Carey 4
Democracy

Lord Carey comes out for Brexit: "It is the refrain of freedom"

 

“Poor George,” they’ll sigh in the House of Bishops. “He’s finally…” They won’t bother to finish the sentence; just make little circular motions with their forefingers pointing to the temple. Carey, Carey, quite contrary has finally gone doolally. Islam, immigration, Christian refugees, same-sex marriage, assisted dying… Oh, he changed his mind on that, didn’t he? Poor soul. He’s really lost it now. How could a bishop – a former Archbishop of Canterbury no less – possibly support leaving the European Union; God’s empire on earth for peace, prosperity, reconciliation and the mutual flourishing of European fellowship?

Lord Carey makes his “revelatory call” in the Mail on Sunday (further evidence of his derangement): ‘Why I’m voting for Brexodus..” And his argument is succinct: far from forging unity, the EU has brought about division. “To follow the analogy of marriage and divorce there comes a time when such harm is taking place within the marriage that there is no choice but to end it,” he writes, with an Anglican eye on the Petrine privilege. “Many countries contribute to brotherly fellowship and international peacemaking without surrendering their democratic controls.” Well, quite. “For the British in particular, it is the loss of sovereignty and the inability of Britain or indeed any member state to reform and restore the democratic freedom of the nation state which have made the impositions of the EU such a running sore for many people.”

And he laments the rise of the Far Right (and the Far Left – yea!) all over the Continent in response to uncontrolled immigration: “We now have no choice but to take back control of our borders,” he writes, urging the sort of “narrow nationalism” which makes the liberal elite sneer. And he ends with a rhetorical flourish to faith, hope and freedom:

As we approach June 23, Project Fear should play no role in our individual decisions. The reality is that every X we put in a box is an act of hope, not fear.

That is the nature of democracy. The Christian insight is that hope is at the heart of our condition as human beings. We cannot possibly know the future, even with the help of sophisticated computer models, so we must take a step into an unknown future.

It is the refrain of freedom that I will be reflecting upon as I cast my vote in a few short weeks to come.

Lord Carey is a brave bishop: his reflection on the refrain of freedom will be derided by the Europhile enlightened ones, but the spiritual and moral dimension of public life is at the forefront of his mind. He is no evangelical simpleton: his evangelicalism causes him to weigh moral conflicts and dilemmas as the Holy Spirit moves and guides, and then speak out with clarity. You may not always agree with him; he may not always get it right. But his thoughts, feelings, dreams and emotions are attuned to the pursuit of holiness. He senses the coming apocalypse and discerns a better way for Britons to live in social relationship with their European neighbours.

His spiritual yearning may be expressed more in common prose than the lofty poetry which typified the style of his successor at Lambeth, Rowan (Lord) Williams, but his subject is the most elemental choice between good and evil; between walking with God and the Promethean ambition for men to become God. The Europhiles believe they are the doves of a prophetic peace – ‘O God of Earth and Altar’ – and along comes this cuckoo who thinks he’s a hawk, singing ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’ to the trade-minds who live for a pint and read nothing but the Daily Mail. They need educating and guiding in the path of righteousness, not indulging in their bigoted xenophobia and little-England feebleness.

The priesthood roll their eyes at the very mention of Lord Carey, rather like they do when Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali presumes to make a scandalous interjection. But these men of God spy the abyss and sound the alarm. We can heed the warning, repent and avert disaster, or we can turn our eyes and ears to the great profession of secular counsellors and spiritual advisers who claim superior insight and expert knowledge, but who are leading the nation to distended faithlessness and political oblivion.

The European Union is an anti-democratic, centralised, unreformable, oligarchic bureaucratic beast bent on total domination. It is prepared to lose souls to save face. The people of God yearn for a better way, another treaty, a different mission of national discovery and self-confidence. We can meet together, network, dialogue, support and befriend our European neighbours as we boldly bear witness as followers of Christ. Or we can be absorbed, monitored, re-educated, relativised, patronised and ignored as the Euro-Beast marches on to ever closer union and democratic damnation. That is the choice we face. Thank God that Lord Carey sounds a clear note against the injustice, humiliation, pain and bitter resentment of remaining in a Godless sodality of gnashing teeth.

  • The Explorer

    Linus supports the EU.. That’s a good reason for voting out.

    • Royinsouthwest

      Does he get a vote for each avatar he uses?

      • chiefofsinners

        If so then all is lost.

      • The Explorer

        Let’s hope his real name isn’t Legion, with a vote for each inner resident.

  • Inspector General

    Another splendid piece from you, Cranmer. Caroline Lucas, the green fascist MP, was on BBC Radio 5 this morning, whining that the ‘with it’ young will not be pleased if their grandparents take them out of the EU. Large sections of society should have their vote taken away from them if they fail to use it ‘responsibly’, it seems!

    • James Bolivar DiGriz

      It obviously doesn’t occur to Lucas that grandparents will be voting out because they think it will be a step towards a better future for their grandchildren & great-grandchildren.

      Many current grandparents went travelling around Europe in their youth, pre-Schengen, pre-EU, and they know that the world did not start when the UK joined the EEC and it will not end when we leave the EU.

      • chiefofsinners

        This is another manifestation of the left wing ‘move over granny’ agena. The generation which sacrificed everything to stop Germany overrunning Europe and preserve our democracy is now pressured to feel guilty about exercising their right to vote. ‘Europe is great, grandpa. There’s this amazing place called Dignitas.’

        • Inspector General

          Yes, good call that. We must take over from our grandparents who stopped Germany overrunning Europe, twice. Although today we can no longer do that, as there are too many willing victim states to surrender to them, but we can stop them overrunning US! Perhaps Cranmer could use that sentiment in the penultimate rallying call later next month…

        • bluedog

          Clearly Dignitas is an idea whose time has come. A secret conference in Potsdam, the recruitment of carers from the eastern fringes of Europe, an infrastructure programme at a number of sites in Europe with high unemployment (no shortage of them) and Rest Homes for the elderly can be swiftly established. The industrialisation of Dignitas could even now be the dream of some enlightened bureaucrat in Brussels.

          • chiefofsinners

            Alter Macht Frei

          • bluedog

            Perfect! It could catch on.

  • Martin

    One has to wonder what Evangelical means when Carey is so described, or even the current ABC. And what, pray, is an evangelical simpleton?

    What I see in the EU, aside from the lies and destruction of democracy, is the forcing of multiple languages, multiple traditions and multiple viewpoints into one constraining pot. The pot will, for a time, contain the heat and agitation, but eventually the pot will fracture and the resulting expansion will be sudden and damaging. The long term result of the EU is likely to be worse than its absence.

    • dannybhoy

      God saw the people’s intent to build a tower unto heaven, and He confused their speech so that one could not understand the other.
      (Danny’s paraphrased version)
      True unity comes through a personal relationship with God, made possible by our Lord’s sacrifice of Himself on the Cross, and the infilling and enablement of the Holy Spirit.
      Unrepentant man cannot build a perfect society built on truth and justice. The EU will implode, and my prayer is that we as a nation will leave before it is too late. We need more men of God to step out and speak the truth, as George Carey has done.
      Interesting that we are seeing a prophetic stirring within the Church, as is happening in the US with Billy Graham’s son Franklin. He is speaking out against the political establishment as it too seems to be working towards a unity which has no room for God.

      • prompteetsincere

        The other Evangelical ‘Dannyboy’ voted ‘Brexit’:
        but they had not ears to hear because they already were attuned
        to Babel’s/Eurovision’s siren sounds. + Daniel 2:4
        “And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things..the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided…partly strong, partly broken…iron mixed with miry clay:but they shall not cleave together.
        And IN THE DAYS OF THESE KINGS, shall The GOD of Heaven
        set up a Kingdom that shall never be destroyed.” + Daniel ch. 2
        “Clay”, Islam, now is within the gates which Germany opened; Germany/HRE redivivus will subdue it, and all else, by force/iron.
        Brexit!

      • Martin

        Danny

        The natural man always seeks to exclude God. And every organisation built by God is subject to His power.

  • Dreadnaught

    The long term vision of the ever expanding EU is the death of the Nation State. Its not new, it was just never mentioned.

  • len

    ‘The all consuming Euro Beast’ sums up exactly the nature of the EU.
    The EU like a snake consumes its prey and the prey becomes part of the snake.
    There are those who should be standing on the rooftops shouting out warnings but they by their silence become complicit in this all consuming monster.
    Well done Lord Carey and all those who speak out warnings about the EU.

  • seansaighdeoir

    Great post Cranmer succinct as always.

  • Albert

    Extraordinary!

    “To follow the analogy of marriage and divorce there comes a time when such harm is taking place within the marriage that there is no choice but to end it,” he writes, with an Anglican eye on the Petrine privilege.

    I have to say that I really cannot see the parallel with Petrine privilege. There isn’t much of a comparison with marriage either. Apart from anything else, marriage is by mutual consent. But as for this EU racket, there’s not much consent there.

  • IanCad

    Wonderful YG!!

    There seems something of the streeet fighter in this turbulent priest. Just what we need. the Brexiters are far too polite – fearful almost – of causing offence. not this chap! It is gloves-off time. No more pussy-footing. The hour is late but a month is an age in politics; particularly so in this fickle land. Enough, let us hope, for all real Brits to learn that a vote for stay is a treasonous betrayal of our history. An insult to our forbears, and an enslavement of this and future generations.

    Let it be known that those, with souls so dead, who vote “In” shall be remembered with contempt, as shallow, expedient and wretched. To stand in the ranks alongs with Esau who sold his future for temporary comfort. Judas who betrayed his Master for a few coins. Charles 2nd. trading his country’s creed and safety to a foreign king.

    Mark the Europhiles well. Remember them. There is no statute of limitations for acts of treason.
    To the vile dust may they return; unwept, unhonour’d, and unsung.

    • Pubcrawler

      “There is no statute of limitations for acts of treason.”

      There is in English Law: a three-year limit was introduced in the Treason Act 1695.

      • IanCad

        Let it be known – I have no idea what I’m talking about; But, I did consult Google and learned that the 1945 Treason Act adopted rules applicable to murder – for which there is no Statute of Limitations.
        Does that put a different spin on the subject?

        • Pubcrawler

          As I understand it, that applied only to the conduct of trials themselves; the limit remains in force, which is why James Hewitt wasn’t charged with treason for his alleged treasonous dalliance with the late Princess of Wales.

          • IanCad

            So – We won’t have the happy prospect of seeing Cameron in jail any time soon?

          • Pubcrawler

            Not for any supposedly treasonous acts committed more than three years ago, no.

          • Anton

            I thought of him while watching the BBC condensation of Henry VI part II last night.

          • Pubcrawler

            You’ll have to enlighten me as I have no telly.

          • Anton

            In Shakespeare plenty of people are branded as traitors and you can imagine what happens next.

          • Pubcrawler

            Well quite. It was a rebellious time. Were there any particular characters you had in mind?

          • Anton

            To quote someone else semi-fictional in high places, I couldn’t possibly comment.

          • bluedog

            ‘To quote someone else semi-fictional in high places’.

            Let’s run with Tony Blair.

          • IanCad

            Men with beards are far too smart to watch TV.

          • Pubcrawler

            I concur 🙂

          • IanCad

            So we have three years from today. Or, from each day in the forseeable future,

          • Inspector General

            Interestingly, the British state can execute non UK citizens for treason if it doesn’t like them…

            William Joyce.

          • IanCad

            Eamon De Valera got away with it.

          • Inspector General

            Well, he WAS a UK citizen as well as an American, but if you want the USA to come into the Great War, you don’t hang dual citizenship types like De Valera. What price justice!

