirely their affair. Problem is they don’t just want to suffer themselves. They want everyone else to suffer with them.

    If you vote for Brexit on the basis that a bit of poverty will do us all good, don’t be surprised if a backlash follows a Leave victory. When the pound plummets, the companies start to relocate and the job losses begin, we’ll know who to blame. Exactly what consequences will follow are difficult to say, but conservative Christians who are so closely identified with the Leave cause will certainly find themselves even more unpopular than ever.

    • Inspector General

      That’s it then, is it, your attempt to bring the Christian vote around to your way of thinking. Is it the Inspector or does everyone else find your printed words a pitiful sight…

    • Anton

      Some of us vote for Brexit on the basis that a bit of democracy will do us all good. This is essentially a secular issue; what have you to say to secular Brexiteers, who probably outnumber religious ones?

      • Eustace

        Secular Brexiters are motivated by much the same mixture of xenophobia and parochialism as the religious variety. Democracy is the last thing on their minds. What they want is mob rule.

        Their aim is to whip the country up into a frenzy of populist nationalism and take advantage of the wave of conservatism this would unleash to strike a blow at all those they hate, like immigrants, the LGBT community, the feminist movement, Muslims, etc.

        That’s what motivates their Brexit fervour. They’re like the hooligans currently reducing Marseille and other French city centres to matchwood: all they know how to do is hate and destroy.

        Good luck to us all if we wake up on June 24 with a result that puts these people in power. 1930s Germany will look like a mere practice run. I’ll be OK because I have the means to get out when the “clamp downs” (i.e. pogroms) start. Others won’t be so lucky.

        • Inspector General

          “Mr Eustace, are you finished in the toilet yet. There are ladies waiting, you know. REAL ones….”

        • Dreadnaught

          You’re talking daft lad.

        • Jolly Roger

          “They’re like the hooligans currently reducing Marseille and other French cities to matchwood”.

          Several young relatives were in France for the first week of the Euro 2016 football competition. They were in Marseilles for the Russia/England game. They witnessed no violence or destruction at any time in their entire stay.

          It is helpful to be able to distinguish waking reality from a nightmare.

          You might also take time out and read about yourself in C S Lewis’ Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

    • The Explorer

      SIn is disobedience to God; so if God does not exist, neither does sin. If God does exist, sin exists. At most, you can say sin might not exist. The issue for believrs is whether God did, in fact, command us to join the EU and stay there. But where God said this is not clear to me.

      You make it sound as if only Chrisitians want to quit the EU, but I know Chrisitans who want to remain, and heathens who want to leave.
      Mortification of the flesh is not as old as the religion. Arguably, doing so undermines the efficacy of the atonement. Mortification crept in when Gnostic influences infiltrated the Church and preached loathing of the body.

      “We’ll kinow who to blame.” You keep trying to have your cake and eat it. You say Chrsitianity is in precipitate decline. Therefore, there are too few Chrsitians to determine an election result: the outcome will be decided by heathens such as yourself.

      • He’s terribly muddled and confused.

      • Eustace

        Christians are too few in number to determine the outcome of the referendum by their votes alone. But their propaganda machine is far-reaching and extends into every community in the country, particularly into the more conservative and monied strata of society that fund reactionary political campaigns.

        A Brexit victory would be a sure sign that the conservative religious infuences still exert far too much power in this country. It would focus secular attention on the dangers of ignoring religious cults and sects. You would move from being a peripheral annoyance to having the crosshairs of secular society focused directly on you.

        If that’s what you want, thinking it will get your message out there, you couldn’t be more mistaken.
        All it will do is shift the common perception of the Christian as a harmless nutcase to something far les benign. You’ll be seen as dangerous nutcases to be neutered rather than gullible idiots to be laughed at. That’s a profound change in the public’s attitude that won’t bode well for your religion. And you’ll nobody to blame for it but yourselves…

        • Inspector General

          Do you know, with all this bathroom nonsense for mentally ill men who think they’re better off as fake women, society is starting to say the very same about you militant gays…

        • The Explorer

          In your attitude to Christians, you remind me of ‘Animal Farm’. The pig Snowball is dangerous, and must be exiled. But get rid of him, and who do you blame? So even after he’s gone, everything that goes wrong must still be blamed on him: his memory, or his ongoing secret influence.

    • bluedog

      ‘When the pound plummets, the companies start to relocate and the job losses begin, we’ll know who to blame.’