          • Inspector General

            It might pay to record at this stage that the British State likes the Inspector General. It likes him a great deal. Obviously, not those self serving scoundrels in Westminster, but the people who REALLY count. The Establishment.

          • Pubcrawler

            The same could be said re William Wallace. But pre-1351 treason was a common law offence and its application somewhat arbitrary.

          • dannybhoy

            Don’t start getting ideas Inspector..

          • bluedog

            ‘…which is why James Hewitt wasn’t charged with treason’

            That’s just a foul rumour planted by the BBC to destabilise the monarchy.

          • Anton

            I doubt it; the marriage was, unhappily, already on the rocks, and nobody has disputed Charles’ immediate heir’s paternity. I would not wish to discuss the rumour in a public forum unless it becomes public business, ie unless the throne is involved.

          • Pubcrawler

            Which bit exactly is the ‘foul rumour’?

          • bluedog

            I was being facetious. But nonetheless, it’s the sort of story the BBC enjoys.

          • Pubcrawler

            Ah. Very well.

      • CliveM

        That’s an odd rule. Do you know the reason? I would not have thought any monarch would be keen on that.

        • Pubcrawler

          I guess it was moved by Parliament (with full agreement of William III) to cover their backsides should the events of the Glorious Revolution come back to bite them under a potential successful Jacobite revival.

          • bluedog

            The same principle applies today. Has there ever been an occasion in which the following parliament impeaches the head of government in the previous parliament for some act of folly or incompetence? No.

          • Pubcrawler

            1660 and the prosecution of the regicides? Roger Mortimer in 1330? I could go on. ‘Folly and incompetence’ do not come under the Treason Act.

          • CliveM

            I suppose they looked back at what Charles II did to his fathers executioners and decided on an insurance policy. Still if the Jacobites had recovered the throne, I’m not sure I’d of hung around! The Stewart’s could be vindictive.

  • Inspector General

    Reading the BBC news where the headline is ‘Boris speaks’, at the bottom it puts the Gallant Brexiteers and Despicable Traitors at 50-50. Now there’s a thing, the Inspector has not come across anyone whom once they have decided for out, have ever gone back to in!

    • IanCad

      There’s hope then Inspector? Principled voters vote. No such thing as a principled “Inner.”

  • carr30

    Trump, Farage, Gove, Boris, IDS and now Carey. These great minds have persuaded me which way to vote.

    • pobjoy

      You should get one of your own.

      • bluedog

        Didn’t you not detect the irony?

        • pobjoy

          I took it that the poster takes a dim view of the minds of the persons named.

          • bluedog

            Me too. Just don’t agree with the possible exception of Trump and Carey. And what’s Carey doing publishing in the Mail on Sunday? Why ignore the vast majority of the Houses of Bishops and Clergy who only read the New Statesman?

          • pobjoy

            🙂 I suspect they read a bit more than the NS. Lord Carey is a regular contributor to the Mail on Sunday, so his view on the EU is likely to be more prominent than those of most of the other bishops.

  • Pity it’s the former and not the current Archbishop.

  • dannybhoy

    Your Grace, please forgive the ‘off topicness’ of the petition, but after signing it I thought there might be other contributors to AC’s blog who would probably want to sign too..
    “Royal College of Midwives Campaigns for Abortion Up Until Birth for Any Reason”
    http://www.citizengo.org/en/signit/34595/view

    • pascal78

      It’s disgusting as to how pagan we have become. It’s the effect of the demise of Christianity. It started with Henry VIII.

      • dannybhoy

        It started with fallen man, my friend…

      • Anton

        Well now, would you rather live in 15th century England or present-day England?

    • Signed. Yes, shocking isn’t it. Maybe His Grace will write a piece on this.

      • dannybhoy

        I hope his grace will forgive my impertinence.. :0)

    • Inspector General

      Find out which midwives had this ghastly idea and abort them instead seems the best way to deal with it….

    • IanCad

      Danny,
      From HG’s link to the George Carey article in the Daily Mail I stumbled upon the story of this horror.
      I hesitate to say this; for, as Eve was created by God to be a helpmeet, a mother, a lover, a tender flower, so it is that when the fair sex trespasses into endeavours for which they were not intended a transformation takes place. That look of love, of care, of kindness. The femininity, at once elusive and unmistakable, transforms into a visage of the utmost ugliness, verging on cruelty when that same lady departs on a course that is completely opposite from the created intention.
      What a pair of horrors Cathy Warwick and Ann Furedi appear to be. Cruelty and visciousness written in bold across their ugly mugs. They ply their trade in death. It is apparent from their faces.

      • CliveM

        Just wait until the ‘demand ‘ post birth abortion rights.

        • IanCad

          Yes! Dr.Sarah Chan, Research Fellow in Bioethics and Law at Manchester University has already suggested such an evil.
          Fourth trimester abortion it is called.

          • CliveM

            I heard some medical ethics ‘expert’ arguing for it on R4!

          • IanCad

            “The Moral Maze.” A couple of years ago.

          • CliveM

            No the morning news program. About 5 years ago. I couldn’t believe it.

          • Anton

            It has gone on for countless centuries under the name exposure. Ancient Greece, India, China, you name it: unwanted newborns, more often girls than boys, are put outside and not fed until they die soon afterwards.

          • CliveM

            Is it not curious that these feminists, under the guise of promoting choice, pursue policies which will lead directly to greater numbers of females deaths.

            How can anyone hold an eight month old baby and believe that it’s life is valueless.

            These people are so filled with ideology, they have no space left for love.

      • dannybhoy

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3590774/Horror-plan-legalise-terminations-birth-midwives-chief-calls-en
        As we lose our Christian morality we see increasing attacks on the family unit and parenting. We see other faiths pushing forward with their own deeply held beliefs, practices and attitudes towards women…
        http://www.ibtimes.com/where-are-britains-baby-girls-ethnic-minority-communities-aborting-female-fetuses-favor-male-1542651

  • Inspector General

    BBC news…

    “Immigration is driving down wages in Wales and “forcing indigenous people out of jobs”, the leader of Vote Leave in Wales has said.”

    • Are there any jobs in Wales?

      • carl jacobs

        Poor Jack. What a way to end. I feel bad for him.

        • FA Cup Final next weekend. In the Premiership, it looks like being goal difference again. We could win 19 – 0. Anyway, you’ve nothing to crow about after City’s season.

          • carl jacobs

            Not crowing. I really do feel bad for you. That’s a terrible way to end a season.

          • Fair enough. I wasn’t too troubled by the postponement bearing in mind the Swansea result. It could be a cunning plan to determine how many goals need to be scored tomorrow night.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            If Man U won by 19 goals, someone would be going to jail. Because match fixing is the only way that happens.

          • Oh ye of little faith …..

          • carl jacobs

            So when was the last time a Premiere League match had a goal difference of 19?

          • A mere detail, Carl. There’s always a first time.

          • carl jacobs

            There have been two 13 – 0 victories in top flight football.

            When? 1885?

            good to see you acknowledge it is a Premiere League match.

            That was a conscious decision on my part to make you feel better.

          • 1892 and 1909.
            Plus, there were 13 – 0 scores in 1934 and 1946 in a lower division.

          • carl jacobs

            One must admire your indomitable spirit – as opposed to your grasp of reality.

  • Albert

    Something very curious is happening. Carey says this. The Catholic bishops have been described as perhaps less fulsome in the praise of the EU and did not, as some expected, issue a statement of support. This has led some to suggest that even some of the Catholic bishops are in favour of Brexit.

    • Martin

      Albert

      No, James is not clearly talking about justification before God, read it again:

      But someone will say, You have faith and I have works. Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness—and he was called a friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

      (James 2:18-26 [ESV])

      Those first four words set the context, “But someone will say”. It is clear that James is referring to discussions with men, demonstrating to them that you are saved.

      We already know that faith is the gift of God, so Abraham’s belief in God that grants him righteousness is God’s gift, so it isn’t a work. Therefore you have misunderstood the passage.

      Your claim, that Abraham could do something that earnt him salvation contradicts Romans:

      What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness. Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness,

      (Romans 4:1-5 [ESV])

      Therefore you have misunderstood what James is saying.

      There are no good works done before faith, as the Bible tells us:

      And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (Hebrews 11:6 [ESV])

      So nothing that a sinner does before they are saved pleases God, hence it cannot be of value in salvation.

      You quote two more texts, out of context:

      Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

      (Philippians 2:12-13 [ESV])

      This clearly refers to those who are saints, who are already saved, it has nothing to do with salvation.

      I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

      (Philippians 4:10-13 [ESV])

      Paul is clearly speaking of himself, a believer, again nothing to do with salvation.

      The church of Rome long ago abandoned Biblical doctrine in preference for teachings that force the people to jump through hoops in much the same way as that which Jesus condemned of the Pharisees.

      You mean this imputation?

      Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

      (Philippians 3:8-11 [ESV])

      For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

      (II Corinthians 5:21 [ESV])

      Yeah, right.

      You are silly, there is no requirement to consider God both righteous and a sinner. Jesus did not become a sinner, He bore the punishment for the sin of His people, His people bear His righteousness.

      Where is the evidence that people dissented from salvation by grace through faith? In the church of Rome’s campaign against such a doctrine, they dissented. Why did they have to hide the Bible away from the common man, to say that you could only understand what the Bible meant by reference to what the church of Rome said it meant?

      James doesn’t contradict the rest of the Bible because James doesn’t say the man is justified by work, he says:

      “Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”

      You are clearly incompetent to understand the Bible.

      • Albert

        No, James is not clearly talking about justification before God, read it again:

        I’m sorry but this is the second time when dealing with James that you break this down into an either or when it is both and. Clearly it is about proving both: yes it is a proof to men, and it make the man righteous in God’s sight – this is said explicitly, and the passage James uses is the same as Paul uses.

        We already know that faith is the gift of God, so Abraham’s belief in God that grants him righteousness is God’s gift, so it isn’t a work. Therefore you have misunderstood the passage.

        No. He says: Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? Now that hardly justified Abraham in the sight of men, since it wasn’t in the sight of men. James is speaking of being righteous with God – as he says. Hence he concludes by saying You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.

        Your claim, that Abraham could do something that earnt him salvation contradicts Romans:

        I wouldn’t use the language of earning salvation, since salvation is a gift, and there is no contradiction with Romans, since I am in no way arguing that one is justified apart from faith, rather one is justified on account of faith. But we are justified – made righteous. Righteousness is not merely imputed.

        There are no good works done before faith, as the Bible tells us:

        And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (Hebrews 11:6 [ESV])

        Have I not repeatedly said exactly that? Part of your problem is that you don’t understand the Catholic teaching you say you reject.

        So nothing that a sinner does before they are saved pleases God, hence it cannot be of value in salvation.

        When does being saved take place? If you mean, the moment of faith, then clearly I agree. If you mean, prior to heaven, then clearly I disagree.

        This clearly refers to those who are saints, who are already saved, it has nothing to do with salvation.

        Again, you seem to have a static notion of being saved, which is plainly contradicted by some passages of scripture, which clearly speak of salvation as something still to come (as well as in the past and the present). Thus by reducing “being saved” to only one of the scriptural uses of the term you drive and horse and carriage through biblical teaching on salvation.

        Paul is clearly speaking of himself, a believer, again nothing to do with salvation.

        Obviously, I am only speaking of someone having faith. The problem is that you don’t seem to have a category for the biblical conception of justification – despite the fact that I have explained it several times already: no good works justify prior to faith, but someone who has faith is not therefore saved in every biblical sense.

        You mean this imputation?

        The passages you cite do not teach your doctrine of imputed justification, but teach the doctrine of infused justification.

        You are silly, there is no requirement to consider God both righteous and a sinner.

        Precisely. Thus the biblical notion of righteousness is not imputed by inherent. That’s my point. The same can be said of other passages.

        Where is the evidence that people dissented from salvation by grace through faith? In the church of Rome’s campaign against such a doctrine, they dissented.

        How hard is it for you to understand this: we do not dissent from the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith. You do, since there is no real salvation on your doctrine. A sinner with imputed righteousness is no more meaningful than a circle with imputed triangularity is meaningful.

        Why did they have to hide the Bible away from the common man

        I’ve already answered this point, but no need to let facts get in the way, I suppose.

        James doesn’t contradict the rest of the Bible because James doesn’t say the man is justified by work

        Of course James doesn’t contradict the Bible, so therefore when he says that a man is justified by works (You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone), it is evident that the scripture no where else teaches your human tradition that we are justified by faith alone and not by faith and works.

        You are clearly incompetent to understand the Bible.

        I have no doubts about that, for scripture does not tell me that I can. But isn’t that rather a problem for you? You’re the one who believes in sola scriptura – and yet your human tradition has blinded you to the scriptures to the degree that even when scripture explicitly contradicts you, word for word you carry on as before.

        • IanCad

          Good stuff Albert. You fight your corner well, if I may say so.
          See my reply to Martin.

          • Albert

            Thank you Ian.

        • Martin

          Albert

          It is absolutely clear from the text:

          But someone will say, You have faith and I have works. Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness—and he was called a friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

          (James 2:18-26 [ESV])

          James is talking about what men see, those first four words prove it. Romans proves that works have nothing to do with a persons salvation:

          What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness. Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness,

          (Romans 4:1-5 [ESV])

          Abraham was justified by faith before he ascended the mountain with Isaac, before he was even circumcised:

          Now the LORD said to Abram, Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. So Abram went, as the LORD had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.

          (Genesis 12:1-4 [ESV])

          So Abraham was not justified by works. The Bible tells us that works do not justify us, God does everything, our good works are what God does.

          For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

          (Ephesians 2:8-10 [ESV])

          You do use the language of earning salvation, you make God a mere bystander who make salvation possible, but the real work, in your view, is done by the sinner who has to do something to be saved. You steal from God His glory and say that a man has to repent of sin before they are saved, that they have to be good to continue in salvation. Could those dead bones in Ezekiel 37 repent, could Lazarus do anything before Jesus called him from the tomb. The sinner is dead, spiritually incapable of doing anything to please God, God alone can revive them.

          Salvation is not a gift if you have to do something to gain it and have to do something to retain it. You make salvation into a task, like the Pharisees of old you load men and women with duty that they cannot perform as your means of salvation. Every sin that man commits, and that includes failing to love God before all else, is deserving of death. There is no division, all sin is deserving of death, all sin requires Jesus to die on the cross for the sinner.

          The sinner cannot draw near to God, cannot repent. God must first save them, then repentance follows for they see that all their sin has been forgiven, the great price has been paid, they have been made righteous in God’s sight. Righteousness is imputed to us, we continue in this world, still sinning but forgiven:

          So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

          (Romans 7:21-25 [ESV])

          In our bodies we sin, in our soul we seek after God. And so it will remain until the day our bodies die, and then, on that great day we will receive our sinless bodies. Onnce more we will be whole, and sinless, righteous in thought and deed for all eternity.

          All you have is a doctrine of salvation through good works, you destroy God honour in order to allow the pride of Man a hand in salvation.

          • Albert

            Your argument is a bit like saying that because I must prove to a human being that X is a triangle by showing it has three sides, that therefore, it does not have three sides to God. Good works and justification go together like three sides on a triangle. There is no distinction between pro nobis or God. And this is exactly what James teaches. So again, it is not either or (as you claim), but both and.

            This is evident from the scripture. James says:

            You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by works, and the scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness”; and he was called the friend of God. You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.

            The quotation, of course, is from Genesis 15, in which God speaks o Abraham being justified. It is not a proof of justification to others in Genesis 15, but Abraham’s state with God. Thus, when James uses this verse, he is not speaking of being justified by faith and works only in man’s sight, but also in God’s sight. And this idea that the justification of Genesis 15 is justification in God’s sight, is found also in how it is used in St Paul. That verse of Genesis, is used by Paul to speak of justification in God’s sight, in Romans and Galatians. Moreover, where in the OT is Abraham called the friend of God? By men or by God? By God: But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the offspring of Abraham, my friend. Thus justification, as used in James 5.23 is clearly being used to speak of justification in God’s sight.

            Thus James is not simply talking about being justified in the sight of men, but also in the sight of God, and therefore, when he says: You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone he condemns the Protestant heresy, explicitly, verbally, almost as if he had read Luther just before writing his letter.

            Abraham was justified by faith before he ascended the mountain with Isaac, before he was even circumcised

            Quite, and yet, he is clearly justified on account of his works in Genesis 22, as James says. We have three points where Abraham is described as justified: Genesis 12, Genesis 15 and Genesis 22. Thus the doctrine of justification is not the static sola fide version you have, but the dynamic Catholic version. Thus scripture clearly speaks of justification not as a one off event, but as something dynamic and so the Protestant doctrine is again falsified.

            Now the rest of your post, as far as I can see, continues old error of thinking the Catholic position believes in justification by works prior to faith. This we do not do. Rather, we follow scripture in condemning two heresies:

            1. That we are saved by our own works – works of the law, works done prior to faith. This is what the passages you quote are condemning. We condemn this heresy too.
            2. That a man is justified by faith alone and not by faith and works. This is your heresy.

            Isn’t it obvious that there is a logically third position? This is the position taught by scripture here:

            Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by works, and the scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness”; and he was called the friend of God. You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.

            You can keep condemning heresy 1 all you like – go ahead, I’m cheering you on. But condemning that heresy will not establish heresy 2.

          • Martin

            Albert

            No, my argument is not in the slightest bit like that. The Bible teaches that we can do nothing toward our salvation, that it is entirely of God, God’s work not ours, and to claim any part of it is to steal from God His glory, for we have nothing of ourselves to boast in:

            For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

            (Ephesians 2:8-9 [ESV])

            What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness. Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:

            (Romans 4:1-6 [ESV])

            If you put anything in to gain salvation it is not a free gift but a wage, you are rewarded for your good works. Making salvation dependent upon what you do makes salvation a reward. But salvation is a free gift. Salvation cannot be dependent on anything that you do, either to gain it or lose it. God’s gift of faith cannot share the stage with anything that takes away from God His glory. Yours is the heresy, for if you add anything to faith you nullify faith..

            James is teaching that however much you may claim to have faith, the only evidence of that faith is the works it results in. As God’s acts demonstrate His nature, His power and goodness so our acts demonstrate our faith.

            What is evident from the text is that James is speaking of the display of faith:

            But someone will say, You have faith and I have works. Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. (James 2:18 [ESV])

            Abraham was already justified before God when he left Haran, in Genesis 12 and as Paul writes in Romans 4

            Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,

            and whose sins are covered;

            blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.

            (Romans 4:7-8 [ESV])

            You will note that Paul is not saying that his past sins are not counted but that all his sins are not counted. Justification is an event that takes place in a sinners life when God saves them and places their sin upon Christ.

            Tel me, how many times does the Bible say you must be born again, or how many times were those dry bones in Ezekiel 37 brought together?

            Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1 [ESV])

            How can you have peace with God if you can, by sinning, revert to an unsaved state and why should Paul speak justification in the past?

            So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

            (Romans 7:21-25 [ESV])

            Who is the wretched man?

          • Albert

            What you have done here is to keep repeating passages which speak of works prior to faith. Works done after faith are themselves the gift of God, for God is at work in you to work and to will, according to his good pleasure, and Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do . The passages you cite, therefore, do not at all undermine the Catholic position – they are the Catholic position.

            On the other hand, you do not answer the passages I cite. It’s not enough, after the argument I gave to just say James is talking about justification before me – I’ve shown how that makes a nonsense of the passage already.

            It seems to me that you make several claims. Would you kindly confirm that these are your position:

            1. We are justified by faith alone, and not by faith and works.
            2. Justification is imputed
            3. Justification is not a process
            4. Once someone has received justification, he cannot fall away.

          • Martin

            Albert

            You’re claiming that salvation is dependent upon your actions, your works. I’m pointing out that salvation is dependant upon God’s grace alone, otherwise it isn’t a gift it’s a wage.

            I’ve answered you again and again on James, you’re just not prepared to accept the obvious.

            Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1 [ESV])

            There we see that justification arises from faith, and Ephesians tells us that our faith is a gift from God. Since that is so it is God who makes us just on the basis of His gift. When we have that faith we therefore are also justified. Thus if we have received it as a gift how can we lose it?

            I’m still waiting for you to tell me who the wretched man in the passage below is:

            So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
            (Romans 7:21-25 [ESV])

          • Albert

            You’re claiming that salvation is dependent upon your actions, your works. I’m pointing out that salvation is dependant upon God’s grace alone, otherwise it isn’t a gift it’s a wage.

            You misunderstanding. I am claiming that my works are dependent on grace, received through faith, and are themselves God’s gift. Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

            I’ve answered you again and again on James, you’re just not prepared to accept the obvious.

            I have given you reasons why your interpretation won’t do, and you haven’t answered those arguments.

            There we see that justification arises from faith, and Ephesians tells us that our faith is a gift from God. Since that is so it is God who makes us just on the basis of His gift. When we have that faith we therefore are also justified. Thus if we have received it as a gift how can we lose it?

            Because we are not thereby perfect, therefore, scripture continually warns us of the risks of falling away. Your interpretation of those passages is that those who fall away weren’t justified in the first place. But if that is the case, they can’t have fallen away either.

            I’m still waiting for you to tell me who the wretched man in the passage below is:

            Well, it’s all of us, that’s why Paul says

            But I say, walk by the Spirit, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you would. But if you are led by the Spirit you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

            and

            put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

            Now this clearly teaches infused righteousness, and shows that justification is a process, not a one off – a point I have already demonstrated.

          • Martin

            Albert

            Then if works are dependent upon grace received through faith they do not occur before salvation, before justification, and have no role in salvation. Since this is so, salvation is through faith alone.

            I’ve answered your points on James, it hinges on this verse:

            But someone will say, You have faith and I have works. Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. (James 2:18 [ESV])

            James is talking of the human observer seeing the evidence of faith, not of the sinner being saved. It’s that simple.

            We will not be perfect until we receive our new bodies, but God’s salvation is perfect. Since it is God who saves us, and as you agree, see above, good works are the result of salvation not its cause therefore we cannot damage our salvation by our action.

            I’ll refer you back to the parable of the soils, the crop that succeeds is the crop sown in the prepared soil, and who can prepare it but God alone.

            No, those passages teach imputed righteousness, for our souls have been resurrected:

            Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.

            (Revelation of John 20:4-6 [ESV])

            And our righteousness is entirely based on Christ.

            So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

            (Romans 7:21-25 [ESV])

            Since our soul has been resurrected we are blessed, the second death can have no power. When this body dies and the resurrection comes we will have a new body, no longer the body of death but the body of life. That passage in Romans also tells us why we must work to maintain our holiness, our body is fighting against our saved souls, if we sin we don’t lose our salvation but we bring shame on ourselves and our Saviour.

          • Albert

            Then if works are dependent upon grace received through faith they do not occur before salvation, before justification, and have no role in salvation. Since this is so, salvation is through faith alone.

            The trouble here is that we need to clarify terms. If you mean by salvation, an event that takes place, in its completeness at the moment of faith, then there are problems. Certainly scripture sometimes speaks of salvation in this way, e.g. even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).

            But scripture also speaks of salvation as present Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving … the salvation of your souls

            And also in the future: And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.