      The pound won’t plummet. Sterling is freely convertible and not priced by way of a Euro or US dollar peg. It follows that Brexit is already in the price of Sterling. It is true to say that markets hate uncertainty and that is reflected by increased volatility, which is what we see. If the result is conclusive, you can expect a relief rally in Sterling on 24th June irrespective of the success of either camp.

      The biggest risk is not Sterling but the Euro. Who would buy into an economic entity which has caused unemployment greater than that of the Depression for even longer than the Depression? What followed the Depression? You know the answer but you are blinded by ideology and EU propaganda.

      Brexit is an essential exercise in risk management for the United Kingdom.

    • Little Black Censored

      Are you any relation of George Eustace?

    • “When the pound plummets… we’ll know who to blame. Christians… will certainly find themselves even more unpopular than ever.”

      If, as you suggest, Christians love self-inflicted misery, don’t you think this would simply be another reason for us to rejoice?

      • Eustace

        Yes, the thought had occured to me. But accusing Christians of courting unpopularity for unpopularity’s sake is the kind of thing that usually provokes torrents of abuse on this blog.

        So glad you said it and not me. Yes, Christians are so twisted they actually rejoice in harming their fellow man and positively revel in the contempt this earns them. Let all the Christian trolls direct their hate mail into your inbox now. You said it, not me. I just agree with you.

        • Inspector General

          What was that about ‘torrents of abuse’…You seem to have inadvertently posted a second paragraph containing, would you believe it, ‘abuse’…

      • Inspector General

        Isn’t he a darling coward?

  • bluedog

    Dr Frazer clearly doesn’t speak on behalf of Scottish fishermen who have seen their resources plundered since the UK’s fishing grounds were surrendered to the EU. Is it sinful to want them back? Would the SNP succeed in getting the fishing grounds returned if an ‘independent’ Scotland were to join the EU? Is the Church of Scotland Christian?

    • Uncle Brian

      1. No.
      2. No.
      3. A discreet silence, in respectful memory of my Scottish Presbyterian grandmother.

  • len

    Christians are IN the world but not OF the world this indicates a fine balance and a distinct line between what this world values and the values of the Kingdom of God.
    There is an ever growing divide between worldly and Godly value systems as this world system attempts to re write’ a moral code’ in line with the fallen nature of man in complete opposition to God`s Moral Law.
    The EU is a Godless secular system and Christians who endorse this system are no friends of God.
    “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”(James 4:4)
    Of course Christians do not withdraw from the world but stay in the world and bring the good news of the Gospel to whoever will listen

  • Phil R

    People in the West are bored. They are fed up with being drones in some Borg ship and they are starting to think of alternatives and they find that they like it.

    Cameron and Corbyn, over here and Clinton and the GOP in the US are finding that voters are simply not responding to the programming and doing as they are told. Which is, the “Do same thing as usual and vote for us like you always have done”,

    Why not? They can offer you, more debt, more PC, more crime, longer hours, lower wages and less freedom. But it all equals boring lives. People don’t want boring, they want to live and the establishment still don’t realise that things are starting to change.

    Even in the Church, people simply do not care what Frazer, Welby etc say anymore. The Church is seen as being as much Borg as the rest of Government.

  • David

    It is important that as many Christians as possible are involved in public life in some way. This is because all Christians bring with them to that public service a unique Christian bundle of values and beliefs. It is this bundle of values, based on Christian beliefs about God and humanity, that have had such an uplifting, wholesome effect on society for 2000 years now. It is these values that the world hates and tries to destroy. But their efforts are pointless, as we have God with us and leading us. We may suffer setbacks, but ultimately God wins.
    So if Christians decide to become involved in public life, and everyone of voting age is involved, then what should they try to do ? They must try to push the values of the nation towards the values of The Kingdom, to align our secular laws with the universal, unchanging laws of God. Different Christian groups will place different nuances on that, as our priorities will reflect our differing experiences of life, but the broad direction of travel will be, overall, for the good of the public.
    It is interesting that of the forty or so activists working away for the Leave Campaign in my part of East Anglia, a huge proportion of us are Christians, a far greater percentage than exists in current society. We met as total strangers but one soon senses that there are Christians present. The degree of easy cooperation between people from very different parts of society is remarkable.

  • Albert

    Who cares what the Church of Scotland says?

  • Jolly Roger

    The only good thing about this referendum is that it has forced people to declare themselves. Few have the honesty of Jeremy Clarkson to openly state what their beliefs are when they say they want Britain to remain in the EU.

    The referendum has revealed that hose parts of the Church that have declared for the EU are content to worship power.

  • chiefofsinners

    I watched every episode of Star Trek and I’m sure Kirk never mentioned any of this.