            Now here’s the problem: if you link salvation and justification (and you are surely right to do so), then you must admit that you are neither completely justified or completely saved yet. That’s fine – it means that salvation and justification are a process – and that is of course, precisely what my explanation of scripture’s illustration of Abraham demonstrates. But that scriptural doctrine does not appear to be the doctrine you hold. You seem to hold that justification and salvation are complete at the moment of faith. But again, this is not what the Bible says. When we open up our interpretation of justification and salvation to what scripture actually shows (that they are a process) it becomes obvious, indeed necessary, that works should follow faith, but also be prior to the fullness of justification and salvation. And so again, it is the Catholic doctrine that is the doctrine of the scriptures.

            I’ve answered your points on James, it hinges on this verse:

            But someone will say, You have faith and I have works. Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. (James 2:18 [ESV])

            James is talking of the human observer seeing the evidence of faith, not of the sinner being saved. It’s that simple.

            It can only be that simple if you ignore the parts of the passage which are clearly speaking of justification before God. This is evident from (i) the story referred to (ii) the scriptural quote used (iii) the other uses of that scriptural quote (iv) the fact that he is called the friend of God and the only place in the OT where he is called the friend of God, he is called so by God himself. Thus, by faith and works Abraham is the friend of God.

            We will not be perfect until we receive our new bodies, but God’s salvation is perfect. Since it is God who saves us, and as you agree, see above, good works are the result of salvation not its cause therefore we cannot damage our salvation by our action.

            If we will not be perfect until we receive our new bodies, but God’s salvation is perfect, it follows that we are not yet perfectly saved. Which is my point. It follows that good works are not the result of salvation – for on that model then, we would never do any good works (since we are not yet perfectly saved), rather good works proceed from faith and, done in faith, by grace are part of justification. It follows that our actions can damage our salvation, as scripture says, warning, as it does, it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they then commit apostasy, since they crucify the Son of God on their own account and hold him up to contempt.

            You say: I’ll refer you back to the parable of the soils, the crop that succeeds is the crop sown in the prepared soil, and who can prepare it but God alone.

            Why do you think I disagree with that? I keep saying that our good works follow faith and grace, not the other way around. There is nothing we can do be elected, and nothing we can do to bring our saviour into the world. The grace by which we are saved is a free gift.

            No, those passages teach imputed righteousness, for our souls have been resurrected

            I don’t know what you mean by this.

            And our righteousness is entirely based on Christ.

            No one is denying that. What I am questioning is in what sense, it is our righteousness. It seems to me that on your doctrine, it is not our righteousness in any sense, but rather Christ’s righteousness remains wholly alien to us. Is that your view?

            if we sin we don’t lose our salvation but we bring shame on ourselves and our Saviour.

            Scripture says the exact opposite: Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

            This is one of the reasons I find Protestant so eccentric. It is so easy to find passages of scripture that explicitly contradict it. Every claim you make, I can find a scripture to contradict it, and for every interpretation you give of your chosen passages, I can show the passage is at least as plausibly interpreted in the Catholic sense. And when I put the Catholic/scriptural position together, I find a coherent whole.

          • Martin

            Brian

            Salvation is the work of God who justifies the sinner, grants them faith, gives resurrection to their soul. The new birth, the raising from the dead is an event in time and from that a Christian is created, their soul is made alive. And that salvation is only partial, but assured for we have the promise that our bodies will likewise be resurrected. But our justification is complete, we are justified in God’s sight and will in God’s time, be sanctified. Justification is a declaration, not a process.

            Even that part of James that is speaking of Abraham is not speaking of justification before God, it is speaking from the point of view of Man. Abraham’s belief is the gift of God so it cannot be a work of his.

            Saying we are not perfect is not the same as saying we are not perfectly saved, for God’s acts are always perfect. Hence we are perfectly saved once God has begun the work of salvation in us. Our good works are God’s, not ours:

            For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
            (Ephesians 2:10 [ESV])

            so those works we do are not going to affect what God has done.

            You’ve told me that works can affect our salvation, the parable of the soils tells us that we are saved because God prepares the soil of our hearts, His are the works that we do.

            We have no righteousness of our own, His is the work, His is the righteousness but before God we are seen as righteous. That is why they cast their crowns before Him:

            And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
            Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
            to receive glory and honor and power,
            for you created all things,
            and by your will they existed and were created.
            (Revelation of John 4:9-11 [ESV])

            No, Scripture doesn’t say the opposite, remember:

            So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
            (Romans 7:21-25 [ESV])

            As you said, the wretched man is the believer who, in his soul loves the things of God but whose body wars against his soul.

            Your problem is that you take passages out of their context of Scripture.

          • Albert

            Firstly, you keep calling me Brian. I’m not Brian.

            And that salvation is only partial, but assured for we have the promise that our bodies will likewise be resurrected. But our justification is complete…Justification is a declaration, not a process.

            If it is so clear, how is it that Luther himself taught the opposite of you:

            Our justification is not yet complete … . It is still under construction. It shall, however, be completed in the resurrection of the dead.

            And St Paul says:

            If, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Then as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

            Now we are not sinners in the sense that Adam’s sin is imputed to us. We really are sinners. In the same way then, Paul is teaching that we are not righteous only in the sense that righteousness (justification) is imputed to us, rather, justification is infused into us. Therefore, justification is not only a declaration.

            And the same point comes later:

            Do you not know that if you yield yourselves to any one as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.

            Hence, scripture teaches us: He who plants and he who waters are equal, and each shall receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers.

            You say:

            Even that part of James that is speaking of Abraham is not speaking of justification before God, it is speaking from the point of view of Man. Abraham’s belief is the gift of God so it cannot be a work of his.

            No one is claiming that Abraham’s faith is a work of his! It seems your position is moving here. Previously you had said James was talking about justification before men, but now you agree with me that it is about justification before God. The claim that it is nevertheless speaking from the point of view of man, is untenable, as I have shown – you must twist the meaning of the Genesis quotation from its contextual meaning in both Genesis and Romans. If that quotation refers to a human viewpoint, then James’ argument collapses, since it is used elsewhere simply of justification from the point of view of God.

            so those works we do are not going to affect what God has done.

            That’s another Protestant strawman. The Catholic doctrine is that the works we do are the effect of what God has done!

            We have no righteousness of our own, His is the work, His is the righteousness but before God we are seen as righteous.

            We have no righteousness of our own, in the sense of coming from us, but he really makes us righteous: Little children, let no one deceive you. He who does right is righteous, as he is righteous.

            You say: No, Scripture doesn’t say the opposite

            This was your claim:

            if we sin we don’t lose our salvation but we bring shame on ourselves and our Saviour.

            And scripture clearly says the opposite:

            Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

            Obviously, we can lose our salvation:

            I pommel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

            and

            Forsaking the right way they have gone astray; they have followed the way of Balaam… For, uttering loud boasts of folly, they entice with licentious passions of the flesh men who have barely escaped from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption; for whatever overcomes a man, to that he is enslaved. For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overpowered, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them.

            Now you cannot argue here that those referred to we never really converted since that would condemn Paul, moreover, Peter speaks of them having first escaped the defilements of the word through Christ, but if they haven’t really been converted, then they have not really escaped the defilements of the world in the first place. And it is not possible to pretend that this is not about a loss of salvation, for the “licentious passions of the flesh” are precisely those Paul was just citing as meaning those who do them will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

            Your problem is that you take passages out of their context of Scripture.

            Your problem is that you ignore huge amounts of scripture which plainly teach the Catholic doctrine, in contradistinction to the 16th Century innovation of Protestant human tradition.

          • Martin

            Albert

            Oops, sorry.

            Luther also got baptism wrong, as did Calvin.

            That our sin is not like our righteousness is clearly stated in the passage:

            But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. If, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

            Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

            (Romans 5:15-21 [ESV])

            Therefore the result of Adams sin, that we sin by nature, is different from the result of Christ’s act of righteousness is clearly different, we have sinned but we are justified. The justification we receive therefore is a declaration. Your next quote does not seem to tie into your comment, however this does:

            So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor.

            (I Corinthians 3:7-8 [ESV])

            Clearly that passage is speaking of men who plant and water. It does not refer to justification.

            However the passage you quote, taken in context:

            What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.

            When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? The end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

            (Romans 6:15-23 [ESV])

            teaches that Christians can sin and not lose their salvation.

            I said that “James … is not speaking of justification before God”, as you quote. And I’m not twisting any quote.

            Not one of those passages says we can lose our salvation. Paul is not saying that he is in any doubt of his salvation. The passage from II Peter you quote is referring to the false prophets and teachers, not those who are saved. Like the seed sown among thorns they have seen the grace of God, even tasted it, but have not received it . It would be helpful to actually give the references of your quotes. And perhaps you should read a little further either side of your quote.

          • Albert

            Luther also got baptism wrong, as did Calvin.

            I have no doubt that they both got things wrong. The trouble is, if even they don’t understand scripture correctly, then it can’t be all that clear, can it? Now that’s not a problem for Catholicism, but it is a problem of Protestantism.

            That our sin is not like our righteousness is clearly stated in the passage

            You are reading that back to front: Paul is teaching that our salvation is greater than the sin. Notice how Paul keeps saying “much more then” when referring to the redemption. Therefore, since sin becomes infused into us (we really are sinners, it’s not just imputed), much more then, must the redemption involve justification/righteousness being infused into us. The point is that justification cannot be less than the condemnation. But on the Protestant view it is less than the condemnation. But scripture plainly refutes this, therefore the Protestant view is not scriptural.

            And this point is again made clear when Paul says But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness/justification Slavery to sin is not imputed, we really are slaves to sin. Therefore, in justification, we are slaves of righteousness/justification – it is not merely imputed, we really slaves to righteousness, hence Paul says:

            Do you not know that if you yield yourselves to any one as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?

            Notice that righteousness here follows obedience. But in Protestantism, obedience, if it occurs at all follows righteousness. Thus the Protestant position is the opposite of the position of scripture.

            Clearly that passage is speaking of men who plant and water. It does not refer to justification.

            I didn’t say that it does refer to justification. I simply pointed out that scripture shows we can do good (by grace) and receive reward as a result.

            (Romans 6:15-23 [ESV]) teaches that Christians can sin and not lose their salvation.

            Of course I think Christians can sin and not lose their salvation. Scripture says All wicked actions are sin, but not every sin leads to death and this is the Catholic teaching. Having said that, I don’t see how Romans 6 makes the point, you say it makes. Can you explain it to me, please?

            Paul is not saying that he is in any doubt of his salvation.

            I never said that he was in any doubt of salvation, merely, that he thought it was possible that he might lose it, and that he taking steps, by faith of course, to ensure he did not lose it:

            I pommel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

            You say:

            The passage from II Peter you quote is referring to the false prophets and teachers, not those who are saved. Like the seed sown among thorns they have seen the grace of God, even tasted it, but have not received it .

            I think this is simply special pleading against the plain meaning of scripture, in order to maintain your Protestant human tradition. Let’s take it step by step:

            Forsaking the right way they have gone astray;

            In order to forsake the right way, you first have to be on it.

            they have followed the way of Balaam… For, uttering loud boasts of folly, they entice with licentious passions of the flesh men who have barely escaped from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption; for whatever overcomes a man, to that he is enslaved.

            Here we may pause to consider this in the light of Paul to the Romans – if a man sins he is a slave to sin (cf. John 8.34). But Paul teaches that we slaves to righteousness, not sin. Protestantism says we are declared righteous while still being slaves to sin. So on the Protestant we are righteous while still being slaves to sin – which is surely the very opposite, yet again, of what scripture is teaching.

            For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

            But on your interpretation, Peter is referring to false prophets and teachers who never escaped the defilements of the world. So the passage makes no sense on your reading.

            they are again entangled in them and overpowered,

            On your reading, there’s no space for “again” here since they never ceased to be overpowered by the defilements of the world.

            the last state has become worse for them than the first.

            Again, on your reading, there is no last state or first state: there’s just one state: condemnation, which they never left.

            For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them.

            But on your reading they never knew the way of righteousness. Think of what a deep word “know” is in the NT: Adam knew his wife: no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him…I tell you that Eli’jah has already come, and they did not know him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of man will suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist….You are wrong, because you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God…`Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ …”To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God; but for others they are in parables, so that seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand. …And when he drew near and saw the city he wept over it, saying, “Would that even today you knew the things that make for peace! But now they are hid from your eyes. For the days shall come upon you, when your enemies will cast up a bank about you and surround you, and hem you in on every side, and dash you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another in you; because you did not know the time of your visitation.”…You know neither me nor my Father; if you knew me, you would know my Father also…”If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” and so on…

            Therefore, scripture clearly and plainly teaches that, after faith it is possible to lose one’s salvation, by sin.

          • Martin

            Albert

            It would really be helpful if you were to include references when quoting Scripture.

            The point is that both Luther and Calvin got the critical parts right, Sola Scriptura, Sola Fides, Sola Gratia, Solus Christus, Soli Deo Gloria. They erred on other parts. I will happily worship with the paedobaptist who agrees on those five solas. The reason we disagree on baptism is, I suggest, that the paedobaptist is influenced by tradition. The problem that Rome has is that they make Scripture subject to tradition.

            Paul is stating that our righteousness is not like our sin, for our righteousness is imputed, whereas our sin is part of our inherited nature. Our guilt is earned, our justification is a free gift. Justification for the Christian is in the past and brings peace with God:

            Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1 [ESV])

            If justification were infused and could be lost before we went to bed that night how could it bring peace? We would have to constantly work to maintain it. And because we would have to work to maintain that justification we would not be saved by grace but by works. Thus the Protestant view is greater than that of Rome, which is clearly refuted by Scripture.

            We are no longer slaves of sin for we have died to sin. That is why we are no longer slaves of sin, not because any ‘infused righteousness’.

            But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.

            (Romans 6:17-19 [ESV])

            Paul is speaking in human terms, so you cannot press the words too tightly, but it is clear that the obedience of the Christian is not down to their justification but to their new birth, they have died to sin and been reborn with a clean heart. And they have become obedient already, it isn’t something they must do.

            Our works, under Christ clearly do result in rewards, as the parable of the soils demonstrates, but that has nothing to do with gaining salvation or justification.

            The Christian is under grace, not law, which is why Paul says:

            What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? (Romans 6:1 [ESV])

            If by sinning we could lose our salvation then why would Paul not say rather, “if you sin you will lose your salvation”? As for sin leading to death, I think Paul is more likely thinking of such as Ananias and Sapphira, rather than losing salvation.

            No, you don’t have to be on the path to forsake it, you could be faced with a choice, choose the broad way and forsake the narrow.

            I would say that we are made the ‘slaves of righteousness’ when we are declared righteous

            Remember, the parable of the soils, there are those who grow and appear to flourish, they forsake the gross sins of the world, yet they have no soil for their roots to grow. The weeds grow up around them and destroy them, their little knowledge is lost. Peter is clearly referring to false prophets and teachers and their followers. They once knew the ways of righteousness, hence their growth, but they have lost even that little knowledge they once had.

          • Albert

            It would really be helpful if you were to include references when quoting Scripture.

            I understand that, but it’s very time consuming, and the passages I am using are not obscure -especially not in this debate. But if you don’t recognize them, why not Google them?

            The point is that both Luther and Calvin got the critical parts right, Sola Scriptura, Sola Fides

            I think they got them wrong, because they are not taught in scripture. And this is the point: if they can get other bits wrong, then why not worry they got the solas wrong? Or, more importantly, if they got things wrong, why not worry that you are getting it wrong….?

            The problem that Rome has is that they make Scripture subject to tradition.

            No. Scripture is not subject to tradition. The issue is the interpretation of scripture – that is subject to tradition, and the teaching office of the Church. In Protestantism, is it subject to private judgement, which is why Protestantism is so confused.

            Paul is stating that our righteousness is not like our sin, for our righteousness is imputed

            No he isn’t.

            Justification for the Christian is in the past and brings peace with God:Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1 [ESV])

            I have no problem with justification being in the past. But justification is a dynamic concept, it is a process. I have already shown that scripture considers justification in this way, past, present future.

            If justification were infused and could be lost before we went to bed that night how could it bring peace?

            Because no one can take it from us.

            And because we would have to work to maintain that justification we would not be saved by grace but by works.

            What about works which are themselves a grace?

            We are no longer slaves of sin for we have died to sin. That is why we are no longer slaves of sin, not because any ‘infused righteousness’.

            As demonstrated before, the slavery is real – it’s not imputed. We really were sinners, therefore, in justification, we really become righteous. The passage you then cite precisely describes the Catholic position and refutes the Protestant tradition.

            But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness

            We did not once has sin imputed to us. We have not had obedience imputed to us, rather we have become slaves of righteousness.

            Paul is speaking in human terms, so you cannot press the words too tightly

            What does he mean when he says “human terms”? He does not mean that you can just pick up his words and use them how you like. The human terms would appear to be the reference to slavery. We are not literal slaves – up for sale in the market. It’s a metaphor. But what is it a metaphor for: the fact that once we were controlled by sin and are not obedient from the heart to Christ, and are therefore righteous.

            And they have become obedient already, it isn’t something they must do.

            That’s not what Paul says here. But elsewhere he says the opposite of your tradition:

            Do you not know that if you yield yourselves to any one as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?

            You say: The Christian is under grace, not law. Who is saying we are under the law?

            If by sinning we could lose our salvation then why would Paul not say rather, “if you sin you will lose your salvation”?

            I’ve given several scriptures which teach exactly that.

            As for sin leading to death, I think Paul is more likely thinking of such as Ananias and Sapphira, rather than losing salvation.

            You think they died justified? This is what Revelation says: Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

            And of Ananias, scripture says:

            But Peter said, “Anani’as, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back part of the proceeds of the land?

            And Jesus says:

            whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.

            How can it be that they died justified and went to heaven?

            No, you don’t have to be on the path to forsake it, you could be faced with a choice, choose the broad way and forsake the narrow.

            That’s it? I gave a long, line by line exegesis of that passage, and all you can say is that? Yours cannot be the meaning here, since the passage also says:

            For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overpowered, the last state has become worse for them than the first.

            You say:

            Remember, the parable of the soils, there are those who grow and appear to flourish, they forsake the gross sins of the world, yet they have no soil for their roots to grow. The weeds grow up around them and destroy them, their little knowledge is lost. Peter is clearly referring to false prophets and teachers and their followers. They once knew the ways of righteousness, hence their growth, but they have lost even that little knowledge they once had.

            AS far as I can see, that is simply the Catholic position you are taking, and it is not consistent with the Protestant tradition you have been defending.

          • Martin

            Albert

            So,you’re saying that you can’t be bothered to add references as it is simpler for you if I have to look up the quote. Gee, thanks.

            What you think doesn’t really matter, what matters is what God says, and His medium for expressing what He says is the Bible.

            You make Scripture subject to the tradition that your church can decide what the Bible means. Thus the authority is not the Bible but your church. Of course the Bible, Rev 2-3, tells us that churches that do not act as He requires can lose the Holy Spirit’s influence and cease to be churches.

            For Christians, the Holy Spirit aids them in their understanding when reading the Bible. The Church is not ecclesiastical officers but every Christian and so every Christian is a teacher as God gives them understanding.

            No, justification is not a process, it is a decree of God, whereby a Christian is declared to be righteous before God. You’ve failed to show anything other than that.

            If you can lose justification by sinning someone can take it from you, yourself. Indeed, it is impossible to live for one hour without sinning.

            The works which result from grace cannot earn our salvation for they are the result of salvation. But the works that you propose keep us from losing our salvation, indeed, gain us our salvation, mean that we would earn salvation, not receive it as a gift.

            Slavery is not an example for justification, for we are either slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness. But justification is the declaration that we are righteous, not the slavery.

            Paul is not saying that the Christian can be a slave to sin, they are a slave to Christ and He will not give them up. But allowing ourselves to live as if we were a slave to sin is clearly not permissible, for we are a slave of Christ. Do you know of any slave owner who would allow their slave to just leave?

            You’ve given no scripture that says if you sin you will lose your salvation.

            If Ananias & Sapphira hadn’t been saved their sin would not have been as great.

            You need to see how the parable of the soils relates to this.

          • Albert

            So,you’re saying that you can’t be bothered to add references as it is simpler for you if I have to look up the quote. Gee, thanks.

            No one’s ever asked me to do it before. The passages I am citing are very familiar at least as far as this particular argument is concerned. If you don’t know them, I don’t see why I should have to add references, just because you can’t be bothered to look them up.

            You make Scripture subject to the tradition that your church can decide what the Bible means.

            No, we make our interpretation of scripture subject to Christ, who guides the Church. You make your interpretation of scripture subject to yourselves.

            Thus the authority is not the Bible but your church.

            Thus the authority is not the Bible by you.

            Of course the Bible, Rev 2-3, tells us that churches that do not act as He requires can lose the Holy Spirit’s influence and cease to be churches.

            Rev.2-3 tells us that local churches can err. Revelation does not say that the Church err, for the Church is the pillar and bulwark of the truth…his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way the Church is she with whom remains for ever, and is taught by the Holy Spirit, who will guide us into all the truth. So Revelation 2-3 simply acknowledges that the possibility of error, found in individual scripture readers, can apply also to local churches. Hence, scripture warns us against the Protestant human tradition of interpreting scripture in that way: First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation…So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures.

            You say:

            For Christians, the Holy Spirit aids them in their understanding when reading the Bible. The Church is not ecclesiastical officers but every Christian and so every Christian is a teacher as God gives them understanding.

            This kind of individualism is contrary to scripture. Scripture shows us different people having different gifts for the good of all:

            For the body does not consist of one member but of many.If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.
            And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the organs in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single organ, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body which seem to be weaker are indispensable, and those parts of the body which we think less honorable we invest with the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior part, that there may be no discord in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, then healers, helpers, administrators, speakers in various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?

            No, justification is not a process, it is a decree of God, whereby a Christian is declared to be righteous before God. You’ve failed to show anything other than that.

            I have shown it in reference to what scripture says about Abraham.

            If you can lose justification by sinning someone can take it from you, yourself. Indeed, it is impossible to live for one hour without sinning.

            You are failing to see the scriptural distinction between sin which leads to death and sin which does not. But in any case, this is an a priori rationalistc argument – you begin with the position that makes sense to you, but what makes sense to you isn’t what scripture says.

            The works which result from grace cannot earn our salvation for they are the result of salvation.

            This is just an assertion, and one which I have shown scripture directly contradicts: Do you not know that if you yield yourselves to any one as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness/justification?

            But the works that you propose keep us from losing our salvation, indeed, gain us our salvation, mean that we would earn salvation, not receive it as a gift.

            No. That’s what you keep telling me I believe. What I keep telling you I believe is that these good works lead to righteousness, because the good works are themselves the gift of grace, so you can work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

            Slavery is not an example for justification, for we are either slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness. But justification is the declaration that we are righteous, not the slavery.

            What is the evidence of this? I have shown endless Scriptures which contradict that. What have you given to support it?

            Paul is not saying that the Christian can be a slave to sin, they are a slave to Christ and He will not give them up.

            I think you must be using the word “Christian” in a way that makes this sentence a tautology.

            But allowing ourselves to live as if we were a slave to sin is clearly not permissible, for we are a slave of Christ.

            It’s not just that Paul says it is not allowed, he says Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

            You’ve given no scripture that says if you sin you will lose your salvation.

            You’re kidding me?

            If Ananias & Sapphira hadn’t been saved their sin would not have been as great.

            Obviously, they were saved, in your sense of the term! That’s my point. Your argument here demonstrates that, but the scriptures I gave last time, also show that people who behave as they did would not enter heaven. Therefore, these are people who were saved, but lost their salvation.

            You need to see how the parable of the soils relates to this.

            Or maybe, it’s you that’s not getting that parable.

      • IanCad

        Quite the theological ding-dong going on here Martin.
        Merit on both sides.
        David Pawson – with whom I do not always agree – has an excellent twelve part series on the Book of James. I’m up to part 9 and will eventually view them all.
        Both you and Albert would appreciate them. I don’t think you’re as far apart as either of you may think.

        • Albert

          I think we are genuinely much closer than it appears. Martin seems to think that I believe works prior to faith justify, which, I think you’ve realised I certainly don’t think.

        • Martin

          Ian

          I’d say David Pawson was absolutely wrong when he said that God didn’t know that Abraham would be willing to sacrifice his son. God knows all things, He knows the end from the beginning so how could He not know. Rather Abraham gives evidence of his faith that can be observed, as James is speaking of.

          • IanCad

            Martin,
            And here we have the age old debate of God’s foreknowledge and our free will. Such a situation is biblical, things get sticky when predestination is added to the mix. Does God become then the author of evil??

          • Martin

            Ian

            Where does the Bible speak of Man’s free will? It speaks of man being dead in sin, enslaved to sin and in thrall to the wicked one, but nowhere does it tell us that we have free will.

            But that God knows all things the Bible leaves us in no doubt.

  • grutchyngfysch

    Brexit is gonna lose though. So I guess what I wonder is what we’ll actually do when faced with the prospect of an EU resurgent. I mean by all means state the truth of it but if we fail to persuade it’s EU, more EU and more EU on top of that to come.

    • Inspector General

      Nonsense, that man. It’s there to be won. No defeatism in the ranks now!

      • grutchyngfysch

        I’ll be voting for leave Inspector so no worries there. I just don’t expect to be on the winning side.

        • Inspector General

          Good fellow! One is not surprised that many think the damn EU cannot be escaped from, but we need to convince said doubters that every so often in life, a leap of faith is called for…

          • sarky

            The first domino fell with Greece.

    • bluedog

      Good point, one that concerns this communicant. At a guess, the resistance will continue with renewed energy and conviction. The EU never fails to disappoint in terms of generating outrage, and the Euro is without doubt our secret weapon. At some point there will be an economic failure of unmanageable dimension. The irony is that we will then see a wave of insurrection across Europe that will rival 1848. Precisely the situation the EU is designed to prevent.

    • steroflex

      And you think the EU will take a blind piece of notice at the result – whichever way it goes? They are bent on ever closer union and they intend to start by unifying the Eurozone at the expense of the pre-Euro members.
      Does that sound daft?
      It is what Juncker said in the Five Presidents’ Report. Tolle lege.

      • grutchyngfysch

        I expect that if the result is close for Leave (a possibility I’d put as pretty unlikely) there will be a renewed “renegotiation” after which all the reasons to leave will supposedly be put to bed. The person who does it won’t be Cameron (who will be dead in the water the morning after the referendum either way) but Boris. Wait and watch the prodigal Europhile go home – but don’t wait for any fatted calf to be slaughtered, as there aren’t any anymore.

        • steroflex

          The Civil Servants, Ministers and media (who need to keep in with both) are very nicely off, thank you. They travel to and fro, being wined and dined by lobbyists and their colleagues. They regard such people as friends and fellow members of the club. If anything goes wrong: “Not me gov! It’s the EU!”
          And on top of all is, they get handsome pay cheques at the end of the month.
          What’s going to change here? Nothing.

    • carl jacobs

      I think you are right, Grutch. But that will just make its inevitable dissolution that much more violent. The EU can’t get to its desired location. There isn’t any pressure relief valve and it can’t contain these pressures forever.

    • Anton

      Not necessarily. Schengen and the Euro are the key policies of the EU project to date and both are seriously ill, possibly fatally ill.

      • grutchyngfysch

        Absolutely agree – but contrary to popular perception, dying and corrupt empires still win against insurgencies more often than not. It’s not the decay of the EU I doubt – just a victory for Brexit.

  • chrisH

    Honestly think that the battle is won.
    Yes, I know we`ll get weeks of slurry trying to scare us, but the parallels between Hitlers National Socialism and the EUs International Socialism, based on a Soviet bloc system have now been said-and it`s unarguable.
    Yet all the Left, the liberals, the all knowing brahmin and progressive caste line up to play the man and not the ball-for there is no argument that they can use. The goal is a Federal Corporate Europe under One Currency, One Politic and One Army…which is very much what Hitler was intent on creating.
    That Boris knows his empires more that the Left does is a given-that he was brave enough to give us the full sweep of history from Napoleon to Hitler and then to the Five Presidents was EXACTLY what the elite hate him for,
    The facts are now out-vote to Remain, become a poverty-stricken Remainian within five years. If we vote NO, at least we can swim-if not, we`re shackled to the handrail on the New Titanic.

  • bluedog

    ‘…rather like they do when Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali presumes to make a scandalous interjection’. Off-topic, but this communicant was surprised that the result of the recent mayoral election in London didn’t elicit an incendiary aside from Bishop Michael.

  • bockerglory

    Hear Hear! Carey has summarised this well
    We are voting for our FREEDOM!

    • Eustace

      No, if you vote to leave you’re not voting for freedom. You’re cutting off your nose to spite your face.

      Massive unemployment, a nosediving currency, a financial sector in ruins, capital flight leaving the economy seriously underfunded … if you want all of these things, vote to leave.

      Around 70% of those polled say they’ll be voting to remain however. Like me they find nationalistic arguments about “freedom” extremely unconvincing. We won’t be very free when we’re struggling to find jobs in a Britain isolated from our closest markets. Poverty destroys freedom. Prosperity gives us choices and influence. A vote to remain is a vote of confidence in the future.

      • bockerglory

        Hello Eustace

        Your arguments are economic. It reminds me of Napoleon saying the British would be a backwater and not part of his Glorious New Roman empire.

        I will vote leave.

        We live in a democracy and I am a free person who can vote as I please. The double layered EU and UK Parliaments (& EU arrest warrants) frighten me.

        Must work now. Break over. Being working class the economic arguments swing both ways.

        • Eustace

          During the Napoleonic Wars Britain did suffer economically. But times were different and there was a whole world outside of Europe just waiting to be conquered and exploited, with all of the opportunities that a colonial empire would bring, not only in terms of the supply of raw materials for industry, but also in the establishment of new and rapidly growing markets for British products.

          We have none of those advantages today. The Empire is dead and the Commonwealth countries are not the captive market they once were.

          As I’ve said before, Britain won’t be plunged into third world poverty if we leave the EU. But our economy will suffer significantly. Of that there can be no doubt. The idea of a golden age of freedom from European regulations peddled on this site and others is a total mirage. To sell to Europe we’ll have to conform to their regulations anyway or our products and services will be denied entry into their market. So we’ll be subject to their rules without playing any part in formulating them. It’s the worst of all worlds: others will determine our rules for us and if we won’t comply, we can say goodbye to any chance of prosperity. That’s what the much-vaunted freedom that Brexit campaigners say they want actually means: the freedom to isolate ourselves from the world and wreck our economy.

          If that’s what you want, vote to leave. It won’t do you any good though. There are too many who believe that Europe is vital to our ongoing economic stability.

          • IanCad

            Purse before principle is it?

          • Eustace

            What principle? The mirage of “sovereignty” in an increasingly globalised world?

            Stop living in the past. The concept of national sovereignty died in the ashes of Germany after WWII and now lives on only as a fantasy in the minds of those with no power to change anything.

            Whether we’re part of the EU or non-aligned, our futures will not be decided in Brussels or Westminster, but rather in boardrooms and on giga-yachts by the small group of people who control most of the wealth that keeps our economies functioning. If we’re in the EU, we’re more useful to them and the investment funds will keep on flowing. Leave and they’ll dry up, and our economy with them.

            I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that Christians are in the grip of a sovereignty fantasy given that your lives are controlled by a god fantasy. Indeed fantasy seems to be the lens through which you see the world.

            As all of the arguments I’ve seen in favour of Brexit, and especially those on this site, are based in fantasy and illusion, I shall still be voting to remain. I think a majority will agree with me on the day of the referendum. When faced with a choice between fantasy and the cold, hard reality of economic survival, British pragmatism will win the day. It generally does.

          • IanCad

            Eustace,
            You have just written some utter nonsense:

            “The concept of national sovereignty died in the ashes of Germany after WWII —“

            Let me think – are there not close to two hundred countries in the world today? Almost all governing themselves as sovereign states? Admittedly, twenty eight and a few more to come, have traded their liberty for a mythical security, but that still leaves one hundred and fifty lands who have retained their self-determination.

          • magnolia

            Linus Mark what?

            Is there a prize for the first identification? I know the plumage of the Linus bird, and I could be mistaken, but I think I can see its muddy-coloured hues through the branches.

          • Pubcrawler

            You’re a few days late — he was recognised (modesty forbids to say by whom) last Monday.

          • magnolia

            Ah, congratulations then. The winner’s rosette, a jeroboam of champagne and a pair of gold-plated binoculars.

            Is the “Eustace” a play on Trollope, and the Eustace diamonds then?

            The chosen name sounds remarkably Victorian for someone who wishes us all to be ultra-modern if not post-modern!

          • CliveM

            I thought Eustace Scrubb……

          • Pubcrawler

            Hadn’t thought of that. The first two letters of the name have an obvious appeal, as well.

          • IanCad

            I’ve just kiped your observation in a post to EUstace on the Fox thread.

          • Eustace

            No state is truly sovereign because all are bound by international agreements, treaties, associations and/or unions limiting the sovereign powers they can exercise.

            The last war showed us what happens when a state decides to exercise sovereignty fully. Germany refused to be bound by any agreements and the result was chaos.

            The only way nation states can coexist is to cede portions of their sovereignty and agree to be bound by rules that are common to all.

            The purpose of the EU is to provide a framework for states to voluntarily pool aspects of their sovereignty in order to facilitate cooperation rather than conflict.

            If we return to the pre-war situation of competing nation states then sooner or later we’ll start fighting each other again. Only by agreeing to work together can we avoid the conflict that has marked European history ever since nations first arose.

      • IanCad

        A vote to leave is a vote of confidence in the future.
        To remain because of the possibility of financial insecurity leaves in question your character. Fearful, slavish, conformist.

        • Eustace

          I expected the ad hominem attacks to start about now. The Leave campaign knows it’s fighting for a lost cause. and in its frustration at not getting its own way, is lashing out In anger.

          Something similiar happened in Scotland when they had their referendum. The “cyber-nats”, sensing defeat approaching (even with polls that were distinctly more favourable to their cause than is the case with the Leave campaign today), became incredibly vituperative and vicious in the last weeks of the campaign. When defeat is staring you in the face, what can you do except rail against those whose point of view carries the day against yours?

          By all means do continue. All you do is convince me that your camp’s position has no merit. If you had cogent and persuasive arguments, you wouldn’t be languishing in the polls and you wouldn’t feel the need to abuse those who disagree with you.

          • CliveM

            “Languishing in the polls”!!! Do you actually check before you make these statements? See link and scroll down.

            http://www.theweek.co.uk/eu-referendum/65461/eu-referendum-poll-will-scotland-swing-the-vote

            Things seem to be neck and neck.

          • IanCad

            I followed your link Clive. Thanks.
            Over the years, I’ve compiled a pretty good record of being wrong in my predictions. This poll is very encouraging. Bearing in mind that outers are more passionate than inners – a neck and neck forecast looks good.

          • Eustace

            Let’s see, shall we? Something similar happened in the polls before the Scottish referendum, and Scotland is still part of the UK.

          • CliveM

            You’re the one who used the term “languishing “. So you’re happy to concede the two camps are neck and neck currently?

          • Eustace

            The polls I was referring to showed a clear lead for the Remain campaign. Other polls may show a lead for the Leave campaign. They may average out to 50/50. But … betting odds are still in favour of a Remain vote, so I still believe that as things currently stand, if the vote were held today, we would remain in the EU.

            Let’s see what happens on the day. I wouldn’t be surprised if the gap between both campaigns narrows. It certainly did in the Scottish referendum. But that didn’t affect the final outcome.

          • CliveM

            The betting odds on the General Election was for a hung parliament.

            Time will tell. I won’t be placing any bets on the outcome.

          • Eustace

            Yes, time will tell.

            Betting odds are a reflection of the situation now, not of how it will be in 6 weeks time. They indicate current market sentiment. And the market believes we’ll still be in the EU come the end of June.

            So do I. Referenda come and go but they rarely institute massive change unless supported by a clear majority of those who vote. There is no such mandate for leaving the EU just as there was no mandate in Scotland for independence. When it comes to voting, a majority of those who are unsure will always vote for the status quo.

          • IanCad

            It is hardly “ad hominem” to assess a poster’s nature when he has consistently framed his argument from the economic standpoint to the neglect of the independence aspect of the controversy.
            Self-respect and dignity demand an exit from the wretched union.
            To stay in is to be subject to a foreign prince.
            Liberty has no price.

          • Eustace

            What century are you living in? The UK is subject to no foreign prince.

            It’s nonsense like this that makes the Leave camp a laughing stock.

          • Anton

            A laughing stock in whose eyes? Not about 50% of the population according to opinion polls. As for nonsense, it is Cameron’s claims that Brexit is likely to trigger World War that makes one side a laughing stock.

          • IanCad

            Are you nuts? Never heard of Brussels?

          • Eustace

            Brussels is a city. It isn’t a person. It most certainly isn’t a prince.

            There’s a king in Brussels, but he’s King of the Belgians, not of the UK. He has no more to do with the EU than our Queen has.

            Again, I’m not surprised to hear paranoid delusions from the Leave camp about princes and dictators. It’s all part and parcel of the overblown “Game of Thrones” fantasy filter through which you perceive the world. In your world there are gods and evil emperors and dragons too, probably. In mine there are just people, some of whom control our destinies by virtue of the amount of money they possess.

            I’ll be voting to remain in the EU because it’s our best prospect for prosperity. Sovereignty is a dead concept that means little or nothing in a globalised world. It certainly won’t put dinner on the table.

          • IanCad

            Quite the collectivist aren’t you?

          • Eustace

            I think you’re the collectivist. You see Belgian cities and the political structures they house as individuals, one might almost say as some kind of evil hive mind.

            It’s beyond ridiculous. Those who work for the EU are individuals like everyone else. They’re just as concerned about personal freedom and economic prosperity as anyone else. Painting them as evil and mindless drones doing the bidding of a baleful hive mind is not only childish, it borders on paranoia.

            But like I say, Christians are driven by their fantasies and one of rhe most common of these is the persecution complex, which is often characterised by a complex delusion of the self as an oppressed but valiant and noble hero standing up to the forces of evil.

            This is the picture you’re trying to paint but quite frankly it’s so ludicrous that only another Christian with a vested interest in swallowing your propaganda in order to affirm his own delusions could possibly fall for it. So no wonder you campaign on this site. Spout your far-fetched stories in front of any other audience and you’ll be laughed out of the room.

          • Pubcrawler

            Here’s a word you appear unaware of:

            Metonymy.

          • Eustace

            And here’s a word you appear unaware of:

            Misnomer.

          • magnolia

            We coped extremely well before we were in the EU, oh no, the EEC. Heard of the EEC? That was what poor deluded people who were too trustful thought they were voting for. You heard them, or I did, parroting the accepted phrase ” it is only economic union we are voting for.” When you told them that wasn’t it and it was the thin edge of a wedge and we would cede sovereignty they looked pityingly and said that they wouldn’t be voting to stay if that were so.

            It helps to have seen the thing from the beginning. Gives you perspective to have lived through it, and know those who fought for freedom.

          • Eustace

            A government elected by the British people agreed to the transformation of the EEC into the EU.

            When you vote for a government, you’re also voting for its EU policies. If you don’t like them, you can cast your vote accordingly. But if a majority disagrees with you, those policies will be implemented whether you like them or not.

            It’s called parliamentary democracy. It’s how Britain has been ruled for the last few hundred years. But now apparently you don’t like it any more and are demanding that the people should be consulted every time a decision that YOU believe is important needs to be taken.

            What you really want is mob rule. But only in situations where you think your point of view can win. An EU referendum by all means because you think you’ll win that one. But a referendum on abortion? Or divorce? Or any other question where you know you’ll lose a popular vote? No, we don’t need referenda then, do we?

            Those who claim we never voted for the EU are either profoundly ignorant of the way parliamentary democracy works, or they know very well and are just misrepresenting the process for their own nefarious ends. Which are you? Pig ignorant or dishonest?

          • magnolia

            You haven’t constructed an argument there. You set up straw men and then knocked them down, engorged with your own rhetoric.

            The major two objections to the entry into the EEC as then was are that Heath LIED no less when he promised a referendum before joining, and consistently and deliberately misrepresented the aims of the whole thing.

            When the referendum took place in retrospect, not only was the form of the ballot paper unjust, in terms of psychology, as proven by research then as now, but the campaign funding was skewed and there were many mistruths told.

            Mrs. Thatcher claimed in her autobiography that it was not known that there would be a great loss of sovereignty; however the warnings were abundantly given at the time had she listened. That a seasoned politician could not hear and weigh accurately shows the levels of manipulation and propaganda shamelessly employed.

            What’s not to dislike?

            There was little to do with parliamentary democracy involved. Indeed those most deeply versed in parliamentary democracy and the theories of it at the time, coming from two deeply different political camps, were Tony Benn and Enoch Powell, both strongly and implacably anti-EEC. Perhaps you would posit those two as “profoundly ignorant of the way parliamentary democracy works”. Doubt if you’ll convince anyone of any political hue as it lacks reason. Your arguments are way off, and you were doubtless not alive or if alive politically unborn at the time.

          • Eustace

            Nationalists will remain implacably opposed to the EU on the grounds that any pooling of sovereignty is a loss of sovereignty. For them sovereignty is some kind of mystical and sacrosanct idol that can never be touched. Any attempt to alter how it is exercised is deemed to be heresy.

            There’s no arguing with what is essentially a religious position. Sovereignty is worshipped and anyone who does not is anathema and must either be converted or damned.

            Looks like I’m damned then. For me sovereignty is something you pool with your neighbours in order to be stronger together than weaker apart. We separate parts of the same whole and ever-closer union is not only inevitable but desirable. “There’ll always be an England” of course, just as there’s still a Scotland and a Wales, but our future lies within a united Europe and not as an offshore economic basket case feeding off the crumbs that fall from our neighbours’ table.

          • alternative_perspective

            Personally I don’t buy that argument.
            One can cooperate with one’s neighbours and establish mutually acceptable and binding treaties to do that. One does not need a separate, supranational political entity with its own purposes and intentions to do that.
            This I think is the fundamental issue. The supranational political construct, which is the EU. Rather than it being merely the agglomerated will of the people of Europe it has a “life” and worldview of its own that it is seeking to establish and propagate. Thus treaties are created not so much in the image of those who have pooled their sovereignty but in the image of the EU. And that is an all together different beast.

          • Eustace

            The EU represents the various peoples of Europe rather well. The problem is that as a member of an anti-European minority among one of those peoples, it doesn’t represent what you believe.

            When you claim that the EU doesn’t represent the people of Europe, what you really mean is that it doesn’t represent you. Which it can’t, because you’ve decided that it shouldn’t exist.

            The EU treaties have been created in the image of the majority who believe in a vision of a united Europe. They may not reflect minority opinion, but that’s the way of democracy. In cases of disagreement, the majority wins. And if the latest opinion polls give an accurate picture of how the electorate will vote, that means our continuing membership of the EU is assured.

          • magnolia

            You aren’t damned, and your argument there is much more interesting. Yes, to some extent communities pool resources, power and decision making. The concern many of us have is that the individual be not lost in the mix, and be able to protest a law that makes life unduly difficult for him or herself. This not only goes wrong from the distance and size of the Brussels Parliament, but from the fact that most laws are passed by an unelected commissioners, which could be called a commisariat.

            Tony Benn used to go round suggesting those in power needed to be asked five questions. Many of us would thoroughly agree here:

            1. What power have you got?
            2. Where did you get it from?
            3. In whose interests do you use it?
            4. To whom are you accountable?
            5. How do we get rid of you?

            Those, especially the last, are very tough. No politician relishes the last, and sometimes the manner of their going is unjust. However the alternatives are worse still.

          • Eustace

            This fallacy that so many of the Leave campaign peddle about European commissioners being unaccountable is quite troubling. It shows what damage can be done by a little ignorance and a lot of ill will.

            European commissioners are appointed by each democratically elected national government. Their appointment must be confirmed by the democratically elected European Parliament, which can unseat the Commission by passing a vote of no confidence at any time.

            Commissioners are every bit as democratically legitimate and accountable as any member of a US administration, for example.

            Electing them would be costly, time-consuming and even then their legitimacy would be questioned, because low turn-outs for EU elections do not necessarily return representative candidates, whereas appointment by a government with a democratic mandate better ensures that the will of the people is accurately reflected.

            If you want to get rid of a European Commissioner, lobby your local MEP. If he can raise enough support in the European Parliament, the Commission President will pressure the offending Commissioner to resign, or if he refuses, will offer the resignation of the entire Commission. It’s already happened. The Santer Commission resigned as a result of nepotism charges against several Commissioners. They are not untouchable autocrats. They are as responsible for their conduct as any British politician.

            Leave campaign accusations of a lack of democratic accountability in Europe are just a smokescreen covering the real reasons they want us to leave. Xenophobia, insularity and pure animus against anything that touches their sacred shibboleth of national sovereignty.

          • magnolia

            It’s more that the answers to those five questions deplete us of confidence, though, yes, we are unavoidably an island nation, though a large island. It is a geographical thing, tout simple.

          • Eustace

            Ireland is an island nation that doesn’t feel compelled to leave the EU. Nor does Cyprus. Nor Malta.

            British insularity is a self-fulfilling prophecy. At least for a minority of the population. 37% want to leave the EU, according to the latest Ipsos MORI poll. Against 55% who want to remain. It’s the biggest poll lead for the Remain campaign so far.

            If the Leave campaign wants to close that lead, it’s going to need to put forward some real arguments instead of baseless fears and xenophobic rants. You’re just not convincing the electorate. I wonder why…

          • magnolia

            Well Cyprus is still licking its wounds, and not basking in prosperity. Can’t see its done well at all. How did the EU help them in their time of desperate need, when small businesses were robbed of their capital? Or Greece?

            Don’t think the UK is the only country fed up with the gargantuan bloated highly paid and out of touch bureaucracy which spews out far too many petty regulations which makes working people on the ground’s lives unnecessarily difficult and often so that in reality they cannot hope to abide by the mass of regulations.

            As for polls, they are notoriously inaccurate, as they are dealing with human beings who don’t always know what they are going to do, change their minds, give the answer that is wanted, or least trouble, or just don’t tell the truth.

          • Eustace

            Polls do not determine the outcome of elections, but they do give a snapshot of how the public feels at the time of the poll.

            Right now only 37% of those polled want to leave the EU. 55% want to remain. 8% are undecided, but even if the Leave campaign manages to convince all of them that we should leave, you’re still well short of 50%.

            Between now and the referendum you have a lot of work to do. And yet the figures show that support for the Leave campaign is waning.

            This is probably due to the clear animus towards the EU that comes across whenever Leavers talk about it. The hatred and hyperbole mark you out as nutters with an axe to grind rather than concerned citizens whose views need to be taken seriously.

            By all means though, don’t let me stop you! Continue ranting about the evil empire that wants to oppress and enslave the plucky British. If you think such ridiculous tactics will win you more support, I think you’re sadly mistaken. You don’t have to believe me though. The result will speak for itself.

          • alternative_perspective

            Eustace, you don’t need to be so dismissive and condescending to make your arguments. If you’re actually interested in trying to persuade people, rather than just having a fight, you will find that pissing them off will not help your cause.

          • alternative_perspective

            Its always has been a lost cause, what hope did we have when every major institution and powerful entity that suckles at the breast of this harlot system is arrayed against us?
            The informal, global consensus amongst our political, economic and cultural leaders holds those, whom would hold them to account with contempt. They believe they are the enlightened ones; Plato’s philosopher kings and the new international nobility destined from birth to rule the world. They control the airwaves; regulate our economies; make our laws; shape the zeitgeist and move unrestricted throughout the world. The EU is a tool of their influence and a means by which the wield power.
            How could we win against these?

          • johnb1945

            No, trust me, as a Scot who saw it first hand, the cybernats were much, much worse.

            No Brexiter has lobbed a brick through someone’s window because of their voting intention, beat them up, harassed them online or daubed the word “Quisling” on their door.

            That stuff happened in the indyref, some of it to people I personally know.

      • preacher

        If the Israelites had been of the same opinion prior to the Exodus, they’d still be slaves in Egypt today. Stop swallowing the groundless fear policy of Cameron & Co & be bold enough to go forward.
        Optimism is far better than pessimism.
        The Nazis offered Chamberlain a ‘peace’ deal & bless him, he came back waving a piece of paper saying ” Peace in our time ! ” it wasn’t because it couldn’t be. It was an offer of capitulation – surrender !.
        Now Cameron is waving a piece of paper of the same value, but warning of dire consequences if we leave.
        We toughed it out & never submitted. Cameron talks about the cost of war & cries crocodile tears over the graves of heroic young men who died to preserve our freedom – if they hadn’t ……… ! we would have been dead or slaves. How happy would the generations that followed those dark days have been ?.
        My challenge to the fear mongers is – ‘Prove it’ – it’s all speculation ! Smoke & mirrors. The E.U is sinking, doomed ! look at the situation in Greece, Italy, Spain !. Immigration etcetera, a leaky overloaded rubber boat in a rough sea has no chance – that’s the offer from the E.U to us, get aboard, new prosperity, new starts, ask the poor souls who perished in the Med’ whether it worked !.
        Swim away before the thing sinks & takes us with it.

        • Eustace

          Optimism certainly is better than pessimism. And what are your arguments if not one continuous pessimistic diatribe about the future of the EU?

      • alternative_perspective

        The pound is estimated to be 25% over-valued and we have a trade imbalance that is only made worse by our ability to purchase foreign goods with our artificially strong currency. The inevitable consequence will be that the markets eventually lose faith in sterling and sell it off.
        We are heading towards a market correction in or out of the EU. It is better to prick the bubble now than to let it inflate further. Moreover a weaker currency will assist rebalancing of the economy towards export driven earnings rather than consumption.
        Obviously there will be short term uncertainty and economic slowdown but attempting to predict long term decline is little more than crystal ball gazing and will entirely depend on the political choices the country makes. None of the fearful warnings you promote, that No. 10 is obsessed with, are concrete realities that will happen, they are possibilities only, risks with probabilities attached to them. Risks that can be managed and probabilities that can be reduced by careful, planning, decision making and execution.
        Perhaps the financial sector will suffer, perhaps it won’t. Perhaps its sheer scale which dwarfs, many times, over those in other EU countries will be more than sufficient to see-off Frankfurt or Paris. Perhaps the professionals will find new liberties in a new, more detached relationship to the EU? Short term risks can often reveal longer term opportunities.
        As for unconvincing nationalistic arguments: I find this an unpleasant sideswipe. When did prioritising accountability, transparency and democracy become conflated with narrow nationalism?
        I think most people on this website would hold to a different or broader definition of freedom, yours appears to be rooted in the freedom to consume. What about freedom of conscience? What about freedom of self-determination? Are these not valid freedoms which centralised government diminishes?
        I don’t deny that prosperity gives us choice and influence but I would not elevate these benefits over individual liberties and the right to choose those who rule over us.
        This is the problem I have with Remainers typically. The condescending and derogatory way they dismiss others’ valid concerns and aspirations versus the passion and respect they demand from the very same people for their own opinions and concerns.
        Your opinions are yours and they are valid. My opinions are mine, and they too are valid. The value we attach to them is a function of our aspirations and the course of direction we hope for this country and I sense that your aspirations are somewhat different to mine, to other Leavers.
        A final note, often the poor are amongst the freest people amongst us whilst the rich flutter around their gilded cages.

        • Eustace

          Your case is well argued and refreshingly polite after the torrent of abuse that seems to be the standard response to any kind of opposition on this blog.

          A few points however.

          If you’re right and Sterling is overvalued, when it falls Britain will be better placed to export within the EU than without. As a member state we trade with other EU nations tariff free, which may not be the case following a Brexit. We also benefit from EU trade deals with the US and other countries. If the fall in Sterling is offset by a rise in tariffs, our exporters will experience few benefits.

          The same politicians who rule us now will rule us after any Brexit. But somehow you seem to think that withdrawing from the EU will magically transform our political system into a transparent and financially responsible paragon of democracy. With Boris Johnson as PM? You have to be joking…

          That the financial sector will contract considerably is, I think, unarguable. Frankfurt will be the main beneficiary as investment capital moves to remain in the EU. Several banks have already stated their intention to relocate much of their activity to Europe in case of a Brexit. This can only have a negative effect on jobs and investment.

          You seem very blithe about economic uncertainty and brush it off as if it’s a minor issue. It isn’t. It’s the difference between employment and unemployment for thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of people. Airily batting this aside as a problem only for the rich, and implying that selfish consumerist motives are the only reason for supporting the Remain campaign is more than a little offensive.

          This isn’t about the difference between buying or not buying the next Apple gadget to hit the market, or taking 2 annual holidays rather than 3. It’s the difference between making ends meet and falling into poverty for an awful lot of people. Blithely telling them they’ll be happier if they’re poorer won’t, I think, cut much ice with them. The poorer they are, the more likely they are to experience ill health and the shorter their life expectancy will be. This is not some abstract political question. For many it will determine how long they live.

          These are concrete and valid reasons for voting to Remain. By all means dismiss people’s fears with an airy “you’ll be fine … until you die 10 years earlier than you otherwise would have, but don’t worry about that, you’ll be happier than all those rich fat cats who outlive you”. No, they won’t be. They’ll be dead, and dead men are neither happy nor sad. They’re dead.

          Somehow I doubt that widows up and down the land will be feeling happier because their husbands have keeled over or topped themselves because they can’t pay the morrgage and are about to lose their homes. Selfish consumerists! Living on chips and kebabs because they have nowhere to cook in their flea pit of a council-funded b&b room will make them so much happier than their own comfortable home, don’t they know?

          • johnb1945

            Good point.

  • carl jacobs

    “Bomb? I thought you loaded the bomb into the truck.”

    “No, you said you would get it.”

    “I said I would check for anything that still needed to be loaded. I didn’t see the bomb.”

    “So where is it then?’

    “It must still be at Old Traf…. uh oh.”

    • F*ck off …

    • Anton

      Doesn’t happen at the other Old Trafford…

    • Anton

      That’ll cost the security firm involved a b…

      • carl jacobs

        But you know that is what happened. It was almost certainly an innocent mistake.

        • Anton

          Agreed. Am I alone in finding the episode mildly amusing?

          • carl jacobs

            Ummm … no. It’s hilarious.

  • David

    Vote for freedom. There may be some uncertainty but we can deal with that, and the longer term will be far better once we are Out. Indeed future generations will thank us for it. Vote OUT ,

  • Eustace

    I’m voting to remain. The “uncertainty” you blithely dismiss will in reality be a full-blown depression that will turn us into an economic backwater if we leave. We’re as free now as we’ve ever been and will be no freer if we leave the EU. And future generations would curse us if we voted to leave.

    Choosing to voluntarily impoverish ourselves in pursuit of a nationalistic and exclusionary isolationism is utter madness.

    • Royinsouthwest

      Ask the young Greeks, Spaniard, Portuguese etc. who are unemployed because of EU policies about uncertainty!

    • Anton

      Recession is coming to both the UK and Continental Europe and it is futile to try to pin responsibility for it on this issue. We are not as free now as we’ve ever been; that statement is factually incorrect. Giuven that you cna’t know what is going to happen one year down the line, let alone 5 or 10, your comment about future generations is folly.

      • Eustace

        Signs of returning growth are being felt across the EU. This is something I suspect you don’t want to recognise because prosperity is bad news for your religion.

        When times are good, people don’t have much time for notions of God. They don’t need the psychological crutch to get through life.

        Like many conservative Christians, I bet you’re praying for an historic depression. The bigger the better. Anything that persuades people to turn to God, even in fear and desperation, must be a good thing as far as you’re concerned.

        Your pessimism is therefore to be expected. I don’t share it. The economy is cyclical and what comes down must go up. We’re starting to see the first signs of this and apocalyptic warnings from members of a doomsday cult don’t alter the reality of what we’re seeing.

        • Anton

          We have WMDs biological and nuclear for the first time in several millennia of civilisation, the Jews are back in the Holy Land confounding all expectation of assimilation yet exactly as prophesied (a second return) more than 2000 years ago, and globalisation is proceeding apace as predicted in the New Testament, and you pooh-pooh Christian apocalyptic? Smell the coffee!

          I’m glad of economic good news but negative interest rates and feverish printing of fiat currency are storing up big trouble, as plenty of sensible secular economists can explain.

          • Eustace

            All predictions in the New Testament are open-ended. If you wait long enough, all open-ended prophecies may end up being fulfilled.

            I could make any number of open-ended prophecies that will probably come true some day. For example, I prophesy that the United States will have a female president. If that comes true next January, will that make me a biblical prophet?

            Hardly.

          • Anton

            I agree: hardly. But prophecies are not open-ended: had the Jews lost their cultural identity then the remaining ones about them could not have been fulfilled, and is it a coincidence that globalisation and the Jewish return are taking place in the same era, since the Bible predicts a world army sent against Jerusalem?

          • johnb1945

            Pfff, well I’m a remainer, and a Christian, but that statement just isn’t true. Regathering Jews to Israel looked improbable 1500 years ago, and impossible 200 years ago, but it happened.

        • Ha! There you are again, Linus…er, “EU-stays”! Clever mutt. Your hobgoblins… obsession with Christianity and messianic progressivism… always give you away.

  • Royinsouthwest

    The Bishop Hill website has an interesting cartoon based on the intervention by Christine Lagarde and the IMF in the Brexit debate.

    http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2016/5/16/vulture-capitalism-josh-376.html

    • Anton

      Bishop Hill is sound on global warming too. What is it about these prelatory blogs?